Posts Tagged With: Large Family

Why is my baby always in white!

So apparently people have taken notice, little baby Tag is always in a white long sleeve onesie, ALWAYS! Why? Well mostly because I am crazy… but I do have a reason for this crazy (though it is just crazy…)

All boys clothes are “boy” colored. If it’s not crazy organic crunchy hippie mom stuff it’s usually brightly colored with trucks, trains, or sports on it. The crazy organic stuff is better, but still seems to try and “make” him into something. Or maybe it isn’t trying, but peoples opinions (even my own) about him change when he is wearing different colors/designs.

Tag is himself. He can not tell me what he likes, who he is, how he feels. When I look at him, when others look at him, I want them to see Tag, not “that little boys in the cute outfit”, just Tag. His face, his super lips, just him. Now maybe I’m off here and an outfit doesn’t change your perception of a baby or gloss over who they are, but why risk it? Or, really, who cares? ( I mean, white is easy to hang in the sun to get out the poop stains so maybe that’s my reason?)

Is he always going to wear white? Nah… But for now I want to just see my baby and learn who he really is before I start playing dress up with him (which WILL happen!)

I will leave you with adoable pictures of my baby Tag just in white-

Categories: Parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

34 weeks?

Where has the time gone?! I feel moments of “damn am I done yet?!” And moments of extreme terror “can this baby stay in forever?!?!” All my Littles are more then ready to meet their new brother or sister, and we do have 2 outfits… soooo… what else do we need?

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Boy or girl? What’s your guess??

Running?

Yup, I’m still at it. Sloooooow goes it with moments of abrupt stops, hands on knees, and very loud “FUUUUUCK”‘s. It happens. There is very clearly a head down low which causes some interesting pains at times, but it’s very well worth it. My golden miles are usually 4-6, I feel great and can really run! But well… then things get interesting…

Strava’s Monday-Sunday just seems silly at this point. I decided to count my weekly miles in my pregnant weeks. Thursday, the first day at 34 weeks, I ran 7 miles and yesterday I did 3.9. By next Wednesday I will have my 30 miles for the week, no matter how slow those miles may be.

What’s funny about “slow” is I love encouraging new runners. My mantra of “it doesn’t matter how fast you are, lets enjoy the view” I really do believe. But I suppose its always harder to look at ¬†yourself and be patient. Everyone I have ever run with and walked happily with up each hill, I loved it. I really do believe being a “runner” is a mindset and no matter how fast (or slow) you move you are still a runner, I promise to try and be more patient with myself as I have done with so many other.

Strength-

I feel like there is a huge misunderstanding with the outward and public strength I show. My “it’s ok” “just a moment in life” and “i’ve got this” stand is true, but that does NOT mean I am OK with the situation. I do not have a choice but to continue to move forward and handle my life. I do not have the luxury (or misfortune) of being able to avoid responsibilities. I can’t run around (ha, run) and pretend I’m not about to have a new little human. I am a Mom. When I tell you “I’m good, I’ve got this” I really do, but that does not justify or gloss over the behavior of others.

But really, I’ve got this ūüôā

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These legs get extra love… or freezing pools..

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Things I Don’t do with Babies

Yesterday I was watching a Vlogger I sometimes enjoy. A family with a 2-year-old and a newborn. I don’t always agree with what they do, but sometimes it inspires me to make a new video that day which is cool. As I watched the Mom’s “Things I love and don’t love for this baby” I became more and more annoyed. I may have only watched 5 minutes before I turned it off and huffed away to clean something with grumpiness. Look, EVERYONE doesn’t have to do things “my way” but I feel like if your life is out there for all to see you do have some social responsibility.

So why was I so mad?

EVERYTHING within the first 5 minutes were products meant for you to not touch/pay attention to your baby. WHAT?!?! This mom does baby wear but doesn’t do everything the way I do, which is fine. It just seemed insane to me that she was promoting so many products on how to lay your baby here so it will sleep on it’s on, watch it on this monitor while it sleeps alone, strap in in here so it sleeps alone. I just can’t agree or listen to it.

