Tuesday, September 26, 2006

For Pa and Bamma

Such a face!

Newborns and such

Today I realized why Emma seems so well rounded about playing with both girl and boy toys... We hardly have any girl toys.

I thought we had enough, but I was watching a friend's children today. One of them, Ella, is a 4 year old girl, and I think she was struggling for things she found fun. We have many boy type toys, and lots of unisex toys. Now that we will have two girls, I better get more girl toys.

In other news, I finally found matching bedding for my girls. I went to Pottery Barn expecting to have to pay between $400 and $500, which I was really having trouble justifying, especially with Christmas just around the corner. Luckily, I found this adorable bedding at the store, WAY on sale. I spent less than $200 and got more than I thought I would.

This pregnancy has been so interesting, because I really have had no time to think about actually having a newborn. Even now, with Sophie's due date moving quickly upon us, there are so many other things I have to think about. Getting the girls' bedding makes me realize that I will be slowing down quite a bit through the holidays. I worry that my duties as Primary President, combined with all the mom stuff you have to do as your children get older (volunteering at the school, lessons, sports, etc...) may be overwhelming with a newborn. The good thing is I love being more busy. It makes me feel as though I am accomplishing something. It gets me up out of my pajamas and helps me to be more organized.

People keep asking me if I am excited for Sophie to come, but I really haven't thought about it past the tasks I have drawn up for myself to get ready for her. Up until my buying trip yesterday, I hadn't thought about what having a newborn will actually mean for me and Elliott, or for her siblings. Maybe I am in denial. When ever people ask me if I am excited about having her, I respond I will be excited to not be pregnant anymore (thank goodness we don't carry our babies in utero as long as elephants, eh?)

But I am looking forward to meeting this new little spirit that HF has sent to our family. I can't wait to see what she will look like (Emma looked just like Andrew, but with more hair; will Sophie look just like Ethan?) I can't wait to see how different her personality is from her siblings. They are all so different, it is hard to believe they are being raised by the same parents. But it also proves that we all come here with a spirit that was already thinking and acting in heaven before it joined with a body here on earth.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Turn up your volume!

This link was over at Mormon Mommy Wars... it is an awesome video! And I love the special guest dancer in the background!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

When I first started this blog, I tried to name all my posts after song lines or titles... But that didn't last long!

This morning, Andrew and I were up before the sun to get him ready for school. We sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast and chatting, and I pointed out to Andrew how quickly the sun was coming up over the horizon, casting beautiful pink clouds on a purplish sky. It was so beautiful, and so peaceful.

Later, since he and I were the only ones up still, I asked if he would rather say our family prayer or have me do it. He chose to, and thanked HF that he, Emma, and Ethan are all so smart.

Those two things combined with another eventless doctor visit have me in a great mood today!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hey Dad... the secret is out!

It's true, my Dad moonlights as a humble attorney, but in reality, he is John Bolton... Keep those UN guys in order, Dad!

Girl Time

One of Emma's favorite activities is
this website.

I think the fact that we go on it for about 20 minutes every day is why my not quite 3 year old is now throwing around lingo like, "its all done loading" and, "click on this website". Yikes!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Decisions, Decisions

When Elliott and I were first married, we could never get out of the video store in under an hour, because neither of us could voice our opinion as to what movie we wanted to watch. We are not quite so bad about decisions anymore, but I still find myself never taking action on items because I can't face the consequences.

For instance, I am currently debating two major purchases... Matching bedding for Sophie's crib and Emma's big girl bed, and tile for our kitchen backsplash (it's a hard life, I know!) I have been looking for both of these since the beginning of summer, but can't actually make up my mind because they both are going to cost so much, and be there for a long time (especially the backsplash.)

With indecision on such relatively inconsequential things, you can imagine how much of a wreck I am when it comes to bigger, more personal decisions. As I am writing this, I am thinking how easy it was for me to marry Elliott. That was the biggest decision I ever had to make in my life, and it was really not even a decision... More of a no-brainer! Other things are a big deal, and I admit, I have trouble at times deciphering what the Spirit is telling me, especially when I know what I want. I wonder at times how the final judgement is going to play out. How many decisions have I made that the Lord will ask me what I was thinking, and why I didn't follow the direction I was given by the Spirit.

