"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Check List

*Strictly for journaling purposes*

I have actually gotten quite a bit done that I set out to do before the baby gets here! It's always good to see it on paper.

-repair and paint upstairs hall bathroom
-paint upstairs family room, dining area. and kitchen
-clean upstairs carpets
-sort, wash fold, and put away baby clothes
-sort through kids' books
-get new cell phone and input new info
-wash infant carseat and base (and attach head support)
-clean out fridge and freezer
-pack hospital bag
-buy paper and start on birth announcements
-clean, organize, and arrange basement sleeping area
-wash bedding and re-make beds downstairs

-clean basement rec area...again
-find place for remaining kids' books downstairs
-make massive D.I. run
-wash bassinet
-vacuum van
-tear out dead flowers from front beds
-install infant carseat in van
-make family calendar/schedule for week that I have baby and Grandma and Grandpa are here.
-arrange for help in Primary (to replace me)
-order kids' Halloween costumes

These lists will likely be added to over the week.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Alien In My Belly

Last night as I was chillin on the couch, the baby started doing gymnastics so I grabbed the camera. I know those are terrible stretch marks to see, but the effect wasn't the same under my shirt. You can really see him rolling around! This is what he did from 10:00 to 2:00 during the night. He rarely stops moving! It's getting to where it hurts almost all the time now. He stretches in EVERY direction. He'll have one body part in my throat, one in my ribs, one in my back, and one in my groin- all at the same time. I think we should name him Sampson!

BTW, turn up the volume. If you can guess what movie I'm watching on TV you'll win a prize.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Surviving 2 More Weeks...And Then Some

Today has been really hard. Maybe it's because my phone started ringing this morning with Primary business and it didn't stop. Maybe it's because I spent four hours working on Primary stuff last night and I still felt unaccomplished and out of control at church today. Maybe it's because this baby has been stretched out in a diagonal position all day and my left hip hurts so badly as if I've just had a bone marrow transplant. Maybe it's because I contract on a regular basis and I'm always in pain these days.

I sat in church this afternoon and cried. I know I sound like a titty baby, but things are really weighing on me and I feel so inadequate to meet life's demands. Last night as I tossed and turned from discomfort and was interrupted three times for potty breaks, I got to thinking how good things are going to be when my body is finally relieved of this physical burden. The thought of it sounded good, until I realized that by expelling the baby from my body, I would then be encountering a much greater challenge- taking care of four children.

Am I up for the challenge? I don't know. I guess I don't have a choice at this point. He's coming, whether I'm ready or not. And in so many ways I am NOT ready. It seems that someone is needing something from me 24 hours a day. I wish I could say it's only my children who need me, but it's not. My church calling is so stressful and I toy all the time with the idea of being released and not holding another calling again for a LONG time. I've been in this calling for six months now and although I do see the blessings that have come from it, I see more so the stress.

In many ways this has been the most stressful six months of my life. This calling was issued to me out of the blue and when I finally started to get into the groove of things, major personal issues surfaced and that included the death of my brother. And now I'm frantically trying to get things somewhat in order to invite a new life into this world.

Tonight I pleaded with the kids that they have to help me over the next two weeks to keep our house in order. I can not do everything myself. Cody is a big help, but he's very busy with work and Scouts and he's so tired when he gets home at the end of the day. I always hate to ask him to do anything. Yet this evening he made dinner while I laid on the couch in and out of tears. And now he's upstairs doing the dishes, which proves he loves me because he LOATHES doing the dishes. As imperfect as he is, I truly love him and he's a great husband and father.

I know this is a lot of complaining. I'm not the first pregnant woman to feel overwhelmed. And I wouldn't trade this experience for anything because bringing life into this world is one of the greatest blessings one can be given. But it's hard, plain and simple. And I'm feeling it.

Tonight my sweet friend Anne reminded me of this quote. Neal A. Maxwell said " God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only our availability. And if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability."

I really need to hear that.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bofie

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong
And carry on,
'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven.

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?

