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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Girl Named Nowun

Ria popped out with the following bit just now. "Nowun is SUCH a bad girl!"

"What? What did you say?"

Ria: "Nowun. A girl named Nowun is SUCH a bad girl."

"How do you spell her name?" (Thus the spelling I'm using.) Why is she such a bad girl?"

Ria: "Because she won't let me play with her. She won't even let us go anywhere on that playground at Chick-Fil-A. One day went to the playground at Chick-Fil-A and she wouldn't let me go nowhere. She was so bad. Nowun and her brother were so mean. They wouldn't even let me play with them. They thought I was an old person or something."

Interesting conversation, huh? I have NO idea what she's talking about. None of the little girls I've met have been named anything that even sounds like 'no one'! Very interesting....

A Piano and a Sweet Baby

I have been trying for AGES to get a piano. I was trying to get an real piano before I ever met Mary Kay (Ria's piano teacher). Literally, I think it's been over a year that I've been trying to purchase a piano. Well, there was this one time that the Spirit prompted me to talk to my Relief Society president about keeping her ear open for news of a free piano. Well, I didn't speak to her right when I felt the prompting and when I did she was SUPER upset to learn that I wanted one because she'd JUST (LITERALLY moments prior) given one away that needed a home! ARGHHhhhh! Ah, well. That'll teach me, right? Well, I wish that were so, but that's a who other issue.

So, in my search, I've found no fewer than 4 pianos that we've tried to purchase. At least 2 of those I had reached the 'talking to' stage/phase of trying to finalize a purchase (through Craigslist) when the deal fell through. What a BUMMER! There was this one piano that I had such a hankerin' for, too... it was JUST the right color. AHWELL!

Fast forward. I found another $100 piano (the amount I'd determined to spend, the amount those other pianos cost - money given to us for said purpose) this week and got in the 'talkin' phase. blahblahblah... Fast forward some more to today: WE GOT IT!!! It's quite a good piano for the price. We do need to tune it, but it's not too big of a deal (not too far out of tune). The move of it cost more than the piano! hahaha And hhheeeeeeerrre it IS:

Isn't it lovely? Ria has already practicee on it today. Kat has already played on it a little... though she was exiled from it for banging her sippy cup on the keys!! YIKES! It sounds nice and is in pretty good condition. I did a good wipe down of dust and stuff. It's a bit more fragile than I would like with my little ones, but I'll just have to work on keepin my eyes and ears out for them on/around it. It'll be all right.

I'm not officially taking piano lessons or anything and I'm not bustin my bum (cause I can't take the stress) over a specific number of days or amount of time spent practicing, but in my own mind I'm taking lessons right along with Ria. I've been working on the things she's supposed to be working on. I have a slight advantage since I do know some basic music stuff (since I played the flute a TINY bit in middle school)... but, for the most part it's new and exciting and I'm hopeful that I will be able to play the piano for our FHE songs at some point down the road! ^_^ A good and worthy goal, I think... especially since I never REALLY learned how to play the piano when I was a young and single female (foolish me!!).

I'm sure YouTube movies (on my channel - have you checked it out??) of Ria playing and singing will follow! Mary Kay gave Ria the song For Health and Strength to learn for Thanksgiving and Ria LOVES it! It's a Primary Song, too (though not with the same name). Mary Kay was very pleased with how well Ria played it on Tuesday and suggested getting more Primary songs for Ria to learn. Ria was TOTALLY stoked! Then Mary Kay suggested that maybe Ria could play while the Primary children sang at some point... and Ria was just about to jump right out of her skin! It was REALLY neat to witness. So... that may be something in the future... though I'm not sure if she wants to try for a Sacrament Meeting sort (since she's the Primary chorister) of thing or what. I almost hope NOT because people are sort of weird about Ria already (because of her reading)... ahwell. I guess I should really work on my thoughts & feelings because I should not even think about starting to put her light under a bushel, right? *sigh* That IS a problem for me... it's always easier to be impressive if no one knows about the good stuff! Ya know?

So, can you tell I'm excited about this newest addition to our household!? I AM!!!!

The other and even MORE wonderful addition, my Tea, is just amazing. She finally poohed yesterday. I know, I know... no one REALLY wants to hear about baby pooh. Bare wtih me, please. I want to illustrate another way my chubber sweetie is AWESOME. Okay. So, she hadn't poohed in more than 3 days. I could tell she really wanted to and was even trying at some points, but just couldn't get it out. And even though I could tell she was in pain, at times, she BARELY cried even on the last day when the pains were, obviously, the worst! She would screw up her face and get all red with the pushing... and she might he cry out when it hurt the most, but she NEVER started actually crying! And as soon as I was holding her and trying to comfort her, she would calm down. AND EVEN at least 3 times on that last day of constipation, she would talk and smile at me when I was trying to comfort her after I witnessed her totally in pain! Isn't that a SWEET baby!!!?? I pray that she will remain so sweet, tolerant, and easy as I certainly have a time with her two older sisters.... :) We'll see.

