31 May 2011

The Sleepover





The kids really enjoyed staying with the Haley family Thursday, Friday, and part of Saturday. Alison really picked up my slack! She and Rose cleaned my home (mega thanks), Alison packed up the kid's stuff, and toted them around. Phillip cannot stop chattering about Ella. He sure loves his sugar momma. Ella takes good care of Phillip. I feel so grateful for Alison and Matt. Knowing your kids are well taken care of is, well, a relief. Amelia loved playing dress up with Ella and sleeping on her pillow. Phillip clutches the Kung Fu Panda toy he got from McDonald's trying to share it with Everett. He even has me wrap his panda in a blanket. Warms my heart! Thank you so much Alison!

I am also grateful for those ladies who brought over dinner for us. We loved it all.

I am a little overwhelmed with having three right now. Phillip continues his antics even with Justin running interference. Sunday he filled my candles with syrup and was found eating the syrup from the candles with a spoon. I forgot how time consuming nursing a newborn can be. Everett is a slow, yet vigorous nurser. Everything aches at this time. My body feels better everyday. Little man is nursing every 2-3 hours for 45 minutes or longer (including burping etc). It is hard to get up and move when the kids are going bonkers. Amelia is being a bit bossy and retaliative. I need to come up with some schemes for those hours I am nursing. One plus is the nicer weather, I can nurse outside and let the kids play. Luckily, I know that my schedule is clear and can focus on this transition. One day at a time!

28 May 2011

Everett Lynn Call


 















I have a surreal feeling writing this post. The past couple days were an honest to goodness blur of the unexpected. I am so grateful everyone is healthy, mostly happy, and flourishing in spite of the changes.

Wednesday morning I had a Dr appt. I was dilated to a 2 and "soft & squishy" according to Dr Shaw. I usually stall out at a 2 so had no concerns. We scheduled my induction for the 31st and went on with the day. I really needed to rearrange our bedroom in order to fit the bassinet near my side of the bed. Moving our heavy mattress and all started some contractions. Justin came home in time to scold me and help me put everything back together. I had mild to medium contractions all night...throw in some nightmares about having a baby without everything in order and my night was not so restful. We also got out the car seat only to find it expired Dec 09. Bummer. That means a new car seat. Thursday I took it easy but still had constant contractions. Alison offered to take some photos of me and the kids if I set up my studio stuff and primed the camera. I started to feel really nauseous while she took photos. Alison left Ella with me so we could go to the library. I called the nurse to let her know what was happening and consult with the Dr. She asked me to come in for observation as soon as possible. Justin came home from work to sit with the kids while I went in for an hour of observation. Thankfully, I packed a bag in case I was not able to come home. I arrived at the hospital at 11:45. Rose Bowcutt agreed to come over and watch the kids until Alison finished Morley's birthday party stuff.

Dr Shaw come to see me around 12:20, the contractions were pretty mild but still going strong. I was dilated to a nice 4 and 70% effaced. Dr Shaw advised we go ahead with the induction and have the baby as soon as possible. Her husband was leaving town and she did not have anyone arranged to watch her kids after normal work hours. Since I was progressing that sounded like a good idea. I had to go through a bag of IV liquid and antibiotics before pitocin. The nurse started the drip at 1:30. Justin arrived with my camera (way to go sweetie) and bag. He had to go home because all the memory cards were on my computer. By 3:30 Dr Shaw came in and broke my water. The contractions were pretty strong and I had to power breathe through the contractions. I was at a 6-7 and 75% by this time. I got an epidural. The anesthesiologist was aware of my spinal complication so erred on caution and did not make it to the epidural space. The epidural seemed to work for a moment but then it did not work. He tried a different mix of meds that did nothing. I heard him say he'd be back in a little while to try the epidural again. I yelled at the nurse to check me because the contractions were so hard and painful that I was about to faint. She checked me and yelled, "cancel that epidural and other pain meds...and get Dr Shaw!" A couple moments later Dr Shaw walked in the door. She passed by on a whim, one of her clinic patient's was throwing a fit and she decided to take a breather before resolving the issue. Good thing! She barely made it in time. The nurses were scrambling to break apart the bed before the baby crowned. I was in a totally different realm of reality. I am not a screamer, during those moments of transition I would have put the best Hollywood bimbo to shame with my screaming ability. Dr Shaw used her very best Mommy voice, which worked better than anything, to say "Jenni look at me, let's do this!" I screamed LET'S DO IT!!!! Two pushes later Everett head came out. The cord was tightly wrapped around his neck so she wanted me to stop pushing. From what I hear scissors and cord, etc was flying about until his shoulders came out. He was born at 4:20 pm. Holy smokes, the relief. Everett needed oxygen due to the cord around his neck. He pinked up within a couple minutes. That kid has the loudest cry I've heard from a newborn. He is constantly mewling and making noises. He peed all over Dr Shaw, way to go kid! His poor face is all bruised and discolored from coming out so fast. Like my other kiddos he nursed like a champ right off. I think he will earn the award for the most vigorous nurser. After the nurses helped me clean up I was ready for a regular room. I also swear hearing Justin say: "I've never heard her scream like that from pain, she deserves to name him!" He later denied saying that but I KNOW he said it. We agreed on his middle name before leaving the hospital.

