Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Blame Facebook

Last weekend my brother did a bad thing. He pointed out that my father and I were the only two family members not on facebook. If you ask my father about social networking he probably thinks about business cards. In an attempt to not be the unhip sibling, I promptly signed up for an account.

First, I invited people from my email accounts. I figured if I ever sent you an email, you must be my friend. Then this little "People You May Know" thingy popped up. So I looked through and tried to click on people I did, in fact, know. And then the emails began.

At first it was blast from the past. Friends I hadn't thought of for years. Yes, I will be your friend. Then came a few names I remembered, barely. OK, I will be your friend, too.

And then came the people whose names were a total blank. Nada. But we have like 500 friends in common so I know I went to school with them. This started to bother me, so, in desperation, I went to the basement and PULLED OUT MY HIGH SCHOOL YEAR BOOK. Which is something I haven't done since 20 seconds after graduation.

And that is when things got scary. Because I actually started looking up people in my yearbook. And then I started reading what people signed. And a couple of the name blanks ACTUALLY SIGNED MY YEARBOOK. Unfortunately, I only remember well about 10% of the people who signed my yearbook. Another 10% I think I vaguely remember. The other 80, well apparently I did not follow your advice to "never forget me" or "lets get together this summer."

You know how many inside jokes are written in there? You know how many I remember after 15 years? Of course, I don't feel too bad. I wasn't even invited to the 10 year reunion. And those people who want to be my friend on facebook, even though I am 95% sure we never spoke a word to each other in high school, yeah I said they could be my friend, too. Just in case I've forgotten we were once best friends.

(And if you just clicked on my blog from my facebook profile, I am TOTALLY NOT talking about you)

I now have proof that I have lost my mind. Or at least my memory. Do I know you?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Last Look at Halloween Past

Here is Halloween last year- Peter had already moved and I was busy getting the house ready for us to follow, so we went with easy. The red alien is my mom, who was visiting for the birth of my nephew. Isn't she a good sport?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lessons from a Motorcycle Trip

As a teenager, I once went on a motorcycle trip with my parents. My father, having grown up in rural Oklahoma on the back of a motorcycle, always remembered fondly the thrill of riding. Strangely enough about the time he hit middle age, my parents bought a Gold Wing. They promptly decided to take a trip to Yellowstone with some friends. For some reason I cannot remember, I came along on the back of their friends’ son’s bike. The trip was wonderful. And by that I mean I only remember three things about it.

First, let me explain that I have a bizarre sleeping habit. Being in a car puts me to sleep. Out. Zonkers. Drooling, snoring, nap fests. There is just something about the hum of the engine or the rhythmic undulations of potholes. Luckily I am usually not the one driving at the time.

Originally I thought this was instinctual, derived from cavemen’s nomadic lifestyle; an inborn way to prevent boredom while driving their cars from place to place. It turns out they’d yet to invent the modern wheel and driving with square wheels is way too uncomfortable for snoozing. So instead I theorize that this tendency has its roots with my childhood propensity for carsickness. After years of hearing, “just shut your eyes and try to relax,” whenever I felt sick, I eventually skipped the carsick and went straight to the sleepiness. Just call me Pavlov’s dog.

I am not one of those people who can force themselves to stay awake. I once fell asleep walking, although I promptly woke up after hitting a wall. I can sleep anywhere, anytime. Motorcycles and sleepy car drivers should never, ever mix. You would think that driving down a highway with the wind (and bugs) on my face (actually the helmet’s visor) would be enough to keep me alert. But it wasn’t. I think the poor guy had to practically hold me onto the bike. Not my brightest moment. Nowadays my husband gets annoyed when I fall asleep instead of keeping him company during road trips. At least he doesn’t have to simultaneously drive and try to keep me from falling out of the car!

Secondly, I remember our bike breaking down at the beginning of the trip. I remember having to stop at some small mechanics place to get it fixed. While there my dad decided to order a deli sandwich. I vividly remember the conversation my parents had:

“Dear, what kind of meat do I like?”

“You like the turkey.”

“What is my favorite type of cheese?”

“You want the American.”

I found this conversation hilarious until I was married a few years and my husband asked me where his socks were kept.

