02 August 2017

Felicia: One Month

Felicia is one month old, and she is so sweet. She is a good eater, and she's really good at sleeping if somebody is holding her. Otherwise, her sleeping is not yet very impressive.

She is already growing so much. She is too long for her newborn clothes already, but she is certainly not too fat for them. She has really long fingers and toes. She still has quite a bit of dark hair, but I'm confident it will all fall out and grow back in blonde. I'm pretty sure her eyes will be brown. The general consensus is that she takes after my side of the family.

Felicia loves tummy time. She enjoys her pacifiers, and she doesn't mind the car seat. She loves being held, being swaddled, and being in motion.

Her siblings love her. We were really worried that Trixie would not like her, but Trixie has actually been obsessed with her baby sister. Trixie frequently asks where Felicia is, especially when she firsts wakes up, and she loves to kiss Felicia and hold her.


I am loving having having a little baby to snuggle.

05 July 2017

Introducing Felicia - And a Birth Story

She's here! If you follow me on Instagram, you already knew that. And if you don't do Instagram, that's okay. Instead of uploading a million pictures to this post, I've just embedded some of my recent Instagram posts because of all the lazies I'm feeling right now.

My original due date was June 15, which basically meant our baby would be coming in June. But then at my 20-week ultrasound they pushed my due date back to June 26. And because I'm a little crazy, I started hoping for a July baby.



Not only could my baby have a palindrome birthday if born on July 1 (7-1-17), she would not mess up my family's birthday patterns of one birthday per month from August to December. A July baby would fit nicely in the mix; a June birthday would forever bother me as SO CLOSE. And, neither my family nor Eric's family has any July birthdays, whereas we both have multiple June birthdays. I make a calendar most years for Eric's mom with pictures of all the grandkids, and I thought it would be nice to fill in that July hole.

So I'm probably the first pregnant woman ever to hope to go past my due date and then be happy when it happened. I had told my doctor that I was hoping for July 1, and he set an induction for me that day.

The Wednesday before induction day (June 28) I had a checkup, and I was dilated to a five. My doctor said if I felt even a few contractions I really needed to go straight to the hospital. I agreed that was logical and basically put myself on bed rest. (I can do that because it's summer time, and Teacher Husband is home a lot, thank heavens.) Also, I had gone to the hospital on June 21 with frequent and mildly painful contractions. I arrived dilated to a four, but I didn't progress at all. They told me I could stay or go home. I opted to go home so Eric could sleep, and I could try to sleep until the contractions became unbearable. But they never did, and we both slept all night. And then the contractions never really picked up like that again.

So, on Friday night we went and delivered our three kids to their grandparents. As I got ready for bed I had a few uncomfortable contractions, but that was par for the course. I had been having contractions at night, sometimes painful ones, for several weeks. We went to bed. I awoke at 3:45 with a pretty painful contraction. I waited it out and tried to go back to sleep, but then I had another one. And another one.

The night before, Eric had given me a blessing in preparation for my induction. One of the things he prayed for was that I would get to the hospital in time. I thought that was interesting since we were scheduled for an induction. How could I not get there on time?

I remembered that phrase as I was having contractions and thought, "These are the real deal. We need to go." Even though they were painful, they were not at all unbearable. I still could easily talk through them. In fact, I was having one when I woke Eric up and told him we needed to go.

I put on makeup while Eric loaded the car and made me some toast. (And, I'm not even going to lie here, I'm glad I put on makeup. I looked pretty good in my post-baby photos, and it's because I was wearing some long-lasting lipstick, some blush, eyeliner, and mascara. That's all. But it made a huge difference.)

I checked into the hospital and learned I was dilated to a seven. Eric was not surprised given that I was a five two days earlier, but I was surprised that the contractions I was having had made that much progress since they really weren't that bad. I immediately asked for an epidural.

My epidural was placed without any issues, and my doctor arrived. He checked me and said I was dilated to an eight. Then he broke my water and immediately checked again, and by then I was a 9. He and the nurse stepped out for a few minutes, and Eric decided to take a little nap.

Just as I was beginning to feel more pressure and more frequent contractions and was thinking about waking up my husband and paging my doctor and nurse, they came back in. They had been watching the printout of my contractions and said it was time to have a baby.

We were aiming for a 7:17 delivery time to go with the 7-1-17 birthday, but I failed. She was born at 7:20. She was my heaviest baby yet, weighing 7 pounds 13 oz. She measured 19 inches long and has a full head of dark hair.

