Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank Goodness for Modern Technology

After Joe left, we continued to "date." He would call on his cell phone every Sunday and we would talk for 2 hours (his phone plan was pretty archaic). We would send each other emails every day, sometimes more that one a day. We would chat online any chance we got... It was ALMOST as good as being near each other... not quite, but almost. I flew down to visit him around Valentines day (and my birthday) and he flew me down on his spring break... It wasn't long before we both realized we were in love, and though I said it first, he was not too far behind in reciprocating it.

It wasn't long after his move that my mom confided in me that she KNEW the moment she met him that he was my future husband. Let's just say that I was all sorts of surprised and a bit taken off guard by my mom's comment... I mean, I was 18! I was barely out of high school! Say WHAT?! To add to it, not long after he left, Joe told me in a phone conversation that "if things keep going the way they are now, don't be surprised if I ask you to marry me." (Remember- subtlety isn't his THANG...)

It wasn't easy being in love, but being separated by two states. We decided that the only solution to this problem would be for me to move to Utah. We talked it over, talked with my mom, and got her feedback, and then I started planning the move. It would be a somewhat "temporary" move. Neither Joe nor I felt comfortable moving our relationship past dating until we lived close enough to actually get some REAL dating in. Not the over the phone dating, but to actually spend time with each other. So after 6 months of dating online and over the phone, I moved in with my aunt and uncle in Utah to see what would happen. If Joe and I didn't work out, I had every intention of moving back to CA. Betcha can't guess what happened next...

Stay tuned for Installment 5: The big question

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Subtlety and Games? No thanks!

A few days after Joe's and my first "date" :) There was another party. Having acquired his phone number, I made a call to him to see if he was going to the party. While on the phone with him I learned two things- #1. He is incredibly intuitive with handyman duties (he was under his mom's sink fixing her garbage disposal when I called)... and #2. He is not one for game playing and the likes. He asked me point blank on the phone, "Do you like me?" My thoughts: "Well two can play at this game, buddy!" What I said: "Yes!" Needless to say the elephant in the room was gone. It was out in the open. I don't remember if he reciprocated the statement, though I don't think he did. But he didn't run away screaming so I figured it was a pretty good guess that he was okay with it...

Over the course of the next month, we hung out quite often, went to plenty of Institute parties and activities, went on plenty more dates and learned more about each other. Unfortunately, one of the things I learned about him was that his stay in California was temporary... He had returned from his mission and come to stay with his mom for a month and a half (ish) before moving back to Utah to live with his dad and attend The University of Utah (where he had already completed a year before his mission). We decided to make the most of his time in California- no promises or strings attached. At one point during the course of our dating, my car needed a tune up and ended up back in the shop... I needed a ride to and from work everyday for a week or more, and Joe was kind enough to drive me... The first time he dropped me off, I hopped out of his car and said, "Thanks! Love ya!" shut the door, walked into the restaurant I was working out, turned totally pale, and realized I had just told him I LOVED HIM! ACK! I totally didn't! We BARELY knew each other! ACK! I waited about half an hour for him to get home before calling to clarify the absolute truth... "Love ya!" was how I frequently ended conversations with my friends- which is totally true. I probably told my closer friends that I loved them 2-3 times a day... So after smoothing things over, I hung up the phone... but not before saying, "Okay- Love ya! Bye." CRAP! I am such an idiot! Luckily Joe didn't run for the hills after I confessed my "love" for him the second time in an hour... On December 2 it became official. We were exclusively dating...

By the time it was time for Joe to move back to Utah, I was pretty hooked. I was admittedly "In Like" with him. He admitted he felt the same. We talked and decided it wouldn't hurt to try the long distance relationship thing. I mean, really- what's the worst that could happen? We decide it doesn't work out and break up? And how is that worse than breaking up right now? So that was that. He left the week before Christmas. When he left I found random surprises he had left for me. He had left his favorite tape (Dave Matthews Band, Before These Crowded Streets) on my bedside table with a dozen roses and a little note. He had introduced me to DMB, and I really liked their music... it was one of his few possessions not in Utah. Also, his mom had asked me to house sit for her while she drove with Joe to UT to visit family for Christmas, and I found a note from Joe in her house... :) He may not think he is much of a romantic, but I sure thought so...

