-->

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Act 7; Scene 9: Happy New Year! 2017!


Happy New Year!

I just LOVE a chance to make new goals and check up on how I am progressing as a decent human being. I've heard so many people talking about what a crazy, horrible year 2016 was. But for us it has brought so many blessings--a great, new job for Robert; fun family vacations; wonderful theater opportunities; and a sweet new baby! 

We are excited to face 2017 with courage, grace, and excitement. 

And a check-up on last year's goals:

We did not go to the temple twice a month every month this year :-(. We were doing very well until fall came around the corner. Being pregnant and busy, while no excuse, is our excuse. We are trying now to go to the temple as often as we can. 

For my personal goals, I have been trying to use less "bad" words. Tommy and I have a deal--when one of us says a "bad" word, we get a mark. The goal is to get NO marks--then we get a prize! This has worked pretty well, except for when I let my guard down! Why is it that words seem to be my first go-to when I am frustrated, angry, upset, or tired? 

I did do the 10 lbs challenge--and it was fun! Maybe I gained more muscle???

I was in a play. And it was beyond my imagination at the time I wrote that goal--I was in a Hale Center Theater play. That is pretty exciting for me. Hopefully I get a chance to do another one there sometime!

So here's for this year's goals! I was pretty excited when Robert suggested this as a family goal, because I didn't think it was possible for him to ever suggest such a thing. My mouth literally dropped when he said it. Here it is:

1. Do a family 5k this year

I told you! I am so excited to plan for this. It gets trickier with more kids (and heavier!), especially when they're little, but we're excited to train for this and do it. 

For my personal goals:

1. Not say "bad words" out loud, under my breath, or in my head. I don't mean swear words, although very occasionally I have thought those in my head, but never out loud (thankfully!). But there are words that mean pretty much the same thing, or are vulgar, or sound angry. I definitely don't want words to be my anger outlet, or my kids'. Yup, I did just copy that straight from last year's goals. But it still needs work and has been on my mind A LOT. So there it is.

2. Lose 15 pounds by our family 5k in June. I have never had a number goal for losing weight, but this is exactly how much is still on from having baby #3, so I just want to get back to what I was (so I can fit in my pants!!!)

3. Practice unconditional friendship. This means being completely inclusive and kind to everyone--in thought, words, to faces or behind backs. I want to genuinely love others and see the best in them. I want to forego judgment and just love. 

And there we have it. Some lofty 2017 goals. I am so excited to get started, and to keep going. 

I hope you have all had a wonderful New Year holiday. Good luck with your resolutions, and keep it up! Remember there are always ups and downs on the road ahead. 

Happy New Year, everyone!

Act 7; Scene 8: Josie Jane's Birth Story



Mostly because I love reading other people's birth stories, and because I feel it's important to document those of my children. Warning--the is really long, with lots of details, mostly for myself. So here goes.

It starts out just before 36 weeks. We wanted to go up to Moses Lake for Thanksgiving. The Dr. told me to come in the day we were planning to leave just to make sure I wasn't too dilated. Well, I was dilated to a 4 (surprise, surprise). The Dr. strongly advised me not to make the long trip--he even said he would probably see me in the hospital having a baby on Thanksgiving Day (yikes!). So we decided not to go. And considering how uncomfortable I was, that was probably a good idea! I did not, however, have any intention of having my baby as early as Thanksgiving. We had too many plans in December to follow through with.

Fast forward a couple of weeks to my next Dr. appointment. I didn't want to get checked that time, because I didn't want it to further anything along--what with having a horrible cough and cold that had kept me home bound and mostly bed-ridden (which, if you know me, is a BIG deal) for a couple of days, I also had a concert to attend, a Polar Express to ride, and a showcase to get my little drama kids through. Keep that baby in till December 17th was my goal. However, they had to take the strep test...so they had to check me. And discovered that I was dilated to a 5 at 37 weeks. The Dr. was amazed, and contemplated having me go to the hospital. I assured him I was not in labor, so he didn't have me hooked up to the monitor to see if I was having contractions without knowing it. He did tell me to not go anywhere within 15 minutes of the hospital--even asking where I lived to make sure I was close enough. I timidly asked, "So can I go on the Polar Express in Heber?" He looked me right in the eyes and said "Absolutely not. If you go into labor in the canyon, you will not make it to the hospital in time!"