We were all settled in by 7 pm for the night. The nurses maintained the heat at a roasting 75 degrees. I could not sleep it was so hot and sticky in our room. Plus the nurses have to come in every 45 minutes to take your vitals. I had Everett sent to the nursery for a bath around midnight. They kept him until 4:00 am. He was so hungry that he got some formula and slept from 2:00 to 6:30 am. At one point I had a party in my room when my blood pressure was 84 over 38. I told them repeatedly my blood pressure is low, even lower at sleep. They made me get up, eat, drink, until my blood pressure registered normally.

Dr Shaw picked up Everett at 7:30 for his circumcision. She said that his future wife will one day thank her for her amazing circ skills. I had to laugh! She is pretty funny and a bit hyper. I snagged a shower and breakfast before Justin and Everett showed up. Alison brought the kids over around 11. Amelia was so excited. The whole hospital setting was a little unnerving for both Amelia, Ella and Phillip. Amelia got to hold Everett first. Phillip was pretty shy but had a moment of joy when Everett started crying and his hat fell off. That was pretty hilarious to the him. He loved exploring all the wires and hydraulics in my hospital bed. We stayed in the hospital until Everett reached 24 hrs old. We were home by 5 pm! Alison kept the kids last night so we could have a night alone at home.

Everett got the third child treatment. He cried off and on between midnight and 3 am. He cried so loud I did not sleep but almost drowned in tears listening to him. Every 20 minutes I'd check on him to make sure his diaper was clean and burp him. After the 3 am feeding he slept until 7 am. Alison brought the kids home at 11 am. The rest of our first day as a family of 5 was a little overwhelming. Phillip trying to share his new Panda toy, throwing blocks at me, laughing hysterically when Everett cries, squeezing himself into the swing wearing Mia's black church shoes, trying to breast feed, and tearing the toys out while I nursed the baby. Amelia held Everett as long and often as possible. She loves to kiss him, snuggle me while I nurse, and hated even 10 minutes outside because Everett was inside. Both kids have runny noses and a cough. Thankfully, Phillip thinks hand sanitizer is hair gel and uber cool. We love hand sanitizer!!! Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes!

Name: Everett (my maternal grandfather) Lynn (my paternal grandfather) Call
Weight: 7 lbs 8 oz
Length: 21 inches
Time of Birth: 4:20 pm

He has long skinny limbs, long skinny toes and fingers. He has a smattering of dark hair. This kid LOVES to suck. He would suck his fingers/binky 24 hours a day if possible. He cries very loudly and has the cutest little chin quiver. My favorite is his little double chin, so out of place with the rest of his skinny self...it reminds me of a turkey waddle. LOL. He smells like heaven and cuddles like a champ. I need to go snuggle my newest little man. Night!!!

