Thursday, February 28, 2013

Transit Museum

I took you to the Transit Museum on Tuesday.  Your twenty-four hours post-first-dose-of-anti-biotics for your strep throat caused by (you told me this R) Streptococcus bacteria! I love that you wanted to find out more about what you had so you consulted your science book.
 You always make me laugh when I ask for votes of places we should go you, S and you, R nearly always disagree.  But you like it when I tell you the prices of the places we are going for everyone else and I tell you that we are saving all that money by using the Cool Culture Pass from your school, T. You celebrate the savings with me--which I adore!
 You loved that you could touch everything in the museum (except for the stuff behind the glass). 
 You loved looking at all the trains and imagining all the stuff that you wish were yours from the museum store.
 You really liked the museum.  I really liked watching you.  It was a relief to get out of the house.  I let you watch a lot of Magic School Bus and we all needed a break. If you want to see more photos and details go here:
Daddy was out of town for an interview (yay), but every little while we would all say "I miss Daddy! I wish he were with us!"  We picked him up that night from the airport. He works so hard for us!  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Queens Museum of Art

You adored the Queens Museum of Art, okay you liked the museum, but you adored Jane, the dear Korean intern that invited us into the education lab--put out supplies and let your imaginations run wild with ideas and  she listened to all your great ideas and hopes and dreams and the fact that I'm pregnant with a girl that is due in June. 
You made some wonderful creations (which can be seen on my other blog).  You've been begging me to go back.  You would rather go to this museum than to the Intrepid (which costs an arm and a leg).
You let me take a lot of photos of you jumping.  

I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

President's Day Break in Connecticut

On Tuesday, over your break, we went to Cami White's home in Connecticut.  You were so excited to see the be with them and I could hardly capture any photos of you because you were off running about, playing in the snow, playing the Wii, eating Cami's amazing homemade bread.  Did you know she is a coupon-er?  She feeds her family of seven with $400 a month.  She really inspired me and gave me some lessons on how to do something similar with our family--complete with spreadsheets--awesome, right?!  Only problem with us doing that is eating gluten free, but I'm working on some ideas for that so we can live more frugally.

Cami is pregnant right now and she is going to have a baby boy--again the opposite of us (as usual).  R and S you got to go to a Chess class. You can't wait to have Dad teach you more about the game.  

I am so grateful that we have good friends like Cami that really inspire me to be better.

Monday, February 25, 2013

23 Days 'till Spring!

S, you saw these crocus on our way to the diagnostics place and you hollered out, "Look, mom!  Flowers!"  You found several bunches of them and you pulled out your camera and snapped some photos (like the one above).   Good work!  You felt the yellow inside and the soft petals.  You smiled gingerly at the opened and closed ones.  It made us all feel a lot more chipper.  Thanks.

The night after we took this photo, you T ran in to talk to me when you were supposed to be going to bed.  You said, "Mom, R lied to me."
Daddy said, "What did he say?"
You, T, said, "I told him there are 27 days 'till spring and he said 'No!'"
I said, "Well you can tell R that Mommy said that there are 27 days till spring."
You laughed, T, and ran out of the room at your top speed as usual. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It Will All Work Out

Dear Ones:

This week seemed riddled with setbacks and it all felt like it was crashing down on me on Saturday. It may have been my pregnancy hormones, but I felt so out of sorts and sad all day.  I cried, a lot.  The set backs are not that huge, but the only thing I felt I could see was a worst case scenario and made my heart ache and my soul scream inside with horror.  I know it sounds intense, but those were the feelings I had.  

Daddy was so sweet and took you to go serve some people, one of the things I love about him. I got all ready to go to the gym and instead sat down and had a great hyperventilating cry--that somehow felt a little therapeutic in itself.  

But I felt alone and like no one could understand, all my friends, I thought would just smirk and think--you've got problems?!  They're good friends with open hearts and listening ears, but sometimes I think I may have emptied my sorrows on them one too many times and they're sick of the petty gripes (somehow when they're your own complaints, I keep re-learning, they can seem almost insurmountable).  I am  sincerely grateful for the times they've listened and helped.  

