Wednesday, October 6, 2010

There's something about a baby

As I sit here, I can hear my baby upstairs waking up. He is making cute little happy noises. Because he is, after all, happy. He just woke up from a good night's sleep and is not even starving thanks to a little early morning snack (around 5:30 am to be exact).

When I hear his cute little noises, I can't help but smile. And it's not just me. Have you ever noticed the way people (even total strangers) smile when they look at a baby? You just can't help yourself!

See what I mean? There's just something about a baby.

I think people look at me and my seven kids and think I was probably one of those kids that adored babies. You know the type....they love dolls, babies, babysitting, etc. They love to hold babies, play with babies, gaze at babies. If a baby is in the room, they want to be holding it.

But that was not me. I was content to just look at the baby, and then be on my way. Don't get me wrong. I didn't dislike babies. I liked them and thought they were cute. And I definitely did my fair share of babysitting, being the oldest child in my family. But given the choice, I would be playing....and not with dolls. I wanted to really play. Baseball, basketball, trampoline jumping, tetherball, tag, hide-and-go-seek......

I guess you could say I was a bit of a tomboy. (I did, however, have a cabbage patch doll complete with a versatile wardrobe. But who didn't?!)

But then came marriage and I knew I wanted to be a mom. But what I didn't know was how much I would absolutely fall in love with my babies. I love the way their little faces light up with huge smiles whenever they see me. I love the way they kick their legs and shake their arms when they get excited. I love the way their little mouths open like a bird when they want a bite of food. I love the way they snuggle their little heads right beneath my chin.

Like I said, there is just something about a baby. And boy do I love my baby!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Where does the time go?

Ahhh, general conference weekend.

It's amazing how quickly time flies by. I am still trying to finish reading all of the talks from last general conference! (I confess I am not much of a reader post-baby....for a while anyway. I always seem to fall asleep when I start reading!)

I love general conference. I haven't always "loved" general conference. As a kid, I watched general conference because my parents told me to, and because I knew I should. But now I really do love watching it.....or at least, I WOULD love watching it if it weren't for all the not-so-quiet children I live with!

One moment I am loving it, and the next I am completely frustrated because I can't hear a thing they're saying amidst the chaos. At one point today, we had to pause the TV to get things under control. You see, someone had knocked over someone else's domino creation, and they didn't mean to, but some kids thought maybe they did mean to, and on and on and on the debate went, getting more heated by the moment. That is, until we paused the TV (technology is amazing!) and sorted things out.

Josh, who felt he had been very wronged, was not about to admit that he had any part in the chaos. I suggested that maybe he needed a haircut so he could "see" things more clearly, and you should have seen Brek! He jumped off the couch, whooping and hollering, and ran to grab the clippers! He was ready to shave Josh's "beautiful golden locks" completely off and was loving every minute of it. I wasn't really serious, but Josh panicked. Brek had fun harassing Josh for a few minutes until Josh finally decided he could see things perfectly well and admitted he may have had something to do with the quarreling.

Conference reconvened.

A favorite talk of mine was directed specifically to parents of teenagers. It was really good. He spoke of several things, including the dangers of sleepovers. (We don't let our kids have sleepovers and they have never been too thrilled about that.) When Scott heard the word sleepover, his ears perked up.

He listened for a moment, then turned to Brek and I and said, "Is THAT why you won't let us have sleepovers?"

A moment later...."Who is this guy?"

Then, standing up and walking towards the kitchen to get a drink, he turned, pointed at the TV and said, "Stop talking!"

It was hilarious!

Now that conference is over, I look forward to reading all the talks. I know there is much that I missed and I loved the things I heard. (I would love to sit down right now and listen to Elder Holland's talk again.) As I listened, I felt inspired to be a better mom and a better wife. There is always so much room for improvement.

Goodbye conference weekend. Hello "real life". (I think I am tired just thinking about you!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Love Those Blue Eyes

This is what I see every time I turn on my iPod. It always makes me smile!