Last, but not least, I remember a valuable agricultural lesson. On the way home we all pulled over to rest. I think this had something to do with a sleepy lump on the back of one bike needing stimulus to keep awake (which makes calling it a “rest” kind of silly I guess). It was a gravelly ramp and, as my parents began to slow, cows began to cross the roadway. Now swerving on a bike on gravel is NOT a good idea. They didn’t have time to turn; they didn’t have time to stop. They were going to make some hamburger meat, spiced with that elusive flavor of motorcycle. An instant before they hit that cow, it JUMPED out of the way. You heard me right, it jumped.

So now you know: don’t expect witty conversation on car trips with me, husbands store all their knowledge in their wives’ brains, and, given the right circumstances, cows know how to jump.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More of our Halloween History

I've finally finished this year's costumes.
The pictures here are from 2006.
Be kind, my baby #6 was only 1 1/2 months old so I was not looking my best! Although all those costumes were sewn by yours truly (I even made up baby Matthew's costume myself)! I'm the 1st to admit, sometimes I can be a little crazy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween is coming . . .

Halloween is coming, and while I work in this year's costumes, take a look at Halloweens of the past. This was 2005 . . .

Peter (Obi Won), Ryan (Vader/Anakin), Elise (Leia), and Joseph (Yoda) wore handmade costumes.

I bought mine (Amidala), Ethan's (Darth Maul) and Kirsti's (Chewbacca), although in the little picture I handpainted Ethan's face.

I did not have a good experience purchasing costumes and decided to go back to all homemade after this year.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Family Update

Thought I would leave a quick post on what our family is up to these days.

Elise has been doing great in middle school. She got all A's on her progress report and just found out she made it into Chamber Choir.

Matthew has learned the value of talking. He talks all the time and seems to add at least 3 new words every day. Last week he learned "uh-uh" and "ya". Now that he can tell us his opinion, he thinks he should always get his way! He is starting to put words together. His favorite song? We Will Rock You. I will try to get some video one of these days.

Ryan is enjoying school, too. Last week he finished testing for the gifted program. He was accidentally signed up for flag football (there are 4 Ryans in 4-5th grades and somehow his name got added to the list). That means he is doing tackle football and flag. His last tackle game is this Friday during the high school football team's half time. He really enjoys it.

Ethan loves, loves, loves football. He kept circling the play, always holding back, and then on his last game of the season, something clicked and he was in on every play. You can find him outside playing pretty much all the time. Only 2 more months till baptism time!

Kirsti has become a reading fiend. She can finish the Magic Tree House books, although her true heart is with Henry and Mudge. This is a picture of her school project. Those are strips of paper we wrapped into circles and glued onto a the pumpkin she brought home. We had a blast finishing this project together (although it did take a little longer than I expected).

Joseph has started preschool. It is 1 hour twice a week. He gets so excited every week. Matthew, however, gets upset every time we drop him off. He loves to tell stories and they totally crack me up. Today he told Peter and I about the billy goat gruffs. It involved "the highest number" of goats, grass that was made into necklaces, and jumping over the trolls.

He had two birthday cakes. The Pirate for his party and this one the week earlier on his actual birthday. For the last year, ever since he saw this cake, he has told everyone, "I am having a Transformer birthday." I knew he would eventually realize if I didn't make it, so I did. The picture was taken after some frosting surgery to repair Matthew damage to the cake.

Peter is doing well. Lots of recruiting and what not. They lost a doctor last month, which was hard, but a new hire starts Monday and another in November. And at least one in July. We are hoping for 2-3 more hires this year (which means lots more work). He is going to the American College of Emergency Physicians conference in a couple weeks and is hoping for some good leads while out there.

And me? I have 8 costumes to finish by Friday. I also have a basement to clean out, library books to find, 2 school parties and plan, and a wheat grinder to still buy. I'm keeping busy.
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Friday, October 17, 2008

For the Laundry Impaired

Once again it has been over a week since I did laundry. OK, a week and a half. 5 days is still considered half a week, right? If you are equally nonproficient, you might enjoy my laundry guidelines and expectations:
  1. The person in charge of laundry should always own at least one less pair of underwear than the rest of the household.

  2. If your children fold their own laundry, expect 75% to go directly into the dirty clothes hamper. That explains why, after putting 8 pair of underwear and 5 pairs of socks into their folding pile, they claim to have no underwear or socks the very next morning.