So here friends, a list of what I do NOT do with babies-

  • I do not put them down.

While this may sound crazy, I really don’t. I baby wear all day. Maybe they are set down for a minute here and there, but always put back on. To me this feels right. They grow so fast and don’t want to be worn as soon as they can get around on their own, so why not soak up every minute I can being as close as possible?

  • I do not strap my babies into anything

Except to me or a carseat. No swings, no bouncy chairs, no Bumbo, just no. I refuse. At no point have I seen a need or will I.

  • I do not have them sleep alone

I co-sleep and can not be convinced there is anything wrong with it. Yeah don’t be stupid, if you have a sleep disorder, have been drinking, or smoke, DO NOT co-sleep. But if you are healthy babies can absolutely be safe and comfortable in bed with Momma. Again, they grow up so fast and I will happily have them close to me as long as possible.

  • I do not use disposable diapers.

I cloth diaper. Not only is it actually easy (another load of laundry isn’t really a big deal) they are so darn cute! The only time I use disposable is on a trip, because when you are living outside washing diapers does not found fun. But otherwise, there is no reason to NOT use cloth (and it’s actually a ton cheaper in the long run).

Now I’m sure there is a lot more I “do not” do, but those are the big ones I couldn’t stop reeling over after listening to unnamed Vlogger. In no way am I saying everything I do fits everyone, but keep in mind between my own children, fostering, and nannying I have probably cared for over 15 babies/toddlers. At one point I cared for 8 children 8 & under, and it really wasn’t as crazy as it sounds! Foster children did not co-sleep for the most part and that was rough on me. Getting up in the middle of the night, making bottles and putting a baby back in their bed is so much more difficult then rolling over and pulling out a boob… and falling back asleep before putting it away…

So do what you please, but if you Vlog about it know I will not watch it all, but I guess I’m still giving you views…

 

 

 

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Filling the Table

I always had the feeling that I was missing someone. I would count my kids and still feel like I had it wrong. From the moment Tajh started walking I remember having that panic moment. It continued no matter how many I had. Even at 8 kids I felt like someone was missing on a regular basis. Weird to say, but I never felt “done”…

Until about 8 months ago. I looked around and told myself I had everyone… no more were coming… I began looking up how I wanted to handle being “done” I don’t do hormonal birth control and I just “knew’ no more were coming, so research began… ¬†I’ve had the question of whether or not this on was an “accident”, as rude as a question that is, I will say it wasn’t completely unplanned or planned.

Even with that being said, and knowing a baby was a possibility I hadn’t had that “feeling” of not being done. I still felt finished, my table felt full, my arms felt busy… And even these first 21 weeks I haven’t felt like there was another one joining us. I really don’t know how to explain it, but my family has just felt complete…

Some nights are busy with activities, drop offs, pick ups, and trying to get everyone fed and in bed (without leaving a giant mess) is a lot. I don’t always sit at the table during dinner, sometimes dishes need to be done,¬†now,¬†so I can function in the morning… Tonight as they ate, talking about their day while listening to some Cat Stevens I looked over..

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And suddenly my table did not feel so full….

I had that same feeling that someone is missing.. someone will be joining us soon.

To be exact, this someone-IMG_5707

 

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Don’t I Have Enough Already?!?

If you don’t follow my youtube channel (what the hell is wrong with you?!?)

Yes, I “needed” more!

 

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I found out I was pregnant the day before I left for my summer adventure with the kids. ¬†The idea of living outside with 5 children and a dog while growing a human inside me sounded daunting, but I was all in. I made the choice to tell only my bestie Lala because I knew the worry that would come. I knew people would be uncomfortable with the choices I was making. Even without my Dad knowing, when he found out I would sleep in the middle of nowhere in my car when I didn’t have the kids he tried offering me money for a hotel. People, my family, anyone not living in this world of silly outdoor adventuring would not understand and I didn’t want to deal with the judgement.

