Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nesting on Crack

So what does a woman do that is waiting for a baby to come? Usually, if you are me, you get really impatient/annoyed/frustrated. I am five days over my due date and this baby still hasn't graced us with her presence. I've been getting a lot of sympathy lately, but I am really I fine. I feel like I have been blessed with more patience this time than last time, for sure. Part of it is not having the pressure of my mom flying in and needing to have the baby within the window of her being there. It always ended up working out, but it was still stressful.

It's at the end when I keep asking myself how many more times I will have to go grocery shopping, or mop the floor, or clean the bathroom, or make yet another dinner (ugh, dinner). Jared was so excited last week when I went grocery shopping for the last time before the baby... but it seems as though we are running out of food again and guess who you think will be dragging her fat self to the store once again? Me. I can see it happening anyway.

Usually what ends up going down is that I get really mad the day before or the day of having the baby. Maybe that's what sets me into labor, who knows? I haven't been that mad yet... until today. It annoys me that everyone keeps asking me when I will be induced, as if that is the only way I would ever have this baby and the only way that people seem to have them anymore. It annoys me that inductions are so prevalent. I don't want to force my body to do something when it's not ready. Call me old fashioned. I have had one induction where I was tied to the bed for the entire labor, I have had one c-section which was not a good experience, and I have had two amazingly wonderful natural water births where I went into labor on my own. Yes, I was past my due date on both of those, but the births and recoveries were night and day from the births that required interventions. If I had the choice I would do it that way every time. I feel like women are made to have babies, and while I am grateful for modern medicine/technology/interventions in some cases, I don't feel like they are necessary in the majority of cases. Look at other parts of the world where the c-section rate is very low compared with ours that is over 30%. (Okay, I really need to get off my soap box... but let's remember, I am almost 41 weeks pregnant and I am annoyed!)

So even though I am somewhat bothered by the various women in the neighborhood that are waltzing around with their two and three week old babies when they were due the same time or after me (who also incidentally were all induced or planned c-sections), I can't complain that much because it means I will hopefully not have to have the same interventions. My midwives have been great about not pressuring me. They are leaving it entirely up to me, so that's nice.

Back to me having patience... I think one reason I have been okay is that I've been filling my time with completely unnecessary projects that I enjoy doing. Just think how much more I am getting done that those suckers who already have their babies. Normally I would be cleaning out closets and scrubbing the baseboards, but I decided that since all of that cleaning gets reversed so quickly, that it is not even worth it to try. My nesting has definitely reached a new level of insanity, but I'm hoping at least this stuff will endure. Here's a sampling:

1. I sewed a nursing cover. I have two from the last baby but I never really liked them that much. So here's the cuter one.
2. I sewed a car seat cover. I've never actually had one before. I always hoped that I would have a super creative and generous friend that would make one for me, but since that never happened, I had to take matters into my own hands.
3. I painted and mod podged these new letters to replace the summer one. And it is finally feeling like autumn too. Halleluah!
4. I made two big flannel receiving blankets. I wanted something that wouldn't come undone when swaddling, and also I couldn't find too many other ones from previous kids.
5. I made a changing table cover. I couldn't find the one I had before either.
 ...and another one. I guess the ombre pattern is in right now. Kind of cool.
6. I painted this canvas for above the changing table (inspired by pinterest)
7. I made these canvas bins out of diaper boxes (yes, also pinterest). These were actually quite a process. First, I had to spend all this money on diapers so that I could have the size box I wanted. Cheap project made expensive by the cost of diapers. Then I covered them in canvas, bought some material and made the liners.
This is what they looked like at first. But, after I made them I decided I didn't like the fabric.
So I got this black and white fabric instead and liked it way better (more wasted time and money). I spent all this time making ties and threading it through the liners only to change my mind and put the aqua ribbons on the front instead.
This is how the baby station it is looking so far. I still want to do some other things on the wall, but that's it for now (unless I go another week, I suppose).
8. I ordered some fabric from fabric.com for pillows in the living room. This color wasn't quite what I wanted for that room (you never know when it's online), so I started recovering an old rocking chair that had been given to me. The only problem was that I only had enough for the seat and I am now waiting on the rest of it to come this week. Here's the cushion. I still need to paint the chair (another project).
9. I sewed some pillows for the living room. I am loving how it is looking so far and am amazed at the transformation with such a little thing. I am also waiting for more material for some other pillows. Maybe that's why I haven't had the baby yet.
10. We are also in the process of making magnetic boards. I guess I should go sand and paint so I can add those to the list. 

