Thursday, October 30, 2008

Best Friends

I'll be honest. I was a bit worried that "the baby" would be jealous of Abigail when she came along. With our other kids, we combated baby sibling rivalry with a sense of ownership. "this is your baby. Can you give your baby a pacifier?"

Well, we didn't really have to brainwash Brenley this way. From the begining, she would warn her siblings,"This is MY sister! She is my tiny baby, and I need to hold her!"

She is right. Abigail is Brenley's best friend. She knows Brenley's voice best from the womb. This is a natural consequence of spending most of my pregnant time chatting with my toddler. She seems to recognize Brenley's voice and likes her best.

Brenley has ruled our household for the last three years. She doesn't really feel the need to share, and doesn't mind using corporal punishment. She isn't above some hitting and biting to get her way. But she doesn't seem to show the slightest sign of this with Abigail. The other day, I used one of Brenley's towels after the baby got out of the tub. Brenley, in true Brenley form, screams,"Hey! That's MY towel!" I said, "Oh, you are right, it is. Abigail just got out of the tub. Can she use it?" She thinks for a moment and says, "well, let me see her." Just then the baby's tiny foot stuck out of the towel. That was it. Brenley uttered her signature, only for the baby exclamation, "Oohh". I can't describe the sound. But it sounds basically like she is saying, "that is just the cutest tiny thing". I love that sound. It means her little heart has melted. She continued, "look at that little foot. She is the cutest tiny baby, isn't she mom?" No more concern for the towel, or it's owner.

She doesn't allow us to neglect her. We hear this urgent cry, "Mom, tiny baby is crying!" If Abigail makes the tiniest peep. (She will ONLY call her "Abigail" or "Tiny Baby". It is the cutest thing. She absolutely will not shorten her name.)

She loves to hold her, and thinks she is fabulous. Even if she requires my attention, or steals Brenley's things. It is such a relief to me, and so adorable to watch. I hope these girls will always be best friends.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Little Perspective

This is why we still refer to her as "Tiny Baby"

This is Abigail's cousin Teichert. He is six weeks older than A and twice as big at the moment. We are working on catching up. Cute babies.


Need Christmas pictures done? Want a deal? Go here:

(yes, I am still retarded and don't know how to do an actual link)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Dad

(we had two weddings the summer before my dad died.)

I have been thinking about my dad a lot this month. For a few reasons:

The obvious one- He died in an accident three years ago today. It is his anniversary. I miss him.

I have a new baby girl. This sounds odd, I will explain: My dad died when Brenley was six weeks old. She helped me get through it. All day long I would hold her and nurse her, I wouldn't ever put her down(Part of the reason she is so spoiled.) Some of my last memories of my dad are from Bren's first week of life while my mom was here helping me. My dad would bring lunch or dinner over. He would run errands for me. He was at my house quite a bit because he didn't like being away from my mom. So sometimes when I am holding and taking care of Abigail, it makes me think of my dad.(It doesn't help that my post partum hormones are dropping, and I am hugely emotional anyway.) I miss him.

I am reading some classics online while I am feeding Abigail. After my dad died, I reread Les Miserables online(very long, but worth it. And I was grateful for my High School French) while I was nursing Brenley. When it comes to Broadway musicals, our family is divided in two: those who like Les Miserables best and those who like Phantom of the Opera best. My dad has been firmly on my side since I introduced him to the music of Les Miserables in Jr. High. I was so obsessed at the time that he took me to see it at Gamage in 9th grade. The last conversation I had with him was about how he wanted to take his mother to see it when it came to town in a couple of months. I told him I was going with them. I also reread all of the Jane Austen books online at the time. (a favorite of both my parents)Right now I am trying to get through some books I haven't read instead of rereading my favorites. I just finished Wuthering Heights. Not bad, but Charlotte Bronte is no Victor Hugo or Jane Austen. I am pretty sure my dad was familiar with them all.(I wish I could ask him which one to read next...) And he was the only one who could help me with my Physics homework(my hardest class in HS)My dad was brilliant. During his funeral, Wendell looked at me and said, " Now who is going to be my lifeline if I get onto 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire'?" I miss him.

I have been keeping up on my cousins' blogs. Their father is my dad's brother. This past month I have seen a few pictures of my Uncle Jim and his grand kids. My Uncle Jim reminds me a lot of my dad. Even more when I talk to my cousin Laurie about him. And the resemblance is painful. My Aunt and Uncle still live in Southern CA and a lot of their free time is spent by the beach. Growing up in Southern CA my dad's heart was always there. He loved the beach more than any other place. When we were kids, we would sometimes spend three weeks at a time there during the summer. The ocean will always remind me of my dad. Uncle Jim's family is very lucky to have him. Especially his grandchildren. My dad was a terrific grandfather. I miss him. (and so do my kids)

So this month I will be a little more emotional and think a little more about my father. It helps that I know where he is and that I will be with him again one day. It helps to know that he is with our Father in Heaven and maybe I should think a little more about Him as well. I am thankful that we are an eternal family and will be together forever. But right now, I miss him.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More Pictures!

