Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Juicy Details

For the male readers (or those who think less is more when it comes to birth stories):

Name: Naomi Beth
Weight: 9 lbs 3 oz
Length: 21”

For the ladies:

Can you believe those cheeks? That’s one week early, imagine if she baked until her due date!
I’m wondering if our dates were off a bit. When I went in to the doc's last Monday for my 39 week check up I was quite done being pregnant and a bit scared that it was going to be a nine pound baby if I went to my due date (her response, “You don’t have a nine pound baby in there!” and in her defense I was didn’t think it was either, but the ultrasound we had at 37 weeks said she was already 7 lbs 11 oz then.)

I asked her to strip my membranes again. This was the third time, but the first two times she was very gentle, apologizing the whole time for any pain (which there never was) and they obviously didn’t work. I told her that this time I wasn’t getting off the table until my eyes were watering – and success!

The whole labor and delivery delay and discomfort are of course my dear Daniel’s fault. He willed the baby to come after he was done with the busiest part of the corn harvest – which she waited for. Then he asked why I couldn’t have a baby in the daytime hours rather than in the middle of the night like I always did. So instead of my typical labor that starts between midnight and 2 a.m. and baby born by daybreak, I had slow, unproductive labor all night. I woke up in the morning with contractions between 3 and 5 minutes apart. I made breakfast and the girl’s lunches and sent the bigs off to school and was trying to decide whether Daniel should go to work or not when I bent over to pick up a laundry basket and my water broke. The best part of the whole labor was me trying to catch the deluge while Emily and Taylor are yelling “Gross, mom!” and the other said, “You should do that in the toilet!”

We went into the hospital around 8 a.m. and she was born at 10:24 a.m. and I got to Jacuzzi this time! I had to go through 5 labors to get that privilege and it was AWESOME! She was shockingly big, so her shoulders got stuck coming out and all I can say about that is OUCH! An epidural would have been nice right about then! However, when she finally got out, while the doctor held her up and was rubbing her back trying to get her to breath, she had her eyes open wide and was scanning the room looking around at everything. It was really pretty cool – she was so alert, like she was taking in the world from the second she came into it.

She is pretty sweet stuff and we are sure excited to have her in our family!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"And Who Wants the Big Baby Award Anyway?"

I won't try to write something as clever as Kari and bore you with lengthy words. All I can say is ONE PROUD PAPA!!!!

Big sisters enjoying the new addition.

Who needs milk.......
This is just how she entered the world, eyes wide open....

Monday, October 5, 2009


I’m a firm believer that each child gets sent into our home for a reason. Lately I’ve began to wonder if Emily was sent here to keep me humble. For example:

When I repeated a question that she has apparently already answered, she told me that I’d already asked her that and that “You have a memory in your head!” (Actually, I am gestating – so I’m not sure that I do.)

When I tripped over a toy that Taylor left on the floor behind me she said, “You should watch out with your eyes!”

When singing our Welcome song for Preschool I altered a line in the song “Here we are Together” to say “at our fun preschool.” So we’re singing along and she stops right after that line and states “only it really isn’t very fun.” Then when my Mom asked her if she had fun doing preschool the other day she said, “Pretty much not.”

She should learn some tips from Rylee about how to mask a slam. Rylee asked last week if she could borrow some of my earring for opposite day. I asked how they would be “opposite.” She smiled sheepishly and said, “Actually, I want to wear them for Dorky Day.” See how thoughtful she was – she was only insulting after I probed for it.

Other times, however, I’m pretty sure Emily’s here just to bring laughter. Here are my favorites from last week:

“I pushed Taylor down, but it wasn’t inappropriate because it was an accident.” (Don’t you love the appropriate use of inappropriate in a 4 year old?)

At dinner yesterday she was talking about marrying one of Morgan’s friends, Josh, when she is grown up. I asked what she likes about Josh and her response was, “His hair and him’s body.” Wow . . . ahhh, how do you respond to that one? I busted up laughing – Daniel did well and addressed the hair part. I’m thinking we’ll leave it at that for now. After a few more probing questions we found out that she’s going to marry him even if Morgan does first and that her and Morgan will make the dinners, but Josh will wash the dishes. They will also have hundreds of children, two boys and the rest girls. She’s got it all planned and all I can say is “Good luck Josh!”

