Friday, December 14, 2007

Finn's First Teeth!

Finley got his first teeth today! He has been gumming stuff like crazy for the past little while, and this morning I noticed that two little teeth had finally broken through. And yes, since he often uses my finger to gum on (he’s such an animal!), I knew he was still toothless as of last night, and was fairly surprised that they came in that fast. He had been just as happy and smiley as always, with no signs of teething pain whatsoever. The best part is that he slept through the night, and never even made a peep (thank you son)! I can’t find my camera or I would have totally had a cute little money shot of his new little teeth. Oh well.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hasppiness Is A Folding Table In The Basement

A folding table in the basement for my sewing machines? Who knew that was where my happiness lay…well at least some of my happiness anyways.’ With the house on the market, my sewing table had to be put away. Which meant that I have been intermittently hauling everything in and out of the garage as time permitted, and working on my projects at the kitchen table during ‘off-peak’ hours. That got old REALLY fast. So, in the interest of Christmas, and all that I hold dear in my little sewing heart, Craig set up a big folding table in a corner of the basement for me to lay claim to, where I have now happily stationed myself with my sewing machine and serger. I am currently trying to get to as many of my urgent projects as I can, and I am having so much fun as I go. I missed my favorite creative outlet, and I am thrilled to be back at it again. At least until after Christmas, because once we re-list, I will have to pack it all up again in order to show off the “roomy attributes” of our house. But, in the mean time I am making the most of my temporary digs, and so far I have gotten quite a few things done. I will post more on them later, but for now, just know I am happily sitting at my folding table in the basement, and loving every sewing, crafting, stitching, seam ripping minute of it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Nutcracker

 I wasn’t able to go to the Nutcracker this year so I sent Haven and Ciel with my Mom, and Heidi was able to take Livy with her this year since she was now old enough. And after last year, I decided that it would be so much more fun for each one of the girls to have her very own Nutcracker to take to the performance. They loved being just like ”Clara”, right along with the ballet, it was a hit with all of them. Haven and Livy both looked so beautiful, and I was thrilled Ciel decided to go this year no matter what she was wearing. (Next year I’m banning jeans, and I will buy her any dress or skirt she wants….with or without a tiara….) As sorry as I am that I wasn’t able to go this time with both of my girls, I know there is always next year. I am so excited about the dress possibilities for next year, I’m already looking through patterns for the perfect one for next years performance.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Families Can Be Together For….A Little While

During dinner tonight, Noah had a question for me:

Noah- Who is going to be my Mom when I get older?
Me- I am.
Noah- No, I mean when I’m bigger and grown up, who will be my Mom then?
Me- Yes, I know what you meant, and it will still be me, I’m your Mom forever Noah.
Noah- Ohhh. (sounding incredibly disapointed)
 …who did he hope my replacement was going to be?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

New House, Bad Scare, An X-Ray, And Done!

Tonight we took the children on a tour of the new house since none of them had seen it yet, and they all loved it. I was going to take some pics with my camera, but the owners have no children, have tons of knick knacks and trinkets everywhere you turn, so I had my hands full tending to that, but all went well, and nothing was disturbed. Once we got home I started right in making dinner, the kids were hungry and clamoring for a meal. Finn had fallen asleep on the ride home so we were letting him snooze a bit in his carseat in the living room.
I had only just begun to cook the meat when I heard a weird sound like a choked kind of half cry, and it was coming from Finley. When I got to him, Gracen had just walked away, clutching his binky, and looking fairly guilty. I knew she had once again “fed” him something she knew she shouldn’t have (so far the list of “offending items” are wheat bread, cereal, juice, milk, pecan chocolate chip cookies, and crackers). She loves her baby brother and wants so much to share with him, she just doesn’t understand that he’s still too little for it.
I don’t know what she had given him this time, but when I got to the baby he had stopped breathing and was turning all sorts of colors. I grabbed him, turned him face down on my forearm and began to thump him furiously, told Ciel to run get Craig (he used to be an EMT), and went for the phone to dial 911. But just then, he must have swallowed whatever it was that was stuck, because he suddenly began crying and breathing again. I immediately called my Dr. to let them know I was coming, buckled him back into his carseat, and away we went. I’m not prone to panicking, but even though he was breathing fine I knew I wouldn’t be able to rest until they had checked him over.
The Dr. listened to his lungs, checked his mouth and throat, and he showed no signs he had ever been in any distress with his breathing, but he had some cuts, scrapes and a bit of bleeding at the back of his throat. Since we still weren’t sure what it was he was force fed by his sister, Finn had to have an x-ray to rule out any metal objects. To do that they had to put him in a sausage casing plexiglass contraption that held his arms up over his head, pressing him on all sides with only a small cut out by his face, but he was so small, the cut out area came to his nose, so it was awful. He was pinned in there for about 15 minutes, but it felt like forever since he was crying so hard. It was so heartbreaking, I just kept reminding myself that it was a good thing, but it was so hard to not be able to comfort him. I sang to him, held his little hands, and pet his little face and head, trying to make it just the tiniest bit better, but nothing worked until he was out, and back in my arms. My poor sweet little baby boy.
Happily the x-ray was clear, and he got a clean bill of health, so we just have to watch him these next few days until we think whatever it was has passed or been digested. We didn’t see exactly what Gracen fed him, but we suspect it may have been a Froot Loop, but again, not sure. Not exactly how we wanted to end our evening, but the kids loved the house, are so excited to move in, and Finley is doing fine and talking away, playing like nothing ever happened, he’s still as happy as ever!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ok, It's Confession Time...

I’m not that big on Halloween. Really, I’m not. I just don’t want to decorate for it, spend a whack of money on costumes, or have to get myself all dressed up. In fact, this year, I didn’t even buy any pumpkins *gasp*! not a single one! And I have been known in the past to buy pumpkins, and never even carve them *oh the humanity*! They just sat on my porch (and one year in my garage) and rotted, until one night some neighborhood kids smashed them in the street. They didn’t know it but they did me a great favor because now I didn’t have to worry about trying to dispose of the mushy messes, it was done for me! Thanks neighborhood hooligans! I just don’t have much interest in getting pumpkin guts all over my house, kids, floor and kitchen. Pumpkin carving is really something best left to adults and teenagers if you ask me, but then again, being that I’m not into Halloween, maybe you’d better NOT ask me! I know, how can anyone be so un-fun? Frankly, to me, Halloween is just the last commercial bump in the road until the stores bust out the Christmas stuff, and that’s where my heart really is. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! It’s my favorite holiday, and no, it’s not about the presents. I love the snow, the carols, the trees, the decorations, the holly, the angels, the nutcrackers, the old holiday cartoons on tv, the nativity, the fun of surprising my kids, I just love everything about it! I noticed that our Wal-Mart already started to get their Christmas stuff out and onto the shelves 2 weeks ago, so I have already begun browsing the shelves in the back, checking out the new ornaments and wreaths, mentally picking my favorites for when I’m ready to buy. I know, I’m such a Halloween Scrooge. But guess what? I don’t care, I’m too busy smelling the sugar cookie scented candles, ogling the Christmas dishes, and checking out the stocking display to notice that your egging my house and t.p.-ing our yard.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Five Little Ghosts

A while back, H asked me if we could make some ghosts for Halloween. I’m not that into the whole “Kleenex tied on the top of a tootsie roll pop” thing, since I am not a big fan of having a bunch of candy in my house (what can I say, I’m a mean mom), so I went in another direction instead. Haven, Noah and I sat one night and drew all sorts of ghost shapes, faces, bodies, and such, until we had a whole assortment to choose from (designing ghosts with those two was a lot of fun, and I plan on doing some more projects like this with them again). Then I had the two of them pick their favorite ghost body shape, face, and piece of ribbon for a tag, and then had Mathes and Gracen come and choose too (I chose Finn’s ghost for him). I cut the pattern pieces out of cardboard, traced them onto white fleece, cut them out as well as the face pieces from some black fleece, and pulled out my sewing machine (in between showing the house to potential buyers) and temporarily set up in the kitchen. It didn’t take me long to sew and stuff all five of them, and they have each been snuggling with their ‘ghosties’ in their beds every night since. They were quite a hit, and I had a lot of fun making them for each of them too.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Chumich-y Explanation

When Ciel was very little “chumich” was her go-to word of choice, especially when it came to naming stuff. Her favorite doll was originally called “Chumich” until Heidi, Mark, and Holly re-christened it Rowsdower. If you asked her the name of a lot of things for a while, they were all “chumich” (such as the rescued baby bird, the Beta & several gold fish, various other stuffed animals etc…) And also used the word in her everyday vocabulary to describe things too, just because I think she liked that word (it was chumich). Ciel had a VERY active imagination, and was not above making lots of stuff up to suit her own tastes, she had many other words that were all of her own making. She was very entertaining, and we had endless fun with her as a little girl. Can you believe she will be 13 in just a few days? Not me, I can assure you.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Wonder-ful Woman

