Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Day of School

Today was a success!  The kids were up and ready on time, beds were made (except for Kate), we ate eggs and toast for breakfast because I wanted to be sure that the kids had protein in their bellies to hold them over to lunch, and we were out the door with pictures taken on time.  Kate had a bit of a hard time eating breakfast I'm sure with a nervous tummy.  Other wise everyone was happy and calm.  In fact I think this was the most calm first day we've ever had.  It almost felt weird and normal for them to be off.

The older kids start at 8am and Jane was to start at 9am.  She was pretty upset when we got home and she realized that she still had to wait for her school to start.  I was amazed and thrilled at her confidence and excitement going into her class.  Both Randall and I were there to drop her off because it was such a big day...for us.  Our "baby off to school.  She did need one extra hug and kiss and then she was off with no tears and hardly any hesitation.  I felt a bit emotional but really was just so grateful that she was happy and going forward that I was ok.

I think it helped that I had a busy morning ahead of me.  I had an OB appt down in Orem and was rushing to get there on time.  Baby boy is still measuring big at 40 weeks, and I'm only 36 and half weeks along.  I was "checked" today and to my amazement was dilated to 1.5 cm.  Now to most people that's nothing, but I have never, no never, been dilated on my own to even a 1!  Even at my due date or past I am a big huge ZERO.  The complicated part of that though, is the doc said that if I can progress to a 3 on my own by next week we may be ready to induce the baby due to his size.  I'm hesitant in that regard because first, I am always hesitant to have the baby even as I am huge and uncomfortable.  Babies are much easier to care for inside the belly, don't cry, and don't have to be fed at all hours of the day and night.  Admittedly I am sleeping the worst I have of any pregnancy and that's beginning to wear me down.  It's hard to be this big and have 4 others to care for when I really am huge and so tired with lack of sleep.

Another thing that makes this whole when to have a baby (as if I have any control in that regard) is that we already have 3 birthdays within 9 days and now possibly a 4th?!  Ethan's birthday is next Thursday the 29th and I really don't want his birthday to be overshadowed by possibly having another baby on his birthday or bringing him home on his birthday.  Ethan is a great kid and truthfully I'm really hard on him a lot of the time, expecting a lot out of him in many regards, so the least I can do is let him have one great day all his own of celebration.  So...if I could choose I wouldn't want to have the baby until at least a day or two after his birthday.

We shall see.  I just may end up being induced at 39 weeks as originally planned which would put me around the 6th or so of September.  I guess time will tell.  I'm just glad we had such a great first day!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Let the games begin!

It's funny because in some ways I look at our summer as pretty low key with no real vacations gone on and no planned activities, and yet on the other hand I felt PLENTY busy.  We signed on our new home Wednesday June 26th after much anticipation and moved in that night.

We love our house!  We pinch ourselves daily and are so grateful that we are here.  It's a beautiful home with all the things we picked ourselves, but when it comes down to it, it's the room to spread out from one another, a finished basement where the kids spend a lot of time playing, and all the storage that makes me happy.  Oh the storage!  When friends come to see the house they may think it strange that we walk around and ooh and aah over all the storage, pointing out our pantry and all the closets.  It's fantastic.  In fact many of my kitchen cabinets are empty and many many shelves in the closets as well.  The kids closets are basically bare and I love it.  Of course everyone always says that "we will fill it up", and of course I take that as a personal challenge to make sure that never happens.  If it does, then we will inevitably have too much stuff!  I already have a large load of clothes and a few things I just don't want anymore to go to D.I. so thankfully we aren't packing in a lot of extra stuff yet.

As I sit here and type this I am 36 weeks 1 day pregnant with a large baby...so they tell me...and so does everybody else as they see me walk around these days.  So just being so pregnant has put a slight damper on our Summer activities this year.  We have kept to a nice schedule and the neighbors probably think we never play with friends since we had our daily "quiet time" almost without fail.  How am I supposed to keep with these kids in the heat, in my huge state without a little break each day.  Thankfully Jane also still naps every day, bless her soul, so it has worked out for us.

