(boo to the fact it is on a Monday night this year)
But, we have squeezed in a lot of Halloween fun already:
Decorating the front of our house.
Baking Halloween cupcakes.
Shopping for and trying on costumes.
We were "boo-ed", complete with four sets of plactic vampire teeth.
At first, Vivian wanted nothing to do with them . . . let alone make a scary face.
(BTW, I have to admit that some of the other kiddos' faces scared me a little.
Vivan finally tried them for a group picture.
She is not really feeling it.
Dressing in black and "boo-ing" our neighbors.
We were caught at one house, but that almost made it more fun.
Running for cover after ringing the doorbell with four kids in tow
was one of the funniest things I have experienced in a long time.
You should have heard the giggles coming from Eliza.
And wearing our long-sleeved Halloween shirts as many times as the
crazy hot Southern Californina weather will let us.
I am not really good at this whole blogging thing.
Life just gets in the way. Between taking care of four little people, two big people (one of which is myself), making sure there is food on the table, clean clothes to wear, shuttling the kids back and forth to their activities and trying to juggle the demands of my job, I can never find the time to blog.
I started this blog as a type of journal to memorialize some of the little things in life that are often forgotten as the years pass by (note: I am also really bad at journaling . . . and scrapbooking for that matter. I love the finished projects of a beautiful photo album or a heartfelt journal, but never have time to do either).
So, since I am one of those crazy type A people who MUST accomplish all goals and MUST cross all items of a "to-do" list (I am also guilty of adding things to my to-do list after the fact just so I can experience the joy of crossing it out), I am making it a goal to blog 4 times before the end of October.
There. It is out there. No way I can avoid blogging now.
(query: does this post county as one of the four?)
On your fifth birthday, here is a walk down memory lane as I remember the night you were born.
Eliza’s Birth Story
(written nearly five years ago)
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Today started out like any other day.I was now officially overdue.I could not wait to meet our new baby girl, but it felt like it was never going to happen.On Monday, during my weekly doctor’s appointment, my doctor told me that I was 3cm dialated.However, since it did not appear that baby girl was above average in size, he told me that it would be best to wait until I was 41 weeks to induce.I left the doctor’s appointment thoroughly disappointed and feeling as if I would be pregnant forever.
I had been doing everything possible to get labor started naturally, but nothing was working.
On Thursday, I had a nice relaxing morning at home, and then picked up Davis from Kindergarten around lunch time.Davis and I spent the afternoon running errands, doing a little bit of baking, and spending time outside -- absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. After dinner, we took the boys on a walk at the RSM lake.That night, after the kids were in bed, I spent some time watching TV and bouncing on the big exercise ball.I had been using the exercise ball every day for the past week, and although it did not seem to be working, I figured it could not hurt either.(I bounced all the way through Survivor and Gray’s Anatomy).
At around 11:00 pm, I began to have a few contractions.The contractions were slightly more painful then my usual, but since I had been having contractions for weeks, it did not seem too out of the ordinary.I figured they were just more Braxton-Hicks contractions, and did not really give them a second thought.Nevertheless, since I was not sleeping anyway, I decided to time the contractions.They were coming about every 12 to 15 minutes. Each contraction would give me a horrible case of heartburn.Just enough discomfort to make it impossible to sleep.But what else was new? I spent the last four weeks of my pregnancy not being able to sleep for more than an hour at a time. So I continued to watch late night TV and listen to Keith snore next to me.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Around 1:00 am, I realized that the contractions were beginning to come a bit more frequently.I woke Keith up and he began timing the contractions.The contractions were a bit more frequent, but they still were not very consistent.However, I had a feeling that this was the beginning of real labor.I told Keith to get everything ready to go and we would just wait until the contractions were a bit more regular and closer together.Although the contractions seemed to be intensifying a little bit, I could still talk, joke and watch TV while they were happening.
Sometime after 1:30 a.m., Keith commented that I had not had a contraction in a while, and maybe this was not labor.I agreed and tried to settle back in bed to get some sleep. Just minutes after Keith said this, I was hit with a huge contraction that made me jump up, walk around, and eventually kneel on the floor on my hands and knees.As I was doing this, I felt a gush of warm liquid and quickly realized that my water had just broke (something that had never happened to me on my own before).
Since I had tested positive for group B strep, I knew that we should get to the hospital as soon as possible.Keith called our doctor who instructed us to come right in to the hospital.Keith also called our friends and told them that we would be dropping the boys off at their house on the way to the hospital.
