Thursday, May 30, 2013

K's Birth Story Part 1

We were so excited to have you, K.  I was sooooo ready to have you and had quite enough of the pregnancy business to last me awhile.  I was ready to have my stomach feel like a stomach. I was ready to see my feet and to be able to bend down and put on some cute sandals that I couldn't reach the straps to buckle.  Also, I love pineapple but how much was I supposed to eat to get things moving along?!

Meanwhile back at the urban cabin. . .
In the middle of the night I began having contractions.  They were not too regular but they began once an hour, then twice and three times and hour.  By the time I was up to get the kids ready for school I told Daddy that that day could be the day.  He smiled widely at the idea.  But I wasn't sure I was really in labor. 

This is how I was breathing--deep breaths like to blow the seeds off a seeded dandelion. 
I downloaded two apps on my phone to record my contractions, the length of the contractions, and the amount of time between contractions.  As we walked to school they were around 6-8 minutes apart.  But I still didn't feel convinced I was in labor as I've had several times where the contractions were pretty strong and I seemed to be able to power through them (which I didn't think you could do so well if you're in labor). 

When I got home I tried to get ready for the day. I got my curling irons out and my make-up out and every time I tried getting ready a huge contraction would start and I would try to walk it off by walking around my house.  I would compliment myself saying, "Good job! This is just what you're supposed to do. Good body!" It was a serious attempt to keep my attitude positive and I think it helped. That's when I called Daddy or he called me, I can't remember now.  He said as he was prepping to see another patient, "I'll come if you feel like it is time!"  I said, "No, just wait, I want them to be more regular." By this time they were between 3-6 minutes (I was waiting for 3-5 minutes). But moments after I hung up I was struck with an extremely strong breath-taking contraction and called him right back to have him hurry home because This. was. definitely. LABOR.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nearly 39 Weeks Pregnant Update

I wrote this the day before I had you, K. :)  Technically I was 38.5ish weeks along.

Sweet Baby Girl:

I cannot wait until you come.  We've got the house 75% ready, it was 80% ready, but life happens.  Right after I finish this post and looking up how to fix T's scooter I am going to go work on getting that back up to 80%. 

I have a lot of braxton hick contractions when I walk and when I change sleeping positions at night.  The night ones are stronger. 

I went to the doctor yesterday. She said my measurements have not really changed since last week--except that my tummy is a centimeter bigger.  She thinks you are about 7.5 pounds now. After this last exam I've had a lot more cramping and such than before.  It usually takes me a day to recover from the doctor visits. I'm writing this for the maybe next time, so I remember how it was and not to feel worried.  You're still moving and bumping my ribs so I know you're okay.

When the doctor came into the room T hollered out, "Yay!" The doctor was so glad he was thrilled to see her that she let him take some photos of you, including your healthy heartbeat I love to hear.  

My guess is, that you are going to be like your brothers and sister and wait until you're medically induced to come.  I just want to let you know, I love surprises.  If you come a little early, I wouldn't mind.

Love you!

After we went to the doctor today, we stopped by the pharmacy to see if they had Castor oil. They didn't but while we were there a dear older woman in a red jacket sat by you T and started to talk with you.  You told her your name and how many of each letter it had and she pulled out a dollar bill and gave it to you. I said, "You don't have to do that!"  You said, "Thank you!" Then said, "It that all I can have?"  To which I said, "T, that was very nice of her to give you a dollar. What do you say?"  You said, "Thank you very much!" Then you gave her a big hug. I love you, T!--Love ya!

Random Happiness News
I told the landlord that we would be moving. Usually I make Daddy be the bearer of that news, but for some reason I blurted it out after I found out they are coming to fix our bathroom sink pipes (which are leaking).  It was a little scary--after all--I sometimes feel a little scared and the doubtful what-ifs make their unwelcome entry into my head. Yet, I am proud of myself for doing it.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Welcome to Baby K

After three hours of labor (in the hospital--more at home), our newest baby K came into the world.
8 pounds 3 ounces and 18.5 inches long of pure dearness.
K, you are so lovely; R, S, and T can barely take their eyes off you and are learning to take turns.
We are so glad you are here!

More birth details (and photos) to come.