Then, a little miracle happened, my brother, David sent me an instant message on Facebook. I think he could tell right away that something was amiss.  He called and I wept some more.  My eyes are watering like a garden hose even as I'm writing this, but I have to say it was just what I needed.  He helped me look at my problems with a different perspective.  He went over the worst case scenario, the best case scenarios and over other possibilities.  Somehow as we talked the near future did not seem so bleak and I did not feel so weak or helpless.

He also let me know that he'd been thinking of me and felt that he needed to call me.  I'm so grateful and glad that he followed the impressions he had, because it made a huge difference in my perspective. He listened through my weeping and made me feel validated and important and informed me that he knew I could do it.  He also reminded me that Heavenly Father loves me and really does care about me--which is one of the reasons my brother had felt impressed to call.

Days like that will come to you. I want you to know, that even when you have days that make you feel like there is nothing but a dark pit in front of you, that Heavenly Father loves you. He will help you and direct you around the black hole that feels like it is pulling you in.  If you ever feel like that, please call and talk to me.  Those moments are awful to go through when you feel alone.  I will listen!  It is also a good time to pray, take your vitamins, eat some healthy food and drink a lot of water.  

You are important! You are so very needed and so very loved!  Remember, your being on the earth is an answer to prayer (many different ones--even some in the future) and you are here for many very good reasons. Always know this!

Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 states: Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.

Also, remember when Joseph Smith was falsely accused, in emotional agony in Liberty Jail in Missouri, separated from his family for months. He had a time when he felt cut off from God and asked for help. See Doctrine and Covenants 121, especially verses 7-8.  

7. My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

One of the bits of advice that David offered me, is that when I've decided on something to really own it. I am going  to make it work for me and to appreciate it or bemoan my fate because of it, but to look at it as an opportunity for something better to happen and accept it--not to fight it.  See the possibilities and cease the day!

Always, remember how much I love you!  Soooo much!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

S's Dr Visits

S you've been dealing with stomach aches and sore throats and this morning you decided that you'd had enough.  We took you to the doctor.  This is my least favorite time of the year to go to the doctor because I feel like we're going to pick up something from all the people there--where sharing is not such a great idea.

I really want you to feel well! So afterward we went to get some blood tests done and you were the bravest I have ever seen.  We talked about the shot.  You assumed it was for me, since pregnancy equals a lot of shots, and you started shaking a little when you found out that you were the one getting the shot (or your blood drawn). You sat on my lap. I told you that it felt like being pinched for a little while.  You looked away as the needle went in and then sat there in amazement as the man filled and changed the vials.  You said it felt like your arm was being sucked. Then when he pulled it out you winced just a little but there was not one tear shed, no moans or complaints and I was so proud of you!

You can see my pregnant-ness in this photo and T's utter joy (not) at having a photo taken.
We got you a little gumball machine for a reward. My mother used to take me to get a milkshake after shots and I thought it was so fun. Maybe after we move and drive every place I'll pick up milkshakes on the way home, in the car, like my mom used to. But you love the gumball machine and have already charged T an arm several quarters for a few gumballs.

Thank you for being so good! I love you!

Anti-Drowsy Driving

Kidlets, right now Daddy is looking into some jobs (which are an answer to prayer).  One of the jobs requires a lot of driving, which makes me worry about him. I want him to be safe--I mean Daddy "is truly the best man I've ever known." (Name that movie that I love to watch!).  He really is and I would feel beyond awful if anything happened to him.

I have been wracking my brain to come up with things that would help him stay awake including thinking up a contraption that would pinch his knee, tickle under his arm and amp up the a/c all at the same time so he would not fall asleep.

There is a car on the market that has an intelligent assist device, but it's only in luxury cars.  Daddy will not drive a luxury car as a matter of principle (no matter how much I've prodded him that the only reason we would have one is to keep him safe for us).  Daddy has seen children starving and it made a huge impression on him that sometimes these cars are seen as status symbols and that often those that drive them simply want to be seen as somehow better than others, which, as we know, is not the case.

Daddy is anxiously waiting for what he calls the Google Car--the car that drives you wherever you need to go--which he hopes will come out in ten years.

Right now, after some research we'll have to go with the less invasive apps that are available (mostly just for iphone users).  Drivia, Anti Drowse, and Anti Sleep Pilot.

