Monday, April 29, 2013

Paul On Drugs

Last week Paul had the first of two major dental procedures he is having to fix his implant from the bike accident he had on his mission (TEN years ago!). This was the worst part (a bone graft), and we made the decision that he should be put under anesthesia for it. I was overwhelmed when Paul told me everything that was going to be involved with his care that day. He had to take the first pills for the anesthesia at home, and I had to somehow get him into the car while he was way out of it. Yikes. One thing I was hoping to gain from the ordeal were some funny videos.

Well...I got a couple videos, but they weren't quite as awesome as I hoped. If you know Paul at all, you will probably find them pretty funny. Mostly Paul just ended up being really tired and forgetful all day long.

This first video is from the parking lot at the dentist right before we left to come home. Poor guy. He was so tired. In the video he says he remembers the drive to the dentist, but later when I asked him about some of the things he said, he couldn't remember a thing. Funny Paul.

The second video is from our driveway before we went inside the house. Paul told me some awesome and random stories while we were on our way home! Unfortunately, I couldn't film him and still drive safely, so I had to try and get him to repeat the stories once we got home. The stories were completely different the second time around. What's funniest to me about this video is that you can tell he's sort of trying to be funny for the video. Also, pretty much all of Paul's dreams involve fighting and baseball...which probably surprises precisely no one. :)

That night after the kids were in bed, he was finally lucid and remembering things. I turned to him and threw my arms around him and said, "You're back! I'm so glad you're back!" He really doesn't remember much of anything from the whole day! I'm pretty sure I'll remember it for a long time.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Dollar Store Quest

When you have three kids and no car during the day, any outing is quite an ordeal. But we can't just stay home all the time! Especially when the weather is as gorgeous as it has been the last few days. 

Today, Sarah and James each took a dollar from their piggy banks (OK, so I took two from James' bank because Sarah didn't quite have a dollar in hers...shh! Don't tell him!), and we walked to the dollar store.

They loved being able to pick whatever they wanted and then they especially loved paying for their choices all by themselves.

I'd say it was a successful quest.

James is getting better at walking longer distances. This one was 1.4 miles round trip, not including walking the aisles at the store. And he only traded places with Sarah in the stroller for a couple minutes on the way back. Hooray for getting outside!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Paul Faces His Fear

Until last week, Paul had never been to an eye doctor. Having had perfect vision his whole life, he never needed to. After much urging and encouraging from me and Natalie, Paul finally reluctantly agreed to let Natalie take a look.

And guess what? It wasn't bad at all! Natalie is a great doctor, and Paul still has 20/20 vision!

I can't believe Natalie's third year of Optometry School is coming to an end. It seems like just yesterday she was getting settled in and starting out. We have loved having her nearby. I knew from the beginning it was only temporary, but now that the end has come...well, I don't want to think about it!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Oh, to have the confidence of a two year old!

The other day Sarah came running up to me bursting with excitement.

Sarah: "Mommy! Mommy! I figured it out!"
Me: (After taking a moment to realize what she was talking about) "Your headband?"
Sarah: "YES! I put it on and I looked in the mirror and it looked good!!"

It sure does, Sarah. :)

(Thank you to Diana for the adorable headband. Sarah absolutely loves it!)

Monday, April 22, 2013

We should change the title of the blog to "My Kids' Artwork"

I can't help it. I'm a proud mom. It also doesn't help that every time I resolve to wait a while before posting another picture of artwork, James draws something ridiculously awesome. 

Yesterday in church, James had Angry Birds on his mind. He said, "Hey mom, wouldn't it be cool if I could have an Angry Birds coloring book?" I said, "Yep, but you know, you could just draw some Angry Birds." "Oh, I couldn't do that unless I looked at a picture." So then his Aunty Diana came to the rescue with her iPhone and looked up some pictures for him to look at.

Are you all ready for this?

First was the basic red one:

Then, he drew the black one:

And then the yellow one:

And finally, the best one of all...the pig:

I mean, seriously. I just have no words.

I sure love this creative and talented little boy!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Colorado Wedding

Last weekend I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend a quick weekend in Colorado with my parents and attend the wedding of a good friend from high school.

