Thursday, February 19, 2015

Getting Real

So my cousin Bethe challenged her readers to "get real" for a second on their blogs. Social media sometimes gives the biggest appearance of fraudulent lives being led. You get a small glimpse into a persons day or week, but that's it. That perfectly captured moment doesn't have sound, or show the moment right before the photo or the the moments right after. It doesn't show the mom wearing her pj's while the baby is perfectly dressed. Since the boys were born, one of the funniest comments I get is "You make it look so easy." Well, dear readers (ha! Stephen Bell) let me just be real with you for a second.

It's not easy.

And its by far, not pretty.

I sometimes feel so mentally scattered and exhausted that when I do magically get them both to nap at the same time, while the others are at school,  I just sit and stare and don't even know where to begin.

I try to take each day in stride. I feel like I have a pretty good balance for the stage I'm in.

But the other night. I. LOST. IT.

It was ugly. Like ugly cry, yelling, crying more,reality check tone of voice, and  i may have thrown a laundry bag. It was not a pretty moment. I did not make having five children look easy. I did not making being a mother look desirable. I'm sure single people would have left my house, had they witnessed my tantrum, and said "NEVER having kids".

So let me share some things leading up to my explosion.

I have been trying so hard lately to teach the girls how fortunate they are. Not to be wasteful, overly picky, respectful of their things and those around them. They each have chores that are required of them. But they also have many rewards, because I know they are great kids. They have hearts of gold and they are respectful and kind and gentle some of the time and I see that.

But this moment, just all of it at once was too much. We were just winding down for the night and they were asking for a movie on a school night after dinner. Everyone started getting settled on the couches and I looked around and saw dishes, clothes dropped here and there, toys scattered on every available surface,  lots of "mom I don't know where my uniform for tomorrow is" and "I don't know where my snack bag went" and it not being a second thought that Mom will do it or find it.

And I Snapped. TV was off and they all got a really extreme version of what Mom's actually do all day long while they get to escape to new environments. How I do not look forward to walking around picking up the same exact series of things every morning once they leave for school, or seeing the same pile of nick knacks on the stairs instead of taking them up and putting them away and wondering how in the world do they think their clothes magically appear clean each day. Full hearty lunches in their backpacks each day, when children all around the world are thrilled to have a piece of bread or fruit for the DAY, if they are even that fortunate that day. Asking me every day to go to ToysRUs, but not bringing home their jackets, lunchboxes, library books and it being no big deal that "oh well, I have other ones, or mom will find them if she cares." AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

After my loud lecture. I had to go cool down. I overheard my husband talking to them and saying "You're mom is the best mom in the world" (What amazing grace. I sure didn't deserve that right then and they probably didn't believe him in that moment.) "Your mom loves you so much and it is not easy to have 5 children to care for. She thinks about one or all of you in every single moment and action of her day."

It is hard, people. Whether it is one or five. It is hard to raise children that are selfless in our self-centered society. Its hard to care so much. I'm sure it would be so much easier to wake up and say "Eh, I don't care. " But what a disservice that would be to them one day when they are all mothers, and don't know how to teach their own children respect and responsibility and selfless thinking.

So as Bethe concluded, and every parent can agree, parenting is a like a marathon. A very, very long marathon. So I'm lacing up my shoes again today and running a little further. 

What about you?? Are you brave enough to share your "getting real" moment?? 

Here's a post that was super encouraging to me. 

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

This Beauty Blog

I had the privilege to be featured on last week. Take a look. I hope you are inspired in some way.

Thanks for reading
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Oh January

This has not been my most favorite time. I keep reminding myself that we do not have terminal illnesses and are very blessed but one by one we have each been sick since right after Christmas. I was first. Coasted right through my birthday without feeling up for much. I sang the week after my birthday, and then crashed again. Then the boys joined in with double ear infections and bronchiolitis and the girls are all sniffly and coughing from time to time. And then Preslyn started running fever at school yesterday and today Ella is running fever and was sent home from school. Bj hurt his back the other day so between the kids doctor visits, and his chiro visits, taking care of the kiddos and school, that's about the extent of our life so far this year.

I have had my hands full these last six months with the babies, and the girls starting back to school and extra curriculars, so I'll try to document a few things while I'm not too far in yet.

The boys have been a blast. We just love them both and they are changing so much each day.


 purple hair for me + Rivan



These  boys are full of smiles and plenty of tears. They both have acid reflux issues so we are all constantly getting spit up on. It started affecting their growth for a while so we had some pretty intense couple of weeks working through that, but they are both back on the curve and growing like champs. They are small but they are perfect:) 

Liam continues to look just like his daddy. With dark hair, big round eyes and cheeks that you can't just kiss once. We are constantly telling the girls to calm it on the kisses. His eyes are hazel but toward the brown side. And he has the longest lashes of the family. He loves loves LOVES to be held. He is cuddly and melts into you. He can roll from his stomach to his back but has no interest in rolling back to stomach. He laughs and smiles and puts his hands together. He has started making several distinct sounds but no words yet. So far he likes most foods we've tried and even drank out of a straw one day. 

