Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coke zero + sweet pea=the following birthing story

I used to drink a lot of caffeine in the form of diet soda.

I still drink a ton of diet soda, but now it is mainly caffeine free.

But I seem to forget from time to time that I no longer tolerate caffeine late into the evening anymore.

Case in point.

Last night I drank a 20 oz Coke Zero at 10 pm. Normally no biggie when my tolerance is higher.

But last night I found myself awake until 2 in the morning, my mind racing a million miles a minute and my body itching to jump out of bed and clean something.

But I forced myself to stay in bed and eventually I drifted off into fitful sleep.

Only to wake up again at 3, and then at 5.

It. Was. Not. Awesome.

But as I lay there, I began to think about my use of the term sweet pea when addressing my children.

It is a term of endearment for sure, but I have been using it for so long that I kind of forgot when I started using it.

Until last night, when my overcaffeinated brain sat and pondered over many things, including the birth of my oldest child 12 1/2 years ago.

I gave birth to Kate in a little town, in the same hospital where I was born.
They don't see a whole lot of births compared to some of the other hospitals I have delivered my children in, lets just say that.

When the anesthesiologist arrived it took him 4 tries, yes 4, to get my epidural in.

It's hard enough to sit there for one try while your body is wracked with labor pains, but 4?

I had a scar like someone had stabbed me with a fork for quite a while.

After the blessed medication finally began making it's way through my body, I noticed it wasn't doing anything on one side. (I now know this is normal and they just roll you over to allow gravity to pull the epidural medication to the other side).

My doctor, however, did not know this. She said "Well, I guess it isn't working, shut it off"


Of course, being 23, and kind of timid anyway, I just said, "ok", and let the pain take over.

And mercifully I started pushing not much longer after that.

I should, however, have known I was in the Twilight zone when the labor and delivery nurse kept saying "Amy, Amy, you need to calm down" or some cr*p like that as I pushed and screamed out my 9 lb 6 oz baby.

But luckily, I had no idea it could be any different, so I felt I had the best experience ever. (It wasn't bad, I just learned with subsequent deliveries, that it could in fact be MUCH better)

We welcomed all the family in to see Kate, we spent that evening at the hospital, and then headed home with our little package the next day.

Well, as I began the recovery of sore bum, bosoms, and general fatigue, I started getting a head ache that kept building and building.

It got to the point where I couldn't even sit up without my head literally feeling like it was about to pop off my body.

My mom mentioned she had experienced that same kind of heachache with one of us and that they gave her caffeine for it, so she brought over a case of diet pepsi.

And though I was grateful for the month's supply of soda, it did nothing for my headache.

Finally, by day 2 or 3 of this, my wise, smart sister-in-law Amy tells me this isn't normal and I should go back to the hospital.

So she drives me the 1/2 mile to the little county hospital, and I walk in, bent over so that I don't experience more of the excruciating pain.

When I get there, they have the same anesthesiologist take a look at me.

He tells me that in the process of my epidural (you know, when he stabbed me repeatedly) that the needle went in too far, causing a small hole that was allowing spinal fluid to leak so that as the spinal fluid leaked, it was literally pulling on my brain, hence giving me a massive headache (that's why it hurt so much to stand up).

So to fix it, they would have to take blood from me, place another tube in my spine, and patch the hole up with my own blood.

Perfectly simple, right?

Well, once again, the Dr. Pain proceeds to not be able to find the right spot.
As the nurse holds me steady while I sob from the pain, he pokes me another 3 or 4 times before he can get the needle in.

And the whole time he's saying "I'm so sorry sweet pea, I'm so sorry".

Which at that moment was oddly comforting.

Even later when he told me the problem was with the curvature of my spine (which weirdly enough, 5 other anesthesiologists never had a problem with)
even then, I still liked that he called me sweet pea.

And even as he stuck me repeatedly and made me wish for a quick death,it stuck with me as a comforting, kind thing to say to someone. I am so weird.

Now, after 5 more children, I have learned that it is my body, my baby, and if I don't like something I can speak up. I have also learned that cities like Provo, Ut (where Julia was born) and Orem, Ut (where Henry was born) with the same birth rates as third world countries have the best anesthesiologists anywhere. They had 4 assigned just to labor and delivery. And Henry and Julia were my least stressed, most pain free experiences.

And I left with not a fork mark in sight.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Potty Mouth

A few weeks back, dear Jeffy got to have the lovely experience of Kidney Stones.

I have already been blessed to experience these
awful little devils.

They are horrible I tell you, HORRIBLE!

They make you feel as if some tiny little man has been trapped in your body and is now furiously stabbing you to break his way out.