Now living in a tent in bear country with morning sickness sucks. Where normally you can have crackers by the bed and try to curb the nauseousness upon waking up, I had to wait until children where awake, help get little people dressed, hike up a hill to the car, and start breakfast for a bunch of hungry heathens. By the time food was ready I was usually beyond the point of being able to eat and the drive to our next adventure would usually involve some stops for breathing breaks while I tried to contain the vomit. To make matters worse, when you have 5 kids and spend 10 hours a day hiking it’s hard to care for yourself. Often I would realize I ate one cliff bar all day… Not such an awesome idea…

My kids were great though. While they didn’t know they are very observant and kind and I found the older ones especially checking on how much I was eating. They figured I was saving all the snacks for them and would offer me theirs, and I would try to not dry heave in front of them. Carrying a 35lb toddler on your back up a mountain while doing your best to not vomit on yourself really keeps the day interesting. In case you missed it, here are a couple adventures we went on while in my first trimester-

So the kids would leave for a week and I would find myself recovering. Orange juice and apple juice became my crutch for a while. I would wake up and immediately drive to the store. Some mornings I could function ok after chugging some juice, others I found myself just trying to recover from the week prior. At some point juice just didn’t cut it and I moved on to root beer, yup, healthy. Root beer and a cliff bar was my diet some days, and I will not apologize for this! There is no good vegan food in the mountains of colorado! I was dying! All I wanted was something delicious, but I had no idea what that was. I really found myself longing for a bed, terrible television, and delicious food. Oh the dreams I had! Mind you, when I didn’t have my kids and actually had myself together enough to be around people that wasn’t easy either. I now found myself lying and coming up with excuses as to why I wasn’t drinking. Nothing makes you feel like an alcoholic more then people being dumbfounded that you aren’t drinking… *sigh*

So, We Survived! And now we are back to the normal grind of school busyness. Second Trimester and trying to run in the heat is pretty miserable, but I’m hoping to push through. We have some exciting adventures planned for the future!

Even with this giant mass growing...

Even with this giant mass growing…

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The emptiness of a clean house

I’ve spent a lot of time as a Mom cleaning. I may preach “the mess will be gone before you know it, they grow up too fast”, but really my OCD takes over and I clean. I hate walking into a house with toys everywhere. My kids play and make a mess and I follow behind them cleaning it up… not always, but much of my “Mom career” was spent being the cleaning lady.

Nowadays my kids leave 50% of the time. I could easily keep a super clean house while they are gone, but now a clean house is sad. A toy not on the rug means no one will be coming back to it in a couple of minutes. Clothes on the floor means no one is there for me to yell at to put them away. Is this something all single Mom’s feel? The loneliness of a clean home? When they are here I clean too much. I still follow them around picking up after them. Try and have them keep their messes contained. But when alone, the stuffed animal stays in its haphazard home… the dirty sock doesn’t find its way to the laundry basket, the straw hat used to play farmer sits in my chair without a head to don. Am I really the only one?

I’ve learned to clean sections. The joy I feel of over cleaning accomplishment can be had, but I always see my kids still here. Today it’s the kitchen and living room, everything is in place and the smell of way too all natural cleaning products is in the air. Their room is untouched. Beds aren’t made, they were too busy playing before they left to make them themselves. Clothes are on the floor, shoes out-of-place, they will be back. It’s comforting in a way, but still sad. They are still missing… Does this feeling ever go away?

