We finally had enough snow to make it worth while to drag out hats and mittens and snow pants and boots. I had managed to avoid the inevitable for a couple of days, but the natives were restless. I finally gave in and after a thorough search for all things snow gear and about 20 minutes of dressing and undressing and redressing Isaac, Hannah , Gianna and Noah were ready to head outside into the winter wonderland that was our front yard.
For those of you who know me, (and I am assuming that you all do or you wouldn’t be reading this!!) you are aware that I can be a bit sarcastic… Ok, I can be a lot sarcastic. Just ask my kids! You know it’s pretty bad when you say, “Good job guys!” and they look at you kind of confused and ask, “For real or are you being sarcastic?” Hey, I know that I’m not perfect. I’m working on it, but in the mean time, being the mother in a “mega-family” gives me plenty of opportunities to flex my mouth muscles. If you have more than 3 kids, you probably know where I’m going with this. You unload the smallest kids from the van directly into a grocery cart. Then you order those not small enough to actually fit in the cart to grab onto the side of the cart and hang on or they will get lost or a “yuck guy ” will steal them and we will never see them again. ( Fear works wonders when you are significantly outnumbered!) You then grab another grocery cart for groceries and somehow, perhaps through the grace of God, manage to maneuver both carts and 5 little kids into the store. You might be wondering where the 3 older kids are at this point. Pick an activity, it could be basketball, youth group, at a friends house…whatever. The point is that they aren’t with me so I have no help. I start filling up cart #2 with various household items as well as a little treat specifically purchased for bribery for good behavior! ( Bribery also works wonders when you are outnumbered!) The kids are being pretty good and then it happens. You notice the open mouth gawking or maybe the actual counting aloud…”One, two, three, four, FIVE kids!!!” I just smirk thinking “HA HA I have three more that aren’t here right now! You think that five is a lot, how about EIGHT!!?”And then comes the inevitable question, “Umm, excuse me, but are they all yours?” Wellllll, duh! Like I would voluntarily take five kids that belong to someone else to the grocery store?! Usually I just smile and nod and we continue on our way, but sometimes we are pursued. “Do they all have the same dad?” or “Don’t you have cable?” or there is always my favorite, “Are you CRAZY!?” Seriously?! ” Yes.” This is usually said through gritted teeth. “Wow! That’s a lot of kids! Better you than me!” This is when I get to be a little bit of a smarty-pants. ” Yes! You are right, better me than you!” We have also been asked if we knew what caused “it.” By “it” I assume that they mean more kids. I have been known to wink and say , “Yes and obviously we are pretty good at it too! huh?!” One time I was at the hair salon. I was pregnant with Noah at the time. He is number 7. The stylist asked me if I was going to get fixed after I had him!!! I just looked at her and said, “I’m not a cat and I’m not broken. I have nothing that needs to be fixed. ”
It was all around us. It was affecting everyone around us, but we managed to remain unscathed…that is until two weeks ago. It started with a sniffle here, a cough there and then the fevers set in. From Hannah on down, none of the little ones were spared. Gianna was the first to go down. She was in denial. Her little eyes were all red and watery, sick eyes, we call them. She ran a fever off and on for about 4 four days. She was miserable, but wouldn’t talk about it. If I would ask her how she was feeling, she would say, “I’m fine Mom!!!” and glare at me. Then Hannah started last Thursday with a fever and a cough. She couldn’t shake that fever. It was up to almost 105 at one point. I woke Brian up because Aiden was really fussy too. I told him that I needed him to sit with Hannah in the bathroom while she soaked in the tub to try to bring it down, or nurse the baby. Obviously he needed to sit in the bathroom with Han. I got the baby calmed down and I put him in his crib and went into the bathroom and Brian is sitting there with his shirt up over his face. I started to laugh at him. As if that was going to keep him from getting sick. I have been spit on, slobbered on, coughed on, sneezed on and thrown up on. Thankfully I am still healthy. God seems to have a certain blessing of mercy that he gives to mothers of sick ones.. I have my fingers crossed and hands folded that I stay healthy at least through Christmas. (Please God!) All of a sudden we hear a noise in Noah and Aiden’s room. I ran in and sure enough, Noah had thrown up all over his bed. Another one bites the dust. He was pretty miserable for a few days, but my Tuesday he and Gia were much better. Hannah on the other hand was still fighting a fever of over 103. She was so pale that even her freckles looked pasty. I was also still concerned about Aiden. He was still running a fever and his nose was like a fountain! He was so sick that he wouldn’t smile. You might be thinking, “Duh! If he was sick he wouldn’t feel like smiling. ” Well, this baby ALWAYS smiles. All that you have to do is look at him and he grins. He is pure joy in a chubby little body. At least he was until he got sick. He wouldn’t even jump in his jumperoo. I called the doctors office on Wednesday and took them both in. Sure enough bronchitis for Hannah as well as a sinus infection for both of them. After 2 days worth of antibiotics the smiles and giggles are back. Hannah finally has some color and is eating again! Aiden is a smiley happy boy again with one more tooth! On top of feeling like crap he was teething too! No wonder he was miserable!
Now don’t pass out! I know you are thinking THREE posts in one day!!! Is she crazy!? Well, yes, yes I am. Actually, I was just lucky enough to finally have some spare time. Ok, let’s get busy. We always get our Christmas tree on the Saturday after Thanksgiving so that we have it up for the December kids’ birthdays. DJ, Coley and Noah all have birthdays in December, so we consolidate them into one party. We always have it at the beginning of the month because the Rose grandparents always come in then. It works out well and it forces me not to procrastinate and get the decorations out early. Although, I must admit, Christmas is one thing that I DON”T put off. I love Christmas! Everything about Christmas, from the decorating, tothe cookies, to the music, to the beautiful Mass. So anyway, Brian and DJ, Jake and Bubba headed to the Christmas tree farm with the mission to return home with a tall, but thin beautiful Frasier Fir. A few hours later the men returned home victorious! The general rule of thumb is that if the tree fits in our giant 12 passenger van, it will fit in the designated spot in the living room. Sure enough that bad boy was wrapped and packed in the van. They leaned it up against the house until we were ready to bring it in.
Abby was not liking the attention. Jess couldn’t get her to sit down to blow out her candles!
Dylan and his best buddy, Bobby…otherwise known as Isaac.
Gramma Gaggini and Aiden
Mema and AD-Joe
Miss Nicole looking fierce and trying to smile with her eyes…
Abby trying to “pet” Aiden…sorry it’s so fuzzy.
Jake was the opitome of hope for the black and gold. He is defintely his father’s son. (duh!)
Abby was not quite sure that she was ready to be awake. Baby Francesca was not quite sure if she was quite ready to be born…she wasn’t.
Next in line for our crazy fall activites was Halloween. We had a couple of princesses, Spiderman and a pirate, not to mention the scary teenagers….AHHHH!!!
Here is just part of the loot!!!! Can you even imagine?! We are still eating it.
Aiden and Poppa Hough
Nanny and Poppa Hough with all of the grandchildren (except for Chad and Denee’s newest one that is still in the forming and growing process!!! Yay new baby!). What a good looking group of Houghs, don’t you think?
Gianna and the boys…kind of like Gladys Knight and her Pipps.
Rexton is going to make a great big brother! See how much he LOVES his baby cousin!
Gianna is completely smitten with her newest baby cousin, Francesca Elaine.