For the first time, I didn't have my baby whisked away from me immediately. She got to hang around me and do skin to skin contact for a couple of hours. I was so excited about this, but she was not really happy about being born, and she was pretty fussy during that time. I began to be very worried about the demeanor of this baby. Thankfully, as the day progressed she became unbelievably mellow and sweet, and I stopped worrying.



Eric and I knew we were having a girl, but we kept it a secret. I originally wanted the gender to be a surprise, but I could see on the ultrasound pretty clearly what it was. Ike insisted from the get-go that he wanted a sister and that was his guess. Felix went back and forth throughout the pregnancy. For a while he said he wanted a brother so "the girls would be surrounded by boys" (said by a child who can't say his R's well yet). About the last six weeks of the pregnancy his tone changed to match his more generous nature, and he said he wanted a sister so that Trixie could have a sister. Trixie had no guess and was generally clueless.

Everybody is healthy and happy. She was easily my best delivery, and I am constantly grateful that I don't have giant babies.

Her blog name is Felicia (because I wanted that for a real-life name, after an ancestor of mine, but for Eric it was a no-go).

In summary:

  • Dilated to a five a few days before induction day, but no real contractions.
  • Contractions started in earnest about 3:45 the morning of the scheduled induction.
  • Hospital a little before 5.
  • Epidural worked well.
  • Baby girl (blog name Felicia) born at 7:20 on 7-1-17, my little palindrome baby!
  • Best delivery yet. (I should just keep having babies!)

11 May 2017

Baby Plan Dreamland

Y'all, I'm having a baby next month, or maybe the month after that. Time will tell. I don't think I ever made an official announcement here because nobody really reads this anymore, and most of those who do also follow me on social media. At any rate, my due date was June 15, and then it got pushed back to June 26, so we'll just see when this baby comes.

Meanwhile, I've done lots of fantasizing about how I want this to go. Overall, this has been my easiest pregnancy. I've definitely had the least morning sickness. I got my heartburn under control from the start (thanks, prescriptions!). The baby must not have spent any time being transverse because I've had virtually no chronic hip pain. (Plus, I've been seeing a chiropractor because my insurance covers it, so why not?) This baby passed the 20-week ultrasound, so I haven't been stressed out about a heart defect. I have definitely gained more weight with this one than any previous one, but I'm still measuring small and am well within a normal weight gain. I haven't had any really strong cravings or aversions.

Along this vein of best pregnancy so far, I'm hoping to combine all of my kids' bests into one Optimal Baby. The delivery will be like Felix. The baby will nurse like Ike. The baby will sleep like Trixie. The baby will spit up as little as Trixie. The baby will not mind strangers like Ike. The baby will not mind being put down like Ike. But if the baby needs to be held all the time it will be super small like Felix. It will be a voracious and non-picky eater like Trixie. It will nap like Ike. It will have the speech skills of Felix. It will defy all the other babies and not go bald after a few months.

I know I can't actually control any of these things. But it's nice to hope.

17 April 2017

Spring Break in Seattle

When your husband is a teacher, it makes sense to utilize your spring breaks. We haven't manged to do it every year, but we did manage this year. The fact that we won't be road tripping much this summer (with the impending baby and all), meant that we really needed to go somewhere this year. We decided to visit Eric's sister and her family in Seattle.

We had a great time. Google tells us that it's about a 13.5 hours to drive to Seattle, and we made it there in about 14. Our timing coming home was not so good, in part because of bad weather. We were also stymied by some mixed exits in Seattle and Boise. And also, we lacked the promise of "let's go see your cousins," which meant our children were not as eager to consolidate their bathroom trips and hurry up in general. (Also, I drove most of the way there, and Eric drove most of the way home, which says something about our driving, I think.)

We arrived on Sunday night. On Monday we went to the Kubota Garden, which was wonderful and lovely.



Then we went to the Museum of Flight, which was way cooler than I expected. We spent a lot more time there than we had originally planned. Everyone loved it. Trixie was enthralled with the full-sized airplanes hanging from the ceilings. She is used to the 1/72 scale models that hang in her brothers' room. There were cool exhibits, and it was just generally a great museum. (Plus, they are part of the ASTC Passport Program, so we got to use our Thanksgiving Point memberships to get us in for no admission!)





