Saturday, January 28, 2012


I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. I LOVE it because I like getting pretty new things and spending money. I hate it because I have to limit myself because I'm not made of money. When I go shopping, I typically go to the bank and take out my shopping budget with cash. That way I won't "accidentally" overspend. Let's face it, Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. You ALWAYS find that one article of clothing that you just HAVE to get that will take you over your predetermined budget. I have to either have Dan come along (which we both absolutely LOVE, btw *rolls eyes*) or make it physically impossible for me to overspend by leaving my debit/credit cards at home and taking cash. In my current situation, Dan's and my pocketbooks and bank accounts have gotten a little relief. Dan was in charge of Christmas, and he did a REALLY good job hunting for good deals. I'm lazy. I see what I want and I get it where I saw it first. Dan sees something, goes home, gets online, finds the best deal, and then finds a store closest to his route to work, kid's schools, church, etc, so he doesn't have to waste any gas. I'm not saying I don't bargain shop. I do look for deals, but I'm not "pro" like my husband. If he had it his way, we'd get darn near everything from a thrift store or garage sale. (Not dogging on thrift stores or garage sales, here. I LOVE them. I just prefer to get some things brand new.)

Anywho, I have made several lists over the last 7 weeks about things we will need for Annie. It has been 4 1/2 years since we've had an infant in our household, and all we have left is the "Golden Swing". (*I will add that story later). No baby clothes, bouncy chairs, Bumbo seats, car seats, infant strollers, etc...NOTHING but the pack n' play and Golden Swing. Dan kept telling me to go ahead and look things up online and start ordering them if I wanted. Here are the 3 reasons I've ignored him: 1. You can't REALLY tell how something looks online. It may look cute in the picture, but hideous in person. Just like you can't tell how something fits based on how it looks on the mannequin. You have to touch, feel, try on, and such before making the decision to buy it. In this case, I want to try folding the stroller, make sure the bouncy chair won't launch the baby across the room, and make sure the clothes are cute and comfortable enough for my baby. 2. I can't use cash to pay. Therefore, I will get tempted to go over the amount Dan and I have set because the money isn't in my hands for me to count or run out of. I hate debit/credit cards and the convenience they give us!! 3. "Meh, I have time..." Or so I thought. I got my nice little email reminder that I am 34 weeks! Whoo-hoo! 6 more "official" weeks, and only 2 more before the doctor takes me off my meds. Wait. What?? TWO WEEKS UNTIL I'M NO LONGER HAVING MY LABOR STOPPED BY MEDICATION?? There is a VERY real chance that I will have a baby in 2 weeks. I don't have a car seat. I have no clothes for the child. No diapers. No nursing tops. No pacifiers. NOTHING BUT THE GOLDEN SWING. Another realization hit me: Shipping can take 5-10 BUSINESS days. Yikes. My brain has been repeating this: "If I don't get cracking now, I may very well have to leave it up to my husband to pick out some random car seat on the way to pick us up from the hospital..." I love the man, but I cringe when I think of what he might pick out or where he'd buy it. With him it could one of two things: an overpriced car seat that happened to have Ninja-Turtles, Transformers, or Legend of Zelda characters on it, or something he saw at a garage sale. Either way, he'd be proud of his "excellent find" and I'd be mortified. So, I have started my online shopping. So far I've only gotten the car seat and stroller ordered, but I am pretty darn sure this might become an addiction. It is so blasted EASY. And I can always return it if I don't like it. I may need to just start making Wish Lists and have Dan look over them before I hit the "Submit Order" button. Maybe. Maybe not.