Sometimes I find myself pretending it’s nice to have a “break”, and maybe some days it is. Yes, a day off every once in a while is helpful, maybe every couple of months. Sometimes I get the feeling Moms who have their kids all the time are jealous of my freedom. Sometimes they express it, just a little, and I can’t respond. I want to scream. I want to tell them I never became a Mom to have all this down time. I want them to see the days I’m without my kids and “free” and how lonely it is. Maybe it’s silly, maybe it’s that “grass is always greener” feeling…. Whatever it is I’ve had it both ways. I would always take being a full-time Mom with no breaks over being a part-time Mom.

So now I’ll go back to scrubbing things that have already been scrubbed and leave the bunny in the middle of my floor until it’s friend returns.

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The Mama Bear in me.

Tajh is my oldest son. For 12 years now he has been a complete individual, all my kids are but he really takes the cake. He loves animals, has for as long as I can remember. He is kind, gentle, always wants everyone to get along (well usually…). Tajh is the kind of kid that coombya and drum circles are there for. He has a the spirit of nature and does not concern himself with other people’s judgment. ¬†I do not cut my¬†boy’s hair until they are 2. At that point I start cutting myself, shaving it, giving them a mohawk, or just letting it grow. For over 3 years now Tajh has decided to let it grow. I remember another Mom telling me a story of how her son and Tajh got called girls by a woman. While her son took issue, Tajh shrugged it off. He always does. Sometimes he rolls with it while his siblings (or myself) correct the ignorant person. Yes, if you call my 12-year-old son a girl, you are ignorant. His hair is unkept, dreading on it’s on, he wears “boy” clothes, nothing says girl… Well other than the extremely unreliable “long hair means girl” opinion.

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I’ve wanted Tajh to cut his hair for a long time. He doesn’t take care of it and having to comb out the mats is a pain. At one point we discussed dreads, ¬†but there is so much upkeep and he just isn’t willing to do it. Sometimes I try bribing him to cut it, but in the end I know its his hair and he can do as he pleases.¬†My wanting him to cut his hair has everything to do with my desire for something easier, not because of how he looks or my concern for what others think of him.

At Disneyland Tajh became weird about going to the bathroom. Asking to go then saying he didn’t have to. Asking many times to go, going and then asking to go again. Clearly this raised a red flag. He didn’t want to speak about it but eventually he filled me in…

Tajh entered the mens restroom.

Adult Male “You shouldn’t be in here, you’re a girl”

Tajh “No I’m a boy”

Adult Douchebag “No, you’re a girl”

Tajh “No, I’m not.”

And that was it. That small exchange with the slime of the earth has my son uncomfortable going into the mens restroom for the rest of the day and wanting to cut his hair.

To that piece of shit worthless human being: You are lucky my son did not tell me when I could have found you. I always make the joke, I’m a fighter, not a lover, but boy is that true. Not only would there have been no way of keeping me from murdering you with my bare hands, I would have ruined your life. Attacking a young boy in the restroom? You are not worth anything. You do not deserve to live. That’s right, I said it. YOU and all conservative, know-it-all, angry, hateful, worthless, brainless, deplorable human being. You are the reason our world sucks for tweens and teens who are different. How dare you take you own views of the shitty world you want to live in and put them off on my child.

Sitting back and thinking about it my children do live in a fairly “safe world”. They all go to private schools that are very welcoming and allow you to be yourself. They live in the ultra world where all adults are a little “off”. Being an individual in our world is the norm… So yes when we head into the norm of society this is what we have to deal with… I failed as a mother to prepare them better I suppose. Most times he has dealt with the judgement from others well, I think this time the idea that he was alone in a restroom must have been scary.

So my response to Tajh “people are terrible. There are stupid people in the world and when you come across them you are welcome to treat them just as terribly as you need to. You should have told him to ‘go fuck’ himself and come and told me.” Look, normally I’m all about kill them with kindness, but some people just don’t deserve that.

So to the asshole who was a piece of shit to my son, please next time you say something terrible and ignorant to a child let me be standing right there to handle you myself.

And to my kids- Continue to be yourself. Those that matter will always love and support you.

My boy….

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Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Shitty Night.

