Friday, March 28, 2008

Salt Lake CIty

My MIL told us about the train system here in Utah, and the kids really wanted to try it. So the plan was that all of us might save some money in gas, take a bus from Provo to the train and then ride the rails up to Salt Lake City to see the temple. Well, Wendell being the pragmatist that he is saw some flaws to the plan. It may take forever to catch the bus to the train. And it was nap time and Bren may freak out. Then we don't know how she would act on the train. So we decided to drive to the tacks, put grandma and the kids(minus Brenley) on the train, and drive to the temple and meet them there. Believe it or not, the train people beat us! We hit some massive traffic, but Brenners was taking a micronap so it wasn't so bad.

First we saw the tabernacle, which for some reason I have never seen in my life! I don't know why. I have been to temple square many times, but this was my first time. It was built as the church meeting house before the temple was completed, and it is gorgeous. I love all old buildings, but this one is so unique. It is so different then our churches now. With it's high ornate ceilings and stained glass windows, it looks more like a catholic church. O.K, I have never in my life been inside a catholic church. But it looks like I imagine a catholic church would look like.

Then we went to the Joseph Smith Memorial building. Brenley was so funny in the elevators. She really felt it, and when it stopped she would go ,"whoa!" She loved running around on the pretty carpets, and we all enjoyed the view of the temple from the top floor.

We went to the visitor's center on the south side, which I didn't even know existed. The kids really enjoyed watching all of the old LDS commercials. O.K, I loved them too. Somebody did a great job. The whole place was really impressive, and the kids really loved it. Who knew?

After that we went to the Lion House for dinner. This has become a kind of tradition with Grandma. Grandma tells the kids they can get whatever they want, and we all pig out. It was fabulous as usual.

Then we wandered around the temple some more. Brenley loved walking around all of the water. She loved the flowing pools on the side of the temple. She climbed up on the side and started marching. We couldn't figure out what she was doing! She was marching perfectly. It was like she had been going to military school behind our backs. Then I remembered the marching ants on her favorite Dora the Explorer DVD. Silly girl.

I didn't get many of the pictures that I wanted. The camera has an attitude. It only worked in two little spurts, which is why we have a lot of pics from one little spot, and then the refection pool.

So then Brenley decided to run around the edge of the reflective pool. The kid has some serious balance.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Yeah! There is only one!

pregnancy calendar

I have been having dreams that I am carrying more then one baby. From the beginning I was pretty sure that it wasn't one of those prophetic dreams. I was pretty sure that it was just one of those crazy pregnancy dreams. You know the ones. And in my dreams I could hear two heart beats while I was getting my ultrasound. Logically I knew you can't hear heartbeats during an ultrasound you can just see them.

And I knew that Heavenly Father knows me better then to think I was the kind of woman who could handle twins. Let's face it, I can barely handle one at a time. We all know we will not be tested above what we are able to handle. Now I know I don't know everything, but I am pretty sure I couldn't handle twins.

My belly is bigger then it should be. And I am a lot sicker then I was with my other four kids. So twins kind of seemed logical.

But there is only one little guy in there. Along with an extra large cyst on my one remaining ovary. The lovely cyst is producing excess amounts of hormones, which makes me sicker then usual. This all makes sense.

We are keeping an eye on it to see if it goes away. Since I have a history of destructive cysts, We need to watch it closely. I may need surgery during my pregnancy. We can't let this cyst wipe out my one remaining ovary while I am pregnant, like the last one wiped out my right one. Ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone which are kind of necessary for pregnancy.

I'm not too worried about it right now. My cysts usually cause a lot of pain before I need to be operated on, and we are not to that point.

Anyhow, ultrasound done. Baby healthy. All is well. Sort of.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Help! Maternity Clothes...

Apparently by child # 5 you start showing by 9 weeks. Or I am just particularly chubby in my belly area. Or I am just bloated, I don't know.

