Monday, December 31, 2007

And so it Goes...

Here are some pictures of the kids in their Christmas Finery. They are looking pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself.

Is It Really Only 8 am?

Some days seem to last a really, really long time. I just looked at the clock and was stunned to see that we've only been awake for two hours, and yet it feels like so much more. I am still undecided on weather this will turn out to be a good thing or a bad thing for this day.
Everyone in our family - except for baby Amelia, thankfully - is suffering from some form of cold. CT, as usual, seemed to get the worst of it. The most worrisome symptom he had was disgusting discharge coming out of his eyes. I took him to the doctor, fearing pink eye, but the doctor said it wasn't so. Instead I learned a fact that I had no previous knowledge of and kind of wish I didn't know now, which is that sometimes if your sinuses and nose are full the mucus will back up and come out of your eyes. Isn't that gross? Apparently that is what was happening to CT. He also had a ear infection, so some antibiotics were necessary. CT is an off the charts terrible patient for all thing medical, so I was concerned about the ordeal it would be to get him to take this medicine. Luckily my approach of never referring to it as medicine, but rather as his "special drink" in his "special little cup" has worked like a charm. In fact, it may have worked a tad too well because throughout the day he will ask if he can have "some of that special drink" and throw a fit when I explain he only gets to take it twice a day.
Being a mother to three children under three really is something. I don't feel like I can ever really say "woe is me" about the demands of it, because after all no one forced these children upon me. They are sweet and dear and I am just trying to accept the fact that for the next few years my house will perpetually look like a tornado just came through it, the piles of clean and dirty laundry will be ever increasing with no magic elves coming in the night to take care of it for me as I so often desperately wish, and I won't have seen the latest movie or read the latest book for a very, very long time. This all makes me feel like a very uninteresting person - the type of person who would have absolutely nothing to say at a party except for disgusting stories about her small children and their mucus. I miss being interesting. That's something I don't think I'll ever be able to say about mucus stories...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

Another Christmas come and is hard work to be in charge of Christmas! It makes me appreciate even more all the work my mom did to make Christmas special when I'm trying to do all of the same things myself. I did some Christmas baking and the requisite treat deliveries to people in the neighborhood. We didn't get around to the actual delivering until Christmas Eve day, in the late afternoon. Several families were already away celebrating and even now may be reveling with family and friends many miles away and not realize there is a bag of once delicious chocolate popcorn propped dejectedly on their threshold, waiting to be noticed and ushered inside.

We spent the holiday just at our home with our own little family. C.T. enjoyed opening his presents this year. Lily did also, up to a point. After awhile she refused to open any more presents so I told her we'd save them for her birthday in March. She was fine with this, but CT wasn't. He insisted on opening her presents for her (with her permission). The result however, is that we had several fights about what actually belonged to who and who had the real right to play with things first. Amelia slept through the present opening. When she finally woke up CT was only too happy to open her presents for her as well. She watched him with her big eyes as her dad fed her a bottle and was perfectly content.

The picture in this post was taken on Christmas Eve night. We bought those jammies last year on after Christmas closeout not knowing if we'd have a new baby, but thinking we'd better plan ahead anyway...good thing too! They looked so adorable in them, and they are the softest pajamas I have ever seen. It makes them all just that much more huggable.

As nice as Christmas can be, I'm thankful we get to anticipate it for a whole other year before we experience it again. I need the time to gear up for another round of baking and planning...just trying to think of something to give Tyler wears me out!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Baby

One week ago today our new tiny girl arrived. All she wasn't so tiny. Eight pounds nine ounces! No wonder I was so much more uncomfortable this time around. We had a difficult time settling on a name for her, but in the end we choose Amelia. We are just planning to prepare her for a lifetime of Amelia Bedelia references.

I was hoping that the third time would be the charm as far as a quick and easy delivery went, but alas, it just wasn't to be. You'd think that some kind of pattern would be established for me by now. Afterall, don't you often hear people say things like "I always have my babies early" or "My labors are always quick"? I have generalized statements I can make about my experiences other than to say "My babies always get born", which is good. This one was the strangest of all so far. On MOnday night I started having really regular contractions for over an hour, so we got up and got dressed to go to the hospital and...the contractions just stopped. Fine. Back to bed. Three hours later, contractions again. Strong, regular, three hours! Ready to go to the hospital - contractions disappear! I start feeling very unwell. Very hot, headache, just sick. Like I have the flu. Finally I decide to just go into my doctor's office to have them tell me I'm fine or not fine. It turns out I have a fever of 101.6 and they want to check me into the hospital overnight and induce me in the morning. They check me in and do some blood work. They come back and say my white blood cell count is way up and they are going to induce right away due to the risk of the baby and I both having a bacterial infection. At five o'clock they started the pitocin, and at 7:55 (after a very frustrating 20 minutes of pushing and finally resorting to using the vacuum) she was here. I saw her for about 20 seconds before they wisked her away to the NICU. She was there for about 5 hours getting her IV of antibiotics and things. We both had to stay in the hospital for a full 48 hours to complete our rounds of antibiotics and to make sure all the blood cultures came back clear. It was a lovely Thanksgiving holiday in the hospital. We came home Thursday night at about 8:00.

