Monday, April 21, 2014

The Silver Lining of Emotion?

I had morning sickness until 28 weeks...and it's still dragging on a bit depending on what I eat. I have sore hips and look like a penguin when I walk. I drink about 4 litres of water a day and have to pee every 20 minutes...but one pregnancy symptom outshines all of these; the rainbow of emotion that is springing from my hormones!




  I can honestly say that in my entire life, including the previous four pregnancies, I have never experienced mood swings quite like this before.

I have had friends and family say things like, "woah Jade, I've never seen this side of you before!", "you're scaring me a little bit" and even a "you're being really sensitive!" Daniel's favourite is "don't poke the bear!"
I'm just finding it really easy to voice my opinion...or "rant"...whatever you want to call it. I find myself getting really frustrated at little things.

In fact, just this morning I went a little crazy on the kids for tracking so much mud into the house...combined with the whining, it kind of put me over the edge! It really sucks though, because I know that when I am riding the top of the crazy emotional roller coaster, it just sets them off too, and then everyone in the house gets whiny and grumpy. I see that...I know that my emotions affect theirs and that if I would work to calm down it would make my life easier, BUT, that's easier said than done lately.

Sometimes I think I'm actually going crazy, because I can go from frustrated yelling to sobbing within minutes, and I'm never even sure what it is that set me off. If I annoy the people around me half as much as I annoy myself, then I can just imagine how happy (and relieved) everyone will be when I have this baby! LOL.

The rage and the crying are one thing, but I find that I'm also SUPER anxious about things that I'm normally pretty chill about. You should have seen me the day the girls had a field trip to the ski hill. All of the other moms were getting kids suited up and sending them down the hill on their skis, and I was like, "they are all going to fall and break their LEGS!!! AAAAH!" Of course, for the sake of the children, I didn't actually say that...but I'm sure I looked a bit like a crazy woman to the other moms.

Or the days that we flew to and from Phoenix. Everyone else in the family was so excited to be on the airplane, and thought every part of it was so cool. Then there was me, who was using every ounce of energy not to burst through the cockpit door, look the pilot in the eye and say, "my BABIES are on this airplane...you better be SO careful! I mean it!". There was even one point when we were at full altitude where Myka said, "mom, look! Another airplane!" and sure enough, there was another plane in the distance. I had never seen that before and of course, came up with every irrational possible outcome in my head and drove myself even more crazy.



All of that being said, I have found a bit of a silver lining in this whole experience. Because I tend to be more sensitive and experience every emotion to the max, I tend to get sentimental more often.

I find that when I'm singing worship songs while I drive, I feel closer to God than I ever have. I get into these really deep worshipful places where it feels like God is just right there, sitting beside me. When that happens, I feel more at peace than I normally do...I feel so centred, so blessed...it's really hard to describe, but I hope that it continues after I have the baby. I think of some of my best blog post ideas during this time...things about God that I want to shout to the world, but by the time I get to my laptop, it's gone :) But the bottom line is that He is GOOD. So so good.

I also find that I stop and stare at my girls more often. Not in a creeper sort of way, but in a marvelling sort of way :) I sit and marvel at how different they are from each other, yet each completely amazing. I find myself daydreaming about what this baby will be like....will she be similar in looks or personality to any of her sisters? We have one blond haired, blue eyed girl out of four...I wonder if this one will keep her blue eyes too?
In the same line of thought, I tear up just thinking about taking our first family picture with all five girls...I already feel completely blessed, yet completely terrified at the idea of it all. It's going to be so exciting, yet the jump to five children from four seems like a big one to me!

And so, I'll take the emotions that make me into a raging hulk right along with the ones that make me feel like a classy, self-controlled and loving mother. And for the next 6 weeks I'll do my best to laugh as much as I can because really, laughing feels so much better than growling :)

Oh, and P.S.: I'm very sorry to all of my friends and family who I have made cringe lately :) I really do love you all!





Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday!

Well hello Thursday! You've been a good one. Why? Because I had nothing in my schedule! Nothing at all...which is good news for this tired, pregnant mama! (P.S. as I was typing that, one daughter attacked the other to take something she thought was hers. Feelings were hurt, a foot was hurt and now two of them are crying. LOL)




Here's a few things I'm thankful for today:

1. Laundry....well mostly the fact that I got it mostly done, and I also got Addison and Tegan's clothes weeded through and organized.

