Monday, December 8, 2008

A Great Day

Saturday was my birthday, and it was a great day. I'd told Brent earlier in the week that all I wanted for my birthday was help cleaning the house (I'm not so mobile these days). He let me sleep in and then made blueberry waffles for breakfast - yum! During breakfast Mercedes presented me with a wrapped birthday gift. Knowing that she helped to pick it out, I was fully expecting it to be something like a Hanna Montana Barbie. I was pleasantly surprised...

... with EIGHT toothbrushes! It may seem a bit strange, but I was pleased. You see, Brent and I have become very picky when it comes to toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss. The Colgate Wave is the ONLY kind of toothbrush I like; its hard to find in my size (compact) and with a soft bristle. Brent made two trips to Target in order to get this many, as there were only three on the shelf the first time. Last night we were laughing about our oral hygiene habits. Each member of our family has a toothbrush and paste both upstairs and down. We keep floss in our kitchen cupboard for easy access. It's funny to me because before I met Brent I rarely flossed, and now I can't stand missing a night. In fact, I remember during college telling a dentist that I often fell asleep without brushing my teeth at night. He asked how long I brush in the morning (at least 3 min at the time), and was satisfied that cleaning my teeth once a day was sufficient. NOT a good dentist, I now know.

After breakfast and gift time, Brent did help me to get the house clean. He cleaned all three bathrooms while I tackled our bedroom. That afternoon he grilled steak and steamed green beans... yummy. And then he took me to see...

Twilight. What a sacrifice for him. Seriously. He missed the USC/UCLA game and didn't even mock the movie (although I know he hated it). He just sat next to me and acted as if there was nowhere else he'd rather be. Now THAT'S a birthday gift!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I am a Child of God

I just about lost my marbles on Thursday afternoon when I found a postcard in the car. Our primary gives out closing exercises assignments on postcards. I'm used to having at least two weeks notice on such things, which is why I was shocked to finally read the card that Mercedes was given last Sunday (which I'd forgotten about) and realize that her assignment was to talk this week! My first thought was that there was no way that I could write a talk and get her to memorize it in time. So... I handed the responsibility to Brent. Bright and early Saturday morning Brent and Mercedes sat down together and came up with a talk. With her Daddy's help, she recalled an experience that helped her to know that Heavenly Father loves her. Brent made some lined paper (with extra-large spacing for Kindergartner handwriting), and Mercedes wrote down every word herself. I was impressed. Sometimes, I think that I expect too much from my kids. In this case, I had underestimated her.

The primary theme this year is "I am a Child of God." Here is a copy of her talk:

I know Jesus loves me because he answers my prayers.

When I was in preschool I had to walk to school one day when my Dad had to take the car to work. It was going to rain. I was scared I was going to get wet on the way to school. I decided to say a prayer that I would not get wet on the way to school.

Heavenly Father answered my prayer and I did not get wet.

I had forgotten about this experience until now (it's been almost two years). I'm not a pack-rat and don't like saving things, but I think I'll save her hand-written copy. It is touching to see her testimony written by her own hand. What a sweet girl she is!

What was even more impressive is that she actually gave her talk! In the past, we have prepared talks and she's worked hard to memorize them. She's shy in front of groups, though, and has always ended up curled into my chest while I give the talk for her. This was the first day that she actually read her talk (and she wasn't even scared). I was so proud of her! I am grateful for and humbled by these precious spirits who have been sent to our home. What wonderful teachers they are.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Isn't it funny...

Isn't it funny how the older we get, the more aware we are of our weakness and imperfections? I remember Elder Maxwell speaking about this once; how as we grow closer to the Savior, we see our weakness more clearly. I sure don't feel like I'm growing or maturing much (I still feel like I'm 18 most days), but I have to laugh at myself daily for doing things I once said I'd never do, and I feel like I'm moving further away from perfection... perhaps it's because life is so much more complicated than it used to be.

I remember sitting in Sacrament Meeting not long before Mercedes was born and thinking, "I'll never get angry with my young children for being irreverent. They're children and we're supposed to become like them, not yell at them!" This happened as I saw a mother angrily chase her three-year-old to the front of the chapel during a talk. HA!!! I guess I'm not such an idealist these days. I expect my kids to be reverent and to stay in their seats for the entire meeting. I'm pretty strict, and only potty-trainers get bathroom breaks.

