Friday, January 23, 2009

Open Blog Friday

In the style of radio show talk hosts that have Open Line Fridays where folks can call in and talk about whatever they want, I need an Open Blog Friday where I can record the smattering of thoughts in my head.  Not that I fancy myself some popular "Blog Host" or anything of the sort, I just like the idea. 

** Thought #1
Yesterday afternoon I found a comment on my post from a mrs.dph.  Doesn't that sound fabulously distinguished?  Straight out of some murder mystery or something.  Then the comment said "Hi from Kansas" and I'm wondering, has someone outside the circle of people who are required to love me and read my blog, actually seen my blog?  And then I get to the bottom of the comment and it is signed "Tracie".  My brain starts connecting the dots and I realize that even better than someone I don't know finding my blog, it is someone I KNOW and LOVE!  Tracie, it was so great to hear from you.  Please tell me you have a blog where I can keep up with you and your beautiful children.  Oh- and someone with five kids should never preface that statement with "only".  

**Thought #2
I realized that it may have been slightly tacky for me to enter Jessica's giveaway and lessen her chances of winning.  Especially when she was gracious enough to say that I was more deserving than her.  Not hardly.  Her husband has been a student for nigh unto eternity, and should I win, it's her early birthday present.

**Thought #3
I had a dream that I had a tummy tuck.  What a great dream.  In my dream, I wasn't even in pain afterwards.  Sadly I woke up with the same stomach that has been stretched beyond capacity eight times.  

**Thought #4
My sister in law Jessica had a baby this morning.  She had Amy there with her as her doula, and was able to have a beautiful natural birth.  A twinge of jealousy I must admit to.  There is nothing more beautiful or sacred.  I love everything about it.  And of course, thinking of her and all that she is experiencing, I couldn't help but feel a small sadness reflecting on how I missed out on all of that with Colton.   All of the concentration and focus to give this little baby the best entrance into the world possible, hearing their first cry, discovering the perfectness of every inch of them, the moment when you are all alone with them for the first time and you can whisper all of your hopes and dreams for them.  The bonding of nursing, bathing them for the first time, the quiet middle of the night feedings when the house is peaceful, kissing and snuggling together, scooping them out of their beds to calm their whimperings, falling asleep together.  Instead of that, Colton and I had this:
I was completely out for his delivery, as other surgeries were to start immediately afterwards. I didn't lay eyes on him for 2 1/2 days, although the sweet nurses taking care of him took pictures and sent them over to me.  I saw him a total of 4 hours the first week of his life.  Jody had to place him on my chest and with great care I could get my right arm around him so that I could almost feel like I was holding him.  The day he left the hospital, knowing I had to stay behind, forced me (figuratively) to my knees.  I prayed my way through that day, and Heavenly Father blessed me with the peace that only comes through our Savior and the Comforter. From that moment, I was determined to be home as soon as possible.  I left days earlier than projected by the doctors, and I was so grateful.  And yet, once home, I realized what a long road was ahead.  I could do none of the things that I find so much happiness in.  I couldn't pick him up, I couldn't hold him for very long periods of time, I couldn't rock in a chair with him, I could feed him only once in awhile.  I couldn't dress him, change his diaper, or bathe him.  I couldn't soothe his cries, and couldn't enjoy the solace of nightime feedings, couldn't nurse him.  It is typically months before I leave my babies, and yet immediately after coming home I began the many appointments with surgeons and physical therapy, forcing me to be separated from him.   The heaviness in my heart was unbelievable, but greater still was my gratitude.  I was surrounded by loving family and friends to care for my baby and seven other children, bring meals, do laundry, drive me to appointments, and support Jody and me in every way.   When Jody blessed Colton, the first thing he was told was that he had been preserved by the hand of God.  The last thing that he was blessed with was that he would have a special bond with his mother.  I know that the last part was Heavenly Father's gift to me, an answer to many pleadings, worrying that Colton would know and love me even though  I couldn't care for him in the typical way.  Nearly eight months have passed since that day.  And while this isn't but a small part of my experiences, I wouldn't trade the lessons I have learned and the miracles I witnessed for anything in the world.  Colton and I are madly in love with each other, I am here to be a mother to my children and a wife to my husband, and I know beyond anything that Jesus Christ is real, His promises are sure, and we are never alone.  


I love the idea of being content.  Contentment sounds so peaceful, so right.  And yet, the details of everyday life seem to allow me only brief glimpses.  Today, though, I am content.  The weather is absolutely beautiful- like a day plucked right out of Spring.  The sun peeks out occasionally, only to be chased away by the soft clouds and light wind gently blowing tranquility and happiness to those under their cover.  A few cheerful raindrops even found us.  

Here is what we did all afternoon:

What a day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blog IQ

So, I'm fairly new to the "blog world".  I mean, we had the Petersen blog, and I knew how to post.  Then I ventured out and started my own blog and learned how to add a slideshow from photobucket.  I thought I was content with the amount of blog intelligence I had acquired, until I read my sister-in-law's post about this:

Apparently someone is giving this away.  It is the double stroller that I thought only existed in my dreams.  I've tried double strollers before, and sworn them off for various reasons.  This one seems to have found an answer for every complaint.  It would be so enormously convenient to own one again, with babies 15 months apart and all.  And just think, the stroller and Colton would MATCH!  Of course, I really never expect to win anything, but there was that drawing in eighth grade that got me a "Go Gilbert Tigers" puke-gold t-shirt, so maybe there's a chance.   So now I'm going to figure out how to enter blog give aways and tell people to go here(You know, where the word is highlighted and you can click on it and it will take you to another site?).  

You really should check this stroller out here.

Oh my!  I did it!  

Blog IQ spiked significantly!

