Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pre-Halloween Workout

I am back at school, and Holly is tending to Beckett by day with my mother here to help.  It was great to go back to school and share the good news of baby Beckett with my students.  Many of them had been clamoring for updates long before Holly was even due.  We also had a great dinner tonight brought by one of Holly's friends.  It must have given the boys lots of energy because they wanted to run around all night in their Halloween football costumes.  They even made me keep a tally of their running times.

Two tuckered boys with their living room running times
You can see on the chart they are holding they first ran back and forth for 4, 7 or only 14 seconds. Then they both decided to go whole hog and ran non-stop back and forth in the living room for 200 seconds.  I was the one who had to stop them because I didn't want it to go on all night.  With that kind of exercise, I won't feel guilty about them eating their Halloween candy before bed tomorrow night. Well done boys!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Beckett's Birth Story

Baby Beckett arrived surprisingly on his due date: 10/24/2013. He was born at 5:58am. His birth story is very different from the other three boys.

From the very beginning this baby has measured big. I had a couple "extra" sonograms through out the pregnancy to make sure that there was just one baby and to check and make sure there was no extra fluid. The findings were always the same... one big fat baby (and I'm taking like over 97th percentile). We thought for sure this baby was coming early.

The end of September, baby was estimated 7lb 14oz. I know that sonograms can only estimate size and there was no way to be sure that baby would be that big. I trusted my body would grow a baby that I could and would birth.

Friday, Oct 18th (Parker's 6th birthday) I had an appointment. My uterus was measuring 43 weeks (when I was 39) and so they sent me downstairs for a sono to check size/fluid since their sono tech was booked all afternoon. The sonographer downstairs told me baby now estimated 9lb 14oz. Holy big baby.

First thing Monday morning I got a call from Dr Berry's office that she wanted to see me STAT. She wanted to talk about the baby and get a game plan set. She checked my cervix (2-3cm) and checked my pelvis. She felt like things would be okay and I could go ahead with my VBAC-. I asked if I should keep my weekly appointment for Weds and she said sure.

Wednesday (the 23rd) I had been scheduled for an NST. sono, and appointment with Dr. Berry. We asked Mary if she could watch the boys so Brian could go with me. She rocks and said yes. At that appointment we found out he now estimated 10lb 2oz.

To make a long story short... I had been feeling weird about this delivery for a while. I would talk to a friend of mine all the time about all my anxieties (Yes, I'm sure I drove her nuts). There were no grounds for these feelings. But, they wouldn't go away. I prayed a lot about what to do. I felt prompted to prepare for a csection. Would I try to VBAC with an epidural just in case I ended in csection? Would I plan a csection? Would I try to push it all out of my mind and just try to VBAC like with Carter and Anderson? I didn't know what to do. I pondered and prayed, and prayed and pondered. Every time I would think about a csection- I felt peace. I would feel panicky when I thought about VBACing. This is totally NOT expected coming from me. I love everything to do with birth. I have a special place in my heart for natural, beautiful births. I love making women feel empowered and I loved feeling empowered. I didn't want this birth to be anything different.

At that appointment Weds I told Dr Berry where I was at and what I was thinking. She was amazingly supportive. She wanted to do what I wanted. We talked about the options (which I had been going through over and over in my head). She checked my cervix and I was 3/4cm. I said that when I thought about a csection- I felt peace. It's not what I wanted, but I felt it in my gut that I should go this route to get the baby here.

We planned a csection for Friday 10/25 at 7:30am.

We got home from that appointment, ate lunch with Mary and talked about the appointment and where we were going from there. On the way home from watching the boys, she got in a car accident. :( She was okay but I told her not to worry about coming to watch the boys if I went into labor beforehand.. I wanted her to heal. Brian called his mom and she came up Weds night (just in case).

On Thurs 10/24 I woke up at 1:30a with super intense contractions. I went to the bathroom-had  bloody show (never had that- even in labor) and I thought my water may have broken (later we found out it didn't). We called the Dr and went to the hospital. Chris- my doula met us there. I was only a 5 when I got there (at 3:24am) but I told triage that Dr Berry said to come ASAP if I had any signs of labor and the csection would happen. It took forever to get the bloodwork results (while I was trapped on the monitor in the little triage room). 2 hours later still waiting for the results- they checked me and I was 7cm. The Dr (Dr George was on call and I  had never even met her) made sure I wanted the c-section still. I said I had already come to terms with it, and yes. Finally the anesthesiologist said "let's go" (still were waiting for the blood results)... and at 5:30a I was wheeled back for the spinal/section.

was born at 5:58am weighing in at 9lb 4oz.
He was 20.5inches long. He had the cord around his neck.

