Nate the Late

So we finally got to welcome our little boy into the world. He was born Saturday the 17th at 8:17pm. He weighed 9lbs 2oz and was 21inches long. And he came into the world screaming his head off!

So here's the whole story... we had a home birth with an amazing, awesome midwife. I know, I know, we're crazy. But we're not. I really did a lot of research about this before deciding, and although I didn't announce it to the world, it was our plan all along. I just didn't want people to worry/tell me I'm crazy, so we kept it on the down low. But now it's over so I shall tell you all about it.

Woke up Saturday morning with contractions! Real contractions. Just like I did with Olivia and Abigail, I knew this was it. It was 4:45am so I tried to just sleep through it as much as possible. They were about 20 minutes apart, so I would lay there, drift off to sleep, and a contraction would wake me up. There was really no sleeping through it, but I did sleep a bit between them. At 6:30 I woke up Aaron to let him know we'd be having a baby that day. We got out of bed around 8:00am. Cleaned the house up a bit. Put away some laundry. Ate breakfast. Just tried to ignore the contractions as much as possible. Then I called a few best friends to chat. That was a good distraction. Then around 3:00 my friend Candace came over to give me a massage. Definitely the best part of the labor!! She was amazing. Contractions were picking up, and I had to focus quite a bit to get through them. But the massage... yeah that helped. Contractions were about 5 minutes apart at that point. She stayed for almost 2 hours. Then after she left I got into the shower. Contractions picked up even more. We called the midwife around... 6? I'm guessing, because I lose all track of time at this point. When Jen (the midwife) got there I was about 8cm. She said by looking at me and the way I was acting she would have guessed I was like 4cm. I was really happy, not in too much pain, and loving the fact that I was at home! Then things started to get really intense. I felt him starting to move down, and I just started to get a bit scared. I tried to just focus on one contraction at a time, but yeah... started to get a little scared realizing this baby was really going to come out.

We had a birthing tub set up in the playroom. Full of wonderful hot water. I was honestly afraid to get in because I knew once I did he was coming. I had to let go of the fear and hop in the tub. I have no idea how long I was in the tub before he came. It was really intense. I know I was loud, and crazy, and wondering why the heck I decided to do this. But then with one contraction my water broke. With the next contraction his head came out. With the next contraction the rest of him was born. It really was just so intense and beautiful. I picked my baby boy up out of the water, and laid him against me. He screamed from the moment I lifted him from the water. Aaron cut the cord after it stopped pulsing. We got to sit there in awe and just enjoy this little miracle for as long as we wanted. It was perfect.

Jen commented on how wrinkly his fingers were and said he was definitely a 41 weeker. I needed 3 little stitches. Which I made a big deal about, but wasn't a big deal really. I just hate that part. Anyway it has been wonderful to climb into our own comfy bed, and eat our own yummy food, and just enjoy the comfort of being home. Jen comes back to check on us, and brings all the paper work for birth certificate, etc.  Anyway, if you have any questions about it I'd love to answer! It was a beautiful, wonderful experience... but I'm not far enough removed from the pain yet to say I'd do it that way again! Give me time, and I'm sure I will.


True story.

Every day since my due date I have come to my blog to look at my little ticker thingy. And every day I feel a little more sorry for myself. -6.... Oh poor me! Isn't that silly?

My midwife came this morning. We are sure this baby will be here soon. I've actually been having lots of contractions since she left. But nothing with any kind of pattern or anything yet. So... we'll see.  She said he seems perfectly healthy. His heart rate was great. He was moving around a bit. And he's in a great position. My blood pressure and all that stuff was also perfect. So there's no reason to try to rush things... except for my sanity. And if I know baby is doing okay, it helps me be okay too. I mean of all we sacrifice for these little people throughout the course of their lives, it all kind of starts with this. The first gift I'll give him is letting him chose his own birthday. (Although Aaron did threaten him last night, that if he doesn't come out soon we will never recognize his birthday for the rest of his life. Sorry kid, it's Jesus' birthday this time of year, and ya know you COULD have been born a couple weeks earlier, but YOU chose to stay in there forever, so now you never get a birthday party for your entire life...we joke, we joke. Aaron also promised him a car for his 16th birthday if he came early. Too late for that one, kiddo.)

In other news, I have had a horrible cold and Aaron has all these tests this week, and I've just been feeling overwhelmed and sick and so very pregnant and scared and all kinds of crazy emotions... so I called my Mommy. And I asked her to meet me somewhere in the middle of PA and take my kids for me. And she did. Yeah she's the best. So now all I have to worry about is resting and getting this baby out. And maybe putting away some laundry or cleaning or some kind of nonsense like that.

Today I did some stuff for Seminary, laid around, ran a quick errand, laid around, and still working on that laying around. It is glorious. Although I can't believe how much I already miss my baby girls. Seriously! But I also don't know how I'd be functioning if they were here. I know they are safe, and loved and having a blast with my family. I am so incredibly grateful to be have family willing to do that for me!

So for the rest of the day I'll be watching Netflix from my couch... just waiting. And praying that tomorrow I wake up feeling at least a little better. And then I can have this baby. Weekends work well for me.


Olivia's bed time story.

I had Olivia tell me a story the other night for bed time. My brain just couldn't function enough to come up with a story. Well, she had no problem. I was really impressed with her story I wanted to write it down somewhere. I'm going to try and write exactly like she said, as much as I can.

"Once there was a little bird with a hurt wing. His wing was really hurt. He had to rest so it could get better. Once it got better he could fly SUPER high. He flew all the way up to SANTA'S SLEIGH! Santa was stuck in a storm. His reindeer couldn't see in the clouds and the storm. The birdie said, 'Tweet, tweet, I can help, tweet tweet.' And Santa said, 'Who are you?' The birdie said, 'I'm Tweetie! Tweet. I have good eyes! I can see in this storm.' And so Santa said okay and the birdie helped lead the sleigh. Santa said, 'On DONDER! ON CUPID! ON TWEETIE!' And then the birdie helped Santa get out of the storm."

At this point she realized her story had come to an end, but she simultaneously realized that if her story ended I would say goodnight and leave. So she had to keep going to avoid having to go to bed. Clever girl.

"But then Santa flew into a... tunnel! And a train was coming! And the train hit Santa! And all the reindeer died, but Santa didn't because he's magic. And presents went everywhere. But the presents had names on them so everyone knew what presents to take."

And then she gave up on trying to stay awake and just said the end. I was really impressed with her story. I had to repeat it to Aaron to see if it was something he had told her once or something. He said it was completely original. She is such a little smarty pants! I love hearing what her imagination comes up with.


Memories from Aaron's phone...

Yeah this is only a few months later... painting pumpkins. Love how serious Abigail is.

Crazy eyes.
Love the amazement in Abigail's eyes.

Santa's a little creepy looking here... but they were super nice. This was in a really small town in PA... Northeast, PA. Which is in the north west of PA...

We went to this old train museum. It was lots of fun.

At Asbury Woods.


You is kind... you is smart... you is important...

Have you seen The Help? If not, take 19 seconds to watch this video. Out of context it might seem kind of weird, but anyway I thought it was a touching part of the movie. And I thought I should be better at telling my girls more often how important and kind they are.

So the next day this scene kept going through my head. I had Abigail on my lap on the rocking chair and I looked at her sweet little face. I said, "Abigail, you is kind..." To which she yelled, "NO!" And I said, "Yes, you are kind..." And as if to prove her point she hit me in the face and again yelled, "No!" This is real life people. I didn't bother with the rest of the little mantra.

So later that day I had Olivia on my lap in the kitchen. I said the same thing to her. "Hey Liv, did you know you are kind? You are smart. And you are important." She didn't really respond to me at all. Then she looked up from what she was doing and said, "Cool. You forgot to say cool."

