Thursday, June 25, 2009

Decisions, decisions.

What's been weighing on my mind lately:

  • What stroller to get. Whether to get one that costs about $200 that might be crappy, or one that costs $1,000, and hope that it's worth what we paid, and everything in between.
  • What car seats to get.
  • The layout of the nursery, and all that I want to buy for it not wanting it to be over-crowded, but very functional at the same time.
  • What van to get and how much we think we could get for my car (that I love and I am very sad to sell.)
  • The invaluable rocking chair that I'll spend hours upon hours in.
  • What to put on a registry (seriously, it's kinda hard to know.)
  • What extras to buy (bumbos, boppies, swings, bouncers, moses baskets, pack-n-plays, etc.) without having regrets that they just take up space after only being used for a few months.
  • How many thousands of dollars all of these things (plus hundreds of other things I haven't mentioned) will cost us.

Normal new parent questions and concerns, right? But that is just what's on my mind TODAY! Everyday something new creeps in and gets jotted down one place or another. And I feel like once I've decided on something and I can finally check it off, I have second thoughts and I'm back at square one. I've heard about a lot of things that have worked for people, or things they swear by, but we're trying to figure out just what we'll need for our unique situation. Who knows, maybe most decisions will have to wait until the babies are here and we can see just what specific needs need to be met. We still have time, but my excitement seems to be hindered by my feelings of unpreparedness, so we better get crackin'.

Bottom line is, these decisions big or small, mean babies are on the way, and that always makes me smile, and sometimes cry at the same time. Lately a song that has been coming into my head lately in "Beautiful Mess" by Diamond Rio (thank you Jonny for introducing me years ago.) And I bet that will be the theme of my life for years to come. I feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, but these babies already have me wrapped around all 30 of their little fingers. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, June 22, 2009

It may be a while before I take a trip like this again.

I just don't see it in the near future, what with three infants in tow. So I am very glad I was able to take this one and enjoy it as much as I could. I had a wonderful time with both families. KC was only there for part of this endeavor. And, of course, in true vacation post fashion, I'll give you a bulleted post describing each day to make it easier on me. It started with KC and me flying from Baltimore to Denver, Colorado.

Friday 6/5 (The Robinson cabin adventures begin.)

  • We caught an evening flight, around 5:30. I tell you, flying is quite different when you're pregnant.
  • We arrived to find Nicole waiting at our terminal. We didn't expect a welcome party. We had dinner together in the airport and later found Camille, our Luggage, and then our rental car and made our way to the cabin that KC's parents had rented in the mountains. (It was WAY past my bedtime, and we were driving some pretty curvy canyon roads in the dark of night, but I made it. Phew!)
  • We settled in and had a nice night of sleep. KC and I lucked out with our own room.
Saturday 6/6

  • We began the beautiful day by looking around the Stanley Hotel, where the view of the valley was great. We also saw the Stanley Steamer museum where we learned a little bit about old steam powered cars.
  • We packed a cooler and drove through the mountains to the shuttle that took us to Bear Lake, where we walked until we found a nice place on some rocks to sit and have lunch. I even had a little shut-eye there.
  • While the others hiked another trail, my tired self, and a few others went to see the visitors center. We heard it was covered in snow, and since I was only equipped with flip flops, knowing that anything requiring more than that would be too tiring for me, I was glad I opted out.
  • While the others took a tram up the mountain, I wasn't feeling quite up to it, so KC and I got some Mexican food, and met up with everyone after.
  • We had a nice dinner of grilled pork tenderloin, and watched The Muppet Movie and had a good laugh.

Sunday 6/7

  • The weather was insane. It started to rain and hail so bad you could hardly see the cars in front of you. We got a call from the other car in our party to look at the funnel cloud to our right. Sure enough, it was less than a mile from us. Not a tornado, but the closest I've ever come to anything like one. Pretty fascinating. We heard there were several real tornadoes in the area. I'm glad we didn't cross any of those.
  • We made it to KC's Aunt Carolyn's house safe and sound, where more relatives joined us, including Grandpa Carlson, and we got to have a little belated birthday celebration with him.
  • We ate a great dinner, took some family pictures, and played some Boggle, said goodbye to Camille who had to fly out already, and made our way back to the cabin, almost 2 hours away.
  • We found Nacho Libre on TV and laughed pretty hard, and then I fell right to sleep.