So as Jeff got to feel this lovely pain, similar to child birth, some choice words began to escape his mouth.

As he groaned in agony at the torture his body was being put through, I could hardly believe my ears.

They were not the usual words one would expect from someone in pain. Not the typical run down of all that is four lettered.

No. Instead, my Jeffy chose the most unusual of naughty words in his arsenal.

The made-up kind.

As I listened closely to the under-his-breath mutterings I heard:




It's just shocking, really.

Try not to judge him too harshly.

I'm sure it won't happen again.

But I kind of hope it does. I've never laughed so hard while someone else was in pain in my whole life.

Poop smith? Stooge?

I love my gentle, made-up-swear words husband.

I do.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The next 10 years

What would you do if you were told that you had 10 years to live?

10 years seems like a lot. It's not.

I guess if you're 90, then 10 more years would be awesome.

But what would you do if you were told your spouse had 10 years to live?

Would you tell him/her to go out and live every dream they ever had?

Would you go out and live your own dreams?

Would you change anything, or just keep living your life, happy with the way it is?

I sat pondering these questions yesterday.

And I thought, why would anyone wait to hear that they were dying to really go after their dreams, to live the life that they wanted?

Why would anyone wait to hear their spouse was dying to encourage them to do the same?

Why would anyone wait to improve themselves, to increase in spirituality, to be a better parent or spouse or friend?

But we tend to do this. To move through life as if we have all the time in the world.

So I have new goals, as if I only have 10 years left :

~To read Book of Mormon and the Bible by the end of the year.

~To lose the rest of the "baby" weight this year so that I have the energy and strength to enjoy my children over the next 10 years.

~To run a half marathon.

~To climb Mount Si.

~To take my family to Europe.

~To learn how to swim.

~To write a book.

~To not swear under my breath when I stub my toe, or bonk my head.

~To be able to do at least one pullup.

That's good for starters. I don't have huge goals or aspirations, and that's ok. That's not the point. The size of the goal isn't nearly as important as the significance it holds for you.

I just want to live better. To be better. To be ready spiritually, physically and emotionally for whatever may come.

Try it. You will like it.

You'll see.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

40! and a Mardi Gras Party

This is my brother Keno.

He will be 40 on Saturday.

So what do you do when you are turning 40?

Keno, who served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) to Louisiana, decided a Mardi Gras Party was in order.

He, who would never eat anything different, new, or even slightly slimy, developed an affinity for a strange assortment of foods native to Louisiana.

So with the help of his talented and lovely wife Amy, and his never-give-up-until-you-make-the-perfect-King Cake-mother, threw a Mardi Gras party complete with different, new and slightly slimy food.

Spicy crawfish anyone?

Did you know that a king cake is really really yummy? It is like a cinnamon roll and a danish all put together, but with a tiny toy baby hidden somewhere inside.

Do you know who you invite to a Mardi Gras party? Well, your own delightful, adorable daughter, Sadie of course. She has her Mamma's brown eyes and blonde hair so of course she is beautiful.

What do you and your husband, your aunt, your sister and her husband give your brother who is turning 40? Why, a tandem paragliding flight of course, from here.

It wouldn't be 40 without adding a new crazy adventure to your life, now would it?

And in case you are wondering. I did open up and eat the meat of one spicy crawfish. So I tried it, I am not a whimp.

And also in case you are wondering, I ate enough gumbo and king cake to make up for the fact that I only had one crawfish.

Happy Birthday big brother.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The one where we had a vacation.

Warning: Lots of pictures to follow.

I had so much fun with our new camera this weekend. I pretty much took pictures of everything. EVERYTHING. My photography skills are still lacking, even with a fancy schmancy camera, but I will be working on that.

So for starters, we stayed at Maile and Scott's time share in Lake Chelan. This was our view from the balcony.

Pretty nice, right? Except for the fact that I am so super paranoid of my children somehow figuring out how to fall over the edge, so everytime they would step out the glass door I would gasp, or say "Be careful" or something overprotective and mother-y like that.

The reason for our vacation was simple:

We needed a break from everyday life.

So we headed over the mountains to a little town called Leavenworth Wa. All the businesses have Bavarian themed facades, Bavarian type goods to sell, and lots of Bavarian type food. But our favorite place is always the hat shop.

You can buy almost any hat you could imagine, such as this beauty that Kate is modeling.

You can also buy crazy glasses like the pair that Jeff was inexplicably drawn to.
As he walked around Leavenworth like this, he got a lot of little smiles out of people, but my favorite was a guy that looked him right in the eye and said "Hey, at least they match"

He was going for the Green Lantern look obviously.

