Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's a BOY!!

Alicia had the baby yesterday, 3/29/11 at 1:02pm. We held out knowing the gender till the end. We finally got our boy!

We knew that if we had a boy his middle name would be Knight so we had the middle and last names down. Garry couldn't convince Alicia to cave on the name Ryker (a good, masculine, Dutch name) so we compromised on Braden Knight Cunningham. He weighed 7 lbs, 10 oz and was 19 inches long. He was born with more hair than all three of our girls-combined (go figure). Braden is the sweetest little kid, but just wait until Molly rubs off on him ;) He's already a little jaundice so they have him under the lights, but he's taking it like a champ. He loves to have his hands around his face to sleep. He's very mellow and alert baby--when he isn't sleeping and the boy does like to snooze. His only knock thus far is that he needs to be a heartier eater/drinker to help flush out all that bilirubin.

Like usual, Alicia did a phenomenal job and is on the road to recovery.

Alicia's sister has been watching/taking care of our girls (a special shout out Thank You to Cindy) and brought the girls by the hospital yesterday to meet their new brother. Emma and Macey are very happy/proud big sisters. Molly was a little unsure at first, but she quickly warmed up to her new baby brother and even said that he is "cute." I have a feeling she will have some adjustments to make once mom and baby come home.

We're hoping to bring Alicia and Braden home by Friday. I'm sure that Alicia will have some more pics/thoughts to post in the coming days.

Monday, March 28, 2011

She's Oriented!

Friday I left Emma & Molly with my sister and Macey and I went to Kindergarten Orientation!

I was looking forward to it because Macey is usually my best-behaved kid in public. I thought that I could sit back and kind of relax while they were presenting the information. Instead, Macey was crazy excited and hyper and I found myself wrestling her to the chair every few seconds!

She got all of her forms and a goody bag from the teachers. She's excited to go to school in August!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

All That Was Actually Needed. . .

I have recruited my girls into my crazy nesting behaviour, and yesterday they really helped me get ready. They love to spray things and wipe things down, and so I put them to work. One job in particular had to get done: the french doors going into the library. The glass desperately needed cleaned from the million, bazillion little fingerprints that were all over. So I gave Macey her spray and her paper towels and she went to work. I soon noticed, however, that she could only clean up to about 48 inches. That was as far as she could reach. I made a mental note to come down later and finish the rest of the glass. But when I came down, the doors looked great! Only the bottoms got cleaned, around my kids height and reach, but ironically that was all that needed cleaned. A coincidence? Perhaps.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Much Needed Test Run/A Problem With Definitions

A few weeks ago when I started getting sick and struggling with contractions, I did not want to go to the hospital because I just was not ready. There was not a single thing ready for this baby, and I knew I had work to do.

Last week when I went into the hospital I felt a little bit better but there was still some things that needed to get done. I had to get serious about getting things together.

Like the cameras.

I asked Garry if they were ready, and he said yes.

So imagine my surprise when I took Emma to her show to perform at Legacy House when I took out the camera, turned it on, and it turned itself off because of a low battery. And I'd turn it on, and it would turn itself off.

And it's not a regular battery -- it's a special, charge in the wall with a little device, battery. It's not something we could run out to Target to get at the last minute. I was so relieved that we had this camera "test run" because imagine if we had taken it to the hospital????

The next day I talked to my friend down the street about Emma's show and the failure of the camera. I told her that I was grateful for the "test run" because the cameras were supposed to be ready.

She laughed and explained that women look at "ready" with particular, minute details in mind. Men look at "ready" to mean: can I find it?

It's fine now -- we're charged and ready to go!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why I Think It's A. . .

People in Utah are chatty and friendly. And so lately I have had the opportunity in public venues (Target, grocery store, restaurants, etc.) to talk about the new baby. These complete strangers will see all of my girls and ask what I am having this time.

I'll tell them that we do not know and the next question is 'are you going to find out?'

To which I tell them, 'well, sure, in a few days. . .'

Alright, I only have a few more days left, why would I cave now and find out? But that does not mean that I do not think about it. And I have concluded that I am having a boy.

And yes, 95% of that is probably wishful thinking, but I can explain the other 5%.

First, I was not as sick with this baby as I was with Emma, Macey and certainly not Molly who nearly wiped me out.

