Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 23, 2010: Family Pictures

Until last weekend, we had never had family pictures taken with my mom.  A couple of years ago on my birthday Clara and I did pictures with her, but we haven't done the whole Evie family picture.  We decided that enough was enough and enlisted the help of my fabulous neighbor and friend, Michelle.  She is a photographer and I would highly recommend her!  She is SO good with kids and can get them smiling and laughing.  We went up to our cabin to take the pictures, which was beautiful as well as having sentimental value!
 The Family
 Dave, Heidi, Josh and Clara
 Dave, Heidi, Josh and Clara
Amabuela, Clara and Heidi
Amabuela, Josh and Heidi
 Evie and Heidi
Dave and the kids
Amabuela and Clara
Amabuela and the kids
Heidi and Josh
Heidi and Evie
Josh and Clara
Dave and Heidi
This is what Josh normally looks like.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21, 2010: Fire Part 2

When we got out of church on Sunday, we smelled smoke and saw that there was a fire up on the mountain. No one knew anything about it, but it was on the backside of the mountain, so we guessed that it was coming from Camp Williams. A little while after we got home, I went out on my back deck and this is what it looked like.
I went out to the front yard and took this picture:
We were supposed to go down to Orem for Sunday dinner at my aunt and uncle's house, but decided to wait to see what was going to happen. Around 7:45pm we put the kids down to bed and I went over to my mom's house to see what it looked like from there.

Once I saw flames on top of the mountain, I called Dave and said, "Let's pack it up." If we did end up being evacuated, we didn't want it to be at 4:00am. We took about an hour and a half to go through our house and loaded up both of our cars with pictures, computers, etc. When we were about to leave, it was dark, but we could smell the smoke pretty badly at that point and knew that it was getting a lot worse. The following pictures were taken by friends.

When I pulled out onto the highway and saw the entire mountain on fire I burst into tears. It really looked like entire developments were being burned (I learned later that they were ok) and because it was so dark and there was so much smoke, it was hard to tell where the fire really was. We went down to my aunt and uncle's house and stayed the night there, but I didn't go to sleep until they had lifted the mandatory evacuation for the area around Josh's school. The pictures below were taken yesterday by a friend of mine.

This is from a park down the street.

You can see how close it got to houses. The firefighters did an incredible job of keeping the fire from burning houses. When our governor went home Sunday at 1:30am, he estimated that 25 to 100 hours would be burned. Three were completely burned to the ground. There is damage to other houses, but they should be ok. A few of my friends live in areas that are still evacuated and they can't go back to their houses yet.

Today the fire is 25% contained, but there is a high wind warning at noon. Anyone who has been to my area of the valley knows that the winds we get here can get 40-50mph winds pretty quickly. School was in session today, but I may be picking Josh up early just in case. I'm still processing all of the emotions that went into the past 48 hours.

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 19, 2010: Fire

Due to firearms training at Camp Williams (in unsafe conditions - high heat, dry area), a huge fire has broken out near my house. This was taken by my neighbor who lives across the street. It is now far worse, homes have been burned, we don't know what is going on because it is 1:40am and the news has stopped reporting. Most of our friends have left, but not all. We left around 9pm and headed down to my aunt and uncle's house. We don't know what we will return to...

Friday, September 17, 2010

September 10, 2010: Josh had a Birthday

We decided to have Josh's birthday party on a Friday night - pizza and a movie. He was allowed to invite a few neighborhood and ward friends. We started off with homemade pizza, which Dave made and the kids devoured. Then we opened presents, and we followed up with Natalie's cookies and ice cream before watching Ice Age. It was a looooong night (for me) but fun for Josh and that is what matters.

Josh and C - Battleship (we played the next day - so fun!)
Josh with the G-Boys - Big fire truck that makes lots of noise!
Josh with the "Gabers" and "Katers" - Zhu Zhu Pet
Josh and J-Man - Another Zhu Zhu Pet (sensing the theme?)
Josh and Clara - Pajamas and jeans (zzzzzzz)
Josh and J - Superhero Squad t-shirt!
Josh and his girlfriend, Ms. Mert - $7
The Party Animals
Natalie's cookies! The theme was "Under the Sea" and these were so good and so cute. She also did Josh's invites and I would highly recommend using her for your kids' parties!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 16, 2010: Kelly's Stress Reliever

Poor Uncle Kelly. Trapped in wilds of Alaska. Building kayaks. Living through inspections. How does he cope? Counts the days until he can do somersaults with these cute kids.

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 6, 2010: Rubby and Friends

There are three fish floating around in there.

Josh has decided to name one of his fish "Rubby". No idea where he got this name. Today we went to Petco and picked out gravel and plants and shells for the aquarium that he got for his birthday. He wanted rainbow neon gravel so we discussed color scheme and the fact that I hated that idea. We settled for blue. Our aquarium hangs on the wall away from hands that like to feed and squish things. A chair is needed to get really close to them. I think they probably like it that way.


