Sunday, December 13, 2009

Halle Marie is here!

Look at this beautiful girl!  We started this pregnancy with a little drama and had to end it the same way.  Tuesday I went to my "regular" appointment with Dr. Carlson, I was a little shy of 38 weeks.  We knew she was breech and he was going to try and flip her into position.  (All week I've been trying different old wives tale ways to get her to flip without success)  Since it is hospital policy that you have to be hooked up to an IV before they'll try an "inversion" he sent us over to Labor & Delivery.  It was a little intimidating walking into the room that causes so much pain, but we knew it would only be for an hour or so and then we'd be back home.  Ha!
He did the inversion which was painful but only for a minute - much better than labor.  Then they lost her heartbeat.  They were sure the little monitor just wasn't catching it and hooked me up to a quick Ultrasound to double check.  Sure enough her heart was pumping but they still couldn't find it with the monitor.  So Dr. Carlson left with instructions for the nurse to get it hooked up & monitor me for an hour or so.  We tried all different positions - all of them quite flattering in an "open at the back" hospital gown - trying to find her heartbeat.  Finally they found a good spot and left us to watch the monitor.  Her heart rate would be around 150 or so then just drop to 70.  The nurses would come in and switch my position, her heart rate would jump back up to 150 then 5 or 10 minutes later drop back to 70.
The nurse, Linda, was getting worried and had me sign all sorts of releases for C-sections, Spinal Taps, etc. and even had an full blown ultrasound ordered.  The technician told us the baby's lungs looked good, he found her heart, her bladder, you know the routine.  Then the nurse came in and asked quietly if he saw anything wrong and he said, "Oh, yes - see here.  I can tell the cord is wrapped around her neck at least twice."  WHAT?!?  So he turned the screen and showed us as well.  Dr. Carlson said that the cord wraps around babies necks usually around month 5 when there is more room in the uterus to move.  Mother Nature must have known that she needed to stay in the breech position for her to breath all this time, he said.  But since we flipped her the umbilical cord just cinched up.
So we laughed about our "15 minute" appointment, Joaquin & I cried, then he gave me a blessing and we both felt better.  The C-Section went quickly, they ended up putting me under general anesthesia since her heart rate kept dropping.  Dr. Carlson said that during a normal C-Section they'll take the baby out and lay her on the Mom's stomach before they cut the umbilical cord.  He said they couldn't even get her out of my stomach and had to cut the cord off her neck before they could lift her out.  We were so grateful - for everything.  Grateful that the "old wives" tales didn't work, grateful they didn't send us home with her flipped, and grateful we didn't have a normal delivery that would have strangled her.  Thank you modern medicine!
Here are some great pictures of our family & each of the kids holding Halle.

The first thing Josh said when he came into the hospital was, "Mom your tummies still fat, how come?" Was I happy that they lifted the "no person under 18 be allowed" in the hospital?  Not at that moment, but it does make for a great family picture.
Quinn has already loved helping out.  She even asked to change her diaper - that will get old quick.

"Mom I wouldn't trade her for 10 boys!"
"Well I don't know Mom, she's not as cute as me."

My biggest accomplishment with Jessi was yesterday when she asked if I was done nursing Halle so she could hold her.  Up until that she has always asked if I was done "milking her."  I guess it's a good thing I'm teaching her that NO, moms are NOT COWS! 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pregnancy Perks

