Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nine...um, Make That Two Days to Go

Hello everyone,

The Short Version: I haven't had much time to write (and have even less today), so I will attempt to summarize but still end up going on and on. I had an OB appointment and my induction date was moved up to Thursday, so I'm having a baby in less than two days. Wow. No stress or anything.

The Long Version: I was going to write a fantastically funny update, covering Dave's last trip to Singapore and Taiwan and including various hilarious adventures such as trying to get to church early for a choir run-through (with the kids while Dave is in a foreign country) and in my rush trying vainly to squeeze around the car in the garage despite the huge protrusion from my belly... or when Jared's friend Connie, on the way to the Science Museum, asked me (bless her heart...), "Why are you so fat?" But... extra time has not been plentiful for the past little while, especially today.

Today I had my usual OB appointment. I am to the weekly appointment stage of pregnancy. Three weeks ago I was dilated to a 1. Two weeks ago I was dilated to a 2 (yes, shocking, I know for a Rogers female). Last week I was dilated to a 3-- even more shocking! At this appointment I was still at a 3, but the baby's head was much lower and my cervix was starting to soften. So... something is happening.

But, on to the interesting turn of events today..... At my last appointment I talked to my doctor because I have been itching like crazy, not just on my stretched-out stomach skin, but everywhere-- on my arms, legs, hands, feet, back. She said there was a chance that my itching could be caused by this pregnancy-related liver thing, so she had my blood drawn to check. When I went to my appointment today, it turns out that the test came out positive and I have cholestasis of pregnancy: basically it's a liver disease that only happens in pregnancy where pregnancy hormones mess up the flow of bile to the gall bladder, so you build up bile acids in your liver and bloodstream. It's main symptom is severe itching, but it isn't dangerous for the mother, just annoying, and it usually goes away when you have the baby. But it can cause stress on the baby's liver and there is an increased risk for fetal distress or stillbirth, so you need to either be monitored closely or consider being induced early. Since we know the baby is big already and I'm already starting to dilate and get ready for labor, my OB recommended moving up my inducement. So I am having the baby on Thursday-- in less than two days. Of course this has not caused any extra stress for me, since I'm already TOTALLY ready... (ha, ha) OK, so I spent most of today on the phone trying to arrange babysitting, choir substitutes and change my mom's plane tickets. You would think after having two babies already that this would be old hat.... but I'm still nervous, worried that I'm not ready, afraid I've forgotten to purchase some immensely important baby item, and wondering how I'm going to handle having three kids and how I will deal with an infant that doesn't sleep through the night...... But, I'm also excited and glad that I don't have to keep waiting and itching. =]

So to summarize the rest of our lives since my last update, we have had a good couple of weeks. Dave had a good trip to Singapore and Taiwan (this means that even though he had no free time the entire time he was there and had to stay up all night preparing presentations, he got to come as scheduled on his scheduled flight). Jared and Camryn have been hard at work at their various writing projects and building three-dimensional creations out of paper and scotch tape. Jared has built an impressive paper rocket and a lovely diorama while Camryn has made a 3-D representation of our house and two of our neighbors'. Camryn labeled her and Jared's beds with post-it notes that inform the reader "NOB UESU LAWD" and "ULAD NO GRWLS." In case you aren't fluent in Camryn-ese that is "No Boys allowed" and "No Girls Allowed."

Jared and Camryn both came home from school with a guide to writing Native American (or as Jared would write: Nate Uv Amerikan) word-pictures-- very historically accurate, I am sure . Jared wrote a story with words and Native American pictures. He then tore the sides of the paper and crinkled it up "so it would look old." The story, destined to be a classic, goes thus:

"The Soree [story] of the man and woman and boy.

"Owns [once] opon a time ther was a man and woman and boy and they wor verey [were very] wise. Ther name was Dave Karen and Jared they wor good. They wor Sad becas [were sad because] they had no fish. they livd neer a river. neer the river ther was a egol and a trtle [eagle and a turtle] and a bear. the man and the woman and the boy did not no that the bear was ckuming [coming] and then they got eatin [eaten] the end of the storee of the man and woman and the boy." (You have to picture this with Native American word pictures once or twice a sentence...)

So the kids were ready for Thanksgiving. We spent a lovely Thanksgiving day with some friends, enjoying great food and especially the fact that we didn't have to cook all of it.

Jared must have decided that Dad isn't working hard enough, because he keeps making him "homework" which he assigns to him with a due date. Yesterday, Dave had his class so he didn't get home until late. Jared wrote daddy a letter, which he sealed in a manila envelope and addressed:

to: Dave
Frum: Jared.
Haws Number 17919 swht, Fone
number 503-825-184

The letter read as follows:

"To: Dave.
"Love: Jared.

"Dear dave you don't hafe to do you'r home work. but you can do the home work and mom ses shes haveing a babby in ten days Jared."

