Saturday, August 15, 2009

(Pictures of Kim's kids, with Ivan)
Fall is fast approaching! Not the weather, but the school season. I always have mixed feelings this time of year. I'm one of those minority mothers who CAN'T WAIT for the kiddies to be back in school! This is Calvin's first year, and I'm a little sad that I don't get to enjoy my one-on-one Calvin time this year, but since Baby has arrived, Calvin is not quite as happy go lucky as he once was. He is ready! The mixed feelings part is that I have to go back to school, too! There have just a few school years that I have not had my own classes to attend, and I'm starting to miss those times! I'm only taking one class this fall, but it's a doozy: Molecular Genetics - 4 credits! Not sure how my post-partum brain is going to do with this one, but I'm giving it a whirl!
Still not sure about child care for the babe, but I've got someone in the works who will potentially provide respite care for Allison, who is willing to watch babe for that time that I'm in class.
Keith was great enough to ask his boss for Wed. mornings off, so I would only need child care for one morning a week.
So, I've been busy registering kids, and myself, for school. Next week, I will have to buckle down and get the school supplies. Always such a lovely experience. . . NOT!
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dealing with sleep deprivation, just in case my many, many staunch followers are wondering where I am! (Heavy sarcasm. . . )
Not baby's fault- he sleeps at least 5-6 hours at a time, but once he wakes up at 3 or 4 am, and then nods back to sleep, I am wide awake for the next few hours. Too tired to get up to do anything useful, but too wired to turn off my brain for much needed zzzz's. Starting to catch up with me.
Next time I'll post about our fantastic OBX vacation!
Meanwhile, baby has 3 teeth, and working on 3 more. He's crawling, scooting, rolling, and even nose-diving (off the couch, bed, wherever. But don't worry, we always catch him. . . so far!) No solids, yet, though, which is fine with me!
Having a blast with him! My other 5 are all taking a second seat for a while so I can enjoy my last (?) baby!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I wanted to let my daughter, Madeleine, know how proud of her I am. Maddy has had many struggles in her 15 years of life. She has been on medication for psychiatric and neurological illnesses (bipolar disorder, anxiety, atypical EEG patterns) since she was 6 years old. She is the oldest of 6, and has had to share her attentions with siblings since she was 15 months old.
One of her biggest struggles has been her anxiety disorder. A couple times in her school career, she has been unable to attend school for months at a time, due to her anxiety attacks. Most recently, she was unable to attend the middle school in our district, for 2 months. I was not about to home school her, and we were running out of options. My parents were kind enough to intervene, and offered to have her live with them so that they could school her, or send her to their district school, which was much smaller. We left the choice up to Maddy, and after visiting the school in their small Virginia town, she decided that she would be willing to try it out.
She attended there for a couple months, and did fairly well. She got to come home 2 or 3 weekends a month. Then, she started feeling her anxiety again, and really wanted to come home. She was homesick, and was starting to worry about the upcoming SOL exams. Keith really wanted her to come home, but I thought that she really needed to stick it out, so that she wouldn't get into the habit of running from every problem that made her anxious. We decided to leave it up to her. She, of course, said that she wanted to come home, but I reminded her how to make good decisions (make lists, think hard, and pray!) so she said she would take a little more time, thought, and prayer. After about 3 weeks, she let us know that she had decided to stay. She told us that she felt good about it, but she also knew that she would continue to feel homesick, and that she would need our support and prayers. I was so proud of her!!
She decided to run track while she was there, and had a wonderful season! I was only able to see her final meet, but she ran her fastest times at the meet, and I was just bursting with motherly pride! I can't wait to have her run again, this coming season, so that I can watch her fly!
But, all worldly pride aside, what I am most proud about is Madeleine's strong spirit. She has always had a testimony of the truth of the gospel, but since she has been away, I have seen it grow by leaps and bounds. She is one of the most caring young women that I know. She wants to be friendly and welcoming to other girls who are struggling to fit in (just like she has always felt), and has righteous anger for behavior that involves cliques and popularity contests. She wants to do the right thing more than she wants to fit in. Another way she demonstrates this is by how she dresses. She will always come and ask me what I think about an outfit that she is unsure about, as far as modesty goes, and will always change if she continues to feel unsure. She keeps her language clean and is faithful to her beliefs. I feel privileged to be her mother!
Don't get me wrong- we have definitely had hard times, and most likely will continue to butt heads about some things, but I am very glad that I came to the realization that my daughter is truly a blessing!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pictures for all you Non-Facebookers!
Calvin and Ivan

2 favorite fingers


The crazed housewife!

Steven, being Steven

Check out those breastfed thighs!



