"How Can You Have Too Many Children? That's Like Saying You Have Too Many Flowers" ~ Mother Teresa

A Peek Into Our Hectic, Crazy & Loving Family of Eleven


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quotes: A New Passion

These days, I need motivation and inspiration. Life gets monotonous and dreary. I stay home all.damn.day. 24/7. Facebook is my friend. My connection with the outside world. Sad.

I've taken to finding quotes on the internet. I eventually want to get some to hand around the house so I spend time looking for ones that 'strike my fancy'. I decided to list some here, in one place for easier reference. I'm sure I will find more throughout the months. I will add them as I see ones I like :)

'All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible.'
-T.E. Lawrence

Love doesn’t make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
- Franklin P. Jones

‎"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival."
- C. S. Lewis

If we are to have real peace, we must begin with the children.
- Mahatma Gandhi

Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
- Albert Einstein

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within
-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.
- Dalai Lama

Never live in the past but always learn from it.
- Anonymous

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more wisely.
- Anonymous

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.
- Helen Keller

Be the change you want to see in the world
- Ghandi

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
-George Washington Carver

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Budding Photographer

We went to the park the other day. It seemed like it was warm enough until we got there. It was COLD. As you can see by the little red noses. These pictures were taken by my 11 year old daughter (and edited by me). I think she did a really really good job! Might have to get that girl a camera!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's All In The Numbers

It's overwhelming at times. When I have a rare 'down' moment, like now, to just sit and ponder 'stuff', numbers pop into my head. I think it's all the comments I get when out and about, the biggest one being "Oh.my.GAWD. How on earth do you do it" ? My answer is usually "What choice do I have"?

But then I start to think (uh-oh) and thinking usually gets me either A) satisfied or B)stressed. How DO I do it? I've no idea actually. I think I'm on auto-pilot most of the day. Which is why I forget alot of stuff.

As I was wrapping up the laundry this morning, the numbers started going through my head again. Laundry. An average of 24 loads per week. So, I decided to make a list of my 'numbers' for an entire week. We'll see if it leaves me satisfied or stressed.

Toilets scrubbed: 6
Sinks scrubbed: 7
Loads of laundry: 24
Diaper changes : 175 (!!!)
Dinners cooked : 4 (ok, so not one of my stronger points)
Breakfasts made: 35 (this is because the preschoolers are never hungry as early as the trio)
Diaper laundry: 7
Owies kissed: 25
Clothing changes for littles: 40 (again, the littles stay in PJ's most of the day unless we are headed out)
House vacuumed: 7
Floors mopped: 7
Windows washed: (at least the lower ones anyways) 5
Table wiped down: 21

Ok, so I started getting into the nitty gritty there at the end, but it makes me feel more accomplished. Kind of like my Facebook status for the day last week......

"I am not afraid to admit that I will add stuff to my "TO DO" list that I've already done just so that I have more to cross off, thus making myself feel more accomplished"

And it's true. Sometimes, my list will look like this:


Bathrooms 1 2 3
Vacuum downstairs
Vacuum upstairs
Go to Alberstons
Eat lunch
Pay bills
Make coffee

See? I put stuff that is a no-brainer, that I will do anyways, just to cross it off.

So, I guess all in all, I usually feel pretty satisfied.

Its all in the numbers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One Whole Hand Old.....

5. Annabel is 5. And she is so dern excited to be 5, it ain't even funny! She has been walking around the house all.day.long. with a HUGE smile on her face. It helps that her Aunt Elia took her and Delilah to Kids Club today to celebrate. So, her perma-grin should last most of the day. Kids Club earlier, and spaghetti and meatballs, gifts and sherbert when Daddy gets home.

Happy Happy Birthday My Sweet Little Annie-Bananie....You are the light of my life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This Thing Called Friendship...

It' something I used to think I did ok at. I mean, it's not easy juggling a household, a husband, kids, sometimes a job, grocery shopping, errands and then add in maintaining friendships while we're at it. Not easy, but vital. Especially to a mom. It's someone besides kids to talk to. Or besides the grocer. Or the mailman. I will say that since I was 16, Aaron has been, and always will be my very best friend. I think that's what makes our marriage work on any level. It seems we can go through anything and still come out laughing. Thank goodness, right?

And my sisters. They have been my life friends since they were born. That's a given. Lately, without them, I would have no true friends. And that is a sad, sad, thought.

My mom. Another friend that is pretty much a given.

What I'm talking about here is the people we meet either later in life, as adults, or people that you've stayed friends with since childhood. It seems, that once you grow up, the definition of friendship changes. Having daughters, I see this all the time. Fickleness. The drama. It makes me smile inside and thank the Gods that I am no longer in that stage of my life. It also makes me so thankful for the few true friends that I have that carried on since childhood. And most importantly, it makes me step back and look at the friendships that I've made as an adult. When I say friendships, I don't mean the people that you talk to here and there. Or have coffee with once in awhile. Of course, those people are your 'friends' in the truest sense of the word, but I am referring to the innate connection you make with people based on lifestyles, morals, values, beliefs and expectations. The people that you will never forget. The ones that somewhere along the way, made your life just that much easier, or better, or happier. The moments with those people that you will remember the rest of your life.

