Friday, December 30, 2011

Amelia Jayne Richardson

Announcing the arrival of

Amelia Jayne Richardson

Born 12:36 pm on December 29, 2011
5 lb. 15 oz.
17 3/4 in.

We LOVE her!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Six hours from now I'll be at the hospital getting ready to have a baby! Nervous, excited, terrified...I can't believe I'm going to be facing down labor again.  What was I thinking?  I told Chance, I feel like I've gotten on a roller coaster and have started up that terrifying incline.  My heart is pounding and I just want to get off the ride, but its too late....the ride isn't quite over yet.  The scary part is coming...

The good news is that no matter how awful it turns out to be, it is only temporary.  And in the end I'll get to finally meet my baby girl.

"We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong." 
~Laura Stavoe Harm

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wednesday Wednesday

Warning:  long post ahead.

Wednesday was an insane day.   I haven't had time to organize a post about it until now.  It started out fine.  I spent the day being somewhat productive.  I made a baby blanket for our mystery girl.  I bought myself received a new sewing machine last year that rocks.  It's not too complicated, works perfectly and is called "The Audrey" which I interpreted to mean Audrey Hepburn and that makes it even cooler.  I'm still learning all the sewing terminology:  bobbins, pressure foot, thread tension, etc. (Whatevs.  I just want the needle to poke the fabric and sew it together.)  Over Thanksgiving, Danielle and I found some adorable flannels on super sale.  I decided to make some receiving blankets because I thought to myself ... "It's a rectangle.  How hard can that be?"  And "that's such a good mommy-ish thing to do for my new baby."  Of course, I didn't factor in the fact that I'm pregnant and completely brainless these days.  It really is just a rectangle and isn't all that difficult for normal people; but I'm sewing impaired.  I had to make two phone calls (to my grandma and MIL) and study the machine's instructions for 20 minutes before I figured it out.  (Yes, the machine is easy to use, but I forgot how to thread it.)  And then... Success!  TaDa!  Here is blanket #1:

Not bad, huh?  I was so proud of myself.  Unfortunately, Chance didn't praise and admire it as much as I deserved.  He's so ... masculine about everything.  How hard is it to say the blanket is adorable and I'm the sexiest wife and mother ever for making it?  So I had to post it on Facebook to pump up my ego.  Thank goodness for Facebook friends who made me feel like a domestic diva.  I also made another one Thursday:

My baby is so lucky to have a mom like me, right?  Um.....sure.

Back to the rest of the day....It was in the midst of sewing and other things that I noticed baby girl wasn't moving around much.  She wasn't responding to the usual stimuli - eating, ice water, lying on my side, Reese's pb cups, etc.  Her movement counts were unusually low - not her usual self.  I had to call the doctor's office about other matters and mentioned the decreased movement.  Remember my high risk pregnancy status?  I go in for check ups twice a week to check for placenta problems and possible preeclampsia onset.  After a brief consult with one of the doctor's I was ordered to come in for an emergency NST/ultrasound in Tacoma.  Saying "come in right now" to a pregnant mom is stupid.  I freaked out a little.  I looked at my clock and noticed that the kids were getting out of school in 4 minutes.  So, I frantically called the school, my neighbor to watch the kids and Chance and got on the road while sobbing like a crazy emotional pregnant woman.   And then I worried the whole way there.  I ate most of a bag of mini Reese's peanut butter cups as I tried not to think about the people I know who've lost a late term baby or the fact that Chance was probably dying in a car accident at that moment as he raced from work to meet me.  And of course, there was an unexpected construction detour along the way.  Plus, I have never felt so disgusting as I did that afternoon.  I looked at myself in the mirror and realized my face was bright red, I hadn't combed my hair or done anything with myself all day.  And I could smell that I needed a shower .... badly.  Thank goodness doctor's and nurses are so forgiving. 

But...all is well!  Baby girl was just sleepy.  She performed wonderfully in her ultrasound and all my other vitals, etc were perfect.  It was an exhausting afternoon that ended with good news.  (Oh, and a side note about the Reese's pb cups....its OK that I ate them.  I have gestational diabetes, but my doctor told me I can have a little somethin' if my "mood" calls for it.  Plus, I'm on a pill which means I can cheat whenever I want totally helps out if I accidentally eat too many carbs or something.)

We returned home, picked up the kids and immediately ran to the school for Tyler's very first 5th grade band performance.  He started playing the trumpet a couple of months ago just like his dad did when he was younger.  It was an interestingly discordant musical experience that went on and on.  Emma and Noah practically passed out from boredom.  But baby girl woke up and kicked and wiggled all night to the "music."  Tyler's group was the youngest band with only a couple months experience.  They were adorable and very ... squeaky.  I loved it.  I even recorded their last song "Jingle Bells" so that I could share it.  Tyler is right in the middle behind the girl with the horn (I can't think of the name of that horn right now.  I was never in band.  I played the piano, OK?)


