Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lessons Learned

Don't believe everything you're told

Go with what *you* know

Apparently not everyone has the impossible expectations of your children that you do. It's okay to back off ocassionally, not often, rarely! and let them act like wild heathens. You don't even have to do it in public. And hey, leave the room if you really can't handle it

Even when you're seatbelted snugly in and wearing a helmet, it doesn't mean you won't get the crap beat out of you from your husband's crazy-ass driving

Always have jackets and umbrellas handy and hey, dummy!!! check the weather first!

Don't think "vacation" is synonymous with "relaxing." Not even for a second. But then don't think dropping your kids off at day care when you get back after spending days in a row with them, going bonkers with their INSANE behavior, won't rip your heart out just a little bit 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Week of Miss M. Day Seven.

Dear Miss Moo,

So you're five now.  I'm not really sure where the last five years have gone and since I have been so bad at journaling, blogging, scrapbooking, or keeping any record whatsoever, we're just going to have to assume they really did happen. Looking at you there is no denying it, that's for sure. You've gone from little kid to actual "kid" in the last year alone. You've done so much growing up over the past few months and no one is more aware of it and proud of it than you are. You get so excited when you start learning and mastering a new skill or concept. You love to learn and look at everything new as a "lesson."

You couldn't be more excited to start kindergarten. I believe that's moslty because you have absolutely no idea what you're getting into than it is a true sense of excitement for school, but hey - we'll go with it! You talk about it all the time and are more then eager to tell anyone who will listen that you get to go to kindergarten soon. Truth be told, while I am excited for you too, I'm also a little scared. Growing up is hard stuff. Hard enough when you're the one to have to deal with it, but as the mom, I'm supposed to have all the answers and make it better and easier for you when things are rough. Let me just put this out there now, kid - you think I don't have a clue what I'm doing now?? You just wait! But I promise to always try my best, to always be there for you and to always help you with and through everything no matter what. Except math. That's your dad's job.

You do so many amazing things; so many sweet, smart, funny things every day. One of the most endearing, one of my favorite, is the way you've taken to teaching your sister. You light up when you realize you've taught her something new, a new word, a new trick, how to do something she's still trying to figure out - or just when you can simply get her to laugh with or at you. Not only are you nice to her and share with her (yeah, most of the time), but you take care of her, you look out for her. Honestly, that's not something I really expected. You have a sensitivity about you that is so caring and nurturing and sweet. Sure, sometimes I wonder where on earth it has gone and wonder when the aliens will please return my kind, innocent, sweet little daughter because I've had it UP TO HERE with the EVIL MONSTER who has temporarily taken over. But for the most part, I couldn't have wished for a nicer, more well-behaved, well-mannered child. Yes, young lady, I said *most part.* If the drama of late is any indicator of teenage drama, I just may head for the hills in a few years for a few years. You've got the drama and fits and manipulation down, girl. So ease up a bit, will yah? Sometimes I just can't keep up. And it's another one of those things you teach your sister! And we both know she's dangerous enough without any help.

You love to color, love to do arts and crafts projects. You have such an imagination. We have pictures all over the house that you've drawn and while we've graduated from the unidentifiable images, there are still crazy stories of what things are and what things do to go along with so many of them. Sure, you're fine coloring in coloring books but what you really love is just a plain piece of paper to let your mind go wild and see where the crayons or markers or paint or colored pencils take you.

You love movies and music and dancing and singing. You make up your own songs regularly and love to sing them over and over. And they're pretty decent songs sometimes, too! Pretty sure Nana and Papa will always remember your song about Nana taking all of Papa's teeth. You're clever. You come up with some things that show you pay way more attention to your world and the things around you than we could have ever thought possible. (Yeah, Mommy needs to learn to watch her mouth a whole lot more, I know!) You're a very serious little girl but you do have a sense of humor. So your level of clever and witty is all the more funny when you use it.

You really are an awesome little girl, surrounded by all sorts of people who love and adore you. Yes, you do grow up to fast - that's what kids do. But I am so grateful that I get to be along for the ride and walk (run?) beside you as you do because you make each day an adventure and experience I wouldn't give up or trade in for the world.

Love you mostest,


Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Week of Miss M. Day Five.

Five seems like cheating because it really isn't very many. But five is what it is because that's just how it works.

My five favorite things about the gorgeous, sassy, little five year-old:

- She is a strong-willed, independent child who knows what she wants.
- She has an imagination and creative streak the likes of which I never could have imagined.
- She has a very sensitive, very nurturing nature about her.
- She already has a very intense passion for learning and is very inquisitive (and, yes, nosy!).
- She takes such amazing care of her little sister and looks out for her and loves to teach her and is the absolute best big sister ever.

