Saturday, February 8, 2014


Sometimes things go smoothly and perfectly.  Sometimes life has no bumps.  There's no worries and I can just focus on being a super mom and wife and it all comes so easily.

But that happened like, once.  Back in maybe 2003.

Most of the times it's controlled chaos.  I'm winging it and hanging on for dear life.  With seven kids and two busy businesses, and autism thrown into the mix, sometimes I am hanging on with maybe one or two fingers.

Life is moving forward and seems to be moving faster than usual lately.  We're working on building a bigger house to fit all of us.  As one would imagine, this has all the ear marks of landing me in a mental institution.  Hannah's in company dance, which means lots of practices and running around.  I am possibly the world's worst dance mom.  Having had five boys and 2 girls--both of whom sported bob hair styles for most of their lives, I am hairstyle deficient.  Even a french braid is giving me heartache.  Ella and Garrett are also dancing.  There is a lot of piano and scouts and soccer and homework and reading and

Lately business has been busy.  Most of the busy is good busy.  But there's things like navigating Facebook's ever changing waters.  There's a crazy website and wonky hosting issue that keeps popping up, which leads to us beginning work on a new website and into brainstorming new and innovative ways of meeting with our customers.  Yeah...all good stuff.  But busy.

I am sitting here working working working on my laptop.  It's a gray, wet February afternoon.   Perfect cosy weather.  And yet I just can't relax.  I'm one of those people that always needs to be moving forward in one way or another.  It works perfectly for things like developing new products for work.  I literally have 5 sets in development and most are over halfway done.  I have ideas for 3 or 4 more.  It's like my brain can't stop and I am compelled to comply with this need to always be switched on.

Usually, I think it is a pretty good thing.

But suddenly, two little fingers pop up  over the side of my laptop and I see Henry.  My sweet 9-month-old has been sleeping beside me for the last hour and he's woken up.  I've been mostly oblivious to him sleeping right beside me and it makes me sad.  Sad enough to want to write myself this note.

So this is my note to myself:  All of those other great things--business, homework, hobbies--those all really need to come second.  Yes, I obviously have to do them, but these tiny moments are the lifeblood of being human.  So I am reminding myself to stop sometimes.  I am reminding myself to just sit here and love on my growing-to-fast baby.  I promise myself that I will be more fully-present when my excited 8-year-old comes to me and wants to tell me about the book fair at school.  I will engage with my 15-year-old when he is excited to talk with me.  These moments are all too fleeting.

And they are what I am doing everything else for.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Catch Up

Since it's been so long, I might as well post new images.

Michael's now 14.5 years old.  He's in the 9th grade.  I almost typed 5th grade there.  Probably due to the fact I still can't reconcile the idea that he is almost in high school.  He's such a sweet affectionate boy and is quite the computer whiz and is working hard at learning Japanese.

 A bit of a theme developing here.  Doctors Who.  Here's McKay and he's 12.5.  7th grade!  In the band, playing the drums.  He also enjoys playing the piano.

Hannah is now 11.5.  She's in 5th grade and is also in the dance company, so she is always at dance.  She's a born dancer.  She's also playing the piano.

Garrett will be 8 next month.  He'll be getting baptized and starting scouting and he is so excited.  He's doing amazingly in his 2nd grade class and is a little scientist.  He takes ballroom dance and it makes my heart break with the cuteness--ahem, studliness--every time I see him dance.

Ella is almost 6 and is in Kindergarten.  See those rays of energy shooting right out of her eyes?  What?  No?  Well, they're there, I swear.  She has tons of energy.  She's in ballet and tumbling and loves learning pretty much everything.  

Max will be 3 in a few weeks.  Can you tell he wants to be just like the big kids?  He is my sweet, soft-hearted cuddler.

One of Max being a big helper.

And Henry!  5 days until he's 9 months.  

Good intentions

Three years.

Ok, so I haven't posted anything in three years.