Speaking of the neighborhood, we also are loving that.  We living on the corner end of a cul-de-sac and  it's great.  We have great neighbors.  Most people are similar to us in age with some obviously younger and one couple right next door that are early empty nesters, but we still really enjoy them.  The area is quiet and safe enough I can send the kids to play down the street and I'm not worried about them.

We also so far have a great ward and I'm so thankful for that.  I am now serving as personal progress leader in the YW.  I'm excited about it, but admit that it's WAY more than I originally thought it would be.  Rand was just called to be the ward mission leader and apparently there are a lot of non members, part-member families or less actives around so there is work to do.  He's excited about it and I think he'll do a good job.

Tomorrow is the big day... school starts!  I can hardly believe it.  Usually I may feel a bit sad and tomorrow may be a bit emotional for me as the kids start yet another new school.  This new start of school with technically be the 4th for Ethan in the last 3 years.  Yikes!  Good thing they are good at transition and learning to go with the flow.  Jane also starts school tomorrow which I didn't realize until her open house this morning.  I thought she started Thursday, and for some reason the fact that she starts tomorrow has made me a bit more sad to see my "baby" be a big girl.  She has been wanting to go to school, wearing her backpack for a year though so I think she will love it, and truthfully I think I will love it too, at least once I get used to the idea of her being gone two mornings a week.

Our Fall is going to be incredibly busy with activities galore.  Ethan is doing another season of flag football, hopefully without injury this time around, and also piano lessons.  Anna will have 3 hours of ballet a week and piano, Kate is starting with just one hour of ballet, but add in scouts and activity days and we will be plenty busy, especially when the baby arrives.

I have missed having a history of the things we are doing and hope to be better about "journaling" our goings ons but once baby comes I'm sure my times will be even more limited.  For now we are happy, healthy and feel very blessed with all the good going on in our lives.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas Day

I know the picture is dark but I was trying to capture it in true fashion with the cozy lighting and Perry Como playing in the background.

 We had a good Christmas this year, as we always do.  We adopted the mantra this year of Something you want, need, read, and wear.  We also then did a Santa gift(in addition to the 1 want) because  didn't want all the fun stuff coming from Santa :)
The Must do pose at the top of the stairs before seeing the goods.
 I slept like a baby as I always do on Christmas Eve.  In fact this year I think I almost felt bad about it, because I know so many who are restless all night because they are so excited!  I guess I'm just tired.

I think Ethan was surprised at his Bow and Arrow!

Jane kept asking for a "pony" for Christmas, and Santa delivered.

A pretty cute cowgirl

Some big excitement over a candy cane

 Kate was really funny this year and she only kept asking for "cowboy boots for my doll".  She has a fake American girl doll and boots where all she wanted.  How could Santa just bring some teeny tiny boots? So instead he also brought Kate a horse for her doll and her own cowgirl boots.  When we were in Jersey Kate had some red cowgirl boots that she wore all. the. time. She loved those boots and we were sad when we had to retire them, so I was thrilled that Santa found her some new RED cowgirl boots.
Showing the new boots

 Anna is at a tricky age and wanted a laby which is like a kids ipad, but we have decided to try to put of the technology for as long as possible.  They are kids and I want them to still have to be creative and not be plugged in until we absolutely have too.  So instead of a Laby, Santa brought Anna Ruthie, another American girl doll.  I was hesitant to buy buy these dolls but Anna loves her Julie doll that she got in New York for her 6th birthday.  We figured Julie would love a friend.

 I'm far to cheap to buy the "real" American girl stuff since the accessories all just get lost or broken anyway, so thankfully target had this darling kitchen that the dolls could play in.  Anna spent all morning "organizing" her kitchen.  Like mother like daughter.
 For the read I choose 3 books each for the kids.  Picking the books is one of my favorite things to do.  I research for days or even a week or so looking for the perfect books for each child.  Since I'm not a big fan of "stuff", books save the day because they are something we all enjoy for many years and I never want to throw them away.  It was really fun because as soon as Jane opened one book she climbed in my lap and wanted me to read it to her.  Then another and another.  I figure I want to give the kids things of value and I think trying to have them love books and reading is one of the best things we can do.
 In addition to Ethan's bow and arrow, he also got a wii game.