Luke, my sweet little boy, my only blue-eyed child, is such a gentle soul. AND....a very handsome missionary in the making! (Thanks for the suit hand-me-down, Lana!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Sunday Afternoon

A month or so ago, I looked at our cat and thought she must definitely be pregnant. Having experienced pregnancy a time or two myself, I was much nicer to the cat than usual. By this, I mean I actually took notice of the fact that she might be hungry or thirsty. (Usually I figure she's a big cat and can fend for herself. Her job is, after all, to catch mice.)

But then, a couple of weeks ago, I looked at the cat and thought I must have been imagining things. She didn't look pregnant at all. The thought did cross my mind that she might have had her kittens and I hadn't noticed. But as I had seen no sign of new kittens anywhere, I quickly dismissed the thought.

Saturday night I was on a date with Brek when we received a phone call from the kids informing us that we were now the proud new owners of baby kittens. Looks like I was right....and then wrong....oh, I am so not a cat person!

"How many?" we asked.

They didn't know. They could only see one, maybe two. Phewshhh!

But Sunday afternoon brought about a new revelation. We had not one, not two, but SIX baby kittens! And they aren't exactly "new" anymore. Their eyes are open and they are romping around.

The new kitties entertained my children for many hours on Sunday afternoon. First there was a photo shoot (I think it is so funny that my kids want to pose with the cats!) Then they began creating beds and houses for the kittens. Because, you see, one soft bed wasn't good enough. Each kitten needed their own separate "wing". And, of course, there was time spent trying to name each kitten. (I'm not sure what was decided upon.)

So....while I am definitely wishing I didn't have to find new homes for SIX cats, I appreciate them for entertaining my kids for an entire afternoon. And, I must admit, they are pretty cute.

If only they could stay little forever. (Sigh)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An Independent Boy

Ben is a do-it-yourself kind of kid.

Don't try helping him put his shoes on. You'll just get your hands slapped away, and hear, "No! I do it myself!"

This is a phrase that I hear often....VERY often. Like when I try to help him put his shirt on. He bats my hands away and says, "I do it myself!" And when he gets stuck with his shirt halfway on/halfway off and cries out in frustration, I try to help (after all, he did give it a valiant effort). But once again I get the, "No! I do it myself!" And guess what? He actually does it....all by himself.

Sometimes the shoes are on the wrong feet, sometimes the shirt (or pants, or underwear) is on backwards, but he did it all by himself.

He wants to pour the milk on his cereal. "No, I do it, " he says. He wants to cut his own meat or cut his own pancakes or wipe his own nose or buckle his own seat belt. "No, I do it." He wants to say every prayer that is said in our house, and when someone else is chosen he exclaims, "No, I do it FIRST!"

But I've got to hand it to little Mr. Independent. For the first time in my many years of motherhood, I have a child who went from diapers to underwear "all by himself". Yes, it's true. One day he decided the toilet was the way to go, and began frequenting it throughout the day. I started asking him if he wanted to wear underwear. For the first few days he said no, but then one day he said, "I a big boy. I wear underwears." And that was that!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And So We Begin Another Year of School

They're off!

Another school year has begun. We had varying degrees of excitement around here. The older my boys get, the less excited they are for school to start. I guess they know what's in store! However, Josh did admit he was a little bit excited, but ONLY because it was his first day of junior high.

We had a lot of firsts this year. Scott's first year of High School (wasn't I just there?!), Josh's first year of Junior High, and most importantly....Luke's first day of Kindergarten!! If ever I was sad to part with a child on the first day of school, it was with Luke. Luke is my little friend. He is a gentle soul who delights me with the things he says. But boy, oh boy was he excited to go! He wasn't one bit nervous. He has been waiting for this moment for quite a while!

One day I asked Luke, "Will you please stay home with me??? What am I going to do without my Luke?!"

"No," he replied. "I need to go. But I won't be gone for very long."

Then Brek chimed in with his usual...."Why are we sending him to kindergarten anyway? He already knows everything they are going to teach him!"

So I asked, "What do you think they will teach you in kindergarten?"

He thought, then said, "Ummmm....I think they will probably teach me to ride my bike without training wheels, so I better go."

Anyway, back to the first day of school. Each of the kids looked shnazzy in their new school attire. The girls, especially, were SO excited to wear their new clothes/shoes that have just been sitting there, taunting them for the past couple of weeks. Madelyn painted her fingernails sparkly pink and silver, to match her shirt. Impressive, I tell you!