Rivan is a smiler. He has one look that he gives that is so flirty, it's hilarious. He rolls both ways and quickly! He will be on the move soon I'm sure! He has taken a big growth spurt and is now bigger than Liam. He is more hesitant trying new foods so I'm interested to see how that pans out. He is adorable and becoming more social and cuddly. His hair seems to be much lighter and his eyes are still blue. He has a high pitched squeal that is funny and sometimes turns into a pterodactyl screech when he is mad. But compared to Liam his cry is very quiet. 

Hayden just started Volleyball for a league a friend told us about. It is so great, less stressful than last time she played and she is enjoying playing with a friend. She is nearly my height. Still measuring at 95th percentile at her 9 year checkup. She is amazing at school, loves reading and math and is preparing to go to her school's speech meet next month, representing her class. She will be reciting "The tortoise and the hare" by Aesop. She is continuing in piano and constantly having excellent comments from her instructor. 

Ella is a jewel. Her hair is getting so long and she is very proud of it. She is doing well in school and is one of the students that is the furthest along in math. She works very hard and loves to learn. 

Preslyn is our little firecracker. Constantly keeping us laughing and on our toes. I love to see the world through her eyes. The other day she told me she knew what she was here be a nurse...a nurse to animals.....mostly zebras :) She is so caring and loving. Her favorite part of school is recess. She eats next to nothing and gets pickier by the day it seems. I am constantly on the hunt for things that she will love. 

I'm going to try to blog more, because I love looking back on this thing as the kiddos grow. We'll see how that works out. 

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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Boys are Here

I've been working on this post for a while now in my head and have to get it down before they are 3 years old. 

July 16, 2014
BJ and I decided that for the night before delivery day we would stay down in Houston closer to the hotel, since we knew we had to wake up really early to be there for our 8:45am surgery. We packed up the girls and took them to the grandparents and as we started our hour drive my body decided to jump in on the excitement and labor began. I had been having contractions for months so this was nothing new. As we got further down the road they came closer and closer together until it got to about 4 minutes a part. We debated whether to go on to the hospital but we decided to go ahead and check in to the hotel and see if they died down and try to rest before the big day. We ordered food and I took a bath to see if that would calm my body down. Finally around 1 I was able to relax and fall asleep. 

We woke up really early around 5 and got ready for our boys big day. I was so worked up and nervous about the surgery and the epidural and the outcome of delivery. With my other pregnancies, Hayden was natural and I had an epidural during the hardest part of labor, Pres and Ella I had an emergency C-section and had my spinal block with no labor and it was awful. I cried the entire time and it was very painful. So needless to say I was not happy about having to have another C-section (thank you Rivan, who refused to remain head down and eliminated my option of a VBAC) and another spinal/epidural. 

We arrived at the hospital and they started prepping me for surgery. Tons of paperwork, even though I had come two days prior and done my pre-op labs and paperwork. Then they tried to find a vein for my IV and failed 4 times. Finally they brought in a wonderful nurse who hit the target the first time. My dr was assisting on another emergent case as my surgery time rolled around so we were bumped. Family and friends arrived and we were able to spend time with them briefly as well as the girls. I was really nervous to see them that morning because I was afraid I would lose it in front of them , and I didn't want them to be worried. I did fine and we were nearly about to roll out of the room, when BJ stood up and nearly collapsed from back pain. I felt so bad for him to have to deal with that right in the middle of everything else. 

My anxiety continued to build as they finally said it was our turn. I prayed that the boys would be able to come to my room with me, avoid NICU and be healthy and then ultimately be discharged together and come home when I did. I was dreading the epidural even more than the surgery. I know that sounds weird but its true. 

As we rolled down the hall, my mom spotted me and called to me and that's all it took. I lost it, tears were rolling and I couldn't even look at her. BJ then had to stop and the nurse continued with me to the operating room as I sobbed all the way.  All the nurses that saw me as I passed looked so concerned so I said "Oh these are happy tears". I'm not sure that was totally true but they weren't tears of sadness. 

So I arrived in the OR and they told me that the anesthesiologist for the day was the best one. He was so nice and made a joke as he began. I told him of my extreme fear of needles and he said he would be like a butterfly and I wouldn't even notice. I have to say that between his expertise in epidurals and my amazing nurse talking me through, I made it. No tears, no excessive pain. I was so relieved. Then the party started :) My doctor came in, everyone was laughing and joking around. Talking to me and I totally relaxed. BJ was able to join me at that point. 
He is not good under these types of situations. He absolutely hates blood and surgery type things and usually gets very pale and wants to see as little as possible. I really wanted to get pictures of the birth though and he was amazing. He actually stood up from the drape and took some great photos of the boys arrivals. He didn't turn pale or lightheaded and I was so proud of him. 

Liam Boardman was born at 10:21am weighing 6lbs 15oz and measuring 19 inches. I heard him start crying and I was so happy. (Preslyn and Ella didn't cry in the operating room and were rushed out so quickly to be intubated) I just lay their listening to his cries and thanking God for healthy lungs. Then at 10:23am Rivan Dash (sounds like ribbon, but with a V) was born. He was 6lbs. 5 oz and measured 17 inches. He was crying too and had a very different cry from his brother. I could hear them crying in intervals and it was the most amazing sound ever! I remember saying "I'm not pregnant anymore!!!!!" and being so relieved and excited that that phase had come to an end. 

