Sunday, February 28, 2010

8.8

Marc left on a horse ride at 6:30am Saturday morning. I was enjoying sleeping in until at 8am sharp I got a phone call from a good friend of mine. Her voice was shaky and you could tell she was quite upset, "Rachael, I just got a text from my friend in Chile telling me that there was a huge earthquake at 3am this morning! I think it was more in the south of the country but I just thought you would want to know because of Bryan."

My heart sank. I thanked her, hung up, ran down the stairs as fast as my legs could take me and frantically searched the internet for news reports on an earthquake in Chile. I got a little chuckle as I listened to Elliott Yamin, a former American Idol Contestant, was reporting on his experience there. Anyway I google mapped the areas surrounding the epicenter area near Concepsion and  realized that Bryan was a good distance away but probably still felt it enough to scare him a bit. It was reported on the news that all 9 missions had reported  and that everyone is OK.

Anyway, long story short you have all heard about the 8.8 earthquake in Chile, one of the strongest ever recorded. There was a 9.6 earthquake in Chile back in the 60's so I believe  a lot of their building structures were built better than Haiti. There wasn't near the devastation.

I hope to hear from Bryan in his regular email tomorrow. I am anxious to hear of his experience.

The VENZA letter

So if you remember a few posts back I talked about our little outing to look at cars with Brother and Sister.

Brother's favorite car was the Toyota Venza.

Well, Sweet cousin, Cathy, sent Brother a personal letter with a picture of a black Venza and told him that he had good taste in cars because they had just bought a Venza. So cute!

I love that she would take the time to do that for Brother. He was so excited. When I brought it into my office so that I could take a picture of it to blog about it he was so concerned. He didn't want to lose it because he wants to hang it in his room. Thank Cathy. That was so thoughtful!

What young kid doesn't just love to get mail. In fact, Brother gets so excited when the bank sends account statements in the mail with his name on it! Oh, he is such a kick!

In fact, I am even thinking about getting PO Box just so I could post it on this blog for people to send letters to Brother and Sister! They would LOVE it! Anyway, just thinking...

Come on, are you serious?

Ya, so I thought Sister was better. It must have paused for a moment while it went into full gear. The clear runny nose that was keeping her up at night and what not, turned into the green monster that peek-a-boos from the nostrils but never really goes anywhere! Aargh! So, Thursday night, I was up all night with her and with Baby.

Friday morning at 7:50am Brother came and woke me up—his bus arrives at 8:05am. I felt like I had been hauled in the back of a dump truck, dumped, and then brought back to a standing position. Now, let me paint the picture for you. I was only a standing zombie. After nights of being awake for various reasons. I was not awake, I was merely sleep walking awake. You know the feeling when everyone's voices sound like they are coming out of tin cans, your eyes are still blurry—either from eye boogars or because your lids are so heavy they just can't open all the way so you are looking through your eyelashes. Anyway, that was me. Brother is all excited, bouncing off the walls because he is proud that he woke up on his own and had to come wake Mommy up. I had to get him his medicine and that was the first thing I thought to do in my groggy state. In the middle of pulling out his medicine I remembered I needed to take my own medicine on an empty stomach. I set my pill organizer down. Went to give Brother his pill and realized that Friday's section was gone already. I don't remember taking his pill but, I did! Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!! Blankety blank blank blank!!!!! Not only do I not want the effects of his medication but I am nursing!!! Aaaaahhhhh!!! Suddenly I was completely and totally awake! I call the doctor and am informed that he medicine I just took can pass through the milk and is really bad for Baby.Come on! Are you serious?! I think in my head. What else can go wrong around here! I mean honestly, if you all only knew the mishaps I have had with medicine you would be ... ugh.. I don't know... you would be.... something. Anyway, so I have to pump for 12 hours until the meds are out of my system.

Now when you have a nursing baby and you give them a bottle all day for the first time ever they are a little confused. But, all considering, she actually did quite well.

I will now not complain about being attached to Baby all day. Because that is much better than being attached to a pump.

I grew up on dairy farm. Come on. That is just demeaning! I do, I feel like a cow! When I was at the hospital and they let me use their double electric breast pump (oh, I hope I can say "breast" on my blog--oops!) I seriously wanted to "moo" outloud because it was just ridiculous sitting there while milk is being extracted by a machine—oh the things we women do for our children. It is truly amazing!

Anyway. I made it through the day. I was able to go singing with my mom, my sisters and my aunt and it really cheered me up. I felt like a horrible mom all day—still do a little. I hope Heavenly Father knows what he is doing, entrusting me with these kids.