So we gave our tickets to my parents, and they took the kids on the Polar Express. Even though Tommy and Scarlet were still pretty sick with that nasty cough. We did not, however, forego our trip downtown to the Tabernacle Choir Concert. We even got to stay the night at the Hilton Hotel, walk around to see the lights, eat out at a restaurant for breakfast, and wander City Creek in the morning. Even though I was STILL sick and hacking, it was a magical weekend. The perfect "date night" before a baby coming into the world. 

I continued lacking in energy and hacking into the 3rd week. To compound it, my ear was now really sore and clogged--I thought I had an ear infection, but the 10 days of antibiotics did not seem to touch it. Finally, by Thursday, I had a day when I felt ok. I had more energy--I was still coughing and my ear was plugged, but at least I didn't feel miserable, I could go kick the soccer ball with Tommy in the backyard for a bit. Then I went to Broadway Bound--my kiddos last rehearsal before the big December Showcase the next evening. We got everything ready and packed up, then said, "See you tomorrow for the big show!" to the kids.

At this point, Robert and I were pretty convinced that I would be having the baby on my induction day, the next Wednesday. I mean, I had been dilated to a 5 for 2.5 weeks, and still no labor signs. 

We went to bed a bit late on Thursday, and finally started drifting off to sleep just after 11pm. I woke up around 11:45, feeling very uncomfortable in my back. I tried rolling over, but that didn't shake it. I started to pay attention, because I have learned that pain in the back could definitely be labor. But I didn't feel it easing up and starting again, like contractions. There was just pain. But it was not going away. I nudged Robert, who, on the verge of deep sleep, rubbed my shoulder and told me to take deep breaths and it would go away. Then, my neighbor texted me. What she was doing texting me at midnight I do not know, especially since she knows we are usually in bed by at least 10pm. She even prefaced the text with, "If you're not in labor, can you tell me..." So I answered her text, and ended it with, "And I'm actually trying to decide if I am in labor!" To which she replied that she could come over if we needed it. But I was thinking we didn't.

10 minutes later the pain was worse, and I told Robert we needed to get up and get ready to go to the hospital. Though I was still unsure if it was actually labor. When I got up and started moving around, I could feel the coming and going of the pain. Contractions. I called my friend who had fortuitously texted me, and she came over. By the time she was there, I was pretty positive it was labor. 

We got in the car and headed to the hospital. It's funny how you can still be unsure if it's actually happening--I told Robert that if this wasn't labor I was going to feel really stupid. He replied that if it wasn't, they would just put me into labor. 

But by the time we walked into the hospital, there was no question. We were having a baby.

The nurses were wondering what kind of drugs I wanted. I wasn't sure if I should have a spinal block or an epidural. I explained my reasonings to the nurse, and she seemed hesitant about the spinal block. They checked me and I was at an 8.5, so I decided to try an epidural, since it might be longer than an hour and a half to get the baby here. 

I was getting very excited to get that epidural, too! But man, having two other babies (and prepping for a natural birth) sure helped me with coping methods through the contractions. And Robert's coaching was SO MUCH BETTER this time than ever before. I was also nicer--no frustrated words to him. I guess we are learning!!!! 

Anyway, the epidural came, but after a while it was apparent that it didn't work on one side. Which was very discouraging for me. The anesthesiologist said we could try to redo the epidural--it might fix it, it might not, or it might make it worse. Hmmm. Well, I decided we should just try to get it in again. It would be worth it if it worked. And guess what--IT WORKED! I was so happy. Both of my legs were tingly and numb, but I could still wiggle my toes, and move my legs a tiny bit. When I had an epidural with Tommy, I was completely disconnected from my legs for hours. 

After a long time (longer than it needed to be--not sure what the Dr. was up to. Tea and crumpets?) Around 3:30am, everybody came in, because it was time to push. I was wary about this, because I have heard a lot of things about pushing--to ease up, to not push at all, etc etc to avoid tearing. And I really didn't want to tear this time--which I told the Dr. When it came time to push, each time I took a deep breath, I started coughing. That was no help. The Dr. asked me if I was scared of pushing. I told him I was! He coached me a little bit more after that, trying to help ease my fears. After two rounds of trying-to-push-but-coughing-instead, Robert said, "Oh, lots of hair!" I think when I heard that I realized how close we were. So I started taking smaller breaths and smaller pushes, which helped a lot. I only had to do about 3 of those, and the baby came right out!