When I was a little girl, I LOVED Wonder Woman, and wanted to be her with every fiber of my litte girl being. I even dreamed I was her on more than one occaision, saving my siblings from mortal doom, magic bracelets and all. So for Halloween one year, after much begging, pleading and constant bugging, my Mom caved and said she would sew me a Wonder Woman costume. Oh, I was going to look SO COOL! I could hardly wait for Halloween, and I hung by my Mom’s side, watching everything as she cut and sewed my little girls dream together a few days later. But the farther the costume came along, the more I realized that it was basically a shiny satin swimsuit, with no other coverage (yeah, I know, how did I miss that? What can I say, I was still pretty little). How was I going to wear this to school? Or go from house to house at night when it’s a lot colder? Suddenly, I wasn’t quite so excited anymore, but didn’t know how to tell my Mom. She was slaving away at it, working so hard on what I had been begging her to make for me. I didn’t want her hard work to go to waste, but I also was worried about wearing so little clothing. My Mom, with super powers of her own, saw my anxiety and also realized that the costume, even with the cape, wasn’t going to be a great idea after all. Not a problem! She quickly came up with a great solution, so that year I was a gypsy (the first of many). And a very happy one at that. Since my ears weren’t pierced, my Mom got creative, and I loved the ”gold” canning rings she attached to the kerchief to look like huge dangling gypsy earring. So cool! Thanks Mom, you never said a word about all of the wasted time, effort, or fabric on the Wonder Woman costume either. And by the way, you really did an awesome job on it Mom, it looked really cool, and just like her real suit, even halfway sewn.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

This is *yawn* Poison Control, how may I help…zzzzzzzz

Yesterday I had the pleasure of calling the phone number above. Yep, that’s right, I had to call Poison Control. Somehow Miss G got ahold of a bottle of hand sanitizer, and the next thing I know she turns up in the kitchen, hands me the nearly empty bottle, reeking of Germ X and pointing to her mouth. I asked her over and over if she ate it, and she kept telling me ‘yes’. I examined her room to see if there was any in there and I found a bunch she had poured onto her floor (Ahhh! The new carpet!) and then there was a ton down the front of her dress (Ahhh! It’s all over her stomach and hands!), and I thought I smelled it on her face by her mouth (AHHH!!! SHE’S BEEN EATING IT!!!), but I couldn’t be exactly sure if she had actually swallowed any or was just refferring to the bad taste in her mouht from licking her hands or something. So, like any neglectful responsible and hysterical concerned parent, I immediately call Poison Control to see what, if anything, I should do.
The Poison Control associate on the other end sounded really bored when he answered, almost irritated in fact that I was bothering him, but I started in explaining my dilemma right away. He asked me if she was she vomiting, unresponsive, or lethargic, and how much had she possibly ingested and I explained that I wasn’t sure but that I was calling to be on the safe side. Still sounding completely bored and a bit cranky as if he gets this kind of call from panicked moms all of the time, he said that he doubts she had ingested any serious amount of the hand sanitizer since it tastes so bad, and I really shouldn’t worry. Yeah, duh! I thought about that too, but like I said, better…safe…than…sorry (you darn dirty jerk!) After taking down our info, he told me to give her liquids, keep an eye on her and watch for any signs of drunkeness, and to take her to the ER immediately if she exibits any, then he promptly hung up on me.
Um wait, drunkeness!?!?! Seriously?!?! 
Great, I was NOT calling that jerk back. So we watched her, no signs, she’s fine, and my stomach began to un-knot several hours later.
Still irked by the guy on the other end though. Thanks for making me feel like I’m wasting your time with my call (lousy human mustard).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hank Aaron She Ain’t

I was about 10-11 years old, living in California, and upstairs in my brothers room. I was having an argument with my brother Scott about something I thought was important at the time, but now I can’t remember the silly little details. At some point he chucked a large paperback book at me and said something that really ticked me off (again, I don’t remember what, but my brothers were always good at making me mad when they wanted to). So I picked the book up off of the floor where it had fallen, and threw it right back at him. Sadly, I have crummy aim, and I watched in slo-mo horror as the book sailed neatly past his shoulder, and went right through the glass in the window behind him, leaving a large, gaping, book sized hole in the bottom left corner. I stood there horrified, Scott and I looking at each other in disbelief and shock. Then my Mom ran in, and began to go ballistic. Can’t say I blame her. I can still feel the knot in my stomach as I stared at that hole in the glass. I was always amazed at how quietly it sailed through, I never even heard so much as a tinkle of glass as it broke a book sized hole in the bottom left corner of the window. I still can't believe the whole window didn’t shatter either (thankfully). That pretty much cured me of ever wanting to throw something at someone again. Ok, I have wanted to, but prefer not to tempt fate again. And as for my punishment, I was severely scolded and sent to my room. Could have been worse, I could have been grounded. Actually surprised I wasn’t. And of course I was even madder at Scott afterwards because I felt like he “made me” throw the book at him, so it was his fault really. Yeah, made sense to me then, not so much now though. Ah, the mini dramas of my youth.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sorry Wilbur, Charlotte Didn't Make It

Mathes was playing with one of his toys yesterday, shaking it and trying to get one of the pieces out that was stuck inside. He asked me for help, which I had no problem doing. So I began shaking it too and peering inside the little slot on the side, looking to see just where that errant piece had gotten lodged. With my eye pressed to the opening, suddenly I see a spider, inside the toy, charging straight for me! Of course, being the calm, cool and collected person that I am in the presence of a spider, I panicked, (”AHHHHHHH!”)  threw the toy across the room as hard and fast as I could, and began yelling for my husband to come quick! Craig saunters over, and when I explain my “trauma” he examines the toy, sees the spider as it dizzily crawls out, informs me it’s only a tiny spider and was probably far more frightened of me than I am of him (doesn’t he know me at all?!?), and then proceeds to squash it at my insistence. What also grossed me out was that Gracen had this same toy in her crib with her last night, right next to her face. All I can think is that spider crawled inside that toy, thinking it’s a great place to lay her eggs, and the little sac is in there now, evilly pulsating (because all evil egg sacs pulsate, didn’t you know) waiting for it’s moment of revenge, where they will all emerge in the Spring to wreak havoc and avenge their mothers untimely death at our hands! Ok, just a tad overdramatic, but I’m still a bit freaked out by my eye level view of said arachnid. Hey, what can I say, I’m a big baby when it comes to the eight legged creepy crawlies. *shudder*!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Confusion and Cell Phones Can Lead To Love