After that we met with Eric's sister and her kids at the arboretum. The kids were pretty tired by this point, but they did reasonably well with all the walking.



That evening Eric's sister and her husband generously watched our kids for us while we went and got dim sum, and it was awesome. I had dim sum a number of times growing up, but Eric had never had the experience. I need to look into restaurants in Salt Lake that do that kind of service.

Tuesday we took the long route to our beach house on Marrowstone Island. First, our family headed up to an awesome museum in Everett called the Imagine Children's Museum. (Again, this venue is part of the ASTC Passport Program, so we didn't pay admission.) There were so many cool things to do there. We could have stayed all day. (I took some pictures, but I won't bother you with them since this post already has so many pictures.)

When Eric's sister and her family were in our vicinity, we left Everett and headed to meet the cousins at the Skagit Tulip Festival. We were a bit early for the tulips, but we went to a tulip farm that had lots of daffodils in bloom, and we took pictures there.






From there we headed to Deception Pass State Park to enjoy some views and to throw rocks in the water. (And, if you were Trixie, to also try to eat some rocks.) Miraculously, nobody was hit by any errant rocks. (And, in case you were wondering, no, I cannot skip rocks. Eric can, though.)


Then we caught our ferry and headed over to our beach house on Marrowstone Island. It was a great beach house, and huge kudos to Michelle for finding it. She and Eric spent an absurd amount of time combing every possibility for a beach house for our two families and weighing pros and cons of all of them. I found it rather exhausting and definitely got to a point where I was like, "Just tell me when y'all pick something, because I do not even care anymore." I was well beyond that point when Michelle discovered this place, and it was priced way lower than it should have been and easily could accommodated a group bigger than ours. I don't have many pictures of the house, but I do have pixely phone picture of Trixie supervising her uncle in making Thai food.

The house had amazing views and lots of beds with lots of bedrooms. Plus, there was beach access via long and steep stairs.




The families went down to the beach a couple of times, but I only went down once. (It was beautiful but also pretty cold, and I was having back pain for some reason. Thankfully, it cleared up and didn't plague me the whole trip!)

The kids loved playing together in the beach house and down at the beach. Eric made Felix and his same-aged cousin recreate this picture from our Oregon beach house in 2015. It went really well, as you can tell.

On Thursday we eventually got ourselves packed up and loaded. We took the direct route back to Seattle and rode the ferry from Bainbridge Island into downtown. Eric and I rode it in 2007, and it was fun to look at the picture of us then verses our family of five (and growing!) now. We've changed a lot in these nearly ten years.

Then we went to the zoo. We had also gone to the zoo in 2012 when Michelle and I were both pregnant with our second kids. Again, it was fun to recreate a picture while we were there. Trixie was the same age for this trip as Ike was the last time we were in Seattle, so that was also fun to think about. She is crazy about animals, and her face lit up with so much joy the first few times she spotted some.

We had discussed staying until Saturday, but Friday's weather was pretty lousy, and the thought of diving straight back into real life with 8:30 church on Sunday morning, followed by me returning to work on Monday and Tuesday, made us decide to head out on Friday morning instead. It was nice having all of Saturday to run errands, do laundry, and just generally catch up before delving back into the last few weeks of school.

08 March 2017

Trixie: Eighteen Months

Things I want to remember about Trixie at this age:

