As I sit here with my newborn on my lap (which is why there will be typos), I am contemplating the last decade. No one knew what to call these years, but oh well. For me, the 90's were all about dating, relationship DRAMA and getting used to my hubby. Interestingly enough, I got pregnant with Parker in the first few weeks of 2000 and had Macy in the last few months of 2009. Bill had a little surgery (he wouldn't say little I guess) in December, so I guess I can call this last decade the "Child Bearing Decade", start to finish. It's been fun in it's own way, and I will probably look on these years fondly, even though they are extremely hard. I am looking forward to the next decade where my weight won't go up and down 5 separate times (there were 5 pregnancies...I miscarried before Quinn). My body will eventually become my own...just in time to get wrinkles. Parker could conceivably be on a mission when this decade ends...WHOA!
Alright TEENS, bring it on!
p.s....on a side note, I hate New Year's eve...it's a depressing holiday!
I have been busy this season...shocking, I know. With the addition of my new baby, I have literally felt like I have been in a dead run this whole month. Not that I haven't had fun. I plan on posting all the fun stuff we've done next, but I really wanted to write some stuff down tonight. In the last few days, I have been reminded of some wonderful holiday memories that I have had, and I really wanted to record these. It may be boring to you, but they were cool to me:
1) When I was 11 or so, we had gone to the Capitol Theatre to see Mannheim Steamroller do their Christmas concert (this totally puts me in the 80's). We got there early (as we did with everything my dad drove us to) so we walked over to see the ZCMI windows. They were just about to unveil them when we got there, and it was so cool to be one of the first people to see them. My then Stake President was CEO of ZCMI at the time, and put us in front of the line. I miss the candy windows. We took the kids downtown last night, and I was sad they weren't there.
2) A year before I got married, I was attending the "All-Star singles ward" in the Olympus Cove. I was going through a really rough time that Christmas and was not in the holiday spirit in any way, shape or form. Peter Breinholt (musician) was the Sunday school teacher and the Sunday before Christmas he chose not to give a formal lesson. He just brought his guitar and sang. It was really cool watching snow fall outside the window while he sang "Silent Night". Every time I play his Christmas cd, I think of how much that helped me feel christmasy when I really didn't want to.
3) We had a neighbor growing up that started a luminary tradition on our street. Everyone really got into it the first year and our whole street glowed with white paper bags. It had dumped snow that day as well, and we ran up and down the street with our friends making "Santa's Runway".
4) This was a yearly thing, but when my dad pushed the couch to the wall in the basement, we knew Christmas was here. It's such a stupid thing, but having the furniture in "Christmas position" was so thrilling!
5) For our honeymoon, Bill and I spent Christmas in Maui. We attended a Luau on Christmas Eve, and it was really cool to be there. We went to the beach on Christmas day. A lot quieter than our Christmas's now.
6) The first time I saw the Nutcracker (age 5 or so), I literally danced around the streets of downtown the rest of the day, I thought it was so beautiful. As a high schooler, I worked at the Ballet West boutique, often on Christmas Eve. It was fun to feed off everyone's energy of the season.
7) Bill and I went to Disneyland for our 3rd anniversary, no kids. We had never been together. It was, of course, Christmastime, but nobody was out of school yet. We literally ran down Main Street together, hand in hand. Disney and Christmastime....2 magical events. Perfect Disneyland day. Good weather, no crowds, and no kids to slow us down (J/K).
8) You'll die at this one, but when I was in high school, as a family and a few friends, we watched "A Very Brady Christmas" on TV. As campy as it was, we enjoyed every second. There were 9 different plot lines and we hung on every line. At the end, as were waiting for the last plot line to resolve itself, we found ourselves chanting for Sam, the butcher to come back. He did. Sad.
9) I got to be Mary in our church program. I think I was about 4. My mom sewed me a beautiful blue Mary costume that I still have. Emi wore it in our New York Christmas pageant at my brother's house (with a very cute, but grumpy Angel Caroline...sorry, Kathryn). I remember feeling so proud to carry my doll and be the mother of Jesus. I slept in the costume for weeks.
10) I sang in our Jr. High choir. We sang all over during Christmas time. Mrs. Taggart, the choir teacher, was and is legendary! She drilled the actions of "The Twelve Days" and "Twas the Night before Christmas" into us like Sue Sylvester (Glee). To this day, 21 years later, I can do all actions, as can my sister who is 9 years older!