I'm pretty sure she is, at 5 weeks old, nearly the size of a 6 month old!!! Seriously. She fills up my lap, that's for sure. She is, at LEAST, almost bursting out of her 0-3 & 3-6 month onesies. Amazing, right? She's DEFINITELY bigger, at this age, than Ria or Kat were!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One Month

Obviously, I'm pretty intensely focused on Tea since most (if not all) of my post headings have had to do with her. But, seriously, can you believe she's a MONTH old already!!??? What I've always heard mothers with more children say is definitely true: it goes by SO much faster when you have more!! I'm sad about that, in a way... but I've been trying really hard to cherish my newborn days. They CERTAINLY are easy to enjoy and cherish with this little/big girl!!!

Okay, so I've been meaning to weight her since her 4 weeks birthday, but kept forgetting when I actually COULD do it. I remembered this morning! I should preface this weight info with the fact that I weighed her at home soon after she was born and the weight our scale registered for her was right at 10 pounds. So, I think it's pretty accurate. Onward: I'm amazed and pleased to report that Tea weighs in at over 14 pounds! Can you believe it!?? She's gained 4+ pounds in 1 month!

She's interacting more, too. She's had more times during the day that she's actually looking at one of us rather than trying to look away (one of the signs of over-stimulation that we all know will turn in to crying if we don't honor it). During those times that's she's interacting, she USUALLY has a window of SMILEtunity. It's the opportunity to see her smiling, talking, and even almost laughing (the little breath inhale/giggle that Kat did is Tea's giggle, too!). It's SO sweet and wonderful!

Ria and Kat are, for the most part, still wonderful to and with Tea. They are almost completely over the colds that we've all had (even Jess!). Thankfully, Tea didn't have much of a case of it!! WHAT a relief!

Hopefully Ria will have piano class today (since her regular day for it is a holiday and we haven't officially switched it yet). Thanksgiving will be sort of sad for us since Jess will be working and our normal plans are all kaput (because of the holiday). What a bummer for us. But the girls and I will probably have a movie day and do school, which they always love (especially the combination of "free" movies with classes)!! :)

Kat is still "tailing" Ria. They really are VERY good friends most of the time. And Kat nearly idolizes her big sister. I'm so grateful that they usually don't fuss or fight THAT much. I wish it was non-existent, but Jess and I bicker, so they don't have perfect examples in us! So much work to do and not NEARLY enough life in which to do it! ;) I wish I could just be RIGHT all the time. At least I can, sometimes, see progress in myself. Wish there was more, though!!!

So, Jess is actually sick! I suppose it's sort of normal, but has hit earlier in the process than before. When he's started working a second job (which he's done at least twice since we've lived here) he usually comes down with a big bit of something. I send him to bed and he's better in a day or two. Thankfully his body is quite capable of healing. He jokes about his abilities in that area, but I DO fear that they may become less wonderful as the time he smokes lengthens. He's almost 30... and he's been smoking since he was 10, really. Really, that's a LONG time! Hopefully he'll be right as rain by tomorrow (when he has to work a full shift again). Pray for him, if you think of it. Please.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Does not always equal five. In this case, it equals Tea's age... can you believe she's 4 weeks and 1 day old today!? I can't (for the most part). It's amazing to think she's been around "so long" yet such a short time, after-all!

She's a doll, of course! A couple days ago she was ACTUALLY awake for about 4 hours of the day! And the wakefulness was split into two periods of 2 hours each. She did awaken a few times to eat, but went right back to sleep. It was the most she's been awake at any given time AND the most for a day thus far. She's SUCH a smile bug when she's awake and "together". By that last word I mean that she's actually interacting with us. She's so patient and tolerant. We are SO very lucky!!

We're all right down south. The weather is nippy at around 60. I can hardly believe I actually think that's cold now!! :) I used to laugh that anyone would need a jacket in weather such as that... but I honestly DO!! I'm a native now, I suppose.