I'll find my way
Through night and day,
'Cause I know I just can't stay
Here in heaven.

Time can bring you down,
Time can bend your knees.
Time can break your heart,
Have you begging please, begging please.

Beyond the door,
There's peace I'm sure,
And I know there'll be no more
Tears in heaven.

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong
And carry on,
'Cause I know I don't belong
Here in heaven.

I was driving the kids to school the other day and this song came on the radio. I've heard it a million times before, but it suddenly had new meaning for the first time. I could barely drive through the tears.

Today is Joseph's 27th birthday. I think we've all been dreading this day for weeks. I woke up this morning with a sick feeling in my stomach and it's been there all day. The girls and I made him a chocolate cake this morning and it kind of fell apart when I tried to remove it from the pan. That made me sad. I want his cake to be perfect. When it's all frosted I'm going to put little Snickers bars on the top.

I wish I could be at his grave today. I don't want him to be alone. But he's buried right by my Grandma and Grandpa so I know his body is not alone. And his spirit isn't either. Maybe loved ones are taking him out for a burger today. I really don't know how that works on the other side.

I hope he feels loved today. I hope he knows how much he is missed here on earth. I hope he knows what the last 27 years of incredible memories with him as my brother mean to me. I hope he knows that the world isn't the same with out him here. I miss you, Joseph. I miss you so much it hurts and it's sometimes hard to catch my breath. I love you. I can't put anything else into words right now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Moment In Time

Nothing spectacular happened here. It was just a fun thing to do with Dad on a Saturday afternoon. I wish I could freeze moments like this. I guess that's the great thing about pictures.

Labor Day Weenie Roast

There is always a reason to have a weenie roast when we're in Idaho for the weekend. It's usually because no one wants to come up with an alterniative idea for dinner! Sitting around the fire is always so fun and relaxing. I have been trying to get my dad to make a fire pit in their back yard so we can do this in Texas too. The kids just love it. After we got the kids all cleaned up after they married mud, we roasted hot dogs and made s'mores. So yummy!

Marrying Mud

The grandkids can get away with murder with Cody's dad. Over Labor Day weekend when he was supposed to be watching them outside, they asked if they could play in the mud. He not only said "yes" but he encouraged it! Only a grandpa would do that. They had fun and the mud came out of the clothes...eventually. I guess I freaked out for nothing when I saw what they were doing! Grandpa just laughed and laughed.

A Lazy Sunday Morning

We didn't get home from the fair on Saturday until about midnight, so we all slept in a little and played hookie from church on Sunday. The kids headed outside first thing in the morning to feed the cows. You don't get more white trash then this, but they had fun and it was a beautiful morning! Oh, and don't you love Lauren's saggy diaper?

Lauren's Birthday

Lauren turned two on Monday the 21st, but we mainly celebrated a day early on Sunday. I picked up some Papa Murphey's pizzas on Saturday and Lance, Courtnee, and the boys came over on Sunday evening. It was a really low key celebration.

Lauren was SOOO very excited about her Nemo cake which she picked out by herself. I let her flip through the book at the bakery and she saw that and went wild. I could barely keep her fingers out of it long enough to take a picture.

It was a nice and relaxing evening, with very little clean up! That was the best part. Lauren got a few presents including some books, a baby doll that actually swims (it's pretty cool), a musical instrument set which all three kids have played with non-stop, a new Barney DVD, and a mechanical hamster that my friend Katie gave her. To be honest, that toy is her favorite present! She has slept with it and plays with it first thing each morning.

For her actual birthday yesterday we took the kids to McDonalds for dinner, then came home and had Jello Pudding Pops. Pretty simple! I can't believe that baby girl is already two years old. Where is the time going?!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lauren Elizabeth- Age 2

I can not believe this sweet girl is already two years old! It's funny that this pregnancy is very paralleled to my pregnancy with her. My due date this time is only days apart from my due date then, so it's easy for me to compare notes on what was happening exactly two years ago at this same moment. The time is flying by.