22 May 2011

These Little Piggies Went to Town

Alison came over yesterday afternoon to take me and my piggies to Sterling for a pedicure. The salon's here in Sidney won't massage my pregnant feet for some odd reason. It was nice to spend some time mono e mono with Alison. I don't think that has ever happened before. She accidentally texted another Justin asking him if she could take me to Sterling. Luckily, she called to confirm as well. We all chanced to met an hour before at Cabela's. We went just to get out of the house. Phillip LOVED the huge elephant this trip. My feet are very happy thanks to you Alison! Our lovely lilacs are starting to bloom. The air is filled with delicious perfume and color. Phillip twisted his chubby little ankle playing out on the yard. He crawled around for the rest of the night.

Friday Miss Ella came over to play. The girls collected and hid pastel chalk all over the sideyard pretending to play Easter. Phillip discovered a very full bird bath, taking a bath of sorts himself. I passed out on the porch swing oblivious to most everything around me. It was pretty pathetic. Amelia crashed into the piano bench giving herself a big fat lip, bruised teeth, and some scabs showing Justin ballet spins. She perked up with a popsicle and snuggles. Lauren came over to watch the kids while we had dinner with Alison and Matt at the Smuin's home. Megan Smuin is my VT companion. I do not know her husband very well so it was nice to spend an evening with everyone. Matt can bring out personalities like no other. He soon had Shane telling stories and such. Megan prepared kabobs and baklava (sheesh, that was good baklava). Alison made a delish salad. I brought fresh hummus and tabbouleh. Yummy!

Thursday the kids spent the morning with Rose, Grace, and Lily. Phillip did not cry at all once he discovered their dog, Duncan. Duncan is small but a tad bit faster than Phillip. The two were pretty funny to watch. Phillip kept trying to cuddle Duncan by dog piling him. Duncan evaded and Phillip ended up with an arm full of carpet. Amelia can't wait to go back for an Ariel makeover with Lily. I spent the morning photographing a tiny newborn girl. Her blog post will be up soon. Most of the props came from the baby's room. I love it when clients bring meaningful props with them. My new book club met for the first time on Thursday evening. Alison, Rose, Alaina, and Janet attended our first meeting. We read Ben Behunin's book, Remembering Isaac. The gals sipped on mint tea and dined on warm pear strudel. Yum! Can't wait for our next meeting in June.

I am still not feeling very well. The dr confirmed I am running a low grade fever of 99 degrees. Not sure why the nausea, headaches, and fatigue suddenly popped up so close to delivery. I must say this pregnancy was much harder than Amelia's or Phillip's. I can't seem to get up my gumption to accomplish much during the day. Phillip senses my relaxed guard so clutters every room as fast as possible. Hey, nothing is blowing up so we are doing fine. LOL. This week I put fans in everyones bedroom. Phillip screamed between 3-7 am the first night, between 2:30-5:30 the second night, and an hour or so the third night. He is doing better now sleeping all night but still getting up at 6:30. I just ignore him until 7:00, when I feel more ready to get out of bed. He was mostly sleeping through the night before but would get up once or twice just to have me cover him or pat his back. Amelia actually woke me up because her pant leg was over her knee, another night because her slipper fell off. The new rule is when the fan is on no crying allowed unless you are close to dying. Ha, we will see how long that lasts.

17 May 2011

Is That Chocolate Syrup or What??





I feel like a train ran me over this week. Ever since Saturday I've felt really nauseous and chilled, maybe I have a touch of flu? Or maybe I am almost 37 weeks pregnant. Not sure. I fell asleep yesterday afternoon and woke up a few hours later to Phillip screaming, Amelia smearing play dough everywhere, and my phone ringing. Boy, that was a great nap.

Friday evening we hosted our third piano recital! Only Morley and Theda started with me 18 mths ago. The kids played well and showed off their new skills. This quarter the kids decided to earn doughnut points for an incentive. Noah, Lauren, and Traeli earned the max points and doughnuts. Way to go guys! I am not offering lessons until school resumes in August. It is bitter sweet. We all earned a nice summer vacation after all that practicing.

Saturday I was a huge grouchy bear all day. I took my steam off by making bracelets for Amelia! She strung her own beads while I made the actual bracelets. Her new bracelets are so purty, just like a colorful rainbow. She is showing off her favorite one above. Her new favorite color is blue, NOT pink. Pink is so last month.