CT and Lily are loving their new little sister and take turns holding her. Lily is still working on learning that the baby needs gentle treatment. She is enthusiastic in her affection. CT is sweet and very protective, just like a big brother should be. My mom is here with us until Saturday morning, when reality will no doubt set in. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


So, Halloween is not our family's best holiday. We tend to have bad luck when we attempt to have a fun and festive time. Last year C.T. was very, very sick with a bad case of croup that really had me scared (if only I had had Ipacac like Anne Shirley did for Diana's little sister)and naturally we didn't go trick-or-treating or anything. This year sickness struck again - this time it was a stomach bug, and the victim was again CT. He did manage to do some trick-or-treating, but his heart wasn't in it, poor little guy. We would come up to a house and I would say "would you like to go ask for a piece of candy here?" and he would say "No, I just want a drink". Fortunately a fellow ward member gave him a Capri-Sun as his treat and we made it home all right. Lily liked trick-or-treating though. She didn't like people putting the candy in her bucket for her. Instead she would take it from their hand and put it in the bucket herself. If they let her pick her own candy from their bowl she was a happy girl. She would even reach in a second time and get more candy, all of her own accord, and put it in CT's bucket for him since he was being an anti-trick-or-treater. The disappointing part for me was that people would choose what candy to give to Lily and CT and they would always pick the lollipop over the snickers bar for children so little. Hello! Don't these people realize that even toddlers like chocolate? And what's more, there is no way my kids are going to be interested in eating 50 lollipops over the course of the next few weeks, and obviously neither am I, while the chocolate would have been quite a different story, with the whole family sharing and enjoying it. Oh well. I'll just have to do what my mom did and wait until they get old enough to get the really good stuff and just ask them for a percentage.

Another thing - I think generosity is good, and it is nice when people feel they want to give out handfuls of candy to each child, but there is a downside, which is that then certain children expect all households to have an unlimited supply of candy. One trick-or-treater actually said to me "Can have two of those, because I really like Skittles". I looked that spider man in the eye and said "Oh, I'm sure you'll be getting plenty more of them elsewhere" and sent him on his way.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Big Kid

I can't think of anything interesting about myself, so I have to resort to that time honored tradition of talking about my children instead, in this case, CT. He is so verbal now and cracks me up everyday. I've started jotting down little anecdotes throughout the day that I find amusing. Here is a sampling...

We started a new motivational technique to get CT to clean up his toys at night. We told him that any toy he leaves on the ground will get placed in a box and no longer be available for his use. Last night Tyler embellished by adding that this box would then be given away to poor children. CT cleaned up all his toys and then said "I'd like to pick one train to give to the poor children. This little one." Learning to clean and learning to be thoughtful - what a bonus!

The other day we were walking from Hobby Lobby to our car and as we went down a short flight of steps on the sidewalk CT said he'd like to sit down for a few minutes and rest. He sat down on a step and Lily plopped down right next to him. CT said "Look at us Mom! You need to take a picture!" I said I would love to take a picture, but unfortunately, I didn't have the camera with me. CT replied "Well, that's OK. You can take one with your hands." So, I proceeded to pantomime taking a picture of them and making the required "click" sound effect. Then CT said "Now take another one of me with my race car!" So I did it again while he held up his hot wheel right next to his little face. If only I did have a real camera with me!

Last week at dinner Tyler asked CT, "Do you think I can eat until the cows come home?" and CT answered "No! Cows can't live here. There's no room for a big cow in our home!"

A couple of weeks ago (before we started the poor children toy pick up motivator) Tyler and CT were working on cleaning up the toys. That was the plan anyway, but when I walked through it was only Tyler putting toys away and CT was just standing there. I said "CT, I thought you were helping Dad put the toys in baskets." He looked at me and said "Well, I changed my mind."

I could go on and on, but I won't. Just suffice it to say that, like every mother, I think that my child is charming and hilarious and extremely intelligent and I love being around him and seeing him learn so much.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Elusive Glow

So, in my experience, a certain amount of slack is given to pregnant women in the whole personal appearance department. Let's face it, you get to a certain point and that fleeting "glow" that is so often alluded to is long gone, and in it's place there is just a puffy face, swollen ankles, and huge clothes. Since I am now about 6 weeks from my due date (Okay, closer to seven, but I like to indulge in wishful thinking. CT was 11 days early, after all. Never mind that Lily was 6 days late.) I fit firmly in this pregnancy-has-lost-its-luster stage. I know this. I see it everyday as I hurriedly apply concealer to the dark circles under my eyes and put on a coat of mascara before I can really absorb my reflection and allow it to influence my mental state for the day. Because I do own a mirror, it really cuts down on the need for others to state aloud their observations about my appearance, but apparently some people can't resist. I went to a meeting of the Enrichment Board last week and when I walked in the first thing the RS President said to me was,"Every time I see you lately you just look so tired. Are you tired?" Hmmm....well, considering the fact that I have a two and half year old and a one and a half year old and a husband who has been working late hours and another baby due next month and am suffering from pregnancy induced insomnia, my answer would have to be yes. Yes, I am tired. Thanks for asking.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wichita Falls