Thank you for reliving my memories. I had to stop and reminisce so I could enjoy my Christmas today. This year, my memories will probably be Quinn running around singing Jingle Bells....which is great, but he doesn't know how to end the song. Merry Christmas to all! Feel free to share your favorite Christmas memories =-)
Well...who says we new moms don't know how to party? 3 parties in 38 hours....2 at my house.
Emi turned 7 today...so Friday night, we stupidly invited 11 girls to our house to the "Winter Wonderland" party. Too bad there was no outside snow, but they didn't seem to care. Here is my cake....not super, but I did stick Dollar-Tree snowflake ornaments on the sides and I thought it looked cool.
Coloring snowman bags, making snowflake ornaments....nice quiet activities. Nope. Oh the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise (Grinch reference #1). Bill didn't help by getting them all riled up and then heading downstairs to play Rock Band with Parker and Quinn.
Thank heavens for a dance studio....we did snowman relays. Hilarious.
After "stick the stuff on the snowman", we tried to coral them in for a group shot...this is the best we could do.
Saturday was our ward Christmas breakfast...love the breakfast idea. Primary kids sang and Parker got to do the chimes. One of the chimes was slightly out of tune and it drove him crazy. Loved that party...didn't have to prepare a thing, just had to get 4 kids and a husband dressed and ready by 8:30 on a Saturday.
Besides, I needed to show off Christmas outfit #1. Grandma Newman has recently started shopping again since my dad's stroke. The stores were probably worried that if she didn't return, they would have to shut down for lack of business. I will get Christmas outfit #2 into another post.
Party #3 was a result of Macy's blessing and Emi's actual birthday. It was great to celebrate my gorgeous girls. I love them so much. Here's Macy with Aunt Joyce....
...and the family (I still look at pics with all 6 of us and can't believe it's me).
This Costco cake was a lot better than my previous attempt.
Macy and the Men.
Tiring weekend to say the very least. I also saw "Blind Side" and it really made me want to be a better person. With all this celebrating, I think my "heart grew 3 sizes" today (Grinch reference #2).
Seriously...can't keep up with the blog. Too much holiday "fun" to take care of the last few weeks. Don't leave me! I'll find something interesting to say soon (I know....why start now). All is well, just exhaustingly busy.
Wake up, shower, make breakfast, take a phone call, yell at kids to get dressed faster, bathe Macy, nurse Macy, dress Quinn, clean house, vacuum house, mop floors, go to the store, find out road is closed that takes me to store, reconnect with old friend at store (she looks amazing, I look like hell), drop some stuff off at Monika's (1st trip to her house), put away groceries, change load of laundry, nurse, feed Quinn lunch, convince him to nap, write paychecks to my teachers, type note for my students, put away towels, try to come up with ideas for Emi's birthday party, get mail, give bottle to Macy while waiting for carpool, pick up carpool, take kids to Dr. so that Parker can finally get the Swine flu mist (Thimerisol-free), work on homework with kids, start dinner, talk with Anne about spray paint on a new Christmas wreath, drive Emi to piano (2nd trip to Monika's), come home and make milkshakes for "milkshake Mondays", pick up Emi and drop off Parker (3rd trip to Monika's), get dinner on table, pick up Parker from piano (4th trip to Monika's), convince my kids to eat dinner, promise UNO game for FHE if they bathe quickly, discover an unfinished "Mike and the Motorcycle" project that is due for Parker tomorrow, play UNO, send a grumpy Emi and Quinn to bed, stay up an extra hour with Parker to finish the project, get him to bed, clean up kitchen, try to make lesson plans for classes tomorrow, throw in a load of laundry, write this blog. Phew!
I still have to unload dishwasher and write e-mail to Parker's teacher as to why his project is crap.
Ahh...Halloween. It sucks the life out of you. Fun, but oh so much work. Here's the rundown of October in our house:
We start by picking out pumpkins at Grandpa's garden. Even though he was out of commission past August, he still managed to get some great pumpkins and gourds. Then we decorate the house!
We must dress up for every class or party...here is Quinn at his Kindermusik party. He is Li-Li the lion.