Friday, September 18, 2009

Midlife Baggage

When I was a younger, prouder woman I vehemently proclaimed that I was going to be done with childbearing by the time I was thirty and was NOT going to be one of those ladies that took her newborn to her high school child’s games and activities. I’m not too much over the thirty deadline, but being in a foreign land (even if it is the same country), it is evident that gestation and being a parent of a middle schooler here is the equivalent of being the pregnant mother of a high schooler in, say, Idaho.

I went to the middle school open house with Rylee and was the only obviously pregnant parent (there were two toddlers in strollers, however). I was suddenly very homesick for Idaho if only because I have too much pride, and it would have felt a bit less awkward not to be the ONLY one.

Today they had a Morning Coffee at the Middle School. Not knowing what a Morning Coffee is, I assumed it was like a quick PTA meeting where they bribe you with coffee and donuts to be there at 7:00 am. So I got up early, got all four girls ready and headed out the door at 6:45 so I wouldn’t have to walk in late.

Again, stranger in a foreign land, apparently a Morning Coffee is actually just coffee and donuts in the library where the parents of middle school kids can mingle. If I wasn’t socially awkward and if I, in fact, knew more than three people in this town, mingling might sound fun.

(Irrelevant side note/Ryleeism: Rylee seemed excited about me going and told me that one of her teacher’s said “There might be juice if you don’t drink water.” Hmmmm. I love that girl’s jumbled little mind! For the record, as a double side note, there was not juice, but there were drinking fountains, for those who don’t drink coffee.)

As it was, I was trying to think of a polite way to leave within 3 minutes of realizing that it was not a meeting, but rather a social gathering. Especially since the early arrivers were all very nicely dressed and put together, by appearance, working (outside-the-home) parents. I myself was pretty proud to have been showered and dressed, with hair done and make-up on by 7:00 am – not to mention having done hair for 4 girls as well (thanks Daniel for making sure they were dressed and fed!).

In the end I did attempt to mingle a little, and had to laugh when the three new people I met looked at my bulging abdomen and said something along the lines of, “And your 6th grader must be your oldest.” I almost wanted to say that I have a freshman at the high school as well, just to see the eyebrows go higher.

Really, though, in their defense, people were very nice and it was refreshing to realize that there is a world out there beyond the cornfields that surround my house. Wondering what people might think is, of course, just my own baggage that I will have to let go – because if I don’t, I’ve seen what the Lord can do to humble a proud woman – hello baby number six in Rylee’s Junior year of High School. Augghhghgh!

Speaking of baggage, Morgan yesterday picked something up that I dropped on the ground and said, “Don’t worry mom, I’ll get it. I know it’s hard for you to bend . . . you’ve got too much luggage.” She then gave me a very pleased smile and proceeded to pat her luggage-less tummy in an all knowing way. No wonder I’m getting so heavy, I’m carrying it around on both the inside and out!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Presidential Influence

With the outrage and concern going on about Obama’s address to the school children, I was trying to decide the best way to respond to the situation. Once the propaganda portion of the whole “show” was dropped I figured that there were enough people on watch that the message to the schools would have to be pretty benign and therefore wasn’t overly concerned about what Obama was going to say. Besides, they listen to talk radio (not by choice mind you – driver gets to pick) and they hear me yell at the radio and TV enough that we end up talking about politics and cause and effect of policies with some frequency.

When Rylee got home yesterday I asked her if Obama talked to her class, she said “No I think they may have recorded him and will maybe play him tomorrow.” (I’m chuckling here at her casual disregard - like he’s a cartoon character or something)

Then I asked Morgan, who off the cuff said, “No. Actually, yes, he said ‘Come on kids, raise some money. Pay off the debt . . .”

I love it! And for those of you out of the political loop – no that’s not what he actually said (and no, they didn’t “play” him at her school either), because we all know that paying off the debt is not really one of his priorities. However, I love that she can see some of the bigger picture!

Sakes alive. . .

It's GIRL number five!!!

I pushed for another ultrasound and, well, there you have it! It's not a big surprise and I'm actually excited because I just made the cutest girl quilt and knew I would have a hard time giving it away if I wasn't going to use it. Add that on to the previously acquired hair bows, clothes, and toys - we shouldn't have to get anything for this kid until she's old enough to realize she's getting gypped and that it's not fair. Good deal, huh? Pragmatic as always! :)

(Imagine the cute little ultrasound picture here that says "IT'S A GIRL." I tried to get it on but it just took too long - so consider this your imagination exercise for the day.)