But the fact of the matter is I have no cute maternity clothes. I kept nothing after Brenley because we weren't sure we were having more. I would love to borrow my sisters' cute maternity clothes, but my SIL beat me to pregnancy by 2 months and has almost all of them. Bad timing! I am having a hard time spending a lot of money on one single pregnancy that is definitely my last and need some ideas.

I probably don't need much in the way of pants, because so many of my pants are low rise and my shades undershirts make my shirts cover part of my belly, but I need shirts. Especially right now while I am in the stage of "is she, or isn't she?" My sister Rebecca had a cute shirt that said,"we're hungry!" and Crystal had one that just said, "yes, I'm pregnant!" These have been leant to other people. I can find them online, but they are not cheap.

SO I need ideas. Has anyone been shopping and seen bargains on these types of things? Send me a line if you have seen anything, or have other ideas. Thanks in advance!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hiking the Y with a toddler

O.K I know. I should be at the gym right now doing Cathy's class. Or I should be cleaning my house so my Grandma can come over. Or at the very least I should be planning for my Activity day meeting tomorrow, and our activity on Wednesday. But I feel crummy and I am not going to do any of those things yet. I am going to continue with my Spring Break Saga.

On Wednesday we decided to hike the Y. My kids did it last year with grandma and grandpa and couldn't wait to do it again. I haven't done it since I was about 16, and didn't remember much about it. So we took Brenley with us and headed up.

I don't know if you have been here lately, but # 1 and # 2 are pretty far apart. And Rachael was telling us that it goes up to # 17. Wendell and I are not in the best shape at the moment, and lugging a toddler up the mountain at such a steep incline did not sound appealing. But the kids were having fun and we decided to go as far as they wanted to. (yes Brenley is wearing monkey pajamas. With very little sleep on this trip I decided to pick my battles, so our whole trip Bren wore one of two pairs of P.Js. Look for her flag pajamas tomorrow at the Salt Lake Temple.Lovely)
This is a shot of the kids at # 1 I believe. I was grateful to see some snow, because I was quite warm and dang thirsty! It was old snow, but I was able to dig a little and find some nice white snow to eat. Yum!

We kept asking Bren if she wanted to go back down, and she would scream, "no! top!" I called my sister Cassie who lives nearby in Pleasant Grove to ask if she knew how many markers were on the trail and she had no idea. It was logical to ask her because it wasn't really that long ago since she graduated from BYU, but she said,"I haven't been since I was like 7." She went with me last time I went, I then remembered. I was a teenager, and Rebecca was pregnant with Kylee. Kylee is 14, so that would make me 16 and Cassie 9. That was a long time ago. No help.

Brenley finally gave up at marker 7. This was a little disappointing when we found out there were only 10 or 11 altogether. So Wendell continued to the top with Kindyl and Mitchell and I went down with Rachael and Bren.

This means that I got to go almost all the way down the mountain carrying a rather large toddler. Her diaper ended up leaking all over me and she fell asleep on my chest. This made it a Little difficult to see where I was stepping.

Here are my "tough kids" who actually made it to the top. Kindyl's flip flop broke at the top. Wendell was able to jimmy rig it with a safety pin he found on the trail. He is so resourceful! I know what you are thinking. Why was Kindyl hiking in flip flops? Um..because I didn't notice she was wearing them. I figured a nine year old would know better. Note to self: When hiking, bring water bottles and check the foot wear of ALL children. You learn something new everyday.

Next: Salt Lake City

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

So I went out and picked up Easter dresses on Friday after we got home from Utah. It wasn't hard to find some cute ones, and it was fun to find the same dress for all three of the girls. And I loved the color. On Saturday I went to the ribbons and lace store to get some ribbon to make bows for the girls. This consisted of making two simple slide in bows for Brenley, and cutting long lengths of the same ribbon for the older girls to tie in their hair. This is about as fancy as I get, folks, and I felt pretty good about it until I saw crazy mama's website. I actually ran into her at the ribbon store where I spent about ten minutes and she must have spent hours. So in case you wanted to compare, I snapped this picture. Don't judge me too harshly. I did put clear nail polish on the ends so they wouldn't fray;)

Easter Sunday is super fun when you have four heads of girl hair to do and church starts at 8. We did get there in time, believe it or not, but we couldn't really get pictures before church. We did snap some after church, but our hair wasn't perfect anymore, and Bren's dress was dirty. Oh well. And the lighting outside wasn't great. Heaven knows I am no photographer.

