Sunday, July 28, 2013

Park City

We're heading up to Park City for a little retreat with Corey's family, be back next week.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Smiley Face Artist

Going to brag about Sophia for a second ~ after weeks of us drawing faces for her, she decided to try her hand at making smileys.  Check out this little one year old's art work!
Isn't that so cute!  Can you see them well enough?
Of course, having another artist in the house doesn't help with the cleanliness.  This little draw-er enjoys creating her masterpieces not only on paper but on walls, furniture, desks, file folders, and any important document or book that she can get her hands on.
(see one on the file folder there on the left, and on paper on the right)
(Luckily she hasn't done the carpet yet.)  
She often finds her older sister's markers laying around, despite my pleading with them to keep them put away in their place.  And since Sophi also knows where the nice white and clean paper in the printer is, which if I don't hide that either, she searches them out and they combine to turn into a pile of smiley faces on the floor.

You're good Sophi, you've got natural talent.  I'm sure someday I'll be proud that you worked so hard to develop it.  Keep it up.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Praise Completes Joy

Most every weekday we watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on channel 11 at 10:30, and right after that we keep the tv on and I get to listen to the BYU Devotionals that are broadcast.  I loved this one from last week by John Shumway (text here, video here) - the talks always give me lots of food for thought.  In this talk he shared the following quote by CS Lewis~

"I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise. . . . The world rings with praise—... Praise almost seems to be inner health made audible. . . . I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed." [Reflections on the Psalms (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1958), 94–95]
I loved the truth in that - I'm not content to just stare at Natalie slumber peacefully and looking like an angel, I have to tell her sleeping soul "You are so beautiful ~ You are perfect!" and that praise completes my enjoyment at beholding her.  When we notice the joy and beauty around us, speak forth thanks and praise for it, the words we speak will not only expresses but complete our enjoyment!  The delight is incomplete until it is expressed.
The kids are the same ~ Ethan, Hyrum, Melodie, Abi ~ when they hold Natalie, they'll stare at her and their emotions seem to be bottled up, then they gasp in exasperation as they finally express their feelings and in a sigh as they say "She is SO PRETTY!!!"
Complete your joy by expressing your delight~ (I love my family, I love Natalie, I love Corey!)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Smiles

She doesn't smile much when she's awake, but gives us a few smiles during her sleep, and since I'm regularly posed ready to shoot a photo, I'm good at catching them!
Here's an amost smile when she was awake during our afternoon photo shoot today - celebrating 2 weeks old!
She's so cute.  I took her to the store the other day, she just looked precious sitting in her carseat, resigned to her fate to be dragged along against her will.

And here's a picture to give you a smile - her surprised look with eyes wide open and eyebrows up and everything.  This one made us all laugh ~
Mel thought she looked a little bit like E.T.
We love you, little Natalie!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Date Nights

Natalie joined us on our date night last Friday.  We went out for some Thai cuisine.  Luckily it hasn't seemed to make her milk supply too spicy.  During the dinner this little third wheel didn't make one peep.
So nice of her.  Have I mentioned that she is perfect?
Corey and I try to go out on a date once a week, most often on Friday nights.  We're pretty good at keeping that commitment to ourselves.  We made a dating resolve when we were living in Chile.  Story goes as follows - after moving to Chile, we called to check in on some friends in Costa Rica who we knew were struggling with various things and we caught them out on a date.  They had money, work, and car struggles, a large family to feed and many things to worry about, but their marriage was strong.  After Corey got off the phone with them, he said "Well if they are making date night a priority in their hard circumstances, we don't have an excuse" and like I said we'd been pretty good throughout our marriage at trying to go out regularly, but this made us make sure that date night and time for us was a #1 priority, like everyweek.  Even if it's just for popsicles or something simple.  Just a little bit of time together.  And going out on dates in Chile is one of my favorite memories of when we lived there.  We lived pretty close to a big mall, so we'd be able to laugh and talk as we walked over.  I think walking over was my favorite part.  The restaurant dining was good too, but mostly it was just spending time catching up with and talking to my favorite person in the world.  That's my favorite memory of Chile.

