Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I'll be offline for a week or so, so I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I hope you all eat lots of chocolate, get/give the perfect gift, and that somehow the true meaning of Christmas can touch each and every one of you in your lives this season. My wish for all of us is that we can do something that will mean something to someone this season. Thank you all for being part of my life, and letting me be a part of yours! Thanks for your comments. (And just because I'm away doesn't mean I won't get them, they come to my email, which comes to my phone... and they really mean so much to me, so if you want to give a gift from the heart.... *blatant hint*) I'm excited to get to know you all better in the New Year!

Well, I've got to go finish packing, so Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Random Christmas pictures.

Okay, so this post is because I do not know how to resize pictures in my Windows picture whatever. So here are a ton of pictures that I want to use for our family's Christmas Songbook. (Notice the pictures of me that I'm saving for posterity are of me from last Christmas, when I was 50 lbs lighter! :D ) So, here are random pictures of Christmas' past and present... I'll explain some of them, just because I really like these.

***Edited to add...Well, the ones I wanted to add the most just are not coming up for some reason. Very VERY irritating. They are the ones from a Christmas Carol. There is a great one of Jerrod and I kissing that I wanted to put on a page with a song about mistletoe. That picture was what inspired this (and the next 2) posts of pictures. So now I think I'll end up just printing the songs with no pictures. But I'll leave these up here for now, and hopefully get those Christmas Carol pictures up sometime. Merry Christmas!

Isn't this sweet? This is Sariah in 1st grade. She's holding a small nutcracker, and I think she looks as precious as can be! In the background is her stocking that my Grandma Fife knitted for her! (or crocheted.) My great grandma used to make those for all of us, and I was so thrilled to get a matching stocking for Sariah from my grandma. Now I just need to convince one of my sisters that they want to learn how to do that.

Apparently I did something, and Christmas pictures continued... Vintage edition

So apparently I did something with my last post when I was centering something that centered every post on my blog. Weird. But, I have no time to fix it now. I still have presents to make, stuff to pack and a photos to resave from my blog, because I don't know how to resize them. I'm starting to think it would have been easier to just google "How to resize your pictures.." But now I'm too invested, so I'll carry on.

(I fixed the centered thing..)

Sariah in kindergarten with colored cookie dough.


My cute girls

I love Essi. She has so much exuberance for everything in life. She's such a great example. She's a nut.

Another one with Helam and Santa. Doesn't it look like they're both taking a nap?
I love babies and Santa!

My Grandma reading to my girls a few years ago. Isn't she beautiful? This is the grandma whose home we'll be visiting for Christmas! I'm so excited!

This is (I believe) my Aunt Kathy. I just seriously love this picture and I think it's one of the greatest Christmas pictures ever!

Another great Christmas picture! My aunts.. Julie and Sharla!

I love this picture. My dad is the little boy, I think that the other two are Julie and Sharla, but I can't tell which is which. I think Julie is in the igloo. Then in back this is embarrassing, but the picture is too blurry that I can't tell if it's my grandma or grandpa! (Or someone else entirely!) My dad (the little boy on your left) later built an awesome igloo like this with his kids. (Me.)

Isn't this adorable? My dad is the little boy in the red hat.

Julie, Sharla, my Dad, half of my Grandma

My dad, Sharla, Julie My grandma most likely made the dresses behind the girls.

For some reason I can't write under this next picture which is of my cousin, and my brothers, Ammon and Daniel. We loved these blocks growing up, and played with them whenever we went to my grandparents. Now my kids play with them!

Random Christmas Pictures continued...

A picture I drew of my girls and Christ back when they were the age shown in this picture.

My little guy with Santa, there are a bunch of slight variations of basically the same picture. This is because I'm a mom, and I think that these are all so adorable, I can't pick a favorite of my identical pictures, and I can't bear to only save the cropped versions.

This is the first year we've been able to get Essi to willingly see Santa. I guess something about a creepy guy in a red suit wasn't doing it for her. So this year we explained that he was like a grandpa, he was offering her candy, we were offering her candy, then we went to cold hard cash. She got a dollar for this picture. Do you love how her she's still kind of leaning away from him? Right after this, she warmed right up to him and wouldn't leave him alone the rest of the night. Luckily, there weren't many kids, and this Santa was really REALLY fantastic.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kids Corner

My 3 year old to a fussing Helam in a sing-song coochie coochie coo baby talk voice:

"I'm sorry I don't have breasts for you. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I don't have breasts.." then she looks up at me and says in third person, "He really wishes Essi had breasts."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Quick Gush..

So, I'm totally in love. A simple 6 yard strip of jersey knit has brought me more joy and happiness than anything ever.

~Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but it's right up there with Chocolate, Butterflies, and my right arm.~

Have you heard of "Moby Wraps?" All they are are a strip of fabric that's 5-6 yards long by 20-36 inches wide. They are A-freaking-MAZING!! So is this website that tells you how to make one yourself with lots of pictures and fabric suggestions. I can tell you how to make the wrap in one sentence. "Go buy 5 - 6 yards of fabric, cut in in half lengthwise." Viola. It's a wrap. (Well, actually, 2 wraps.) I made mine in like 2 minutes at Jo-Ann's Fabric Tuesday night.

Mine are brown, so I totally look like a Jedi wearing one, and since Tuesday, I've been wearing it constantly. (Pretty much I only take it off to sleep and shower.) It is so wonderful though, I finally feel like myself again! Over the past couple days when we've been out running errands, it's been as easy as not having a baby! (Maybe because the force is with me.) I love having his little self snuggled right next to me. I LOVE being able to use both hands. I'm loving not lugging around those blasted carrier car seats.