Ah well, that is the beauty of the Atonement. When I do fall short, the Lord will make up the difference for me. What an amazing blessing!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hidden Side Effects (or what your doctor forgot to tell you)

Did anyone reading this blog know that when you have an IV during childbirth, you are at increased risk for Uterine Apnea? What, you ask, is Uterine Apnea? I can tell you, because I had it with my first delivery.

Uterine Apnea is when a woman's uterus bleeds excessively after childbirth. In my case, the OB that delivered Andrew called for blood, but was able to stop the flow with the drug oxytocin. I have a friend who also had Uterine Apnea, and she had to have a blood transfusion because she lost so much blood. She told me that after she delivered her first child, the doctor and nurses were all very concerned, but no one really told her what was going on. All the medical personnel left her room for a couple of minutes, and she could hear a dripping sound. It was her blood dripping onto the floor. Very scary.

I didn't think much about my uterine apnea. I was induced for being borderline for hypertension, and so I had to have an IV with pitocin in it. The OB who delivered me made it seem as though the apnea was just a normal complication of childbirth that some women face. It scared Elliott enough that when I suggested delivering at home for our later children, he was (and is) against it, just in case.

A few weeks ago I had my semi-monthly check-up for this pregnancy. I drank a whole bottle of water on the way to the OB's office, because I wanted to be able to give a urine sample with ease. At the office, I was told they needed to do a further blood test to finish my labs, because they hadn't gotten enough blood the last time I was in. I gave the blood just fine, and went to check out at the front desk, only to look down at my arm and find it spurting blood out through the band-aid and everywhere. It was a mess. The nurse that helped me clean up commented to one of her co-workers that I was a "well-hydrated woman".

That got me thinking... If being well hydrated could cause me to have trouble stopping bleeding after a needle prick, what would an IV of fluids for several hours do to me. At my last check-up, I asked the doctor if he thought the IV could have caused my uterine apnea. He said definitely.

The question I ask is... Why hadn't I ever heard of this risk before? I have been to different types of child birth classes, and also read about the different types of pain management techniques available. Never once did any of these materials mention that if you have an IV, whether for pitocin or for an epidural, you are at increased risk of having uterine apnea. In fact, much of the literature I read about epidurals makes them sound like the safest drug in the world.

I definitely want women to have a good birth experience. If a woman thinks she can't handle the pain of labor, I don't necessarily have a problem with her getting an epidural, but I wish women were better informed about the side effects of what they choose to do medically.

My philosophy has always been, "You can always get more invasive, but you can never get less invasive." IMHO, it is better to go into labor thinking you will be as natural as possible, and if something happens that requires the woman to need the doctor to intervene, that is fine, but having the idea in one's head that there are no side-effects from pumping drugs of any kind into one's body is crazy. Not to mention that I have had several friends who thought they would show up at the hospital and get an epidural, only to be told that they were too far along, or the epidural didn't seem to do them any good. (You should hear their birth stories... They were very unprepared to deal with the pain of childbirth!)

Before Andrew was born, I decided I wanted to have an unmedicated childbirth. I tried to educate myself as to what types of pain management (both unmedicated, and medicated) were available, so that I would know if the decision had to be made, what would be right for me. I also tried to learn more about c-sections, in case that was warranted. I wish more women would educate themselves before labor, rather than relying on what their particular doctor's philosophy is.

Another example of unknown side-effects occurred after Emma was born. I was given Percocet to help with the pain of post-partum contractions after Emma was born. A little while after taking it, I began to be extremely groggy, and really thirsty. I really could barely keep my eyes open, and literally drank a whole pitcher full of water without having my thirst satisfied. I rang the bell to have the nurse bring me more water. Instead of my regular nurse, a different nurse answered the bell, and when I told her what was happening, she instantly accused me of not drinking enough, asked me where my IV was, and threatened to put me on an IV if I kept being dehydrated. I hadn't just gone through natural childbirth, with no IV, only to be told I was going to have one put in afterall.

"Hmmm," I thought to myself, "I guess I won't tell you when I am thirsty again!"