He was nice and healthy and Brian got to do skin to skin in the OR.

 As soon as I was in recovery- I nursed and had skin to skin with him.

It  was  a  beautiful  birth!

Looking back I can say for CERTAIN that I AM and WAS EMPOWERED.  I listened to my gut and I did what I thought I had to do. I have a beautiful healthy baby boy. I am healing.

The boys came up that afternoon to meet "the new baby" and they were ALL thrilled that he was a boy. :)

And, I have to admit, I am too.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

it's official

This is the longest I've ever been pregnant. I'm 35weeks and 6days as I type this out. Drs appt later today to check on the baby. He/She seems to be doing okay.... and just getting bigger by the day (if you can imagine).

Yesterday (remember it's 2am) I went for a walk. The sun was shining and it was windy and chilly. The perfect fall afternoon.

I cannot wait to meet this (not so) little baby.

Monday, October 21, 2013

False Alarm

So we had a false alarm today.  Holly was called by her OB to come in for an impromptu check-up.  The baby is big and they wanted to make sure everything was still okay for her to wait it out until natural delivery.  After some examining and test results we got the all clear and headed back home.  (Of course first we stopped at Wegman's for lunch to enjoy our rare childless moment together.)  As for our little baby, we have a message for you: You still got time but just a little.  Get moving!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Birthday and Billy Faulkner

It's a special day today!  Six years ago today our oldest son Parker joined our family. He has been terribly excited about his approaching birthday, just as we were terribly excited to welcome him into our family six years ago today.

Mommy meets Parker, 2007

The birthday boy is at school today while Holly is at a doctor's appointment for baby number 4.  I am home here watching Carter and Anderson.  When I pick Parker up from school we will be getting milkshakes like we promised him for his birthday weeks ago.  (He loves milkshakes.)  Then he will (finally) decide on a birthday dinner and we will open his presents.

Parker 2013
Where one birthday ends, another birthday will soon begin, as our love Holly is measuring 39 weeks!  It certainly will be any day now.  This weekend would actually be ideal since Holly's folks will be taking the boys for the weekend and it will just be myself and Holly waiting idly for the baby.  (To pass the time we will certainly go out to eat and enjoy being kid-less.)

As for me, I've been reading intently for the passed twenty-odd hours.  (Several last night while Holly was out with a friend and several more today while watching the boys.)  See, I spied a trailer for a new movie yesterday on the New York Times, the first cinematic adaptation of William Faulker's As I Lay Dying. I took a Faulker's seminar in college and As I Lay Dying was one of the first texts we examined.  I watched the trailer below.

After watching the trailer I just had to read the book again.  So I stumbled up into the attic and tossed my books around until I found my copy from college.  I just finished it a half hour ago and I am stunned to experience again how brilliant it is.  I mean holy smokes!  Those Bundrens!  The horror! The black comedy! The gravity! and Oh, the literary style!  It was revolutionary.

Faulkner's As I Lay Dying with some of Anderson's favorite texts!
I'd love to sit down and have a conversation with someone about it.  That can't happen right not so I will just make a cliff note observation and call it a day: Jewel and Cash are symbolically named. Cash is effective and hard working, building his mother's coffin outside her window, never complaining, and working stoically and methodically throughout the novel.  For the Bundren's that's as good as real money, or more simply, "Cash."

Our man William "Billy" Faulkner, author of As I Lay Dying
Jewel on the other hand, being illegitimate, does not have Anse's lazy streak in him.  (Consider how he works faithfully at 15 for his beloved horse, more work than Anse probably ever did in his life.) Jewel could probably actually be somebody, an actual "town folk" if his obligations to the family weren't holding him down.

Jewel's real worth requires more sacrifice on the part of the family. It's not a liquid wealth, but it is a "jewel", something that has to be cashed in to gain it's full value.  In other words, effort is involved to get Jewel to bless the family, effort no one in the family was willing to perhaps invest in.  I felt more sympathy for Jewel this time around in the novel.  He could have been so much had he not been muddled in the families difficulties.

Now what does that have to do with me?

P, C, & A
Simple.  I don't have a Cash, Darl, or Jewel, but I do have a Parker, Carter, and Anderson.  And I need to let them be themselves even if it means pushing my own laziness and ambitions to the side.
But enough of that.  I will be picking up Parker soon, Holly will come home, and birthday festivities will begin!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Six Years Sealed

Six years ago today Holly and I were sealed in the Palmyra, NY Temple.  It was the day before Holly went into the hospital to get induced for Parker's birth.  Now here we are six years later on the eve of another baby!  It's definitely a fun time to be married, sealed for time and all eternity, and doing well.

