Sunday, December 23, 2012

Family Christmas

Yesterday we had family Christmas at Cathe's. As always it was a good turnout with yummy food and a white elephant gift exchange. We had a fun ride down in the new Suburban and the kids were quiet watching Arthur Christmas in the backseat. It was the perfect day until... at midnight we got stuck coming up our street. The roads were clear right up to our exit, where they implemented chain control. We pulled into the Safeway parking lot and Forrest begrudgingly put chains on the back tires. We attempted our street again, to no avail, so he ended up walking a mile to the house to retrieve his truck while the kids and I sat in the Safeway parking lot with the heater on. By the time all was said and done we made it into bed at 2:00a.m. Miraculously we made it up in time for church and the Christmas program.

We have had a lot of snow at our house, and Noah and Kaitlyn love to make snow angels.
This was a night that I made a yummy farmer's market dinner: naturally raised London broil, steamed broccoli, and oven roasted red potatoes.  It was so simple and delicious.  Anthony had thirds on the meat, this boy must need his protein.  I put on a Disney fairy movie on my laptop which made for a quiet meal.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

More Snow and Christmas Lights

Another snowy day!  We expected rain and woke up to a little more than we bargained for.

My girls by the Christmas tree.

Christmas lights at Dovewood Court- this one's going out in the cards.

Love this one.

There was a talking Santa.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

11 Week Ultrasound and Graduation Day!

Friday was a big day- I went in for lab work, another ultrasound, and had my first prenatal with the midwives.  The babies measured 11wks 1dy and 11wks 4dys and had strong heart beats.  After reviewing my results, the IVF doctor approved my coming off medication and graduated my care to the midwives.  Finally in my element. :)

I had a couple of very sick days last week, which were caused by either pregnancy or the stomach flu, I'm not sure which one.  It's always hard to discern in pregnancy!  Either way I am grateful for the good health this week brings.  Overall I have had the best first trimester I have ever had in a pregnancy, with less than a handful of sick days.

My cravings have been all over the board, but I can tell you that I am definitely hungrier growing two babies.  From chef salads to fresh juice to Round Table pizza and homemade soup with farmer's market produce, I have been enjoying a feast of sorts.  Food is part of the celebration.

I cried watching an episode of Friends the other night (Phoebe was a surrogate.)  The hormones are strong and the emotions are not far under the surface.  On a conscious level I don't quite know what I'm in for but something inside me is processing the journey.  It's a blessed one at that.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Thanksgiving and November/December Randoms

Thanksgiving was lovely. We celebrated at Cathe's with a small group. The food was delicious and we were home at a decent hour, despite all the driving. 
Forrest maintained his tradition as designated turkey carver.  There were two turkeys this year: oven roasted and deep fried.
Forrest and the kids cut down a Christmas tree on a night that I was sick.  Last night we got around to decorating it, and it looks beautiful.  I love all the lights in and on the house.
Big news- I got a new Suburban!!  We came across a great find on Craigslist from a super generous family who was happy to pass it on to us.  It's an '05, leather interior, and all the upgrades.  We are loving it.
New suburban!  

Chocolate pecan pie I made for Thanksgiving.  This recipe's definitely a keeper!  One of the best pies I've made.
My girls love to play dress-up.
The tiara I am trying to preserve for my girls' future weddings... if it makes it that long.
Family Christmas card photo fail- I don't like the layout. 
Mother-daughter... looking more like me every day if you ask me.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Good Day

