Saturday, June 2, 2012


No, my quest for sanity did not end when Annie was born. If anything, it BEGAN. I'm going to give a quick summary of the last 3 crazy months. While I was on bed rest, Dan started house hunting. I don't know...something about having 3 kids in an apartment didn't really appeal to him. We were all getting claustrophobic, I guess, and so we made a deal that if we bought a house within 6 months of me having the baby, all I had to was show up and sign papers. Dan looked at the house while I was still in the hospital after having Annie, and he took pictures of it to show me in my hospital bed. We made an offer that night without me laying eyes on it. Yes, I am a freaking BRAVE (INSANE) woman!! As it turns out, it IS the perfect house, and I couldn't be happier.

About a week after I had Annie, I found out my paid maternity leave had run out. Since we were going to be buying a house, I kinda needed that... My boss was amazing. He not only created a new position for me to let me pick my own hours, but he INSISTED I bring Annie with me. "A baby's place is with their Mama! I want to see her here every day!" Talk about BLESSINGS!!!

So, I get a new baby, a new house, and went back to work. I laughed at my doctor when he asked me if I had made any major life changes recently, as they could put me at an even higher risk for postpartum depression since I'd had it before. I told him I just didn't have time for it this time around, and that is exactly how it stayed. I have never felt better after having a baby. I think that having so much to do and yet having Annie with me actually helped me avoid it.

After we moved into the house, I started getting a strong feeling I needed to quit my job, even though they were being more than amazing with my schedule and my Annie Arrangement. Summer was coming, she was getting bigger, and we would probably have to put all 3 kids in day care. My paycheck would pretty much just cover day care at that point. This decision was more than a financial one, though. I've ALWAYS wanted to be a Stay At Home Mom and raise my kids. The only reason I was working was because Dan was finishing school and looking for work. I didn't HAVE to work anymore. So, here I am. I am a Stay At Home Mom of 3 kids. I couldn't be happier!!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Annie Mae decided to grace us with her presence on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 6:28 am. She weighed 7 lbs, 5 oz and was 18 inches long. She is ADORABLE! And the kids absolutely love her. All of everything was 200% worth it. This little girl has all 4 of us wrapped around her littlest finger, and no one is complaining.

Thursday I was having contractions. Nothing new there. Dan and I had decided that we weren't going to go into the hospital for contractions anymore, seeing as we just kept getting sent home. We came up with a list of 3 reasons we'd go to the hospital: My water breaking, signs of distress (preeclampsia, bleeding, and so on), and my scheduled induction time. Well, I was fairly active Thursday. I danced while I cleaned, went grocery shopping, and even decided to walk to Jayden's school to pick him up instead of drive. It was a good day. Until about 4:30 pm when I noticed that my pants were wet. Not just a little wet, but "Um, I don't remember peeing my pants..." wet. I called Dan several times, but he was in a meeting at work. I tried calling my mom, too, but she was also in a meeting. I was FREAKING OUT. I finally got a hold of both of them, coordinated getting kids dropped off, and sat down to wait. Dan wasn't at all in a hurry, which, to be honest, was kind of ticking me off. I mean, I know we've had labor stopped many times and a few false alarms, but he was acting like nothing was going on. So, naturally, I picked up the slack and started freaking our for the both of us. We finally got kids ready enough to go, and Dan thought it was the perfect time to go look at a house on our way to Mom's house. REALLY??? "Well, your mom won't be home for another 1/2 hour, so why not?" Ugh. I mean, he had a point, but I was in no mood to be logical. We went and looked at the house, and then he and Mom suggested that we eat before leaving. I was starting to get a little irked at both of them, because it seemed like no one was believing that I was in labor. "If you don't eat now and they end up keeping you, you won't get to eat until after the baby is born." %@#$ logic again. So, we ate, and we FINALLY headed out. When we got to the hospital, my contractions had slowed down a bit again. We decided that we would take a walk for a bit and try to jump start them before going in. It worked. Kind of. They said my contractions weren't being productive, and that my water hadn't broken (???). I didn't quite get it, but they said it was a REALLY good thing I came in because Annie's heart rate was pretty fast. They were going to go ahead and keep me and induce me right away because they couldn't tell what was causing her distress. "The best way to get her stabilized is to get her out." Yeah...and I thought I was freaking out before that news. There were mixed emotions. "YAY, my wait is OVER!!" and "Holy $#@% I hope everything is alright!!" were going through my head. I wanted to be excited, yet I couldn't enjoy this time 100% because I was worried that Annie was in real trouble. Dan gave me a blessing and reminded me that I'd been promised that we'd both be healthy. I took some comfort in that. Also, after the blessing another comforting thought came to me: "If there were something REALLY wrong, they would be taking her via C-section. They wouldn't induce." I got hooked up to all of the machines, they got the Pitocin going, and I ordered my epidural immediately. (My momma didn't raise no fool...) The doctor and the nurses projected "delivery time" to be somewhere around 9 or 10 am (if I went fast). I fell asleep around 5:00 am, thinking I'd be able to sleep and get plenty of rest before anything exciting happened. I was only dilated to a 3. An hour later, the nurse came in. I woke up. It turned out that she came into the wrong room. It was a GOOD thing she did, though, because I started feeling what they like to call "pressure". I told the nurse, and she checked me. She then began paging the doctor. She also kept telling me not to push. I wasn't. "DON'T PUSH! WILL SOMEONE GET DOCTOR SO-AND-SO! I SAID DON'T PUSH!" Thankfully the on-call doc rushed in, got gloved up, and delivered Annie in time. LOL. We had a similar situation with Karah, but we didn't cut it nearly this close at all. The doctor and nurses kept talking about how they couldn't believe I went from a 3 to delivery in 2 1/2 hours. Annie was perfect. There was NOTHING wrong with her lungs, and they figured she was just "ready" to be born.

