Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let's start at the very beginning...

...a very good place to start!
If you know that musical reference you get 5 cool points.  I would award you awesome points, but that was a pretty easy one.

OK, so lets face it.  I lost my post.  I am not looking forward to typing the whole thing again, but here goes!

The last real post I wrote left off with the whole family sick.  We spent 3 full weeks flat on our back.  It was awful.  By Saturday the 11th everyone was FINALLY starting to feel better, though I was still coughing and feeling absolutely exhausted.  What I REALLY (with all my heart) wanted to do was spend a few more days in my PJs resting and trying to get better.  BUT because everyone else was feeling better and I was on the upswing, the obsessive compulsive side of my personality was in overdrive.  I wanted to get the house clean.  Like I said we had been flat on our backs, SUPER sick and so there was lots of laundry and scrubbing of bathrooms/mopping/vacuuming/bleach wiping down/spraying with Lysol disinfectant spray that I felt needed to be done to get the germs OUT and get the house ready for the baby to come.  I thought I still had a week or so left before the baby came and in my mind I thought, "OK, I will try and get everything off my 'to do list' this weekend and THEN I can spend a few days relaxing/getting well and rested before the baby comes, without the dreaded list hanging over my head".

So we spent all morning and most of the afternoon cleaning. A pretty major cleaning overhaul. Probably way more physical labor than I should have put my body through. The girls were really good while Matt and I were busy wiping down fan blades and disinfecting door handles (etc) so as soon as the cleaning was done that late afternoon we decided to make gingerbread houses with them. I will also admit that this was something that had been on my holiday 'list' and I was really tired (understatement) and didn't necessarily feel like doing it, but I wanted to cross it off my list. Yes, not very 'super mom' of me to admit, but its true. And actually the girls had SO much fun, and so did we. I wasn't up for making gingerbread, so we just used graham crackers.

As soon as we were done we got the girls dressed (like we'd let them near all that frosting dressed!) and headed to our church Christmas party.  Once again I will admit that I really didn't want to go (at all-see the previous comments re; tired, sick, pregnant), but I went.  We didn't get home and get the girls down until after 9, and then Matt and I were up pretty late finishing putting away laundry, etc.

The next day we got up, got every member of the family showered, fed, dressed and got to church (albeit 15 minutes late) at 9 am.  I was really worn out and had mild contractions all night long and all throughout the day.  I didn't get much sleep due to said contractions, which I attributed to completely overdoing it the day before.  What I really wanted to do after feeding the girls and getting them down for naps after church was take a nap myself, I felt kinda like the walking dead at this point, however, we were having a big family party at our house that night and my mother in law asked me to help her set stuff up and also make dessert for the get together. 

So after I did that I headed upstairs. At this point Matt had been trying to sleep because he had to work that night, but I came in and decided I had better pack up my hospital bag. It was the last thing on the 'list' for the week. So Matt got up and helped me pack up most of my bag (except the last minute things), while packing I got a text from my brother saying that he was only a few minutes away (he normally is more than an half hour's drive across the city), so he stopped by to hang out for a while and I didn't get a nap. He didn't stay very long, but by the time he left the girls were up and within 15 minutes of him being gone Matt's family members started showing up.

We had a pretty good family party, though we had some people unable to come last minute, which was sad. I still felt pretty bad and was having lots of contractions, but was trying really hard to act upbeat and normal and kind of forcing myself to be involved, since we hardly ever see some of Matt's cousins and I really love them. Though I was secretly lusting after the thought of my bed upstairs.

At about a quarter to 7, I felt a change in my contractions.  The kind that stop feeling like they are "practice" ones that aren't doing much and start feeling like they could be the real thing.  After a couple of those I excused myself to go to the bathroom and snuck upstairs.  I sent a text to Matt letting him know what was up and I called my mom and told her to pack a bag, because it was possibly going to happen tonight.  The contractions were coming about every 2-4 minutes, but they were only lasting about 40 seconds, so I wanted to wait and see if they would get stronger/longer and make sure they didn't end up going away.  Also, I REALLY didn't want to have to announce to all the people at the party that I might be in labor in case I was wrong.