I was happy that I was elevated enough that I could see the baby come right out--and saw at the same time as Robert that it was a GIRL! And she was as purple as could be, with bright white-blonde hair on her tiny little head.

They laid her on me while they vigorously wiped her off with a towel. Then they took her to weigh her and get a diaper on. I was a little frustrated that they were over at the weighing thing so long--mostly because Robert was trying hard to get a picture of her with her weight (6 lbs 8 oz) showing in the picture. I just wanted to hold that baby!

It doesn't even show up anyway!

But soon enough she was with me, and nursing. Like a little shark. Lucky for me, all of my babies have known exactly how to suck the instant they were born. 

We named her Josephine Jane. My name of choice, since Robert consented to the Josephine after he got Scarlet. The Jane part is two-fold--one for Jane Eyre (especially since I became pregnant with her during Jane Eyre), and so that Robert could call her JJ. 

Although calling a newborn baby by their name is really weird. It was the same with Tommy and Scarlet. You just feel like calling them "baby." It takes a while for their name to fit them. Meanwhile you wonder if you made a horrible mistake in naming them, lol. 

We mostly called her Scarlet for, like, a week. Every time Robert referred to her, he called her Scarlet. Talk about parent brain! So funny how that just came naturally to us! 

Then I went on to texting my coworkers that I would actually not be at the December Showcase that night. THAT NIGHT! I was soooo close! I almost made it! But little doll decided to come on Dec 16th instead of the 17th. And what can you do?


Unfortunately for me, I was still hacking and my ear was hurting like crazy. I finally pretty much demanded they send some sort of Dr. in (since the told me a Dr would come check on me before noon, and by 5pm no one had come or was going to come) to help me feel better. One finally came, and gave me sudafed and some other breathing contraption. And told me to keep taking my ibuprofen longer than I might think I need it to be able to heal my sore ribs (they felt cracked from all the coughing--not fun). So I was happy that I could get some of that figured out at last!

The hospital felt so boring. At AF hospital, there were nurses and doctors coming to check on my and visit with us, and we had some visitors as well. the nurses hardly ever came in to check on us, and the only visitors we had were my kids and parents who came for about 25 minutes or so on their way to SLC. And we didn't have books to read or anything. On Saturday morning, the Dr. asked if we wanted to leave that day, or on Sunday morning. I said let's go today! So we left the hospital nearly a whole day before we really needed to. It felt SO nice to go home, and have the house to ourselves for the evening. I even made Christmas gingerbread cookies (in peace!) and it felt very therapeutic. 

The next day we ventured to a family Christmas party in the afternoon, where I sat on the couch and felt the torture of engorgement and my milk coming in. We took our worn-out, tired kids home that night and went on with our new life as a family of five. Can you tell that Tommy and Scarlet basically had new parents (my Mom and Dad) for the first half of December?!

Anyhow, we are adjusting now, and trying to help Tommy and Scarlet get along with each other and get enough energy out. We adore our little Josie, JJ, Jo Jo girl. Hopefully soon we can start getting more Zzzzzs at night. 






Monday, October 31, 2016

Act 7; Scene 7: HALLOWEEN COSTUME REVEAL 2016!!!!

We made it to the fateful day of Halloween!

Without further ado, we present....

The Spider Family!

Tommy (whom of course our theme revolves around) as Spiderman; Scarlet as the radioactive spider who bit Peter Parker; Carson as a spider web, and Robert as a villain caught by spider string!






I had to get some pictures of my spider web makeup



We have had a busy weekend participating in all sorts of Halloween adventures! Here's a little photo tour of our final October weekend:

The Lehi Legacy Center Halloween Extravaganza!






Cake walk. Or in this case, "witches brew"--soda pop walk.
 Carving Jack-o-Lanterns






By our pumpkins

Scarlet is saying hi to Grandma and Grandpa in this one



Sunday dinner: Tortilla soup in a pumpkin bread bowl. 



Made with the Blendtec!
 And for this morning, pumpkin Halloween waffles for breakfast!