Second, well, I think back on my pregnancy with Molly and remember how much she loved music. When I would teach piano, she would 'wake up' and move around and kick. Just like she does now whenever she hears music ;) She loved/loves music, just like her Mom.

This baby does not react to much. Voices, touch, etc., it is pretty indifferent. But this baby will always, always wake up when I eat. When I went to the hospital a few days ago, they tried to "wake up" the baby by having me change positions three times, then they brought in a small vibrating device to "buzz" the baby's head. TWICE. Finally, they gave me apple juice. And guess which one worked? This baby is a fan of food. . .to me, it sounds like a boy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Weirdest Day. . .

Yesterday was just weird. Emma went to school, and I took my two little ones to my sister's house so she could watch them while I went to the doctor.

I picked them up, got lunch ready, got Emma home, and rushed them over to a friend's house so I could attend a work meeting.

When I picked them up, a neighbor girl came by on her bike and asked Emma and Macey if they could play. And so they rode bikes for awhile and then went to her house.

The neighbor girl's Mom just had surgery a month ago. Not wanting to burden her, I went to pick up the girls after an hout and a half.

On our way home, another neighbor girl dropped by and asked if they could come over to her house and play. And while they were down the street, Molly took a nap.

So. . . .I sat. And put my feet up. And watched Reality TV.

My kids normally have two playdates a week. Never four in one day. So whoever read my post about the busyness of this week and prayed that I would find relief, I THANK YOU because I had an amazing break and my kids had fun!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Are You Talking About?

The odd thing about being pregnant is that your body is no longer your own and so you start talking about things that you never, ever would normally. I am sure that in a few months I will be really embarrassed that I did an entire blog indirectly discussing how often I have to use the restroom at night.

In the last few days as I have had to address an equally sensitive subject, I have found myself discussing it quite freely -- with Garry, with my insurance company, with my doctor, with his nurse, with my mom, with my neighbor. . .Once it got down to the neighbor level, I realized that I had to STOP! In a few more days while things may not be 'normal' so much, I do not expect as much potty talk. . .

. . .because let's be honest, I'll be too busy blogging about the difficulties of breast feeding.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Waiting Me Out

First I have to give a huge shout out to this baby for staying off of my bladder for as long as s/he did. For months and months I did not have to get up and go to the bathroom a million times a night. So grateful.

Unfortunately, the good times have ended as we simply have run out of room and there is nowhere else to go.

So when Garry finished watching all that is March Madness and all the March Madness highlights and finally called it a night, he was not too worried when he came to bed and saw that I had most of the pillows, including his favorite.

Ever the sly one, he just waited me out. I'd be up soon enough to go to the restroom, and, sure enough, I was!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey, Shouldn't My Feet Be Up?

I heard about this woman who made sure that everything was ready for her baby by the end of her second trimester because she knew that in her third trimester she would be too tired. It's kind of like getting all of your Christmas shopping done in July. In July it sounds a little extreme. In December it sounds like a freaking-genius idea.

Last night after hours of contractions I finally went in to the hospital. They hooked me up to monitors for three hours and said that my contractions were not progressing (no kidding, that's why I have c-sections, people) and that the baby did not seem to be "stressed" by the whole thing, and so they sent me home and told me to take a bath.

Oh, and to relax. Relax and take a bath.

Sounds like a lovely idea, but I have three kids! Tomorrow we have dance visiting teaching and swimming and soccer, Wednesday I have doctor's appointments and meetings for work, Thursday Emma has a performance and I have book club, Friday Macey has orientation, and of course there's school and Pre-K mixed all in there everyday.

I know I am so close to the finish line, but this is not the way I wanted to cross it!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Do You Want One Of Those?

Last Monday we went to Chick-Fil-E with the girls for "Spirit Night" for Emma's school. Chick-Fil-E agreed to give the school 10% of their profits from the evening, and holy crowds! I hope that they were able to make a bundle that night. As for us, I always enjoy a good chicken sandwich and a lemonade.

While we were there, I could not help but notice all the cute little babies that were being toted around.

Garry noticed my attention and asked me, "Do you want one of those?"

It's a good sign, I think. I always know when I'm "not ready" for a baby when I see them and instead of cuteness I just see a ton of work. And when I'm "ready" babies start being cute again.

10 days and counting!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Let's Eat!

Emma's school hosted a Breakfast With The Parents. I had a doctor's visit that morning anyway where I needed Garry to watch the girls, and so Garry took time off of work and all of us headed out for breakfast!