Sunday was a little stressful due to Ward Conference and HS graduation. We had quite a number of visitors and only me to direct primary. The Sharing Time lesson was a little over the Jr Primary's head but I managed by the seat of my dress. We also only had four teachers show up, grrrrr. Sunday is not so relaxing of late. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow after church. After I got up I noticed a bottle of chocolate syrup on the counter but did not register that it was not in the proper place (well-hidden). After Phillip got up I played the piano for 10 minutes while the kids played behind me. Or so I thought. Master Phillip got the bottle of chocolate and sprayed it all over the kitchen counter, floor, chair, and his body. Then he wandered down the hallway leaving a trail of chocolate to our room. On our bedspread he left a Shroud of Turin likeness of his face and hands. Justin finally noticed his chocolatey state after he slobbered all over. Phillip has a strange habit of rubbing whatever is on his hands into his hair. Pretty amazing! Justin bathed the chocolate monster while I attended to the kitchen and washing our bedding.

Monday we had preschool at the park since the weather was sunny, still a bit breezy. Phillip sat in the car watching Elmo while I photographed a family at the park. We reunited with Amelia and played until lunchtime. Phillip fell down a flight of stairs from a tall slide at the park. He had no obvious injuries just walked funny for a while and clung to me. Scared the little dude...and I.

This morning Phillip got up at 5:50. Ever since daylight savings he rarely sleeps past 6:30 anymore. I grab him as quickly as possible and run to the basement before he wakes up Amelia. I fix him a bottle of Ovaltine and collapse on the couch while we snuggle. This morning things were going as usual. Shortly after Justin left for work I caught a whiff of freshly needed diaper change. I untangled Amelia from my arms and stumbled off the couch....to find...Phillip. He discovered that his poop smears nicely on the couch, carpet, and was busy painting a Picasso on the wall. He yelled and growled me his amusement, then combed his poopy hands through his hair clapping in exuberance. I puked. He laughed. I cleaned and puked. He got a bath. That kid will have a onesie on for the next year now.

13 May 2011

Bringing on Some "C" Game





Ahhhh, the craft game. I am not doing as much lately, but it still adds up! I had a chance to crochet a few things during our little get-away last month. I made a couple of headbands for a customer, a little baby girl onesie, and a BEE outfit for a little girl's first "Bee-day." I made Phillip try it on for size. So glad I did because the tutu was way too long and the waist circumference too wide. He was not so happy...made me giggle. Goodness the sibling shirts took me forever to draw, cut out on a pattern, the cut out in fabric, then sew onto shirts. I am seriously going to get a silhouette cutter one of these days. Still, the shirts are so cute. I love the new little flower caps made for little Addy in our ward. There are a couple more boy hats I want to make for little Everett before he comes in 18 days. I better get busy.

11 May 2011

20 Days until Go, Go, GO!





Yesterday I had a ultrasound to determine size of the baby. From what the tech could see the baby is actually about average and right on schedule. Justin almost did not come but after seeing my panicked look reconsidered. He corralled the kiddos for an hour. I invited Ella to come see the ultrasound thinking Justin would be there as backup for Phillip. Glad that worked out. Met with my DR this morning to go over the ultrasound, get the Strep test done, and such. We decided that May 31st would still work for an induction date. Yikes! Only 20 more days until we welcome little Everett. I went back to the Dr's office this afternoon with Amelia to visit with the ENT specialist. She had tubes put in her ears at 10 mths of age. The right tube is still in her eardrum and the left popped out within the past two months. The right tube is causing a small cyst to form on her eardrum. We will try steroid drops to heal the cyst and hopefully squeeze the tube out. If the tube does not come out she will need to have it surgically removed.

Phillip continues to seek every opportunity he can to get his hands on my makeup. He finally succeeded in nabbing my mascara, then lipstick, then my concealer. He at least tried to apply the mascara correctly. I am glad he is so proud of himself when he actually gets a forbidden object...he usually cannot help but come and show me. Lately, he started chewing us out in Phillip talk. It is hilarious. He sounds like a chattering squirrel lecturing a human about trespassing on it's territory. Monday he took his qtip fascination to a new level but shoving black beans in his ear canals. Serger tweezers worked amazingly well! He also started mimicking Amelia. He sings when she does, follows her around like a shadow doing everything she tries. Funny thing is she often gives up but he succeeds in doing whatever she tried to do.