Ok, Heidi, Laurie, and now Melanie have inspired me (aka ‘I’m totally copying them’) to write about how Craig and I met, so here goes… 
   I had just quit my job at ‘K-Mart’ to go on a two week family vacation to Canada. The store manager had changed and was in the midst of revamping the staff, with a lot of positions being done away with, mine being one of those, so I would have been jobless in a few weeks anyways, not a big loss. When we got back, I immediately went to apply at ‘Convergys’ (a call center handling billing, accounts and activations for a major cell phone company) at the urging of several family members who said it was a great place to work with lots of fun people. During my interview, while doing my typing test, the interviewer left the room as I began to type (the computer I was taking the typing test on monitored my speed). When he came back he saw my words per minute were well within the parameters, and I had no misspellings or giant mistakes. Had he stayed, he would have discovered that in reality, I DO NOT touch type, I’m just very, very fast at hunt and peck. No one ever seemed to have a problem with this though, so I figured it was fate that he left the room at just the right time. Either that or total boredom after interviewing the bazillionth person that day. So after a quick chat about my phone and social skills, I got the job. Two weeks later my training class started. The very first day as we introduced oursleves, I remember Craig stood up, and part of his introduction was talking about his band. He was sitting between two girls and talking with them (I later learned he didn’t know them until that day), and my first impression was that he was a total player, very good looking, and I intended to steer clear of him (although since I pegged him as a lothario, I was sure he would be the one steering clear of me since I was a single mom). There were also two people in the class I became very fast friends with, starting on the first day, and they were Katie and Ryan. Ryan lived only a few blocks from my house, so I often got a ride to and from work with him, and Katie was a very cute and fun girl, and we liked to hang out together quite a bit. Craig later told me he thought I was dating Ryan because he and I had been hanging out a lot.
   A few days into training, when several of us in the class, myself included, told the instructor we were struggling with a particular part of the training, he asked for volunteers that would be willing to help some of us to understand the concept. Craig was one of the volunteers, and the instructor paired us up. It didn’t take him long to help me sort the whole cell phone thing-a-ma-bob out that was confusing me, and we began chatting in the interim. I was still under the impression he was a guitar playing, bad boy, love em’ and leave em’ player, party boy, and that he was probably 21, if that. I was very surprised to learn how nice he really was, and that not only was he not 21, but his birthday was the next day, and he was turing 28 (In fact it was Sept. 28th, his magical birthday!) We ended up talking quite a bit that day, during break and everything. I learned he too had been married before, was currently divorced, and I was impressed with the way he talked about it all. I even went on to tell him that I too was divorced, and I was surprised at the way he took the news that I had two small children as well. You need to understand this….I didn’t normally talk about my children with my co-workers/guys. I had quite a few bad experiences with guys thinking that as a single mom I was an easy target for their “moves”, so I had learned to keep that part of my life quiet unless I felt it was relevant, and it worked out a lot better for me. I had even had several guys seem mildly interested in me, then when they found out I had children, they suddenly got VERY INTERESTED, which immediately sent up a red flag (um, pervert!). Although I took A LOT OF CRAP for it from some people, it had nothing to do with deception on my part, just lots of creepy guys. Seriously, you have no idea!
   That same day Craig gave me and my cousin (she was in my training class too) a ride home in his Jeep and I remember she made some comment about how she thought his Jeep wasn’t as nice inside as she thought it would be, I guess she thought it would have a ton of bells and whistles or something. I just don’t think she realized Craig wasn’t a “pretty boy” and he liked his vehicles more on the rugged side, something he could get out there and have fun 4-wheeling in the mountains with and not worry about it. His Jeep was really nice, just not brand new. I just wanted to kick her since insulting his vehicle seemed like a crummy payback for the ride he was so kindly giving us home. Especially since it was totally out of his way, he lived just across the street from Convergys and we lived quite a bit farther away. But Craig didn’t seem to care what she thought, ignored her comment, and ended up offering to come and pick me up for the dinner party some of us in the class had planned for later that night. Our training class was very friendly with one another, and we ended up very quickly deciding that parties, dinners and outings together would be a lot of fun, and we were quite a tight knit group even after our training ended. For some reason, Craig was usually the one to pick me up and take me home anytime there was a gathering, and we were asked quite a bit for a while if we were dating, which we were not, we really were just friends. I also was under the impression he was seriously dating anthother girl named Alecia, so I figured he was off limits, and anyways, I was having a great time just hanging out with him and everyone else. And as a group we really did a lot togethere after work. It was a really fun time, and I met some very nice and incredibly fun people.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

More Fire Drills Please

My children are currently playing “Fire Drill” where they pretend there is a fire and then they try to warn everyone so they can all get out in time. Sounds noisy right? Wrong. For some crazy reason, unknown to me, they are whispering “fire fire” so quietly, no one would ever hear them, let alone if we were all sleeping. We’re all gonna die.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

3 months old already?

Finley (also known as- Finn, Finster, Fin-wee, Finney, Finners, and Finnegan), is 3 months old. It has gone by so fast, I am astounded, has that much time really passed? He is such a sweet and good natured baby, I feel absolutely spoiled to know he’s really mine. Finley loves to smile, and has a grin at the ready for any moment he might catch your eye. And he is so alert and aware, he has to know just what is going on, and with so many brothers and sisters, there is always a commotion somwhere for some form of entertainment for him. He is a constant blur of motion and activity with all of the leg kicking and arm flailing, he is very active, and so strong. He loves to wiggle himself into postition so he can slide right off of his bouncy seat and onto the floor, very quietly, and then when I catch him, he gives me a little monkey grin and looks very pleased with himself, and does it all over again as soon as I slide him back on (my bouncy is an older metal frame model, reclined, and low to the ground, so he can’t get hurt….unless I put the bouncy on a countertop and walk away…Ahhhh!!!!). He loves to be in the middle of the mania, so if I’m in the kitchen Finn wants to hang out in there too, he can’t stand to miss out on any fun. And every night, each one of the children insists on kissing him before they go to bed, some more gentle than others. Bedtime just isn’t complete witout this nightly ritual. Finn has seamlessly joined our family, with his happy little smile, bright, inquisitive blue eyes, and adorable red hair, we can’t remember what we did without him, he is the finishing touch, and the perfect ending to the baby-days at our house.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Blessing Finley and Mark’s Birthday, Whew! It Was Quite a Day!

We had quite a crazy weekend, and a happily busy one at that, packed to the gills with fun and entertainment. We blessed F on Saturday morning, and then had a luncheon right afterwards. It was so much fun, and turned out so wonderfully, I am so thankful for everyones help, it all went so smoothly. And I am so thrilled that both of my grandmothers got to be there as well as my Auntie Patti to see F blessed, it made it all the more memorable for me. (D was there for just the blessing, and gave a lovely opening prayer, but had to leave before we served the food) F looked so handsome and sweet for his big day, and to complete his outifit I was able to finish making his special bonnet out of a vintage Irish linen handkerchief. It’s meant to be worn as a bonnet, and then once you remove the stitching it turns back into a hanky and you can give it to your son for his future wife to carry on her wedding day (or daughter to carry on hers if you do this for a baby girl), and then it can be remade into a bonnet again for their own babies. So fun! The hanky I bought had drawnwork on it, and my Granny told me that she had learned how to do drawnwork as a very young girl growing up in Ireland, and if I ever wanted to learn she would be more than happy to teach me (there is no question I will be taking her up on this offer). Anyways, after the blessing, the girls (my sister, mom, grandma, auntie and myself) all went to the D.I. for some fun scavenging, and I came away with two bags of awesome finds. Then I went home so Craig could leave to go motorbiking, and everyone else left for town to get ready for Mark’s birthday party that night.
The theme for Mark’s birthday party was “Arrested Development”, and Mel did an awesome job of making things tie in (I for one loved all of the signs and that everything was “Alliance Approved”), and it was made very well known that “Family Love Marky”. The birthday party was incredibly fun, and we all agreed that the magician was very entertaining and pretty funny. I know my favorite part was when he juggled fire, it was awesome! We loved it when A was called to come up and be a part of the act, he was so funny, but we all laughed really hard when Gary was called upon to come up and participate in a card trick. I know he was hating it, but he was an incredibly good sport, and even looked like he was having a good time. Afterwards, the “Arrested Development trivia game”, which Mark won hands down, had us all laughing, and then we had “Marky Trivia”, which was also hilarious (although references to D.G.&L. were lost on some people). And there was a slip and slide set up for the kids (or adults if they were gutsy/brave enough), and it was a HUGE success, and everyone from W and G-bee on up was taking turns going down and getting wet. The “Points Auction” Melly had was a great idea too. I won a pair of “Alliance Approved” handcuffs, and C got “Mother’s ‘R’ Horn”. (I am still laughing about “Gene Parmesans eyebrow disguises”, did Ryan trade them to Gary after all? and who ended up with the hook?) Anyways, Marky got to open up all of his fun gifts, and then we cleaned up, loaded up the car and headed home. It had been a very long, exciting, fun filled day for all of us, and we all collpsed into bed exhausted but in a very good and happy way.
Thankyou so much to everyone for helping us make F’s day so special and memorable for his blessing and so much fun. And Marky we are so glad we could be there for your birthday party, Melly you planned a super fun one, we all loved it! The kids are still talking about it, and playing with their magic kits, you did an awesome job!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nothing So Sweet As This...

Early this morning, at 3:31 am, after many, many late nights, it happened. Finley smiled at me, his first real smile. Not just a little smirk, but a huge, open mouth grin, and little noises that were on the verge of ending in giggles, it was as though he just couldn’t contain it anymore. I though my heart would just melt, for there is nothing sweeter or more precious than the first time they smile. I love the way their eyes and little face light up as they find their grin, it makes my soul just sing when I see it. I never tire of their milestones, no matter how many times I have seen my babies achieve their “firsts”, it’s always so amazing, and wonderful to me. This is just the beginning for Finn, I know, and I think that a sweet little baby smile is the best way to start, don’t you?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Too Much Love Shouldn’t Be a Bad Thing

Little Gracen really loves her baby brother Finn, but sometimes it’s a little too much. I have to watch her like a hawk, otherwise she is all over him. Just today she tried to feed him a mini pretzel, and had part of it in his mouth trying to get him to take a bite. She has also tried to give him a drink of her juice on several occasions, but she ends up dousing him with it instead. She really does love her baby brother, she just doesn’t realize that he’s too little for her to play with yet. That hasn’t stopped her from trying to pick him up, or from patting him on the head a little too “lovingly” and enthusiastically while she tells me “my baby”. I do appreciate the fact that she loves him, and I am happy to say we haven’t had any issues with jealousy, so I’m not complaining. I just have to make sure I keep an eye on her, or else she will try to carry him off to be a guest at her next tea party.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hey Little Man, Not So Fast

Six seeks already and I still can’t believe it, that went by much too fast. Finley is doing quite a bit of growing these days, and I am even starting to see a tiny bit of baby chub here and there, but he is still quite long and skinny. He was officially 6 weeks old on Tuesday and weighed in at 8 lbs. 8 oz. that day. I know, he’s still a ways off from reaching ”sumo” status, but he’s working on it.

