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The First Day of School

5 Oct

First day of home school for Cherry Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Tamale Pie.  They were so excited, and humored me by dressing up for the first day of home school like they always have for public school.


First day of the public school year for these two.  Junior in High School and Second Grade.  (Key Lime Pie only lasted about two weeks in public school before I decided that she needed to switch to home school like her sisters.)

The babies who are not in school.

Banana Cream Pie did not want to be in a photo.  She is not in school either, but I feel sure she is benefitting from hearing me read aloud to her sisters and having them home to read aloud to her.  

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I can’t Think of a Better Way

16 Jan

Yesterday as I pushed my double stroller with the 5-month old scooter pies up the sidewalk to the YMCA, flanked on either side by Baby Bean and Banana Cream Pie (who are 2 and 4, but look the same size.  People have started asking me if they are twins, too)

An older Y patron said to me something I’ve heard eleventy-billion times since I got brave enough to start leaving the house with the four baby pies.

“You sure do have your hands full.  You sure are busy.”

Usually I just nod and smile, or maybe add a “yep,” before continuing to press forward to my goal.  (Little tip:  moms of twins are generally running late to whatever it is they wanted to be to.  If they are also chasing a toddler, they don’t usually have time to stop and answer your well-meant questions.  They’ve answered these same questions so many times for so many strangers, the time investment isn’t worth it any more–especially if the toddler might run into the street/parking lot at any moment. ) 

But today Baby Bean was holding onto the stroller handle to help me. And suddenly I knew what the perfect response to this comment was.  So I looked that old guy right in the eye-ball and said,

“I do have my hands full, and I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.”

And I meant it. 

He said, “You’re right, and it’s a good thing you are young enough to do it.”

I didn’t tell him that I’m almost 40.  That would have baked his brain. I don’t look my age (woohoo). Most people still think I’m in my twenties. I know, 40 isn’t as old as I thought it was back when I was 17.  But it isn’t 28, and it isn’t even 35.  Most people don’t expect a mom of 4 kids 4 years old and younger to be over 32ish.  Heck, I didn’t expect to have 4 preschoolers at this stage of my life.  I’ve been in the enviable position of having my youngest child be 3 years old and all the other kids in school.  

My house was so clean and orderly that year.

I never planned to have so many kids so close together.  (Until Banana Cream Pie’s birthday in December, I had 4 kids 3-and-under.). I didn’t do it when I was a young mom.

But God had a plan for me different than my plan.  

It’s been scary. It’s been overwhelming.  And I don’t deny that sometimes I feel a little spark of something like envy when my friends talk about all the projects they get done while their one remaining child at home takes his nap.  

But it’s also been miraculous, joyful, amazing, and incredible.  I’ve learned a lot.

Also, apparently I’ve become patient.  That’s the number 2 most frequent comment I get from friends and strangers.  

“Wow, you are so patient.”

“I could not be as patient as you.”

“You have so much more patience than I do, that’s why you have 9 kids.  I didn’t have that much patience.  I stopped after 2 (or 4) kids.”

Here’s the thing: what they are calling “patience” is just me having a deeper understanding than I used to have of what is important and what is less important. 

And when I say deeper, I mean DEEEEEEEPER.

Ocean deep.

Dark side of the moon and back again deep.

So that I can look at a puddle of milk and Cheerios on the floor and say, “meh. Oh well. Let’s clean it up.” 

I’m not saying I always keep my cool.  There are still days when I close my eyes and turn my face to the sky and silently ask, “Why is this so hard?”  There are days I grouch at my kids.

But I quickly realize how truly blessed I am. 

In her book, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom beautifully explains how God gives us the strength we need when we need it, and not before.  

When I only had 2 children, I did not have the patience or understanding for 9 children. I did not have it when I had 6 children.  I did not have that until I had 9 children.  

Don’t limit God’s plan for you because you don’t think that you have the patience or the skills or the whatever you lack to do the job. 