  3. On a related note, just after you put in your last load, expect your kids to magically find several hampers of dirty laundry they must have hidden somewhere under their bed or in their closets. If you carefully searched those places, expect to find out your husband forgot to clean out his suitcase until the evening after you're finished.

  4. (My brother taught me this one, it has been invaluable when I have to gather my children's laundry) If you smell it twice, it's clean. This applies especially to socks and underwear. You must learn this because the other 25% of clothes you give your children to fold end up directly on their floor.

  5. The only time you will splatter bleach is the time you risk it while wearing "good clothes".

  6. Chances are very high your children will spill, wipe, or snort something onto your favorite pants/shirt right before you leave the house. If it is the last of your clean (and not out of style) pants/shirt, the probability rises to 99%. Just learn to leave the house a little dirty or out of style.

  7. You should expect to loose 20% of all socks you wash. Combat this by only buying one type of sock per person, loosening your "that matches" standard, and making your family wear sandals whenever feasible. If you keep the lone socks for future matchmaking, expect to eventually fill an entire room.

  8. Boys' idea of "clean" is not the same as yours. When they start wearing jackets, remember to check underneath the jacket.

  9. Kids will eventually decide bedtime routines are easier if they dress over their pajamas (no need to interrupt what they're doing to change, just strip off the top layer). This can lead to very smelly PJ's. Watch for it.

  10. Putting clean clothes on your bed because it will force you to sort it will not work, it will result in rolling a huge pile onto the floor come bedtime.

  11. Do not start a load in a Hot Water cycle right before you get into the shower.

  12. A 2 year old will open your dryer mid-cycle at least once per laundry day. Try to catch it within 5 hours.

  13. Can't find a clean towel? Check the dryer (hope you don't need to check the washer).

  14. If, when you sort laundry, any children only have one pair of underwear, make them bathe immediately.

  15. If they claim (and it can be substantiated) that they have bathed and/or showered recently, try not to gag when you explain they can NOT put back on the same underwear. Try to emphasize that, unlike T-shirts or dress up, it is wrong to have a favorite pair of underwear.
That being said can I tell you the part I *gasp* like about laundry? I like watching the huge, room usurping pile of dirty laundry get neatly sorted into baskets (whites, lights, darks, reds, jeans, and towels in my house). I like re-stacking the empty baskets as I put each load into the washing machine. I like watching the now huge, room usurping pile of clean clothes get sorted neatly into 8 baskets (one for each family member). I like to make order out of the chaos. Then I ignore that laundry exists until it is a huge chaotic mess again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Me and the PTA

So anyway, I was thinking I should probably get involved in the kids’ school. When we went to Back to School Night each teacher had a sign up for room mothers. Room mothers? None of the other schools we’ve attended had room mothers. So, in a fit of nostalgia (my mom was always a room mother), I signed up. In a fit of insanity, I signed up in two classes. In a fit of terror, I thought I may have signed up for all 3, but thankfully, I was wrong. I blame you, Mom. Not for being wrong about the third, but for being correct about the first two.

Let me be clear, I’ve paid my dues. When my children first started school, I was all about joining the PTA. Although I couldn’t actually join the PTA because the school had a PTO. Apparently organizations and associations are different. Anyway, I not only joined the PTO, I joined the board. In this school that meant I was one of the 4 parents who did EVERYTHING in the school. After two years I was burned out.

So when we moved to North Carolina opted out. I still went on field trips and sent in school supplies, but I decided it was time to let someone else run the show. Instead of attending all the meetings, I attended none. Except the one I was tricked into attending because it was disguised as the holiday program and my children were singing.

Well I intended to go to a meeting here. Really I did. If I remembered. Yesterday I had to pick up a couple of kids early for a dentist appointment and I was leaving the school, one of the teachers handed me a letter. It was telling me about a room mother meeting after the PTA meeting that night. Now how am I supposed to forget about a meeting when they remind me 4 hours before hand? Plus, besides vague memories of my mother from elementary school, I was unclear what a room mother actually does. Which is totally why it was a great idea to sign up twice.

But Peter has church meetings tonight! Surely I can’t be expected to drag my kids out. Ah, they provided child care. And 3 of the kids also have church meetings. And Peter agreed to take the 4 year old with him. Which leaves me 2 kids and no excuses. So I went.