My back feels SO much better these past couple days since I've had this. I've been able to do dishes, laundry, and clean out a junk room. (Though my new ability to do those things should probably remain secret...) Right now I'm typing this with my little man strapped to my belly watching me type. (Earlier today I was cutting fabric and sewing.) He's happy, and I can use both hands!!

I'm convinced that this is the best thing EVER for new moms, and that they should give them out at the hospital to help prevent a myriad of problems from back pain to post-partum depression.

We went to the mall Tuesday night, and I was stopped by just about every woman there (pregnant ladies, young moms, old moms, grandmas) to ask where I got this and how it works. Everyone either wanted one or knew someone who would.

Here are the instructions for how to tie the wrap.

Anyway, thanks for letting me gush and if you've got babies or toddlers, go check out the clearance section of your favorite fabric store!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How NOT to watch Twilight...

So, I've read all the Twilight books. I was introduced to them a couple summers ago and really liked them. I'm not sure why I liked them, because I can see the same flaws in them that everyone mentions. I'm not in love with Edward, or Jacob. (Actually, DH has some of Edward's qualities, so a lot of the book(s) reminded me of him. Of course, he also has some of Napoleon Dynamite's qualities, so yeah.. moving on...) Anyway, I really like them. When I started reading them, I didn't know they were a big deal. I hid the outer cover when I was reading them at a family reunion, (making it look like a nice old classic book, and making me look intelligent for reading it. Everyone probably thought I was reading Emerson or Thoreau.. Quite impressive disguise if I do say so myself...) and when Jerrod told one of his cousins I was reading a Vampire book, I did a fantastic job of looking shocked and embarrassed and denied it completely. Then when he mentioned Werewolves, we were all having a nice laugh because of course I wouldn't really be reading a book about that. Um.. Yeah.

So when I found out they were popular, I was pretty disappointed. Really disappointed. I think I wanted to share it with my friends etc., but I didn't want the whole world to know about my Forks, Bella, Charlie, Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Emmett, Edward, and Jacob. That disappointment rapidly disappeared when I realized that because of Twilight's popularity, they were making a movie!!

So back in January, when they announced the cast members, I was telling everyone I knew about it with as much (probably more) enthusiasm as I was telling them we were pregnant. (Hey, I was sick, and that was then, now that he's here, Helam is TOTALLY better than Edward. Any day.)

So throughout the summer, I'd watch like every update on the official Twilight website, looking for updates on both the book and the movie. I didn't go to the midnight book release, but I got it the next day. I was REALLY looking forward to the movie, and to watching it with my husband. (Who was probably as excited as (if not more excited than) me to see it.)

I turned down an opportunity to get tickets to watch it on the sold out release day (He's good at making the right connections..) and wanted to postpone it until it wouldn't be so crowded, and we could go with our baby.

Thanksgiving weekend. We are at my parents house, joking about Twilight. (I like it, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good joke at it's expense.) Then my dad decides to show us how cool he is, and how unlike the rest of EVERYONE, he doesn't have to wait until it comes out on dvd to watch it on his computer. Without me realizing what he was doing, he spends about a half hour looking for it, finds it then tells us that Twilight was on tv. I didn't want to be rude, so I went down and was watching it with him. So, the version that he had (cough...illegally..cough...though the website says that if the owner of the copyright contacts them they'll take it down :eyesrolling: ) was made to be compatible with a computer screen. Not a 52 inch screen. It looked like a really old bad home video, like when in movies they show really old home videos that the movie characters are watching. It was horrible quality.

Add to that my movie watching companions. My dad. My 13 year old brother. My husband and baby (who admittedly would have been with me no matter where I watched it.) Not another drop of estrogen in the room. We were laughing at all the wrong parts, and I don't think it's possible to really enjoy Twilight with some guys who haven't read the book, so they don't know what's going on, and why Alice is so adorable, and any of the back story with Mike Newton. (Who was also adorable.) They just didn't get it. Then it timed out after 72 minutes, and we had to wait 54 to see the rest of it. During that time, I got upset because Jerrod was doing homework, so as a matter of principle, I had to keep fuming at him throughout the rest of the movie. The second part of the movie we watched on kitchen chairs at the table.

Anyway, my advice. Don't download free movies online. Watch Twilight in the theater. (I'm still planning to.) When you do, either watch it with your husband (who loves either Twilight, or you, or both) or a bunch of girls. Not with a bunch of vampire illiterate men.

On the bright side, right after that, we found a bunch of old school Strawberry Shortcake shows on YouTube. And as evidence that I am raising my girls correctly, they loved those SO much more than the new version.

So, did you see Twilight? Like it?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The kid has got NO taste!

So since Helam was born, I've lusted after and have wanted to get him the Graco Sweetpeace Soothing Center. If you don't know what this is, it is like the Lexus of baby swings, or better. Seriously, it's the most awesome piece of baby equipment I've ever seen. The way it rocks your baby is more like how a mom rocks a baby, and there are at least 4 different ways to do it, you can use your carseat instead, it vibrates, you can plug in an mp3 player, there are a ton of cool sound settings, that actually sound really good.

So, we finally cracked, gave in, and splurged and bought one. I love it. It is everything they say it is and more. The fabric of the seat is AMAZING, when I turned on the music, I thought I was listening to a gentle relaxing classical cd. When I put my baby in it all snuggled up (he was already asleep) I was very soothed watching the hypnotic sway of the swing. I was so thrilled to have the best for my baby.

He hates it. Whenever I put him in it asleep, he'd wake up pretty soon after. If I put him in it for just a few minutes to shower or go to the bathroom, he'd cry the whole time. Even with the stinking soothing sounds on.

My baby does NOT understand how to properly be soothed.