A Week of Miss M. Day Four.

So I don't know... last JUNE!!! Miss M decided she wanted to have a tea party themed birthday party for her fifth birthday. Being the nutball that I am, I worked on it from about January until it actually took place last Saturday. Nine little girls running around the house - total and complete chaos. (Yeah, five is still a little young to expect them to sit formally around a table for an actual tea party so we kinda tweaked it a bit.) We had fun.

We made invitations

We had lots and lots and lots of yummy food

Miss M has a thing for flowers. Loves to pick them. Loves to look at them. Loves to ask for them. She specifically asked for flowers for her birthday so as part of the decorations, I put flowers in teacups for her. She absolutely loved it.

As an activity, the girls painted and decorated salt dough cutouts in the shapes of teapots and teacups. I had severe anxiety over the idea of a million little girls with paint in the house. Turns out the chocolate-covered strawberries were much more dangerous to my floor.

Even the little sister got in on the painting fun. (Thanks to the patience and kindness of an absolutely insane amazing friend cuz I never coulda done that!!!)

The other activity they did was making teapot and teacup bead necklaces. After that it was chaos-destroy-the-house time. And, boy, did they. They each dressed up in her dress up clothes (yes, I was surprised to learn we had that many, too!) and ran around the house and the yard and seemed to have an absolute blast. So rumor has it, it was a hit.

Each little girl got to take a teacup and saucer with homemade playdough home and we made little notebooks for each girl as party favors.

The cake, which was supposed to be a teapot, turned out looking a lot more like a Faberge egg.  

Her birthday present was her very own "pretty" bedset so she would STOP using the excuse that her bed wasn't pretty as the reason she had to sleep in mine.

The beautiful little birthday girl, happy as can be.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Week of Miss M. Day Three.

So today is her birthday. Five years old.

Dude. Time flies. Whether you're having fun or not. (Good thing it's been mostly fun!)

So in honor of her fifth birthday, since I've moved sites and it's no longer available, I figured I'd repost her birth story.*

Seeing Things Through Different Eyes
originally posted July 8, 2006

It’s a very rough story, I should edit it and re-work it but I’ve been taking long enough to get it out there and (surprise) don’t have the time to edit and be thorough. So it’s long and wordy and mostly fluff, maybe someday I’ll fix it … maybe not.

If I am going to tell the story, I might as well start from the beginning. I was due July 15 and started measuring big a little past half-way through the pregnancy. The doctor ordered an ultrasound at week 32 to find out why. They found there was an excessive amount of amniotic fluid, but nothing to worry about. Because of the extra fluid and all of the extra fluid in my entire body (my feet were as big as my head!), the doctor didn’t want me to carry entirely to term so wanted to induce me a few days earlier than my due date. No problem, that was still over a month away. So there was no problem with Dan going home to Utah for his yearly trip to Steamboat on Father’s Day with his dad. I wasn’t at all worried about anything, there had been no complications, no causes for alarm, nothing to make anyone think that she wouldn’t be showing up in July. Just in case, Dan’s mom planned on coming out for a portion of his trip so that I wouldn’t be alone for over a week being 8, almost 9, months pregnant.

So let’s jump to the night before Dan left – when the universe started trying to tell us something. All minor things, but still crazy things. Thursday night we were getting ready for bed and I went to the bathroom ending in a massive amount of blood in the toilet. Initially, of course, I freaked out. Deciding it was just stupid pregnancy hemorrhoids (which it was), I felt much better. But this is the beginning of the drama of the next few days. Friday morning when Dan left, indicator lights in the Audi went on to let us know that it needs even MORE work done on it when we just got it back from the mechanic. Saturday, Dan called to tell me he was in a bit of a car accident – nothing serious (could have been but wasn’t thank God), but a car accident nonetheless. Sunday I clogged the kitchen sink so bad it about flooded when the dishwasher ran. Monday… oh, Monday… Dan lost his debit card so his bank account got frozen to replace the card number and pin. This, of course, with the big bills due in just a couple of days. Also on Monday, I went to the doctor who informed me that I was already dilated to a 3 and there was no way I would make it to my due date or her anticipated induction date. Everything was still fine, but she said with the progress my body was making and the fluid I had, I only had a few more weeks left. (Note “a few more weeks.”) At this point, I asked Dan if he didn’t feel like the universe was trying to tell him that maybe he shouldn’t have ditched me. On Tuesday, it came down to Dan saying he would be glad if I could just wait to have the baby until he got home. I agreed – but of course I could. She was coming soon but we still had a little while. Long enough that I could spend the next few days with his mom finalizing things and getting ready: packing my bag, finishing up work projects and hiring a temp replacement, finding a pediatrician, working out leave, looking into daycares, getting baby things ready to bring her home to them and so many other things on the agenda.

