Sunday, May 20, 2012

Act 2; Scene 43: Today in Sacrament Meeting...

It started with little Payton in a flouncy pink skirt, stumbling from bench to bench and giggling. I couldn't believe she was so mobile! It seems like just yesterday she was a little tiny newborn with a fuzzy mo-hawk! When Robert and I sat down at a pew, she proceeded to sneak peeks at me--and when I would look at her and smile she would giggle and quickly hide her face. That was a fun game we kept up for at least five minutes.

Then came the Holyoak kids--three of the five, along with a little blonde girl whom Robert and I refer to as The Crazy Child. Apparently her mom and dad were with their daughter who just had a baby today (Crazy Child is a tail-ender by a long way), so the Holyoaks, with their already 5 kids, got to watch her in church. Soon the rest of the Holyoak family filed in and sat two benches ahead of us. The Holyoaks consist of the oldest girl Olivia who is very sweet, calm, and gorgeous, and about 9. Then Kate, the mischievous second child who always has a sly look on her face. Next comes Russell, the only boy, with crazy cowlicks in his hair. Russell absolutely adores the new baby (about 7 months) Ella, and is constantly looking at her and playing with her and giving her kisses. It's pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen. After Russell and before Ella is Lindsey--the Daddy's girl. She LOVES playing with her Daddy, and acts just about like any 2 1/2 year old would. That makes up the Holyoak children.

Well, it didn't take long for the Holyoak children to realize that "Crazy child" is actually crazy--and very bossy. After bossing all of the kids around, and most of the Holyoaks migrating to the other side of the bench, Crazy Child was left sitting by Kate the Mischievous. It only took a few headbutts from Crazy Child for Dad Holyoak to come to the end of the bench and sit between Crazy Child and his own children to protect them (all the while holding the 7 month old Ella in his arms). Then, of course, Crazy Child resorted to mauling Dad Holyoak's arm, and eventually tired of him and turned to the people in the bench behind her, who happen to be the parents of 3 month old Jack Danger (yes--that is actually his real name).

Crazy Child leaned over the bench and stared at Jack D, and Jack stared back. She started yelling out "Can I look at the baby?" And that seemed to entertain her.

Meanwhile, the Wells children had entered the building--and you know it because Morgan, sporting her red velvet "Santa" dress with white furry cuffs and collar, came skipping down the aisle, her big eyes bulging out of the roundest face you have ever seen on a little child, calling out with urgency "I'm FIVE!" (Mind you, sacrament meeting has already started at this point).

And it's not like Morgan is just telling you sweetly that she is five, it's as if she is trying to convince you--like you don't believe her--that she is five. She is serious about it. And loud about it. Her younger brother, Noah, is the hugging demon. He likes to squeeze the life out of his mom and dad alternately throughout the meeting. He takes a big, smiley look at them--and then comes in for the hug around the neck.

To the left of us, Sophie (about a year old) started crying. When Sophie is mad, you know it, because she gives you the "look of death." She has a rather large head (we used to refer to her as the "big head child") with very large, long eyebrows. When she is mad, she pulls those eyebrows down and together in a scary glare. It's pretty hysterical.

To our right, the Princess (4 months) was napping in her huge frills and overly-large bow. The Princess has three older, rather rambunctious brothers. The two year old brother often gets mad and starts screaming. We'll see Dad hauling him out by his belt loops, tucked under one arm, while 2 year old is completely red in the face. Anyhow, with three older brothers, this little girl (Sariah) is definitely the Princess. Every week she has a beautiful, elaborate, fluffy dress and a huge bow or flower in her hair (or rather, on her hairless head). And every week it is Daddy that holds her proudly in his arms all through the meeting, looking down at her sweetly, oblivious to the punching and wrestling of the others on the bench next to him.

Next to us on the bench sits the Beautiful Baby (8 months?)--seriously the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen. She has huge, and I mean HUGE blue eyes with long, curly dark eyelashes. She has just a little amount of blonde hair sitting flat on her mostly bald, perfectly shaped head. But nothing beats her gorgeous smile. She looks at everyone around her and just beams at them. Every once and a while she'll stare, start smiling, and then let out a little chuckle. You can't help but just stare at her. Today, however, she spent a lot of the time licking the bench (all the while smiling at said bench), as well as grunting to hear herself speak.

Then there's "Miss Bashful," (sitting behind us today, unfortunately) who will look at you, give you half a smile, and then fold in bashfully against her mamma and tilt her head to give you a little mysterious smile. She is cute and she knows it.

And of course there are many more babies surrounding us, as well as three other babies born last week, and two more due dates coming up this week. In fact, ward choir has been cancelled until the fall, because the three most active choir member families are all expecting babies this summer.

Oh--and there were four talks today in Sacrament Meeting...I just don't remember what they were about.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Act 2; Scene 42: A Bright Green Dresser

Last weekend, Robert and I finally went to work on our first big baby project:

Painting the dresser.

This is my old (and rather junky, at this point--not to mention covered with random stickers from my childhood on the inside) dresser. My parents graciously saved it in the garage for us, and we decided to paint it and add it to the baby's room.

Notice the old forest green color

Isn't that the hunkiest dresser-painter you've ever seen?

Do you also love it how we pulled it out on our tiny walk-way "porch" to paint? The kids who are constantly scoot-scooting on their scooters around the complex didn't quite know what to make of us. I'm pretty sure they scooted by a few more times that they usually do, just to check it out.

