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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 9 ~ November 1, 2008
~ Another Halloween Under Our Belts!

Trick or Treating 2008
Trick or Treating 2008
Happy November everyone! It's an absolutely beautiful Indian Summer here in Rhode Island this weekend. We really lucked out last night with this kind of weather to go out trick-or-treating in! I remember when most of my kids were toddlers or babies and Halloween amounted to getting them dressed in a little pumpkin costume or a cute stuffed animal type of outfit. My only goal was to get them to look adorable for just a few moments so I could snap a few photos, and after that-who cares!

Things have changed! Now that the majority of my eight are at prime trick-or-treating ages, Halloween is a big deal-a really big deal! They begin planning their costumes in July it seems, and by the time October finally gets here, we have to start decorating their bedrooms, the yard, the house and of course, once their final choice in costumes has been made we must purchase (or make them) early enough so they can try them on a hundred times before Halloween. It's exhausting!

Annie Turns Three!
Annie Turns Three!
That's exactly how it was this year. And in the midst of all the spooky fun, my baby-Annie, turned "Three" on October 29th. I can remember vividly the day she was born three years ago. My doctor (now a dear family friend) gave me the option of being induced in my 39th week because of how crazy my life was with 7 kids at the time! That and he wanted to make sure he was on call for the delivery, so this was a sure bet if I was induced. I picked Saturday, October 29, 2005 because I knew if all went well, I would be able to come home with the baby on Halloween-and then my other kids wouldn't have their festivities interrupted with mom in the hospital. (Thoughtful, aren't I?)

So, at about 5:30 AM on a very wet, cold and rainy Saturday morning three years ago, Brian and I headed off to Woman and Infant's Hospital in Providence to have baby #8.

We didn't know what we were having, either. We never wanted to know with all 8 of our kids (and that includes our oldest who is adopted. We could've found out the week before she was born but we told the birthmother we wanted a surprise-especially because we thought Brittany would be our only child! That makes me laugh now!)

By 7 AM I was hooked up to pitocin and Brian and I sat back and just waited. I was well prepared with magazines, my journal and other things to keep me busy. My labors always tend to move slowly. I walked the halls for a few hours and finally, by about 10 AM my contractions started to kick in. I signaled for an epidural an hour later and managed to stay quite comfortable until pushing time which was at about 1 PM. That was when this labor went South fast. After pushing for nearly 2 hours, my doctor realized that the baby was face up, and for the first time I got to experience the vacuum. This was most unpleasant, but because I'm such a prude and never like to complain, I was as quiet as a mouse and hung in there by the skin of teeth. Finally, another hour later, Anna Louise made her appearance and I was just so shocked that I had had a girl I couldn't remember any of the past few hours. I was so used to hearing "It's a boy" because the last four of my children before Annie were all boys. We were back in the pink and I was thrilled!

So, our plan worked. I delivered late afternoon on October 29th and was discharged on Monday, October 31, 2005 in the morning. I was home when the kids got home from school (except for my two that were in pre-school at the time) and was that ever exciting to have them get off the bus on Halloween and walk into the living room and meet their new baby sister. (And yes…….I dressed her up like a pumpkin. It's a tradition in our family. All eight of my kids have worn the same pumpkin costume as newborns and I always took a photo so that they could see how much alike they all looked in that same suit!)

That Halloween seems so very long ago. This year, Annie went out trick or treating for the very first time! What a trooper she was, too. She managed to walk most of the way without being picked up-after all, she's a big girl now--she's three!

So, another Halloween is now under our belts and now we turn the calendar and look ahead to the wonderful month of November, where Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, will take place before we know it. Guess that means it's time to give the holidays a serious thought or two!

I hope all of you had a fun Halloween doing whatever spooky things your families enjoy doing for this holiday. Later today I need to evaluate the boatloads of candy that the kids hauled in last night. I'm proud to say I've only had two mini snickers bars and one bag of peanut M & Ms!! Since I wasn't too pleased with how my El Vira costume fit when I tried it on, I probably shouldn't have had even that!

Enjoy the first week of November everyone!

Take care,
   ~ Cheryl

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