I'm going to start "formally" into Math with Ria this week. I'm excited about it and hopeful that she will love it (as I didn't). Kat definitely enjoys numbers. She's been trying to count (without the sort of encouragement Ria enjoyed at Kat's age)! I think that's just the coolest thing because it seems to me to show a great deal of self-motivation AND intelligence. We shall see.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The First Day

Today ended up being MUCH more like the first day of the rest of my life (hopefully NOT) than I anticipated. Normally Thursdays are our SUPER busy day, but the girls were coughing up a storm this morning, so we didn't go to any of our normal activities. That's a bit of a break, in one way, and a HUGE headache in at least a couple others!

So, that was unexpected... home all day with the girls and all.

Jess had a meeting with the owner of a restaurant at 9am this morning. No prob. That was in the plan. What was NOT in the plan was that he would end up waiting around there ALL morning to meet one person, then another, and finally the last main decision maker of the establishment. Well, it was a good investment of time. He'll start there THIS Saturday morning and he's going to make only one dollar less an hour there than he makes at his Full-Time Job! Nice.

The not-so-nice part, of course, being that I was left on my own - COMPLETELY - for the first time for a whole day. He came home to change clothes and go off to work at the Club, but the girls were napping during that period of time, which would have otherwise been a brief respite.

It went all right today. It's just as difficult as I recall, which is a bit depressing... and I get to do it again tomorrow AND Saturday (for the most part).

Tomorrow is food pickup in Daytona. Jess ends up being gone for the better part of the morning each Friday when he has to do that. Saturday, of course, is the first day of working 2 jobs again. He's very excited about the new job, which is awesome. And he's (perhaps?) even more excited to have more money coming in and relieve me of the concern of working ChaCha under pressure. I still want to do that work as I can, to provide more income for homeschool stuff or Christmas or a (hopeful) trip to visit family... we'll see how that all goes!

And now for the deep dark honesty about this day...

I MISS MY MOMMY!!!! Man OH man!

It was such a pleasure to have her here. She was so generous with her time and constantly found ways to serve me and my family. Randomly, today, Ria would announce, "I miss Mimi!" And Kat pretended to have a conversation with her on a phone she created/pretended into existence from some foam. Kat told me that Mimi was at home and she'd just been talking to her (after she "hung up" the foam phone). ^_^ Jess hasn't specifically said he misses my Mom, but then again, he wasn't really home AT ALL today to feel the difference. *sigh* It SURE was lovely to have her here, though!!! I very much hope to see her before another year and a half fly by. Time will tell.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weigh-In and Blessing Day

So, when I had my 2 week appointment (I believe that was Wednesday?), I asked Karen to weigh Tea. She was happy to do that for me and we found out that Tea was 11 pounds 14 ounces. Obviously, this girl doesn't have a problem eating! heeheehee ^_^ She's gotten longer lately, too, though I haven't taken a tape measure to her, I can see it! Makes sense since she had that growth spurt sleep and all!!!!

I lost 22 pounds since the last time I was in Karen's office (the week of Tea's birth)! YEAY!!! The funny part about that number is that I gained 12 pounds while I was preggie... so that leaves 10 that was lost off of my own personal blubber butt (ok, so maybe it was lost in a more well-rounded way than off just my butt, but still... ^_^). I'm happy about the weight loss, of course. If you have any concern over the possibility that I may not have been eating well during the pregnancy, let me remind you: Tea weighed TEN pounds FOUR ounces when she was born!!!!!! ;)

Name Blessing

Tea was blessed today. YEAY! Jessie's best friend in Bunnell Ward, Joey, blessed Tea. I felt this was most appropriate because Kat was blessed by Randal, who was Jessie's best friend in Norfolk Ward (because of his relationship with Jess). I really feel that the next best thing to their Daddy blessing them (which really is not anywhere near the preference of Daddy doing it, of course) is that our girls are blessed by the most important priesthood holder in thier Dad's life (his best friend). And Jess was pretty happy, I think, when I asked him if he wanted to ask Joey to do it. So, it's good all the way around.

The blessing was lovely! Joey and his wife don't have children of their own yet and Joey had not been asked to offer a name blessing before. Joey told me after the blessing that he was really nervous about it. His wife told me that she was very touched by the barely discernable, but real, difference in her husband after he acted as the voice for the blessing. So, it was a lovely experience for more than just the Mama, Daddy, and Grama of the baby! ^_^

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Over the Two Week Mark

Since I always write about what is most present on the front of the stage of my mind:

Tea is SUCH a sweet baby!!! WOW!! She's been having some growth spurt sleeping (in a way I have not encountered with either of my previous daughters). She barely wakes up to nurse my OVER-full food producers. This has caused me some seriously painful food factories! OWWW! I've had to wake her and TRY to wake her more times that I can count, already!! This is REALLY strange for me because both Ria and Kat almost always woke up to eat EXCEPT for during growth spurts. This little one has slept right through MANY times my food makers are letting me know they need some relief prior to this growth spurt as well as during it. Interesting....

