Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Kids Rock!

We've had some ups and downs this past year, but for the most part, my kids are amazing!

We haven't been to church in quite some time and lately the kids have been having "serious discussions" with me about returning to church. I've tried a couple times to get up on Sunday and get going but my pregnancy was difficult and I've been trying to recover from having a baby.

Today was the day to stop with the excuses and go. My kids were incredible. Last night I had the kiddos get church clothes together and set them out, making sure everything was ironed and ready to go. They did it without complaining. This morning, I got up to make them breakfast and they got ready for church with good attitudes. Even Carter, who usually complains about everything. Maybe the maple sausage brightened his mood.

I told the kids if they didn't feel comfortable going to Primary that they didn't have to. They could come home with Eric and I after Sacrament Meeting. Jason Oler, the triplet's primary teacher came up to us after Sacrament and told Mckenzie where their classroom was. She just gave me a kiss and walked out the door. Garrett and Chase followed.

Ever since his unfortunate scouting incident that has left a bitter taste in both our mouths, Ethan has been less than excited to participate in anything church related. However, to my shock and awe, he got up and starting to walk towards the Primary room. I asked him if he was staying and he lifted his scriptures, which I didn't know he brought, and said "That's why I brought these, Mom." He hugged me and left.

Carter is the only one who went home with me. He isn't big on leaving me when he doesn't have to.

Also to my surprise, Eric agreed to come with us. He's been less than thrilled with how *some* members of my ward have treated me but he was really impressed with how much help was offered to us after Seth was born. He agreed to support me in taking my kids to church and came with us. It was nice to have my family there.

To make things better, my bishop gave a wonderful talk about hope. It was something I enjoyed hearing. Looking down the row at my precious children, I saw a boy who will be receiving the priesthood this year and who will become a young man. I saw another precious boy who will be getting baptized. And my baby in my arms will be blessed next month. They are my hope.

Today was a good day.

*Disclaimer* I stress the word SOME in regard to the people in my ward because I have wonderful, sweet, and tender friends whom I could not live without. But there are those who have forgotten who they are, as we all have from time to time, and it's made my struggles even more difficult to bear.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pure Joy

Despite my lack of sleep and being so sick these past few weeks, I have managed to enjoy my tiny bundle. He is one of the six most perfect things I've ever done!

Mckenzie and I were taking pictures of Seth
and managed to get one of his precious smiles!

I love that Seth is more and more alert.
I love the cooing and "talking."

Out to dinner with Mommy and Daddy to celebrate Uncle Shadd's Birthday

Ethan adores his baby brother. The sweetest thing I've seen is when Ethan had a bad day, he came home, got Seth out of his crib and cuddled him. I love it!

Mckenzie is the second mother in our house. She is super helpful with Seth. She helps me bathe him, feed him, and she loves to snuggle him.
Garrett just loves to kiss him.
The other boys will gives him loves too but aren't too keen on hold him yet.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

One of Those Moments...

I am cranky today. Seth is sick and hasn't been sleeping well, which means I'm not sleeping well. I was completely exhausted today so I asked Doug to take Carter to a dentist appointment. Carter had a cavity that I assumed the dentist would just seal because it was on a baby tooth. Well, I'm still not clear on all the details, but my sweet Carter ended up having to get a root canal without his mommy there. To make matters worse, he has to have another one in two weeks.

When Doug brought Carter home, I was passed out with the baby so Doug put Carter to sleep on the couch and went to work. I woke up to the sound of Carter sobbing. I asked if he was in pain, he said no. I asked if he was dizzy or sick from the medicine the dentist gave him, he said no. I asked what was wrong and he said he missed he daddy which broke my heart. I had him lay down with me while I fed Seth.

Eric came over and brought Carter a milk shake which Carter didn't eat. (He really didn't feel well,) I had to get up to do something and when I came back into the room, Carter had fallen asleep holding onto his baby brother on my bed. Seeing my boys in such a sweet position made all the crappiness of the day melt away....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Changes and Balancing Acts

A lot has happened over the past several months. The most spectacular, in my opinion, is the birth of my baby boy, Seth William McCabe. He was born on January 20th, 2011 at around 10:00 pm. His eventful birth put an end to a difficult pregnancy. I say his birth was eventful because I went into the hospital to be induced, only to have the complication of a placental abruption, meaning Seth's placenta was separating from my uterus and filling with blood. Seth had swallowed quite a lot of blood and had inhaled it into his lungs. It was a frightening 10 minutes, as they prepped me for a C-section, rushed me into an OR, cut me open and delivered my baby. Wow!! Eric can hardly describe what was done to me without dry heaving. But, our gorgeous son is here and we could not be more elated.