   He’s still very laid back, and such a sweet little guy. Finn likes to be either very wide awake or very much asleep, so we get a lot of time to enjoy him as he takes in his surroundings during his awake time. And with 6 other brothers and sisters, that can be some really noisy surroundings. Luckily he takes it all in stride, for which I am very grateful. The kids still fight over who gets to hold him, his popularity hasn’t diminished in the slightest, and we can’t seem to remember a day without him in our family.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Hey, I Didn't Know That...

In talking with my Mom shortly after I had Finn, she began to tell me about the night that I was born. It turns out that when she had me, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck three times and I was delivered looking a “lovely” shade of blue. Due to that, I was placed in the ICU for several days after my birth in an isolette, and my Mom said that whenever they took me out of the isolette, I turned blue again. Apparently I was having issues with my breathing, and I was definitely NOT a preemie, in fact I was about 3 1/2 weeks overdue (my poor, poor mother….) so I’m guessing it had nothing to do with immature lungs. How did I not know this story about my own birth? I know I have asked my Mom many times before to tell me about the day I was born….so how did this not come up in the 35 years since then? I must not be asking the right questions. I wonder what else I should know about?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Finley's Birth Story

I am so happy that we were able to get Finley here safely, quickly, and with only a few hiccups during his delivery. We went in early on May 1st to be induced, and as it turned out no one else came in to deliver the entire time I was there, so we had a very quiet stay. Our hospital has excellent nurses in their labor and delivery unit, two of which I had for my last two deliveries, and again this time, so I was thrilled to see some familiar faces. All of the nurses there were incredible and made my delivery and hospital stay so peaceful and the best experience. All was going well with my labor until I stalled out at an 8. The Dr discovered Finn had moved his arm up and his hand was on top of his head, which was preventing me from progressing any further (the Dr. explained it, but I won’t go into details here as it’s a little bit ‘TMI’ for a blog) and would also not allow me to have a regular delivery.
   Another Dr. was called in for a consult, and after about 20 minutes my Dr was able to get Finley to pull his hand down, and we were able to proceed as planned with a regular delivery, not the c-section that they were starting to prep me for, which quite frankly terrified me, but I would have done if necessary. And for another surprise, when Finn was born we saw that he had the cord wrapped around his neck three times. There were no decelerations in his heart rate at any time though so we had no idea, but it was because his cord was so unusually long that it never tightened around his neck during delivery. The Dr was surprised and said he rarely sees cords long enough to wrap that many times around and not cause complications, and I am just so thankful everything turned out so wonderfully.
   It was a great delivery, even though it may not sound like it, but it really was. I checked in at 6am and got my Pennicillin going, the Dr. broke my water at 9:10am to start my labor, and Finley was born at 1:08pm, so my labor ended up being only 4 hours from start to finish. And while Finley was 2 weeks early, he was ready to be here. And even with the little bit of drama during his delivery he still arrived healthy and strong. So all in all, my labor went even better than I thought it would, and we got our sweet little baby boy here safely, so what can I possibly complain about?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Finley is 2 Weeks Old

I took Finley to the Dr for his two week check up today ( I know, he’s 15 days old today, but the Dr was out yesterday), and he is looking great! He weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz at birth and was 21 1/2 inches long. When we went home from the hospital he was 6 lbs. 9 oz. and today he was 7 lbs. 10 oz.  and 22 1/2, so we know he has been busy doing some good growing. We are still trying to decide what color his hair really is. When he was born it was really red, but then it looked like it was blond. Now it seems fairly strawberry blond, but that could change too, who knows. Finn has been my mellowest baby by far, and sleeps for 7 hour streches at night, is a great little nurser, rarely spits up, and he is not a fussy baby at all. Believe me, I know how it could be, and I am really enjoying every minute of this.
   I have a port-a-crib bassinet set up by my big front window (he only gets indirect sunlight, I don’t let him tan) and Finley does his napping in there during the day, and sleeps at night in my room in his co-sleeper (how did I live w/o one before, I love the co-sleeper!). I had read an article a while back about newborn babies mixing up their days and nights, which Finn was, and it said to have as much natural light in your house during the day, and in the evenings to keep it as dim and quiet as possible. Apparently the chemicals in the brain respond to the light, and it helps the baby get on a good sleeping and waking schedule and helps in un-mixing their days and nights too. I have to say it has worked like a charm for us, and Finn was doing his big sleeping at night in no time. Finley is the sweetest little baby, and he is definitely the main favorite around here these days. All of the kids love holding him, kissing him, and talking to him all of the time. I feel great, and I am just enjoying every minute with my kids as I can.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Not So Crazy

It has been like a whirlwind of activity over here, but not crazy like I worried it might be. And that is in large part due to my Mom. She arrived the weekend before Finn was born, and has so very kindly stayed to help us this entire week. My kids are in Mammy Heaven, of course, and it has made things so much easier when trying to deal with 6 children plus a brand new little baby, so I am forever grateful to my Mom for all of her kindness and help, she really outdid herself. My Mom had to go back on Friday to help out at the clinic for a bit, so she took Noah and Haven with her, and they got to have a fun sleepover at Heidi’s house which they have not stopped talking about yet. Saturday morning I took Finley in to the Dr for a newborn check, and he weighed 6 lbs. 9 oz. and his bilirubin test came back low, so he’s looking very good.
   I have been able to get some sleep, not tons, but enough so that I don’t feel like a total zombie. Finn wakes in the night to eat, but he sleeps for large chunks of time too, so I have been able to get some rest. Heidi and Gary went to Burley on Saturday for a baptism, and they stopped by here on their way home today and had dinner with us and let the kids have some fun. We had a great time visiting, and it was so fun to just sit back while the kids all played and had the time of their lives. I love these kinds of days. Craig has some training class for work he has to attend in Salt Lake this entire week, and my Mom will (very kindly) still be coming out here and helping out for this next week too, and I know I am looking forward to it maybe even more than my kids. I have really enjoyed the time I have been able to spend with her, and all of the fun we have been having. I would never have had such a wonderful and peaceful recovery if it weren’t for her. Thank you again Mom, we love having you here, you really are the funnest fun way!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

And the Pattern Continues...It's A Boy!

We are thrilled to announce that on Tuesday we welcomed a sweet little baby boy into our family.
Finley James Hilyard McKay
May 1, 2007 @ 1:08pm
7 lbs. 1 oz. 21 1/2 inces long
Finley has a full head of hair that at first looked red, but now we think it might actually be blond, it’s hard to tell just yet. I have posted tons of pictures in my gallery if you would like to see more (and we still have no idea how we managed to keep our pattern going and have a boy, but we will not be tempting fate again to see if we get a girl next, this really is our last baby). We arrived home today and have settled in quite nicely. Baby Finn is doing well and is a very sweet, mild little guy, a great little eater, and adored by his siblings. I will post more as soon as I get some more time. Also, a huge thankyou to everyone for all of your well wishes, congratulations, visits and gifts. We are so grateful for all of your love and we are thrilled that you could share in our happiness!

