Wednesday, June 29, 2011

7 years ago...

7 years ago Elisabeth was born. Sadly, she is my only child that doesn't have a written account recorded by mom of the birth day details. Last night I went through all my old journals(this was before I started blogging) and there was one short paragraph about Elisabeth's birth. It basically told the time she was born and her birth statistics. I'm sorry Elisabeth. I thought that I would forever remember all the exact details of that day, since you were my first born and everything was so new and special, but sadly, 7 years later, I'm finding that the memories are fading. In order for us to not lose all the memories from that day, I will now take the time to write down what both your dad and I remember.

Warning: Some of the details may seem a little gross(births are bloody and messy) to some of my readers. Proceed with caution.

Scott and I were attending BYU in June 2004. I had just resigned from my on campus job working at a copy center with my most beloved boss Bob. He was like a second father to me. He really took care of me when I was sick and pregnant, working and going to school.

Spring term had finished and I was taking Summer term off of school because of the upcoming birth of our first baby. The morning of June 28th, I woke up and went to the bathroom and discovered a little blood on my toilet paper. Scott and I went to the hospital to get me checked. I was 9 months pregnant, due July 2nd. I was hooked up to monitors and after an hour was sent home, but was told that I was having fairly regular contractions(Maybe I have a high pain tolerance because I couldn't feel them at that point) and that I would probably be back soon. Scott went to school and then to his on campus job. While he was at work, in the late afternoon, I vaguely remember emailing him, letting him know that I started feeling the contractions. I went for a short walk, maybe a half mile, and then came home because it was hot and I was uncomfortable(being large and having contractions makes an unpleasant pair). When Scott got home we probably had dinner. After dinner, we put on a movie(I think it was Ice Age) and I tried to watch it while we timed contractions. Around 10 or 1030 we went to the Hospital and checked in.

Scott reminded me last night as we were going through these details that prior to our hospital visit, my visiting teaching companion warned me about a certain anesthesiologist. She said something like, "if you get the Indian guy, ask for someone else." Guess who I had. The indian guy. Scott and I were a little nervous, but everything went well and we had no problems with the epidural. Once I got the epidural, both Scott and I were able to relax and even fall asleep. Around 4 am(this detail was in my journal) I called the nurse in and told her that something was feeling weird down there. She checked and sure enough something weird was going on. My amniotic sac was hanging half way out. She called the on-call doctor in and when he touched it, it broke in his hands. I didn't see anything, but apparently there was a lot of fluid. Scott said it looked like a water balloon. After that, things happened really fast. I pushed a few times and Elisabeth was born at 4:44am(Jane came at the same exact time), weighing 6 lb 13oz and 19 inches long. I remember feeling very emotional when I first saw her little body coming out of mine. What a miracle. Every baby is a blessing from God and I felt very blessed to have her there, in my arms, at last.

Elisabeth has truly been a blessing in our lives. She has taught us so much about love, joy, patience, compassion, and so many other things. She is an amazing little girl and we're so happy she was born into our family. We love you Elisabeth! Happy Birthday!

* Picture of our new family. Something interesting was that toward the end of my pregnancy I got a rash on my face under my mouth and also warts on my fingers. I'd never had either one of these before. After Elisabeth was born I went to a dermatologist and took care of both of these. They've never shown up since.

*Now back to the present: Elisabeth had a combined friend birthday party at the Splash Park last week. We did it with a good friend of hers, who is in the same church class. They're only about a week apart and both of them are named Elisabeth(though her friend spells it with a 'z' and goes by Libby). Here are pictures from their party. I'll do a separate post of the 'butterfly and rainbow cake' she requested.

*Requests from Elisabeth on her actual birthday:
-french toast for breakfast(we also opened family presents at this time. Her two gift requests were a tea set and a new outfit with capri leggings. This is the first year she got so specific. I also took one of her old shirts that had 'Elisabeth' printed on it, filled it, sewed it up and turned it into a pillow for her. Scott used to have a t-shirt pillow that he loved; Elisabeth loves hers too.)

