Monday, March 30, 2009

March Madness

No, not the NCAA basketball tournament. March was just a crazy month, and I know that if I don't write things down, I won't remember anything about our lives at this moment in time. Since I want to remember everything--the good and not so good--here's a synopsis. March was a mixture of crazy and fun. Let's start with CRAZY:

Two Sundays ago, Drew was set to give the scripture in Primary. Ryan was working, so I was extra cognizant that I had to get everyone ready for church a little early to avoid some Murphy's Law-imposed disaster. Twenty-five minutes before church started, I finished buckling the kids in and started the car, when I realized that the car was dead! After a few heart palpitations and deep breathing exercises, I calmed down and recalled that we had a portable car charger that had never been used. I quickly found the box and read the instructions, hoping for a quick solution to get on the road ASAP. The tension in the car swelled as the silent delay ticked away. The baby became more and more fussy. The kids were asking more and more questions with greater annoyance and louder voices. I tried to keep my cool, practically chanting to myself in Buddha-fashion that I couldn't control everything, but I could control my response to it. At T-minus five minutes to the start of church, I realized why the charger wasn't working. It needed an initial charge of 15 hours before the first use. I quickly called and texted a few friends in the ward, but by this time sacrament had already started, and the lack of response was expected and warranted. Now I was looking around at the total breakdown around me. Drew and Matt were whining and kicking their shoes off in frustration. The baby was screaming (because heaven knows he can't go more than 30 minutes without nursing). I was running out of options, when I thought of calling a cab. I called one cab company, who said they didn't have any cars available on my side of town. They referred me to another company, who told me they could have a car to my house in 15 minutes. By this time, Drew was scheduled to GIVE the scripture in 15 minutes, but I hastily agreed with no other options coming to mind. The kids were so "done" waiting around, so I ushered everyone outside to wait, hoping the time would pass by quicker. Finally the cab appeared, and I piled everyone in, acutely aware of the scathing judgements that could be directed my way for not using car seats for the two older kids. I was trying not to fidget as the time slowly passed while this nice, law-abiding, very speed-limit-controlled cab driver made the drive to our church building. After a quick thanks and a $10 payment, I scurried into the Primary Room only to find that we had missed our time! Thankfully a nice sister quietly came up to me and asked if Drew would still like to give the scripture, so we made our way (apologetically) to the podium and recited what we had practiced all week. Now that was an experience to remember!

FUN: Last weekend I attended my brother's wedding in Las Vegas. I was so looking forward to it, 1) because I would only have the baby, and 2) I would be spending the weekend with my sister, who I never see. She is so fun and upbeat, I can't help but have a blast every time I'm with her. We walked everywhere and tried to see as many "free" things as possible. In addition, we were able to see the Titanic exhibit with actual artifacts and pieces from the boat, as well as the Tournament of Kings dinner show at the Excalibur Hotel. It was fun, but I felt like a terrible mother since the loud noises and constant hustle and bustle of our surroundings made it almost impossible for Brady to sleep. He was crying all the time. I swear baby life is best suited for a hibernation-type existence where you only leave home for brief "walks in the park" to ensure plenty of good sleep. But since we can't live our life in a bubble, situations like this can arise which cause painful agitation. He would fall asleep intermittently in my arms, only to be awakened by another loud noise or the windy conditions from walking to our next destination. But even with his fussiness, it felt like a true vacation to only have one child to look after. It made me remember why it seemed like so much fun when I only had Drew! With all the fun we had, it was obvious at times that the city is well-suited to indulge decadence. Even in the "kid-friendly" Excalibur Hotel with carnival-like games, we saw a table dancer doing her thing in plain view as we made our way to the dinner show (aimed at kids). At one point we were going down the street and saw a vehicle with a large advertisement that showed the back view of a row of girls clad only in thongs. It struck me as almost humorous (but sad), as if they were horses lined up at the county fair to be judged... "That's top flank right there, fellers! Fed nothing but the best oats! This little darlin' gets the blue ribbon!"... Yes, the city can resemble a modern-day Sodom and Gummorah.

After a day of fun on Saturday, we made our way to the Little White Wedding Chapel (of Elvis Presley and Michael Jordan fame) for the ceremony. I was able to see all but one of my siblings and have a fun but too-brief visit before we parted ways and drove home. My sister convinced me to get a good night's sleep at the hotel before setting out on the long drive. The trip there took me what would've taken a "normal" person (with no baby) 11 hours, almost 15 hours. The drive home was no better at 21 (yes, 21) hours, with frequent stops to take care of Brady and avoid an accident from falling asleep at the wheel. I was trying to make it home in time to trade Ryan cars so he could leave on time for work at 5:00am. It turns out I was five minutes late, but it wasn't a big deal. We just had to be more creative about what we did for fun that day. Below is a picture of me and my sister outside the Little White Wedding Chapel after my brother's wedding. We both have necklaces on from our excursion to the Titanic exhibit (she couldn't decide between the "heart of the ocean" necklace and a replica of one of the actual necklaces recovered from the debris, so she got them both!).

Honorable Mention: This is just one of those stories every mom has, when everything comes to a head and you think, "Well, that's a memory!" I was nursing one morning. Everything seemed pretty calm until Drew yelled, "MOM! Matt pooped on the stairs!" At this point Matt had been having more accidents than usual, and I'd had it with cleaning up poop! I seethed and immediately raced to the stairs with the baby in my arms. Upon viewing the dreaded scene and "fun" that awaited me, I yelled, "Matt!" My voice must have taken on a demonic dimension, because my son shook with a start and didn't know whether to run upstairs or downstairs. He took one step up, but then changed direction and started downstairs. In his confused moment of fear, he lost balance mid-step after realizing he was about to plant his foot firmly on the decrepit pile of crap and fell down the stairs! He fell mostly on his face, and as he lifted it, crying, I saw that the impact had given him a bloody nose! By this time the baby was wailing, Drew was trying to instruct Matt that he shouldn't poo on the stairs, and Matt's dirty derriere was staring up at me while he screamed bloody murder at the red stain growing larger and larger on the carpet beneath him. The culmination of events actually took me over the top and I started laughing! I put the baby down, who's wail turned into a scream, and somehow cleaned everything up. I have a feeling this story will come up later in life as my boys get older and we reminisce about their childhood.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Matt's Birthday

Matt turned three yesterday, and I was so glad Ryan could be home. It was our first Saturday together as a family in one solid month... (1st-year residency is hard to tolerate!). Ryan probably makes it to church 20% of the time because he's either working or sleeping post-call. Some people at church probably assume I'm a single mother, because more often than not I'm herding the kids into sacrament alone. Today was no different (Ryan works all day and all night tonight). Next Sunday Drew is assigned to give the scripture in Primary, but again Ryan can't see him because he'll be working. That's why it felt so great to have him home yesterday to celebrate Matt's birthday.

I just can't imagine life without Matt. He joined our family at an extremely stressful time in our lives. We struggled so much, but with great struggle comes tremendous growth, and we got through it together. Looking back, having our first child was so special (nothing else like it), but I clearly remember when Matt came along that the ties that bound our family together became tighter and more numerous. He is so special to us, and we are a better family because of him. Here's Matt through the years, followed by video of him blowing his candles out.

Birth...


Homecoming...

1st Smile...

1st Birthday...
2nd Birthday...
3rd Birthday...

video

Monster Mash

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!