When we moved to Virginia and before our own kids were old enough to babysit, in an effort to reach out and meet the new people in our church, I asked some moms who had the same number of kids as us if they wanted to do a sitting swap.  They took me up on it, and so we'd babysit for them on Friday, then they'd babysit for us on Saturday.  Three families did it with us, so we were able to work around most schedules for ourselves.  It worked great, gave us time to go and see things in DC and stuff, it was awesome.

Now we are lucky cause we're a couple of years into the stage of parenthood where our older kids are our babysitters, makes it a little easier on the family budget.  But even when it was tighter, I'm grateful that Corey shared and has helped us apply this advice that his parents received when they were married ~

"If you only have a dime, spend 5¢ on bread, 5¢ on flowers."

Great advice.  :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cowabunga Bay

Corey took all the kids to Cowabunga Bay this afternoon.  As you can see in Abi's face above, they loved it and their dad is their hero.  He's mine too.  I've enjoyed a quiet afternoon as Sophia and Natalie both napped.



Mel, you look particularly short in this photo.  Or your head looks a little big?  I think it's the angle of the camera or cause it cut you off mid-calf?  Some kinda weird fun house mirror work going on here, funny. Cause you don't look this dis-proportionate in real life.
Lily having fun, a great day at the water park.  Corey's amazing.  Not many of us are brave enough (speaking of myself, even if I didn't have a newborn) would venture out into the world with 7 kids in tow, you do it like it's nothing, you're a pro.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Recommendations

So, here's what I'm doing right now ~ my major focus is on eating veggies and getting in a quick workout each day as the other kids get their time to love the baby.  I'm always super eager to get back in shape.  I feel like I've totally returned to normal, aside from the wardrobe not fitting.  Patience self, although it doesn't help that Abi keeps asking "Why do you still have a big tummy if the baby is out?"  My reply "Well, it took a while to get my tummy big, and it takes a while to get it small".  Then I go nurse and will Natlie to suck it all off of me.  When I'm nursing her, I've got lots of books on the bed to read.  I would like to recommend some of them to you.
You don't have to read this first one, but I did want to share what was my major take away after reading the book "Babywise" after Sophia was born in 2011.  I was not successful at all in getting her to sleep through the night, well, take that back ~ I did good for the first few weeks after she was born but then it all went downhill when Corey took a trip and I wanted a warm teddy bear/doll to keep me company at night time. Anyway ~
When I started it, I was ready for advice about how to get a full nights sleep for me and baby.  So I was surprised to find the advice in Chapter 1 was about the husband/wife relationship.  That was biggest take away and the thing I've applied most ~ "Your Baby Needs a Family".  While saying the book was primarly about nurturing a newborn baby, it side stepped and said the first and most important part of your baby's life is the family and to make sure the family stays strong, and strong families come from strong marriages.  Page 20 ~ "If you really love your child, you will give him the gift of love, security, and a sense of belonging  give him the assurance that as a husband and wife, you really love each other.  The husband-wife union is not just a good first step toward child-rearing, It is a necessary one" and then the chapter continued "Too often, parents lose sight of this fact, getting lost in a parenting wonderland of photos, footsteps, and first words.  Baby becomes central to their existence.  Yet the greatest overall influence you will have on your children will not come in your role as an individual parent, but in your joint role as husband and wife."  I loved that emphasis and that it made me make sure now during the baby phase and as the children grow and the family becomes so busy, that Corey always knows he is my #1 priority.  Which leads to this great book that I highly recommend:
Recommend #1- if you have not read "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" you totally should.  I loved it.  That one was recommended to me by a friend in 2005 when Corey was in business school and Wes was our new baby.  I remember it was a great eye opening book.  I have the companion book (recommend #2) "Woman Power" and recently that was returned to me by a friend so I was browsing through it today - more of the same great stuff!
I remember in '05 Corey was a little amazed at how attentive I was after reading it.  He said I was already a great wife, and now I was just showing off.  :)  But really that book just made me see how men see relationships, and I'd ask Corey if it was true for him, and it made me want to make sure his needs were met. Men really are simple and just want some attention, affection, and appreciation from their wives.  And we women have the "Power" to give that to them and thus make them happy, which can make our marriages happy, and then our lives will be happy!  Those sound like good things to everyone, right?!?  Yes, so get these books and read them and do them.  Even if you've already got a great marriage and relationship, it will just give stories and advice to make it even more so.  It's funny though, when I first got "Proper Care" it was because I was searching for a little help and tips to meet Corey's request for our family having regular sit down dinners.  I first got it thinking it was a recipe book or something about how to get dinner on the table - "Feeding of husbands".  Funny.
Lastly, book recommend #3 - Another friend recently recommended The Power of Positive Parenting by Dr. Glenn Latham to me and after I got it from the library two weeks ago and copied the better part of the introduction down in my notes, I figured I better just buy it.  (Love buying used books inexpensively on amazon) ~ so I've just started reading that and it's kinda like Dr. Laura's book, but toward your children instead of your marriage - all about being nice and kind (again, the result being HAPPY Kids and a happy mom, hello!) and showing studies and research that prove that frustrated yelling and a swat on the behind are not effective in reaching our ultimate goal of achieving a happy family life and raising happy children.  Our intentions and desires to have happy kids are good, this book teaches the skills to get there, good stuff.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Killer Kiddie Uno