*The story of the Golden Swing*
Once upon a time there was a lovely young princess and a charming prince. They got married and had a beautiful baby boy. When they were finally able to bring the baby prince home from the hospital, they thought parenting was easy. And it was, for the baby prince slept through the night, only cried when he was hungry, and was easily entertained by his toys and regular baby swing. After some time had passed, a beautiful baby princess joined the royal family. She was NOTHING like the baby prince. Somehow, somewhere, a curse had been placed on the infant. She cried, and cried, and CRIED for hours and NOTHING could console her. When the Charming Prince would come home from his quests he could hardly recognize his once lovely wife, for she looked like a frazzled hag due to a severe lack of sleep. The exhausted royal parents sought help from the entire kingdom for a remedy to their daughter's ailment and sleep deprivation. The court physicians found nothing wrong with the child. The royal grandparents' soothing songs were drowned out by the child's screams. Magic Gripe Water and Mylicon drops may as well have been water for all the good they did. One particular night when the Charming Prince got home, he found his wife (still in her pajamas and looking worse than ever) and baby princess on the floor crying their eyes out, and his son running around naked screaming his at the top of his lungs. He picked up the baby princess, put her in her car seat, and started swinging it from side to side instead of front to back. The baby princess's cries ceased!! Pretty soon the entire castle was quiet because all of its inhabitants were stunned speechless. It was late and passed the royal curfew, but the Charming Prince had heard tale of a magical Golden Swing that would swing from side to side instead of front to back. It was in a far off land and the price was extremely high, but he HAD to try and find it at once so he could break the spells which afflicted his wife and daughter. He set out immediately and did not return until he had fought the traffic and cranky Christmas drivers to get his prize. His wife asked him where he had gotten the money for the Golden Swing and he just smiled and told her not to worry about buying him any Christmas presents that year. His Christmas gift was seeing the baby princess sleeping soundly in her Golden Swing and his wife sleeping peacefully in his arms. The End.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Our Newest Non-Human Family Member

The last 2 months have been an emotional roller coaster for my entire family. Prior to being put on bed rest, we had a Siamese cat named Percy. Well..."Prince Perseus Dastan *Our Long Last Name*" was his official title. (Give me a break, I have a 4 and 5 year old.) This cat was the sweetest, prettiest, most patient cat I have ever known. He was almost like a dog in some ways. He LOVED to play, would wait by the door for me to come home from work, and he was the best snuggle buddy to everyone. The poor thing never scratched or hissed at the kids, which, IMO, earned him automatic Saint-hood in Feline Heaven. He had his tail pulled, was thrown into a full bathtub, and was oh, so loved by my children. He was the perfect cat...EXCEPT for the fact that he started spraying around the house. We tried everything we could to get him to stop (vets, changing his diet, blocking off his favorite areas, and he was already neutered when we got him, so...) and Dan and I were starting to get sick of cleaning up after the darn thing. Jayden overheard us talking about possibly needing to get rid of the cat if he didn't stop. He started taking care of Percy without being asked. (Feeding, watering, cleaning out the litter box...) He didn't want to lose him. To tell you the truth, Dan and I didn't want to lose him, either. EVERYONE LOVED that darn cat. Well, long story short, when I spent almost a week in the hospital we decided that we couldn't have Percy messing all over the house if we were going to be bringing a pre-mature baby into this world. We had to focus on what was best for me and the rest of the family. We couldn't keep dragging the carpet cleaner out 4 or 5 times a day anymore. It was a very emotional time for all of us. Jayden, Karah, Dan, and I all shed tears as we said our good-byes to Percy, and poor Dan (who won't admit it, but that cat was HIS cat) had to make the drive to the animal shelter. He and Jayden took it the hardest, and Jay has really missed being responsible for something. He kept asking us for another cat "that won't pee all over the place" for his birthday, and we couldn't make that kind of guarantee. Finally Dan told him that until our family is in a better situation, the only pet we could possibly have would be a fish. So, his birthday list changed from a cat to a fish.

Jayden's birthday was on Sunday. I know. I get the "Worst Mother of the Year Award" for blogging my little pity party instead of the reflecting on the 6th anniversary of the day I became a mother for the first time. I will now play my "Hormonally-Unstable-Crazy-Pregnant-Woman" card. I am blogging about it now that I have had a chance to recuperate. He got a pretty sweet haul for his birthday. He got his very own Karate sparring equipment and 2 Star Wars action figures from Dan and I, a super-cool Texas Longhorns (HOOK 'EM!!) gym bag and 10 $1 bills hidden throughout it from my parents (which, BTW, he LOVED that treasure hunt. He kept pointing out to Dan and I that he was now richer than us with every dollar that he found...), an awesome dinosaur Hot-Wheels set up from my sister and her family, and *drum-roll* "Fishie-Gold Qui-Gon Gin *Our Long Last Name* the Warrior Fighting Fish" and all the special things needed to take care of him from my grandparents. Try saying that poor fish's name 3 times fast, I dare you. Shoot, try it once without messing it up. For blog-space purposes, I am simply going to refer to him as "The Fish". He is a beautiful blue Beta (Where "Fishie-Gold" came from, I know not...) and fairly active for one, too. He is also PERFECT for Jay. I know he can't snuggle or play with The Fish like he could with Percy, but he is so excited to have something to take care of again. The Fish is very low maintenance (Hallelujah) and Jay has had so much fun getting his tank ready, feeding him, and just watching as he swims around. We couldn't have asked for a better birthday for him!

