"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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Baby Update

The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.

Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

I love getting these updates! I am nearing the end of week twelve and to be honest, this has been the easiest pregnancy so far. I think that is God's mercy because I don't know how I would survive otherwise. That is not to say that I don't have extremely sick days where I can't get off the couch and I am dry heaving all day, but those days only come about once a week. At night when I am doing the dishes I usually have to have Cody scrape food off plates and put left overs in Tupperware, because that makes me run for the toilet. Cody has been incredibly helpful and I love him for it!

I had another U/S done at my last appointment because the midwife could not hear the heart beat. I wasn't surprised because they usually can't hear my babies until about week thirteen, but she did an U/S just for the heck of it. I loved seeing the little peanut and those tiny arms and legs! Devin was with me and was horrible- trying to climb all over me and crying because I wasn't holding him the way he thought he should be held. Maybe he senses a disturbance in the Force. He knows something is coming in a few months that will turn his world upside down and he is not happy.

But the other kids now know about this baby and they are so excited. Hailey wants another brother, Ethan wants a brother, and Lauren wants a sister. "I never had a baby sister!" she says. The baby's heart BPM was all the way at 180 which is fairly high, so maybe she will get her wish. But according to the Chinese Gender Chart (which by the way has been right with all four babies) it is a boy. So maybe Cody, Ethan, and Hailey will get their wish. We will find out on November 17th!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Caramel Apples

Fall is here! Although it stills feels a bit like summer, the official start of fall was on Thursday and I have been chomping at the bit to start getting "festive" around here. It has taken every bit of self control I have to not put up Halloween decorations, so putting the scarescrow out front seemed like a good compromise. The smells of apples and cinnamon permiate our house thanks to the candles that are always burning, and the roar of football coming from the TV really makes it feel like fall is here. Even if the thermometer is reading 84 degrees.

Tonight we had our traditional caramel apple making event. They were so yummy! Granny smiths are my favorite to eat covered in caramel, but the kids all opted for gala. Nope, not as good! Of course they were only interested in eating the caramel and leaving the apple anyway. Devin even had his first experience trying to eat one. At first he didn't know what to think, and then he went to town. Good thing caramel washes out of clothes because when it was all said and done, I could barely pull the apple from his shirt and pants. Way to go Devin!

Friday, September 24, 2010

All About Lauren at 3

At three years old Lauren-

-Is 99% potty trained. It has been a very gradual process, and she has trained herself more or less. She did what Hailey did and decided one day that she was done with diapers and wanted "big girl underwears". As of today she has gone five full days and not a single accident. That is a record, and I think she may finally have the hang of it!

-Goes to Senior Nursery and loves it. She always talks about her nursery friends and loves to have play dates with them.

-Can not wait to be a Sunbeam. Every Sunday I take all the kids in with me to the Primary room as I am setting stuff up, and she loves to sit on the front row in Hailey's class. She wants to be a Sunbeam so badly! Next year sweetie, next year!

-Can snap her fingers.

-Has the most adorable curly blonde hair in cheek dimples that are so deep, I swear they meet in the middle of her mouth.

-Loves it when I get mad at one of the other kids...and she says "But I don't do that, right Mom?" or "Hailey's a bad girl, but I'm a good girl. Right Mom?"

-Has a love hate relationship with the next door neighbor boy, Jack.

-Has a tiny appetite unless it is mac 'n cheese, chicken nuggets, waffles, scrambled eggs, cheese, chocolate milk (insists on it being in a sippy even though she is far past that stage...she says it tastes better that way) Pringles, or chocolate of any kind. You know, she loves the really healthy stuff.

-Loves having her finger and toe nails painted, magenta with a glitter top coat.

-Is such a good girl in her ballet class. She fits in with all the big girls.

-Wears a size three shirt, dress, and pants (even though the pants are still a little too long) and a size seven shoe.

-Climbs on everything.

-Is constantly singing.

-Loves My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Littlest Pet Shop, Polly Pocket, antyhing princess, baby dolls, dressing up, tea parties, and dinosaurs.

-Wants to learn how to peddle a bike but still can't get the hang of it.

-Is fearless on slides, not matter how big they are.

-Throws a tantrum at the drop of a hat. Hmmm, she must be three!

-Calls her toys "Sweetie" as she plays with them, even if it is a T-Rex.

-Never wants to get out of the bath tub.

-Hates having her hair brushed in the morning when it is full of tangles. I have started putting her hair in one braid after her bath at night and it makes our mornings go a little easier. She likes to wear her hair in two braids during the day and she looks like the Swiss Miss girl.