Last week I taught a lesson to my Beehives about the importance of being positive.  I truly believes it makes for a happier life if you can just find the bright side to everything - and I mean everything.  So over the last 2 weeks I've been jotting down things I love about being pregnant.  Mostly because I'm 8 months pregnant, all my "big" clothes are tight, I can't bend over without a contraction, my legs hurt . . .  sorry, there I go again.  Anyway, I needed to remind myself there are good things and also because it's been a long pregnancy with more tears than I'd like to admit.  So here it goes,
Sarah's Top Ten Reasons I Love Being Pregnant:
  1. No Acne.  That might not be an issue for some, but I have had acne since the age 14.  The only time I have beautiful skin is while I'm pregnant.  I haven't popped a zit in months and it's been heaven!
  2. Being able to say "No" without an ounce of guilt.  I have always been a pleaser and use to say yes to everything.  I still laugh when I think back to a conversation I had with my sister-in-laws a few years ago when they tried to get me to say no.  At the time I had been diagnosed with "Grave's Disease" which sounds horrible but really is just an overactive thyroid.  Mindi, laughing almost through tears kept demanding, "Say it with me Sarah:  NO, I have a disease, NO, I have a disease."  She & Kristin supposedly have no trouble saying no - uh huh.  What can I say, they're lovable hypocrites.
  3. Wearing stretchy pants all day.  Granted this month the stretch is pretty much gone, but for 5 blissful months I haven't had to suck in once.  
  4. Absolutely no desire to shop for clothes.  I don't know if it's just me but when I'm not pregnant I'm always looking for a great deal.  I love clearance racks (which Joaquin is hoping to break me of someday).  I walk through shops and feel like I need to find cheap clothes that I won't feel guilty for buying but that look better than my old stuff.  When I'm pregnant though - I know everything looks better than what I'm wearing and honestly don't care.  Yahoo.
  5. Warm feet.  Every night I used to snuggle up to Joaquin and put my icy feet onto his warm ones.  Not any more.  I'm sure a lot of my new found warmth is because I have to wear these lovely compression hose all day, but I love crawling into bed at night already toasty.  Now it's Joaquin who snuggles up to me.
  6. Having a Goal.  I know that might sound cheezy but it's true.  When I trained for the marathon I loved having something to work towards and plan for.  Well this pregnancy is by far harder than the marathon and it has even better rewards.
  7. Feeling movement.  This is my 5th child and I am still in awe every time she moves.  Sometimes it really isn't pleasant but it always reassures me that she's alive and well in there.
  8. When she gets the hick ups.  I love the hick ups!  Last Sunday I had one of those "aha" moments you store away in your heart forever.  She got the hick ups and every one of my children was able to put their hand on my belly and feel her move.  I looked up at Joaquin on the stand and just grinned like an idiot.
  9. How excited my other children are.  I don't think there is a single toy I could buy them that would make them smile more than when we announced they were going to get another sibling.  Every time Shelby prays she first thanks Heavenly Father for her new little sister.  She can't wait not to be the baby any more.  Quinn & Jessi still fight over who gets to hold her first and Josh is looking for a new wrestling buddy.
  10. And the last reason I love being pregnant is . . . Joaquin takes special care of me.  I love being a strong, independent woman, but when I'm pregnant I also love letting that all go and just being whimpy.  He helps with laundry, straightens up the house when I'm gone, lifts everything heavy, gets the kids to help more, rubs my feet, encourages me to lay down for a while, asks me how I'm feeling, and my favorite - he prays for me and our baby every single time I hear him pray.  I truly am grateful for this opportunity to see his gentle side and think I'm going to ease up on the whole "anything you can do, I can do better" theory.  I'm kind of liking being treated like a girl.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Family Halloween 2009

Happy Halloween!  Don't be scared by this fearful Ninja-this year I made sure the swords were fake (and just in case I didn't even have him wear them to Pre-School - check out my last year's Halloween post to understand).  We stopped by Napa, since Joaquin was working, to show off their costumes before hitting the 1st & 2nd Ward trunk or treat.

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and I usually hate trunk or treats because I think it really takes away from being a good neighbor.  I know some people don't agree that asking for candy from your neighbors is kind, but I genuinely love going door to door.  All my neighbors love seeing the kids & I love handing out candy.  Well this year I have to say that I loved the trunk or treat.  My kids were old enough to walk around without me so I was able to sit in the trunk and hand out candy.  My legs didn't hurt, I didn't have contractions, it was perfect!


I had to show this picture of Jessi because she is just such a gorgeous green witch regardless of the warts she had me put on her (they were her favorite part of the costume!)

Here's a shot of the whole gang at the Napa store.  Josh really wanted face paint since all the girls got glitter, eye shadow, etc.  So I tried to draw on a "skull" then he added blood dripping from his nose & lips.

I wanted to catch a picture of Josh at pre-school with Shelby.  She just wants to be so big and go with him.  The really fun part is that he loves Shelby to be there too.  He always begs her to get dressed in the morning so she can come play for the first half hour of free time.

It was a really busy Wednesday as we had Josh, Jessi, & Quinn's Halloween Parties.  Here is Jessi's party where I got to be the cool Mom because we played "Boo Bingo."  I still love that no matter which child's party we go to - they absolutely love when their siblings come to visit.  As you can tell Jessi pulled up 2 chairs, shared all of her candy, and even took them with her on the little "costume parade."
I realize this post is a little backwards, but for FHE we carved pumpkins and boy did our kids get into it.  Joaquin has always loved making really cool, complicated ones so I buy those great books with the tools included.  I'm a little worried I might be turned into Child Protection Services for admitting this, but after Shelby bent 3 or the 4 of the little knives that came in the kit - we just handed her a steak knife and let her at it.  I carved the front and she made an "earring."