Monday 6/8 (Colorado Adventures end, Utah time begins.)

  • KC and I finally went on the tram up the mountain, and enjoyed the gorgeous view, and feeding the friendly chipmunks.
  • Drove yet again toward Denver, but this time ended up at Grandpa's house. We had lunch with relatives, looked at old pictures of the fam, and made our way to the airport.
  • KC was heading back to MD and eventually to Orlando for business, and Cisco, my bro-in-law and I were going to Utah. Our terminals were right next to each other, and our flights were scheduled to take off and land at the same time, yet we were on different airlines, and his was delayed, poor guy.
  • It was a short flight, but the turbulence was never-ending, it seemed like. I was quite relieved to get off that plane.
  • My mom and Dad picked me up and were amazed at the size of my protruding belly. There was quite an amount of construction and traffic, taking us longer to get to Melody's, than the length of my flight.
  • Melody had dinner ready, and I got to see the little ones! Julia had grown like a weed, and the baby Gabriel was more darling than I could've imagined.
  • Matt, Cortnie, Jack, Drew, Julie (who I met for the first time!) Lili, and Jeff also made an appearance. It was so nice to see all these faces. They were kind of shewed, however, at about 9:00 so I could get right to sleep. I'm pretty strict about my 9:30 bet time. Luckily Melody, and Jonny didn't have a problem with that (or maybe they were too nice to admit they didn't).

Tuesday 6/9
  • I was up for a while before anyone else, but when Julia woke up, she came to cuddle in my bed for a while. She did that most of the mornings I was there. I wish she would come here and do that every day.
  • We went to Amber's where we also saw Cami and all their kids. I had to run to a haircut appointment with Amber's neighbor, and then returned to the fam.
  • We went to lunch at Zuppa's, which is very good, and hung at Amber's some more.
  • We went back to Melody's (my usual home for my visits to Utah) and she made a delicious dinner. We watched something or other, and went off to bed again. It doesn't take much to exhaust a person in my state. Sounds like an exciting trip, doesn't it? Well it was.

Wednesday 6/10

  • Like I said in my previous post, I found out about my grandpa's passing while in Colorado, so the funeral was scheduled for today.
  • We started our drive to Logan, and were again driving through rain. Seems like a reoccurring theme during my whole trip.
  • We made it in time for the family viewing, where I was able to see my grandpa for the last time, and many faces of cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. that I hadn't seen for ages.
  • We went to Grandma's house for a little lunch (that I desperately needed) before the actual program began. And I am so glad we did because I wouldn't have gone to the house otherwise, and I just love being there.
  • The funeral was quite memorable. Julia was entertaining us quite a bit with her little dances in the isle and on the front pew. Grandpa loved to see her dance, so Melody let her, and I'm so glad. At one point she spotted me and started saying quite loudly "Mimi! Mimi! Mimi!" I had some silent chuckles over that. I am just so happy that she recognizes me even though we only see each other every 6 months or so.
  • We all went to the burial sight, where Taps was played and grandma was presented with the flag that covered his casket. One the back of the program was the charming statement, "The casket was selected personally by the occupant who did not believe in burying and expensive box in the ground." That's my grandpa for ya. Always good for a laugh.
  • We all gathered again for a delicious luncheon lovingly prepared by the relief society. It was so fun to sit and chat with everyone about our memories of this great man.

Thursday 6/11

  • We got a visit from Bree, Reese and Lindsey, cousins who wouldn't be able to make it to the baby shower my sisters planned for Saturday. They brought the cutest gifts, and we had a great time catching up.
  • Cami and Amber also dropped by while their kids were at some day camp.
  • We went to see Matt and Cortnie's new and amazing home. I loved it! You'd have to be millionaire in Maryland to live in such a nice place. Yet, another reason to move.
  • Not sure much else happened except the usual laughs from Juju. She certainly can entertain an auntie. I could kiss her all day and never get tired of that perfect face. Gabe was also making some priceless faces of his own, and I just loved his little one month old floppiness.

