As stated before, we spent Christmas evening walking around the gorgeous lights at temple square with my parents and sisters.
All these pictures are stolen from others. Are you noticing this trend in my picture posts? I am lazy lately. Thanks for picking up my photographic slack family!
Mom and Dad :)
Emma and Dana
When we (mostly Sara) were too cold to walk around anymore, we retreated to a piece of lawn a few blocks from the temple and enjoyed some donuts, muffins, and hot cocoa prepared by my family. It was yummy and kept us a bit warmer.
Christmas morning started out with stockings and a breakfast of hot cocoa and orange rolls and oranges. It was yummy and fun. The kids all loved what they got from Santa, especially when they saw they got their long desired Pillow Pets and new church clothes including new boots. I don't think Santa actually meant the boots to be part of the church clothes, but whatever.
After eating and looting through the stockings, we all got dressed and headed to church where Ross had the fun task of wrangling all the kids the whole time alone. Literally. I was up on the stand the entire time leading the music, singing in the choir, playing my flute, and singing in a trio. It was a great program and I was happy to be a part of it, but I felt bad leaving Ross with all the sugared up kiddos by himself. He said they were actually pretty good and he even got to listen to a few of the songs I was a part of.
When we got home, we finally opened up all the presents that had been waiting under the tree so patiently. I have to say that I was really impressed with the girls this year. They were so patient about when to open their own presents, and got super excited about all the gifts others were opening. Much more mature than last year and the year before. I was proud of them. Here are some pictures from Ross's phone that are totally out of order, but you get the idea.
I got Ross a new bedding set that is all soft and manly with no hint of floral pattern anywhere.
I asked for sweaters. I got 4 from 4 different people. I love them.
Ross got me a laminator. I am so excited to use this baby!
Grandma Jones got us Lion King. We watched it later that day, and have seen it twice more since then.
We got Emma a Dr. kit so she can pretend being a kitty doctor like she says she wants to be when she grows up. Grandma Goodman got her a little kitty toy that meows and purrs, and that has been the perfect combination. (*please note it took a lot of will power to not pun all over that perfect right there...*)
Jack got tools. He uses them, too. All the time.
He got lots of trucks this year from us, Santa, Caulene, and Grandma Goodman. They are being put to good use.
The girls got duffle bags, and are hoping this means they get to go to a hotel or a sleepover some time soon. We will have to arrange something as Mommy is ready for something of that nature as well!
Caulene got me two huge boxes of chocolate cherries. Actually, they were given to the little buddy in my tummy, but I am the only vehicle between here and there, so I get to enjoy them.
Sara's new PJs and new boots.
Emma's new boots.
The Santa loot.
The presents under the tree, and my sad Jack-Attacked tree. It was pretty when it started, I promise.
After opening presents, we cleaned up the damage and I got our Christmas ham in the oven. We then enjoyed a movie and snackies while the ham cooked.
After cleaning up dinner, we got as bundled up as we could and headed to Temple Square to see the lights there.
I loved this Christmas. It was lovely. I really enjoyed going to church, and I loved that for us, it fit right in between Santa presents and family presents. It was a nice reminder in the middle of all that stuff of what this day is all about.
On Christmas Eve, Ross and I were able to drop the kids off for a bit and we went to a movie date. It was really fun, and I was glad to get out with him for something so simple and relaxing. When we got back to my mom's house, we watched movies, listened to music, ate some of the cookies the kids had decorated for Santa, called Melissa to wish her a happy birthday, and helped my mom prepare for dinner that night. She prepared Cornish game hens and a turkey breast. Emma ate an entire hen all on her own, and Sara got through more than half of hers. They like that meal!
When dinner was consumed and cleaned up and Grandma and Grandpa Wallace were heading home, we read the Christmas story from the Bible. Just as we were finishing up, the Jammy Elf came bringing new Jammies from Santa and a message to get our bums to bed if we wanted our presents. We quickly bathed the children and got in our new jammies and headed home after snapping a couple of pictures.
The kids all fell asleep on the drive home, which is just what Santa had hoped for!
