Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Life Does Go On

So, apparantly, we have officially survived being the parents of five kids. Well, for a week, anyhow. It has been a really long week, now that I think about it, and I am not sure what more I have accomplished except a lot of nursing baby Briggs. Oh, and laundry. I swear, the end of the world will come and I will still be doing laundry when Christ shows up again! I am eternally grateful for the wonderful, kind friends and family who have helped and brought in meals and been understanding while I have baled on my responsibilities for youth conference, carpools, and motherhood this week. I don't know how I will get it all back together again. And for those of you who have called, THANKS, too! I am having a hard time calling people back on the phone since I tell myself I should try and rest, or I'm referee-ing the other kids, or, oh yeah, doing laundry! Bottom line, life is going on and I am getting used to the feeling of being five steps behind all the action. I have had these pictures downloaded from last weekend. I know Erin did a wonderful job blogging for me, but I thought I'd give you a few more details (not ew, gross, THOSE kind of picture-details, though) from Briggs arrival.

Last Saturday was incredibly productive, but I honestly did not have "have the baby" on my to-do list. My doctor (who I could not be more fond of) gave me her pager number in case I wanted her to strip my membranes that weekend. After talking with Tyler, though, he reminded me about what a crazy time at work he had the last few days of the month, so I figured I'd wait until my appointment on Monday to do anything drastic. Well, by Saturday afternoon I was pretty uncomfortable, so I called my Dr. anyway, but she was headed into the OR. Later that evening I was going to the temple with my mom and siblings, so it was gonna be too late to do anything and I could hold out until Monday. BUT by the time we were done at the temple my lower back was ka-illing me and I was pretty sure it was back labor (even just mildly, so, though) and so I went ahead and called Dr. Lewis. She told me she was at her office doing paperwork before heading back to the OR and when I told her it'd take me about ten minutes to get to her office, she told me to come in and she'd check me. See, I've gone to the hospital early before and been sent home, so I was totally not interested in playing that game. And how cool is it that my doctor would have me come in after office hours just so I wouldn't have to waste time being sent home. Well, after a quick check, Dr. Lewis exclaimed, "Wow, girl, I don't know what you've been doing, but you MUST have been having some kickin' contractions cuz you are a total 4 and ready to have this baby." She went ahead and finished stripping my membranes (which wasn't too much) and told me she'd meet me at the hospital in a couple hours. The minute I stood up I knew that "back labor" had just been kicked up an intense notch and I started to have a little panic about all the stuff I needed to do and I was trying to figure out WHAT I was going to do with the other kids. SO, I was supposed to chaperone the regional dance, so I stopped by the stake center to let them know I'd be checking my uterus instead of dance cards. Then I called Tyler's dad to find out if he could stay the night, which, of course, he said "Sure." He was so sweet and told me he'd come right over and hang out while I puttered around waiting for Tyler. (He had taken the boys to the hockey game; the girls were with Grandma Dodie at a musical.) I HAD to change my sheets and do the dishes, had time to finish picking up the rest of the house, take a shower and dry my hair, and check my email. FINALLY Tyler made it home with the boys and we got them tucked into bed, Tyler gave me a quick blessing before we left, and I was way ready to be at the hospital.

I was really having contractions! Real, legit squeezers by the time we went up to the hospital and got checked in. You should have seen the nurse's face when she asked me the last time I was checked and I said a couple hours before. Then she said, "By who?" I thought that was funny. Who would be checking my cervix other than a doctor? (I wondered what the nurse would have said if I answered, "My next door neighbor.") When I told her Dr. Lewis had seen me in her office at 8pm, they all nodded that they had been waiting for me, but didn't know what had taken us so long. Combined with Tyler teasing me the whole time I was filling out the information and answering the nurse (about whether or not I was really having REAL contractions), AND that we took longer since Tyler waited for the end of the hockey game to come home instead of when I called him, the nurses had a little hey-day giving Tyler a hard time while I got all checked in. For the first time at St. Rose I went straight into a room and got all settled for a quick lil delivery.

Dr. Lewis came in shortly after I got all my wires hooked up and broke my water (which made me nervous that I didn't already have an epidural or pitosin, like other times) and pretty much asked us what time we thought she'd be back. My guess was 1:30am, Tyler's was 2am. She headed home for a couple hours rest and the nurse was trying to set my IV (poorly, I might add. Seriously, is it a law that IVs don't go in right on the first try with me. It didn't help that I was seriously dehydrated from all the sun that day, oops.) Once another nurse was able to get the IV running (with a smaller needle in the side of my hand) they called Dr. Epidural in for THE best epidural I have ever had. You know how they tell you the bee-sting numbing part is the worst part of the epidural, well up til now I thought they were lying. I've always had tons of painful pressure and a half-numbing experience with my epidurals, so I was anticipating all that again. But NOOOOO, the good doc done good. I was seriously so impressed I kept telling him I'd write him a letter of recommendation. He didn't really take me up on the offer, but would take a picture with me when it was all said and done. I didn't even get the bad shakes this time, just a little shivery-shiver.