I think he thought he was fine using mom, dad, or Sariah as a soothing center.

Anyway, we pulled out his swing we'd originally got him, from the BYUI bulletin board for a cool 20 bucks. This one is a tacky blue with fish and bubbles all over it, and a mobile that Helam is absolutely in love with. We stuck him back in there and he looked just as happy as any baby has ever looked in a swing. He seemed to think he was home at last.

While I'm disappointed that he seems to be deficient in the "knowledge of proper baby soothing" department, I'm thrilled that he's excelling in the "If you can get the same dang thing for 20 dollars instead of 190, get the freaking cheap one!" department. (Which reminds me I need to do a separate blog about Essi.. who hasn't mastered that one yet.) So, we took it back and totally got our money back. Sweet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving ~ We're thankful for....

I saw this on another blog, and loved it so I'm unashamedly copying them. Also, an apology to everyone who's "tagged" me.. I'll totally get on those sometime soon(ish.)

Things we're grateful/thankful for. (These are the answers that I got when I asked people in our family what they were thankful for.)

1 That I'm married to you.
2 Helam, and his splendid chubbiness.
3 Sariah, and the time I can spend writing music with her.
4 Essi, and how she's such a silly little sunshine, and how she mispronounces her plurals and tenses. (ie. saw=seeded bought = buyded)
5 That our van is paid off.
6 For the internet and technology. (Yes.. he loves technology.. But not as much as me you see... Always and forever... ha ha ha.. )
7 The Scriptures and how I feel when I read them
8 Prayer
9 My testimony.
10 The songs and music that I'm inspired to write.
Bonus: the Temple, especially the one in Rexburg.


1 Sariah. I love how excited she is to learn anything and everything.
2 Esther. How tempestuous she is. When she's happy, a sunnier disposition you could not find. But when she's mad... Whoa. I think she's inherited some of that Scottish Fife girl fiery temper passion. I actually really love that about her.
3 Helam. Actually, everything about his sweet soft self. I especially love how unconditionally he loves me. In his eyes I'm perfect and everything about me is just right. The love he has for me helps me love myself.
4 The fact that that what I wrote about Helam could also be written about Jerrod. (well, not the sweet soft part... He's more Edwardian.. you know.. chiseled marble.. ;) ) I'm truly blessed to have him for my husband and best friend.
5 Blogging, and especially when people comment. (Thank You!!!) It's (sadly) some of the only adult interaction I get.
6 Scriptures.
7 Our ward.
8 That our family has grown so close and that we've been able to experience so much through all our moves.
9 My brothers and sisters and sister in law and mom and dad and other extended family.
10 The Gospel of Jesus Christ and that family will extend beyond the grave.

Sariah (8)
1 Books.
2 That I get to go to my grandma's house for Thanksgiving.
3 My parents.
4 That my mom's such a great cook. (No I didn't pay her, but I'll be giving her an extra slice of pie for that one! ;) )
5 Christmas
6 Friends
7 My room
8 That my mom didn't make me go to school today.
9 All the nature
10 The trash on the ground that my mom lets me keep. (That's another blog post entirely.)
Bonus: that Jesus will come again, and for the beautiful world that Jesus made, and that I can play the piano

Essi (3)
1 Sariah loves me
2 Jesus is still alive now
3 That I have grandpa's and dad's and aunt's. (I'm assuming she means all her relatives, and I don't know what she means with the plural dad thing. ha ha!)
4 That I have a mom
5 That we have food to eat
6 Toys
7 Helam
8 That Christmas is coming
9 The dragon we got from the library
10 I love you
11 That I have a mouth, and that you have a mouth.
12 That we have paper towels
13 For Essi

Helam (7 weeks)
1 My soft soft soft (oh so soft) and cushioned mommy.
2 The sweet nectar that seems to flow from my mom.
3 The not so sweet nectar that comes in the formula canisters from Sam's Club.
4 My dad, especially when he changes my not so pleasant diapers, he's a pro.
5 My swing
6My mom.
7 Mobiles. But, I still can't figure out where the toys go in the time between when they dance out of my line of vision and reappear minutes later... Still working on that one.
8 That my mom lets me sleep on her, and doesn't get mad that I puke down her shirt at least once a day.
9 My doggy bed that my mom brilliantly thought would make a great co-sleeper.
10 Ummm... My mom.

What are you thankful for this year?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kids Corner

Sariah: "Today at school I was talking Pig Latin so well that someone asked if I was born in Pig Latin."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Second-Hand, First-Rate Christmas

***First let me say (that even though I sound like a total and complete Scrooge in the following post) how excited I am for Christmas this year. On November 1 I realized Halloween was over, and the Christmas Season had begun. (Though it seems I was behind most shopping centers.) I know some people don't like to start it until after Thanksgiving, but for me Christmas and Thanksgiving go hand and hand. I think Thanksgiving is an integral part of Christmas and doesn't end in November. Plus, one month is definitely not long enough for Christmas music. We get to go to Utah to spend Christmas with my grandparents this year, and I'm really excited about that as well. We have lots of family down there that I'm hoping to be able to see while we're there.***

So amongst our Christmas plans, Jerrod and I were talking about how there really isn't anything we or our kids want or need this year. (Well, I do really like/want Helam really wants the "Sweetpeace" Newborn Soothing Center... so maybe erase the "want," and just stick with the "need this year" part..) But we still wanted to do the whole year presents under the tree for the kids thing.