Friday 6/12

  • We decided to go out for a little necessary/unnecessary shopping. I was much too successful, and spent too much, but isn't that what vacation is for?
  • We adults tried to rest, while Julia kept us entertained talking through her entire nap. Well, I was entertained. I don't know if mommy was.
  • We "painted" with water on the back porch, during which we were laughing to tears at Julia's wit. She's loved taking bites from both of our apples, and trying to also paint my arms and legs. We also had some tramp time with is hilarious because Julia's mane gets even wilder.
  • Jonny brought home some Chinese food. While we were eating, Julia came in to grace us with poop coming out of her diaper onto the floor. I couldn't stop laughing, but those who were still eating, weren't as amused.
  • I think we watched a little Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which I love.

Saturday 6/13

  • We couldn't let a trip go by without Kneaders french toast for breakfast. Mom and dad came back from logan the night before and had Grandma with them, so they, along with Matt, etc, Lili and Jeff all joined us. It was nice to eat two giant pieces of that dense breakfast guilt-free.
  • We went to my mom's house and tried to rest before the baby shower. Mom decorated for cute with her and my old baby blankets. She set up a cute little table with small dishes and Julia loved making people sit and play with her. She would even "Toast" and she clinked her cup with her guest's. And I may have taught her to fake burp, and love when she does it. I seriously can't stop laughing when she does it. I guess you had to be there.
  • The shower my sisters planned what so great. I saw so many great friends, and more family. I am still overwhelmed at everyone's generosity and kindness for thinking of us. We are finally starting to feel a little like there will be some babies around here soon with the gear starting to pile up. It was kind of surreal as I would look around thinking that everyone was actually there because I was having some babies. It really is still setting in. If it's possible, I'm even more excited now.
  • I slept at my mom's house that night since we were all going to gather again on Sunday. I was little bit of a brat, as can sometimes happen when I'm extremely tired, and I want to go to bed hours before anyone else, and on top of that I forgot my unisom. But with dad to the rescue and Walmart a mile away, I took that pill and was asleep in no time. Sorry to the unfortunate people who had to witness my nighttime antics.

Sunday 6/14

  • Dad made me a delicious grits breakfast like old times, which I loved.
  • I wasn't planning on church, but with Mom, Dad and Grandma all going, I thought I'd be quite bored home alone. We went only to Sacrament, and it was great to see some friendly faces. This was my old ward after all.
  • We watched "Once" which my parents hadn't seen yet and loved. I loved it the second time just as much.
  • The fam came over for a big lasagna dinner. It's always so fun, even if it is a little hectic, when we all get together.
  • I went back with the Rejholecs.

Monday 6/15

  • With not many plans we thought we'd make some calls to see what everyone was up to. Cami suggested we go to Thanksgiving Point since she has a pass and could get us all in half price. Mom, Grandma, Corntie, Jack, and Jillian all joined us. It was a gorgeous day, and we loved walking in the beautiful gardens. The kids loved following the map.
  • We headed home for Julia's nap time. She probably didn't have a proper one again.
  • We decided a dinner out was in order, so we Met Jonny at the Olive Garden. Julia is quite hilarious when she eat/licks her lettuce leaves. Gabe slept like a sweetheart the whole time. Such a great baby.
  • I hate packing when the trip is over, but it had to be done. I was not happy camper.