I got there right on time. Only to find out the post room mother meeting was really a pre room mother meeting. Oops. 3 minutes after the meeting started, I realized I had to use the rest room. These things only last 5-10 minutes. I could wait. So I did. 1 ½ hours.

In an attempt to compensate for a shrinking number of school age children, our district is consolidating schools. We moved into a school which a year ago was two schools. There are co-presidents of the PTA. And every item on the agenda had to go through agonizing detail on how each school did everything before the merger.

At one point I thought I might excuse myself and ask where the restrooms were, but I was worried that might lead to a discussion about how the two different schools used to handle potty breaks. Instead I yawned a lot. And fidgeted a lot. And didn’t say a single word. After all I had no idea how either side ever did anything and there was no need to add any other ideas to the mix. Although a 5 hour meeting does sound appealing . . .

I think the truly sick part is I will probably keep going to the monthly meetings (if I remember them). I might even join a committee. I’m actually looking forward to being the room mother. I blame you, Mom.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Never Sew Maternity Clothes

I see that you are domestically inclined. Maybe even considering sewing your own maternity clothes? First let me tell you my cautionary tale.

It takes great talent to make maternity clothes that do not resemble gigantic tents. I would argue that it might actually be more effective to head over to sporting goods, buy a tent, cut holes for your head and arms, and wear that. The tent’s storage bag makes a nice matching purse and you can even use the poles to prod your children from the comfort of your couch.

Of course you may be a better seamstress. You might look better pregnant (chances are pretty high). You might even have enough style to pick a print that looks good in tent size. But there is more to this tale than just that one warning.

Several years ago I went a little crazy. Proof? I was pregnant for a 6th time, it was Easter, and I decided to make matching dresses for me and the girls. All went well, more or less. In an effort to look less tent-like, I choose my pattern with a skirt and top. When I sewed the skirt, there was an interesting maternity panel; it called for stretchy material around the top of the skirt. No elastic or anything. Sounds comfortable, right? And it was. Easter was wonderful. I finally pulled off a successful home sewn maternity outfit!

A few weeks later we went on a trip up to our old home in Pennsylvania. Since the trip included a Sunday, we packed church clothes so we could visit our old congregation. Of course I packed our new Easter outfits. I wanted to match so we wouldn’t get lost, not so I would look like a domestic diva. No really. Why would someone want to show off like that?

So we went to church. Everyone oowed and awed over how adorable our family looked. This was a surprise and totally not why I dressed my family that way. Everyone gave the necessary congratulations on our upcoming baby. And after the main meeting we chatted in the foyer with old friends. And then my youngest, in an attempt to get my attention, tugged on my skirt’s hem.

You know those dreams where you find yourself in public wearing just your underwear? Well, at least I was wearing a slip. Yes, I found myself standing in the middle of church with my skirt around my ankles. Even though I couldn’t see my face, I still laugh about the look on it. What to do, what to do? Melt to the floor in mortification? Buy a paper bag to permanently wear over my head? Be thankful we were visiting and I didn’t have to come back next week? Look up a lawyer to sue the pattern company for negligent humiliation?

I reached down, pulled up my skirt, and laughed. That’s what I get for trying to show off. I mean, that’s NOT why I was wearing that skirt that day, but if it were the reason, I would have gotten what I deserved. And it was pretty funny. How often do you get to undress in front of the pious?

Of course I never wore that skirt again, will never sew another maternity outfit, and deeply, deeply understand the necessity of elastic in sewing.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

One Blogging Year

Guess what, today is the one year birthday of this blog!! There will be no birthing story, but here is a link to my very first post (of course it is about my kids making a mess!).

I wanted to get into what the year has brought to my family, but I am tired and not feeling like retrospection right now, so I'm just going to go to bed. If you're that interested you can just look through all the documentation I've made over the last year. There's only 116 posts.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


This was our second trip with the kids to Philadelphia (we went once back when we lived in PA). The oldest kids only vaguely remembered and we had only time to visit the Liberty Bell that day. We were very excited to see more historical sites. After convincing Peter that the bus lane was really the driving lane because the driving lane was really the double parking lane, we finally arrived the historic district. After driving down a couple levels in the parking garage, we finally found a parking space.