I had way too many pictures in the car, since we spent a good 8 hours in it after all the driving around. Henry loves a good jam and peanut butter sandwich for breakfast.

I think this may have been my favorite thing in Leavenworth. I didn't like it enough to have it wrapped up and brought home, but it certainly was picture worthy.

My kids were both amazed and disgusted by it.

Pretty hilarious.

Oh, and did I mention how beautiful my daughters are?

Exhibit A.

Julia on the streets of Leavenworth.

We went all the way to Leavenworth so that Charlie could get his very own Wall Ball.

Ok, so on the way to Leavenworth we took a little sidetrip to my hometown of Cle Elum, Wa.
This is the house that my parents built 33 years ago. I use to play in the woods to the side of this house with Keno and Maile ALL. THE. TIME.

Now, what used to be woods is a strip mall and a Safeway.

I finally got a happy picture of Anne Marie. Everyone was getting super sick of me clicking away, so they would either hide behind their hands or make really weird faces. I like the weird faces, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I need a Memory Face. (Pictures tied to good memories)

Miss Nora was a trooper. I don't think she really napped for 3 days, but she was still so happy. Even covered in licorice, and cookies and whatever else we threw at her to keep her happy, it was all I could do to not crawl in the back and smother her with kisses.

She is just so dang adorable. But I'm biased.

And last, but not least, a picture of moi. It had to be a self portrait since I would probably have bitten the hand off of anyone who tried to touch the new camera. Jeff included.

I look like I want to bite someone's hand off, don't I? But do you know how many self pictures you have to take before you get one where your whole face is in the frame and you don't have a weird double chin or view of up your nose?

We finished off the weekend with a trip to Grandma and Grandpa Allen's house where we went swimming with the cousins, played Chicken Foot (a first for me) and watched the Olympics til late into the night.

We still have 4 days left of mid-winter break, and daddy had to go back to work :(,so I'm looking for more good ideas of what to do with the troops.

Any suggestions?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Guess What?

We got a new camera, hurray hurray!

We are on vacation right now and I have lots and lots (Too many) of pictures to post.

It will be awesome, amazing and totally worth the wait til tomorrow!

I'm so excited.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vacuum Love

No, this is not a post about a love relationship that sucks you dry.

This is a literal post about my love for my vacuum.

I considered an Ode, but it didn't feel right.

I considered a love letter, but it seemed too trite.

I considered all the things that I wished to say.

About this amazing vacuum that brightens my day!

(So, I rhymed, sue me).

I have been looking for an amazing, stupendous vacuum to replace our's that died.

I have coveted a Dyson. I used to own one. So I love them.

But the $550 price tag stalled me.

So I started researching the under $300 crowd thinking there had to be something good enough to handle 8 people's dirt without bankrupting me.

What did I find?

This beauty....

It's the shark navigator, and I'm in love.

I am thrilled and disgusted by it all at the same time.

Thrilled because it works so good, which is also why I'm disgusted~it sucks up a yucky amount of dirt and filth that my other vacuum obviously left behind. So knowing that we have been rolling around on all that gunk makes me want to curl up into a ball and suck my thumb.

But slowly, the Shark is doing it's business. Sucking dirt with ease. And leaving me with a cleaner house. Well... cleaner carpets at least.

And the best part? It was $199 at Target and it has a 5 year warranty and it's never supposed to lose suction. Just like it's $550 counterpart. Which is a total win for me.

Now if I could just convince Jeff it's need a mate for the upstairs......

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Today, I wish

Today I wish I was here.

This is Kate, Julia and Anne Marie 5 years ago at Narragansett Beach.

Quite possibly the most beautiful beach in the continental US. (Can I get an amen from all my Rhode Island peeps?)

So today, I would like.....

To be transported back to the sun, sand and ocean, the sound of the waves gently hitting the shore.

The heat making me a little sleepy, and forcing my eyes to stay open.

Watching Charlie get as close as possible to the waves, and then running from them so that he spent the entire day at the ocean and never got wet.

Seeing the tension leave Jeff's body as he wake boarded.

Staying til the sun left the sky and the breeze turned cool.

Stopping for Dunkin Donuts on the way home, kids falling asleep with chocolate and sprinkles on their hands.

Shaking out the sand, bathing off the salt water, falling into bed, exhausted from all the sun.

To relive it, that would be my today wish.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Decisions, decisions

Ok, so, I love to blog. Some weeks I have profound (ha!) things to say, other weeks I just ramble on about motherhood, children, hubby, what-ev.

But a problem has arisen.

Our brief stint with a dog left me without the cord that connects my camera to the computer.