Stay Tuned for Installment 4: Thank Goodness for Modern Technology!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our First Date "Aaaaa"

A few days after the brownies and wrestling Jason showed up to Institute much like any other day, except this time, Joe came too. I asked (read: told) Joe to fill in his name and phone # in my planner (cause I am super pushy). I also managed to finagle my way into going to lunch with him, and a few other friends of ours. Poor Joe had no chance! :) Interestingly enough within an hour all three of the other lunch attendees got called away to do other things that interfered with lunch and it was just Joe and I left. I casually mentioned that I was still hungry- and poor Joe (totally blindsided) agreed to go to lunch with JUST me. We decided to go to Marie Callendars, and we had a quite enjoyable lunch. During which I finally figured out that he had gone on his mission to Bulgaria (not Bolivia), and that he had only been home from his mission for a week or so. He was still feeling disconcerted from not having a mission companion at his side, and because of that, females made him decidedly nervous. He went on to tell me more about his mission, and that the hardest adjustment coming home was slipping back into the habit of speaking English, and hearing the sounds unique to the English language. He said one of the ugliest sounds to his ears was the hard "A" sound. That sound doesn't exist in the Bulgarian language, and it was just such a harsh and ugly sound. To which I replied, "Oh, you mean like in Paaaam?" The look on his face was priceless. He still gets teased because of it! Even though I intended to pay for my own food, he, being the gentleman he is, paid for the bill, then drove me back to the institute building to get my car. On the ride back, I learned that his awesome sense of style was not his sense at all, but that of his younger brother... Seems that he grew a bit on his mission so his dad took his younger brother to buy Joe a whole new wardrobe to come home to. He actually didn't love the style of his clothes much at all. :)

Stay tuned for installment 3: Subtlety and Games? No thanks!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Parties, Brownies, Wrestling, and Girls...

After high school I started attending a few (very few) classes at the local Jr. College. One of my favorite classes was The Institute of Religion, and I found that I spent a great deal of my spare time hanging out at "The Tute" as we called it. Around this time, I managed to do a GREAT deal of damage to my car (okay- it wasn't my car, it was my mom's. AND- I didn't intentionally damage it, I had a faulty check engine light...). While my car was out of commission, I relied a LOT on my friends (more specifically, one friend- Sharrie) to get me to and from school. After getting the car back and running, Sharrie's car died ( I promise this is going somewhere).

Around that time, a flyer was posted at "The Tute" about a birthday party for one of Sharrie's friends. I was not horribly fond of this girl, but I really felt like I owed Sharrie for all the rides she had given me, soooo I took her to the party. I really wasn't thrilled to be there, and went to wait it out in the corner of the room. Unfortunately, as I approached the most comfortable corner, I found it already occupied by a guy I had known only as "Sysco" and his friend whom I had never met before. Sysco was a really friendly guy who frequently showed up at "The Tute" and was in charge of keeping the fridge stocked with all sorts of goodies that he picked up at cost from his work-Sysco Foods (hence the nickname)... My "job" was to keep him informed of what foods needed restocking and making sure he got the money from the Institute director. So I struck up some friendly banter with Sysco and talked a bit with his friend. Sysco's friend (whose name I never caught) was a recently returned missionary from some foreign country I had heard of but had no idea where it was... Bolivia or Bulgaria... one of those two. He had only been home a few days, and Sysco had dragged him to the party to get him back in the swing of things... Eventually Sharrie and I left the party and were on our way.

A few nights later we were invited over to my friend Reed's house. He was making his famous Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Brownies, and wanted to show off to some of his "girl friends". We all settled in to eat some brownies a la mode, and watch the latest WWF match, when Reed excused himself to make a phone call. About 10 minutes later, Sysco and his friend showed up. Turns out that Reed's call took about 20 seconds to relay. "Dude, I've got brownies, wrestling on TV, and girls... ya gotta come!" That night I learned Sysco's real name was Jason, and he was as strong as an ox (he shot put me across the room). His friend was an extremely shy guy named Joe. And Joe was CUTE. I especially loved his sense of style! It turns out that one of Joe's best friends was Reed's older brother. And another friend of his was my cousin's fiancee... Joe and I hit it off largely in part to my ability to talk. It was like pulling nails trying to get to know Joe!