We are all home, safe and sound, and recovering. :)
Thank you for your prayers and loving wishes!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mother's Day

Photo from Yeenor Yam.
You made me feel like the most special mother on the planet.  On Thursday, S, you brought home a beautiful card.  I meant to take a video of you reading it to me, but I think it was accidentally discarded in one of our cleaning sprees.  You had written "MOM" in lovely glittered letters on pink construction paper.  Then on the inside you spelled out MOTHER'S DAY and wrote a lot of sweet things including "Happy Mother's Day" several times as well as acknowledging the fact that you were hungry. This made me laugh a lot and you re-read the card to me three times and each time you came to that we looked into each other's eyes and laughed together.  I loved it!  You also made me a really cute candy bouquet that they made in Activity Days (you made yours after church, because I forgot, again).   You also purchased a flower at the mother's day flower sale, but I am not sure what happened to it. I love you, S. You know how to make me smile.

Photo from our friend, Shonna Trinch
Another Photo from Shonna Trinch.
Another Photo from Shonna Trinch.
 On Friday, R, your teacher planned a wonderful activity--just for the moms and kidlets.  I was so surprised to come in and see each desk with a bag on it.  There was yummy food set out. All your class was brimming with excitement and anticipation. Almost every mother came.  You and your class served all the mothers food and then you got your own food.  Then we opened our gifts and you read what it said on yours to me so proudly. I was so grateful and I thought how was I so blessed to have such a good son.  Thank you for being my boy.

You took this photo, R. 

If you'd like see your class singing go here:

Then T, I came to pick you up from school and you skipped out to me to give the plant that you had planted.   You were positively thrilled with the gift. I think you handed it to me and shouted, "This is for you! Happy Mother's Day!" Then you told me it was your teacher's mother's day.  We sent roses for them on Tuesday (an extended Mother's Day if you will).

I got bouquet of 24 gorgeous roses with chocolates from Grandma V.  Thanks Mommers!  You're so sweet!  The roses made me feel so happy!  Love you!

Monday, May 20, 2013

School Carnival

The school carnival was Friday at your school, R and S!  I didn't really volunteer, but I went to see if they needed any more after I had dropped you off and they said I could come and take pictures and bring some mirrors that they needed for face painting.  So I ran home, got on my make-up (so I felt like me), and came back to take photos.

S, you were completely shocked when you saw me, because I had told you I probably wouldn't be there.  But the call of the free cotton candy was too alluring--okay, mostly I wanted to see you having a blast.

This is where you made sand art in little pendants. You all loved doing this. What a great carnival idea.
I have to tell you, when we move I am really going to miss my dear, wonderful Brooklyn buddies. The parents really took care of me and T.  They encouraged me to sit and rest or keep moving about if I wanted to get labor started.  So many people asked when I was due with you baby girl. I felt so loved!

I  uploaded a lot of the photos to facebook--turns out you can upload hundreds of photos to facebook.

R, you were so sweet and stayed by T almost the entire time you were outside. I loved seeing you together!

T you went on the bouncy houses so many times that by 1:30 all you wanted to do was go to sleep, which you did, in my arms. I sat there and watched them clean (which I don't like to do, but I would rather have you sleeping than hoping you'll cheer up because you're utterly exhausted and the word cheer has lost all it's meaning.

I love you!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Marriage Rule

Every now and then I realize something that really helps in mine and daddy's relationship and I feel like maybe I should share it with you, for when you get hitched.  This is not a big list, this is one rule. . . so there may be more coming, but who knows.

Henri Martin Source

When it gets to the bewitching hour, do not talk about hard/sensitive topics, just have a quick, heartfelt prayer, packed with gratitude, and go to bed.

That is all. For your father and I that hour is 11 p.m. After try not to complain or talk about subjects that can be a point of disagreement or sadness. No one wants to go to bed with hurt feelings, anger or dysfunction on the mind!  We try to go to bed a little earlier (not always successfully) so we don't have this problem.

The reason we have this rule, for me personally, is because I would rather go to bed thinking about happy things and anticipating the good things to come.

Sometimes we forget about this rule and the feelings we don't appreciate come back to humble us and we hope what Victor Hugo said is right, "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."  Gratefully, if we do, usually by the morning we've forgotten or can talk with more of a I'm-emotionally re-filled-and-can-talk-more-rationally point of view.

