Sunday, June 30, 2013

Portland, We Are Here

We arrived last night.  Our hotel shuttled us to the hotel (they technically stopped service at midnight and ty still came and picked us up when we called) and we are challenging ourselves to be carless while we get our apartment and then we'll get a car and it will be really great. This last week has been one of the most challenging and gratitude-filled.  So many friends came and helped clean and came to send me off at the ice cream girls-night-out/M send off.

Thank you, ladies, if you read this! I love and appreciate you!  More updates coming when I get things settled. I miss you already!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy Birthday R!

Dear R:

You turned ten recently. TEN! 10! Ten years old!  I know it is cliche but how has time moved so quickly?!  It seems like last week you were Kathleen's size and we were living in New Jersey. You loved any sort of schedule and I did not.  You did not like that and often let me know.  You got a lot of ear infections, but you were such a dear, smiley infant and toddler.  Whenever I got sick you would sleep all day next to me.  I remember just sitting and staring at you, much like I have done with your siblings, breathed deeply and prayed to remember the precious moments we had together.

Some things I remember about you include the first day you were home. You wanted to suck your thumb or a pacifier.  You did not have a comfort object and when you wanted food you did not like to wait--at all, and as one passenger that sat by us on one of our flights to Utah said you sounded like a pterodactyl.  

 On Friday you were in the color guard for the fifth grade graduation, a big honor since you're not in fifth grade yet. It's because you are on the student counsel and were randomly selected (or so you told me). 

I love you and am so glad you are my boy! You're my favorite oldest boy. :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Daddy O and Your Grandpa O

Dear Daddy O/Grandpa O:

Happy (extended) Father's Day!

Just wanted to let you know that you are a super father and grandfather.
You love to take all the family on adventures (near and far) and to take time to look at the little things and notice how fun and dear the kidlets are being (by kidlets we mean both your children and your grandchildren).  You notice their talents and take the time to talk to each one.  You make yard work seem like going to the playground for the little ones.  You tell wonderful stories about the inch high man.  Somehow you make the normal seem special and beautiful. You are a great example of hard work and cheerfulness. 

We love you!
Thank you for all you do!

Happy Father's Day Grandpa V!

Grandpa V:
W tells us stories about growing up with you as his Dad!
You were very good to him, even when he was bad.
You had everyone help when there was work to be done.
You were an example of service even when W's life had just begun.
You were up at the break of dawn
To help all the kids mow yours and others lawn(s).
When it snowed you wouldn't just sit in a chair,
You were out shoveling snow with everyone there.
You went on many campouts in hot or cold weather
You could go without sleep for days then sleep light as a feather.

Now as a Grandpa your service does not cease.
You love all your grandkids, each one with ease.
You take time with each one, making them feel special.
You give the moms a break while their babies you nestle.
You smile very big when at first you meet.
The children jump into your arms as their happy greet(ing).

We love you Grandpa and Dad
Thank you for all that you do.

Happy Father's Day to W

You know, you have been very blessed to have wonderful examples of fatherhood in your lives.  W, your Dad is one of the very best fathers that I know. He works very hard for you.  He loves you. You love it when he plays with you. He practices with you. He helps you get food when it is past your bed time and I am completely exhausted and past the "Mom, could I" patience point. He goes into your room when you are asleep and he pulls up the covers so you're not too cold.  He lifts you up so you can pretend to walk on the ceiling.  He plays "fishies" with you. He is very patient with you! He laughs at your jokes. He is so happy when you have successes. He makes plans for you and wants you to accomplish your goals.  He loves me and shows me a lot of respect.  

Those last two sentences may have you wondering what that has to do with you. In our family, Mommy and Daddy love each other more than any one else. 

Daddy  and baby S in 2005

Elaine S. Dalton said in October 2011 to the fathers:

“The most important thing a father can do for his [daughter] is to love [her] mother.”1 By the way you love her mother, you will teach your daughter about tenderness, loyalty, respect, compassion, and devotion. She will learn from your example what to expect from young men and what qualities to seek in a future spouse. You can show your daughter by the way you love and honor your wife that she should never settle for less. Your example will teach your daughter to value womanhood. You are showing her that she is a daughter of our Heavenly Father, who loves her.
 This is what Daddy does!  I hope that how you, R and T will be as fathers and I hope that you, K and S will marry such men when the time is right.  I love you!  I love your Daddy soooo much! I feel exceedingly blessed that he married me and loves and cherishes me.  I love you, W!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Who Do You Look Like?

One of the first questions I get asked when people see you, lovely K, is "Who does she look like?"  Usually they mean do you look like me or daddy (Grammers and Grandma have those photos), but sometimes they want to know which child you look most alike.  I wish these were all newborn photos, but since our computers have changed and crazed out several times between then these are the best I can do. I love you!  What do you think R, S and T?!  You were all beautiful babies and I'm so glad I am your mother!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Me and My Book Addiction

In order for this upcoming move to go smoothly we decided we had to "surgically de-clutter" (Daddy's words) which is like a gastric bypass surgery--only it is not for people it is for our apartment.

This morning was trash and recycling day and I took my our beloved books down to the street.

