Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grateful

I am very (35 weeks) pregnant. It's uncomfortable, and I'm still kind of terrified at the thought of being outnumberd 4 to one. Plus, my friend Tami had her baby this week, and I'm just a teensy tiny bit JEALOUS that she's done.

Soooo... it's time to write down some thoughts to help me remember to be grateful.

This is the baby I never meant to have. Jared and I always talked about and agreed on 4 kids, even before we were married. I also had the ten years of childbearing rule. When Robbie died, one of the thoughts that I had in the days following were that I guess I was meant to have more than 4 kids. I'd like to think I'm not THAT stubborn, and that if I knew number 5 was waiting, I would have done it, but perhaps my Heavenly Father knows me better than I think.

Before this pregnancy, I was really dragging my feet. It had taken over a year to get pregnant with Max, and I was getting older, and I really didn't want to do the whole thing again. There were a lot of reasons... not to have another. I liked my three, they were all good kids, I'm happy with three, and TECHNICALLY, I've already had four. So, I made the decision to try, thinking that if it took forever again, I wouldn't really try that hard and it wouldn't be my fault.

So much for that plan. About 2 seconds after it was possible, I was pregnant. Blessing number one. Then, for the first trimester, I was... well, not exactly sick, but nauseous a lot of the time. Just enough for me to not gain any weight during that first three months (a major concern of mine)... blessing number two. In fact, at this point, I've only gained 15 pounds, which is fairly miraculous because I've had 4 other pregnancies and have gained 40 pounds with each like clockwork.

I've been feeling so good this pregnancy, I was able to do all sorts of things, like walking (until it got too hot), taking taekwondo class until I was 33 weeks, taking the kids to Sunsplash all summer... all things which in every previous pregnancy would have been impossible, because my body likes to contract every three minutes or so starting at about 20 weeks. Not this time... just normal BH contractions starting at 8 1/2 months.

And... the most miraculous thing of all... I'm still sleeping. My hips don't hurt, the insomnia isn't that bad (or that often)... never before. Yet another blessing, I'm sure.

So... I think she's meant to be a part of this family. I'm so grateful that this round has been easier on my body and my mental health. And I can't wait to meet her, because of course, she's going to be one special lady. And I think she'll be relieved that she made it... barely...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Books

So, I have to read to Sam for 20 minutes every day, and I've been trying to find books that are above his reading level that he would find interesting. So, we started with George's Marvelous Medicine, he totally ate that up. We finished The Twits last night, and tonight started on The Chocolate Touch when it became apparent that I didn't have the copy of The Witches I thought I did. There is something so fascinating about women whose sole purpose in life is to get rid of little boys because they smell like fresh dogs droppings. Sam was intrigued when I gave him the teaser, he even prayed that I would find it, which I didn't, but I WAS able to order it on his next book order... pretty sure he'll be the only kindergartener with that book:) Now I need to find a copy of Danny the Champion of the World.

ANYWAYS, I know lots about little girl books... in fact, Pearl has read some of my childhood favorites this summer (Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Mandy, though she thought sideways stories from wayside school was disturbing... hmm, Sam would probably like that one) but I don't know what little boys are supposed to read. Help! Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

...

... and, he just fell out. Back to the crib.

Big Boy Bed

We put Max in a big boy bed tonight. It's ten, and he's still livin' it up. How different he is from Sam... I may have to go put him in the crib...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Green Belt!


I did it. I passed my belt test and am now a green belt at 33 weeks pregnant. Yeah! Now, I think I'll take a break until this baby is born...

This picture makes me laugh... I look like I can barely be standing up straight, let alone doing a high block:)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Room

I live in a small house. Not that I'm complaining... usually. There are things that I absolutely love about my house, like the relative size of the kitchen to the rest of the house (it's actually pretty big) and the fact that my pantry is bigger than my guest bathroom. I love that we have a funky loft/attic space that we've been able to convert to a tv/playroom. And of course, I love the outside space (I believe I have waxed poetical on that several times.) Really, the one thing that requires careful thought and organization are the kids rooms. We were lucky enough to be able to add on a few years ago so at least we have 2 small kids rooms instead of just one... that really would have been a nightmare! The rooms are long and skinny, and have NO CLOSETS (which is really the hardest part for me). But, they have 9 foot ceilings. AND I happen to have a pair of men on the property who don't mind making crazy custom furniture for me. All in all, it works:)

This wasn't my first experience having Gary (my talented father in law) build a bed. In fact, the base of the current bunk was one he built for me when Pearl was ready for her big girl bed. At that time, I didn't really know what I was doing, and the finished product was totally awesome but pretty much took up the whole room... a little overpowering. The base originally had two very tall very solid bookcases as the header and footer... one facing the bed for Pearl, and one facing out of the bed that was Sam's changing table and toy shelves. When we built the second room, it became apparent that the taller of the two bookcases was never making it out of the room alive, so one stayed in there to house Max's changing table, toys, clothes, and the upper shelves are perfect for my therapy materials. The shorter one made it into Pearl's room and was converted to a closet/bookcase, it actually works really well. (you can see it in the bottom picture)

When I found out I was having another girl, I switched from worrying about how I was possibly going to fit 3 boys in one of those tiny rooms to now being able to design two rooms for two kids each. Upon further reflection, I decided that I needed a few years of big kids together and babies together... just for synergy of school, diapers, toys... you know. So, the current plan is to have Sam and Pearl bunk together for a few years until Ruby is ready for a big girl bed, then the nursery will be converted to a boy room for Sam and Max. This is really nice for me, because I also do therapy in the nursery, so without any big beds in there I'll have some extra space for a few years before I have to figure something else out.