Funny Story:  Naturally Ethan wanted to try his Bow out.  Rand took Ethan out in our "backyard", to give it a try. Apparently one of his arrows went right above the target and ...Thru THE FENCE.  It got stuck at the feathers, but we now have a nice "peep hole" in the fence.  I guess it was good for us to learn early on how powerful the bow actually is.  Now they practice in a  much more open area away from people, and fences!
 For our "need" this year we all got 72 hour kits.  instead of giving the kids their kits I just wrapped up each of their headlamps. For the "wear", I bought the girls a cute sweater/sweatshirt, and much needed new jeans/pants, and Ethan requested some all weather moccasin shoes.

After opening presents and having a little something to eat, we went over to my parents for our traditional Christmas brunch with all my siblings and their families.  This is one of my favorite things about Christmas because it's the same tradition that we had growing up and it says Christmas to me.

One of the really fun surprises at my parents house was that my Mom surprised all the men by buying them tickets to a major league baseball game in April in San Francisco.  Mark, lives in San Francisco so it will be fun for all the boys, meaning Dad, my brothers, Rand and the only 2 grandsons Ethan and and a cousin Calvin just a year older than him.  Mom gave the boys their tickets with a baseball hat and a box of cracker jacks.  Last year, my got tickets for all the boys to go to a BYU football game at the new stadium in Dallas.  Ethan was SO excited to be lumped in with the "men" last year, staying in a hotel, and eating at good restaurants.  I think this kind of gift that makes such a special memory are the very best kind and I'm so excited for them.
This is Ethan sporting his new hat.  We told him he could wear it but not like Bieber or a gangsta...

After my parents we went over to the Wilson's house and ate some good soup and exchanged gifts.  We were the only ones over there at the time so it was nice to just sit and talk with Rand's parents and enjoy the afternoon.  The kids were getting worn out and wanted to get home to play with their presents we we got home about 5 or so.

In previous years I have felt like Christmas night is a bit of a downer because we are home by dinner everybody's tired but the day is all over basically after all the work and stress and preparation for months.  This year I had one gift left to unwrap and it was the movie "Brave".  It was perfect because we sat together as a family and watched it and the kids were able to play if they wanted too.  the kids were in bed at almost their normal bedtime and Rand not far after.  Admittedly I stayed up late just not quite ready to admit that Christmas this year was all done for.  I think for the Mom's who do most (all) the work it's a little hard to just say, "well, I guess that was it!"

Humorsly though, by the next morning I was ready for Christmas to be over so down went the tree and all the decorations.  I LOVE how bare the house looks when it's all gone.  The Christmas decor is beautiful and fun but in time the extra clutter makes me crazy.  The bare house feels like a new start for a New Year, just the way I like it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Years Day, Hip, hip hooray!

 When we were at Aspen Grove this summer, some "neighbors" of ours had made home-made hot air balloons and launched them one night.  It was amazing.  I told Rand that i really wanted to try it on our own sometime.  Well, we bought the supplies to do it for my birthday a month later, but it just didn't happen since life just gets in the way.
 Finally after Christmas and all the craziness was over we decided New Year's would be the perfect time for our first launch.  We worked on the balloons on New Year's Eve and then launched them New Years day in the park behind my in-laws house.
 They worked even better than we expected, rising a 100 feet of more into the air.  The only problem was the wind was blowing just ever so slightly and they became caught in the trees a few times and ultimately one landed on someone's roof where it will stay for a while I assume.

 The kids thought it was so cool as you can see the awe in Jane's face here.  Between the 2 balloons we probably launched at least 15-20 times.

 The kids (and Rand) also thought it was fun to chase them down as they descended.  That, and we didn't want them to get ripped or wet so we could fly them again.

 This is my favorite red and yellow one stuck on a neighbors roof-bummer
 After the kids did a little sledding we came inside because it was just too cold to be out for long.  Thankfully Grandma served us up some hot cocoa with real live whip cream on top.  Can't beat it.
It was a really fun activity to do with the kids and honestly kind of a symbolic start to our year.  In my mind it was us watching our bright hopes and future for the New Year rising up into the beautiful clean blue sky.  Not a bad way to start 2013 off, not bad at all.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stomach Flu

The bug has hit our house and it's been a weird one.  Jane and I were sick basically the same day (Randall's birthday-huge bummer) then nobody for a week, then it was Anna, and now 4 days later it's poor Kate's turn.  I had just come home from the gym this morning, when Kate came down fussing.  I said to Randall "Does she look green?"  I've always heard that but never really seen that for myself, sure enough she laid on our bed and suddenly started vomiting.  Awesome. I put her in the tub and threw our bedding in the washing machine- I love my washing machine.