Stay Tuned for Installment 2: The First Date, Aaaaa!

Sorry it's been a while...

Ever since Matthew was born, I have been sick. In fact, my whole family has been sick. And rather than getting better, we all are (were) getting WORSE! As of Saturday, I finally bit the bullet and took Lil and myself to the instacare. She had a double ear infection, and I had (have) Bronchitis and Sinusitis... totally NOT FUN. Today I am taking Lacey and Matthew in to get checked out too... I wouldn't be surprised if all of us were on Antibiotics by the end of the day!

So- I have been following a friends blog for a while now, and she recently started a string of posts about her and her husband's love story. I thought it was a pretty cute idea, and therefore have decided to do the same thing... now keep in mind, this is MY SIDE of the story. Maybe (HINT HINT) Joe will chime in with his own version or at least a rebuttal to parts he disagrees with in my comments, but don't count on it... and even if he does, know that MY story is less skewed (ha ha Joe!)!

Stay tuned for Installment 1: Parties, Brownies, Wrestling, and Girls

Monday, February 8, 2010

Some kiddo cuteness

Lacey is absolutely convinced that some of Matthews clothes are hers. She refused to believe me when we tried to tell her this onesie was not hers... poor kid walked around with a wedgie for a good hour before she finally gave in and admitted it didn't fit her!

Lilia called me in to the front room the other day and said, "Mom, I tricked Matthew! He thinks he is eating from me! :)" (In case you can't see, he is really sucking on his green pacifier...)

Lacey is counting Matthews fingers to make sure he has them all... according to her he has 11 fingers!

Matthew getting a bit of sun in the window... gotta help get rid of his jaundice!

Moms really are the best!

Isn't it wonderful how moms seem to just KNOW when their children need a little extra something? My mom surprised me this week. And lemme tell ya, it made my day! I had been having a very difficult week dealing with being sick and having sick kids (both Lacey and Matthew), I had spent many hours on the phone with my mom trying to come to grips with being a mom to three, and I was feeling very overwhelmed. And then... This arrived on my porch on Friday and I have been enjoying it's beauty ever since. :)

It came with a note saying "This is for you and your little boy blue! I hope you are both feeling better soon. Love, Mom"

She arrived on my doorstep an hour or so later to spend some time with me and the kids, and this is the thanks she got...
Matthew does give good kisses... even if it is only because he is searching for food...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lacey's bad week

I mentioned in my previous post that Lacey had a mishap on the day of Matthew's birth. Poor kid had a pretty craptastic week!

On Monday Jan. 25th Lacey was lifting the toilet seat and failed to set it all the way back, and when she let go of the seat, it came crashing down on her. This resulted in a pretty minor bruise across the bridge of her nose.

On Wednesday Jan. 27th we ran to Walmart to get some last minute baby stuff (good thing, too!) and while we were at the store, Lacey and Lil were playing a little rough and Lilia pulled on Lacey just hard enough for Lacey to lose her balance and take a fall, pulling Lilia down on top of her. This resulted in a pretty MAJOR goose egg on her forehead. It was bad enough that the second she got up off the ground (crying, of course) the employee standing nearby totally went all bug eyed and asked if we wanted her to get the manager... Yeah- it was REALLY purple REALLY fast.

The next day (while I was at the hospital with Joe trying to get Matthew here) Lacey was jumping on the top bunk of the girl's bunk bed. She jumped up, landed on her knees and face planted on the wooden frame that surrounds the top bunk. She split her nose open, scratched her chin, and gave herself two black eyes.

I was forbidden from seeing her (by my Mother in Law) that day, and was unable to see her until the next day (she didn't want me to get overly emotional and traumatized...). According to my MIL, the day of the incident, her nose had swollen to the size of a golf ball. By the time I was allowed to see her that next day, the swelling had gone down considerably, but was still pretty bad.

