Tuesday, December 20, 2016

20 Pregnancy Questions Answered

In no particular order, here goes... 

1. Q - From the nurse - was this pregnancy planned? 
   A - Seriously haven't we been through this enough to know that we happen to know what the deal is? Well, it was unplanned

2. Q - From the doctor, so, have you told anybody? 

    A - No. Dr - Chicken. Me - Yeah, I know but really I'm not ready for the questions and the commentary. (see question #1 as evidence; see next 18 question as further evidence)

3. Q - So are you getting a bigger van? 

    A - Hopefully not. YES. I had to edit that one. We were hoping to skate through one more baby before going to the MASSIVE van stage of our family life but I tried to put 2 Britax marathons and 1 Britax frontier in the third row (because 2 frontiers leaves about / / much space). Didn't work. Then I drove a third of E's class on a field trip and would you believe that even three backless boosters won't fit across the third row either?!?!?!?! So only way we could swing the mini is bebe, E and R in the second row and M and A in the third - climbing over high back Frontiers... which is super impractical plus at least A if not both, will require some help buckling. Needless to say a new (or new to us) van will be in our future. Big van drivers, I'm all ears. 

4. Q - How are you fitting 5 car seats in a mini? 

     A - I have no idea and I have 6 months to figure it out. We drive an hour each way to church at least once a week so I'm not ready to pull E and R out of 5 pt harness car seats yet... hence #3

5. Q - How are you feeling? 

    A - Not great not terrible. It's been the sickest I've been but it is manageable. #welcometo30andpregnant I've been exhausted most of the days and upping my sleep to about 8-10 hours a night. Usually I'm just 'done' by about 6:31 or before but sometimes I have to power through a book or two for the girls sake. 

6. Q - Are you excited? 

    A - This is a kind of weird question I think. Yes of course. Who is not excited about a cute, squishy baby? But let's be honest we aren't disillusioned about the amount of work that a baby and child requires. I've reminded myself and Lee that this is Good work because it's God's work but that doesn't change the fact that it's a lot. 

7. Q - Are you having twins? 

    A - No but I thought I might because I've felt so gross. One happy baby to report

8. Q - Are you going for a birthday every month? 

    A - Ummmm... sure my brother in law thinks that a good goal for us to shoot for

9. Q - What did the big sibs think?

    A - E cried she was so happy/excited and then promptly announced we'd 'just have to get a bigger van'. R is still wrapping her mind around things I think. E can get her excited about it. M doesn't really understand I'm quite sure though reported the other day she 'has a tiny baby in her tummy too'. A is blissfully ignorant 

10. Q - Boy/Girl? 

      A - It's a tad bit too earlier to find out, even if we wanted to - but we don't. I think the majority of people are on team boy for A's sake. Lee announced 'he'd be okay with A having a little sister' because A is just that loco. I have really tried to explain A's temperament in this way: at school he has his halo and white wings on every day. at home he is ornery with a side of really mad UNLESS he is outside. Hence he isn't the most pleasant to be around sometimes... 

11. Q - Names?

      A - Done. Names are picked before there's a baby to talk about so there's no changing of minds or arguing. The boy's names are my favorite combo and the girl's names are a Lee pick which I still cannot believe he chose the first name he did but we are both in agreement so whatever. Girl names are hard. He had a heavy hand in M's name and it fits her perfectly so I trust his naming judgment. 

12. Q - Pregnant during the summer?

      A - Yeah, right. Let's talk about postpartum during the summer. There will be about 3-4 weeks of summer pool season pre-baby and about 2.5 months post baby. Nursing friendly bathing suits, send them my way. Tether for A? Yes please. 

13. Q - You do know how this happens right?

      A - Yes, I think we got that... after the FIRST child and if there was any confusion we've got that after the SECOND child. We know. We get it. We've good with 'it' and the natural results of having a healthy marriage. 

14. Q - Do you 'use anything'? / the birth control question

      A - Sigh. I have no problem fielding people's questions about our family because I realize we maybe turn heads but if you are going to ask such a boldface question why not ask, Do you use any birth control? To answer the question, no we don't 'use anything' and if you want further reading on where we stand please reference 1 Corinthians 7:5 or check out Humanae Vitae which is an awesome encyclical from Pope Paul VI back in 1968. Read the the last part and tell me some of the things he predicts aren't 100% accurate. 

15. Q - So is this it? 

      A - I hope not. We believe that every life is a gift and we treasure each gift we are given. We realize there is a huge responsibility that comes with raising each child and training them and teaching them in the ways of the Lord. We are blessed by the children that we have and will see what God has in store for us. 