I love you! :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Baby Shower at Whitney's

Friday night I got an email that pretty much made my week.  
That's right, M and Deborah. 15 of the most amazing women in Brooklyn will be waiting at my house Saturday morning to celebrate you two mommas!
Don't bring anything but yourselves. Come to relax, eat a delicious breakfast (or second breakfast if you're like me), play games, and open gifts. We are so excited for both of you and your little bundles of joy!
Your baby shower is from 10am to noon at my place. And don't worry. Your husbands already knew about it so all piano lessons/childcare are taken care of!
Can't wait to see you tomorrow morning!
P.S. M, S is more than welcome to come!

Photos are from Patrice Lorca (not pictured), thank you!

It was your first baby shower, S and you were really excited!  The food was so good! You loved playing with the babies.  I am so excited for our baby girl to play with you!

Sister Consuelo Soriano, M, and Deborah Grimshaw.

Yeenor Yam and Tamara 

Vicky Carrion and Erica Wheatly

Erica Wheatley and Lindsay Anderson

Emily Johnson and Charity Adams--can you believe Charity just had a baby?!?

Marie Rets, Lyndzee Durham, and our host Whitney Jordan.

Hitomi Yamashita, Y--, Rino's Sister and baby Trevor

Sarah Re, Rino Yagi holding baby Izzy Adams (Charity's new baby) and Hitomi Yamashita
I cannot tell you how grateful I am to these wonderful women, especially Whitney and those that organized it!  It made me feel so loved and every moment was beautiful!

For one of the games, contestants were invited to take a paper plate and draw a picture of the baby while holding the plates on their heads.  I loved them!  It was hilarious when everyone showed their plate!  Which is your favorite?
These are from the people who attended and would have attended if they could.  Can you find the shoes, one-sies, teething covers for our carrier (Lindsay Anderson made those for me), blankets (the big one underneath is homemade by  Great Grandma VDG (she makes one for every new grand baby--which means a lot!), wash cloths, socks, headband, diapers, shampoo/hand sanitizer/toothpaste/body wash, bottles, pants, wipes, socks that look like shoes, teething toy, bibs, cloth diapers, burp cloths,  advice cards, baby shampoo, and the baby outfit.

Can you believe how blessed we are?!  What dear and amazing friends! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Test

Remember how we have been praying for the last few months that Daddy would pass his test, he studied very hard and practiced surgeries on fake teeth and got back ups for the test so he could do a surgery on them and then he studied some more and we prayed more?

He passed!!!  Yippee! Hooray!
We are moving to Portland, Oregon!

We are soooo proud of you, W!

Thank you for praying for us!!! Prayer works!     

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

T at the Doctor's Office

At my doctor's appointment, T, I hurried to the restroom the moment I walked into the office.  When I got back you had befriended the person in the chair next to you and somehow obtained her phone, downloaded the game "Bad Piggies" and got her, meaning you, to level 2 or 3.  You noticed the similarities between the phones (they are both Motorola) and you had found out that she was 3 months pregnant and had an 8-month old baby.  You assured her that she was your best friend.

Then, after the doctor had done her bit and I found out that I am dilated 4 cm and 70% effaced and that the baby could come any time those dear contractions decide to become serious (during which time you were completely engulfed in my phone).  And you told the doctor as she was leaving, "You are my best friend."

As we waited to check out and get another appointment, you surprised me and everyone else in the room by introducing yourself to a 4-year-old girl waiting with her mother and fireman father.  You said something to the effect of, "Look for me, we're going to see each other again. You're my best friend. My name is T." Then you spelled your name. 

The little girl was shy and did not say a word.  The mother however was not, "That sounds good in about thirteen years," she said.

T, you cracked me up when you quipped, "Well, we're not going to be here that long. We're moving to Portland. That's in Oregon. But we'll be back." 

"We'll look for you," answered the mom.  "Good luck!"

T, I love that you are the boy with many best friends. :) You make me happy! I love you!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A VDG Concert S, this is you playing "I am a Child of God." R, this was you and S singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" when I was pregnant with T at our doctor's office.  This must have been one of my entertainment techniques. T, this is you and Daddy playing together earlier this year.

I love to hear you sing, play your instruments, tell stories and everything.  Thank you for being my kidlets!

Happy Mother's Day to the Grandmas. . . day one.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Spinach Ice Cubes

No, this is not your science experiment for the science fair and I'm not growing moss to get me in the mood for Portland.