We have had quite the adventure getting her here. I definitely have a lot of stories to tell, as do my husband and older kids. The adventure has barely begun. I am going from 2 kids to 3. From what I've heard, that is pretty hard. Dan and I are officially outnumbered. It will definitely be a challenge to our sanity as we add one more to our crew. I am totally up for it!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Still Pregnant...

SO, my doctor says it isn't uncommon for moms who have to go through the drugs and bed rest to keep their babies in to do such a good job that the babies don't want to come out once it is safe. Apparently, I did an awesome job, because I have officially been pregnant longer than I've ever been pregnant before. And I am FEELING IT. I am excited, though. I was worried that Annie would be tiny and fragile as a preemie, and that concerned me because she has 2 older siblings that can't wait to hold, help, and play with her. This extra time she's getting will help her be ready for the outpouring of love from them. I know I complain a lot about how uncomfortable being pregnant is. I don't mean to sound like such a wimp. I've just been through so much and now that she can be here, I WANT her here! I want to dress her, play with her, and snuggle her just like the kids. We've been holding our breath for over 2 months and preparing for her arrival. We've had my labor stopped on several occasions, and each time we had a flood of emotions-- scared/anxious, excited/happy, disappointed/sad, grateful/relieved. I'm just ready for the roller coaster to finally come to an end and bring this baby girl home!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beautiful Day, Coolest Mom EVER, and Clean Toilets!

Last week I got a notice that Jayden had an early release day from school this week. I was hoping and praying that the weather would be nice so I could let the kids go out and play for a while. I've felt horrible because my kids have been cooped up inside while I was on bed-rest. I'm not comfortable letting a 4 and 6 year old play outside in an apartment complex unsupervised. I woke up this morning and was disappointed: it was cold, foggy, and wet. Ew. My plans for the kiddos to get some much-needed outside time were being dampened. Pun intended. I dropped Jay off at school and then sulked home to get ready for my doctor's appointment. (No changes from yesterday, if you can't already tell...I think I've finally come to grips with it.) Karah went to a friend's house for a while, and I got some much-needed kid-"help"-free cleaning done. I was so focused on my cleaning that I didn't notice the sun peeking out and temperatures rising. I was SO happy when I walked outside to get Jayden!! It was in the 70s and BEAUTIFUL!! The roads were drying up, too, making it PERFECT for the kids to play. We got home and Karah got home shortly after. I opened all of my windows, opened the front door wide, turned on my Bon Jovi Pandora station, and promptly kicked my kiddos outside. Our apartment faces an open field and as long as they stay there I can watch them as I clean my living room and kitchen, which needed attention anyway. The neighborhood kids congregated out front, and it was just so awesome to me! It has been SO long since I've been able to just let the kids run around and PLAY. They played baseball, kick ball, freeze tag, got out our side walk chalk, and just did KID stuff. It was great.

