Days 2017

Days 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas letter, courtesy of my children...

Merry Christmas everyone!                                                                                                        December 2017

Since Mark and I are officially old, sleep-deprived and brain dead, and Christmas for us this year is as much Howly and Jowly with a new baby as Holly and Jolly, we thought it might be fun to let the kids write our annual Christmas update.  I typed as they told me about each other, and added some clarifying remarks.

Macy on Rosie:  “was born this year [in September] and when I first looked into her eyes I knew we were gonna be best friends.  And she’s really cute.  I like playing toys with her.  We have to help mom out a lot because she has to be taking care of the baby and she wants a break.”  Boston:  “She’s the cutest thing ever and she’s usually really smiley” [sometimes].

Boston on Leslie, age 16:  “This year Leslie, she was angsty.  More of an angsty teen. [not really, maybe just about calculus sometimes.] She was asked out on dates.  She can drive.  She only hit the curb about 4 times.  She spends her time in her room hiding from her siblings who are annoying and loud.  She did Science Olympiad.  In choir she got first place in state—[I corrected him here] uh, marching band, my bad.  She’s an, uh assistant of some sort.  [certified  nursing assistant at a retirement home].  She was a pooper scooper at Seven Peaks.  [our local waterpark].  She also picked up dead birds.” [At the waterpark.]

Cooper on Boston, age 12:    “He is very naughty. [is this a shout out to Santa?]  He was grounded right before we wrote this for not going to bed on time and not showering.  He turned 12 and gets to help pass the sacrament.  He is very emotional about video games and television.  Every month he has a new phrase he says 75% of the time he talks, like “John Cena!!”, “chicken nuggets”, or “for Narnia”.  We play PIG and he always chooses a really long word instead of PIG because he is worried I will beat him.  He played baseball [Mark was the coach] and he had the best batting average on his team.  He hit nine times in a row.  He is clever playing baseball and they went on to the [state] tournament.   He goes on camping trips and scout pow wows.   Even though Boston was a center in flag football he had more touchdowns than Cooper.  And then write, “surprisingly.””

Leslie on Luke, age 5:  “Luke probably has the most energy out of anyone in the family. Unless he has to do chores. Even though there’s a new baby in the family, Luke might still be our favorite. (He’s less high maintenance.)  On our way out of the hospital from seeing Rosie for the first time, he said, “Sigh. Our baby’s not even cool.” I think she’s started to grow on him since then. He started preschool this year, and he is quite the ladies’ man. Depending on the day, he claims to have between 6 and 9 girlfriends. Even though he’s started school, he doesn’t quite understand the concept of homework.  If I get home and have to do mine, he looks up at the ceiling in exasperation and groans, “Why do they keep giving you WORK!?” Luke is normally a really happy kid, and he’s fun to be around.”

Macy on Cooper, age 10: “So Cooper has done a lot this year.  He’s done football, baseball, and tons of other stuff.  I’d say he’s the most athletic in the family because he’s outside running all day long.  He likes to play with his siblings and friends.  He’s crazy and that’s a fact.  He’s in choir and has a really good singing voice and I like that about him because I like to sing too.  His favorite color is green.  But he usually always has blue on his braces because he loves BYU.”

Luke on Macy, age 8:  “She likes to do cartwheels.  Coloring.  Pajama party.  She turned 8 and then she got baptized.  Now she lives downstairs.  Her bedroom is purple.  Can we talk about the boys now?”  [Luke is busy playing with his batman toys and doesn’t want to talk, but I will add that Macy has been a wonderful surprise to me this year as possibly my most helpful child with Leslie being so busy.  She is cheerful, obedient, follows directions well and is really relaxed with the baby.  We think Rosie likes her best.]

Wishing you and yours the best as we celebrate our Savior and the love He brings!

Loving this "Rosie the Riveter" pose.  Her eyes are actually very blue, not dark brown as the light makes them appear here.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Rosie Posie

I am the eldest of 5 kids and Mark is the youngest of 5, so we had always felt that five kids seemed like a good number for the kind of family we wanted to have.

After our first, Leslie, we struggled for years to become pregnant again and learned, among other things, that ultimately God is in charge of what your family looks like.  Happily for us, He allowed us to eventually have Boston, and then Cooper and Macy in quick succession, when the time was right, apparently, for them to make their debut on earth.

After Macy was born and I felt sufficiently recovered to take a little time away, I visited the beautiful LDS temple in Draper.  The temples are, among other things, ideal places to meditate, worship, and talk to God, and where God talks back since we are actually trying to listen.  On this particular day at the temple, there without my new fourth baby, I was having a strange feeling.  I was super baby hungry (which makes no sense at all).  Also a little incomplete, for example, we'd gather up to get in the car somewhere and it would feel like we weren't all there, etc.  I knew I wasn't ready to have another baby, so I was wondering about this.

