Friday, April 30, 2010

easter 2010.

Easter 2010. Good times. Our ward had a little Easter Egg Hunt at the park, so we packed up the double stroller and walked on over. I made a dumb decision to wear "newer" shoes that apparently weren't broken in yet. On the trek over, I rubbed my heel raw. Bleeding everywhere. Perfect start to the day. :) Jk. It was fine, as long as I didn't have my shoe on. Fashion over comfort, ladies. SOOOO not my motto. Obviously.

Anyway, Tillie had a blast with her bunny ears (she magically kept them on all day!) and was thrilled to find CANDY in the eggs.

Her mom is new to this whole "cute Easter basket" idea. A Wal-mart grocery bag isn't acceptable? Who knew? Next year, she won't be so ghetto. And, she chose her outfit this day. A whole lot of pink and pattern going on. Work it, Matilda.

love this next action shot.

**The next day was a "mock" Easter Sunday. Nana Nise had purchased a little cute gingham pink dress for Tillie to wear. Since General Conference fell on Easter Sunday (and we'd be watching it from home), we decided to have her wear the dress the week before.

As we were taking some pictures, right after these group shots below, Tillie took a spill and fell smack dab on the corner of our brick pillars. Sad. Only a little blood, not too bad. But, let's just say, she wasn't in the mood to take more pictures. :) I wonder why?

thank you self timer. aaron was running and barely made it in time for this next one.

I've been realizing that there are hardly any pictures of me with my kids.
So, Aaron has been helping out in that department.

***The next weekend, Aaron was able to get Friday off from school. Since we didn't have any big plans, we decided Thursday night that we should go visit Houston. Only a few hour drive? Sure why not. We probably should have gathered our things together that night, but were too entranced in YouTube looking up videos of people opening up their mission calls. Oh my. We were laughing so hard. If anyone is hard up for entertainment, feel free to search for those.

You won't be sorry. Perhaps we'll post some of our favorites that we kept watching over and over. We saw some tears, some illiterates, some disappointed smiles, some cheers... it was too funny.

Anyway, we packed up the next morning and headed down for the day. We knew we weren't going to be able to do a lot in our little time, but the idea of just driving around sounded fun. We did, however, make sure to stop at the Rothko Chapel. Anyone ever heard of Mark Rothko, the artist? I did a huge research paper on him in college and am in love with his paintings. Anyway, he built this chapel for some of his HUGE paintings. Here's a picture I found doing a google search:Anyway, it was pretty impressive. And, right across the street there is a great art museum with a lot of modern works, which I love. It's called the Menil Collection, and the whole area is beautiful. We'd definitely recommend it. I have to say, they had some impressive paintings there. And, a few more of Rothko's better known works like this baby:

Rothko No. 21

Do you love those colors or what?!

Anyway, we hung out in the big grassy area between the two places. It was great.

outside the Menil. there is a little statue of a kid on the roof playing drums. pretty cool/creepy.

I learned how to make fabric roses in the car on the way down. Kind of fun.

Calvin, per usual, is such a handful.

Tillie loved the swinging on the tree.

sorry about the scrunched ear, Cal. it almost looks a little elfish. sorry. but, it didn't look like you minded too much.

cutie Matilda wanted me to hold her hand. Love that.

she loves to pose. don't know where she got that from. probably from her dad.

***Aaron was born in Humble, Texas. And, this, my friends, was the house he was brought home from the hospital too. It was pretty cool to see his old house. His family has a cross stitched picture of this house over the fireplace in their home... so it was fun to compare the REAL thing to what we've seen for so many years. His Grandma Petty did a great job replicating it!
Anyway, here's the house!
*** We made it home safe and sound later that evening. It was a fun day, and we decided we really like Houston. We are definitely planning to go back and see more and more of the city.

The next day, we had a lazy day, cleaning the house, doing stuff in the garage=sweating, and what-have-you. Well, after two weeks at the mechanic, we found out that Aaron's little white car, Ruby, was ready to be picked up.

So, we all hopped into the car, looking disgusting and smelling foul, I'm sure. We go pick up the car, and on the way home, I get a call from Aaron that it had just died as he was driving on the FREEWAY! Nice. So, he was on the shoulder of the road and needed me to pick him up.

We had a decision to make... yet again... do we try to fix Ruby ONE MORE time, or not.

Well, we had to do something, b/c the car wouldn't start up (thanks for fixing it, mr. mechanic)... so we had to call a tow truck to pick her up. What we thought would be a small 30 minute drive ended up being a 2+ hour ordeal. I had my camera in the car, so I snapped a photo as I was nursing Calvin at the gas station. Can we say ghetto? hA! Glad that day is over.

So, a few hundred dollars later from the tow fee and having the mechanic try a new part---we are glad to have Ruby running again. I guess it's much cheaper than one of these puppies I've been dreaming of...

Ruby's been a good car for us, and we like the fact that she's lasted as long as she has. We'll see how long she'll hang on.