After a while, Jayden started getting a little bossy and copping an attitude with the other kids. I tried to have a talk with him, but he thought he'd be macho and cop an attitude with me. He THOUGHT that since he was in "public" and surrounded by his peers that he could get away with that crap. Oh, ho ho, that boy found out that that doesn't fly with me. Back when I was a kid, one of my mom's favorite forms of discipline for back talking or bad attitude was to have us scrub toilets. When Jayden started being a snot to me in front of his friends, I went into I-Am-My-Mother-Mode. "That's it, Jay, you need to go inside and scrub my toilet. You will NOT have a potty-mouth like that with me, young man!!" As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I about smacked myself in the forehead. The kid LOVES cleaning toilets! This isn't going to be a punishment! I was totally caught off guard when the boy started to put up a fight! This might actually work!! He said a few more snarky things to me and I had had enough. "Ok, how does this sound, can either change your attitude, clean ONE toilet and come back out and play, OR, I can spank you in front of your friends, you can clean TWO toilets, and I pack up your Wii. Which will it be?" I had about eight pairs of eyes bugging out at me. Jayden opted to change his attitude and clean one toilet. After he went inside one of the little boys tapped me on the shoulder. "Yes?" I asked. "You are the COOLEST MOM EVER!!" That was followed by the other kids nodding their heads in agreement. I was elated. I know my son had an entirely different opinion at the time, but I will graciously accept the title of Coolest Mom Ever from the neighborhood children. Jayden scrubbed the toilet, and all was well for about an hour. Then one of the little kids started pulling the same crud that Jayden did. I had told the other parents I'd keep an eye on them, so I was the only witness. I usually try to not discipline other people's kids, especially since I don't know these people very well. But something had to be done and this kid's parents weren't close. I looked him in the eye and told him, "I have TWO toilets. Jayden only cleaned one. Do I need to call your dad and let him know you need to clean one of my toilets for being disrespectful to me?" I thought the eyes were going to pop out of the kid's head. The other kids stopped what they were doing and jaws dropped to the floor. He apologized and everyone played nice. I decided to tell the dad what I'd threatened. I was terrified, but I didn't want him hearing it from the kid just in case the kid decided to change the story. The dad laughed and said that I was welcome to make his kids clean toilets and scrub floors if they pulled an attitude with me. *Whew*

It was an amazing day. My kids played outside for HOURS. For the first time in...well...forever, I felt like a REAL mom. The type of mom that has a clean house and snacks waiting for not just her kids, but the neighbor kids as well. The type of mom that goes out and teaches the kids how to play Red Rover and kickball. The type of mom who will have ANY kid who tracks mud into the house clean it up. The mom that my mom was to me. Everyone LOVED hanging out at my house because my mom treated every kid like her own. They got the same love and attention we got and they didn't catch any breaks for their behavior. She provided several of my friends and my sibling's friends with some much needed structure. She IS respected to this day by everyone who walks through her door, and she still has other people's children call her "Momma My-Maiden-Name". I have always wanted to be that type of mom, but due to work, school, bed rest, and things I've totally let get in the way, I've been unable to do so. I am switching back into "Grateful-For-My-Bed-Rest-Experience" mode because it truly opened my eyes to what I was missing out on and provided me with an opportunity to make up for it. I hope to be able to maintain my love for keeping house and doing the whole "Mom-Thing". I have truly been enjoying myself, and I hope my family has as well.

Flu- Round 2

Who got to spend all Monday night puking and ended up in the hospital for IV fluids Tuesday morning? THIS GAL!! I love how my kids love to share EVERYTHING, including their flu-germs. I am FINALLY starting to feel better, but my little Karah-Bear is starting to feel yucky. Hopefully she doesn't get it as bad as Jay and I did. Part of me wants to rip my hair out and scream to the Heavens: "WHAT HAVE I DONE TO PISS YOU OFF??", but then this pops in my head: "At least we are getting over this before Annie gets here". Of course, it WOULD be nice to avoid this little flu all together, but since that apparently wasn't possible, I am really glad we are getting it out of our way.