Lately I've been getting so frustrated with Mercedes during church. Before Cooper was born she was literally a perfect angel during Sacrament Meetings. She understood that there would be no toys or drawing until after the Sacrament, and didn't argue. She didn't whine or complain or throw fits. Now that Cooper has to be entertained, it doesn't seem fair to her that he gets to play with toys and eat snacks during the Sacrament. Brent and I get frustrated because she used to be such an angel and church has now turned into a whine-fest. Poor girl.

Before becoming a mom I swore that I would NEVER use the TV as a babysitter. I was so disgusted with "those" people who would just plop their kids in front of the TV. There is no way to understand what it is like to be a stay-at-home parent until we live it. Tuesday night I got no sleep thanks to my lovely contractions. Usually I can get at least a few hours of rest, but on Wednesday morning I was exhausted - physically and mentally. At 8 o'clock I turned on the Disney Channel and went upstairs to lie down. I didn't plan on falling asleep... and was shocked to open my eyes at 9:30! Cooper is not a kid who is safe on his own. He has always managed to find ways to hurt himself, no matter how "baby-proofed" a house is. I came downstairs to find him in the living room eating one of the candy canes I'd bought to decorate tree. He ate right through the plastic! Then I found the lid of a mayonnaise bottle Brent had thrown away that morning. I'm pretty sure that Cooper licked it clean. Luckily we haven't had a case of food poisoning. Yesterday his messy diapers were like bright leaf green clay. Sorry if that's too graphic for you, but I have never seen anything like it. My guess is that he ate a green crayon. Thank goodness his morning adventure doesn't seem to have had any lasting effects.

I hope my kids survive the mom that I am. I seriously don't know how my mom did it - she is better than Wonder Woman.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cooper will soon have a "mini-me"... our very own mini cooper!

WARNING: The following post contains long-winded venting.

Aren't doctor appointments fun? I have to say that they're right up there with dentist visits. Just love them.

This morning my appointment was scheduled for 10:15 am. My babysitter showed up at 9:45 so that I could be a bit early. When I was pregnant with Cooper I was lucky to be able to take Mercedes to all of my appointments. While it wouldn't be a fun experience to keep Cooper entertained during my checkups, it's frustrating that children are absolutely NOT allowed in my OB's office.

I was scheduled to meet with my doctor for the first time (at 33 weeks). Until now, I've just been seen by the nurse practitioners. After waiting for 45 minutes, I was finally called back for a urine sample, blood pressure, weight check, and finger prick. At that time the nurse told me that it'd be just a minute until an exam room opened up and would I wait in the lobby. By 11:30 am I was wondering if they'd forgotten about me. At 12:00 pm I was finally put in an exam room, and 15 minutes later a doctor walked in. TWO HOURS!!! I didn't get to meet my doctor (the one who will be performing my surgery) because she'd just been called to the hospital to perform a c-section. I was grateful to the other doctor who made time to see me, but VERY frustrated that I'd had to wait for so long (with the baby-sitter's meter ticking all the while).

The doctor performed the usual checks: measured by huge belly and listened to the baby's heartbeat. He then informed me that since I have hypothyroidism, I should be having ultra-sounds each week starting now. I just about flipped my lid at that point. I knew that the only other patient who had spent as much time in the waiting room as me was a woman waiting for an ultra-sound. I explained that after waiting for so long, I needed to get home to relieve my baby-sitter. The nurse told me that I was welcome to come back tomorrow for the ultrasound. That didn't sit well with me. I just couldn't stand the thought of leaving Cooper (who screams the whole time he is left with a sitter) for another 3 hours tomorrow. Thankfully, they were very understanding of my situation and squeezed me in right away.

So we've got a little boy who is currently 4 pounds, 11 ounces and has a face that looks just like Cooper's! The 4-D pictures the doctor gave me were almost worth the wait. During the ultrasound the nurse informed me that I need to come in twice a week from now on for ultrasounds. Yeah, right. It's not a secret that I'm not very good a remaining calm. Rarely - if ever - am I calm. It is a miracle that I was able to calmly explain to her that I simply cannot find a babysitter to watch my son twice a week. After talking to the doctor she informed me that once per week would be fine - thank goodness! Maybe the twice per week thing was just a trick so that I don't feel so upset about having to go in weekly from now on... but I don't think so.

Our c-section is scheduled for January 19th at 12:30 p.m.!