Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day of School!

A new chapter at our house has officially begun. I now have a child in school all the live long day. I never thought this day would come, and now that it has it is kind of, well, bittersweet. Not only is one in school all day, #2 is starting school half-days. I can't believe I will only have one kid home for half the day. It was so quiet yesterday with just the boys here. Jake and I had fun during Carter's nap doing kindergarten 'homework' and we made Chocolate Chip Cookies to surprise Bailey when she got home from school. It makes me feel like I can do 4 kids. Thank goodness for the school day! It surely eases the madness. It gives my children a break from me nagging them, gives them a sense of independence, gives them a chance to miss me, and of course for me to miss them; after all absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? All you teachers, I love you!
Here is my big first grader. I forgot to take her picture before she left the house so I of course ran out to the bus stop to get one. She was kind of embarrassed.

I then of course followed the school bus to her school to make sure she knew where to go. It kind of freaked me out just sending her to a new school on the bus. I found her on the playground and made sure she knew how to get to her classroom. For which I received an eye roll and a 'Mom, I know where my class is.' And I was officially forced to let go.

I did however snap one last picture of her with her friend Miranda, who is in second grade. I was so glad she had a friend to be with on the first day to help her.

When she got home I forced her to take a couple more pictures of her Hannah Montana outfit she had to wear on her first day. It brought back memories of when I was little. Remember your 'perfect' outfit you stressed out over? This is starting entirely too early.

When she got home I excitedly asked her about her day, and she immediately pulled out her lunch box and began eating. She was not prepared for how quickly lunchtime goes, and only got through her sandwich and a couple of grapes before it was all over. She was starving. I felt bad. She then went on to tell me forlornly " Mom, I didn't make even one friend today." Me eyes still well up just thinking about it. As a mother you want your child to feel as loved as they can as they go out to face the world. I felt so sad that her little 6 year old heart was so heavy. It made me sad to hear her question her self-worth already. It broke my heart to hear her talk about how she felt lonely, and ate lunch by herself. " I don't want to go back to first grade mom!" she lamented. "I miss you, and I was gone all day!"

We discussed some things she could do to make a new friend in her class. And she informed me that she had tried already. Apparently another girl in her class was wearing the same shirt as her. Bailey told her she liked her shirt and that maybe they could be friends. In Bailey's re-iteration of the story, the girl curtly replied 'thanks. I already have lots of friends though, so I don't need you play with me.'

Where are these little 6 year old monsters being reared?! I can't believe how mean some girls are, and it starts so young! I have 6 brothers. Boys just aren't like that. I still don't get how some grown women are still like that! I hope Bailey never resorts to excluding and belittling. I felt so bad! What would you tell your little ones in this situation? I hope her sense of self-worth is never hinged on the opinions or lack of inclusion from others. I want her to be self-confident and find myself struggling to instill this sometimes; raising a little girl has been so hard for me as she grows and changes, because I find myself reliving the insecurities and discouraging feelings I also had when I was growing up. The last thing I want is for history to repeat itself; I want to protect her from having the childhood I had. What would you do?

At 10 AM I headed over for Jacob's Kindergarten orientation. We had to make a scrapbook page for the class book telling about Jacob, so we took some pictures the night before. I just love your pretty blue eyes Jake.

And here he is, all ready to go for his first day. I can't believe how fast the time goes. He was so excited.This is his teacher Mrs. Crane. Bailey had her last year, and we love her. I am so happy Jacob is in her class this year.

Here's is Jake hitting the playground real fast before going home to get Carter from the Nelson's. He is here with our neighbor, and his friend Bryce. They are in the same class. I am so glad he has a buddy to ride the school bus with.

Here is the big 2 year old, ready to wreak havoc on his first day as the center of attention. It is a good thing he's so cute. It makes his dual personality of destructo-man bearable.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back from the Dead...

About a month ago we made a quick decision to go and stay with my parents in Seattle. Chris works out of town currently and comes home every few weeks on a Sunday, then back off again for work. (It sucks.) I was too sick for too long and the poor kids were suffering with no parental supervision. I had been going in to get shots of Zofran everyday for a few weeks, and they are ridiculously expensive. (And on the down side, they didn't really work all that well for me.) Chris came home on a Friday night and we discussed the situation, while I cried my eyes out, and Saturday morning he called my mom to see what we could do to call in for reinforcements. Since Chris would be working out of town for another month, we decided to go to Washington for some help. We packed up the car and drove all night, getting there at 6 AM on Sunday morning. Chris flew back out that night to go to work.

Poor Carter got sick and barfed on the drive over, and Bailey and Jacob got the stomach flu the next day while Aunts, Uncles, and a slew of cousins were up visiting Grandma and Grandpa that week. Bailey was up sick all night, and of course, as if I didn't barf enough the previous 8 weeks, I got it and was sick the whole next day, and about wanted to die. Chris of course called me to inform he got it too, and left work early to spend the rest of the day sick at the hotel. Barf. Thank goodness I was at my mom's.