  • She has a lot of teeth, especially compared to what Felix was like at this age.
  • She loves to give cuddles. But she also loves to pull hair, pinch, and tackle (if she can).
  • She loves to give kisses.
  • She started walking at about 15 months old, our latest so far.
  • She comes running when she hears somebody filling the tub.
  • She's obsessed with oral hygiene and would happily stand at the sink "brushing" her teeth for upwards of 15 minutes. (Her version of brushing her teeth is putting her toothbrush under the running water, then sucking the water out.)
  • She likes to get cloths out from under the kitchen sink and wipe up non-existent messes from the kitchen floor.
  • She is still allergic to dairy. (So much sadness about this. Please outgrow it, Trixie!)
  • She loves to go outside. She gets really upset when people go outside without her. And she gets upset when people come in from being outside because she wanted to be outside too.
  • She puts on any clothes she can find, often in ways they are not meant to be worn.
  • She loves nursery and the babysitter's house.
  • She is a wonderful eater and is rarely picky. Sometimes she eats as much as or more than her brothers in a meal.
  • She signs: "more," "eat," "thank you," "all done," and "milk."
  • She adores anything with fur.
  • She lost all her words when we were dealing with chronic ear infections a few months ago. She still has a bit of a speech delay, but she's coming along. She says:
    • go
    • hi
    • krrrr (a sound effect for an airplane)
    • zzzzz (a sound effect when she is zipping or unzipping something, or when she wants you to do those things)
    • Ma
    • Da
    • more
    • milk
    • uh-oh
    • ow
    • dog
    • up
  • As we dealt with the ear infections she's had after getting tubes, she loved getting drops in her ears. Thankfully, we haven't had to do drops for at least a month, but it was so cute how she would willingly lie down and giggle as the drops went in.
  • Her eyes are very light blue, and I believe they will stay that way.
  • I frequently say she is my favorite kid right now because, "She sleeps the most and argues the least."
  • She loves to bring us books to read to her, but she only sticks around for about one page before she leaves to do something else.
  • She is my least independent child (so far) and is generally not interested in playing by herself. She frequently wants to sit in my lap.
  • When we tell her we are going to go somewhere she hurries to sit on the stairs and sticks one foot in the air waiting for somebody to put her shoes and socks on.
  • When we want her to come join our family, we can usually all sing a song together, and she will come running to join us. Sometimes she is eager to participate in the fun; other times she is just curious.
  • She loves to wave her arms around "conducting" music when people are singing. I believe this is because I am the ward choir director and Eric leads the music in sacrament meeting. "People are singing? Well, I believe somebody ought to be flailing their arms about!"
  • If anyone is playing the piano, she must join in, preferably by sitting on the player's lap, not merely pushing on the keys she can reach while standing on the floor.
Last week Eric told her it was time for bed, and she took off running to hide from him in our closet. She even shut the door behind herself.

Also last week near the bus stop one day while we were waiting for Ike's bus to arrive, I recruited Felix to help me put back rocks that children had kicked out of the neighbors' side-yard. It's clear the bus-waiters frequently kick the rocks out of the side yard. The next time we went on a walk, Trixie spent a solid 10-15 minutes putting rocks back.

Trixie really has no understanding that another baby is coming to join our family soon. She is generally not that interested in babies, but I've been trying to encourage her to play with her dolls a bit more, or at least cuddle her dolls occasionally. It will certainly be an adjustment when the new baby arrives, but Trixie is so sweet that I'm sure she'll love her new sibling, even if that love isn't necessarily instantaneous.

02 March 2017

Ike is Six! (and a quarter)

I am rather behind on Ike's birthday post. He turned six in December. I worked on his birthday, but his babysitter sent me this picture of him with the birthday crown he got at school.
We told Ike he wasn't having a friends party this year since he had one last year. But actually, he had a surprise party. I took him to the dollar store for various items we needed (and to let him shop for his brother and sister's Christmas gifts), and then we went to Little Ceasar's for a couple of pizzas. He was totally clueless and didn't notice that I got two pizzas instead of the usual one.

When we got home, Eric had readied the house and the handful of guests. I had invited all the kids via texts to their moms and specifically asked them not to tell their kids about the surprise party until it was time to head over to our house. When Ike and I came in, the friends jumped out and yelled, "Surprise!" Ike said, "What are you guys doing here?" I explained they were there for his party, and he said, apologetically to his friends, "I'm not having a friends party this year." Once we explained the concept of a surprise party, he was a happy boy.

At six years old Ike is a good student who enjoys kindergarten. Usually when I ask him how school was, he tells me, "Great." He loves to play with friends, and he adores his baby sister, sometimes too much.

Ike is a good eater and rarely complains anymore about dinner, even if it's something he doesn't really like. He is usually a good helper, and he's capable of doing lots of jobs around the house.

Although Ike can read, I definitely wouldn't classify reading as a hobby. He basically only reads when I tell him to do so. He enjoys being read to, and we have read a few chapter books this past year.

Shortly after turning six Ike lost his first tooth, something he'd been eagerly anticipating for a few months. He lost his second tooth about a week later.
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In addition to playing with friends, Ike loves to have battles with his army guys and to play outside when the weather is nice. He is looking forward to soccer starting again in the spring. 

I love this oldest kid of mine. We're in a good groove right now where he is easy to get along with and generally a really good boy. I am really enjoying it and hoping we stay in this good-natured phase for a while.