Of course, I make my dance classes dress up as well. It leaves an interesting array of glitter and pom-pom shreds on my floor.
There are the school class parties...here is Parker at his. He is Luke Skywalker. I had a whole carpool full of Jedi Knights. Emi and I felt really safe driving to school.
And then we carve....one of those is the Death Star if you look closely. The puking pumpkin is a family favorite.
We decided to get creative with our plethora of gourds.
Our ward had a trunk-or-treat, so Bill and his Bishopric brothers went as KISS. I tell you, it's kind of confusing to see your Bishop in your bathroom putting on lipstick. This could warp me for years.
Does it get any hotter than this?
I went as the Swine Flu, but my nose broke and I had to stick it on my face with electrical tape I found in Bill's car.
As if we hadn't done enough trick or treating, we had to go out at Halloween night as well. Here's Emi with Jade.
After the sugar rush of 3 trick or treat sessions (I totally recycled candy as to get some of it out of my house), we were all tired......
Hi...it's late on a Sunday night...I had great plans of blogging about Parker's 9th birthday, Emi's 1st lost tooth, my BYU cheer reunion, a visit to my Dad's pumpkin patch, and the general cuteness of Macy, but just can't find the strength to do it. It's been 4 weeks since I became a mom of 4, and I believe that the adrenaline has completely worn off. It's all I can do to clean up the kitchen, do laundry, keep my house at a reasonable degree of cleanliness, get through homework with the kids, teach my dance classes, and produce enough milk in my body to keep a baby alive (of which, I am failing...very little milk). I am stretched, stressed, and exhausted, but seriously in a good way. I don't mean to complain, just trying to get used to the added demands on an already crazy life.
Which brings me to the reason for this post. My dad had a stroke exactly one month before Macy was born. I spent the last month of my pregnancy in complete fear of how I was going to do the new baby experience without the amazing help and care of my mom, who is famous for her care when new babies arrive. Bless her heart, she has done as much as humanly possible for her new life situation and it has definitely helped, but it's been different and I am so glad she is there for my dad right now. It has been a crazy adjustment, but I have been SOO taken care of by my friends that I have to just take a moment to thank you all! I seriously have been the recipient of some amazing service and I just want to let you all know what it means to me.
I have always considered my friends as my family...in fact, I am closer with many of my friends than I am with my siblings because I am so darned different than my brothers and sister. I feel as if I have many sisters right now cheering me on, and I love it. I won't embarrass any of you by writing your names, but you know who you are! I have had sisters bring me dinners well-past the required 3-day Relief Society rule, sisters who took Quinn for a morning even when I wasn't teaching, sisters who drove various carpools for me, sisters who held a fussy baby for me, sisters who tell me I look good when I still feel like a blob, and sisters who just smile at me when I need it. I could seriously go on and on about my amazing friends. I hope I can do the same for you, I just don't think I'm as good at seeing the need like all of you are. Be patient with me...you are all great examples.
So I am off to bed...and again, Macy and I thank you. We couldn't have done it alone.
I have spent 2 blissful, yet exhausting, weeks getting to know this sweet little girl. So I figure you get to learn about her too!
There has never been a child more adored by her siblings....they can't stay away from her, which is somewhat problematic due to swine flu scares. But I'm glad she is well-loved!
She's my earliest child to enjoy the Gymani...maybe it's just out of extreme necessity that she was put under it early. She tends to be fussiest when I'm getting kids off to school, kids into bed, and right before dinner. When I can give her full attention, she's zonked out. She will stare at things for a very long time. I love this about her. She seems to look at me like she knows me. I love it!
She is the recipient of a beautiful blanket made by my mom. As if she wasn't busy enough, my mom finished crocheting this gorgeous blanket for her. I love that she has an heirloom from Grandma.
Well, she has her faults...she's not gaining weight. So I have had to start supplementing with formula. She has taken to it quite well, except she's spittier now. I weigh her in again tomorrow. She is also a bit nocturnal, but what are you going to do. Macy must know that that is the only way to get me alone.
Macy is wonderful. I still am in shock with being the mom of 4 kids. I had my first "take all 4 kids with me" experience on Friday as I tromped them through the Dr.'s office for shots. I was leading a parade with one in arms and 3 (4 counting Li-Li) in tow behind me. It really hit me! I can't imagine not having Macy here, though. I'm so glad we decided to go for it with one more kid. I'm writing this down so I can go back to see it in days to come. It's HARD to have 4!