I dropped them all off, waved goodbye, blew them kisses, and anything else I could think of to embarrass them (J/K), then headed home to a very unusual sound....quiet. Well, at least quieter!

Hello's nice to have you back around for a while!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mom To The Rescue

If the kitties survive,!

Today I was called out to the garage by a frantic Luke. The kitties were in need of help once again.

I found this.

Do you see the kitty? Look very closely.

Let me help you out. Here's a close-up.

Simple deduction tells me Ben pulled the step ladder up to the car, climbed onto the car, and oh so tenderly placed the kitty on top of the garage door. Because, after all, he is such a tender guy and all!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Here Kitty, Kitty

The other day, as I walked out in the garage to find Ben "lovingly" carrying the baby kitty around in a stranglehold, I felt like I had stepped back in time. Back to a time when Scott and Josh were little and visiting their Grandma and Grandpa Pilling who had new little kitties.

The boys loved to visit Grandma and Grandpa Pilling. They loved to roam around the countryside and explore. And they loved the new little kitties. One day Grandpa Pilling took Scott and Josh with him to water all the newly planted trees around their property. Grandpa drove a four wheeler, behind which was a small trailer where Scott, Josh, a barrel filled with water, and the kitties sat.

As Grandpa was driving he heard Josh exclaim, "Look Grandpa! The titty-tats tan swim!"

Grandpa turned around to see Josh shoving the kitties into the water barrel, "helping" them swim.

Later that day, Grandma went out to the freezer in the garage to retrieve some food. But when she opened the door, what did she find? You guessed it! A very cold little kitty!

Grandma exclaimed, "Who put the kitty in the freezer?!"
Scott replied, "That kitty was being bad! He scratched me so I put him in time out!"

I guess there's a reason why cats have 9 lives.

And now, the drama is being replayed right here in my own garage with our very own little kitties. Ben dons is gloves (to avoid getting scratched) then heads out to visit the kitties. He picks them up by the fur on their backs, he grabs them around the neck, he climbs up on top of the water barrel and drops them, he "hides" them in cupboards, he puts them on the scooter trying to force them to go for rides. No wonder the kitties run and hide whenever they see Ben coming! Luke is also in on the action, but doesn't hold a candle to Ben.

We try to teach Ben to be gentle, but he doesn't seem to be getting it.

Add Image

Enter Scott.

Scott, the kitty terrorizer has now become Scott the kitty rescuer. Fearing for the kitty's lives, Scott rigged a shelter for them where no Ben could go.

Notice, the opening is large enough for kitties, but not Ben. Behind the 'silver partition' is a comfy little kitty bed. You wouldn't guess it, but Scott is really quite a softy.

Now the kitties are safe. But the mama cat? Well.....Ben has now focused his attention on her. He thinks she should be with her kitties at all times. Sooooo, whenever he sees her out and about he decides to take matters into his own hands, picking her up and trying his hardest to shove her through the opening.

It ain't easy being a least not at the Pilling home!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Three Amigos

Luke and Ben have partnered up with Addy, the next door neighbor. They are the best of buds. When the primary kids sang in sacrament meeting for Mother's Day, Ben stood up on his seat to yell hello....not to his own brothers and sisters, but to Addy! He kept calling her name and trying to talk to her. I told him, "Shhh, Addy can't talk right now. She's singing."

He frowned at me and growled, "I want to talk to Addy!"
I repeated my answer.
Again he growled, inching closer to my face, "I want to talk to Addy!"
And again I told him she couldn't talk right now.
In his fiercest growl yet, just inches away from my face he said, "I WANT TO TALK TO ADDY!"

And so it goes. Day after day is filled with playful bliss as they roam from our house to hers.
Yesterday we were in the car. The three amigos were sitting in the back seat. The conversation went something like this.

Addy: Last year Summer (her cousin) fell in the river. In my grandma's river!
Luke (gasping loudly): Your grandma has a river?!! My grandpa has a river, too!!!

Both grandparents live a short distance away from each other on the same river. Funny kids!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Luke the Great

A few of my favorite Luke moments as of late.