It’s been three weeks of living outside and I have yet to have a good nights sleep. Normally I’m ok sleeping in a tent, but it just isn’t going well this time… Well until last night….

In the tent I have one extra sleeping bag to throw over people if the night gets extra cold. Last night the temps weren’t too terrible and I got to use this sleeping bag as a pillow, GLORIOUS! I was out! Warm, comfy, dreaming amazing dreams…

“Mommy, can you help me get in my sleeping bag?” says Tru. “Of course Buddy” and I reach for him… Back story, for the past week Tru has had “sick poop”, which means pooping 100 times a day (maybe a little less) and it just being not “normal”.

As I reach I smell a smell “Hey Buddy, did you poop?” Tru “No”… Because asking a 4-year-old if he pooped in his sleepy state is going to get you a truthful answer…. Skip to me having an itch on my face and rubbing it HOLY SHIT! Yes there is SHIT everywhere and now SHIT on my FACE!

That wonderful night of sleep is now ruined…

Tru is stripped naked and wiped with his clean clothing. Tea wakes and gives me her extra long sleeve shirt (thank goodness for Tea) and Tajh offers me his reading light so I can take a better look at things (my kids rock, except of the shitty ones.. (ok they rock too when they haven’t pooped everywhere)).

My comfy pillow is not Tru’s new sleeping bag, he wears only Tea’s long sleeve shirt (and is sure to remind me he isn’t wearing pants). I find there is poop ALL over my sweater so that along with all Tru’s stuff is thrown outside the tent. The top of my sleeping bag is a mess so I roll it a bit and only use it for my feet… Who needs warmth?

I guess, no sleep for this Mother… Everything is now clean, the kids are headed back to Phoenix for a while with their Dad, and I need a nap… *Sigh*

The glamorous life of a Mommy…

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Being an adult is AWESOME!

Mainly because you get to eat soup for breakfast. I mean seriously, is there anything more delicious then soup? On cold winter mornings who wants a cold bowl of cereal? We don’t even eat that around here! Although Capt’n Crunch is amazing… mmmmm… But soup! So warm and hearty!

Breakfast!

Breakfast!

So friends, Soup it is for me! Let’s also discuss the fantasticalness that is Cauliflower. I’m pretty confident in saying, cauliflower is the best food in the world. You can do anything with it! Mash potatoes, breakfast fritters, wings, poppers, the list is endless with this beautiful vegetable.

Isn't it beautiful??

Isn’t it beautiful??

Alright, I’m willing to share…

Curried Cauliflower Soup-

2 Heads Cauliflower

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

1 Tablespoon curry powder

5 cups veggie broth

Lets remember, I don’t really measure, hate using a ton of ingredients, and love simplicity! So play around with it a little, but this is generally how I roll…

Chop onion and garlic and cook in whatever pot you are using (with a little oil if you do that kind of this (I do))

When it smells yummy and before it burns throw in the curry powder for a second, then add broth. I use-

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Chop one of the heads of cauliflower and add it in. Cook until its tender enough to throw everything in the Vita-Mix. Blend until smooth!

Pour back into the pot, chop the other cauliflower, throw it in, cook until tender.

And Eat! I use a little salt at the end… but I might have a salt problem. Sometimes we serve it over rice, sometimes we don’t, delicious either way.

Best part of the recipe? Make double (or triple) and leave it in the fridge for a quick and easy snack! Mmmmm Breakfast!

Life is better with Soup. Woah, Woah, ¬†Life is better with Soup. I’m pretty sure that’s what Michael Franti meant….

Categories: Vegan Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Island Lake? Psh my 4-year-old can do that.

Did someone say epic? Oh yeah, that’s how we roll. A journey with 5 kids into the unknown? Yes please. Even better, let someone tell me there is “lots of snow up there” and apparently I decide it’s an even better idea. With +1 at the lead I strapped Tru on my back and headed to Island Lake.