The good news is we have not died or anything.  In fact, it's been a really good, really busy three  years.

The big things that happened?  Max was born in 2011.  Henry was born in 2013.  Rachel's photography business (Pure) has been going great and so has the action/preset business Pure Actions.  Life is good and life is busy.  

So much of the good in our lives are those little moments.  Like the time that Ella told me she wanted to be a scientist.  Not an evil one, she assured me.  Though maybe a mad one.  Or finding Doctor Who and the whole family becoming Whovians with the speed of a cold passing among a Kindergarten class.  Or watching the budding friendship growing between Max and Henry.  (That last one is going to be the source of many blog posts about their adventures as they grow, I expect.)

I want to chronicle it all again.  Sure, I post it on Facebook and I love that I can share it with family and friends immediately, but I just feel the need to make it more complete.  So, hello again blog.

There have been times during the years when it would have been a relief to write out my thoughts and sort them a bit.  When Henry was born April 30th of last year, he was 5 weeks early and landed in the NICU for 3 weeks.  It was a weird, crazy, scary, lonely, intense, and hopeful time.  Organizing my thoughts through the situation might have been very helpful.  Or probably, I would have neglected the blog completely.  Right?  Oh well, there would have been an epic picture round-up post at the end of it all.

Oh and the time when all my worry over Max's slow acquisition of words came to a head and I called Early Intervention?  I had worked myself into an absolute frenzy over his lack of words.  Having two sons with autism will do that to you.  But yet, in my heart, I knew it was something else.  The signs were not there for autism.  It was an interesting learning experience about myself.  I learned that not only do I have PTSD a little when I suspect something is not perfect, developmentally, I also am pretty good at knowing what autism IS now, which was such a hard thing back with Michael and McKay.  I had so much uncertainty and didn't know what I was even looking for.  Oh, how much I have learned.  But once I finally looked into that corner of my brain, the one where all of the worries and fears are stored and where I try to avoid looking too much, and faced the fact I knew that Max's speech was delayed, I also found that I also had the capacity to help him.  God had given me the gift of experience and while I worked so hard to learn how to coax speech from Michael and McKay, I found that now it came naturally.  I want to remember these moments of triumph, because lots of times I need to look back on them to keep moving forward when new challenges come and I have to learn on the fly and grow so much it hurts.  It's good to see what comes from all of that effort and discomfort.

I also want a record of the amazing moments.  Like when McKay went to his first school dance and a sweet girl came up to him and asked him to dance.  His absolute joy at participating so fully in his school event lightened my heart for weeks.  

So, that's my goal this year.  I want to remember our lives.  

Hello again.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Welcome Baby Max!

I know I am horrible about blogging. (But hey, I am good about Facebooking...does that count?)

Max is here. He's wonderful and beautiful and he's captured the children's hearts.

Max was born on Feb. 15th, at 8:55 pm. We spent much of the day before at the doctor's office, conferring with them about what to do. All of our babies have been born very large for their gestational ages. Garrett was the biggest at 10 lbs. 6 oz. at 39 weeks on the dot. There was no gestational diabetes involved, he was just good old-fashioned big. 24.5 inches, even. Being so big was a bit of a health hazard for him in the delivery, so we were determined to avoid that for Max.

We've found it is hard to explain why you want to do something that is not the norm, but Dr. Parker understood our concerns. We did an anmio (that took 4 pokes to get! OUCH!) and we determined his lungs were very ready, so it was decided that Max would be born the next day, since he was over term at 37.5 weeks, but hopefully smaller than 10 lbs.

Labor was, for the most part, uneventful. Things progressed slowly, and Rachel and Darwin walked and walked around the maternity ward, trying to see if things could get going faster. We had an amazing midwife who seemed to really understand the worries Rachel had about a large baby. Two of Rachel's friends were also there. Crystal, Rachel's business partner and friend, was taking pictures and Christie, Rachel's longtime friend and birth sounding board, was there as a doula. Both really helped keep the mood light. Christie was amazingly helpful, as she and Rachel have discussed their births over and over after each one, so she knew exactly what Rachel's labor patterns and such were. Getting to the end without Darwin, these amazing ladies and the wonderful midwife would simply not have been the same.