-Mom come and eat lunch at school at the birthday table and bring a grilled cheese sandwich and a donut

-Rock Creek Pizza Co for dinner. Normally we won't do a friend party and have the whole family eat out for dinner but last week I found a 50% off coupon online for this very place she loves and requested, so we decided to do it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Firsts for the kids

Elisabeth- First sunburn. It's on her shoulders, and not too bad, but it does bother her a little. As a general rule, we have our children dress modestly, like their parents so it's not such a hard switch once they're older. This means they keep their shoulders covered(excluding swimming and sports), and shorts come down to the knee and shirts cover their tummy, that sort of thing. Elisabeth wore a tank top later that day because of how much her burn was bothering her, and it was funny to hear the comments of her younger siblings concerning Elisabeth's modesty :). Also, in this picture is a bowl of granola. I make granola every week and I've been trying to get Elisabeth to eat it for a long time. It wasn't until we went camping this week and I brought my granola and not a whole lot else for breakfast that Elisabeth decided to eat a bowl. She has requested a bowl of granola with milk every morning since :)!

Charlie-Lost his first tooth! It's been wiggly and we could see another tooth coming up behind it for a couple of weeks.

Annabelle-First child to get hives. Remember our camping trip to Green River last week? Annabelle got a couple of mosquito/bug bites and they got worse over several days, finally turning into welts and then she got welts or hives all over her body. I was a little worried for awhile because I'd never seen hives before and didn't know what was going on. I took her to my good friend and neighbor Maren who was a nurse and right away she said, "looks like hives." We read that benadryl helps a lot so I got her started on that and within a short time she was much better. After doing more research, I found that mosquito or bug bites can cause hives in certain people, up to several days after they've been bitten. She's all better now. The hives only lasted for a day.

Jane- Took her first unassisted steps! Being 15 months old(which is older than any of our children), I feel like this is a long time coming and we're happy to have her walking. Even though she's 15 months, she still looks too little to walk. Someone at the grocery store recently asked me if she was 6 months old :). Here is a short clip of little Jane walking.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Father's Day

I know this is late, but things are crazy around this house, which is actually pretty typical :). Sunday morning, per request, I made whole wheat pancakes and sausage for Scott's Father's day breakfast. The kids went shopping with me earlier in the week(always an adventure) and together, they picked out a tie for dad. He loved it and wore it to church that afternoon. We also got him a pizza stone. Scott and I were given one as a wedding gift but unfortunately, we left it in one of the many apartments we'd lived in and never got it back. Off and on for years, he'd mentioned how he'd like to have one again. We had home-made pizza for dinner. It was really good.
A couple of my favorite memories of Scott with the kids this year: 1. Watching him help coach Charlie's t-ball team. Scott really gets into it and is such a good teacher for those little kids. 2. Seeing Scott teach the kids about gardening and allowing them to get involved and even plant and harvest their own gardens. 3. Seeing Scott read books to the kids at night and listening to him sing to them.

Scott is such a great dad. The kids are so lucky to have him(so am I!). He's a hard worker and teaches them to do the same, but he also plays with them and has fun. We sure love Scott and are so grateful to have him.

Scott and I are both very grateful for our fathers and the things they have taught us as well. Much of who we are now is the result of our parents and we recognize all they did and still do and love and appreciate them very much.

Happy Father's Day to all the many, wonderful dad's out there!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Can you tell what I'm doing?

Can you tell what I'm doing from this photo? Well, too many things at once(cleaning, cooking, sorting through Elisabeth's school papers) but more specifically I'm working on Elisabeth's birthday cake. My kitchen always looks like a tornado just came through when I'm working on a cake. It's challenging trying to make and color frosting, bake cakes, cut and stack cakes, decorate etc, all the while trying to keep other parts of the house clean, children fed and on top of their school work.

