STACKED MOTHERS RING

we have entered a new era here. all the babies have been born. we are complete. no more members to join for at least another 10 years when they get to marriage age. i am proud of my 5 sons and all that they are and will become.

as i thought about this last week, while anticipating baby adam’s arrival, i decided i needed something physical to display like a name tag telling the world what i have that is so valuable to me.

my mom had mentioned a handstamped, birthstone mothers necklace. but as i thought about it. i am a bit of a necklace collector and like to coordinate my necklace to what i’m wearing.  i worried a mothers necklace would not get enough wear time. i wanted something i would wear everyday.

i also ruled out bracelets, because they can get in the way and i don’t see myself wearing them unless i’m dressing up.

a ring seemed like the way to go. i’m always good at wearing my wedding ring and don’t often add in other rings on my hands. i can dedicate my left hand to my husband and my right to my boys. together they equal the most important people to me in this world.

i figured i would go with birthstones, as is the tradition. but as i pictured how all their birth stones would look together (blue, red, white, purple) i wasn’t feeling it. nor did i think a purple gem really represents a boy, ya know?

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so i thought something like this could work, with just blue gems (blue=boy)

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but then i stumbled across these adorable initial heart rings on etsy. they are tiny enough that i can stack all 5 initials with varied bands in-between and fit all my boys on my ring finger.

il_570xN.693541211_3ulvsimple but i think i will love it.

 

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YEAR IN REVIEW CARD

i remember as a kid reading through a 3 page or so handwritten, black and white photocopied family newsletter that one of my mom’s friends from a previous place we had lived sent her for the holidays. it had grainy pictures i could barely make out. but i thought it was kind of a cool idea. so fast forward 20 years and i am for the first time ever doing a family newsletter for our family! and since this is 2 decades later, it is virtual, typed, and in full color baby!!

May you find ways to adore the Lord this season and as you do, fill your home with love, peace, & joy.

year-in-review-edit

CHECKLIST FOR AN 18 MONTH OLD

enoch is 18 months old now and oh the places he goes!

a ride in the laundry basket, whee!

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there are all these new things i’m having to keep track of to keep him safe and limit the amount of times i say no. it is a chore!

1. keep my bedroom door closed so he doesn’t mess with the printer, the router, the mirror, the window, or the fan

2. figure out how to keep him out of the oversized drawers in the kitchen where i keep my glass bakeware

3. keep rubber bands on all cabinets since the child proof locks don’t work on them because of the style (put rubber bands back on after 3 year old takes them off for fun, grr)

4. keep the rolly coffee table pushed away from the TV cabinet so he doesn’t climb up and touch the TV

5. watch for him climbing on the table, no realistic way to stop him, so keep it clear of drinks to limit its intrigue

6. keep the small kitchen shelf full so he doesn’t climb up on it and turn on the garbage disposal

7. so glad he stopped trying to climb up the bunk bed in his room

8. keep both bathroom doors closed so he doesn’t turn on the sink

9. put the fan up after his nap so he doesn’t put more legos in it

10. don’t use glade plug-ins

oh and

don’t bother putting laundry in the hall laundry basket, he’ll just throw it out

good thing you don’t care too much about those DVDs he gets into every other day

thank goodness he can’t open doors yet!

A WHOLE FAMILY

we went in for an ultrasound last week at 16 weeks and weren’t sure if they would be able to tell us the baby’s sex but of course hoped. when the tech put the tool on my belly the position it landed in seemed to reveal a little boy pee-pee but she quickly moved it as she said “ok, we are going to start by looking at the head”. so i figured i’d probably seen wrong {later conferring with kevin he had seen the same- we are pretty expert at ultrasounds at this point i guess}. so the ultrasound continued, everything looking good. about half way through she positioned the tool in a way that we were seeing from the bottom of the baby up, it was pretty obvious, but she wasn’t saying anything so i said, “that looks like a pee-pee“. and she replied “it is, i didn’t want to tell you!” knowing that we already had 4 boys. i laughed and kevin said “sorry, honey”.

so 5 sons it is! the next question i usually get is, “are you going to try one more time, i know people with 5 boys and 1 girl?” my answer is “are you crazy?!” just kidding, but seriously, the answer is no. as i picture the rest of my life with my 5 sons it is so full and exciting. sure there will be moments of daughter longing but i have so much, i won’t be wallowing or feeling ungrateful or cheated.

so now making sure we raise 5 stalwart boys is what is on my mind. earlier this year we introduced the boys to “5 goals” that now hang on their bedroom door:

1. earn your eagle scout

2. graduate from seminary

3. serve a mission

4. obtain a money-making degree

5. marry in the temple

as we reinforce these goals regularly they will feel purpose and direction in their teen years. a lot of teen boys struggle with lack of purpose and waste away their lives on video games etc. i want to instill a sense of industry in them so they don’t fall victim to overuse of media. joey, our oldest took the initiative over the summer to open Joey’s Juice Stand.

lemonadehe made $75 or so sitting out in the heat serving customers {10% of which went to the Lord in tithing and another 10% of which went to his mission fund}. it made me feel hopeful for their work ethic– a character that i believe is really important to an adult’s success in life.

plus with $50,000 worth of missions to serve between all 5 boys they will certainly have to work hard to contribute!

so we are very excited to welcome boy #5 into the world {boy #5 for now because we exhausted our boy name list on boy #3}. it’s going to be good 🙂

BEACH TIME

beacha couple weeks ago we discovered an awesome beachfront park spot complete with playground and splash pad! no better way to get all that sand off than stopping at the splash pad before loading in the car. it was really clean and well-kept. and even water from the drinking fountain was SO good lol.