Dad helped Josh do the "Dracula" and you can see how proud he was of it.


This was a picture of Quinn's cat (I know it's shocking she picked  that one huh?)

 Here of course is the coolest Dracula ever.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And the Halloween Winners are . . .

Nope - The Super Sapphires were hoping for the win but not this year, poor Greg was devastated (They don't look like they're having any fun do they?)
The Orange County Choppers (OCC) came in a close 2nd place.  They opted to skip 2 locations - uhoh - someday Matt & Emily will win!  They needed Kim & Lane who got sick at the last minute.

My favorite costumes were The Gold Diggers, but they still weren't the winners. They came in with a great prank though(keep reading).
The Scarlet Scarfaces were tough competition but better luck next year!
And the winners are . . . The Emerald Enemies!  Kyndra & John led out two "greenies" no pun intended.  This was the first year for Steve & Kaya and Marty & Emily.  They had no trouble catching up with the rules & race.  No one could keep up with their speed - we won't mention who was driving on their team but check out the speedometer!
This year we threw a new twist into our party.  We encouraged "pre-game" pranks.  My sister, Maria gave us the idea to have only 3 rules:  they had to be harmless, had to involve at least 3 teammates, and they had to send visual proof to my email before the party began.  They were so creative & mostly non-harmful (at least to each other, I can't say the animals would agree!)  Here are some of the highlights.

The Super Sapphires Sassy Wives got together and made home made oreo cookies with a twist.  No yummy cream cheese middle - oh no - they filled them with toothpaste tinted orange instead.  Then they wrapped them up cute with a "You've been Spooked" card and dropped them off to opposing teams. 

They also snuck into Marty & Emily's house to rearrange the furniture.  I've always wanted a couch in my kitchen, how about you?

"The Gold Diggers" spray painted John & Kyndra's horse.  Wyatt (their kindergartner) is worried it won't ever come off.
Before you start shedding tears for "The Emerald Enemies" here's proof they deserved it all.  They stuffed mailboxes with shredded paper, toilet paper, & taped them shut.  They also "redecorated" lawns, brought their own pumpkins to smash on opposing teams steps, forked lawns, and dropped off calf on Greg & Gwen's front porch.
Here is a picture of the "OCC" planting a "Monica for Mayor" sign in her front yard.  We do need good leaders wouldn't you agree?

The Scarlet Scarfaces also had to do their damage by depositing a dead mouse in a bag that they lovingly set atop a pile of pumpkins.  So the pumpkins blocked the doorway of an opposing team.

We thought the party was just great this year!  I loved having the pix to watch while we ate pizza back at the Fehringer's cellar.  Daren & Nicole decorated to the hilt (we're hoping to get them hooked into coming next year - not just decorating).  My big woops was to the poor "Gold Diggers."  One of my clues was taking out the letters "Willow Bay" from Alphabets Cereal then spray painting them with their teams colors & throwing them back in.  All the colors were pretty easy to see except for the Gold - it blended too much.  So trying to think ahead I pulled Emily aside & warned her there were 11 letters she needed to look for.  That's right - count out - "W-i-l-l-o-w-B-a-y" that's 11 right?  Wrong - it's only 9.  I don't know if I should blame it on pregnancy or just that I'm a dork but I gave them an extra bonus point for the time wasted looking for the 2 extra letters that didn't exist.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Quinn's 11th Birthday

Quinn's 11th Birthday has to be one of my favorites! She wanted lots of things, but the most important was being in Sandy, Ut. with Grandma Sally & Grampa Ed. She wanted Grampa to make one of his famous chocolate cakes - he even had a layer of cheesecake in the middle, yum - and guess what? I didn't have to cook, frost, or decorate a single thing! I do love making fun cakes, but just enjoying it was even better.  We shopped for opals (Aunt Mindi showed her one this summer and since they're the official gem for October - Quinn couldn't wait to get one), earrings (Jessi even got hers pierced!), and lots more girl stuff. 

One of the other fun thing we did was go to "Jungle Jim's" funland. They have quite a few indoor carnival rides that we were afraid she might have remembered being lots "bigger" than they actually were. But everyone loved it.

Josh's smile tells all - Bumper Cars all the way!