On Sunday we went to Wichita Falls, Texas, where Tyler spent eight months of his mission. He wanted to see who was still around and attend church there and, of course, show off his adorable children (and glamorous wife). It is only about an hour and 45 minutes from here, so not a bad day trip. We drove into town and did a tiny bit of drive-by sight seeing on the way to the church. I saw the actual falls for which the town of Wichita Falls is named. To be honest, I had no idea there were actual falls. This is Texas after all. The "falls" part of the town name could be referring to the city as a once prominent stop-over on the Chislom trail for Cowboys who would by matter of course get slobbering drunk in one of the towns many saloons and routinely fall off their horses on their way out of town in a drunken stupor. I don't know. But, the fact is there are real a manner of speaking.
Now, as you can see from the photo of the actual falls at the top of this post, the formation is amazingly orderly for a natural phenomenon. But it isn't a natural phenomenon...anymore. The falls were destroyed in a flood some years ago - completely wiped out. So they rebuilt them. To look like something that belongs at the back of Angel's stadium near the cannons.(Actually, I've never really thought a waterfall belonged there. I don't get that place.) This idea of rebuilding a natural wonder from a design sketched by the architect of the water feature adorning the entrance to your local country club seemed so strange to me. It's like the Redwood Forest being destroyed by blight and people rebuilding it out of fiberglass trees - a whole forest of cell phone towers.

We had a lovely time at church and were invited to lunch at the home of some very gracious members who remembered Tyler. She invited us and then said " I don't know what we'll eat. We usually just eat scraps on Sundays". We didn't care. We were just glad not to be facing a meal of bananas and nutrigrain bars, which is all I had with us in the car. Well, one man's scraps are another man's feast, I'll tell you that much. We showed up to a lunch of homemade fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, biscuits, fresh fruit, and homemade-not-from-any-type-of-mix-at-all German chocolate cake. C.T. liked that cake so much he asked for a second helping, and then asked if he could take some more home with him.

These people also live in a great house that was built in 1913. It is decorated in a fantastic country way - a country in the Connecticut suburbs kind of way, and not a country from the backwoods of Kentucky kind of way, if you know what I mean. The woman had made a terrific slipcover for her couch out of a kind size patchwork quilt from Target. My kind of woman and my kind of decorating.

It was a good day - not stressful, good food, good people, and no terribly embarrassing behavior from the babies. A successful outing on all counts!

Friday, September 14, 2007


We went to a birthday party today for a little girl in our ward. She turned two. There were quite a few people there and her pile of presents was fairly impressive. She completely lost what little interest she began with in opening her presents after the first one. It kind of takes the excitement out of choosing a gift when you know it's just one of the neglected pile, you know? Not that I'm blaming the poor just leads me to agree with Tyler's idea of having a "no gift necessary" party for CT's next birthday. Granted, I don't know many people who would actually show up giftless to a party like that - no one wants to be the one who looks cheap, but really, kids are happy with so much less than they get at these things.

Being a mother of children who are just beginning to learn the boundaries of proper social behavior is sometimes a bit embarrassing. CT has an extraordinary fondness for birthday cake, which is what excites him most parties. Today there were cupcakes, and he kept asking the birthday girl's mother for "another muffin" (after already eating two) until he finally grasped the fact that they had all been consumed. Maybe next time I can train him to at least say "Can I have another muffin, please?"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm On Board

I've resisted the lure of the blog mostly because I feel I really don't need one more thing to add to my "to do" list daily, but I'm caving in. I already check the blogs of friends routinely, so I might as well give them one to check in return.

My big news of the day is that both the babies are napping - in the house! Lately they will only nap while the motion of the car lolls them to sleep, which has allowed me the opportunity to get to know my surroundings in our new area of Texas, and has also added to our gasoline costs. The real reasons behind their nap at home today are:
1) My visiting teacher came right at about the time I usually pack them up for our daily spin.
2) The air conditioner in my car is running at a level not strong enough to blow a flea off a hammock nor cool enough to slow down a fly.

When the car was ruled out as an option, I resorted to the old reliable mother's helper, the television. We brought out blankets and pillows and reposed on the carpet while we watched Lightning McQueen blow his tires in "Cars". When they lost interest in that I turned it off and and switched to my DVR recording of "What Not To Wear". Amazingly, that worked when Disney had failed and they were asleep before Shopping Day 2 had even begun!