I think back to how many doctors told us we should not go on to have more children after Hailey because of the complications I experienced with her. I'm sometimes haunted at the thought of not having brought Lauren into this world. I thank God every day that they were wrong. Obviously the Lord had other plans for our family, and they included Lauren. The last two years have been wonderful ones and I'm so grateful to be her mommy! Here are a few things about her at this point in her life.

-She was the easiest going baby. And then she turned about 15 months old. She is so full of drama and attitude! She thinks the world revolves around her and most of the time it does. All she has to do is make a sad face and one of us comes running to see how we can fix the situation. She especially has Ethan wipped.

-She can snap her fingers. I am very impressed with this skill! When she hears a good beat she starts snapping right along. Her sense of rhythm is very good and she'll be getting a musical instrument set for her birthday.

-She has CRAZY hair. It is very curly in places, but then straight in other places. Each morning we have a bad time combing out tangles. But when it's all done up with a little styling product it looks fabulous!

-She has big feet. She is in a size 6 which is big for the rest of her size. She has what look like duck feet because the rest of her is so tiny.

-She is fearless in the water. I have to keep a very close eye on her whenever we are around water. This summer at Mom and Dad's if we weren't watching her, she'd jump right off the edge with no one waiting to catch her. So far all three kids have been water bugs.

-She climbs on EVERYTHING. I have never had a kid climb like she does. And again, she likes to climb and then jump off whatever it is.

-Her favorite thing to do lately is when I'm sitting on the couch, she comes over says "Wanna look!" Then she pulls my shirt up to see my stomach and pokes me in the belly button saying "ding dong!"

-She bears a strong resemblance to my Dad's side of the family. When she was about eight months old I found an old photo of my dad at the same age. The resemblance was uncanny. Joseph looked a LOT like my dad when he was little, therefore Lauren looks a like like Uncle Joseph did as a toddler.

-She barely eats anything, yet she poops at least three times a day. Seems to defy all laws of physics! She has never been a big eater though, so this is not new. Even as an infant she would nurse for 10-15 minutes and be completely satisfied for three hours.

-She loves the piano. I constantly find her plinking away at the keys in the front room.

-On most nights she goes down in her crib with out a problem. She makes her rounds of saying goodnight to everyone and I lay her in her crib on her comfy pillow, she holds her sippy cup tightly, squeezes her eyes shut with a slight grin, and pulls her "bink" (blanket) up around her. As I turn off the light she says "Good night, Mama". It is the cutest thing!

-She has started taking her turn in saying prayers at bed time and meal time. Her little gibberish is adorable.

-She says a lot of words. There are too many to count. She can be very quiet around other people, so I get a lot of comments like "She doesn't say much, does she." I laugh and say they should hear her at home! Most of what comes out of her mouth is a command. Her favorites are:
"Get it!"
"Give me that!"
"Do it!"

-Baby dolls are her favorite toys. She loves to nurture and mother them. She can always be found in her room tucking her babies in their beds. She also loves to push the doll strollers all over the house. And sometimes she thinks it's great when Hailey pushes HER in the strollers.

-When she gets me a book to read, I start reading it but she gets so excited by the pictures that she starts clapping and pointing and "telling" me about the story. Then she quickly flips through to the end, slams it shut, and goes to grab another book. We never really get through the whole story.

-She really wants to ride a tricycle, but her legs are so short and she can't reach the pedals! It frustrates her like nothing else.

-She is the politeness police. She always says please, thank you, no thanks, and excuse me. It's so funny because she always says "No thanks" when I tell her to do something she doesn't want to do. Then when I insist, she throws a tantrum. Yesterday she burped and actually said "Excuse me, I burped." What two year old does that?

-She LOVES princesses. She has two princess pictures on her walls and on most mornings when I go in there to get her from bed, she is standing in her crib pointing at the pictures saying "Hi Pincess Pincess!!" What a great way to wake up.

-She loves to have her fingernails painted. She asks me all the time to do it for her.