.... and since I'm officially past my due date I guess I ought to mention how incredibly miserable I am. I also have a cold. This has been a recurrent theme for the end of my pregnancies. It is the worst. And I feel terribly sorry for myself, so don't worry you don't have to feel sorry for me, I'm taking care of that all on my own.


the watched pot

I'm pretty sure I know what a watched pot feels like right now. Ya know, the one that never boils? I'm not quite to my due date yet, but I know every one is one edge waiting for that phone call/facebook post/ blog post etc announcing that I'm in labor. From the moment I figured out my due date I tried telling myself to add a week. Not the 9th, the 16th. But I've never been able to convince myself. I keep trying, but I just have this hope that maybe this guy won't be as late as sisters. But what if he's even LATER?? Ugh... I don't think I can be pregnant for two more weeks.

I'm pretty sure when that whole nesting instinct thing was given out, Heavenly Father forgot to give it to me. I think I got an extra dose of laziness. I don't ever remember having that urge to clean like crazy with the girls. I make myself do it, because I want a clean house for the baby and all, but it's not like an uncontrollable urge. Yesterday I scrubbed my bathtub. I'm sure some people might think I was nesting, but I'll tell ya what... it wiped me out. Apparently for two days. I am SO tired today. And my kitchen is a mess from making pizza dough last night... and I still don't want to clean it. Pretty much all of me hurts. My hips, my shoulders.. wah wah wah...

On the other hand... these are my last few weeks of being pregnant. I need to try and enjoy it. Because believe it or not I always end up missing it. So I'm trying to savor the feeling of this little person squirming around inside me. And trying to ignore the discomforts because really it is all such a miraculous process. With a beautiful little miracle in the end. I know that really Jesus wasn't born on Dec. 25th.. .but still this is the time we celebrate His birth, and I kind of think it's magical to be pregnant this time of year. I told Aaron when I go into labor I want to dress up like Mary and ride a donkey. We can have our own live nativity!!... is that sacrilegious? The thought makes me laugh anyway.


Can being pregnant with a boy make me more hormonal than I was with my girls? I don't remember feeling this crazy when I was pregnant before. I seriously cried my eyes out a car commercial the other day. Today Aaron slept when I felt like he should have been awake... and I had a major melt down over it. I've been blessed that I've been able to sleep fairly well most of this pregnancy. Until lately. Ugh... laying down just hurts. My shoulders and my back hurt. I get contractions when I roll around too much. I get pins and needles if I lay still. I get heart burn if I'm too flat on my back... last night was a crappy night. The night before that was also fairly crappy. Today I gave my girls half a roll of toilet paper to keep them busy so I could eat my lunch in relative peace. Officially in survival mode.

I also hate not knowing how much longer I'll be pregnant. This part just drives me crazy. This is my third time doing it, you'd think I'd learn a way to just not think about it or something... but I haven't. I always try to keep my calender clear from 37 weeks+, just in case... I should probably do the opposite. Try to keep myself as busy as possible. Pretty sure people will understand if I have to cancel a playdate due to being in labor. Anyone want to come over and play???



So I let all of November pass without a typical blogger grateful post. Lately I have been falling asleep listening to the same talk on my phone... The Choice To Be Grateful.  Towards the end it says to make a list of 100 things you are grateful for, and helps you break it down. I have found this to be the most peaceful way to fall asleep.

And since I'm procrastinating putting away groceries and cleaning the kitchen I'm going to do it. Write out all 100 things... So sit back, and relax and enjoy!... or just scroll down to the next post and read some funny things Olivia has said ;)

  1. Write 10 physical abilities you are grateful for.
    Showering on my own
    Toileting on my own... seriously had a friend on strict bedrest and I didn't even think about how awful it would be to have to use a bedpan. *shudder*
    My ability to carry healthy babies, and nurse them with little difficulty.
    The ability to drive a car.
    The ability to cook yummy dinners.
    The ability to type... I do enjoy my blogging time.
    Sleep. That's a physical ability, right?
    Hugs. And kisses.
    Taste, definitely couldn't live without my taste buds.
    And I guess just the physical potential of my body. Right now I would never dream of running a marathon, but I know if I wanted to, I could put forth the effort and my body would oblige. I'm grateful for that.
  2. Write 10 material possessions you are grateful for.
    Abigail's binkies.
    my pillow.
    my Ikea throw pillows and lamps.
    our tv.

  3. Write 10 living people you are grateful for.
    "Baby boy on the way"
    friends. near and far.

  4. Write 10 deceased people you are grateful for.
    this is tough....fortunately I don't know that many people that died. I'm so grateful for that. And so so so grateful that most of the people on this list are people I've never met.
    Joseph Smith
    Grandma Opie
    ...ugh I literally can't think of any more. I'm grateful for the babies of my friends that only lived long enough to ever know their mother's womb. While it breaks my heart into a million pieces for them, it magnifies my gratitude for my precious little ones that for some reason, Heavenly Father saw fit to let me keep here on this Earth with me.
  5. Write 10 things about nature you are grateful for.
    finding bugs with my kiddos.
    walking on logs across creeks.
    arizona citrus blossoms.
    sun shine.
    warm breezes.
    millions of stars.
    fall's beautiful colors.
    first blossoms of spring.
    freshly fallen snow.
  6. Write 10 things about today you are grateful for.
    kids were amazing at chiropractor this morning.
    chocolate cookies I splurged on at Target.
    kids were amazing at Target and sat in the cart and let me browse.
    Writing Santa letters with my kids.
    Facebook chats with friends. (sometimes this is my only social interaction of the day!)
    The sun is shining!
    Abigail napping.
    Having groceries for dinner tonight.
    The first day of Dec... the month I'll be having this baby boy!
    nice lady at Target giving me two separate bags of popcorn for my kids so they wouldn't fight.
  7. Write 10 places on earth you are grateful for.
    Middletown, NJ
    Erie, PA
    Mesa, AZ
    Jamaica (honeymoon)
    Christopher Creek, AZ (falling in love)
    My home.
    The temple. Any temple.
    Sandy Hook.
  8. Write 10 modern inventions you are grateful for.
    washing machines
    showers and bathtubs (those are "modern" right??)
    .... I can't think of anything else really "modern". I keep thinking of things like blankets and beds. Pretty sure those have been around a while.
  9. Write 10 foods you are grateful for.
    Just 10? chocolate chips.
    chocolate in general.
    mozzarella cheese.
    homemade bread
    girl scout cookies
    butter. lots of butter.
    and because a vegetable should be somewhere on this list... broccoli.
  10. Write 10 things about the gospel you are grateful for.
    The Atonement. 
    Forever families.
    A Living Prophet.
    Teaching Seminary.
    Visiting Teaching.
    Personal Revelation.


Stinkin Good

Took the girls to Wegman's with me yesterday. If my kids sit nice in the cart, I let them have a doughnut while I shop. This time Olivia opted for a powdered sugar, cream filled one. After two bites her eyes rolled back in her head and she sighed, "Oh my goodness graciousness...." Then she looked at me quite seriously and said, "Mom, this is SO good... it's (lowers voice to a whisper) stinkin' good."

I love that I have a child who can be as passionate about good food as I am. I'm pretty sure she lowered her voice because she thinks "stinkin" is a bad word. But she had to use it to explain how delicious her doughnut was. I was cracking up. She finished that thing in about two more bites. Meanwhile Abigail played Hansel and Gretel and left a trail of doughnut crumbs throughout the store. Sorry, Wegmans employees.


Anyone else notice how quickly that number is dropping on my little floating baby thingy? 12 days until my due date?! AHHH! Seriously, how is November almost gone already? This month has been flying by. I am now entering my least favorite stage of pregnancy. That time when every day you wake up and think, "Hey I could have a baby today!" ....or it could be in three weeks....When every little ache or pain feels like it could be a contraction. Or a real contraction... I had weeks of contractions with Abigail, so I should know to just ignore it. But even still, with every one I feel a bit of a hope that maybe this will be my baby who decides to come a bit early.

