Sunday, June 16

Happy Father's Day

Jon holding newborn Conrad



When he first introduced Shortie to minute old Bubba

his first moments of being a Dad!!!

Its no secret that I married an amazing man! Not only is he an amazing husband - he's a fantastic father! He is so incredibly involved and invested in our kiddos that it melts my heart. He leads them and guides them with grace yet he has no fear of crawling on the floor or having dance parties in the middle of a grocery store! He has embraced the role of fatherhood and shines ever so brightly at leading our family. Happy Father's Day Jonathan!!!

I've had friends tell me that I don't understand how difficult most husbands and fathers are, that they don't help with their kids - that I have a husband who is "one of a kind and not like most Dads". Jon always laughs at me when I tell him of friends mentioning this yet again because I get so angry by the comments. To dismiss him so easily as just being "one of kind", although it could sound like a compliment, to me it misses the fact that he has chosen to be this kind of man, this kind of father. He has chosen day after day to be interested in the silly absurd stories that the kids rush to tell him the moment he gets home. He has chosen to want to share all his fun hobbies with the kiddos day after day. He has chosen to be the type of father that takes all five kiddos out grocery shopping, out to the beach, out to the playground, out to the coffee house for a special treat - he has chosen to be as hands on and involved as he possibly can. He has chosen to be the type of father that he believes God calls all men to be. For this I am ever so grateful!

I could not have asked, dreamt, or prayed for a better father for my children. I know our boys are learning how to lead a family in a God fearing manner. I know they see his eyes light up when he is around them. I know they are learning how to be just as an amazing father as he is from the love and support he pours into them daily. I know they will one day be amazing fathers and husbands as they have had a great example showing them the way. I know our girls are being taught what it means to be loved correctly. I know when they are older they will have a great role model for the type of man they should be with, I know they will understand what it means to be respected and loved. I know my girls will always be daddy girls turning to him for guidance and support. I am so blessed to have such an amazing man helping lead the way for our children.

Sarah, Dad, and me (ready to pop with Zekie)

Of course - I never would have had such high expectations for my own husband if I didn't have such a great Father to show me how it was done! Without my Dad's love and support all my life I wouldn't have known it was possible to have such a strong caring man always be there for you! I love you Dad --- thank you for showing me the type of love I deserved! Words can't express how thankful I am for having you as my Dad, and how even more thankful I am for my children to have you as their Papa! We love you to pieces and are so grateful for you! Happy Father's Day Dad! 

Dad and his bike

always love hearing my Dad's stories about his adventures!!!

Friday, June 14

Photo Dump

We bought a tent and set it up in the backyard as practice - the kids thought it was the funniest thing. Especially Conrad who couldn't stop belly laughing

lol - love this - Bubba was being crazy and dancing and Jon was giving him that look of, "what are you doing son?!" The tent is so awesome and super tall that Jon even fits standing up 

love these silly ones

went camping Mother's Day weekend in Ojai - so so fun! 

campfire hangout

morning campfire

beautiful peaceful spot

these two snuggle bugs slept in

smore's for breakfast for Mother's Day - extra special! 

she was a happy camper

lol - still half asleep but she didn't want to miss out on the smore! 

we had lots of peacock at the campgrounds 

went to a huge pick your own farm in Thousand Oaks - it was awesome! 

One of our celery bunches that Shortie picked -- so good! BTW the celery leaves are fantastic to use too! 

Graesynn pulling the wagon

they randomly got in order of youngest to oldest

picking avocados at the farm

driving home and this little one fell asleep holding onto what we call her "oh my gosh handles" lol


this hair... oh my! Serious case of bedhead!!!

art day with friends

love them being so creative

Mom night! 

she loves her fancy dresses

he was totally sound asleep like this!  

best part - so did Conrad! Both boys fell asleep with controllers! 

so funny both boys sound asleep (neither know how to play the game which makes it even more funny)

orange smile

silly girl

beautiful beach day in Santa Barbara

love Santa Barbara - dream of moving there! Look at this amazing view! 

silly goose

Wednesday, June 12

This Boy...

When you have five kids you come to expect certain things to happen at some point - for example you know black eyes and broken bones are one day going to be a reality and in some odd way you prepare yourself for it. You have your moments when a child gets hurt you hear that pain cry and that's when your stomach drops. As you race to help, part of you wants to turn and run the other way fearful of what you will find. At least that's how I work... every ounce of me just wants to cuddle and love on my little ones when they are hurt but part of me just wants to run and hide. To witness your children in pain and there's nothing you can do is one of the hardest things to deal with. I have to fight the pit in my stomach, fight back my own tears, and muster all the courage I can find to help convince my child that they will be okay - to be their strength and steady leader in a scary situation. To be the Mom that looks calm and cool when my own heart is breaking within.

We have faced some scary situations already as parents. Yet we hadn't faced any broken bones. We knew it was coming. I would even say to the kids while playing, "No broken bones today okay?!" Recently Bubba tripped down the stairs and landed on Shorties wrist - she cried more than usual and I thought maybe the time had finally come - turns out she had a bad sprain - but I was prepared for it to be broken. We had bets going on which kid would be the first to break something. Ha, wouldn't you know it that we agreed it would be Zekie?! No doubt about it he would be the one. Yes Conrad is fearless, where Zekie surprisingly is not a daredevil, yet there is just something about Zekie that we had that feeling it would be him. However - I envisioned him breaking it while doing something a little crazy. By being "all boy" and having something go wrong. Nope - not this boy - he wanted to prove us a little wrong.