So those are my random notes on the past few weeks, skipping taking the kids to see another stake's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and lots of other adventures that have been excluded from this epistle (to the relief of many, I'm sure). =]

So, off we go to the hospital at 7:00 am on Thursday to meet the newest member of our family.



Notes of the Week:
Jared wrote: "If I was the sise of a dinucore this pensool wood be very smol. [If I was the size of a dinosaur, the pencil would be very small."
[Translation from Camryn-ese: My mom is special every day. I love her. ?? to me every day. I love her ?? she loves me every day.]

P.S. You can tell a child who owns a Wii because they spell "Me": "Mii." =]

Sunday, November 4, 2007

K Kid vs. the Conference Call

Hello everyone,

I'm trying to figure out where I left off in my last update. I guess I will summarize.... On Tuesday, the 23rd, some friends threw a baby shower for me. It was really nice and lots of fun, especially since I never had a baby shower for Jared. However, I made the mistake of daring to make Cheddar Corn Chowder for dinner before I left. I hadn't made it in a while, but was inspired by our fall weather to make something warm and homey. This concoction is basically vegetables in a white sauce mixed with 2 1/2 cups of cheese-- yes, not exactly on the American Heart Association approved list. I personally like it, despite it's abundance of saturated fat and I assumed that my children would actually like a soup that was really cheese sauce with a few vegetables thrown in. Camryn liked it and gobbled it down, but Jared found it so disgusting that he refused to eat it, even if it meant not playing Wii after dinner. (That's how you know it's REALLY bad.) I guess you just can't win.

Dave spent some of his bits of free time watching the baseball playoffs and the the World series. He was engrossed by the drama of the Red Sox vs. Rockies-- could the Red Sox win it again? I was engrossed by the fact that so many baseball players spit all the time, right in front of the television camera. Almost every single time the camera focused in on a single player, within seconds he would favor us with a great big spit wad, up close and personal. What's the draw? Maybe baseball players are all big fans of Beauty and the Beast and just want to be able to sing like Gaston, "I'm especially good at expectorating...."

So now that I'm thoroughly into the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, my body won't cooperate with anything and I basically sound like a seasoned hypochondriac: I'm tired, my back hurts, I can't lift anything more than 5 lbs., my stomach feels funny, my legs won't lift, I'm short of breath, my joints hurt, I have false contractions, I can't squat without hurting myself, I can't roll over, my head aches, I need to sit down.... I've probably said this before, but it really irritates me to have an uncooperative body interfere with my planned agenda for the day.

Last Saturday it was finally sunny, so Dave and I set out to remove the huge pile of mulch from driveway. In the process of doing this gargantuan task (with which I, unfortunately, was very little help), Dave decided that it was time to get rid of the mud patch from where we shortened our deck and lay sod. This sounded like a reasonable ambition after having a large mud-wallowing area in our yard for about 6 months, so Dave ended up rototilling the mud patch, adding in dirt, rolling it down with a roller and planting sod. I did some really hefty work, like sweeping the deck and picking up leaves to put in the yard recycle bin-- and I was STILL exhausted at the end of it all. Right around dinner time when we were trying to finish up, Dave had -- guess what?-- a conference call for work. So he had to drop everything and talk on the phone for more than an hour. By the time he was done it was completely dark outside. Undaunted by the dark, Dave kept working until about 9:00pm to finish enough so he could return the rental equipment.

Meanwhile, after feeding the kids dinner, it was time to take the kids to the tri-ward trunk-or-treat (everyone parks their car in the church parking lot and hands out candy from their trunk--- just what we need, more free sugar for the kids). So I went to help change the kids into their costumes. Jared was going to be Superman and Camryn was going to be Snow White, but as we went to get into their costumes, they both started lobbying for a costume change-- Jared wanted to be a Knight and Camryn wanted to wear her princess dress from last year. Now this shouldn't have been a big deal (since we already had the stuff for those costumes), but we had PLANNED for them to wear the other costumes-- and I was secretly afraid that anyone looking back at our Halloween pictures would think that Camryn was a princess two years in a row because I was too cheap to buy her another costume. I finally talked the kids into wearing their pre-arranged costumes, and I took the kids to the trunk-or-treat while Dave worked like a madman on our yard. So after an exhausting day of work, the kids went to Trunk-or-Treat, we had grass in our yard instead of mud (after six long months), but.....the mulch pile on our driveway was still there.

On Sunday we had to be to church early to rehearse for a choir number. Just as we were about to leave, Dave had to send an email for work, so I left with the kids and he said he would meet us in a few minutes. All of Sacrament Meeting went by (including a very lovely choir number, if I do say so myself), but no Dave. He finally found us at the end of Sacrament Meeting. When I asked where on earth he was, it turns that he had come to church twice but both times ended up having to go home for work and for a conference call. Finally on the third try he was able to stay at church for the rest of the meeting. So that was that. After church we went home and had choir rehearsal, and then had some friends over for dinner who wouldn't mind the fact that our house was not perfectly clean. After a busy Sunday, I was ready to settle down for a nice relaxing dinner, but at about 5:30, guess what???? A Conference Call!! Yes! Our favorite friend, just in case Dave ever thinks he's unwanted or un-needed at work we always have our friendly conference calls to boost his self-esteem. So my friend and I prepared dinner and did the dishes while Dave conference-called and her husband did his home-teaching. Her husband finally arrived around 6:20. We called Dave for dinner, but the conference call was still going..... We finally just ate without him and Dave finally joined us at about 7:20, just as we had started clearing the dinner dishes.