[Update:  Well, it turns out that blogger hates me or hates my video or hates 5th grade bands.  No video clip for now. Sorry guys!  I'm sure you're really sad about this.  But just imagine a bunch of 10 year olds playing instruments that they picked up for the first time 6-8 weeks ago.]
Aren't they adorable?  I smile every time I watch it.  And Tyler was pretty happy with himself, too.  After a worrisome afternoon, it was nice to watch my boy proudly toot his horn!  (Chance is groaning out loud right now.)  Here he is with his with his cool new trumpet and clashing belt.  (*Sigh* Will that boy ever learn?)

"Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother."
~Lin Yutang

And speaking of bad days....Here is my favorite iPhone auto-correct right now.  It is actually from early this year and was voted one of the top most hilarious auto-corrects of the year.  So, if you're into this stuff, you've probably seen this before.  Chance just showed it to me the other day.  It made me laugh so hard, I cried. And then I went into a full-blown low blood sugar attack - uncontrollable sobbing due to low sugar. It took Chance and the kids a few minutes to figure out what was happening with me.  Ah...pregnancy is such fun.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Trimming the Tree

Decorated the tree tonight. I only lost my temper twelve times. Noah and Emma each had an emotional meltdown, Tyler had two; and Chance hurt his back. But it's done! Merry Christmas!

The pictures aren't great; not unusual when we do anything indoors in the evening.  The lighting is terrible.  Chance purchased these elf hats and reindeer antlers last year on clearance.  The antlers light up and are fun to see in the dark.  He was so excited to give them to Emma.  She sobbed for 30 minutes because she didn't want to be a reindeer and only wanted to be an elf.  After that the boys started fighting about their hats so I took all of them away until they could appreciate them.  About 30 minutes later Emma decided that she didn't want to be an elf afterall and that reindeer antlers are where it's at anyway. 

Every year, one child has the honor of placing the the star on top of the tree.  They rotate each year, but for some reason, we cannot remember who did it last year.  I'm hoping there is a picture somewhere.  Anyway, all the kids insisted that it is their turn this year so we decided to let each of them have a turn putting the star on top.  That didn't help Chance's back pain, but no more fighting and no tears.  So, even though we had a load of drama and fighting over ornaments the night ended happily with a few shots in front of their masterpiece. There wasn't any rhyme or reason to their decorating, but the tree turned out pretty good. The house feels a little more cozy now. 

P.S.  Don't ask me what Emma is wearing.  She is growing out of all her clothes and that was the first ensemble she put together that didn't show her tummy or underwear.  Tyler has on a weird outfit because he's 10 and doesn't care about outfits.

"You call this a happy family?  Why do we have to have all these kids?"
~George Bailey, It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

Song in my head right now:

So tonight we pray for what we know can be
And on this day we hope for what we still can't see
Its up to us to be the change and even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for

~Josh Groban, Thankful

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Case of the Grumps

Everyone is so grumpy lately.  You'd think the Christmas spirit and all that would have taken over by now.  Maybe its because we haven't decorated our tree yet.  Maybe its my hormones.  I am so tired of the grumpy around here.

The kids freak when I give them chores after school.  Honestly, this isn't new.  Why all the protesting?  They have a snack and do their homework.  Then they have to do whatever quick cleanups need to be done - put laundry away, clean up rooms, take out trash, whatever.  Its not like I'm making them clean the oven or scrub the showers.  But all three of them stomp, flop onto the floor, cry like two-year olds and make me want to sell them to the gypsies.  Emma is particularly bad these days.  She tells me everyday that I'm "ruining her life!" "this is the worst day EVER!"  "you hurt my feelings!" and that I'm "the meanest mom!"  I need a good tantrum cure.  She's six.  How are we going to handle puberty?

Noah is driving me to the edge with his laziness, too.  I know that on some level this is funny; but not in the moment.  Yesterday, I asked him to put away his book several times.  Each time, he jumped up and ran to the task.  First I found it on the coach, then the kitchen table, then under the Christmas tree and finally on the floor outside my bedroom before I really exploded.  That is classic Noah.  Sometimes he is just lazy and sometimes he gets distracted.  He loses things all the time because he can't remember where he set them down.  Usually because it's in a totally-random-makes-no-sense-to-put-it-there kind of place.  Example:  cereal bowl in the bathroom drawer?  I discovered that a couple weeks ago.  I don't even want to think about why someone would have their cereal in the bathroom.  Gross.