We let Quinn bring a friend with her, Cassidy Swanson, and they had a ball together.  Josh even gave her a kiss on her cheek!  I couldn't get my 11 year old to want to try on any clothes, she just wanted to save all her money for a "Build-a-Bear."  Mom reminded me that soon enough her stuffed animal craze would fade & I would miss it.  So we compromised, I bought her this new sweater and she bought this cute little outfit she has on "Lily" for a "Build-a-Bear" Puppy she named Delilah. She was ecstatic when she got home and found all the clothes (even the little bathrobe with a hole for her tail) fit her 2 kitties.  She even carries the poor cats around in the little purse she bought for Delilah.  I teased Joaquin we should start praying now that she'll find a good man who'll love her or she'll become that crazy old woman with 30 cats in her home and be blissfully happy.  I wonder how many times my Mom said the same things about me?!?
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Failure as a Mother

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like you have failed as a mother? Well today was that day. If you want a feel good warm & fuzzy post about motherhood go to Brittany & Brandon's (they're on the sidebar). She wrote the best post last week about how important it is to be a Mom.

This post is directed more to the Mom's who need a good laugh because they mess up, forget everything they read, and are just plain selfish sometimes. If you're reading this Mom, I promise I'll try harder tomorrow - they are your grandchildren after all.

The day started happy enough but got a little ugly on the way home from dropping off parts for a customer. Josh is 5 now and can unbuckle himself any time he desires, but poor Shelby is still too little to escape. So for about 1/2 hour Josh just "bugged" Shelby. I tried the regular threats - you'll have to take a nap, go to bed early, etc. Nothing seemed to work. Shelby's the screamer, Josh is the brother - it was a loud drive. So when we got home from taking Joaquin lunch I told the kids I was pretty tired and needed to rest for a little while. Thinking I was being nice I told them they could take the kittens up to Josh's room and play quietly while I slept on the couch for a little bit.

Being 7 months pregnant and the mother of 4 children allows me the pleasure of dropping off to sleep any time during the day and today was no exception. I woke up a full hour later to a completely quiet house. My little heart did a quick pitter patter as I thought joyfully, "Maybe they fell asleep." Then I laughed at myself and started to search for destruction.

I didn't have to look far as in Josh's room I found crackers, frosted mini wheats, cat food, & water in the carpet. Then I followed the giggling to Quinn & Jessi's room where these two adorable children had dumped every prized toy, jewelry box, lotion bottle, crayon, marker, school papers, blankets - everything into the middle of the floor. I'm not sure if they were jumping off the top bunk into this "fort" but do you know the first thing I thought (this shows how selfish I've become) "At least I got to take an hour nap!" Then instead of scolding my little ones I told them we better work hard to clean this up before the girls got home from school. I didn't want to get caught sleeping on the job!

I realize the better choice would have been to give them time out and a lecture - but then I knew I'd be stuck cleaning it all up by myself. They colored with crayons & markers on the wall, lost all of Quinn's earings, bent Jessi's prized Mickey Mouse ears she got from Disneyland, rubbed lotion on every backpack & in the carpet, used up all their stickers, played in their "make-up" - it was ugly.

As I began cleaning up I felt less guilty about the unsupervised destruction though when I found at least 2 dozen of my nice pencils & pens (these I use for my Napa work & they have their own), my paper cutter, scissors, stapler, & at least a ream of paper with scribbled "stuff" over them that I have been searching for for days.

Tuesday is our busy day with Quinn & Jessi's extra curricular piano, basketball, & gymnastics, but at least they hadn't had time to see their room yet. After dinner is when everything went to pot as Quinn walked into her room looking for her earrings. She & Jessi cried for over half an hour over the lost & ruined items, Josh & Shelby cried because of the tongue lashing they got from Dad after he heard about their mess from the girls (You notice I didn't tell him-I found half of my office supplies that I wouldn't have after all).

So the night ended with everyone crying loudly in their beds at 7:45pm. And now I have time to worry over child #5 who'll be joining our family. I hate the varicose veins running down my legs, the vivid dreams that make you feel like you haven't rested all night, and just feeling huge - but after today I'm grateful I have 2 more months before this little one makes her appearance. I am so not ready.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Josh's 5th Birthday

This should come as no surprise to my friends and family - all Josh wanted for his birthday was . . . CRAFTS. He wakes up every morning with something on his mind to make. I'm constantly saving paper towel rolls (for kazoos), toilet paper rolls (for race cars), milk lids (for wheels), etc. I decided to make my life easier and just order crafts instead of search through Family Fun magazines. A few weeks ago I got onto the Oriental Trading Company's website and just let Josh pick whatever crafts he thought looked cool. Needless to say we ordered about 7 different crafts for under $40. It was the cheapest birthday ever! And he was sooo happy.

