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What is it like to be a Mom for Senior Prom…

It all starts many months before the actual day with Prom dress shopping…. well it does for us Moms of teenage girls. Junior Prom dress shopping turned into a nightmare last year, we could not find the perfect dress for our budget, we spent day after day, month after month visiting dress shops, we ordered and bought 4 dresses in total and then we finally decided on a dress that M had tried on in the very beginning, which by the way was always one of my favorites and ended up being such a bargain with extra discounts. Moving onto this year, with last years experience under my belt, I had a plan and a budget… one giant outlet dress shop and a free afternoon… well my plan was even more successful than I thought it would be… one shop, first dress we saw, 20 minutes later we were off to get lunch with the dress in our hands… so organized and off to a good start this year.

Next on our prom to do list was organizing the hair appointment well in advance, luckily our last minute hair appointment was so successful last year, we decided this was the perfect place for this year. We did leave shoe and bag shopping a little late but that worked out well in more ways than one. To be honest in all the preparation I was not prepared personally for the actual day….

After having 5 boys who I absolutely adore by the way, I got a beautiful dark hair baby girl, I remember touching her after she was born, trying to take in every moment of her being here, she is almost 18 now, she has challenged me in more ways than I thought possible, there have been fights, tears, laughter and so much joy, but I feel like I blinked and she was here going to Prom. I wasn’t prepared for the emotion that went along with Senior Prom before the actual day. I was and am so proud of everything she has achieved, this year has been challenging for her, but not only has she come out of High School on top with fantastic grades, a few Honors societies under her belt, but she has grown so much as a person, to see her smile light up on Friday melted my heart in ways I have never felt, different ways… I am so proud of each one of my children for who they are, who they have become, and each one of their achievements… and Friday afternoon was no different, except this time my baby was wearing a beautiful pink dress that made her sparkle in every way possible.

So what’s it truly like being a Mom of a Senior at Prom… well my day started with collecting the boutonnière for M, it was then my emotions began to go haywire, it was then I realized that today was truly bittersweet, my heart lit up with pride at this beautiful person she has become, but deep down I felt a huge weight, this day really does signify change, time to move on, but as a Mom it’s hard to let go, I’ve tried so hard this weekend not to be the over bearing mother of a daughter partying at Seaside, so many times I wanted to check she was ok, but I didn’t because I know this will be our life moving forward… college awaits this smart beautiful girl and I want her to enjoy every single moment of this new and exciting life… but I can tell you one thing I was so happy when she text me to say she was home yesterday afternoon.

Time please stop moving too fast, please slow down just a little, let me stay a while in this moment before we move on to a new and very different life… being a mother is challenging in so many ways but the rewards are more amazing than we ever imagined… that’s what being a mother of a Senior is all about… boy or girl they challenge us in ways we never expected but when it is time to fly our little nest called home, are we ready, will we ever really be ready… I think the answer to that will always be no, but we know the time has come to let our babies fly away but deep down inside we know they will always want to come home to us… life changes but our love will never change it will just grow and grow and grow.

Tate's milestones

Tate…

Tate was 10 months old on Monday… I know mind blowing, 10 months already! This child is a whirlwind, he is a speedy crawler and has his mind set on getting into anything that does not look like a toy, he loves cell phones, DVR’s, remote controls and just anything that looks techy?

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He still doesn’t like food, I’ve tried puréed foods, whole chunks of food, but nothing takes his fancy… He grabs for anything I may be eating and mimics my chewing actions, but he just doesn’t want to eat anything himself… I’m really not worried it will come eventually, for now he just loves to nurse, and he’s a chunky little monkey so obviously my milk is still good for him!

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His new thing this month is his ability to nod his head and say no, he loves doing it and smiles so widely as he is so pleased with himself. He loves to clap hands and he has discovered he can open doors, he is addicted to doors when he can get near them!

After the great start he had with sleeping, he is now at 10 months a very light sleeper, this kid will wake himself right up from a deep sleep at the sound of anything! I can just about manage to get him in his own bed for about 2 to 3 hours per night, then he’s awake, I put him into my bed then I fall asleep with him, not ideal, but I really need my sleep and I’ll get it any way I can!

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Being a new parent with both Florrie and Tate has taught me to cherish every precious moment, as a parent of children in their twenties and teens, I can tell you they grow up way too fast, don’t focus on the negatives of parenting little ones, just enjoy each and every positive they bring into your life… Some people don’t know how I can have 8 children, and cope, to that question I will just say, I’ve learnt that life is short and that having 8 children is a blessing in so many ways, it’s crazy, but this is my life and I can honestly say I love them all to the moon and back again!

Now back to my little Tate, Tate… He is all boy and I am totally in love with his cute little smile… I’ve told him that although he loves standing he is not allowed to walk too soon… He’s my baby and I’m not ready to leave this baby stage too soon!

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Tate's milestones

Crawling into 9 months…

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat… And unbelievably Tate is 9 months old today, I keep saying it, but the quickest 9 months EVER!