-Is dying to go to Hailey's preschool. Again, next year!

-Smothers her baby brother. She loves him to death one minute, and then hates him the next. She has started dis-liking him more recently because he is in to all of her things. And I know he gets a kick out of making her squeal. But when she loves him, I am afraid to leave him alone with her because she loves him too hard!

-Has the cutest little legs and tushy.

-Is so slow at getting up to the table at meal time. During breakfast, she makes a game out of being the last one to the table when we are in a hurry. Ethan always starts saying the prayer without her, and then that sends her into hysterics and she is so mad that he prayed without her being at the table yet. Oh, what a pill!

....I am sure I'll add more to this as they come to me.

Lauren Turns 3

I know I say this every time one of my children reaches a new milestone, and I will continue to say it because I am forever in awe at the pace that our lives fly by us. I can't believe that the little baby I snuggled against my chest turned three years old. Three years ago sweet little Lauren entered our world slightly ahead of schedule (almost three weeks early thanks to the antics of her older sister). Six pounds and ten ounces of her and I was smitten.

On her actual birthday of September 21st, we had our traditional family party in the evening. We did her friend party the previous weekend and she got totally loaded up on presents, but still we spoiled her in our own way. Since we had been caked out with the gazillion cupcakes I made for her friend party, I suggest to Lauren that we have brownies for her family party and she was super excited about that. I knew she would be.

After ballet class in the morning and dropping Hailey off at school, I asked Lauren what she wanted for lunch and of course she wanted a McDonalds Happy Meal. So we swung by McDonalds, came home and put Devin down for a nap, and then the two of us enjoyed lunch together. She gets so excited when it's just the two of us...no Devin to get in our way. Then we made brownies and she licked everything that was covered in batter. After the brownies were made I asked her if we should play beauty parlor. The sweet girl said we should wait until Hailey got home from school because she would be sad if she couldn't play too. I love this girl. So when Hailey got home we painted our nails (complete with a glitter coat on top) and I put a face full of make up on both of them.

That night after dinner of MORE chicken nuggets and mac 'n cheese (per her request) we got down to the business of the party. She got a new book and a roll of quarters from Grandma and Grandpa, sticker and coloring books, two new movies, a Princess Tiana dress, more Polly Pockets and Littlest Pet Shop, an elephant family (from Hailey) and three whole dollar bills.

Then we scarfed down a plate of brownies with vanilla ice cream and decided it had been a great birthday week. Granana and Gov's present is still in the mail so she has that to look forward to later in the week. It is so fun being three!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A New Additon

On Saturday night at 11:30, after MUCH anticipation and anxiety, Orion Matthew McCorkle made his debut. Matt and Kamishia had been planning for a home birth all along. They had done their homework, went through a couple pf different midwives before landing on the perfect one, and had everything set. After many years of working as a paramedic, Matthew had even delivered his share of babies first hand. So having a baby at home came naturally to these two.

Sometime early on Saturday morning, Kam's water broke and labor was in full force. Contractions were somewhat irregular, but strong and coming three to five minutes apart. This went on ALL day long. Kam is a real warrior and she did great at laboring. Sometime in the late afternoon after over twelve hours of intense labor and dilating to eight centimeters, they realized that the baby had turned breech at some point! What??!! When did that happen? They were then at a crossroads as to what they would do next. The team of midwives kept a very close eye on Kam and the baby for a few hours, and Kam kept at it. But sometime around 10:00 they all decided that a c-section was the only way this baby was going to make it safely into the world.

So after many many updates through out the day, Matthew let us know they were heading to the hospital. Such a blow to their plans, but getting the baby and mother safely delivered was the most important thing. So after a long nine months of guessing the baby was a boy or a girl (they didn't want to find out before the birth) Matt was the one in the OR to get to tell Kam that they had a son! 6 lbs, 12 ounces, and 19 inches long. A head full of curly black hair and an absolutely perfect little body. I am so excited to see my brother as a daddy. He will be a natural at it and I know he and Kam are going to have a great life being the parents to this sweet little guy!

Congrats you three! We are so exited to get to meet the little tyke in a few months!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two Ballerinas

Hailey and Lauren finally got to start ballet last week. Hailey actually did summer classes, but it was structured differently and was more laid back. Lauren could not start until she was closer to three years old, which she will be next week.

