Friday, November 30, 2007

Let the Holidays Begin

We just completed the whirlwind beginning of the busy holiday season. Grandma and Grandpa came in from Arizona to party with us for a while. Then, a couple days later, Aunt Erin and Uncle James joined the party. We ate ourselves sick and all managed to gain weight, and enjoy it. We visited the NC Art Museum and introduced the foreigners to Southern BBQ and Hushpuppies. They are now big fans, as they should be. Tyler went for Krispy Kreme Thanksgiving morning and we got to eat hot doughnuts for breakfast. We had Thanksgiving at our house, and boy did we have a house full. The missionaries came to join the fun and created some excitement of their own while they were here. One of the Elders ate himself sick, literally. The poor guy got to experience his dinner twice. He won't be hearing the end of that one for a while. After passing out from ingesting loads of food, we started the fun again. Everybody and a few more came to see me sing with the NC Symphony and NC Master Chorale, then we went and gorged on more good food at a local steak house. Good music, good friends, good food... you can't go wrong. On Sunday we had the baby blessing. We were so fortunate to have some of the most special and most important people there with us. Later, we all packed up with way too much stuff for a couple of days, and headed to the beach. We got to spend a couple fabulous days winding down from the excitement of the previous week. Of course we had more good food while we were there. I think everybody really enjoyed the East Coast. We came back home and ate more leftovers, yummy. The next day we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast/lunch and ate ourselves sick again. Uncle James taught Thomas to to call it Food Barrel, but it still tasted the same. Later, everybody packed up and headed back home. We all had so much fun and just enjoyed being together. We are sad everybody couldn't make it, but we know they were here with us in spirit.

We are so grateful for wonderful family and friends. We are so blessed to have so many special people in our lives. I hope you all take a few minutes during this crazy time of year to reflect and focus on our many blessings. You can be sure that you are on our list of blessings.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

His Royal Cuteness

Just for Aunt Becky

Yes, I know it looks a lot like the same picture, but it is really arms in motion. He is 7 weeks today, but thinks he is older. He rolls from his tummy to his back both ways and is working on going from back to tummy. He also can spin in a circle on the floor, if you give him enough time. Plus, he can scoot a few inches. I am in so much trouble.

Baby calls, so no time to list sweet moments today, but there were plenty.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Beans, Beans, good for your Sanity

The beans seem to be working. Thomas did great with them yesterday. Today he got to put in some honesty beans. He ate some of my yogurt, which I had placed high and in the back of the fridge, without asking. Even though he knew he would get in trouble, he told the truth and got beans. This afternoon, however, was not so good. He got mad because he didn't want to take a nap. He started kicking the door and throwing a fit. We have talked before about being mad is ok, as is yelling into or punching a pillow, but destroying things is not ok. I told him after naps we would have to take out good choice beans. After his nap, Thomas came down and told me he needed to take out good choice beans. He wasn't happy about it, but kept reminding me that he needed to take them out. It would seem that the concept has sunk in. Let's hope it continues to go well and be a positive learning experience.

We are all looking forward to next week. Grandparents and aunts and uncles are coming into town. Thomas is counting days and I can't wait for the adult contact. Oh yeah, and there's that Turkey holiday too. The break and change in routine will be good for me, I mean us.

Anyone want to help Tyler with this dastardly truck rebuild? We need it done soon, really. I am starting to hate the truck I love. Please, no more bad luck with this thing.

Moments of the day. Thomas built train tracks for me. Jerry kept his diaper on all day. Michael slept on my friend through most of rehearsal and made cute babe noises. Tyler helped me as I tried to get out the door with all my stuff and running late.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Some days are a Roller Coaster

It has been one of those days. Good and bad all rolled into one.

I didn't have to make Tyler's lunch today, which was great! It was even better since I hardly slept last night thanks to a poor little baby who couldn't breathe. The boys were sweet, for a while. Soon they decided to take a turn. Thomas helped himself to two bananas. What he ate was fine, it was the fact that he did it without asking, then hid the last one from Jerry and didn't want to tell me where it was. Thomas ended up in time out for I can't remember what. While there he decided to kick the door and throw a fit. Nice. When I told him he had lost TV for the rest of the day, for something else, he threw a toy bin and nailed me in the head. Good thing my head was blocking the way to Michael. After a nice trip to his room that involved lots of screaming and fit throwing, we had a talk.