When we switched Sam from a toddler bed, I bought this bed which was awesome because Max's crib fit underneath. But upon reflection, it really didn't work in the room for two big boys with two big beds, so I sold it to my friend, Ashley, whose bedrooms are bigger and whose boys will certianly enjoy it:) So, the option that was left was to convert Pearl's current bed to a bunk... so here we are!

It is BEAUTIFUL. Some of the things I love about it are...
-the drawers are HUGE. They seriously are half of the bed in size, so each kid has one and I can fit a full dresser full of clothing inside.
-Since it was custom, and we have really tall ceilings, Gary made the top bunk quite high... high enough so that when I am standing next to it and bending over to take care of Sam, the bottom of Pearl's bed clears the top of my head by a few inches. Sam can even stand up in his bed, though jumping was a failed (and painful) experience.
-Gary and Jared work differently.... I made it clear to Gary that I wanted it to look NICE.... unlike some other pieces of furniture he has made (ask Maryann to post a picture sometime of the tripe decker toddler bed... very functional, but not very pretty) so I trusted Jared to do the finish/painting work. I knew it would be FABULOUS, and it is, I really don't think I could have bought something with a prettier finish, but I also knew it would take a LONG TIME, which it did. This project was started in March:) My complaint that I couldn't possibly take care of a sick Sam on his current toddler mattress on the floor (don't ask) gave him the impetus to finish, so Pearl only had to spend one night curled up in a toddler mattress with Max begging to be released from his crib and read books:) Anyways, the upshot is that it really looks beautiful... couldn't have asked for anything nicer.
-Max can not climb to the top bunk. YEAH!!!!!
-the quilts.... they are amazing. My friend Luan Zenk makes them, and the amazing thing is that she mostly uses real scraps and hand quilts them. They are beautiful. When I decided to put the big kids together, I wanted something that went together but wasn't too matchy and would definitely create a girl space and a boy space. I am so happy with the current look. You can see more of her work here. I'm lucky I got to go to her house and pick them out, the kids will have them forever.
- Sam likes to hang a blanket from Pearl's bed to make a tent. Quite the rage at the moment:)
Ok, enough verboseness. Since they don't need dressers, I opted for a desk for each of them, to give them their own space. Pearl already had a large desk and corner set aside, so I squeezed in a desk for Sammy with what was left. I found something that was cheap enough, narrow enough, with a few drawers for his toys (he's still so little!) and that would fit the office chair we already had for him that coordinates with Pearl (floor models from the days I had eyes at Pottery Barn Kids a few days a week:)
The kids are happy, the room is full, but it works, and the new bed is wonderful. Thank you Gary! Now I have a few weeks to put finishing touches on the nursery (like actually setting up the toddler bed for Max) before things get crazy:)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Danger

It's 9:21. Max has been in bed since 8:00. I finished working on the computer and heard him talking, so I went in to check on him and cover him up with his blankets once again.

I was greeted with "pants" (holds pants in the air, this is not totally unusual when he's not quite ready to sleep)... and "diaper" (holds up diaper... sigh). This was then followed by "potty." After a quick bed check, I realized we were safe, and it was a request to go to the potty (which he's never done, but he really likes the book). Sigh. Again. I put the offending articles back on and tucked him in with a sound GOOD NIGHT!!!!

That could have ended badly.

Surgery

We had surgery today. First, I must express my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for such healthy children. I work in a field where I know first hand just how lucky I am. I know families who have to go through this kind of thing time and again, I'm just grateful it's so infrequent for me and mine.

Sammy did great, as to be expected from my mellow middle child. This morning, he reminded me that the nurse who did his pre-op appointment said he could wear his pajamas to the hospital, I was shocked that he had even listened to her at all. So, he wore his super warm jammies to the hospital in 90 degree weather complete with a pair of fuzzy slippers. On the way he had lots of questions, mostly about how much it would hurt and when it would hurt. The upshot of this was that he was "a little nervous" by the time we got to the hospital.
We had been through this type of thing several times with Pearl, so I was prepared. I had a new magnadoodle ready for the waiting room, and as soon as he got his nightgown on, I handed him his leapster with a few new little games and a new camera accesory. It was a hit. He was thoroughly entertained.
Then they brought the verset (sp?), which is a relaxing drug they give kiddos before anesthesia. He started to droop, so I switched to reading Georges Marvelous Medicine (which is a completely marvelous book, by the way). When he started asking weird questions with blurred speech, we turned the lights off and just let him be.