Today was a much-needed good day. Forrest took all of the kids (except Anthony) to the bay area and I had a whole day to myself. What did I do? Clean. I started in the kitchen and worked my way through every room in the house, ending in the kids bedroom (my most dreaded.) The house feels so good. Cleaning is like soul food to me. It lifts my spirits and helps me to focus on the important things. I feel like the inspiration flows easier in a clean house and I am lifted out of my bad mood. Today was like a hit on the reset button. I also made a pot of the most delicious chicken ginger soup. The warm broth soothed my tummy and was so comforting. Most of all I enjoyed sitting in a quiet house while Anthony napped and getting to do whatever I wanted. I watched a couple of Christmas movies on T.V. and took a long, hot bath followed by Ghirardelli brownies. I organized the tops of my dressers and cleaned out my purse. I vacuumed inside the kids' closet, under their beds, in the playpen, and cleaned their mirrors. I de-cluttered the kitchen counter. I lit some candles and vacuumed the sofa slipcovers. I can't tell you how baaaadly my house needed this. It amazes me how much deep cleaning there is to be done after only 3 months of living here. My nausea has been at bay. Sipping cranberry juice seems to help, along with just getting a break. I am deeply affected by the state of my house, on a holistic level. My mood, spiritual well-being, mental and emotional well-being along with my ability to receive revelation are all intertwined with the state of my physical surroundings. Maybe this is common sense to everyone else but this concept has become clear to me time and time again over the years. The tricky part is realizing when I'm in a bad state and how to get out of it when the energy is not there. One of my favorite sayings in my Feng Shui book is that most people say they don't have the energy to clean, when in fact cleaning your surroundings gives you energy. This definitely holds true for me but I can't always see it until after the fact. That is why cleaning is my soul food. As I was re-reading parts of my journal from 2 years ago I realize that this physical/emotional state is very typical of the first trimester in previous pregnancies. In looking back I can see that I always have this feeling of being overwhelmed, overworked, and discouraged. The good news is it passes after about 12 weeks. When the kids came home tonight I was ready for them. I had filled my well. It got me thinking that I need to find a way to do this more often (alone time, that is.) I'm just not sure how to go about it. I am counting on a vehicle to make a big difference. Sometimes knowing that they'll be gone one day is not enough. I think I've burnt the candle at both ends for too long, and it's a wise mom who knows when to call break. Here's to finding wisdom in knowing my limits, and having the courage to reach out, for myself and for my kids.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Eating for Three

I don't think I have ever been as hungry in my life as I am now. It is ridiculous how much food I can pack away... and still be hungry two hours later. The positive side to this is that so long as I heed to my appetite I don't seem to have any nausea, so it works. I am 8 weeks and 1 day, and whereas this usually marks the time in pregnancy where I am at the height of feeling sick, I've had nothing. There was that weekend at 6 weeks that I never want to relive again, but I think that was brought on by traveling and long days. I have gained about 10 pounds since the start of this cycle (which actually dates back to about 2 1/2 months ago when I started the hormones.) I quit running in preparation for the pregnancy, and with a twin pregnancy don't see myself doing much exercise in the near future. Right now energy won't allow. I think after this pregnancy I'll join a gym and start taking some classes- something I've always wanted to do. I don't know if I'll lose weight as quickly because I won't be nursing, but I do plan on pumping, and I'll be sleeping. That always helps. I am really struggling with not having the energy to do all that I want to do around the house, but with so many pregnancies in such a short amount of time I don't really remember what it's like to have energy. I've never really "caught up" after the last 2 babies, and then I have to realize that I may never get back to where I was as a mother of 4 as a mother of 6. Still, the desire of my heart is to craft, clean, decorate, and have the positive energy to put into my children and life. My heart is there but I am here. With any luck I will be getting a vehicle in the next couple of months and that will help tremendously. It's been a year since the kids and I have been able to go anywhere together, and I feel like we are missing out on so many life experiences. I know I am not the only mom who has gone without a vehicle, but sometimes it feels that way. Anyways, enough of my sob story. Sometimes it just feels good to reach out. It's better than hopping on Facebook and feeling like everyone else is living life while I'm just... existing. I know it's not that bad and that this, too, shall pass. I try to enjoy the experience while I am in it but I can't help but want to get ahead. I want to be mobile, want to see friends, want to be present for my children spiritually and emotionally, want to make my house a haven, have moments of peace and solitude and feel rewarded for my efforts in a day. I want to know that this is not all in vain. I want to know that I can finish what I start, and follow through on some of the ideas that inspire me. I want to get excited about life and starting a new day. I guess one can only stay home with 6 children and no vehicle for so long and still feel excited about getting out of bed in the morning. It's been long enough. I know this is all in Heavenly Father's plan, which is the only thing that makes it bearable to wait. It's like squeezing through the small tunnel to reach the light at the end. It's like... birth. Only time will make it pass, and the only way to pass time is to live it one day at a time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Good and Bad of it