BJ went over to take pictures and be with the boys and I had my phone with me and posted on FB that they were here. It helped me take my mind off the fact that they were still sewing me up and working on me. I kept getting really lightheaded and they were having to adjust my epidural pretty frequently to make me comfortable but alert. 

Finally they brought the boys over to me. Which was also something I prayed for. I wasn't able to hold or see the girls in the OR at all and then it was days later til I could hold them at all. It was so wonderful when they put them on me and I just wanted to stare at them and figure out who they were and what they looked like. 

Then they took them to NICU because they both were having premature lung disease. Basically they had too much fluid in their lungs and during delivery, since it was a Csection and happens much faster than natural delivery, they were unable to get all the fluid out. So Rivan had the hardest time and they had to work on him for 2 minutes after delivery. I'm so thankful for great doctors and nurses who took great care of the boys as they arrived. 

I was placed in recovery for about 45 minutes and it was great to have had my phone because I told BJ to go be with family and friends that had taken time out of their day to come, so I was able to read text messages from everyone and see the posts roll in on FB. 

I wish I could have seen the girls faces as they met their brothers, but I had the next best thing. Our great friend came and captured the whole morning. These photos are priceless to me. So much emotion on the every ones faces that I am so thankful to have captured on film. Thank you Aaron Tharpe for these memories you captured. 

 Rivan Dash 

 Liam Boardman


Welcome to the world boys! 
We've waited so long for you and never knew how much we wanted you. 
So blessed to have our family complete and we are so honored to be chosen 
to be the parents of these two sweet boys. 

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Winner announced

and the winner is....

rue Random Number Generator  18Powered by RANDOM.ORG
Paige Rodriguez!!! You have won a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins 

Contact me at LSSMUNSON@GMAIL.COM with your mailing address and the color and size you would like 

Congratulations and again, thank you Freshly Picked for this opportunity!!
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Freshly Picked Giveaway

May we break from the regularly scheduled feedings, changings, dishes, laundry, and sleep deprivation to show you one of our most favorite baby items ever known to man. If you haven't heard of Freshly Picked then please let me direct you to the coolest moccasin your little will ever put his or her feet in!

Not only are they completely AMAZING, but they also have an amazing creator that runs a well oiled business. She started from the bottom and has now developed quite an impressive name for herself. She was featured on SHARK TANK and got a pretty incredible offer.

We have been anxiously waiting to fill up our two pair of mocs and finally have the cute feet to go with the (nearly) equally cute mocs (wink wink).

Stay tuned this week because next Wednesday......drumroll......... I GET TO GIVE A PAIR of MOCS AWAY to one of you lucky readers!!!!! WHAT?!?!?!

You must comment on this post and tell me what your favorite color moccasin is on the Freshly Picked site.

Here's some pics of Rivan in our first pair of Freshly Picked Mocs in Swimmin with the Sharks. Next up on our wish list is Camo and Neon Green.

Now....back to the grind :)

(moccasins provided courtesy of Freshly Picked)

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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

10 Things I have learned while being pregnant for the third time, and with my second set of twins.

1. People say really strange things. I know its mostly out of shock or just having no idea what TO say, but really. Telling me that my family was already big enough is just wrong, stranger at the grocery store.
2. Nesting starts immediately. It's more of a scramble to the finish type feeling because you KNOW what is coming.
3. The pregnancy "senioritis" feeling hits more like the 24th week. Thank God I'm not going the full 40 or I may become a psycho.
4. All the things you say you won't eat or you won't do because you want to bounce back fly swiftly out the window because really, its survival mode.
5. Sitting modestly is totally out of the question. I feel like a SUMO wrestler when I sit. It's not pretty folks. But I'm sorry. I have no control over my body anymore.  Long maxi's are essential for the general public.
6. Did I mention people say really weird things? To your face? That are A. none of their business or B. Completely socially unacceptable.
7. The Bath is your friend. Live there.
8. Having older kiddos sure helps out so much better than doing this with a toddler in tow. Thanking God daily for the 6 year gap we have.
9. Leaving the house becomes increasingly stressful just for the one fact of trying to find clothes that actually cover my entire stomach and are not itchy. (I always get a fabulous rash on my belly. Yay for hot sweaty itchy pregnancies in the summers, shoulda planned that better....oh wait.....)
10. I have the best friends and family who have literally carried me through this pregnancy. From the first trimester shock, the second trimester marathon of finishing everything I could before complete misery set in, to the third trimester, literally calling me for grocery lists, driving me on errands because my belly is too big to drive, taking my children on fun outtings so they are not stir crazy here with me, going to my dr appointments, praying for the things that are closest to my heart, and calling and texting with the right words for the right moments.

And with that I leave you with this fabulous print that my cousin, Bethe, designed yesterday. It was so perfect for where my mind and body where yesterday.

Print is available here 

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