After trick-or-treating candy gorging!



Happy Halloween, all!



Monday, October 24, 2016

Act 7; Scene 6: My last Birthday in My Twenties.....

Oh man that's kind of depressing to say!

But, at least we had fun celebrating.

We started out on Saturday by taking a trip to the Scarecrow Festival at Thanksgiving Point.


I mean, our kids are really just the cutest.
 Of course we had to get a picture by the super hero scarecrows.


And the bounce houses are always a big hit



Then we headed to Culver's for a yummy, if not super healthy, dinner.


Sunday morning started out with everyone rushing around like crazy so that I could get out the door to stake choir practice on time. I had the luxury of walking the mile+ to church. And really booking it in order to make it in time. It felt wonderful! And even more wonderful was being able to sing 8 part harmony and gorgeous songs with the stake choir for stake conference. My birthday couldn't have fallen on a better Sunday.

After conference it was time to open presents


I love this one of Scarlet's pigtails!

Since I knew what my big gift was, the boys decided to be sneaky and take it out of the box and hide it somewhere. I did get one clue--it was "it's in the claw." Robert was convinced I would have no idea what that meant. The first thing I thought of was "in the closet." You can find out by watching the video if I was right!



After naps we headed up to SLC for a birthday dinner. If you haven't heard, my glucose test numbers came back kind of high. That means that I don't have gestational diabetes, but one out of two of those numbers were high. The doctor told me I need to cut way back on refined sugar, and eat frequent, small meals. Has anyone ever asked you to cut down on sweets around this time of year? It's kind of tricky! Since I had eaten too many treats this past Friday night while helping the caterer at the Utah Art Invitational, I requested no birthday cake. Instead, my mom bought me a bag of Russell's sugar free chocolate candy. So my candles got to be in a little, sugar free peanut butter cup. Which are actually quite good! Thanks, Mom!



Of course we couldn't leave Grandma's without going on a walk. We looked more like a parade heading down the street! On our walk, we ran into a neighbor who offered to take a picture for us. I love how it turned out!

Luke, Kayla, Sam and Tommy, Mom, Robert, Me, Dad, and Scarlet
All in all it's been a fun birthday weekend. A little more relaxing than the past CRAZY week, that I can't even bring myself to blog about. 

Here are some other gems I found on the camera roll from this week:

From last week's family home evening, talking about families. Tommy drew this picture of our family all by himself! My favorite parts are me with a baby in my tummy (can you spot it?), and Robert's long hair...circling our family. Tommy thought that was pretty hilarious.


Cupcake decorating!


You'd want to eat these sprinkle-ridden gems too, wouldn't you?
And now, for another COSTUME REVEAL HINT!!!!

It has been harder than ever to keep this one a secret. This may have to be our last year of costume reveals, since the kids are so excited to tell everyone they see. Anyway, here is this week's:

Costume Hint #4: Scarlet's character enabled Tommy's character. Carson's costume is a non-living thing, and Robert's is a victim of Tommy's character.

Any guesses????

Happy Haunting!


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Act 7; Scene 5: Spooktacular Food, Pumpkin Field Trips, and Costume Hints!

Here's a brief look into another fun-packed, fall week at our house:

Pumpkin Patch party in Murray. I stood in line for at least 45 minutes for these balloon creations!




Pumpkin Patch preschool field trip to Jaker's! 

On the wagon ride
the preschoolers climbed the giant hay bale pyramid


Tommy picked this as his field trip souvenir 

Scarlet loved hanging out between these two pumpkins while waiting for the wagon ride

Our Spooktacular meal of the week for Grandma's birthday celebration! 

Pumpkins and witch brooms

Brains (spaghetti squash), witch fingers, pumpkins, and witch brooms!

We went on a colors tour of the path behind our house. Golly we live in a beautiful place!





And carrot cake for Grandma's birthday!



What a fun week. As we were driving the other day, Tommy looked out the window at all of the leaves and declared, "I love fall!" I couldn't have been more proud :-).

And now....another COSTUME REVEAL HINT!!!!

Hint #3: I asked my mom if I could use her purple jeweled spider web pin for my costume. It will be perfect. And we picked up some black sweat pants for Robert's on Saturday.

Any guesses?????? (Is anyone even reading these?)

Happy Haunting!