2. An actual phone conversation with Teresa! Both of us are busy moms and it seems like every time we try to connect lately, one of us has something up and can't chat long. Today we made up for it with a nice long talk...the only thing that would have made it better would have been coffee!

3. Cinnamon Buns. I haven't done much baking during this pregnancy, due to everything making me sick, but now that I'm feeling better, I'm trying to make an effort to cook some nice meals and bake some things for my family. The cinnamon buns were a win!

4. A nap. I didn't mean to take it, but I laid down on my bed while the dough was rising, and woke up an hour later...and the girls were quiet the whole time! It was unexpected and pretty awesome.

5. Being able to spend the day with Addison home. She stayed home with a sore throat today, which was not so great for her...but she started to feel better as the day went on and we had a good day :) She was helpful with the little girls, colouring quietly with them and helping me make lunch :)

6. A visit from my sister! Short and sweet...she really just dropped in for a cinnamon bun on her way by. It was still awesome though!

7. Having Daniel home! He did work for part of the day, but today was still the start of his time off...which we all really enjoy. The girls get so excited when he's home :)

8. An Etsy sale. They are always awesome...the best part is the "cha-ching!" sound that the etsy app on my phone makes when the sale happens. Cha-Ching!!!

9. This happened a couple of days ago, but I am thankful that I got to spend a whole day with Laura...we hung out in GP and shopped, among doing necessary things like meeting with the accountant LOL. It was a great day though..I'm so glad we could go!

10. Swimming Lessons. Again, not specifically today, but we have started the girls in them, and I love a few things about them. One, the girls love being in lessons...except Tegan, who didn't get in this time unfortunately :( But she and I love swimming together for the hour and a half we are there! Two, I love that all three lessons are within an hour and half of each other, and on the same day. 3. I love getting into the pool with the girls. It's one place that I can almost forget I'm carrying around a watermelon in my gut! It's so relaxing, and everyone is very ready for bed once we get home :)


How was everyone else's day and week? I hope it was great...and I hope this next one is even better as the weather continues to warm up! Could spring really be here? I sure hope so :) I have some gardening I want to do before baby girl gets here!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Top Ten...Quesadillas




Three things inspired this post.

1. My kids really hate sandwiches. They like toast or the occasional bun, but that's where there tolerance for bread stops. At first it annoyed me because I had to get more creative packing their school lunches, but I'm ok with it now. Mostly because;

2. They love tortillas! And we go through a lot of them in this house. I can put almost any sandwich topping on a tortilla, roll it up or fry it, and they love it.

3. We eat a lot of quesadillas. I love being creative with them. There are hundreds of combinations of toppings you can stick between those two tortillas, and these are our family's favourites. Most of them I served with a dollop of sour cream for dipping :) Excuse my lame names for them...none of this is really "official" LOL.



1. The Simple: This one is great as a snack or as a side with soup for lunch. It's simple...cheddar cheese or refried beans with cheddar cheese. Classic and yummy.

2. The Spicy Chicken: Cheese, cubed or shredded leftover chicken, Frank's red hot sauce, cheese, onion, pepper and tomato! Extra points for adding banana peppers! The kids don't love this one as much, but before I was pregnant and sick with this baby, it was one of my favs :)

3. The Greek: Black beans (our favourite!), red pepper, spinach, tomato, feta and a bit of cheddar to hold it together. A friend of mine invented this one while I was at her house for lunch one day and it quickly became my favourite lunch!

4. The Monkey: Peanut butter, sliced bananas and a few chocolate chips. Dessert, Breakfast, After school snack...this one is versatile and delicious!

5. The Taco: We have this one for lunch to use up taco leftovers from the night before! Taco meat, cheese, and whatever other leftover toppings we have!

6. The Cheesecake: A quesadilla for dessert? Why not? Cream cheese, sliced strawberries and cinnamon sugar...try and stop me!

7. The White Chicken: I can't think of a better name. For this one, you make a white sauce and mix it with cooked cubed or shredded chicken, canellini beans (white, creamy textured bean), spinach and a bit of mozza cheese. These ones are super filling!