 ... or... I could continue to get angry at my predicament and at all those well-meaning but no good people around me making insensitive remarks at my expense, so that I go into labor sooner rather than later.

She will be here soon enough. Until then, I will be avoiding most outside human contact, and doing all the various "tried and true" ways to induce labor naturally. Anyone have a mini trampoline I could borrow? Wish me luck!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer (remember that?)

I have one summer decoration:  wooden blocks spelling out the word "Summer" and it's still out (but then again, so is my valentine decoration). My kids keep telling me that I should put it away since it's not summer anymore. I tell them that summer does not actually end until Sept. 22, the first day of autumn. As long as I am still within that window, I can rationalize posting pictures about summer. So here are some things we did...

The 4th of July:  We had a neighborhood breakfast in the cul-de-sac. Hot, but delicious. That night we went down the street for another neighbor's great fireworks show. Nice to have neighbors that are so festive, since we can never justify spending that much on fireworks. Once it got super dark we sat on our front lawn for a great view of the Thanksgiving Point fireworks show. It was so nice to not have to fight traffic. Next year there will be a house in the way. It's being framed right now. We may have to convince them to let us watch them on their back deck.

The next Saturday we had a ward breakfast where the kids got their faces painted and had a bike parade with their decorated bikes. I did not follow along due to it being super hot and me being super lazy. Connor kept up on his scooter with all the other kids on their bikes. The kids loved it.

 Popsicles to cool everyone off

Seven Eleven:  That's right. On 7/11 we got our free slurpees. Love the free stuff!

Dress Like a Cow Day:  We dressed like cows and got tons of free food from Chic-fil-a. I think it was something like $30 worth of food. Connor refused to put on the felt spots I had carefully cut out for his costume, but they still gave him free food (he was wearing the ears, after all). And this tradition wouldn't have been complete without Cheryl, who is the person I do all this kind of embarrassing stuff with. Thanks for coming and making a fool of yourself again! See you next year.
Foam Day:  We went to foam day again this year and it was about as fun as last year. Connor hated it. Marissa disliked it and didn't last very long either. Alex and Erin got to go to the big kid area and had fun. Alex was done after a short time but Erin wanted to go back for more.

I took the other kids over to the blow up water slides. Can you tell that this part was a hit (even if the line was horrendous)? Crazy Lehi people.
Marissa's such a brave child. That slide was so steep!
Visitors:  We had lots of visitors come to see us and loved it! No pictures of any of them, except for Clara who you can see had a great time with Erin in the mud. There's never a dull moment when Clara is around.
The rest of the Penrods came to see us from Florida and it was so great to see them! My old roommate Krisanne came for a visit which was awesome because I hadn't seen her since our oldest girls were babies. Around the same time in July, our sister-in-law Robin and her kids also drove up from Arizona to visit. In August we had a couple other Florida friends come see us, the Potts family and Myra. I love our Florida friends. The same week, my sister Katie and her kids drove out from Maryland for a surprise visit. So many kids and cousins to play with! We loved seeing everyone. It made our summer so great!