So today marks my 7 1/2 (th?) week of pregnancy. We were able to hear the heartbeats for the first time today at our 2nd ultrasound, which brought sweet relief. I don't know why but after my last ultrasound I felt substantially less nauseated the following day and have since been worrying that something could've happened to one of the twins. I guess I've let myself listen to one too many horror stories (conspiracy theories?) on the effects of early ultrasounds on the young fetus. Anyhow... The good news is this: I had one weekend of horrible, intense, wretched sickness that had me trembling, pleading, and crying... and have had really nothing since. Of course I am more tired than usual, and some days I never get out of "lounge" mode, but on the whole for being almost 8 weeks I feel surprisingly good. Typically 8 weeks is the peak of my first trimester and if I am going to feel really sick that is the time. Okay, for the bad. From literally 3 days post-transfer (they transferred 5 day old embryos, so approx. 3 weeks pregnant) I have had this insatiable appetite. So long as I am eating, I do not feel sick. And let me tell you, I can eat. It's as if from the moment the embryos implanted my body said, "We're being invaded... eat!" It is not unusual for me to combine two meals in one, like when I had spaghetti and chef salad for dinner the other night because they both sounded good, or to eat a full meal and be hungry two hours later. I have discovered that a full tummy keeps the nausea at bay. So, I eat. The down side to this is that I have gained almost 10 pounds already. Combined with the fact that I am not running, this is just what my body wants to do. In other news, I signed the boys up for public school today. As much as I hated to swallow my pride I had to admit that I was not able to do it all... homeschool 3 kids, take care of 3 more, keep the house in liveable condition, doula training, CBE course... oh and did I tell you that I'm a wife? something had to go. I don't think I will ever say I think it's the "right" decision or the "best" choice, because the truth is I *want* to homeschool, but the truth is none of us is very happy in the current situation and a change was needed. I do think there will be many positive experiences and opportunities in store for them. I find myself not letting myself get as "excited" about this pregnancy as any of my own. Maybe that goes without saying. After we heard the heartbeats today and the doctor left the room, I looked at Forrest with a smile and said, "Wasn't that neat?" All he could say was, "Let's get out of here, I need to get to work." It just kind of solidified the fact that these babies are not really mine to get excited about and at the end there will not be the same kind of reward. I guess I can see where he was coming from. At the same time, I will put my love and energy into them for 9 months, and look forward to birthing them. It is a blessing all around but it is also an act of service. It is the gift of giving life. I have my first prenatal with the midwives scheduled in 3 1/2 weeks. It will be a milestone to be released from the care of the IVF doctor and into the hands of someone I know and trust. I will also come off all medications at that time. The plan is to birth these babies at home, which is written into our contract. :) Of course I am keeping open to whatever and taking it one step (month? trimester?) at a time. Here's to a seamless first trimester and new adventures in public school. Here's to days in the classroom, a cleaner house, and a decompressed mom. Here's to a healthy pregnancy and successful birth. Come what may and love it.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Yesterday we had our first good snow (where we were awake to see it falling.) It started in the afternoon and began sticking a couple hours later. The kids had a blast throwing snowballs, sledding, and "snowboarding" with a broken skateboard. We had a fire going and beef stew in the crockpot so the house stayed cozy. It truly is beautiful.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


We went in for our first 6.5 week ultrasound yesterday... twins! (Sorry for the no make-up picture; it was early and I've been dealing with morning sickness.)  They were curled up in a fetal position already and we saw both their little beating hearts. 
The kids are excited that there are 2 babies in mom's tummy, even though they fully understand they are not ours.  I, myself, am super excited to be carrying twins.  I love the prospect of feeling them both move at the same time and of a twin home birth.  It's something I've always secretly aspired to... maybe this is why.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Last night was our ward's trunk-or-treat. Let me say they put up quite the to-do! I learned dutch oven cooking, and we had a feast of a potluck followed by carnival games and trunk-or-treating. It was a great time in a warm, friendly environment on a beautiful night!

First Snow

The kids woke up to our first dusting of snow last week. Thank goodness we have a cozy fireplace to go with it!

Apple Hill

About a week ago we took a family trip to Apple Hill.  We were brave enough to go on a Saturday, but we were there before 9:00 so we beat the crazy traffic.  We started off at Apple Ridge Farms to feed the animals and pick our pumpkins.  After that we hit up Rainbow Orchards for apple cider donuts and beautiful squash.  We finished off at Pine O Mine to for U-Pick apples and the tire swings.  The beautiful culmination was a delicious Granny Smith apple pie.  Oh how we love you Apple Hill, and how we love that you are in our backyard!  We are thrilled to be spending fall in the heart of Apple Hill country. :)

Anthony's Faves

So I've fallen behind on blogging about the sweet and simple things about life and my children!  But all that is about to change because I just got a new computer, which will make it much easier to upload pics to my blog!  Sweet Anthony is 17 months now and just a joy.  Here I've captured some of his favorite things, namely his puppy, his pacifier, and playing peek-a-boo in the collapsible hamper.
He likes to grab his puppy by the tail and carries it around like this.

Where's Anthony?


Absolute favorite game.

Never tires of it. :)

Followed by loud laughter... it's a surprise every time. ;)

I call this the quintessential pose- baby on the dishwasher.