Monday, November 07, 2016

Four of A Kind?

Everyone who reads my blog follows me on Instagram where this picture announced that we are adding another pumpkin to our patch! And yes, by pumpkin I mean baby and by baby I mean just one despite the 5 mini pumpkins and by baby I mean boy. Just to clear up any confusion. 
I'm currently on the verge of my 16th week of pregnancy. I got an ultrasound week 12 that revealed a very suspicious (thanks to a Google search, I now know the proper term) nub. Should your curiosity get the best of you, Google "nub theory" and you will get a slew of gender prediction theories you never needed to know. I'll spare you the details, but my 12 week ultrasound picture very clearly showed a nub that very clearly and without any doubt whatsoever was a boy nub. 

I mean, did we really doubt it would be another boy? I think there are certain things people have come to expect from my family and boys is one of those things. 

I mean, statistically speaking and nub theory speaking, I was fairly confident we were on our way to four of a kind. Then chaos struck which led to my suspicions being prematurely confirmed, but let's back up to the beginning. 

This pregnancy has been terrible. I spent the entire first trimester laying on the couch. If I did anything substantial (think fold laundry), it took me an hour to recover. I spent the afternoons napping. I spent the evenings grumbling in bed about wanting to throw up (never actually did though). It was the sickest I have been with a pregnancy. Wiped me out bad. 

Warning...this is about to get TMI real quick. This is your warning. Turn back now if you wish to remain unscathed by my body's ability to turn against me. 

I gave you the warning. This is your last chance. 

Here we go. So week 12 came and I was suddenly starting to feel totally normal! I was headed into the second trimester, nausea vanished practically overnight, I had ENERGY again! I took the kids on a walk with a spring in my step. I washed every dirty piece of laundry in the house that had been neglected through the previous 3 months. I COOKED DINNER!

Okay, seriously. This is it. I'm about to turn on you. You'll never look at me the same way again. Things are about to get real up in here. 

You had your chance.

I went to the doctor for a regular check up. Checked on the baby. Everything was peachy. Looking great. Awesome. The next day -- THE DAY BEFORE JEFF IS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE FOR CANADA FOR A WEEK -- I started spotting. 

Okay, I know you can spot during pregnancy. I know it can be normal. But I've had 3 other pregnancies without ever having spotting, so it major freaked me out. I called the doctor's office, "Hi. I'm 12 weeks and I've had some spotting."

Them: "Are you filling up 2 pads in 1 hour?"
Me: "Ummm. No." Thinking that seems like an absurdly large amount of blood to be losing at one time.
Them: "You're fine."

Cool. Cool. I'm good. I'll make it through. We're okay. Spotting continues but lightens up. I'm feeling confident. Then it picks up again. It's getting closer to evening time. Closer to the doctor's office closing. Closer to Jeff LEAVING THE COUNTRY!

I had visions of me having my first miscarriage while Jeff was gone. I of course read the horror stories of women who lose babies past the 12 week "safe zone" and it's like a real baby by then! My head filled with nightmares convincing me disaster was about to strike and I would be left to deal with it on my own (Little did I know I would be right, but the disaster would strike Eli and not me). It was terrible. 

And ever since having Lincoln early, I just don't completely trust my body to do the things it's supposed to with a baby! I began convincing myself my body was in preterm labor at 12 weeks and was trying to evacuate a perfectly healthy baby. Like seriously, it was terrible. I was completely convinced I was losing the baby. There didn't seem to be any other explanation. 

By 3:30, I packed up and decided I just had to take myself down to the doctor to make sure everything was okay. I marched through the door with a facade of confidence and demanded (the best I could) to be seen by the doctor. 

I was sure I had called into a calling center of sorts earlier and just knew once I was in the office they would approach me with more concern. I explained my situation. The receptionist I was talking to immediately questioned, "Didn't I talk to you on the phone a little while ago?"

Dang it. I lost my confidence and sheepishly said yes. I tried to solidify my case by interjecting, "My husband is going OUT OF THE COUNTRY TOMORROW!" Out of the country sounded more dramatic than Canada, so I went with that. Plus pregnancy hormones. I can blame them, right? 

I heard whisperings in the back and then they said fine they would see me. And then basically everything was fine! Got an ultrasound. Baby looked awesome. Couldn't see any source of bleeding. I was a medical mystery of sorts, but since everything appeared to be fine, I was sent on my way and told to take it easy until the bleeding stopped. 

Because nothing says "take it easy" like your husband leaving for a week *and an unknown looming trip to the ER.* But I was optimistic at this point. 

