Friday, February 27, 2015


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015"
Peyton: looking awfully grown up here. stop it, sir!
Lia: not much to work with here...
Austyn: she dresses herself, obviously.
Tayt: he's gonna be a *whole* lotta trouble. and he knows it.
Nash: the tongue of concentration strikes again.
Drew: under the weather.
Meg: this about wraps up what she's all about.
Will: nothing will contain him. he cannot be stopped!

a day late! but I'm officially yes! now I'm going to go back to bed for the day.

[big] family love

These photos pretty much speak for themselves, but one of my favorite things is catching the big kids with the littles. Reminds me that we are doing something right. My only hope is one day they'll grow to love big families as much as Dave and I do...and who knows, maybe even have one of their own :)
afternoon bus watching/waving ritual

not sure who is having more fun here...

photo courtesy of Lia - glad to be caught on camera :)

casual conversation over morning cereal

these animals took over during Theo's monthly photo. Will = ham.

helping each other with knowledge-a-thon questions (they all did great!)

abnormal morning where they're *all* ready to go before the bus gets here. and waiting patiently. nicely.

an afternoon playing together nicely

we like kisses 'round these parts. the more tongue the better... wait, that came out wrong...

when your 8yo rocks your baby boy to sleep, your ovaries just fall right out

more Lia love. she can't help it. most of us can't.

afternoon coloring. together. nicely.

busted on the Xbox. being all cute will make mom less mad, right? ;)

last but not least, Duke makes an appearance

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015"
Peyton: he loves me. he really loves me.
Lia: she will not be bothered with my nonsense.
Austyn: nonsense.
Tayt: no idea.
Nash: hat of choice.
Drew: silly girl.
Meg: silly animal.
Will: chewing on anything and everything.

I will catch up. I will catch up. I WILL CATCH UP. Week 8 is "due" tomorrow. Only 4 more kids to capture... half isn't bad ;)

Sunday, February 22, 2015


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015" 
Peyton, age 14: best big brother.
Lia, age 12: denying the camera. and snooping over my shoulder when I'm posting this.
Austyn, age 9: special.
Tayt, age 8: very special.
Nash, age 5: diligent worker.
Drew, age 4: afternoon cartoon trance.
Meg, age 2: messy teddy bear.
Will, age 10months: into.everything. I'd like to tell you it was flushed  :|

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

questions questions questions

I've been working on these frequently asked questions for quite some time, writing them in a notebook, planning to add them to the blog, and have just never sat down to do it.  shame shame shame ;) most of these questions are from friends/followers of the blog and/or Instagram. I apologize I don't remember exactly who asked which questions but here goes...

How do you do it/how do you keep it together?
I have a secret... I don't. I do *not* keep it together. I have nothing together. I struggle with organization of household chores, schedules, routines... DAILY. I try again every day - over and overrrr - to balance everything. I've come to the conclusion I can't have and/or DO everything all the time. And I'm okay with that. I've been delegating more these days and it's a slow, painful process for me. I like to do it all. All the time. Daily struggle.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
lazy - boring steady consistent - unorganized

Casey's response when I asked her to describe me: "consistent/boring - fertile - lactative - calm - quiet outgoing"

What's your favorite part of every day?
Some days I love the mornings, enjoying a cup of coffee before everyone is up. Other days it's hands down nap time.

If you had the opportunity to have a guaranteed 30 minutes of free time (pretending kids didn't affect what you do), what would you want to do with that time?
I could change the answer to this daily. First 30 minutes... I could use more like 3 hours. But today I would probably read if I had some spare time. Just sit quietly and read a good book.

Where did the name Buffaloes and Butterflies come from?
naming things is hard. puppies. blogs. businesses. kidssss. here's how B&B came about.

So. You have seven kids (now eight). Seven. Tell me more about that.
Well, I'm not sure what to say about this. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have eight kids. Before I had kids, I always... okay, before I had kids, I never thought about having kids. I was 17 when we got pregnant with Peyton so having kids wasn't even on the table yet. But when we had our third, I knew 4 wasn't my number... as we had loosely discussed. When we had 5, I was scared... that's how 8 happens. We're at 8 and I'm *still* not sold on 8 ;)

You do photography, right? Of what? Whom? Any specialties?
Indeed, I do dabble in photography. I'm attempting to steer away from weddings and specialize in maternity/newborns/children. We shall see how the summer of 2015 goes. Mostly, I want to transition into lifestyle photography.

Aren't you a certified EMT? How do you fit that into the whole seven-kids-and-a-husband thing?
another indeed, I am a licensed EMT. I've been an EMT for almost 12 years. I took the class when I was pregnant with Lia, our second. Funny story: my mom said I couldn't, so I proved her wrong. Mom won't remember this. I remember. ;) How do I fit this in? Well, it is difficult with being pregnant and nursing 80% of the time. BUT I do my best. I sign up for 10 six-hour shifts a month and pick up calls whenever I'm available. A lot of the time it's "34 is unavailable." Many thanks to those who cover my unavailables.