Shortly after the epidural, Tyler spread himself out on the couch for a rest. He'd worked really hard so far that night, and following a day of golf and a hockey game, don't you feel bad for him? Well, DON'T! Homeboy slept for a good solid five hours while my and his mom sat in the chairs and my poor sister was left with the wheelie stool. I'm glad he got to rest, I guess. This whole baby thing has been REALLY hard on him (sorry if some sarcasm soaked through right there.) The rest of us settled in to a night of watching the monitors, but funny thing happened to my legit contractions when I got a really good epidural. Uh, yeah, they pretty much slowed down to a five to eight minute gap. Here's the grandmas passing the time, too.

OH! It was excruciatingly annoying not to be progressing FOR THE ENTIRE NIGHT. To make matters kinda harder was the fact that I hadn't eaten anything since that afternoon and I was really hungry. About 2:30am (we obviously missed our target times) the nurse came to check me because the baby's heartrate was dropping whenever I'd have a contraction. I think she had barely started the pitosin at that point, so I was hoping for bigger numbers than the 5 I had been at 12:30am. Well, let's just say she was generous to give me a 5 1/2. What's a 1/2 anyway? That is so a way to make the mom feel like she's progressing, when she's really not. ANYWAY. The nurse shifted me a couple times to help the heartbeat, but my contractions were still really sporadic and I was begging the nurse to amp up the drugs to get my contractions rolling. Apparantly they can't do that so they don't over-stim the mom, but I was looking for some over-stim at that point. Being used to quick labors, my patience was about shot and I was getting tired. Well, baby boy's heartrate finally cooperated with my contractions, until about 4:30am when it started to drop again. By THAT long of not a lot happening, my patience was about shot and I was starting to get emotional. I was feeling for everyone that we were all up the whole night and when it started to get daylight outside it was about all I could handle. I finally cried (literally) for someone to wake up Tyler at 6:30am because I was not progressing past a 6 and it was obvious the baby was under some stress. My sister was AMAZING keeping a watch on the monitor, but only telling me positive stuff and pausing long enough for the problem to pass before she would answer my questions. I knew it was bad and figured the nurse was going to be pushing for a c-section. She'd already told me she thought the cord was wrapped around his neck or there was a kink in the cord (which was good to know what was going on, but I could have done without the hand motions of the slit-across-the throat and the bend-the-hose actions she was doing with her hands as she was saying, "Oh, baby not happy.") I had visions of going home with 5 kids and having been cut open. I had not bargained for that; it wasn't what I know; I was beginning to panic a bit. And my nurse, while nice, was not nearly agressive and assertive for my taste. She flipped me from side to side, put my on oxygen, etc. but finally at 6:30am I asked her to call my doctor. The next 30 minutes were the longest of the morning/night as I waited for Dr. Lewis to come. I was in and out of it since I was pretty tired (luckily the epidural was still SO good!) from being up all night, but I'd ask Erin questions every few minutes. It was pretty tense.

As soon as Dr. Lewis came in she was SO confident and refreshing. She asked what happened to the middle of the night thing and I told her I wasn't progressing; that I was sure they wanted to cut me open. She just sat on the end of my bed, looked my straight in the eyes and said we're gonna do this; don't worry, etc. It was great. However, when she checked me I said, "Please just tell me I'm at least a 7" and when she said, "You're fine." I thought, "Great! I still haven't progressed." She told me to push with all my might on the next contraction. WHAT! You should have seen the nurse look at her. And basically, Dr. Lewis took me from a 6 to a complete 10 in about 2 minutes with some serious manipulating of my cervix. When she was done she said, "No that's how to get you complete. Let's deliver a baby." You should have seen the nurse look like, "Huh!?" Then all these nurses came in (it was right at the shift change), but by then my doc had my bed torn down and herself gowned and was positioning everyone around. Even better was when my sister started taking pictures the nurse told her she couldn't and then Dr. Lewis said THAT was a policy worth breaking, looked right at Erin and told her she was fine to take as many pictures she wanted. I LOVE MY DOCTOR! Here's some of the moments Erin captured in that 13 minutes from when Dr. Lewis walking into my room and when Briggs was born at 7:08am!

I think I pushed about four times total, but she was encouraging me to keep pushing as she was trying to get the cord unwrapped. I asked her when his head came out if the cord was wrapped around his neck and she said, "Nope, he's fine." Tyler told me later she had just barely removed the cord from around his neck before she answered me.