Monday, April 30, 2007

38 Weeks Today….

Monday April 30th, and 38 weeks along….I went to the Dr today for another checkup, and the problem that was stopping us from induction yesterday had corrected itself (thank heavens!) and I’m also dilated to 4cm again. But, last night my feet began to swell really badly, and even when I laid down and elevated my feet the swelling only went down a little, and only after 3 hours (but no headaches or seeing spots).  I was still swelling pretty badly today when I went in for my checkup, and when the nurse took my blood pressure it was 144 over 86, the highest I have ever been while pregnant (they become concerned at anything 140 and over, so I am just over the mark, everything is still OK). She took it again since I have always been low (never over the 120’s), and again, it was the same. She tried again and it was still in the 140’s, so the Dr. came in and HE took my blood pressure, and it was still in the 140’s. So he said no matter what we are inducing tomorrow, that it was high enough to be worrisome, but that it’s not too high to warrant inducing tonight. I am fine with waiting until tomorrow since I still have a few things left on my to-do list.
   The Dr said that it was unusual to have low blood pressure in all of my previous 6 pregnancies, and then suddenly have it get fairly high at the end with baby #7. Not impossible, just highly unlikely. So while I do not have pre-elclampsia, I’m not in a good place blood pressure wise. But having the baby tomorrow will fix all of that, so we report to the hospital to be induced tomorrow May 1st, at 6 am. The Dr instructed me to go home and lay down, put my feet up and take it easy, and turn on the AC. So of course, I went home and cleaned my basement, sorted laundry and did some washing, laid out a weeks worth of outfits for each of my 4 smaller children, and made sure to write down all of their school schedules for Mammy so that the next few days go as smoothly as possible for her and the kids. I even got 4 bags of toys bagged for the DI and all of my clean laundry folded, so my house is as clean and ready as it’s ever going to be, and I feel like I am good to go. Tomorrow cannot get here soon enough!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Small Hiccup

We almost had a baby today. The Dr. felt that since I had dilated to 4 cm already and I was contracting too often and too regularly, and given my history of fast deliveries and the need to get the antibiotics in me in a certain time frame before the baby arrives, that is was safer to try and induce me today. So Craig and I went in this morning with the plan of having a baby, Dr. Lish was going to see if he could get my labor started. But due to some complications, it’s been postponed. In fact, we are now not sure if I will even be induced on Tuesday, so I will have to see what’s going on. The baby is fine and doing well, and so am I, the complications are not severe and will be able to be worked out, quickly I hope. Without going into any squirm inducing details, let me just say that most of it is because of the baby’s current position (no, not breech, still head down). The baby had previously been completely engaged, and suddenly the baby moved back up and I had gone from 4cm dilated to 3cm, and the Dr. was worried there might be some other issues at work so we decided to play it safe and wait and so there is going to be some “wait and see” action until we know what the new plan will be. I go back in tomorrow (Monday) for another assessment, and I should hopefully know more then.
I finished the new car seat cover on Friday, and it turned out better than I expected, I am very pleased. I also managed to sew some burp cloths, and two little outfits for Gracen, four for Haven, and three for the baby. They are perfect for the warm weather ahead and went together with very little fuss. I think the only sewing I have to finish now is a quilt I promised to Mathes, and an unfinished baby quilt I stumbled across from two years ago that needs to be tied and bound. I will have to see what I can do. I am hopeful that I can have the baby this week, but if not then it’s OK, then I know the baby must not be ready. I have made it this far, a few more days, while they can seem long at times, are really nothing in the larger scheme of things. Besides, I am still sewing, so I just might get even more done than I originally thought!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Oh Sweet Relief

Well, I am happy to say that I am closer to being done than I thought. My due date is in 20 days (May 14th), but happily, I am going to be induced in 7. My favorite part about all of this is that my Dr. is the one who doesn’t want to wait, he is getting worried that this baby will deliver so quickly that there won;t be enough time to get in all of the pennicillin for the GBS. Although he and I both agree that it’s best to get to week 38 before we do anything, we don’t want to take any chances of having complications, and being that far along is the best possible scenario for me. I am grateful to have an end date now since I am just at the point that my hips are killing me, I can’t sleep, the acid reflux is a nightmare, and I keep having tons of contractions, most recently, back labor. I’m sorry to complain, I am just so done, and feeling so huge and tired. The good news is that I cleaned and readied the car seat, my hospital bag is packed, I have everything at the ready and the baby has been fairly consistent about being active (it’s so reassuring to feel those little kicks and stuff). At my appointment today I am a good 3, almost a 4, and the Dr. and I agree that Tuesday sounds like the perfect day to have the baby. There is no way I am going to last until my actual due date, and for that I am so grateful. So until then I am busily finishing up all of my nesting, and maybe I’ll even cram in a little bit of sewing if I can. I just can’t believe that in one weeks time we will have a new little baby! I can hardly wait. So here’s to never going over my due date. I’m so happy, excited and relieved, I think I’ll cry.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Still Not Ready, But We Have A Date Set

My due date is May 14th, but I was pretty sure I wouldn’t make it that far, and I was right (sorry Melly, I won’t be making it to your birthday on the 13th). At my last appointment we set a date to have the baby (I am 36 1/2 weeks along), but I am still hoping to go before that day arrives. I am feeling so off balance these days and have fallen quite a few times, and look forward to not feeling like the next step I take that I’m going down. I even fell out of my car the other day (my suburban is kind of high up, thus making it easier to fall out of I guess), and I am still not sure how it happened, suddenly I wasn't in my seat in the car anymore, and I ended up smashing my knee in the process. I have also fallen out of bed more times than I care to recount, but I think I am just not used to the weight of my belly, especially since it’s all in front. Hey, there’s a lot of momentum behind this belly once I get it moving, let me tell you!
This baby is quite strong and will punch and move very hard to one side or the other, and my whole stomach moves too, looking a little bit freaky. It’s just weird to see my whole belly shift suddently to one side, and an elbow or foot pushing outward at the same time. My kids love it, and Mathes asks me all of the time to “kick the baby” meaning he wants me to make the baby kick and move. I ordered the co-sleeper today (I know, nothing like leaving it to the last minute), my hospital bag is ready to be packed, and Craig has already arranged for some time off at work. I just hope I am ready, if there really is a point at which you feel really ready. I need to get a few more things organized and haven’t found a Boppy I like yet, but overall I am good to go. I finally washed and sorted all of the baby clothes (lots of ooohing and ahhhing over all of the tiny outfits), bedding and such and I even washed all of my clothing that will come into contact with the baby in Dreft as well, just for good measure. Now if I can just get Haven and Gracen’s room organized and sorted through, I think I would feel a lot better, but if I don’t I can always get to it later I guess.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Closer Than I Thought

I went to the Dr. again today since I am down to weekly visits, and I was a little surprised to find out that I am dilated 2 cm already. My Dr. was not happy about it, and while he did say I’m close enough that it would be OK to have the baby, he really wants to get me one week further along before anything happens. He kept telling me that the baby is “right there” and that I will be having a very fast delivery. When I told him I know, I always have fast deliveries, he said “No, I mean REALLY fast”. Ok, duly noted. I think it’s funny when your Dr is more anxious about the whole thing than you are. I kept telling him I won’t be going into labor this next week, I promise. I don’t know if he believed me or not, but I will be seeing him again next Tuesday, and he said then we will make a final decision about when this baby will be arriving. I have been contracting like crazy, but I just don’t feel like it’s time yet, and the baby sounded great, and everything else was fine, so I don’t feel like I have to worry about it, that isn’t going to help. Well ok, I am a little stressed about the fact that this baby may be arriving even sooner than I thought, and I want to sew a bit more if I can, but I really am ready to be done with all of the hip and joint pain, the contractions, and acid reflux. Those I can do without. So onward we go, and I am getting more and more excited each day, as we draw closer to the end. I can’t believe this pregnancy will be over so soon, it just doesn’t seem real sometimes that we are going to have a new little family member. I just can’t wait to hold this baby!

They’re a Bunch of Goofs

Haven, who turns 6 in June, loves to play with her little 2 year old sister Gracen. They are constantly running from one thing to the next, and Gracen pretty much copies any and everything Haven does, and it’s pretty funny to hear them talk to each other too. Yesterday, Haven was being particularly bossy with Gracen, who decided she was done and went off to see what the boys were doing. Haven wasn’t standing for her traitorous behavior for a second, and promptly tried to drag Gracen over to “time-out” where she felt Gracen needed to be for “disobeying orders”. Gracen resisted and managed to escape Haven grip, and ran down the hall to find me. I heard her yelling back to Haven “I tell Mom!” several times, which made me laugh so hard. Gracen has already learned the art of “tattling” and I’m sure this is just the beginning.
Gracen also has no problem telling her siblings to “share please”! But it’s not her favorite word to hear if she has to share one of her toys or treats herself, although she will share, just not always with a smile. She also loves to get ahold of ANY toy Mathes has, becasue it HAS to be a super fun toy if Mathes is playing with it. Thankfully Mathes (he turns 4 in June) is quite patient with her, and is pretty good about letting her have some turns too with his toys. And sometimes Gracen will convince him to play with her and her dollhouse, even though sometimes Mathes makes the dolls die a violent “death by dinosaur”. She still goes along him since she just loves to be in the middle of the sibling fun. I have to say, life as a Mom is never boring, and I am always laughing at the goofy stuff my kids do. What did I do for entertainment before I had my little monkeys?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Shaking, Crying, And Scared To Death...