But then on the other hand, I'm completely a-okay if he wants to stay in there a few extra weeks. My girls give me a run for my money most days and when I think about the addition of another little person I panic a bit. And we have a lot planned for the month of December. Like traveling to NJ for Christmas, and then to AZ for a wedding. Yeah... it's going to be a bit nutso.  I start thinking of all that traveling, with all these little people and I think I'd rather time just slow down a bit.

My mom and dad came to visit this weekend. It was so nice. My mom helped me get on top of my laundry situation, and figure out a place to put all of baby boy's clothes. We went shopping and got a few last minute things. We went to Romolo's and I had the yummiest hot chocolate ever. The kids were so surprised and thrilled to have their grandparents here. Abigail is already asking for Nana to come back. It was a really fun weekend. And feels so good to start with the week with the house in order. Mostly.

We took out Christmas decorations today. It was so fun to watch the girls as we emptied box after box of all these decorations. Olivia kept saying, "I REMEMBER THIS! I REMEMBER THIS FROM WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL!" Ya know, 3 is the new 30 around here.  Abigail played with the Nativity and kept making Joseph and Mary hug and kiss. I tell ya, there is never a dull moment around here, ever.


Canned Peas.

I have so so much to be grateful for. A roof over my head. A loving, attentive, thoughtful husband. Two beautiful daughters. And a son I haven't met yet. Great parents, and parents-in-law (is that the right way to phrase that??). I'm grateful for my country, and my freedom. And clean running water. Seriously every time I watch some documentary or something about third world countries I'm always left with this insane gratitude for clean drinking water from my sink. And the ability to take a hot shower pretty much whenever I want. THAT is something to be grateful for.

But I've had a heavy heart the past couple of days. Because, despite all that I have, there is one piece missing that just seems to be blaring at me this time of year. My Poppy. I miss him. Last year I didn't feel the weight of missing him as much as I do this year. Maybe it is pregnancy hormones. As I prepared Thanksgiving dinner for the first time ever this year, I could feel him beside him. All these memories of "helping" him as a child came flooding back. Thanksgiving to me, will always be Poppy's holiday. Every year he'd be in a shirt and tie. And an apron, because he'd be cooking. The master of the gravy. Bickering at Nanny for forgetting something or not doing something the way he would have done it. As I peeled potatoes this afternoon, I remembered sitting with him at the kitchen table peeling potatoes. I could hear him telling me about he peeled potatoes in the Navy. How he got to be so good at only getting the skin off, and not any potato with it. I loved those moments. Talking with him. Feeling like I was helping... when now as an adult, I realize he probably could have done it all a lot faster and easier without me there. But he took time to explain things to me. Showed me how to fry sweet potatoes. How to stir the gravy... and add his secret ingredient... the juice from a can of peas.  He'd tease me about the amount of food I ate while I "helped" cook. He always cut me a piece of skin from the turkey as soon as it was out of the oven.  I cried a few tears today wishing he could see me now. A grown up, with my own kids running around, wanting to help me cook. I wished he could have tried my gravy. But, I know he was watching. I could almost hear him in my head all day today. Correcting me as I went about my cooking. Teasing me for the amount of food I was "testing" as I was cooking.

Today I did things differently than he would have done them. I used a bag to cook my turkey. I made the gravy from scratch, and I only added a drop of pea juice, more as homage to Poppy than for flavor. I made a corn casserole, not just regular corn. I even made my own cranberry sauce. I think he would have liked it. But there was one thing I didn't change a bit. Canned peas. Poppy loved canned peas. I can not see a can of peas without thinking of him. Of all the food served on Thanksgiving, that can of peas will always remind me of Poppy.

I'm rambling now, and this has gotten long... but I'm just so grateful for the example Poppy was to me. I don't think I would be the person I am today if it wasn't for Poppy. As Olivia helped me prep the turkey today, all I could think of was being her size and helping Poppy cook. When she started to get in the way, and it would have been easier to send her away so I could get more done, I thought of those moments with Poppy. I thought how much more important those memories are than getting the turkey in the oven on time. For reminders like that, I'll always be sure to have canned peas on Thanksgiving.


Olivia's faces & hair cut

Seriously it is impossible to get a decent picture of this child. I didn't include the 15 others that led up to the final "good enough" shot.  But here's what I could get of her hair cut.


I wonder if on some level my kids know that if they wake up at 5:00am I will be too tired to care what they eat for breakfast. Like this morning, as I type, each child has a spoonful of cookie dough. My tired brain tells me it's no worse than the sugary cereals a lot of moms feed their kids for breakfast. In fact it's probably better... ya know... all natural, nothing but eggs, butter, sugar, and flour. Sounds good, right? Had I gotten to sleep  until 7 they'd probably have been forced to eat eggs and toast. Think they know?

I took Olivia to get her hair cut yesterday. Her and I actually had a great day together. I took her shopping for some new pants and long sleeved shirts. Before we left I asked her if she also wanted to get her hair cut. You would have thought I asked her if she wanted to go get her teeth pulled. Screaming, crying, etc. So whatever. No haircut. Wanted a fun day, not a battle. So off to shop we go. We went to a few stores, ending at Wal-Mart. I showed her the hair salon to see her reaction. To which she giddily jumped up and down and begged to get her hair cut. Seriously child?! Okay, well why not. So she got her hair shampooed, cut, and blow dried. Olivia said she wanted it short. I tried to explain to the lady the a-line type bob that I know would be super cute. She somehow did the exact opposite of what I said. It's like a bowl cut. But she did some "face framing layers" that just look weird to me. But it will grow... and Olivia loves it. So that's all that matters right? She was really cute the entire time. She helped sweep up her hair. She told the lady who was cutting her hair, "Can you make my hair beautiful like yours?" ... And I'm sorry I just realized this entire story could be summed up in two sentences. Yesterday I took Olivia shopping, and to get her hair cut. She likes it, I don't.

So she came home with her new do, and even put her new clothes on in the van because she wanted her dad to see. And then as we walked in the door, instead of posing all cute and being excited and happy (like she was TWO SECONDS AGO) she just started screaming and crying for no reason. I have no idea what goes on in her head sometimes.

Abigail woke up from her nap extremely sad that I was shopping with Olivia. Poor Abigail frequently gets left behind because of her beautiful 2.5 hour nap in the middle of the day. Sorry kiddo, I'm not messing with that ever. So one of these days I will have to find time to take Abigail out, one on one.

Baby boy seems to be growing well. I'm past 37 weeks, so I guess he could come any time. I don't feel like he's going to be coming any time soon. I hope I'm wrong. I was so sure Abigail would come early, and I was dead wrong there. So maybe I will be wrong again? I've pretty much just accepted the fact that I slow cook my babies.


Know what's weird?

There's another Lauren Opie out there in the world. With a similar email address to me. I have been getting emails for her for years. I usually forward them to her. I've never heard a response from her. It's been weird to read about her job interviews. Pictures from her trip to Vegas with group of friends. Found out she got engaged. Found out she got married. Stuff from realtor about buying a house. And recently found out she's pregnant. Seriously it is so weird! And I was thinking after she got married and was no longer Lauren Opie I would stop getting her emails...but nope!  I even got an invite to a private blog from a friend of hers.

Sometimes people find this blog by searching for Lauren Opie. If you're looking for a newly wed, pregnant with first baby, named Lauren... well that was me 4 years ago. Sorry!  :)

And yes, this is possibly the most random blog post ever. If you're reading, Name-twin feel free to say hi! 


Ready for it.

 I suppose I should start this entry with an apology at my lack of updates recently. So sorry to those who read this, and come looking for funny anecdotes of my adorable children. You are overdue for some stories. Unfortunately my brain can't hold onto memories for more than 5 minutes apparently. Hopefully brain function returns eventually.