So, instead of wasting money on junk that the kids will forget 3 weeks after Christmas, and as a brilliant plan to stay out of Toys'R'Us as well as the snow and slush this year in an effort to be fiscally responsible, and as our little part to "go green," we've decided that this year Christmas will be recycled. We have a garage full of junk cool stuff that has just been packed up and moved from place to place, a lot of which has not been unpacked for a year or more, or used at all, or used 1-2 times, or we've just plain old forgotten we have it. (Actually, while writing this, I just remembered a violin that we bought for Sariah 1 1/2 years ago, right before moving to Newport News that she's never gotten the opportunity to use. Guess what she's getting?) Also, we have boxes and buckets of toys that have been packed up and stored and forgotten that we already know the kids love and will love to see again. (I'll be happy to get rid of the toys I would not love to see again...) I figure if we feed them lots of sugar, and have the Christmas lights really really bright, and the music quite loud, they may not realize that these are the same presents from last year.

I know at first this idea seems somewhat tacky unique, but I'm actually quite excited about it. There are so many benefits, and the more I think about it, the more the idea makes sense, and the more excited I'm getting. This also gives us a great opportunity to clean through our stuff in storage. I'm so excited to get this stuff sorted and eliminated, and this way I can listen to Christmas songs while doing it, and sorting through old boxes should hold a lot of the same excitement that Christmas shopping does, with none of the money spending guilt!

***A lot of the excitement in this post is from when I initially wrote this a couple days ago, while excited to go on a date with Jerrod, and I may or may not have partaken of a beverage containing caffeine, so now editing in the light of a new day, tired and sober, some of the initial excitement has worn off.. but this is still how we're doing Christmas this year. (Though Santa may bring a couple new things for the kids and Jerrod.)***

When we were newly(er) married we had a similar Christmas. We had no money. Seriously, none. I'm guessing less than 100 in the bank and an unpaid electric bill. I'm pretty sure everything that was actually purchased by us that year came from the dollar store or was really really cheap to order from the the Distribution Center. (Their free pamphlets and booklets.)

Anyway, when we got married, Jerrod's mom brought a bunch of suitcases and boxes of Jerrod's stuff that he'd left at home for him. After 2 years, he'd still not gone through it. So that Christmas, I went through it, and among the old love notes, and papers detailing (exaggerating) the beauty and virtues of previous girlfriends mission journals, and his old comic villain drawings (which were actually pretty good) there was all sorts of interesting stuff. So that year for Christmas, he got his old baseball card collection he hadn't seen in years, some old Opera videos, mission pictures, his old high school letter stuff, and for the life of me I can't remember what else. Yeah, he'd seen it all before, but he got all teary eyed, and loved it. It also made the underside of our tree look quite nice with all that stuff wrapped up. It was a very sweet Christmas.

Friday, October 31, 2008

My little treats...

All these pictures are basically the same, but I love the progression of the pictures. Especially poor Helam. He started out great, and the first picture is actually the best.
Still good, but starting to scrunch, and you can't see his shirt...

So done. I love Sariah's and Essi's face in this one. Sariah's still trying to smile, Essi's wondering what the heck we're doing still trying to get pictures.

Helam's done, Essi's done, Sariah's still trying..

Okay, last shot.. The girls did great. Poor Helam.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

2 week update

Well, on the lighter side, my little man is just over two weeks now. On Monday at his check-up he was up to 10 lbs 4 oz. He's my hungry little piggy.
(Also, he may have been a little constipated, so that may have added a bit. Later that night he'd have been nowhere close.)
On the diapering subject,
(I love how when parents have a baby it's totally okay to talk about poop and puke, and we think it's all cute calling it "presents" and "spit-up" etc. I don't get why it's okay, but that doesn't stop me from doing it, and now I'm blogging about it. If he were any older he'd be mortified. Actually, I take that back, my three year old would be delighted to share all her details. Anyway..)
I have to brag about how blessed I've been in this area. I have not had to change 1 poopy diaper since Sunday the 11th.
(But that one was a doozy and it was my first little boy with a pistol, on a changing table at church, pee all over the stall, other stuff coming out faster than I could grab wipes, while trying to shield the waterworks extravaganza. I did clean up any mess, and I sensibly stayed home the next week. Luckily, I did have another outfit (for him) a lesson I learned from my cousin over 8 years ago when we ran into her at the mall for her little ones first pictures. They ended up being really cute naked or diaper baby pictures, but I learned my lesson, so there's a tip for you.)
Anyway, yeah. Jerrod has gotten that privilege. Somehow little man knows how to time it to spare momma that unpleasant task. So actually, I've been double blessed, a baby with great timing, and a husband awesome enough to change diapers! Or maybe he's only so willing because that's the only time I'll let him hold the baby! haha.. kidding.. slightly...
(Now that I've admitted that though, I'll probably get like 5 in a row while he's in class.)
Jerrod's been incredibly awesome throughout all of this. He's totally kept the house from falling apart. I've maybe unloaded the dishwasher once since Helam was born, also not many times the month before. He keeps telling me not to worry about it, and just to enjoy my baby. How sweet is that? He's also helped Sariah with homework, and has gotten the girls breakfast for them for the past two weeks.
(Actually, I think it's all part of a big conspiracy. He wants to have more kids. Lots more. I think he's hoping I'll love these newborn days so much that I'll forget what pregnancy and labor is like, and I'll willingly consent to more. There's a reason that Essi is almost 4 years older than Helam, and I still wasn't ready to get pregnant when we found out I was with Helam. Don't tell Jerrod, but it's kind of working. So, it's either that or he's just a truly wonderful husband, or maybe a combination. But he really is wonderful. Thanks Babe.)
Well that wasn't much of an update, and I'm not even posting more pictures yet. I know. Lame. I just don't want to go get the camera right now, I'm still holding my sleeping baby. But, I will post some, soon.
Thank you to everyone who has sent well wishes, posted comments, and everything else. Sorry I haven't been able to thank you all individually. But, thank you. It means so much to me.
Now while he's still asleep, I need to decide whether to...
A) Sleep. I'll need it as he's always up between 11:00 and 3:30.
B) Shower. I stink like baby barf, and it's been a while.
C) Wash his quilt. It, and his other boy blanket are covered in aforementioned baby barf, and he's currently wrapped up in his sister's fuzzy pink blanket.
D) Dang-it. None of the above. He just woke up while typing out C for his previously mentioned in A routine.
(Oh, and to you who won the predictions contest, you'll get your prizes before my next baby I promise. If you know who you are (by looking at the comment page) and you don't live locally, please email me your address.)