I had not realized how emotionally taxing it would be, I mean I thought I alre
ady said my fond fair wells and I really had planned on having Daddy take them down, but he had to rush to work so I girded my bravery and looked at our books.  I tried to put them right into the recycling bag, honestly, only five or so happened to "fall out" and not make it back to the bag.

Okay, let's face it, throwing away those books was like throwing away old friends.  I mean, how many dinners had I skipped making to delve into the wordy, emotion-packed depths and become someone else?  How many times have I read that book to you right before bedtime or nap time filled with cuddles and kisses for you? I remember how I got that book and how you made me read it . . . a lot and how sometimes I "accidentally" skip a page or two to aid you in your journey to sleep.  Or when I heard you read that book for the first time (the Bob books) or when you got really excited about your first chapter book and told me every single juicy detail about the Magic Tree House's adventures.  Or when I heard you changing voices for all the characters, like I do when I am reading to you.

It. Was. Hard.  In an attempt to help pull myself from it I had to repeat in my head a song I made up with only the words, "It is only paper!" to put sentiment aside and help the books move on.
Source (Pinterest--can't find the real source)
As I took out one of the last loads a man turned his head and walked over and began looking through your books. I may or may not have said a prayer that he would find and rescue a book or a box of books.  In fact, I'm a little shocked I did this, but I checked out the window when I got upstairs to see if he was still looking and I felt a bit disappointed that he was not.

Oh great! They didn't take our recycling--they moved it to the neighbor's side of the tree. Lovely. (This entire paragraph was sarcastic).

It's only paper. It's only paper.  It's only paper.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How do I love thee?! Let me count the ways. . .

Daddy added his narrative; from left to right, top to bottom:  
1. It's morning.
2. I don't want to get up!!!
3. Yawn.
4. Okay, I can make it through the day!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

K's cuteness!

A quick snippet of K.  I love you!  More photos to come when I have a little more time.

With the move coming up and you baby Kathleen, I am using my time to find a place to live in Oregon and packing up. :)  Prayers are greatly appreciated in this department.

Friday, June 7, 2013

K's Birth Story Part 2 Labor and Delivery

W rushed right home and we got ready and left for the hospital, just packing the last essential items for the hospital bag.  We found parking right away (practically unheard of for any part of Park Slope) and we parked on 9th Street and we walked slowly to the hospital. I really wanted Daddy with me and felt incredibly grateful. 

Unbeknownst to Daddy and I, my wallet fell out of my purse on the way into the hospital and a good Samaritan's son picked it up for me and friend-ed me on Facebook and Google+ to find me, but finally they called my doctor and they contacted me and gave me his number.  I was not near a computer for a little while (and hospital WiFi is a joke). . . we picked it up on our way home from the hospital, thankfully!

They checked us right in when we got there, the waiting room was completely packed with people, but the lady in the office told me that they weren't waiting to see her.  She checked us in in ten minutes to triage and triage admitted us to labor and delivery fifteen minutes later (the fastest I have ever seen a doctor hands down in a hospital).  My contractions were really, really strong by this point and I couldn't talk during them and Daddy had to answer all the questions directed to me.

They took us to labor and delivery room thirteen.  It is apparently the room they only use when the rest of the entire floor is packed with delivering mothers.

I was met by the midwife Elizabeth (nearly about to deliver herself) and the Elizabeth-substitute midwife (for when Elizabeth has her baby) and they were incredibly warm and kind.  I liked them and could totally see myself delivering with them, only I have an aversion to pain and desired an epidural, STAT (which means an urgent right-away).  They gave me some ideas to assuage the pain a bit until the anesthesiologist came and I was soothed by the shower.

When I got the epidural, I was astonished because they didn't put my legs to sleep and I still felt some pain, but eventually nearly no pain--I still had a little so I could help the doctors get you out, K!

 The doctor on call, the owner of the practice I go to, came and sat in the room for two hours and just talked with us, which as far as I can tell never happens.  Usually the doctor comes in for a precious few seconds to say, "How's it going?" and "I'll be back when you're pushing."  Then they come in when the baby is almost out.  Eventually they had to give me pitocin because my contractions slowed down after the epidural. A half hour later, K, you were there. Right before you came out I felt your little head.  

You were covered in vernix.  It is like a lotion our bodies made together to protect your skin.  You seriously were cover from head to toe in a millimeter or two of this thick white cream-like substance.  The nurse said it was very rare and that she'd never seen it before, personally, but you were just fine, but I think it kept you from opening your eyes fully for at least two to three days.  You are so dear, K. I was so happy to see you! So was daddy!
At first your sugar was a little low, so they gave you a bottle and within two hours, your sugar went to normal levels (thankfully).  You were so good, K!  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Grandma O. We love and miss you!

My mother has been here for the last week and a half and I have to say that I have absolutely loved having her here!  I just tried to enjoy every moment she was here. We only have been able to see her once or twice a year and I have to say talking with her every day made me feel so happy. She left today and I have to admit that I cried a little bit.  I know my dad and my brother really miss her, but it made me feel so happy to have her near, they are really lucky!
Grandma really helped me start sorting out clothes and things we will not take with us to Oregon.
But more than anything, I just loved talking with her.
We enjoyed the meals that dear friends brought us and you probably remember, but we had some great food!  I'm so grateful to them!