There is also a device called No Nap, though there are not many reviews and it does not seem high quality.  But it is supposed to detect a driver's nodding and provides a warning with sound to alert the driver.
The reason I'm telling you about this, is that I want you to understand that family is the epitome of importance to me.  Therefore, safety of my family falls very high on my list of things I constantly think about.  I love you, dearly!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

R's Concert

R, you had your concert last week. You were so excited about it, the day you got your lines you memorized them in the 15-20 minute walk home from school and you spoke them clearly and I was brimming with pride!  I was there--even though T had a little melt down. I was watching from the doorway.   There was Senator Golden there. T, you asked me if Senator Golden was the president. The senator even mentioned that he wanted requests from the school for future budgeting (money for the school).  Also there was Councilman Gentile.  R, you stood right over by them and sang your best and you smiled the whole time.  I loved it!  Then afterward your whole class signed your shirt.  You got some of the teachers to do the same. S, you signed his shirt and I was flattered when you asked me to sign it. I signed it "Mom." 

Do you know how much I love you?  I can't even begin to say how much. But you make me soooo happy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sledding Saturday

On Saturday we went on a walk. The kids hunted for icicles and we walked to the nearest park with a hill.  It was loaded with people (as you can tell from the photo above).   In order to not over-fill our house, more than it's already over full, I chose to only purchase one sled for the whole family. So, you S, carried the sled all over the neighborhood and then  gave R the first two rides (I was very proud of you!).  

We stayed for about 20 minutes (we were all pretty cold by the time we were done). 

When we got home Daddy was so sweet. He told us about a VDG family tradition.  After playing or working in the snow, which he loved as a child,  his mother would make steaming hot chocolate and cinnamon toast.  Then they would contentedly dip the toast into the hot cocoa.   I could tell those memories meant a lot to Daddy.  You loved the hot chocolate and cinnamon toast.  

T, you, had just woken up from a nap and it took you a little while to adjust.  You didn't want to play in the snow, you just wanted Daddy to hold you.  But when we got to the sledding hill you perked right up and even went down the hill several times.  Daddy got you, S, that huge icicle and you were very happy about it. But, I think R may have wanted one too (as you can tell from your face).  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pregnancy Update

Baby Girl:  You're almost 24 weeks along.  Your skin is getting more and more opaque. You are about the size of a cantaloupe.  This is the first week that I've felt the need to make a new best friend, my heating pad.   

My body seems to be vetoing future high impact classes at my gym, as well as running, jogging and hopping. Also, I'm eating dairy again.  The first day I had crazy heartburn.  But it has smoothed out since then.  I have also started to have Braxton Hicks contractions, mostly at night.

But, on the plus side, I found an Old Navy that must be getting rid of their maternity section because I found some workout pants and a shirt that are normally priced in the $15-30 range for 97 cents each! I was so happy. Now I want to go back and see what else I can get because all my old maternity pants look to me like they'll fit an elephant (yes, I know I'll get bigger--so I'm hanging onto them).  They also have that panel in the front that is supposed to expand for the expanding tummy--only they don't actually go over the tummy--they hang down below and look--odd.  Wearing a shirt long enough to cover the panel means one would be wearing a barely-above-the-knee dress, but more likely in the case of a pregnant woman a tent.  Sadly, the pants that go right below to "support" the belly makes my stomach ache.  The pants that I like the most at present are the ones that I wore when I was not pregnant--but they have a band that goes above top of the pants from Lilac clothing.  You can buy them for $40 in Utah at Costco sometimes, but they are not available in New York and online are $98 (gasp!).  So I may wear them a lot, but usually when I get home I change into a comfortable ancient maternity dress that fits like a tent, but is relatively comfortable.  Also, some of the yoga pants I got from Old Navy are pretty comfortable.

I was so excited when I found out that Forever 21 may have a maternity section, but they don't.  Fashion is a rather difficult subject for me period, but maternity fashion?!  Hello--welcome to the tent barn. Add a scarf and I swear you'll be stylish-ish.  That's uncomfortable?  Don't be silly, it's not uncomfortable-it's just that you're pregnant and pregnant people are always saying their uncomfortable--it's par for the course.  You're having a child for goodness sake, you can't expect to look (much less feel) like a million dollars.