16. Q - Did you know you wanted a big family?

      A - I LOVE THIS QUESTION. No. No, I didn't want a big family. I didn't want to get married until I met Lee. I wanted to be a nun and run around Central America. So kids weren't on my radar screen until I met Lee. We were both practicing Catholics so we knew that getting married would likely involve kids (if God willed it, because infertility is so under talked about in Catholic circles - which is totally unfair especially when you want to sit in the pews and judge a couple's piety based on the number of kids they have. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!). If my memory serves me correctly when we were dating he was thinking about 5 kids, I was thinking about 10 and at this rate we might be looking to total those hopes rather than average them! Plus, I think about growing up and going to my grandparents house (my dad was one of seven) and there are nearly 20 cousins on that side and all the fun we had. It probably wasn't the most peaceful week of each summer for the adults but for the kids it was amazing, so one day maybe our grandkids (gasp!) will be able to relate... we'd better start saving for a beach house now. 

17. Q - Are you still going to work?

      A - Yes hopefully. I have been fortunate to work for two people (my mother in law being one of them) who are very flexible with me and baby and family. Beyond blessed. Totally not normal to bring a baby to work for several months. I know, I know. For that reason, aside from liking what I do and outside the home work keeping my sanity straight, I am very loyal to the people who are good to me. So work is still the plan. 

18. Q - What did your family say? 

      A - I don't think anyone was terribly surprised... They may think we are crazy but not surprised. Both my mom and mother in law knew before we told them sooooo.... 

19. Q - How do you do what you do?

      A - By the grace of God. Take it day by day. Hope and pray that we are doing the right thing

20. Q - Do you mind all the questions/comments?

      A - Mostly not. If there are any myths that can be dispelled about big(ger)-ish families than I'm happy to try. I haven't come across too many judgy people so that probably helps. I think a lot of the questions are ignorance and not judgy. The all the people who want to sit here or stand in line behind us at Sams and judge us as irresponsible or whatever for having a big family then fine. Ask me if our love has been multiplied or divided by our kids. Ask me about our marriage. Ask me about our faith. Ask me if I work. Ask me if we're involved in my kids school and extra-curricular activities. Ask me if I could imagine life without one or two or three of our kids. That's why I'm okay with answering questions because someone decided to ask instead of immediately passing judgment. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

7QTs - St. Nicholas, Slippers and Stockings

Linking up with Kelly for the usuals Friday run down...


Never leave liturgical wear within the grasp of a non-walking toddler:

A has a blast trying on Papa's hat - please don't ask me what the church term is for it. Papa is pretty, ehem, possessive of his hat and really doesn't like it when it is played with but I had to take a few pics before I rescued it


In some non-cute news...  I was walking down the unlit hallway last week to turn on the lights for people and I hear this crunch... Kind of like a Cheerio getting stepped on but I knew it couldn't be a Cheerio because I was too far from the kitchen so I popped on the hall light and was disgusted to find this:

Let's discuss how thankful I was that I was wearing slippers at the time


I probably could do a whole post about A's eating

But I won't bore you with it however the kid loves to cram as much food as possible in his mouth very very frequently 


I did that mid-Advent update earlier this week and left you hanging at St. Nicholas Day... This is how it shook out

The massive pile of stuff was swept away into the dormer (in my one single laundry basket - I have got to remedy that this weekend!) St. Nicholas takes down everyone's icon and leaves it with the goodies he brings. I get Mary because E and I kinda share...

There are gold coins scattered for the finding too

I was super tired the night before so I didn't get the chapel set until the morning and I was sure E or R was going to catch me but they held off and we gathered downstairs so everyone could check things out together

I love this picture of the chapel lit with candles. So quiet and peaceful and calm

Race to the top

St. Nicholas brought the kids their Christmas outfit, their favorite sugary cereal I don't buy, a few books and a coloring book. 

Even A could sense the excitement

I'd been meaning to get him raisins for a while since he loves raisin bran and he loves to eat bananas (those foods have counter acting effects) but St. Nicholas came through on the raisins and the kid was in dried-grape-heaven

M was excited about her Pinkalicious book

R did some serious gold coin collecting

Then we came down to cinnamon rolls

Which was well received by all

Everyone had seconds


Yep they were that good!


When dessert has been taken away, and free time before nap is no longer, how do you punish a child who won't stop screaming in the car?