Between my mother in law and my mother, I didn't see my girls again until Sunday the 31st. And her swelling had gone down so much! (I just love the curls! My MIL used curlers on her)

As of yesterday, her stitches were removed, but because the stitches pulled off the scab, it was still bandaged up til this morning. But at least I could finally bathe her head! And not a moment to soon it seems!

Lacey has been blessed with my father's uncanny ability to heal very rapidly. This is my girl just one week after all the damage was done. The black eyes are still there, but the rest of her was pretty well healed! Now- off to find some Vitamin E to rub into that scab to keep the scarring to a minimum.
Now- if only we could get rid of the Croup, then things will finally be turning around for my middle child (who is amazingly accident/illness prone- just like the middle child in my family... me)!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Progress at last!

When we first moved out to the house we currently live in, I was hesitant. I loved the neighborhood, I LOVED having a park across the street, and I loved the people I had met out here... What I didn't love was the "downgrade." We used to live in a 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath two story house. We had a crawl space basement, and two car garage and a HUGE yard. Our move to this house (though necessary) came up a bit short.

When Joe came home from work one day he mentioned that the owner of the building he worked in was trying to sell a home in the area we were house hunting. He asked if I wanted to see it. I asked what the houses specs were... TWO bedroom, TWO bath (though we did have a 2 car garage), and a minimal, almost non-existent yard. Hmmm... nope. Not interested! Joe did mention that the house had a completely unfinished basement with room for up to 3 more bedrooms and another bathroom eventually. Keeping that in mind, we came, we saw, we bought. Though Joe promised we wouldn't sit over the unfinished basement long before we started building it.

Fast forward 3 years... Still no work done on the basement and now we find ourselves pregnant with a third child. ACK! Two bedrooms with three children? The kid's room is ridiculously tiny, and not very accommodating to a third bed... as is, trying to squeeze a bunk bed and two dressers in there was hard enough! Well- In December Joe was given a raise. And a GOOD one at that! With that raise, we decided it was time to just DO IT! Joe drew up plans for what we had in mind, we got a building permit from the city, and we went to a lumber supply store and bought ourselves a BUNCH of two by fours to frame in our basement. I am excited to say, that as of yesterday, with the help of a bunch of our family members, as well as the help of our neighbor (who frames houses for a living) we have framed in MOST of the bathroom downstairs, as well as a few outer walls, as well! Things are well underway in our basement and I couldn't be more thrilled!

Good job Joe! And thanks for helping KC, Kevin, Steven, Randi, Julie, and Don!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Introducing Matthew!

Matthew Joseph was born January 28th, 2010 at 12:28 pm. He was 9 lb. 2 oz. and 20.5 inches long...
Yeah you read that right 9 lbs! That's a whole 2 pounds heavier than his sisters! And you wonder why I was so unbelievably HUGE! Wanna see proof? Okay... I only ever do one bare belly shot with each pregnancy. Here are my three shots from my three kids.

Me the day before labor with Lilia. I had gained 50 pounds throughout the whole pregnancy. I gained that weight EVERYWHERE. Not just in the belly.

A few years later, here is me the day before labor with Lacey. I gained a grand total of 27 lbs. Yet the belly was darn close to the same size...

And this was me the morning of Matthew Birth. I have gained a grand total of 43 pounds. ALL in the belly!
I WAS HUGE! And NO WONDER I was so miserable! Not at all surprised that he was two pounds heavier than his sisters, huh?

So- on to the story. As you can tell from my last post, I was pretty worked up and angry on the 27th. I wanted Matthew here. And I was tired of being pregnant. And I was miserable. Well- I stayed up late that night (even knowing I MAY be induced the next morning) because to be quite honest, at that point, I wasn't sleeping well at night anymore. I was lucky to sleep in one hour stretches. I figured, "what's the point of going to sleep- I hurt more when I sleep..."