On Friday morning Brek had to run to work quickly and couldn't wait to take the kids to school as he usually does. A few minutes after he left, Luke came into the bathroom where I was getting ready.

Luke: Mom! The girls didn't wake up soon enough. I forgot to wake them up!
Me: (playing along with him) Oh no! I guess they better hurry then.
Luke: But the Pharoah has left!

Not sure who the pharoah is? Remember Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat in which Brek starred as Pharoah? Well....apparently Luke hasn't forgotten his dad's claim to fame!

Luke really loves his little brother Will. A little while ago, during scripture study, Luke and Ben were wrestling around and accidentally kicked Will in the head. Will screamed his protest and I wasn't too happy with them, either. Luke kept saying, "He's OK mom, he's OK."

After a few minutes Luke said, "I didn't mean to kick Will."
Brek said, "I know you didn't mean to. It's OK."
Luke replied, "Besides, I LIKE Will!" (he only kicks people he doesn't like on purpose, I guess)

One of Luke's favorite things to do lately is "shoot hoops" out on the driveway. The other day I went out to tell Luke it was time to come in.

"One last shot?!" Luke asked.

He then started singing while he dribbled around: I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky....

Funny Luke.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Faith of a Child

Today Luke was looking at one of my house plan books. I have these books because someday we will build. And more than likely Brek will come to me one day and say he is ready to build and needs a house plan ASAP. That's kind of how he works. Take our boat, for example. He talked about buying a boat for years. He looked and looked. Then one day he all of a sudden bought a boat....right time, right price, right everything I guess. It will be the same with our next house.

Anywho, Luke was looking at one of these books. On the front there is a picture of a rather large house.

Luke: Mom, can we move into that hotel?
Me: Oh no, we don't want to live in a hotel. Besides, we have to build our own house before we can move in.
Luke: Oh. Well then we need to ask Jesus for help.
Me: Do you think he could help us?
Luke: Yes. He helped that little guy beat the giant (David and Goliath), and he helped Nephi build a boat. So he can help us build our house.

Luke is amazing. He always makes me smile.

How Fast They Grow

Will is officially 2 months old (as of May 6th) and weighed in at 11 lbs. 6 oz. He was 23 1/2 inches long. And I am happy to report that he has slept for 7 straight hours twice! I'm not getting my hopes up for a repeat tonight, but I will definitely take it when I can get it!

Luke and Ben were with me when Will got his two month shots. Neither of them liked to see their brother get poked. They were very concerned. When I turned to Luke to tell him everything was going to be OK, he had tears welling up in his eyes. He sure loves little Will.

I was curious how Will measured up to my other kids at 2 months, because he seems to be growing so fast! 4 lbs. in two months is quite impressive. A few more pounds and he will be double his birth weight. But I guess for a Pilling, he is pretty average. Luke weighed 10 lbs. 4 oz., but he was a week shy of being two months. Ben, on the other hand, weighed 12 lbs. 2 oz. and he was also a week shy of being two months! (Ben is a tank) Anyway, just kind of interesting.

Now back to Will. What did we ever do without Will? He delights us with his smiles and his "cooing".

Some of my favorite moments come when I am holding Will. He gazes up at me as though I am the most important thing in the world. (And to him, I probably am. I am the meal ticket, you know!) I will be distracted by....well, life....and when I look back at him, he is still gazing up at me and gives me a big smile. It is the sweetest thing.

A couple of times he has laughed right out loud. So cute! Last week at piano, I was holding him on my lap. When I turned him around to look at me, his face lit up with the biggest grin and he squealed right out loud. It was darling! Josh stopped playing and piano lessons came to a halt while we all huddled around Will to see what he might do next.

I love my little guy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Seven reasons why I love being a mom....

And one reason why I am the luckiest mom.

I am married to the greatest guy!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blessings and BBs

It has been a while. It's not that I haven't been on the computer, but my computer time usually only comes when I'm nursing, which leaves me one-handed. Not exactly ideal for typing. And when I do have a spare moment (do I ever have those???) I am exhausted and choose my bed over my computer. However, tired or not, life carries on in its usual, busy way.

So, time for me to catch up.

