Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Haley Turns 7

Hard to believe that Haley is 7 already. It's a cliche, but it's really true that it seems like only yesterday that Haley was our baby. And now she's 7!

She had a great day. Aaron took the day off so we could spend the day with her while the boys were at daycare and give her some Mom and Dad time for herself. (Or mostly to herself, the baby was still with us.)

Instead of a big party, we let Haley invite a friend from school to go to the movies. She and her friend Keira chose to see Tangled. Personally, I had been hoping she'd choose Gulliver's Travels, since I had been wanting to see that one. Aaron was even less enthusiastic about Tangled than I was, but he gamely went along with Haley's choice.

Haley and Keira were bouncing off the walls of the van with excitement as we headed into town. They were wild! The giggling and joy at just the previews made us joke that we could have left before the movie even started and the girls would have felt like they got their moneys worth. It made us feel pretty glad we had ended up choosing the movie instead of Haley's original request for a sleepover - there would have been NO sleep happening at that sleepover. ;)

As it turned out, the movie was excellent. The girls loved it and Aaron and I also enjoyed it thoroughly. Good music, fun plot, several laugh out loud funny parts. I'm really glad we went to see it. I highly recommend it.

After taking Keira home, we picked up the boys and went home to open birthday presents. Haley was happy with all her gifts. The earmuffs were an especially big hit and she wore them for most of the evening.

We then went to IHOP (Haley's choice) for dinner. Haley handed over her coupon for a free birthday dinner and they made a little fuss over her, which she really liked. They also brought her a free sunday at the end of her meal and sang a birthday song. She REALLY liked that. Aaron and I really liked the fact that all the kids behaved themselves!


We had a fun family Christmas. All day on Christmas Eve, we tracked Santa on the NORAD website. Aaron (as a geographer) was every bit as interested in Santa's progress as the kids were! In fact, after the kids were in bed, Aaron still had the site up watching to see where Santa would visit next in his travels around the globe.

We drove around looking at Christmas lights before bedtime. As always, we were amazed at the work and creativity (and cost!) that go into these light displays. I would love to light up our house that way, but I just don't have the time or energy to put it all together! Afterwards, the kids opened their Christmas Eve presents (new PJs) and headed for bed.

The older 3 kids had asked Santa for Pillow Pets. Happily, he delivered the goods. A ladybug for Haley, a panda for Preston, and a penguin for Brekken.

The older kids had a great time with their new presents. Rylen slept through all the excitement.

We had a lovely, lazy day. We all stayed in our PJs all day long, had some good food and some junk food and just enjoyed the family time. :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So much to blog about...

... and no time to do it!

One of these days soon I hope to post about Christmas, Haley's birthday, and my fun fender bender. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the six of us!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quick Funny

I was driving home tonight and a great song came on the radio. I started drumming along on the steering wheel and Haley exclaimed,

"Mom! That's not how you drive! It's not safe!"

As I explained to her that I've been driving for a long time and I know what I'm doing so it's just fine, thank you...

I almost rear-ended a car parked on the side of the road. Oops.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sounds of Joy

Preston has been singing in the Sounds of Joy choir since August. They've spent all this time getting ready for the big Christmas production. The big show was on Saturday and Sunday and it was so cute! Preston (and all the other kids) had a great time. I was really impressed with Preston for not being the least bit nervous to get up on the stage and sing in front of almost 500 people! He said he liked it when everyone watched him, because he knew the actions and the words and they could see him do it right. :)

For the first part of the show, Preston sat with us in the audience waiting for his group's turn to go up and sing. He was so into the show that he was dancing in the aisle as the other kids sang.

(We won't mention all the other things that were happening in the aisle as the other kids sang - except to say that many cheesy bunnies had a tragic fall to the theater floor, there was much hissing of "Be QUIET! Don't you know other people are trying to hear the show!" and the baby may or may not have had a diaper leak all over the seat requiring much clean up...)

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Easy to Forget...

  • How tired you are when you have a newborn.
  • How much they sleep so sweetly during the day... and keep you up all night.
  • How hard it is to find time for things like dishes, laundry, picking up, or blogging.
So I'm sleep deprived, often grumpy, and behind on the dishes, laundry, picking up, and blogging. But instead of dwelling on that, I'd much rather dwell on...
  • How wonderful it is to cuddle with that new baby - even in the middle of the night.
  • How sweet it is to watch the other kids with the baby - they kiss him goodbye every morning and fight for the chance to hold him.
  • How much fun it is to show him off! It was nice to finally get back to church yesterday and be able to introduce him around a little. :) And thanks to Facebook and the blog, I can show him off there, too. I just wish I was a better photographer to get better photos. But here's something, anyway...

Monday, November 29, 2010


No more bili-lights for Rylen! It's so much nicer to be able to hold and cuddle the baby. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quick Funny from Brekken

Brekken likes to fall asleep at night while sitting in the recliner with me. While I was pregnant, he got used to falling asleep with his head on my belly. I found it quite amusing to watch his head bounce as the baby kicked and rolled.