This morning I sent Haven, Mathes and Gracen out into the backyard to play and made sure the gate was locked on both the top and bottom, then went inside to finish getting breakfast cleaned up and try and get myself dressed. I could see them from the window as they played, and I could also hear them, so I am able to keep an eye on them from most of the rooms in the house. Haven came back in shortly after because she wanted to draw, but Mathes and Gracen were happily riding their trikes in the courtyard so I went ahead and started to get dressed. Just as I was undressed and trying to find my jeans I hear a truck honking. After 5 or 6 honks I look out my window to see what he’s going on about and there is Gracen, standing in the middle of the road with a huge semi truck stopped right in front of her, doing all of the honking. I don’t know how I ran that fast, I have never been so scared in my life, but I managed to throw on whatever clothes were right there as I bolted out the back door in a total panic. Apparently Mathes had somehow managed to unlock both locks on the gate, which is only a Houdini like feat since I can barely manage to unlock them myself without a lot of pulling and lifting at the same time on the heavy wooden gate, so how he managed to unlock BOTH of the locks is beyond me.
When I got out there Mathes was sitting in the back of the Suburban playing with some toy he had found there, while Gracen played chicken in the street with the semi. I will tell you there were serious spanks for both of them and if ANYONE wants to pick a fight with me on the merits of spanking, go ahead, but know this, time-out was NOT going to make any kind of lasting impression on either child, and their safety is at stake here, so think/say what you want I really don’t care. And believe me, Craig and I have done everything we can to ensure the safety of our children, and I cannot even fathom how that child got those locks undone, I’m baffled. So after I got both of the little ones back inside, I hyperventilated, called my husband, and cried my eyes out to him on the phone because I’m completely terrified of my son and his ability to get into these scary situations (really, I’m still crying). Craig is picking up a new dead bolt lock/key combo on his way home from work today, and we think this will keep the gate locked no matter how hard Mathes tries to undo it. How do you get it across to an almost 4 year old the danger he had put himself and his little sister in? I am so scared for him, and somedays I wonder how am I ever going to get him to the age of 10 let alone adulthood? Please tell me I’m not alone in these awful situations. I feel like such a faliure as a mother right now and I can’t stop crying about it, all I can think about is what could have happened. I hate days like this, you have a knot in your stomach for what feels like forever.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

We’re Week To Week Now, Yeehaw!

I had another appointment with my Dr. today, and it was all good news. I am 50% effaced and hinting at dilating, but but I haven’t fully started yet so he said that means I will probably be a 1 to a 2 at my next appointment next week. The baby is doing great, still head down, and while the head is not engaged (usually after your first, they don’t engage until your in labor) the baby has descended. And everything else looked great, so I am happy. So I’m on week to week appointments now, and I feel like I’m almost ready to get this baby here. I am still trying to finish stuff up, but I am just about done. I do need to wash all of the baby clothes to get them ready, but that won’t take too much, and that’s always so much fun anyways, going through all of the tiny outfits, ooohing and ahhhing. I swear, could the clothes be any sweeter? Were they ever really that tiny? It doesn’t seem possible, but of course they were, even if it was for such a short time.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Before or After?

Do you like to have the enitre baby name picked out before the baby is born and tell everyone so that the baby is known by that name before being born, or do you prefer to wait and see what the baby looks like to settle on a name and then make an announcement? Have you done both, and it just depended on each child and situation? Do you have names picked out for future children? And do you have any baby name stories to tell? Any favorite names that you or your spouse love, but the other doesn’t like so you will never get to use it? Ever have any regrets or “lessons learned” with naming any of your children?
These are some of the names that were in the running with each of my children-
Dylan- Dylan, Elijah or Connor
Ciel- Abigail or Isobel/Isobella (I intended to use Ciel as part of her middle name, but it suited her better as her first name)
Noah-Noah, Jonah or Jonas
Haven- Haven, Erin, or Isobel/Isobella (we ended up using Erin as one of her middle names)
Mathes- Matheson, Brigham, Payson or Xavier
Gracen- Gracen, Emerson Jane.
I love the name “Jemima” for a girl and will never get to use it, Craig is dead set against it. Also, I learned to never give your child a name that is not visually pronounceable or they will spend the rest of their life with people stumbling all over the pronounciation at school, at the Dr’s office and basically everywhere. People mispronounce Ciel’s name all of the time, and had I spelled just a little differently, we never would have had this porblem, but it would have changed the French meaning of her name so I didn’t do it. We usually wait until the baby is born before making our final choice on the name, and we are still planning on doing that with this last baby as well. But I only have two first names I really like, and I’m 99.9% sure of the middle name, so it shouldn’t be too hard or take us very long to make the decision.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

We’ve Been Known To Change Our Minds

Amy, you’re right, we are waiting until the baby is here before we tell any names. We have been known to think we are going in one direction with a name, then we take one look at our baby, and we realize the name we thought was “the one” isn’t working for us. Case in point- We were pretty sure we were going with the name Ian when I was pregnant with Noah and I knew his middle name no matter what was going to be William Robert for his two grandpa’s. But after he was born, while we both thought he looked like he could be an Ian, we both didn’t feel it was the right name for him. After a few days discussion, we decided Noah was it, we both love his name and we have never regretted our decision. But we had told most of our family we were thinking about the name Ian in the months prior to his birth, and there was a bit of confusion and several gifts addressed to ”Baby Ian” and cards telling “Baby Ian” how loved he was and how happy they were he was here safely. So in the interest of less confusion, and the fact that Craig and I have changed our minds before about baby names in the 11th hour, we’re going to wait. But, we will be calling almost everyone from the hospital when the baby arrives, so we should be able to tell you the name then.

Less Than 6 Weeks To Go…

I’m 33 weeks as of yesterday, the baby has not been up in my ribs at all, the kicking and movement is not painful, just active and consistent, and I’m getting a small amount of restful sleep (any is good at this point) thanks to the special mattress topper Craig bought for me. I am struggling with being as active as I want and need to be, with mobility being a big issue (I keep pulling a muscle in one of my legs), but I can deal with that for the next several weeks. I have enough to do at home to keep me busy so I don’t mind that I can’t get out too much these days, I guess I’m nesting. We are really in the countdown here, and I have less than 6 weeks to go. Yahoo! I can barely wait to meet this new little one. I’m set for clothes, I am almost done sewing the blankets and burp cloths I want to finish (I have always made each of my babies a blanket, so I have to get this one done), and Craig and I actually agree on a name, before the baby is here! Will wonders never cease, we usually don’t even begin deciding until after the baby is born, but we both agreed on this one almost from the beginning, how did that happen? Since I gave all of my other baby-slings away to friends and family I will need to make myself another one, but they go together fast enough that if I don’t get it done now I know I could still make one in a pinch even after the baby arrives. Frankly I feel really ready. Ok, so I still haven’t even started on my hospital bag, but I still have time! At least I hope I do. My Doctor has already told me he is taking me early to prevent complications with the GBS, we just don’t know for sure how early.  And is it weird that I like labor? I really do, because it means it’s the end, and I’ll be holding my baby very soon. Thank heavens for those great “fast labor” genes!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

32 Weeks and Man The Harpoons!

The baby is head down, the heartbeat is strong and normal, I weighed the same so no weight gained since last visit (yes really) and I’m measuring exactly at 32 weeks. The Dr. asked me if I’m any bigger this time around than previous pregnancies, and when I said yes he explained it wasn’t the baby’s size that’s making me bigger, it’s the number of pregnancies, the number of times my stomach muscles have been stretched, and the amount of water I’m carrying too. He said he doesn’t think this is a large baby, just my muscles in their 7th pregnancy combined with lots of amniotic fluid. So when I lay down my belly seems normal, but when I stand up I seem huge. Ok, I just seem huge to me, but most pregnant women feel huge at the end anyways, although I’m still feeling cute and pregnant and I like my baby belly. I had some crazy swelling in my legs and feet earlier this week (and I do mean crazy) that caused them to look like tree trunks for about two days, it was weird. He told me that while it would be extremely rare for me to come down with Pregnancy Induced Hypertension in my 7th pregnancy, it’s not out of the realm of possibilty, and to come right in next time for a quick check for safety’s sake (but if I did have it, he said he would personally be writing my case up for publication, it was that unusual, but again, not impossible).    We also talked about what would happen if this baby were breech (which thankfully it’s not), given my previous history of deliveries, if a “version” didn’t work (where they manually manipulate your stomach to try and turn the baby which I’ve heard it’s not pleasant), he would bring in a specialist for a consult and then go ahead and let me deliver without a c-section. He said as long as I was comfortable with it, and depending on how the feet were positioned, it would be safer than a surgical c-section for me. I thought that was interesting, and frankly I would prefer that over a c-section if I could, but since the baby has already been kind enough to turn, I don’t have to deal with that. But good to know. So all is well, we’re still doing great, and if I could just beat this lame acid reflux, it would be even better. But seriously, I can’t complain, I am so close to being done and having this little one here, I am really excited. And what a huge difference between my November & January pics and the ones I took today, talk about good growing!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Random Bits Of Information