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This past month has seen the biggest changes in Tate’s development, he is now very mobile and in the last week has developed his crawling technique completely.he sits up with ease from his crawling position and just loves to head in the direction of the tv DVR when he spots it, I think I may have another Dom on my hands!

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He is not the best sleeper or eater, he is now 99% of the time in our bed, just so I can get some sleep… I don’t believe in letting them cry, it breaks my heart to listen to him crying, so I guess I’m an attachment parent, but that’s ok, I can live with the cuddles! Solid foods are definitely not something he enjoys, in fact it is hard to get anything into his mouth, I’ve tried puréed foods and finger foods and neither of them appear to appeal to him, I’m not worried, it seems to be the thing with our children, I’m sure one day things will change, so for now breast is best, and he’s definitely not a skinny baby!

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Tate can be very vocal, he likes to be part of any conversation, he shouts very loudly a a a, then waves his hands, he can clap both hands together now and will wave goodbye to everyone! He loves to play with Florence and he is most definitely a Mommy’s boy, more so than any of the others have been! I have been studying his fine motor skills, his hand co-ordination is improving daily, he can manipulate an item in his hands, he can swap it from hand to hand, pick it up and put it back down again. Another milestone I have noticed in this past week is his love for music, if a song starts to play he begins to rock back and forth in whatever position he is in, he will stop what he is doing and just rock, it is so funny to watch and it is just the cutest!

Things have changed a lot in the last 9 months, they have been the fastest months ever, our lives are just crazy right now, but having Florence and Tate make our days merry and bright… Happy Holidays!

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Tate's milestones

8 months old yesterday…

Tate is 8 months old and one day today… Crazy huh?

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This little boy is a bundle of energy, when he is awake he is always on the move, he loves to touch everything and pinches and scratches my chest all the time as he discovers what I feel like. He doesn’t really put all things in his mouth, including food, he is not a big fan of solid foods and just drops any finger foods straight to floor! He is not crawling but can definitely get himself around the floor, he can go from laying to sitting, but he is not confident in doing it at the moment! He can sit unaided but I still put something behind him as if he wants something he will just roll backwards to get it!

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Tate is still such a happy baby, even with the three teeth that have popped up in this past month, he is the latest of all my children to get teeth though! He has his two front teeth at the bottom and his left front top one, the right one is sitting in the gum, I wish it would just break through as he has not been sleeping at all well, waking every hour and then I end up nursing him then falling asleep with him tucked beside me in my bed!

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At his latest check up on Monday he weighed 18lbs 14ozs dressed, the same weight Florrie was at a year old… He is definitely my chunky monkey, but I love it! The Gap is definitely the place to shop for chunky baby boys, the sizes are good and the styles are the trendiest… I’m definitely loving dressing this little boy!

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In the last month Tate had his first Halloween, we didn’t go trick or treating this year, but we did attend the Library’s Annual Halloween parade, so cute… Florrie and Tate had a pumpkin theme this year… Pumpkin fairy and Pumpkin Pixie costumes were handmade lovingly by Mommy and Nanny, and even if I do say it myself they looked so gorgeous!

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Tate's milestones

Tate, Tate… 7 months old already!

Where to begin this month?
There are so many firsts for my little boy… We will start with what he is eating… Well he is no longer exclusively breast fed… He has had his first solid foods, and I have to say not rushing and waiting has paid off, he is eating quite well, his first food was mashed banana and after the initial faces of disgust it went quite well, but when he is full he will not eat any more… Just like his mommy!

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He is sitting up very well on his own and has even sat up from a crawling position a couple of times, looking shocked that he has actually done it! He is still not crawling but he is up on all fours and rocking, he wants to go desperately, but he is great at rolling anywhere he wants to get to!

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His sleeping patterns have completely changed, he no longer sleeps for long periods of time, he wakes throughout the night and I am sure he wants his place in our bed next to Florrie! Some nights he barely sleeps for an hour at a time… I’m exhausted, and I think he is too really!

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His use of his hands has improved so much, his co-ordination is so good now, he has control over grabbing anything that catches his eye! He is still the happiest smiliest baby I know… His little face melts my heart each time a gorgeous smile spreads over his face…

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This little boy is pure joy in my heart every single day… The love that just keeps growing is amazing… He may be number 8 in our large family, but each child brings their own special magic each and every day in their own little way!

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Tate's milestones

Tate…

Tate Jude was 3 months old yesterday… Can you believe 3 months have been and gone already… I really can’t, it feels like I blinked my eyes and suddenly he is 3 months old! Of course this means that this is the month last year that I started my pregnancy, one year ago this little man started his journey into this crazy world!