The next day, I woke up and was actually able to hold some food down and get out of bed, which is really not normal for my pregnancies. Not that I was complaining. But I am usually flat on the couch wanting to die until about 18-20 weeks. Because I have had a number of miscarriages, I knew something was not quite right. I had a horribly painful experience when I miscarried with my first pregnancy at 13 weeks, and if it was happening this time at 11 weeks (then) I really wanted to catch it and get some medical help. So I decided to try to make an appointment to get an ultrasound and check for viability. I was shocked when I tried to make an appointment with my OB that had delivered all of my kids. The women in the office were extremely rude and basically did not want to help me, because I lived out of state and wouldn't be there for the duration of my pregnancy. When I called back and tried to make an appointment to be seen anyways, they basically said because I did not have medical insurance, they wouldn't make me an appointment until I spoke with the billing woman, who by the way was out of town for a week and they would have her call me (which she never did). I felt totally discriminated against. I couldn't believe it. I had the same experience contacting several other offices as well. I ended up going to Steven's Hospital, where one office informed me they had a "Walk in Clinic." Wrong. It was the emergency room, which I naively took for a walk in clinic upon arrival because I was the only one there. I kind of caught on though once 8 or 9 people who showed up after me were taken back before me. I was almost ready to go ask for my money back, when they took me back to my room. I spoke to the nurse and told her I was about to leave because I really didn't want to wait hours to be seen, but she informed me I had already signed in, and if I left now, they would not refund my money because I would be leaving AMA (against medical advice). I wanted to say,'what medical advice? I have been waiting 2 hours and haven't gotten medical advice from anyone yet.' They did an ultrasound and saw a heartbeat, but there were complications. The placenta has pulled away 30 percent or so, and there was a moderate sized bleed between the placenta and uterine wall. They also said that the yolk sac was over sized for development at that point and most likely would end up in miscarriage, but if not, would cause severe abnormalities with the baby. But to go home and be on bed rest for a week until I could be seen by another physician.

It is amazing what goes through your mind when you are told you may have a baby with abnormalities. I have never done any of the blood testing you can do to check for down syndrome or any other abnormalities because we always said we would love our baby no matter what, and we would never have an abortion no matter what the problems with our child. And truth be told, we would love our child no matter what. But being told this while pregnant, I think, can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you have time to prepare yourself, time to grieve the loss of the life you expected to have for your child; on the other hand, your mind goes crazy with the unknown, thinking of how hard it will be, if you will know how to be a good mother to a child who has special needs, and how it will affect the children you have already; the life you thought you would have for your family, and selfishly, I worried about life after my kids grow up, not knowing if this child would be dependent on me indefinitely; and so on. The only comfort I felt was thinking of my good friend Jenny. She has a 5 year old daughter with a rare syndrome, and they do amazing. Taylor just melts your heart. She is such a great mom with her, her brother and sister do so well with her, and it eased my mind at the thought of how we would make it; if she could do it, we could too.

I was finally able to be seen by my mom's bishop who is an OB and took mercy on me. We scheduled an ultrasound for a few weeks out. I got a priesthood blessing, and felt some comfort that things would be fine. When I went in for my Ultrasound, they told me that they don't see this very often, but that the bleeding had completely mended itself and reabsorbed, and the placenta had completely taken over the yolk sac (Which is how it should have looked at that point) and everything looks pretty normal now. The only problem is that the placenta has pulled away some, so not to pick up children, or lift, push or pull over 10 pounds; but normal daily activity is fine. Chris and I are so relieved, and feel so blessed to have made it to this point. The nausea is a lot better now, I am only sick for parts of the day, and am totally functional now. I am so thankful the past few months are behind us! I seriously don't know if I can go through this again. Plus, you know that four weeks or so when you are in between looking chubby and pregnant? Yeah, that's me. Isn't it awful? I usually make it to 20 weeks before busting out the stretchy tummy pants, but I broke down 4 weeks early this time. Oh well, I guess that's not too bad for my fourth child.

We are finally home now - we left 6am Sat. and arrived at 11 pm that night. And although it was so good to be taken care of when I needed it most, it is nice to be back in my own home, back to life as usual. The kids are so happy to be back to sleeping in their own beds and in familiar surroundings.

Now we are back to flying by the seat of our pants with the rest of our life... the good news is, we received a call from the detective working on Chris's background investigation and he informed us we should know if we got hired by the end of August. We are hoping everything works out. And on another positive note, a family is very interested in our house and is coming to look at it tonight. So cross your fingers for us. There is hope yet.