I've been fortunate enough to have a few of these people in my life. And (I'm going to pull the triplet card here) having triplets, has turned me selfish. That's right. I feel selfish. I am so in 'Nicoles' World" all the time, that I've forgotten how much these people mean to me. How much I love them and value their friendships. Lately. Crap, for the past 16 months, it's been how hard MY life is. How much MY life has changed, how difficult things are for ME. Well, I guess I could say US since I tend to lump my immediate family into the perspective but for arguments sake, I'm just going to say ME. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME. I've never been a ME person. Ever. I'm a listener. A problem solver. An sympathetic ear. A shoulder to cry on.

Used to be. Now, I've turned into someone who forgets everything, doesn't return phone calls and focuses her whole day on when I am going to get a break.

I do not like this 'new ME'.

I had been thinking of this posting for a few weeks now, but in my head, it wasn't written like this. I obviously needed a wake up call. This is what made me change my thoughts. And realize what a shitty friend I've been. (As a matter of fact, I'm not sure you can even used the words 'friend and Nicole' in the same context at this moment in time). And how I need to stop this damn pity party that I've been hosting for the past 2 years and realize that other people are going through their own shit too. It's not all about ME. My life is GOOD. I have an amazing husband. 9 beautiful kids. And yes, it's HARD. But I never once thought this would be a cakewalk so I'm not sure why I wasn't prepared for the mentalness of it all.

I have NINE healthy, beautiful, amazing babies. And the older 4 need me just as much as the younger 5. It's just a harder balancing act that I need to practice a bit more. I'm not doing so well at it lately. I guess I can lump that under the 'Crappy Friend' category and just work on it all at once.

It's about time I start focusing on the positive and not the negative.

It's about time that I realize that I am needed for being Nicole and not just Mom.

It's about time that I start enjoying my life and all my babies before they are grown and gone.

It's about time that I make these friendships a priority in my life.

And it's about time that I revalue my friendships and go back to being the kind of friend that I used to be. Or at least, the kind of friend that I always tried so hard to be. The kind, compassionate, listener that I would want of a friend.

So, for those of you (family and friends included) affected by my selfishness the past 2 years, first of all, thank you for your love and support through everything.

Secondly, a huge apology for my selfishness and pity bullsh** the past 2 years.

And to those of you that will want to comment how 'it's ok. 'It's understandable' and how I 'Need to not be so hard on myself'......

Nuh-uh. Not gonna fly for me this time. I'm not looking for more pity or for the 'It's ok's'.

I'm looking to change. Or go back, however you want to look at it.

Right now. Today.

And I do realize, after re-reading this post, that again, the 'poor me' started seeping through. Seems it won't be an instant change. More of a work in progress I suppose.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Not My Style

A van. I just couldn't do it. I tried so.damn.hard. But I just cannot drive a 12 passenger van. Can't. Won't. Call it what you will, but it ain't happening. We did find one. We brought it home to check it over before we brought it to the mechanics to inspect it. And can I just say that when it failed the inspection, my heart sang just a little? I know, bad. This is how the 'not-gonna-ever-ever-drive-a-van conversation went between Aaron and I: (as we are driving to pick up the van from the shop)

Me: Soooo.

Aaron: Soooo....

Me: What now? Keep hunting?

Aaron: I dunno. What do you wanna do?

Me: I duuno. What do YOU wanna do?

Aaron: Welllll, I guess we keep looking.

Me: Ok, REALLY? Do we really have to? I mean, honestly. Did YOU like driving that thing? Cuz I didn't. I felt like I was going to puke when it was sitting in our driveway. Literally. Spending 10k on THAT was making me physically ill. I am SO HAPPY that it failed the inspection. *sigh* There. I said it. NOW what?

Aaron: Me too!! I hated driving it! I thought it was what YOU wanted.

Me: Not anymore. I want something that I love. A van? Not so much.

Aaron: Good. We'll figure out something else then.

I ♥ my husband.

So, what did we get? A 2000 Ford Excursion. (that we paid cash for, I might add. We are VERY proud of that since we are trying to get rid of all debt)

I know. Not the most 'green' vehicle, fuel wise, but. It works for us. Our only seats 8 right now, but we are adding a 4th row bench and a seat in the middle front ( making the front a bench seat,
just for the 'in a pinch' times. Our older 2 kids usually want to drive themselves everywhere anyways.

So, we won't all be able to ride together places, but oh well.

I'll post pics of our new car later. I love it. And it's red. I seem to have taken a fancy to red cars lately. Not sure why.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

An Old Friend

I have a friend, Heidi, that I have known for almost 30 years now. THIRTY YEARS.

The other day, she asked me to write a post for her blog about how her daughters' recent illness has impacted my life.

You can read it here, at A Work In Progress. She is a great writer and has lots to say.

I'm thinking that a post on Friendship would be fun.

Now, let's just see if I can manage to do one :/.