Our first stop (after bathrooms at the visitor center) was Independence Hall. Our free tickets were 45 minutes away, so we walked around a while. Above are the pictures of things we saw outside. While waiting my children found their true calling: they were born to be squirrels (please note that these acorns were not in any way involved in voter fraud).

Once inside, I busily snapped pictures and admired how interested my children were in the tour (except Matthew who fussed the whole time) when it hit me.

This is where it all happened. This is where our nation began. This is where those great men stood. Here where I stand now. It was a wonderfully overwhelming feeling.

Our next stop was the Liberty Bell. Joseph was fascinated! He kept talking about the bell with the crack in it.

After a short water break, we walked down to the Betty Ross house. The kids loved running around the fountain circumvented with the engraved names of the 13 colonies. They would all stop and see on which colony they landed. Kirsti miraculously always ended on Connecticut. Sometime it involved diving. Elise enjoyed a conversation with Betty Ross herself.
Next came the US Mint. I waited outside with Matthew because they don't allow cameras inside (and Matthew was getting tired and irritated anyway).
Peter had been eyeing them all day, having taken one of their tours in Boston, and finally bought tickets. Our last part of the day was spent on the duck tour. Obnoxious, right? The kids loved those little quackers (and that the tour bus drove into the Delaware and became a boat). It was a nice tour and showed us all we missed and will have to come back to see someday.

Finally exhausted but satisfied, we returned to out car and headed home. It was a great day.
I love the founding fathers. I believe they were led by the hand of God to create this great nation. It was truly humbling to stand where they have stood and remember that they were not sure of the outcome of their actions. For all they knew, they could lose the war and die disgraced traitors. They were only sure that America had greatness yet untapped. I am so thankful for their bravery and sacrifice.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Philadelphia Journey

Once upon a time there was a family that was sometimes a bit impulsive. One day the parents in this family realized that their children had Thursday and Friday off of school and decided, since the father also had no work on Thursday, to “do something.” A couple days later they realized the father was going to a recruitment dinner in a far away land Wednesday night and so they couldn’t “do something.” A while after that, they realized the far away land was a mere 4 hour drive and if the family travelled down together Wednesday they could in fact still “do something” Thursday. So a mere day before said trip, these brilliant, if not a little slow, parents decided to take their children to Philadelphia.

Notes were sent into the children’s classes with warnings of early check out times, an overnight bag was packed (after many such impulsive trips the mother had perfected the art of packing quickly for any length trip), dishes were cleaned, garbage taken out, alarm clocks turned off and dentist appointments canceled.

As the mother packed everything into the Suburban, while simultaneously emptying it of unneeded items, she noticed the unlock button was not clicking when hit. It only took her 20 minutes to realize she might check to make sure the battery was working. And it wasn’t.

In the SUV’s defense it had not been driven in over a week. This was due to conference weekend and the father’s work schedule leaving the smaller, more stylish Audi A4 available during the day. Who wouldn’t die after such prolonged neglect?

Since the father had meetings in the morning, these parents had agreed upon a 1:00 departure time. When the father showed up on the doorstep promptly at 2:00, the mother yelled kindly informed him that the SUV needed jumped. The father flipped out patiently pulled out the jumper cables and hooked the two cars together.

The mother, by the way, knew the proper places to put the cables on her behemoth Suburban, having to jump it once with the help of a friend and an owner’s manual. After a slight power struggle, the father finally agreed that the cables should be hooked at the spots marked “+ battery” and “ground” and not on the battery itself.

After two minutes the Suburban clicked when started, but since the door unlock and radio now worked, the parents kept hope alive and waited 5 more minutes. Miraculously the car started. On the way to the elementary school the father informed the mother that hotel reservations were still nonexistent. Yeah iPhone! The mother looked up a hotel number and the father called while the mother gathered the children (an hour after the note had indicated).

Then off to the middle school where the oldest daughter was slightly flipping out because school was letting out, she was unpicked up, and she was unsure of getting on the bus or not. Fortunately the mother beat the dismissal bell by 30 whole seconds. (The daughter had attempted calling, but the parents were on hold with the hotel and had to make a choice). Since the magic internet had given directions to the father’s dinner, all that was left was to look up how to find the hotel. Again, yeah iPhone!

Finally off to the great Philadelphia adventure.