As Keith was making these phone calls, my contractions began coming about every minute.They were extremely painful, and I was having a hard time managing the pain.The only thing that gave me any relief was sitting on the toilet, and every time I tried to stand up, I was hit with a very strong and painful contraction.I told Keith that the baby was coming fast!
About five minutes after my water broke, Keith was loading up the kids in the van.I was barely able to walk down the stairs to our van, and as soon as I got down to the parking area, I had to get down on my hands and knees again to manage the pain.
The drive in the van was horrible!The contractions were coming non-stop and I felt like I could not get a handle on the situation.As we were driving down the toll road toward our friend's home, I felt the baby’s head and could barely keep from pushing.I told Keith that I was going to have the baby right then in the car.I told him to pull over and call 911, but he just kept driving. He must have gone deaf or something. I was practically yelling at him that I was about to have this baby in the car, and he was not pulling over! However, I did hear him call our friend (who is a doctor) and tell him that he was afraid I was not going to make it to this hospital.At this point all I could think about was the drugs that I wanted.The pain was incredibly intense, the contractions were non-stop, and I could feel her head crowning.
When we arrived at our friend's house, Keith jumped out with the boys.However, I was hit with another huge contraction and the next thing I knew it, I was out on their front lawn once again on my hands and knees.I felt the baby coming!Our friend tried to get me to stand up to walk into his house, but I just could not do it.Finally, I was able to crawl into their living room.Keith told me afterwards that as I was crawling toward their front door I just kept saying, “Jesus – please help me.”I could hear our other friend on the phone with 911.Everyone kept telling me to lay down on my back, but I just wanted to stay on my hands and knees.
Very soon after I made it into the house, the paramedics arrived. (One of the perks of living in a sleepy town like Mission Viejo - the paramedics arrive quickly!) Although I did not know this until later, Keith told me that the ambulance and fire truck initially drove right by the house, and he had to wave at them to come back!
Don't forget that Davis (5) and Noah (nearly 3) had a front row seat to all of this craziness.They were both wide awake, but did not seem too phased by what was going on.In fact, after the paramedics arrived, I distinctly heard Davis say “My Mommy wants to have this baby in the hospital, okay?”
After the paramedics arrived, the first thing I did was ask for drugs.It felt like I asked for drugs about a hundred times.Where were the stinkin' drugs? I felt like the paramedics were trying to "handle me." They kept telling me that an epidural was not an option. I understood, but I still wanted something! Didn't they have something in those fancy medical kits?? Anything?? The paramedics kept telling me that they did not have anything (which to this day I still do not believe).Instead, the paramedics started an IV, and just kept telling me not to push.Trying not to push was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced (not pushing is at least 10x more painful than pushing).I knew it would be best to try and wait until I was at the hospital to have our baby girl, but every instinct in my body was telling me to GET HER OUT!
The paramedics quickly loaded me into the ambulance.Once again, the ride was excruciating.The pain and the contractions were very intense and the only thing that I could do was squeeze the paramedic’s hand as tight as I possibly could.
Finally, I could not hold back anymore.As we were pulling into the hospital, I felt my body push the baby’s head out.I told the paramedics “Her head is out” and at first I think they did not believe me.However, one of the paramedics checked and I heard him say “we have a head.”As the ambulance gurney was being wheeled into the ER, I felt my body push the rest of the baby out.She was born in the entrance way to the ER.
I was immediately surrounded by ER doctors, nurses and staff.I did not hear the baby cry at first, and I was not able to see her very good because I was laying flat on my back.I kept asking “Is she Ok?’ and everyone kept telling me that she was just fine.However, it seemed like an eternity before I finally heard her cry.Someone held her up for me to see and she was absolutely beautiful.I was so glad that she was healthy!!
I was only in the ER about 10 minutes and was then wheeled up to labor and deliver.Keith stayed with the baby down in the ER, but they both came up to my room about 15 minutes later.Up in labor and delivery I was still in a great deal of pain.My placenta had not delivered yet, and I was still having contractions.Eventually, the nurses were able to give me something for the pain and the doctor arrived, and he was able to give me something additional to numb the pain.The doctor delivered the placenta, and stiched me up.I had a second degree tear.It was amazing how much better I felt after he had taken care of me.
Finally, about one hour after she was born, I was able to hold our new, adorable baby girl!We decided to name her Eliza Katherine.Eliza was 8 pounds even and was 19 inches long.She was born at 2:44 am - - about an hour from when my water had broken.We did not have any of our belongings when she was born (everything was back in our van at our friend's home), so I really tried to take mental pictures of her as I held her for the first time.She was absolutely beautiful!