I LOVE the moment when they put him on my FLAT (alright, still pretty pudgy and smushy, but flatter) stomach and turn him from that purple-y gray to reddish pink right in front of your eyes. I was so in the moment of relief and happiness I didn't see everyone crying (or welling, as Tyler claimed). Again, it was a pretty intense hour. Here we are falling in love with Briggs:

First reports had him looking like Brevin with the scowl and lips. Of course, I think he's changed a lot since the first few minutes, and I definitely think he'll be shedding the skinny old man look soon for a chubby baby with all that he's been eating this week. He was actually a little longer than two of our kids at 19 1/2 inches, but weighed less than any of them at 6 lbs. 6 oz. He's a skeeny-lil- peanut for sure. I just love him.

Really, I do have a few of the most handsome men in my life!

Briggs pretty much arrived hungry. I can't believe how much this kid eats. A week into it I am beginning to think he'll be getting a bottle of formula at bedtime. The past few nights he's been up from 11pm until 4am which is, pretty much, killing me. See, the open bird mouth is a dead give-away that he's ready to hit the boob buffet.

Here's one of me going, "Seriously, can I get something else to eat besides this water and ice chips?!" Even the hospital food was yummy!

They moved us to a different room (after a herpes incident. The nurse had written that I had herpes in my chart instead of strep B. Apparantly English as a second language with nurses can be tricky if the Doctor doesn't make sure she's heard correctly.) Tyler and I both totally snoozed for a few hours and then he headed home to pick up the kids and a shower.

The kids are pretty much in love with their brother. Brock was tickled by everything Briggs did, whether it be opening his eyes or moving his feet. Brevin had a lot of questions like, "Where are his ears" (under the cap) and if the smoothie Tyler brought me came from my boobs, too. (The nursing thing is providing A LOT of conversation for the kids.) Caylee had watched enough baby shows on TLC she wanted to know more medical facts, like if I had a c-section and if they broke my water. Kenzie, though, was classic as SHE was the one to point out to us that the name we picked was ALSO the name branded on all our household toilets. That's right. We've been living in this house for over three years and I have never noticed the word BRIGGS stamped on the toilet bowls. Sure enough, though, Kenzie is observant enough to notice that. I just told her "it's a good thing we love toilets, right?" (BTW when I got home I checked the bowl and sure enough. I don't know how I never noticed that before.)

I do have to say I shook my head several times to see ALL FIVE KIDS together. Crazy.

Our first night at the hospital was a long one. The sweet nurse spared me an hour while she charted so I could sleep. And then the two of us rested throughout the morning. Special thanks to Annilee for bringing me some supplies and to ALL those other friends and family who came to visit. It was nice to be able to relax, for a day, and then I was ready to be home. Here's a couple pics from Monday morning between naps.

And before we went home:

Not a very happy camper in his carseat. Don't you love how newborns clothes still drown them? The wrinkley forehead is pretty constant as he's pretty concerned about a lot these days.

So, we're figuring it out, day by day. The fact that it took me five days to complete this post is pretty indicative of our life these days. I really am grateful for all those who've helped with meals and my other kids, too. I am trying to be better about napping when I get a sec, but I am a little nervous to leave Brevin and Brock unattended. I keep trying to remember to take pictures of the little guy, but I am finding he's cuter in person than on film. Maybe I'm biased. Until later . . .

When Life gives you Lemons

I finally published the lemonade stand post, but it's after the birthing notes. I'll post some pics of our peanut later this afternoon. Thanks to Grandma Beth, Briggs and I are off to nap!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mission Accomplished!!!

After several hours of NOTHING really going on all night long, Sarah finally has completed the last thing on her to-do list from yesterday: successful delivery of her bouncing baby boy!!! Thanks to a not-so-motivated nurse she got sorta stuck at a 6 for quite a while. Little guy was being a bit of a stinker and gave us somewhat of a scare for a little while since his heartbeat would drop off the monitor all together with each contraction. But when the big guns were finally called in and Dr. Lewis arrived, that lady worked Sarah's cervix like a freakin' champ!!! She worked her magic all up inside Sarah's business and before we knew it we were hearing the beautiful words, "Let's break down this bed, we're having a baby!" That was such music to our ears (especially Sarah's!) Within 10-15 minutes of Dr. Lewis' arrival we had a baby!!! An d he's oh so yummy adorable, if I do say so myself!!! He finally made his appearance at 7:08am, and weighs 6 lbs. 6 oz. and measures 19.5 inches long. And his name is...............BRIGGS LAVELL BARLOW!!! For now we be gettin' Briggy wit the adorable little sweet pea!!! And this is Erin signing off, headed home for some zzzzzzz's! But first, here's a picture of the little peanut (the consensus is he most resembles Brevin, but he's got a little bit of Kenzie in him too, I think!):
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Good Karma

This is Erin posting for Sarah, coming to you live from her bedside IN THE HOSPITAL!!! Oh yes people, take one last look at that baby counter on the side of this screen because as of tomorrow (or THIS morning, I should say!) it will no longer be needed. That's right, SARAH'S IN LABOR!!! I will just say that that good karma is a great thing. And, in true Sarah fashion, she does not just have a baby one day. Oh no, she runs a lemonade stand for our cousin Garrett for 3 hours today, goes to a baby shower for her friend, goes to the temple with the fam to perform sealings, AND HAS A BABY. All in a day's work for our Sarah Jane, right???