-I hate cucumbers and most varieties of squash with every fiber of my being, except for zucchini and yellow squash.
-at our house, my children refer to all cereal as “bees”
-I don’t even attempt to potty train my children until after they turn 3. But it only takes me one week and they’re done and out of diapers.
-I wasn’t an American citizen until I was 22. I even had to study for and take the test, and was then sworn in as an American Citizen.
-Craig was a witness in a murder trial, but the defendant took a plea bargain so he never had to testify.
-two of my favorite movies, ever, are Braveheart and Gladiator (edited), I cry everytime. To me, these movies are romantic.
-I used to squeeze myself into my little sisters ballerina outfit (it was way too small for me) and make up “dances”, and while showing my Dad my “dance routine”, twirled into a cabinet door and knocked myself out cold.
-I watch cartoons even when my children are nowhere around.
-I hated the move “Ghost”, mocked it, and don’t think it’s romantic in any way.
-I made several of my siblings nearly suffer heat stroke in the back of our family station wagon one summer at Yellowstone Park because I didn’t want to open my window to circulate some cooler air for them. I claimed it was because it would dry out my contacts, but the truth was I didn’t want to mess up my hair.
-I didn’t wear maternity clothes with my first three pregnancies because I wasn’t big enough and they looked absolutely ridiculous on me.That all ended with baby #4.
-Craig used to be an E.M.T.
-My parents first kiss was the night they got engaged.
-I used to have recurring dreams when I was a little girl that I was the real Wonder Woman
-my favorite name for a little girl is ”Jemima”, but it would never work here in the States (it’s widely used in England). Nevertheless, if Craig had let me I still would have used it, but he said “no way”.
-Craig and I eloped and were married for several weeks before we told anyone. And we wouldn’t have told anyone for a while longer, then we discovered I was pregnant.

-I love the movie “The Bodyguard” and the song “I will Always Love You” and I’m not really sure why.

-I have been hit by a car twice while riding my bike and came away both times with just bruises and a mangled bike (I was 13 & 14). I have never ridden a bike since then, even after my parents bought me another one right after for Christmas. I never touched it.
-The only car accident I have ever been in was one block from my house. I had Heidi and my two oldest children (2 & 4 at the time) in the car with me, and I was not at fault. A girl blew through the yield sign at the intersection and hit our car so hard it flipped us on our side and turned us to face the way we had just come from. We walked away with only a few bruises.
-I’m deathly afraid of any and all spiders. I can’t even look at or touch pictures of them in the science and nature books my kids bring home from school from time to time.
-I really hate apple juice, and yet my family serves it at every single family dinner we have. And for some reason I drink it, hating it the entire time, but still drink it.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sad...But True.

I was with my son Dylan and his friend Jake at the store, we've paid for our stuff and we're heading out of the store.
Dylan:  Mom, wait, Jake and I are going to run back really quick, we need to look at something, we'll catch up to you in a minute.
Me: No, we don't have time for that, I have to get back and start making dinner, I''m already late as it is.
Dylan: No worries Mom, since your so big and pregnant and can’t walk that fast, we'll have no problem catching up to you. See you in a minute! (and they dash off)
Darnit. He was right. They met up with me before I even made it to the car.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Opinion On Certain Baby Items...

-With a newborn, I have discovered all that I need in the 0-3 and 3-6 months size clothing is a lot of onesies, socks, sleepers, layette gowns and 3-4 nice outfits for the few times you will actually leave the house. (This may vary depending on the number of children you already have. Fewer children means more times you might actually leave the house. More children mean you are never getting out of here, who are you kidding! Adjust number of nice outfits accordingly.)
-Blankets with satin backing look posh, but in reality they suck rocks. It constantly feels like your baby is going to rocket out of your arms and slip to the floor every time you try and move them or pick them up when wrapped in one. Satin edging is fine, as long as it’s just the edges. Flannel and regular woven cottons are best, they can be made into any weight blanket for any season, and they wash up super soft too.
-I don’t use the crib for at the very least the first few months, usually longer. Most babies end up in bed with you no matter what you think, try, or do. But all is not lost, they do begin to sleep in the bassinet you quickly set next to your bed after you figure this out. Mine just end up in bed with me since I fall asleep after I get them to nurse during the night. But I have never had any problems transitioning any of my babies over to their cribs, so it has always worked out for me. So far.
-Those cute little scratch mitts in the baby department might seem like they are a necessity, but don’t be fooled, they NEVER work. Babies can pop them off faster than you can keep picking them back up and putting them back on again. Do not waste your time and money. What does work is a pair of little baby socks pulled over their hands, it gives them room to open and close their fists whilst staying snugly on since a sock is long enough to go down to their wrist, and will actually keep them from scratching their tiny little faces. Which babies do, over and over again, no matter how often you clip their nails.
-Baby Wipes usually end up becoming more than just a diaper changing tool. For me, I use them to clean sticky or dirty faces, hands, and tummies, and a lot of other stuff I’m sure they were never inteneded for, but work just the same. They are just so darn handy!
-Huge diaper bags are not needed, no matter how many children you have. A small to medium sized bag will really take care of all of your needs. C’mon, do you really need a huge, cavernous tote bag filled with half of your nursery and toy box, mixed in with a package of Nilla wafers crushed into dust on the bottom? Yeah, I didn't think so.
-Pull-Ups are really just pull-on diapers for big kids. I know it, and more importantly, my child knows it and will treat them as such. They are not a potty training tool.
-All of my children lost their baby teeth on a weekend, a Sunday, or a time when we had no change or a way to get any for the “Tooth Fairy”. After several fiascos involving a no-show with the Tooth Fairy and a very confused child, I have since kept a small stash of change and a dollar bill or two for just such an emergency. As you can see from a previous post, it paid off big time for Haven. I swear you never know when those teeth will come out, and it always catches you off guard.
-I personally swear by the sling carriers with my newborns when I go out in public. They swaddle, cradle and keep them snuggled up to you, all the while you actually have your hands free. It really works and my babies love them! Plus it keeps strangers from touching my little baby and spreading germs.Seriously, I am astonished at how often strangers feel like they can manhandle my tiny little baby. This stops them from doing that. Durn Strangers!
-A Boppy is one of my most frequently used items with each of my babies, and I have ended up buying a new one each time since I wear them out. For me they are worth every penny, and then some. I love them!
-There is no such thing as too many burp cloths.
-I always carry a travel size scented body spray or scented lotion in my diaper bag. This way if there is an accidental spit-up on me and I'm not able to change my outfit, I won’t have to go the rest of the time smelling like baby puke. I can just give myself a quick spritz or a squeeze of lotion either all over or just on the offending spot. Baby pukies happen a lot, and you might as well smell nice for yourself and those around you.
-For the first few months with a newborn I keep a basket with a good handle and fill it with my baby necessities. This way I am able to grab, with only one hand, all of the stuff I will need for diaper changes, spitups and such so I always have it nearby no matter where I am in the house, and I don;t have to go hunting anything down the first little while. My basket holds several diapers, travel wipes, hand sanitzer, diaper cream, 2-3 burp cloths, baby lotion, spare onesie, socks and a sleeper (sometimes a water bottle and a granola bar for me). This way I can even ask one of my kids to just grab the basket for me and I have everything I need right there. Otherwise I am hunting down everything for each diaper change or accident, and this way I can save myself the headache. I refill the basket each night when I have a minute.
-Granola bars, individual yogurts and bottled water are a lifesaver for a busy Mom with a new baby, nursing or not. It might seem like a waste to buy individual bottles of water, but I find if I do get them that I tend to drink more since it’s easier to grab one and go anywhere. A glass of water just has too much potential for spilling, and water bottles have caps. Granola bars or yogurt can give you a quick boost in between meals or even as a good snack. As weird as it sounds, I get so busy taking care of my kids that I forget to eat a lot of the time, so I try and keep these on hand so I don’t go too long between meals.
*Please note: These are all my own personal preferences and opinions, not intended to insult or offend anyone. You can shoot me down and tell me off too if you want, I do not think I am ANY sort of final opinion or authority, these are just my thoughts on this stuff. The only “absolute”, is that there are no “absolutes”.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Still Growing