Poor little thing has nothing in her tummy but just keeps heaving and heaving.  Thankfully I had some help today with a friend taking Ethan to school and another friend running to the store for me to pick up the "sick necessities", like ginger-ale, crackers, and soup.

Hopefully this illness will be short lived like it has been for the rest of us.  I'm just worried because Rand's company party is Friday and I really don't want to miss it, but Ethan and Rand have yet to get it.

I've washed all the towels and bedding, wiped doorknobs and light switches, cleaned bathroom numerous times, but it just seem with the stomach bug it just usually makes the rounds.  Bummer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Time Flies

I can't believe how long it's been since I posted.  On Sunday a teacher remarked how important it is for us to keep a journal.  I suddenly remember that this place is my journal and it's important to keep a record of my family.

Life has been busy lately.  It seems like it just gets more so each day somehow.  I am staying afloat but some days I feel like just barely, and that things like this blog just aren't/can't be a priority.  But, when I remember the purpose here is to document what's going on in our home with or without pictures and that it's not a place to impress or entertain anyone I suddenly feel a renewed excitement and desire to visit here more often.  So, if anyone actually still reads this and suddenly realizes it's changed it's "tone" and there are a lot more spelling and editing errors, so be it.

That being said, here's life in a nutshell.

Rand- Rand hit his 5 year mark with Adobe mid November.  I can't tell you what a blessing his job has been for us.  He is constantly being challenged and his responsibilities changing and he loves that.  He can not be bored intellectually and I love that about him.  It's important for him to continue to grow and be challenged.  He is someone who will work until he figures it out, I wish I could same the same for me.

Me-  I am staying busy with just the day to day stuff.  At times I don't understand why I'm so busy and that nothings really changed but I guess just planing, shopping for and making meals, staying on top of laundry and house work, and running from piano, ballet, scouts, activity days and many, many doctor appointments recently then it's fairly easy to see where my time is taken up.  I'm so incredibly grateful that we can afford to live on one income and that I get to be home with the kids full time.  I know what a rare thing that is these days.  I loved being a dental hygienist and was even asked to sub in my office in November but I told them I just couldn't make that work.  I felt bad about it initially and was a bit sad because I truly love that part of my life... I like feeling like I am more than "just Mom", and I love interacting with patients and staff, but right now I'm glad I'm available to run my kids here and there and everywhere.  I have to say that for whatever reason this year especially I have had moments where I feel immensely blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude for all our blessings.  My kids make me nuts at times and about 4 o'clock when I've just come home from picking Ethan up, which is at least a 30 minute round trip and the girls walk in the door, with someone often crying about something like getting a 15 and  half out of 16 on a spelling test I want to cry myself.  I am trying to keep Jane happy, make dinner, help Ethan with his math,  "handle" Anna all the while trying to make sure I'm happy and pleasant when Randall walks in the door so that he's happy he's home once he gets there.  And those are the days we don't have activities right after school that we are running off to.  It's busy but it's all good things.