 After so many times of buying prepackaged spinach to use in salads and stuff and then not using it, I grew somewhat disgusted with my wasted spinach habit and decided  that this time I would blend it up (with a little water) and freeze it.

I should mention this has added water and I plan on adding it to my healthy smoothies I'm definitely going to make. You don't like green smoothies too much, but I always let you know they're super healthy and tasty.

I think if I tell you that enough times that you will definitely want some, one day! :)  I love the colors! 

I'll let you know how they work! :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Anniversary Temple Trip

Daddy and I had our anniversary a few weeks ago and we had planned on going to the temple, only T, you got a little sick that day and we didn't feel excited about sharing whatever you had with anyone else. Today you felt great and my friend, Patrice, must have been inspired because she called and said, "Thursday I have some free time and I'm going to watch your kids so you can go out with your husband."  So we went to the temple in Manhattan.  For the record, I was going to take our nice camera, only it was pouring rain when we were leaving and I decided that my nice camera would accompany us on different trip.

 I was also happy because one of my young women from our Manhattan ward, Siena, was at the temple to receive her endowments and in a month she is getting married.  I saw her beautiful ring and how she held the hand of the young man she is going to marry and I felt so happy for her.  Her dear mom asked me if it all felt worth it to see one of them get married in the temple and I said, "I'm so happy for her!" But later, I thought to myself that it wasn't how great or mediocre a young women leader I was, it was her determination and faith. It was her desire to find a man that was worthy to take her to the temple and it was the support and immense love and care that was shown by her parents and family--since her birth.

She was clearly on cloud nine and I kept thinking of my similar day 11 years ago.  I remember the immense love that I had for W and now that love has grown.  I also thought back through my years of preparation, my goals and hopes and how there was at least one or two young women leaders that really touched my life and I am grateful for those amazing women! I am so grateful for my parents who showed me what an eternal family could look like and why I should prepare myself to have one too.  

Please get married in the temple, worthily, to someone who has prepared themselves, like you, and has the same goals and desires you have.  I hope Daddy and I have given you a good example of how happy you can be. 

On a different note, yesterday there was a huge thunderstorm going on right when you needed to go to school. Some of the lightning set off the car alarms near our house because it was so loud. Daddy loaded you all into the minivan and took you to school (a very rare occurrence to go with daddy or the car). 

I am so glad I married him and that he is your Daddy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stay Hydrated!

Two Sundays ago, we had some temple workers come to our ward. I can't remember their names, but I loved listening to them speak.  The wife's talk particularly touched me. She has cancer and is going through chemotherapy.  She told us about one day that she felt particularly awful.  She remembered one now cancer-free person advised her to drink a lot of water.

She talked about the significance of water in the scriptures, the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well and other well-known instances in the New Testament with the Savior.  The water represented the spiritual nourishment offered by the water spoken of by the Savior.  It was beautiful and just what I needed to hear.  What are the sources (or well) to which we may turn when our "thirst" strikes, you may ask?  The Scriptures, words of the modern-day Prophets, prayer, Patriarchal Blessings and going to the Temple.

After her talk I felt very thirsty, but I also felt inspired.

Drink lots of water (both kinds)! :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mom's Favorite Products

Now you're wondering, Mom why are you posting a photo of yourself and telling us your favorite beauty products. Half of us are boys (at least at this point) and we're completely uninterested in this.  Well, okay.  This is a selfish post.  For one, I did my hair in a braid around my head and I'm kind of proud of that and for another reason, what if (Heaven forbid) something happened to my make-up bag and I lost all my favorite products and had to figure out what I'd lost and then would be stuck in limbo searching other people's blogs for what they like and what may or may not necessarily work for my face.

I could have added some lipstick, I'm still deciding on my favorite!
On the happy side, I have figured out a routine that works for me and my face.  I have had the least acne that I've ever had in my life.  Now you could say, "Mom, that's because you're 36 weeks pregnant and your hormones are finally giving you a break."  Okay, you're right that could be the case, but I hoping beyond hope that my routine that I have will work post-pregnancy and beyond.

