Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My baby!!!

My baby is eleven months old! Her she is with her posse...
She finally got her first tooth! She was being grumpy on Friday and I thought "this HAS to be it!" So finally we felt it. Then, when I was feeding her on Sunday, I saw it! All of my children have been late teethers, but each one gets later and later. The nice part is, since they get their first one so late, they usually get all of them within a short amount of time. I bet we'll see the others any day now.

Kendall is at such a fun age, we are loving it (although I think I say that about every age). She just started blowing kisses, complete with the "muah" sound.
This is one of my favorite pictures! It was taken this summer at the cabin after Grandma Marbles gave her a fancy hair-do. I LOVE that scrunched up smile.

Have you heard that baby's who prefer orange foods (carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches) get an orange tint in their skin? Kendall is here to confirm this. I swear her mouth/nose always look orange. Although she is eating more table food now and a lot less baby food (YAY!!!) She is also starting to give up her binky. As soon as Dave and I are ready to give it up, it's gone.
I'm pretty sure she packed on a couple pounds on our vacation. We ate a lot of junk!

I've had a couple people ask for an update on Kendall's condition. I don't know anything new, so this is more of an update on MY condition.

For those who don't know, I'll share the story of Kendall's 9 month check-up.

When Kendall was probably about six months old, I noticed she was getting an additional birthmark on her arm. She already had one on her leg. I once heard that children with two birthmarks have heart defects. I asked a bunch of people about it and no one had ever heard about it before. Still, I decided I would mention it to her pediatrician at Kendall's nine-month check-up to eliminate any worry.

As soon as I showed her the additional birthmark, I knew it wasn't good. She studied it intently and took notes about it. Then, she says to me "I don't want to freak you out but..." Um, when your pediatrician says those words, you freak out. To add to the trouble already brewing, the pediatrician found an additional birthmark on her leg (so that made three, total). It's so small I'm not sure I ever even noticed it before that appointment. It looks like a freckle. Yet that was the one that concerned her the most.

The doctor told me those particular birthmarks (that have certain features and appear multiple times) are associated with a skin disorder which causes damage to the nervous system. She told me to keep a close eye on them and if they change at all, or if I find any additional birthmarks, I should bring Kendall back in.

I was not only freaked out, I was devestated. I cried for three days. I studied her entire body. I memorized her birthmarks with my mind, so I'd know if they changed, even slightly. Of course, I told my sister's, but I couldn't decide if I should tell anyone else. I felt a little silly saying "something might be wrong, or everything might be perfectly fine".

I couldn't bring myself to pray for Kendall. Of course, I prayed for her like I do for each of my children, every night. But I couldn't bring myself to pray that she would be okay, because I felt at that time, I couldn't handle it if Heavenly Father said no. That's when I decided to tell the rest of my family and some friends about Kendall. I wanted everyone else to pray for her, since I couldn't do it.

I couldn't really tell the story without sobbing through it, so I just sent an email telling everyone about Kendall and asking that they keep her in her prayers. Everyone I talked to (or who responded to the email) told me they would keep Kendall and me in their prayers. My sweet sister-in-law brought over dinner, which was great because not only did I forget how to do anything except hold my baby, but it was nice to talk about it. I had decided to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist just to remove doubt. I wanted to know, one way or the other.

Her appointment was on Monday, and as I met back together with Dave late Wednesday night I told him "I don't know what it is, but I suddenly feel so much better. Seriously, it's like all at once, I'm not so freaked out anymore." Dave said "that's because everyone's been praying for you." I sometimes forget the amazing and awesome power of prayer.

It still sucks a little bit. When we were at Disneyland, I thought I saw something on her leg, and it made me want to scream, throw up, and pass out all at the same time. It was nothing. Maybe a little bit of dirt, but I think mostly it was how the light was hitting her leg. I still want them to disappear. But it's not in my every thought. I rarely think of it except when I see it. Yay for long sleeve/long pants season!

Now, a month later, I feel that Kendall is just fine. She is such a happy baby and learning so much. I am not really one to worry. I just needed my three days of mourning. I decided not to go to the dermatologist yet, because I don't want to put my baby through any pain or testing unless I have to.

I am so grateful for the way Heavenly Father answers each and everyone of our prayers. I wasn't suddenly free from any worry about Kendall (and let's be honest, parents never are) but I felt such peace that I was able to deal with it so much better.
This girl makes me happy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stuff

-Today Allie had her first primary program! She was so excited to memorize her part. She did a great job when it came her turn (I would add here that she was the only one in her class with her part memorized, but I hate to brag). She was also very excited that Grandpa, Great Grandma, and some cousins came to watch. It was a big deal for sure!