I was sad that it had to be such a short trip, but so happy that I got to go! Sam was a great travel buddy. My parents were wonderful hosts (as always!). And the wedding was beautiful!

I'm so terrible at picture taking (I didn't even take my camera out of my backpack), but my dad took some great pictures on his phone:

The wedding was at Red Rocks, and the whole thing was gorgeous and a lot of fun. Thank you to Cat and her family for having us!

In spite of it being such a short trip, we did squeeze in an amazing breakfast of my dad's should-be-world-famous waffles before I had to head to the airport. Thanks to some high winds in Denver, my flight was two hours delayed, but Sam was a trooper, and we eventually made it home in one piece.

Meanwhile, back in Oregon, Sarah and James had a blast with their Daddy. He took them to Krispy Kreme for breakfast on Saturday and then to a Little League baseball game.

On Sunday, I came home to a clean house (thanks to Paul!) and a tasty home cooked dinner (thanks to Natalie!). It was a nice welcome after spending too long at the airport.

It should be noted that the weather in Colorado over the weekend was wonderful, and that by Monday afternoon (after I left) it looked like this:

Silly, Colorado!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sam Laughs!

It's hard to get a good video of a baby laughing. Either they stop as soon as they see the camera, or you can't keep up whatever shenanigans you were having to perform to make the baby laugh while simultaneously manning the camera. Yesterday afternoon, I enlisted the help of my little five year old camera man to capture this wonderful clip:

Ah, there's not much better in this world than baby laughs! They are a good reminder that we can still be happy even when terrible things happen in the world.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cookie Monster

...according to James.

I've probably been posting too many pictures of my kids' artwork lately, but I couldn't pass this one up.

Things I love about this picture:
1. Both Sarah and James decide for themselves when something merits being put on the fridge and then put it there.
2. James figured out all on his own that he couldn't really cut out the middle of something without cutting through the side of it, so he goes ahead and cuts it and then tapes over the opening he made.
3. Those eyes.
4. The fingers and stubby little legs.
5. That joyfully huge grin!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sam's on the Move

Any day now Sam is going to figure out how to scoot. In the last few days his rolling has become more deliberate. He's even started pushing up on his arms and trying to get his legs underneath him. Yesterday, he rolled across the whole room in just seconds and ended up trapped underneath a chair.

Silly boy! :) He gets so frustrated when he can't move where he wants as quickly as he wants (I mean, he sees Sarah and James running all over!). Yesterday was the longest he has happily played on the floor. He's starting to figure it out!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Now he's ready for his interview.

I love it when babies discover their voices. It's one of the cutest sounds there is in this world. The other day, Paul and I were sitting on the couch, and Sarah and James were playing quietly upstairs. Apparently it was too quiet for Sam, because he started babbling up a storm! I got out the camera as quick as I could, but of course I missed the best moments. Isn't that the way it always goes? I still caught some, though!

Since that day, Sam's personality has started to shine through more and more as he reacts to things around him and discovers everything in his little universe. I feel so lucky to get to witness it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Saga of Homeownership, Episode #72

Owning a home is awesome for so many reasons. No upstairs or downstairs neighbors to upset with our loud children. A whole room to keep the toys in. Room to entertain guests. Our own yard. We have really loved being in a home of our own for the last year and a half. The responsibilities are numerous, however, and while we have handled some relatively well, others...not so much.

One of our biggest ongoing struggles has been with yard work. Last year I was pregnant for the spring, summer, and fall. In other words, I was sick and fatigued in the spring, battling terrible hip and back pain in the summer, and just huge and miserable in the fall. Combine that with other family events and Paul being busy with work and working on his batting cage, and not much has been done in our yard for a long while. Paul mows the front every few weeks, but that's about it. As you can imagine, it has become quite overgrown.

On Saturday, between sessions of General Conference, we looked outside and lo, it was not raining. We seized the moment and took to the front yard to pull some weeds. Natalie even joined in! (Thanks, Natalie!)

Sam watched on, though he thought it was a little too bright out:

Sarah and James had a blast getting nice and dirty.

Paul mowed the lawn while the rest of us started pulling weeds. We didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but it was a start!