I am so grateful they could be in the same class this year. Makes for less shuttling around on my part! They are both in pre-ballet 1, but next year Hailey will have to be in kinder-ballet for five year olds. This is a fairly pricey ordeal, taking classes at this particular place (lots of hidden fees) and two girls at the same time. But it is a really great school and the teachers are amazing. The girls' teacher, Miss Christina, has a BA in ballet from the U of U and has been a ballet dancer her whole life. She means business! But she makes the class very fun and the girls really love it.

It's been fun watching the girls through the window each week. Lauren, especially, is horribly ungraceful, but she should be at three years old! They are having fun and making friends and that is what matters. I love having two ballerinas!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hailey's 2nd Year of Preschool

Hailey started her second year of preschool last week and of course wants to go back every day. She is again going three days a week and on the other days when she does NOT go, she is pretty upset. This is the fourth year we have gone to Kari and we continue to love her. However her schedule ended up getting messed up right before school started (thanks to a bunch of moms who think the rules don't apply to them and that their family is the center of the universe...) Long story short, Hailey was going to end up being the ONLY girl in her 9:00 class. That would never work, so I opted to put her in the 11:15-1:15 class. That is proving to be horrible just like I thought it would, but it's better that she has an even split of boys and girls.

Hailey really missed Kari and is so happy to be back in her class. I know this is going to be another amazing year!!

Devin Joseph- 11 Months Old

At eleven months, Devin-

-Sleeps completely through the night. He falls asleep in his crib all on his own and all I have to do it give him his blankie and the big stuffed Shamu animal. He curls up with both and goes right to sleep. Every once in a while he cries for a minute, but that is rare.

-Wears 18 month shirts, 12 month pants, and siz 4 shoes.

-Fits his bum into a size 4 diaper.

-Is drinking cow whole milk. A month shy of 12 months...so sue me. None of my kids have ever had dairy allergies and I despise formula and refused to buy another can when the last one emptied.

-Eats lots of table food with his fingers. Will eat just about anything I put on his tray and if he doesn't like it, he will gently drop it to the floor. He loves lunch meat.

-Does this funny little nose scrunchy thing where he bunches up his mouth and nose together and breathes really fast. He started this as a game with Daddy to look tough, but when he realized he always gets laughs he does it for everyone.

-Is JUST about walking on his own. He will take two or three steps and then gracefull sit down. Never falls, always catches himself. He has incredible balance.

-Loves to get into every drawer and cabinet, especially the DVD cabinet. That one has handles which is perfect for him. When I am sitting on the couch, he makes a beeline for the cabinet but always turns to see if I am watching him. If I am, he gives me a big grin and speed crawls to get there before I do. He also loves the cabinet to the cookware and he is also great at opening that one on his own.

-Has learned to give five. If you hold your hand out or up and say "FIVE!" he will smack it over and over again.

-His favorite place to play is in the fridge and the dishwasher. He is a big "helper" that way.

-HATES HATES HATES to get dressed or have his pants changed. He is the most wiggly baby of ours and is super strong. I always have to distract him with an object while I change his diaper, but there is nothing that makes getting dressed any easier.

-LOVES baths and running water in general. Whenever he hears a sink faucet running, he comes crawling in at super speed. When he hears bath water running...look out. He will stand there by the edge of the tub and go crazy until he can get in.

-Is great at unrolling toilet paper.

-Has really fallen in love with cars and other vehicles. His favorite thing in Ethan's room to get into is his big box of cars (and trains). He perfers those over any toy, and I think he will be getting a GeoTrax set for his first birthday.

-Makes us laugh all the time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Caboose

To negate any speculations from those of you who have seen me recently and think that I am just getting fat, let me assure you there is a good reason for it. Baby #5 is cooking and due to be here around April 14th! So far this pregnancy has been just like all the other ones. Nausea, exhaustion, fatigue, moodiness (I mean SERIOUS moodiness...) but also joy, excitment, and a lot of anticipation. We had an U/S done at seven weeks and everything looked great. It was hard for the tech to get a shot for a print because Peanut is camping out in a very descrete place. But there was a good and strong heart BPM of 136.

I don't want to find out the sex of this final baby. Since it is our tie breaker, it would be fun for everyone to guess! We have everything we could possibly need for a boy or a girl, and the anticipation would make it really exciting. But Cody is insisting that we find out so we probably will. Our big U/S is set for November 17th.

Since this is for sure our last baby, I am trying to savor everything. I signed up for the weekly newsletters about the pregnancy and I get a new one each Wednesday. Right now all of our baby's organs are in place, the tail is gone, fingers and toes are emerging and the eyes are formed behind sealed eye lids. Can't believe that the baby is already the size of a grape. And can't believe that we will have FIVE kids come this spring. I am elated!! We have not told the kids yet and probably won't until week 14. They will be so happy because they have been asking recently when I am going to have another baby in my tummy. I guess they don't like it that Devin is now almost a toddler. The girls especially want a "tiny" baby to cuddle with. Kids, you are getting your wish!