After her dr's appt the other day when her doctor doled out her pager # to Sarah and told her she'd be happy to meet Sarah at her office at any time this weekend to strip her membranes since she was sooooo close to having this baby, of course Sarah took her up on that offer straight from the temple tonight (as any normal expectant mother of baby #5 would do!) As the rest of us gathered at Pei Wei for dinner Sarah called right after we got there and let us know that rather than meeting us for dinner she was heading home to pack her bag for the hospital. Apparently as her doctor went about the stripping 'o' the membranes she informed Sarah that she must have "had some kickin' contractions during that lemonade stand 'cause you are a gooooooood 4 cm!!!" Well, to that, Sarah said "GAME ON" and here we are! And this girl is contracting all by herself and is at about a 6 with no pitocin. She's actually wishing for some pit since things are not progressing quite as rapidly as hoped for (yes, us Garrard girls are spoiled that way!) but all is good, and we shall keep updating as the morning progresses! And Sarah promises a rundown on the lemonade stand for Garrett and everything else as soon as she delivers a baby and all...

P.S. Sarah does want to add that we made a whopping mind-boggling $2000 at the lemonade stand today. She sends her sincere THANKS to all of her peeps who stopped by and contributed to help support Garrett.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

$$$ooo Refreshing!

Alrighty. I don't know what the rules for post-birth-blogging are, but I needed to get this post off my draft list before I start talking about HEAVENLY my little boy is! Real quick, a thanks to Erin's blogging skills at the hospital to announce our newest addition AND thanks for all the good wishes and comments for our Briggs. He's truly been a joy.
It's amazing that it hasn't even been a week since we had our lemonade stand to benefit Garrett's efforts to go to ProjectWalk. This week, Garrett has been getting evaluated in Carlsbad; there are new pictures on his website of some of his therapy, so I hope all of you (especially those of you who donated to the lemonade stand) will check out his progress.
Our preparations for the lemonade stand were full steam by Friday night. Poor Erin had made cinnamon rolls ALL day Friday, so she brought over all she had made and frosted to my house so we and the girls could wrap and tag all the goodies. Because Jerolyn and her girls were really our founders, they had some really good ideas on how to improve our stand, and tagging our cups and cinnamon rolls with Garrett's website was a GREAT idea. They also suggested printing a flyer with Garrett's story so people could understand more what we were doing AND that was a fabulous contribution to our stand. Here's our stack of labels (over 270 labels were passed out to our customers and over 100 flyers were distributed also.)
The girls made some signs and I made a banner, too, Friday night. Here we are labeling all the stuff. Tyler made his contribution to the stand by bringing us Sonic refreshments and hanging some extra signage on Saturday morning.

By the time we set up at 10am, we had customers WAITING for us! Thanks to days of blog and email advertising, we had a great crowd, which attracted a lot of driver-by traffic. There were sooo many good friends and family who came by, and SOO many stories that touched me. Since Saturday I have kept remembering my favorite stories, so indulge me while I share a few of them (and there's no way I can give a personal shout out to ALL the generous people, but I still think you should know of some of the goodness we were part of!) For example, my GREAT friend Angela emailed right after I blogged that she would bring a few dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies so we could sell them also. And she totally delivered (with a nice donation, too)! Erin's famous cinnamon rolls sold out super quick, but Angela's cookies were just as popular and we sold out of them nearly as quick. Once we were on the corner, the Doty family (from our ward) stopped by for a breakfast cinnamon roll and little Marcus Doty donated $5.00 of his birthday money into our jar. It was fun to see our girls' reactions when they saw people they knew stop by to support them. They were just tickled. Another example of the young'un's big donations was my friend Annilee's daughter giving her TOOTH FAIRY money into the jar for Garrett! Now, you know what a big deal that kind of stuff is to kids and the fact that they'd come and donate all that really made my day.