Phantom Voice in my head: "Hi, Heidi. How do you feel about owning your first pet?"

Me: "Well, it's not really mine and I don't want to take responsibility for it because I can't believe that they LET people have pets. What if they die? I can't take the pressure. If I am this neurotic about fish, we should never have a dog."

Phantom Voice in my head: "Good to know. Why don't you go lie down and have a nice piece of chocolate?"

Me: "That would be lovely."

Josh is thrilled, Clara is thrilled. I feel like I just gave birth to preemie triplets. We'll see how this goes.

September 5, 2010: Josh is Seven

Lots and lots of sugar sprinkles.
He's still my baby.

Take One

Take Two

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September 5, 2010: Becoming a Mother

Seven years ago today at 4:00am my doctor woke me up to tell me she had decided to go ahead and induce me. I was 37 weeks pregnant with my first child, a boy. I was in no way ready physically to have a baby, but pre-eclampsia said otherwise and the induction was started.

12 hours later I had progressed to between 4-5 centimeters and my son was crowning out the back of his head. My doctor told me that I would need to have a c-section. I was exhausted and terrified, and at that point had been in the hospital for almost 30 hours. There was no turning back, and we were putting both me and my son at risk to go any longer. So I took a deep breath and my husband gave me a Priesthood blessing, and I was taken to the operating room.

I really don't remember much because I had had about four hours of sleep and my body had been going through contractions (pretty hard contractions that I didn't feel thanks to the epidural) for most of the day. I remember the nurse saying that there was no way that I would have had the strength to even get through pushing. I do remember the first time I heard my son cry. I remember a tear slid down my face as husband and my mom (my wonderful doctor had somehow gotten permission for her to be in with us) told me what was happening. I remember my husband putting that sweet little face up to mine as I laid eyes on my firstborn. The feeling and the Spirit in the room was overpowering, even with all of the chaos. He was born at 7:09pm.

I wasn't able to hold him until almost two hours later and my first thought was, "I would do this all over again for you." Which was a far cry from my thought a few hours earlier which was, "I will NEVER do this again!" It's true that you forget, or if you don't forget you at least don't care.

I still feel like I glimpse Heaven when I look into my little boy's face, even seven years later. He drives me crazy and he talks back and he sometimes has moments where I wonder if he will ever stop talking. But those blue eyes and freckles looking into my eyes and saying, "I love you, Mama" will always melt my heart because of what I went through to get him here. He made me a mother, and for that I will always be grateful.

Friday, September 3, 2010

September 3, 2010: Two Weeks Down

Two weeks into school we seem to have gotten into a routine of sorts. The alarm goes off at 6:30 and after I groan for a few minutes, I get up and go into the living room. Typically Josh is already up and dressed and has eaten a banana or something. Clara stumbles out when she hears us get up and is much slower about things (like her mama). I make my smoothies and put Josh's lunch together (at his urging) and make sure that Clara has something to eat. By the time we get all of that done, it's usually around 7:30. At 7:30 we read scriptures and say family prayers and then we brush teeth, rub OnGuard and Citrus Bliss on feet, and get shoes on.

If I can get any of my cleaning done during this time, I try to. I also holler things like, "Is your aquarium turned off, laundry in your basket, and your room clean enough to walk through?!" The answers are varied, but generally they seem to be realizing that this old mom is not going to give up on the daily cleaning schedule. I have placed the responsibility for picking things up in the hands of Dave, Josh and Clara as much as possible, and then I do most of the actual cleaning, although I leave some of the bathroom stuff to Dave. In general, our house has been substantially cleaner the past few weeks than all summer and that makes me happy.

Every day we drive our neighbors to school and their mom picks the kids up. I'm a morning person (forced, but whatever) and she is most definitely not. So it works out for both of us. School gets out at 3:30 and she picks them up at 3:45. Josh runs to Kate's class and they try to get as much homework done as possible together, so he is coming home with it mostly done. That has been a nice aside for the crazy evening schedule. He comes in the house and I give him an hour of screen time (computer, tv) to relax. Then at 5:00 I generally start making dinner and he finishes up his homework and works on reading. After dinner we read a lot and the TV stays off. It has been nice with the TV downstairs because we don't focus on it nearly as much in the evening. We have been reading The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis and will work our way through The Chronicles of Narnia this year.

Clara started her second preschool and her teacher primarily speaks Spanish to her. She said after about two months she probably won't need to speak English at all because all of the kids will understand her. Awesome. Clara probably won't speak it, but it will give her a head start for the charter school where she will learn Spanish as well. She now goes to preschool every morning and is so tired by the end of the day that she falls asleep often about an hour earlier than bedtime. Bonus.

That's the news - I need to take more pictures, but we really haven't done that much lately!