Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Rutherford Monday

5:30 am - nurse Elias. Realize he is now wide awake and prepare to get up. Remember that Scott is home on Mondays. Wake Scott up, hand over Elias, and go back to sleep.

8:30 am - awake again to Abigail's giggles. Meet she and Isabelle on the landing and head down together. Kiss Scott good morning and then pass kisses & hugs all around.

8:32 am - Snag first and only cup of coffee of the day.

8:35 am - proceed to take vitamins with a large glass of milk to ward off the inevitable nausea if taken with anything else.

8:40 am - Sit down with Scott to draw up plans for the day. Eat a bowl of Kashi while we chat.

8:50 am - Shoo everyone upstairs to get dressed and /or grab shoes.

9:00 am - nurse Elias while supervising the kiddos folding/putting away laundry & beginning another load. Scott calls & finally sets up Shelby's email account. She chooses the name apollo96. Inevitable discussion on God v. gods follows.

9:30 am - get dressed. Borrow Shelby's shoes.

9:40 am - begin loading van.

10:00 am - Head out:

1. Drive to eye doctor to have Tucker's glasses tightened. Again. Add note on To Do list to purchase tools to tighten & adjust Tucker's glasses ourselves.

2. Drive to Mom & Dad's house to pick up Kainos checks to deliver to Chip.

3. Return home to get cooler clothes for Elias since his screaming in the van has caused him to puddle.

4. Go to Wawa gas station to pull $30 from their no-fee ATM.

5. Go to Metro bank and proceed to open 7 checking accounts for the kiddos. Read 10 books, get $10. We've had this done since June. The deadline for opening the accounts is Sept. 30. Use the $30 plus cash in Scott's wallet to add $5 to each account.

6. While at the bank, load kids in car when 15 minutes from completion of accounts. Nurse Elias. Change Elias.

7. Scott drops myself and all the children except Tucker at Target. I put Elias in the Moby Wrap and we head inside. Dawson & Abigail are using their Birthday Gift Cards from Mimi & Popi. This will take awhile.

8. Scott & Tucker drop Kainos checks at Chip's house then go bowling together, since Tucker earned a privilege of a "Date With Dad."

9. Meanwhile, back at Target, Dawson agonizes over his choices, but eventually settles on a Nerf machine gun and a blow up Yugio punching bag. What lost out? A Count Dukoo Light Saber, a Nerf Sword, Walkie Talkies, a Laser Trip-Wire, a Star Wars Nerf blaster, & some freaky looking plastic character. Abigail knows she wants a baby doll and we spend 30 minutes in the baby aisle selecting. Anything which makes noise due to motion is absolutely out. She finally chooses a baby that quite realistically drinks from a bottle. The noise is pretty muted, so it passed the test. She also gets a stroller. We head over to cameras so Shelby can browse. She is really hinting her camera needs upgrading . . .

10. I give Scott a quick call to ask a question to learn he's walking into Target already. I tell him where we are and shortly the 10 of us are reunited. Abigail begins whimpering that she can't hold her baby right in the box. We help her get her arms underneath and she is content rocking her baby with the box completely obscuring her from the outside world.

11. Elias begins to stir, so the camera browsing ends and we head to check out. Run into a neighbor whose youngest just began school. Find out they've been trying to have a baby for a couple years and she tears up. Wish I could do more.

12. We rip all the toys out of their packaging in the parking lot and run by the community recycling center. Drop off our paper recycling plus the new packaging. Hope everything works okay.

13. Go to the library. Take advantage of Get the Card Month and upgrade our dog-eared, beat-up library cards free-of-charge. Return the 50 books we checked out last week. Choose more books while I nurse Elias. Tucker selects a Pokemon Cartoon for his "Choose Next Family Movie" privilege. I bite my tongue to keep from saying "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" out loud.