Another donation was made by my brother Dave (and my dad), who watched the little kids. We were on a real busy corner and I couldn't imagine how crazy it could have been with me trying to keep Brock off the street. After Dave relieved my dad, they both ended up visiting us for a little refreshment, and my dad donated again for Garrett's cause. Here's Dave with the little 'uns:

And I know I've said it a ka-jillion times what a great family I have, but if Kourtney is not an example of WHY that's true, then I don't know how else to tell you. Kourt lives CLEAR across town, and showed up bright and early (with a FABULOUS new haircut and color since the last time I had seen her, I might add) to help her cousins help their cousin! THEN, not only did she donate (SO generously), but she ended up working our corner for the entire 3 hours like a CHAMP. She admitted she'd work the corner any day for Garrett and she was whooping it up attracting all sorts of donations and passing his story along to about every passer-by. She held that big 'ol sign and would literally run out into the street as people were passing her bills from their car window. Her fingers were cramping and she totally abandoned her family for the entire morning, but even more great (according to Caylee) is that she gave Caylee one of the cinnamon rolls she bought earlier that morning since we'd sold out and Caylee didn't get to have one. I mean, does the giving ever stop!? No, not really. And I do want to thank Jerolyn, Katy, Maggie, and Ellie for supporting us, too, during their busy day. Really, they were the inspiration and should get total props for the successes we had that day!

I didn't want to take too many pictures of random strangers to post on the blog, but take my word for it, there were a lot of people who we didn't know stop by. It was so refreshing to see so many people so willing to give. Despite all the negativity that is in the world, there is SO much good! One lady passed us $20.00 from her window and apologized for not being able to give more since she AND her husband were out of work. Another couple ladies drove past (toward the end of the day) and said they'd be back with their family. Sure enough, they drove back two cars' worth of people who donated over $40.00 EVEN though we had already packed up all the lemonade. They told us the next time we did this they'd be happy to go to Wal-Mart and buy us some more cookies and goodies so we could re-sell them. SO nice!

Here's some action shots:

Dave taking a nanny break-

The girls filling up cups. Sorry to any of you who got Caylee's cups. She got too excited to fill them up ALL the way most of the time.
Erin ended up taking phone orders for her cinnamon rolls.
And my dad - a true supporter of all lemonade stands and for Garrett!
Here's Kourtney working her corner!
And GUS was happy to be out supporting the cause, too.

And just a couple more stories that really touched me. Our good friend walked over from our neighborhood to check out the crowd and when I talked to him about Garrett's injury he turned around to show me his vertical scar from a motorcycle accident that nearly paralyzed him many years ago. He then put $100.00 in the jar and just commented about how close Garrett's story hits home because that could have been him.

A lady I visit teach (and I say that loosely because she doesn't want/need us to come by all the time) stopped by with her son and donated $30.00 fairly early in the morning. About an hour later she returned with her 10 year old son who donated $10.00 and she donated $60.00 more for a total donation of $100.00, which pays for an hour of Garrett's therapy. She had gone home and read more about his story and was motivated enough to come back to give Garrett a full hour of the intense treatment his needs.

And while raising money was important, I was more touched by the people who came so out of their way (like Spring and Jen Rich from the other end of our stake). My friend from our ward, Kaylene Utter, who's daughter was being married THAT DAY showed up with her hair all done and her grandchildren in tow. Or our friends, the Thompsons, who came to support us even though they have limited family time together while Noel is working in Arizona and only makes it home on the weekends (the girls LOVE Noel and we're thrilled to know he'd come out of his way for them.) My in-laws that came by REALLY meant a lot, too, for their support. The thought that THIS is what an eternal family is all about played through my mind a million times last weekend. Oh, there's SO many more tender mercies that I felt last Saturday morning; there's just not enough time to share them all.

Just to thank and appreciate and to credit those who donated, here's a look at some of our contributions:

We were thrilled to add up all the good will Saturday afternoon and came to the total of $1944.14. Once we were cleaning up, we found $19.00 more in change, which added up to a whopping $1963.14. We were thrilled to call Garrett, who was completely touched and impressed and a little shocked. Later that afternoon, Erin's good friend donated, and then donated again, to bring us up to a fabulous even number of $2000.14. Can you believe it? My expectations were surpassed, my hopes were surpassed, my DREAMS have been surpassed and the giving continues. Just last night I opened our mail to find a check from a couple of my book club friends and we had another friend from our ward stop by to give Mackenzie and Caylee another $80.00 donation. In addition to the lemonade stand and the later donations to my girls and Sydney, our total is now up to
$2230.00 and growing. Thank you a million times over.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Go Garrett Go!

Are you dreading the increase of temperature coming to town this weekend?
Are you looking for one more thing to do this weekend?
Are you totally curious what's going on with my extended family?

Well, this post is for you!

For those of you wondering what's the status on my cousin, Garrett, I thought I'd keep you in the loop. Garrett is thriving and making big plans to attend an intense therapy center in Carlsbad, California as soon as he can earn the funds to attend. Garrett even has his own website so you can read more about his story and find out info on where he wants to go. I've wanted to link his "Chip In" meter for a while, but haven't (cuz I'm slackin'), but have been SO impressed to check out the status of the growing account. Not only will the money that gets donated be used for Garrett to go to Carlsbad, but could be used to help Garrett get around his OWN town with a wheelchair accessible van for his family. Right now, they're pretty much at the generous mercy of friends who can take Garrett to his local therapy, or anywhere else he wants to go. Anyway, it's a gratifying click to add to his fund, even a few dollars at a time.

