Monday, December 28, 2009

A New Place to Snooze

The Boppy is a favorite item around here.

It absolutely saves my arms (and back) when I nurse.

It's nice to prop Josh up in it, so he can look around.

Adam and Grace both like to lay on it when they watch t.v. in the afternoons.

It's also nice for the occasional Sunday nap.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day Perfection

Christmas Day was so perfect!

The kids woke up at 7:00 (MUCH better than the 5:30 thing last year) and ran through the Christmas wrap blocking the doorway.

Grace immediately saw her rocking horse (because she had requested it not be wrapped). She was so excited!

Adam got a football from Santa.

And Josh got a monkey gym.

The kids opened their stockings next, and we all had fun playing with their toys. Adam was pretty disappointed about not getting a Wii. He was trying to be brave and polite, but he was having a hard time. We cleaned up all of the mess, and then noticed a little note from Santa on the shelf.

The note gave instructions to find a special gift that some of Santa's very special helpers had made. They had so much fun running from clue to clue on the treasure hunt, and figuring out where to go next.

Finally, the last clue was read.

(A video is supposed to be inserted here. A video that I can't get to work, even after 2 weeks of trying. And because I was taking a video, no pictures were taken).


They got a Wii!

Adam could NOT believe it! He screamed and screamed and is still saying, "I can't believe Santa got us a Wii! I can't believe it!"

We played with the Wii all morning, took naps snuggled on the couch together, and made a late breakfast/early lunch.

Around 4:30, we decided to open the rest of the gifts from the family (Grandma/Grandpa W., Grammy/Papa, Nano, and Great-Granny).

After opening gifts, we watched a Christmas movie while we ate dinner. Grace really wanted to eat roast beast (like the Grinch), so we ate roast beef sandwiches, chips, fruit, and veggies.

We finished the day by talking to family on the phone, and driving around looking at Christmas lights! It was such a perfect Christmas!

And it was made even better because Mike had the next 3 days off of work. He hasn't had the day-after Christmas off in years and it was so fun!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, too!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve Party!

On the day of Christmas Eve, the kids and I cleaned the house for Santa. Mike worked. When he got home, we partied!

We made "lobster" (aka crab puffs without the crab). We made cashew chicken stir-fry.

We ate dinner.

We left the dishes.

We played Christmas Bingo.

We played Santa Says.

We played Eat the Doughnut on the String. Which we will need to play more often because it was incredibly amusing for me to watch.

We (Adam and Grace - sorry Josh) opened Christmas Eve pajamas.

We read Luke 2 and acted out the Nativity.

We sang songs.

We set out a donut and celery and milk for Santa.

We (Adam and Grace and Josh) went to bed.

We (Mike and I) stayed up to make the magic happen.

We all had a wonderful Christmas Eve party together!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


When Josh was born, one of the first things my doctor said was, "Wow! Look at all that dark hair!"

I was shocked, both because Adam and Grace were born pretty bald and it took them about two years to really grow any hair, and because it was dark - they were blond (like Mike was when he was younger).

I LOVE that he has my dark brown hair and that there is so much of it! When I'm holding him, I always find myself touching it and rubbing his head.

Which is probably going to make it fall out or something.

I love how after his bath it all stands straight up and is so ridiculously soft. It's so fun to comb it.

And I really want to put a bow in it just to see how it would look if he was a girl with that much hair.

I won't. I know it's wrong.

And Mike won't let me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Grammy Day

My mom has Grammy Day every year around Christmas-time for the grandkids. The older kids get in on the fun, too. ;) We eat foods that start with the letter "g" and decorate gingerbread houses.

Since we weren't going to be able to make it down to Phoenix this year for Christmas, my mom brought Grammy Day to us when she came up to watch the kids! She brought dinner frozen and the fixings for gingerbread house decorating.

Part I

We ended up dividing Grammy Day into two parts. Mostly because the thought of actually cooking a meal while caring for three children terrifies me. (We've had a lot of PB&Js around here lately). The goulash casserole was just too tempting up in the freezer, so when Ethan and Cameo came up to visit and I was feeling bad about serving sandwiches to our guests, I didn't even hesitate and threw it in the oven. We had it with grapes and green salad (sorry, mom, forgot the goldfish crackers).

Part II

Tonight we decorated our gingerbread houses. My mom shops the after-holiday candy sales and she left us with a huge variety of fun candy to use!

Some of us were picky about where the candy went.

And some of us were not.

A lot of candy was eaten.

A big mess was made.

And Josh snuck some icing. His cheeks just weren't getting chubby enough with milk alone.

Adam's final product:

And Grace's:

And Josh's:

He's (obviously) super-advanced for his age. And super-obsessed with patterns.

We had so much fun. Thanks, Grammy!

(No icing was actually consumed by newborns during the decorating of the houses).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Fourth

Soon after Adam lost his third tooth (in the toilet) last month, he noticed that a fourth tooth was loose.

He really, really wanted to lose this one at school. Because you get a cool tooth carrying case and certificate if it happens at school.

So, he walked around to kids at lunchtime and asked them to punch him in the mouth.

His teacher asked me to talk to him about it.