It was nap time and this middleman thought it would be a good idea to do a somersault on his bed while getting ready to get tucked in. A somersault! On his bed! Not off the bed - nope just right on the mattress no big deal... yet some how he curled his wrist funny and just snapped both bones in his forearm near his elbow. That cry - it will haunt me. The sight of his arm - that still curls my toes. There was no doubt that his arm was broken, no doubt at all. My heart and stomach dropped.

My poor baby was in so much pain and there was nothing in the moment I could do to stop it. I wanted to hold him and love him yet I wanted to run and ask someone else for help all in the same split second. I ran upstairs grabbed a bag of frozen peas and one of my scarves. Ran back down the stairs, wrapped his arm all up, put peas on it, and then carried him upstairs to my bed. I knew I could handle the situation as long as I couldn't see the arm broken - and it wrapped up not only would help him and the pain but it would allow me to block the whole image out of my head. I went back downstairs and got the other four kiddos. All the while I kept trying to call Jon over and over on his cell phone and his work phone - he is always tough to get a hold of and I was just praying I would get through to him at some point. Took the 4 big kids out to the car and as I was loading them in I called my mom - it doesn't matter how old you are, your parents are always your strength. I cried, it was brief, but I cried to her, telling her quickly that Zekie had broken his arm. The conversation was less than minute but it was enough of an outlet that I was able to listen to her telling me to stay strong - ran back in the house and had her talk to Zekie while I moved him into the car - hoping it would be a little distraction from the pain of moving him. I didn't cry in front of him, I kept it together and let him know that he was going to the doctors, they would do xrays, and then he would get a cast to help his bones heal.

I finally was able to get through to Jon - he answered his phone and said immediately, "hold on a sec babe" I blurted out, "Zekie broke his arm. I'm going to urgent care". For those of you that don't know Jon's job its not one that he can usually just leave and come help. I knew Zekie was okay - it was 'just' a broken arm. Of course I want him there for support not just for me but also for Zekie and the other kiddos but we both know that if there are any situations like this we both are capable of taking all five kids and handling the situation alone. As a parent you need to be capable!

I made it to the doctors office in less than 20 minutes from the time he broke it! Jon was able to come and be there too! Our urgent care wasn't able to cast his arm because they were worried that he broke both bones and they were displaced (meaning the bones didn't line back up). We then had to go to Rady's Children's Hospital down in San Diego. I went in with Zekie while Jon took the other kids to the park and beach. Thank goodness our urgent care had given him some strong medicine so the pain was gone and the splint they put on was holding his arm nice and snug so he was all smiles and happy. I of course, was still worried for my boy - they were considering sedating him so they could set the bones properly.

As we were sitting in the ER waiting room, I remembered that one of my friends from high school (that I have kept in contact with and had been trying to see) had told me when Shortie hurt her hand that her girlfriend works in ortho at Rady's and to let her know if we are ever there. So I messaged her and she instantly messaged me back. Her girlfriend wasn't working but one of their good friends was - once we were back in the room sure enough we got to meet the ortho doctor who was the good friend of my friend. As a parent having any sort of personal connection to the doctor is so comforting. My friend had already text her letting her know that we were there - the Dr was so sweet, funny, and most importantly comforting to not just me but also to Zekie. I don't think my friend will ever understand how thankful I am for her sending those messages and text to me and the Dr!

Long story short - the Doctor was able to cast his arm and mold it (putting pressure on the bones) to get it to line up without the need for sedating him. They then split the cast (cut it long wise) to allow for swelling. The assistant doing it forgot to warn Zekie they were going to and poor Zekie thought they were going to cut his arm off! He was terrified. After explaining it to him and showing him that it was just going to cut his cast he slowly became happy again.

Unfortunately two weeks after getting this cast he did have a complication --- hopefully I will have a chance to blog about that (in not such a long blog) in the coming days. 

Before he broke his arm he gave himself his first black eye while playing at the park with friends. He was on the playground ladder and his foot slipped causing his head to hit the bar right on his eyebrow. At first I couldn't tell anything was wrong other than he was crying - there wasn't even a red mark. Then within 5 minutes his eyebrow was all swollen. By that night his eyebrow was blue and purple. Then the next morning he woke up to a full black and blue eye lid all the way down to the corner of his eye and a little under. It was full of beautiful colors and every day we took pictures for him to see it (he can't wink very well). The black eye had just gone away when he broke his arm --- oh this boy and his ouchies!

black and blue 

so we had a little fun - the same friend that helped us with the connection at the hospital also had the great idea to have fun and put makeup on his other eye to look like two black eyes - so we did! He thought it was so funny and even tricked the other kids that he got a new black eye! It was awesome! 

the top turned green!

his splint before heading down to children's hospital - we stopped at home so Jon could drop his car off and ride down with us

this little man was on strong medicine! this is him cuddling with me in the waiting room at Rady's

even mini Pen made it to the hospital with us

the four other kiddos playing at the park with Daddy while Zekie and I were at Rady's 

poor guy trying to smile through the tears after he thought they were going to cut his arm off

taking a picture to send to Daddy showing his big cast

Happy Boy again!

waiting for the go ahead to go home

he was worn out the next day! 

such a boy pretending his cast is a gun