Here is a really neat idea if you are having any issues with your kids. When I was a nasty teen I blew it in a major way and got caught by mom. To earn her trust back I had to earn beans. Every time I did something that showed she could trust me, I got beans in a bucket. If I did something that would lose her trust, beans came out. Once the bucket was full, in theory, I had earned her trust again. Go figure, it became such a habit to do things to earn her trust that we both forgot about the beans and I did it without the reward. We are applying this concept to Thomas. We have been having a hard time with good choices and telling the truth. Now he has a bean bucket and two kids of beans, one for truth and one for good choices. This seems to be doing the trick, so far.

Unfortunately, this evening Jerry was at it. He took my drink, but I caught him before major damage occurred. Potty break, never good in our house. While in the bathroom, Jerry dumped Dr Pepper all over the carpet. Thomas pooped in his underwear. Thomas went into the bathroom. Underwear around 4 year old ankles means poop smeared all around the outside of the toilet bowl, plus the seat from his little bum. Let me tell you how much fun that was! Early bed time were in order, for all of our sakes. I went in the room to get jammas on Jerry, bad idea. Jerry had not only emptied Thomas's dresser a few days ago (still waiting to be re-folded and put away), but he also emptied his drawers. Let me just say I do not like folding laundry. As much as I don't like it, Jerry seems to enjoy emptying drawers. I put it off until it can't be any more, then do a marathon folding binge. I had to go hide in my room, and of course Michael started screaming from below.

Now, here I sit, venting to cyber world and those few who are interested enough to read about my plights and misadventures. Two big boys are in bed, Michael is screaming to be fed again, Tyler is out working on the poor truck again (3 engines, 2 months, and 1 ridiculous amount of money now). I think I deserve a fudge round and another Dr Pepper, don't you? Either that or a meltdown. Maybe both...

Sweet moments
Thomas let me take a nap this afternoon. He played quietly and didn't create any trouble or disasters. He didn't even wake up Jerry.
Jerry gives Michael his pacifier. As soon as Michael starts to cry, Jerry is on his way to the rescue. Funny part is, after a few tries, if Michael doesn't take hold, Jerry just looks at me, then drops the pacifier in Michael's lap. Oh well, he tried.
Michael snuggled and took a nap with me this afternoon. Babies are sweet.

Go figure... the power flashed several times near the end of this posting. Good thing Blogger saves as you go, otherwise I could have really deserved a meltdown. Happy Monday to me, yipee.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

How on EARTH did this happen?

I have no idea how this happened, and it will probably never happen again. I am looking at the clock, it says 8:44 pm, and all the kids are asleep. Thomas and Jerry crashed around 5, and Michael just conked out a little bit ago. What am I doing? Writing a post, snuggling on the couch, then going to bed early. NICE!!!

Another "how on earth" was a huge shock to me. I was on the floor playing with Michael. He was playing getting "tummy time." Next thing I know, he is working his way towards rolling over. He got his shoulder rotated under him and was pushing with hands and feet. Then it happened, he landed on his back. He is six weeks old today and rolled over. Why do I feel like I am in trouble already?

Since I am trying to focus on the good, I am going to share it with my web audience. We went to visit Lolly for lunch. She had treats for both big boys. Jerry had a bite size treat and Thomas had a Hershey bar, small size. Lolly looked over and asked Thomas if he had shared his treat with Jerry. His answer, "yes," with a sort of "duh" undertone. So nice of him to share. Jerry made me laugh with his laughing while I attacked him with kisses to distract him fro me putting ear drops in.

For now, goodbye and good night!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sweet moments

Today, after feeding Michael (again), I gave him a little kiss on his cute nose. Much to my delight, he smiled at me. I did it again and...... nope, he just looked at me. That sweet little smile makes the puke and no sleep worth it.

Thomas loves to take care of Michael. This morning Michael was getting "tummy time" and spit up. Thomas was worried because Michael got his hands in it, so he rolled the baby over and started clapping Michael's feet to keep him happy. He also gave Jerry a book in his crib this morning to keep Jerry happy. Thomas also sings to Michael from the back seat. This usually happens at night when Michael is tired but won't go to sleep. I will soon hear "go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep Michael" coming from the back seat. It makes my heart happy. Such a good big brother.

Jerry doesn't like when Michael cries. Jerry will go look for the pacifier and give it to him. We have moved on from the shoving the entire thing in the poor baby's mouth and he now does a very nice job. He also likes to turn on the switch that makes the bouncy seat vibrate. I'm still not sure if he does this to comfort Michael or to be able to play with a switch. Either way, it benefits all of us.

Monday, November 05, 2007

So Dang Cute!

