Monday, September 26, 2011

You've got your HANDS FULL....

I'll admit, when strangers pause momentarily to gawk at our crew, then comment, "You've got your hands full!" I sometimes get annoyed. I mean, come on, do I look as though I need that reminder??

But, when I take a step back, and look at things from their angle, I can see why they feel the need to validate what I'm going through...

Because the truth is, I DO have my hands full...

But, not nearly as full as my HEART.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Biology 102-- Storm Style

We are elated that Hudson Half-Dozen will be the baby sister this wild group needs and longs for, to teach gentleness and hopefully bring the calm after our Storm. Her Highness tries her best to do these things, but she's more of a second Momma to The Storm, so most of what she tries to teach them goes in one ear and out the other. Or, in typical male form, is heard simply as nagging.

Just as Her Highness did with Flash Flood, the bigger boys have had many questions and concerns about our Bitty Princess....

One afternoon, while trying to feel the Bitty Princess move, Lightning asked, "What do babies do while dey in deir Momma's bewwy? (belly)" So I explained, mostly swimming and eating and growing.... "And she's got ears now too, and can actually hear when you guys talk to her. She always moves a bunch when y'all are squealing, so try talking to her and I bet she'll hear you and wake up! Then maybe you can feel her move." Pulling my shirt up, Lightning bent his head down just over my belly button, as if it were a mic, and said in his husky little voice, with his adorable speech impediment where all his l's become w's...

"Hewwo unexpected chiwd."

Hail loves to play patty-cake with my butt. No really. He stands behind me all the time, while I'm loading the dishwasher/standing in a check-out line/standing anywhere and starts clapping his hands, then treating my butt as if it could clap back. Just like he's seen Her Highness and friends do their "Miss Sue from Alabama..." type songs a million times (using just their hands, not their tiny butts). I've grown accustom to it, and usually don't even notice he's doing it. Sad, I do realize. One night, as he was singing to my butt, "Patta-cake-patta-cake-bake-dat-man..." he stopped and asked, "Momma, is our baby sister gonna come outta yur BUTT??" "NO!" I quickly answered, hoping he'd go away. "Are you SURE?? 'Cause it wooks wike dat baby is movin' down into yur BUTT. Maybe she's gettin' weady to come out!"

I locked myself in the bathroom and cried.

Hail has also made sure to tell me, "It wooks wike you gots two bellies! One is in front, and it's weally big 'cause our baby is in there. One is in the back. It's weally yur BUTT, but it looks like a baby is back there too."

He's such a peach.

One night after playing with our sweet Chinese neighbors, who have one of the most adorable chunky 18 month olds you've ever laid eyes on, Hail stated, "Her's soooo cute! I hope our baby sister comes out Chi-a-neese."

Next to Her Highness, Thunder is probably the most excited about getting a baby sister. He's the one who will come lay by me on the couch the most, and talk to the Bitty Princess without being prompted. He'll naturally start rubbing my stomach, hoping to feel movement, without ever saying a word. Sometimes he feels the tiny kicks and will squeal, "I felt that! Did you??" Which always makes me laugh. Other times, he'll say, "Wow! She's getting really strong! I can feel her!" and I can't feel a thing, so I know he's just being sweetly optimistic.

One night, Lightning had pulled my shirt up over my stomach to talk into the "mic." Thunder sat next to him, and rubbed all over my skin, waiting to feel the Bitty Princess at soccer practice, as they like to say. He noticed my stretch marks. With a very concerned tone he said, "Ohhh, Momma. I see where she's scratching you, trying to get out!!" After I explained they were stretch marks, Lightning said, "Oh. Okay. So wike, you mean dose are marks where her's stretches. Wike 'Yaaaawwwwnnnn.'" he made a fake yawning sound and stretched his arms up over his head. Guess he's not too far off base.

It's hard to believe the Bitty Princess will be here in 14 weeks or less.

Hang tight, baby girl. You have no idea what you're being born into.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ain't no party like a Hudson House party, 'cause a Hudson House party don't stop!

To most, our house seems completely full with just the seven of us. My backyard looks like a daycare center, on a normal day. Yesterday, Her Highness asked could she invite a friend over after church, which started a chain reaction. Since the weather was gorgeous, I caved and allowed all five children to pick a friend. Well, Flash Flood's friend was by default, (because she's the daughter of my best friend, and little sister to Hail's bestest bud) but I'm pretty sure he would have invited his favorite gal pal no matter what.