8. The Bacon n' Egg: Pretty self explanatory...if you would rather a savoury quesadilla for breakfast as opposed to the Monkey one I listed above, this one is awesome. Bacon, scrambled eggs, cheese....peppers, avocado, or tomato if you like. It's like a breakfast burrito, but toasted and melty! Mmmm.

9. The Pizza: The ultimate kid approved lunch in our house! Pepperoni slices and cheese, served with pizza sauce for dipping. Perfecto!

10. The Luau: Bbq sauce, shredded chicken, pineapple, and cheese. Preferably served with a side of kid friendly pina coladas! Aloha quesadilla!

These are of course, just a few ideas. I'd love to hear what your family enjoys in their quesadillas...we love trying new ones!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Mom Truths...From My Point Of View


Motherhood...

Where every tall, refreshing drink you pour for yourself will be immediately thieved, shared among all the kids and handed back to you only when there is an inch of preschooler slobber and backwash left in the bottom. Enjoy!

Where every banana you peel to enjoy as a midmorning snack will disappear before your eyes into tiny, yet skillful hands....while the one you peeled for them lays in a mushy pile on the table. And yours was the last one in the house.

Where every time you take them to the bathroom they insist that you "get out" because they "can do it themselves".... But when you are sitting down relaxing for the first time all day and let them go by themselves, they will suddenly need help and call " Mom! Mommy! Mom!" From the bathroom until you get up.

Motherhood...where 2 out of 3 relaxing baths will be hijacked by a 3 year old.

Where, at almost 8 months pregnant, it's perfectly acceptable to ask "ok, who's going to put mommy's socks on her today?" It's also acceptable to bring a bowl of lucky charms with you to your relaxing bath...the one you wisely waited until an hour after bedtime to take.

Where the best thing about Friday nights is that your 8 year old can pour her sisters' cereal in the morning and you can sleep in (and by "sleep in" I really mean "we all know it's not actually going to work out that way, but we try to convince ourselves that it will")

Where no matter what kind of a day you have with your kids...today it was some serious invasion of my personal bubble by some very squirmy and clingy preschoolers...going into their room after they are asleep and just looking at them instantly melts away any lingering frustrations. It reminds me of that card I saw one time that said "the sound of my children's laughter is the best sound in the world, next to the sound of their deep breathing when I know they are asleep"LOL. 
But seriously, I fall in love with them all over again when I see their peaceful sleeping faces :)

Where this picture that Myka drew of me holding her hand while a balloon is making her float away makes me emotional every time I look at it....and there's no explainable reason why, but that's ok, because it will always make me smile :)








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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Sweet Sisters

The picture is a little dark and hard to see, but the story behind it is pretty sweet :) about half an hour ago Danica fell and hit her head on a hard part of the couch. Right away, myka went over to see if she was OK. She lifted Danica's bangs and said, see mom? Danica's forehead is red! I should take her to bed." She then piggy backed her to her room and tucked her into bed. The only time she has left her side was to come to the kitchen to get her an ice pack and a glass of water. She even said she didnt want to go outside because she needed to take care of her. Danica is totally milking it for all it's worth too! Lol. When these two are getting along, it's the sweetest thing :)


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Saturday, March 29, 2014

5 Girls...The Top 5 Comments

Over the past few years, I've had my share of good laughs while reading blog posts written by parents of big families. It seems like as soon as you have four children or more, people start noticing when you take them all in public together :)
Disclaimer...I love when people talk to me about our girls. Sometimes I feel like we get too much attention, but for the most part, I'm a social person and don't mind at all. I mean, come on, who doesn't like talking about their kids? I know that it's hard not to notice us, especially when everyone is chattering like adorable monkeys...so I've come to expect a certain level of questions and comments. Most people are pretty awesome have a conversation with about it. Daniel even had a lady stop him on his way to the bathroom at the airport just to tell him that she noticed how well behaved our girls were at the gate! We get lots of encouragement, from friends and strangers alike.

However....

Occasionally a stranger will shock the socks off me by what they are willing to say....eeep!