Corey and the kids have been into Uno lately, it's cute to watch them play.  They've been able to get in quite a few games without attracting the little kids, but the other day the 5 and under crowd moved in to make the game that much more interesting.
They started off with regular Uno their first few games, then upped the intensity by making it "Killer Uno" - You know Killer Uno, right?  Is it just a Utah thing?  It's where, for example, if someone puts down a 0 they can make everyone switch cards, or if there's a draw 2 and you have a draw 2 you can add it on so the person next to you has to draw 4 or 6 or 8 or as high as it gets ~ or you can randomly do a match if the card on the pile is an exact match to one of your cards - you know, Killer Uno!

Ok, well Killer Kid Uno is when you're playing Killer Uno but you let a toddler (or several toddlers) in on the game, deal them in with a stack of cards, and whatever they do goes.  So the game has just begun and Lily set all her cards on the stack and changed the color just like that.  Then she wanted all my cards, so she got to have them.  Whatever they do ~ you gotta roll with it.  It was really funny.  Lily totally stole the game from Corey, he was going to put down his last card when she snuck a card in there and changed the color.  It was a fun game night and I'm sure will be a recurring game when the toddlers come and find that the older kids are playing cards.  :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Name Is...

Well, we did it.  She has a name "...and it's a girl's name too." (quote #3)
We spent time on Sunday trying to figure it out ~ played a little game where we chose our top 4 names and ranked them, 3 of our 4 were all the same, so that helped narrow it down.  I won't tell you the other options cause then you'll think "Oh, they should have chosen that other one..."  I've been teasing Corey it's a miracle we got married for how unable to commit he is sometimes. After some more pestering and harrassing by me today and putting on the pressure with more than a few calls, skypes, and messages, we did it.  It's a name he's okay with, whether or not it is THE name, he can't say.  But now we can move on with our lives.
So, her name was officially chosen at 2:34 p.m. on Tuesday July 16, 6 days later (does not make the record for the longest or shortest name choosing time) is:  ~ drumroll ~
Natalie Raquel Wride

I just told the kids, Abi said "Yay!  She has a name!  Oh, I love Natalie!  Natalie Natalie Natalie!"  Although they wanted a different middle name.  Ya just can't please everyone.  sigh.  But I painted her toe nails to celebrate.  (aren't they cute!!)
We tried to let her speak for herself but once again, the baby did not offer much advice, although she did an occassional smile here and there when we threw names at her druing her sleep. This is what she looked like during most of the naming process.
What do you think Natalie?  Do you like "Natalie"? 
Hmm, she's not so sure.  Well, little baby, it's on the books and probably now offically entered into the Medical Records at the hospital, but don't worry, it will grow on you.  :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Baby Lovin'

We're all loving this little face.  Melodie and Joseph were sitting on the couch together both looking at her with awe, and as I saw then I joked by saying "the proud parents..." to which they each replied with these looks -
Joseph with a "knock it off Mom" look and he high tailed it away from his sisters, Melodie with a scrunched up nose as she looked at Joseph and said "Ew!"  So then Mel was left to enjoy the baby by herself.  Wasn't my plan, but she was happy to get some time alone to bond with the baby, a rare thing around here with 16 anxious arms trying to get a hold of this bundle of pink.
Mel is one proud and happy big sister.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Details of Delivery Day