I don't usually do mushy posts, but I'm in love, and it's still so new and exciting, that I'm going to indulge myself.
He's in my favorite position right now with his little arms folded beneath him while he sleeps on my chest, with my cheek on his head. I love his contented coos, his little delicate puffs of breath, and his little shuddering sighs. I frequently find myself with teary eyes wishing there was some way to forever preserve every detail of him at this perfect age. I love each tiny wrinkle, each delicate eyelash, his tiny little fingers, his oh-so-soft cheeks, and silky hair. He does a little kissy lip thing when he breaks from eating, and this adorable happy, full of gratitude, life is wonderful, pursed, but stretched lips smile that could make me do anything. I'd love to see that every day for the rest of my life. I love his little newborn cry, and how immediately it turns to contentment when he gets back to mom. I love his helpless snuggling and how wonderful it is to fall asleep with a sleeping baby snuggled close.
I'm convinced that the unconditional love for and from a fragile newborn is a gift and perhaps a glimmer of the love of our Father in Heaven, and our Savior. It also makes me wonder about our mother there, and the love she must have for us. I feel so truly humbled, and so full of gratitude to have this little blessing and tender mercy in my life. Though it's passing too quickly, and as fleeting as it is, I love the blessing of being able to share this season of our lives together.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Welcome Helam!

Helam joined our family at 12:48 pm MST. He was born at home (assisted by midwives who were gold) after 7 hrs and 20 minutes of active labor. He was 9 lbs, 11 oz. Head and chest measured 15 inches, and he was 21 1/2 inches long. He's so perfect, and we're so happy to have him here. (Though I wish he'd do most of his sleeping from 2-8 am instead of pm..)

A cool little thing about his birthday is that I predicted the 7th about a week before he was born (though I really REALLY wanted it to be earlier.) All of the members of our family have our birthday's on the same weekday every year. So this year, all of our birthday's are on a Tuesday, next year, we'll all have birthdays on Wednesday. So, now his birthday fits in with our family. Odd huh?

Now for the pictures.

Not even 2 hours old.

Dad and the girls.

Does dad look tired? He is.

Already a thumb-sucker. Heaven help us.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our homebirth story

(This was written over the course of many days, so if it says "this morning" or "yesterday" or whatever, that's why. Then I backdated the posting time, so it wouldn't be the top post until I decide I want to post again.)

The Prize

Stats again, October 7th, 12:48 pm 9 lbs 11 oz, 21 1/2 long 15 inch head and chest.

We had Helam at home assisted by midwives who were absolutely amazing!! I'd been having prodromal (pre labor) labor for over a week and a half, every night thinking that the baby would be on his way soon. The day before, I was so incredibly unbelievably cranky, so I hoped that meant that he'd come soon.

The morning of the 7th, around 5:30 Essi climbed into bed with us, I felt something pop, and went to the bathroom and had bloody show. Immediately I was having contractions 4 minutes apart, so I was in active labor, but early active labor. I snuggled on the couch with Essi and timed them for about a half hour, then I called to Jerrod and told him I thought I was in labor for real this time, then Sariah woke up and we told her that the baby would probably be there today or the next. We called a sister in our ward (an angel, actually, it was her birthday too, but we didn't know that until afterward) to watch our kids, and she came and got them just as the midwives arrived (around 7ish.. I think.) They took my stats (blood pressure, pulse, baby's heartrate, etc. and I got in the tub.

Things progressed fast, so we thought. They were sure I was in transition around 9:00-9:30. I was kind of happy because I thought I was going to have a really quick labor. Around that time I remember asking if she thought we'd have him before noon, and she seemed to think that he'd definitely be here by then, and probably within the hour. Up until transition, things were pretty good. Not comfortable, but manageable. During "transition," things started hurting a lot more than they had and I remember with each contraction getting really upset at myself, and at labor because I wasn't feeling the "urge to push" which is supposed to come at the end of transition, which is supposed to be the shortest part of labor.

Then I went through a few more hours of transition, and I think those may have been the worst of my life. I kept trying to relax through the contractions, and surrender to the "waves." I didn't do so well with that. lol. I remember thinking (during a contraction) of some(guy) author's words that labor didn't hurt, it was just the anticipation of pain yadda yadda yadda that made it seem like it hurt. I'd like to toss a fork at him. I'm very grateful my kids were not in the house, as we'd originally planned. (They were just going to be in another room with Aunt Trista.) Normally, I'm so not a screamer, and I have a really high pain tolerance, but I was screaming worse than anything you'd see on a horror movie in the middle of each contraction. I'm really embarrassed about how much I screamed. I also sounded like a cow a few times. Luckily we're surrounded by a cow pasture, so they probably just thought it was one of their own. ( A lot of them have been having calves lately, but I've never heard them, I think they handled it better than I did.) There's also an elementary school pretty close, and I'm hoping those poor kids at recess didn't hear me. I think I'd make a horrible scientologist. (Aren't they supposed to stay silent the whole time?) I probably scarred my baby for life. Anyway, it was pretty horrible. I have no idea what would have happened if I were screaming like that in a hospital. I probably would have never gotten to that point, as I would have begged for drugs, and an epidural, and or general anesthesia before we got to that point. But, let's pretend I didn't, and some poor girl was coming in to be induced to have her first baby and heard me. That would have been pretty traumatic. lol.

