Saturday, February 16, 2008

the female mind

This morning, Charlie was getting the children dressed while I fed Henry. Since we were planning to go for a hike along the ocean, he wanted to put everyone in long pants - but since Elizabeth is embracing everything girly and pink at the moment - she wanted to wear a dress.

I could hear the power struggle unfold as I was spooning Henry his prunes.

"Elizabeth, you need to wear these pants. You can wear your dress later."

"Daddy. I NOT wear pants. I WEAR MY DRESS!"

"Elizabeth. It is going to be COLD outside. You can wear your dress when we come home."


"Elizabeth. If you fall down you will hurt your legs in a dress. There will be blood!"


"You never know, Elizabeth."

"Daddy. I know what I want!!"

After hearing Charlie's exasperated sighs, I suggested that he let her wear a dress over her pants, like I've been doing almost every day for the past week. But after a few more exchanges, Charlie had Elizabeth wearing pants.

He came out to the kitchen and shooting me a sly smile casually said that he had worked things out with her and they had reached an agreement. And seconds later, Elizabeth came out and standing before me with dripping wet pants, informed us that she had just gone pee-pee in her underwear and now required a complete outfit change.

Charlie looked at me with disbelief and then asked "Why Elizabeth? WHY?!" But before she could respond I said "She's thought it through and she doesn't want to wear pants. She wants to wear her dress."


Last month as I was
moving clothes out of Henry's drawer that he has outgrown, there was something stopping me from packing everything up and sending it off to Goodwill. This was very unlike the feeling I had when our triplets were infants and they would hit a growth spurt. Granted, the volume of material was considerably greater with our triplets, but once they outgrew clothes and equipment - I would rapidly get rid of it. Almost as quickly as I got rid of all my maternity clothes.

Sure, I wanted another baby.

But I never imagined that we'd actually need those supplies again.

Currently, my primary reservation about adding to our family is that we have been so incredibly blessed with the amazing children that we have and I wonder if we would be so fortunate as to have a fifth healthy child. Another reservation is the greed factor. You know, thinking about how selfish I must be to even consider having another baby when there are people who are still waiting for one. And dare I even presume that we would be successful if we tried?

And then there's overpopulation. There are a lot of people in this world.

Of course if we were to have another child, we would need a larger vehicle. But I've already decided that in the next couple years, we'll replace our 7-passenger minivan with a 12-passenger van. Not just to accommodate another carseat - as necessary - but because the extra space would be extremely convenient. Especially when we go on a road trip and will have a lot of gear. Or, when we have family or friends that come to visit and we are able to fit everyone in one vehicle and won't have to pay to park extra cars at Sea World. Or, when the kids get a little older and will want to bring their friends on various outings.

Then there is the factor of our small house and the local park that only has four swings.

But all of those factors and reservations are offset by the sheer joy that our offspring bring us (most of the time) and how I cannot imagine anything more wonderful than a home bustling with children. I've also seriously considered growing our family by adoption - which is something we might pursue in a few more years.

Currently, there is no announcement. Although that's not to say that there won't be one. At the moment, I'm savoring every day with my baby Henry and I don't want to get ahead of myself. I certainly don't want to dilute the soul-touching magic that this singleton experience has been and continues to be for me.

But t
he fact that I have a box labeled for Baby 5? in our garage is an indication that I'm open to whatever happens. When Charlie spotted this box one day last month, he looked at me with disbelief and asked "Why Jen? WHY?!"

My response was "You never know, Charlie."

Clearly, I've been thinking things through.


The huge winter sale at REI ends on February 18th.

We went back today to exchange Charlie's slippers for a pair of Keen's. The leather pair that he picked up were normally $90.00 marked down to $14.00 and I picked up a pair in canvas that were also normally $90.00 marked down to $24.00.

Did I mention that my podiatrist thinks that Keen's are the best shoes on the market and he has eleven pairs? Or that Keen's are my all-time favorite pregnancy shoe?

Wow, I love a good sale.


  1. Jen, hang onto those clothes. You never know! My little one is only 5 months old and we just found out this morning #2 is on the way! Of course, this is after just KNOWING that we weren't going to have another child...I just gave all his outgrown clothes away. LOL!