It started drizzling after about an hour or so, so we had to come in. When I broke the news to James that we were going to have to stop for now he said, "No! We have to finish!!" Hopefully his enthusiasm will continue, because the battle has only just begun.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Unsolicited Parenting Tips - Part I

Here's a tip:

If you are a stay at home mom, I highly recommend finding a quiet moment to yourself sometime each day. I know it doesn't work with all kids, but if you can manage it, coordinated nap time/quiet time is THE BEST.

In the last couple weeks, Baby Sam has magically settled right into the same afternoon nap time/quiet time as Sarah and James. I get at least one whole hour of blissfully peaceful time to myself in the afternoon each day. And it is glorious.

Some may disagree with me on this next part, but if you are a stay at home mom and you find yourself with this wonderful period of quiet, DO NOT use it for housework! Just don't. Use it to recharge. Take a nap. Read a book. Watch a TV show. Work out. Work on a craft project. Eat a treat (the kids aren't up to ask you to share!). I guess if cleaning house helps you recharge, you can do that, too. If you must. ;)

In all seriousness, when I have this time to rest and recharge, I am happier. I am a better mommy. And when the little monkeys wake up, I'm excited to see them and continue our day together.

Today? I am going to curl up with a good book and some Easter candy.

And it is glorious. :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sarah draws, too!

When you've got an older brother that can spend all day sitting at the table drawing and coloring, sometimes you have no choice but to join in!

Sarah didn't really love coloring at first, but in the last few weeks--I guess starting around Valentine's Day--she has just started trying to draw things. At first she'd draw vaguely circular shapes and either call them balloons or hearts. Then, she added strings to her balloons. And Monday, she drew her first smiley face:

I love it when kids start drawing smiley faces. It's such a fun milestone. Sarah was so proud of herself:

She kept on drawing faces all morning long. There's no such thing as saving paper when you're a little girl who just figured out how to draw a smiley face!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Samuel Kenji - A Birth Story

I'm not going to spend a ton of time doing catch-up posts, but I really wanted to write out this story. I don't actually have a record of it yet, and the more time passes, the fuzzier the details become.

Short version for those that don't like the nitty gritty (and somewhat TMI) details:

Sam was born on the evening of Tuesday, October 30th, 2012. I had contractions all day, but nothing really started happening until my water broke at around 4:00pm. We rushed to the hospital, and three hours after we arrived, at 7:21pm, Samuel Kenji Peterson was here! He weighed 8 lbs. 15 oz and was 20.75 inches long. He was the biggest of my three babies so far by a lot (almost a pound heavier than James and over a pound and a half heavier than Sarah!). We were both healthy and happy. I was especially thrilled to not be pregnant anymore. ;)

Long version (and I do mean LONG) for those interested (and to have as a record for when the details become harder to recall):

I was hoping for a labor/delivery exactly like Sarah's (here's a link if you want to read about it: Sarah Megumi). It was crazy, but it was fast. And having experienced natural childbirth once, I figured I knew what to expect and could handle it better the second time around.

Alas, that was not to be. (How's that for foreboding? ;) Ha ha.)

It all started very similarly, albeit with much more discomfort. My third pregnancy was much more physically taxing than the first two. My due date (October 24th) came and went. The days passed SO slowly, and I scheduled an induction for November 1st. I was proud of myself for "maturing" by not insisting on an October birthday like I did with Sarah and May (she was also due on the 24th). I believed--and still do--that going into labor naturally is the way to go, so I really wanted to let it happen.

We did everything we could in those last few days to encourage labor to come. Well, short of castor oil. That's where I draw the line. The night before the baby was born I had reached my limit. Paul and I had the following (approximate) conversation:

Paul: "You really want to have this baby, don't you?"
Paul: "OK, put your shoes on. We're walking to get dinner."
Me: (As we're heading out the door) "Where are we going?" (Thinking: Well, nothing's really close, but Burgerville and Taco Bell aren't too far in one direction, and there's always McDonald's in the other.)
Paul: "Pita Pit"
Me: "Wait, seriously?! That's like a mile and a half away and includes a huge hill!"
Paul: "Do you want to have this baby or not?"
Me: "Well, alright then!"