I am constantly amazed by my son. He is only 6 years old, but he acts so much older. I don't know of many kids his age that prefer to watch the Animal Planet or History Channel over Batman and Transformers. Or, will choose helping his little sister clean her room over playing video games. He LOVES to learn and will drop whatever he's doing if Dan or I say "Hey, Jayden, want to see something cool I learned today?" When Dan was in school, one of Jay's favorite things to do was "study" with him. He would look over Dan's Anatomy and Physiology books with him and he STILL spouts off random facts about the human body 2 years later. He would get mad when his teacher wouldn't send home any homework. (?!?!?) He actually asked her to give him homework on "No Homework" days!! She will now put one or two practice sheets in his folder for him on those days. She is constantly telling me how he amazes her with the way he thinks. All I can say to that is, "Me too!" I LOVE my little boy, and I am so glad that God blessed me with such a sweet, amazing, and gifted child. He is so responsible for a child his age, and I am so proud to be the one he calls "Mommy"!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eating my words...

This morning I saw this Facebook post : "Due to some further complications, we are scheduled for a c-section at noon today. 7 weeks early so she will go straight to the NICU. I can't believe I'm about to be a mom!" This friend of mine is due the same day I am. She has been in the hospital on bed rest for about 3 weeks with low fluid levels. Her baby's heart rate dropped today and when they did an ultrasound, they found that the blood flow through the cord was restricted. I look back on Sunday's post and feel like a giant Dumb-A$$, to put it kindly. Her baby is 3 lbs, 6 oz. As I read her post, I had a flood of memories hit me that had somehow gotten repressed. When Jayden was born, they took him to the NICU. His heart rate was extremely high and he wasn't getting enough oxygen. They kept him there for a week. That week came rushing back to me. The helplessness, the exhaustion, the fear, anxiety, frustration, and so on...I don't wish that on ANYONE. I have eaten an entire humble pie today. Quite possibly 3 or 4, to be honest. I am SO grateful for my situation right now. Yes, it is frustrating. Yes, it is emotionally draining. But it is 100,000,000 times better than sitting in the NICU, being unable to hold my darling baby for who knows how long. I want Annie IN MY ARMS IMMEDIATELY, especially after everything I've been going through to get her here. I am grateful that my doctor is taking extra precautions to ensure that. My heart goes out to C and her new little baby girl. I pray that Heavenly Father gives them both the strength they need to overcome this trial. I know that the ONLY way I made it through Jay being in the NICU was through Him.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I typically try not to post my whine fests. This is probably because I know some of my friends and family follow this blog and I don't want to come across as a complete idiot/wimp/failure. But THIS SUCKS. There are times where I can see the blessings around me and I'm grateful for those experiences, but there are times when I honestly kind of wish I could be DONE. "She may be premature, but most babies born this early are typically fine, so let's do it!" I will admit those thoughts have become more and more frequent with every @!$# contraction I have. It isn't fun being stuck on the couch all day, every day, not being able to help my dear, sweet, poor husband in any way, shape, or form. The poor man has it 3 on 1 right now. It was a full time job keeping the house clean when it was 2 vs 2, and right now he is being sorely defeated by laundry, Barbies, Legos, and random assorted crap that I swear little evil goblins create and leave around when we aren't looking. I mean, today I stepped on a little storage box that has been under my bed for over a year. NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT CAME FROM. Little goblins from Hades, you aren't helping anything!!

I am finding it harder and harder to stay down like I am supposed to. My kids need me, my husband needs me, and I am ready to have my life back. I know that Annie needs me right now, too, and I try to keep that in mind as I suffer through this. She needs to "cook" as long as possible, and I feel horrible for hoping that she does come a little early. It is just that idea of going through this for SEVEN MORE WEEKS almost makes me want to drink Castor Oil, jump on a trampoline, go bowling, and pretty much every other Old Wives' Tales out there for inducing labor. Not that I'd really need to do any of that...I have been having contractions since mid December. Not the Braxton Hicks painless practice contractions. The real-deal-I-want-to-punch-every-male-human-being-in-the-stomach kind. I've just been having them slowed down by medication and laying down, thanks to my doctor.