It looks like Mitchell doesn't match, but he does. All of these greens are on a little pattern on the side of the girls skirts, but you can't really see it in the pictures.

I know it is a lovely shot of the pool skimmer in this one. But it was so cute...

Brenley made a really cute "hoppy" mask in nursery. She loves it!

After I got these dresses, I realized that I have a cute skirt in the exact same color. I got a picture of me with the girls, but I am afraid I am not attractive in it. My face already has that cute pregnancy bloat and I am not even 9 weeks yet. Fun!

Easter Saturday

For once in our lives we didn't do anything with family for Easter this year. My kids were very confused. We got back from Utah late Thursday. Rebecca was in the process getting home from Utah and quickly packing up the house to move before it is time to go to the beach house. Jannalee and Dan were at the Old Testament Trek for our stake until later Saturday. So were Joy and Dave. So if we were to do anything with our family either later Saturday or Sunday dinner, I probably would have needed to plan it. And well, I didn't. I'm a slacker. But don't feel too sorry for my kids.

Saturday morning we had a big ward breakfast, Easter egg hunt, and Easter games down at the stake center. The kids had a lot of fun.

Kindyl and Tangie did pretty well in the three legged race.

Then they tried out the sack race

Wendell and Mitchell kicked some booty in a tug of war . It was the men versus the kids on the last round, and the kids won so fast that I couldn't get a picture. Here are Mitchell's exact words" well, I was expecting more of a challenge, so I pulled too hard and ended up on my back." true story. He expected more of a challenge. What 7 year old talks like that? He is so funny.

When we got home we decided to dye eggs when Bren went to bed. We decided to kick it old school and dye eggs with plain old food coloring and vinegar. We should have tried this way before. I really like the color better.

Fun in the snow!

Every Spring Break my sister Rebecca stays in a cabin right in Brighton and takes the whole family skiing. As I mentioned earlier, this year she took Rachael with them to baby sit for a few days. Monday night we went up to get her. We took all of the kids so they could play in the snow around the cabin and we could go out to dinner with Greg and Rebecca.

Given my delicate condition, I was expecting the drive up the canyon to be a bit of a nightmare. You know it twists and turns like crazy up there. But a magical thing happened. I have such great memories of driving up that canyon that my body couldn't be anything but happy! Think about it, every time I have made that drive since Junior High I have been on my way to go skiing. Can you think of anything funner? So my body was fooled into thinking I was going skiing, and couldn't possibly get sick. It was just amazing.

They have a pretty sweet set up up there. there is a TON of snow! They have their own little hills, and even Wendell and I tried sledding down them. I wasn't exactly dressed for the snow because we were going out, but I was wearing knee high boots, and I was glad I did! The snow went up to my knees whenever I tried to walk.

After that we got the kids settled a little bit with their own dinner and took off to go out to eat. As we were leaving, we saw Mitchell still outside playing in the snow by himself. I hadn't even noticed he wasn't inside! I swear, it is like kids don't even feel the cold.

It was a fun night for all of us, and we were especially happy to get our Rachael back. She had lots of stories to tell us. I think her favorite part of vacation was when she got to eat dinner 3 doors down from where they shot the scenes at Troy's house in High School Musical. Pretty cool.
Next:Hiking the Y with a toddler

Monday- Art Museum, the Drive Inn, and Pioneer park

So on Monday Wendell's parents worked all day. After getting over a bit of a sleepless night, and playing some wii, we decided to take the kids to the Art Museum at BYU. We had been to this museum before. My sister in law margaret ( ) worked there while she was at BYU and she and my brother had their reception there.
Anyhow, I would think Kindyl and Mitch would appreciate some art. I teach Art Masterpiece in both of their classes, and they both really enjoy it and enjoy helping me prepare my lessons.