The Lord gives us the strength we need when we actually need it and not before.  Sometimes it’s after–long after–we thought we needed it.  But He knows we are capable of so much more than we think we are.

~~~~~

Psalms 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

1Nephi 3:7 … I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

Blueberry Pie is 15

11 Jul

Can you believe this cute little baby 

  
Is now grown into this handsome boy?

  
I’m struggling to believe it myself and I’ve been around for the growing.

  
This is what he wanted for his birthday.

  
Classy, no?  He used it to pick up girls at the last church dance and was very pleased with his success.   He knows how to be funny without crossing the line into stupid and annoying.  I appreciate that a lot.  

He likes reading good books, listening to Jazz, and drawing, which are things I’m very happy about.

He also likes playing xbox games where much killing happens, listening to computer game soundtracks, and teasing his sisters, which I’m not so thrilled about.  

Blueberry Pie is pretty constantly hungry.  His favorite snack is “chips and cheese” which is tortilla chips and shredded cheddar.  I buy 2 boxes of tortilla chips and a 5 lb bag of cheddar cheese every month to keep up with this hunger.  He also eats lots of yogurt and raw oatmeal and pretty much anything I will warm up for him.  He does not like stir fry.

He is now over a 1/2″ taller than his father.  I’ve been having to buy him new jeans every 6 months for the past 2 years as he has grown taller.  He is not taller than I am yet.

Blueberry plays baritone saxophone in the high school band and jazz band.  He knows how to rock it.  He really is very cool.   

He likes to tell me about his dreams, which are always very vivid and take a very long time to describe.  His favorite time to talk is after 9 pm, when I have announced absolutely non-negotiable bed time.  I am always torn between finally hearing what is going on in his life and my own need for sleep.

Before he goes to bed at night, he will come over and bend his head sideways until he just bumps my head.  Then he says, “Night, Mom.”  

Because Twins: Changes

7 May

So things have already started to change around here because we’re expecting twins.

#1- I’m not babysitting anymore.  I was too tired and too pregnant to chase those high energy, high maintenance extra kids around.  When I first found out I was pregnant in February, I told the mom that I would have to take a month or so off from daycare.  Then I found out in March that the the baby was actually twins, and I realized I couldn’t keep babysitting after they were born, so I told her she would have to find someone new by the end of June.  Then I had that week of terrible tension headaches.  Also, I realized I wouldn’t be able to lift her heavy 2-year old much longer.  Also, Baby Bean suddenly decided that the 2 year old was a threat to her territory, and she would just jump on him and bite him/pull his hair several times a day.  It was getting hard for me to move fast enough to keep him safe from her. I told the mom she had to find someone else as soon as possible.  I had to watch her kids for 2 more weeks.

I went from this:

marypoppins

to THIS:

misshannigan

I gave her the phone number of an acquaintance friend who was interested in babysitting.  I was a little worried that this friend would hate me forever, but I was desperate to get out of a situation that I couldn’t handle any more. I ran into this friend at a mom’s night out on Tuesday this week and timidly asked her how it was going.

“Oh, I only watched them for one day and I told the mom I couldn’t do it,” she said.  Then she turned to the other moms at the table and proceeded to tell them all how terrible these kids were.  They WERE really difficult to care for.  I babysat them for them for 6 months, half of which I was pregnant and sick and tired, but it wasn’t until the headaches that I had to cry “UNCLE!”  Apparently, their grandmother (who is a relatively young grandma) is watching them now, because the mom can’t find anyone else who is willing to put up with her kids.  Lucky for her, the 2 oldest will be in all-day school beginning August 12th.  The 2 year old is a piece of cake, as long as you keep anything breakable away from him (and also keep Baby Bean away from him.) So grandma has hope on her horizon.

#2- Switched Baby Bean to cloth diapers.  This will be less diapers I have to buy when the twins are born.  I don’t like putting newborns in cloth diapers.  They go through, like, 10 diapers a day (x2).  Thats a lot of laundry.  Also their legs are too scrawny for cloth diapers to seal around to keep in the explosive projectile poo.  However, Baby Bean has enormous fatso legs and only goes through about 6 diapers a day.  The DH rigged me a clothes line on the balcony.


Aren’t diapers on the line so cute?  I love not having trash cans full of stinky disposable diaper trash.  I love not buying diapers.  (Actually I am stockpiling diapers for the twins now, since I’m not having to buy them for Baby Bean and Banana Cream Pie.  I don’t expect the stockpile will last long, but it should help.)  Also I’m hoping that cloth diapers encourage Baby Bean to potty train much earlier than Banana Cream Pie.  My other babies that wore cloth diapers potty trained before they were 2 1/2.  My babies who wore disposable diapers didn’t potty train until after their 3rd (or 4th) birthdays.  It would be super cool if Baby Bean was totally out of diapers by Christmas.

