Thursday, April 30, 2009

Regrets and the Tender Mercy of Dry Ice


This week after we dropped Jason off at his writing class the kids and I headed to Southpointe. I needed to get new sunglasses at Lenscrafters, and Russ was going to meet us for lunch in the food court. The sunglasses didn't happen, but we had a fun lunch with Russ and then sent him on his way back to work.

As the kids & I were walking towards the mall exit where we parked we came upon a woman pushing one of these:

I always enjoy talking to other moms of multiples, and I thought she'd be interested to know that my kids were also triplets, so I stopped and said hi and told her that this (my crew) was what she had to look forward to in 8 years.

We chatted for a few minutes there in the mall, and our conversation stayed with me for much of the rest of the day. First of all, the fact that she was there, in the mall, with 6 month old triplets, astounded me. I'm not much of a mall person anyway, but there is no part of me that was capable of taking my triplets, without any other adult help, for an excursion of that type when they were 6 months old. Her babies snoozed peacefully the whole time we talked, in their matching pink Graco carseats hooked to the triple decker frame. (Yes, that's really what it's called.) My kids would never have done that. They didn't take long enough or predictable enough naps at that point.

At some point during the conversation I mentioned how difficult the first few years were after my triplets were born. I was completely overwhelmed, all of the time. I had post-partum depression that started after they came home from the hospital and lasted almost 2.5 years.

This young mother told me a different story. Her triplets were her first children, the results of a last ditch fertility procedure after 5 years of infertility. She told me how much she was enjoying them, and how much fun she was having.

For the rest of the day I felt pangs of regret. Sadness that I wasn't able to enjoy very much of those early years. Frustration with myself for not being strong enough to have dealt with it all better. Loss about what I had just seen but never experienced myself.

----------

Wednesday morning while I was fixing breakfast Russ called to tell me that smoke was pouring from under the hood of his car and could I please come pick him up. After I finished feeding the kids breakfast and changed out of my pajamas I hopped in the van and drove into town to where he was waiting.

On our way back home we stopped at Kroger, and as we were walking out of the store Russ noticed the dry ice bin and reminded me that we needed some dry ice to put our newly purchased wheat into storage containers.

It wasn't until we pulled into the driveway that we realized that the wheat was still in the trunk of his car, 15 miles away. I was ready to get back in the van and go pick up the wheat so that we would not waste the dry ice, but then he pointed out that the total cost of the dry ice was only $1.33. Upon reflection I decided that we could afford to buy more dry ice after we got the car (and the wheat) back from the mechanic.

As we walked into the house I told him that I was sure we could find some interesting ideas for the dry ice on the internet.

The kids were thrilled when I told them that we weren't going to do regular school work because we were going to do some dry ice experiments.

Our first experiment was making dry ice scream. This is what happens when you press a hot spoon against the dry ice.

video

Next we put chunks of dry ice in water.

Of course it was much better once food coloring was involved too.

I was surprised at how noisy the dry ice was.

video

For our next trick we added dish soap to the water and dry ice.

video

By this time each child had at least one container with water and dry ice, there was food coloring all over their hands and all over the table, and there were bubbles (some with food coloring dripped into them) going everywhere.


video

We had so much fun.


I had assumed that after a few minutes I would need to go back to my google search to find more activities to do with the dry ice, but they were completely enchanted with what we were doing, and kept going until the last piece of ice had been dropped into a container of colored water.

Somewhere in the midst of our dry ice play I realized that the feelings of regret and loss that I had felt the previous day had vanished. In their place I felt nothing but joy about my lovely kids (with food coloring stained fingers) and the fun we were having.

What a tender mercy for a loving Heavenly Father to have sent my way.

-----

When I worked with a therapist several years ago one of the techniques that she used involved looking at a hard situation and trying to figure out what good things existed in my life today as a direct result of that difficult situation.

Are there things in my life that are better because those first couple of years were so intense and overwhelming? I'm not sure.

But maybe it's because of that difficult start that I am constantly delighted by my life with these little kids now.

I just needed $1.33 worth of dry ice to remind me of that...