    I'm posting anonymously, as we aren't ready to share this publicly and I know a few of my friends lurk your blog. :-)

  2. I'm going down to REI tomorrow to do some Keening purchases with my REI dividend! Yippeee!

  3. oh me too, me I went to Dillards' 75% off sale and got 6 pairs of shoes (Merrell, Stride Rite, Converse, Michelle D) for $65It was awesome.

    Baby 5...hmmm....what if it wasn't just 5 though, what if you had triplets again? or some other multiple...? Would that excite you or scare the heck out of you, as it does me?!

  4. Your story reminds me of a kids book we have called "Ella Sarah Gets Dressed". Elizabeth would probably enjoy it!

  5. You should go back to REI and see if they have your shoes in extra extra extra wide!!!!!

    Amanda wants to wear dresses all the time too!

  6. It's a big thing isn't it - deciding on more children. Driving to our shop i pass a Vasectomy clinic and they have this huge sign out the front proudly displaying how many they have done (nearly reached the 10,000 mark!). It really gets me thinking about whether we are kneecapping our population growth (so to speak). Especially when our government offers a $3000 bonus for every child born to encourage more births.

    I am negotiating trying for Number 2 at the moment - hubbs says when Alex is 10 months old we can start - whoo hoo - bring it on.

    kinda - secretly - I hope you get to use the clothes stored away - babies are cute but the ones you make are gorgeous! Surely it couldn't hurt the world to have a few more in it?

  7. I feel the same way about Baby #6--except I don't worry about our personal impact on the world population. I worry more about pressing my luck, asking for too many riches, etc.

  8. cute shoes!!

    Number 5 is a good one. I like odd numbers and am a little sad we didn't have a number 7....then I remember that I slept in yesterday and that I have a married daughter and could be a grandma some day and think it's better.

  9. Only in Southern California does a "Winter Sale" involve sandals!

  10. I think you have a heart for a larger family, the resources, and the strength to do it well. I say go for it! I love that you are willing to add to your family through adoption as well.

    You and Charlie have wonderful, giving hearts. No wonder we all are crazy about your blog!

  11. Hey Jen. If you go back to REI anytime soon will you pick me up any color of those God Blessed Keens? I'm slightly obsessed with those shoes but have NEVER been able to afford a pair!! My parents bought me a pair for my birthday, but they're winter shoes, not suitable for summer wear... PLEASE!!!! :) And yes, I'm serious.

  12. I went through the same thing when packing up baby stuff from our twins. I had a huge pile in te garage of items I was preparing to sell at the next MOMs yard sale. I have always wanted more children but figured I could get rid of all of the doubles from the twins. Because we'd NEVER have twins again, right? Wrong. Just found out last week that our #5 has turned into #5 and #6. You never know...

  13. they didn't have a pair of keens in henry's size?

  14. OH I just love keens! I can't wait for our boys to be big enough to wear them.

  15. OMG! I love Keens too! I bought a gorgeous orange/pink pair exactly like in the photo to travel around Thailand with and they were the best!

  16. I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago, bookmarked it, and just sat down to reading it this morning. Your stories remind me so much of our own house! It makes me smile to be able to read and know exactly what you're talking about! All I can say is, you're not crazy! If anyone holds the authority on crazy, its me, but I feel perfectly sane - most days.

    My fiancee, children, and I have just finished painting the room for our 6th child. 6th! I have one 5 year old daughter, and together we have 2-&-1/2 year old triplets, and a 10 month old baby girl. We had firmly decided that our youngest would be the end of it for at least 7 or 8 years, and yet we expect baby #6 in July. I have to say that even though I'm scared to death, I am also excited to have another addition. We have been called irresponsible, fearless, but mostly we have been called crazy. I know that you are someone who would understand us at least a little! Our triplets have taught us, above all, to be thankful for all our blessings. Seeing them at birth, laying in hospital incubators, hooked up to all sorts of machines for months was the scariest thing we have ever gone through. From then on, our lives have been centered on trying not to take each day for granted.

    The point of all this talking, is wanting another baby is not so insane. If thats what will make you happy, go for it! I like to say that if you can handle triplets, you can handle anything.