During labor, I loved being able to move around as I wished. Throughout the process, I was on the bed for a while, (biting my pillow snarling like a feral rabid beast) standing up in the bathroom a while, doing squats through the contractions, sitting backwards on the toilet, and in the tub (I'm grateful we have a big jetted one here) for a while. It was really amazing because I really felt like at each point, I absolutely had to be where I was at each different part of labor, and I loved being able to move around like that, I can't imagine any part of labor being done in a different location than I was at when I did it. So that was awesome, and one of the things I liked about birthing at home.

Jerrod was amazing throughout the whole thing. Completely awesome. I felt so bad, because I yelled at him quite a lot during those hours. Almost every time he'd talk, I'd tell him to shut up, I'd start a contraction then yell, "Don't touch me!!" followed by, "Why aren't you pushing on my back?! Touch me Jerrod, touch me!!" Then if he'd move his hands in slightly the wrong way, I'd yell like he was completely insane, "What are you DOING?!?" Then my contraction would stop, and I'd start blubbering apologies, telling him how sorry I was, and that I shouldn't yell at him. I remember mentioning a vasectomy being a really good idea as well. Then, he needed to pee, and poor guy, that just was NOT an option. He'd whisper, "Hon, I need to go to the bathroom." I'd reply in despair, "You can't!!" or "Too bad, hold it." The midwives thought it was funny, because they've heard that at many many births. Finally, one of them took over rubbing my back for maybe 20 seconds, so he could go, and it wasn't a big deal at all, and I'm really grateful they found a way to let him go, because it was still a couple hours after that before Helam came.

My midwives were absolute gold, and were able to help walk me through the contractions, gently suggesting through each one that I relax my hips, and bottom, and stomach and vaginal area, and think of it opening up, and helping me breath through the contractions instead of scream through them. They were amazing. I can't even describe how much it helped to have them there helping me like that. At that point I was sitting on the toilet seat backwards. I was there for probably at least an hour, I was backwards, and Jerrod was on a chair behind me supporting me.

After being on the toilet for a while, I wanted to get back in the tub. They drained a lot of it, and filled it so it would be the right temperature again, I got back in and about 1-2 contractions later, my water broke again or something. (It had broke earlier I'd thought, and they say it's normal for there to be two, or that before was my fore waters or something.) There was a pop, then I felt a gush of fluid go between my legs, even though I was in the tub. Then maybe one contraction later, I felt the baby's head shoot through some opening, on it's own, into my vaginal area. That was one of the best feelings EVER!! I knew what it was, and that I was almost done! I could have sang!! The midwives weren't aware it was there, and were continuing to say "relax your legs, relax your bottom." I was thinking, "No way! This baby is coming OUT!!" lol Jerrod saw me smile at this point and wondered what was going on. So I started pushing him out. They saw I wasn't relaxing but didn't realize I was pushing, and said to relax, I finally said, "he's coming," and put my hand on his head, that was already partway out. (I didn't want to tell them before because I didn't want them to yell at me to push (like in each of my hospital births.) I also didn't want them to tell me not to push.) When they saw the head, everyone was quite surprised and excited. They suggested I push slowly, and not let him rush out, to prevent tearing. (Can I just say how much I loved that?!? Both times in the hospital, they were yelling at me to push like if I didn't hurry and push the baby out, it would die or something. Then they'd always cut me. I've always hated that part.)

So I was slowly and gently pushing him out not during a contraction, and Jerrod was feeling his face, I remember him saying, the nose is almost out, I can feel the mouth, etc. That was neat. I pushed the head out, they checked for a cord around the neck, it wasn't there, and then they said all I needed to do was push the shoulders out. I was kind of expecting them to just fall out after the head. I did a practice push, realized it would take a little more than I wanted to do, and asked if I could switch to my hands and knees. They said yes, so with baby's head out, and body inside, I went from my back to my hands and knees in the bathtub. DH said they were quite impressed that I wanted to do that, and that I could do that. He also said it was very interesting and funny when I turned because all the sudden, the baby was facing up so there's my backside, with a chubby little face sticking out. That strikes me as really funny for some reason. Once I was on my hands and knees, it was one push and his shoulders, and the rest of his body slid out, into Jerrod's hands. They were saying how great he was, I was just thrilled to finally be done. I rolled back over, and took my sweet sweet baby. This was our biggest baby ever, and my first with no tearing or cuts! (Also the only one that came early, and I wasn't induced with.) The total pushing time was only 3 minutes or less, so that was awesome.

A few minutes later, the placenta came out, they cut the cord, yadda yadda, and it was done. His apgars were 10 and 10, he was doing so great. He was all pink and perfect, doing everything he should!

Then it was done! It was so normal, it was weird. I remember saying to Jerrod, "We just had a homebirth." It seemed so weird to me that it was over, and though I didn't expect anything to go wrong, it just seemed strange how natural it all seemed. But, I'm still kind of having a hard time realizing that this huge event is over. Going to the hospital to have a baby seems like such a grand event, and it divides things nicely into a before, during, and after. So in the past, I'd go to the hospital and come out with a baby, this time I went to the bathroom, and came out with a baby, so that is different, and a little weird to wrap my head around, but nice.