I had another Dr. appointment today, and I was in and out of his office in less than 30 minutes, I truly  appreciate that they don’t overbook their patients there, I never have to wait long. I am measuring dead on and not ahead as I have in the past before, even though my belly is gigantic! Ok, so I’m exaggerating a bit, but I am the biggest I have ever been, and thankfully it’s all in my belly, so I have no complaints. The Dr. said I have a lot of water and the baby is just moving and stretching all over the place, but with a few weeks growth that will change very fast. The baby has still not turned (not time to worry about that yet) and has decided to hang out laying sideways with the head on my left and the feet on the right. My glucose test came back very low, which is great, and all of my other bloodwork was normal as well. The Dr. also discussed my previous labors with me and what I would like this time around and what did I feel comfortable with and what did I not want to do. My main goal is to get the baby here safely and whatever happens along the way, happens, I just want my baby to get here safely. The thought of a c-section terrifies me (Banna, I stand in awe of you woman) but I will do whatever is necessary, including that. And my deepest love and thanks to my sweet husband who ran right out and bought a brand new super thick memory foam mattress topper for our bed after I broke down sobbing after waking up yet again in horrible pain in my hips and back. Yeah, it was bad. But not anymore, I have actually been able to sleep comfortably, well at least as comfortably as you can with a pregnant belly, but still, I'm finally sleeping pain free. Now to see if I can get the rest of my projects done in time for this little one, the time is going way too fast, and this sweet babe will be here before I know it, and I'm not ready just yet!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ever Closer To The End

I’m into my third trimester already at 28 weeks along and feeling very pregnant, of course, and it seems like anytime I walk anywhere I am being led by my belly. I can help that, it’s just right out there in front, guiding me along as I go. This has been the most active of any of my babies with tons of kicks, bumps, flips, squirming and wiggling, but it’s so reassuring to feel so much movement I have no complaints. I’m still feeling the majority of the kicks at the middle and towards the bottom of my belly, but then again there is plenty of time for this baby to turn so I’m not even going to begin to worry about it until about 34 weeks along. Sleep is something of the past and I have given up on a regular schedule and I’m basically sleeping whenever I can, whether it’s during the little ones naptime or after Craig gets home, I sneak in whatever hours are possible so I’m not too delerious. So I am up at crazy hours sometimes and asleep at weird times too, but it can’t be helped. I need the rest, so it’s “sleep whenever” for right now.
   So here we are, on the count down, with a little more than 11 weeks left, and I wish I had a little more time to prepare, I’m just not ready yet. But I don’t ever go over my due date, so I already know I’m not going to get any extra time. That’s good and bad, but I am really excited for this little one to arrive. I finished knitting the blanket and plan on making some matching booties next. I might even brave an attempt at a matching sweater, but I don’t know if I can muster the courage to take that challenge on just yet. I have already delved into my fabric stash and made quite a few blankets and layette items, and hope to be able to finish some more. I even managed to pick out the perfect coming home outfit, but I still need to find the socks and make a blanket to go with it. At least the weather has been nicer most days and has given my children more chances to play outside, so maybe I should quit typing, get myself over to my sewing machine and get some stuff done!
*p.s. As you can see in the pics, this is the biggest I have ever been, but being baby #7 who’s surprised. I’m just big in the belly though and haven’t gained any weight anywhere else, and have in fact gone down almost two pant sizes (it’s a miracle and I’ll take it!), so no complaints. This baby is just doing a fantastic job of growing!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Haven's First Visit With The Tooth Fairy

Haven lost her first tooth yesterday. She came over to tell me she thought she had a loose tooth, and I thought she was just imagining it. Nope, it was not only loose, but ready to come out, so I had her go and look in the mirror to see. Seconds later she came racing back into the living room, tooth in hand, she had pulled it out all by herself. She put it right under her pillow that night and the “Tooth Fairy” came and left her lots and lots of change. She was so excited, and has of course talked about it non-stop ever since it came out. She has decided however that she doesn’t want to lose a tooth every day. I have assured her it doesn’t work that way, and Haven is quite relieved. Another one of my babies, growing up. *sigh* Where does the time go?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tough As Nails He Is! (Arrrr!)

Craig was home from work this morning and wanted to give me a break to sleep in a little, so he got the kids up and ready for school this morning. He realized the driveway had completely frozen over in the night and was now a solid sheet of ice, so he had to help each of the kids out to the car one at a time and buckle them in, then go back for the next child. It happened as he was carrying Mathes out to the car. He had just rounded the back of the Suburban and suddenly his feet went right out from under him, and with little Mathes in his arms, down they both went.. He desperately tried to shield Mathes from the worst of it, but his little face ended up smashing into the back hitch as they fell. The Dr. said the good news is that while it was bad, Mathes' injury happened to be in the one spot where there was no chance of a concussion or bone breakage. The bad news is that his cheek is badly bruised, swollen to the size of a golfball on one side, and there is a cut inside his mouth. Oh it looks so sore and awful on his sweet little baby face. We have been giving him anything he wants today (playing Nintendo and eating all the popsicles he wants) since we feel so horrible about all of it, but he has been fine and eating and talking like nothing happened. Craig and I both agree it's one of the worst feeling in the world when something like this happens, and you blame yourself over and over again no matter what the circumstances when one of your children gets hurt. Although as bad as it is I am so thankful he didn’t hit his head, it really could have been so much worse.

Monday, January 29, 2007

so embarrassing...

About 9-10 years ago at the Annual Ward 4th of July breakfast, I was carrying Ciel with both her plate and mine into the multi-purpose room from outside, tripped and did sort of a loud stumbling fall to the ground, right in front of a guy I really liked. Not just a small stumble, but a loud THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! CRASH!!! kind of a running forward, tripping, thumping, stumbling, completely flailing, ugly fall. I’m just that graceful. Any hopes of chatting with him are gone, I mean what’s he going to say “Wow, you really bit it back there. How was you breakfast after you picked it up off of the floor?”  I have no problem laughing about it now, it’s pretty funny, but at the time I was mortified. And no, this isn’t my only embarrassing moment, I have LOTS more, this is just one of the many. Ah well, life goes on.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


A few nights ago Haven and Noah were playing with some little animal figurines, and Haven kept calling out “Sharlick! Sharlick! Sharlick!” at different times during their little scenarios. Who in the heck is Sharlick? Then I hear Noah say “No Haven, it’s not Sharlick, it’s Charlotte!” I realized they were playing Charlottes Web with their barn yard animals, and Haven heard it as Sharlick’s Web instead. Well at least Noah heard it correctly. Hmmmmmm, might be time to make her an appointment with Pappy.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Such a Feisty Punk In A Tiny Little Body

Who knew that my tiny little Gracen would turn out to be such a tough little girl. I am sure that being the 6th child and a smurf as well gave her good reason to be a fighter, yet I still can’t help but laugh as she barrels past me in their lastest favorite game of “chase” with Gracen being the “chaser”. The kids call her name telling her to come and get them, and then run while she is in hot pursuit right behind them laughing hysterically the enitre time. There is a lot of squealing, shrieking, and giggling, and they all think it’s the funniest game to play right now. Gracen of course thinks it’s hilarious, and loves that she gets to chase them all too and be a part of the “big kid” fun.
She loves sitting up to the table in one of the big chairs like everyone else, and if we make the “horrific mistake” of putting her in the highchair instead, the waterworks commence and she acts like her little world has crumbled down around her. She can turn the tears on and off, and it’s pretty funny to see her start with the dramatic cry face when she is told “no” or doesn’t get her way. She looks so cute when she scrunches up her face as the tears roll down her cheeks. I never thought I would get such a little actress, and no, I don’t give in to any of her drama, I know better than to cave to those kind of antics.
Gracen is quite the little love though, and any chance she gets will throw her arms around your neck and give you big hugs and kisses. She will snuggle for a few minutes at time, just to let you know she still loves you, then she hops down and is off to rejoin the other kids playing. Another favorite of hers is to hold your face with her two little hands on either side and turn it one way or the other and plant as many kisses on your cheeks as she can, then wait for you to do the same to her. I must admit, the pure joy on her face anytime I return from an outing or even when I greet her in the morning is priceless, she throws her little arms into the air, yells “Mama!” and and looks so happy, it’s as if we had been separated for ages. She is so thrilled to be reunited again and doesn’t hold back on the hugs and kisses.
She is definitely showing her independence, and will happily do “chores” right along side her older siblings, and refuses to accept their help, insisting upon doing the job all by herself. She’s a wonderful little helper with putting dirty clothes in the hamper, putting toys away, putting books back on the shelf, and she loves to help set and clear the table. Her size may be tiny, but she has such a mighty spirit, heaven help any that get in her way since she is determined to stay the course and make it to the finish line without anyone elses help. I love her feisty little ways and happy little personality, it’s no wonder she is such a favorite with all of her brothers and sisters.