What is funny is that my doctor is male. And I typically like him very much. He's nice, funny, and a BYU fan (he is also a U of U fan, but we don't talk about that). And he (usually) doesn't say dumb stuff like my doctor out in Idaho did. ("Oh, don't worry. Labor isn't as painful as some women would have you think." That coming from a man, who, last time I checked, didn't have the ability to push a human being out of his uterus. HOW COULD HE POSSIBLY KNOW?? He was 100% WRONG, by the way...he is just lucky that the flipping anesthesiologist hit the wrong nerve and rendered me temporarily paralyzed. Otherwise he probably would have gotten a black eye somewhere in the 21 painful hours it took to get Jayden here...) This last appointment, though, I kind of wanted to smack him and make snide remark about his U of U education. He had the nerve to say "Well, it is only 7 more weeks! You're getting close!" Now, I know he was trying to be optimistic and cheer me up, and I also know that he doesn't really expect me to make it all the way to 40 weeks, but I am to that point where I don't want to hear that crap. It isn't "only" seven weeks. It is seven weeks of bang-my-head-against-the-wall-torture. I have just barely made it through six weeks. I honestly think that it will be a flipping miracle if I make it through the next 3 weeks without having a severe mental/emotional breakdown.

I know that I have a really crappy attitude tonight. I'm tired, hormonal, uncomfortable, and my toes look like Vienna sausages. And I can't reach them anymore to paint them. Totally random last complaints, I know, but this is my pity party. I just needed to get these thoughts out of my head. Going back and reading them helps me to see where I need to focus my energy. I need to get more sleep (as I sit here typing this at 1:30 in the morning...), find peaceful non-mess-making activities to do with my kids (such as reading stories together and playing some small games), accept help when it is offered (no matter how embarrassed I am with people seeing my dirty laundry), and increase my scripture reading, prayers, and "journal writing" (aka posting to my blog). I've been neglecting to do a lot of those things this last week, and I truly feel that is where all of my negativity has come from. I hope that I can follow through with these goals this week and get back to being happy about my situation. I also hope that some way, some how, Dan's burden can be lifted so we can enjoy this time and prepare for Annie's arrival.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Talking to Annie

So, this weekend I got to spend a night in the hospital again. I'm taking medicine every day that is supposed to stop contractions, getting a shot in the hiney once a week to prevent contractions, and laying down all day to flipping prevent pre-term labor and my body decided to give all of that stuff the finger. Thankfully, my contractions slowed down a few hours after they gave me a shot of terbuteline and I didn't have to stay a week like last time. I got back Sunday morning and briefly saw the kids before they went to church. We hung out with my parents and sister's family after church (I was down the entire time) and so I didn't really get to see my kids very much because they were running around with cousins. This morning made up for it.

I am not a morning person. I never have been. I would be perfectly happy sleeping in till noon every day. In fact, right now, technically I'm allowed to. But my 4 year old daughter didn't get that memo. She is up at 6:30 am (or before) every morning, no alarm clock necessary. It doesn't matter what time she goes to bed, either. Normally our morning routine consists of Dan turning on a show for Karah before he leaves to drop Jayden off at school and head to work so I can take my time waking up and not bite anyone's head off. He forgot to do that this morning, though, for some reason, and I am glad. We had a thunderstorm last night (and if you know me, you know I have an enormous phobia of thunderstorms) so I was already awake when Karah woke up. She hung out with Dan and Jay and "helped" them get ready. When they left, she came in to hang out with me. I normally don't like interacting with people if I haven't gotten a good night's sleep. Because I'm cranky. But Karah changed all of that for me this morning. She was SO SWEET! She laid there and snuggled me quietly for a little while. Then she told me to roll over so she could "hold me". I did, and she rubbed my back and hugged me from behind. While she was hugging me, Annie kicked her hand. Karah got so excited! We've tried to get her to feel Annie kick several times, but Annie has been shy about kicking when someone is trying to feel it. I suggested that Karah talk to Annie. This is how the some of the "conversation" went:
Karah: "Hi, Annie. How 'ya doin' in there? Um...(what else should I say, Mommy?)"
Me: "Tell her about the world."
Karah: "Well, there's lots of stuff in the world, Annie. And Jesus and Heavenly Father made the world. There's houses, and cars, and tvs so we can watch shows. We can ride bikes, and play at the park, and run around outside. There's lots of different foods and pancakes on a stick that are SOOOO yummy. There's games, and clouds, and lots of animals. You will need to listen. Listening is really good. If you don't listen, you will get in TROUBLE. So always listen and obey. Because TROUBLE is NOT fun. We need to be good. Like Jesus. He was so good. And He loves us. He can do anything we need. Because He is a grown up who died and came back to life again and NEVER DIED AGAIN. He is God's Son. And He loves all of us. Like I love you, and Mommy loves me."
Goodness! Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I listened to my daughter talking to her soon-to-be baby sister. It is moments like these that makes pregnancy and labor worth it. I sat there and listened to Karah tell Annie all about the world for about 10 more minutes. Karah then wanted to tell me a story and snuggle me some more. I cannot believe I have allowed myself to miss out on these morning moments with her just so I could lay there and be ticked off that I was no longer sleeping. I think Karah and I will have a different routine in the mornings from now on.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Long Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Away....