Last Friday (the 11th), we were all chilling on the couch, getting ready to get the kids in bed, when Grace up and kicked him in the mouth.

Instead of him demanding that I "punish her" like he normally does when she does something like this, he screamed for joy and hugged her.

She had kicked his tooth right out.


All busy looking at the real photographer

On Friday night we had our ward party. I had been planning on not going (because of the germs), but then I heard Santa was going to be there. And since this year has been crazy and we haven't yet had time to visit the free Santa at the chocolate factory (like we did last year) or write letters to him, I decided to brave the germs and take the kids to the party so we could visit him.

Adam went first. He asked Santa for a Wii. Santa looked at me, and then said that he had had a lot of requests for Wiis this year, and was there anything else he wanted just in case his elves couldn't make enough. Adam replied, "I really want a real football then." Santa talked to him about being good and cleaning his room, gave him a candy cane full of chocolate, and then Adam hopped down.

Grace went next. She asked Santa for a wooden rocking horse. (I don't know where she got the wooden rocking horse idea from, but it's all she's talked about for months.) He looked a little surprised and said that he hadn't had many requests for that this year. She then said:

"I don't want the horse wrapped. I don't want it in a box.
I don't want it in a bag. Just in front of the tree with a bow."

She's picky like that.

I'm sure it's fine with Santa... who wants to try and wrap a wooden rocking horse anyways?


Grace LOVES that I'm nursing Josh.

She knows that I'm occupied for a good 30 minutes on the couch, and that she can tend to the things that she wants to during that time.

Like eating from a jar of marshmallow creme.

I really like that she knows now how far to bring it. If it's something horrible (like putting nail polish on her toys like she did last week), she knows I'll stop feeding him and get her.

But marshmallow creme?

Not worth me stopping.

And the little punk knows it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Some Firsts this Week

First Visitors

Well, the first visitors besides my mom, of course... Ethan and Cameo came up last Saturday and Sunday.

First Bath

He LOVES baths. Adam and Grace both cried during there first baths... Josh loved it, though.

First Time Driving Three Kids

The doctor restored my driving privileges a week early. I'm SO glad because this week was crazy enough already without finding someone to drive us around!

First Shopping Trip

To Target for some antibiotics, since Mike's work hours and Target's pharmacy hours just weren't jiving that day.

First Bottle Feeding (from Grace)

Grace was SO psyched when I said that she could feed him some of the pumped stuff from the freezer before it went bad.

I really like how Josh's cheeks got progressively chubbier and chubbier as the week went on.

Can't wait to see what this week brings... both in activities and cheek chubbiness!

Sibling Love

"The most real things in the world are those that neither
children nor men can see."
- Francis P. Church

He loves her. It's just not one of those things that you can see right now.

(quote from what I've always considered to be one of the most beautiful journalism pieces ever written here)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Why It's Been Quiet Here...

Mr. Josh decided that he missed the attention of the doctors and nurses in the NICU.

So, he went and got himself a staph infection in his umbilical cord.

It's actually a fairly serious thing, because the umbilical cord leads to all sorts of fun organs on the inside of the body. And if it gets infected, it can quickly spread and wreak all sorts of havoc.

Not an artificial cherry medicine fan.

So, this week has been one of doctor's appointments, labs, and antibiotics.


Today, the redness has begun to retreat and he doesn't have a fever.

Today, the doctor said that he is looking good.

Today, I love Sir Alexander Fleming and his mold.

Tomorrow, I will begin to get caught up on blogging and posting pictures of my super-cute baby.

(I've never claimed to not be biased).


Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Second Day

It went much better.

I think so, anyways.

But, my standards are just not all that high these days.


* Adam was only 10 minutes late for school.

* Grace had no accidents at all. And, yeah, this was only because every time she said, "Mommy, I'm going to go potty on the floor..." I bribed her with a cookie.

I know that's not good parenting, people.

* Grace stayed dressed all day. Her outfit may have consisted of her pajama top with jeans.

* Grace ate pickles out of the jar for breakfast and lunch, along with her potty bribe cookies.

Is there any nutrition at all in a pickle?

* I had arranged rides for Adam to be brought to/picked up from school, because I can't drive for three weeks.

His afternoon ride forgot. And he is/was very upset about being forgotten.

* Josh didn't pee on me at all. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about Grace's foot.

She is/was very upset about being peed on.

* Another sweet friend brought dinner. I will love her forever as well.

* I got all of the laundry folded.

Just waiting for the laundry fairy to come put it away.

There is a laundry fairy.


Birth Story

The whole story. And since I tend to write a lot, it's long. I apologize.

8.5 months

We got to the hospital at 3:30, and the nurses began all of the preparations for the c-section. I was insanely nervous (especially about the spinal block), but the nurses and anesthesiologist were all so wonderful, that it made me feel better. We got into the OR just before 6:00.

The anesthesiologist did the spinal block, and it was the BEST feeling in the world. This is because I was suddenly numb from my chest and down and no longer itched! After weeks of having an insanely itchy belly, it was so great to not itch anymore! Mike came in and held my hand, and the doctors got to work.