On Monday, Camryn got to wear her Halloween costume to preschool. By this time, she was again excited about being Snow White. For Family Night, Dave went to his class and I did my weekly team-up with my friend Ranell (whose husband also works late and travels a lot)-- we did pumpkin carving, had dinner and I gave a lesson on the armor of God (complete with play armor I had found in our dress-up bin during costume negotiations).

On Tuesday, we had our enrichment voice class--which was really fun, and Jared had mad science. When I picked Jared up, his mad science teacher informed me that Jared and another boy had gotten into some trouble during class-- for making farting, ahem... tooting noises with their armpits. Yes, my well-mannered son who makes armpit noises and can burp the alphabet. I wasn't quite expecting for this part of being a boy to come so early. We finished the day with an exciting trip to Safeway, pancakes for dinner and putting the kids to bed early.

On Wednesday I went in for my final ultrasound with the perinatal specialist. It was an all-around fun morning. There was a scheduling misunderstanding between me and the babysitter I had lined up, so I found myself with 5 minutes before I had to leave and no babysitter. I quickly found another babysitter and left only to hit a traffic jam. I finally made it to my appointment late and went to check in and it turned out that they had recorded my appointment wrong and I wasn't on the schedule for that day (no, I had not mixed up the date-- when they tell you your appointment is on Halloween you can remember it). After waiting for a while, they finally squeezed me in for an ultrasound. Everything on the baby looks good and he weighs 6 lb. 6 oz. already. The specialist said that while you can't guarantee anything, his gut is that the baby is probably fine.

After a much easier time getting home, I picked up Camryn and wrote thank-you notes for baby shower until Jared got home from school and started having several consecutive meltdowns (along the lines of, "Camryn won't let me organize her trunk or treat candy!"). Dave was going to come home and take the kids trick or treating while I handed out candy, but when I called Dave at 5:30, guess what!!!! He had a conference call that was going to start around 6:00!! Just when I thought his work didn't love us anymore. So I took kids trick or treating while Dave took his conference call and left a bowl of candy on the porch. Now, I was in a little bit of a bad mood to begin with, plus I was cranky that we had to just leave the candy out on the porch-- you know the first group of boys that comes along will dump all of it in their bags-- and we had even bought really good candy this year. But it couldn't be helped, so I got the kids' coats and set out the front door. Just as we were about to head down the street, I saw bunch of teenage boys with very creative costumes (try sweatshirts and jeans) coming down the street, headed toward our house. I was already in a bad mood, but the thought of our candy disappearing within 60 seconds of me leaving it out just made me mad. So I dawdled with Jared and Camryn on our front walk until the group of boys got to our house and started to take huge scoops of our candy. I immediately thundered, "Drop that candy right now! This is my house and the sign says take one or two!" Apparently even teenage boys know not to mess with a pregnant lady, so they sheepishly put back their scoops and took two. So our candy was saved from being gone 60 seconds after I put it out (of course it was all gone by the time we got back, but still, it's the principle of it that matters). The kids had a great time trick-or-treating despite the fact that the velcro holding Camryn's shoe on came undone about every two minutes. Dave finally finished his conference call and was able to join us.

And so went our week... On Friday I took the kids to the Science museum in town with a friend. On Saturday, after the morning ritual of the kids playing Wii with daddy, we attacked the yard again and actually managed to get the pile of mulch off of our driveway. So after a Sunday of choir practice, substituting for organ and Dave substituting for Primary pianist, I am writing this update. And guess what Dave is doing as I write this update.... He's on a conference call....



Quotes of the Week:
Camryn: Some people just wear tights on Sundays, but Snow White wears tights on regular days too. Snow White also wears lipstick on regular days.

Jared: For his homework he had to complete the sentence "I Feel Important When..." and then write another sentence. He wrote: "I feel important when I look cool. I feel important when I hear cool music." [Aaaaack! What am I teaching him as a mother?]

I was putting the kids to bed tonight and didn't have time to read scriptures to them, so I recited a scripture and had them repeat after me, like we do for our family night scripture. After we finished, Camryn wanted to say something. Camryn: "Mommy, say what I say: Alma the Younger... ["Alma the Younger," I repeated] was a very good prophet.... He kept the commandments... and had faith in the Lord... Chapter 21..... 59." Jared: "Mom, was that a real scripture? If it was real, that was amazing."