***Next day was General Conference. It was a great day. I love hearing all the great messages. It leaves me so motivated to be better and try harder. One of my favorite messages was from Sister Beck, the General Relief Society President. Here's what she said on Saturday morning. So many great parts. Feel free to read it.

Parts I loved...

"A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important. A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence. But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently."

"Good women always have a desire to know if they are succeeding. In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources. To paraphrase a list found in Preach My Gospel, we are doing well when we develop attributes of Christ and strive to obey His gospel with exactness. We are doing well when we seek to improve ourselves and do our best. We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. We know we are successful if we live so that we qualify for, receive, and know how to follow the Spirit. When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us.9 Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly."

Man alive. Is she inspired or what?

Anyway, it was a great weekend filled with us stuffing ourselves with Pilsbury Orange Rolls (aaron's family tradition. I wanted to break from it and try another recipe, but he reminded me that he doesn't often request very many things from me... :) so I obliged and we bought a few packs to eat ourselves and also decided to share with neighbors.)

Here I am with the kiddos, and my good friend, President Uchtdorf (excuse our mess around my computer).

Full tummies. Good messages. Happy campers. Life is good.

go utah jazz.

Because Aaron loves the Utah Jazz so much, we do too.

He might be one of their biggest fans.

I feel kind of bad for him that he has to watch the games live online with SUPER pixel-ey image. It's funny, because unless you know the players well and how they move, you'd have NO IDEA who is who on the court. Luckily, Aaron has them memorized and loves them all.

Anyway, knowing this about Aaron, it makes sense that Calvin received a little Jazz shirt of his own. I know I posted a picture a while back of him in it, but I had taken a lot more, so I'm posting a few of those... because I can't believe how little our families know about this little boy of ours. They never see him, so we're making up for it here and now. hA! Lucky everyone.

this may be one of my most favorite photos, to date.

get a load of those cheek rolls of Calvin's. oh my.

Go Jazz, Go! Let's take it this year.
beat those Denver THUG-ettes.
no offense to you denver fans. but honestly...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

cal's birth story.

okay, so it's high time I write this "story" down. Calvin is gonna want to know the details about how he was brought into the world, so I'm buckling down to record it all.

I'd like to sum up the experience in a popular saying:

Seriously. I had the ROCK STAR treatment all day. I can't imagine it going ANY better than it did. And, thus we begin the story of the perfect delivery of a perfect baby boy, Calvin.

We knew that the doctor wanted us to be at the hospital by 10:30 so we could be prepped for surgery and ready to rock at 12:30. So, after a lazy morning, (which the only down side was that I couldn't enjoy a delicious breakfast---dr.'s orders---no food for at least 12 hours preceding the surgery), we took a few last pregnancy pictures with me, Matilda, and my mom (who had flown in two nights before). I was able to pack a few things for the hospital stay, and then we decided to hop in the car.

yes, the threads on my shirt were hanging on to each other for dear life. amazing it didn't tear.

As we were driving away, Aaron and I were imagining what it would be like with two kids, how Matilda would adjust, and how our lives would change. We also reminisced how different this drive to the hospital was from the last time when Matilda was on her way into the world. With her delivery, I was hollering and grabbing onto dear life to the door arm rest as we drove. I think I was yelling at Aaron to drive faster too. Ahhh, this time was SO different and SO much better. No pain, no pain, and did I mention, no pain?

So, we got there to the hospital. And, Aaron was like, "Here let me come get the door for you..." and before he could get over to me, I was already out of the car. He asked me if I wanted to try and find the elevator in the parking garage, and I replied, "Let's take the stairs. I'm feeling good."---I'm telling you, this was CRAZY different! I loved it.

We strolled on over to the labor and delivery unit and told them my name and showed them my driver's license. They had me sign a paper and then told us to go wait in the waiting room. We ended up having to wait for almost two hours in that room. Apparently, they were behind schedule, but obviously, we had no place we needed to be. During our wait time, Aaron and I played with the internet on our new phones, called a few people, talked to each other... that kind of stuff.
taking a few shots while we were bored. lazy jazz hands.

aaron's awkward "don't know what face I should make" face.

oh dear. is that shirt a LITTLE too stretched? honestly, nice pic, melissa. gag!
! Yawning, shirt hanging on for dear life, and can't quite make it over the big belly. And, to be fair, it was out of my view, I was unaware.
In case you all thought I was the epitome of grace and beauty... rest assured. I'm not. Let's all agree, not one of my best images, okay.

But, we also got to hear snippets of conversations from the other people in the waiting room. We heard about this teenager's wife who was in intensive care, and their baby was in the NICU. He said to the person on the phone (see, we were totally eavesdropping) that they didn't know when he could go in to see them. Wow. Then, we heard another girl on the phone telling the person on the other end that, yes, in fact, the baby was black. Crazy.

Aaron and I looked at each other and our situation, and we were pretty humbled.