Yesterday WAS interesting, though. I had planned on surprising Jay at school for lunch and about a gazillion other things for Valentine's Day. I was not planning on being hooked up to IVs and junk for most of my day. Whatever they gave me knocked me out, so I was pretty much comatose when I got home. Karah had spent the morning charming people at my mom's work while I was in the hospital, and she came home around lunch time. No problem. She typically turns on a show and lays on the couch when it is nap time. Occasionally she falls asleep, but not always. I expected that she would watch a show and possibly take a nap while I took a nap. I did not expect her to decide to "help" me because I was sick. First, she knew it was Valentine's Day, so she wanted to look extra special for Daddy. With my make up. My bathroom looked like a powder-bomb had gone off. So, she decided to clean it up. Strawberry toothpaste oughta do it, right? You know, clean mirrors and counter tops?? She abandoned the bathroom before it got any worse and moved to the kitchen (Thank GOODNESS). She saw that our powdered sugar container was getting low, and remembered that I had bought a new bag to put in there. Take a 4 year old, add a full bag of powdered sugar, and just imagine what my kitchen looked like. If you think it looked like that "snow" scene from Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you guessed right. Moving right along. Since the powdered sugar was giving her trouble, she decided to move on to a smaller task: refilling the cinnamon shaker. She said she actually did that one without a mess...until the GLASS shaker slipped out of her hands when she was putting it shattered all over the floor. *sigh* So now we have powdered sugar, glass, and cinnamon all over my kitchen, along with a whole thing of make up powder and strawberry toothpaste all over my bathroom. I woke up to an extremely upset little girl. She felt SO BAD for all of the messes she made because she was honestly trying to make my life a little better. She knew I was sick and not feeling well, and wanted to help. We came up with some Karah-Safe jobs she could do to help me out and then set to work on cleaning up the messes. After Jay got home, I did need to call in a life line to my husband to bring me some Dr Pepper...the child was in a MOOD!! Totally not like him, but I think he was just exhausted from being sick this weekend. He went to bed early, no arguments. All in all, despite the disasters (and there were a few more after I woke up) we had a pretty good day.

I've been having contractions pretty steadily now for the last week. Like, anywhere from 4-6 minutes apart regularly. And when one hits it makes me gasp a bit. The kids think it is hilarious. "I mean it! Clean your *gasp* room please!" (with the last part in soprano...) Yeah. Real intimidating. The problem with these contractions is that THEY AREN'T DOING ANYTHING. They are annoying as crap and my muscles are hurting like crazy, but I haven't dilated enough for the doc get this kid out of me. He said he wasn't going to stop me if I actually went into labor, but he said he wasn't going to do anything to speed things up right now, either. Gee, thanks, Dude. It is a blessing and a curse. Blessing because he is letting our family get over this flu-crap before Annie gets here, and curse because I am experiencing all of the pains of labor without receiving any "fruits" from it. Dan says we aren't going back to the hospital until my water breaks, and I agree with him. We've gone in a total of SIX times this pregnancy only to have my labor stopped or slowed each time. It is annoying. And expensive. And annoying. (Yes, I am aware I said "annoying" twice, and I will say it again. Because IT IS.) I have a doctor's appointment today, and hopefully there has been SOME change since yesterday. At least enough for him to stop giving me a patronizing look and DO something. I really like this doctor, but I'm at that point where I'm pissed that he's a man because he may have helped deliver thousands of babies, but he's NEVER carried or pushed one out. Therefore, he is starting to irk me every time he says "Just a little longer. You can do it! It is better this way, anyway." I honestly think he would feel a little different if someone was kicking him in the family jewels every 4-6 minutes and then telling him "The longer you endure this, the better off you'll both be!" *deep breath* Sounds like it is time for me to repeat "At least we are getting over the flu before Annie gets here" a few times...

