"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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baby Talk

A Visit From Matt & Kam

Matthew and Kamishia had a baby boy last September. To say I've been anxious to meet little Orion is quite the understatement. Chomping at the bit is more like it. I see pictures and videos of the kid all over Facebook and I could not wait to finally get to squeeze and love on him. The three of them graced us with their presence last week while they were roadtripping, but two days just wasn't long enough for me to get my fill of them. I just love that little family! The kids were very excited to meet their one and only boy cousin on the McCorkle side.
Of course Mya came along and the kids were in Heaven with a dog to play with. Mya is quite the dog. Actually, I swear she is more human than dog. If I could hand pick a dog that was 100% like Mya in temperment, I would love to have a dog. But unfortunately it doesn't work like that. So in the meantime, the kids loved having Mya around. Devin kept going over to her to give her "loves". That is, he would stick out his tongue and let her lick it and then giggle with delight. Kind of gross, but pretty cute.

On Tuesday evening we went out to Muller Park for a picnic dinner. Normally on good days that place is so busy you can't find a daycamp site that isn't being used. But that night we had the entire place to ourselves! It was a perfect evening. We loved hiking around the place and taking lots of pictures.

On Tuesday afternoon they headed back out on the road to go spend some time in Moab. I hated to see them go, but I really look forward to seeing them again. We had such a fun time with them and they are wlecome at our house any old time they please!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Smiles

This morning I had just finished nursing and burping Garrett and I laid him on my lap. I was talking sweetly to him, and he gave me his first, voluntary, undeniable smile. That first smile always thrills me to death. It's like their way of saying "Mom, I do love you even though I lay here and do nothing. I do appreciate all you have done for me. Here's a little something to show you how much I love you." Luckily I had my camera phone in hand and was able to catch the last half of his smile. He gave me a few more right after, but I couldn't capture any on camera. Words can no describe how much I love this little guy!

Mini V

Yesterday right after breakfast, Hailey grabbed a pen and paper and sat down to draw. After a few minutes I asked what she was drawing and she said "I am planning out our next trip to the zoo." She then explained to me how she had mapped out exactly who would be going, how we would get there, what we would see first, when we would eat lunch, when we would ride the little train, etc. And sure enough, she had in fact drawn it all.

Hailey can often times be found doing this sort of thing. She is the ultimate planner, and I swear it must be genetic. Cody has teased me since she was little and began showing this same characteristic that she was a "Mini V". When I was a kid I had a clipboard and I carried it with me a lot of the time. I could always be found planning something of sorts. Family Home Evening, family outings, playdates with friends, I would also plan out what I wanted in my lunch for the rest of the month or so. I loved planning, and I still do. One of my favorite things as an adult is to write in my planner. I love making to-do lists and I LOVE scratching completed things off my list. I love printing off our family calendar each month and filling in upcoming events.

And this little girl is just like me in that regard, right down to her annoyance when things don't go according to her plans. Right now she is in the process of planning her sixth birthday party. Even though it is not until January, she is busy making plans. The details change every now and then, but the overall plan stays the same. When I journal about it next year, keep in mind that it will likely be 90% out of the mind of Hailey. I hope that she can harness her ability to plan and organize and put it to her advantage as she gets older. It will come in handy a lot in school and the workplace, that's for sure. And then when she has a household to run, I think she will be in Heaven because it takes a LOT of planning and organizing!

Daddy's Boy

A couple of months before the baby was born, Devin started becoming more clingy toward Cody. Then after I went into the hospital, Devin pacified himself with Cody. Well, ever since then he has wanted nothing to do with me when Dad is around. Cody puts him in his crib at night and Devin has a fit, but he eventually gives in and gets quiet. But like clockwork, a few minutes later hellacious screams can be heard from his room. Cody rushes in there to see what's wrong and finds Devin's feet caught between the spindles of his crib. The thing is, this never ever used to happen. We are convinced that now Devin does it on purpose because he knows Cody will come back in to get him and calm him down. I'm sure if you listen closely, you can hear Devin laugh a Devilish laugh. Ha ha ha ha ha...I won again.

Each evening when Cody comes home, all Devin has to do is hear the doorknob jiggle and he drops whatever he is doing and says "Daddy!" and races for the front door. He is the first to greet him and from there on out I am chopped liver. The kid really wants nothing to do with me when Cody is around. He is our first kid to have such an attachment to Cody, and in a way, I like it. I know Devin still loves and needs me, but it's nice for Cody to have such a big fan!