Well, I was wrong. I don't know if they were just tired or hungry or what, but they kept hitting each other and kept getting in trouble. They weren't interested in anything. Crazy kids. They were driving me nuts. They had some really cool exhibits in there, and I was really annoyed that I didn't get to enjoy them.

After the museum we went to the Drive Inn and got some food. Mitchell ate his whole burger, half of Brenley's, some fries, and some milk shake. Even Kindyl ate her whole burger. We took our food and ate across the street at Pioneer Park. Wendell and I both used to play there as kids. Many of you probably did too. They were in a much better mood after that.

I know what you are thinking. We should have fed them and took them to the park BEFORE the museum. You would think we had been parents long enough to realize this. Go figure.

Next: Fun in the snow: Rebecca's cabin

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Trip to Utah

Well the drive up was not too bad. They had closed the I17 without our knowledge, and we were stuck in traffic adding a good hour to our travel time. This is lovely when you are looking at a 12 hour trip anyhow. Note to self: check traffic report BEFORE horribly long trip with toddler. So, because we are missing Rachael, Kindyl and Mitchell are separated by a whole bench. Kindyl sat up front with Brenley and did an amazing job helping with her. Brenley was pretty happy the whole time, and aside from some argument about who got to sit next to the dog, it went off without a hitch. If I hadn't been so dang sick and miserable, it would have been just fine. We took a few vomit breaks. Lovely.(last time we travelled to Utah while I was pregnant, I flew and Wendell drove the kids. That was seriously the best way to do it.Of course, then we had no toddlers.) But it was way better then it could have been.

We got to Provo at about midnight. If you have any experience travelling with Brenley, you will know that the child doesn't sleep in the car. when it is time for her to sleep, she just screams until we get there. Big fun. Luckily she didn't start screaming until 9:00 our time(10:00 Utah time), and we only had to deal with it for about 2 hours.

Brenley tends to puke when she travels. Anyone who stayed at Rebecca's beach house when we were there knows this all too well.(sorry Rebecca). I think this time she may have had a bug, I don't know. So at about 4:00 she wakes up screaming and puking. Luckily I caught most of it in a cup. TMI, I know. So we continued the process about 4 times, and I finally woke Wendell up to deal with her at about 8. She continued to puke another 4 times. Poor kid. Travelling does not agree with her. After that, though, she started running around the house chasing after the dogs as happy as can be. No more puking the rest of the trip.

next: Art Museum, the Drive Inn and Pioneer Park

Friday, March 21, 2008

New job and Spring Break

So Wendell is done working at University of Phoenix after this week. He gave his two weeks notice, and is done. He has been over there for over 6 years, and it was a little hard for him to leave. He worked with so many good people, and he will miss them all. I was eaves dropping into his e mail account and reading all of the well wishes from people who worked for him and with him. I got a little teary.

Anyhow, onward and up, hopefully. Because it is Spring Break I have all of the kids home, and I have been feeling really useless, Wendell was going to use 3 of his sick days to stay home and help me out while I can't function. If you know Wendell, you know he never takes a sick day. We all caught a really nasty case of the flu a while back and Wendell was super sick for about two weeks. He took one day off. He really only uses his sick days if I am really sick, or I have a baby or something.

Anyhow, he was told it would look bad for him to take sick days during Spring Break. This kind of ticks me off because, like I said, the man never takes a sick day. And taking a sick day because your spouse is sick is perfectly acceptable. Anyhow, he ended up having to use his vacation days.

Because he had to take his vacation days, we decided we had better take a vacation. We have been wanting to go to Utah to visit Wendell's parents for a long time. We were supposed to go up for Thanksgiving, but I had my surgery that month and just couldn't do it. And Rachael was up there with my sister's family, and it would be nice to pick her up and let her spend some time with Grand ma and grandpa.