For those of you who don't read my cousin, Jerolyn's blog, YOU MUST START! She's hilariously funny, but more than of her other posts, you might be interested in her LEMONADE posts about her family's fund-raising efforts for Garrett. If you're too lazy to browse, the gist of her experience was HOW wonderfully generous RANDOM strangers and FABULOUS friends were at her girls' lemonade stand they held a couple weeks ago. For 50 cents a cup, the Stephens family was able to raise an AMAZING $279.50!!! A few days later (you can read about this on her blog, too) a friend of Jer's sent her a card in the mail with another donation so they've been able to contribute $300.00! Isn't that AWESOME!? I mean, for so many reasons Jerolyn has always been a hero to me, but the way she has championed this effort for Garrett has been really motivating and inspiring.

SO! Erin and I have decided to get on the lemonade band-wagon, so to speak, and try our luck at holding another lemonade stand THIS SATURDAY, April 26th, from 10am until 1pm on the corner of Paradise and Robindale. It will be great to get Garrett's cause out to the drivers'-by and to those who live in our neighborhood. AND SO, let me encourage you, blog-friends, to stop by and refresh yourselves, especially since it's supposed to be really hot this weekend. AND if that doesn't motivate you, let the fact that Erin's making her famous cinnamon rolls to add to the sales opportunities bring you on over to our corner. AND if that doesn't make you want to add a lemonade-stand-stop to your already busy Saturday schedule, let me tell you I didn't make it to Jer's stand and I felt horrible I'd missed such a great opportunity to be a part of something so great, which MIGHT be how you feel if you miss out. I'm just sayin'! I mean, not to pressure you into some serious good will, because if lemonade's not your thing, there's always the "Chip in" icon on my sidebar which we can all use and watch until the effort ends on May 24th. Bottom line, look for Mackenzie, Sydney, Erin, and my big 'ol pregnant self working the Vegas corner this Saturday all for Garrett! I'm not too proud to beg for your help, and none too humble to thank you a million times over for any help you can give!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Coral Pink 2008

So, yes, I know I have been slacking a bit on my blog. I don't know what else to say, but let's not let the kettle be callin' others black (eh hmm, NATE! Short fart posts and a video hardly count for good blogs either!) Once Savior of the World finished (I got a post started for that) we hda a couple days before heading to Coral Pink with my sister's family and her in-laws and a lot of other relatives of those in-laws. We had a great time and were glad for the invite. Actually, we're holding out for an invite next year, even with a baby, so you know that means I had a good time. I think one of my favorite parts of the whole thing was that Tyler didn't run off to go fishing or golfing at any point in the weekend. He was SUCH a help and (even though I had told him I'd only go if he knew I couldn't do too much chasing of kids) had a good time himself riding the 50's and hitching a ride on the rhino out to the dunes here and there.

Everything was going pretty much without a hitch until Thursday night after dinner when Erin's SIL, Debby, came into our camp with Brevin in her arms. Apparantly Brev was watching her dogs play and wasn't watching the dog leash that clothes-lined his little ankles and wiped him out flat on his chest. Well, he was wailing and carrying on when we figured he's either dislocated his shoulder or broken his collar bone. MY reaction was to let him sleep it off, but Tyler insisted that we take him to the Kanab ER. I will not claim to be cold-hearted, only optomistic, as I am imagining what it will mean if it is indeed broken. So I stayed to shower with the other three kids and Tyler went to the ER (WHICH he said is WAY better than ours here in Vegas since he was the only one in the place!) where Brevin had X-rays and, sure enough, his collar bone is broken right where his shoulder and collar bone meet. When they came back I asked him if he wanted to go home, and he quickly refused.

We are really grateful for the good times we had. Tyler has said all this week we really celebrated Earth Day last weekend while we were camping. It was so nice to have the kids run around and ride their bikes and NOT have to worry about too much (other than how much candy Caylee had bamboozled from Grandma and Grandpa Mohler's camp.) I LA-OVE hanging out with my sister and visiting with all the other fun folks who were up there. AND, let's just say I did my fair share of walking to get this kid even further down the shute. We'll see how all that goes tomorrow at my appointment. Anyway, here's some of the pictures I uploaded to an album for your viewing pleasure. (Click on the photo below and you can just see the pics or read the commentary if you click on slideshow.)

Coral Pink 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

WHAT have I gotten myself in to?

When Tyler and I went for our ultrasound with this baby, I was really hoping for a girl. Not that I don't love my boys, but I was ready for a change of pace. And by pace, I mean something slower and quieter and less physical. Of course, Tyler thought a third boy would be GREAT, especially because it meant he and his boys would make a golf foursome and on fishing trips they could have two filled boats. Whatever. I don't think in terms of long term activities with my kids. Mostly, I get hung up on what it'll be like when this one turns 2 (which should coincide with Kenzie's starting puberty - JOY!) To really add to my fears, Tyler said (after being pronounced a baby boy), "Just think, Babe, Brock will be able to teach him EVERYTHING he'll know."