Make them walk home, of course. R is my one who doesn't respond to my normal parenting tactics so I came up with walking home (in our neighborhood as I slowly ride in front of her). Practically, it cuts down on the noise level but also I think sometimes she just needs a breathe of fresh air. When we pulled into the driveway (after the neighbor gave me a strange look) she was a totally different kid - like all the drama and tears from the car were gone with the wind that she ran through on her quarter mile carefree run home. 


This time of year really gets me annoyed that I have a growing number of Christmas stockings that need my attention.

It seems like I've been working on this for FOREVER but really I haven't. 

This will be M's final product once the stitching and back stitching is done... I've still got a ton of work to do but I'm ready to be done with this because I've been hanging on to A's stocking since I saw it because I think it is a great boy stocking plus I want to do a 12 Days of Christmas stocking for me because I love the 12 days of Christmas!


I probably should have mentioned that St. Nicholas left me some pumpkin muffin mix since he knows how much I LOVE it but I really think my St. Nicholas gift was getting our Christmas card pics taken. Here's why. 

We loaded up and headed to Liturgy (for St. Nicholas) 45 minutes sooner than needed in order to change clothes and do all that picture stuff before anyone was at church. Last Sunday I noticed the super pretty poinsettias and knowing they aren't a dime a dozen - I floated the Christmas card idea to Lee because the kids had gotten their outfits that morning. 

It was a tough call because A. it was around dinner time B. we were about to go to church for 1.5 hours C. it was about the time A is usually melting down at home and ready for bedtime D. it was around dinner time

Anyhow, I'm so glad that we did do them. We got the picture knocked out without any tears and I didn't spend an arm and a leg on flowers. You'll have to tune in on December 25 for the card reveal. However, there is one Kibbe child missing from this year's card but rest assured come June we'll be seeing a lot of #5. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2016 Advent Update

Seeing as today is mid-Advent-ish it would seem appropriate to remember how the first half of Advent has been playing out in our house. I LOVE Advent and the Advent-culture we've created and the kids have come to expect (I'd love to create a Lenten-culture as well but I haven't put my finger on the balance between church services... anyhow, another time, another discussion).

We try to focus our 40 days of Advent as a time of preparing for Christ's birth. I just went to confession over the weekend and the priest said something to the effect of we must completely humble ourselves, just as Mary did, in order to fully receive Jesus. How do you do that? How do you teach young children to be humble and realize they have a pretty fantastic life compared to a lot of kids? How do you teach them Christmas isn't all about what's under the tree, it's about who's in the manger?

I don't have the answers to those questions but here's our stab at it...

During Advent we try and do three things each week:

1. Jesse Tree ornaments and daily bible reading - so fulfilling for kids and adults and it is nice to have a tree to decorate that's not our Christmas tree because ours won't come in the house until 12/23-ish and be decorated until 12/24 or 12/26 (gasp!) but it remains until 2/2 or until it's a major fire hazard

2. Singing O Come Emmanuel - so much theology and since we won't sing Christmas songs until 12/25 even though a few sneak in because of school performances : )

3. Service Project (of sorts) - Some are easier and more obviously service-y than others - anyone with brilliant young child service project ideas send them my way!

Here's the highlights of week one's service - Operation Christmas Child:

This has become a staple project in our house. 

Picking out the fun gift is definitely the hardest part for everyone (and it has to fit in the shoebox!)

I can tell E kind of gets in more because she's told R and M, okay this is going to be someone's only Christmas present and she makes a point to fill it with stuff she would like. (and if I didn't have a budget she'd find a way to pack some more stuff in there) But it also lends to conversation about people whose parents cannot afford Christmas presents and what that means and how those kids rely on other to make Christmas a special day with a gift

Though it can get a little misconstrued in the minds of a 6 yr old and a 4 yr old because I caught them chatting about having to put their clothes away and...

R - Think about the kids who don't have underwear
E - No, no, think about the kids who don't have coats.... We should be grateful

Anyhow... we had to cut the Barbies out of their packages because those boxes were too small. The jump rope from last year fit way better and we couldn't find the $2 calculators at Target which was a bummer

Putting the final touches on the boxes the night before...

R's box

E's box 

M was sleeping and was super mad about having to wake up but we HAD to get these boxes in as it was the last day and the collection closed at 4 pm and man did we JUST skate in there in time! 

As in they logged out boxes in and put the final count on the big brown boxes and loaded them on the trucks...

