You have a big family (6 kiddos), how do you juggle everything?
I get asked that a lot and I usually just say that you would handle it, too, if you had to! You know that saying God doesn’t give us more than we can handle… Sometimes I live by that! 😉
There are little tricks I’ve learned that some people find interesting- I don’t really match socks, I just have a big basket that I toss them all into. If a pair comes out of the load together, they get rolled up and put into the basket but singles go in as well (I do about 3 loads of laundry every day- or I get behind and then have to do 6!). Anyway, the sock basket drives my husband bonkers but it has really saved me time and frustration.
I make one dinner- if you don’t want to eat it, that’s your choice but you are not having anything else (you can usually have fruit anytime here so most of the time they eat a banana before bed).
I expect everyone to clean their own bedroom once a week (it’s been on Saturdays but sports are doing a number on us right now so the day may move). My husband will help if he’s home (and he expects more than me from them). I try to encourage the roommates (we have 2 per room right now) to work together. And leave me out of it! LOL- just kidding.
I read aloud to everyone every night and I treasure that time- tonight I got to read a truck board book to Gavin, then the girls picture books (they each get to pick one, tonight it was Fancy Nancy and The Bag I’m Taking To Grandma’s), then a chapter book for the big boys (right now 39 Clues). Ben sometimes gets another picture book, too (and listens to the girls’ books if he wants). Middle child 🙂 He says he is “medium size”.
Were your twins a surprise? How did the older kids take the news?
Yes- I was just supposed to be meeting a midwife! She talked me into an ultrasound (I was 13 weeks) and as soon as she stuck the wand on my belly, I saw them. I was in shock. My poor husband was at the airport picking up my cousins! I called him, he was driving, and I asked him if he was sitting down! One of our sons once said “I only wanted one baby” a couple of weeks after we found out it was twins, which sounded so sad (he was 4). But that was it- seriously! The boys have always loved them and been proud of them. I think they like the way it made us extra-special, if that makes sense. And having our only girls be our twins helps, I think. We really don’t have jealousy issues… now where’s some wood I can knock on…
What is your biggest challenge as a parent?
I struggle with disciplining in the heat of the moment- if one of my kids does something unusual and grossly out of line, I can calmly talk to them, etc. But when it’s a repeated behavior (like hitting a sibling or grabbing something from someone else without asking) I need to have a predetermined consequence in my head or I will over-react. As my oldest boys get bigger it is getting harder to come up with consequences. It’s also hard to take away certain things, like playing the Wii, when it affects my other children.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Healthy pregnancies and healthy babies! I worked hard for some of that- I was on modified bed rest with the twins but held them in for 40 weeks! They weighed 9lbs5oz and 8lbs15oz 🙂 No, I did not have gestational diabetes. I tracked my protein intake when I read how important that is in twin pregnancies. All of my babies were big (biggest was Trent at 9lbs10oz) and I had great pregnancies. I tried to let my body be my guide. I lost all the weight each time, after I finished breast-feeding.
If my husband was here, he would tell me to put my Master’s Degree. So can I have two?
What are your favorite activities to do as a family?
We love to play in the snow together but moving to Northern California has put a bit of a damper on that. Our kids start snowboarding early (Nate was 2!) so we enjoy that as well. We like to travel, especially to the ocean or Lake Tahoe. We play lots of games- Yahtzee, Uno, Stratego, MasterMind, Clue, Frog Juice, Go Fish, you name it. We walk to the park a LOT. (Especially since we got a huge and energetic lab puppy.) And every Friday night is pizza and movie night. No joke- I don’t even eat the pizza much anymore after 5 years of having it every Friday night! But the kids LOVE this tradition. Sometimes we make our own pizza, sometimes we buy take-and-bake, occasionally we order the good stuff. Now that the boys are bigger we usually do two movies and put the 3 little ones to bed after the first one.
You’ve talked about Project Play, can you tell everyone in the community what this is about?
Project Playtime is a mission-based small business. Our focus is on providing families with fun physical activities to do together. My husband is a personal trainer with a specialization in children’s fitness. I have a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and we used to own a preschool together. He has a real knack for involving kids and adults of all ages in fun, playful activities that get your body moving. He has really inspired me to exercise regularly both with and without my kids (I discovered that if I work out two-three times a week my chronic headaches disappear! It’s really amazing how important regular exercise is- the kind where you are a little out of breath and sweaty. I think many women don’t push themselves hard enough physically and having a personal trainer show you what to do a few times and encourage you to work hard can really make a difference in how you feel. It’s kind of amazing because emotionally we sure can push ourselves to the max! Anyway, that’s off the topic. See, I’m having a conversation with myself here! Hope that doesn’t make it into the interview!).
We have a blog ) where we post ideas, recipes, photos, and local information. Of course, that’s free. We also do local family fitness classes that are really affordable ($100 for the entire family for 6 weeks- having 6 kids, we like to price per family not per child). John is looking to expand into preschools, which is really exciting.
What question(s) do you have for the other families in the community?
Do your kids really, truly eat vegetables every day? How old are your kids when you stop brushing their teeth and trimming their nails? Silly things like that 🙂 I’d also love to hear how other moms make friends when kids keep you so busy. Real friends that you call on the phone not just Facebook!
Be sure to leave your answer to Michelle’s question in the comment section and then head over to The Active Family to leave some bloggy love!