Hoping to get back at it

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(Photos taken by Annette Newcomer @ Sugar Crumbs Photography)

Well, it has been over a year since my last post…our 5th son was by far my hardest pregnancy…but he is 6 months now and right now I am feeling great…so I am hoping to get back into the swing of things…I really have no one direction I want my blog to go in…ADD much ;-)…I am hoping to post on the following things…

  1. Continue on our Faith journey with our boys and other big events in our life
  2. Homeschooling
  3. My goals to get out from all our stuff, mostly mine and the boys
  4. To share about my books that I hope to get through and read and right a review on
  5. Share in my boys’ athletic accomplishments
  6. Home making tips and maybe a few recipes

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So coming up soon will be fun posts about our newest son Sean, his birth story and Baptism…a review on my favorite homeschool curriculum…the state of all our stuff and what I am doing to get out from under it…a review on Official Guide to Colonial Williamsburg…my mom gave me this book they bought it back in the 80s when I was in elementary school…It is copy righted 1985…I think it should be a fun read and may require a field trip :) updates on my boys in both gymnastics and our newest sport, Irish Step Dance!!…and how I keep the laundry monster from taking over in a family of 7 all …even with two in cloth diapers…

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Our fifth baby boy…Sean Francis

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Up to this point all of my pregnancies had been the same…other than being tired a lot and needing to eat more to not feel light headed, they really were all easy…and pretty much the same…the only big differences were Jacob was 21.5 inches, the other three were all 19…Patrick was 5 14, the other all three were on the bigger side of 7…Robert had an average head, there others were 13.5-14.5…and Mikey was a C-section after 3 very easy deliveries…Well Sean decided he didn’t want to be like his big brothers, and until he was born, even after being told a few times he was a boy, we weren’t totally sold on it…even with the Ham family track record of 3 sons and 9 grandsons before him, with NO GIRLS!!  I wasn’t willing to bet on it, but because he was so different I wasn’t fully convinced either…

The first half of the pregnancy was so hard that for the first time I had to take medicine for morning sickness…it wasn’t until I was about 6 months pregnant that I finally no longer needed it…just in time to find out I had gestational diabetes (also a first)…Another first was at his 20 week appointment when we had hoped to find out if he was a boy or girl, he had the umbilical cord in the way (his brothers all made it clear they were boys)…one thing that was the same was that due to the diabetes I got lots of pictures (though his hand covered his face in almost every single one, and the umbilical cord was in the way for 75% of them) just like his brothers…

Due to my C-section with Mikey we were really hoping for a VBAC and I found a very VBAC supportive Dr…the diabetes caused kind of a glitch in that normally they induce at 39 weeks, but because induction causes strong contractions much faster, it can cause old scars to rupture, so that bought me another week…

I forgot to mention, his due date was the day after our oldest 13 birthday (he did not want to share)…Early on the morning of the 24th I started having tightening, it wasn’t insanely painful, but did wake me a lot…because I had been induced with 3 of my first 4 before going into labor, we decided to go to the hospital just to make sure…I was not in active labor and was still at a 1-2 (where I always stay for about a month)…well things changed quickly…early Wed morning (my son’s birthday, the day before my due date), the contractions got extremely painful…my boys were awesome and would come hold my hand about every ten minutes…eventually we decided I should head it…so our friend came and got the boys to take them to our last homeschool bowling day and Alex and I headed to the hospital…

Normally a quick drive ended up longer (naturally when one is in labor), the road we normally take was closed due to a deadly accident…so we had to go around…when we got to the hospital you have to register then, (no preregistering, a first)…as soon as I told them I was 39 weeks and 6 days, they told Alex he would register me, I was going straight back to labor and delivery…when I was checked I was already a 5…due to my track record and the fact that at all my ultra sounds I was told his head was average, we were confident that he would be born within a few hours, especially was I got my epidural…

So not long after Alex joined me I was taken from triage into my labor and delivery room…I do not remember why, but it took a while to get my epidural…but I did eventually get it…and in true Sean fashion of not doing anything like his brothers, once I got it mid afternoon, but labor actually slowed down (my other boys it sped up)…they ended up giving me a small amount of Pitocin to help it along, but not the normal amount due to my past C-section…

With my other boys I was able to rest and even sleep once I had my happy drugs, but not with Sean…I had not slept well in three days, and it wasn’t until about 2am that I was finally ready to push…at first I could barely keep my eyes opened, but he seemed to be progressing…the Dr thought his head was coming down through the birth canal…but after a while we realized he was just swelling some, but not fitting…then his heart rate started to drop…the doc said she would give me one last push…but then my contractions started to spread out, so I did not get that chance, and was told I would have to have a second C-section…