After a few hours, I began to feel better, but I was given more percocet to help with the contraction pain. About half an hour later, I started having the same grogginess and dehydration again. I am not a rocket scientist, but it didn't take much for me to figure out that I was actually having an adverse reaction to the percocet. I called for the nurse again (this time my regular and wonderful nurse came), and told her what was happening, and that I thought it was a side-effect. Sure enough, she confirmed that it was. I admit to being a little bit irritated that I had not been told ahead of time what the side-effects of percocet are. I realized then that I needed to be even more proactive in asking what the side effects are of anything ever done to or given to me or my family.

I guess the point of this blog is to say... Educate yourself before you have a medical procedure done. So many times there are routine procedures that we have heard about, and that doctors perform, and we forget that even routine procedures have side effects. It is important to know what is going on with your body, and to get accurate descriptions of what is happening, not only from your doctor, but also from other sources so you have a well rounded knowledge.

Okay, off my soapbox!

Housecleaning Tip-of-the-Day

This is from the quilting forum I go to occasionally -

Always leave several get-well cards on the mantle... If unexpected guests stop by, they will think you have been too sick to clean.

New movie I am SO excited about!!

My favorite movie star is coming out with a new movie soon... Bet you can't guess who it is? I will give you a clue... She is blonde, and has a perfectly shaped body, and generally weighs about 3 pounds.

That's right... Barbie is coming out with a new release... Straight to DVD! It is going to be called, "Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses". Mattell has some serious genius going on at their headquarters. Emma is getting ready for the debut... She already got the coloring book that goes along with it. Can't wait!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Almost Famous

The ladies over at Mormon Mommy Wars have linked to me on their new blog... Wow... I am so flattered. Thanks ladies!

Now I think I need to get my blog looking better, and I guess I should start blogging a little more, so when people click over there might actually be something semi-interesting that isn't 2 weeks old!

6 weeks and counting...

Okay, truthfully, it will probably be more like 7 weeks, but Sophie's actual due date is 6 weeks from today. I was thinking I had a little bit longer, not that I am complaining! I realized a couple of days ago there are probably a few things I should be doing, like washing her clothes, making sure she has clothes that will be sufficiently warm, and finding some cradle sheets.

Yesterday I went through Emma's boxed up clothes. I had forgotten how cute some of this stuff is! Luckily, since Emma was born at the end of November, I won't need to buy all new clothes for a different season. Most of Emma's old things are relatively warm, even though we were in California when she was born. I have supplemented Sophie's wardrobe with a warm fleece bunting for the first few months... I am hoping she will be warm enough!

How do people keep their newborn warm enough when going out in the winter in cold regions? I am planning on keeping several blankets in the car, and utilizing the new bunting. If you have had a baby in a place that is really cold in the winter, give me some tips... Just don't suggest not going out... With 3 older siblings it won't be possible to sit at home watching old 1950's syndicated reruns!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What exactly is a SAH parent?

Today I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about fashion bloggers who are being invited to the Fashion Week shows in NYC. One of the gentleman they were quoting was labeled as a Stay-At-Home-Dad (SAHD), which was fine... one can certainly run a household and a blog at the same time. In the next paragraph the gentleman went on to say that he knew his blog was successful because he was able to hire a nanny from his earnings on the blog.

Hold on... He hired a nanny? Uhm, does Elliott qualify as a SAHD now too? He works from home and has a nanny for his kids (me!) I think I may need to write to the WSJ and ask exactly what this gentleman does with his kids that qualifies him to be a SAHD.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for the SAH-parent being able to hire a little extra help... I have had a cleaning service in the past, and am seriously considering hiring another one to come twice a month now that the baby is about to come. But a nanny? Does the nanny run the kids to their sports/lessons/appointments? Does the nanny do the laundry? Does the nanny do the cooking/bathing/straightening up/ etc... for the kids? The families I knew that had nannies (yes, I knew several) utilized their nannies for all these things... I am really curious as to what now qualifies this dad as a SAHD...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Another masterpiece?

I am really starting to regret making decorative cakes for my kid birthday parties, especially when I am exhausted at night, it is 9pm, and I am just getting started on several different colors of frosting!

