Friday, January 28, 2011

Rule #99: Kids say "AAaahhh"

Evan's favorite book these days is Brown Bear. We read it every day and every night. He LOVES this book. He sits on his bed, and bounces on his knees while we read. Recently he has been "reading" it to Alex and I. It cracks me up every time.
He got a little hung up on the white dog. The second video is him finishing the book.

He can't go on to the next page unless he says the whole phrase without messing up. Sometimes he says yellow duck or goldfish (or any of the animals really) five or six times in a row, until he feels like he said it correctly. Funny kid.

And for your viewing pleasure is another video of Evan, from a few months ago. Please ignore the white trash outfit he's sporting. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rule #98: It's never the same twice

I went back to work last week.

I had assumed that I would feel just as I felt when I went back to work after having Evan. But just like every child is different, even similar situations are never exactly the same.

I was excited to see my friends. I was excited to be a nurse again. And once there, realized how much I had missed BEING a nurse. It is so much a part of me. I love what I do. I love being able to help critically sick babies. I love seeing the rewards of my efforts when the babies do well. I love being there for the parents. I love it all.

But of course I miss my boys. All three of them. After three months of being home with all of them, it was a little bittersweet to go back to work. That, I expected. But last time, I was no longer breastfeeding. I did not anticipate what a difference that would make for me to leave.

Breastfeeding does not come easily for me. It has been an up and down rollercoaster of success and (seemingly) failures. I really wanted to make my milk last longer for Graham than it did for Evan. And believe you me, I have worked hard at it. For several weeks, pumped after every time I nursed (minus night time feedings, lets be honest...I didn't need it to work out THAT desperately) and it was rewarding to see all of the effort pay off.

I got my wish. I wanted to be able to experience pumping at work. Not for the actually physical experience, but for what it would mean. I made it at least three months! I have been able to provide for my child for three months! I didn't forsee any downside to this.

It made it harder to leave.

I don't love Graham any more than I love/loved Evan. But there is a different connection when you are breastfeeding your baby. It was harder to think that he would be getting a bottle x number of times while you are gone. Trying to decide how many times you want your sleep the next morning to be interupted so that you could nurse your baby and not loose your supply, and still get enough sleep to work again that night. It was just different.

I am now starting my second week back at work. Things seems to be falling right back into sync. It's a nice feeling, loving what I do, knowing my children are well cared for, loving the time we get to spend together as a family. We like our routine. It's nice to know that even if things don't feel exactly as you expected, they can still be good.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rule #97: Faith protects us from darkness

Alex gave Graham a blessing in church this past Sunday. We had overwhelming support from all of our families. We are so glad that you were able to share that with us. Alex blessed Graham with the faith to overcome the darkness, with love for all those around him, and with a knowledge and testimony of our Savior. It was a beautiful blessing.

Graham wore the same outfit that Evan wore two years ago. Thanks to my sister who let me borrow it both times. It has suspenders and a bow tie, and I think he looked handsome!

While we were planning for the gathering afterward, we realized just how much family was going to be there! We needed to make space for over 70 people! (children included) We had some doubts that our home would be able to fullfill that need, but with some rearranging and a lot of borrowed chairs we pulled it off! And it didn't even feel like sardines in a can to me!

Granted the kitchen was quite crowded, but there's really nothing that we could do to prevent that. It's nice to know that if another child is born in the winter months (though I'll do what I can to prevent it!) we would be able to host family again.

Thank you for all who came and the love and support that we feel from each of you!

Smiling at Grandpa Doug

Some of our attempts at obtaining a family photo.


Rule #96: Never remodel alone.

In the last week of December and first week of January we remodeled our upstairs bathroom tub. If you've ever wondered, it's really not so bad, just follow these 58 easy steps...
Step 1: Remove corroded faucet, handle and showerheads, discard.

Step 2: Remove old tile using chisel, hammer and brute force.