A few friends from our ward saw me out waddling that night. And I do mean waddling. That was such a painful, painful trip. I thought we'd never get there, and when we did, I had no idea how we'd actually get home after dinner. By some miracle, I did make the whole 3-mile round trip. And then, after we put the kids to bed, I sat on an exercise ball while we watched an episode of Castle. That night I resigned myself to being pregnant forever. (If you've ever been pregnant past your due date, you know this feeling. You honestly believe that you will be the first woman to stay pregnant forever.)

Contractions started the next morning on Tuesday, October 30th. Paul and I started to get excited. Diana came over and picked up Sarah and James and took them to playgroup. Paul did his best to get some work done before things got too crazy. We collected our things for the hospital casually. The whole time, we kept track of the contractions. Right off the bat it was different than with Sarah. The contractions weren't regular and they didn't steadily get worse. Occasionally they would seem to stop altogether and then pick up again a half hour or 45 minutes later. For an hour in the late morning contractions were just 7 minutes apart. I thought maybe it would be even quicker than with Sarah! But then they slowed again.

We kept thinking things would pick up and start happening. Diana came back with the kids and decided to stay and hang out. Paul and I went and got Jamba Juice and walked around Target a bit. We thought, "Hey, walking at Target worked with Sarah, maybe it will work again!" We saw a friend and her kids in the parking lot on our way home. Again, we laughed together because we had seen a friend at Target when I was in labor with Sarah as well. I kept hoping that any minute now things would pick up and we'd head to the hospital.

We got home at about 3:40pm. I was trying not to despair, but the contractions really weren't getting worse or more regular. And I was in a lot of pain from all the walking. The kids were all napping, and the three of us (Diana, Paul, and I) decided to make a plan. Maybe Diana would go home for dinner and we could call her if we needed her? Natalie was planning on coming over after she was done with class/clinic. Should we tell her not to come? Choir was that night. I was really hoping I wouldn't still be able to go because of a new baby, but maybe I should just go? It would be a distraction, at least. Paul was sort of dozing at the desk as we chatted. I was--once again--sitting on the exercise ball. I decided that choir was really out of the question. Even if I wasn't in labor (I was starting to question it at this point), I was in too much pain to last through a two hour rehearsal. I got my phone out to text the director and let him know I wouldn't be there. I shifted my weight on the exercise ball, water broke. Yep. Just like that.

I'll remember the following scene forever. My eyes went huge, and I said "Uh, my water broke." Paul (remember, he had been dozing across the room) jolted upright and said something like, "What?? Really??" "Yes. My water just broke." I know it can be somewhat difficult to tell for some women, but there was no question for me. It was painfully obvious. Every time I attempted to stand up, water would gush (sorry for that lovely descriptor) out. Paul stood up and started panicking, "What do I do? What to I do??" I kept on trying, and failing, to stand up. Diana laughed and took charge of the situation. She had been through it with Andrew, so she knew what to do. It went something like this:

Paul (imagine a cartoon character waving his hands around over his head and pacing back and forth): "What do I do?? What do I do??"
Diana: "Paul- Go get some towels. Jennie- Just stay there."
Paul: speeds away up the stairs, still panicky (He says he took the stairs about five at a time. :) )
Diana: "OK, Jennie, is this all your stuff? Do you need anyth---stop trying to stand up, Jennie! Just stay there."
Me: "But, but..."
Diana: "Trust me. Just stay there."

Thanks to Diana's level head and personal experience, she got us out the door within a couple minutes. She helped us get our things to the car and helped Paul line the front seat with towels for me. I finally worked up the courage to stand all the way up and head for the car...praying I didn't leave a wet trail through the house as I went.

Side note: For all you women out there who have ever wished that your water would break so that you could know it's time? Stop it. Don't wish that. Ever. It's gross. The end.

So, we pulled up to the hospital at about 4:25pm. Paul stole a wheelchair from the hallway of the hospital entrance so that I could sit in it with my towel and not leak all over the hospital. He left me sitting there while he parked the car (longest three minutes, EVER!).

We had meant to take a "last pregnant picture" sometime, but with my water breaking, this was the best we got:

This story is getting a little too long, even for me, so I'll summarize the next little bit: We made it up to labor and delivery, got checked in, somehow changed into a hospital gown, checked in triage (I was only at 4cm!), they verified my water had broken (ya think?), they put in the IV shunt and gave me some fluids, and ultimately we ended up in a room.

