Monday, June 29, 2009

I just had to show off my cute sister in law and her family




I got to go take pictures of Darwin's sister Cynthia and her family on Friday. It was so fun. My nieces and nephew are really cute and they were really fun and cooperative. I have more on my photoblog and I just love how they turned out. Man, I think she really ought to move closer so I can do that more often. :D

P.S. Meh. I don't want to upload them with blogger, but I forgot I had the wrong format on my family blog. Oh well. Check out how they are supposed to look on the blog. ;)

Twelve years!

Seriously, I know I have been a blogging slacker. I've just been weirdly busy all summer. I also had a serious external hard drive mishap that sort of sucked the wind out of my sails for awhile, but I have a nifty new photo storage system. (It takes forever, but between DVDs, CDs, external, etc., if I ever lose another picture, I will throw up my hands and walk away in resignation.) Oh and um, people I've taken pics of, could I borrow the CDs I gave you and reburn them to my back up? ;) I'd love you all forever. :D

But on to why I am shaking the dust off my feet and posting!

Twelve years ago yesterday Darwin and I got married. We had a very low-key celebration, since Garrett had been sick a couple days earlier. We didn't want to leave him with a babysitter and possibly spread germs or have another kid fall ill and start throwing up.

Instead, I went and did a photo session and then we came home and got take-away from Applebees and the kids watched a movie and had pizza in the family room.

In a lot of ways, it was perfect. It was just life, but with a *little* bit of polish. I honestly am happy to be home with the kids and Darwin and just enjoy their company. Often with the kids we're so busy we only get to talk in little snippets, but now that the kids are getting older, we told them we were celebrating our anniversary and eating our tasty Applebees and Michael and Hannah went out of their way to make sure everyone let us just eat and talk in peace. I thought that was adorable.

I've also been reflecting on what a lucky girl I am. Darwin is such a great husband. He's supportive, calm, funny, smart, a hard worker, and he's super cute too. I could rattle off the Boy Scout motto and that would be Darwin. (Plus the cute. Don't forget the cute.) Even when I get all wound up into a ball of stress, he's there and calm.

Everytime we've had a baby, the nurses at the hospital and the midwives just goggle over how he is so attentive, involved, and supportive. One nurse that we had seen one night, and was then back the next night told us that she had gone home and told her teenaged son about Darwin and told him that if he (her son) could act like Darwin had, he'd have a happy marriage. That has always stuck with me. This woman has seen MANY husbands and wives in the same situation, but she could see what a gem Darwin is.

Anyway, woo! Twelve years!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I don't really need a duck.

Said McKay to Garrett (while watching Meet the Robinsons),

McKay: I know! I'll turn him into a duck! Oh...wait. I don't know how to do that. And I don't really need a duck.

Yeah, well, it is probably just as well. I imagine our cats would not be kind to a duck.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Noooo, not THAT kind of announcement.

Sillies. ;)

Actually my friend Crystal and I have been working together for a bit and we've decided to go into business together. So we made a website and a blog and all that fun stuff. Just like the big kids. We're so cool. :P

So, check it out. RCPhotography. Granted it is just in it's infant stages and will grow and change, but it's a start anyway.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

George Washington

Oops, I have neglected the blog for a bit. I've been fairly busy and I will have an announcement fairly soon, and things ought to slow down a bit (maybe) and I'll be back to blogging lots of randomness. So never fear. (I know you were.)

But I just had to share this. Mr. Harris brought McKay this sweet teddy bear for his baptism. It explains the promises we make at baptism in simple, kid-friendly language. Love it.

To paraphrase, it says we promise to 1) Bear the name of Jesus Christ. (Doing what we think He would want us to do. 2) Bear others burdens. (Being kind and loving to all.) 3) Bear testimony. (Sharing what we believe with others through what we say and what we do.)

Isn't that SO sweet?

Well, McKay loves it too. He carries it all around and sleeps with it each night. I asked what his name was and McKay said his name was George Washington, but that we should call him George for short.

So here's McKay's beloved George Washington.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thank you, thank you...we'll be here all week!

We were at Costco last night, providing laughs for all. We also might have helped some people consider family planning as well.

First off, as we were walking through the aisles, Garrett kept wiggling in the seat of the cart. I kept telling him to sit and he would for a moment, and then the wiggles would overtake him again. I finally grabbed his arms and looked at him and said, "You need to stay in your seat, do you understand me?"

He looked at me, just as seriously, and replied, "Yes Master."

Yes, I could hear giggles all around me from my fellow shoppers.

Then on the way out we decided that we would get some berry smoothies for the kids. It was really a nice idea. Everyone was happy. Smiles abounded. Until...Ella dropped her smoothie on the floor on the way out. Oops. We went and found someone to alert them to the need for a mop, while I tried to get the worst of it up with some napkins. As the employee was approaching, Michael dropped his smoothie. Yeah, that is a lot of smoothie for a small area of Costco. The employee was so kind and laughed and laughed at it. She also told us to go get a replacement smoothie. (I thought that was really brave of her.)

By the time we left, I think the employees were both chuckling and breathing a sigh of relief.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Garrett: Everyone loves a good jazz square. It's a crowd favorite.

Can you guess what we've been watching lately?

How about now?

Garrett: Get your head in the game, mommy.