My Mom Visiting
I haven't made it to loading the rest of the pictures or videos because we've been rather busy with my Mom's visit (much, if not most, of it regular life stuff - like tomorrow's midwife visit and today's Primary Activity Day).

It has been lovely to have my Mom here. She's been SUCH a help around the house and with Ria and Kat. They are not starving for as much as attention as they desire the way it seemed they were before she was here.

I'm already dreading her departure in a week (as of tomorrow). The dread is definitely due to more than the things I've previously mentioned. I've been through some truly cruddy emotional stuff due to circumstances NOT hormones (this time!) and it has been a comfort and relief to have my Mom around - even though I really haven't spoken much about the issues... not as much as I used to, anyway. She is still a HUGE comfort!

You know "nasal fatigue"? It's the experience of living or being near a foul odor long enough that your nose sort of stops smelling the rottenness (or your brain stops perceiving it). Well, due to some stuff that's happened recently, I think that hearts can experience a sort of 'ache fatigue' OR 'break fatigue'. In my personal experience it involves an experience of KNOWING that you feel something, but not REALLY feeling it. Or, maybe the feeling is present for a few moments and then it winks out, like a lightbulb whose fuse has been worn out and given way. What do you think? Have you had such an experience with your heart (or other emotional center)? Or am I, yet again, just a major weird-o?? Well, if it's the latter rather than either of the former, I suppose I have to wear the shoe! hahaha

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More Pictures

The day after birth.

Kat prepares to hold Tea for the 1st time!

Mary Kay and Tim, our 1st visitors.

Mama brushing out that hair.The result. :)

Kat was very upset about something before she
fell asleep & the only thing that calmed her was
my promise that I would make sure she could hold
Tea before she went to bed. Even though she's
obviously not coherent, this is the kept promise!


So, it seems the baby blues have subsided... I'm no longer crying between 6:30 and 9pm. YEAY!! That was really annoying and frustrating, but, in a way, sort of convenient, since it happened like clockwork, really. Weird!

I took a stand. I tried to make my "voice" heard in the vote... and still the liar has taken office. Oh, I'm so disappointed in my countrymen. For the first time... opposite Michelle Obama, I'm disappointed in my country!!! :( I feel rather fearful as well. Jess isn't so pessimistic. He figures "the man" will do SOMEthing good. I do hope so... but that hope is rather hollow. *sigh* The media certainly is fully behind this guy. Seems sort of... fitting, in a disturbing and WERID sort of way.

Tea is a smiler! She tends to be a bit of a night owl (at least her natural tendancy leans that way), BUT she's most smiley in the morning. Weird, right? My friend Erin visited on Sunday and Tea was smiling like nothing could stop her practically the whole time Erin held her! Of course, Tea had just awakened, so I think that was a lot of it... this baby REALLY smiles when she wakes up. Kind of fitting since her older sisters are both at their best (and happiest) in the morning. Neither Jess nor I prefer morning hours... we're much better/happier in the afternoon/evening than first thing. So, we don't know where our girls get it, but we certainly feel lucky. Unfortunately, for us, Kat TOTALLY takes after Mama in her BAD MOOD wake-ups from naps!!! Fortunatley, for us, she's slowly coming out of the need for daily naps. Happy for the day they're all but eradicated. ;)

This is my own personal weirdness. The thoughts have been really... odd. I've had this really strange, overwhelming, feeling of pointlessness. Like nothing really matters anyway. This seems to be a sort of cyclic thing in my brain... it's not a thought process I prefer and I certainly aim to depart from it as soon as I recognize it, but it's also a way of thinking that seems to settle in me periodically. It seems to happen most when I'm busiest doing things that feel like nothing... like after a baby joins our family and I'm busy sitting on my bum nursning a LOT! This time around I've been nursing "on the go" more than ever - specifically because of the weirdness of 'pointless-ness' thoughts.