When the time came for Max to be born, the midwife was delivering another patient, and so the doctor ended up delivering Max. The nurses, who all seemed a little surprised at a baby being induced at 37.5 weeks for possible macrosomia were all shocked when he arrived at 8 lbs. 14 oz. A VERY good size for the dates.

Since day 1, Max has been calm and even-tempered. Once he was born, the nurses were trying to get him to cry, and he simply would not. They rushed him to the NICU to check his oxygen saturation, and he was fine. Just not interested in fussing.

All of the kids want their chance to hold this sweet little boy, and being a trooper, he tolerates it all. He's been the center of attention since he was born. He seems to be taking it all in stride.

Here is a video of Max's birth. I am so grateful I had Crystal there to help document it all.

And here are some pictures of Max.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thought I would share

Michael's awesome Christmas list: "I want a yo yo, a skateboard, a sauna, the Backyardigans Christmas movie, a pack of gum and 16 Wishes (a movie.)"

I thought I would alert everyone, in case they want to get a sauna too. I anticipate they might be a hard-to-find item. ;)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Well, isn't this convenient?

I just start blogging again and already I have a small prayer request. Funny how it works like that, eh?

So I had to go back for a second ultrasound because of low fluid and the baby having enlarged kidneys and they were not able to see the heart entirely.

I went for that ultrasound on Monday and had an appointment on Tuesday. They lost the ultrasound and it took them until Wed. afternoon to call back.

The kidneys are still enlarged and dilated, though the fluid is not so low. So, they said the baby has Prenatal Hydronephrosis. It could totally end up being pretty much nothing. Or it could be something, but it sounds like it is not anything life-threatening or anything. In fact, it sounded like the most common abnormality found on ultrasound. It is really likely it will be something the baby grows out of either before or after birth and it SOUNDS like the worst case scenario is surgery needed to clear up a blockage in the kidney or in the output tract to the bladder. The WORST WORST case would be prenatal surgery, but that doesn't seem to be the case we are looking at.

The amount of enlargement has not changed in the last 2 weeks. So that is good and bad. Not getting worse, but not exactly getting better. They want me to go in and get more ultrasounds as the pregnancy progresses, so that they can keep an eye on how the baby is doing and how the kidneys are doing. I am ok with that to a point, but I sort of feel like sometimes poking around leads to more times that they find things--whether they are issues or not. So I am not totally wanting a BUNCH of extra ultrasounds. I think I would rather go with a couple towards the end to check if things have cleared up or not, but we'll see what they say.

They offered me the chance to get followed by a perinatologist, but I would rather not. Again, from the times I have had to go to a peri before, I found he was quite busy, didn't really have time to check the chart beforehand, and it was generally an unproductive thing. Maybe I'm wrong, but I am just not sure I feel the need to do this.

So, I feel, overall, pretty good that things will calm down and be ok. But I would also really appreciate any prayers anyone wanted to offer that the baby would be ok. It is alway
s nicer to have fewer issues, right?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tap. this thing on?

I've been kind of busy lately. Blogging sort of took a backseat to getting all of the work done and still having enough time with the kids and to get done all that need to done.

So a small update and then some pictures. And then I will try to be better on top of blogging.

Our biggest update is that we are expecting our 6th baby at the very beginning of March (hopefully earlier, considering how big our kids get.) We know it is a boy and his name will be Maxwell Atticus Rehart. We'll just call him Max and the kids are super excited. McKay is especially sweet. I love seeing how sweet the kids are with each other. (Of course, this sibling sweetness does not extend into car rides. ;) )

I also got a fun new lens and have some pictures of Hannah, Ella and Michael. Hopefully Garrett and McKay will let me get a couple of them soon.