Notably Unappreciated

As we returned back home from our trip to Idaho this summer we found out that Emily didn’t get into the preschool that we had signed her up for. We were the first non-parishioners (it is a Catholic school) to turn in our deposit and the lady who runs it stated that we would surely get one of the four remaining spots. However, they had more parishioners sign up than were expected and Emily was bumped, as they get first dibs. Of course, assuming that she was in at this school, I didn’t really pursue other options, especially since most of the other schools were at least three times more expensive than this one (I know, I’m cheap, I know!).

Although this doesn’t seem like a big deal, it was the “last straw,” so to speak, in coming back “home” from our vacation to a gross house and a lonely place and so far away from friends, family, and the familiar. As a result, I was, very maturely, storming around (shocking, I know) for a few days, wallowing in my self-pity. As we went to bed a few nights later Daniel asks me to tell him about what’s bugging me. So, of course, given the opportunity I just dump on him about how much I dislike our life here, and how I’m tired and lonely and frustrated and I used to be good at things and now all I do is a series of jobs that get undone or need redone within hours or moments from when I do them, which really seems quite pointless, and nobody appreciates it, and. . . .Well you get the gist.

I learned a very interesting and important lesson from this outburst. There is apparently nothing that works more effectively as a sedative for a man than an emotional female outburst. I’m pretty sure he was snoring by the time I actually got to the fifth sentence. (It’s all right now, Daniel; word on the street is that it is a normal male response ;})

Of course, then I was up all night fuming about that, as well as the rest. However, the next day I decided to pull myself together and move on, so I was looking up preschool curriculum ideas on-line so I could just teach Emily myself at home. As I saw what options there were I was getting more excited because there’s lots of fun stuff out there.

Emily walked in while I was looking things up and asked what I was doing. After I told her she said, “I don’t want you to be my preschool teacher.” I told her that there weren’t other options right now. To which she again responded, “But, I don’t want you to be my preschool teacher.” Then she left in a huff.

After a few minutes she came back in, quite worked up (I guess getting worked up while mulling things over is a family trait?) and again stated that she didn’t want me to be her preschool teacher. To which I asked who she did want to be her preschool teacher, because we don’t really have any options. She said, “I want Morgan to be my teacher.” Inside I’m actually thinking this is an awesome idea – she’s a really good teacher! But instead I said, “Morgan’s going to be at school all day, so what will we do all day while she’s gone if we don’t do preschool?” Emily just looked at me and commanded, “You just go and do your dishes.”

Then last week we were in the car and I wouldn’t let her come in somewhere with me and she got mad and we had the following conversation:

Emily yelling: “I’m not going to be a Mom because of you!”

Me: “That’s too bad, because I bet you would be a really good mom,”

Emily: “No I wouldn’t, because of you! You do the MEANEST things!”

Then there was a slight pause before she stated in a very grumpy tone, “but I’m still going to leave my kids at your house while I get my hair cut.”

Nice! I figured I would forget these darling little exchanges if I didn’t write them down, and now I can keep them in my arsenal and remind her of them when (if?) she has children of her own! Hah, motherhood is pretty fun after all!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Summer Daze

It’s been a while since we updated about our goings on. So I will give a brief synopsis of our seemingly short summer:

JUNE: trip to Idaho to visit friends and family.
Yellowstone after camping out in Island Park, ID with Dan's family

Emily with her "best" worm she caught for fishing and then grew attached and carried it around all morning.

I married him for his charm - not his table manners.
S'mores at the Andersen's - the best accommodations in A.F., I might add

"Camping" as Wyatt called it, (actually S'mores over a fire pit) with the Andersens and with our awesome friends the Wards

The ladies - need I say more?

JULY: working on 4-H projects and quick trip for Kari and girls to Utah to visit family.

I don't have pictures for the 4-H projects since our house was virtually trashed with sewing, wood working, leaf drying, and cookie baking - I choose to keep no incriminating evidence.

On the trip to Utah I brought my camera and used it at temple square where we met up with Daniel's mom, and then again at Hogel Zoo, but of course got few other pictures of my family during the melee/play.