         Good thing I have a few pictures from our lovely time outside the past couple of days to remind of the fun we had. We made giant leaf piles and jumped in them. We gathered leaves in our arms and threw them at another yelling silly things like "pie in your face!" or just "pie face" if you're Abigail. It was good times. We were graced with absolutely beautiful weather the past few days. We spent our time at parks, running around our apartment complex, and basically avoiding doing laundry. Today, however, is overcast, drizzily and cold. So we're getting caught up on TV shows, laundry and baking.
         There is snow in the forecast for tonight! Had it been a week ago I would have cried. But today I'm ready for it. We made the most of our spring and summer, enjoyed lots of time outdoors... today I'm ready for snow and hot chocolate, and cuddling on the couch. I've been putting off saying I'm ready for winter, because that also has to mean I'm ready for baby. And I haven't been ready to say that. But today at 36 weeks... I'd honestly be happy if this little guy decided to make up for his sisters' lateness and come two weeks early. (Each girl was a week late, so really to balance the universe he should come two weeks early, right?) So bring on the snow and bring on the baby! I'm ready!


Best day eeeveerrrrr!

So the day seemed to start off perfectly. Kids woke up about when we expected them to. We hopped out of bed and started our day off right with scripture study and prayer as a family. Then we all worked together to get everything packed up, cleaned up, and ready to go, for our trip to NJ for the next week. Our goal was to be out the door by 9:30, and I was feeling quite satisfied with us, when I noted the clock said 9:25 as we pulled out of our parking lot. After a few errands and grabbing some breakfast we were officially on the road by 10:00. Oh, but not until after my ankle decided to stop existing, causing me to fall to my near death experience. Okay it wasn't that dramatic at all, but seriously. I don't know what happened but stepping out the door of my friend's house, my ankle suddenly lacked the ability to support my leg. It twisted all funky and hurt a lot. I laid on the ground and cried, with Aaron watching from the van. Apparently he didn't see the fall, just me laying there. He thought I was tying my shoes. Then he realized I was almost dead and came and rescued me.

The Kids were so pumped to be going to Nana's house and couldn't wait to see Ziggy and Bhodi (the dogs). They were  happy with our CD's, snacks, and movies. Then it was 1:00 and time for lunch. My ankle was still hurting, not to mention other discomforts that come along with traveling while 34 weeks pregnant. So we get Wendy's for lunch and it's a nice stop. The next hour is not so nice. Kids were almost asleep when we stopped for lunch, but after eating and playing they had no interest in sleep. They were pretty cranky. No one wanted anything. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth occurred the next hour or so. With a few, "I have to go pootttyyyy" and some "But you just went!"... After an hour of this craziness we decided to stop at a gas station and potty, and fill up since we were at about half tank anyway. We loaded the car back up and announced - "Next stop, Nana's house!!"

Or so we thought.

As we pull away from the gas station we hear a noise. The harder I step on the gas, the louder the noise. Hmm... Well the kids are finally happy. We don't want to stop. So we get back on the freeway. Nothing seems to FEEL wrong with the car... but it sure sounds terrible every time we accelerate. Maybe if I put it on cruise control... nope still sounds terrible. But the kids are so happy and quiet... we can't stop yet!! But after driving about 10 miles we both feel like we should probably stop and at least look and see if we see something stuck somewhere or something.

We get off at the next exit. We are in the middle of nowhere. Literally... we pulled into a gas station, and watched a horse & buggy go by. We looked under the hood and didn't see anything obvious to us. We look around and wonder what the heck are we going to do. Just a little ways up the road there is a tow and repair shop. We wonder if we should chance it. I mean, we are literally in the middle of nowhere. These people will know they are our only help. And we figured they would pretty much rip us off. We have a lot of hope in humanity, don't we?  So we said a quick prayer and drove down the road to the shop, feeling like it was our only option.

As we pulled in the lady behind the desk told us it sounded like our exhaust broke off. Or something like that. (I make no promises about correct car part vocabulary for the rest of this post). A few minutes later a mechanic came and looked at it. And confirmed our exhaust was completely rusted and had broken. There was no way we could keep driving like that - and were lucky nothing worse had happened so far. They most likely didn't have the part we needed, but could possibly take it off, weld it and put it back together. They had some master welder dude who would be there soon. So we waited.

The welder guy was there quickly, and so then we waited for them to get the part off. And we waited. And waited. And waited. The longer we waited the more Aaron saw dollar signs rolling around in his eye balls. After almost 3 hours of sitting in this tiny little repair shop office, we were finally told it was done. I loaded the kids up and Aaron went in to take care of the bill. We were shocked at how fair these people dealt with us. For one thing it was a Friday afternoon. They usually closed at 4, but they stayed until after 5 working on our van. Plus, big trucks are their bread and butter. They said they deal with a situation like ours once or twice a year or something like that. All in all, they ended up charging us about a 1/3 of what we were expecting to pay. We drove away with our normal sounding car feeling extremely blessed.

We were three hours behind schedule. Our kids were exhausted. My ankle hurt. And just about everything else on my body. But we knew Heavenly Father was aware of us. It amazed us that we just happened to break down right by this particular repair shop. That I had some extra cash from my birthday that we were able to use to pay for everything. We drove the last 4 hours feeling so grateful for the way everything worked out.


I need to start carrying a camera around with me...

It's been a picture worth few days... and I don't have a picture to show for it. But I can still write about it, right? So my birthday was wonderful. Woke up to sunshine and healthy, happy children. Can't ask for much more than that! And then since it was sunny I decided to take the kids to Port Farms, even though Aaron wouldn't be able to come with me. That may have been a mistake. It was just exhausting running around all over with my two kids. But it was so much fun. Abigail even said, "dank oo mommy. best."  Which translates to "Thank you Mommy. You are the best!" Nothing beats hearing that from a little 1 year old mouth. So cute. And then we picked up our van! Which was also exhausting and crazy. But we still had fun, and we have a van! I am in heaven. Then we went to Outback. It was delicious. The kids were semi-well behaved. Minus the playing with the blinds because the moon was out (Abigail) and breaking a glass (Olivia). Oh and the head trauma right before we left was also fun (Abigail).

And then yesterday my wonderful friends here threw me a baby shower. It was so fun, and just perfect. It's always nice to feel loved. And this baby boy already has the cutest growing wardrobe. It was funny because it was a combined shower for me and another friend who was having a girl... so of course all of her gifts are super ooooohs and aaahs and ruffles and bows and dang girl stuff is just so cute! But boy stuff is new for me. I've had my fill of bows and frills and flowers. I'm so excited for these adorable little sweater vests, and khaki pants, and all that. I really am so grateful for all of the great people here. I really am in love with Erie right now.

I also can't believe how fast time is going. How many days until my due date??? Every time I look at that little ticker I have a mini heart attack.



Tomorrow I turn 27. TWENTY-SEVEN! I have memories of telling people my mom was 27! How did I get to be as old as my mom??

I love birthdays. I wonder if I'll ever get old enough to dread my birthdays. But right now I'm excited to just have a super fun day with my little family.

And on birthday I always like to think about what I've done so far. I have a wonderful marriage based on faith, trust, friendship and love. I have two (soon to be three) amazing children. I have a BA degree in Special Education. I have my little blog that I've kept for 3+ years! And as of tomorrow I'll be the driver of a mini-van. With that I've pretty much accomplished everything I've ever wanted to do. Guess it's time to start dreaming a little bigger than driving a mini-van. Seriously that's all I've ever wanted in life. To be the owner of a mini-van. And to have enough little kiddo's to necessitate said van. Glad I'm married to a man who lives to make my dreams come true.  :)

Of course turning 27 just makes me think about how close I am to 30. That's like a biggie, right? Turning 30. So I'm going to make some long term goals. I hope by the time I'm 30 - I'm still updating this little blog. I hope we have a house. And a dog. And our mini-van. And I hope I'm in better shape physically, emotionally, and spiritually than I am today. That last one is kind of vague and immeasurable... but we'll see when we get there. Hopefully it will be obvious.