Just like any good parents, we did Halloween for our kids. I even made the big boys' costumes. Yes, I nominate myself for the Awesome Mom award. We went to the ward party, as usual. Then, on Wednesday, we went to Lolly's house for door knocking. By the end of the night, Jerry was walking up to doors and holding his little pumpkin out and mumbling in Jerry-speak trick-or-treat. Both big boys had lots of fun. Michael stayed at the house with Lolly, but he did rack in a Reese's cup in his car seat. After only four houses, we called it quits with a quite full bucket. It pays to be little and cute!

Michael, the cutest dang penguin on the face of the earth. The costume is so soft, and even has a little tail on the back. Tyler says he is a baby dressed as a penguin pretending to be a pumpkin. Amanda said we should have put smileys on his feet and called him Happy Feet. Silly family. Oh yeah, we like Lolly's costume too :)

Thomas and Jerry as Tom and Jerry. Aren't they the cutest dang cat and mouse you ever saw?!?! Disclaimer: Yes, I know the real Jerry mouse is brown, but do you know how hard it is to find a brown sweat suit? Really, you go try sometime, preferably the day before you need the costumes done. No, I am not a procrastinator, um, yeah right. By the time we took the picture their noses had worn off, but they are still cute with their whiskers. Jerry loved his ears. When Thomas first tried his on, Jerry got upset and wanted to wear some. My boys are nuts, but we love them that way.

The tail. Tyler suggested using a pipe cleaner for Jerry's tail. It turned out to be so funny and cute. Sometimes it would fall out and Jerry would bring it to you to put back in. I think he liked his costume. You can also see the poor kid's infected ear. Go figure, he gets tubes, then a month later has an ear infection and sinus infection. Yup, he's ours.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

SLIGHT Change of Plans

Why do I even bother to make plans? Not long ago I made the comment "don't change things on a control freak, they may freak out." Well, I am the control freak, everything possible got changed for me, and I amazingly did not freak out (this time). What on earth could I be referring to... the arrival of Michael. Let me just tell you about our adventure, although adventure is an understatement in the extreme. Warning: This is a long story, sorry. It goes faster when I'm talking rather than typing. It is apparently more fun to watch me tell the story since I seem to get quite animated in my telling.

I was scheduled for a c-section on October 3. Great, fantastic, we can plan everything. Jerry will have his surgery the week before. I will go to my rehearsal on Tuesday and have a baby Wednesday morning. Becky, Tyler's sister, was scheduled to fly in the day before to take care of the kids while I was busy having a baby. Becky would have the car with the boys and Tyler would have the truck to get me. After coming home, I would get to park my non-pregnant self on the couch and watch conference all weekend.

Change of plans. I lost reverse in the truck. What does this mean, you ask? Well, it means Tyler had two weeks to replace the engine and transmission in the truck before I came home. The other important reason for having the truck done, besides more people than seat belts for a few days, is that all three car seats would not fit in the car. Slight problem.

Change of plans. I went to rehearsal Tuesday, as planned. People asked when I was having the baby. I kept telling them I would be at rehearsal the following week and be not pregnant the week after (baby delivery was scheduled the morning after the next rehearsal). One of the singers who is also pregnant wished me good luck, in case she didn't see me before I had the baby. I assured her I would see her again before baby arrival. NOPE. Wednesday night I woke up not feeling so hot, and I had to pee (shocker). I went to the bathroom and it happened. My first thought was there is no way on earth my bladder can hold that much with a baby pushing on it. It kept coming. Now I am sitting here thinking there is no way this is happening. I decide to go back to bed. Bad idea. I got that feeling just as I was about to crawl back in and hope I didn't throw up. Rush back to the bathroom and continue repeating "this is not happening." Being the kind wife that I am, I next made a quick dash to the phone and into the other bathroom so I wouldn't wake up Tyler for no good reason. I call Becky, it's only 10:30 her time, and ask her to tell me my water didn't just break. She starts laughing at me. Not the reaction I had in mind. After more of her laughing at me, assuring me that I am in labor, and her laughing at me more (I think I did some laughing too), I went to wake up Tyler. I had to repeat myself three times before he had a clue what I was saying. Of course, as I am telling him I am making another dash back to the bathroom. Yes, I would be one of those few people who actually gush when their water breaks. And I continued to gush for quite some time. I called mom and asked her to come over. Her drowsy response, classic, "You mean right now?!?!" This was not an excited question, it was a very confused and unbelieving question. Well, come to find out, she thought I meant come get Thomas for breakfast now. After clarifying what I mean, she was on her way over. While we waited, Tyler says "this is probably a dumb question, but, are you sure your water broke?" I answered him with another gush.