Elisabeth originally decided on donuts for her birthday instead of cake, which my first thought was, 'less work for me!', but then I also thought that was odd because she loves cake, and I decorate fancy cakes. Anyway, I asked her a couple of weeks ago if that's still what she wanted and I told her that I didn't mind making her a birthday cake and in fact I'd be happy too. That's when she said, "But mom, it's so much work for you and it takes up so much of your time." I thought that was really sweet. Until the next day when she got really specific about the little details concerning her cake. I mean really specific. Like not only did she want a butterfly and rainbow cake, but she wanted the butterfly to be under the standing up 3-d rainbow and she wanted other smaller butterflies and she wants a rainbow border around the cakes. Sheesh! I guess part of that comes from having a cake decorating mom. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Arches National Park

Stephany had never been camping before and asked if we could go while she was here. We're always up for an excuse to camp, and we'd always wanted to go to Arches so we decided this would be the perfect time.

We packed up the van Thursday night and left Friday afternoon. We stayed at a KOA campground(I won't stay in remote camping areas; only really crowded ones because I'm afraid of bears) in Green River, Friday night. They had a swimming pool, which was too cold to swim in for very long, and a play set that my kids loved and spent a lot of time on. The kids had grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner though I'm not a fan of either one, so the adults made foil chicken fajitas for dinner which were the best ever, and completely Scott's creation. He's got some amazing skills. We made s'mores, sang a couple songs, read scriptures and went to bed.

The girls slept in our eight man tent and the boys slept in a little two man tent. I brought the pack and play for Jane which worked wonderfully. I'm not a fantastic outdoor sleeper because I wake up from the slightest noise, which is why I sleep with a noisemaker. I did put batteries in my noisemaker and used it, but I still woke up twice when Elisabeth talked in her sleep, twice when Jane sat up and started sucking her fingers, and two other times just because I was afraid the girls may have gotten out of their sleeping bags, and they did, and so I got up to recover them. It wasn't too cold at night, but it did get down into the low 50's which is too cold for a baby with no blankets. One of the times I woke up I needed to use the bathroom. I hate using bathrooms during the night at campsites. I mean, KOA's are clean and such, but I just hate walking out in the dark by myself. As I walk, I always think of scenarios that could happen, you know, with some strange man cornering me, and what I would do: yell, kick, fight etc :). Thankfully, so far I haven't had to use my karate skills. :)

Elisabeth reading the scriptures out loud:

In the morning:

Jane and I got up around 6am, the others slept in until 630 or 7am. We ate some granola and milk, fruit and string cheese and then packed up camp. The KOA had a continental breakfast at 8am so we grabbed a few things and then took off to Arches. Arches is a hot desert. We wanted to go early enough in the summer(and in the day) that it wouldn't be too terribly hot, but it was still in the low 90's when we were there, and there's really not much shade at all. So the kids were done after one hike :). Stephany and I went on one other hike; we actually ran it. We thought we were just walking to a scenic point but then we noticed the trail kept going and going. We ran because we didn't want Scott and the kids to have to wait too long. Seeing the arches is pretty neat. God's creations are amazing. While we were hiking, this shirtless guy with nipple rings came up to me and asked, "Are they all yours?"(he really overemphasized the word, 'all') referring to our four children. "Yep," I answered. He shook his head and added, "You look so young. I saw you with the baby first, but then I saw all those others..." he trailed off. I smiled and said, "Thanks. I think." This was not the first time I'd had someone say something like this to me. In fact, whenever I'm out with all four, it seems to me that someone says something. Sometimes people will comment on how many children we have and then rolls their eyes or do/say something else negative, but sometimes they're friendly or will just laugh and say, 'I bet you've got your hands full.' And it's true. I do. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

After Arches we went down to Moab for lunch and started on our drive back home. The two oldest kids were entertained by an audio book I checked out from the library(thanks Maren for telling me about this! You're a miracle worker!). There was still some whining, but overall they did pretty good on the road trip.

When we got home, Annabelle didn't want to go to sleep(nothing new). So Stephany bargained with her, painted her nails and then she went to bed. Thanks for coming Stephany! We had fun spending time with you and we miss you already!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Roommate BBQ

One of my roommates from BYU, Jen, came out from Colorado and stayed with us for a couple of nights with her family. I gathered the other two local roommates and their families one evening and we had a BBQ. Here are pictures of Jen, Jessie, April and their families. Thanks for coming ladies! We really like all of you and your cute families!

Annabelle and Essie

Jen and Jessie

April and her new baby girl

Elisabeth and Thomas