Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Little Miss Molly is a month old. This last week has been a tough one. She has a little cough. Her nose is congested, and she does not know/has not figured out that she can breathe through her mouth. She has a little yeast infection. And yesterday she had to get a shot at her one month well visit.
This just might be the definition of despair.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Me v. Them

Today was my first day home alone with the girls. All three of them. Alone. With me. And the girls did not even have preschool. It was just us. All day. Egads.

It has gone alright. I was able to take a shower, a major accomplishment of any mom of a newborn. I had breakfast. And I got all three girls to Molly's doctors appointment ON TIME, yay me. (Molly is doing fabulous and is already over nine pounds!)

All three of us continue to adjust and get a new routine going. A major hurdle that we work on everyday, though, is trying to teach Emma and Macey not to yell while Molly is sleeping. They are girls. They yell. Quite frequently. And Molly refuses to "get used to it" like the rest of us. She's playing hardball and since she yells the loudest, she's winning.

So everyday we talk about not being so loud around Molly. I can tell that part of the lesson is getting through. Today Macey yelled -- just some play scream -- and I gave her "the look" -- the "are you kidding me yelling like that while your baby sister is napping?" look. Macey looked at me and then the stuffed sheep in her arms.

"Momma," Macey said. "The sheep screamed too loud. She needs to be quiet around Molly."

Well, I hoped that the sheep learned her lesson.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Through An Adult's Eyes

My parents came out this December to meet Molly, help with the girls, and celebrate Christmas. My Mom was here for three weeks, and my Dad came out for the week before Christmas. We had a great time and tried to keep busy, and I learned something along the way. . .

My whole life I have felt sorry for my Dad because my Mom is a little bit of a yeller. And she exaggerates at times. And growing up, I really thought that my Mom was constantly picking on my nice, innocent Dad who just wanted some peace.

But this month I had the chance to view them on my turf as an adult. And I realized that my Dad is a needler.

He needles. Knowing the reaction that he is going to get, he travels down that road anyway. Willingly. And he laughs along the journey.

Who knew?!?!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Adventures in Pictures

We had so much fun this month! Here are some of our adventures. . . Our Christmas Eve program. Garry read Luke 2 and Sleeping Beauty played Baby Jesus. Emma is obviously Mary and Macey played a convincing Joseph.
Emma and Macey see Santa at the preschool!
Going to see the new Visitor's Center and taking a Capitol tour!

A true Christmas favorite -- watching A Christmas Carol at the Shakespeare Theatre downtown.

Molly all dressed up . . . and wondering where she had to go to now.

Christmas program at church! Emma was a shepherd and her buddy Eddie was an angel.

Going to see the lights at Temple Square and running into some great friends! Thanks for taking the picture, Trish!

Going to the mall to see Santa. All three girls cooperated!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 26th

Is there any lonlier feeling than December 26th? The presents have all been opened and shuffled away, the tree looks forlorn without all the bundles underneath, and you are faced with taking down all the decorations that took so long to put up.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Spirit

Yesterday, we went to the Capital with my parents to take a tour and to check out the new Visitor's Center. Molly slept through the whole thing. She's fabulous. On our way home, we stopped at Toys R Us to let the girls pick out presents for each other. I was feeding Molly and so Garry was going to take each girl one at a time so that there would be some surprise on Christmas morning.

Emma went first. For Macey, she picked out a doll and for Molly she picked out a duck. She did not quite understand the purpose of having to pick out presents for everyone BUT her and was perturbed by the time she got to the car.

She was even more perturbed when she saw that Macey was asleep.

We thought over the options? Wake Macey up? Let her sleep and take her later?

In the end, Emma made our decision for us when she yelled, "Macey, you wake up and go pick out my present!!!"

Ah, that's my girl!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tender Mercies

On Saturday I took my parents to go see The Christmas Carol downtown. How I stressed over this night out!! Should we metro it? But then we'd have to walk from the metro to the theater in the dark. Should we park at the parking garage next to the theater? Then what about the long wait to get the car and the silly inflated costs of parking for two hours. And we had to pick up our tickets early at the ticket office -- what would we do with the rest of the time?