What is it about newborn babies that makes you want to take their pictures all the time? They don't do much other than sleep, but that sleeping baby is just so dang cute!

(Sometimes it is contagious!;)

Then the few times she is awake, you just have to capture it on camera!

(one week old and she looks like she knows more than you;)

And she is just too precious when she settles in for a snuggle. We are all enamored.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Meet Abigail Rose!


Miss Abigail Rose graced us with her presence 10-09-08 at 8:20 p.m. She turned out to be a very accommodating child.

(The nurses kept saying to each other"baby girl. 2020." And my first addled thought was, how can they possibly know her vision at this point? They were telling her time of birth. Military time. Duh!;)

(She has wispy blonde hair and looks a lot like Kindyl did as a baby)

She weighed in at a hefty 5lbs 12oz. I was a little concerned that she didn't even reach 6 lbs. But it turned out we were very lucky she was so tiny and it took her such a short time to make her appearance. She had her cord wrapped TWICE around her little neck. So if she were bigger and took longer to come out, she could have had major problems. As it was, she was perfectly healthy!(not to mention a lot easier on mom;)

(You can tell how tiny she is when you see her in the car seat.)

When they wrapped her in a blanket and handed her to Wendell he called her "Chipotle" because she was about the size of one of their burritos. But we decided "Abigail" was a little easier to say;)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Amnio update!

My amnio today looked good! The official results won't be in until this afternoon or tomorrow morning, but the ultrasound and the look of the fluid had a couple of good indicators. I am further along than I was when I did Brenley's amnio, and hers turned out great, so I am very optimistic.

I am scheduled to be induced tomorrow afternoon. It took a little persuasion, and the fact that I am already dilated to a 31/2.(apparently, these painful contractions are actually doing something!) And a hospital that had an opening. But it is all working out according to my master plan;)(can you hear the evil laugh? muah ha ha!)

I wanted her birthday to be 10-09-08 because it is so fun and easy to remember.(That, and I am in so much pain right now that I am having a hard time thinking past one day) I didn't really have much hope of it actually happening. But now it looks doable and I am very excited!

(tiny Brenley)

So, unless by some fluke my amnio results don't turn out well, or the hospital gets slammed all of a sudden, we will have our girl here by tomorrow. I am at a 31/2 already, and once I get to a four, and get a good epidural, I am usually ready to have that baby in an hour or so. (TMI?)

So wish me luck! And feel free to send any good baby names my way!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Favorite Time of Year

Because I just absolutely love Halloween? No, not really. Maybe I get that from my mom. I remember her telling me when I was very young that she didn't really love Halloween. I think I had asked her why we didn't put up as many Halloween decorations as we did for Christmas. Or maybe I asked her why we don't have a Halloween tree. Something silly like that when I was very young.

I couldn't understand it at the time. Dressing up, candy, what's not to love? I understand better now.(although, I am pretty sure it is not genetic. my brother and I are less than two years apart, and Halloween is his favorite holiday) I am not a fan of horror movies. I don't really like all of the blood and guts business. But we do decorate for Halloween. I have nothing against pumpkins, and pirates, Egyptians, etc.. My kids aren't into the blood and guts thing either, so we don't really have anything offensive around here. I'll never start a crusade against Halloween, because it is basically harmless. And so fun for the kids.

(lovely hair after bobbing for apples;)

But I LOVE Autumn!

I love the Fall colors and the decorations that get to stay up until after Thanksgiving.

I love it when the summer heat starts to wane.

I love the smell of spiced pumpkin and hot chocolate.

And even my black Halloween candle that smells a little like black licorice;)

There are many things I love about this time of year. And this year one of the greatest things will be finishing this pregnancy next week. and being done forever! I can't wait! It will be great to have our new sweet baby girl. (who still doesn't have a name)

But my absolute favorite part of the beginning of Fall?:

General Conference! I love General Conference! What could be better than getting two whole days of strength and instruction from men and women of God? I love knowing that what I am hearing is meant directly for me. It is what Heavenly Father needs us to hear right now. I know President Monson is a prophet of God, and I love being able to hear what he has to teach in the comfort of my own home. I feel incredibly blessed to be a member of this church, and have the benefit of continuing revelation.