It would have been WAAAAAAAY easier to take these to the drop off by myself or even let R and M take them to preschool BUT what's the fun in that :  )

Week Two - buying food for the food pantry at church

I didn't do a great job documenting this project because it happened right after Thanksgiving and I told Lee we hadn't done our service for the week and we were heading to the grocery store anyway. Sooooo... we scored 44 items for about $40 which was a win. Pasta, pasta sauce, muffin mixes etc etc and the girls insisted on getting boxes of their favorite cereal (Captain Crunch Oops All Berries - GAG!) except M didn't realize it wasn't for her.

Week Three - Sorting through toys for St. Nicholas

This is probably the most challenging activity for the girls. We ask them to sort through their toys and their animals and give some to St. Nicholas so he can take them and give them to other kids (I drop them off at local church thrift store). I maintain veto powers especially over sentimental dolls and I do ask that there be a consensus on group items but it is still hard at least for E and R. M would have given away half her room but I vetoed some. E struggled hard with giving away a blanket this year - she had 2 plus a sleeping bag and I told her I really wanted her to part with one. It was hard. I was proud of her. It is hard to detach ourselves from possessions BUT if you can learn it early the easier it will be. 

After we looked the pile over and gave some animals one last squeeze we sung a song for St. Nicholas and the girls turned on the candles for St. Nicholas

And that's where I'll end since St. Nicholas stopped by the house with some of our favorite things... so more on that later : ) 

Friday, December 2, 2016

7QTs - S'mores, Trees, Lefties

Things... things... things



I can't help but smile : ) 


This was from million days ago but too fun not to share...


There was a healthy fear of the fire pit

I think this might have been M's first S'more and it was a hit!

R was definitely a fan

E was asking for more

I think we'll have to have a repeat performance soon


The weather the past few weeks has been really crazy... As in really really cold or balmy and in the 60s and 70s. Not complain about the warmth and I hate to actually admit it but I think I might be ready for a bit of cool weather to stay. I am hoping for not another Christmas in the 70s - that was weird

Who doesn't love a sweater vest?

I put away a bunch of A's short sleeve shirts which I had to pull right back out of the closet this week so good thing I'm not totally on top of the putting clothes in bins game. 


R was having some Yy writing trouble so E stepped (thank goodness for older sisters who are also lefties) in and finally declared... Nope she cannot write a y. 

I think I have my work cut out for me next year when a page of handwriting comes home. I am quite sure my patience will be pushed to new levels (which is not a bad thing by any means!) when doing nightly homework with R. R doesn't have a lot of patience with herself so there might be lots of talking through my teeth since it is quite impossible to have a raised voice when your teeth are clinched. 


Count the kids?

(there are 3)

Have I mentioned I love our neighbors and our neighborhood? Yes. I have. Basically we have some really fantastic neighbors and our kids have built in playmates and moms can take 15 minutes and chat. This fall has been a whirlwind for everyone so we took advantage of a warmer afternoon and one of the boys taught E how to climb a tree. Where else would she have learned that? Now she just has to figure out how to get down on her own...


This little guy... Isn't so little anymore...

I love him (and the girls) but he has a special knack for driving us absolutely bonkers because unless he is outside in the afternoons he is underfoot in tears. Why? I have no idea. He doesn't love being held when he is crying. I can play cars or trucks or blocks and he gets bored in a minute. I think he's just ornery because he's not getting his way but what do I know?


Now, there are many other things going on.

1. Advent. - We are halfway through week 3 and our Jesse Tree is going strong and we are trying to stay on track. Read the story of Joseph and his brothers - it gets me every year. This week's activity is collecting things for St. Nicholas to take with him which could prove quite a challenge for the girls but I think I might have to bring out some of the things I've weeded out and have in the back of my closet. 

2. St. Nicholas Day - Next Tuesday. I have mostly everything we need. I need to lay stuff out and really look at it. I know I need gold coins and I think I might get E and R a pack of pipe cleaners because they are obsessed with pipe cleaner crafts. I think we might have cinnamon rolls that morning for breakfast so I need to put those on our list. I cannot decide when St. Nicholas will actually come. It's fun and exciting to have him come during the night and then wake up with the chapel candles lit but since its a school day, that will be tough and I don't want to rush. So either we'll be late to school or he'll come during rest/before E comes home from school. I'm leaning toward the being late to school option. 

3. Christmas - We get the kids one thing each. E and R's presents are really good. M was a tough study because she said she didn't want anything then finally came up with a new baby stroller (which I passed that idea to my MIL). So I think she's going to get a scooter from us unless I can come up with OR hear of something else she really wants. I mean what can you really want when you are 3? A is getting a carseat because... well... he needs it because he's still in the bucket. I'm still hoping I can get a Britax for under $200 but I'm thinking that's not going to happen.