I wanted us to be safe. And hey, I wanted it to be cheap.

That's when the Tender Mercies of the Lord took over.

I found a meter parking spot right outside the door of the theater. RIGHT OUTSIDE OF THE DOOR. In Washington, D.C. It was so fabulous I would have taken a picture if I had my camera.

And then, I looked across the street and saw a Starbucks. Open and warm. The relationship between me and hot chocolate is a close and loving relationship, and sitting down at a table, enjoying a hot chocolate with my parents, admiring the view of my Jeep in its perfect parking spot. . .I was in heaven.

The play was very nice, too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas . . . Rewritten

A few years ago, my sisters and I were together and we were discussing Christmas Past. It was then that the truth was revealed about Santa.

No, not THAT truth.

Before I go further, two other facts must be revealed. First, Santa gifts do not have to be wrapped or come in a box. In fact, the very essence of a Santa gift is one that has been put together and placed under the tree. Second, there is a seven year gap between me and my nearest sibling, therefore when they were young and playing with toys, I was not around.

Do you see where I am going with this?

My Santa gifts were actually, well, regifts.

It all started to make sense. Now I knew why my Barbie did not actually fit into the Barbie motorhome. Now I saw why the Little People Cruise Ship was. . .well, weathered. And finally it made sense why my Barbie Convertible had tires that would not pass inspection.

My parents were crazy thrifty, but this was ingenious. And I appreciate it. The thriftiness made sure that we always had money when we needed it but never when we wanted it. A big difference. So Oprah, if you need more ideas on Thrifty Christmas Presents, talk to my Mom. She's a genius.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Perfect Storm

A friend of mine has five children (bless her patient heart). She told me that one of the toughest adjustments was going from two kids to three -- you were out of hands and arms. She said that one day all three started crying at the same time, and so she just sat down and cried with them.

Today was my perfect storm.

We were at the mall. Unfortunately, it was the third stop of the day, and my kids had had it. I stopped at the food court to get them something to eat, and all heck broke loose. Molly started screaming and needed to be nursed RIGHT NOW. Emma wanted Sakura (chicken & rice -- a Cunningham favorite) RIGHT NOW and Macey started screaming for chicken nuggets and a toy RIGHT NOW.

Luckily, my parents were with me and so while I fed Molly, my Mom got Emma chicken and rice and my dad got Macey chicken nuggets. How I dread the next perfect storm when I do not have help!! I might have to avoid the food court for a few years. I'll just tell them that it closed down ;)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bliss Update & Happy Molly, Happy Mommy

I did it! I got my girls -- minus Molly -- to gather around the piano and sing two Christmas Carols last night. Joy, joy, bliss, bliss. They did so well that I might let them sing at the recital tomorrow. We'll see how the practice goes.

Speaking of tomorrow, Miss Molly will be three weeks old! To show her age and her independence, she slept for a whole 4 1/2 hours last night IN HER BASSINET! Though there are times of exception, sometimes she no longer looks at the bassinnet as a betrayl of our relationship. Right in time, too, because yesterday I was starting to think that maybe Garry and I should have rented a newborn before we went all out and got one of our own.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Griswold Problem

I have a Griswold problem. Remember the movie Christmas Vacation when his wife explains to him that he over-hypes every holiday and then is disappointed by the result? Yep. That's me.

It was supposed to be so easy. I would have a lovely newborn right around the holidays and relatives would come from near and far to ooohh and aaaahh at her and we would sit around the roaring fire eating chocolates and cookies and drinking cocoa. And we'd sing carols around the piano and it'd be deemed the best Christmas ever.