-----

It just occurred to me that maybe I'm having my own moment of understanding Elder Worthlin's wonderful quote on a more personal level:

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." -Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin Come What May, and Love It


My Latest Project

I was going to add a picture of the ribbon & little bow up close, but that picture has uploaded sideways 4x now, so you will have to enlarge this picture if you want to see it better!

Cindy Lynn says that she thinks I need a granddaughter. And this is true— but for right now I'm happy to make a fun dress for my niece Lilly.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thank you, United!


Today I cut up my United Miles Visa. As I was cutting it (carefully, into at least 8 tiny pieces) I paused to be grateful to United for their Visa.

Several years ago we got an offer in the mail. "Use our credit card", it proclaimed, "and get lots and lots of free miles!" We already had 10,000 or so United miles — but we knew the chances of getting more were pretty slim. If we got the credit card, the bonus miles would give us at least one free ticket. It seemed like a worthwhile deal.

A year later we looked at the mileage total. (We use a credit card for everything and pay it off every month.) We had the magic number. 60,000 miles — enough to fly to Hawaii. I logged onto the United website to try to get tickets without high expectations. I had heard lots of frequent flier horror stories from my sister in law, and so I expected to have problems finding dates that we could use our miles for. What happened surprised me.

I logged in, created an account, picked some dates, gave them my mileage number, and paid the small fees with my credit card. And that was it.

For a long time I was in shock. I secretly expected to get an e-mail from United telling us that it was all a mistake, and that we didn't really have tickets. But as you have recently seen, we did indeed go to Hawaii.
And it was amazing.

I am embarrassed to admit that sometimes I tend to be overly aware of the good things that happen to other people, and forget easily the good things that have happened to me. So I want to go on record as having said:

Thank You, United!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lessons Learned at Saturday's Blood Drive


On Saturday as part of our Stake's Day of Service we had a blood drive. I haven't given blood in many years — I think I got used to being pregnant or nursing or overwhelmed by young triplets and stopped thinking about doing it. When my friend Katie told me recently how many units of blood products that she has used this year I was glad I had signed up to donate, and resolved to do it more often.

If that resolution is to become reality, there are a few lessons I must learn from Saturday's experience.
  • Blood must be kept cold. Dress for the Arctic, even if it is 90 degrees outside.
  • Drink lots of water. If you are slightly dehydrated your blood will be sludgy and won't want to leave your comfortable veins.
  • Drink lots of water. If your blood is sludgy they will take off the rubber tourniquet thingy and replace it with a fully inflated blood pressure cuff. Ouch!
  • Don't look. Repeat. Don't look. Even if the piece of gauze that they have placed over the needle in your arm falls off resist the urge to turn and look. That needle is huge so don't look!
  • Bring entertainment. Giving blood involves a lot of waiting. Waiting to answer questions, waiting to get seated in the special chair, waiting to get the needle in, and waiting on that sludgy blood.
The upside of donating blood? They have a table of total junk food, and you can sit there and eat all of the no bake cookies you want without feeling the least bit guilty. Because after you've donated blood, eating junk food is just what your body needs and therefore totally righteous!

P.S. In case you're wondering, no I did not donate blood in Canada. That was just the coolest "I Gave Blood" image I found on google...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dating According to the NYT

I came upon an intriguing article from the New York Times about date nights for married couples. At first I thought that they were just going to reiterate what we've always been told at church; that married couples should keep dating. But no, they had a different spin on it. And I think that maybe this is why the traveling thing works so well for Russ & I....

Spring 2007, celebrating our 20th anniversary in the Florida Keys!

You can read about it here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This Is What Happens

When your wonderful older sister sings bedtime songs to you for many years...

You learn the songs she's been singing.

We recorded her tonight so that Cindy Lynn can see/hear her. I think this is one adorable child!


video

Sew Amazing

For many years I have kept a sewing notebook. I use a small spiral notebook, and every time I finish a new project I make notes about it. What pattern I used, what size it was, and what things I liked, would change, or should remember. Then I attach a small piece of the fabric that I used to help me remember what I made.

I have loved keeping these notebooks. They serve as a record of the sewing I've done, but also a resource for new projects. I can look back through my notebook to see what things worked well and what things didn't work at all.

When I was finishing making notes about all of the Easter dresses that I made this year I had a thought. I decided that I wanted to take my current system up a notch and add pictures, making it into an informal scrapbook as well as a sewing resource. I've always enjoyed browsing through past projects in my little notebooks, but adding pictures would make it a real record of what I've sewn.