*Cue Star Wars Theme Song!* If my last post didn't convince you of my level 110+ of nerdiness, I assure you, this one will. A few months ago, before all of the baby-drama started, we went out to Utah to visit Dan's family for Thanksgiving. My husband is the oldest of 10 (TEN) children. Yes, one-zero, 10, you read that right. There are 8 boys total, and 2 girls. 6 of the kids are married (and all but one are currently expecting or very,VERY recently gave birth). The 4 still at home range from 8-18, and they are all boys. So, naturally, Jayden loved every minute out there because he had lots and lots of boy things to do from Legos, gaming systems, Nerf Guns Wars, wrestling matches, and anything else "boy" related you can think of. In fact, 100% of what Santa brought him was decided during that trip. It was out there that he also discovered the game Lego Star Wars. He LOVED that game, and thanks to a very awesome aunt, he got it for Christmas! That game has helped tremendously in keeping his room clean and his happy attitude. Especially since he has to "buy time" with points earned from doing chores around the house. Anyway, he loves the game. But, he had never seen the movies. Dan and I are pretty old-school in the fact that we pay attention to the ratings of movies and their content before letting our children watch them. If it is PG, they don't see it until we've previewed it. And if we think it is inappropriate, then they can't watch it. We've had many, many emotional breakdowns over this rule. It is a rule that Dan's and my parents both had, and though we hated it as kids, I am grateful they cared enough to make sure we could handle certain things before letting us watch them.
Anyway, I got off track there for a minute. Jayden hadn't seen the movies, yet, so he really didn't know what was going on in the game. He just liked to play it. He would get so excited about beating a level and he would come in to tell me about it. "And the old guy with the green sword fought the black robot, and..." AND I CRINGED. I loved that my little boy was so excited about Star Wars and beating the game, but it was like fingernails on the chalkboard to hear MY CHILD refer to Obi-Wan Ken-obi as an "old guy", a Light Saber as a "sword", and DARTH VADER as a "BLACK ROBOT"!!!! I called Dan at work and asked him if he thought our kids were old enough to finally be exposed to the awesomeness that is the original Star Wars Trilogy. He was surprised they hadn't already been. We talked about it a little more because, honestly, there are some pretty intense things for a 4 and 5 year old to witness. Burned bodies, arms getting cut off, twisted family dynamics, and so on. But we also discussed the epic battle between good and evil, the importance of friendship, and a few other good qualities the movies possessed. In the end, the movies won out. We decided that we were going to watch them as a family (so we could stop, edit, or explain anything where needed), and only watch a little bit each night throughout the week due to Karate, late work days for Dan, school, and such. This week has been one of the Best. Weeks. EVER. We told the kids on Sunday that we would start watching the Star Wars movies that night if they behaved and got their rooms clean. Karah was a little disinterested, but she went along with it because Jayden seemed so psyched up about it. We all got snuggled up on the couch after dinner and began with A New Hope. Oh. My. Goodness. I can't begin to express how awesome this experience was. Jayden had so many questions (good ones, not annoying ones) and Karah (who typically loses interest pretty quick in movies if they don't include singing animals or fairy princesses...THANK YOU GEORGE LUCAS FOR PRINCESS LEIA!!) really got into it. Every once and a while Jay would bring something up like "Man, if Darth Vader would just stop trying to be bossy and listen to others, he would probably not be so mad! And then people wouldn't have to fight!" *I LOVE HIM* The kids enjoyed A New Hope, and they LOVED The Empire Strikes back, up until the last 10 minutes, that is. I WISH I had my camera out for their reactions to Darth Vader's "I am your father!" reveal. I wholeheartedly believe both my children were far more devastated than Luke himself. Real tears were shed. "But Vader's a BAD GUY!!! He CAN'T be Luke's DAD!! DID YOU NOT SEE HIM CUT OFF HIS HAND??? DADS DON'T CUT OFF THEIR SON'S HANDS!!"
The next morning Jayden came into my room while I was getting ready (meaning, while I was thinking about whether to stay in bed or mosey on out to the couch). "I can't wait to watch Star Wars tonight and see Darth Vader turn good!" Now, Dan and I have said NOTHING to our kids regarding the upcoming plot of Return of the Jedi, mainly because we wanted to witness their genuine reactions. "What makes you think he is going to turn good, Jay?" "Well, DUH, Mom. He's Luke's DAD. And dads aren't BAD." Karah piped in and said, "It only makes sense" and added a little nod, as if that settled it, signaling the end of the conversation. We decided that since it was Friday night, we would just start the movie and watch it straight through. Our copy was recorded off of the DVR, and we didn't realize that the last 5 minutes or so had been cut off. We watched the movie, both kids cried when the little Ewok mourns his little friend, both yelled angrily at the Emperor when they realized it was all a trap, and Jayden even cried out "WHY DID YOU LET US WATCH THIS MOVIE IF THEY ARE ALL JUST GONNA DIE???" when the Emperor started shocking Luke. Both jumped off the couch and cheered when Vader saved Luke and started doing a victory dance ("See, Mom?? We told you he was going to turn good!!") Then, they started crying again when Anakin died. The movie cut off just as they set fire to Darth Vader (which mortified Karah until we explained they were just burning his suit to show he had died "Good Guy Anakin" instead of "Bad Guy Darth Vader"...). Jayden was so tired after the movie ended that he had a little emotional breakdown about the Ewoks when Dan and I realized that he thought ALL of the Ewoks had died. I went to YouTube and found the last 10 minutes of the movie and showed the parties, celebration, and the Ewok village (all happy and alive) and that calmed him down enough to get him to sleep.
I love that my kids love Star Wars. It gives me something else to talk to them about that I am interested as well. AND, Jayden is now just as picky as me when it comes to Star Wars terminology. (I will have you know that I never tried to correct him before, because I knew he didn't know any better.) I also have another bargaining chip, seeing as the kids can't wait to watch the movies again...