Tuesday 6/16

  • I tried to relish in my last moments with Julia for who knows how long. I know I'll see a lot of family in the coming months, bu Juju my love isn't likely to be one of them. It was hard to not break out in tears this whole morning. But of course, Melody and I couldn't hold them back as we said our goodbyes at the park-and-ride where my parents picked me up to take me to the airport.
  • I got on my flight safe and sound. I know I'll see mom and dad in a few months, so it wasn't so bad so say goodbye to them.
  • It was a long day of traveling. First to St. Louis, then a 2.5 hour layover, then to Baltimore. I bought a mini dvd player in Utah to keep me occupied, and it really helped. Like I said, flying is not my friend at this point. Although, I tired not to let what was left of my morning sickness get in the way of this trip. With my constant supply of Zofran, I was able to leave with only good memories.
  • KC was a ray of sunshine at the baggage claim after that long and sad day. I missed him SOOOOOO much. He couldn't believe how my belly had changed in just a week. The most noticeable difference is my belly button rapidly disappearing. Weird.
  • We looked at pictures, and videos while I narrated my favorite parts of the trip to him.
  • I'm pretty sure I slept quite well from my long and exhausting day. Back to life, back to reality.

So, there are of course more pictures to show, along with some of my favorite videos. I'm going to miss being with Melody all day. We have a dream to live by each other one day. That day will not come soon enough. I'll miss Gabe's newborn smiles, and his little voice he's discovering. I'll miss Julia's kissed, even the wet, slopping, right on the lips ones. I'll miss her calling out for "Mimi" when she wanted me to play with her, or any of her little words and sentences for that matter.

This is Julia being a little monkey. I have about a dozen other videos I want to post, but it's being difficult. This one should tide you over until I upload the others.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Bountiful, Plentiful, and Adequate."

These are the names my grandpa jokingly gave my babies during one of our last phone conversations. He was driving through Bountiful after one of his hospital visits when I called to tell them the news. He was always good for a laugh, and he was joking until the end. For instance, during one of the daily phone calls to my mom, (she spent several weeks helping take care of him in Logan during his last days) she was in his room doing this or that, so I routinely asked how he was. She had the phone on speaker, and he said that he was doing fine, and had a great time celebrating his birthday yesterday. This happened to be one of my sickest days, so I hadn't remembered. I jumped and gave him a hearty "Happy Birthday!" To which he said sarcastically, "Thanks for remembering", with a little laugh that followed I'm sure. He would've laughed heartily as he used to, if he'd had the strength. But the fact that he said he was "fine" when I know he probably wasn't, says so much about him. He always saw the glass as overflowing.
My Grandpa Scott passed away on Saturday June 6 2009, just a couple of days before I had scheduled a visit. I got the news while in the Colorado Rockies with my in-laws where there was hardly any cell phone signal. I guess my Dad was inspired to call at the exact right moment so I could find out. He had been suffering from cancer for the past 2 years or so, and it had worsened significantly in the last few months. I remember when I heard that he was given an estimated 2-5 years left to live. It was hard news to take, especially when it was about someone who I love and admire so much. It always seemed like my grandpa would live forever with his ultra-healthy lifestyle, and great physical shape. But, other plans were in the works. I do feel incredibly blessed to happen to be in Utah the exact week that the funeral was taking place. I would've been so sad to have missed it. Which likely would've happened if it was at any other time.

It was one of those funerals where you laugh while you're crying, and the memories came flooding back. My grandpa certainly gave all of his grandchildren a childhood to remember. He gave us a one dollar bill every time we saw him, a birthday check in the amount of our age every year without fail (keep in mind, he has a LOT of grandchildren), random trips to the store where he would declare that we could pick out anything we wanted, exciting Christmas gifts (one that comes to mind was a high powered microscope that I cherished), a prize cabinet in his house that we got to choose from every time we would visit, a pack of clove flavored gum, or endless cans of pop whenever we wanted, and there aren't too many kids that can say that their grandpa took them for rides in his very own little airplane. If I was without sunglasses, he had a spare, if I didn't know the time, he'd find a watch for me. He was a true magician in my eyes, and I couldn't be more proud to call him my grandpa.
I have so many special memories, but I'll only name a couple:

Years ago, when I was probably 10 or so, they were visiting for the 4th of July I think. (It could've been another summer holiday, but it's doesn't really matter.) Most of the family, including Grandma, had gone to run, or support the runners, in an annual race. I was feeling under the weather, and remember lying on the floor in the living room. Grandpa was reading the paper as usual, and then folded it up and asked if I would like to go for a ride on the new tandem bike that my parents had just bought. Feeling like fresh air would do me good, I jumped up. He led the way, and we rode that bike all over. I was amazed when we ended up at the grocery store that was about 5 miles away. As a kid, that distance seemed like quite a feat on a bike, since I had only been there by car. He let me pick out a doughnut and chocolate milk, and he got some breakfast for himself. We rode to the park where there was a large pond with a trail around it and through the rest of the park. We rode until we found a picnic table, and ate together. I remember as we rode, that I would sometimes close my eyes since he was doing the steering, and just take deep breaths as the wind blew on my face. All the feeling of sickness I had that morning magically disappeared while I was on the road with him. How sweet of him to take a young grandchild on such an adventure just for the fun of it. He never said no to an adventure.

When I decided to attend USU after high school, I was pretty excited for the changes that were to take place. That excitement quickly turned to depression for some reason, as I realized that this college experience wasn't quite what I had expected. I would cry every day wondering why I was so unhappy and felt completely alone. One day as I was overlooking the valley, I spotted part of my Grandparents' house next to the Logan River. It immediately hit me that I wasn't so alone there after all. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before. I didn't have a car yet, but my mom told my grandma of my struggles, and she offered to come pick me up and take me to dinner with them at a fun restaurant in the canyon. From that point on, I was with them at least every other day for dinner out or in, food network watching, playing Upwords or other games (I won once, which is kind of a miracle when playing with geniuses like my grandpa), to work out in their exercise room, do laundry, or even to sleep there on the weekend so I didn't have to feel cramped in my dorm all the time. It felt like a warm haven. Once I was talking to them about how my roommates were probably so sick of my taking up the tv with all the food network I was watching, and by the time I left that night, grandpa had a little spare tv, and a set of headphones for me to use as long as I'd like. I felt on top of the world with the freedom of my own television. Another time when I was there for dinner, Grandpa had made us a special stir fry that I remember loving. As he served my plate, he said kind of quietly, "Emeril's got nothin' on me." I'd rather eat his food than Emeril's any day. Since that short, but very influential time when I lived in Logan, I usually refer to my grandparents as my college buddies, though I did make a few good friends while I was there. When I decided to go to culinary school, they were so excited for me, and Grandpa even offered to drive the cross country trip with me, saying it would be fun. I didn't take him up on that, feeling like I was already a burden being with them as much as I was, but I'm sure we would've made quite a few good memories on that voyage.

One more. At my wedding dinner, guests were invited to take the mic and say a few words about either of us. I'm am thanking the heavens that KC's friend Nate has the entire thing on video because he and my grandma both stood up, when I really didn't expect them to. Especially Grandpa who seems to be more of a listener when there is a crowd. I remember when he stood up, I was amazed and honored, and hung on to every word.

Oh, there is so much to say, but I have to stop somewhere. I am so glad he started a blog. It was always such a learning experience when I read what he had to say. I kept a few posts unread so I could have something to read when he passed on. I guess I'll have to get to those now. He was always so delighted to get comments, and would even email a little thank you note for them occasionally. And it's no surprise that his final post was about hope. He was a man of great faith, a true example to me during difficult times. While I've lived far away, we've kept quite a little email correspondence going and I've loved reading through all those. I sent an actual letter a while ago after I got to see them in January. He wrote an email in return and my grandma informed me that he taped this picture I sent of KC, him, and me to the lamp on him desk. She wanted to put it somewhere else where she could see it more, but he wanted it right where he put it. He led an incredible life. My mom wrote the life sketch that she read at the funeral, and I'm going to post it as soon as she emails it to me. It's so amazing, all that he's accomplished.

I was able to spend a lot of time with my beautiful grandma while in Utah since she was staying with my parents post-funeral. She is so brave. I can't believe how she keeps a smile on her face. She constantly had her journal out writing quotes and memories of grandpa, sometimes weeping as she did. But she has such a great way of mourning in happiness. Even as a widow, she dresses in all the colors of the rainbow, and puts a flower in her gorgeous curly hair. She even wore red shoes to the funeral. She is a great example as well. She has heartily volunteered to help with the triplets when they are born, and I couldn't be happier to welcome her into my home and learn from her.