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Family Tradition

Almost eight years ago, Dan and I met. We dated. We fell in love. He proposed to me and I said yes. We went to Build-a-Bear Workshop to celebrate and made each other bears. When Jayden was born, we got him one. When Karah was born, Jayden made her a bunny. She still carries that thing everywhere she goes and sleeps with it every night. We figured that since the doc eased up on my restrictions (and I actually took if fairly easy today) that we would keep up our tradition and let the kids make Annie one. There were about 30 different animals they could choose from. There were pink bears, sparkly bears, purple bears, brown bears, white bears, dogs, cats, penguins, chipmunks, and such. Jayden wanted the pink cat, where Karah wanted the white bear with rainbow polka-dots. Then Jayden wanted the Texas Longhorn (That's my boy!!) and Karah wanted the pink bear with hearts all over it. Jayden wanted the purple bear with peace signs, and Karah wanted the baby-pink bear. They were really sweet about it. They would present the reasons why they liked that particular animal for Annie and then talk about it. They would point out pros and cons of each one. There were NO fights (!!!). I was pretty sure we were going to end up with something obnoxiously girly. Not that I would really mind, but everything they'd picked out was either sparkly, pink, or purple with pink. They were going back and forth between the baby pink bear and the hot pink bear with a heart nose when Jayden said he wanted to do "one more walk-by". Karah went with him. They would stop every few feet to touch and make sure it was soft enough. They stopped in front of an orange cat. Karah picked it up and said "This one." Jayden felt it, and then nodded his head in agreement. It is the CUTEST little cat. They each did the little "heart ceremony" and got to help stuff the bear. They decided to name her "Kitty-Anne". We had SO much fun, and the kids got along great. These two kids are so excited and ready for their little sister to get here! Annie is one lucky little lady!


Apparently our family can't catch a break! Jay came home from school on Thursday feeling just fine. He did his homework, had a snack, helped me clean up his Lego table, and was about to help me clean up the hallway when he started complaining of a tummy-ache. Now, my kids are good kids, but sometimes they make stuff up to get out of cleaning. He asked if he could just take a break and watch a cartoon because his tummy hurt. I told him if his tummy REALLY hurt, he could go lay down on his bed, but if he'd just help me finish cleaning up the last few things in the hall we could watch a cartoon together. He went straight to bed. The kid was asleep within 2 minutes of laying down. It was only 5:00 pm. I tried to wake him up because I was afraid he'd be bouncing off the walls by 7:00 pm. He was OUT. My radar went off. This is NOT normal behavior for him. He slept hard for about 3 hours. When he woke up, he ran straight for the bathroom. That is where the poor kid spent the next 4 hours. We had to bring him a bucket because he was experiencing double-trouble. He kept asking why being sick felt so horrible. I explained to him that his body had lots of germs in it and that it was trying to get all of the germs out as fast as possible. I felt SO bad for him, but couldn't help chuckling at some of his comments. After a few rounds of vomiting, he called out "Well, I just killed a BUNCH of germs!!". He also begged us to take him to the hospital a few times. Dan went out and got him 7-Up, Popsicles, and Gatorade. Jay had a hard time keeping anything down, and he absolutely refused to leave the bathroom for any reason. It had been about an hour since he'd experienced either unpleasant experience. He kept saying all he wanted to do was sleep, but that he couldn't get comfortable on the toilet (duh). We finally coaxed him off the toilet by promising him that we would bring in his little couch and let him sleep next to the toilet. (THANK GOODNESS I scrubbed the crap out of that thing *literally* the day before!) Dan gave him a Priesthood blessing during all of this, and Jay said the sweetest prayer right before he went to sleep. In the blessing, Dan said that Jay would experience the symptoms of the sickness, but that it would be over quickly if he had faith and prayed. So, he prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help him calm down enough to sleep. He also asked Him to bless Annie and make her healthy and strong so she wouldn't get sick. He fell right to sleep and woke up happy. He was still a little queasy this morning and he took a nap this afternoon, but by 4:00 this evening, he was fever-free and helping me sanitize the kitchen. I am glad it was a 24 hour bug, and I hope that Jayden is the only one who got it. If the rest of us catch it, I hope it is over before Annie gets here!!