Our special Mimi visitor arrives sometime tomorrow!!!!! We're SO excited!! The girls are just generally excited. Jess is excited that he's going to get a bit of a break from his daughters' attentions (hahaha!!). I'm excited to see my Mom after more than a year!! Jess will probably start working a part-time job (possibly two of them) again while my Mom is here... so I'm glad to have her companionship to look forward to during this expected transition. I've done it before (the transition from having Jess around to him ALWAYS being gone at one job or another), and know it to be difficult for me... this time, with 3 girls and an anticipated VERY weirdly wonky schedule with the 3 jobs, I'm SUPER glad to look forward to having my Mom here!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One Week Old

It's been a long, yet fast week. Tea is a sweet SWEET baby. She has cried, but generally she talks for quite a while before she belts out a complaint. WHAT a blessing!!! I've had many opportunities to feel grateful over such behavior from this newborn. The times I am most thankful, I'll admit freely, are those that occur in the middle of the night. She wakes up to eat and she talks to us and waves her hands about to get my attention. Last night I got out of bed when she was just barely stirring because I felt absolutely famished. I was gone at least 10 minutes. When I returned, her conversational tone had diminished and she was into some more demanding noises, but still not crying!! What a treasure!

She is lovely, to boot. :) Of course, I would have to think so, but seriously... she's had NO real jaundice (her nose looked a little yellow one day, but that's IT!). I attribute this absence (both Ria and Kat were pretty jaundice, Ria more than Kat) to the extended attachment we allowed Tea to her placenta. Ria had about 30 minutes (and that was stretching it for the hospital), Kat had just about an hour, and Tea had about 1.5 hours. I think that last 30 minutes really made a difference. Anyway... she's just adorably pink and, of course, plump. What a beautiful girl!!

The Family
We are doing pretty well, all around. Baby blues set in for me the night of the day my milk came in. Pretty typical. I've been weepy at least once daily, but nothing moving deep into the darker stuff. In a way, I'm grateful to have had the experience of PPD after Ria's birth so that I can recognize it, were it to try to sneak it's nasty head in my head and heart again. I can totally deal with weepy... and even the roller coaster emotions SO much more easily than that rougher stuff!!! I wouldn't wish PPD (especially the way I had it) on the most despicable person in the world! UGH.

Adjustment for the sisters
Ria and Kat have had some adjustment issues. Who wouldn't!? My midwife put it this way: It's like your hubby coming home with a new woman and saying, "Here's my new wife. She won't ever leave, you have to like her, and you don't have any say about the matter." Well, I can certainly put up with some tantrums from my sweet elder daughters in light of THAT sort of emotional tumult, eh? I do think Ria and Kat are having far fewer issues than many children have... they mostly throw tantrums to hold Tea... or because they can't hold her. There have been some weird, "Where did that come from" sort of episodes, but that's understandable (in my opinion - especially remembering some of the things I thought when there was a new kid brought home!).

We've had TONS of visitors. It's amazing how many people have dropped by unexpectedly. I can't say I've minded, exactly, but I know they expect to hold the baby... and when there's already someone here who'd made plans to come (for some baby time, I'm sure) I don't feel like I can take Tea away from someone with whom she's happy AND someone who made an 'appointment'. Ahwell...

I know this baby was anticipated greatly! Everyone who knew us has asked constantly about her. And then, with the scarry stuff after the ultrasound - and my state of mind... I imagine they can't really help themselves. I think it has to do with how much concern they've sort of invested in the whole situation, ya know? So, really, it's quite sweet that so many people have shown, in the very concrete way of showing up at the door, that they care.

I can't help but think/feel that many of my unexpected visitors have come to see what the 'weird homebirthing woman' looks like only days after her "harrowing" experience. The adjective I used is what I imagine they think about it, not what I think or feel. When my midwife asked me to describe my labor and birth experience (for some paperwork) my immediate reaction and verbalization was, "Long and drawn out." And that's really all there is to it. It was hard work (okay, perhaps that's an understatement), but totally and completely worth it. Would I wish to have the duration of this last labor repeated? Heck no!! But the product (sweet Tea) is totally worth all that effort! :)

Jess is, once again, an awesome Dadddy. I've tried to make sure he gets to hold Tea at least once each day (sort of difficult on the days he's had to work). Up until yesterday she cried each time he held her. Yesterday, however, she was totally content to be with him and just looked! She was still not fussing when he turned her back over to me. When he took her that time I'd said something about how she wasn't crying and I wanted him to have some time to hold her while she was happy. He said, "Oh, I'll change that." But he didn't! This is THE earliest that any of our newborns have stayed calm when Daddy held them, I think. It really bothered Jess with Ria, but this, the third, time around he's of the mind that it's just the way it goes when they are so small... they want to food factory... Mama. So, it was a nice surprise when Tea was totally content and alert with him AGAIN today! :) Great... already turning into a Daddy's girl! This usually doesn't happen until they are 9 months old, or so... *sigh* Makes sense, though. Jess talked to Tea while she was in utero a LOT more than either of her older sisters.

More pictures will follow soon.

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