My big concern with doing a c-section, especially scheduled 4 days before my due date, was that maybe his lungs wouldn't be fully developed, or that he would not weigh enough... I mean, the last time I had an ultrasound was at 17 weeks. Who knew what had developed since then?! I was so worried that he'd be a preemie baby (little did I know...).

And, of course, we didn't know if he would, in fact, have Downs Syndrome. The doctors had never ruled out that possibility, telling us we'd have to wait and see (since we opted out of the Amnio-test idea). So... there were a lot of unknowns going into it. We were trying to prepare for anything and everything. We did a lot of praying and in the end, tried to be calm and accept whatever God had prepared for us.

large and in charge. nice.

Okay, next scene, the nurse tells me to put on the darling gown (honestly, those things are so hard to keep your backside covered...) and then I make my way into the triage area. Aaron soon comes in with all of our bags, pillows, cameras, etc. in a tiny little area. It was funny. I think we'd forgotten to charge his phone too, so he found an outlet and had plugged that in. The nurse wasn't very amused that we were apparently MOVING IN to the 8"x8" area. Anyway, they took my vitals, hooked me up to an IV, and I answered a ton of questions. And, after they got the green light, they wheeled me into the operating room.

It was crazy to be so PRESENT through everything. With Matilda, if you remember, I had been in hard labor for 31 hours... and THEN they finally decided to do an emergency c-section. I just remember bits and pieces about them giving me the medicine. The room being cold. It just was all a blur.

But, this time around, the anesthesiologist was a lovely older woman who explained every sensations that I'd have---and she was SPOT on! "You're going to feel a cold tingly sensation now, followed by a warmth. Your legs are going to start feeling heavy, like sand bags..." And she was right! I kept saying, "oh, you are too good! that's exactly what my legs feel like!"

She and I had a great time. Apparently she is a dog lover, and I told her about how we had just LOST our sweet neighbor's chihuahua right before Christmas (did I ever blog about that story? Oh my, it was the worst. ---Long story short: our neighbors asked us to take their dog out to go potty while she went away on a little vacation. I specifically asked, "front yard or back yard?" and she told me it didn't matter---she won't run away. Well, unfortunately, we chose the FRONT yard, and yes, the dog DID run away. We searched for HOURS and then DAYS... made laminated and color printed posters---the dog was never found. our fault (but a little bit hers b/c she told us front yard was okay, but still...). And did I mention this happened the weekend before Christmas? tragedy. Did I also mention that this dog was their "BABY" and that's what they called her? Oh, and did I forget to tell you they had an 8.5x11 photo of the dog in their family room? ---I know. Awful. I still feel so bad about it.). Anyway, the anesthesiologist commiserated with me. Told me a few dog stories of her own, and we had quite the bonding time.

Fast forward to when my doctor was cutting (literally) me open. All I remember was a little bit of pulling and tugging, but no real discomfort at all. I was able to talk to Aaron and the nurses... easy cheesy.

Well, you can imagine my shock and amazement and tears of joy when my doctor exclaimed, "Holy Cow, Melissa! It's a good thing we did a c-section! This boy is huge! How much did Matilda weigh?"
I replied, "8 pounds 2 ounces."
She was like, "Oh, he's got to be at least that, if not more! Seriously, Melissa, if you would have tried to do a VBAC, we would have probably had to do a c-section in the end. This guy is huge!"


I quickly asked, "What does he look like? Is he okay? Is he healthy?"
I think that's when Aaron responded back, "He's perfect."

And he was. Perfect then. Perfect now.

Of course, I'm never one to hold back the tears, and I just remember grinning ear to ear with tears streaming down my face. Because I was so "uninhibited" as Aaron put it, I kept asking the anesthesiologist and the other nurses, "Can you believe how big he is? Oh, this is the best day ever! Wow! Can you believe I just had a baby?" and so on. I loved those people in that operating room.
Sure enough, Calvin weighed in at 9 pounds 9.4 ounces. That's my boy.

Red fuzzy hair. Big tummy. Darling.

They cleaned him up a bit, swaddles him, put a little cap on his head and put him in my arms. I was just overcome with gratitude. I loved him instantly.

And, with that, they wheeled me into the recovery room. Aaron called the families and I was able to nurse Cal just about a half hour after he was born. Awesome.

(I feel like I look like the Chef from the Muppets. nice.)

So, that's the story. As I look back at all the video footage Aaron took, I was such a goof. I don't think I stopped smiling through it all.

I think my best friend (aka the anesthesiologist) had it right when she kept saying, "See what I mean? A c-section is such a civilized way to have a baby!" hA!

Civilized indeed. I felt like a super star.

And, although some times I don't know if I can wear the real badge of motherhood, not having pushed a baby out on my own and the whole 9 yards---I quickly remember what a wonderful experience I did have, and in the end, the baby got here. I was happy. He was happy.

So, yes, different strokes for different folks, but I feel just peachy about how Mr. Calvin arrived.


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