Friday, September 3, 2010

A New Endeavor

There is something new on the horizon and I am excited. I have become quite involved in Cub Scouts because of my church calling, and last night as I was sitting at Round Table I made a decision. I was going to seriously look into starting a Girl Scout troop in our neighborhood for Hailey and her grade level friends when they start Kindergarten next year.

Ethan will be starting Cub Scouts in seventeen months and I really want my girls to also enjoy Scouts. We were a big Scout family growing up. My dad always seemed to be a Boy Scout leader of some degree, and my mom was Evelyn's Girl Scout leader for many years. Everybody in my family did Scouts in some way and I for one loved it.

The problem is that Girl Scouts is not very big in our area. In fact, the one and only Council takes up almost the whole state and it is very diluted. It is much bigger in Texas, and the Council we fell in took up the greater Houston area. Way more compact! I dream of my "next" life when I am released as the Primary President and I have a little more time to do things I want to do. By this time next year I should be released and a new woman! So today I made some phone calls and when I asked if it was possible to start a new troop in our area, the lady on the phone was overcome with excitment! We talked for a long time and she told me everything I need to know to form a troop.

Daisy Scouts starts in Kindergarten when the girls are five, and it is good to keep each troop to their specific school year (mainly because advancement is often times done at the end of the school year and the girls move up together as a troop). Next May or June is when I need to get the ball rolling to actually organize the troop. Get girls registered, figure out times and places for weekly meetings, etc. I am really hoping to have ten girls registered for our troop who will be in Kindergraten in 2011-2012. Oh, and I of course need another leader! I hope a mom will want to volunteer for that.

I hope this takes off and gains popularity in our area. I want my girls to have the same experience that I did with Scouts. Some of my greatest memories come from those years! Since I of course can only lead one troop, I will be unable to lead another troop when Lauren starts Kindergarten in 2013. I hope that by then someone else will take the reigns and form a new troop for girls her age. That is exactly what happened with me and my sister, since she was one grade ahead of me and my mom was her leader. Luckily my very best friend's mom stepped up when I was in first grade and started our troop.

Like I said, I hope to get enough interest from other girls and moms in our neighborhood so we can be all set next summer. It will be such a great experience for our daughters!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What I Did Today

-Woke up from a VERY deep sleep, made breakfast, did not throw it up, packed Ethan's lunch, got Ethan ready and dropped off at school.

-Unloaded the dishwasher, cleaned breakfast dishes.

-Changed dirty diapers.

-Nursed two feverish kids back to health (well, attempted to get them healthy to no avail).

-Gave many doses of Tylenol and Ibuprofen to two sick kids.

-Did Hailey's hair. Lauren is sick and would not let me touch her hair.

-Put away four heaping baskets of laundry, took all the dirty laundry down to the basement, sorted it, washed it, folded it AS IT CAME OUT of the dryer, and got it all folded but two and half baskets worth. That is a LOT of laundry and I am proud.

-Put clean sheets back on Ethan's bunk beds and in Devin's crib.

-Made Lauren's 3 year check up appointment.

-Made grilled cheese snadwiches for lunch, and then cleaned up lunch dishes.

-Did a lot of Primary business.

-Kept the baby from falling through the gate at the top of the stairs many times.

-Made Lauren lots of chocolate milk, because that is the only thing she wants in her tummy today.

-Organized our schedules/family calendar for September.

-Took a walk to pick up Ethan from school and then let the kids play at the park for a while on the way back. Poor Lauren felt horrible so she stayed in the stroller.

-Got Ethan ready for his soccer game which Daddy and Hailey went to while I stayed home with sick kids.

-Made spaghetti, per Ethan's request.

-Left all four kids with Dad this evening while I went to Round Table (Scout stuff) with my awesome second counselor. Got lots of chocolate as a reward for going tonight.

-Came home to two little babies running even HIGHER fevers than when I left.

-Witnessed the power of the Priesthood in my home as Cody gave Lauren a blessing. Thanked the Lord for bringing such a good man into my life.

-Kissed my sweet husband goodnight as he retired to the basement to sleep, while Lauren sleeps with me in our bed so I can keep a close eye on her.

-Left the dinner dishes in the sink for the morning. Too tired tonight.

-I did not lie down once today. I am truly exhausted but feel somewhat accomplished.