Is it too much to ask for comfortable and affordable maternity clothes that make a woman feel like she's still a lady, not just a walking incubator?

Okay Sweet One, you're probably wondering what?! Mom, why are going to a pity party? I was just wondering what I was like pre-birth!  Well, I'll tell you, the minute I lie down you start dancing like you're in the royal ballet--or maybe a clogging festival.  I think you are a very happy girl and you dance especially energetically after I eat a lot of sugar.   I'm pretty sure you smiled in your ultrasound.  I love you!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Emoticons

One of the people that Daddy knows well, has just found a great fondness for emotes.  Oddly enough, it has trickled down to us.  We've been having a great time finding emoticons to say how we are feeling. Do you know what emoticons are?  By the time you read this they'll be old news (they are getting that way now), but it is fun for awhile.

T sent one to daddy today to let Daddy know that he thought not being able to play the computer was sheer injustice.  It was something like this: 

T  :'(

Daddy sent T a text that said, "T is the best! :-)"


Monday, February 11, 2013

Great Grandpa C's Right Way of Savoring a Piece of Gum

When I was about your ages, I loved gum almost as much as I loved candy and cookies.  My Grandpa C. always has some gum (that will not stick to his dentures) and he is a great sharer.  But, with each grandchild he does a routine so that we know how to really enjoy a piece of gum.

  1. He very slowly, so we are about to perish for want of gum-type of slowly, pulls it out of the gum. Sometimes if we get too excited about it he will push it back in just a little, for a little bit of a rise from us. Grandpa!!
  2. He then puts the wrapped piece of gum under our noses so we smell it.  He gives us this good long delicious waft of the gum, so we can almost taste it.  Then he moves it out of our reach, because by this time we're usually chomping at the bit . . . we're reaching to take the gum out of his large grandpa hand.
  3. He then, unwraps the piece of gum, just on one edge and he tells us to stick out our tongue.  Which we do.  Then he lets us get one long lick.
  4. Then he slowly--almost too slow--unwraps the piece of gum, carefully folds it into quarters and then puts it in our mouths.  
  5. We chew it and he asks how it tastes and we nod because we're then enjoying the piece of gum so much, it seems like a miracle it actually ended up in our watering mouths.  

Grandpa, thanks for the fun times with the pieces of gum!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday, T!

Happy 5th Birthday T!

This will be posted around your birthday, not on, for safety's sake.

This morning we woke you up with shouts of "Happy birthday, T!"  You woke right up and began waving your hands wildly--completely extended proudly showing the number 5.  "I'm five!" you squealed with delight!  "Today's my birthday and I'm five!" Then you looked at daddy and exclaimed, "Daddy, you can stay home from work today because it is my birthday and I am five!"  Daddy had a huge smile on his face and he wished, more than you know, that he could stay home!

We did our family morning scripture study and then you got to open your gift that S had very carefully wrapped in a tissue box and a night time subway map (we'd picked it up on our journey into Times Square the day before and it had such pretty colors I thought it would make fabulous wrapping paper).  She'd used glue and a lot of tape so it took you quite awhile to open the gift, but since you'd helped me pick it the day before at Toys R Us Times Square, you knew exactly what it was (I love surprises, but I also love knowing that whatever toy I get you will be played with extensively--so I like to let you choose).  But you'd acted like you'd never seen it, pulled it out and gave the Mario plush toy a long happy hug.

Then you asked if you could play the computer and as one of the big birthday gifts I let you play nearly all day long.  I know some mothers would gasp at the absurdity of doing something like that, but some days I let absurdity fly.  You were so content and it is something that you loved.  I am going to add that I do not think any other birthdays will be like that, ever.

We had cookies instead of cake for your birthday today and I think you loved it.