I have another post in the works about my entire trip out west, but this has been on my mind so much, that I couldn't let another day got by without writing it down. I miss you and love you everyday Grandpa. Take care of my little ones until they are ready for me. I will be sure to tell them everything there is to know about you. (For more great pictures, go here.)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

This time, they showed us the goods. . .

and it looks like we are having identical twin boys!

I may be biased, but I am pretty sure girl, boy, boy triplets might just be the best combination. Yeah, we're pretty excited.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The latest

So I guess this blog is non-stop about the babies, but with my life and my body revolving around them, there isn't much else to blog about. But now that I'm starting to feel significantly better (I hesitate to say that because it always gets worse the day after I do), maybe I'll get out more and have more to say about the world around me, instead of just inside of me.

So, back to the little ones. They are certainly growing, and my belly is here to prove it. And so do the ultrasounds that show us how much they look like people these days. We had one on Thursday, and I was dying to find out just what kinds of babies we need to prepare for. Since I was almost 15 weeks at the time, and we read and heard from many people that it is possible to see at 14 weeks, we thought this would be the day. I asked the technician, and she was very blunt in telling us that she has NO way of seeing that yet and she needs at least another four weeks. I tried to stay polite, and told her that my nurse simply told me to ask this time, because it might be possible. And she basically said, sorry sister, that ain't happening. I think she was just lazy, and didn't feel like looking around. It kind of made me look stupid and naive, but I was only going by what the facts say. She was a different tech than we have had the past couple times. I liked the other one better. This one was little too, um, businesslike, for me. Luckily, the doctor was coming in next.

We have met two of the four doctors in the team, and I like them both. When he came in, I was still festering a little at not knowing what the genders were, and I told him that we were hoping to find out today. He promptly told us we'd take a look. He was so kind to just take his time, and let us see the babies plenty more than the tech did. He said he was even being entertained, making up captions for the little actions they were doing as he went along. He started with the singleton. That little one had enough room to do all kinds of flipping around, and with his educated eye, he concluded that we have a girl! Here she is!

It took a second, and then I realized what he said. A little playmate for me, and a daughter for KC to play his ukulele to. I shed a couple tears as he was looking at the others, just thinking about a little girl in our family. I can't wait to start collecting bows, dollies, and tutus.

Just how many bows dollies and tutus, we don't know yet. You see, the others were so snug, that there was no way they would budge to show us the details. We only had to see one of them to know both, but as much as they were moving about, they were covered up right where is counts. So maybe next time. Identical boys, or two more girls? Who knows. Either combo sounds great to us.

My body is changing at such a rapid rate that I'm amazed, even though this is my first and I don't know any different. I feel like people are now really starting to notice and it's apparent that I'm pregnant, and not just gaining weight. People at church stop me every week and ask about it. When they find out it's triplets, they either seem very excited, or immediately start praying for us. I understand now how the world is a little different with a big protrusion hanging off your body. We got a full dose of that reality last week when we went to get sushi. We walked into the restaurant, only to be greeted by the hosted in her sweet Japanese accent saying, "Wow, very pregnant!" I was only 14 weeks people. And I'm already getting stares. I just smiled and thought to myself, she has no idea just how pregnant I am going to get in the months to come. This should be interesting.

Also, I should make a couple things clear about the whole weight gain thing. I appreciate all the comments and reassurances, but I think what people don't realize is that we are probably only going to make it to 33-35 weeks, depriving us of those crucial last weeks when the babies seem to gain the most weight. That is why we can't rely on the fact that they'll gain the most at the end, and that is why early weight gain is key for a multiple pregnancy. When they get bigger, and need more food than they do now, my stomach will be tiny, and I won't be able to eat enough to provide all they need. So they won't be able to gain as much weight as possible unless I pack it on. I am trying to gain now, so they have a storage to grab from when I can't provide it from the food I am taking in. Does that make sense? It's a whole different ball game, this triplet thing. But we take it a day at a time, and I'm happy to say that things couldn't look better according to the doctor. It's always a relief to hear that. Hopefully it stays that way.