I was disappointed that I would not get my VBAC and did cry, but my Dr told me I did great and I did not fail…so at about 3:30 am on the 26th our 5th son was born…when I heard him cry I did ask, “is it still a boy?”…and it obviously was…they did find that half my first C-section had some bad scarring (I had a hard recovery there), so took a little more time to close me up…Sean was screaming until they put him in Alex’s arms…then he just calmed right up…eventually they took him to the nursery where they checked his blood sugar due to my gestational diabetes…his was extremely low, so with our permission his first feeding was formula to get his numbers up…(thankfully he followed after his brothers and was an awesome nurser and that bottle and the prolonged time before getting to nurse for the first time did not affect him at all)…

I also got a fever in the middle of my labor and they had to give me some antibiotics and because of that they had to monitor him more closely and give him antibiotics too after birth…because of this he stayed in the NICU even though he was full term 7lb 14 oz and 21 inches long…this was actually nice because I was able to rest and they brought him to me when he would wake to nurse…

By Sat he was discharged from the NICU and we went home on Sunday…The boys all absolutely love their baby brother…even Mikey, who didn’t seem to fond of having one while I was pregnant…they still fight over who gets to sit next to him in the car or at church :)

I absolutely love my baby boy and don’t need no stinking girl (though I wouldn’t complain if God gave us one, or another boy actually ;-) )…  10615376_10205490768486221_7236218492371070615_n

Our brand new baby boy…

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With Mommy, Daddy, and just hanging out in the hospital…

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Meeting a couple of my big brothers (not sure why there aren’t pictures of the oldest two)

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Even the kitty loves him…she is like a second mama sometimes…

PS why we chose Sean Francis…Sean is after my younger brother, and Francis is after a few people…I guess the most obvious would be the Pope (who I saw on Thurs!!), St Francis of Assisi, a Catholic military Priest that has recently been canonized, and my classmate who passed away in 2012 while serving over seas, Capt. Francis Dee Imlay (USAF)

My take on Life and how we “plan” our family…

 “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:3-5

I am pro-life…there has never been a moment in my mind that the thought to kill someone unwanted was ok…I never knew that there was an idea that some lives are worth less than others…As I have grown older, I have obviously learned that society does not think that all life is created equal…with that I will go onto explain how I feel about life in our family…

When Alex and I were first married we had “planned” to wait a few years to start having children…we wanted to be more settled financially…well the July after our second anniversary we found out that God had an anniversary gift for us…when asked if he was “planned” we said yes, by God…

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” ~ Psalm 139:16…

Once we had Jacob I really wanted to have more siblings for him sooner…I stopped using any form of birth control when Jacob was about 2 years old…I really believe that the birth control messed up my body and hung around for years…I later learned that birth control does not prevent pregnancy, but creates an abortive environment in the womb…I also dabbled in Natural Family Planning, more to know when I was ovulating…but failed at that too…it was then that I realized I just needed to fully trust God…honestly thinking we would only have one child…

It wasn’t until after our 7th anniversary that God gave us the news that he planned a second child for us…over those 5 years there were bumps in the road…as I posted before, Jacob fell from a second floor window…Alex and I also hit some bumpy roads in our marriage…but we made it out and chose each other and God blessed us…

Near the end of my pregnancy with Patrick, my army mid-wife tried real hard to convince me to get on a form of birth control…I flat out told her no…I said look at the age difference between these two, and well if I were to get pregnant, I would be ecstatic…plus by that point I sincerely felt it is God’s job to decide the size of our family…and how could I, after begging for years for another child, say, “Ok God, thanks for the second one, we are done now, so I am going to make it harder for your gift to live inside me to grow…”

Much to our surprise God had number 3 planned to join us much sooner…Between Jacob’s 7th and Patrick’s 1st birthdays we found out we were expecting baby number 3…we were also actually farther along than we had been with the other two when we found out…After Robert was born my Dr had no problems with me not using birth control, she said she would gladly see us again…turns out she went to our church and was also Catholic…plus well they want “customers”…

Our 4th son took a little longer…a heavy nurser and my husband being deployed added to the amount of months in between…but when Alex told me he was heading back to the states for a tdy and the boys and I were able to meet him, I told him I would be “ripe”…this is pretty normal to happen, a lot of R and R babies and reunion babies happen…it is a psychological thing and well God’s timing…I also like to tell people that Alex brought home these stuffed camels for the boys and well “nothing” for me…well, I got mine 9 months later…and he is the best deployment gift a girl can get…