This picture is hard to see, but I wanted to remember it, since I think those lights are going to burn out this year or next. This is my Grandpa Wallace's blue spruce tree in his front yard. When it was small, he put Christmas lights on it, and for convenience sake, left the lights on for the next year. Well, that was the year the tree decided to take off in growth, and it swallowed up those lights. Now, for good fun, he still turns them on, and it looks like a big tree ate a little Christmas tree. This has been going on for years, and it always makes me smile.
We got together on the 23rd at Grandma Wallace's house to do our annual Nativity production- or as Sara likes to call it, 'The Jesus Show'. Grandma says we are getting a little sparse of children with Jay and Lara's bunch in South Dakota for another year and a half. I am doing my best to keep the shepherds coming! :)
Heather was the pirate innkeeper and Dana was a star.
Emma was Mary and Tanner was Joseph.
Sara was an angel, but spent most of her time trying to get that sheet to stay on.
Jack was a menace- but a cute one, so it worked out.
Nate was a wise man. He is smart enough to be all three- so that worked out.
Allen was the donkey. He was tired after taking that prego lady all the way to Bethlehem.
This is Buck the talking deer. The girls had a lot of fun with him this year. He was talking right to them and asked them for help with scratching his antlers and singing songs.
I'm not sure why Allen had that microphone the whole time Buck was awake and talking...
Cuteness. Grandpa has been working for a while to get this little guy to trust him like this. It is all paying off, and I love it.
Before the show got started, we got a chance to Skype with Jay and Lara and their crew. They set the tone for us by singing some carols. We sure miss them!
It was a fun and relaxing evening, and was the perfect way to kick off the big holiday rush that came the net few days.
I am pregnant! I am 19 weeks along, and am due with a BOY on May 23rd. The C-Section will most likely be the week before that.
We are thrilled!
We have been hesitant to announce it here because we had some trouble getting this little guy here, and wanted to make sure he was here to stay. We also are aware that some of you out there think that we space our children too close and are too young to have so many. While those opinions clearly don't detract us from doing what we think is right for our family- I don't love getting the phone calls and e-mails in opposition to something we are so happy about.
So, don't. :)
Since I haven't written out any of this here yet, this will be a super long post with details some will not care to know or read about. I, however, think it is important to record these experiences, so there is your disclaimer.
It seems that my trend with babies has been that each pregnancy gets progressively harder, and each baby gets progressively easier. If that trend continues, then I am in for one angel of a newborn!
This has been a rough pregnancy. I have been sicker than usual, have had almost continual vertigo,and have come down with a few viruses that have made it even harder to stay healthy. I also have some sub-chorionic hemorrhages that have been worrisome.
A lot of women have the hemorrhages without even realizing it. I wasn't one of them.
When I was 9 weeks along, I spent most of a day curled in the fetal position when I wasn't fainting, just waiting for Ross to come home so we could go to the ER. I was cramping and bleeding, and I thought I was losing the baby. I wasn't. Yay! It was these nasty hemorrhages causing a lot of pain and dizziness due to the bleeding. They saw one there that was sizeable, and sent me on my way saying it would heal up on its own.
3 weeks later at our first OB appointment they found 2 hemorrhages- the big one the ER guy found, and another sizable one in another place. It wasn't certain whether this was just missed by the ER tech, or if it was new. Either way they were both actively bleeding, and I was put on partial bed-rest meaning I wasn't to do anything that would make me sweat or breathe hard. That meant no more RS Exercise group or running. Boo!
The follow up ultrasounds showed little improvement, so I have remained on this partial bed-rest ever since. I have LOVED getting ultrasounds every 2 weeks, and it was fun to learn the gender of our baby at 16 weeks instead of having to wait until the normal 20 weeks. Silver linings! We like them!
Last Friday I got a flu bug that has been going around our neighborhood. It was horrible. I was up most of Thursday night/ Friday morning praying to the porcelain gods. So fun. Most of Friday was spent in bed in a lot of pain interspersed with rushed trips to the facilities. I figured this pain was just part of the virus. That night I finally felt the sickness move on, and I slept soundly. It was amazing. When I woke up I felt refreshed and so happy to be well again.