Dan’s mom got in a little before 8 PM Tuesday night. We went to dinner at Red Robin and then drove home. I had only eaten a little over half my dinner but I was so full. We stayed up and talked for a while and then went to bed. By the time I was getting ready for bed, I was really feeling the food not sitting well in my stomach. I felt like I had eaten way too much. About 11:30 I text messaged Dan to say goodnight and I went to bed feeling rather sick to my stomach. Having just eaten, I was sure it was just digestion issues and I’d go to the bathroom and feel much better. Three bathroom trips later I still feeling pretty crappy. Dan called at 12:20 and I talked to him for a few minutes but had to cut the call short because I was feeling so lousy. Not only was I feeling sick to my stomach now, it was starting to have those nasty digestive pains. That over the next little while just kept getting worse. For the next three hours I was in and out of the bathroom and thinking if I could just go to sleep, I’d feel better in the morning.
I didn’t want to go wake up Diana over a stomach ache so I stayed in bed and hoped I’d just fall asleep.
At about 3:00 AM I realized that the pains were getting pretty consistent and would actually go away for a few minutes but would come back closer and closer together and more and more severe. I still had a month to go. Dinner made me sick. I am not going to go to the hospital and have them tell me, “you’re a dork, go home, you have a stomach ache.” Around 3:30 the pain was so bad I could barely breathe through it. Something was NOT right. I waited a few more minutes, really not wanting to wake up Diana cuz I’m a wimp but about 10 minutes later, I was in her room asking her to take me to the hospital if I found out where it was. So she got up and got ready and I used my contingency plan I had in case something happened while Dan was gone – I called 911 and asked them where the nearest hospital was. Their directions made no sense so I just signed online and printed out a map. I called to let Dan know I was going to the hospital, but he didn’t answer so I just left him a voicemail that I’d call him once I knew what was going on. We left for the hospital a couple of minutes after 4:00 AM. I was certain we were going to get there and they would send me home.

Diana asked if I had been timing the pains, which I hadn’t because A – I didn’t have a clock in my bedroom and B – I had no idea what was going on until just a couple of minutes before we left for the hospital. She timed them on the way to the hospital and by the time we had gotten there, she said the contractions were about a minute and 45 seconds apart. We arrived at the emergency room and they immediately wheeled me up to Labor and Delivery. (And this is where things start to get very blurry.) They put me in a bed and hooked me up to some monitors while they took information. Around 5 AM Diana called my mom to let her know I was in the hospital and also tried calling Dan. Shortly after that, they gave me a shot to try to stop the contractions, to try to give me at least a little more time before having the baby. They hooked me up to an IV and gave me some pain medication thinking we would stop the labor. At this point, I was still dilated to a 3. We spent the next couple of hours filling out paperwork, just trying to breathe, telling the story of how my husband is in Utah to all of the nurses, and just trying to BREATHE. At about 7 AM, they decided there was no way they were going to be able to stop the labor and this baby is coming today. At that point, I told Diana to call Dan and tell him to get his butt on a plane. The Dr. came to check me and I was dilated to a 5. All of their delivery rooms were full so I had to wait in the observing room for a while. My mom actually called the hospital and they let her talk to me since I couldn’t use my cell phone in the room I was in. I talked to her and my sister for a few minutes until the next big contraction. The nurses changed shifts and I got the new nurse who would be with me the rest of the day, Jennifer. So we spent some time talking, of course getting her up to speed on my husband BEING IN UTAH! and talking about how things were going in this whole crazy process.

They got me into a labor and delivery room around 9 AM. Diana left to go back to my house and get some things for me since I hadn’t even packed my hospital bag yet. They came in to give me an epidural shortly after that. Women who can do this naturally have all my respect in the world. I couldn’t believe how bad the pain could get. (For the record, getting an epidural is one of the grossest feelings ever. Giving birth didn’t even feel that gross.) So from here it was just a lot of waiting and epidural refreshing and more waiting. The doctor came in around 1:00 to check on me. She broke my water to get things moving. She said she’d stop back by after her shift ended at 5 to see how things were… if I lasted that long. So more waiting, more terrible, miserable, awful contractions, and more phone calls. I talked to my mom a couple more times and my sister. And once my husband finally got to the airport in SLC, he called and talked to me. Up to this point, he had only talked to his mom. I felt terrible he had to miss his trip with his dad and he felt terrible that he wasn’t there with me. I passed the time talking with Diana and the nurses when they would come in. Everything was happening so fast there didn’t see to be time to think it was lasting forever – which, in that much pain, I would have expected. The nurses let me know that since the baby was a month early, they had to make me aware that she may have to be taken to a transition room to make sure everything with her was okay. Right around 4:00 I started feeling the intense urge to push. The nurses checked everything, and sure enough, I was ready to go. So they brought in a few more nurses and let the doctor know. I started pushing just a couple of minutes after 4:00 PM and at 4:32 Madeleine Marie was in the doctor’s hands, eyes wide open, breathing and crying all on her own. They took her to the newborn station to do all their tests and the doctor started stitching me up while the nurses cleaned up.