At this point my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and they were getting worse. We settled down in the room, requested a birthing ball and a squat bar for the bed, and then Paul said, "Oh no. My phone is dying, and the charger is in the car." This wouldn't have been a huge deal (we had my phone) except Paul's phone was also going to be our camera. See, our sad, old digital camera is 6 megapixels. The camera in Paul's iPhone is 8. Yes, yes, we know we need a new camera. So, in spite of the fact that it scared me out of my mind, I sent Paul to the car for the charger. We figured he'd be super fast and I'd have at most two contractions while he was gone, and sure enough that's what happened. Those two contractions that I handled on my own were my proudest moments of the ordeal. When Paul got back, I was so relieved! And then everything went crazy.

Having been through this before, I thought, "Hooray! This means it's almost over!" Remember, with Sarah, it was only crazy for about 45 minutes. I kept waiting for the nurse to say those beautiful words, "Well, subsequent babies can come really quickly, would you like me to check you?" She didn't. Finally, I asked her to check me...and I was at a 6. Six measly centimeters! That's what I had been when I checked into the hospital with Sarah! Wasn't your water breaking supposed to speed things up?? I started to panic. I had been set on things being over quickly, and that wasn't happening.

For the sake of my dignity, I won't go into too much detail about the next couple hours. Suffice it to say, it wasn't pretty. I was so angry that it wasn't over that I would yell, "No! No! No!" every time another contraction started. I asked the doctor if the baby could be posterior, she said she'd check (I marveled that she hadn't thought of checking for that when she had checked me just a few minutes earlier), and sure enough he was. Thankfully, and because I didn't have an epidural, I could move into a position that helped Sam turn on is own. (This helped me avoid the same trauma of James' birth...ask me about THAT story sometime if you haven't heard it.)

When I started pushing, I could tell he was bigger than Sarah. WAY bigger. And sure enough, a little while later (more than the two pushes it took for Sarah, that's for sure!), at 7:21pm, our not so little boy was born! After an hour of relaxing and enjoying some skin to skin time, he was weighed and measured. As I mentioned at the beginning of this epistle, he was 8 lbs 15 oz and 20.75 inches long. We had also finally decided on a name: Samuel Kenji Peterson. We were both healthy and happy and very relieved to be done with that ordeal!

Here are some pictures:

Diana and Natalie took great care of James and Sarah while we were in the hospital. They brought them to meet their new brother the next day (which also happened to be Halloween).

And that's how we became a family of five!

Yep...we forgot to take a whole family picture until after I had helped them get their costumes on. ;) They made cute ghosts, though!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Fun Easter Weekend

We had a great Easter weekend. And the best part about it was probably the beautiful weather! It was in the 70s both Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, we did a lot of errands and prep work for Sunday. The kids did get to have an Easter egg hunt with some friends from our ward, though.

(What a beautiful blossoming tree! Talk about Popcorn Popping!)

On Sunday morning, the kids woke to the traditional Easter bunny tracks leading them to their baskets.

Poor Sam. All he got was a little bouncy ball!

Then, the Harris family and Natalie came over for breakfast! I love 11:30am church on holidays. It means we have time for a special breakfast without having to get up too early. We had overnight french toast (SO tasty), fruit salad, and sausage.

Church was very nice, especially sacrament meeting. We had three musical numbers: a beautiful duet by the Murdocks, a ward choir song that I got to direct (I've been substituting as the ward choir director because we don't have one currently), and a song by the Primary. My favorite was the Primary, of course, because I love to hear James singing. :)

After church we headed to the Belnap's home for the rest of our Easter festivities. Natalie and the Harrises joined us as well. It was so fun to spend the afternoon and evening with them! Thank you to the Belnaps for being such wonderful hosts!

The kids got to have another Easter egg hunt in the backyard.

Sam and I (and everyone else) looked on.

The food was awesome. I made the ham and a carrot cake/cheesecake. Claudia made deviled eggs, scalloped potatoes, and an eclair cake. Diana made rolls and a salad. I love potluck meals!

It really was a wonderful Easter weekend.