All 10 children were running around the backyard, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, when Hail asked could our new neighbor's little girl come over and play too. "The more the merrier!" I laughed. A few moments later, the precious china doll of a seven year old came over and politely asked, "Mrs. Holly, could you please tell me when it's time for the birthday party to start? My parents said I can't stay for the party, but I could play until then." Confused, I asked, "Oh, are YOU going to a party later??" She clarified, "No, ma'am. The birthday party that's here. My parents thought since there were so many children in your yard, it must be a party!"

I laughed. And laughed. Then I explained it was just a regular playdate-- Hudson House Style.

About an hour later, my neighbor called me over to our fence and tried to hand me a beautifully wrapped birthday gift. Stifling my giggles, I explained there was no party. She laughed too, then said, "Well then, you're just crazy! My husband and I thought surely there must be a child's birthday party going on! We are still so new to the concept of having so many children. My Mother, who is still in China, called the other day to ask what the girls (they have two, ages seven and 18 months) would like in their package she was sending from China. She spoke to them and J said, 'Grandma, could you send me FOUR brothers?? My new neighbor has four brothers and we have SO MUCH FUN over there!' I tried to explain to her, we will not be having four brothers. We are happy with two daughters, and that is all. She tells me, 'Mommy! You will have MORE babies! I want BROTHERS!' So now we are feeling so much pressure from her, and she's only seven years old."

We do have a lot of fun. And I wouldn't trade any of it for the whole world.

Thank-you so much to all who left comments on my post below, and to those who sent me wonderful comments on Facebook, as well as texts and e-mails. I am so very blessed to have such a great support system. Without all of you, I would be lost. Thanks for the reminders of fun and sweet memories from those who knew me when I was young. I laughed through tears, as I read all of your notes. I truly appreciate your kind words of encouragement and prayers more than you'll ever know. It has helped to know I'm not alone in my feelings. I love y'all!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Sometimes I wonder about my life...I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?"

"...So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So, good night, dear void." ~Kathleen Kelly, You've Got Mail

I've been struggling with something recently. Okay, not just recently, but only recently have I been able to pinpoint and admit to myself that this "funk" I've been feeling for quite some time may not be just a funk. And I haven't wanted to admit it for a long time because it means there's something wrong with me. Or maybe not even that something is wrong, but more, that I would have to face the truth and deal with it. It's easier to tell myself, "You'll snap out of it eventually. It's the haze of young motherhood. You'll be your old self again someday." Only, the last part of that statement has begun to haunt me.


Who is that? I don't know her anymore, and part of me misses her. And part of me wonders if I ever really knew her.

Bert and I will be celebrating ten years of marriage this fall. In all, we have been a couple for twelve years. That's over a third of my life. Just before our one year anniversary, we learned I was pregnant with Her Highness. And while I wouldn't trade Bert or our babies for all the riches in the world, I find myself wondering who am I if I'm not Bert's wife and Her Highness and The Storm's momma?? Six kids in eight years, all of which I am eternally grateful for, but I'm only now starting to realize I haven't slowed down and caught my breath, nor slept through the night, in a very long time.

I used to laugh when people would comment on our lack of sleep and respond, "It's kinda like a slumber party, when you get super giddy around 1am. I live in a state of slumber party giddiness." Only now, I'm not giddy. I'm just TIRED. "Spend the Night Penalty!" my own mother would sing, after we returned from a slumber party as kids. Spend the Night Penalty meant you had to go to bed extra early (while the sun was still up) because she could tell you had seen the sunrise that morning, by the way you were crying at the drop of a hat. I could use a Spend the Night Penalty right about now.

If this post is coming across as bratty and selfish, then maybe I'm not making myself clear. It's not a situation where, "You asked for those kids so hush about it." I would be feeling this way no matter the number of children with which I had been blessed. Motherhood, with all the wonderful changes it brings, can also leave you feeling so... ALONE. Yet, I never even pee by myself. It's not that I'm not proud to be a wife and Mother. It's just, after all these years, I'm taking a step back to look at it all and ponder... Is it an Identity Crisis maybe?? Or maybe it's just that my body simply doesn't know what to do with all the extra estrogen flowing in my system. Either way, I'm afraid these insecurities within are causing problems in my marriage and my relationships with my children and even my closest friends.