My first step was to buy a simple scrapbook at Walmart. Next I bought some digital frames and designed a little card to record the sewing information, then I printed them out on different colors of cardstock.

They turned out cute, which greatly increases the chances that they'll get used!

Then I went through my sewing notebook and picture files to find pictures of clothes that I've made. I'm going to transfer the information and fabric swatches from my most recent notebook into the scrapbook, since most of those clothes have been made in the last few years. (Let's be real. Most of them are from last spring !)

After I had located all of those picture files and uploaded them to Costco to be printed I had another idea. I started wondering if, in all of the old unscrapbooked pictures we have, there were any pictures of clothes that I had made for the three older kids when they were little.

I could not believe what I found--just in the unscrapbooked pictures!

WOW! And most of these weren't pictures taken to show off new clothes — they were pictures in which the kids just happened to be wearing clothes I'd made. It was an amazing feeling looking at all of these pictures, and I decided that I want to make another informal/simple scrapbook that shows all of my earlier sewing.

I think that all of that sewing is worthy of celebration!



P.S. Here's something else fun that I found. A picture of Jason & Cindy Lynn (wearing clothes/costume that I had made) with one of our favorite babysitters ever — Megan, who now is a mommy with an adorable family of her own and reads my blog!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Feel Gypped

I mentioned in January (in this post) that I've been going to a physical therapist at Duke in order to get myself some new post-triplet stomach muscles.

Thursday I was sitting on the table going over some of my exercises with my physical therapist. She walked away to get something and I heard a voice from the other side of the dividing curtain say my name. "Cindy." I looked around, wondering how many other Cindy's were in there having PT right at that moment, and if the voice was really calling me. The voice called again, "Cindy, this is Ken."

I hopped off of the table and went around to the other side of the curtain and there was our wonderful friend Ken, looking like he had just woken up. It turns out that he has been going to PT at Duke because of neck pain, and the reason he looked sleepy was that the physical therapist had been massaging his neck.

HUH? When I go to the physical therapist I just do exercises, one after the other. She makes me move my body in ways that leave me huffing and puffing even though I've hardly moved. And by the time I am done I can barely walk.

WHERE'S MY MASSAGE???

Friday, April 24, 2009

Trauma in my Antecubital Space

Ten days ago I had my annual physical, complete with blood work. I don't mind getting blood drawn at a lab or at a hospital, but I'm never thrilled to have it drawn by a nurse who spends most of her day weighing patients and taking their blood pressure.

This blood test hurt. HURT. BAD.

When it was over I asked the nurse what to do to prevent bruising. I can never remember. Do you leave it alone, or put pressure on it? Bend the elbow or keep it straight? She instructed me to keep firm pressure on it for at least 3 minutes, which I dutifully did.

Not that it helped.

Or if it did help, how bad would it have been?

Here is a picture of my bruised arm, it all it's glory. I want to point out to you that this blood test was 10 days ago. Also that this is not a picture of the area where the needle actually entered my arm — though there was bruising there and up my forearm too. This, however, is a picture of the side of my arm.
I think I can safely say that I have never before had a bruise that almost reached my elbow!

Ouch!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

They're Here! They're Here!

I am sure you will all be relieved to know that this afternoon there are caterpillars in our yard. Not just one, but 4. Well, they were in the yard. Now they are happily living the caterpillar high life in brand new digs on the screened in porch.

Jared calls his caterpillar Roadrunner because he moves so quickly.


Jenna calls her caterpillar Ole'Blue because it seems to be old.


And Rachel, the lucky girl with two caterpillars, calls them Sicko and Twitch.


Don't you just love it that there are obvious gender differences in home decor decisions by age 8.5?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cindy & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

 

I did not have a good day yesterday. Small parts of it were ok. But overall, it was a very bad day.