So here are the details of the labor and delivery.  So I woke up at 5:30 and curled my hair and put on make up ~ thought I'd try to feel pretty this time. I called the hospital at 7, they said to come in at 8:15.  (Hooray!) so I go and tell Corey who is still resting in bed.  He said he'd get ready and asked me to call his parents to tell them he was going to bring the kids over.  I get the kids up and ready and they are ready really quickly and, like me, were eager to get the show on the road.  Corey wasn't in the shower yet, and so I told Corey I would take the kids over to his parents house and would be back to pick him up.  Left at 7:30, on my way back at 7:50, picked up Corey and I drove us to the hospital (I've always wanted to drive myself to the hospital!)  Corey went up to Dr. Smith's office to pay the delivery bill and I got settled into my room, Corey came back, and soon I was all hooked up to pitocin and monitors and the waiting game began.
Feeling glamorous in my hospital gown
They broke my water at 9:30.  When I started I was at a 1.5 dialation and 30% effaced.  Checked me at 12 and I was dialated at a 3 and 40% effaced.  They checked me every hour and I was going pretty slow.  At 1:00 I was at a 4, both at 2:00 and 3:00 I was dialated to 5 and 60% effaced.  4:00 I was at a 6 and 90% effaced, and then at 5 I was at a 10, "You are ready!  Let's get the Doctor!"  They called for Dr. Smith, he came down and suited up.  One push for the head and they cleared out her nose and mouth, another push for her body, and she was born at 5:14 p.m.  She looked blue and was totally covered with vernix (that white cheesy stuff) and I'm looking at her wondering as usual if everything is okay, cause she wasn't really crying, but the nurses didn't act alarmed or seem to show that anything was wrong.  Corey took a picture of her over at the little place where they were rubbing her down and getting her weight and scores ~ 
When they handed her over she looked super pink and plump, yet so small - at 6 lbs 13 she's my 3rd smallest baby - Lily was 5.13 and Sohpia was 6.10.  Tiny.
Dr. Smith wanted a picture, cause this is the 7th baby for me that he's delivered and that is a record!  He can't believe he's been in practice long enough to deliver 7 babys for the same person.  I asked if I get to be on a plaque somewhere in his office or something.  :)

Corey headed out soon after she was born to get the kids and I had time to just stare at her in wonder and take some pictures.  He was back an hour later and they were excited yet so quiet, like they seem to know there is something sacred and reverent about the little soul they were meeting.  We went over to my overnight room and Sophia finally gets to see the "baby" we've all been talking about when we've pat my tummy.
These 4 little girls are going to have a blast as teenagers together, we're going to be having a lot of fun in another decade!  Sophia didn't like it when anyone else touched the baby.
There she is pointing at the bad person who took her and instructing her father to go and get the baby for her.
As you wish, my queen!  So, here's our new group!  I would have liked to have been changed out of my "gown" before this picture was taken, but I couldn't move my legs yet.  One con on the epidural, but the pros offset the con for me, pros being that I was able to nap and relax all afternoon.
Corey picked me up the next day at 5:15 - 24 hours after delivery (which is how long you have to stay), we had time to enjoy a nice dinner together ~ maybe our last date night for a while?
I think it's really fun that Alta View does this, and mind you, no one can just book a reservation at this local, it's very exclusive!  Then we were on our way home at 6.  As we drove down the street to our house, we saw a couple of little people out in the street and then high tail it into the house when they saw our car.  As the garage opened, there were 8 anxious siblings waiting by the stairs and jumping up and down and soon pawing at the windows to get in and take their little sister away captive ~  Corey got a picture on his smart phone, I'll try to post it later, it was funny.  I thought "You ready baby?  Here we go!"

Once inside, I said Dad got to hold her first (he still hadn't hardly had a chance to see her yet, and we need him to see her so we can figure out a name!)  Let the love begin.
The vital records is going to call on Monday for her name, hopefully we'll have one figured out by then.  :)
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