Step 3: Enlist brother-in-law to help you remove tile and discover that the tile can be removed in sheets one wall at a one (Thanks Mark!)
Step 4: Carry sheets of tile outside for later disposal/yard decoration.
 Step 5: Cut hole in ceiling below tub for easy access.
Step 6: Turn off water and remove old plumbing from underneath tub.
Step 6-A: Cut hole in floor to facilitate removal of old plumbing.
Step 7: Remove baseboards and cut out pieces of wall to assist in tub removal.
 Step 8: Enlist another brother-in-law, friend and home teacher to help remove old tub. (Thanks to Kevin, Devin and Jake!)
Step 9: Use car jacks, creative thinking and brute force to get 3 ton cast iron tub onto piano dolly.
Step 10: Carefully wheel tub outside and place in gutter.
Step 11: Load tub into truck and haul to the dump.
Step 12: Figure out what else you need and visit store to buy more new plumbing parts.
 Step 13: Add valves to water pipes for localized shut-off.
Step 13-A: Contemplate the value of hole in the floor going from the upstairs bathroom to downstairs living room for easy transport of goods.
 Step 14: Play in the construction dust.
 Step 15: Bring home new tub, play in that too.
Step 16: Remove door-frame parts to make space for new tub.
Step 17: Place new tub in it's final resting place.
Step 18: Install new plumbing.
Step 19: Visit store for electrical supplies.
Step 20: Install new breaker in laundry room.
 Step 21: Run new wiring from underneath tub and into the bowels of the house.
Step 21-A: Cut off excess lathe and wood until you can dislocate your neck and shoulder to fit into the bowels of the house and pull wiring into furnace room.
Step 21-B: Run wiring along ceiling into laundry room and into newly installed breaker.
Step 22: Install new plug in bathroom to power Jacuzzi tub on other end of new wiring.
Step 23: Visit store for tiling supplies, several if possible.
Step 24: Clean walls in preparation for new backer board.
Step 25: Cut and install new backer board.
STEP 26-45: TILE.
Step 46: Install new fixtures.
Step 47: Grout.
Step 48: Clean off excess grout, let it dry, then scrape off the rest.
Step 49: Seal grout.
Step 50: Seal grout again.
Step 51: Repair walls.
Step 52: Replace baseboards and install new ones as needed.
Step 53: Repair hole in the ceiling.
Step 54: Paint walls and ceiling.
Step 55: Visit paint store for more 'just barely not white' paint for downstairs ceiling.
Step 56: Paint ceiling again.
Step 57: Fill in edges with silicone.
Step 58: Mwa ha!  There is no step 58... because you're already done!
We're very excited about our new bathroom, and we're especially grateful to Dave my father-in-law for all his help, he was there every day and it wouldn't have been an option without him.  Thanks also to April, Emilie, Doug, Susan, Annie, and Stephanie for lending husbands and/or watching children. We're so lucky to have such wonderful support from family and friends!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rule #95: Average is cute

Before Graham turns three months, I'd like to document his two month information. So far he's still bigger than Evan was at his age. But I think our pediatrician is tricking us. On the paper they sent home with his weight, they said he was in the 50%. But looking it up ANYWHERE else, tells me he's 10-25%. But average or not...he's still stinkin' cute!

Height: 23 inches (25-50%)

Weight: 10 lbs 10 oz (10-25%)

Graham has been a very pleasant baby. He's a little bit more "needy" than his older brother, wants to be held a lot more, and wont fall alseep out of our arms, or the car seat. So that has been a tiny bit challenging, considering we have a demanding two year old as well. Luckily, Alex and I both have been home to make Graham's demands work out.

He has started to giggle and laugh and he loves, loves to play! Pat-a-cake and Head/Shoulders are his favorite games. How he responds to me, Alex and Evan just melts my heart.

He keeps teasing me though. I'll think he's starting into a routine, and the next day it's like starting from scratch. For a while he took nice long naps in the afternoon, and was only getting up once at night, after he fell asleep at 11. But now we're back to mini naps that last 30-45 mins, and waking up twice. He could be growing, he does have a little cold. All of these things could be the culprit. And I also know that waking up twice a night is pretty good for a not yet three month old. So, I'm trying not to get too excited when he gives me a particularly good day (or night)

He's fat and happy, and I really can't ask for more than that!