Kids and sleep

So one time I almost blogged about the three weeks my kids slept in until 8:00 every single day. But then I remembered previous times my kids slept well, and the moment I uttered a word of it to anyone it seemed to somehow anger the Sleep Gods. It is uncanny. I swear, if your child a good sleep don't utter a word to anyone or the sleep you are enjoying will come to a quick end. Yet somehow the reverse is not true. Complain until you are blue in the face about crappy sleep, and it doesn't seem to make them sleep any longer. I don't get it.

Well I can talk about those glorious weeks now because somehow I already ruined it. They started waking up at 7:30... then 7.... then 6:30... and today was a lovely 5:45. What baffles my mind is nothing has changed since the 8:00 days. So I don't know what to do to get it back.

And it's not even so much the sleep I miss. Imagine you have a job. Some days you start at 8. But then some days your boss calls you at 5:30 and tells you, you must be there right now. And no, you don't get to leave any earlier that night. And no, you don't get a longer lunch break. In fact your day will probably be harder than usual because the task you have to deal with is being extremely difficult.... it's something like that. It's like I'm adding 2 hours to my work day with no additional compensation. Plus well rested children are just so much more fun to be around than tired grumpy children.

It's 7:11AM and I've already changed a poopy diaper, fetched drinks of milk, started the dishes (that I should have started last night....) and given one time out to a very whiney 3 year old. It's going to be an awesome day.


Okay I love fall again....

Live dressed up like... giraffe? at the zoo.

Giant fuzzy caterpillar
I am so tired. I wonder how many times I've typed that sentence since I started this blog? Anyway the weather has been gorgeous and fabulous and all sorts of wonderful the past few days. Which means I get this insane compulsive urge to spend every possible minute outdoors. We went to the zoo, and the park, and ate lunch outside, went hiking at Asbury Woods. My exhaustion doesn't matter when there's SUN to be soaked up. Can I build up Vitamin D and store it for winter? That's what I'm trying to do, as futile as it may be.

Also, why have I all of a sudden found a million things to love about Erie?? Asbury Woods is amazing. It is so beautiful and I can't believe we went all of last year without ever going there. And then there's Romolo's. Oh my heavens... I can not wait to go back there on a date tonight with my hubby. It is so lovely! And Wegmans. I so love Wegmans. And the zoo. We have been loving the zoo lately. And... this weather! I know I'll be singing a different tune in a month or so, but right now it is heavenly.

As far as this pregnancy, everything's been fine. Not much to report. Which is usually a good thing as far as pregnancy goes.  I can't believe how fast the time is going. December will be here before we know it!


Funny girls

So we were making this recipe this morning for chocolate chocolate chip cookies... they are SO good. And the dough is SO good. I gave each girl a spoon full of dough and Abigail looked up at me and said with her mouth full of delicious gooey goodness, "I uff oooo Mommy!" For those of you who don't speak Abigail, that translates to, "I love you Mommy." Which just cracked me up.

And then they started a band with wooden spoons and empty mixing bowls. And Olivia is totally into it. She gives them a count down and says, "Hit it girls!" Where the heck did she ever hear that! And now she's pretending her audience doesn't like her show, and is pretending to get hit with pretend tomatoes.  And Abigail is just playing along, screaming at appropriate times and running from tomatoes when Olivia says "Run for your whole life!"

While I type this I'm enjoying a performance by the band.... and Olivia is pounding away on her bowls and just asked me, "Mom do you recognize this song??" .... *crickets*.... Sorry honey. No, no I don't. And Abigail just stopped playing and stood up and took a bow and said, "Thank you... Thank you... great song!"

These kids crack me up.


Baby math

A typical pregnancy lasts about 280 days. I am currently 207 days into this pregnancy. 280+280+207 = 767 (someone check my math please). 767 days of being pregnant. Doesn't that sound like an awful lot?

Anyway I can't believe I only have approximately 73 days left... or whatever it is. That doesn't seem like enough time to figure out where we're going to put this little guy once he's here. With Olivia I was really all about the nursery. I loved decorating it and having it all ready for her. I had to have the crib all set up (which she didn't sleep in until she was 3 or 4 months or something) and the pack and play, I was a wreck about making sure that was set up in our room. And then she slept in the nursery for like a month or something before we moved to our house. Then there's poor Abigail who slept in our room for only a few weeks before I moved her into the hallway because she was just a loud baby. She wasn't crying, just grunting, cooing, etc. I didn't want to put her in her room yet, but I couldn't sleep with her in the same room as me... so she slept in the hall way in a little bouncer thing. Eventually we put her into a crib... which was shoved into our spare bedroom and didn't have a hint of cuteness. Once we got to PA the girls shared a room and it's been fabulous. It's semi-decorated.

And now we're thinking about where we are going to put this boy. The hallway really wasn't so bad for Abigail - but I really don't like having that as the plan. I mean it just doesn't sound right to tell people our plan is for our baby to sleep in the hallway. So we have a few options. Keep him in our room. Get bunk beds for the girls and put him in a crib in there with them. Or turn our wonderful playroom into a bedroom. For the girls. Or for Aaron and I. Or for the baby. One thing I have learned as I keep popping these babies out is that you really can't have much of a plan. Just go with the flow and do what works. So we'll figure it out eventually and in the mean time I won't worry too much about it.

If you're wondering I'm almost 30 weeks. I'm feeling fine.. just more like 40 weeks. I seriously feel huge and slow and so worn out by the end of each day. I feel like I should be done by now. But I know I still have a long road ahead of me so I'm pushing through. I really do feel great otherwise. Like no back pain, or any pain really. Besides being tired I really feel great. Trying to continue to exercise and eat healthy and do all that stuff that you don't really want to do, especially when you're pregnant, but should do more than ever. So I'm always working on it.


A simple time

This morning I was just realizing that life is really only going to get crazier. More kids, bigger kids, kids in school, and who knows what lie ahead of us. And some day I will look back at this time with just my two girls and Aaron in school, and I'll miss it.

Today I overheard Abigail asking Olivia if she was happy. It sounded something like this,
Abigail - "Happy, Yaya? Happy?'
Olivia - "Yes Aggigail."
Abigail - "Happy?? Yaya happy?"
Olivia - "YES! I'M HAPPY AGGAIL!!!" (starting to sound frustrated)
Abigail - "YAY!!!" And then she claps.

It was a sweet little moment and I was glad I got to hear it from the kitchen. And again I was just reminded how fast this time will pass. Of course there are the pros to them getting bigger. Like the fact that Olivia has grown so much she can reach the faucet by herself almost wherever we are. Gone are the days of having to pick her up, and balance her on my leg while turning on water, dispensing soap, etc. It's funny because she thinks the bathrooms are just getting smaller. She'll often exclaim, "MOM! Look! This sink is JUST MY SIZE!" It's things like that, and dressing herself, that make me happy she's growing up.

In other news... fall is upon us. I'm really not ready. I'm not sure what it is. Usually I LOVE fall. It gets me so excited and happy, and I just love it. Honestly this year I'm filled with dread because it seems like fall is just this short little respite before the long dreaded winter. And I want to avoid winter as long as possible. Even if it means I have to be pregnant forever I'll take it. I love not having to bundle my little ones up every time we leave the house. I love that they can run outside barefoot. I love playing outside without playing in snow. I love opening my windows and not freezing to death. I am so not ready to say goodbye to these things. So even if the calender says summer is over, and the leaves are changing colors, and the weather's getting consistently cooler, and the sun is setting earlier and earlier.... I'm going to ignore these things until October. Once October rolls around I'll come back to reality. For now I'm going hold onto summer just a little longer.