Now I love Brock. He cracks me up regularly. He is just as sassy and opinionated as his siblings, but also more defiant and independent than the other three. So, imagine what the visions of this baby are like when I envision the "lessons" Brock will be teaching him.

Lessons like: Food may taste good, but it's always better when you can wear it on your face all day long. And when Mom tries to wipe it off so the other soccer moms don't think your the homeless kid she picked up that morning, run as fast as you can across the field so she has to chase you (especially great when she's 8 months pregnant!)

Or, this lesson: In the morning, when Mom says it's time to get dressed, yell at her "I DO IT!" and then only partially take off your pajamas. It's way fun to make funny faces at her from a distance while she's pleading that you'll come to her to get your clothes on. Again, usually if you run she'll chase you!

And a dangerous lesson: When playing, one of the best things to do is climb up to the top of our brother's bunk, not by using the ladder, but by climbing up the end of the bed. But, be careful that you don't fall off and try to catch yourself with the crook of your arm, cuz that'll leave a nasty bruise. The good news is, as the baby, Mom is more likely to blaim one of your siblings for the accident until you can tell her the real story.

And just for good measure: ALWAYS try to use your sisters' and brothers' stuff. Even their way-too-big bikes. Because even if you fall off and hurt your finger or other extremeties, you're likely to get a lot of attention from Mom. Then, as soon as she's done loving on you and giving you extra treats, you can go right back outside and climb on the bike to do it all over again.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What makes a best friend?

Tyler and I have often had the discussion about what makes a good friend, a best friend. While I love to surround myself with good women (and some men) as often as I can, and talk to my "best friends" monthly or so (if not more) Tyler can go years without talking to his "best" friends. He maintains that a true best friend is someone you can go years without talking to, and don't even need to, because if/when you need them, they'll be there. Without having daily conversations, or sending holiday greetings, or keeping up with their families' blogs, a best friend is someone who knows they're the best just cuz.

And I have to say I have grown to believe him and understand him (now). I've reconnected with a lot of friends that I haven't kept up with since high school or even junior high (holla! Daniel) and it's like a decade hasn't past. John and Amy Peterson (who I wrote about visiting us at Easter) are some of the BEST friends we have. Tyler and John, like I said served their missions together in France and have a ton of memories together. When we got married and would talk about his mission, Tyler would tell me about the antics of John and their experiences together. John even wrote in Tyler's journal (as the officiator of the ribbon-cutting ceremony for one of Tyler's new journals . . . trust me that was only one of the silly things they did together!) When we were living in Cedar, Tyler and John reconnected their "best" friendship when we went to visit John and Amy in Minersville. Of course, I was so taken by them (enough to stick them on our holiday card list) that we started keeping in better touch (cuz, THAT's how you treat a best friend. Sheesh. A Christmas card is not too much to ask, right?!) Anyway, we've gotten together here and there and always love our visits with the Petersen family. I even bamboozled Amy to come with me to ScrapFest, and just love her all the more I get to know her.

One of the best things about the Petersens is the fun, random packages we get from John. One time he wrote THE funniest newsletter about the BYU fly-fishing team, then we got the "we've named our kid after you" package, so, I KNEW this baby was gonna be good when I checked the mail a couple weeks ago:

See, when the Petersens were here, we talked about my quitting caffeine and how it's never been an issue for Tyler. But one time he found Mt. Dew slurpees and thought he had found a treat that took him back to his happy caffeine-drinking-high-school days. John and Amy mentioned how Utah carries caffeine-free Mt. Dew. Tyler promised to pick himself some Mt. Dew, mormon-style, the next time we were through Cedar. But then, in true, best friend style, the Petersens sent Tyler (well, us) this thank you gift. (Which, was totally unneccessary, but MUCH appreciated!)
This is what I found the next day in TWO places in the fridge ("just in case you didn't see the first sign on one shelf"). Tyler shared (a little) when someone specifically asked, but never with the kids. One night as we were walking to bed, I heard him pop the top of a can and guzzle it on his way to brush his teeth. He said he couldn't resist the Dew.
So, thanks, Petersens! You are so thoughtful and we appreciate your BEST friendship!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Didn't you hear me say . . .

I AM NESTING, MOM!? I do have blogging on my to-do list, but today I am trying to finish Brock's "1st year" scrapbook. Yeah, I know. He's almost 2 1/2, but I figure if I can get his done before el new one shows up, then I can keep up with the milestones of #5. I'm starting to feel a very urgent need to fill all my frames and photo spots with pictures. Isn't that a weird "urgency" feeling?