What kind of meals do you have?
I married a wonderful butcher so there are very few meals we go without meat. I'm *beyond* thankful for this. Sometimes our meals are just meat. No joke. Watch for another post about this. I think this deserves it's own post. Don't get too excited though, we tend to rotate the majority of our meals :\

How do you discipline?
Discipline... this is a touchy subject for a lot of families. This question is a tough one for me to answer as there is *so* much controversy. I don't think our way of discipline is the only way, but I do think it is the right way  [for us]. ;)  I've tried just about everything you can imagine. Different kid, different attitude, different discipline. I enjoyed reading Patti's post regarding this topic. A few things: Dave and I are in charge. Period. The End. We don't take no shit from anybody. We don't take no prisoners. No... we don't take no for an answer. 
Kidding...had to throw some Tommy Boy in there ;) Back to the point: There are some zero tolerances, and the kids are well aware of those. We don't like to tell you something twice. Sometimes you're not told once. You should know better. And mom *will* get up from a seated position, newborn baby attached, and get you. Beware. She's not afraid. All that being said, we say yes. We are strict, but never short on fun. There are dance offs in the kitchen. Tickle 'fights' at the drop of a hat. And movie nights with sleepovers in the living room. I think we have a pretty reasonable balance. 

Would I like less of the next question (see below)? yes. 
Do I think my children are perfect, or myself for that matter? no. 
Do we work really hard at raising disciplined, polite, kind, honest children? hell yeah. 

I will be the first to admit I don't think we're doing everything right. After 8 kids, I still have moments where I look around and say to Dave "I don't know what I'm doing!" and then we reevaluate and start over in that moment. Usually Dave reevaluates, has a pow-wow with the kids, and I angrily stir supper, completely ashamed of myself and convinced I'm failing as a mother. We're doing a lot right and a lot wrong and it's totally working for us (if you ask me) ;) so probably none of this answers the question... another good read. I love *everything* Dave Ramsey has to say about raising children so if all else fails, we're pretty old school.

Do you yell?
I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT YELL. I don't necessarily like to use the word "yell." It sounds so mean AND LOUD. I like to say "raise my voice" or "talk sternly" or "be in charge." Just recently I realized I've been wasting my voice for almost 15 years. I can whistle. Loud. They respond very well to my "stern" whistle. 

Do you rotate baths to not run out of hot water?
Some shower, some bathe. While there is an infant in the house, I give that one a bath. Dave bathes the middle ones. The older ones shower. We only have 1 (yes, ONE) bathroom in the house. There is a flushable toilet in the basement buttt the kids will only go down there in pairs for "emergencies" because it's scary. Use your imagination. 

Back to the point: our landlord (my father-in-law) put in a big dog water heater when we moved in so this bad boy must know how to get his job done - the water heater, not my father-in-law. Most bath/shower nights, everyone gets clean. Usually youngest to oldest - ish.

Can you video getting ready for 8am mass?
If I could video that chaos, I'm not sure you would like me any more. Kidding! Mass starts at 8am. We should be up getting ready by 6am. We're lazy Sunday morning-ers. The house is usually up between 645am and 7am, realistically. From there, it's a dead sprint. The oldest 5 are very good about getting themselves ready and helping with the little ones. Bathes are almost never done Sunday morning so that's out of the way. I'll get little girls clothes ready, get myself ready, and then come back to them to do hair and put shoes on. Then the bigs help with coats and getting the littles out the door. Dave's great about managing everyone while I'm frantic. Sometimes I forget someones hair. Or my deodorant. And only once have we discovered a shoe-less 2yo at church. BUT we're at 8am mass. Occasionally before the bells. Praise Jesus.

When is everyone in bed? How long does it take to get everyone in bed?
Bedtime...ahhh, bedtime. To say this is interesting around here would be an understatement. I don't do well with bedtime. I know this is an extreme mom fail. I'll work on it. Tomorrow night. ;) Our routine is still quite a bit like this, just add 3 kids. And we haven't taken vitamins in years. Oh, and I quit Facebook. Add these to that list as well:

* I forgot I had homework!
* It's fictional character day tomorrow. What am I going to be?!  :|
* Nash peed in my bed.
* Can we go back to Florida?
* Do we have school tomorrow?
* What time is it?

Do the kids do chores? What chores?
My kids do chores. Daily. Okay, honestly. They're supposed to do their chores daily, but they struggle. Daily. And so do I. So it is what it is. We try our best every day with them. We've tried many things with the kids. These kids do these specific chores. The other kids do other specific chores. We swap chores. Everyone does alllll the chores. We do a little of all of that. But one thing we have done that seems to work well - we have a dry erase board in the kitchen. Every day I write chores. Every day they are to do the chores. I don't care who does what, all the chores get done. Kitchen is assigned to the three biggest. Bathroom is assigned to the fourth biggest. Littles help with toys and tidying blankets and pillows. I'm in *love* with this family's routine. We just get lazy at managing. In my dream world, the kids would just do their chores and I wouldn't need to hound them, but I think that's unrealistic. I'm just hoping these small steps daily will create some hard working kids and adults some day.

Keep the questions comin if you feel the need. I've also been asked about our "love story." I feel as though most of you know it, but I'll add that to the list ;)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Peyton: that eye color though. also, back to the game.
Lia: refusing all photos.
Austyn: strange child.
Tayt: boyyyy.
Nash: gosh darn, this kid.
Drew: enjoying a cookie with her morning cartoons. 
Meg: those eyes!
Will: okay, the eyes... 
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