After an exciting journey of toll roads, one bathroom break, and a stop for gas, the family arrived. Due to not starting on time traffic, the father was 45 minutes late for dinner and had to be dropped off at the restaurant which left the mother driving her family to the hotel.

Keep in mind this family has lived for many years in rural places such as Eastern North Carolina and Central Pennsylvania. There are more golf carts headed to the beach driving past their current home then actual cars. So the mother was wholly unprepared to navigate down town Philadelphia at night in a Suburban. With a car full of hungry, grouchy kids.

What was William Penn thinking, not planning for humongous SUV’s when planning his city? And the iPhone directions? Wrong. Terrible, mean iPhone instantly fell from grace. After several passes past the iPhone’s ending place (driving all one way streets so there were numerous right turns involved; a couple left ones, too) the poor frazzled mother called the hotel and got real directions.

Praying for valet parking (imagine parallel parking that monster) and braving the unfamiliar traffic of pedestrians, bikers, taxi cabs, and buses, the mother continued the journey. Despite almost hitting a few people and bikes, almost side swiping a few taxis, nearly rear-ending a car stopped to parallel park, and a total miscomprehension of the purpose of the “bus only” lanes (which apparently includes everyone), they arrived safe and mostly sound at the hotel.

Think the mother headed out to find fast food for her hungry children? No, she spent a king’s ransom on room service hamburgers. And eventual the father traversed the city to reunite with his family. After two taxis because a taxi driver insisted he was at the right hotel when he was not.

And so the family made it through their journey and spent the next day enjoying Philadelphia. Which is a whole other (more pleasant) story . . .

Monday, October 6, 2008

More Visitors!!

Thanks Kevin and Louise for coming to visit us! We always love visitors and sharing our beautiful view. Peter's brother and sister-in-law were gracious enough to spend Sunday with our family. It was a great day watching our church's General Conference and letting the kids get reacquainted with their aunt and uncle. Then they headed off to visit some Church History Sites. We appreciate that they took a day out of their schedule to visit with us. (The offer still stands for anyone willing to make the trek to the North East)

Also, a big thanks to my friend who came over to watch Saturday's conference sessions, which we watched back to back thanks to DVR's and Ethan's football game inexplicably going an hour over time. During that time, she helped me sort and fold 1 1/2 weeks of laundry. I couldn't have gotten the house ready for company without her help. Did I mention that Peter told me 3 months ago his brother was coming and then not mentioned it again until the day before his brother arrived? And I had spent the week preparing for Joseph's birthday party and ignoring my upstairs and laundry. At least I had a clean house for Sunday!

And can I just say, I really enjoyed conference this time around. There were some really great talks and I can't wait to read them in the Ensign next month. I may even cheat and listen online when the audio becomes available.

All in all, a very satisfying weekend!
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Friday, October 3, 2008

Party Time

My children only get parties every fourth year. This means that this was Joseph's first party. We went with a Pirate Theme. I was too busy to get many pictures before hand, but here are the pre-party ones:
The invites
(I got the cute text from online somewhere- Sorry, can't remember where):

The Entryway:
The Map:

The Map:

Stop 1- "Lets Begin"
Drop presents, get pirate hat and party bag
Stop 2- "Eyeless Bay"
Play pin the patch on the pirate and earn your own pirate eye patch.
Stop 3- ""Gold Coin Beach"
Play Island Walk (like cake walk) to "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" and earn chocolate gold coins
Stop 4- "Treasure Cove"
Decorate own Treasure Chest

Stop 5: "Book Rest Stop"

Read How I Became A Pirate by Melinda Long

Stop 6: X Marks the Spot

(of the Pinata)-
put candy in party bag
broke my broom handle

Now we Eat Pizza, Open Presents, & Eat the Cake and Ice Cream
Once again I got the cake idea from this site

If you include my children (6) and little baby siblings of the older kids (3) and a couple of older siblings (3),

there were 22 kids at the party

Before the party I made the cake, cleaned the house, wrapped the presents from the family, put together 24 eye patches, and decorated (I finished up the games last night during the debate). Peter took the boys for several hours so I could get done, thanks Sweetheart.

I will be sleeping well tonight.