Games:  near the end of the summer, when there were no visitors here, I could tell my kids were getting a little bored. I pulled out the dominoes one day and they played for a good 2 or 3 weeks straight. Even Marissa could play with no help. After a while, I decided to teach them Rummikub, which is slightly more complicated. I didn't really think they caught on at first, but then I found them playing it for another couple of weeks on their own, so I guess they did.
Family Reunions:  the week before school started, we had a family party for my mom's side of the family and then that weekend we had a reunion with my dad's side of the family at the Five Star Ranch. It was a HUGE 20,000 sq. ft. home that seemed to go on forever. I was surprised that everyone got a bed to sleep in, but there were plenty with room to spare. You can see the huge house in the distance in this picture. It was a beautiful valley as well with horses, canoeing in the pond, two trampolines, etc.
My parents got the kids license plates with their names on them for their bikes 
(just to explain this picture).
We took some family pictures. Here are all the cousins on the Evans side. Four kids in each family (until our next baby comes and ruins all that good symmetry). We hadn't seen each other for about 2 1/2 years.
 Goofy Cousins
And one of the whole family (minus Katie's husband, Walter and my brother Joe and his wife Mari)
Labor Day:  we had a great barbeque with my family and pool party on the last day our community pool was open. A perfect day for swimming.

That pretty much sums up summer. There was a lot of playing with friends around the neighborhood, lots of swimming, activities as Thanksgiving Point, story time at the library and just enjoying not having a strict schedule. It was a good summer! We will see you next year.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Just Because

About us lately:

Erin--she has wanted to cut bangs for a long time now, which I kept trying to discourage based on my own experience and her curly hair. Luckily, she decided she wanted long bangs that she could still tuck behind her ear. She is so happy with them, as long as they aren't curly. Her curls are her worst curse in life. If anyone says they like them she will glare at them like they are the cruelest being on earth, so don't try it. She has been having me blow dry her hair straight most of the time, which I am getting better at, so as long as I can keep it up, nobody will ever know about the "you-know-what's".

She has started piano and is doing well at it. I finally got the kids to practice in the morning before school and before Connor wakes up to mess them up while they're playing. Then they have time for homework and playing with friends after school. It has worked out so far. She would love to be in gymnastics but I still have to find a place. Since the Olympics she has been doing cartwheels and fancy gymnist hand movements, so I hope she will enjoy it once she starts.

Alex--I feel like he has grown up so much in the last year.  He gave his first talk in primary recently. He gave me some ideas of what he wanted to say about the topic and I wrote it up for him. Then, the morning he was supposed to give it he didn't want to practice it. I finally made him read through it, but he would only do it once, no more. I wasn't sure what would happen at church. When it was his turn he took the sheet up there and read it all without any help at all. I was so proud of him. He reminded me about the last time he was supposed to do something (a scripture) in primary in Florida. He would not even repeat it! From that to reading his talk on his own is a huge progression.

We signed him up for Jr. Jazz basketball starting in October with his friend next door. Now, every night he wants to go out and practice. We have a b-ball court in our community, but it would also be nice to have one at our house. Maybe for his birthday. It's so cool to see him get excited about sports and play with his friends on the basketball court. He wants to do all the sports one by one. But... he does not want to do ballet because he doesn't want to have to lift girls. He is liking piano as well. He has a lot of boys his age around here and does well being friends with most of them. He is pretty laid back and mellow, so things just roll off of him, which is great because we don't need any more girl drama around here. Oh, and how could I forget... he lost his first tooth a few days before school started (and thanks to Erin, he now knows that we are the tooth fairy... and Santa... and the Easter Bunny). He has one more that is loose as well.

Marissa--she just started her dance class (ballet/jazz) this week and could not be happier about it. She looks forward to things with so much excitement and asks about them all the time. She tried so hard to do all the steps right and has a couple of girls from our ward in the same class. More friends! She definitely needed something extra (I needed something extra for her to do).
She is starting preschool next week and it will be another good social thing for her two days a week. I decided to join some other moms to do a joy school, only we are coming up with our own curriculum. These ladies have all done it before and were kind of selective about the kids and moms in the group. You want to have responsible people and good kids. Even though I feel like I haven't done much of anything for it yet (because I'm having a baby), I feel like it will be a great group. I only teach once every 5 weeks. She was so excited to buy her school supplies and special left handed scissors (which, by the way, are very hard to come by). I feel like she should wear a string around her neck with her special scissors for the next few "arts and crafts" heavy years. Oh to be a lefty in a right handed world... (at least her hair isn't curly or anything).