After being upstairs for about 20 minutes I knew that I needed to get the girls upstairs and in bed ASAP, but there was NO way I was going to be able to climb down the stairs, chase them down and haul them back up.  So I yelled down and Matt's brother Barry rounded them up and lifted them over the gate and sent them up to me.  I was SOOOO grateful for this.  THANKS BARRY (although I don't think you read this...).  At this point I was was 75% sure that I was in labor, but wasn't ready to announce it to a whole house full of guests!

I got the girls down and then packed up the rest of my last minute hospital stuff, then laid down to see if the contractions would go away.  A little after 9, I decided that I probably ought to let my mother in law know that I was probably going to need her to drive me to the hospital in the next hour or 2.  A few families had left the party and there were only a couple left, so though I still felt silly hollering down form the landing..."Ummm, just so you know I might be in labor, so Martha, if you could just be aware and ready to take me to the hospital if the contractions get stronger, or don't go away after another hour, that would be great".  Well, that of course generated a lot of excitement, and after a few minutes all the remaining guests cleared out so that we could leave to go to the hospital if necessary.

A little after 10, I decided (and really Matt demanded) that since the contractions were still about 2-3 minutes apart we should leave for the hospital (where he already was, since he was working).

Well, this blog is long enough for now, I will save the hospital side of the story for the next post!  At least now, it won't seem so overwhelming.  Last time I blogged all this, plus the birth, hospital, and first few days home before it was lost.  Now I am breaking it up so that it doesn't seem like such a daunting task to cover it all.  Especially now that I have Christmas to post about too!  Anyway, I will type that post up within the next day or so probably!  I am going to try and get all caught up over the next week or so!  So if you cared enough to read this whole boring 'catch-up' post, you probably care enough to check back soon!  Thanks for reading!  I hope you had a happy holiday!

Friday, December 17, 2010


I just spent 2 hours typing a HUGE blog of everything leading up to the birth and then the whole birth story and then everything since we have been home.

I did this on Matt's laptop so I could do it in bed.  I hate typing on Matt's laptop because I always accidently hit buttons that open new tabs and do who knows what.  Can you see where this is going?  I was literally finishing the last sentence of a huge blog when all of the sudden all my text disappeared and in it's place was just the letter C.  I freaked out.  Then I tried to close out the window, but too late.  Blogger had already auto saved the lone "c" that now stood in the place of my time consuming, soul spilling, articulate blog.

So naturally I am homrmonal post pardum and did as anyone would do.  I threw a huge fit, punched a bunch of pillows, said a swear word...then bawled like a baby.  And Matt just watched, overwhelmed, then tried to recover the old, now saved over blog, while I sobbed that I will never be able to write it the same and that I wrote it for Kate and now when I re-write it, it will never be as good, and it will certainly not be as long or as detail ordiented.

Sad Day.

Oh, but by the way, I HAD A BABY!!  :)  Here is her info and you will have to wait for details and all that until I get over the frustration I feel at losing that post.

Kathryn LouAnne
Dec 13, 2010
2:33 am
6lbs 5oz

She suprised us by coming 3 weeks early and by being BLONDE!  She is going to keep us on our toes!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Middle Names Poll

OK, so I know that this could be opening up a whole can of worms, but whatever.

We STILL haven't decided on a name, even remotely...but we are, obviously, having lots of discussions about it.  It will either be Jane or Kathryn.  I don't need your input here :)

BUUUUT, I could take some input on middle names.  For this baby we really like the idea of using sentimental, meaningful names as opposed to something we just like the sound of, even if it means using a name we aren't particularly crazy about in order to honor or preserve something important.  I mean who uses their middle name all that much?  Especially girls.  Anyway.  We'd really like to name her after our Grandmas.  We both have fantastic grandmas who are big parts of our lives.  Matt's Grandma's name is Anna Rose, my GG's name is EvaLou, which her parents came up as a combination of HER grandma's names, Evelyn and Lucy.  So we are thinking about doing something similar with the combo thing, even if the result is unusual.  Anyway, we were thinking maybe LouAnn or AnnaLou ??  Anyway though I am not super crazy about either of these names (and Matt is being great and humoring me...though not giving me much feedback) I feel like it would be a great legacy to give this little girl.  Both of the women whose name she would bear are extraordinary beyond measure and I think that is a great heritage for her.  Anyway, thoughts?  Do you have a better combo?  Which one do you like.