Ethan-  Poor kid has had a rough few months.  His cast FINALLY came off after 8 weeks and boy was his poor little arm weak.  His muscles were not only weak but there was a lot of scar tissue built up from his surgery so it took some time to work with that to have him have normal mobility.  After all of that I realized that his coughing all night that was keeping him and me up all night needed to be looked into.  Ethan is the sweetest boy ever, but had just started getting up set at the drop of a hat and just ornery in general.  I took him to the Dr. and they tested his lung capacity because of all of his coughing.   He was supposed to be at a 347 and his capacity due to inflammation etc was down to 140.  Admittedly a shed a few tears feeling so guilty that I hadn't brought him in sooner.  They did some other testing and a few nebulizer treatments and gave us a weeks worth of steroids to get him better.  Thankfully within a week he was improving tremendously and started sleeping through the  night which made him a much nicer kid to get around.  They have diagnosed him with Asthma and sent us to an allergist to see what was triggering all of this.  We saw the allergist and after doing skin tests determined he is very allergic to grass, and cats and quite allergic to many trees and dogs.  Nice!  Truthfully I'm just grateful he doesn't have any food allergies.  His exzema was doing great but recently flared up so back to the allergist we will go.  I tell ya I don't know how parents with severely sick children keep on top of it all. We have spent so much time and money on Dr.'s and surgeries this year it's unbelievable.  Yet again, I'm grateful it's something treatable and that he's doing and feeling so much better.  There were times he would get so frustrated with his homework and say things like "I just can't think!"  I told the Dr. that and she said he wasn't getting enough oxygen.  I felt terrible but what do you do?

One awesome thing is that Ethan finished reading The Book of Mormon on his own this past Sunday.  His primary teacher in Jersey challenged the whole class to do it in January this year and he read like a champ while we were there.  In the last few months he had tapered off quite a bit and I was sure he wouldn't be able to do it.  In fact Saturday I told him I was disappointed he had come so far and wasn't going to finish.  Sunday when he got up he announced to us that today was the day and he was going to finish.  He read for 3 hours straight finishing off the last 26 chapters!  I don't think he realizing what a big thing that it and how there are many who go on their missions without having done that.  We are really proud of him and grateful for a good teacher who issued such a huge challenge.  I spoke to her Sunday and she said all but 1 in the class (who is autistic) finished.  That tells me our kids are capable and that we can expect great things from them, and can probably ask them to do more than we do.

Anna-   Anna is such a girl and is so into her hair these days.  Thankfully she doesn't change her clothes a hundred times but she does and re does her hair a hundred times a day.  We have instituted a family economy recently and she often doesn't get her pay for morning things because she is late to breakfast because she is still doing her hair, over and over, and then crying about how it isn't perfectly even etc.  She is quite the perfectionist.  Not sure where she gets that ;)  Her temperament is better but she still has tantrums once in a while like a two year old would but I guess as long as there is progress we are happy.  Anna is taking ballet with her cousin and she loves it.  She is so long and lean and precise so she does a good job.  I love to go and watch them dance.  Even at her age, I think the movements and the music are so beautiful that it makes me happy to go and watch her.  I think it's good for her to feel like she has something that is hers that she is good at.  She has started into the "I'm stupid" phase which I don't like and can't decide half the time to just ignore it, or tell her she isn't or try to distract her to something else.  I love Anna but she is one that keeps me awake at night worrying from time to time.

Kate-  Wow, is that girl ever an artist and creative.  She is making or doing art constantly.  She is good at drawing, painting and even making sculptures out of random objects or playdough.  She even made a monster out of a pencil box the other day with opposing teeth an eye and eyebrow and then fish to throw into it's mouth to "chomp".  it amazes me what she comes up with.  This morning she made a penguin out of clay, a island for it to sit on and little eggs all around it, with little cracks in the eggs because they were "hatching".  He eye for details is crazy and she can honestly draw better than I can (which isn't hard but she's good).  She doesn't love school and that worries me a bit, but I think it's her teacher :( She is a recently single mom with 4 kids and this is her first year teaching.  She just comes across and panicked and frazzled and not fun and stuff.  Academics doesn't seem to be her thing just yet.  Kate is extremely affectionate almost too much at times.  She will come up and kiss me on the hip over and over and over until I'm like ok, thank you!  She is still alittle sunshiny bright spot and easy going and just entertains herself.

Jane-  Jane was our bright spot until about 2 weeks ago. She got the stomache flu and hasn't been the same since.  I'd like to think she was bitten by the terrible two's bug.  I also think because she is generally so sweet that we tend to give her her way and spoil her a bit, so we are working on that.  I think now she wasn't her way all the time everytime.  She also wants to watch tv all the time and I don't let her and she's not too happy about that.  She is as smart a whip, seriously freaky smart.  Must get that from Rand.  She potty trained herself in September and is dry now for all naps and night.  She's pretty amazing and we call her our family mascot because we all just love and she usually so much fun it's like having a little pet with me all the time as my buddy.