After Mikey started slowing down on nursing, I was sure I would get pregnant quickly…both he and Robert were conceived when I was only nursing once a day…well it seemed to take forever…it took 15 months…much longer than I had “planned”…but this past week we found out God does have plans for at least one more child for us…

Most people I have told have been happy and excited for us…but some have been apprehensive…which hurts for well Alex and I, but mostly for the baby…just because the baby is going to be number 5, doesn’t mean it will be worth less or any less loved…what if this baby had been born back in 2002 and Jacob wasn’t here yet…what if Alex and I had decided 4 was enough…we would have missed out on Jacob and his love…I cannot imagine, being without the 4 wonderful gifts we have now or this little one growing inside me…the 5th or 10th child is worth no less than the 1st, just because they were born later in the family line…

Another thing we run into is that we have been asked since Patrick, is if we were going to try for a girl…for one we have long learned we don’t try for anything…God chooses when we are having another child…but are my boys worth less because they weren’t a girl…if we have another boy is he a mistake because he wasn’t that girl that we strive for…or so society thinks we should…

To be honest there would be blessings to either…a girl, well, we don’t have one, I do have a girly side, I do want a tea party nursery, and frilly dresses…but with a boy, we got that one down pat, and we won’t really need to buy ANYTHING…but really either reason for either one is not a good enough reason to decide one sex is better than the other…we would be happy with either…in all reality we just want a healthy baby…but even if the baby isn’t “perfect” in society’s eyes…this baby and any others if God plans them will be a perfect gift from Him…

“I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works.” ~Psalm 139:14

So with that said…our “plan” for our family, is to let God plan our family…will it always be easy…no…will we want to take control…yes…do I always trust God…in this area, I can say yes, I may ask why not this month (because I do want more)…but I know He has a reason…He knows why, and knows way better than we ever will…I do question God in a lot of areas of my life…but for some reason, this is one area that I have been able to easily give over complete control and I thank Him for every single gift He has blessed us with and may bless us with in the future…

I understand that everyone feels led differently by God…if you truly feel that is the way God is leading you, good for you…if not, listen to your heart…He can be found there…Please be open to life…it is the greatest gift that God can bless you with…

“Therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live…” ~ Deuteronomy 30:19

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Answer me this…

So a friend introduced me to a new blog today…Catholic All Year…and she does a weekly question thing…so I thought I haven’t written in a while, so this would be a good way to get back at it…

1. When’s the last time you got a new bathing suit?

2011…I got the family coordinating suits…I really want to get a new more modest, but not frumpy one…kind of 1950s esq…and I just found out from Catholic All Year that a former female Power Ranger is Catholic and designing swim suits…I need to check out her page…I kind of missed the Power Ranger craze…I was just a little too old, but my boys love watching the reruns and all of the different spin offs…

2. Who made the last incoming call on your phone?
My college roommate just tried to call me, but my phone is dying…I think it actually died while it was ringing :(  the last person I actually spoke to was my son calling from a friend’s house to let me know where he was :)
3. If you receive communion, do you receive it in the hands or on the tongue?
In the hands…I have always felt weird sticking my tongue out and having someone else put there hands so close to my mouth…kind of creeps me out…
 
4. Do you have a tattoo?
 
proud to say no…
 
5. How many dinner plates are in your house?
um 12 I think…we have one Longaberger one I got in my kit, then 3 from a set I got while Alex was at school in NV and then I think all 8 left from the set my parents got us a few years later…
 
6. Do you have an accent?
 
I have been told I have multiple accents in one sentence…when I am in the south or watch a southern show or talk to someone with a southern accent I have a nice drawl that comes out…will account both to my being a military child and wife and have living half of my life in the south :)
 
repost your answers in the comments or on your blog and comment your link to me please :)

Jacob’s First Communion (accidently skipped this is my story writing)…

I can’t believe I missed this event…and realized another big one I missed too!!  Anyway…in May of 2010…so year before Alex’s deployment and shortly after his promotion and Robert’s Baptism…my Mom and Dad came out for Jacob’s First Communion!!  They had always said that they would make it for this special event…I hope that they will make all of the boys’ and all of their Confirmations…

Anyway, his First Communion was held at our normal Parish just up the street from our house…there were so many kids between the Sunday School and the Church School that they had two Masses…Jacob’s was on Sat…It was a very special day and really nice to have my parents, Alex, and his two younger brothers there…and note…we did not dress to match my parents, or they didn’t dress to match us…the boys and I, that is a different story ;-) 