Today Baby is now sick with what Sister had. Aaargh! (I get that from Charlie Brown.) I hope we make it through this without RSV!

Anyway. On Thursday I got some great pictures of Baby and Sister too.








Baby is four months and is holding her head up better. Once in a while I put her in this play saucer and she is entertained for a few minutes. Gives me enough time to brush my hair.
Sister likes to play with her too.

Then this one of Baby is just too cute not to share.


I love to do Sister's hair. Here is a fun one I made up on the fly. Had to share. And her face is priceless... tee hee hee.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Closed Vent

OK, I shouldn't have complained.

Sister was fine this morning and went to school today.

It was a long night, but she is better now.

Yay!

Now, I'll try to plan a real party.

I'll let you know when that happens.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Open Vent

Marc was sick all weekend.

Now Sister has it. Was up with her all night last night and the night before. Now she has started on the coughing.

She gags when she coughs with phlegm.

Which leads to throwing up.

Which means I will probably be up with her again.

Baby eats all the time. You can tell because she is chubbing up. That means I am, more often than not, attached.

How do you get things done while attached?

With the blinds closed and one handed...

OK, so maybe my neighbors have seen me streaking across the back window a few times. But, hey, the laundry needs to get done! So just turn your head... anyway... There are only so many things you can do with one arm free and Baby attached and cradled with the other arm.

Brother keeps whining about having to read his book at night. What is the deal. Am I a bad mom?

He reads for his teacher.

He reads for Papa James.

Why not me?

I don't know. Maybe I will never know. But, for now I guess I will take the time when he will "kind of" read to me.

And, what the heck! I am going crazy trying to figure out how to not miss 18 and 13 so much. It is tough because I think they are pretty mad at me or just confused or something.

I don't know.

I asked if 18 wanted to come with me to the grocery store. Not that that is exciting. I was just hoping that she would jump at the opportunity just to be with me.

No.

OK, I know. I know.

They'll understand later.

But, I am here now... and it's hard to know you are not wanted or needed at the moment.

So why all this? Why all the venting? Do I need a pity party?

Yes!

Yes! You are all invited. My house tomorrow at 1pm. We are having cookies, ice cream, and chocolate milk (with whole Vitamin D milk--we aren't skimping and using Skim). We will all tell our sob stories to see whose is the worst, we will complain so that we can tell each other, "no, you are a wonderful mother" and, "you are not fat, you look great for just having a baby" oh and of course, "just wait till their teenagers" and....

Wait...

Never mind.

You can't come.

I have a sick kid.

4 Months and Singing

No, Baby is not singing—that's just the title of this post. She is four months old now, though! Wow! She is so cute. I have to keep reminding myself that she is only 2 1/2 months gestationally so I need to keep that in mind when I start to panic about her development. With her being early AND have Fragile X I never know when to panic. I took these pics of her on my computer camera just because it was funny. These are from a couple of weeks ago so I need to get some more on here later—but, I just ran across these after filming Sister singing and wanted to share! Oh, ya, so I caught Sister singing while I was talking to my sister. So on the recording, I am acting like I am on still talking on the phone with Jessie, but really, we are just giggling as we listen to her. She's gonna be a star. Oh, ya, and side note: she is sick with a runny nose so she is home from school today, so if you see any shine on her nose... ya, it's snot what you think... haa haa! video


Also I took a picture of me talking to Jessie on the phone, just because ... wait... this just in... while I was here typing I heard Sister making some noise at the table next to me. I ignored it because she wasn't crying and I was laughing about what I was writing. But then I started to realize that the sound sounded awfully a LOT like smashed crackers... I was right: Yes, they are all over the table and the floor because she was swishing them everywhere. OK, so anyway, while she is still in sight (she is watching me type—and I should be exercising right now—what am I doing wasting my time at the computer? Oh ya, it is my journal. I will look back on these things and wallow in memory...)

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Perfect FHE

Put together young-hyper-never-run-out-of-battery-can't-stand-still-for-2-seconds kids, newborn-collicky-can-only-be-with-mommy baby and tired-worn-out-cranky-after-a-long-day parents with a primary song, a prayer, a 5-minute lesson, another song and then another prayer and what do you get?