-Dave forgot some grocery items when we went on our trip. I spent hours shopping, then had to go to the store in CA! Geez, what kind of juicy thing did everyone think it was???:)

-I was lucky enough to have my handsome six year old nephew, Lance, ask me to come volunteer in his class. I read the fairy tale "Stone Soup" and it was super fun. Kelly (his mother) was relieved he asked me to do it because she would have been way too nervous. Well, turns out she might have been just as nervous with me doing it. For example, a couple days before she was quizzing me on how prepared I was (I wasn't at all, yet, because it was still a few days away. And remember the part about where the kids are six? It didn't take days to plan). So then, she casually tells me to "not where my gym clothes". WHATever! I look hot in my gym clothes. Do I detect a note of jealousy? I think I do. I think I do.

-Most often, I work out in the mornings. During the summer, I'd often take the children to the free lunch at the school. If we weren't doing anything after school lunch, I went in my gym clothes. If we had other activities planned, I'd shower at the gym before I picked up the children from the daycare. After doing this for a couple weeks, on the drive to the gym Allie asked me "Mom, are you taking a shower today?" I told her I was and she said "yesssss." I asked her why she wanted me to shower and she said "I don't like it when you're sweaty." Probably more to it then that. Apparently, Kelly's not the only one who doesn't like my gym clothes.

-I noticed the other day my favorite work-out shorts are getting a hole. BOOOO!!! I probably have fifteen different work-out shirts, but when it comes to pants/capris/shorts, I ALWAYS have one pair I love so much more then the rest and I wear them until they are threads. Why don't I know at the time how much I will love them so I can buy several pairs.

-All my gym clothes are black. They didn't use to be, but overtime I have evolved (or un-evolved). The one and only reason for the black clothes is because it's so simple to pick them out. Black shorts/capris/pants, black top, and go. But recently, it's been brought to my attention that not everyone loves my gym clothes like I do (see above stories). HOWEVER! On Saturday I was in a group fitness class where they were giving away prizes. Guess who won the first prize? The instructor calls out "this prize goes to the person wearing the most black". I didn't even look around. I knew I won. The instructor got to pick the winner. She chose to pick the person wearing the most black. Hmm. Looks like I may have found someone who likes my gym clothes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Having Some Fun

I can't remember if I mentioned when we went to Disneyland in May, we bought season passes. So last week we ventured out again for another trip to our favorite place!
It was sooo nice to have Dave's mom take the children for several hours for me the week before we left while I did all my packing. Boy, it sure does take a lot of time. Counting all the shopping I have to do. Can't forget the snacks. Dave's mom also took the children Friday night so Dave and I could go to bed early (VERY early) and wake up to drive through the night while the children slept. We were on the road by 3 am! Our trip down was AWESOME! I couldn't believe we had to make a potty stop less then two hours in, but that little bladder just couldn't wait any longer (DAVE!) Luckily the children slept through the stop. We stopped twice more for some quick stretching and made it to our hotel in less then ten hours! Long time to be in the car, but it went by so quick.
Allie and Detmer were, of course, in heaven. They had already planned the order of which they would go on each of the rides. Detmer has a new favorite ride. He now claims the Buzz ride at Disneyland at the top of his list. In my opinion the Toy Story ride at Disney Land is lame compared to the one at California Adventure (I admit, it's one of my faves) but Det loves the "shooter guns". We probably rode the Buzz ride more then anything else. Detmer was also very excited to be tall enough to go on Madderhorn! He loved it and asked to ride it over and over. He kept telling us "I'm not going to be scared on Splash Mountain. I'm going to be really brave."

Allie is big enough for every ride at Disney Land except Indiana Jones! She is not a big fan of the thrill rides. Her least favorite was Tower of Terror. When she and Dave got off she said "Daddy! I don't like rides when my bum goes off the seat!" She loves Madderhorn and loved Big Thunder Mountain, but could do without Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Tower of Terror.


Dave and I decided that Kendall's favorite rides are the merry-go-round, Winnie the Pooh ride, and Small World. She was intrigued looking at all the scenery. It was a huge difference from when we went five months ago. Before I fed her on the long rides, this time, she would not eat for fear she would be missing out. She never cried on any rides, but when she got nervous she would start breathing really fast. She waved at EVERYONE and loved the attention. The only time she cried was meeting characters. She screamed and Mickey and Minnie, and when she met the witch from Snow White, we decided we wouldn't put her through that torture anymore.