I have not quite experienced the Christmas bliss this season. I do not have a roaring fire, and I wish that my two oldest girls would not ooohhh and aahhh so much around their sister and instead just LET HER SLEEP! The good news is, I have chocolate hidden in my room upstairs. And the girls and I made cookies before they got sent to their room for waking up Molly -- again. So perhaps now is a good time to down some cocoa and declare partial bliss better than no bliss!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Wow Experience

In my post-partum hormone mess, I have had a hard time with the commercials on television lately. Especially the Kay Jewelers commercials, those slay me. I sincerely covet the "Wow Experience" displayed on the commercials, but there is one problem: I totally do not wear jewelry. And I do not have a comfy couch next to a roaring fire. But besides that. . .

Garry and I got engaged around Christmas time, 2002. A mere six years ago. That season was full of a zillion Wow Experiences. Garry took me to a play I had wanted to see since I was in high school. And we tried a restaurant he had wanted to try for awhile. And he got me a present I had wanted forever. It was a lot of fun. This year, the Wow Experience has been eliminated in the practicality of the KitchenAid Mixer, which Garry is quick to point out was my idea. It was not one of my best, but I hope it will pay great dividends in the future.

So what is the rule for Wow Experiences? Do you get one a decade? Is the preciousness of the Wow Experience its rarity? Or is it something that we can seek for every year? Or after you have children, does every consideration go into creating their Wow Experiences and letting go of our own?

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Thoughts on Emma's Thoughts on Santa

Before this year, Emma was not a fan of Santa Claus. She would not go anywhere near him and for years we went without an annual picture of Emma with Santa.
But this year, she realized that if she wanted Santa to bring her presents of choice, she was going to have to talk to the big guy in red. So she conquered her fears and talked to Santa.
So far, she has talked to Santa three times: at the mall, at school, and at the library. And each time she has bravely told him what she wanted.
Which has led me to wonder, maybe this is all too much? Does she wonder why each Santa looks a little different? Does she wonder why she has to retell Santa each time what she wants? Is she concerned that he cannot seem to remember when she just told him a few days ago?
Hopefully, she is not overthinking all of this. Like me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Do You Mean It?

Hives update: I have gone from looking like a Botox-gone-bad spokesperson to a battered housewife. Yep, the hives moved up to my right eye. But, I have great hopes that things will be better tomorrow.

So this year Garry and I decided to pool the money that we got from our parents to purchase a beautiful, white, KitchenAid, 275 watt mixer. I foresee making lots of perfect chocolate chip cookies in the future because the only thing that has held me back from making said perfect chocolate chip cookies in the present is the lack of the beautiful mixer. Of course.

Now, the question is, are we done? Is that all that I have to get Garry for Christmas and vice versa? What if one person thinks we are done and the other person goes out and buys gifts and then the other person looks bad? Should we negotiate a price limit? Declare ourselves done? If we declare ourselves done, do we really mean it? I cannot think of anything that I really want -- after all, do I not have an Odyssey with seat warmers? Did I not have a free Botox-like treatment for 24 splendid hours?

The problem is, I like gifts, I really, really like gifts. And if we're done, and we mean it, can I take it like the adult-cookie-making-diva that I am/will be?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

. . . Until It Hit Me In The Face

So I have been trying to convince myself that my recovery was going well -- that I had turned a corner and was on the mend!! I almost had myself completely convinced.

Until it hit me in the face.

Hives, that is.

Last night, I started itching which I could generally ignore. But the hives moved up and landed on my face! The effect was not all that bad -- my upper lip swelled up and I definitely had an Angelina Jolie vibe going on.

I'd write more, but apparently I need to go and take a nap!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thank You!

Thank you to all of my blogging friends for coming to the party today. I had a lot of fun and really appreciate everyone coming!!

The Amazing Macey

Sometimes you can talk and talk and talk to Macey, and you are never quite sure what is getting through. She is a stubborn two-year-old. No, really, she is actually a STUBBORN two-year-old.