Happy girl! (happier if I win though)

And just to be fair, I will do the six month switch with Jessica if I win, since I never would have found it without her!  Thanks Jess.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Delicious Red Head Baby

Amy & Jessica, I know this took way too long, but here are a few pictures of the happiest baby in the world.  

Words Every Girl Wants to Hear

See full size image

See full size image

While driving to a wedding reception:

Jody:  Today was such a fun day.  (Here I'm thinking he may say something like- we signed the counter offer on the house, or- I got to spend a lot of time with you and the kids, or- We get to go to this wedding reception tonight- *okay, like he'd ever actually say that* instead...)  I got to pick up cool things out of a garbage pile.  There was this folding chair that totally works, perfect condition!  There was also this computer chair that looks pretty nice.  And this really cool box (..I'm not sure exactly what followed, because I'm thinking "this could make a pretty good blog!)  ..remember you said I needed something cool to keep some of my stuff in"

Angela:  Wow honey, that sounds like a lot of fun.  (thinking, please give me some more material.  He didn't disappoint.  His next statement was...)

Jody:  And I got to use my bull whip!  (contented sigh)  Good day.

I married a simple man.  Garbage and a bullwhip.   I love him like crazy!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rocky Point

A Sombrero and a Box of Cigars

We went on our first ever trip to Rocky Point, and may I just say that we had a blast.  All of my fears and apprehensions were ungrounded. Well, not entirely true.  There was that first part after crossing the border, when it was already dark (we left way later than planned, imagine that), and we lost the lead car which contained Andrew and Dawn's family, as well as the map, and the one person who spoke Spanish.  I was trying to be ultra calm, because Jody was intense enough for both of us (and anybody within a ten mile radius).  The four men in the back of a truck with AR15's at the Circle K where we stopped for directions didn't help his stress level, nor did the fact that he got different directions (in mostly Spanish, which we don't understand, remember?) from everyone trying to help.  And they really were trying.  While Jody was out of the car I tried to explain to the kids, without scaring them, that daddy was trying really hard to find our place, and that any questions such as "When will we get there?"  "Are we lost?" or "How much longer?" would be hugely unhelpful, and maybe slightly dangerous, considering Dad's state of mind.  Jody came back and off we set in our enormously long van, towing a more enormously long trailer, afraid at any point that we would turn down some street that we would get stuck on.  After many turns and one long, winding dirt road, Jody stopped abruptly in the middle of the road and walked up to the cab behind us, almost pleading with the man to be able to communicate in English- and miracle of miracles (and answer to more than one fervent prayer) he spoke English!  He said  "No worry.  You are not lost!"  (I had to laugh at this)  He then told us how to get to "The Reef" and then wished us Merry Christmas and Happy New Year at least four times.  He was one of the happiest, kindest cab drivers I will probably ever come across (because I come across so many, you know).  This man deserves blessing from heaven.  True to his word, we made it to "The Reef".  The worry was over and the fun began.

It was an awesome vacation.  The mornings were chilly enough for sweatshirts and the kids spent their time carefully walking across the coral (or in Caden's case, not so carefully-he was fully soaked within 1/2 an hour) and exploring while the tide was out.  Midmorning saw them in swimsuits and the rest of the day was spent in the water.  Even the babies ventured down once the tide came in.  The evenings grew chilly and the sunsets brought blankets of darkness, a perfect setting for a cozy fire to sit and warm ourselves around.  The kids feet fell casualty to the combination of water, sand, and new crocs, and we have been nursing many a blistered and bleeding foot.  Jody, Conner and Cooper chartered a boat and went fishing one morning.  The fruits of that trip are still sitting in my fridge, waiting to see if I have the courage to cook them up.

All well and good, but what does all of this have to do with a sombrero and a box of cigars, you ask?  Well, the first morning we were there Jody and Andrew had left on the Ranger for a little bit, and that's when it all started- the sweet Mexican's walking along the beach selling all kinds of things.  Anybody who knows me should have thought to warn me, since my inability to say "no" is widely known.  I also, much to the frustration of my husband, cannot (notice I didn't say will not, because I really can't) bargain.  I will always pay the asked for price.  So it began, and I shortly had in my possession one bracelet, necklace, life size plaster turtle, beaded purse, two shark tooth necklaces, and probably a few other things that I can't think of right now.  Just one or two things from each person that had stopped at the trailer thus far.  I knew I was spiraling out of control and that Jody would give me a hard time.  Just as I was thinking this, two men came up, one selling sombrero's and the other cigars.  I had a vision of Jody returning to find me sitting on a chair clad in Mexican jewelry, my plaster turtle by my side, wearing a sombrero, with a box of cigars on my lap.  How was it to be avoided?  The roar of the Ranger saved me from my own vision.  Andrew told them we don't smoke, and Jody uttered the first of many "No Thank you"'s to the sombrero man.  As best I can remember, we are now the proud owners of:
  • Silver bracelet
  • purple necklace
  • turquoise bracelet
  • green bracelet
  • flower bracelet
  • beaded purse
  • sun dress
  • small carved turtle
  • small carved tucan
  • aforementioned plaster turtle
  • 38 braids with beads (on Braelyn's head)
  • more braids on Brookie
  • bobble head butterfly
  • four shark tooth necklaces
  • one ying/yang necklace
  • one anchor necklace
  • one very large pancho
  • four slingshots
  • colorful pitcher
  • matching colorful plate
  • Mexcian blanket
  • One womanly pedicure on the beach
  • One manly pedicure on the beach (YES!  Jody got a pedicure)
  • Fireworks
That might not be all, but it's all I can remember right now.  Hopefully we left Mexico a little happier than we found it.  Jody is confident that word had gotten out and that everyone selling was looking for the blonde lady that would buy almost anything -except cigars and a sombrero!