It's not that I would necessarily change the way things have happened in my life. It's just a haunting thought that has been with me for quite a while... At the end of the day, who am I really? Am I reaching my full potential in life? Is this what God's plans for my life looks like? Because it certainly doesn't always match the dream I had for myself.

Just like Meg Ryan's character in You've Got Mail, I don't really want an answer. Besides, it's not one that can be found quickly. It's just a cosmic question I'd like to send out into the void. So, good night, dear void.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lightning's take on Supernanny... and me.

I love to watch Supernanny. While I do learn helpful tips on discipline and parenting from her, I mostly watch it as a boost to my self-esteem as a mother. "At least I'm not that much of a push over/inconsistent with discipline/stupid." I tell myself every episode. Supernanny ranks right up there with Toddlers and Tiaras and Dance Moms, when it comes to giving me a pick-me-up the times I'm feeling down about my mothering.

Sometimes I even try using a British accent as I tell my naughty children to head straight to the thinking corner for misbehaving. Of course, after seeing my accent vlog, you all know my British accent is quite laughable.

Another good thing about Supernanny, is that when my children watch it with me, they are usually stunned and horrified for the children on the show who are slapping their own mother in the face or spitting on their siblings. I try to use the show as a teaching moment by asking The Storm, "Do you think that child should behave that way?... What should they do now?..." etc.

Recently, we were watching an episode that featured a particularly precocious and hyper family, who were not only slapping the mother in the face, but also CUSSING at her (these were PRESCHOOLERS by the way) when they were told to go to time out. My crew was appalled. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as The Storm began correcting the children on the screen and saying things like, "Oh, Momma! That's so ugly!" Lightning, who is our quietest child, spoke up, "Do dey not have a backyard??" So I answered, unsure why he would think of that, "Umm, probably. Why?" And his solution to their problem was, "Der momma needs to lock dem out in the backyard to get some energy out and for actin' ugly. Wike you do, Momma."

Kid's gotta point.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Oh, HAIL...

The kid ain't right... We've always known that.
Some of the things that come out of his mouth make me wish I could be inside his mind for a day. Maybe even just a couple of hours. More than that, and I believe I'd be haunted for life.

Recently, as I was doing the usual (pointless) pick-up routine, Hail passed by me in the living room, on his way to further destruction in a room I had just finished cleaning, I'm sure. As he strutted by, he slowed down only for a moment to say, without reservation, "That one's named Indie, and that one's Ana."

He pointed to each one of my boobs as he said this.

Then, he kept walking.

Maybe I breastfed him too long?? He's the only one who made it a whole year. Like I said, the kid ain't right.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's my very first Vlog, y'all!

This morning the first message that popped up on facebook was from my cyber-sister, Jennifer, who basically said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Since we chatted on the phone and I thought you sounded like a total hick, I want you to go RIGHT NOW to this blog and make a video. And don't give me that, 'I'm a mom with five kids so I don't have time for this' crap. DO IT."
And since I aim to please, I cruised on over to Jenna's Journey to see what in the world Jennifer was talking about.
The instructions were simple enough, even for a com-pooter degenerate like myself...
Answer the following questions:
-What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
-What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
-What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
-What do you call gym shoes?
-What do you say to address a group of people?
-What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
-What do you call the grandparents?
-What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
-What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
-What is the thing you change the TV channels with?

Then, say the following words:
Aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup pajamas, caught
I had the Meteorologist film me, and ask the questions. I figured we'd go ahead and kill two birds with one stone, and let y'all hear him as well.

Afterwards, Hail and Lightning asked me to make a video of them. Since it kept them from fighting for all of five minutes, I was happy to oblige.

I still haven't watched any of the other videos that linked up over at Jenna's Journey, but I'm headed over to do so now. Link up and play along with me!

For some reason I can't get the video of Lightning and Hail to embed, surprise surprise, so here's the direct link:

Oh, and PS. I had NO idea my face was already so stinkin' swollen! I'm only 22 weeks, so why do I look the full 40?? Sigh.