August: 4-H, fair, and school started again

I'll upload the pictures of the girl's fair projects later - the previous pictures took over a half an hour (that's just the uploading time it actually took a day and a half - as my computer kept shutting off while trying to upload) on my S-L-O-W internet connection. They did really well this year. Especially for this being their first 4-H experience. Rylee won Grand Champion for her leaf display and in the Agility dog competition (perhaps the credit goes to Daisy for the dog show, since she did most of the work). Morgan won a Champion ribbon for the throw pillow she made in a summer clinic and Reserve Champion for her leaf display. Both of the girl's leaf displays were submitted to the state fair where, ironically, Morgan received a purple ribbon (highest award) and Rylee received a blue ribbon (second place). We thought it was funny, since it was just the opposite at the county fair - I guess it's all dependant upon who's judging and what they like, huh? They both also ribboned with other sewing projects and each made cookies and did a public fashion display with some pillowcases they made. They had lots of fun and did great - and I took a two hour nap after the last item was submitted fair week. Whew, it was exhausting!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

IT'S A . . .

Just thought I would share our exciting news! We had our ultrasound today and the baby looks good (or as good as a spooky skeleton-type creature can look on a ridiculously archaic, non 3-D, really poor quality ultrasound machine).

I know in the past we have left everyone in suspense about the gender of our babies, even when we found out. Well, this time I am just too old and tired to keep secrets and thought I would share the details of what we found out today.

Soooooo. . . . . .

What we found out is that it's a


It kept its little legs crossed and tucked the entire time - at which point I was desperate enough to try rotating myself from side to side (picture a beached whale desperately writhing towards water) and tried to poke and prod it into submission, in attempt to get the little bugger to move its legs. No luck. For all its stubbornness I am figuring it must be a girl - who takes after her aunt Alissa ;).

So enjoy the irony (I know you think we deserve it for secrets of the past) we're all in the same boat this time!

[And, for the record, that is not really a picture of my ultrasound, the equipment portrayed is far too modern in comparison to that which we had - what a disappointment all the way around!]

Friday, April 24, 2009


A couple of weeks ago Morgan cornered me while at the stove and asked if I was going to have another baby. I told her we were planning on it at some point and asked her why she was asking. Her response: “Well, I didn’t know if I should tell you, but I noticed you’re getting a little bit. . .” (See her patting her tummy with a sheepish expression) “Well, you’re getting a little bit . . . PUDGY. I didn’t know if I should tell you!” Well, Morgan, you probably shouldn’t have!

However, if an eight year old can tell a person is pregnant at nine weeks then I guess that person should know so she can go public earlier than usual – lest everyone wonder why she is so getting so “pudgy.” So for the next ten weeks (until she actually looks pregnant, not just fat) give a pudgy person a break, it’s not just a case of Midwest depression (although there may be some of that going on too) or a newfound love affair with snacking while watching nighttime television (also possibly a byproduct of the aforementioned Midwest depression) that’s causing it. There is a baby in there behind that Jell-O like mass of flesh. I heard its heartbeat today. So, let’s just agree to disregard the fact that the said child is the size of a small Oregon Strawberry.

While we’re on the subject of progeny – wish Daniel luck! Here’s his last chance for a retraction and apology from the editor of the annual Christmas newsletter for previous statements/slander about his Y-Chromosome deficiency. We’ll look forward to finding out in early November!

Motherhood Morganism

As I was putting the littles to bed last night Morgan slumped in and said “I have a headache and I feel tired and grouchy.” I, with great empathy in my voice, stated that I, too, am familiar with those feelings. Her response was, “I know! I feel like a Mother!”


A couple of months ago my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy. Understandably, it was a bit of a hard time for her, and upsetting for me since we are so far away and felt like I couldn’t do anything to help. Thankfully, Daniel’s mom came out to Neb. to hang here with Daniel and the girls (big THANKS to a great Mother-in-Law!). This allowed Emily, Taylor, and I to be able to trek over to Washington to visit for a couple weeks after her surgery. It was a good trip (although a very, very long drive!). I’m not sure how much help we were, but it sure was nice to visit.

Due to the situation, there was, of course, a great deal of conversation regarding breasts as well as talk of various forms of augmenting and masking the missing member of the pair. Well, I didn’t think that little ears were really paying attention to these conversations. However, soon after we got home Emily came in sporting this look.