Jason has a class every Tuesday in Chapel Hill near the stake center. He hasn't gone since his surgery, and yesterday he was ready to go but was still unable to drive. So I loaded the littles into the car and off we went. By the time we'd driven the 45 minutes, all three little kids were complaining that they were going to throw up. I assured them that they were going to be fine, opened some windows, turned up the air, and drove 10 more minutes to Super Walmart. I needed to return some things and look for white Sunday shoes for the girls. (Note to self--buy white Sunday shoes before Easter, not after!) Somehow I found myself in a dressing room with all three little kids trying on clothes at the same time, a process that sucked the energy out of me as if they had been using a straw. I had planned to go to Home Depot after Walmart, but the Walmart excursion took it all out of me, so instead I went back to the home where the class was being held and waited for it to be done. (Note to self--if it's lunch time, find some real food. Don't think that that box of breakfast bars from Walmart is going to do you any good whatsoever.)

I ran a few errands on the way home. (Ok, one part of my day that was really fabulous was finding out that one of my favorite groups of kid fabrics was on sale at $1.99/yard when I stopped in for something else at the fabric store. At that great price I had to buy...um...some!) We arrived here at 3:30, I unloaded kids, inhaled a bowl of chili, and set off for Costco for an eye exam. Here is where the day goes waaayyyy downhill.

One of our friends is having a birthday this week. His family is going through an incredibly stressful time, and so I figured a normal type of birthday present might not be the best thing this year. I conferenced with Cindy Lynn and we decided that a good present would be a couple of gift cards to local restuarants. (Don't worry--he is completely anti-blog and would never read this!) Russ picked up two gift cards on his way home from work, but I also wanted.....
a Panda Express gift card.

The only problem was that the closest Panda Express is all the way down by the temple, or in the student center at Duke. No problem, I thought, I'll ask one of the students in the ward to pick up a gift card. And so I did. But he forgot.

Now back to Costco. I had my eye exam, found a pair of glasses that I might like, and did my grocery shopping with my uncomfortably dilated eyes. I had the brilliant idea that since I was relatively close to Duke and (more importantly) I no longer had 4 kids in the car with me, I could pick up the gift card myself. I called and got directions and then I was off.

I should have known to scrap the mission entirely when, on the first street inside of the Duke campus I hit what must be the worlds largest speed bump. Seriously. I was airborne for several seconds, and then when my van landed it hit parts of the undercarriage that have never touched land before. I am sure my van will never will be the same.

Unfortunately I missed that karmic warning and continued onward.

When I got to the student center there was lots of parking available. I was so happy at not having to hunt for a parking spot that I immediately forgot the warning of the speed bump. I parked and walked in.

My direction-giver had told me that the Panda Express was downstairs in the student center, so I squinted through my dilated pupils, trying to figure out where the stairs were. I finally found a ramp that sloped gradually down into what appeared to be a food court kind of area. At the bottom of the ramp there was a smoothie shop.

Smoothies were one of my favorite things to get in Hawaii, and we've made a lot of smoothies since we got back. I am normally much too frugal to buy a smoothie in real life, though. But my day had been so long and I had eaten so little (especially if you forget about all of the breakfast bars) and my dilated eyes were really starting to make my head hurt and I decided a yummy smoothie was exactly what I needed. And so I ordered. Of course the ordering was a little difficult, due to not really being able to read the information through my fuzzy eyes. And then the lady wanted to know what I wanted added to my smoothie, and by this point my brain was dead enough that I didn't know what she was talking about, and so she kept reeling off a list of additives: immune, energy, muscles, protein, and who knows what else. I finally decided that the lack of brain function that I was experiencing was a definite indication that I needed protein, and she dumped the protein powder in and blended my smoothie.

She set the finished smoothie on the counter and I whipped out my trusty VISA card. At this point things went seriously bad.

"We don't take credit cards," she said. As I reached for my checkbook she continued. All we take are Duke cards
or
cash.


I knew for a fact that the only cash on my entire person was one slim dime. And that that was not the cash she was talking about.

Fortunately for me, a student on the other side of the counter who was getting ready to pay for her treat noticed my distress. "You can put it on my Duke card," she offered helpfully. I asked if I could write her a check, but she assured me that it was no big deal. (No big deal because her mother paid for it, I'm sure--so thank you anonymous mother, wherever you are!)

Next she directed me and my moocher smoothie over to the ATM machines, since I had put 2 and 2 together and deduced that Panda Express probably was not going to let me pay for my gift card with cash.