We did have two disasters. The first came when we unpacked the van and realized Dave forgot something very, VERY important. He was in a lot of trouble. His lecture went like this "I spent days, DAYS packing for four people. FOUR people. I packed diapers, wipes, snacks, clothes, swimming suits. I even packed the van. Your job was to put three things in the van and you FORGOT ONE OF THEM!!!!!!" It was a serious disaster!!!

Our next disaster can be described like this: I got home from one night of taking Allie and Detmer to Disneyland. Dave and Kendall were asleep, but Dave woke up long enough to ask me "how was it" to which I responded "there are not enough swear words in the english language to describe it." As I describe this evening, I'll try not to leave out any details...

I have to start with the hotel. Originally our trip was only going to last until Thursday, but we decided to extend and drive home Sunday. When Dave tried to add to our hotel booking, he couldn't because it was sold out. All the hotels across from Disneyland were sold out. No biggie. We got a hotel 3/4 mile away. We'd never do this for the whole week, but we figured by weeks end we'd spend more time relaxing at the hotel and pool. We went to Disneyland Friday morning for a couple hours and left, planning on not returning that day. However, Allie and Detmer, who know I'm the world's biggest sucker, put on their saddest faces and their sweetest voices "but Mom, we didn't ride Small World." "But Mom, we didn't ride the Pirate ride." We only had on more day to go to the park, so I decided Allie, Detmer, and I would go back Friday night. I planned to arrive around 8, when the crowd would hopefully have died down a bit. There was a tiny voice in the back of my head asking if it's such a good idea to take the children to Disneyland when they would normally be going to bed, but in the name of fun and good times, I ignored it. Normally, we would walk to the park, but with it being later and Dave not going, I decided to drive. My second warning was when the parking lot was full and I didn't know how to get to another one or if there was even another option. Allie, Det, and I ran to the store and on our drive back, the lot was open. I drove (feeling totally lost) to the parking lot. I unload the double stroller and hike to the tram. I easily walked just as far if not farther then if I'd walked from the hotel. However, I told Dave I felt better because it was well lit and there were employees everywhere. Getting on the tram was interesting, shoving Allie and Detmer on, folding double stroller, trying to shove it on. Thank goodness the people next to me were so nice and helpful. We headed straight for the Buzz ride. After being in line about five minutes Detmer throws himself on the ground in a tantrum. How does a parent go about disciplining a child in line at Disneyland? I will say this: it's a good thing I didn't do to him what I felt like doing! Our next ride was Small World. While in line, Detmer was being a snob again so I held him and he fell right to sleep. I decided I would not let this spoil Allie's fun and if Detmer chooses to sleep, he will be put in the stroller and taken out for as many rides as we go on. We get to the front of the Small World line and we're told to take our place in row four. Just as the row in front of us goes to get on, the ride shuts down. Luckily, Small World has the great big huge clock in front of the ride, so I call tell you that from when the ride broke to when we got off it was FORTY-FIVE MINUTES! Next, we head to Pinocchio. Keeping true to my word, I put a sleeping Detmer in the stroller and got him out and held him in line. We'd been in line a few minutes with a few more still to go when Detmer starts SCREAMING "I need to go potty! I need to go potty!" Luckily, we made it through the ride. I ran him to the bathroom and told the children it's time to leave. That's right, folks. All that for three rides! The park was not quite yet closed but I couldn't take another second of the horror. It didn't end their though. No, of course not. As I'm walking back to the tram, Allie and Detmer start to fall asleep. I bribe them with a billion dollars to stay awake. Nothing worked. I gave them fruit snacks and Allie woke up long enough to grab hers. There was NO WAY I could board the tram with me, two sleeping children, and my double stroller. I thought seriously about leaving it there. Once again, thanks to the kindness of strangers, my life was saved. The guy behind me in line said "you get your children on and don't worry about the stroller, I'll get it." Then some angels sang to indicate my relief. I felt sooo stupid! I felt like everyone in line was looking at me wondering what kind of a moron brings two children way past their bedtime to Disneyland. On the ride back, their was a family in front of me with children who were about 8, 6, and 4. The four year old was fast asleep and the parents were trying desperately to keep the older boys awake since they wouldn't be able to carry them. It made me feel a little less conspicious.

Thankfully when I finally made it back to the hotel, there was a sweet note waiting on my pillow from Dave telling me what an awesome mom he thinks I was for doing that (instead of what it really should have said "Dear Moron, Seriously you thought that would go well???") We took some Disney quizzes at the park early that day. One of the questions said "Do you think with your head or your heart." I checked that I think with my head. Remind me to change that when I go back.

