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 🙂

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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.

6 PERKS OF BEING A LONG DISTANCE WIFE

i was very skeptical about a job that would take my husband from me 6 weeks at a time. i thought i was asking for disaster. the statistics showed one of us would end up being unfaithful, or growing distant. that hasn’t happened <<knock on wood>> in fact our marriage is at a really good place right now.

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7 signs you could survive as a long-distance wife:

1. neither of you has had any recent bouts with infidelity, great or small. if there is a seed of disloyalty, the distance could cause it to grow into something tangible and heartbreaking.

2. you have a life. whether it be a brood of children, a hobby you spend a lot of time on, a job. to keep your sanity you will need something to do other than simply waiting for your love to return to you.

3. you have a strong support system. whether neighborhood, community, church, or family. you have to have someone you can call for help from time to time.

4. it is a joint decision. you go into it together. fully supporting one another as you face the hardships that will inevitably come is key.

5. your marriage is well established. you’ve weathered a storm or two and came out standing strong together.

6. he finds happiness in providing for you. this will help him find meaning in the long hours and hard work.

7. you are an independent person with at least some level of introversion to entertain yourself for weeks on end

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there are some things i <believe it or not > LIKE about him working abroad.

6 perks of being a long-distance wife:

1. our relationship is back to being about love: i did not choose to marry him based off his tidy habits and proneness to put things away. nope. i married a romantic, easy-going, creative man who just happens to be a slob. i’m not a neat freak so with just the two of us, and even with only one child, it didn’t get to me. but once multiple children came on the scene and there was mess upon mess waiting around every corner, a lot of our interaction had to do with taking care of  this little kingdom we had built. especially with his role as a stay-at-home dad, there was way too much nagging and complaining about chores. now that he has been taken out of the daily household rigamarole, <and his clothes aren’t constantly littering our bedroom floor> we can get back to why we chose each other in the first place. and when he is home, i can hold my tongue when he leaves something out, because its only for a short time, and i can live with it. and if the house goes to shambles while he is here because of our party like it’s 1999 mentality, i can shrug it off. i know he’ll be gone before i know it and i’ll have plenty of time to clean up our debris while i reminisce about the fun we had together.

2. peace: we rarely argue. i love this!! now that he isn’t in charge of taking out the trash and i’m not late for dinner, we don’t fight. the petty affairs of life have been taken away from us. and it extends into the time when he is home too. i’m not used to having him around to do this or that, so if he does, i’m just glad and thank him for his help. recently we celebrated 8 years of marriage by going to one of our favorite destination combos, busch gardens in tampa followed by fort myers beach. it was a dreamy 4 days! we were so relaxingly in heaven together. we did not have one single argument, which for me is HUGE! to contrast, we had taken the same trip for our 5th anniversary and i can distinctly remember 3 arguments during that trip (he wishes i didn’t remember…its not in a grudge-holding way, i just have a good memory!). one of which was dumb enough to be based on him getting soda instead of water. yes, i can be that petty.

3. less daily grind: i can only imagine how exhausting it must be to try to pretty yourself up, tidy the house, and cook a yummy <but healthy!> dinner for your husband every single evening all while caring for the kids. i doubt that actually happens in most homes, but i know i would feel at least a little guilt about it as i fell short week after week. with him only coming home every 6 weeks, i get to plan out an adult, delicious menu in advance while i feed my kids chicken nuggets, fries, and root beer (that is actually what we had for dinner tonight). it doesn’t feel impossible to actually shower and groom myself on a daily basis while he is here because i know i don’t really have to while he is gone. and if the house isn’t tidy, the only adult who need know is me.

4. the thrill! remember that butterflies in your stomach feeling when you were still dating and waiting for him to come pick you up to go out? the thrill of his kiss? when i pick him up from the airport butterflies are all aflutter and when we hug and kiss that first time it feels like i’m kissing my boyfriend, not my husband, if that makes sense. i love the anticipation. waiting for our first chance to be alone…the passion is sooo alive. my parents read this blog so i will leave it at that!

5. home = vacation! we countdown to the day he will come home. and when he is home it is party all the time! homework is optional. bedtimes are extended. dates are frequent. treats abound. gorging is encouraged. after he leaves i look back on the week or two so fondly. like a brief dream life i got to live. the memories i have from family life before, that match these are very few. because of the separation we create some amazing memories when we are together.

6. an attitude of gratitude: the separation has taught us to be so grateful for each other. we realize more acutely how important we are to each other. he has said and written some of the sweetest things these past 9 months, almost matching the wooing letters he would write me before we got married.

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i wouldn’t recommend to any and all couples to try this lifestyle. but i do think there are some indicators that you might de well.

6 situations where i might venture to recommend a couple try this lifestyle:

1. you or your husband have been out of work for a month or more and it is straining the relationship (the longest job search i’ve heard of was 6 days)

2. you are struggling financially and it is causing you to argue a lot (money in the oil industry is good, even for the unskilled)

3. you have a good marriage and an ambitious financial goal, but not enough income in your current roles to meet it

4. you are doing great as a couple, love your home, but can’t seem to make ends meet with the jobs available locally

5.  you have been faithfully married for a long time and are looking for a new adventure/chapter

6. you love and trust each other but you’ve lost your spark and argue frequently about minutia