There are three ATM machines downstairs in the student center at Duke. Unfortunately none of them is from the bank I bank with, which means that by using one I knew I'd be paying a $2.50 fee to that bank and to my bank as well. Oh well, I consoled myself. I was, after all, sucking down a (delicious) free smoothie (complete with protein), and I was willing to pay the service fee to get this gift card for my friend. (Although I must admit that by this point I was starting to wonder if we were this good of friends!)

Cash in one hand, smoothie in the other, I accosted a couple of unsuspecting students to get better directions to the Panda Express. Turns out it was back up the stairs, out another door, and around the corner. But I was finally there, finally ready to buy the Gift Card. Only to be told by the helpful employee, "You can only use Duke cards and cash here, so we don't sell gift cards!"

arghhhhhh!

At least the smoothie was good.

I feel so much better now that I've recorded this. Now everyone can sympathize with me over my terrible day....and it enabled me to ignore (for a little while) the nasty mess under my kitchen sink from a leaky pipe...I guess I should go deal with that now!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our New Club

I love spring. I love to watch the progression of beautiful colors that leads up to the return of all of our lovely green foliage.

My little kids have a different reason for loving spring. And they watch and wait just as impatiently as I do for the first dogwood blossom to fully open. Except while I'm watching for beautiful blooms they're watching for

woolly caterpillars.

Yep, that's right. The most anticipated event of the spring is the sighting of the first caterpillar.

On Friday Russ & I took a nice walk together, and we saw one of the little creatures scooting along in the road. We were less than halfway into our walk, and so didn't even consider bringing the insect home to make the little kids' day. But we did tell them about it, thinking that it would bring them hope that any day now the trees around our house will produce a plethora of little woolly caterpillars.

Instead it whipped them into an impatient frenzy, complete with constant requests to go on another walk to get the caterpillar.

Saturday Russ (officially the coolest dad in the world) made little caterpillar cages. They were going to be screen on all sides, but Jared quickly expressed concern that if the bottom was also screen, the little caterpillar feet would get caught in the holes. And so the bottoms are solid board.

Today the kids were out playing on the screened porch and Jenna came in and asked us to hang up a sign.

I'm not exactly sure that a catupilr club does, but they had their cages out there, ate lunch out there, and according to Jared, got to say "I Object" if they disagreed with anything.

What more can you ask?

P.S. I know that everyone who has my blog in their updating list of blogs is really & truly grateful to have my last blog title out of your list. You're welcome. ;)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Constipation

Yep, I'm going to talk about constipation. I knew that would make you sit up and pay attention!

In the last 3 weeks we have learned that one of the major side effects of narcotic based pain relievers is chronic constipation. Unfortunately none of the doctors or nurses mentioned this fact until day 4 of Jason's hospitalization, and they didn't give us much usable help in dealing with the problem.

When we got home I did a bit of reading on the internet and learned that the narcotic pain relievers cause this problem because they relax the muscles of the colon. Everything I read emphasized that fiber, normally the first answer, is not appropriate in this situation. So we had to find other solutions.

After quite a bit of experimenting, we have evolved a regimen that keeps things moving, so to speak. It goes like this:
  • Before breakfast: 12 oz very warm water on an empty stomach--provides lubrication in the intestines.
  • Morning: prescription stool softener
  • Mid-morning: Miralax--absorbs water into the intestines
  • Mid-morning: 2-3 grams of vitamin C powder--excess vitamin C causes "loosening of stools"
  • Evening: prescription stool softener
  • Night: Herbal tea with ingredients that stimulate intestinal muscle movement
Now I don't list this all out of you to gross you our or to see how many times I can avoid using the word colon in one blog post--but so that you can see how many different things Jason is doing to keep things moving correctly in his digestive system.

Tonight we got into the car to go somewhere after dinner and Jason said that his stomach was hurting. Then he said, "I probably have been slacking off on doing the things I need to do."

All along I've noticed how difficult it is to keep doing all of these things every day. It's hard to remember all of the different things. None of them seem to make a bit of difference in the moment of doing them. And when things in his digestive tract are moving well, it doesn't seem like it's that big of deal if he skips one or two or even three of the things on that list.

But as sure as he does, he is constipated again, and then he has to work even harder to get things moving again.

It struck me tonight that this is so much like our spiritual lives.