Camping Out

Saturday was cold and windy and the kids didn't get to play outside too much. That afternoon I set up our small two man tent in the front living room and they thought it was the coolest thing ever. They slept in it for the next two nights, but I needed to get it put up yesterday to keep it from getting beat up anymore. When Ethan came home from school he was really diappointed that the tent was gone. Sorry kiddo. But maybe one of these days the weather will decide to stay warm and we can have a camp out in the backyard!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sugar House Park

On Friday we could not have had a more beautiful day. It has been such a long and wet winter (here where we live we are just barely getting into spring) so we were aching for a good day to get outside and play. I kidnapped Ethan a little early from school and we headed to Salt Lake to a fantastic park for a picnic. Cody lived near the Sugar House area when we first started dating and that park holds a lot of sentimental value for us. I hadn't been back there since Ethan was a tiny baby, so I figured it was time that I introduced the kids to another part of our old stomping ground. When we pulled in, the kids were overcome with how "cool" the place was. A huge duck pond, a river, some incredible play areas, and huge hills to roll down. It didn't get better than that! Garrett was a trooper and slept most of the time, only waking once to eat. I am very proud of myself for accomplishing that outing with five kids and only me to keep everything under control. It was a great day and we can't wait to go back with Dad!

6 Weeks...and 31 Years Young

Garrett is six weeks old today. I can't believe we survived the first six weeks because it has been such a trying time. Today is also my thirty-first birthday and it's fitting that the two milestones are connected. When I turned thirty last year I didn't feel a lot different than when I was twenty-nine. But now that I am officially "into" my thirties, I feel more mature. It probably sounds silly and doesn't make sense. And now Garrett is six weeks old and I am getting further and further away from my child bearing years. Before long, it will all be a distant memory. I have struggled with my emotions about being done with this phase of life, and I've journaled enough about it in the last months so no need to rehash old feelings.

People told me I would be sad when Cody had his vasectomy. But I wasn't.

People told me I would be sad when Garrett was born. But I wasn't.

People told me I would be sad when we left the hospital with our last baby. But I wasn't.

People told me I would be sad when Garrett outgrew his newborn diapers. But I wasn't.

And all this probably makes me sound cold and heartless and honestly, I think it does too. I had braced myself all along for how sad I would be as we crossed each milestone, and as they came and went and I was left feeling nostalgic but in no way sad, I was surprised. And all I can think of to explain my feelings is that I know we are done having kids. All of the spirits that were intended for our family are here and accounted for. There are no more players sitting on our bench, waiting patiently for their turn to be born. All seven of us are here together on earth and it is a very joyous feeling. So the fact that we are not having anymore babies is actually a happy thing because it means we are complete. And completeness is a great thing.

Garrett is lying next to me, contently sucking on a binky and looking around. His tummy is empty and he's about to realize it so he'll start fussing soon. I love this guy. I love him so much. And I do appreciate his babyness and I am trying to soak it all in because I know we will never be in this place again. But at the same time, I really look forward to him getting older and sleeping better and being able to interact with me more. I look forward to seeing his personality emerge more and more. Will he be a clown like Devin, always wanting to entertain and charm? Or will he be more serious, thoughtful, and analytical like Ethan? Or maybe he'll just be his own person and that will be fine too.

So today I am thirty-one years old. And Garrett has officially left the newborn stage and crossed into the young infant stage. I can start exercising again, which is great because I have these fifty pounds that are hanging around and I am excited to shed them. And the good thing about never having a baby again is that I will never gain the pregnancy pounds again. I will shed it and never see it again...ever. That truly brings tears to my eyes!

Just for fun and for posterity, so they can see what I was like when I was this old, here are thirty-one things that I love.

1. The smell right after it rains.

2. Warm pavement beneath my feet.

3. The sound my kids make as they congregate together planning a surprise for me.

4. The feel of my baby's skin against my own.

5. The way my husband's top lip protrudes out just a tiny bit above his bottom lip.

6. Painting a room...and then admiring the freshly painted walls.

7. Using my hands and feeling useful.

8. A brand new pair of socks, fresh out of the package.

9. A beautiful table setting, complete with place cards.

10. White Christmas lights on a real Christmas tree.

11. Family vacations with my husband and kids.

12. Sunflowers.

13. My husband's morning voice.

14. Meeting my new baby for the first time.

15. Playing the piano.

16. Home grilled hamburgers.

17. Citronella.

18. New fallen snow.

19. Chronicling, journaling, documenting, and photographing.

20. Standing in the greeting card aisle, agonizing over the perfect card for someone, often times getting teary eyed as I do so.

21. My green eyes and freckles.

22. Painting my toenails.

23. When my children tell me something and I know that what I've taught them is being absorbed.

24. Mowing the lawn.

25. Texas wildflowers in the spring.

26. When the weather starts to turn chilly in the fall.

28. Apple pie and vanilla ice cream.

29. Knowing that no matter what happens, I am tied to my family forever.

30. My Savior, Jesus Christ.

31. My life.

Friday, May 13, 2011


71 degress outside.
Swimsuits, although not exactly swimsuit weather.
Is anyone else feeling desperate for summer?

Mother's Day 2011

If someone had told me long ago that in 2011 I'd be spending Mother's Day surrounded by my five children, I would have said they were crazy. All this has happened in the last seven years and it seems as though I blinked.