BEACH RELAXwe were enjoying ourselves too much and stayed longer than we should’ve sun-wise. my husband took the brunt of it with some blazing red shins {just looking at them made me say ouch} . i burnt my scalp {shoulda brought a hat} . and the boys got a little burnt too. but we had a great time!

oh goodness

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{i should totally have him upgraded off a bottle by now. but i’m anti-sippy cup because they stunted my first child’s ability to learn how to drink from a real cup since you don’t have to tip them.}

the dead fish

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a dead fish was found in the ocean and he was passed from child to child to admire, hold, and poke. my niece opal (in the yellow) tried to hurry and get him back in the water so he wouldn’t die even though he was dead from the get go. she’s a sweetheart.

shore pool

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we found an abandoned shore pool {made by a more ambitious family} and the 3 youngest boys were set. they didn’t move from it for an hour. so building a shore pool is a tool i’ve added to my beach survival with multiple little non-swimmers kit.

when did he get so tall?

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i was proud of orion, he has come a long way since our last beach trip where he wouldn’t even touch a toe to the water without getting nervous.

sandy man

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i love the timeless feeling of the beach. the sound of the ocean. the breeze. feels like you could stay all day. i’m excited to go back again sometime this month!

DEAN BABIES: THE FINAL CHAPTER

baby 5

 

we told the boys about baby coming in february. i loved their little happy faces when they figured it out.

this is the last baby we are planning. when we had only one child we thought we wanted seven! then when baby 2 arrived on the scene and it took us an hour to leave the house for a dinner out we thought, wait maybe this parenting thing isn’t as much of a breeze as we thought it was with just one. so we backed it down to five. i got so many gasps from the men i worked with when they found out i wanted 5 kids. they all had 3 or less. i wanted a big, fun family. but not too big to where i’d drown and end up being a militant mom just to keep my sanity.

so our fifth is on its way. only the size of a bean at this point, but i’ve been blessed with nothing but healthy pregnancies thus far, so i can only assume the best.

i had hoped i would have 3 boys followed by 2 girls, because i wanted the girl to have a close sister because i know how much i loved growing up with my sisters so near in age. so when i found out baby 4 was a boy i was sad. there went the sister plan. and i decided i didn’t care if our last baby was a girl because it would just be selfish of me to want a girl. and it was also when mitt romney was running for president and their family of 5 handsome, successful men was something i really admired and would love to have.

but then i read this book, Edenbrooke, and in it the girl has a twin sister and the sister overshadows her whole childhood. the sister is the pretty, successful, smart, personable one. and she’s just average (or so she sees herself). and it got me thinking, maybe it wouldn’t be horrible to not have a sister. i mean, no drama, no trying to upstage each other, no fights over the same boy, or the whole love triangle thing where your sister likes a boy but he likes you (happened a lot to us as teen sisters!) if i had a girl, she would be the star of the show.

another thought that entered my mind was could i really feel fulfilled never seeing what a girl of ours would even look like? it seems trivial, but just to see her. and then to watch a daughter grow, to relish in her beauty, dress her up, send her out on her first date, see her marry and give birth to her own babies. that’s something special i would miss out on.

so now i’m back to wanting this baby to be a girl. i’ll be happy either way. to raise that brood of 5 strapping boys sounds exciting. to have my little princess does too. so i guess its a win/win.

PSA: WHAT TO SAY INSTEAD OF “YOU HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL”

i took the boys downtown the other day. we’ve been a few times lately because i like the library downtown better. it’s huge and old, the way libraries should be. just across the street from the library is lake eola. its a popular spot for walking/jogging and renting swan-shaped paddle boats. on the side of the lake farthest from the library is a playground.

so we started the day learning about creatures of the night at a session they had for the kids at the library. we saw a tarantula, opossum, the cutest little screech owl, a bull frog and a couple other critters. then we went for a walk around the lake. saw this cute turtle mini-island.

a little turtle island at lake eola

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i packed a lunch so we stopped on a shaded bench just to the side of the path to eat. there was a man, probably in his 60s, speed walking. as he past us he said “good job supermom!” i thought, what a spectacular way to comment on a parent with a lot of children! about 15 minutes later he passed us again and said “God bless you, have a great day!” so this guy is obviously a role model to us all, but it made me think about some of the other comments i had received the same week and how they made me feel in contrast to his.

~ trip to walgreens to pick out candy for the $1 movie: “oh wow, 4 boys. i had 2 so i know how you feel <<eyes wide, eyebrows raised>>” my thoughts were something along the lines of “if you only had 2 then i’m not seeing how you know how i feel. and come to think of it i feel fine!

~ then there was the trip to target for fishing hooks: “you’ve got your hands full today!” my thoughts, “well everyday, but yes…thanks, i think?”

~ in checkout: “oh wow, 4 boys, i only have 1, i don’t know how you do it!?” me:”well once you have multiple they start to entertain each other”, him: “yeah, yeah, i guess i could see that…” <<i don’t think he bought it>>

overall i would have to say what i hear most is “you have your hands full!” when people say this i know they are expressing sympathy to me, and i appreciate that effort. and it doesn’t necessarily require an answer from me, so that can be nice. its sort of like the universal hello to a mom with kids isn’t it? but to the mom hearing it all the time, it gets old.

like just picture if you had a certain unique quality about you and everyone commented on it all the time, but they didn’t say “i love your ‘x'”, they just commented. like “wow, those are some eyes you have” or “you sure have hair!” its like, thanks for the observation, i’m not sure if you think its a good thing or a bad thing… and you come away from it feeling too different from your fellowman.

so if you are reading this, and you’ve ever used this phrase on a parent. next time try out, “good job supermom (or dad)!” and watch their face light up.

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