December Randomness

Well, there hasn't been too much going on since my last post.  We have still been sick, which is awful.  I thought about sugar coating that and trying not to sound like a whiner, but then decided against it.  I am shooting for honest.  :)

We are finally on the upswing, though still coughing some and still exhausted (or at least I am)!!  But Lily went back to school today (she was SO excited to go back, she hasn't been since before Thanksgiving).  She is the most well of all of us, then probably Matt and Isabel.  I am still dragging on, due to lack of sleep and the fact that my body is working harder to grow this baby than it is to fight this virus. 

Speaking of baby, I am SUPER uncomfortable and having mild contractions CONSTANTLY.  I was at a 1.5 last appointment, at 36 weeks, though I really think I was actually several days shy of 36 weeks, since I am still convinced my due date is wrong.  I think I probably have around 2 weeks left before she arrives.  Which is a good timeline.  She needs a little more time to cook I think and I am SUPER impatient, but I can do anything for 2 weeks right??

Anyway, we have spent the past 3 weeks just lying around for the most part.  Here is what our days have looked like

Though I did make a much needed trip to the store, and also picked up a few things that I didn't need.

Have you had these before?  At Easter they look like this:

They are only available at Easter and Christmas and I am ADDICTED to them.  It is almost disgusting.  But they are SOOOOOO good.  If you like chocolate AT ALL, pick up some of these bad boys if you see them at the store.  They are my favorite.  And it you don't like chocolate, pick them up anyway and gift them to me :)  And yes, this is important enough to make it into my december blog.

We made candy cane reindeer for FHE one night and the girls had a blast.

I have several other Christmas treat/craft type things that I want to do with them, but we have just been feeling too crummy.

I am blown away by how much the kids are growing up and I am sure that when the new baby gets here they will seem even bigger.  Here is something particularly that Lily, my 3 year old, said this week that made me feel like she is getting SO big.  She did something naughty (I can't remember what) and Matt scolded her.  She then had a complete melt down, so I made her stand in the corner until she could calm down.  This is all relatively normal.  Anyway after she stopped freaking out she came over to talk about it (which is what we always do after the corner) and she tells me "I was really upset because I thought Daddy was mad at me".  First off, to me at least, this was heartbreaking and adorable at the same time (picture her with tears still on her cheeks) and secondly I was really impressed that she was able to express what she was feeling so well.  Especially the term "really upset".  She sure is growing up!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Traditions

(yep, I am still pretty sick so you get more rambling blogs!  Yippee!)

What did your family do growing up around Christmas time?  Are there specific things that you did each December to spread the spirit of Christmas?  Things that you still do every year to help you feel like it's Christmas?  Growing up my family did LOTS of things every year.  Some things I have done well with continuing every year and others I have slacked off on.

Growing up my family was pretty poor.  In fact we were extremely poor.  Like single mother of 4, living on her, own making less than 10 grand a year a lot of the time, with no government assistance, type of poor.  My mother did an incredibly wonderful job of making Christmas time about SO much more than presents every year.  I can honestly say that I never once felt sorry for myself for not getting enough for Christmas, and we had some pretty meager ones.  This is certainly NOT because I am so humble and was beyond the trivial desire for materialistic things.  Not at all.  But like I said, it was because of the many things that my mom did to spread happiness and love and service at Christmas time that always seemed to make Christmas so wonderful.  Here are a few of our annual traditions:

Decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving

Watching "White Christmas"

The twelve days of Christmas:

 This was one of my favorites and unfortunately we haven't kept it up as much as I would like, but I am planning on doing this as a family every year, though it is hard with a baby due right in the midst of it.  Each year we would all submit names of families that we thought could use some Christmas service and then we would pray about/vote on which family/families we would do the "12 days of Christmas" for.  The 12 days leading up to Christmas we would leave gifts anonymously on their doorstep, my mom would write little poems making whatever gift we gave fit into the traditional song and make it cute and catchy.  These were usually homemade or very cheap gifts, and making them each year was one of my favorite parts of Christmas.  There were some we did every year, like marshmallow snowmen villages, or pine cone reindeer ornaments, home made popcorn balls or crispy treats died red or green.  We would leave the gifts on the doorstep and "doorbell ditch".  It was so fun to see people's reactions as we hid in the bushes.  Some years we knew the families well and they would tell us all about it, all the while we pretended to have no idea, and other years we did it for families we didn't know, some years we even did multiple families.  I loved this part of Christmas each year.  It really helped us set the tone throughout December.  One year we even did Christmas for another family, we didn't know them hardly at all, but had heard about their misfortunes and we snuck into their house while they were out (we lived in a small town where people didn't lock doors) and left food and a tree and gifts.  They had all girls so the gifts that would have worked for my family transferred over well for them.  We decorated their house and left everything for them there.  We had less that year but that was one of my favorite Christmas'.
Making treats and Caroling:

Each year we would make treats for our neighbors and Carol to them on Christmas Eve and bring goodies.  Some of our neighbors even had special requests for songs each year.
Mom reading Luke: 2, while we dressed up and acted it out on Christmas Eve each year, even as adults :)
 pictured here are a few years from childhood days (I called my mom and asked her to send me "A" picture to represent this tradition...she sent me all these and asked me if I wanted more recent ones too...I decided to throw these all in a slide show since my siblings might want to see them, but I declined getting sent anymore for now, since I could never choose which ones to use and this is already overload) ***Disclaimer: we had to choose out of a hat each year which part we played and we HAD to play that part :)***

Opening one gift on Christmas Eve just before bed (always pajamas)

And my favorite Christmas Tradition...

The Jesus Stocking:
At our house Santa didn't bring gifts, he filled our stocking each year and this is where we received most of our "frivolous" gifts, like candy and chap stick or jewelry, makeup as we got older, etc.  Then my mom gave us gifts under the tree, which were usually practical gifts that we were in need of.  Anyway, our stockings were always the "funnest" part of Christmas morning.  So in other words, stockings are a big deal for my family.  Each year we also hung a pure white stocking up with our family stockings.  This was Jesus' stocking.  Every Christmas Eve after reading the Christmas story we would take a few minutes individually and think about what we could give Jesus as a gift for the next year.  These were kind of like New Year's Resolutions, things we could do to better ourselves that would bring us closer to Christ.  We would read our slips privately, think about how we did in our goals/gifts and then write out new ones fold them up, and put them in the stocking as our gifts to Christ.  No one ever read anyone else's (at least I never peeked at anyone's, who knows if any of my siblings ever did).  It was just a nice way to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas before the less spiritual traditions kicked in.

This year I am already thinking about what gifts I can give to Christ and I thought I would share one of them.  Clearly, most of these goals are really personal, but here is one that is share-able.  I want to really study His words in the scriptures so that I can know Him even better.  This is going to be a challenge for me.  I have almost made it though this year and completed my goal of not missing a single day of scripture study but my goal for 2011 is going to be a much bigger challenge.  I am really intimidated by it, but also really excited for it.  I want to read through the entire standard works (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, D&C and Pearl of Great Price) in one year.  In order to do this I will have to read more than 6 pages a day.  Split over 365 days it equals like 6.7 pages or something, so what I am going to do is read 6 pages and then finish off at the next chapter.  Hopefully by doing this I will finish a little early and be able to complete it by Christmas (starting at New Years).  I have always wanted to have a more thorough knowledge of the scriptures and I figure the only way I am going to is by putting in the work.  I am also hoping that by putting it on here that I will be held more accountable.  I will let you know next Christmas if I made it, for me it is a big challenge.  Anybody want to join me in my standard works challenge??

Anyway, I am SO grateful for the traditions I grew up with, even the less Christ-centered ones, like getting a new movie each year and watching it on Christmas afternoon.  They make Christmas a season and not just a one day thing.  I love Christmas time and all the things that go with it!...Except maybe the crowds.

So what about you?  What makes your Christmas every year?

More random pictures of traditional things that my sweet mom sent me when I asked for "a" picture of our Christmas pageant.  I love that she is an overachiever and I am glad to have scanned copies of these.  THANKS MOM!