I can hardly believe that summer is quickly coming to an end. We are trying to squeeze in as many fun things as possible before the crazy fall schedule begins. This year we will have three kids in school. Three kids with homework. Three kids with sports schedules. (I get tired just thinking about it).
This week we took a trip to Disneyland. As nearby residents, we have annual passes to Disneyland. But because we have passes, we are very picky on when we go. Generally we avoid Disneyland during the summer because of the huge crowds, but this week we decided to make an exception.
The trip was worth it just to see this face. Of all the rides at Disneyland, this one prefers the simple merry-go-round. Pure joy. Love it!
Waiting to watch "Captain Leo" with the kids. It cracks me up that the kids love the Michael Jackson music so much. I catch them singing the songs at home all the time.
Waiting for Space Mountain with the boys. Eliza is tall enough for this ride, and she has been on it. Once. I don't know if she will ever go on it again.
We were invitied to a beautiful private beach for a birthday party. Talk about making a girl wish she was rich enough to live in this type of affluent community. Small private beach. No crowds. No hassle with parking. No long walk. If the beach was always this easy, I would be there all the time!
Loving my new PicFrame app!
Sunset. My favorite time of day at the beach.
Tired (but happy) kiddos.
Link up at Life. Rearraged with your instagram photos from the week
I sure don't. I hate how I can have a $20 bill in my wallet, and all of a sudden its gone. Where did it go? What did I spend it on? I can never remember, but it always happens.
Also, not carrying cash comes in handy with the kids. When we are at a baseball game and the kids ask for money for the snack bar I can honestly say, "Sorry babe, I don't have any cash." Same thing at swim meets. "Sorry, I don't have any dollars for you today." Or for treats at Disneyland. Or for vending machines. You get the picture.
But, every once in a while not having cash comes back to bite me. Like when my kids lose teeth. There have been a few times when the tooth fairy was expected to visit, and either Keith or I have made a late night trip to get the required dollar bills.
On Monday night, as I was getting the kids ready for bed, Noah shows me that he has yet another loose tooth. This is the first time that Noah even mentioned that this tooth was wiggley, so I assume I had at least a few days.
I assumed wrong. My assumption failed to take into account Noah's tenacity. When he went to bed at around 8:00, the tooth was loose, but was no where no falling out. Fast forward an hour later, Noah came downstairs with the tooth in his hand.
You see where this is leading don't you??? What I failed to mention was that Keith was out of town on business. It was now 9pm. All four kids were in bed for the night, two were already sleeping. Noah just lost his tooth, and I had absolutely no cash. Grrrrreeeeeaaaattttt.
So, after Noah placed the tooth under his pillow for the tooth fairy, I began a mad search throughout the house for some dollar bills. When my search turned up nothing, I debating borrowing a dollar from the boys' stash. I quickly dismissed this idea because they would undoubtedly count their money in the morning and realize that some money was missing (and would probably blame their little sister which would cause an all out war). I also debated calling a neighbor and asking for a dollar. In the end, I found a lonely dollar bill tucked at the bottom of a bag.
Lesson of the day for me: keep a stash of cash in the house just in case the tooth fairy needs to make an unexpected visit.
Here is a shot of Noah when he came downstairs with the tooth. He is looking more like a jack-o-lantern every day.
Time to pull all the random photos of your iphone and put them together in a blog.
We were lucky enough to have friends invite us to join them at their cabin up in Arrowhead for the weekend.
Swimming in the lake. Playing games. Eating s'mores. Thunderstorms.
Check out the fabulous view from the cabin.
There is nothing like spending quality time with good friends.
Strolling the Arrowhead sidewalks with Miss Viv. We decided to spend some time outside while the rest of the kiddos were busy playing in the (extremely-filthy-made-me want-to-dip my-children-in-Purell) Arrowhead arcade.
I can't believe it. Some days it feels like we have been together forever, and other days it feels impossible that it has been 13 years since we said "I do."
So happy to be married to my best friend.
This is what happens when you leave a two year old unattend for more than three minutes.
Gobs and gobs of baby lotion.
She was pretty proud of herself.
The boys are really into playing practical jokes.
This is what I found when I walked into their room one day this week.
Apparently we have zombies in our house.
The boys loved it.
They loved it even more when both Keith and I walked in and were so "scared" we yelled and screamed.
Who can resist this face?
The big red bow. The coordinating baby doll.
Our incredibly talented friend Linn took photos of Vivian recently.
So this week was my date with Eliza. And being a girl after my own heart, Eliza decided on an evening of shopping and frozen yogurt. Woot! That sounds like my kind of evening. :) I love that my girl likes to do so many of the things I like to do.