The month of April began with a baby blessing for Will.

It went something like this.

Saturday: Wake up bright and early to clean the house. Get myself and all kids ready then go to my niece's baptism. Spend the day enjoying the Pilling clan and Kelly's delicious cooking. Hurry home. Run out the door to a piano recital. Get home and begin food preparations/finish lesson preparations for the following day. Midnight....finally go to bed, just to be awakened less than an hour later by Will.

Sunday: Up at 6 am after a few hours of very interrupted sleep. Get ready....finish food preparations....get other kids ready....quickly take a few out the door (can't be late for church because I have a lesson to teach)!

Brek gave Will a beautiful blessing, we loved having all our family around, and there was lots of good food to eat. It was a good day. A long day....but a good day. And at the end of the day, I collapsed from sheer exhaustion.

Will looked darling in his little blessing outfit, which barely fit him. He is a growing boy!

All the kids....minus one. Scott had to go to church early for meetings.

And now on to the not so fun events of the past few weeks, which included sickness and doctor's visits.

First there was Scott. After four or five days of fever, headaches, and coughing we decided it was time for a doctor's visit. The diagnosis? Bronchitis. After being down and out for nearly a week, an antiobiotic was prescribed, and he was finally back to normal....for a day or two that is. Then the stomach flu hit.

Scott, Ben, Maddy, Syd, Josh, and I all took turns being sick. Luckily it was a mild dose of the stomach flu that didn't last long.

But that wasn't the end of it....the doctor's visits anyway.

There was the day when a little blue plastic bb found its way into Luke's ear. And how did that happen, you may ask? Well....the bb was placed in Luke's ear by none other than Luke himself. Then, to make matters worse, while attempting to get it out he managed to push it in just as far as it could possibly go, making it impossible for me to get out. So to the doctor we went.

But the family doc couldn't get it out either. Or rather, Luke wouldn't let him get it out. He screamed and thrashed whenever his ear was touched. There were three of us trying to hold him down, but it was no use. the ear specialist we went. He tried the same route the family doc had tried with the same results. Sadly, it was looking as though Luke may have to be sedated, which was not a pleasant thought all the way around. I wasn't too excited to pay a small fortune, nor was I too thrilled to have my little Luke sedated. The doctor hesitantly mentioned that he could try strapping him down. Did he think I would be opposed to this idea? No way! I was all over that!

So, out came the straight jacket. (I asked the doctor if I could borrow it for the weekend, but he didn't think I was very funny.) Even with Luke strapped down, I still had to hold his head while the doctor numbed his ear. After 20 seconds or so, the numbing medicine started taking effect and Luke stopped screaming. Poor little Luke. It had been a rough go for him.

Now there was no more pain, and exhaustion began to settle in. He had worn himself completely out. There he lay, on the verge of sleep, when suddenly he turned his head and said to the doctor, "Hey! What's the big idea? I can't hear anymore!"

I knew Luke really wasn't losing his hearing (the doctor had warned me the fluid behind the bb might make it seem like his ear was plugged momentarily). This struck me so funny I couldn't stop giggling. The doctor must have been quite impressed with this crazy mom who asked to borrow his straight jacket, and laughed at her son's distress. But then the doctor doesn't know Luke like I do!

Luke was very brave, and soon the bb was out. But the fun didn't end there. When Luke tried to stand up to go, he just about fell over. Luckily the doctor was prepared for this possible reaction and caught him. The medicine didn't sit well with Luke and he had no control over his legs. And on top of that, it made him very sick. He threw up twice before we even got out of the doctor's office. As you can imagine, he was not a happy boy! Mercifully, he fell asleep on the way home and slept for hours. When he finally awoke, he was good as new, and acted as though nothing had ever happened.

And when Grandma Pilling showed up with a bouncy ball equipped with special flashing lights, it all seemed worth it!

However, I think it would be safe to say that Luke will never stick something down his ear again!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Is it bedtime yet??!

Today is not going so great for me.

Ben is in rare form. He must think to himself before he enters each room....Hmmm...what is the one thing in this room that mom really doesn't want me to touch?! He is in destructo mode today, pulling things out as fast as he possibly can. What is fun about pulling every DVD out of its case and throwing it on the floor I ask you? And really, where is the fun in throwing the folded laundry all over the family room?