Looking around the cafeteria, I noticed that primarily it was full of parents with their Kindergarten student or maybe first grader. It seems like something parents and their kids do once and then declare "good enough!" It was really, really early. We had to be there by 7:30. But I guess we'll keep going as long as the girls want to go!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Meanest, Nastiest Leprechaun Ever. . .

Yesterday I picked up little Macey from her Pre-K program. Usually she runs out to the van by herself but yesterday her teacher came with her. Uh, oh. Since Macey is never, ever in trouble and the teachers never have to talk to me about anything, I was afraid that I was about to get volunteered for something. . .
Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, the teacher wanted to let me know Macey had a hard time at school. They went on a leprechaun hunt outside and when they came back inside the leprechaun had made a mess in the classroom and left some candy.

She was happy to take her three pieces of candy but was TERRIFIED that the leprechaun was still in the house and she cried and cried.

I promised her that there were no leprechauns in our house and things would be fine. But then she went to a neighborhood St. Patrick's Day party where the kids had to find candy and treasure left by the leprechauns. Oh, she was terrified that a leprechaun was lurking around the corner and had a hard time, but was, once again, happy to take the candy.

When she got home, she refused to go anywhere by herself and threw a fit when I asked her to take something upstairs.

Who knew a little green guy with candy could be so scary?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Moving Into The Ugly Zone

There are some parts of pregnancy that are "cute". For me, that's about from months 5-7 when I am sporting a little baby bump and my chest looks fabulous.

And then there's now. . .with just a few days left of this pregnancy, I have moved into the ugly zone.

Exhibit A. I was watching The Biggest Loser on tv this week and died when one of the women got on the scale. She only weighed 16 pounds more than I do right now. That's right. I could be a contestant on The Biggest Loser.

Exhibit B. On my way out of the shower, I caught a quick glimpse of my very pregnant self and thought, holy cow, when did I start looking like the Momma Ape on Tarzan? All big and droopy. . .ain't nothin' pretty about this stage!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Art Imitating Life

On Monday night Garry and I watch the TV show "Chuck" together. It's our tradition. I use to think that the show was okay but really like it since Chuck has become the "intercept" and is a to-the-rescue kind of guy.
This last Monday Chuck ran into his brother-in-law outside of their condo. His brother-in-law, Dr. Awesome, was getting prepared to go home where, he told Chuck, his wife made up for having no one to talk to all day by talking and talking and talking to him the minute he walked in the door. We then see the sister go on a babbling streak.
Can you believe that my husband had the nerve to chuckle heartily at this part of the show? As if he could relate to Dr. Awesome's pain? As if he had been through this very thing himself and thought it was hilariously funny to see it displayed on one of his favorite shows?
It's hard being a stay-at-home Mom. I still think that I'm not very good at it and think often about going back to work. And having people to talk to! And apparently I am not alone!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Benefit of the Flood

One of the things that was ruined from the Great Flood of 2011 was our guest bed that we had downstairs. The insurance company gave us money to get a new one and so we decided to upgrade--put our bed downstairs and get a new one for ourselves.

We bought a King, which Garry has wanted forever. Apparently, despite my size, I take up a lot of room and not only that, apparently I am also a furnace at night. I know, I know, I do not know how he suffers through it.

We also got a Tempurpedic which absorbs all motion so I do not wake Garry up with my many trips to the restroom (the best part of being pregnant, right?) or when I get up during my Pregnancy Insomnia stints. Because the guy needs his sleep, right? I can always catch a nap after I eat my bon-bons.

I think it has worked out well for him, but I have some issues (of course -- I always do!). I am not a fan of the Tempurpedic right now because I can only sleep on my side. And my hip sinks in deep into the mattree but my stomach stays elevated. It puts me at rather an odd angle, and I'm not a fan. But once the baby has been delivered, things will probably be great!

Also, when Garry snored in our Queen, I was able to smack him and tell him to stop it. But in the King, he's out of reach! This was way inconvenient for a few days until I figured out that I could kick him instead. So that's worked out nicely.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Is This My Form of Labor?

This weekend was a little on the long side. On Friday night I had a small bout of pregnancy insomnia and so when Garry took the girls to the grocery store for their weekly outing, I went back to sleep!

Afterwards we got ready to go to IKEA to get a dresser for the baby (to hold all of the clothes we have not bought. . .) and then took the girls swimming at the pool. Then we came home and cleaned up before the missionaries came over for dinner.