And our computer(s) are unable, it seems, to read my memory card on a consistent basis.

So, I'm left with a decision.

Is it a viable solution to blog with old pictures, or heaven forbid, none at all?

Or do I stop until we get our new camera and/or computer next week?
This is bothering me.

I even contemplated not blogging anymore, wondering if I'm spending too much time on it.

But then I realized that would mean I was obligated to start scrapbooking again, since this is my children's only chance at having me record memories of them, so I'm sticking with bloggin.

But I want pictures, I need pictures!!!

Cute Henry pulling a face, or Nora just being her, or those older 4 rascals that take up such a huge part of my heart.

What is a girl to do?

I think, it will have to be old pictures for now.


Is anyone out there?

*cough* ahem. tap tap. helloooooo. anyone?

Old pictures it is.

Yes. I'm married to a skater. This is at our friend's empty pool in Rhode Island.

And try not to look for me, cuz I'm much skinnier in this picture and I'm sensitive about it. Ok, not really, but I wish I was still much skinnier, that's all. Anyyywayyy....

And this is Nora at 5 months old, just cuz she's cute. No other reason, she is just plain cute.

For tomorrow, something with an actual point to it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Turning Left

This picture has nothing to do with my post, cuz I can't download new pictures right now. So I just picked one where I looked good. :)

On Wednesday I drove my kids to school. My intentions are for them to get on the bus so that I don't have to drive them, but that just doesn't happen some days, or weeks.
The road that my children's elementary school is on is also the main road that everyone takes to commute to work. So you can imagine that at 9 in the morning it is quite busy and backed up.
On the way to school, we left the house about 1 minute behind schedule, but it was just enough that we hit the long back up and I knew my children would be late.
So already I was getting irritated. When my kids are going to be tardy I have to sign them in at the front office and write why we were late. This irritates me because it means I have to park and drag 3 small children in with me, or I have to write a note that says "Please admit my children late. I am in the car with 3 children under 3 and it is difficult to come in with all of them."
Nothing says lame mother like that note.
So already I was feeling anxious and just wanted the back up to hurry along.
Miraculously, my kids were not late and I was able to go my merry way.
Except for the fact that in order to exit the elementary school and head home, I had to turn left into the long stream of traffic still crawling by.
So I sat there, and sat there.
At one point I thought a guy was slowing to let me out since the back up at stopped.
NO. Instead he slowed down and then inched his way in front of me. And stopped, IN FRONT OF ME. Leaving me and the lady who was trying to turn right with our mouths hanging open.
He obviously was unaware of the etiquette that says "If you are unable to move forward due to a large traffic backup, then you leave a space for the line of 8 cars who are trying to exit from a school parking lot !"
And granted, the fact that I drive a 12 passenger van really does me no favors. People really just seem to not want to ever let me in. Ever.
So my irritation was starting to grow, needless to say.
At the moment when I felt like screaming cuz I had been sitting there for what felt like forever (but what was really about 5 minutes) , the clouds parted, the sun came out and I swear I heard Heavenly Music.
Someone stopped to let me out.
I quickly made my escape, and turning to wave at the kind driver, I realized it was my friend.
My other friend with 6 kids that drives a big hurkin van like mine. There Suzie was. All happy with a little smile on her face.
I don't think she even saw me, or realized it was me. I think she was just being her good, kind, nice self.
And I appreciated it so much.
My irriation lifted, a smile returned to my face.
My morning that was starting out bad, was turning into a beautiful day.
So today, in a pay it forward kind of way, I'm going to find a way to let someone turn left, or cut in front of me, or let the man with only 2 items go before me, or something.
Or maybe I'll just smile at my children all day and not speak one crabby word.
Or maybe I'll do all of the above.

All because someone let me turn left.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I'm memory lane-ing today.

It could be that my current 3 year old's penchant for nakedness reminds me of another child who shared the same love for all things clothing-less when she was 3.

Many of my lovely neighbors in Utah witnessed this outfit.

It was a daily occurrence for Anne Marie to don her two pairs of tights and head out the door.

She is 6 now, and though her modesty has improved a great deal, she still wears leotards on a constant basis, and is loathe to be found wearing pajamas to bed. Much preferring a good bathing suit or just your basic underwear.

I used to wonder where she got it from.

And though I would love to show you the picture of myself at age 5 running through the sprinkler in just my underpants, I think I won't.

You'll just have to believe me that the resemblance is uncanny.

And I turned into a grownup who is fully aware that clothing is an essential part of life.

I in fact, wear it daily.

And I'm sure one day, Henry and Anne Marie will too.

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