Quite frankly, Mom, I think she mastered the balance – it’s apparently just a matter of finding the right size of ball(s) (although after having children I’m thinking one of those longish water balloons might fit the bill). The leotard over the top of the whole outfit keeps everything tight and in place – and obviously leaves you feeling like a complete woman! (see picture below)

Let me know if you want me to start shopping for you!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

And It Came to Pass

“Previous Post Recovery” (aka PPR) requires that I follow up with Emily’s advanced spiritual development. The other day I could hear Emily in the other room “reading” from the scriptures. It was so cute I had to transcribe as she “read.” She said “Again and again the Namenites are coming to tore dem hair and fire dem and fire dem.” It was apparently a very violent time for the Namenites.

I then told her how big she was to be able to read the scriptures by herself and she said, “I know ‘It came to Pass’ so now I can read the scriptures.” She then proceeded to open her scriptures and say, “The Namenites came to pass and they cut their arms off. I don’t know what page that one story is.” She continued to thumb through the book looking for the said story. I love it!

Also she had the best line the other day when I said something was stupid. She said “Mom, you shouldn’t say stupid – it’s a dumb word.” So is dumb okay then?

No “Wiggly Thing” Envy Here

Being in an all girl household, excluding, of course, the very modest father, my little girls haven’t been exposed to the male/female differences. (Where is Golly when you need him?) When back in Washington last month for my brother’s wedding Em and Taylor had a bath with their 1 year old male cousin.

When he got in the bath Emily stopped in her tracks, got a funny expression on and said “What’s dat?” I proceeded to explain that that is how boys go potty, etc. She scrunched up her nose and responded with “Dat’s weird!” I know, it really is.

So last week we decided to start potty training Taylor. The most effective method I’ve found is to have a bare bum the first few days so they can figure out the sensation with instant result – as in, this feeling means I’ve got to get to the potty or my socks are going to be very wet. Gross, but effective (segue: I swear by the product “Kids and Pets” for getting any and all odors out of carpet!).

So Taylor’s bare and Emily asks “Why her has a bum in da front?” I explained that’s the way Heavenly Father made girls. So she asks if that’s what Rylee, Morgan, her and I have. Then the conversation went as follows:
Emily: “But not Dad. Does him have a wiggly thing?” (Note: I did give her proper terminology at initial exposure.)
Kari: “Um, yep,”
Emily: “Why?”
Kari: “He’s a boy and that’s the way Heavenly Father made boys.”
Emily: “But WE don’t have a wiggly thing?”
Kari: “Nope”
Emily: Double hand pump in the air leaping for joy, “Wahoo!!!”

So, sorry Freud, another one of your sick-o theories proved wrong. Little girls certainly don’t suffer from “wiggly thing” envy around here!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Making Peace

Last week at this time I was sitting in my driveway reading Family Fun watching my two littles ride their bikes with 51 degrees of sunshine beating down upon me. After living in SD for two years 51 degrees in January is very WOW! (Pretty sure that’s May weather there, right Teresa?) I thought then that perhaps Neb and I might get along. We may be able to be friends and someday, perhaps, we might feel like close relations, maybe close enough to call HOME. But, the next day it snowed as it has been since and although not completely disenfranchised, the warm feelings have warn off.

On the other hand, miracles do happen. Yes, even here in ol’ Neb. I was able to get in touch with my old boyfriend. “Oh yeaaaahh”, Glenn is back in my life. I found him, and he’s coming in loud and clear. They only play 2 of his three hours here, but we take what we can get

On that note, last night we had some people from our branch over for dinner and FHE and the lady asked Daniel if anyone ever told him he looked like Glenn Beck. I about fell out of my seat! How convenient is that, my Husband looks like my Boyfriend! Totally cosmic! They had just seen him (Glenn) on tour for “The Christmas Sweater” and had him autograph a book for them and for another guy in our branch who is supposedly in love with him as well. Do you think it’s inappropriate to tell that man’s wife that her husband and I are in love with the same man?

Just so the truth is in writing for the world to see - Daniel rocks the world, sorry Glenn, I may profess my love in fun, but there's really no competition!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just Sqeaky - Not so Clean

After finding mouse poop in Taylor’s PJ drawer, a dead mouse in the basement (Thank You inventor of the wonderfully gross and inhumanely effective sticky trap!) and waking up to one chewing and clawing on the other side of our bedroom wall at night, I have officially determined that perhaps the term “squeaky clean” is an oxymoron.