And that was the end of good times. I got really sick, could not breathe, felt really hot, threw up, felt like I could not walk another step or this kid was just going to fall out! Since I do not have progressive contractions that do anything like normal labor, I was left wondering, Is this my form of labor? I would have small contractions and the baby would get so agitated -- as if to say I don't know what's going on here, but I think I want out.

Yesterday I stayed in bed most of the day, and a lot of the pain went away. But I need to talk to my doctor on Wednesday and see if we need to move the c-section up.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Midway Ice Castles

We have become rather domesticated here in Utah. Instead of weekend outings to Kings Dominion Amusement Park, Saturdays here usually mean trips to the grocery store and lunch with the grandparents.

So we are going to try to make more of an effort to get out and about with the kids. Last Saturday we drove to Midway to see the Ice Castles. They are huge ice structures that you can walk through and around. I expected a ton of snow and frigid temps and so I dressed the girls in snow pants and snow jackets and snow boots. It was warm there! (A little disconcerting to have the structure melt on you while walking through. . .we walked fast.)
Molly thought it was fun but was not crazy about walking through it.

Ema through a window.

Macey chewing on an icicle.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why Scoping Things Out Is Stupid

The other day my friend told me about a tree she bought at the Boise Costco while she was there for the weekend. It's a cherry tree but it has all types of cherries grafted onto it -- so you can get four different types of cherries on one tree.

I love cherries. Really, I do. So I was excited to tell Garry about it. And the next day I told him that I was going to Costco to see if out local Costco also carried these trees.

I was so excited to see that our local Costco not only had them but had lots. They had plum trees, apple trees, cherry trees, pear trees and then they had these combo trees where different varities were graafted in to one tree. And they were only $16 for a four foot tree!

I called Garry to see what he wanted me to buy (i.e., how many) and was dismayed to hear he did not want any of them. It's still literally freezing here, not exactly planting weather, and he wanted to know where I was going to plant it.

"But you knew I was coming! Why didn't you tell me you didn't want one before?" I asked. To which he answered that he thought I was just scoping things out -- on an expedition to see if they had them and no more.

That's silly. Who takes three kids across the valley to Sandy just to see if Costco has something? Truly, it makes no sense.

I'm tree-less. I'm cherry-less. But I know they are there. And as soon as I am strong enough to dig a big old hole, I'm buying one.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Decor Would That Work With?

Here in the valley there are a couple of studios where you can go and get 2, 3 or 4 D pictures taken of your baby while you are pregnant. Garry and I thought about going and getting some pictures taken because the ones at the 20 week ultrasound were not very specific or good. We did not get any good profile shots so we thought we might try here. Until we found out that they charge more than $100. . .and suddenly it did not seem that important.

I was cleaning out my pockets this morning when I found the flyer from Fetal Studio, a studio located in the mall in Sandy. Among their services I read that they also offer Belly Casts.

I guess you go in and they make a plaster cast of your pregnant belly.

Why in the world?!?! I can only guess that people who have multiples might want to remember how big things got. . .that is the only thing I can come up with. Once you get it done, where do you store it in your home?

Monday, March 7, 2011

It Comes Down To This

Usually before I have a baby the bedroom is all ready, the clothes have all been washed (in baby-friendly detergent) and are hanging up in the closet, and the carseat has already been installed. . .

Not knowing the gender has really thrown a kink into my nesting. So it comes down to this. We have a few generic onesies and some blankets. And Saturday we bought two "coming home" outfits -- one for a girl and one for a boy.

Aren't they ADORABLE?!?! It made me wish I could just have twins, one of each, for about thirty seconds.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In Search In Gender Neutrality

In deciding to be surprised over the gender of the baby, I did not think that it would be a big deal to "get ready" for the baby until I started shopping. Everything, everything, no really, everything is pink or blue and even those things that are green or yellow are embroidered with sayings like "Mommy's Little Angel" or "Daddy's Little Guy" and things that are cream or brown are decorated with trucks. I guess in this day and age when pretty much everyone finds out what they are having at 20 weeks, the days of gender neutral clothes are gone!

I cannot sew clothes like my crazy talented friend Tara and so I made this quilt. Purple, brown, soft cream, with teddy bears. It's my best shot at gender neutral though Garry HATES the purple. He thinks that it's too girly and my sister tells him that it's not really purple, it's closer to Periwinkle, which I do not think helps my cause. But bless her heart for trying.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Maryland Curse

I have been in Utah for over a year now, but I still live with The Maryland Curse.