Monday, January 2, 2012


Being on bed-rest has its ups and downs. I have discovered a huge UP lately. "Santa" brought me a Nook reader for Christmas. Now, there is something you should know about my relationship with books...when I'm reading a book, NOTHING ELSE EXISTS. I won't eat, sleep, clean, or pay attention to anything until the book is finished. I used to read all the time. I was the kid who got in trouble in class for READING. Yeah, I'm not a nerd, or anything. Well, once I had kids, reading had to be put on the back burner. It turns out that if you don't pay attention to your toddlers, a never-been-opened Costco-sized tub of extra-chunky peanut butter can end up all over the flipping house and said children. I'm talking carpet, walls, upstairs, downstairs, in the diaper, in the hair, between the toes, up the nose, in the ears, and I was still discovering peanut butter in various places around the house weeks later...and that was after only reading 2 chapters... I learned my lesson after that. Instead of reading one or two books a week, I cut back to one or two books every 2 months or so. Life was just too hectic with two active tots running around. Once I started working full time I read even less. Since I've been on bed-rest I have read more than I have in the last 2 years combined. Along with my Nook, I received The Help from my sister and a surprise "survival kit" full of books from my aunt. Jayden is also to the point where he is starting to read. It has been nice to be able to have the time and sit down and work with him on that. He is only in kindergarten, but he is starting a series of chapter books called "Captain Underpants". It makes my heart swell with pride when he asks to read them with me. I am so grateful for this time. It can be nerve racking, boring, and all-out frustrating to have to LAY DOWN all day, every day, but I realize how much I've missed out on being a working mom instead of a stay at home mom. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for letting me be home right now. Some of my best memories are of my mom reading the Harry Potter books to my brother and I. We were old enough to read them ourselves, but Mom made them come alive in a way that I can't describe. I hope I can help my kids develop a love for reading because now I have time for them to see how important it is to me. I have the time to work with Jay and let him see how his imagination can take him places that movies and video games can't. There have been many times I've looked at being on bed-rest as a punishment or curse, and I am ashamed of that. It truly is a blessing in disguise as I am able to develop a closer relationship with my children as we prepare for Annie's arrival. I only hope and pray we can continue to grow closer after she gets here.