After the delivery, it looked like I was losing more blood than the midwives wanted me to, so they had some stuff they gave to fix that, and then I was fine. Then we rinsed me and the baby off, (clean-up was so easy, all the mess was in the tub.) and went and snuggled in our bed. I was so thrilled to have our little guy, and to not be pregnant anymore. (For a while I wasn't sure which I was happier about.)

Anyway, it was perfect. I loved a lot of doing it in a homebirth setting. During labor and right after, I figured if I ever did it again, it would only be under general anesthesia, but a day later, it seems as though it was totally doable. It was amazing. Oh, and if you've actually read this whole thing, you're amazing too! lol! Now, almost a week later, and with Helam already growing too fast, I'm wondering how soon we can do it again. (Someone please remind me how horrible pregnancy and labor is/was, because this little guy is making me think it was all worth it.)

Things that I really liked about midwives, and having him at home:
No vaginal exams. (Unless I wanted them, and um, I didn't.)
No stirrups.
No iv.
Not being stuck in a bed.
No monitors, except the midwives checking his heartrate when they needed to.
Not having to drive to the hospital in labor. (I cannot even imagine having to do that, (with my others I was induced,) and I have so much admiration and/or sympathy for women who have done that.)
Being able (and encouraged) to drink during labor. (Even being offered food, but that idea was laughable.)
No catheter.

This was such a neat experience for us. Since this birth, my mind has been focused a lot on the Atonement. It really feels like the whole labor process is so intertwined with the Atonement, and this experience has deepened my appreciation for that. I remember at times the utter reliance I felt, and I feel like there is still so much there to ponder.

Monday, September 29, 2008


So, I'm still pregnant. I think I will be forever. Or for at least another 2-4 weeks. It shouldn't be a big deal, as I'm not actually due until the 11th. (Also, Saturday night I had the worst contraction, and it hurt so bad I'm kind of happy to leave him in here until next March, to avoid that kind of pain again.)

But, I kind of need to get him out.

1- I'm bigger than I've ever been in my life. (Well, it feels that way, but I did actually weigh more at the end (2 weeks overdue) with Essi. But, I started this pregnancy 20+ lbs lighter, so it feels like more.)

2- I really want to meet this little guy.

3- Heartburn sucks. There's no other way around it.

4- He's felt like he was going to fall out since early June.

5- I had a dream (back in July) that seemed very real, and was similar to a previous experience that turned out to be real, telling me that this little guy would come sometime between the 22-29. (Of I assumed September. If my dream meant October, I think I'd like an epidural now just to get me to the 29th of October.)

6- Everyday he's in there, he's getting bigger. The bigger he gets, the bigger his head gets, and guess who gets to push that thing out...

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to let you vote on this.. When would be the best time for this guy to come? What are your predictions? Whoever guesses the closest wins!

So, please vote. Even if you are a lurker, or if you've never commented, please do.

1~When will he come? (Date and time.)

***If you are closest you will win Either a cheap calendar or a cheap watch. (Think dollar store.)

2~How big will he be?

***You'll win a Big Hunk candy bar. (If they still make those.)

3~How long will labor be?

***You'll win a Magic Eraser.

***disclaimer*** It may be a month or longer before you get your prize. Also, only people in the states will be mailed a prize. (the 48 states...)

Some random facts to help you make your decision

*With both previous babies, I've been induced.

*Sariah on her due date, and Esther 2 weeks late.

*Sariah's labor was 24 1/2 hours on pitocin with an epidural.

*Essi's labor was 6 hours with pitocin with an epidural that did not work at all. (I'm still wondering where it all went..)

*This time we will not be being induced. (So, no pitocin speeding things up, or helping things along.) Unless there's some sort of major medical emergency, this will be a 100% au natural birth.

*Sariah was 9 lbs.

*Esther was 9 lbs 5 oz.

*I was 9 lbs 5 oz.

*There is the forementioned dream with the dates predicting the 22-29.

Anyway, so vote away!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Babies and Roses

"What's in a name?" asks Juliet, who continues with, "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

As we've been considering baby names, I've come to fully and 100% agree with Anne (with an "E") Shirley's thoughts,

"I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage."

But, I'm also wondering if the diaper of a Horace/Eustace/Herman/Melvin would smell any different than the diaper of a Aiden/Caden/Braden/Haden/Jaden/Raiden..

Also, I've decided it's a lot harder to pick a boy's name than a girl's name. It seems like no matter what the girls name, the girl can make it her own. (Apple?) But, with some boy names, you really can only do so much, or a bunch of other boys have the name, or for a lot of really great boy names, they've morphed into girl names. I'd feel so bad giving my boy a name, and him coming home from school telling me that he has five other kids in class with the same name, and they're all girls. Poor guy. So, then you have to start making up names, or going with really weird stuff. Anyway, off that soapbox.

Over the course of our baby name discussions, we've had several suggestions that were funny to me.

The first one came from my husband, a few minutes after we found out we were pregnant.

Jerrod: If it's a boy, we could name him Jacob, and then for a middle name we could name him after my dad, and use Edward.
Me: You are suggesting that we name our baby Jacob Edward?" Then I started laughing. He didn't get what was so funny. Then I told him we can't because millions of obsessed Twilight fans would be using the same two names for the next 5 years.

Then, after reading from the Book of Mormon one day, Sariah comes out, and says, "I really, REALLY wish that Kishkumen was a good guy, because he has SUCH a COOL name!" I just laughed as I imagined raising a son named Kishkumen.

Other names that have been suggested by my children (for a boy) in all seriousness are;

From Essi we have Rainbow Brite, Ace, and Prince Charming.

Some of Sariah's contributions are, Crusader, Destroyer, Skywalker, Jedi, (which I actually kind of like..) and Anakin.

There were a lot more, but I don't remember them.