Welcome to Macy Jane! This is not her greatest pic to date, but I'm limited still with being in the hospital. More great pics to come, I promise. She is an absolute doll and I instantly fell in love with her. She is truly a pleasure to be with.
I was scheduled to be induced on Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m., but they called Sat. night and said they could start me sooner because my doc was there all night. We ended up going in about 1:30 A.M. By the time we checked in, my doc broke my water at 2:55 and started pitocin. It was quick, fast, hard labor right away. I requested the epidural at 3:50, and it's a good thing I did because I almost lost my window of opportunity. I dilated from a 3 to a 10 in less than an hour. Crazy! Long story short, she slid out quickly at 4:55, exactly 2 hours later. She's quick! I love that about her. She nursed great right away. Smart, too! And an over-acheiver, because she filled 2 poopy diapers in the first 24 hours instead of the required one. The doctor said the epidural slowed me down a half hour, so if I had gone into labor at home, she doubts I would have made it to the hospital. Yea for induction. It was my doctor's quickest induction ever.
So now, I'm just enjoying some relaxing time in the hospital, just getting to know her. She's a great baby. 7 lbs 10 oz of love! She makes adorable little noises and is very easy so far. Thanks to all of you for your love and support...especially thanks to my mom and neice who took care of Parker when he woke up with stomach flu yesterday! Typical! All is well and we will be home soon.
So, I come out from teaching on Tuesday night to see that my oldest 2 kids have decided to try and earn a little money:
I'm not sure who's idea it was pan-handle my student's moms for money, but I'm guessing it was Parker's idea. Emi danced while Parker played ukulele and harmonica. That blue sign says, "10 cents, please". At least he was polite in begging for money. They made 70 cents. All while dad was in charge. My children are literally street beggars. Nice.
In other news, my dad is home and I am almost ready to take his place in the hospital. My blood pressure is concerning my doc, so I'm checking it constantly and might be admitted soon. Wow!
I'm gathering from all the sad, sympathetic looks from everyone these days, people expect me to have had this baby. 2 weeks away, folks. I appreciate the concern, and yes, I feel as awful as I look. This pregnancy is one for the books. But I love you all for your sweet concern. Misery loves company. I will try to savor the last few weeks of pregnancy, knowing that I will NEVER have to do it again.
All you cute people are asking what you can do to help. I'm good...just plugging away. I have all the clothes the child would ever want (have you met my shop-aholic mom?), blankets coming out the wazoo, and more baby toys than she could know what to do with. I will always take a frozen casserole and goodies (my cooking suffers under the best of conditions, let alone a new baby), but other than that, we are good. Your love and support are plenty.
In other news, my dad is improving, slowly but surely. He was finally cleared to have his first Coke yesterday....he was SOOO happy about it. And they are trying to keep his calories up, so he gets the real stuff. He's in pretty good spirits, just done with his unbendable therapists. I keep telling him that's good, it's the only way he'll keep improving. He's looking at another 2-3 weeks in the hospital, but it's good because that's where the best improvement happens. Keep pushing, Dad!
Everyday, Emi has to write a journal entry about a certain subject in class. Yesterdays was "What if children were the parents?". Here is her entry:
"I would have to do the laundry. I would make the food. I would have to drive them to school. I would not get to play with my toys. I would not like it. And I will have to feed them. I will do stuff on the computer. I will do everything moms do. I will like a little bit. I like being a kid!"
#1....I'm depressed about my life after seeing it on paper, #2..I'm so glad I've painted such a sad picture of motherhood for my daughter. She'll never want kids. But, I am glad she likes being a kid. I hope she stays that way for awhile!
As for my dad, he was moved into the rehab center yesterday. Long term memory is there, but is getting confused with some short-term things. His biggest thing is that he constantly wants to leave. He thinks he can (typical for where his stroke was). We also want to keep him free of pneumonia, also a common side-effect. But, let's just say, I'm so glad it's not LAST thursday. Hopes for a good recovery!