(And maybe tomorrow I will show the presents, the extra cake we had last week and the story on why we had two cakes for Joseph's B-Day)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Irrational Fears Reinforced

Two days ago I listed this as a random fact in my tag post:

Until I was in my late 20's I used to be terrified someone would sneak into my house and hide in my closet until I was in bed. And then sneak out and kill me. I don't know why I was so scared, but whenever I accidentally left my door unlocked, I would search all my closets. I remember having this fear as young as 10. For some reason I stopped worrying about it when I lived in NC (maybe I had too many closets by then?).

So I turn on Criminal Minds tonight and guess how it starts. Yep, the exact scenario from sneaking into the house to hiding in the closet until after they were asleep. Remember how I outgrew this fear a mere two years ago? Excuse me while I go check all my closets.

(And I recognize the irony that I have morbid fears and still enjoy watching macabre shows.)

6 Births and 1 Epidural Part 5

*I thought a fun way to celebrate my little ones’ birthdays would be to tell the stories of their birth days. Amazingly each was unique and a little funny. I hope you weren’t hoping for suspense on which pregnancy had the epidural, it is the second story I tell*

Before I begin I need to explain my previous experiences. There are two facts that help make sense of my state of mind. First, my last delivery had never hit hard labor, and second, in four deliveries I had never felt false contractions. Of course, I was terrified (and a little hopeful) that I would be doing dishes one day and the baby would just fall out.

The baby. This was the first time we didn’t know the sex of our soon to be child. Pennsylvania had a “great” custom of doing the ultrasound at 12 weeks and then charging $300 to do a later ultrasound to discover the sex of the baby. Since we already had 2 boys and 2 girls, we opted to skip the 2nd ultrasound.

Three times I started contractions. Three times I waited to “make sure.” Twice the contractions didn’t stop until after I went to the hospital. That was a joy. No really, now I was worried the baby would fall out without warning and determined not to go into the hospital unless I was 100% sure I was in labor.

So one morning I woke to contractions again. Ever resolute, I said nothing and went about my daily business. With such a great poker face, my mom (who had flown in to help out hold the baby) knew I was in labor. I’m not sure what tipped her off. Surely not that I stopped every few minutes to breath deeply with my hand on the small of my back. Really, it must have just been inspiration. Well, I waited all day. Until my kids got home from school and my sister arrived from her half hour drive to watch them.

And just my luck, when I arrived at the hospital and got all checked in, I was only dilated to a 3 to 4. I am probably the only woman in the world to be ecstatic to find that, upon arriving at the hospital, I wasn’t progressed very far. If I hadn’t been 9 months pregnant I would have leapt for joy. “Yes! I am only at the beginning of labor. That is awesome!”

You see, I, ever observant, had noticed- during the ritual telling of labor stories required whenever in the presence of someone in their last trimester- that many women’s eyes slightly glazed over during certain parts of the labor story. One day I realized they had no idea what I and others like me were talking about. You mean most other women use pain medication? Twice I had tried and failed at getting an epidural. But determined to see how the other half lives, I wanted to one day make it to the hospital in time to get one. And this rather stubborn and teasing baby had provided the opportunity.

So I got my epidural. Peter was worried about it, and even the doctor double checked with me. “Are you sure? You just seem to be handling the labor really well.” Yeah, I should be punished for a high pain tolerance? Not this time!

And then I read a book. The doctor came in to check and was ready to send me home. After all, I was calmly reading, as were my husband and mother. Until she examined me and I was dilated to an 8. “Don’t worry,” I told her, “I’ll call when I feel like pushing.” And when the feeling came I called, pushed, and had my baby. Did I mention that epidurals are A LOT easier than going natural?

After our baby BOY was born and cleaned and left with us, Peter and I started discussing names. We knew our girl name but had only a narrowed down list of boy names.

“None of those names seem to fit,” I stated.

My husband agreed, “Do you have any names in mind?”

There was one name I kept thinking, but I didn’t want to suggest it because in all our numerous name discussions- for all the children- this name had never been seriously discussed. Ever. But my husband wanted me to start the name game.

“What about Joseph?”

My husband was shocked, “That was the name I kept thinking. I didn’t want to say it because it had never even been considered.” Not even when our 3rd child was born on Joseph Smith’s birthday, and my dad strongly suggested it. So Joseph it was. By the way, he is still stubborn and a tease.

P.S. Trying to get this written in the morning before my preschoolers woke up caused the kids to miss their bus. I hope you appreciate my sacrifice ;o)