14. Go to Giant to pick up Pesto for a last minute dinner change. Realize grapes are on sale for $.97/pound. Buy 20 pounds. Also get bananas, hotdogs (BOGO), decaf Chai tea (my new fav), organic marshmallow fluff (YUM!), chicken breasts (on sale $1.87/lb) and pesto. Scott calls at checkout to find out why it's taking so long to simply buy Pesto. I try to hedge my answer before he finally says: "THIS IS WHY I RUN IN!!!" Teasing, but also a little sincere.

15. Go home and begin making dinner. Let the kids attack the grapes. Scott takes over dinner so I can nurse Elias. Send the girls to get mail since we forgot to pick it up all last week. Dawson takes out trash. Tucker puts laundry into the dryer. Explain to Abigail the stroller is for baby dolls while making her get out of it.

16. Boys start watching Pokemon movie. I avoid the living room.

17. The girls return with an envelope marked "Perishable" and a tote bag full of mail. Realize the perishable is the Ants we ordered for Keats & Aidan's birthday Ant Farm. Open them up and find all but one dead. Wonder how long they've been in the mailbox. Obviouslly too long. Get out To Do list & cross off note to call Uncle Milton to find out why we don't have ants yet. Add new note to reorder ants from Uncle Milton.

18. Quickly go through mail and set aside 5 true pieces & dump the rest into our was-empty-but-now-is-half-full paper recycling bin. Start washing a load of diapers.

19. Eat favorite dinner - Aunt Laura's Chicken Pesto -- very casually. Scott & I chat with the girls at the table and the boys trickle in to grab a bowl to eat in the living room while watching the movie. Nurse Elias.

20. Loading dishes I glance at the calendar. Realize we have the kid's flu shots at 5:30. It's 4:30. Call for Scott to let him know. Decide he'll take the kids still needing shots (Dawson through Aidan) & I'll stay home with Shelby, Abigail & Elias.

21. Flurry of finding shoes, putting on shoes, getting in the car, explaining to a weeping Abigail why she isn't going (received her shot at her well check), reassure Aidan it will hurt but it's important, and kiss Scott goodbye. They pull out by 5:00.

22. Shelby & I start the end of day chores. Nurse Elias. Play with Abigail. She names her new baby "Baby No Name." Set up Shelby's mailbox on the computer & sign her up for Facebook.

7:00 pm - the rest of the crew returns with ice-cream, the traditional "I'm proud of your courage while getting a shot" reward.

7:45 pm - Abigail goes up with Shleby for a bath to wash off her crazy chocolate face, Dawson & Tucker help Keats & Aidan get into their pjs, Isabelle helps clean up from ice-cream.

8:15 pm - tuck in Abigail, Keats, & Aidan. Settle Dawson, Isabelle, & Tucker in living room watching a TiVo-ed "Jonas" so Scott & I can chat with Shelby. Let her know that we've decided against the People to People Australia trip for this summer, but that we realize she's old enough to do more than she currently is doing. She cries about Australia, but gets excited about staffing Camp, taking photography classes at the community college, being allowed to cook one major meal (she loooooooooves cooking) per week, making a trip to Cali to spend time with Aunt Laura & Uncle Ryan -- basically, to choose some of her dreams and we'll see what we can do. Nurse Elias.

8:45 pm - gather in the living room to say prayers as a family and the oldest four head up to bed. Just before going up, Dawson's face crumples in pain and he begins crying. We ask what's wrong & he complains that his throat hurts really bad. Ask why he's waited so long to say anything. Check his temp - 101, and his throat -- possible white spots. He gargles salt water & then goes up to bed. Shelby finished the "Jonas" she started earlier before going to bed.

9:00 pm - Scott & I finish tidying up the living room and sit down to watch Monday Night Football. Realize we forgot to work on the Trebuchet Scott is building for our Physics studies this year.

9:45 pm - Head up to bed. Nurse Elias, hoping he'll fall asleep before Scott leaves. Nope.

10:15 pm - Scott heads down to make coffee for the night & grab a fluffernutter sandwich. (I'm forgiven for the extended shopping at Giant.)