-She sings the "Go Away" song all the time to be cute. It goes "Go way, go way go way!" And then she dies laughing.

-When we are driving in the car and a song ends that we're listening to, she'll say "Mom, I wike it!" She is quite the music critic.

-She keeps us laughing all the time! She is our entertainment at almost every meal. Like I said, she doesn't eat much. While we are eating, she stands in her chair and dances and laughs. No wonder she is so small. No calories get ingested!

-Hailey is her best friend. I love it that they are only 20 months apart. They have a real love hate for each other, though. One second they are best friends and the next second they are enemies. Hmmm, that sounds familiar! Just like Evelyn and me. When I drop Hailey off at preschool Lauren gets very sad because her buddy is gone. I hope they are always close like they are now.

We love you, Lauren! We can't imagine our lives with out you.

To My Sweet little Guy

Dear Little One,

I can't believe we are going to meet you so soon! In only three weeks or less you are going to join our family. We could not be happier or more excited for that to happen! As I sit here and write this I can feel you doing rolls and kicks in my belly. You take up a LOT of room and you are the most active baby I have ever carried. That probably means you will be a killer as a toddler!

I want you to know how much I love you and how wanted you are. I wish you knew how much your brother and sisters already love you. Every single day they all come over to me (usually while I'm camped out on the couch) and ask to see my belly. They love to feel you moving around in there and they love talking to you. Lauren loves pushing on my poky belly button and saying "ding dong!" You are going to be so loved and adored by those three kids. I'll probably have to fight them for time to spend with you!

I often wonder about what you're doing right now. As much as I anticipate your arrival, I can only imagine what you are feeling. You are with our Heavenly Father right now! How lucky are you. You probably have butterflies in your stomach as you are preparing for this journey we call life. I wonder what's going through your head. Are you excited? Nervous? Happy? Probably a lot of each.

I also wonder if you've been able to get to know your Uncle Joseph since he left us almost three months ago. I'm sad that you won't get to experience having him for an adoring uncle in this mortal life. But I have a feeling that he already knows you better than I do, and that he will always serve as your guardian angel. Give him a huge hug for me and tell him how much I love and miss him each day. Our lives haven't been the same with out him here.

Baby boy, I love you. I want you to have a good life. I hope that somehow you can stay close to the veil and remember the things you've been taught in the pre-existence. This life will be hard, I won't lie. But your family is waiting here for you, ready to help you and lift you up along the way. It will be a rocky path to follow at times, but we are a team and we will work together. I am so excited to meet you. I know you will continue to bless our lives each day, because we've already seen those blessings coming to pass.

Three weeks! I can't believe it's only three weeks away. I can't wait.

All my love,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Twin Falls County Fair

We've been going to the county fair in Cody's home town every year since we got married. It's always been a tradition of theirs since they were kids. Every single Labor Day weekend, no ifs ands or buts. All the kids in his family raised pigs through 4-H to sell. While I really can't stand the animal exhibits at the fair, the kids get a huge kick out of them. I love how excited Hailey and Lauren got this year while looking at the animals. Ethan only cared about the food and the rides. He's my kind of boy! A great time was had by all, but my whole body ached like mad when we finally left there late at night.
So happy to be there!
I'm not kidding when I say I'm extremely fat, swollen, and bloated!

Soccer Update

Soccer season is coming to a close! Ethan has a few games left until next spring. He is doing so well compared to how his first game went. By his second game he was having a blast and doing everything himself. No more tears! That's always been his style- it takes him one or two time to get used to it and then there's no tearing him away. He still doesn't really know what he's doing on the field, but he runs with the other boys and chases the ball and has a smile on his face the whole time. It's all about having fun!

Hailey has been very shy to play with all those boys. She is the only girl on her team and she feels intimidated by it. At her game last week she would NOT go on the field by herself. She kept saying "Mommy, I just want to do my ballet class." Is she all girl or what? She wanted me to hold her hand almost the whole time. I can't say I blamer her, because those boys are really aggressive and loud!

But she really likes the snacks so it makes it worth it for her.