Joshua Andrew was born at 6:16pm. He weighed 8 pounds, 2.5 ounces (just .5 an ounce more than Grace), and was 21.5 inches long. After each of my c-sections, the most incredible sound in the world is hearing my babies cry. I don't feel this way at 3:00 in the morning now, but hearing him cry when they took him out and knowing that he was okay, made me cry. It's just a wonderful noise. They took him over and cleaned him up, and Mike went over with them.

I knew I had a lot of fluid, but my doctor was shocked at how much exactly I had. They removed close to 3 2-liter sized bottles of fluid. She was so surprised that I hadn't gone into labor because of all of it.

After Josh was all cleaned up, Mike and nurse brought him over to me. The nurse put him by my face for a quick picture and then brought him to the nursery. I didn't even get to look at his face, which was disappointing, but I also wanted him to be checked out to make sure he was okay.

I was wheeled into recovery, and started to get the feeling back in my legs. This is also one of the best moments (for me) after a c-section... having the feeling come back and knowing I'm not paralyzed. That probably seems a little over-dramatic, but it's something that the anesthesiologists always warn me is a risk, and it's always a worry in the back of my mind during the c-section. So, getting the feeling back is always a relief.
Mike came in a little while later, and told me that Josh had fluid in his lungs. This is common in c-section babies (though it had never happened with Adam or Grace), and unfortunately, he was going to have to stay in the NICU while the doctors monitored it. Josh received several x-rays and labs to check the fluid, and to make sure it didn't develop into an infection.

I was really disappointed about not being able to hold him or see him. Mike went down to the NICU regularly and took pictures for me, but I was still kind of bummed. At 5:00 the next morning, after getting up to walk around, the nurses wheeled me down to the NICU so that I could see him.

Josh was covered in wires: monitors, an IV, a tube down his throat (to remove the extra fluids in his stomach) and had the oxygen glued to his face. I knew it was helping him, but it still was so hard seeing him like that. The doctor came and talked to me, and told me that he would be in there for a few days to make sure that the fluid dissipated and didn't cause an infection. He wasn't allowed to eat for the first day and a half, so I had to pump every 2 hours. Mike was so wonderful and ran down what I pumped to the NICU every 2 hours, even through the night. Mike was allowed to feed him 36 hours after he was born. Poor little Josh was so hungry! He drank the entire ounce in about 10 seconds and screamed for more.

Mike went home to spend time with the kids once a day (the hospital was about 45 minutes from our home) and then would come back and divide his time between me and Josh. He wasn't eating and sleeping very well, and all of the stress took its toll. He started feeling sick on our second day, and got really sick on the third day. He went to the other side of town for Adam's school presentation and then went straight to the doctor afterwards. He ended up having strep throat.
Adam's school presentation on scorpions
My stay at the hospital was pretty typical: nasty food, not feeling good enough to do anything but not wanting to stay in the hospital either, and a super-uncomfortable bed. Normally I would have a baby to cuddle and take care of, but since he was in the NICU, I couldn't do that. So, it was a bit boring. Mike brought me the new Dan Brown novel to read, and it made the time go faster.

Over the next few days, Josh progressively got better and they were able to remove the oxygen, stomach tube, and IV. I was allowed to start nursing him, and things looked good for him getting released when I did. Unfortunately, because he didn't get to eat for the first day and a half, he became jaundiced and lost over half a pound, and ended up having to stay in the NICU under the bili light after I was released.

I am so grateful for the NICU, and the wonderful miracles that take place there. However, going home without a baby is one of the hardest things I've had to do. I have absolutely no right to complain; so many of the babies in the NICU are there for weeks and months, and there are many moms don't ever get to bring home a baby from the hospital. Josh was doing well and was healthy, but it was still really hard. I only got a small taste of the NICU; Josh was only there for 6 days. My heart goes out to the families who have babies there. Every time I left, it got harder and harder to say 'good-bye', and I can't imagine how difficult it must be on families to have a baby in there for a long period of time.

I spent the next 3 days dividing my time between being home with Adam and Grace, and then going back to the hospital 3 times a day to nurse Josh and see him. Mike was too sick to go back, so he stayed in the lobby and slept while I saw Josh. Adam and Grace struggled with us being gone and with Josh not being home. It was a hard few days.

On Sunday, Josh's labs were starting to look better so they did the carseat test, hearing test, and I had to watch a CPR video. On Monday, Josh's labs looked good, his x-rays were clear, he had gained an ounce back, and we were finally able to bring him home! Bringing him home and being a family all in one place, being able to hold him whenever I wanted without all of the wires, and seeing Adam and Grace fall in love with him, too, was so wonderful!

We went back to the doctor the next day, and he had gained 4 ounces. He's healthy and strong and wonderful and we are all so grateful for him!

I am SO thankful for my mom, who came up and stayed with Adam and Grace; for our sweet family and friends who prayed for us and kept us in their thoughts; to the wonderful doctors and nurses at the hospital. I am incredibly thankful to Mike for all of his extreme wonderful-ness during the pregnancy and birth. Most of all, I am so thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who carried me through this pregnancy and delivery, and that Josh and I are healthy and well.

We are so in love with this little guy!