Last night for family night we talked about being an "organized house." When I told the kids what we'd be talking about Caylee seriously moaned. BUT, we were able to determine our "emergency" meeting spots (as part of the 72 hr. kit trash can plan) and make a list of house hold chores we need to get done with spring cleaning (ie wipe walls, rearrange furniture, go through dressers and closets, etc.). I'm trying to do better about getting rid of stuff, but it goes against my nature to simply toss stuff. Finally, as our "activity" we went through a bunch of boxes we have moved from our apartments in Cedar (twice) to our storage unit, to our first house, and finally to this house. We got rid of all sorts of memorabilia of Tyler's (trophy's, etc.) and found all his school dance pictures and scout stuff. There was a box of letters from who knows who that I'll be going through. He kept wanting to just throw it all away, but I told him it was important the kids knew he had a life before we got married. I was able to part (sadly) with a bunch of teaching stuff. I do want to teach again someday, but I'll probably want new stuff by the time I get going again. (And yes, somebody remind me how much I regretted that train of thought when I ended up pregnant again.)

I've got quite a few posts to make up in the next 21 days, but I have some brewing in my mind, so stay tuned. The next few nights I'll be at the Henderson Pavilion for The Savior of the World performance. Hopefully those of you Vegas-ites can make it to one of the shows; it'll be good. I'm taking my camera to give you some shots of the "pit" where I'll be hanging out singing my little heart out.

Gotta run, Brock has fallen down AGAIN. Trust me, his accidents are a whole 'nother post.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just call me Birdie . . .

Cuz I'm a-nesting! I don't know why I've been in such a posting slump, but I don't know how interesting my life is to those who actually my blog. ESPECIALLY when I have things to write like, "today I cleaned out my tupperware cupboard" or "today I cleaned the pantry and the highlight was consolidating all my powdered sugar into one container," etc. I've been focused on my kitchen cupboards, but have been envisioning grand things for our bedrooms, too. We'll see how it goes in the next couple weeks. I am finding it's a little awkward to try and fit my big 'ol self into the back of my cupboard to wipe out crumbs, but even worse is getting up after I've been down and dirty. It's almost comical watching me get up, stumble around to get my footing and then walk all stiff for a few minutes until I can regain my balance. Nothing like being 8 mo. pregnant to feel out of shape!

And why all the motivation? I had my Dr.'s appt. on Monday and I'm dilated. That's right, let's hear it for my va-j-j (as Oprah calls it) and it's prompt 1 cm. dilation. I whispered a "YES!" when the Dr. told me I had already started to dilate, but then she had to give me the pre-term labor talk since I technically still have 6 more weeks until I'm due. She said she's concerned that the baby is sitting so LOW already and told me to be a good girl and not do anything for at least a couple weeks, which is fine. I'll save the acrobatics for at least 3 more weeks, right?! Anyhow, I told her I wasn't too worried; that I always dilate early; but I never have full blown labor; and that I was just happy to be at the point where things are happening. I go back in 2 weeks and we're supposed to go to Coral Pink to camp with the kids. I figure it'd be a little foolhardy to go if I am dilated to a 3, but if I'm only a 2 I think it'll be par for my pregnancy course and I'll be okay. We'll see. I am beginning to believe I'll be missing youth conference the first weekend in May (not that THAT's wishful thinking), so I'm trying to make sure everything's in order and ready to be turned over to the other more-than-wonderfully-capable leaders. It is a bummer to miss something that I've been working hard on and look forward to each year, but when it's either that or waddling around for the weekend afraid my water will break and traumatize a bunch of teenage-d youth, I may be better off sitting this one out. Again, we'll see.

Other than the nesting baby-thing, I've been practicing about 4 nights a week for The Savior of the World production next week. I just want to say if you're in Vegas and want to drive to the Henderson Pavilion next Wed, Thurs, Fri, or Sat you TOTALLY should to see this musical play that the Anthem stake is putting on. All the tickets are gone, but if the seats aren't filled in by 7:10pm, they'll let the public take the seats or you can bring a blanket and sit on the grass. The show's at 7:30pm. I'm just in the choir, which sits down in the orchestra pit, but the production itself is pretty amazing and I am VERY impressed with the caliber of talent they have for the actors and acresses. And they are really nice people, too, which makes the scenes all the more sweet. I have to give credit to the musical director, the director, and the costume gal (well, I guess everyone is working really hard), but most of them have full time jobs and have been doing rehearsals FOREVER right after work for 4-5 hours each night. And total shout out to the Anthem stake people who have had their life taken over by this production (wink! wink! Leslie).

That's about all I got on my mind now since it's time to get the boys ready for soccer and the girls ready for gymnastics. Tyler and I are like passing ships tonight, again. Such is the life of parents of busy kids, right?!

OH, but before I go, a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY (yesterday) to STACY and CHRIS. You gals rock the world; I love you both; and hope you had a great day. No Foolin'!