Change of plans. Jerry is scheduled to have tubes put in his ears in 5 hours. What can you do? In our case, we pack his stuff, leave mom the instructions and paper work, sign a release authorizing her to do anything to care for the kids, and go to the hospital. The original plan was for mom to take Thomas to breakfast while Jerry was having the actual surgery and recovery, thus mom's confusion at a 1am phone call asking her to come over now.

Change of plans again. We take mom's car to the hospital so she had the car with car seats. The security guy asked if I could walk to the delivery floor. Sure, no problem I say. He doesn't exactly believe me since I am doubled over trying not to leak all over the floor. Yes, I know it is a hospital for crying out loud, and I know it happens all the time, but not me. A minute after he cancels the call for a wheelchair, the elevator opens. I was greeted by three nurses and a wheelchair. They looked at me and my now soaked pants and said good thing they were there. Turns out the code that was called in was translated as "lady delivering on the floor right now." After checking in, I got to go hang out in triage and get my IVs going. Because I was previously scheduled for surgery, albeit a week later, my doctor had alerted the OR and anesthesia before I even got to the hospital. I met my nurse, anesthesia doctor, and my doctor. Guess what, my doctor was a change of plans too. The one scheduled to deliver was not the one on call. Oh well. Four hours later my doctor comes in to inform me...

Change of plans. She had fired my anesthesia team because they had kept me waiting for over four hours when I was previously scheduled. Fine, no biggie, I didn't like the original guy anyway. After some painful labor I was given drugs that slow the labor and make the contractions bearable. This is not common practice, but my labor was progressing, and I was still not on my way to surgery. Next thing I know, new nurse (mine had disappeared long ago) and my doctor were packing me up and rolling me out the door. Tyler hardly had time to call and check on mom and Jerry because they got me out so fast. We were finally on our way for delivery.

We went into surgery and because Jerry was going into surgery very soon, but across the street at an outpatient surgery center, my doctor informed the OR that Tyler was keeping his cell phone on during surgery. This just goes to show that cell phones really don't interfere with medical equipment. Lucky for us, he was allowed to keep his phone, since we forgot the camera in the morning chaos. Hooray for camera phones.

There were a few miserable moments and creating more mess for the doctors to clean up (meds and anxiety), but we survived. I have to admit, this was the worst of the three surgeries, but not for any fault of the professionals. I got to see Michael then Tyler went off with him to the nursery. Next he dashed across the street and got to Jerry minutes before his surgery. So Tyler was able to be there when Jerry went in and then for him waking up. Lolly and Thomas even got to go back while he was waking up. Little side note, the staff at the surgery center thought my mom was Jerry's mom. Then the doctor met them and said "you aren't mom" and she told him what happened (he had seen me big and huge just two days earlier). While I was in recovery the nurses let me call and check on the other surgery. Apparently this was highly unusual too because I later heard my nurse telling the new nurse that she had let me call and check on my son and I was doing much better now. The medical staff all around couldn't believe our situation and were all super nice and understanding and accommodating for us. We have great doctors, thank goodness. So in the end, Jerry surgery that was scheduled to be done a week before my delivery ended up happening an hour after mine. Go figure.

I just have to sing Tyler's praises here, since I can. He was cool and calm and collected through the entire mess. He was the one running all around between two people in surgery. He also arranged for people to keep the kids for a couple days. He definitely qualifies for the title of super dad after this one. He is amazing and we are so lucky to have him!

Turns out the hospital was having a huge baby boom when we came in. It was a full moon, which several nurses were joking about. I was the 9th c-section in my OR that night. I had to go to ICU which had been converted to delivery recovery. It took almost 12 hours for me to finally get to my permanent room. The hospital was a busy place that day.

Adventures got more exciting once we got home. Two days after I got home Becky came to the rescue. Man, what a blessing she was. The morning she came in, my incision split. Don't worry, I am fine now, but we have had quite an ordeal over the past month getting it to heal. I'll spare the general public the gory details. Poor Michael wasn't gaining weight and had major jaundice issues. His counts got so high and his weight so low he almost didn't get to leave the hospital, then he almost had to go back. Every day for a week and a half we were going to one doctor or another or to the lab. There was only one day we didn't go, and Thomas looked at Michael, then looked at Lolly and said "that guy forgot to go to the doctor today!" We all got a kick out of that one.

Now, a month later, we are doing fine. Michael has no jaundice issues, eats fine, and is back above birth weight. I am doing well and should be completely healed before too long. We are all getting back into a routine, sort of. And the truck still isn't done. Many many thanks to all of those who helped, drove, rescued, fed, entertained, loved, and prayed for us. We appreciate it all and could not have done any of this without you. Thanks for saving our sanity and putting up with us when we lose it. We love you tons and are lucky to be surrounded by the best people in the world!