When Granmers called you asked her to please send you five more dollars, or maybe six and yes, I was cringing when you said that, just a little. :)

Do you know that I love you so much?!  Your smile fills me with happiness. I love to see you come skipping out of school bubbling over with the fun things you did that day and how your teachers were so nice.  I love that you like to hug me and still like snuggle hugs where I give you a hug and you sit next to me so we can read a story.  I am so glad I'm your mom! I feel so grateful and blessed to have you!  I love that you like to juice vegetables and eat cookies. I love that your favorite food in the world may be pizza or cold cereal.  I love that you love your brother and sister(s) and that you still like to sit on my lap.  I cannot believe you are five!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Babies Dancing

Labeled: "My little girl Amaya peacefully sleeping...until her favorite song comes on"

This video made my day yesterday when I saw it for the first time.  It is so sweet that the baby is sleeping peacefully until her favorite song comes on.   Her sister and dad are laughing so hard and she keeps looking at them like, "Hey, come on--you're supposed to be dancing. See?! I'm dancing. Dance for crying out loud!"  I love her sister's laugh!  

Incredible how these babies interact with their daddy! ♥

This one, kidlets, reminded me of my brothers. This is something they would do with their children! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Moma and Mom Time and Bed Time

T, you and I went to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan with our friends the Durhams and the Greers the other day. We used our Cool Culture Pass (thanks to your school), which gave all the adults free entry.  Kids 16 and under are free.  We had a great time! You and your friends loved the children's art room.  You made shadow puppets, did little shows, and "painted" on the computers.

It was so nice to talk with other mothers who understand where I'm coming from.  I love you children, dearly, but I sometimes need adult interaction and it was so nice to talk with them and get their perspective on somethings I have been pondering.  They had some great insights and I felt blessed to talk with them. They also told me how to arrange collages for instagram (like the one below). Plus, Harper Greer, the little girl pictured below was so sweet and held my hand as we walked around Manhattan.  Her mother says she doesn't make friends quickly, usually, so I felt very honored, especially when she kept looking up at me and smiling. What a dearie!

You, R and S, were grumpy that we had left you behind and did not take you. S, you took it very personally.  Sometimes you love going to the museums and other times you complain about it, so there will be times that I take T and hurry off to a museum while you're in school.  Please know that I'll take you when I can, but being pregnant pretty much means that after 3 p.m. I'm exhausted.  Also, you've been getting loads of homework which makes the trip less fun because you've got homework on the horizon.

A couple of nights ago you went "to bed" and it was oddly quiet for you. So I went to check on you in your beds and once again you had all piled into R's bed, but not to sleep, you were watching a movie on youtube on one of our phones.  I need to make a technology basket so I know where your tech stuff is at all times.  I let you know it was not acceptable.  Then two nights ago you were up giggling and laughing until eleven.  I am so glad you're one another's built in best friends--but please, at bed time go to sleep! :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Few More Photos From the Snowy Day

 R, this time around you were the easiest to take photos of, because you held still long enough for me to take pictures.  I appreciate that!

S, you had a hard time stopping to look up at me--you were in snow heaven! You have such enthusiasm! 
 T, you were about to throw a snowball at me in this photo!  I love your grin. It always brightens my day and almost always makes me laugh!

 Look at Daddy!!  He is soooo handsome!  Do you know how glad I am that I married this man?!  
He makes me so happy!  We are so blessed to have him!

Student of the Month

S, you were the student of the month recently and I was so proud of you. I even wore my new hat to celebrate with you!  I loved the way you shyly walked up and got your paper.

I love you so much!

I'm so glad you're my little princess!

Friday, February 1, 2013

She has a nose!

I recently got an ultrasound, you know the big 20-ish week one?!  It is confirmed, again, that we're having a little princess.  The technician took some 4-D photos.  It was amazing!  I loved seeing our little princess trying to hide her face and stretch and wiggle.

Then when T got home, you looked at the photos and said, "Oh look mom! She has a nose!"

S, your feelings about the ultrasound photos were a little different. At first it was "Oh look, pictures!"  "Mom, does she really look like that?" "She looks like a blob with a skeleton."

R you thought the photos were cool. Then you changed the subject to something like, "Where's a pencil, I've got to do my homework."

Maybe there is a reason the technician said they look more like babies around 30 weeks.

Baby girl, you are developing rapidly and are about 22 weeks along.  You look just right in your photos and we're super excited for you. We love you!  The names we are considering right now are Louisa, Sally, Julia, and Alice, but this is all subject to change--and knowing us probably will.  You sleep like Mommy--with your arm right over your face.  Also, you kick T whenever he sits on my lap.  I call them love kicks and T thinks they are great, but please, don't let this be a forecast of your future with T. :)