The other day, Macey got in trouble for biting Emma in the bathtub. The bathtub is a war zone when they are tired. It can get nasty. I kind of wonder what Emma did to receive such a horrible punishment, I am sure it was nothing good, but Macey was punished and sent to her room without the hope of pumpkin pie.

A few minutes later, Macey was still crying over her punishment, and so I went to go talk to her. I told her that it was going to be okay because she could always try to do better tomorrow.

The next night, I was helping the girls get ready for their bath, and I reminded them to be nice to one another. Macey told me, "I will be nice. I can do better today." And she was! And she did!

I wish I could learn as fast.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Super Sleeper

Garry has an amazing ability to get used to a noise and learn to sleep right through it. So, invariably, after we have a baby, one morning he wakes up and says:

Wow! Did she sleep through the night!

And me, who was up at one, four, and then six (and for an hour at 4, to boot), well, I start looking for sharp objects to throw.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Story Continues. . .The Missing Monitor

With the help of the Moore's, Garry called me from Church in record time. "Garry," I asked. "The computer monitor is gone."

I waited for the questions, the panic. . .

"Yes," he said, "I have it."

Hmmmm.....whoever heard of taking a computer monitor to church? But there was apparently no break-in. Whew.

I Was Robbed!

Yesterday, Garry took the girls and my Mom to church. I was left with Molly, and she was taking a gloriously long nap. I went down to the first floor and noticed that my computer monitor was missing!!


It could mean just one thing. Someone had been watching our home, realized that we left for church at a certain time, and targeted us for a robbery. The scoundrels broke in, headed for the back room, disengaged the computer monitor in an attempt to start removing all of our electronics, but then heard the vicious dog who was still in the house. Or heard me wandering around. So they rethought their devious plan and had to walk away with just a computer monitor.

I walked around the house, looking for anything else that might have been taken. Luckily, we do not have anything, so it did not take long. Everything was still in place. I looked in the garage where we have been storing the girls Christmas presents. Still there. Hmmm...looked like they just got the computer monitor.

I no longer wanted to be in a home that was so recently robbed, and so with the help of the Moore's I got ahold of Garry at church. Trying to remain calm, I asked him if he knew why we were missing the computer monitor. . .

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Dreaded "In-Between" & Big Surprises

When I was pregnant with Emma, I (stupidly) read somewhere to expect my post-baby body to be similar to my body at about 5 months pregnant. So I (stupidly) packed an outfit I wore when I was five months pregnant. Of course, it did not fit (by a mile) and it was embarrassing to go home in the outfit I wore to the hospital.

When Macey & Molly, I was better prepared. But I hate being in the dreaded "in between" -- not able to wear any of my old clothes and wearing baggy maternity stuff. Not that I could get into any of my old pants but I really CANNOT because of my incision. Why cannot stretchy pants be the fashionable thing right now? Who doesn't like the feel of a nice pair of stretchy pants?

Another surprise of post-pregnancy? The bassinett. How does Molly like her super-sophisticated, full of wonderful buttons and features bassinett? Molly would just like to say, "What bassinett?" Apparently, the ONLY place to sleep at night is on my chest. I guess it was not worth declaring war on Fed Ex. Well, it's still a lovely thing. A lovely empty thing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Nothing To Cry Over (?)

This morning I was enjoying a piece of domestic bliss when it all came tumbling down.

I was holding Molly, and Emma and Macey were snuggled up with us, watching television. We were talking about what to do with Emma's hair for school today. Yesterday, she had a small pony tail in the back. Since her hair is so fine, nothing really stays in very well, but it was something new, and so we gave it a try.

But, today, Emma told me that a girl at school said that her hair "was silly". Well, Emma is not mean or petty and so she does not know - yet - that lots of girls are and so she took the comment in the best possible way. She laughed at the idea of being called "silly" and I cried and cried for about 15 minutes just thinking, "Oh, no, here it starts."

Maybe the other girl was not trying to be mean or to tease Emma and there was certainly no harm done because Emma was able to laugh it off, but my heart breaks for the day when she can't.