I just have to say....I'm so impressed with the amount of prayers that have been said in behalf of my dad. He's on at least 6 temple prayer rolls, had candles lit for him, and on prayer lists for many other religious congregations. In a world with so much religious turmoil, I love that we can all come together and pray in our own way for someone. It's very uniting and such a blessing when we feel like we can't do anything but wait. He had a priesthood blessing by my uncle and their neighbor before the paramedics even arrived. After the second stroke on Thursday night, my mom, sister, brother, nephew, and niece stood around him in the ICU and said a family prayer for him. It was such a wonderful peace at such a scary time. 2 hours later, things got as dark as they had been as he was rushed into emergency surgery. We had all thought he was gone. Knowing we had had that moment of peace together was very comforting to me. Bill gave me a blessing that night to calm me down (this is all so fun while 8 months pregnant and emotional...my mom will kill me if I go into early labor) and he had given my mom one earlier in the day. It truly got me through the night. Luckily, he is improving, though slowly. I really like being there with him because I know he's in there working his hardest to get better. We are not sure of the future, but know we are supported. My mom is a rock and doing great. My brother, Mark, flew in and has been taking up the slack for all of us. So, in a nutshell, we are all doing pretty good. Just hopeful for progress. Thank you for all your concern and I don't mind to ask you to still keep praying!
My dad has suffered a series of strokes and has not done too well. We were feeling good about things, but it took a dramatic turn last night. Please keep he and my mom in your prayers. He's an amazing man and we are not ready to lose him. Thank you, blog-friends, for your support.
Ah...school starts tomorrow. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I love to have my kids doing something great and productive, but sometimes the schedule totally wears me out. I've been an O.K. mom this summer, but haven't really pulled out all the bells and whistles given my condition. I felt guilty in the last few days, so we hit Wheeler Farm on Friday (in a million degrees heat) and swimming yesterday (in a million degrees heat). There was ward movie night on Friday, which was awesome, because it was COOL in the evening.
(riding Marshmellow the horse)
(feeding the un-hungry ducks)
(the kids loved this rooster....they named him the Hannah Montana rooster because of his crazy rock star hair. )
(Quinn, finally being brave in the fountains. Emi finally decided to go down the big waterslide. She has done it in the past, but has had an attack of nervousness about such things this summer)
(Parker, the fish)
The best thing I did this summer: introduce Parker to the "Wimpy Kid" books and Emi to the "Ramona" books. Kept them busy!
The worst thing I did this summer: let Parker and Emi totally entertain Quinn all the time. That little boy is going to be LOST without his bro and sis.
The laziest thing I did this summer: never worked out. I figured I could at least go on a walk a day. It was rare that I did. I was already completely swollen so it was hard to want to go and swell up more. It's flip-flops till this baby comes out.
The most time-consuming thing I did this summer: Facebook. It must be balanced. I'm kind of over it now.
The stupidest thing I have done all summer: I started teaching dance again last week. Pulled my groin muscle. Seriously cannot walk. As if I wasn't attractive enough right now, let's add a limp.
Best house thing I did this summer: My nursery. I'm really proud of it, and I'm not even done.
Worst house thing I did this summer: I let sunflowers take over my zinnia garden. Long story.
Best thing overall: Coronado. Enjoy every second of it.
So.... I have had a MAJOR need to nest this summer. As with all things this pregnancy, this need was as strong as the morning sickness, heartburn, and exhaustion. Nesting is a very real thing. I'm not sure if it's the desire to have a really clean house (which mine is not) or just to do the million things on your house list because life stops when a newborn shows up. I think it's the latter for me. Plus, I don't teach in the summer, so I go full force.
I have put up new curtains in my living room,
Painted, re-carpeted, and redecorated the nursery (yes, I bought a new crib and new bedding....selling old stuff. I'm being very frivolous this pregnancy). I've still got to figure out wall decor in here, so any of you little decorator friends can come help me do it right.
New slate floor in my master bath...after a plumbing mishap, it was in serious need of a switch. Glad to get rid of the 90's linoleum and carpet.
I even dusted the tops of these shelves....o.k. Bill did. But I supervised.
I re-carpeted the master bedroom, Quinn's room, the nursery and the living room. This is what that half of the house looks like when it is squished into the great room. Those are a few days I do not hope to relive!
So, will my little baby girl care. No. But I will. I feel good to be able to cross some projects off my list. Still have more to do! I start teaching next week, so I must be Super Woman in the next few days. Should be interesting. Wish me luck.