I still didn't feel up to a 12 hour drive in the car. In fact it is the last thing I wanted to do. But I promised myself that this pregnancy was not going to keep my children from doing fun or important things. SO, armed with my big puke cup that I keep in my car and copious amounts of zofran, we hit the road.

To be continued...

Friday, March 14, 2008

I have a child missing!

Don't panic, I know where she is. But my subconscious seems to forget sometimes. It is surprising to me to realize how often throughout the day that you take a little tally of all of your children. It reminds me of when they were all little and I would take them to the park. Every few minutes I would take a little count and make sure I knew where all three of them were. Now I only have Brenley at home, which is much easier.

What I didn't realize is that during the day I take a mental note of where they all are. It is easy when they are all at school, I don't really think about it then. But it was surprising to me how many times yesterday I wondered where Rachael was. She is in Utah, and I know she is safe, but yesterday I found myself thinking strange things like,"we can eat dinner as soon as Rachael gets back" or "I wonder if I need to go pick up Rachael?".

Then there are the practical things, like noticing that nobody is helping me with dinner. And when I need help with Brenley, I instinctively call Rachael first. It is probably a good time for Kindyl to learn more responsibility, I guess. She is perfectly capable, I should probably just remember to ask her to do more things.

If you think I am confused, you should hear Brenley. While the kids were at school, she didn't notice. But when Kindyl came home from school and I took her to her friend Tangy's house at about the same time I would be picking up Rach, she looks at me and goes, "Mom, where TT?" (tt is Rachael. It is how she said "sister"when she was little. She is perfectly capable of saying Rachael now, and does sometimes, but still prefers tt)It seems like she learned to tell time. Then when we sat down for dinner, there was confusion all over again. How do you explain these things to a two year old? She will be very happy when she gets her sister back.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Rachael!

Today my very first baby is turning 11. Sometimes I feel like she must at least be a teenager by now, and some days it seems like she should still be my little toddler. I'm going to try to scan some earlier pictures of her in here later, since she was born before the digital camera, but for now these will do! Some things you may not know about Rach:

1. She has been a "little mother" since she was 17 months old. I have told people that having two babies was actually easier than having one, and for Rachael that was definitely true. She was a pretty high maintenance baby, but when Kindyl came along she had a whole new role. She loved bringing me diapers and giving K her pacifier. She was a very helpful child. She still loves babies and is in high demand as a baby sitter in our neighborhood. In fact, she is not even here with us today for her birthday because she is travelling with Rebecca's family to Utah so she can babysit while the older kids and adults are skiing. Fun!

2. She learned cursive in Kindergarten. She actually had better handwriting then than she does now;) Just kidding Rach!

3. She is a very loyal friend. One of her best friends is a girl named Savanna that was in her first grade class. They haven't been in the same school since, but they get together regularly and of course e mail and text each other daily.

4. She is a very good cook. She has been proficient in the kitchen since she was very young. She has long ago mastered the skills of top ramen and mac and cheese and has moved on to pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and snicker doodles made from scratch. She can also be found helping me in the kitchen whenever I make dinner.

5. She has 5 cousins that are her age and loves to get together for Sunday dinners and family vacations

6. She is really good at math.

7. She can learn just about anything you are willing to teach her.

8. She loves to play the piano, and will practice even though she hasn't taken lessons in a while (we're working on it!)

9. She likes to play volleyball
10. I have never heard her gossip to her friends about other friends.

Happy Birthday Rachael! We love you!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Our New First Presidency

It is kind of odd to see a picture without President Hinckley. I am sure we will get used to it and love our new prophet as much as we loved our last one.

testimony vs conversion

Last night was the adult session of stake conference. The adult session is always my favorite. Maybe it is because I don't have to worry about my toddler acting up. Or about getting there early to get a seat. Or maybe I like it best because we always go out to eat with friends afterward. Yum. Kidding.
I'm pretty sure I like it best because the topics are all geared towards me and I usually find them relevant.

I really enjoyed hearing president Olsen speak. I love president Olsen. He was my seminary teacher my senior year, and he was a patient, loving teacher. He has had so many health problems lately and we have all been worried about him. It was nice to see him looking fairly well.