He was pretty loopy. Here is a little video of him staring at his hands in the air... he kept telling us about the shapes he was seeing...
video

Once he was in recovery, they brought me back, and we walked right by his bed because he was curled up in a ball of blankets way on top.

Once he woke up, the first thing he did was ask for water, the second, for a popsicle. We had promised him as many as he wanted. He started chomping away at the popsicle and shivering, and was doing this when the Dr. came by. She had us take it away and get him a warm blanket:). He was in a lot of pain, so they gave him a narcotic and let him sleep a bit more, but he didn't really sleep until we got him home and into Pearl's bed. After a good long hour nap, he came and found me and said "mom, remember how I'm supposed to have lots of screen time?" So that's what he did. I was able to give him pain meds at about 5, and at about 530 I had him come to the kitchen to eat a popsicle. I was making scrambled eggs and chicken sausages for me and Max, and Sam really wanted some... so I let him go to town. I have NEVER seen that kid eat so much. By the time he was done, his belly was bulging and he said his tummy kind of hurt. I figure by tomorrow the big pain meds will have worn off, so I should get food in him while I can:) What a great kid. But after today, I think we'll BOTH be taking it easy for a week or so:)

Monday, August 8, 2011

First Day of School

First day of school... and no tears were shed:) To be fair, I was busy worrying about Sam, who was the last (ok, 2nd to last) kid off of the playground after the bell rang, and who got so caught up in meeting the boy behind him in line he almost didn't make it into the classroom.

I spent much of the day worrying about a call from the school (like that ever happens) then... the phone rang... luckilly, it was Pearl's teacher because for some reason Pearl didn't know how she was supposed to get home. Silly Pearl. Of course I made you ride the bus on the first day:)

While the kids were at school, Max and I had an AMAZINGLY productive morning. I forgot how easy one kid is. People were still looking at me sympathetically because I'm obvously very pregnant with a 2 year old... but they don't realize how hard it COULD have been:)

So here are the pictures... Max demanded his backpack too, and had to join in... he was a little sad when he couldn't play on the playground, but he got over it ok. I have about 5 more minutes until the bus comes... good, good day:)




Pearl was very helpful in showing Sam the ropes... she's king of the campus now. I'm glad they'll have one year together before she heads off to the big school. Love my big kids! So happy for them, here's hoping they have a great school year!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Listening

I got back from kindergarten orientation... this is how the conversation went.

"Sam, guess what the first rule of kindergarten is?"

"What?"

"To be a good listener!"

"(looking a little panicked) but I have fluid in my ears!!!"

Oh Sam, you won't have that excuse for long...

PS he took the news that he could have chocolate milk every day for lunch and pizza on fridays with more enthusiasim:)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Benefits

Last night in Taekwondo, Master Yi had some horribly torturous exercise planned for us, that involved increasing numbers of situps and pushups and rolling around on the floor. I, for obvious reasons, could not do this. So, I got to do some stretching and yoga poses. Hmm. I think I'll be sad when I have to do class NOT pregnant:)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fair

We've enjoyed the state and county fairs in the past but they can be a big tiring ordeal, especially the state fair. Amy just wasn't up to it. So I took the kids to the cute little Amador county fair over in Plymouth, which for us is probably as close as the El Dorado county fairgrounds. It was all a fair needs for the kids to enjoy themselves:
Some carnival rides to get them smiling,















a few pigs, sheep, cows, and goats to, um, befriend?















tractor pull, couple of live bands, and some good old fashioned fried
food to choke down.















It was small enough that I walked the whole circuit with a two year old, no problem. Everyone was real nice, especially the carnies, who let us ride free on two separate occasions. I even talked a vendor into giving us a hunk of discounted cotton candy because I only had a single dollar left.

Max came home and reported to Mom, "Slide. Pig." He loves the big tall burlap sack slide, and had a memorable encounter with a wet nosed pig.















Pearl enjoyed the bumper cars alone.

video

And Sam did the slide by himself, and they got hotdogs and shared a sno-cone. We got home a little more than two hours after we said goodbye to Mom, having done all the fair we needed.

2 year checkup


Max had his 2 year appointment today. He's chubby this time... 25% for weight, 4% for height. The doctor was amazed that he knew all his shapes and colors. He was SUCH a good boy, she kept commenting on how mellow he was and how well he would do with a baby sister (which remains to be seen....) The nurse and I were chatting during his one shot, so he didn't see it coming, and then right after it was done I pulled his shorts back up and told him it was time to go... so his half formed fuss turned into a hysterical giggle at the thought of escaping more shots:) The nurse said she's NEVER had that reaction!

On another note, he had his first tantrum today... wow. To be fair, he was tired and hungry and overdue for tylenol, but he was completely irrational. Poor baby. He lay on the floor crying for 10 minutes and the big kids and I just sat there, and they were looking at him like he was a stranger. Seriously, never happened before. Once I got some tylenol in him and convinced him to sit with me and eat his snack (which he calmed down to accept once he saw Sam try to claim it...) he was all better. Must be hard to have your brain so incomplete! Here's to hoping it doesn't develop into a habit... I can handle the "no no no no" that he gets over in 5 seconds, but if I have to endure rounds of crying every day, I might not make it...