Apparently, Brekken really liked that belly as a pillow. Tonight he climbed into the recliner with me and laid down, then lifted his head and looked at me, then my stomach and then me again.

"Where is your up tummy? I don't like the down tummy!"

I can only assume that the 'up tummy' and 'down tummy' are references to my pregnant and non-pregnant belly. So I explained to him that I'd had a big tummy because Brekken had been in my tummy. But now that he was born, he was outside my tummy and my tummy was not as big anymore. He responded,

"Put him back in there!"

I explained that it was a one-way trip. Rylen will not be going back into the tummy! And wasn't he glad to have a little brother now? He said he was, but still seems disappointed by the loss of his 'up tummy' pillow.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Things I Love


Watching kids' TV with Brekken. When the show says something like, "Say Oh, Toodles!" he shouts it out enthusiastically, complete with any needed hand motions. He sings the songs. He plays along with the games. Completely adorable to watch him.


Watching Aaron play with the kids when they're all in a goofy mood.


Seeing Haley's new gap-tooth smile. She lost her front tooth in the hospital cafeteria while we were waiting for Rylen's lab tests.


Preston's funny comments. He always has an interesting view of life and a great way of phrasing things. I love the chance to use this blog capture the sayings I would otherwise quickly forget with the Quick Funny from Preston posts.


Friends. Michelle threw a little shower for me with some of the sisters from the ward. It was so nice to have a chance to see people and chat for a couple of hours - especially after being so shut away from everyone for so long (or at least it FELT really long) on bed rest.


Family. Aaron has done so much to take care of everyone for the last couple of months - he has been working hard. My kids are wonderful, even if they are also frustrating and exhausting at times. My mom and sister came out for 2 weeks to help us with everything around the house and the kids while I was on bed rest. And my dad and my brother-in-law were willing to give up having them home for all that time while they were here to help. Aaron's mom and dad came out to stay with the kids and help out at the house while we were in the hospital. I'm blessed with such a wonderful family!


And of course, the newest thing I love...

Monday, November 22, 2010

He's Here!!

After a bit of a slow start to the day, when the hospital was too busy and postponed us coming to the hospital first thing in the morning as planned, we headed to the hospital a little before noon.

When we got here, we saw the doctor right away. Since she knew I wanted an epidural, she suggested I get that first, then they would start the pitocin and after a short time, break my water. The plan was that all of that would happen by around 2:00, so we figured we would have a baby by mid-afternoon.

So I got the epidural and I got the pitocin around 1:30... and then the doctor disappeared. Well, I supposed that's not really accurate. We knew where she was - it's just that she wasn't in to see me. First she got called into a c-section, but she was going to come break my water as soon as she was done. Then she had to go straight in to another mom who was pushing, but she was going to come break my water as soon as she was done. That mom had a retained placenta and took quite a long time. So by the time she was done there, she had to go to another mom who was pushing, but she was going to come break my water as soon as she was done. That mom ALSO had a retained placenta. So it was after 6:00 by the time the doctor actually made it in to see me and break my water.

There was a lot of talk about how tough the bag was. Even with the hook, she barely managed to break it. It was apparently never going to break on its own at home as I'd been hoping for the last couple of weeks! When she finally did break the bag, it was a flood! They had to change the bed almost completely - and the doctor had to go change her scrubs.

It was time to push before too long... which is when we discovered that in keeping with his policy of causing trouble in utero, this baby was coming sunny-side up. Or looking at the ceiling instead of the floor as babies are supposed to do. We started pushing and he started turning with the pushes. And then got stuck halfway around - looking sideways. We pushed for about 20 minutes (the longest I've ever had to push, actually). Because he was looking sideways, he was just not moving down with the pushes. Finally, the doc decided to have me sit up again and see if gravity and contractions would move him down for a while. So we did that for about 40 minutes. That was a long 40 minutes. The epidural wasn't helping a lot at that point. Though I'm sure it would have been worse without the epidural, so I'm glad I had it!

After the 40 minutes, the nurse came in to do a test push and see how gravity had worked. She didn't bring in the doctor, she didn't break down the bed... after last time, we should have anticipated how that would work out! Sure enough, gave the test push and suddenly the nurse is telling me "Don't push!" and Aaron says, "There's his head." So there are buttons pushed to call in the birthing team, the doctor is rushing to get gowned and gloved, the nurse is trying to hurry and break down the bed again... and I'm chanting under my breath, "Hurry, hurry, hurry!"

Baby was delivered pretty easily once all that was accomplished. Gravity had done it's work and he had managed to turn the right way. Poor kiddo has a bruise across the top of his nose and cheeks and a big bruise all along one arm from being stuck for a while.

He was born at 9:01 p.m., making this my longest labor at 7 1/2 hours. Though I think it would have been considerably shorter if the doc hadn't had so many other things going that kept postponing me! Oh well.

We named him Rylen Clay. Rylen just because we heard it somewhere and liked it. :) Clay for my grandfather (Clayton).