On Sunday morning I got breakfast in bed for the first time. I knew they had been planning it, but I had to act surprised. I loved lying in bed with the baby, listening to Cody and the kids out in the kitchen shushing each other because "Shhhh!! It's a surprise!" and there were a lot of "This is awesome and Mom's gonna love it!" And in they came, one by one to give me hugs and wish me a happy Mother's Day. I absolutely loved eating breakfast surrounded by five of the people I love most in this world.

I spent the day doing a lot of reflecting on motherhood. To be honest, it is nothing like I had imagined it years ago. In most ways, it's a million times better than I could have imagined it. It is by far the hardest job in the world and often times the most thankless. But at the end of the day (and at the end of the worst days at that) I walk in see them sleeping and I wonder how I got to be so lucky. I have these five precious people in my life and I don't think I deserve them. In fact, I know I don't. I make a lot of mistakes as a mom, but it seems that these people are always so eager to forgive and climb up in my lap and give me a sticky kiss. I don't think I could ever tell them how much I love them because there simply are no words.

When I stop and look around at the chaos and the messes and the gooey fingerprints on the windows and the doors and the [what I hope is] chocolate pudding smeared all over the hallway wall, I have to remind myself that this is a beautiful life Cody and I have created.

Garrett- 1 Month

Baby G turned one month on May 3rd. That first month flew by, but it seemed to draaaaaaaag at the same time. It's been a rough go with him but we are slowly getting him figured out. Even though we have done this five times, we feel like this is our first rodeo. He has a lot of the same tummy issues that Devin did, and I have to keep reminding myself that he grew out of it...and I pray Garrett does as well! The doctor put him on a couple of medications to help with reflux because he is a projectile vomitter. It doesn't seem to be working too well though,because just last night I got completely drenched with puke from that sweet boy. And I mean all-over-my-body.

He is sleeping in bigger chunks for sure, consiering when we brought him home he was eating every 1 1/2 hours during the night. I am finally feeling human again and that ever present fuzzy feeling is diappearing. The guy still insists on sleeping right up against me, and I'm sure that will continue for several months just like Lauren and Devin did. But you know what? I am not fighting it too much because it just ain't worth the fight, trying to get him to sleep unaccomanied. The only downside is that Cody can't sleep too well in our bed when the baby is there so he's been on the couch. I sure miss my hubby.

When I took him in for his reflux appointment at 4 1/2 weeks, he weighed 10 1/2 pounds. Not too shabby! The guy loves his food for sure. The only thing is he has a hard time nursing when I'm very full of milk because he seems to drown, and as he's gasping for air (quite literally) he takes in too much air and then has to be burped right away. So I often times have to stop and burp him every minute and that makes for a very long nursing session.

The poor kid has had a constant cold of one degree or another since he was two weeks old. I guess that's what happens when there are four petri dishes walking around, spreading germ after germ. Hopefully it means that he will have one killer immune system within a couple of years!

He really loves the binky, which is great because my last two babies were not fans and it meant they wanted to nurse round the clock for pacification. With Garrett, I can hold him off from eating for a little while if I am too busy to feed him right then, because I can stick a binky in his mouth and he's happy...for a short time anyway. It usually gives me a few extra minutes!

The kids absolutely adore him. I think Lauren is his biggst fan and she is constantly trying to "help". She has even started mimicking things I say to him. One of the funniest things she says when he is crying (and she says it in the sweetest mommy voice) "Don't worry Sweetie, you're not gonna die."

It will be fun to see what the next month holds in store for this guy. We love him to pieces and are so happy he's in our family!!!

Garrett's Blessing Day

Garrett was given a name and a blessing on May 1st, when he was exactly four weeks old. It was a very emotional day for me, considering it was the last time we'd ever bless a baby like that. Garrett's life has been full of many bittersweet "lasts" for us. But with each "last" it opens up new windows for new experiences as we embark upon this new phase of life.

I was emotional as I walked into church with all five of my children in tow. I was emotional as I looked around the chapel to see everyone who had come out to honor Garrett and to stand in the blessing circle. I was emotional as the Bishop stood from the pulpit and said his full name, announcing that he would be blessed that day. I was emotional as Cody tok him from my arms and walked with him up to the front of the chapel. I was emotional as I listened to the sweet words he spoke, blessing him with beautiful things in life. I was emotional as he talked about Garrett's free agency and how he blessed him to be strong and to know right from wrong and to be a good example to everyone he comes in contact with in life. I was emotional as Cody talked about his four siblings and his two parents who love him and how we would always cheer him on in life. I was emotional as he talked about his siblings being his best friends. Yes, it was an emotional day for me.

After chuch we all congregated back at our house for a luncheon. It was great to visit with friends and family that we don't get to see that often. The day could not have been more perfect and I am so thankful for this new person in my life. I am so thankful to be his mama.