Mostly it was a great time with my awesome husband and fun children. Allie and Detmer were so cute making friends at the pool. They loved telling anyone who would lend an ear ALL about their Disneyland adventures. Detmer wore a Batman swimming suit to the pool, so he decided everyone should refer to him not as Detmer, but as Batman. As he swam around their came a time when his head went under water and I had to reach in and pull him up. He looks up at me with a dripping wet face and big eyes and says, as if he's in awe of me, "you saved Batman". Wow, so what am I? I've SAVED a superhero. I must be a super super hero!

Thank goodness for cousins, the only thing that keeps the children coming back here. Allie said "I want Disneyland to be our home." I said "okay, but then we won't be able to play with cousins." She replies "um, we better go home Mom. Don't worry, we'll come back to Disneyland really soon." Kelly surprised us last night by coming over with milk and fresh produce. It was so awesome. Don't you hate getting home from vacation and not having milk and fresh produce and feeling like you have to run right out to the store? Furthermore, she took all three children today while I, um, unpacked. And maybe I took a short nap:) When she came over last night I think Allie thought she was in a beautiful dream. She was doing the most giddy laughter that caused Kelly to ask "is she drunk?"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall


Fall 2006
Fall 2007
Each fall on conference weekend, we go on a drive up to the mountains to see the beautiful fall colors. Last year, we missed our drive because it was so cold, but we went the two years before that. We usually like to go on Sunday, but this year, since Saturday weather was supposed to be nicer, we went on Saturday. It is so fun/crazy to see how fast our family is growing! Both in age and in number.

Fall 2009

We really enjoyed conference weekend. While the boys go to Priesthood, Kelly and I take the children to McDonald's. They love this tradition! Actually, they love anytime they get to be with cousins. You would think they rarely see each other. The other night, Detmer was saying the family prayer. Dave was telling him what to say, and he usually repeats word for word, which he had been doing this whole prayer, until Dave said "and bless that we can..." Detmer said "go to cousins."

Allie is having a ton of fun at "preschool". The other day we were super busy and it was about four when she and Detmer realized we hadn't had preschool yet. They started harrassing me about it and didn't settle down until we did it. It ended up being such a fun one, too. She and Detmer both love telling everyone they are in preschool. Allie is also in gymnastics. She is loving it. It has been a great chance to teach her about respect, being polite, etc. So many life lessons come from the simplest things. Allie is SO helpful to me. When I am trying to get something done, she is awesome to entertain Kendall. We ask so much of Allie, yet she never complains and always seems so excited to be the helper. The other day I brought home a little t-ball thing and a bat and glove for Detmer. Allie told him excitedly, "Detmer, I'll go first, and you can go second, since it's your toy!!!" Detmer responds with as much enthusiasm "Yeah!!!" Smart girl, that one.

Detmer has just as much fun at gymnastics. He plays hard the whole time and especially loves the trampoline's. I feel bad that he is left out from the group. I was SO excited today when he put on his 2T jammies and they are too short. Hooray! Maybe this boy will grow after all! I can't believe what a boy he is. He is obsessed with sports. Always wants to be playing ball. The other night he woke up at 1 am "Mama, I want my football." Wouldn't go back to sleep without it. And really, how do you reason with someone who is fast asleep. All I wanted was for him to go back to sleep. It's funny now, at the time, not so much. He's so fun and hilarious. My favorite thing about his age is the hilarious things they say that make Dave and I say "where in the heck did he come up with that?!"

Kendall had her nine month check-up last week. She is sixteen pounds. The doctor went crazy over her weight. Told me to start buttering all her food, add cream cheese, and even peanut butter. Um. No thanks. Am I the only person that finds it insane that they tell you to adopt all these unhealthy habits to get your child to gain weight? I might feel differently if it weren't for the fact that at one point I was told to do the same thing for Allie and Detmer. I don't know why, but my children plateau at nine months. They catch up just fine. I was a lot more surprised with Kendall because she eats like crazy! But I'm not worried about it yet. She is also starting to prefer crawling over the reach-and-scoot. She's realizing this will get her to Mommy much faster. She is the belle of the ball in this household. When she wakes up, she is greeted as though Allie and Detmer haven't seen her in months. They cry if I pick her up from them playing with her. They always say "put Kendall by me". And both are constantly asking to hold her. Thankfully, her incredibly clingy phase was fairly short lived. She is doing so much better now. She still wants to be held a lot, but only about 10% of what she used to want.

I feel like I just wrote a Christmas letter. Unfortunately, I've been just as lazy with my journal as I have with my blog so I need to get this stuff recorded somehow!