Any guesses?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

McKay's baptism day

Yesterday McKay was baptized. It was so wonderful. We had lots of friends and family come and show their love and support and McKay was very excited.
He sat and listened rather well to the talks and he was excited to go into the font when it was his turn. He said an impromptu prayer before he was baptized and another one when he was confirmed.
It was a very spiritual and emotional day for everyone.
After the baptism service, we came home with friends and family and had a luncheon of nachos and cake. McKay usually is not a big fan of a lot of people at his house, but all night long he kept telling me about how he was going to have another party with "teachers and friends and family" and how we would have cake and cotton candy and how everyone loved him. He was SO happy. He went to bed last night talking to me and making up a story about how his teachers and family and friends would come over and what he would do for the party. When he woke up this morning he wondered where everyone was.
I love how happy and supported and loved McKay felt yesterday. We LOVE all our friends and family.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A decade ago today

I became a mom, for the first time.

I had been on bedrest with Michael for a little while, because my blood pressure had gotten rather high. But they had me go in and get checked on the evening of the 4th of June, and it was high enough that they felt like Michael would do better being out than in. That meant he would be born 5 weeks early.

They started some pitocin at 7 pm that evening. In hindsight, I should have asked them to wait until the morning, since I was tired and had not eaten during the hours I had been at the hospital, which was not a good way to go into labor. I have to admit, I cried a bit. I had spent my whole pregnancy studying natural birth. I picked the hospital I did because they had tubs for laboring in. I had midwives. I knew all the issues with a pitocin-induced birth. And...the midwife on-call that day was not my favorite one. ;) I had it all planned in my head how it was SUPPOSED to go and it was a far-cry from what I wanted to happen.

I went without medication for eleven hours and finally, exhausted at 6 am (and super hungry and out of energy, since I had not eaten for nearly a day at this point), I got the epidural. Again, I cried, because it was not in my "plan." It didn't work very well, but it was enough to relax a little.

I started pushing at about 9:30 am and I was so excited! Yay! I was going to meet my son! But...10:30 came and went. 11:00 came and went...11:30 came and went...finally, at 11:55 Michael was born. He was a scrappy little guy, weighing in at 6 lbs. 5 oz. and he was 19.5 inches long.

I could hardly believe how beautiful he was. He was so tiny, but he had a really strong cry. The next couple days were a blur (probably due mostly to the fact I was still on a high dose of magnesium sulfate for the blood pressure, it made everything fuzzy and strange.)

Michael got home, and we quickly discovered he was getting VERY jaundiced and was not eating. (Why he left the hospital in the first place, I am not sure.) We spent nearly a week trying to get Michael rehydrated and his jaundice down. He was early enough that his sucking reflex was not totally there. He would not even take a bottle. So we fed him with a syringe. By a week old though, he was only 5 lbs. 5 oz. It was a really trying time.

At a week old, he stopped breathing and we called the ambulance. We went back to the hospital where he was born and after another apenic episode in the ER, he was admitted for a week. After a lot of tests, they figure it was reflux, but he was small enough that he couldn't spit the fluid all the way out and was choking on it. So we went home again with a bunch of monitors and some reflux medicines.

Poor Michael! I should have realized then that all of that was probably Heavenly Father trying to say, "Rachel, I know you like to have everything planned out in advance and be prepared, but really...just stop that now. Parenting is not like that." Michael has always been the strong one to pave the way for all of the other kids in the family. He's the one who has gone through the most "drama" as Darwin and I figure out how to deal with the unexpected things that kids do and as autism has become a part of our family. He's a resiliant kid, that's for sure.

I can remember the time that I could not find 18 month old Michael anywhere. I looked all over the apartment and finally discovered him on the highest bunkbed, with a pack of markers and he was coloring on the ceiling. Leave it to Michael to skip coloring on the walls and go right to ceiling-coloring.

Michael is such a good kid. His teachers and aides just cannot say enough good about him. He works hard, he is a great friend and he wants people to be happy. He's like a ray of sunshine.

What a decade it's been! The best one of my life, for sure. I am so grateful to have my Michael. We are so incredibly lucky to be his parents and to have him in our family. His curious mind and contagious excitement keep things interesting, for sure.

Happy 10th birthday Michael!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oh what do you do in the summertime...

I would reccomend trying this when you DON'T have 3 kids on the table...but, eh, if you never have a second like that, then it's as good a time as any. ;) They were interested in my jerry-rigged (jur-rigged?) boom stand and baby bottle. So it was a good way to entertain the littles for a few minutes.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend Round-Up

So, how I could have neglected to post this, I'll never know. But...Garrett is totally potty-trained. YAY! He's been that way for awhile. Since I'd had such a long go of it with other children, I took a much more laisse faire approach with Garrett. I'd gently suggest it, try for a bit, and back off when he would not take the bait. I would suggest different tactics and see which ones seemed to pique his interest.

(Hmmm, I am debating if I should post the hilarious one that DID take. Seeing as it is about potty-training it might be gross. But then maybe it would help some other potty-trainer out there. See my dilemma? Maybe I'll post it below, and you can turn away if you don't want to read about it. ;) )

The other funny weekend thing was I got my laptop back! Finally! Oh, I was so happy. Usually they send it via Overnight Express, but for some reason, the first leg of the trip of me shipping it in, it went by Ground and took over a week to GET to Dell. Then they shipped it back quickly, but I was not expecting it and I missed the Fed Ex guy. D'oh. Anyway, the stars aligned and the Fed Ex man and I exchanged my signature for the laptop, and all was right with the world....until...(duh, duh, dunnnnn....) the new a/c adapter they decided to send along with my laptop turned out to be a dud and would not charge my laptop. So, until next Wed., my laptop is without power. It is ALMOST funny. But I did add new memory to my desktop, so all is well there too.

*****The Potty-Training Method (turn away now, if you don't want to read about it******

So, Garrett has really been into parties lately. I told him his poopies (yeah, see, are you regretting reading it now?) wanted to go visit their other friends down the toilet at the Poopy Party, but they were sad, because they were trapped in the diaper and thrown in the trash and would never make it to the Poopy Party.

That was all it took. Ha ha ha.