And so I compile the top 5 crazy, actual comments we received while traveling with our four girls. By crazy I mean everything from "not as witty as they may think" to "actually kind of offensive".
It's crazy what strangers will say, especially right in front of the girls. Everything from the classic " are they all yours?" to "were they all planned?" We even got a "no wonder you have so Tmany, you live in a place where it's almost always winter!"

The Top 5:

1. Stranger: "are you going to try again for a boy?
Daniel: " haha, no."
Stranger: "well that's good, because he'd be gay anyways."

2. Security officer to Daniel: "You know it's all your fault, right?" (Flashes huge smile like she's come up with the wittiest, most original comment we've ever heard).

3. You might as well buy stock in Tampax now!

4. As I was checking out at Victoria's secret, the cashier and I were chatting about being pregnant with my fifth girl, and as I turned to leave she says, "have a nice day! I hope you get a boy eventually!"

5. From an older lady after hearing I was having my fifth girl, "time to bring in the milk man!"
Thankfully I was alone when she said that!!

On the way home while discussing the comments we had heard, Daniel made a very good point...no matter what is said about them or in front of them, our girls are so loved by so many people that it covers any thoughtless comments that a stranger could make :)

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Vacations Look A Little Different Now

Daniel and I have travelled many times with all four of our girls, but almost all the trips have been to Calgary to see his family or to camp at a lake. This spring break is the first full on, hot weather family vacation that we've taken with all of our girls. It's an experience! It's also super fun and something that none of us will ever forget. Sure, the vacation was still to see the grandparents, but it is at their condo in Phoenix, so it counts :)

The fun started at the airport. I felt like an attention grabbing drama queen the whole day, and I can't imagine Daniel felt any different. Just so all the men out their know...if you want attention, bring your four daughters and visibly pregnant wife to an airport. It's something people notice.
In the title when i said that vacations look different, the airport was the main thing I was talking about. I've only ever been on an airplane when it was just me, just Daniel and I, or with one child. Taking four children means that everyone had their own carry on luggage that we needed to keep track of,  and four different hunger, thirst, and bathroom schedules to try and coordinate. With a little organization and a little "I don't care if you have to go to the bathroom, I need you to try because there is one right here", we made it through with no major incidents. Thankfully, the "tons of kids" comments was the craziest it got that day. I was expecting at least one melt down from one of the girls, but surprisingly, good behavior won out, and I barely even had to bribe any of them! Well, maybe I bribed Daniel once or twice with a Starbucks :p

There are so many things to do in Phoenix, including a zoo, butterfly atrium, hiking, shopping, and waterparks. Pretty much none of that matters to these girls though, because there is a pool at Grandma and Grandpa's condo. We have ventured out a few times, but a good chunk of our days are spent at the pool, swimming and suntanning! The best part is that Myka and Danica have found their  confidence in life jackets and they just paddle all around the pool playing with their sisters. I have been lounging in a poolside chair, working on my tan and keeping a close eye on my little fishies (and incidently, working in this post for almost a week...the sun has caused some serious writer's block!). I have been so grateful for their recent independence, and as much as I am looking forward to meeting our new little princess (in 9 weeks!), I am enjoying not holding a child, changing any diapers, or worrying about sleeping through the night for the next two months, and especially on this trip!

This brings us to today. It is our last day here, and my emotions are ranging from "I do NOT want to leave ever!" To "nesting is starting to kick in, and I have nothing ready for baby yet. I need to go home now!" The girls are a little more clear in what they are feeling. Last night Myka let out a huge sigh with a "I don't want to go back to winter time!" Before bed. If they could have their way, we would just move all of their friends down here and stay forever.
For now though, I'm going to enjoy one last cup of coffee on the patio before organizing and packing all of our stuff for the flight tomorrow...while praying that the flight home goes as smoothly as the one here did. We have been so blessed for this opportunity, and I think I can say that cabin fever has been officially cured.
See you tomorrow, snow...please don't stick around much longer, OK?