So, what will our little guy be named? Well we have finally settled on what he will be named, (Unless it changes... lol.) but it's remaining a secret. Mainly because if someone doesn't like the name, I want it to be his name before they have a chance to warn me not to use it, then if they don't like it, the only two options are to either be rude and tell us they don't like the name we've given our precious child, or keep their comments to themselves. (Which really are the same options that they had before, it's just some people don't see it that way.)

A clue for those who do want to know or guess, both the first and middle name can be found in the book of Mosiah. If you already know or have been told one of the names, you don't get to guess.

Also, comment and tell me what you love or hate about your name, people with names that have given them grief, or just funny name stories.

Sariah's baptism

Sariah got baptized on September 13, 2008. She was baptized in the Blackfoot Northwest Stake Center. Normally there are a bunch of kids baptized the same day and in one meeting, but because we were in the middle of moving, we were lucky enough that they made an exception for us, and Sariah got her own private baptism. The only people who were there were our family, my parents and most of my brothers and sisters, and my Grandma and Grandpa Fife, Brother Packer who presided, and Sister Lot who played the piano. So, it was really small and intimate. Trista gave a talk, then Sariah was baptized, and then while she was changing back into dry clothes, everyone there wrote little notes with their testimonies, or thoughts for Sariah, that we will put together in a book for her. Then she got confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and after her confirmation, she got the opportunity to speak, and bear her own little testimony. It was so nice, and I can't imagine it going better.

Here's a link for more baptism pictures.

Family update and travelogue

Well, we're back in Idaho. Everything with our move went incredibly smooth. I feel like we were being blessed every step of the way. I was able to get enough of our apartment packed myself before Jerrod was done with work on August 30, that we were able to move out on Sept. 1, as we'd hoped. That was a pretty big miracle in and of itself. I'm still so grateful that that part is over!

Our trip went as good as any cross country trip could go at 8+ months pregnant. Things went really well. (My only problem was that my ankles swelled to about 3 times their normal size. It was SO crazy to look at them.) We were able to take a detour that allowed us to see Jerrod's biological father and grandparents for the first time since we've been married, and they got to meet the kids. It was a really nice trip. I was a little sulky about the whole thing, because I was thinking it was going to add 5 hours to our trip. After feeling sorry for myself for a while because I didn't want the drive, and I didn't want to meet people for the first time as huge as I currently am, I felt good about the trip. Then my angel sister, who just got back from her mission, called and said that she was going to Utah, and could pick up our other car (that Jerrod's co-workers drove there so Jerrod and I could drive home in the same vehicle (another huge blessing..) and drive it back to Idaho! That was SO awesome for us, and it ended up making our trip the same distance, or possibly an hour shorter than it would have been without the detour. :) It was great. It was nice visiting with Jerrod's "other" family. The children's great grandparents were delighted by our kids (which made me like them.. Basically, if you like my kids, I like you. lol.) and they spoiled them with presents and lots of candy. I think these were some of the first people that I've seen gush over my kids to the extent that Jerrod and I do! So that was fun.

Jerrod, Grandma June, Sariah, Grandpa Larry, Esther

Sariah, Grandpa Don, Esther

Also, our detour through Chadron allowed us to see what we thought was the best road sign ever, so we turned around and took a picture of it.

A while later, we saw one better, but I told Jerrod that he'd better not go take a picture of it, because I wanted to get home. Luckily google images provided a picture!

Then when we got to Idaho, everything worked out perfect for us to move into our house immediately, and with my dad's help, and a fantastic husband, we got all our stuff moved from our storage unit and to our home in one day!! I was expecting that to take at least several trips over the course of the month. So, that was another HUGE blessing.

Then with a bunch of other stuff, everything went more perfect than we could have possibly planned. We were able to get Jerrod enrolled in school, and Sariah's baptism planned and done better than I'd hoped. (I'll do another blog with pictures from that..) I met my midwives that I'd talked to on the phone throughout my pregnancy, and I absolutely LOVE them! I'm so excited that we'd decided to go with them, I'd felt good about it before, but after meeting them, I'm just thrilled. The only thing that would be better is if our baby would come. But, actually, I think he's waiting for us to buy him a carseat, so hopefully, this week that should happen.

So anyway, we're doing really really good. We're settled in, we have a fabulous ward, possibly our favorite that we've ever been in. (It seems like we say that everytime we get in a new ward though.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Belly pictures...

Here are what will probably be the last belly pictures this pregnancy. These were taken at 36 1/2 weeks. I am so excited for this pregnancy to be over and to meet our little guy. Also, a disclaimer incase any of you see me in real life. I made my daughter take like 20 pictures of me. I picked the two where I look the smallest to post on here. I'll keep the others for posterity, or just to hopefully guilt the little guy later.. Whatever, but I'd just hate for you to get the wrong idea and say I look small on here, and then be speechless and embarrassed in real life. In real life, I'm huge. Really really huge. Huge in a way that makes me look really tiny to myself in these pictures. Fair warning.

I thought I did a pretty good job looking serene in these pictures. I was going for the "Oh I'm so blessed to have this wonderful blessing inside of me, and I'm not hating every second of it." look. Between pictures, I was growling at my kids to "stand here, not there, don't get in the picture, hold the camera the other way, oh, ow, another stupid contraction, Essi, keep your pants on, we have to leave soon." Then, like a mother who's voice changes when the phone rings in the middle of yelling at her kids, I'd put on my serene face. I think it turned out quite well.

Oh, and I'm kind of ticked because yesterday, I ripped a hole in these pants. They were probably my favorite maternity pants ever. So, this baby really had better come soon, I've only got one (ugly) pair of maternity pants now!