10:30 pm - Scott leaves for night shift. I keep watching football. Nurse Elias.

11:00 pm - Elias falls asleep. Tuck him into bassinet & crash into bed. Sleeping within moments.

Sept. 29 5:30 am - check ESPN for the score from the game. Cowboys won. Drat.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

To Market We Go

We managed to make it to the farmers market yesterday for the first time since Elias' birth. And how did it go? Just a little bit chaotic. Our location has changed, which is great for the market itself because we are now much more visible. But bad for a bunch of running boys since we are no longer at the edge of the pavement which is buffered by grass & towering weeds, both of which invite exploration. Instead, we find ourselves up by the main entrance to the shopping complex, surrounded by cars.

The market is our five-month long service project. We help run a stand which sells home made goods including bread, pies, cookies, jams, jellies, salsa, pot-holders . . . Our family provides 30 loaves of fresh wheat bread and between 6 - 12 pints of Isabelle's famous salsa. (Our house smells simply amazing on Fridays!) Everything is donated and all of the money raised each week goes to a different charity, mostly local. Yesterday, we supported Camp Manatawny's bathhouse project. Manatawny is an incredible camp I have been a part of since I was 14 and now our entire family is involved with, and we loved the opportunity to help in such a concrete way. Seriously - check them out: www.manatawny.org

I have no idea what we raised, but it was great to be among the other vendors again and greeting customers, many of which are repeats and were happy to finally meet Elias. We were only there for 2 hours, but I think that was a good start!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's been a long time

Today, September 24, finds our home drastically changed.

Elias, baby number eight, joined us on August 13. Of course, in true Rutherford tradition, he felt the need to find out for himself just what all the fuss about the NICU is, so he arranged for a nine-day stay. His was by far the most calm of the NICU visits, but it still made for some interesting juggling as Scott and I managed our seven healthy ones at home and our precious new one in the hospital. And, unlike past NICU visits, this one was done almost entirely on our own, without the help we have always been so blessed by in the past.

However, he is home and a very pudgy 6-weeks old today. Although, on a phone message today in my lack-of-sleep state, I insisted that he was actually 6 months old. Ahhh, why is it my vocabulary is what goes once I become tired? He is currently sleeping in his swing, although noises are starting to waft over from his direction, so my time may be limited here.

And, I no longer have Nox to blame all of the items gone wrong in my day. He was, sadly, struck by a car shortly before Elias was born. Shelby spied his poor body on her way to worship and begged Scott to stop the car. Scott called me to let me know, since I was home with a feverish Abigail, that Nox had died and he had moved his body to the side of the road until after worship. Now, I understand that he is a pet and I certainly wasn't a big fan of his, but this just wasn't the right answer. And I didn't hesitate to let Scott know I didn't agree with the choice. He quickly amended his position, turned our 15-passenger van around, and came back for Nox.

I should state that we were experiencing one of the most torrential rainstorms of our summer that day. I think it would be safe to say that Scott received his second shower of the day.

Scott brought Shelby, Dawson, and Tucker home with Nox (Isabelle was at Camp Manatawny) and we sat around in mourning while waiting for Scott to return home from worship with the twins. Once he did come home, Scott (being the amazing man he is) proceeded to dig the perfect grave site for Nox. First, he dug up Nox's favorite place to lay when he was in the front yard - a large spreading of Spring Snow -- and then dug a 3 foot deep hole underneath. After the funeral service, the children threw flowers on top of Nox's towel draped body and then helped to spread the dirt back over him. Finally, Scott replaced the plant where it had been originally. Shelby placed a granite marker next to the plant and Dawson and I weeded the front flower bed so Nox was in a tidy place. Scott returned to the shower to wash off the sweat which was literally dripping from his body.

And now, I need to update the children's school logs as well as force my body into some much needed Pilates moves. Here's hoping it isn't months before the next posting . . .