Well, do I really need to paint the picture? Oh, that's why you are reading the blog. OK, well, here is the short of it. After a quick rendition of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," and "Once There Was a Snowman, and a quick tackle on Sister to get her to sit down for Marc's opening prayer that was only to be consistently and loudly interrupted by Sister's beautiful rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" Sister and Brother begin fighting over Brother's blanket because Sister is too spoiled to go get her own. I seize the opportunity as a learning moment to teach them to share, after all this is supposed to be Family Home Evening, the time we spend as a family to learn and grow together, yes. No. It didn't work, tears were shed, flying kicks were thrown, eyes were rolled, tantrums ensued, and then I decided to settle down and get to the lesson... Just kidding. It wasn't me, it was them! The children! The precious-oh-aren't-they-so-sweet-and-innocent children! Yes.  So of course I went downstairs to get Sister's blanket. I wrapped both of them up (well actually I think it was more like "tied" them up) in their blankets and began to quickly give a heartfelt lesson.

I told them quickly (notice that quickly is the key word in most of this Family Home Evening) about Jesus with the Little Children, quoted a scripture from Matthew about Christ with the children all while I was trying (unsuccessfully) to get them to look at the picture, at least. Then I read a story called "Mom Says I Can" that my mom gave us for Valentine's. They liked it and actually sat still for that part. I tied it all in with Christ and the Little Children and quickly bore my testimony of finding the real treasures in our lives and that they are our little treasures.

Then we sang "I am a Child of God" as Sister's request. She sang it loud and well with a big smile. Then, surprisingly she said the closing prayer (this being only the second time we have ever heard her pray). I was helping her. I told her to say that we are thankful for our family, and she said that and then said "and 13 and 18."

Oh, it was all worth it. I LOVE my kids. I knew I would make it through FHE!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Have you ever danced the night away?

Marc and I stayed up until 1:00 in the morning last weekend just dancing! We can't really dance but, who cares — it is so fun to spend time with your honey dancing the night away! We had the radio playing— it was a little fuzzy but we didn't mind.

Since then I have been listening intently for a great dancing song. I laughed on Tuesday when I was in the grocery store and heard a song (and I am not kidding here) that some girl was singing about potato love! Ya! Potato love. What the heck is that?!! If you know, don't tell me, I think that keeping it a mystery makes it funnier.

You can pause here to laugh about that one...

OK, back to reading:

Today on my way home I heard the song that I will forever love. I had to look it up on YouTube because I wanted to hear the whole thing. I LOVE it! I love the video! I have to buy this song! It is so cute! Not to mention the 80's dancing in it just makes me giggle!

Watch!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Names, Little Valentine, Firsts and 33rd

So in case you haven't noticed by the new header. I have decided to call 10 "Brother," and 4 is now "Sister." It will be a little more personal and may cut down on some confusion. I have not yet figured out names for 13 and 18, so hang in there for those two. So, now with that out of the way, I will move onto the rest of the post.

This is a picture of Baby as our Little Valentine. She was in her pink pajamas and on of the foam heart stickers from Sister's Valentine bag had wandered into our bedroom and we thought it was funny when we decided to stick on Baby's pink PJ's. She looked like a special Valentine. So, since I haven't said it yet, here you go, "Happy Valentine's Day!"


For President's Day we went out and did a bunch of free fun stuff.

Marc had to go shoot some GPS shots in for work quick so we all rode along so the kids could see him at work for the first time. Brother thought it was awesome! There were some guys working there and Brother thought it was cool to watch dad go around with his GPS machine—he tried to stay right next to him the whole time.


trying to keep up



notice Brother's new shoes?



here he is gasping at the deep hole



Sister patiently waiting in the car—she was scared of he machines working in the road


We were given a gift certificate from my Aunt Aleesa so we went to a restaurant for a late, totally free, lunch. Brother and Sister did so well. I was really proud of them. They ate all their food too. I think I shocked the waitress though when I was nursing Baby. Now come on all you, I was in the corner booth and using my nursing cover (or as we fondly call it, "The Hooter Hider"). Don't worry, she had nothing to be shocked about, just different, I guess. Funny.

Then Marc took Sister and Brother on their first dump truck ride!

They were so giddy with excitement they could hardly contain themselves!! I could still hear their giggles over the tremendous roar of the truck's engine!



big smiles


Here I was trying to take a picture of all three of them but, they couldn't sit still through their excitement. Tee hee!





Then they got to go on their first big loader ride! Boy that was a hit. They each got a turn to ride by themselves with Daddy.


Brother said that the sand that was getting dumped out of the bucket looked like a waterfall—he said it like it was the most beautiful site around!