Connor--he is finally going back to nursery. We switched his class and I subbed in there for a couple of weeks to get him used to it again, and now he loves it. Thank goodness. He loves to color when the other kids do and keeps coming to me asking to draw obscure, not so easy things, like zebras and car seats (I'm better at stuff like circles, fyi). When Marissa does her workbook, he asks to do a Jesus book. We have tons of he coloring books from the living scriptures that he uses. He loves me to read to him while we snuggle. He usually picks out 10 or 15 books every day and piles them on me.

If you tell him he's cute he yells, "No, I Connor!" When we were having macaroni the other day I asked if it was delicious and he yelled, "No! Not 'elicious. It's Macamoni!" Water is still a "dink of la-la". He's been asking to call grandma and Max a lot lately. Oh, and he calls my dad Max. Funny. He loves to mop and wipe the chairs, which I happily let him do. He finally started wearing sandals--his blue shoes--after the whole summer of insisting on socks and shoes (and now it's getting to be fall, go figure). This child could not for the life of him figure out how to drink out of a straw. He would watch everyone else do it and try, but he would always get mad and say it wasn't working. I don't know how he skipped over that skill, but he did. Finally the other day, Jared got him to do it. Very exciting day!

These outfits were Alex's idea, 
but Connor was so excited to match Alex.

Jared--he's been working at home this week due to getting over being sick as well as my condition at the moment. I'm sure it's hard to work when there is so much going on around him. And he is actually very busy right now at work. It is a good job for him and he does enjoy it. This has been a great change for him.

He's also been in a racquetball tournament this week. The first night he was so close to winning, but lost all strength in the tie break due to not being able to eat much for the previous three days. The next night he won and now he has a bunch of other games tomorrow. Unfortunately for him, I am too caught up in counting kicks and washing baby clothes to pay much attention to his racquetball this week.

Me--I went in for my appointment on Tuesday and was still measuring really small, so they did an ultrasound to check things out. The baby was measuring fine, but they said my fluid levels were really low. I found I was dilated to a 3 as well. The midwife asked how I felt about being induced... like that day. A sense of sheer panic shot through me because I felt completely unprepared. I had just bought a whole bunch of meat the day before that I intended to make meals out of and freeze, and my parents had just given me a big box of peaches I needed to do something with, and I had a bunch of fabric I was going to make stuff out of, and where were the baby clothes anyway? I also had not talked to anyone about watching my other kids. Since all my kids have gone past their due date I had to tell myself this whole time that she would also come late. Therefore, there was no need to get things ready yet. I felt so consumed with getting the kids in school that I couldn't even think about the baby. They determined that they would just watch things and then induce at 39 weeks if the fluid was still low (so next Friday). I went home and got out the clothes only to realize that there were no pajamas or socks or blankets in the box, most of the stuff was 4 to 8 years old, and it was almost entirely clothes for Florida--little short sleeve dresses, etc--not stuff for winter. I don't even know how to dress a baby for cold weather. More panic. I was just not at all ready.

Since Tuesday, I have taken care of all the meat in the fridge, blanched, peeled, cut up and froze all the peaches (with the help of my mom), washed and folded almost all of the baby clothes, sewed two big receiving blankets, almost finished the canvas bins and liners for the changing table, bought diapers, pj's and some other baby stuff, and finally packed a bag for the hospital. I feel much more prepared now than I did three days ago. Phew. I was having some good, regular contractions Wednesday, but things have not progressed much since then. Now, since I told people about that, I feel like there is all this pressure to have the baby. They keep calling and asking, but I just feel like I'm failing, when really I have no control over what my body wants to do. Such is life at this stage of pregnancy.

Now on to finishing those boxes... (or laying on the couch. I haven't decided yet.)