Now we have done part of this journey before. Last year we drove to the parking lot at the end of South Mineral campground and headed up Ice Lake trail. To head to Island Lake you take a turn at some point, that’s all I knew. Last year I was in shape, this year I haven’t done anything in a nearly a month, I knew this was going to hurt, at least a little.

Now let’s remember, little Tenny is 4. I had NO clue how long this hike was going to be, but I knew from the start she was going to make it on her own 2 feet.

Off we go!

Off we go!

The first hour was a nice hike. Upness was there, but everyone was moving pretty well with Tenny moving at “4-year-old who randomly gets boosts of energy to catch her siblings” pace. River crossings were met with helping hands from siblings, and Tru took his first nap of the day. I’m pretty sure this kid only likes hiking for the naps!

First river crossing. They got larger!

First river crossing. They got larger!

See, larger.

See, larger.

I get by with a little help from my siblings.

I get by with a little help from my siblings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I figured snack after an hour and then maybe another within the next half hour, they had other plans. These kids were hungry! So they ate and hiked and Little Miss Tenny got a second wind, even if it only lasted a little while.

Snack break turned into birdwatching time.

Snack break turned into birdwatching time.

Upness

Upness

"Mommy van!" -Tru

“Mommy van!” -Tru

Now about snow, I don’t like it. I am not a fan of being cold. So we hit some snow fields, and some more, and some sketchier ones. I spent a lot of time asking the kids to watch their feet and asking (re-asking) +1 if it was safe.

More snow.

More snow.

Snow

Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still snow.

Still snow, and Tenny!

Tenny does not like having cold and which did lead to some freak outs EVERY time she fell…which was a lot. Luckily +1 did help her through some of the extra crazy spots. And then we saw it:

 

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The amazing blue of the water could been seen through the ice layer, which the kids promptly began throwing rocks at. What kid doesn’t want to watch ice break? We had lunch, threw more rocks, and laid our shoes and socks out to dry. And then got attacked by marmots-

 

I can confidently say the best playground for children is a giant frozen lake over 12,000 feet in the sky. The only way to live.

 

Ice Breaking.

Ice Breaking.

More Ice Breaking.

More Ice Breaking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock throwing,

Rock throwing,

Time to leave.

The snow fields on the way drown were beyond sketchy. Sadly my phone died (then came back to life further down the mountain) so I wasn’t able to get any of the epic shots on +1 skiing on his feet down crazy snow fields at 12,000 feet or my Littles getting cold butts as they sledding (sans sled) down. We will have to head back and make it happen.

Drinking from waterfalls "best water ever!"

Drinking from waterfalls “best water ever!”

"Mommy next time lets bring no water and just fill in the waterfalls" Good plan kids... good plan.

“Mommy next time lets bring no water and just fill in the waterfalls” Good plan kids… good plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenny napped on my back (girl deserved the break!) , Tru on +1’s (so thankful to have another adult for this trek) and we all made is safely back down. In case you are keeping track, My 4-YEAR-OLD hiked for 3 1/2 hours over 4 miles up with nearly 3,000 elevation gain. Yup, she is bad ass. All in all it was nearly an 8 hour day and so worth it! If only for the marmot eating Tay’s pee off the ground story…

 

Dirty shoes picture requested by Tay.

Dirty shoes picture requested by Tay.

and some others.

and some others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And let me say, my Little people who have been fighting and struggling to be friends the last few months were AMAZING the entire 8 hours. Helpful to one another and kinder then I could ever ask for. Thank you nature!

Oh yes, and my adorable pollen nose little buddy. Best hiking friend ever! Anytime I fall and give a "shit" under my breath I'm met with "ok mommy?". Love him!

Oh yes, and my adorable pollen nose little buddy. Best hiking friend ever! Anytime I fall and give a “shit” under my breath I’m met with “ok mommy?”. Love him!

Categories: Adventures with Littles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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