Outside the Palmyra Temple after our sealing circa 2007

Holly is out right now at a mommy-meet-up at the cloth diaper shop in town.  I just finished cooking a spaghetti dinner for the boys.  As soon as I finish this post we will be tidying up, get bedtime rolling, and start waiting for Holly to come home.  Since it's our sealing anniversary Holly will bring home some tasty take-out.  And if the baby doesn't come this weekend, we will be going out to eat without the kids...except the one in Holly's belly of course.

Palmyra, NY Temple 

In other news, I wanted to report that I finished reading two books.  The first is Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara.  I enjoyed it; it made me realize that obstacles can seem insurmountable and may be quite serious, but they are often more your own fears than genuine hazards. Don't do anything drastic in your life without first reflecting on the life of Julian English.

Appointment in Samarra stuffed in Holly's packed birthing bag.
(The gummy bears and Cliff bars are snacks for the champ (me)!)
The second was Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.  I ended up reading this text because every October I get all worked up about the Nobel prize in literature.  Alice Munro of Canada won this year, but Haruki Murakami was rumored to be a sharp contender.  I made it a goal to be in the know regarding the 2014 Nobel Laureate in Literature (which means I will have read at least one or more texts by them by the time they are announce) and a candidate of the supposed shortlist I felt was a good place to start.

Norwegian Wood and Holly's knitting...
I was deeply impressed with Murakami.  It was pleasing to see so many American literary references laced within a Japanese novel from the 1980s.  He clearly has a deep love of American literature and it made me fell guilty because I know jack-squat about Japanese literature.  I think I might try to rectify that. 

Anyway, it's bedtime for the boys.  Peace.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Not the Baby: Tooths-day

Today, Parker and Carter didn't have school and they have had SO MUCH fun playing together. It just makes me so happy that they are such best friends. They drew pictures, played hide and seek, looked up and marked some favorite scriptures, and watched movies on netflix while munching on apple slices. Parker had a loose tooth so I've had to cut the apples up for him for the past couple days. He's been brimming with excitement to see when the "big day" would come. I'm not talking about the baby, of course- I'm talking about when his FIRST tooth will fall out.

Today, "tooths-day" (tuesday) was the day! While running around with his brother, he ran up to me grinning- the tooth was completely sideways. I told Parker not to move and I gently took it out. It was literally sitting right there. I'm so glad he ran up to me or it would have been a frantic hunt for his teeny tooth.

Parker could hardly contain all his excitement. Feels like Christmas Eve to the kid. He jumped up and down proclaiming "I am just so excited!" and "I thought for sure it would come out when I was 6!" and "Carter, want to see my grown up tooth?" ... He asked me how long it was until bedtime. 4 hours I told him. "I just can't wait!" was his reply.

To a Mom it's bittersweet. I remember when I lost teeth and how excited I was, but as an adult I don't want my babies to grow up- and this is just another sign that's exactly what's happening right before my very eyes.

Monday, October 14, 2013

26.2 Miles with Pops.

So I missed out on the Canandaguia 50 mile race this past Saturday; I cancelled my entry because it was too risky to be out of town for so long with Holly due any day now.  To make up for it, my dad came up into town and together we hiked 26.2 miles in about 8 hours.  That works out to be about half the 50 mile distance with half the effort involved.  (Which means, I am hoping, next year when I re-register for the race, I should be able to do the whole 50 mile distance with a regular amount of effort.)  It was great to spend time with my dad.  We came back home and ordered pizza and wings for dinner which tasted extremely good after all that hiking.  My dad took some pictures on the trails.  Hopefully I will be able to post them here soon!

In the meantime, just so I have a picture, here is Holly at 37 weeks, four days!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

General Conference

Watched general conference over the weekend.  It was terrific. Here, we catch up with Anderson while he munches on pizza during the Sunday morning session.  He even took the time to say "cheese!"

We had a good spread for the Sunday morning session.  We wanted to make sure all the kids when the Boyer family came over had plenty to much on.  (Of course we wanted something to munch on too!)  We enjoyed buffalo chicken dip, spinach artichoke dip, apple tarts, plenty of soda, chips, and other yummies.

October 2013 General Conference Goodies
Of course the best part of conference was when my parents came to visit the day before for the Saturday sessions.  Parker quietly went off by himself with crayons, tape, and scissors.  He came back with a craft project he made...a President Monson.  "He has big arms," Parker explained, "because he wants to give us a hug."  Well said Parker!