Several years ago two sociology professors from BYU did some research on successful families and successful teens. One of the interesting things they discovered in their surveys was that outward religious behavior was not a good predictor of teenage testimony.

Instead they found that it was personal religiosity (great word, yes!?!) that was a greater predictor of testimony. If teens were consistently having meaningful personal prayer and personal scripture study they were more likely to have a testimony and to make choices in line with church teachings.

The temptations that adults face may not be the same those faced by teens, but the need for personal religious behaviors remains. I am sure that consistent and meaningful personal prayer and scripture study are the two things that will help us more than anything else in life. I have seen this over and over in my own life, and yet it is still so hard to be consistent. Just like Jason, it's too easy for me to think that today everything is going ok in my life, and that surely it won't be that big of a deal if I skimp or even skip on my personal scripture study, or if I forget to pray or forget to think while I'm praying.

And just like Jason, within a short time I find that things are no longer moving smoothly in my little world, and that it is always so much more work to get things back to the way they were than it would have been to be careful and consistent all along.

I know that this need for continual effort must be an important part of the Lord's plan — it would just be too easy if we got into a good spiritual routine and habits and were able to stay there forever. I am sure that the continual battle against this aspect of the natural man is building spiritual muscles that I can't see. But sometimes it is just so frustrating...

Hopefully I can learn from Jason's experience. (But please don't talk to him about it! ;) )

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Slow Burn


Russ & I are awesome together. Compatible, happy, content. That's how we've gotten through 22 years of marriage so well together. We're missing just one thing.

Neither of us has the maintenance gene.

I think that I might have a tiny bit of maintenance in me, but he (bless his sweet heart) lacks it completely. It must be the flip side of being so easy going, and most of the time it's ok with me.

Except in the garage.

Last fall I revamped the chores in our home. Our new strategery is going well, except that I forgot to reassign some odds & ends that had been the responsibility of the older boys before. In the old system, one boy had the weekly responsibility of straightening up the garage, and the other boy had to blow it out every week. It worked pretty well. And now we've gone about 6-7 months without that being done. This is a problem.

For the last month or two, every time I've walked in or out through the garage I've noticed how messy it was. It's gotten worse and worse and worse. I could feel the need to clean the garage starting to build in me last week, but I had to finish the Easter sewing and there was no time. This week was full of appointments and errands. But today was perfect. The perfect conjunction of beautiful spring weather (finally!) and my now undeniable need to clean the garage.

I put the little kids to work, promising "Park City bucks" towards a planned activity on our trip this summer. They started pulling things out of the garage, and Russ took pity on us and came to help.

I had to run an errand, and by the time I got back half of the garage was cleaned out. I started working again and swept out and organized the other half.

It was really hard, grungy dusty work. Lots of sneezing involved.

But oh, so worth it!


My lovely friend Katie issued a challenge on her blog yesterday--
describe the present day with at least one sentence using each of your five senses and you end up with a cool poem...
Here's mine:

I hear birds singing in
the spring green trees
Smell dust as I
push the broom through the garage.
The taste of spring cleaning is sweet.

Friday, April 17, 2009

23 years and 4 months ago I walked into the boy's dorm next to mine at BYU on the first day after Christmas break and introduced myself to a quiet new boy who was watching Spanish TV.

23 years and 3 months ago the quiet new boy called me on the phone and asked me out on a date. I had no idea who he was (thank goodness for the BYU ward directories with pictures!) but as there had been a distinct famine in my dating land, I accepted anyway.

23 years ago the quiet new boy started asking me to marry him,

and 22 years ago today I did.

We have laughed for many years about our anniversaries. Our first anniversary was 4 months before Cindy Lynn was born & during my last week of finals at BYU. I was stressed.

Our second anniversary was spent with Cindy Lynn in the hospital, hoping that she wouldn't die. (She didn't.)

Our 6th anniversary I spent, after a lovely dinner, laying on the living room floor hoping not to vomit from extreme car-sickness.

I'm not sure we even remembered that we had an anniversary the year I was pregnant with the triplets.

Somehow, though, when the rest of the time together is so great it doesn't matter if that one day isn't perfect. Because so many other days are.

I had no idea that life could be this good.