Calvin and Ivan

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Aches and Pains
I was lucky enough that during my miserable pregnancy, I did not suffer from my daily aches and pains. I have developed arthritis in many of my joints, and for some reason, pregnancy gave me some respite from these (however, nausea is not something I would willing take on again. Way worse than pain!)
My worst pain right now is in my wrists, shoulders, and upper back. Just take a gander at some of these photos, and maybe the cause will become clear!

Adorable picture that Collee, my SIL, took at Pandapas Pond last week.
Chunky monkey!

Look at that girth!

The famous plumber's pose.

Like he cares that Mommy's in pain because he's obese. . .

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I took this semester off from school, obviously. I determined that I would use this time to study for the MCAT and try to take it in the summer. Guess how much I've studied! Nada. Zilch. Nil.

So, what seems to be my problem? I just don't feel like it! In fact, I just don't feel like doing anything, except playing on the computer, and reading fiction. I'll never accomplish any of my goals at this rate!

The solution? Change my goals! My new goal is to enjoy my days at home with my family. So far, so good!

Meanwhile, if anyone has some good ideas on how I can eventually get motivated to study, let me know!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

8 Weeks!

Baby Ivan is 8 weeks! He is getting such a personality! We all love him to death (not literally, of course). Even Allison is perking up around him, and will actually give him kisses.

His older brothers love to spend time with him (when they are not fighting over computer games), and Steven is our designated Friday night babysitter- he can actually get Ivan to bed and to sleep! It is amazing!

Ivan is growing, as babies tend to do. Mostly in his cheeks. Don't forget, though. . . the camera adds 10 lbs.!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sweet Dreams

Little George Ivan is 6 weeks old. He is smiling, cooing, trying to laugh, and, best of all. . . . he is sleeping through the night! He falls asleep between 10:30 and 11:30, and sleeps til 6:00 or 6:30. I get him out of his crib (which is at the foot of our bed) and he nurses a little, and goes right back to sleep. We usually lounge around 'til 9 or so, when I get him up to change him, because by that time he is completely soaked!

It has been so nice, and has really helped with recovery. After going into the hospital a few weeks ago, I was really concerned about how I would recover from that horrible abdominal pain and, of course, the birth. His nightly sleep habits just started improving since then, and now we both sleep like babies!

All of my other babies have slept with me, and wanted to nurse every 1 1/2 hours, and I felt like I never got enough sleep, so this is a surprise and a blessing (tender mercy). I figure that Heavenly Father knows that my body is just too old for the regular baby routine, and told little Ivan to take it easy on me!

I don't get anything done during the day, still, because I'm either holding, burping, changing, or nursing Ivan, but since I'm well rested, it doesn't really bother me. Just noboby plan on coming to visit any time soon!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Music Appreciation

During a pregnancy I get so sick that any stimulus can make me nauseous and start puking (gross, I know). Unfortunately, this includes music. With my first pregnancy, Keith and I had just bought this awesome CD called "Green Forest"- little aboriginal children singing to this cool beat. Well, after listening through my nauseous state, I've never again been able to listen to this CD without feeling positively pukey! Even if Keith says one line from one of the songs, I go all cold and clammy.

So, instructions for this pregnancy were as follows: no music - at all! Keith knew that if he played me a song he liked, he'd never be able to play it again. I hid all my favorite CD's so Iwouldn't be tempted. I even stopped playing the piano, fearing that all my fav's would never get played again.

At last, I am able to listen to music! I love music! Piano, classical, 80's rock, new age instrumental, Indie, Irish . . . the only exceptions are country and Celine Dion-ish. Unfortunately, I still can't play piano b/c I'm busy holding this guy all the time : )

Sunday, January 18, 2009

2 Weeks!

Baby Ivan is 2 1/2 weeks old. He went to church today, for the first time. I only had to take him out of one meeting, for about 15 minutes. It's always a little scary going out with a baby for the first time. I've gone to Wal-mart a few times sans baby, and haven't bothered with make-up or decent clothes, but going to church is a big deal: make-up, matching clothes (for me), and packing all of the extras that baby might need. Keith is so good to come home from his early morning meetings, and get the other kids ready and off to church, so that I only have the get myself and baby (and, Eric, this morning) ready! I still manage to be about 5-10 minutes late anyway!

Maddy's new hair color- thanks Sam!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Welcome baby Ivan
-only 13 days late!

George Ivan Maxwell -
born at home in a nice warm baby pool.

Ivan weighed 9 lbs. 6 oz. and was 21 1/2 inch long- definitely no Schrimpp!

Our New Years Eve baby!

Ivan sleeping peacefully after a hard days birth!