Parker with his President Monson craft...and Elder David A. Bednar speaking in the background!
A wonderful General Conference. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Spoiled Rotten

Some of my friends surprised me with dinner and an amazing baby gift! 
My friend Wendy texted me and asked if I wanted to go to dinner before the baby came. I never pass up food and happily obliged!

When we got to Ruby Tuesdays (I had no idea where we were going) I saw my friend Crystal there... and we were lead to a table with her, Racheal, Daisy, Daisy's 2 kiddos, and Liz was on her way to join us. I was SO surprised!!

My friend Jessica (who just had a baby a couple weeks ago) and Crystal came up with the idea, but unfortunately Jess couldn't make it- between her 6 kiddos and her husband being gone in Texas for military training- there was just no way. She made some of her delicious cupcakes and sent along a cute little note. I really wished she could have been there, but it was so thoughtful of her to make and send along the cupcakes.

I chowed down on salad bar and a pretzel burger before savoring my cupcake.

They gave me my gift. (Gift?! Wasn't dinner gift enough?!) I opened the package and saw a "Timi and Leslie" box. I nearly had a heart attack. (Could it be? No. How would they know? But maybe? Oh my gosh, open the box!) I started to shake as I sliced the tape open. Oh my WORD! It was the exact diaper bag I had been eyeing for months but I knew I could never just go ahead and buy. They all chipped in and bought it for me. I was speechless and seriously almost cried. Grinning ear to ear (I tried) to express my gratitude. I'm still in shock.

I am so blessed to know these women. They are examples of charity, strength, and virtue.

Baby4- boy or girl- is gonna be so spoiled with love! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

General Conference

General Conference is one of my favorite times of year. We have the chance to listen live to our prophet and apostles 2 times each year. The first weekend in April, and the first weekend in October. I always have numerous quotes and things that I love. Here is a quote I loved from this  conference:

"Believe in miracles. I have seen so many. They came when every indiction would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior's own anguished example. If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong trusting in happier days ahead." -Elder Jeffrey R Holland

Saturday, October 5, 2013

What's that Boy Scout Motto? Be Prepared!

What's that boy scout motto?  Be prepared!  And that's exactly what Holly is all about. Yesterday while I was at work she went to the store and put together these totes.  They are full of treats and goodies for the three boys; this is to keep them entertained when Holly and I ditch them with a sitter as Holly goes into the labor.  The fourth is a tote for the sitter herself to keep from going insane with Parker, Carter, and Anderson flocking around.

Labor Home-base Survival Kits 2013
Holly stashed them in the pantry, but Anderson already found them and was trying to bust into the goodies.  He succeeded in getting a KitKat out, but I intercepted him and put them in a safe place until the big day.  Who knows when it will be?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fall Family Picture Fail

Here is the family picture fail from our day at the park.  Holly had the camera set up on a tripod. She set the timer and ran into the picture while I tried to wrestle Anderson into looking at the camera without crying and attempted to shuffle Parker and Carter into decent positions.  It didn't work out so well, as you can see. But ya know what? Big deal!  Perhaps there is even a lesson in it. Holly and I march through time with our three little boys, through good days and bad.  It doesn't matter if every day turns out right because we are still together.  And some day, perhaps all too soon, those children are going to grow up, move out, and move on.  And a family picture fail has far more many laughs behind it than a nice one.  But we will still try again someday!

Family Picture Fail, Fall 2013

And you know what, we still came out with something, because Parker and Carter can ham up the camera while Mom is trying to get it set up.
The Big Boys, Fall 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Old McParker had a Farm...

Yesterday at school we had a lockout just before dismissal.  The police department ordered it because they were having a stand-off with a man with a fire arm in the area.  Everyone was fine and safe, but it meant we didn't get to leave until almost 5 o'clock.  It was no big deal for Parker; he started working on a farm in the classroom.  When it was time to go, he wanted me to leave it up for Carter to see in morning when he came to school.  So we did.  It appears below.  Hopefully you enjoy it just as much as Carter did, which was a lot!



I randomly got this in the mail today. Inside is a gift card for my "little ones". I feel so blessed. For real. (Yep, that's the baby bump sneaking into the pic)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Coming and Going

The weather was beautiful after school today, so Holly insisted we take the boys up to the park to take some pictures.  We placed Anderson in the wagon, I pulled him, and the boys trotted along. They played on the equipment for a while, and we tried to take a family photo, but Anderson wasn't really in the mood for it.  So we let them play some more.  When it was time to go, I buckled Anderson back into the wagon and started pulling again.  It suddenly got heavier.  Turns out Parker and Carter wanted to hitch a ride.

Go'in Home
So in short, we went to the park, had a family picture fail, shrugged, and went back home again.