I remember when I started pushing there were a few nurses and the doctor in the room, when I was finished, the room was filled with people – they just came out of the woodwork to take care of my baby. Just a couple minutes after the baby was born, Dan happened to land in Denver for his layover and called to see how things were going. What perfect timing. I talked to him for a while, telling him how miserable and horrible and awful and painful it was and that it was over and that she was so tiny and they were cleaning her up right now and on and on and on. And while he may not have been there with me, I was lucky enough to be on the phone with him when they put my baby in my arms for the first time. So I told Dan all about how absolutely beautiful she was and that her eyes were huge and she was so tiny and she had so much hair. For him not being there, it couldn’t have been timed better for him to call. She weighed 6 pounds, 12.5 ounces, was 19.5 inches long and didn’t need any of the anticipated preemie care for being so early. She did everything on her own and everything had developed just fine.
She and I stayed in the labor and delivery room recovering until 8 PM that night and then they moved us to our mother & baby room. Diana left to go to the airport to pick up Dan and I spent the next few hours just hanging out with my cool new baby. They had to take her to the nursery to do some tests and give her a bath that night so I sent her off and just tried to relax for a while. Dan and his mom got back around 11:30 PM and we asked that she be brought back to our room so her dad could see and hold her. Through some miscommunication, she didn’t show up until almost 3 AM but given the circumstances, neither of us was very tired and certainly not at all tired when she showed up. We spent the next two days in the hospital. Dan would spend the night and then go spend some time with his mom during the day and then they would come back and we would have dinner in my room each night and she would stay for a while then go back to our place.

So in a nutshell, she was very early, it was all very unexpected, horrible, terrible timing, her Dad wasn’t here, nothing was ready for her or for me, work certainly wasn’t ready for me to leave, I was enjoying being pregnant and thought I’d have plenty of time to get ready and enjoy the last month of just hanging out and getting ready for having this baby. Yeah….. she already has a mind of her own.

*Yes, exact posting time WAS intentional :P

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Week of Miss M. Day Two.

Oh my little drama queen. So stubborn and independent and strong-willed and full of sass and attitude. And did I mention stubborn?*

One of the first conversations I had with my family after telling them I was pregnant was about how you get back ten-fold what you gave to your parents. At one point, my sweet, kind, timid mother looked at me, and with all the sincerity and boldness and in-your-face-serves-you-rightness she could muster, said, "you are SCREWED!" My dad's theory with children all along has been "payback's a bitch." (Are you seeing a theme here?? Getting the impression I was maybe less than an angel to my parents when I was growing up? Good, we're on the same page then.)

There were so many things my parents did when I was growing up that I just didn't get (oh please, don't even tell me I was alone there!). Wow, has this little girl opened my eyes to their reasoning. The good, the bad AND the ugly. All of it. We go from perfect little angel to SELL HER TO THE CIRCUS NOWWWWW in .02 seconds a million times a day around here. And the drama just gets more intense as she gets older. And here I thought it would get easier.

Yes, Mom and Dad, I am totally getting my comeuppance.

And she is totally worth it.

*As she is asleep on her floor right now because she is mad at me and has decided she does not currently like the bed I just bought her.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Week of Miss M.

We have been watching more than a lot of The Emperor's New Groove around here lately. So much that Miss M has the majority of it memorized. The other day, after talking about Kronk and his spinach puffs for some time, she asked what spinach puffs were. We talked about them and she decided she wanted to try them some day. Any food praised in a Disney movie has to be way yummy, right???

Last night, I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner. Without missing a beat, "Um, Spinach puffs!!!!"



Since we don't have cable, we don't have a lot of choice in cartoons or TV for the kids to choose from. Certainly not much sadness about that. She's started watching He-Man this past week. Not sure it's a good thing to admit, but I used to watch and love He-Man. I had forgotten about the moral summary at the end of each episode. Night before last we were watching one and M asked me what they were telling us. I explained that He-Man was telling her that sometimes we have to make big decisions that can be hard to make and it helps to talk to someone you trust to help you make the right decision. She stopped what she was doing, looked up and me and said, "Mommy, I trust you."

Heart. Melt.

How I love this little girl.