And here is the finished product:

Such a fun color! We love how it turned out. Now we have one item in the baby's room...many more to go :-) And many more pictures of how we decorate to come, in the next two weeks! The goal is to have the room ready by 36 weeks...so I have two weeks and two days. Yikes. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Act 2; Scene 41: A 5K with a Fish Tank

The "Roberts" before the race
Carson w/ Little Robert, Robert C, Robert Luke, Robbie, and Robert M.

This past weekend, my brother Sam's Lacrosse team hosted a fundraiser 5K in Cottonwood Heights. My mom signed up the whole family to participate. I jokingly called our team the Robert Team (Sam of course was nowhere to be found near us--he spent his time with his Lacrosse buddies). 

And because this was the Robert team, of course Little Robert had to be included. Little Robert also known as a "big fish in a too small tank." Because that is what I have decided he feels like at this time. My stomach has become a sloshy fish bowl that I think is huge. But Little Robert is a rather large fish living in that little bowl, which he apparently thinks is much too small. When he swims around, that tank (aka, my tummy/bladder/ribs) really feels it.

Anyway, since Little Robert was to be included in this family affair 5K, it turned into me power-walking the race with an 19 pound fish tank just inside my skin. Now there are a couple of things about doing a 5K with a fish tank imbedded in your stomach:
#1--The faster you walk, the bouncier that tank becomes. 
#2--The bouncier the tank becomes, the more it bounces right on your bladder. 
#3--The harder you breath, the bigger the tank expands.
#4--The bigger the tank expands, the more it pulls down on your skin. 
#5--The longer you walk, the heavier the tank becomes. 
#6--The heavier the tank becomes, the more your back hurts.

The race started out great. Mom and I made sure to be at the front of the line to give ourselves the best head start that we could. After being nearly plowed over by sprinting Lacrosse players, the girls chasing them, and a bunch of running strollers pushed by moms, everything was great. We were even walking faster than a lot of the power walkers around us. "Yes!" I thought. "I won't be the last one--I know I exercise every day for a reason!"

The fish tank first started to present a challenge about 5 blocks into the race when we started ascending the giant Dolphin Way hill. Although you can't tell how steep in this picture, you can get an idea--it is a very, very steep and long hill:

A few of the near by power-walkers passed us by on this hill, but we were still ahead of a few of them. (Hurray!) 

After peaking the top of the hill, we started making excellent progress. There is a slow, steady gradual incline next that lasts for at least 6 blocks. Mom and I were passing people right and left as they waned with the gradual incline. "Slow and steady wins the race!"I thought to myself. 

By the time we rounded the corner after the long gradual incline, we were about half-way done with the 5K and feeling pretty good. Just using one of my hands to hold up Mr. Fish Tank so he didn't rip my stomach skin off seemed to be working pretty well. Taking slightly smaller steps also helped decrease the bouncing on the bladder problem. We had this thing down!

The second half of the race was nearly all down hill. Normally a really great thing, right? Well...if you take a look at #1 and #2 you will see that walking faster (with gravity helping you) isn't all that wonderful when carrying a fish tank inside of you. Also, if you take a look at #5 and #6, you will realize that half way through the race means we have been walking for a while--also not a really great thing. And if you take a look at the rest of the numbers you will realize that the 2nd half of the 5K, even downhill, was bound to be the most challenging.

Remember all of those "power walkers" (more like power strolling) that we were passing for the past 6 blocks? Well, as soon as they realized that there was a significant length of downhill approaching, they decided to turn their power stroll into a lively little jog. With the help of the gravity, that lively little jog became a quick-paced run. There was no way that fish tank inside of me was going to let me get away with doing that kind of thing.

In fact, about 3/4ths of the way through, one hand supporting that sloshing, expanding fish tank was not enough. My back muscles were starting to feel the strain, and my lungs couldn't quite get around that expanding tank. I had to take a little stop to refresh my stomach muscles (also working over time) and my back muscles. Fortunately, a minute or less seemed to do the trick--at least enough of a trick. Unfortunately, the fish tank would not allow me to bend over and stretch out my sore back muscles. Maybe in two months.

After that little refresher and two hands holding up the fish-tank, we were good to go at a slightly faster pace. We rounded the bend for the last quarter mile, and all of a sudden I realized that we weren't passing any people. In fact, we weren't even around any people. I looked behind us and saw two little girls casually strolling along, just behind us in the race. But I didn't see anyone ahead of us. "What?! Am I that far behind?!" We could hear the noise of the crowd just around the corner, and all of a sudden, fish tank or no tank, I realized we had to book it--we were going to be last! No! We couldn't take longer than an hour, that would just be embarrassing!

We picked up the pace and really power walked it the rest of the way. We turned into the high school parking lot, and saw the huge crowd--all at the food booths not even interested in the finish line by this late hour. We also ran into a couple of the other Roberts, who had gotten worried about us and come back on the trail to make sure we were ok. I looked at the giant timer clock and saw "1:00:17"--meaning one hour and seventeen seconds. My new goal became to get in before that hour turned into an hour and a minute. 

My mom and I crossed the finish line at 1:00:32--hurray! Greeted by our Roberts, since no one else had been interested in that area of the 5K for the past half hour. We made it in ahead of only those two little girls strolling and gossiping lazily towards the finish line.

Immediately after crossing the finish line I went up to my Robert and asked for a lower back rub. Thank heavens! Doing a 5K with a fish tank in your belly is really hard on your back. I'm just glad that my number one fear--having to go to the bathroom two seconds into the race--seemed to be averted, thank you sweat. 

But I'm proud to say that I have participated in my first "real" 5K--even while carrying a fish tank. Even though I'm slightly embarrassed about it taking a whole hour, at least we finished it, and kept going the whole time! I am also glad to report that my back has finally seemed to recover from Saturday.

Happy 5K-ing!