I finally conceded and went to bed at 12:30 that morning. Two hours later I woke up with a contraction. Then another. And another. I got up, used the bathroom, got a glass of water, drank it, and sat on the couch waiting to see what happened next. I started tracking my contractions and found that I was having fairly easy contractions (nothing too hard or difficult to breathe through) every 2-7 minutes. They were spastic in a sense of not really being regularly spaced, nor were they getting closer together. After timing them for an hour and a half and talking it over with my friend (who is totally amazing and let me wake her up with my concerns), I decided (at her suggestion) to call the on call doctor and see what she wanted me to do.

When the doctor called me back, I told her all the info above and she asked, "How far along are you?" I said, "41 weeks" she said, "OH!" I then went on to explain my fears about not being on an antibiotic long enough cause of the Group B Strep, and that I was scheduled to be induced later that morning though probably wouldn't get in because I was 5th in line, etc. And that blessed woman, do you know what she said? "It sounds like it's either false labor, or pre-labor, but since your doctor has you scheduled for induction today, AND because you are over your due date, come on in. I won't send you home- congratulations on bumping yourself up the line!"

And so I called my friend back, who graciously agreed to come sleep on my couch until my mother in law could get here (she lives an hour away). I then called my MIL and told her to come on down, and of course called my mom just to keep her in the loop... I went and woke Joe up at 4:30 and when I told him I was in labor, his exact word(s) were, "BAH!... Do I have time to take a shower?" Hehehe... I love him! All in all, we were on our way to the hospital at around 5:15 am. By 6 I was at the hospital. The whole time, Joe kept saying, "You sure aren't acting like you are in labor. You're too calm!" (I was remarkably calm- or relieved... whatever you want to call it...)

They started me on a very low pitocin drip at 6:15 or so just to kick the labor up a notch, and at 8 my doctor (who was now at work) came over and broke my water. It was all downhill from there. This time around, when I opted for the epidural, I happened to mention that it makes me sick and the nurse gave me a little baggie (via IV) of anti nausea medication... LOVE HER! That made all the difference, and I was feeling good! I kept telling the nurses that he would be born before 12:30 because that's when Lil goes to school and I REALLY wanted to be able to tell her before she left. The nurses were skeptical, but I was pretty insistent. :)

Around 11:45 or so I was dilated to 9 (10 = time to push, for those who don't know) and was NOT progressing. At 12:10 the nurse came in, checked, sighed and then said, "Hmmm... you are at like a 9++ but it's not QUITE a ten- there is still a bit of cervix that's too thick. Tell ya what, give me a tiny tiny push and lets see if that does the trick." Sure enough, I pushed a tiny bit and viola! I was at a 10! She called my doc, who came back across the parking lot to the hospital. Matthew was born quick, (as were both my girls) though not as quick as Lacey. It took around 5 minutes of pushing to get his shoulder unstuck and out, but he DID get here eventually, and though I did have minimal tearing, I would say it wasn't so bad when you consider both his and my size! When the doctor finally managed to free the stuck shoulder, he said, "WHOA! He has got to be around 9 lbs. 2 oz!" And amazingly enough, he was absolutely right! I had me a BIG BOY!

Unfortunately, though I WAS right, and he WAS born before 12:30 (at 12:28) it was too late for me to tell Lil. She found out as soon as she got home from school though!

Sadly, about 3 minutes after Matthew's arrival, we got a call from my MIL. Joe answered and said, "How'd you know to call now?" to which his mom said, "What? Oh! Is he here? Great! But that's not why I called..." Turns out, that Lacey was jumping on her sister TOP bunk of the bunk bed and she fell and hit her nose on the wood railing. She wanted to know if we wanted her to take Lacey to the instacare... Poor girl needed three stitches on the bridge of her nose and has two black eyes as well as a scraped chin. Combine that with her goose egg from her trip at Walmart the day before, and she looked pretty beat up! (I only tell you this part so the pictures of her with the baby don't freak you out).

Speaking of, here are some pictures! Enjoy!

Me holding him for the second time- the first being when he was still attached to the umbilical cord...
Daddy's turn

The next day- he liked peaking with only one eye at a time.
I know he looks like he is laughing, but it's really a yawn.
My kiddos

Headed home...