So, off to the mall we went. I was determined to resist all of the stores that I usually gravitate toward and let Eliza have complete control over where we went. So our trip included shoe shopping, a large amount of time at the Disney store, and a trip to the Apple Store.
First up, shoes. At the ripe-old age of four, Eliza loves shoe shopping just as much as I do. Of course she gravitated toward all the sparkly twinkle-toe shoes. Especially the ones that light up. I tried to get her to focus on some more practical mary-janes for Kindergarten, but she was not having it. We ended up reaching a compromise of one pair of white closed-toe sandals, and pair of silver glittery sneakers that has just the right amount of flair for Eliza (also, in case you didn't know, Stride-Rite is currently running its Buy One get one half off sale).
Next up, the Disney store. Our number one goal was to find a gift for a friend's birthday party, but Eliza's focus quickly changed to looking at items that she wants for her upcoming birthday. First on her list is a "Tangled" costume. At the front of the store we saw this costume:
Of course Eliza loved it, but when I looked at the price tag it was $150.00! For a costume. That my daughter will wear outside. Probably in the dirt. Or she will wear it on playdates. Or to bed. No way am I ever going to spend that kind of money on a costume. When I commented to the sales lady about the price she emphasized the embellishments, the stiching, etc. (Insert eye-roll here). Its still just a kids costume.
The sales lady then showed me this "Tangled" costume that was priced at a mere $50.00.
Still over priced if you ask me. And honestly, it was not all that different than the $100 costume. But according to Eliza, she "Has to have it!"
After visitiing a few more stores (including the much beloved Apple Store), we headed out for frozen yogurt.
Love this girl. Love her sweet spirit. Love her sense of adventure. Love how girly she is.
This morning I came downstairs dressed and ready for work. I sat down with the kids to give them all hugs, cuddles and kisses before I left for the day.
Noah snuggled up to my side (don't you just love snuggles from kiddos who are all warm and cuddly in their pajamas). As I was enjoying the cuddling, Noah pulled away, looked at me with a critical eye and said, "Mom, you wear that dress too much."
You know it is bad when you are seven year old is commenting on how often you wear a particular piece of clothing. Granted, I have owned this dress for a long time. *Sigh* Maybe my wardrobe does need a little refresher.
Moving along . . .
Next, Eliza comes to give me a hug good-bye as I am standing near the door. At four years old, Eliza's head comes to just above my waist (do you see where this is headed?). Eliza hugs me, pulls away, and says, "It feels like there is a baby in your belly." (which I can assure you there is not).
Again, I can admit that after carrying five babies in my womb in a period of seven years, my stomach is not what it used to be. I will also admit that I should probably work-out more and eat less chocolate. Nevertheless, not exactly the words that I wanted to hear as I headed out for the day.
This week was my date night with Noah. We always call Noah our "sporty kid." He loves being outside, loves being active, and love, love, loves anything competitive. This is the kid who asked if he could go outside after we had been at the pool (and the heat) for almost ten hours this past weekend. While the rest of us collapsed inside, Noah headed out to play basketball.
So, when I first told the kids about our Summer Date Nights, Noah's list of potential activities included all things sporty: bowling, roller-blading, laser tag, etc. His front runner was roller-blading and I began looking forward to a night of fun at a local roller-skating rink.
However, after Davis's date night at the movies last week, all that changed. Noah had to go see a movie. At night. Just like Davis. And there was no convincing him otherwise. I don't know if it is the fact that our boys are only two years apart, but there is a constant underlying competitiveness between them. If Davis did something, Noah had to do it too.
So, off to the movies we went. The movie for this week: Cars 2 in 3-D.
I have never been to a 3-D movie before, and quite frankly, I am not sure what all the hype is about. I used tickets I had purchased through Living Social, so I did not have to pay anything extra for the "3-D experience," so we decided to give it a try.
The movie itself was okay. Not nearly as great as the first Cars movie, but we still enjoyed it.
More importantly, I had a great time with Noah! He is such a great kid and is growing up way to fast. As we were talking during the drive home from the theatre I told Noah how much I love him and how proud I am of him.
His response, "I know. But Mom, did you say these same things to Davis last week?"
This summer I decided that I wanted to "date" my kids. In a family of six, there is always something going on, and I rarely get the opportunity to hang-out with each of my kiddos one on one. I wanted to invest time into each child individually, so I came up with the "Summer Date Night Plan." Each week, I take out only one child for an activity of his/her choosing. It has to be something local and relatively inexpensive, but otherwise it is completely up to the kiddo to choose what they want to do.