Morning face routine is as follows.
If I have an oily face, usually I do, I dab a bit of witch hazel on a cotton swab (or a piece of a paper towel, whichever is handier) and swab my face. I love the tiny bit of tingling. This counts as washing my face.  My friend Catherine Boutsikakis, a pharmacist and overall amazing mom and woman, told me that she does not use water on her face, at all, she uses Cetaphil cleanser sans water. If my face feels dry I'll put on some Cetaphil moisturizer and then wipe it off (so dewy and lovely afterward). 

Then I apply my moisturizer Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, fair to light, SPF 30--which for me acts as a moisturizer, sun screen and base (I'm all about saving steps). I found that most of the sun screen I would try would make my face shinier than a new car--which was not flattering.  This still has a little shine, but it is calmed by the powder I use.  Then I use the amazing Loreal True Match crayon correcteur and color my blemishes (I think this may have magic--best blemish cover-er ever).  

Then I use the e.l.f. bronzers/blush and it works really well.  I use bare minerals brushes. Then I add my eyeshadow and eyeliner from the darkest color on whichever eye shadow I happen to use.  Rimmel 624 is the one I got compliments on from a professional make-up artist, so I use it when I want to look fabulous. Then I use true match blendable powder and crimp my eyelashes and apply Maybelline define a lash mascara--which is the best mascara that I have ever used.

Night Routine
Remove all my make up with Neutrogena make-up remover towelettes.  Then I add Cetaphil.   If I wake up during the night I put on more Cetaphil (seriously, this really helps). It also really helps if I take off my make up and do my night routine right after I'm done going out for the day--keeps my face a little clearer. 

Okay, thanks dearies. I appreciate your reading.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bumper Belly

A photo of our family in front of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan.  35 Weeks Pregnant me--whose  stomach is shading T from the sun.  
One of the biggest adjustments to being nine months pregnant is my large tummy. In fact, I had one fellow come up to me in church that hasn't seen me in six months and spend an entire minute telling how monumentally large is my tummy.  I felt like the wolf in the movie Hoodwinked that says to Red Riding Hood, "Are we just going to sit here and talk about how big I'm getting?!" 

It is big. I know it.

If I were in a room with a whole bunch of eight to nine month pregnant women, we'd likely chat together and then accidentally start a game of bumper bellies (similar to bumper cars, but gentler because we're carrying little people in there).  

Instead, I just bump the children in primary and my kidlets at home.  Although, unlike bumper cars, my bumps are entirely accidental, but it still astounds me how far they bounce. And I always check to make sure they are okay (no injuries so far).

My good friend, Patrice, reminded me to think of the things I am going through with a positive attitude.  So that is my positive outlook on being 36 weeks pregnant. Also, I've gotten a lot of "You look beautiful!" "I wish you could bottle that pregnancy glow and give it to me--minus being pregnant." types of  comments from dear people at church and that kind of makes me feel lovely!

As my dear mother-in-law said when I was very pregnant with you R and just feeling not-so-lovely, "There is nothing more beautiful than a pregnant woman, except a new mom."  

Friday, May 3, 2013


At Family Friday today, you S, had a poetry reading at Family Friday and I slipped out after you read to visit R's class.

I was going to go vacuum out the car myself, but then my dear friend Braxton Hicks (haha) kicked in and I decided that I was going to splurge and get my car washed and vacuumed by the professionals.  I waited in line for ten minutes and I think they did a great job vacuuming out the car--better than I could have done, in fact.  And I got to watch other people do the work.  I was so grateful for all they were doing, especially because my car pre-cleaning looked like the place where all goldfish crackers go to die.  So instead of spending the $3-6 I was planning on spending, I spent $15-ish and I didn't tip. Are you supposed to tip those guys? 

Then I picked up T from school and my friend Whitney and I (with you, T and your friends Blake and Trevor) walked over to the set of A Walk Among the Tombstones which was filming right near the place, which in my opinion serves the second best tabbouleh (a lemon-parsley-middle eastern dish that is sublime) in Bay Ridge.  We had missed Liam Neeson (of Batman trainer, Obi-wan and Darth Vader mentor, Zeus and Aslan fame) but we sat and watched for a few minutes. Apparently some thought they saw one of the stars of this show, who is also a star for the PBS/BBC series Downton Abbey, Dan Stevens.  

You and Blake kept us laughing and Trevor smiling. 

After school I took the kids to the park for a playdate.  It was a rich, full day! :)