I love the kids' ingenious conference packets that help them sort of pay attention without getting too bored. I don't know who came up with these things (conference bingo, anyone?) but they are my heroes.(When I gave Rachael her packet, she informed me, "I don't do conference packets, mom. I take notes." Don't they grow up so fast?)

And what could be better than watching church on my couch or in my bed in comfortable clothes(O.K, PJ's) and no shoes? Especially right now, when sitting through just sacrament meeting is so uncomfortable and difficult for me. 8 hours of church and no cramped toes, swollen feet, or booty that has fallen asleep on the hard chairs. Priceless.

(Conference conversation: Kindyl and Mitchell were "discussing" conference bingo too loudly and I couldn't hear the speaker. I said, "you guys, this is church. Would you make that much noise in sacrament meeting?" Rachael just looks me up and down from the other side of the room, noticing my PJ's with the shirt pulled up over my ginormous belly and says, "Mom, would you WEAR that to sacrament meeting?" Little stinker;)

And if it couldn't get any better, Wendell made waffles in between sessions. Yum!

Yes, I realize conference comes around twice a year. I love the spring too!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Bus!

Brenley started pre school this week, and Friday was her first day on the bus. She has really been looking forward to it. On her first day of school Tuesday she threw a serious hissy fit when I picked her up from school and she didn't get to ride the bus with her friends. Then when we got back home, she climbed into the back of the car so I couldn't reach her and told me to "get in your seat and take me back to school!" Do you think she had a good time?;)

( not so patiently waiting for the bus)

I think she may do O.K. Should I be offended that none of my children had a hard time going to school? Or even nursery at 18 months old? From all of my children all I have gotten is a "bye mom!" They have all been excited about new things. Really this works out best for me, but does it mean my kids just love me less than these kids who scream and cry and want their moms to stay with them the whole time?

(yeah!, it's here! )

Maybe they are just overly social creatures. I prefer to think that my kids just have so much trust in me that they know I would never send them somewhere unsafe. Yeah, that's it, right?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I have actually been suspecting this for the last two weeks at least. I had preeclampsia with Brenley so i was kind of on the lookout for it. I have had the symptoms, but the trick was to have them while I was actually at the doctor's office.

The last two weekends my feet, hands, and face have been swelling up like balloons. This is significant for me because I don't really carry water weight while I am pregnant. (It is all the real thing, ladies. Good old fashioned fat;) The only time I ever have is when I was diagnosed with preeclampsia when I was pregnant with Bren.

But by Monday, the swelling was gone. So by my Wednesday appointment, nothing major was showing up. My blood pressure is really low naturally, so to show up on their radar it would have to really spike.

Last weekend, same story. Blew up like a balloon. By Monday it was gone, so I didn't hold out much hope that it would show up again by today.

I was wrong! I gained five pounds in the last week (symptom) my blood pressure spiked more than 30 points (symptom), I am visibly swollen(symptom), (not as bad as Saturday and Sunday, but apparently bad enough)and I have been dumping protein for the last couple of visits (last symptom). They didn't tell me about the protein before because by itself it doesn't mean much. But combined with everything else, it is significant.

Why do I seem happy about this, you might ask. Well, I am 35 weeks right now instead of the 32 weeks I was when I found out with Bren. That means I can safely continue to ignore bed rest instructions.

It also means I can be induced at 36 weeks like I was with Brenley. Yeah! Frankly, I have been counting on this.When you have preeclampsia with one pregnancy you have a 40% chance of having it with the next. I thought these were pretty good odds.

It was so nice and simple to have a six pound baby, four weeks early. She was perfectly healthy and came home fromt he hospital when I did. The thought of waiting until 38 weeks and having an eight pound baby was just daunting. My children have huge heads. So giving birth to a little baby just makes everything easier. Labor, delivery, and recovery.

Plus, if I had to wait until 38 weeks, my mother would be gone! She will be flying back to Germany on the 20th, and I wouldn't have the baby until the 22nd. This would be seriously inconvenient. My mom is very useful after you have a baby, and she hasn't missed a grandchild yet. I didn't really want my last child to be the first one she missed.

So, today I did some bloodwork and am in the process of doing a 24 hour urine catch (TMI?). If my levels are too high, he will induce me right away. If they are manageable, I will have my amnio(to check lung function) next Wednesday and the baby shortly after that if it all looks good. Brenley's amnio at 36 weeks was perfect, so I am counting on this baby to cooperate as well.

I am hoping that I am looking at 7-10 more days. If all goes well. I would like to have her on the 10th or 11th. I just think 10-10 or 10-11 would make a convenient birth date, don't you?

I have to say this illness has put me in a very good mood. I know, I am strange that way;)