Love for Livi

So a million years ago I was 19, single, living in a dorm room in Northern Jersey, attending college at good ol' Ramapo. And I met a great group of girls at church up there. One of them was Julie. I always loved any time I got to spend with Julie. And I always wished her and I were better friends... but ya know life is busy for everyone at that time. Anyway thanks to the wonder of facebook and blogs I've been able to keep in touch with Julie. I've loved reading about her getting married, and then having their first baby. Right around the same time I was having Abigail. Anyway, fast forward to the present, and her sweet two year old Olivia, has been diagnosed with basically stage 5 eye cancer. There is a longer name for it, and a longer explanation of why/how she developed it... but that's the gist of it.

I wish I could help her more. But there is really only so much anyone can do. Especially from across the country. So I'm helping out with a blog fund raiser a few of her friends and family started. Please check it out, spread the word, and donate if you can. I can't imagine having to go through all this, and also having to worry about where the money is going to come from. http://love4livi.blogspot.com/


Girls first camping trip

All summer long Aaron and I have wanted to go on a camping trip with our girls. One thing or another kept us from this little dream until last night. Our ward was having their camp-out so we knew it was probably our last chance of the season to go camping. And it was about 25 minute drive from our house, with a bunch of people we knew, so if it was a disaster we could leave in the middle of the night drive home, and come back in the morning.

I'm happy to report that we made it through the night, and had a really great time. The only downside was how incredibly cold it was. I am seriously not ready for summer to end. After living in Arizona for 5 yerars, it's been a while since I could say that! But driving home we noticed some leaves already changing colors, and I just tried to focus on the green. Contrast that to last year where I was squealing with delight at the first signs of fall.

The night before I had only gotten a couple hours of sleep, so I was super tired. I slept on an air mattress with Abigail. We snuggled all night for warmth. I will tell you this... it's a whole new level of uncomfortable when you're 28 weeks pregnant, on an air mattress with a one year old on your arm that's now completely asleep (both your arm and the one year old), and you have to roll over because if you've ever been pregnant you know how that goes... laying on one side for too long just doesn't work. Oh and it's freezing... and you have to pee. But you don't dare move and risk waking the little ones that just took two hours to fall asleep. So you lay there and try to just sleep. But you're tent is set up next to a brook and that soothing sound of rushing water... I mentioned the having to pee part, right? And the 28 weeks pregnant? Right. So although I didn't sleep well, it was well worth it.
Our lovely abode. Big props to my hubby for lugging this thing around, setting it up, and taking it down in the same 24 hours.
Me, with my "Abigail hat", and a friend of ours, Hannah.

It was so beautiful!

Olivia with her friend Olivia.

Olivia yelling, "MEEEEEE!" In response to my question, "Who loved camping?"
My kids were so happy. They ran around and played with friends. And got dirty. And laughed a lot. And ate smores. And sang songs. I really wish we could have stayed for a week. Maybe next time. Some things are worth the lack of sleep.


Angels above us, angels around us...

I've heard this is a phrase that was used by my husband's grandmother frequently. Today I got to experience its truthfulness.

Came home from a play date and started to make some Ramen noodles for lunch. The water was boiling on the stove and I just barely poured into two bowls when Abigail started chucking eggs out of the refrigerator. I leave the bowls on the counter, grab Abigail and tell her to stop, and no no and all that. I grab some paper towels to start cleaning when Olivia lets out a blood curling scream. I look up and she had grabbed her bowl of Ramen noodles that was still scalding hot, and had spilled it all over herself. I leave the egg mess, and run to Olivia. I strip her clothes off and put her in the sink with tepid water and a wash cloth. I leave her there, because Abigail is now trying to finish cleaning the egg mess by herself. I wipe her hands off and stick her in front of the tv while I tend to Olivia.

At first glance it looked like her hand, torso, and leg were pretty badly burned. After she was in the water, it looked better, like it was just red, with one small blister on her stomach. I put some Reliv cream on her, calmed her down, and soon the red spots were fading. The blister is already gone. That water was seriously super boiling hot, I can't believe she wasn't burned worse. And that it somehow missed her face, just such a blessing. Definitely have angels watching over my children.

And I look around at my kitchen floor that I just mopped - now covered in eggs and Ramen... and I think... seriously we're going to add another child to this equation?! Heaven help me, indeed.


Seriously I have watched this over and over... it makes me laugh every time. And lately I have been sleeping like crap so it really hits close to home. Last night and the night before I never slept for more than 45 minutes at a time. And each time I woke up it took me like an hour to fall back to sleep. Maybe I got like 2 ish hours total. The devil is totally taking over today.


Last day of summer

I think like most people who grew up on the Jersey Shore, Labor Day to me was always the official end to summer. It was usually spent closing up pools, and getting ready to start school the next day. Today in Erie, it certainly feels like summer just got up and left. Yesterday we were sweltering with 90+ degree temps. Today it's only in the low 60's, and cloudy.

September always makes me think of a new year. I know January is the real new year, but for so long life was measured from one school year to the next, I still haven't let that go. So we have been Erie for over a year now. It is crazy to me to look back on everything that happened from last August until now. We got here. I got strep throat like 2 days later. That was awful. Then not much time passed and my Poppy passed away. The next couple months after that are kind of a cloud of grief, and busyness. Olivia started dance class. We spent a lot of time in New Jersey. Aaron took like 50 million tests and got straight A's... mostly, I think.  Spring took its sweet time getting here. Oh and sometime in there I got pregnant again.

Now looking forward to this year... I'm really excited for fall. Pumpkins just make something inside me smile. I love fall festivities and I'm so excited for all that. Then winter will be here... and so will this baby boy. And life as I know it will completely change again. I'm pretty sure every time you add another person into the family everything changes. You just can't predict what it will be like. Three little babies of my own! Yikes. I really can't think past that point yet. Before winter comes we need to decide where we are going to do rotations. Then we'll know what next September is going to bring...

New Look

Just keeping things fresh around here.  :)  My Sister-in-law drew me an awesome header... and I can't figure out how to make it be my header.   :(   If anyone has any experience with that and want to help, well that'd be swell.

Also check my new link to my Erie's Okay! blog. I just got frustrated one night with the lack of decent websites. Seriously it is next to impossible to find information on the internet about things going on in Erie! Nothing is in one place, and many websites were last updated like a year ago. I'm hoping to keep this one up to date with things going on and around Erie.


Olivia's diet.

Olivia eats the healthiest of anyone in our family. She just naturally wants to eat things that are good for her. I am jealous. Sweets just aren't really her thing. Today for lunch she had a leafy green salad with tomatoes and Italian dressing, and a Greek yogurt with fruit on the bottom, but she stopped eating it when she got to the fruit. So she ate plain greek yogurt.. eww I can't even stand the smell! And she washed it all down with her reliv. It makes me feel like I did something right that she really truly enjoys eating such healthy food.

Then I look at her sister... just licking the ketchup off her fingers, and eating a piece of bread.  And I realize it's not me.


My very vocal three year old.

Olivia has been pretty vocal since she figured out this whole talking thing. I think it's because I have a lot to learn and toddlers can be great teachers. Is she still a toddler? I guess not. Anyhoo - recently she's said somethings that have changed some things I do. 

For example, "Mom can you please watch this show with me, and not do anything else?" What a sweet simple request. I realized almost every time she was watching a show I was looking at my phone, on the computer, folding laundry, putting away dishes, etc. So now I am trying to just sit with her and not do anything else.

Then today she got really mad at Abigail because Abigail kept stealing her toys in the bathtub. She had asked nicely for her toys back. She screamed for her toys back. And then she bit Abigail's hand! I couldn't believe it. She hasn't done something like that in a very long time. So out of the tub they went. She was hysterical. Olivia HATES when she knows she did something wrong. She cried so much and so hard she made herself throw up. After she calmed down we were talking and she told me, "Mom, I don't know why, I was just so mad that Abigail took my boat, my brain told me to bite her. My brain just told me. I can't control my brain!" And at age 3 she's probably right. It's awfully hard to figure out how to control these bodies, I'm still working on mine! But we talked a bit about not always doing what our brain tells us to do. I was really impressed with how well she was able to express what she was feeling. 

And then sometimes she's just incredibly sweet. For instance...