Amelia and Ella cracked me up the other day. They wanted to go on a Princess walk with dress up shoes and babies...and cowboy hats. I think the pair only made it a quarter of the way round the block before ditching their shoes. Ella quipped that her shoes were not made for walking. Made me laugh.

Me? All I want to do lately is lay on the couch and be lazy. Means my house is a disaster half the time. Means dinner is usually thought of 5 minutes beforehand. Means the laundry needs to get done. Means my kids are running around like hooligans half the time. I am glad it is spring. I can sit on the swing and watch the kids tear around the yard. My heart is so happy watching my little garden grow. All the seeds germinated and are about 2 inches high now. Justin planted two new hydrangeas to replace dead plants. Some of the peonies are already getting tall. I could sit and watch the kids and my plants for hours. Then read a book or two on my Kindle. I was bummed the Kindle brand cannot use the eBooks provided by the library system. Kindle is not releasing the rights until later this year. I am trying to not buy all the books I've longed to read for the past two years. Hopefully soon I will take photos of all the stuff I sewed, crocheted, and crafted over the past couple weeks.

08 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day


I am not much into holidays. BUT! Mother's Day is a great holiday for so many reasons. It is an excuse to go out of your way to say thanks to all those amazing women in your life. When I think about Mother's day the photo above always seems to pop into my mind. At the time this photo was taken my Mom had my older brother, James, me, and my sister, Jana on the way. I look at my life now with almost the same number of kids but hers were ever so close together. I think about the stresses of little ones and the admiration for my Mom exponentiates. I love Amelia's name because it reminds me of my Grandma (Amelia) Jean and my Grandma Baerwaldt. Both are amazing in their own ways. On Mother's Day I also think of my sister Jana and Miekka and Courtenay. All three bring so much love and diversity to my life.

Today Amelia sang with the Primary during Sacrament. I melted watching her eyes seek me out then beaming as she stood up singing. Before that Justin took the kids so I could sleep in a bit before church. When the time came he let the kids jump into our bed. Phillip was wet with milk and breakfast cereal. He slobbered kisses all over my face. Amelia bounced around yelling, "Happy Mother's Day! Mom!" That little moment is engraven on my heart. Justin's surprise gift of a Kindle was ever so thoughtful. I guess he finally noticed how much I read! LOL. I am so grateful to have Justin in my life. He makes all the other little things possible, like staying home with the kiddos.

05 May 2011

Girls Versus Boys








I cannot stop laughing about the differences between my two kiddos. We had two experiences this week especially delineating their differences. Tuesday Ella had her fourth birthday party. Amelia was BEYOND excited and was dressed and ready to go at 8 am. Just the day before Ella invited Amelia over to play and Amelia dissolved in tears totally rejecting Ella's invitation. Amelia seems to only enjoy Ella if she is at her house. Strange. We talked over the next while about sharing places friends play and how she hurt Ella's feelings. She had no problems going over to Ella's for a party! She waited and waited all morning with her purse, gift, and hat. Phillip felt left out of the excitement so grabbed a Tinkerbell lunch bag, Amelia's bike helmet, and a bracelet to help her wait out the hours. I heard the party was a blast.

Yesterday we went on a walk around the block. Amelia started picking wildflowers growing. She picked flower by flower making a cute bouquet. Phillip grabbed the entire plant and toted it around. He looked so hilarious wearing sunglasses and his new monster hat. Amelia was crooning over her lovely bouquet, Phillip was yelling at his flowers.

The other day Amelia was pestering Phillip. He looked at Amelia and then me out of the corner of his eye...smiled...then grabbed a hank of her hair and yanked hard. Amelia melted into tears, Phillip chortled with glee. They both went to time out.