Heaven help me, why couldn't I just have BOYS?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Feeling The Love. . .

My Mom was supposed to be flying in to Reagan tonight for a three week visit. We were excited to go and get Grandma, but right from the beginning of the afternoon, we knew that things were not going to go well. She had to transfer planes in Denver, and they were getting snow. Her flight out of Salt Lake was delayed and she did not make her connection.

Luckily, my sister lives in Denver and my brother-in-law was able to pick her up from the airport and take her home and they will just take her back to the airport tomorrow where she has another flight in the morning.

Unfortunately, she does not have a cell phone and was not able to communicate well with her family today regarding where she was and what was happening with her flight.

My father, prone to worry anyway, was very worried and called me to see if I had heard anything. I had just gotten off of the phone with my sister and knew that my Mom was going to spend the night with them in Denver.

"But isn't the airline responsible for putting her into a hotel?" he asked.

"Well, maybe," I answered, "but I am sure that she would like to see her grandchildren, if only for a few hours." I answered.

"Oh, ya, sure," he said.

Mmmhhhhmmmm....feeling the love, Dad. Feeling the love.

An Awesome Confession

We've been home from the hospital for three nights now, and you would think that my nights have been full of crying and walking the halls and late night feedings and diaper changes. But it is with joy that I confess -- I'm SLEEPING!

Followers of this humble blog already know that I really struggled with pregnancy insomnia for the last several months. There were several nights I wished I knew Spansih because the only good thing on television seemed to always be on the Spanish channel. They have some great movies on late at night.

But for the past three nights I've woken up, fed Molly, and then . . . WENT BACK TO SLEEP!

Whoever heard of getting more sleep after a baby that before? But, it is what it is and I am so grateful.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Please Do Not Repeat This To Your Friends!

So today I had to have "the talk" with Emma and Macey. No, we did not have to talk about where Miss Molly came from, we had the talk over how she is fed.

Garry can tell you that I am a complete prude, and so having to use words like breasts, nipples, and the like, well, it's just not my favorite conversation. It's just downright uncomfortable, and I am sure that I did not do it well. They probably did not understand a word inbetween my "uhs" and "wells" and "when you're much, much older"s.

But, there I was, explaining how it all works and why they cannot feed Molly -- only Mama can.

I'm just hoping that they keep this little bit of information to themselves. I told them that we do not go around talking about "nipples", which, of course, was a mistake because now it's taboo and fun and will have to be repeated about 100 times a day. Stephanie, Tara, Kiersten -- if your kids come home from school talking about nipples, you now know where they are getting if from!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Pictures of Molly

Catching some much needed zzzzzzzz's at the hospital.

Looking all cute in pink!

Such a pretty dress!

Getting ready to COME HOME!

Look at my crazy fashionable blanket!

We're Home. . .And We Get To Keep Her!

In the book The Glass Castle, the family is so poor that they have to "skedaddle" from the hospital before they get served with a bill. Yesterday, Garry and I were seriously considering a skedaddle, not because we cannot afford the bill but because we were concerned that they were never going to let us go.

Molly's jaundice levels never did come down. She suffered under those lights for 48 hours and her levels kept going up and up. We were getting very frustrated because nothing was working and we were getting very tired because Molly could not get comfortable under the lights. She could not sleep and I could not sleep.

When the nurse said that we would probably have to stay, I started crying. I just lost it. But, for some miraculous reason, the doctor said that we could go home. Garry and I were so excited! We started packing bags and cleaning up but the nurse came in and said that during her final assessment, they found a heart murmur.

Well, my father and brother and Emma all have false murmurs, so I was not worried, but I knew that it would set us back. An EKG would need to be run and the results sent to Children's and a final decision would have to be made by the doctor.

About five hours later, we were finally in the van, with its seat warmers running on high, on our way HOME! All this "being home wonderfulness" was contingent upon how she did at her exam at the Pediatrician's office today. We just got back, and the doctor said that she looks good. We can keep her!