"When we had our children, our ideas changed somewhat. Thenceforward we lived only for them; they made all our happiness and we would never have found it save in them. In fact, nothing any longer cost us anything; the world was no longer a burden to us. As for me, my children were my great compensation, so that I wished to have many in order to bring them up for Heaven" -- Saint Zelie Martin, mother of St. Therese of Lisieux, canonized October 18, 2015 along with her husband St. Louis Martin.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Back to the land of the living

I could be speaking too soon, but I think we've made it through flu week.  I woke up this morning and felt...better.  No one else seemed to have that "look" that leads a mother to keep the child very still, and next to a large bucket. We ate breakfast, went to morning Mass, and got bagels. It's our Saturday routine. And it felt like heaven!
This afternoon a few neighborhood friends came over and the boys played outside and the girls played inside. I made hot chocolate for them. We plan on watching the game tonight (Go Pack Go!).
Sickness makes you realize how wonderful an "ordinary" day is.  Alleluia!

Friday, January 11, 2013

When it rains it pours...

We got the stomach flu.  One to two children, every other day, all week long. But I'm good with the stomach flu. I throw sheets in the wash and I don't look back. If I feel good, we're good. I send my husband out for saltines and sprite and we keep on pluggin'.

Until it's Friday. And we had a rainstorm last night, and the kids had kicked the gutter and knocked it off at a key corner of the house, which we did not discover...until our basement was flooded.  And now my dear husband, after holding my baby so I could sleep (did I mention I'm sick too? just today), after getting food for dinner so we could eat...is now putting his second hour into wet-vaccing the basement.

When it rains it pours...somehow that one is much too literal around here.

Back in 2005 we were in the middle of a nasty winter. There was an ice dam in our gutter (of our old house). The power went out, the ice dam flooded our attic and the ceiling started dripping in the middle of the night.  And then my children got the stomach flu: in the dark, since the power was out. We had to use a flashlight to clean up the mess on their bedroom floor.

When it rains...

On the positive side, does this mean we're done for the season?!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy New Year!

I'm not even going to try to explain my absence from this blog. I'm just going to "push past"...

Hey guys! Happy New Year! Guess what I did at the end of 2012? I went through the airports with 7 children in tow (my husband was at the helm, so I don't get all of the credit).  I was TOTALLY ready to get flack from strangers. I intentionally blow-dried my hair at 4:30am and put on a cute outfit and my make-up. I was NOT going to look like a frazzled wreck on the outside. I was determined to let my light shine.

I strove to cast confident and even joyful looks about as I stood in the baggage check-in lines.  I intentionally hugged my children and looked at them as they spoke. I was determined to show anyone who might be watching that 7 children can ALL be appreciated and cherished, and they do not have to ruin your life much less keep you from flying cross-country.  Basically, I got my game on and brought it.  I felt so awesome.  One lady sort of gave me a little trouble: "Seven?! And your traveling?!" I casually said "It's like the Sound of Music, except we don't sing." And I quickly walked after my family.

But you know what? That was IT! That was IT! No one else said a single negative thing (and that lady was old).  One man shook my husband's hand before we took off. A flight attendant said she came from a family of 8 children (I said jubilantly "so did I!")  When we landed (after our transfer in Denver) I was so proud of myself and I felt like the coolest person ever. Because, come on, how many people take 7 kids cross-country for Christmas?  I was on a high, and yes, I did come off it at least a few times over the vacation.

Before you all think I'm full of myself, let me fill you in on the second flight. The second flight I was not so up for. My hair was in a ponytail and I was exhausted as we waited in a looong line in Denver.  I   didn't smile quite so cheerfully, possibly because it was SO crowded and I was very concerned about keeping my two-year-old close to me while holding my 9 month old and trying to keep up with my husband as we tried not to miss our flight.  Our seats were supposed to be "close"...well, they had my 4 and 6 year olds in their own rows, between strangers.  My 11, 10 and 8 year olds had the same arrangement, but they were fine...Mr 4 and Miss 6 had tears welling up.  My daughter is particularly shy.  And then it happened: all of these strangers asked if we wanted to switch seats. They were so nice and so kind.  The lady next to me said my daughter was darling. After the flight all of these people started saying sweet things about our children's good behavior.  One man said "your family is impressive" as he passed me. My oldest told me that that man had offered to buy her snacks (she sat next to him)!  And THAT is when I realized it really never was about me at all.  This trip showed me that our country still has pro-family, kind, good people in it.  My children were super. My husband kept it all together. I was just along for the ride, and I discovered that I was the one who had had the bad attitude. I had expected people to be rude and nasty. I had "gotten my game on".  I guess you never know what might take you by surprise, but this time, I'm happy to report, I was encouraged.  It was Christmas time, and I met people of good will.