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Right at this very second, the thing I'm most thankful for is the quiet. We have been so busy lately. It's been good though, and as a family we have been productive and gotten so many things done...but I'm tired. Last night Daniel and I were both having a hard time staying awake through Bible study, even though it was pretty awesome! And tonight, well that was kind of the cherry on top of the craziness. I'm not sure why all the girls were so loud, but they were. Between 4 and 7pm it was a crazy madhouse in here and this house really lived up to the title of my blog! So many questions, so many squabbles, and mom ran out of patience before bedtime unfortunately. Even the baby in my tummy has been crazy and is still kicking up a painful storm with some sharp part of her body! So now, I have no music on, no tv, and no one else around. Daniel is still at work (poor guy), and I am sitting in the quiet, just typing out my thoughts.



A few more things I'm thankful for this week:

1. Speaking of being busy, we are taking the girls to Phoenix Saturday for spring break. We have all been looking forward to the trip for a long time now and I am so thankful that we have the opportunity to take them! They are just so excited to spend time with their grandparents in the sunshine...in fact, that's pretty much what all the loud chatter was about here tonight as we started sorting clothes and stuffies to take :)

2. Our new bed frame. About 7 months ago, Daniel and I got a new king sized mattress...we just didn't get a frame with it. Neither of us really cared much about getting one either...until my belly got huge and I got winded every time I had to get up from bed! Last weekend we bought a frame from ikea, and things are so much better! I am SO thankful to be able to get out of bed easily!

3. Having Daniel's grandparents stop by for a visit yesterday. We haven't seen them since Christmas and the girls loved having them here!

4. Baby kicks. Tonight she's kind of hurting me, but most of the time it's so awesome to feel her. Even more awesome is letting the girls feel her! They all love "playing" with the baby through my belly :)

5. The sweetness of my girls. They all have their incredibly sweet moments, but yesterday morning sticks out in my mind right now. Before my alarm went off at 6:45 I could here Myka and Danica talking in their room. About half an hour later I had gotten up and was feeding the older two breakfast when I realized the younger two hadn't come out of their room yet. They did a few minutes later and Myka started talking, " mom, it wasn't morning yet, so I came to the pantry and got Danica and me a granola bar. While I was in the pantry I had the thought that I would like to cuddle with her, so I went to our room and we cuddled in her bed." When I said, "awe, that's sweet of you Myka!" she said, "yeah, I told her that I love her too."
It's moments like that that make the fights where they end up biting each other seem not quite as serious, LOL. Sisters.

6. How self motivated the girls are. Over the past month Addison and Tegan have developed an interest in snowboarding, finger knitting, arm knitting, crochet, and needle knitting! The finger knitting they learned at school, but the other types they watch youtube videos to learn. I know how to knit, but both of them said they would rather watch the video to learn, lol. They have been doing it in almost all of their spare time. It's so neat to watch them learning new skills!

7. For getting to spend all of last weekend with my sister. Daniel was gone for four days, and she just happened to have four days off. We visited, we cooked, we watched our favourite movies, she helped my build my bed AND clean my suburban, and she did it all so happily. I told her that all I wanted was her company, but she got right in there and worked with  me all weekend. I love you Dakota! You're a pretty awesome little sis!

8. That God wants a relationship with me. Lately I've been learning a lot about why God created us (because He wanted a friendship with us) and  what my relationship with him should look more like. A long time ago I read a book called "The Hidden Power of Praising God" and I learned a lot from it. I found that I felt closest to God when I was driving and singing worship songs.  There really is something just POWERFUL about it...it's hard to describe. But lately I've been making more of an effort to do it more often....to just praise him, or to sit quietly and just BE with him. Let me tell you, if it weren't for the peace I experience during those times, I can't imagine the emotional wreck I would be during this pregnancy. I can't believe the range of emotions and anxiety I have experienced that are new(ish) to me! I am so thankful that God is a peaceful cleft in the middle of the emotional storms that have been wracking me. I am pretty sure my family is thankful for that too!

9. Strong Start. It's such a great place to go twice a week. The girls absolutely love it, and I really like seeing my other mom friends in such a great setting. It's at our small school, so it's not really busy, but there are always friends for Myka and Danica to play with, and that is awesome!

10. I'm also thankful that it's no longer -40 outside! That drug on for awhile!

Have a great week!!

P.S. Thank you to Alison and Sarah for keeping up with Thankful Thursday on Facebook and reminding me how important it is :)



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