Most of the conference was about missionary work. I am pretty uncomfortable with this subject. I am not good about missionary work at all. I always feel like I need to make my little(growing) family perfect before I can invite another family/person to come and hear the gospel. So I always listen to subjects like this with a little bit of fear mixed with guilt.

Since my mom is a missionary in Germany I should be even more diligent in my missionary efforts. Don't I pray that the members in Berlin will help the effort there?

It brought to mind a conversation I had earlier in the day at my friend Tiffany's baby shower. Tiffany is a convert. She was married several years before she was baptised. This is always surprising for people to hear because she seems like she has been a member all her life.

I ran into an old friend of my sister Joy there. It turns out she (Aubrey) had gone to ASU with Tiffany and has known her forever. She mentioned that she felt bad she never introduced Tiffany to the church, because it was obvious she was golden. I told her that she had obviously befriended her and was a good example to her, and that was missionary work in itself. I believe this. I have always believed this. This way I can tell myself that if I am just nice to the non members that I know, I am doing my part.

Well,I am pretty sure now that this is not the case. But the alternative is awfully scary. What do you think? Am I doing my part?

Anyhow, President Evans spoke at the end. I had been feeling gross, and had snuck into the mother's lounge (yes, without a baby) to eat whatever was in my purse so that I might feel less nauseated. (this happened to be a chocolate covered pretzel from Tiffany's shower. Very healthy, I know.) I turned on the sound and sat in the comfy chairs ate my pretzel, and felt much better.

President Evans started talking about the difference between a testimony and conversion. Here it is:

testimony: to know and to testify.

conversion: to do and become.

It is pretty easy for me to have a testimony. I know the church is true, and it is easy for me to teach and to testify of it(in church, of course, where everyone agrees with me;) I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon.
I have read about it and prayed about it, and know that it is truly another testament of Jesus Christ. That part is done. It is easy for me to know of the truth of these things and to feel the spirit in church or when I am reading my church magazines.

To do and become is much more difficult. I believe in the Book of Mormon, but do I read it every day? No. This has always been a challenge for me. I love President Hinckley, but I am definitely behind in my Hinckley challenge.
I know through prayer that I will have an easier time being nice to my kids (I'm not a touchy/feely person) if I read the BoM every day. Yet I still don't do it.

How many things do I have a testimony of that I just don't do? Sadly, it is many.

I reminds me of that line from the RM.
"how many converts did you have?" "just me"

I love that. I am pretty sure it is time for me to transfer what I know into what I do. Easier said then done.

Friday, March 7, 2008

What? That's not even possible. How is that even possible?

These were, in fact the first words out of my husband's mouth.

Suffice it to say, in the interest of not baldly lying to everybody we know, I am now coming out with the truth. We have recently found out that we are expecting.
I seriously considered pulling an Angelina Jolie and denying it until I was very obviously protruding, but my behavior has left me open to speculation. Since I am just not comfortable with the thought of lying to everyone we know, I decided to come clean sooner rather then later.

For some reason this one has made me sicker than the other 4. I mean waking up in the middle of the night to vomit. Lovely. So this is for those of you who may have noticed me running out of sacrament mtg to hurl. Or making an excuse to leave family dinner to puke. Or noticed me running somewhere for some reason with a green face. Or asking my SIL for zofran. Now you know.

No, I'm not very far along. I really just found out this week. I suspected a little bit. I've been hugely hormonal since my surgery, so I kind of feel like I have been pregnant for months. And now you all know and I am not even 6 weeks along. I think. There is no way to tell for sure until my ultrasound on the 27th. This is going to be a lonnnng pregnancy.

Pregnancy. Improbable, yes. Impossible, no. To quote the little talking lock on Alice in Wonderland,"my dear,I said impassible. Nothing is impossible!"

P.S- those of you who want to tell me I am crazy for having another baby, save it. I don't want to hear it. Nothing but sympathy or congratulations allowed. You know who you are....