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Favorite Blogs series…blog 1…Frugal Fun 4 Boys

DSC09632 DSC09631Well, now that I am all caught up on the major events of our life since Alex and I met I figured I would share some of my favorite blogs…These blogs inspire me and well they hit home :)  The first blog I am going to mention is Frugal Fun 4 Boys…I actually just recently found this blog…if I remember correctly it was through a pinterest post…

I am sure you have figured out the main reason I love this blog…it is all about ideas for boys!!  She has 4 boys…now she did just have her 5th child…a GIRL!!  But this blog is so great…and it isn’t just about fun and games, but bringing those boys up right in a Godly manner…

She has a lot of crafts that Jacob would not do, but Patrick might when he gets a little older…but she also has some reading ideas and science projects and just lots of fun ideas mainly using stuff you would already find around your home…

I also love the way she breaks down her site…if you go to the activities tab, she has them split up by age group, so you can find the ones that should (since each child is different) be right for your child…A lot of her ideas also overlap in the age area…which great when you have more than one child :)

Here are a few of my favorite posts (most of these are older posts, because I like to go to the beginning of a blog and read forward…I call myself weird like that…and I also want to note that a lot of these ideas can work for girls too…especially tom boys, or prissy tom boys like myself :)…

Digging: I actually got Mikey a new Green Toys Tractor for Easter so that we could do this one :)  (we don’t have a lot of smaller trucks)

Poster board car play mat: What I really like about this idea is that it brings out the creativity in the child…they can draw a baseball field one day and the zoo the next…where ever they want…now one issue I see with myself is I would want to keep them all ;-)  maybe I could find a way to frame them or something, or use thinner paper and roll them up in a poster mailer :)

Slingshot!: I think this is a great idea, and I love picturing boys being boys like they would have years ago before everyone, including myself, got so “wrap-our-kids-in-bubble-wrap”…this is actually something I need to work on…just letting them be boys…everyone thing will always turn out worse in my mind…have you seen the dad throwing the baby picture…where to the mom the baby is like 20 feet in the air…yeah, I am that mom…but I think with some guidance on what the sling shot can be aimed at…like a inanimate object, but not a window…this could be fun :)  and it is great for some fine motor skills :)

Coin Magic Trick:  What little boy doesn’t like putting on a show…at least for his own family…I think this looks like a fun activity and again if the child can do all the steps is some great OT :)

Duct Tape Bean Bags:  She has a lot of projects using Duct Tape…and with all of the fun Duct Tape out there now…why not…and what a wonderful way to recycle the clothes that any little boys is bound to ruin :)  then they can ply hot potato or other fun games :)

Lego Timed Building: My boys absolutely love games, the love competition, and they love Legos…so this idea is great…you have to check it out :)

Fall Tree Painting: I just love the idea of seasonal projects…and ones that use my child’s finger or hand print even better…yes this is a simple project, but it isn’t something I may have thought of on my own…I may have, but who knows…

Math Games: Again, I have boys that love games and love to compete…and one of these includes play dough ;-)

Nature Scavenger Hunt: Honestly the only science I really remember from school was the hands on stuff…now if I read a book like Anne of Green Gables I can remember the detail…but science not so much…my oldest seems to be this way too (with any reading though)…so in my opinion…science can be fully taught through doing :)

Rain stick: Other than children’s choir and the music we listen in the car (when I let the radio be on…boys are noisy, I don’t need more noise) we are lacking in the music department…this rain stick looks like a lot of fun…

Chapter Books For Boys: I absolutely love to read (I “blame” my mom the Librarian)…I think it was because there was always books around me…I wish my oldest was a reader like I am, I can hold out hope right…either way I love to have lots of books in our home (ask Alex)…I also love seeing lists to give me ideas (because one can never have too many books…in my opinion :) )

Cowboys and Indians: I absolutely love living history…doing history…reenacting it…visiting sites and seeing the reenactments…history is another area that I remember more from doing than reading (unless it is Fiction, like American Girls, etc…or about baseball…)

Childishness vs Foolishness: this is the first of many of her great articles of bringing up boys in a Christian manner…she has some really good ones, that I am striving to replicate :)

Laundry Fun: who also doesn’t enjoy some tips on organization and ways to make chores fun…this is a fun idea for a little one, and also is great ot  too :)

Go check out this great blog, even if you only have one boy or girls it really has a lot of fun ideas :)