To make matters worse, I haven't slept. Not much anyway. I feel like I am just about at my breaking point. You know, the point where you are ready to just collapse onto the floor and burst into tears. At least, that's what happens to me.

And to make matters even WORSE, Ben has finally discovered that he can climb out of his crib. I must confess, I thought this day would come much sooner, and for this I should be grateful. But his timing is, once again, impeccable. Of course he would choose now, when I need him to take a nap more than ever, to decide he has much better things to do. He and I are in the midst of a serious power struggle right about now, and my lack of sleep isn't helping matters.

There is so much to be done. I can't seem to get on top of things. I just simply don't know if I have what it takes to get it all done today. Homework, practicing, dance, dinner, laundry (yes, it must be folded again), etc., etc., etc.

What I really wanted today, more than anything, was for all three boys to take a nap this afternoon so I could take a nap. Oh, foolish me. What was I thinking?

Well, it was a semi-reasonable thought. After all, Ben and Luke were up until who knows when last night, given Ben's new-found crib freedom. And usually Will just sleeps the day away. But alas, today is not to be one of those days. Will is bugged by something, and peaceful sleep seems to be eluding him this afternoon.

And so here I sit, complaining to the world about my sorry case. Poor, poor me.

Alright, enough wallowing in self-pity. That has never gotten me ANYWHERE! Time to look on the bright side of things.

First there is Will, the source of my exhaustion. I must confess, I adore him. What a blessing it is to have such a sweet, healthy little boy join our family. At least if I have to go without sleep, it is for a good cause!! And tonight, Brek will take Will for the first shift of the night and I might get three whole hours of uninterrupted sleep. This may not seem like much to you, but to me it would be a welcome change to my past few nights!

The bottom line is this....Life is hard. It is hard for each and every one of us in its own way. Sometimes it is harder than others. But then, that's how we grow and become better people. And at the end of the day, I am so grateful that, despite the hardships, I am surrounded by people that I love!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Welcome Home

Do you believe in modern day miracles? Because I am looking at one right now.

He is quite tiny, very helpless, and makes my heart want to burst with love. He goes by the name of Will. Isn't it amazing how you can love somebody SO much, even though you have just barely met?!

A week and a half ago I had a very large, round belly, and now I have a new little baby boy.

Welcome little Will! William Kent Pilling decided to enter this world on his due date....with 3 minutes to spare. He was born at 11:57 p.m., just three minutes shy of being born on Syd's birthday. He weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. and was 20 in. long. He is just perfect in every way. We absolutely adore him!

The delivery went well, despite the fact that the entire room was spinning and I felt totally drugged. Definitely a new reaction to the epidural. But it went quickly, and now it is done. Yeah!

The kids were sorely disappointed that they couldn't come visit at the hospital (a new rule, I guess). They were so excited to meet their new little brother! Maddy even came with her grandma and grandpa and peeked in my hospital room so she could see him. Monday morning I returned home, and Monday afternoon the kids came running home to meet Will. We threw over everything for the gymnastics, dance, etc. so we could just enjoy our new little baby.

One thing is certain. Will is not going to suffer from lack of love or attention! It is my job to referee when the kids all argue about whose turn it is to hold Will. This especially takes place when they figure they are going to be sitting still anyway....during home evening, scripture study, movie time, etc.

The kids love to help give Will baths. Will wasn't too thrilled with his first bath, but he had Josh and Syd right there to soothe him. Each of them held one of his little hands and they sang primary songs oh so sweetly. They were convinced that was just what he needed! It was quite cute to see them so concerned that their baby brother was distraught, and very sweet to watch them try to calm him.

Ben is quite interested in this new little person that is like a real live doll who cries and moves and everything! Ben sometimes stops his running and romping to rub Will on the head or kiss him on the head. Every now and then he stops and demands to hold him, which means I hold Will up and Ben wraps his arms around him for maybe 2 seconds. Then he is off again.

I have a feeling these three will be great little buddies, as well as great partners in crime. Yikes!

Welcome Home Will. We love you SO much and we are so glad you are a part of our family!