#3 – Banana Cream Pie is pretty nearly potty trained.  As soon as I was done babysitting, the potty training began.  We’ve been working on it for 2 1/2 weeks, and she is more trustworthy every day.  I’m not totally confident that she won’t have accidents when we are away from home, but at home, she is pretty good.  By August she should be an expert toilet user.

#4 – I’m slowly fighting my hoarder tendencies and trying to get rid of things we don’t use.  It’s difficult for me, because I can always think of possible scenarios when we might use those things.  However, one thing I’ve learned in the last few years is, you can’t clean clutter.  All you can do is move it around.  Reducing the “stuff” in the house will make the house easier to keep clean and make room for the twins and all their stuff (diaper stockpile).  When we designed our house plan, we were planning on having 6 kiddie pies.  Now we will have 9 (+1– I’ll have to tell you all about him later) and so using our space efficiently is important.  Luckily, the bedrooms are big enough to hold 2 sets of bunk beds each, and the closets are roomy.  I have planned out organizing systems to put in the closets (instead of just the couple rods we have installed now) to maximize the space for clothing storage.  If my dreams come true, those closets and maybe even some built-in bookshelves will happen before D-Day.

#5 This is just a little thing, but I feel like a genius for figuring it out:  I’m going to use a backpack for a diaper bag this time around. (Because my 2 hands will be full of 2 babies.)  Actually, for the last 4 years, I haven’t really used a diaper bag.  I just threw a few extra diapers and wipes in my purse.  I’m not one of those moms who feels like she needs 50 things to be prepared.  However, new babies do require a few extra supplies (like clothing changes and burp rags) and I’ll have to pack all that x2, plus Baby Bean is still in diapers.  So I for sure need a dedicated diaper bag, and it for sure needs to be as hands-free and easy to organize as possible.  I know I won’t actually use the organizing pockets as well as I could, but I plan on having a zipper pouch for each baby–or at least each size diaper.  That way I can say, “Cherry Pie, get the yellow pouch and change Twin A.”  Then the pouch can get tossed back in the backpack and yet it stays organized.

Yep, I feel like a genius for figuring that out.

I’m sure more changes are coming down the line, and I’ll roll with them as they come.  Life’s exciting and, yes I am busy.  But busy is ok.
#6. Oh yes, I got my hair cut even shorter. Easier is better, right?  I think I like it.

Halloween 2014

1 Nov



Pumpkin Pie is a mad scientist and Tamale Pie is a cute witch.  



Baby Bean as a fat little piggy has to be the most perfect costume ever.



Key Lime Pie is a Cowardly Lion!

Banana Cream Pie is the ladybug.

I stayed up all night to make this Princess Anna dress for Cherry Pie.  I started seeing at 10pm when the kiddie pies all went to bed and I turned off my machine at 5 am when it was time to wake them up for school.  



Gutting Pumpkins.  



I’m not sure how I missed getting a picture of Blueberry Pie.  I swear he carved Pumpkins too.

Family Photos

15 Sep
ladderpose

Blueberry Pie Blueberry Pie

 

 

 

 

kiss

Key Lime Pie and Baby Bean

Lesue Family (50)

All the Kiddie Pies Banana Cream was not too excited about being in a picture without Mom.

 

Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie

 

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

 

Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie

 

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

 

BlueBerry Pie only has to grow 3/8 of an inch to be taller than the DH.  Don't worry, I'll let you all know when the day comes.

BlueBerry Pie only has to grow 3/8 of an inch to be taller than the DH. Don’t worry, I’ll let you all know when the day comes.

Personally, I think I have the most beautiful children ever.  I really like all the pictures so much.  THANK YOU, CEGAN!!

Father’s Day 2014

16 Jun

Lesues

I have posted about my dad before, and this Fathers Day, I want to post about the father of my children. 

StrongBonds

One reason I said, “Yes”  16 years ago was because I felt he would be a wonderful father for my future children.  The other reason was that I was totally in love with this handsome and very kempt man. 

BenbeforeBecca

He is a great dad.  Not only do some of his natural talents make him so, but he has also changed and made efforts to become better in some things that did not come naturally to him. He’s awesome, and I love him!

soldierdudes

This  year, he isn’t home for Father’s Day.  He is gone for 2 weeks Annual Training with his Missouri National Guard Unit.  The kids and I love him and are very proud of him for his love for his country.  We feel like he loves us more because he loves his country as well.  Also, the kids did not mind eating his Father’s Day chocolate kisses since he couldn’t be here to eat them himself. 

 

 

We love you, Daddy!