Happy Anniversary Russ-- I love you!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fun with Mom's Camera

I've been wondering for a while why it is that I take pictures. Maybe that's a topic for another post another day. Today I'm also wondering why my kids like to take pictures. They always have--all 6 of them. When one of the big kids was older they got for Christmas a disposable camera, and a promise of a new one every month. When the pictures were developed they were of things like the poster on the wall, the foot of the bed, or half of the window.

Thank goodness for digital.

I let one of the little kids use my good digital camera a few years ago, and it never worked quite right after that. When I ended up with a new one last year I resolved that no small hands would ever touch it. Good resolution. Bad follow through.

Every now and then one of the little kids will ask if they can use my camera. I reiterate the important details of not touching the lens and putting the strap around their neck and holding it carefully and not touching the lens. And then they go off to have great fun doing who knows what.

This last time it was Rachel who wanted to use it.

How can you refuse a face like that???




When I downloaded the pictures to my computer, I got pictures like this:



Jared on the couch; my messy desk; Russ making dinner; plates on the table. Is there a rhyme or reason to it? They never seem interested in seeing the pictures that they've taken; it's just the taking of them that is important...

video
Rachel discovers the video button on my camera.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Forever Grateful




Jenna and I had appointments at the orthodontist this morning. Since the orthodontist is on the same side of town as Kohls, Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Panera Bread we ran a lot of errands and had lunch together. It was a very long day for Jenna and she was a pretty good sport about it.

Towards the end of our errands she started fretting that even though she had gotten treats and had fun with me, she had missed out on whatever fun Rachel and Jared had been having while we were gone. I asked her if she ever wished that she was born by herself instead of being a triplet. She was quiet for a moment, and then said a long "Nooooo." And then added, "Once I did, when I was about 4. But not anymore."

When I found out I was pregnant with triplets I cried for a whole weekend. All I could see was the unraveling of my carefully controlled life. I felt like the embodiment of the expression "jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire" and I didn't want to experience the fire. After I was done crying I (of course) set to work researching triplets on the internet. I found a thriving triplet community online that provided enormous support to me while I was pregnant and in the first few years after my babies were born.

Without exception, the other parents of multiples all expressed the same sentiment — I wouldn't have it any other way.

I thought they were all insane.

But now, almost nine years later I stand with them. Awed to have been blessed with this miracle in my life...
I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Guess Who Came to Dinner

Uncle Chuck, Uncle Mark, and my dad, John Watson

My dad and his brothers and sister spent last week at the Farm working in the yard and around the house. When my dad told me Friday morning that he was flying out of Raleigh Saturday morning early I suggested that it would be easier on his body (so thoughtful of me!) if he came and spent the night at my house Friday night, and only had a 1 hour drive (instead of 3) to the airport Saturday morning. I even offered to get out of bed super early and drive him to the airport myself. (Now that is real love!)

Late Friday afternoon he called to say that he was leaving the Farm and would be taking me up on my offer, and that he was bringing his older brother, my Uncle Chuck with him. It turned out that his youngest brother, my Uncle Mark, was the one doing the driving so he came too. They arrived and I fed them a late dinner and we sat and chatted. Uncle Mark had planned to get back on the road that night (to drive back to Utah) but I persuaded him that he could save money by staying and that I had plenty of beds available.

It was such a fun evening. We ate decadent chocolate pie (thanks Alisyn!) and talked and talked and talked. Did you know that there's a theory that FDR committed suicide? Neither did I, but once Uncle Mark hitchhiked with a man who's son had worked for the secret service and saw it. Fascinating! Do you think that Emma endured to the end? I don't know, but there were some strong and interesting opinions expressed. Why did Joseph Smith run for president? Now I know! Did you know that there's some question as to whether or not Barak Obama was born in the US? (Which would change his eligibility to be president.) I do now!

Whatever heaven is like, I hope it includes plenty of time to associate with the people we love...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Greetings


Today was Jason's first day back to church since the surgery, and I brought him home after sacrament meeting. I'd planned to watch the first conference session when I got home, but first I saw a link to a new "Mormon Message" by Elder Holland. When I grow up I want to make beautiful videos like these... Enjoy!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Anyone Interested in a Game of Chest?



Jared is teaching Jenna how to play chest. She says that she'd rather play checkerds.