We are surviving around of late. I am feeling super tired. Phillip seems to know that I am not on my game so gets into mischief all the time. He's taken a fancy to q-tips, my makeup drawer, wearing shoes, climbing up on the counters and emptying my cupboards, getting into the food cabinets, and such. I cannot wait for our new table set to get here. All the chairs will be gone and replaced with long benches. I cleaned all day Tuesday and was dismayed to look behind me and find the same type of mess just rearranged. One day!

01 May 2011

Baby-moon


Justin and I deservingly took a couple days off for some R&R before little Everett makes an appearance. It seems we only take vacations right before I have a baby. Before Amelia came we went to Cancun, before Phillip we went to Denver, and now we went to Hot Springs, ND. Alison kindly offered to watch our kiddos for the duration. She reported the kids were well-behaved and mostly slept well. Phillip even gave her some snuggles! Check out her blog for what the kids were up to: The Haley's.

Justin surprised me with a Kindle for an early Mother's Day gift right before we left. It took us about a day to get the durn contraption connected to the wifi in order to download books. It is pretty slick! I think my Grandma Jean NEEDS one! We left about 5:30 pm on Thursday after Justin got home from work. Hot Springs is about 3.5 hours north, just 50 minutes south of Mt Rushmore. We stopped for dinner in Alliance, NE. The town actually hosts a really delicious Mexican restaurant! We checked into the Red Rock Spa and Hotel after 9:30. The hostess gave us a quick tour of the spa area just a couple yards away from our room. We tried out the hot sand and granite rooms before retiring. Heaven! Sleeping in a little was another slice of heaven.

Friday morning we snatched some breakfast at a bakery a couple blocks away. Then we saw the massage therapists for an hour long massage. I am not a fan of massages, especially hokey massages based on hippie types chanting and such. My massage was heaven until it turned hokey. Towards the end of my massage the therapist went into a strange state of mind with one hand under my back and the other on my belly. Her voice came out low, clear, and strong: "Henry?, Henry? is that you?!" I had a look of pure disbelief and responded, "his name is Everett!" She replied in an even deeper voice with a tinge of crustiness, "Ev-er-ett!" I nearly lost it, but regaled my composure finally dissolving into laughter once we got back to our rooms. I am soooooo tempted to name our baby Everett Henry just for laughs. After she got his name wrong the therapist snapped out of her trance and said, "oh well, I had one chance out of thousands to get his name right!" I will laugh about this for years to come!

We both were about as limber as wet noodles after the massages. It was so tempting to sleep away the afternoon but we rallied and decided to visit the Wind Caves and Crazy Horse Monument. The caves were pretty cool. Not many varied geological formations or colors. The rock was mostly limestone so the colors were pretty bland. I was very intrigued with the box work formations. Box work is formed when the limestone cracks were filled with calcite then the limestone is eventually eroded away leaving the calcite.

Crazy Horse Monument is about 17 miles away from Mt Rushmore. The monument was commissioned by the North American Indian council back in 1948. It is privately funded and is yet incomplete with no completion date in sight. The sculptor who originally started the carving handed on the task to his large family. The family holds and maintains the commission. On the property is a pretty impressive visitor's center dedicated to the Indian people of the Black Hills. We toured the area then drove around until we arrived in Rapid City for dinner. The area is so gorgeous this time of year!

Saturday we slowly made our way back to Sidney taking back routes and country roads. We passed a tiny abandoned town surrounded with waving prairie grass. I could not help but imagine Laura Ingalls Wilder standing in the doorway of one of those homesteads. Justin noticed a small sign for Toadstool Geological Park shortly after entering Nebraska. We bumped along the dirt road for a good 12 miles in winds of over 60 mph. Shoot! That little park was so cool. The park foundation replicated a turn of the century sod house framed by the toadstool formations. Behind the house is a small camping ground! We might be back sooner, rather than later. Next we drove to Ft Robinson, NE an old Calvary post. Most definitely going back there with the kids this summer.

Justin had Priesthood Leadership Training at 4 so I dropped him off at the church and picked up the kiddos. Phillip immediately started crying even though he was snuggled up with Alison and totally fine. He kept looking at me from the side trying to figure out if everything was going back to normal. Amelia was so excited to tell me all about her fun weekend. The rest of the evening was filled with unpacking, kids unwinding, and such. Alison and Matt...thank you so very much!