Tyler has good days and bad days.  My biggest frustration is that he's such a bully of an older brother .  I know that is somewhat normal.  He has such a short temper, but I have noticed he's trying harder to control it.  He'll explode and then I'll make him sit it out for a bit.  And I can visibly see him take deep breaths and calmly speak an apology to me.  Its almost like I can see his thoughts while he's talking himself down from that angry place.  I just hope he's not plotting dark adventures for the future.  Overall, though, he is the most helpful around here when he's on his game. 

And Chance?  Well....he's rather grumpy these days, too.  He's going through another rough patch at work.  I won't go into details other than I pray he'll find a new position every day.  I fantasize about his boss calling while I'm in labor so that I can yell and swear at her for all the horrible things she's done over the last year.  Because I'd be in labor and you can't hold a woman accountable for things she says during labor, right?  Just ask my sweet Aunt Toni. 

I'm probably the grumpiest of all.  Of course, I don't feel like I am.  In fact, I feel like I've been remarkably patient with everyone for being nine months pregnant.  I'm sure I've got a distorted view here, but since I'm the one writing this, there's no one to argue the point.  Actually, I wouldn't call what I'm feeling "grumpy".  I'm more worried than anything.  Worried about the baby, worried that Chance will have a heart attack because of stress, worried about the kids and their individual problems, worried my water will break while I'm at Target.  Worried, worried worried.  Sometimes it is so hard to be an adult.  It would be nice to just run to the playground and swing for a couple hours or go and color a picture or two.  My Emma loves to do those things right now.  It makes me want to freeze time so she doesn't have to grow up and worry about anything.

"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."
~Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Monkey #2

Emma makes me smile.  Sometimes she seems so grown up and then a moment later seems so small to me.  This week she was involved in the Missoula Children's Theater's production of The Jungle Book.  She was Monkey #2 and she was adorable!  I tried to capture some video, but it's not the greatest quality.  I'll have to take a closer look at it - maybe I'll post it later.  It was a long, tiring week for her full of rehearsals, brown bag dinners and late bedtimes, but she seemed to love every minute of it.  Spending each afternoon without her was strangely sad for me.  I missed her happy little face dancing into the house after the bus ride home.

Emma started walking around the house talking on an old cell phone today.  Something that she hasn't done since preschool.  She scolded us several times for being too loud while she was on the phone and then had to check her "texts".  She refused to tell me who she was speaking with or texting, but it was entertaining to hear her pretending.  After a week of feeling like she's growing too quickly, it was nice to see her do something so young again.

My favorite quotes this week:

Emma:  "Where's the tree's dress?"
~Meaning tree skirt, after Chance set up the Christmas tree.

Emma (in tears):  "What if Santa puts me on the naughty list?"
~After a 'time out' for being a mean sister.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thankful Thoughts

We had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving last week.  My sister Danielle came up to visit for the week by herself.  We usually have a house stuffed with people every year, so this was very different.  I missed the craziness of having all our family here, but really enjoyed the quiet.  Due to possible difficulties with the pregnancy and lack of energy(!) we didn't plan a big weekend.  Plus, my mother was on her honeymoon and Nicole's family was sick with the flu.  So, it all worked out for the best.  Chance's parents and Gauge came over for dinner on Thursday and we spent a nice afternoon chatting and eating too much. 

Danielle spent the weekend helping me get the house organized for the new baby.  Thank goodness for her!  She is amazing.  It helped that I had a surge of energy (or "nesting" urges) over the weekend so I was very motivated.  It has carried on this week, too.  We just might be ready for this baby before it comes!  That has never happened before!  I'm usually too early to be prepared for anything. 

I'm 35 weeks now.  And its December!  Almost there.  If baby hasn't arrived by the 28th, then my doc will induce me.  So, we'll definitely have a new baby before 2012.  I continue to try to finish Christmas shopping, but it is hard.  It's Chance's fault.  He's ... frustratingly difficult to shop for.  I hate it!  I recently found a blog post full of DIY gifts for dudes.  The post included all sorts of projects to make for the guys in your life like hand sewn ties and stuff like that.  Chance would hate everything on that list.  Especially since everything looked too feminine to be for "dudes".  I seriously wish I could think of something manly to make but I'm not able to build computers or anything that plugs in.

I keep trying to feel the holiday spirit, but it is eluding me.  I am loving the holiday music though.  Maybe I'm feeling this way because I'm so consumed with getting ready for baby and having all the holiday shopping done in the next few days.  I can't believe we are so close to having this little girl!  I still have a hard time imagining another little person living here and loving her as much as I love all these other little ones.  I always feel a little worried about this.  But somehow even though I can't imagine having more room in my heart and soul to love another person so much; I always do.  My mother in law says that babies are born with the love; they bring it with them when they arrive.  Its true.  And we're counting down the days....