We have decided to build a house and have a great lot less than two miles from the new Adobe building.  We are so excited about that.  We break ground Feb 1st so we will see how all that goes.

Never a dull moment!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Poor Kid

 September 4th was "the worst day of my life", said Ethan, and Friday September 21st after being in a cast for 3 weeks, we went back for our weekly visit to the orthopedist, and it quickly became "the 2nd worst day of my life", said Ethan, as it was then that we found out that Ethan would need surgery to pin the bone into the proper place so it would heal correctly.
 Friday when we received the news Ethan wasn't thrilled, but he handled it pretty well.  We figured we may as well make it festive so we took the family to Red Robin Friday to um... celebrate? We also bought him yet another book, one of his favorite things to help him in his recovery.
 He had be to the hospital by 6am so Randall took him while I stayed home with the girls thinking it wouldn't be an overly big deal and he would be home in a matter of a few hours.  Sadly the bone had healed quite a bit but not in the right way, so they had to do a deep incision through the muscle down to the bone, then re-break the bone and pin it in two places to hold it together correctly.
 You can see from the x-ray what they did.  If you look at the bone toward the top it doesn't look all that great and straight either but they feel like it's healing completely fine so you can imagine how bad the other bone looked before it was pinned.
 Because the surgery was more extensive and involved than they were planning, there was a lot more pain involved.  AND Ethan was only heavily sedated to have his arm set the first time so this was his first time with general anesthesia, and he did NOT do well.  When he came to recovery he was in a lot of pain and was horribly nauseated.  Of course he had not eaten in preparation for the surgery but he just kept throwing up.  He was one sick little amigo.  Because of this he had to be taken up to the pediatric floor to be monitored for several hours.
 Thankfully at this point my Mom offered to come sit with the girls so I could go up and be with him also.  He didn't seem to care to much when I got there but he was still not a very happy camper.  Thankfully they got his pain under control and after another dose or 2 of Zofran they were also able to get the nausea under control... well so we thought.

Finally a few hours after I arrived he was able to settle in and sleep hard for about an hour.  It was after that he finally turned a corner and was able to eat a few crackers and a bit of a roll, hold down some liquid and go to the bathroom.  All things he had to do in order to be discharged.  He was still looking green and was weak but we were anxious to get him home.

He seemed to be doing ok at home and was able to eat a few more crackers and some soda so we were feeling encouraged when bed time came.  To bad as we sat him up to get him to bed her threw up everything he had finally ingested including his pain meds we had given him just minutes earlier.

Thankfully a good friend of ours came to help Randall give Ethan a blessing of comfort and healing.  It was a really sweet experience watching both men kneel by his bedside and bless him with comfort.  The little girls knelt down too and listened quietly.  After our friend left Ethan asked if I would just stay in his room with him for awhile.  It was really sweet to talk with him quietly and rub his legs and feet to try to get him to relax.  Sadly Ethan being the oldest and such a sweet and easy kid I think he often doesn't get the time and attention he deserves, so it was nice to just be with him quietly alone for a little while.  It was then that he thanked me for coming to the hospital to be with him.  It was a strange thing to watch him lying in the bed rubbing his long legs wondering how the time has passed so quickly and here he is this big boy.  Thankfully it wasn't long after that he was able to settle in and fall asleep.
 When I was leaving Ethan's room last night I saw this note Anna wrote to Ethan taped to his door.  It reads : To:  Ethan Wilson, I am sorry you had to have "srgry" love, Anna.  I thought that was so sweet of her.
Today he is no longer throwing up, is eating a little and can move a round just a bit.  He will definitely be missing school tomorrow and after that we will just have to see.  Despite all of this he has yet again been as sweet as ever.  He did ask me the other day "why God had given him this trial", and so we had a good conversation about that.  I told him that God thinks he's strong and so he knows he can handle this.  We are just grateful the worst is over (I hope) and he is on the road to recovery.  He will be in his soft splint until Friday when he is put in a hard cast and then we will check everything including the pins a month later to see how we are doing.

I wish I could say this is the last of our hospital time, but Randall gets to have a little hernia surgery on Thursday, so wish us luck!