Jeff leaves. We make it through all the adventures of Eli's chin. The bleeding had vanished. Monday morning, we are finally feeling ready to handle the rest of the week with hints of normalcy returning when the bleeding made a comeback. This time with a bit more vengeance and I'll leave it at that.

Luckily my sister who had of course also been out of town had returned the night before. I notified her of the issue at hand and she immediately put me on bed rest and swiped my kids for the day so I could really take it easy. 

I had an appointment the next day. Still no sign of the source of the bleeding. Baby still looked awesome. I was put on "modified bed rest" which included safe activities like light dusting and putting something in the microwave. I laughed out loud as I realized my situation at the time would require a bit more than some light dusting and occasional trips to the microwave. 

I was referred to see a high risk ultrasound tech to help determine what was going on, and they were able to fit me in a couple days later. We discovered I have marginal placenta previa, which means my placenta is currently barely on my cervix, and bleeding is a common symptom of placenta previa. Placenta previa can be scary if the placenta is totally covering the cervix, but mine is expected to "migrate" away from the cervix as my belly grows and should basically resolve itself before it's time to deliver. 

I was 14 weeks when I got the "high risk scan."  She did a quick scan over the gender area... as she asked me if I wanted to know what we were having. As I was trying to explain I should probably wait until Jeff was in town to find out, we both very clearly got a shot that was hard to dispute as anything but boy parts. She confirmed our nub theory suspicions and said with 99% certainty it is a boy. But we already knew that. 

I have made it through 2 weeks of "bed rest." The bleeding has completely stopped and I'm feeling a lot better...other than not exercising has really amped up the speed of the belly growth. I feel like I already look like how I looked at 35 weeks with Lincoln. This picture was taken before the incidents, at about 11-12 weeks and is sadly the only belly shot I have taken *gasp!* 
I'm starting to gain confidence that this pregnancy might be normal again. I'm in the second trimester high and feeling great. I swear I can feel the baby move every once in a while. The kids are super cute and excited about the baby. 

When we told them, Carson and Lincoln stared at us for a minute unamused and then ran off, as expected, but Eli sat and chatted with me and Jeff about it for a while. Jeff said something like, "You're going to have to be a good big brother and help mom and the baby out." To which Eli said, "I'll get my supplies." and started running for the garage. 

"Wait, Eli. The baby isn't going to be here for a while." We explained as we tried to lure him back over. He sat back down. Then I couldn't shake the burning question of what "supplies" he was preparing to round up, scissors? Band-aids? Rope? The word supplies sounded so surgical, that I was expecting any of those items to be mentioned when I finally asked him what he meant. 

"I know where all the baby stuff is!" He had spent the week rummaging through all of our storage in the garage and basement and knew exactly where to find everything. He then explained he'd organize everything and "give us a tour" so we would know where to find it. 

Carson's been a little slower to understand the concept of a new baby. Every time I have an appointment, I tell Carson, "We have to go to the doctor to check on the baby." Then he always clarifies, "In your belly?!?" Like he just can't come to terms with the fact that there's a little person growing in there. It's even hard for me to believe!

We are so excited for baby 4. Four seems like a lot of kids. Like a mini van lot of kids. I am nervous to have a 2-year-old and a baby again because we had a really rough time when we did that the first time, but I love how close Eli and Carson are and I wanted a little buddy for Lincoln, so I'm hoping their lifelong friendship will be worth my sanity the first year...or two. 

Anyway. There's a blast of info you probably wish you never knew. 

Times My Kids Were Weird Again

I already have enough ammo for another "Times My Kids Were Weird" segment. It's becoming my favorite Lucky Number 8 genre. We'll start with Lincoln.

He insists on shadowing me around the house all day (which is great because he's at an age where if I don't know where he is, he's definitely getting into trouble). One morning while I was getting ready, I thought he left the room, only to glance out the door to find his little feet poking up out of the bath tub.
Not sure how he decided the tub would be the best lounging spot for the morning, but his positioning in this empty tub kept him occupied for at least 5 straight minutes. 

Grandma's house is on a busier street than where we used to live, so we were sure to set up some strict boundaries for the boys to stay within. Can you guess from the picture what one of their boundary markers is? 
They have very strict instruction not to pass the light pole. On the day I hammered our front yard rules into their heads, they tested the boundaries in every way possible to see what they could get away with. I remained strict and called them out when they crossed the lines. They finally took me seriously and obliged to my boundaries. When they realized they couldn't get away with crossing the lines, they chose to live vicariously through leaves as they stood on the very, very edge of where they were allowed to go and let the wind blow the leaves down the street to places their little feet would (hopefully) never tread. And then I immediately feared their teenage years. 