Seth's birth has changed a lot of things in my relationship with Eric. We're not married and not living together, so we're trying to raise our baby together but separately. Which has been a struggle.

Eric proposed to me right before Seth was born, but we have yet to set a wedding date. However, we've been encouraging his children to be more comfortable in my home. We talk to all eight children about the two of us getting married and about when they will all move in with us. We've discussed who will have what bedroom and even went to pick out potential paint colors for those bedrooms. I obviously want all our kids to feel comfortable about this impending change. So far, we've met little resistance. We're so blessed that all our children get along. We have a few squabbles here and there, but nothing serious. They look forward to being together and get along when they are together.

Eric and I now have a combined total of nine children. I have five, he has three and we have Seth. It's been a challenge to let all of the kids feel they have enough bonding time with Seth. I let Eric take the baby to his house a couple times so his kids could have uninterrupted bonding time, but it frustrated me because it felt as if he was dividing our families, which is completely counterproductive to what we've been trying to accomplish. I understood where he was coming from, my children live with Seth and are able to hold him and bond with him whenever they want. But I want the kids to all feel like they share a brother and so they need to learn to SHARE their brother. A compromise was telling my kids (mostly Mckenzie) that when Eric's kids are here, they can hold the baby without my kids hovering over them waiting for a turn. That way his kids can have bonding time and my kids learn to share.

I think another big change is that I'm more in love with Eric now that we have a son together. I want him here all the time. On nights when I get up with Seth alone, I want Eric to live here. But then I have my fears of what it will be like to have nine kids under one roof. What it will be like when I'm married again and lose the independence I feel I have. What it will be like to share my space with someone else. And then the overwhelming fear of, what if I can't make this marriage work? What if this one fails too?

A huge change is that my baby of seven years is no longer the baby. Carter is now a big brother and he's been having quite the adjustment. It's been heartbreaking to watch him at times, but at other times, I'm so proud of him for choices he makes. He is sweet to Seth. But there seems to be a war inside Carter. About a week before Seth was born, Carter did not want to go to school, so I decided to go with him to see what was going on. I just remember sitting at his teacher's desk and watching my baby boy struggle with his tender feelings and I felt so sad and so helpless. I was wishing I could look inside him and see what was making him so sad and so angry.

I'm not sure we ever really pinpointed what was wrong during that week. Eric, Doug and I all agreed that Carter's acting out had something to do with the baby. At times, Carter was proud he was going to be a big brother and at other times he lamented that his time as my baby was coming to an end. I tried to reassure him over and over that he will always be my baby. He would nod and smile, but he would also look at me as if he didn't buy what I was selling. I try very hard to lavishly praise him when he does something well and tenderly correct him when he does something wrong. I'm just trying to rebuild whatever broke inside him.

Trying to make nine kids happy is a huge challenge. Especially when their rules are different. My kids adhere to a pretty strict schedule. They get up at the same time, eat at the same time, take baths at the same time, do homework at the same time, go to bed at the same time, etc. They go to their dad's house the same day every week and spend every other weekend with him. There is occasionally variation to our schedule, but I try to keep it as consistent as possible. Carter and Garrett are not big on changes, especially if they are last minute changes. Eric's kids have rules as well, but they are different from ours. He and his ex-wife are pretty lax about when the kids see her, so it sometimes interrupts activities we've planned. I'm a planner. Stuff like that makes me crazy. (I like Eric's ex and I'm very supportive of his kids being with her, it's the lack of planning that makes me nuts.)

Someone mentioned to me that we may not be having certain issues if we had gotten married sooner. But I think we'd still be having all these issues because we're trying to blend a family. I think we have it easier than most, I've heard some real horror stories... but I know we'd be having adjustment struggles whether we were married right now or not.