He was 9 lbs. 2 oz! He is a big boy with adorably chubby cheeks. (And a big round head!) He's doing great, and mom and dad are pretty good too. Hopefully grandma and grandpa and the rest of the kids are doing as well at home! (We haven't talked to them yet since last night.)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jill Ginsberg's Month of Hundreds

I recently came across this blog and I have really been touched by some of the stories the author (Jill Ginsberg) has posted about her Month of Hundreds. (This is the first post of her blog - continue to October for the best posts.)

Here's a summary of what her blog is about:

"Can $100 change a life? For the recipient? The giver? That is some of what I am setting out to discover. Every day for the month of October, I'm going to give $100 to a stranger I encounter during the course of my routine."

Check it out and you can find some touching and inspiring stories, too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Apparently I'm just irritable...

That would go for both my uterus and my mood.

All these contractions I've been having - hours at a time - every day - 4-5 minutes apart. And with all of that, there has been NO change. Still hanging out at 4 cm and 50%. The contractions are just still from the irritable uterus, and not anything doing any good. I can't think of many things more annoying at this stage than spending weeks on bed rest, at least in part for pre-term labor issues, and then getting to the point that labor is a GOOD thing only to have nothing happening.

Thus the irritable mood to accompany my irritable uterus.

Things could be worse. At least the baby finally passed his weekly NST/biophysical profile. He's failed the last several and once last week we even ended up over in labor & delivery for prolonged monitoring before they finally passed him. Today he looked really good on the ultrasound and they passed him within about 15 minutes. So that's a very good thing.

With all my other pregnancies, I had problems with sciatica and with my hips popping out of joint whenever I tried to walk. This time around, I haven't had those issues! Sure, I had plenty of new issues, but at least I didn't have them in addition to the usual issues.

I'm sad that it looks like my mom and sister are going to have to head home tomorrow without seeing a new baby. But really glad that they were able to come over and help out for as long as they did. I've really been happy to have the company and the help.

At least the doctor does have an induction scheduled. We don't have to wait a couple more weeks like this. Unfortunately, after moving the scheduled induction to the 20th at last week's appointment, this week she bumped it back to the 21st again. I know it's only one day later, but right now 1 day seems like a long time!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So close! But not close enough...

I was this close to having a baby today.

Actually, I thought I was pretty close to having a baby back on Saturday. I had contractions for a full two hours that were only 5 minutes apart. But they never got quite strong enough to actually be real labor. I had real hopes that it would progress into real labor, but it petered out instead.

So I made it to my appointment today. Where everyone expressed surprise that I hadn't had this baby yet. Yeah, that helped me feel better about it. *sigh*

We did the weekly non-stress test and baby did NOT cooperate. He wiggled around a little bit, but never quite got the readings they were looking for. And then he decided to go to sleep and give them nothing to work with. I drank juice. We poked at him a lot. They set off the fire alarm. Okay, that was just a coincidence. But the fire alarm did go off during the test, and he didn't react at all. They buzzed at him with a little alarm thingy. Still just sleeping.

So after an hour of that, we were sent to the ultrasound room for a biophysical profile. Where we watched him doing nothing. As time went on with this test, the doctor explained how it was scored on a scale of 0-10. About 2o minutes into the test, he was scoring 2-4... which is where the doctor started discussing sending me to the hospital for a c-section. In response to that threat, he perked up a little and bumped his score to a 6... which is where the doc was discussing sending me to the hospital for further monitoring and a possible induction. I was actually okay with that plan.

But then he perked up a bit further and ended the test with a score of 8. Which is where the doctor said she was sending me home. I'm still hanging out around 4 cm and 50%, so no more progress there. Blood pressure doing okay. Still stuck with bed rest.

I have instructions to do kick counts several times a day to make sure he's moving around enough. And they scheduled another appointment for next week but commented that surely I wouldn't still be pregnant by then. But of course, that's what they thought last week!

I know I'm on bed rest, but I'm really contemplating just a bit of walking around to see if I can't move things along a little bit. Don't tell Aaron. ;)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Belated Halloween

Better late than never for Halloween pictures!

For Haley's "Fall Festival" (because the school wouldn't allow a Halloween party), the kids were asked to dress up like a character from a book they like and bring the book to school. Since Haley already had her witch costume ready to go, we figured that we would just find one of her books with a witch in it and we'd be set. Then a couple of days before Fall Festival, they sent home a note asking for no zombies, witches, violent costumes... apparently witches were too traditionally Halloween and not enough Fall Festival. We were scrambling to find a new costume and luckily our friend Michelle offered up a costume for us to borrow. So for Fall Festival, Haley was a very cute pirate. She added lots of bling so that everyone would know she was a girl pirate. :) And we found a pirate story that she could take to school.

For Halloween, we had two new pirates. Preston and Brekken were both pirates and had lots of fun going around shouting, "Aarrr!" Haley was a cute witch. And they're all a bunch of hams when it comes to posing for the camera!