Of course, my favorite part is the cool cakes. Here's this year's choice "The Treasure Chest." Argh Mattee!

Craft #1 - Chinese Dragon Head. Jessi & he put this together on his Birthday (Sunday - Sept. 27) morning.

Craft #2 - Halloween Masks. Both he & Shelby loved gluing a few of these together.

Now this is a craft I give full credit to Donna for, Craft #3 - a race car town. I looked at all those pieces and cringed - Donna said, "Ooh, I haven't bought him a present yet. Could I buy this from you and put it together with him." Wow, I don't know Donna - COULD I KISS YOU?!? They came over to borrow everything from packing tape to a hot glue gun, but the good news is that 2 hours later they were done! There are more projects to come like a "Haunted House" tongue depressor door hanger, wooden motorcycles, beeded necklaces, etc. But I didn't want to bore everyone to tears.

As long as we're chatting about my lovely Mother-in-Law, Donna I just had to put this picture in. Poor Donna was pulling the tarp over the pool in Glenns Ferry with Dennis when she miss-stepped and fell backwards. She hit her head so hard that her one eye went black, her ear plugged up, and now she has double vision. She is looking so much better, has had a blessing by her sons, a Cat Scan from the Doctor, and prayers from all of her grandkids especially.

This is my final picture (I know it's not of Josh - but look how just utterly CUTE this girl is!). Everyone loved the treasure chest cake, especially Shelby who not only wore the treasure but ate a fair amount of it too.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hillcrest Elementary

2nd Annual Family Walk-a-Thon

The Race is On

I thought I would make one giant thank you post for all of my family out there who didn't hang up on Jessi when she called asking for money. Last year I started this walk-a-thon and it turned out so well we decided to do it again for our elementary school. Poor Jessi has been seeing all of these presents, posters, and race flags lying around the house and just wants to keep them all. We tried the "Chuck E. Cheese" idea this year – you know where you spend tons of money to earn tickets to buy a little tiny toy. Well I had to order all the presents ahead of time so Jessi, Josh, & Shelby (it's beneath Quinn now that she's in the Intermediate School) have been drooling over the prizes you win for raising $10, $20, etc. If only I could have those presents in all of the 450 students' homes as well we might actually hit our goal! If you want to check out the website (Maria helped me create it last year) it's Again, thanks everybody!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lots of News

For my birthday this year Joaquin surprised me with a trip to Yellowstone with the family. He rented a hotel with a pool (that's just a must according to the kids) for 2 days in West Yellowstone. It was a little tricky because I was still on "limited bed rest" so I wasn't supposed to exercise. We just visited the sites that were close to the road and if there was a walk, I would take the short cut with Shelby while Joaquin took the others the scenic way. By the end of the day everyone was begging to come with me, wimps! We really had such a great time together and just loved having Joaquin for 2 days all to ourselves.
The kids weren't too impressed with the boiling water. "Cool I guess Dad, but are there any rides?"
This was my favorite view, the waterfalls nice but aren't Quinn & Jessi gorgeous? Hee, hee. We were able to see both the Upper & Lower Falls and loved them.

The gift shops were all the kids favorite place. "Old Faithful - cool, Paint Pots - they stink, but can we please please please go into that Gift Shop?!? I'm sure it's got something I haven't seen yet!"
Here's a great pic of us in front of Old Faithful.
Which pictures to choose? The kids favorite animal was the Bison - and we saw sooo many that by 6:30 pm (as we were trying to get out of the park) when we had to slow down for people gawking at them the kids would say, "It's just a Bison - get out of the way!"
Here's our First Day of school picture. This is the first year that Quinn & Jessi have been in the same room (with the new baby coming we did some shuffling) and it's been glorious! They come up dressed and happy around 6:30 am. Joaquin has always thought Quinn deserved her own room since she was the oldest (can you tell he was a spoiled first child as well?) and I just think that's poppycock. I've never had my own room - ever - and I'm fairly normal. Jessi used to beg to sleep with Quinn every night and then cry when she couldn't. This is so much easier for the mama - thank you new baby!
I forgot to update everyone on our kitty issue. We were happy to receive 2 kitties from "Dippins" Mother, one girl named Lily and her brother named Prince Trouble. They have survived almost 2 months now - yahoo. Other than a little bout with diarrhea - yuk - they have been the perfect pets. Quinn is still so much like my Mom says I was and just lives to be their favorite. She's been trying to train them to curl up around her neck, she feeds them ham when I'm not looking, and cries every time Joaquin tells her they need to go outside for awhile! They tolerate Shelby & Josh and Jessi still just doesn't really care.