After the rides we went to a car dealership and let Brother and Sister look at all the new cars. We did this because Brother LOVES to look at cars and the freeway and tell us what cars he likes the best. We have decided we will try to teach him more about cars and we thought t hat looking at them would be a good place to start. Here are some Brother quotes after seeing the cars.

After looking at the Toyota Venza, "Mom, that was absolutely gorgeous inside! You should see it in there! It is absolutely incredible!"

After looking at the Toyota Forerunner,"Holy cow! We should buy that car, mom! We really should it is absolutely beautiful!"

On our way home driving on the freeway, "We should buy a new Venza, mom. They are absolutely gorgeous!" I reply, "I wish we were rich so that we could, Brother." Then he says with confidence, "We are rich mom!" Oh the innocence of youth—I'm glad we have kept him comfortable enough for him to feel rich—of course I guess it doesn't take much—he thinks that $10 is $10,000—money means nothing to him.


On Sunday we had a Valentine's party that was also my 33rd birthday party!!!

It was SO much fun!! My mom really went all out!

It was so neat to have 13 and 18 there with their parents, Amy and Frank. I had a blast. I wish all my siblings could have been there.

M, B, and Sister decorating Valentine cookies
Marc thinking he is getting out of the picture




A goofy "blowing out the candles with a lot of force because there are only 4 of them"picture. Always gotta have one of those!

My two moms at the party with Brother looking on.

Today I heard Baby's first laugh! Oh, it was so cute. I only heard it twice and then I couldn't get her to laugh again. I hope to get it on video soon.

And just for fun: Brother's Santa Face!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I finally have a little time

to write in my blog.

So I have really had a lot to think about lately, and I have been wanting to write it all down but haven't had a chance. So here is a long post:

First off, things are getting better with 18, 13 and us. They have come to visit a few times and we have had some great conversations. It feels like things are the way they should be. There are still awkward times here and there for a moment but they quickly pass and we are back to, what is now, normal. I still miss them and wish they could come visit more often, but, at the same time, it has been really good for our little family and for them. I am really noticing what great friends 10 and 4 are, and how much they rely on each other. At night I have the baby monitor on in their room because they are downstairs and 4 doesn't like to get up and go potty alone at night, so I listen for her to call out and I go down to be with her while she makes the long, scary journey up the stairs to the bathroom. A couple of nights ago Marc and I went on a date and Grandma Lynne was with the kids. They were in bed when we got home and I went downstairs to turn on the monitor. A few hours later I hear 4's sweet little voice calling 10's name. She said it three or four times before I could get down there. She looked at me and asked where grandma was and I explained we were home now and that I could help her to the bathroom. I guess she thought that she was still being babysat and was wanting 10 to help her. Hearing her call his name for help melted my heart. It is good to see them getting closer and relying on one another.

I have had some unique opportunities lately to really appreciate the miracle of forgiveness, the value of friendships, and the ability to love others (besides my own family) unconditionally. It has made me think a lot about the love my Heavenly Father has for me and for all those around me. At first when I was faced with all the obstacles that taught me these lessons I felt picked on and was feeling a lot of self-pity. But, quickly (thank goodness) I was able to see the benefit of the things going on around me. I wish that I could share all the specifics but, because I don't want to drag anybody else's personal business onto my blog I will just post this link: Love One Another

I think that once we forgive, even if we haven't forgotten or if the pain is still a memory, we are able to show love to one another. And once we can do that, we are doing what Christ would have us do.

So, on that note (talking about being Christlike), I want to post an entry from my sister, Jessie's blog about an act of kindness done out of love for my son, 10:

"My Nephew's New Shoes

I have no permission to write about this, but hopefully I don't need it! I was talking to my sister yesterday and she told me what I thought was a really neat story. I wanted to share it because I think it could brighten anyones day. My sister was talking to her friend who lives across the street from her. My sister commented on her friends new shoes. They were brand new vans that had 3 velcro straps across them. Rachael asked where she found them because she had been looking for some like that for her 10 year old boy who has Fragile X syndrome. Last school year I went with my sister to buy shoes for him , that is where I learned he was very particular. We didn't buy anything that day. She bought some later that she had to beg him to wear. He has even been known to throw new shoes in the garbage.

The day after that comment her neighbor came with tears in her eyes to give 10 the shoes.....she wanted him to have them. She has really small feet so they fit him. They are dark in color and can go either boy or girl.

My nephew loves them. He is too shy to go up to her and say thanks. Instead he will yell across the street, "Thank You!". Rachael also told me that he wanted her to see that he loves them so he ran around in her driveway in his new shoes.