Today she picked a flower and said it was for daddy.  While we were driving home she said it wasn't for Daddy it was for someone driving a car. Someone who's the best cook in the whole wide world. It honestly took me a minute to realize she was talking about me! It made me laugh.

Then tonight when we said goodnight she said she loved me, more than ice cream with sprinkles, and chocolate syrup... and whip cream... and a cherry on top... and...and ...and... And I know she was just stalling bedtime but it was still super sweet. Almost makes me forget the self induced puking that happened just moments earlier.



So I don't really have much to say. A hurricane hit my hometown! My whole life there were always warnings of extreme weather disasters, but really we never saw anything all that bad. This has definitely been the worst they've seen in a very long time. But from talking to my mom it sounds like it wasn't all that bad. They are without power which stinks, but at least everyone is okay and they still have a house. My good ol' dad has been helping the entire neighborhood get water out of their basements.

It's crazy to see how fast stuff like bread and milk fly off the shelves. And how quickly gas stations run out of gasoline! I'm glad we try to be prepared for stuff like this all the time, so when emergency does come up it's not a frenzy of trying to prepare. That said, when we have money I think the first thing I want to buy is a generator. What a life saver that thing has been for my family.

My heart has been really full lately. I've been grateful for the most important things like my family being safe from this hurricane, and the privilege to be a mother... but I also find myself welling up with tears because I'm so grateful that a dishwasher is washing my dishes. Blame the hormones! The other day it just hit me how amazing it is that I can walk two feet into my bathroom, turn a nob and have hot clean water to bathe in. Seriously that is amazing for like 80% of the world, right? Something like that. Anyway I've just been taking a minute to say thanks for the little things. Sure makes life seem grand when you can be grateful for a hot shower.


My 400th post!

I guess I better make this a good one. Maybe I'll write 400 facts about me... hahahaha... I kid. I don't think I could come up with 4 things about me that you all don't know about me by now.

We are two weeks into our second year of Pharmacy school. And this is where I would like to vent. While it is really hard to have Aaron gone and/or studying almost all of the time, I would never, ever say, "School started, time to become a widow/single mom/ etc." It just rubs me the wrong way when I hear wives with husbands in med school call themselves widows. I mean, really, think about what it would be to be a widow. To not only never see your husband during the day, or night, but to know you will never see him again in this life. And then have that aching worry about how you are going to take care of your family on your own. I'm pretty sure having a husband in medical/pharmacy/law etc school is nowhere near the burden of being a widow. Or even a single parent. Right now, as I see it, Aaron's job is to work hard at building a great future for us. My job is just about everything else. And I'm okay with that. I don't feel like a single parent, because I don't have that huge burden of providing financially for this family. I don't know why I think about things like this... don't get me started when people describe their headaches like an ice pick in their head... would you like to borrow an ice pick and see how it feels?  I guess hyperbole just bothers me. And maybe I'm slightly hormonal.

Rant over. So all that said... I do miss my hubby. Days are long. But I really feel like I went to internet rehab. Before our Epic Summer, I was always trying to occupy my children with something so I could just "check one thing" on the internet. After living pretty much without internet for 5 weeks, I realize that those things I was looking were really not that important. Since we've been home I've been more focused on my kids, and less focused on facebook statusses. (In full disclosure, I am letting Olivia watch 30 minutes of television so I can write this while Abigail is napping...) Anyway, it's been good. I've felt a lot more love for those little boogers. I've had more patience. And I just enjoy them a whole more when I'm not thinking of them as a distraction from whatever else I want to be doing.

What the girls are up to... Abigail is adding words to her vocabulary like crazy. She misses NJ like crazy. Every.single.time we get in the car she asks if we're going to my mom's. When I tell her no she cries and cries and cries. And she says in the same order every time, "I eee eee eeee (really, really, really want) Bohdi. And Ziggy. Poppy. Nanny. WAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" I'm hoping she gets over it soon. It was kind of cute/sad now it's just irritating/sad. She's also been asking for "ammal (animal) choo choo". So today I got to make all her dreams - well half of her dreams, come true, and take her on the zoo train. Her and Olivia were both in their glory. They were just beaming the entire 1 mile train ride.

Olivia has been a big fan of random expressions lately. It cracks me up. The other day she walked out of the house and said, "Wow sure is a nice day out. You can say that again. It sure is a nice day out!" All to herself. Seriously that girl is hilarious without even knowing it. In fact when she tries to be funny it's usually quite sad. Like her world famous knock-knock joke. Knock, knock. Who's there? Sgetti egg. Sgetti egg who? Sgetti egg (insert closest random object here). I have no clue where she came up with this but any time she tells a joke that's it.


I can handle it

I'm not sure what Abigail's deal is lately but any time we are in the car she is screaming, "MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!" Or just crying and screaming. Usually when we arrive wherever we were going I find out she dropped something, or wants something out of her reach and that's what caused the meltdown.

So earlier I was in the car for a quick trip. Both girls strapped in their car seats. Both girls screaming at the top of their lungs, both upset about something. I am getting frazzled and frustrated and ready to start screaming myself. Then I took a deep breath and the thought came, "If this is the worst they've got, I can handle it." I felt extremely grateful for my screaming children. I thought of people who have lost children, people who can't have children, and even people who have children they don't like. Even though they were both screaming their little heads off, I was so grateful for each of them. If my biggest trial this semester (we measure life in semesters around here, now) is crying kids, I think I'm doing a-okay.


conversations with Olivia

Today I had a conversation with Olivia that made me experience several different emotions as a mother.

I really want my kids to be hard workers. I want them to know the joy that comes from working hard. So whenever I can I try to make them do little jobs. Today I asked Olivia to wipe the window clean after I sprayed with glass cleaner.

"But I don't waaaaaaaant tooooooooooo.... that's borrrinnngggg..." says my 3-year-old. Already whining about being asked to do one simple thing. I really remember being eager to help as a child. I finally convinced her to come and clean the window. She whined the entire time. I said, "Ya know, Liv, when I'm doing a chore I don't like to do, I think about how happy Daddy will be when he comes home and sees how clean we made the house. That makes me want to work even harder."

Olivia replied, "Yeah and then maybe he will take us to DISNEYLAND!" This is where I thought, "Oh great we have officially spoiled this one. She thinks one clean window = a trip to Disneyland, she's in for a lifetime of disappointment. I told her I didn't think we'd go to Disneyland, but he'd sure be happy. And she said, "Well I still just like thinking about Disneyland when I clean stuff." Well good for you kid, me too. Then she started her random babble that always amuses me and makes me wish I had a tape recorder going at all times.

"Maybe when our baby boy is born, he will go to a really hard school like Daddy. Because he's a boy. And then when he graduates we can celebrate by going to Disneyland!" This is where I fear we are raising a girl who thinks she can't go to college, and I second my guess thought about not sending her to preschool this year. I know this is irrational. I tell her girls can go to hard schools too. She argued and told me hard schools are just for boys. I guess since her dad, and most everyone she knows has a dad in medical school, it has equaled in her little mind that only boys can go. I tried telling her that several of her aunts are in college, and her own mother has a college degree... but this logic is lost on her. At least she wants to celebrate at the right place. 


I live for days like this...

75 degrees. Slight breeze. Nothing but blue skies. Picking raspberries.
Dinner at Wegmans, with super cute new kids area.
Saw Rio at the dollar theater and loved it. (not pictured)
Riding tricycles and eating left over popcorn.


Totally shocked!

We are having a little BOY!! He did not want to cooperate during the ultrasound. Spent a lot of time hanging out under my belly button which cast shadows making it hard to see what the tech needed to see. But he finally gave us a quick little peak and the tech said she was 100% sure it is a little boy. Olivia had me convinced it was a boy -- but still once you have two in a row of one gender it's hard to imagine having another. We took both girls with us to the appointment. Which was a bit crazy. Probably won't do that again! But it was fun. Olivia's reaction to finding out it was a boy was hilarious. She was acting like we were telling her something she already knew. She was so sure it was a boy. Glad she was right. We are super duper excited, and Olivia wants him to be born "RIGHT NOW!". Of course we'll be happy to wait until Dec.