Then I noticed all the blood.
Ross took me to the ER and despite my efforts to stay calm, I was crying most of the time. I felt certain I had lost our little boy, and I was so ANGRY with the hospital staff for taking so long to tell me whether or not I was having a miscarriage. It seems like is would have been simple to get a dopler and find a heartbeat right as I got in, but it was literally more than an hour after getting there that they calmed my nerves.
At one point the nurse got upset with me because the crying was making it hard to get a good blood pressure rating. I deserve major Heaven Points for not punching her in the nose.
FINALLY, after getting blood drawn, giving a urine sample, and being scolded for getting emotional about the possibility of losing my child, we were taken to the ultrasound room where I was given the assurance that our (very proud) boy had a strong and healthy heart rate. Actually, the tech checked some fluid levels and other stuff before finding the heart rate. The first inclination I had that this was not a miscarriage was when I saw his little hands moving around while the tech was taking a measurement of something. People are dumb sometimes. Mamas cry and worry, and it just seems like it would have been so easy to calm me down. I am mad that they didn't. My heart was aching, and when something so simple could have solved that, it seems silly to not do it, even if it does breach some kind of bureaucratic protocol.
Sorry- rant over.
It turns out it was those pesky hemorrhages again. One had opened up a bit more, probably from the puking, and had caused the cramping of the day before and the bleeding. Baby boy was safe and healthy, and I was put on bed rest until the bleeding stopped.
Can I just say that bed-rest is super annoying? Anyone who has had to live with that for extended periods of time deserves major props, because it was hard for me. I stayed pretty active and productive, but I felt useless and bored. I did some blogging, made ornaments for an exchange party I went to, read some books, and did a LOT of work for my free-lancing jobs. Many thanks to those friends around me who stepped up to help me with my callings, took my kids to school, and provided meals during that time. Your help was so very appreciated. We are so blessed!
When the bleeding stopped 3 days later, I was back on partial bed-rest and have been ever since. I had another ultrasound today where they think they might have spotted another problem. It seems that there might be an amniotic band, which could pose significant problems to the growth of the baby and his little home in there. I am a bit worried about that, but I am excited that we get to do a fancy 3D ultrasound next week with a neo-natologist. We have never had one of those before, so that should be interesting.
Other than that, things are good. We live in such a great area where I know I always have help if I need it, and where I feel loved and cared for by so many. Friends are true blessings from God, and somehow I hit the jackpot in that area out here. I love this community and the way we reach out and support each other. Sometimes I feel strange having to be the recipient of that service, but I am ever so grateful for it.
They were so not into this. I guess we have pushed the Stranger Danger thing too hard. They were only enticed to go near the big guy because he refused to give them a candy cane unless they sat on his lap.
Oh well- the ice cream was good. While eating her cone, Sara yelled over to Santa from our table, "I am a nice girl and I want a pillow pet please." Not sure if that counts or not- I guess we'll see.
We like going to Gardner Village every year to let the kids pick out a new ornament at the awesome Christmas Store. Well, the Christmas store is gone now, and I may never go to Gardner Village again, I am so bummed about it. In its place is a Celebrations store. Not nearly as cool, plus there is no resident fat kitty hanging out on random shelves solciting pets from friendly shoppers. I am so mad it is gone. :(
Despite the deep disappointment, we found some fun ornaments, and enjoyed walking around and seeing all the elves.
I am on the nice list this year! Last year I was on the naughty list. Mine was the only name of our family we could find.
Does anyone know what kind of bird this is? It had a long sharp beak. He was also sporting some pretty green and purple flecked feathers around his neck that didn't show in this picture. I have never seen this bird before, but he really liked our left over Sunchips.
We fed some left over rolls and chips from our lunch to the dummy ducks who haven't flown south yet.
Emma was dancing on the 'stage'.
This boy knows what to do when he sees a camera. I love it.