I will say, after their initial testing of determining the boundaries and my seriousness about it, they have since been perfectly obedient and respectful of our front yard rules. We may need to institute a new rule about spying on neighbors. They spent a good hour darting from hiding spot to hiding spot, spying on our neighbors one afternoon. The boys were a little disheartened when the neighbors were getting ready to leave and waved goodbye to them. They were sure they had gone unnoticed, but the goodbye wave assured them they hadn't been quite as sneaky as they had hoped. Meanwhile, nobody caught me spying on all of them the whole time from the window! Take a lesson from Mama, kids!
Okay, totally unaffiliated plug (but Walmart, if you want to sponsor me, I accept): Walmart free pick up for groceries! I literally point and laugh at everyone I see grocery shopping ever since I converted to grocery pick up. It will change your life. 

When Eli joins us for grocery pick up, he insists on helping load the groceries in the car. One morning he abruptly hit the deck for some push ups while they were grabbing our order so his muscles would be pumped and ready to lift all the heavy bags. 
Lincoln's favorite bathroom toy. Besides the floor of the bath tub. 
Lincoln's favorite kitchen toy, my computer. This is often how we get transcribing done when I still have some work to do and Lincoln is awake. 
Different kids, same story. The obsession with reaching out to slide their hands across the fence while being strolled is still an irresistible urge that reaches all generations. 
Madison was over one morning while I was finishing getting ready. She found me in the bathroom and kept pretending to do her hair with me, but then would get embarrassed any time she noticed me watching her. It was cute. 
Eli has really taken to soccer. Apparently a group of kids play soccer every day at recess, with Tyson ruling the pack because Tyson is the best soccer player in the world (according to certain 6-year-olds). Eli went through a 2-week period of running into the house every day after school and jumping straight into his soccer gear to spend the whole evening trying to get skills as good as Tyson's. 

As this obsession started, he had a hard time grasping why he couldn't kick the soccer ball in the house. We had a constant back and forth of me telling Eli to go outside, him kicking the ball in the house, me telling him to go outside louder, him kicking the ball in the house again, me chasing him around the house threatening to take the ball away, him telling me, "Mom. If you're not going to build me a soccer course, I'll play wherever I want in this house." 
Lincoln's signature move is to carefully and neatly stack whatever kitchen tupperwares are within his reach. 
If he's not doing that, you can find him scurrying around the front porch trying to kiss as many "punkys" as he can. He somehow got the impression pumpkins are there to be kissed? Maybe it's because when we brought them home, the older boys were so excited about them, they were hugging them and doting on them like they were their new pets. So the pumpkins kind of became part of the family. We spent all of October repositioning the pumpkins, hugging the pumpkins, carrying the pumpkins around the house, naming the pumpkins, and showing them off to all the neighbors. One little boy proudly kissed every punky every chance he could, and refused to go to sleep for his nap and for bedtime until he had waved out the window to his pumpkins to wish them all goodnight. 
Happy October from our weird bunch to yours!

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Family Pictures

Jeff can finally take that yearly sigh of relief that family pictures are temporarily behind us yet again. And look how cute!

You'll notice the lack of pictures of just Lincoln. And here's a good sampling of why...
Thanks for another round of snapshots and some would argue torture, Dallas! We got the shot!

Almost Famous

Sometimes I realize I don't have any pictures of Lincoln sleeping and I have approximately 4,128 pictures of Eli sleeping and I attempt to minimize the gap a bit. 
Lincoln is developing a bit of sass. And a bit of spunk. And a bit of goofy. And a lot of fun. 
He still has his obsession with accessorizing. We often have a pint sized Iron Man with a case of the giggles roaming our house. 
The older boys really got into the BYU/Utah game. Jeff spent the morning prepping the boys on what team we'd be cheering for and that we love BYU and that Utah is basically the worst. The boys were instant BYU fans and frantically drew pictures to show which team we wanted to win before the game began. 
I liked to tease them and pretend I was cheering for Utah. I drew a picture of a U and colored it in red, but quickly turned it into a less offensive acronym. 
The boys are so converted to BYU since that game, that when they see a car with any type of Utes paraphernalia, they will not let me park next to it, and they will animalistically boo the car until it is out of sight. 

Speaking of animals, Lincoln is of the climbing variety. Have I already posted this picture? He kills me! This kid is chasing the highest accessibly point of the house at any given time. Let's all take a moment to appreciate that Lincoln proudly stood on this chair, on the table, and then began to excitedly pull and push on the chair once he got up there, causing it to inch closer and closer to the edge of the table (all in the time it took me to snap a quick picture and then run to grab him), and yet Eli's the one with the cracked open chin and Lincoln has somehow escaped the brutal effects of gravity despite his relentless taunting. 