As I recall, I had a sudden insight that I feel came from God.  It was surprising to me.  The thought was that I still had another baby waiting, AND that if Mark and I so chose, (that it was our choice was very clear) another baby after that (six total) who would be a blessing to our family.

Luke came along eventually and our concerns about his congenital heart defects really stretched us to our limits.  He has been extremely blessed to have those taken care of surgically, and Worry about His Future no longer looms over our heads.  He has been a very fun child with a lively personality and I could feel good about his potential status as a caboose, other than I felt a bit robbed of a "normal" infant experience to end my childbearing years with.

The nice thing was, although Mark and I both felt at this point that we probably did have another child coming, we also felt pretty mellow about when and for sure if that would happen.  In other words, no stress.  Last year as I thought about how I would fill my time after Luke goes to school, I was coming up blank.  When I got called to be the Young Women's president in our ward (a pretty time-consuming job) in December, I thought, aha!  This is what the Lord wants me to do with my life right now.  I guess no baby.  Maybe someday--I'm only 38.

Ten months later:

I had gone to my 36 week appointment on the Friday before and didn't let the doc check my dilation because that always gives me lots of contractions.  Then on Tuesday I was grocery shopping, having a lot of contractions and just feeling heavy and not very mobile.  The checker lady asked me if I was close (I was probably leaning heavily on the cart) and I when I nodded she clucked knowingly that she could tell.  I just felt wiped out.

Later that evening I was sitting on the floor folding laundry and felt the baby kick so hard it felt like she was standing straight up and down.  I remembered that Macy had done that the night before my water broke, but.....nothing.  That evening Mark and I discussed the plan for if I went into labor while he was working his bimonthly shift at the temple, as he would be the next morning at 5 AM.  We must've made her nervous because at 2AM I rolled over in bed and my water broke.  I tapped Mark on the shoulder and said, "You have some impatient girls!" (Impatient because Macy had also broken my water, at 37 weeks.)  He mumbled and went back to sleep while I giggled in elation at the whole thing.  Once I made myself more clear we scrambled into his car and made it to the hospital before I was even contracting much.  (So nice to have a teenager sleeping in my basement.)  After I was hooked up with my epidural, etc., I delivered with a mere two pushes.

I like delivering babies.  It's exciting.

Something I think I will always remember is that the doctor, who was an older gentleman, as we silently prepared for the contraction to come so that I could start pushing, positioned himself with his fingers on the baby's head and closed his eyes, reverent and concentrating.  I'm almost sure he was praying.  He looked like an angel to me, blessing my baby and bringing her safely into my arms.

Rosie Day was born.  7 lbs 9 oz.  Lots of brown hair.  A dimple in her chin, like Boston.  The nurses seemed to think she was "so big" since she was that heavy at 36.5 weeks.  She had no trouble with her oxygen or her temperature, but her blood sugar was a bit unstable so they had to keep checking her for that and treated her a few times with some sugar gel or something, also with a bottle, which means that now I have my first baby who both bottle feeds and breastfeeds equally well.  (Cooper couldn't nurse with his cleft and I wasn't allowed to nurse Luke).  Feeding was frustrating for about a month because she was so sleepy as a "late preterm" baby, and I was worried that I might have to switch to bottle exclusively (again), but now she's got it down. 

 My Young Women sent love to Rosie and me while we were in the hospital.

Luke had a blast with the box that my new rocking chair came in.  It was a fort for awhile and then it became "the Snack Shack" store.  He kept trying to sell me miniwheats.  He and I had also celebrated our birthdays just a few days before Rosie arrived.  The new bike has been especially fun with our beautiful Utah fall.

Luke wanted to go hiking for his birthday.

 My Grandpa used to have a ranch called The Blackleaf.

 Rosie's first bath in the sink.  Luke was my photographer.

A rare smile.  At six week point she pretty much only smiles for Mark.
Rosie and Grandma Frances
Rosie and Grandpa Day

This is kind of a weird face for her, but you can see her dimple chin.

Rosie at One Month

Mom was able to come for a few days to help, leave for a week for her excellent Nauvoo trip with Darcy, and then come back for a week, which was especially nice for the help and for Luke, whose main adjustment has been dealing with boredom while I am napping or feeding Rosie.

PS. The bishop released me as YW president the night before Rosie came.  Maybe that was her "all clear" signal.

Obviously, the kids are all crazy about the baby and we've joked a bit about her life as "Rosie in the Lion's Den."  They are quick to want to hold her, carry her around, or look for her "biscuit"--what Luke remembered as the word for "binky".

She is gorgeous.  As Dad would say, "She's a Dandy!"

So glad you joined our family Rosie Posie!