Last night I went on a date with Davis. He decided on a movie. At first he asked to see Cars 2, but about a week ago he asked if he could change to the final Harry Potter movie. (I was hesitant at first because the movie is rated PG-13, but ultimately decided that he could probably handle it). Davis has read the entire Harry Potter series numerous times, and I knew he would have a blast.
Davis actually counted down the hours until our date. I would like to think that he was excited to spend time with me, but who am I kidding? It was all about the Harry Potter movie. Ok . . . well, maybe it was 90% Harry Potter, 10% hanging out with Mom. Or 80/20? I will just tell myself it was an even 50/50 split.
We had such a great time! We stopped by Target for a little candy treat, and then settled into our big comfy seats directly in the middle of the movie theater. I enjoyed chatting with Davis on the ride to the theater (I think that you can get some of the best conversations in with tweens during car rides), in Target and as we sat watching the previews and waiting for the movie to start. As he approaches the teen years, I want to keep our relationship strong. I want him to know that he can talk to me about anything. I love that boy and can't believe that he is almost ten years old.
The movie itself was fantastic! Lots of witty dialogue, suspense and action all rolled into one. Two thumbs up from both myself and Davis.
Next up, Noah. He still has not decided what he wants to do, but the top contender as of this morning is roller-blading. Sounds fun to me!
This poor blog. It has been neglected for weeks. I was afraid that would happen. Life just gets in the way. Work, church, friends, kids' activities, traveling, vacation. Pick an excuse.
But today I am stuck. Stuck in a jury waiting room along with six hundred other individuals from Orange County. What a great time to update my blog. I have hours to pass with not a lot of things to do.
At 36 years old, this is actually the first time I have ever had to report for jury duty. I was called once while in law school, but was excused because of my school schedule. I am suprised I have not received a summons before. I have been registered to vote since I was 18 years old. This also worries me a bit. Perhaps my luck will run out, and I will be chosen for a jury.
Jury duty provides for some interesting people watching. There are all types of people here. Old and young. Different ethnicities. Professionals and blue color workers. The wealthy and the poor. It is interesting to sit on this side of things. What will the lawyers be looking for today? I find myself scanning the room and making initial judgement calls on who I would like for a jury in one of my own civil trials.
Also, will a lawyer want me, an attorney with 10 years of experience, on a jury? My guess is no. Unless my background meets the exact characteristics that one of the attorneys are looking for, I will not be chosen. Jurors with any type of legal experience are typically choosen as the foreperson. The other jurors will like to him/her for guidance. I hope that is my ticket out of here.
In general, people do whatever they can to get out of jury duty. As I was waiting in line to check-in, I heard many complaints and excuses. I have to admit that I also hope I am not selected. I have a deposition to prepare for and a flight up to Oregon tomorrow. Not to mention the difficulty I will have meeting my monthly billable requirement if I have to sit on a jury for several days. However, if it weren't for my pesky job, I think I would like to be chosen. It is an opportunity to serve, and I would love to be able to see the judicial process from the opposite perspective. It is crazy to think that the people sitting in this room have the power to take away a person's freedom. It is an awesome responsibility.
It is now 9:07 a.m. I have been here since 7:45 as required by my jury summons. The check-in process took nearly an hour, and the court employee just announced a 30 minute break. (already?!?). This bugs me. I want to get to work. I want to get things done. I need to just get over it and realize that I am in for a long and tedious day.
This weekend was a whirl-wind, filled with parties, baseball playoffs, swim meets and volunteering "opportunities."
The kids survivied . . . barely.
The parents survivied . . . barely.
But looking past the craziness, it sure was fun!
A weekend filled with cheering for our kids, getting to know our community better, and celebrating with friends.
Noah loves playing first base! As a lefty, it is a great position for him.
I love this shot of Davis. He did not know that I was taking it. To me, it really shows what swimming is about. It can be a lonely sport. I saw a lot of kids in tears this weekend, including my own. Competitive swimming involves such focus and determination, even at the young age of nine.
Getting ready for the next event.
And such a large pool.
Eliza and Vivian were both real troppers as they were carted around to their big brothers' activities. Eliza's tears came when she was hit in the cheekbone by a baseball. Although you would assume this happened at the baseball game, it actually happened at the swim meet. That's just the way our family rolls. :)
We went out to "fro-yo" after the swim meet was over. I just love how all the kids are lined up in a row from oldest to youngest. There was not much talking going on here, just zoned out kids eating yogurt and watching the TV.
Finally, Miss Vivian. I just love her expression in this one. Enjoying some cake at a graduation celebration.