After living in the Washington, D.C. area for 12 years, I learned that none of the employees in the store were there to actually help. If you needed help finding an item and actually found an employee, don't ask because they are not going to want to help and they are not going to speak English.

This lesson was so ingrained that even now in the land of happy, helping, English-speaking people, I do not ask for help. In fact, I would rather drive across the valley to check out a store rather than pick up the phone and ask an employee of the store if they had what I was looking for. I've done it. Often and frequently.

It's a curse, but I hope to be cured one day. It might just take time.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Full Circle

I remember my Mom talking about how hard it was to take my sister to driver's ed and be pregnant with me. Apparently she had problems fitting behind the steering wheel.

Okay, I can still drive, rather comfortably, and though I feel BIG I have been assured that this is a "small baby". But this month I signed Emma up for swimming lessons. I try to take the girls to the pool twice a week and Garry is concerned that Emma has not progressed much in her swimming ability. So, off to lessons we go!

I realized that her last lesson is the day before I hope to have my c-section. For a split second I thought, "Holy cow, how am I going to do that?" and then I remembered my Mom and laughed. What comes around, goes around.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Rules of My Sanity

I have to admit that I'm rather cranky lately. The last few weeks of pregnancy are not for wimps, and I find myself getting frustrated with things people say and overwhelmed with the messiness that is my house. Garry is great and took most of what was in the basement and put it in the garage but I still am anxious for the job to be done and for the day I can send my kids and their toys down to the basement.

The hard part is that even after the baby gets OUT (get out! get out! get out!) things still will not be 'normal' as I will battle sleepless nights, recovering from surgery, and everything that comes with a newborn.

So here are some rules to hopefully keep me sane in the next few months:

(1) Only do the dishes once a day. Really, dirty dishes will always reappear and the job is never "done". Tackle it once a day and let it be.

(2) Only one load of laundry a day. As long as the kids have clean underwear, things are just fine.

(3) EAT! Garry gets frustrated with me because I'll feed the girls all day long (no really, all day long) and I do not stop to feed myself. It's like putting on oxygen masks on an airplane, I've got to put mine on first.

(4) Ask for help. Sometimes I generally ask Garry for help "around here" but I think that I need to be more specific and add some adverbs, adjectives, and nouns to my request.

So there are the new rules to keep me a little more sane, a little more healthy, a little more happy. Did I leave anything out?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It Was More Like A "Week"

Macey's birth'day' was more like a birth'week'. But few little girls deserve it more! The week started with the Primary singing to her and getting a treat from the Bishop. Unfortunately, I took Molly with me to pick up the treat. When she realized it was only for Macey, oh, she howled! Is there anything worse than your sister's birthday?
For her birthday party we had 12 little girls come. It was a Rapunzel theme, and she picked out a Rapunzel cake.
All the little girls dressed up. Macey was Rapunzel. Garry got the girls a pinata. No one was hurt -- though the stick was huge and these girls were crazy swingers. We also played "Put Cinderella In Her Window" -- a different version of Pin The Tail on the Donkey. Macey won.

Garry picked up a Rapunzel cut-out and the girls all got their pictures taken with her.

They had a little ball, all dressed up and ready to dance!

They also decorated little princess purses.

Every little girl got a lip gloss, a body glitter and had their nails painted at a table manned by my nieces.

On her ACTUAL birthday, Macey had cupcakes and family over. Check out her pants. So cute! $2.37 from Carters. Thank you, thank you very much.

We also went out to dinner at Macey's favorite place (and, okay, mine) Red Robin (I LOVE their chicken sandwich!) with my sister and her family. Macey got a huge piece of cake but did not want to be sung to.

Before we went out to dinner I took the girls to Barnes & Noble and let Macey pick out a book. Tangled, of course. She also got a free cupcake. We then went to Family Fun Center where they went to the bounce zone. When we arrived who was in line in front of her but her BEST friend from dance class and preschool -- Aubrey. Perfect, unbelievable timing and Macey was so excited. What are the chances of that? It helped me see God in the little details of our lives and helped me realize how much He loves this little girl.

Her big present this year was a doll house. Okay, our house officially looks like an aisle in Target, but I love my girls.