I was so touched by that act of kindness. My little nephew and nieces have so many good neighbors that look out for them. I have to admit they are fun to give to because their little hearts have perfect love. They love everyone. They have the light of Christ with them. I am amazed how their spirits understand things that logically people wouldn't think they would be able to know. They touch everyone that they meet."

So, ya, I love that story. It was so neat to have someone care about my son that much that she would give up her shoes! (Now, she is a girl so we know she must have more than one pair! Tee hee!) 10 where his those shoes every chance he has. He goes outside a lot lately just because he like to run around in them—so cute! 4 even loves to put them on when 10 is not around so that she can clomp around the house in them. Too funny!

I have been so blessed in so many ways. I am looking back now and seeing everything that has lead up to this point in my life. I understand so much more now why certain things happened the way they did. I see the power of Heavenly Father in my life everyday. It is amazing to me that I can move forward without depression or sorrow everyday after sending away two children that I had devoted my life to. But, it is now all in perspective and they are Heavenly Father's children and I had an opportunity to care for them for a time. They have changed my life, my children's lives, my mom and dad's lives, my siblings lives, my neices and nephews lives, and my aunts, uncles and cousins lives in a way that would have never been possible if I wasn't able to care for them for a time.

Now a new chapter in my life has been opened. I am able to more fully devote my time and energy to advocating for my children. I just recently spent a week deciding one which Kindergarten class 4 would attend this coming fall. It was a tough decision. There were five classes to observe. In two of the classes I knew 4 wouldn't do well with the teacher's flat personality, one class was so far away it would have been an hour bus ride, one class had an incredible teacher but the kids in there are much lower functioning that 4 and finally on Thursday I was able to observe the class we will be putting her in. It is a self-contained classroom with a curriculum that follows the mainstream kindergarten. It is a set-up just like 10's classroom. I am very excited. It is closer to home than some of the others I observed and I hope the teacher will be receptive to learning more about Fragile X Syndrome.

That is the thing about Fragile X Syndrome. No matter where I am I always need to explain it because so many people haven't heard of it before.

I was excited to have 18 come babysit for us last Thursday when Marc and I both had basketball games. 10 and 4 were so excited to see her. She also gave me the opportunity to take pictures of her and my cousin, Tyler for a just-because-we-want-to-dress-up date on Friday, so I will post those pictures. And then I got to do her hair for the high school sweethearts dance that she took a friend to. I don't have pictures of that, though.




I really need to get pictures of 10 in his "new" shoes. I will try to get those later.

Oh, and my mom has been helping me still, once a week. She was cleaning the mirror while holding Baby. I thought it was funny so I took a pic!

Also, update on Baby, she is now 9 pounds 13 ounces and 23.25 inches long. She smiles a LOT and is starting to "coo" a little bit for us. No laughing yet, but I think she is working on it. She smiles so much that it makes me laugh, so maybe that counts. She has been rolling over to her side while on her back and she loves to lay in her crib while her musical Mickey Mouse TV in wound up. She has been kicking a lot and is just so happy. Why is she so happy all of a sudden? Well, I finally figured out that it was the strawberry jam I was eating on my PB&J's. I never new strawberries could affect a nursing baby. Ta Da, she is no longer the collicky nightmare she was before. It is wonderful! See, it is all going well!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just random... completely random...

I couldn't remember if I posted a picture of this but, 4 falls asleep on the floor a LOT. Here's a pic of her that I ran across today.


A while ago,I think last November or October my brother Daniel came and hung out while Tynelle was on a cruise.I took this picture of him reading to 4 to help her go to sleep. (Maybe she should have been on the floor...) posted this for you Daniel!!



Here's another older picture I ran across today: 18 took this picture of me while I was pregnant--I think I was trying to get 4 to go down for a nap and she sucked me in. Look how worn out I look! (smile)

Had to get a picture of Baby's cowgirl boots!!!!! 10 was trying to sneak in. Tee hee!


My mom with her mom and dad. Aw, fer sweet.


My beautiful mom with Baby.I love that she loves to hold her, but I giggle at the fact that she is scared to babysit her.I think she is still worried that she will stop breathing suddenly. Ha!

Me and Baby at my aunt's wedding


Me and Marc at our church Sweetheart's Ball put on by the Young Men and Women. Kirsten and Jeremy came and babysat the three kids from 6:30 to 9:45. They survived it, and did a good job. Thanks guys for helping us out. And by "out" I mean, out on a real date!