Our Epic Summer! (With 0 Pictures)

We left our home in PA on June 14th (or so... I can't remember the exact date). Drove the 450 miles to my parents house. Got settled in with my grandmother while Aaron got ready to start his rotation at Riverview, the hospital near my family. It was a crazy 4 weeks. We spent lots of time with aunts and grandparents. Going to amusement parks, aquariums, parks and beaches. When the 4 week rotation was up we hopped on a plane flew the 2,000 miles to Aaron's parents in Arizona. Where we also spent time with aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents. We had a blast in Arizona, and the weather wasn't nearly as bad the weather we left in NJ. We left 100+ temps with humidity to AZ's balmy 95, with a nice breeze. It was hot, but much more bearable. After a couple days in AZ we drove 374 miles to Disneyland.

Had a great time in Disneyland. Olivia was tall enough, and excited enough to go on all the "mountain" rides. In Dec. she was tall enough, but pretty hesitant to go on the big rides. This time she loved them all. She was nervous at first, but when she got off she was all smiles and wanting to go again. And thanks to a baby swap pass she usually could go on every ride one more time. I was shocked she even did Tower of Terror twice! We also got to have lunch with the princesses, and breakfast with the characters. We watched the parade, and fireworks. We had to wake our kids up every morning and they easily conked out every night. It was great.

We almost threw a quick trip to Mexico in there as well, but I decided it would have just been too much for this pregnant lady to handle. So we spent a few more days in AZ eating at our favorite resturants and spending time with our favorite people. Then we flew home... well our temporary home anyway, back in NJ. This time staying with my mom since even though she's only 2 miles from my grandmother, we didn't see her nearly enough while we were here. So after one night at my mom's, Aaron and I left our children and drove to Brooklyn.

We stayed at my cousin's apartment in Brooklyn and had a great time. We rode the subway into Manhatten and got delicious pizza, did some sight seeing and met up with our good friends/cousins from AZ. We went to the MET. I hailed a taxi cab for the first time in my life. And then we ate a delicious, over priced, tiny italian resturant. I spent the whole night feeling like a real new yorker. And really proud that I was in a crowd of like 15 people trying to hail cabs from the MET, and I was able to get one to stop for me. Might have had something to do with my obvious pregnant belly that I was trying to stick out as much as possible. :)  We rode the subway home late at night. Saw the world's most giant rat. Freaked out. Got the most delicious milkshakes I've ever tasted. While a homeless woman cackled behind us and blew bubbles. Then we passed out and slept in until 11. Got bagels for breakfast. Cleaned up, and then drove out onto Long Island with Sean's friend. We stopped a great little deli and got "Itialian Heros" for lunch. Cannolli's for dessert. Then we headed off to Jone's Beach for a concert. It was an awesome venue. The stage is actually out in the water, and it's just beautiful. We saw Blink 182. Which was interesting. And fun. And I'll leave it at that. Then we drove the 60 miles back to my mom's house - with a quick midnight diner stop.

Now all we have left is to pack up our entire life from the past 6 weeks, and drive 346 miles to Aaron's brother's new place in PA for a quick stop before we finish the 507 mile trip from NJ to Erie, PA.

I am weary. And sore. And feeling like I'm coming down with a cold of some sort. And like 23 weeks pregnant or something around there. The excitement doesn't end though -- on Weds, the day after we get home -- I have my ultrasound to find out if this little squirmy wormy inside me has boy parts or girl parts! I can't wait. Great thing to come home too.


With a heavy heart

We are in New Jersey having a blast with family.  There is a lot I could update about, but only one thing on my mind right now.

My best friend here in NJ lost a baby almost two years ago. She was due the same week I was due with Abigail. We found out the gender of our babies on the same day. Unfortunately. her sweet baby boy was born sleeping at about 26 weeks. She was pregnant again, and set to deliver this little boy on July 12th. Just three weeks away, when she found out she has another little angel baby. This baby was born at 33 weeks 4 days, and was also born sleeping.

Words can't really express how broken my heart is for her. And I hope she doesn't mind me posting this here. But I'm sure any extra thoughts and prayers sent her way would be appreciated. I really can't believe she has to go through this again.


I'm procrastinating.

Abigail is taking a nap. Olivia is playing quietly in the toy room (which I know won't last long). I have a kitchen that needs cleaning. A living room that needs straightening and vacuuming, a pile of laundry to fold and put away, another basket of folded laundry that never got put away, and I'm sure I could find about a million other things to do. Instead I keep checking my google reader and facebook. I have a bit of a headache lingering from yesterday. But it's no excuse I need to get out of this little funk and get busy.

But first I wanted to finish a thought I started blogging yesterday. My babies are growing up. Olivia can now get into the car by herself. Climb into her carseat and completely buckle herself up, and close the car door. Only another a mother can understand how much easier this has made my life! In a lot of ways she's becoming even more independent. It's bittersweet.

And then Abigail decided to climb out of her crib the other night. So she's now in a toddler bed. Last night was the first night. It took about an hour for them to stop playing and fall asleep, but that's better than I anticipated. And for her nap she had no problems, which I also needlessly worried about. She's also potty trained. Oh, and since Olivia can do her buckle, she also insists on doing the top part of her buckle which she has now figured out how to do.

I hope that they will best friends for their whole lives. Right now they have a love/hate relationship. When Olivia is being nice, and wanting to give Abigail hugs, most of the time Abigail is acting like a little stinker and yells at her for touching her. And then when Abigail is wanting to be sweet, Olivia is the one in a bad mood. But every once in a while they're good moods align and they are the best friends. I live for those moments.

Okay now I've procrastinated enough... time to get to work!


more thoughts on motherhood.

I've started and saved like 10 posts this week. Nothing seems to come out right once I start typing. But right now I'm feeling the writing juices flowing and just feel like getting out some thoughts.

Being a mom can be really hard. And really great. But let's talk some more about the hard. My kids were sick last week with fevers and runny noses. I was also sick. Saturday morning Abigail woke up at 5:00am, still with a fever, and Olivia was up shortly after, I just didn't want to do it anymore. Both of my girls were miserable. Whining. Nothing would make them happy, and it wasn't even 8:00am. We went and woke up Aaron around 8:15. We all climbed into bed with him. While waking him up, Abigail head butted my nose. I honestly saw stars. Nose hitting hurts! There were tears on my part. And then Olivia hit me in the face with her sippy cup. Both of these were accidents, but for some reason the physical pain, plus the emotional feeling of, "I just don't want to be a mom today" were too much for me. I literally just started bawling. I think I must have scared Aaron completely awake, because he got up and took the kids downstairs. And I just laid there crying, thinking, "What on earth am I going to do when there's another one!!" I just didn't feel like I had the strength to be mom that day. I didn't have it in me to take care of sick kids. I wanted someone to take care of me! I didn't want to break up fights, and tell kids to share and stop hitting. I didn't want to play games. I didn't want to prepare any meals. I didn't want to clean my house that desperately needed cleaning. I didn't even want to cuddle my sick babies. I just wanted to be alone. And I felt it extremely unfair that I didn't have that option. And then I realized how completely selfish I was being. Me, me,  me, me. My thoughts did not extend beyond myself. So I got my scriptures and started reading. And I found strength. I got out of bed, and was mom that day. Barely, but I did it. Aaron was a huge help with cleaning, and even took Olivia for a while when Abigail was napping so I got a nap myself.

A lot of being a mom is doing things you don't want to do. With a few moments of getting to do what you want. I'm learning this, and accepting it. Right now, my least favorite, most dreaded of all mommy chores is calling me -- folding laundry. Although it won't be too bad, Aaron's going to help, and we have a movie. So here we go.