Nevertheless, Andrew really liked this one, so I am glad I made it for him. Can you tell what it is?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks the 34th anniversary of my parent's marriage. 9 kids and 9 grandkids (with 2 more on the way) later, they are still a great source of inspiration, learning, and testimony to me!
Congratulations Mom and Dad! Thanks for all of your support throughout the years. I love you!

(and be forewarned that next time I see you I plan on taking lots of pics of you both, because I don't seem to have any!)

Empty Nesters

Today was Emma's first day of school. She was very excited, as you can see. While I was waiting for the time to take her to school, she went outside, and I thought she was just pulling flowers out of my planters on the front porch, which is one of her favorite pastimes. But two minutes later, when I went out there, she was standing on our driveway waiting for the bus to come get her. I had to break the news that Mommy's car is the bus for her school.

When I dropped her off this morning, she was a tiny bit nervous, and wanted to make sure I was going to go to school with her. I told her I would meet her teacher with her, and then I would need to go (I had to wait for a repairman that never showed up!)

We met her teacher, and while hanging up her backpack and putting away her lunch bag she noticed that several other princess backpacks were hanging up. I think she will be in good company with this group.

Elliott and I took advantage of temporarily having no young ones at home to go out to lunch. Afterwards, we picked Emma up and her class had just been watching the local high school's homecoming parade, which went right past the school.

She was all smiles, and it sounded like she had a great day!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Mastercard Moment

Number of loaves of bread we eat each week - 2

Number of gallons of milk we drink each week - 5

Number of Costco-sized jars of creamy peanut butter we consume in 2 weeks - 1

Not having to milk the cow, grow the wheat, or grind the peanuts myself - Priceless

Saturday, September 02, 2006

An idea for 'Project Runway'?

Maybe Elliott is getting into polygamy, I don't know... But for some reason he was on this website today.

Friday, September 01, 2006

That time of year...

This week started the main fundraiser for the boys' school... Selling giftwrap. I really dread these fundraisers. The items the kids have to sell are over priced, the neighborhood is filled with other kids trying to sell the same items, and now I have two kids that both want to sell lots of items so they can get a prize that isn't worth more than $1.

What I really wish is that the school would give parents an option... Either sell these items we are pushing (of which the school gets 50%), or make us a tax-deductible donation (for which the school would get 100%). I would even be willing to throw in a little $1 prize for my boys.

Anyone want to buy some gift wrap?

My New Venture

That's right... After Elliott's burnout on attempting to make us money in the stock market, he has turned our stock account over to me! I plan to start making the big bucks any time now... Feel free to come to me when you are in desperate need of stock advice! :-)

I bought my first stock today, after reading about a company in the WSJ, and then doing a little more research on-line. The stock is currently at it's 52 week low, but hey, as they say... Buy low, sell high. I figure the company has no where to go but up. Maybe I'll even become a CNBC junkie now, which is perfect timing... When I am feeding Sophie, I will have nothing else to do.

Vivent les nouveaux riches!

Living Dangerously

Andrew is really into science right now (for his party next week he chose a solar system theme). One of the presents we got him for his birthday is a crystal growing kit, and on Wednesday we invited a couple of the neighborhood children over to help us make our first one, a glow-in-the-dark geode crystal. I made sure the kids knew the chemicals we were using were dangerous, and if they got any on their skin, they should go wash their hands with soap.
Everything went great-- no massive explosions from combining the wrong elements, no one getting burned, no one eating any of the chemicals... oh wait a minute...

About half an hour after we got done setting the geode in its watery solution, Ethan came into the office where I was working on Primary stuff. Here is the conversation:

Ethan - Mom, will you die if you drink the water for the crystal?

Me - no, but you might get really sick and have to go to the hospital.

Ethan (looking ghostly pale, as if he may actually die) - I drank the water.

Me - What?!?! No, you didn't.

Ethan - yes I did.

Me - No, you didn't really, did you?

Ethan - yes I did.

Me (starting to panic) - what??? oh no (at this point I get up to go find out what the poison control number is).

Ethan - I stuck my finger in and licked it.

Me (feeling much relieved that he didn't gulp it down) - Okay, let's get you a glass of water.

Yikes.... it was really scary for a minute. However, he seems to have no adverse effects... But from now on I will have to put the solution up higher than the back of the kitchen counter, I guess!