I was so worried we'd have no preschool options for Carson and we ended up with 3! Carson is doing online preschool, and then we were invited into a neighborhood joy school, and then I found out his school has a totally free preschool as an extra perk because they're a Title I school. He's been loving all his different learning sources and is really thriving in every way!
Except for that one time he licked a fellow mom's rear end and then full on grabbed a different mom's rear end all in the same take-your-mom-to-school-day with an unexpected side of try-your-best-to-embarrass-her. That was weird, but he knows all his letters and the sounds they make, so we'll take what we can get I guess. 
I thought we had overcome the whole my-kids-don't-wear-pants thing, but here's this. 
I took Carson to the dentist less than a year ago and the dentist said, "Yes! His teeth look great! Swell! You're awesome! Can we use his teeth on a billboard to advertise the amazing results of twice a day brushing and *occasional* flossing?" ...or something like that. 

Then we moved. Jeff switched jobs, so our insurance was cut off and we had to wait a minute to get insurance again. It was LESS THAN A YEAR from our gold star appointment and BAM. We were hit with a mouthful of cavities. Silver capped, drill through the tooth, knock the kid out, fix 'em up cavities. We went through this with Eli. I was so diligent with Carson and we still had the inevitable 4-year-old dental visit of doom. Bleh. 

Anyway, while the dentist was in there, and while Carson was knocked out, we decided to go ahead and get his more snaggley of his 2 front snaggleteeth pulled as it was allegedly infected (but probably had been for the last 3 years, so I wasn't totally convinced that was an issue). Anyway, he lost a front tooth, silvered up the back teeth, and turned into an emotional wreck somewhere along the way. 
When Eli got put under anesthesia, he said a lot of funny things and acted a little goofy. Carson on the other hand, was a sobbing mess for a solid 24 hours after being put under. He didn't say too many funny things, but he had big feelings. One of those feelings was hunger. He was supposed to take it really slow on eating after coming off the medicine, but he insisted on Ramen ... and then ate 3 bowls of it without issue. 
Showing off his new look! I'm still not used to his gap-toothed smile!
Linker Lou enjoys getting ready with me in the mornings. He always seems to find this cute boy in the bathroom that he likes to smile at. 
I tried my voice at the ward choir a few times. Eli was intrigued about the choir and would ask me questions when I would get home. On General Conference Sunday, Eli set up a family choir and led us all in a few primary songs, complete with props, before conference began. 
The boys have been enjoying having unlimited access to Grandma's legos. They spent conference making scenes under the piano light. 
It was particularly fun to watch conference this go round because I felt like I had an insider's perspective of the Quorum of the Twelve! I had met Elder Anderson! He told us face-to-face that he was in the process of preparing his conference talk for this conference! I had sat in the room where the Quorum meets! I felt like I knew all of them, and I just kept waiting for one of them to mention me by name. 

Especially my good friend, Uchtdorf. My parents had told me they had occasionally seen Uchtodorf roaming the streets up by their house. My #1 goal while living in my parents' house was to catch a glimpse of my famous neighbor in his natural environment. 
A few weeks before conference, I went on a run early in the morning. I was in the zone and staring down at the sidewalk when I saw a couple approaching me. I glanced up and reflexively said, "Good Morn-"

Noticed it was PRESIDENT UCHTDORF and his wife halfway through my greeting!!! and then finished with a bit of a star struck trail off.

He smiled. And said back, "Good morning."

I was so excited! All my dreams had come true! I was sure he had peered into my soul and we were now the best of friends. My sister began calling him my exercise accountability partner. We were tight.

But then. As if that wasn't enough. As if 2 months into living in my parents' house, my #1 bucket list item had already been crossed off, it happened AGAIN!

I went on a walk one evening, now constantly on the lookout for my BFF. I was strolling along when I noticed far ahead, a couple, walking the same direction as me, with alarmingly similar characteristics of President Uchtorf and his wife.

Cue speed walking.

I made my way up to them just as I reached the corner for me to turn down, they abruptly turned around and BAM!

I nearly RAN INTO my bucket list dream. I tried to give him a smile like, "Hey. Remember me? We're friends now. And I know who you are. And good talk in conference BTW."

While my smile said that, my mouth said, "Hello."

He said, "Hi!" pause.

Then he continued (probably after picking up on the nonverbal cues from my knowing smile). "How are you?"

HOW ARE YOU, guys. President Uchtdorf now knows I'm good. Because he asked. Because he cares. Because we're best friends. Because we work out together. So don't be so surprised next conference when he does a shout out, because it's inevitable, and just wanted my faithful blog followers (hi grandma.) to have heard it here first.