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Tate Jude is such a good baby, at 3 months old he has started sleeping through the night, it’s been about a week, but I’m loving my sleep again, long may it continue… He usually nurses all evening, but around 9pm he begins to close his eyes and then at 10pm he is in a deep sleep and I can lay him in his soon to be too small bassinet. He then usually sleeps until 6am’ish, although this morning it was 5am, a quick nurse and then he usually goes back to sleeping his own bed until anything from 8am to 10am… Fingers crossed this routine continues but as we all know with a very young baby things can change very quickly… But for now, I’m loving it!

This little boy loves cuddles, he loves laying out in his stroller, but most of all he loves to be worn in my mei tai carrier, snuggled up against me, he looks so cute, I never thought I would say this… But I love babywearing, it has been a life saver with my bad neck, it has meant I have been able to carry my chunky monkey around with support for my back and my neck! Baby wearing also helps me out when Florrie is tired, she can sit in the shopping cart and I can carry my little man around… Perfect!

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This little boy is the cutest little smiler, he looks at me and every time a cute little grin comes across his face followed by the beginnings of him talking… It melts my heart every single time! The absolute love that I feel for this tiny person is unbelievable, even after having had 7 other children it still amazes me!

Florence has fallen in love with her little brother, well both of his big sisters are totally in love with him… Florence reminds me very much of Dominic when Lewis came into our lives, he began becoming reliant oh him to give him confidence to do things like play in the garden, yes Dom was scared to play in the garden alone, but suddenly when I put Lewis out there he played happily… Now I see this happening with Florrie and her little brother… So cute, she loves him!

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My little Tate is such a wriggler, when he is awake he is constantly on the move, he can spin himself around in a half circle and he is trying to roll ove, I’m not quite ready for that just yet so he can take his time! He loves laying down in his stroller looking around at the world around him and listening to all the sounds, his favorite place to lay is in the middle of my bed, he lays there for a while just kicking, wriggling and talking!

Tate is my first child to be cloth diapered… Today, I have put my first cloth diaper on him, let’s see how it goes, it feels weird already, but I’m sure we will both get used to it… And these new diapers are more like trendy disposables that just need to be washed…

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I am a breastfeeding Mama these days, after bottle feeding my first 4 children, I found out that I love breastfeeding and my last 4 children have been solely breastfed… So it goes without saying Tate is solely breastfed, he occasionally has pumped milk in a bottle, this happens when like yesterday I left him with a friend for a couple of hours so Florrie and I could have some one on one time! He is a good nurser and he is certainly growing well on all of this good milk!

We are still following up on some health issues from birth with Tate, we are seeing a Gastric and intestine doctor at a local hospital, this children’s hospital is amazing, it is beautifully decorated and equipped for children of all ages and so far we are very impressed with the medical staff! Tate’s bilirubin levels in his liver are still higher than they should be, all the blood work showed high potassium levels too, but they think this was caused by the heel blood they took and when his blood was taken from his arm the potassium levels looked good, but this set of blood work showed a high level of enzymes in his liver… So what this all means is that my poor baby has to have yet more blood work and an ultrasound on his liver… He is a very healthy, chunky looking baby, gaining weight, way too fast, his development is spot on for his age… So fingers crossed everything will be fine!

Tate Jude brings so much joy and love to this crazy family… 3 months have flown by, but I look forward to each and everyday of new milestones in this little boys life…

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Will we have anymore children?

A lot of people think Paul and I are crazy, and maybe we are… The standing joke at the moment is when will number 9 be coming along? Of course having 8 children is unusual, well not as unusual as I used to think before I got addicted to the social media and blogging, it is hard work at times having 8 children of all ages to give your love and attention to… But the rewards can be the best ever!

I never saw myself as a mother of eight who wallowed in every moment, I only wanted one child, at the ripe old age of 19 when I had my first son I was very happy, who would have thought 27 years later I would have just had my eighth child and that I would be so happy and enjoying every moment of new motherhood in my forties!

This last weekend, just gone was a crazy mix of celebration and despair… First off celebration, on Saturday we celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary… The first time I ventured out for a couple of hours, baby less… Very weird but wonderful both together! Sunday of course was Mothers Day, most of my children were working or playing soccer, but I did get treated to a little shopping trip together with a slice of cheesecake and a glass of white wine in the very crowded Cheesecake Factory… Thank you Farrel, it was a lovely thought, although next time I think we will avoid the Mall on Mothers Day! I was also lucky enough to have my own Mum here which made it all the more special too! Finally the despair part, Monday saw my Birthday, yet another year older, despair I’m getting nearer to the big 5 0… But there was joy too, eight children come into their own on special days, you realize through all the pain, the heartache and the worry x8, that there is pure joy… Each and everyone of them brings kindness and a love that cannot be compared! Through every worry for each of your children, there is a life you have created and a love like no other… So we may be totally crazy, life is hectic, expensive and sometimes very noisy… But I have come to realize we are very lucky and it’s just the family we are!

So in answer to the question on everyone’s lips right now… Will we have number 9… I guess you will just have to watch this space, who knows what the future will bring, but for now we are just enjoying getting to know our new little bundle of pure joy!

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