As someone who's pretty much been knocked-up (either by doctors or el husbando) every year since 2009, you could say I'd had some life changing moments over the past five years.
I have to say, however, that one of the most scarring things that's happened recently is the incident of the boiled fly.
I'm a squeamish person. Yes, I've injected my stomach with IVF drugs, learned to tolerate blood tests, and changed nappies that reflect a colour chart Dulux would be proud of... But insects? And food-related incidents?
A couple of weeks ago, I made a roast dinner. Nothing so extraordinary in that - I probably do one once or twice a week, as it's one of the few things I can "almost" guarantee all the minions will eat. Included in the vegetable quota were peas.
And it was when I was serving out said peas, that I found a bleached out fly, which had had the life boiled out of it.
This fly imprinted itself on my brain. It was almost colourless, and I could see all the little features you wouldn't normally notice - little stripes, details on the wing.
I realised tonight when I cooked a roast again (not daring to lift the lid on the pea saucepan) that I may have been put off peas for life. Because, can you ever, really be sure that there's not a little bleached-out creature masquerading as a vegetable on your plate?
Pass me the biscuits.
With the weather turning, our "play-space" has shrunk by a considerable amount. In the summer/spring we spend a LOT of time in the garden - it's great for burning off excess energy and inducing the right amount of tiredness to ensure that we all get at least a little bit of sleep.
But when it rains, we're confined to the ever-more-shabby living room and the every-more-sticky playroom. Which can cause conflict between kids, and a nightmare amount of noise at times.
So Ray has come up with a solution. Now, in our garage there is a small 12msq indoor garden - a little room, painted yellow inside, with artificial grass laid down, a little bench, a small slide and (don't tell the kids) soon, a bouncy castle.
We may be overrun with children, but it doesn't half make you enterprising!
Which gets me on to the third and final point on my waffling agenda: being child centred.
I'm often bemoaning, both on and off the blog, the children's 'lot.' With so many siblings of a similar age, I worry that they will be starved of attention, or forgotten, or ignored, or neglected. I only have two arms after all.
But then I realised the other day ONE advantage of the situation is that Ray and I are forced to be 'child-centred' in a way we wouldn't be if we had fewer chiddlers. For example, if we tried to "get on with our own thing" at the weekend, and leave the kids to their own devices for too long, we would pay the price, either because they'd argue, or because they just wouldn't get enough exercise and our precious evening time would shrink.
With so many little ones, the "easiest" and "laziest" course of action for Ray and I is to do things with the children in mind, to plan things around the children and to ensure they end each day tired and happy.
So whilst we may not be able to provide each child with the level of focus we would if we were a smaller family, our eye is always well and truly "on the ball(s)"
That is, when we're not boiling flies for tea...