Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Forgotten Child

Dakota's birthday was September 1st.  It wasn't forgotten, actually - it's just always at a crazy busy time of year.  Usually the first week of school, Labor Day, end of summer business.  You know!!!  I still remember the day he was born.  We were living in Utah and every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend my hubby and brothers would escape to the Montana wilderness for Man Time.  This particular year, Travis was nervous about going.  I was due Sept. 5th and Labor Day was the 3rd.  My brothers told him I wouldn't go early and teased him about going mercilessly. 

But the smart man I know him to be, handled the playful teasing and opted to stay home to be safe.  He knew that with no cell coverage and a ten hour drive under great circumstances were a great combination for missing the birth of his child.  The Saturday of Labor Day weekend after suffering the worst sickness of my adult life the previous two days I was in a funk ready to be done with pregnancy.  Travis offered for a family movie night and pizza.  We ordered the pizza and as we walked into the next door movie shop, I halted.  Travis only realized I wasn't following after he was halfway in.  I told him to grab a movie fast, because this baby was coming now. 

Just like that, the worst clutching labor pain of my four kids hit me rendering my absolutely still.  He grabbed a movie, and the pizza while I called my sister.  She was on a date but brought the date and other couple, my childhood bf, to our house.  The kids were crazed with excitement and I was in no shape to entertain.  We left as they walked in the door.  By the time we hit Labor and Delivery, one mile from our house - I was quietly sobbing with pain.  Suffice to say as we approached the doors, they asked which child - Travis answered fourth and they skipped checking me and put me right into a room.  I was dilated to 7 and in the most excruiciating pain of my life. 

Issac had been my easiest labor and I had been hoping that this one would follow the same course.  I cried for an epidural, but cursed my mother when they told me there would be no time.  She had wished this very thing for me the month before.  I cried throughout the labor and struggled to build the courage to push this baby out, but with Travis as my wall of courage I got it done.  From the hospital door to delivery was 51 minutes and from the video store an additional 10.

So much like this story unfolded is the personality of my baby child, Dakota.  He does things his own way, on his own time frame, paying no heed to anything or anyone else.  From his birthday to present he has had a myriad of mostly crusty and kermudgeon like old man faces.  Everyone laughs while saying - ohh, like I am a mean mother until I show his baby album and then they laugh with understanding.  My red headed wonder has lived up to every stereotype every produced about red heads.  He's fiesty, opinionated, and full of passion.  He's as sweet and wonderful as he is horrible and stubborn.  And most everyday he snuggles me while telling me how much he loves me, how beautiful I am, and how sad he is that we can't get married as he tries to talk me into it despite pesky old dad being in the way.  And let me tell you, this kid can make a persuasive arguement when pressed. 

He's whip like smart, full of mischief, and can't refuse a good dare.  He's so much like me, it scares me sometimes.  He's given me gray hairs, a million worries, and the hardest decision by being born so close to the school cut off date.  Everything about him pushes to the very boundaries of life.  I wonder often what I can teach this child who came into this world knowing so much and feeling like he has so little to learn.  But I am confident in this child, because although he could turn out to be a mad man, I mean I did call him my bi-polar baby until he was three, I am actually quite confident that he will be like Alma the Younger.  Perhaps causing his parents to worry at times, but in the end one of the most valiant forces for good in his time.  His will is unchanged by others and that sense of stalwartness is unbending.  I can't believe how amazing and special he is.  Happy Birthday buddy.  I love you infinitely.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Vacation Week 5+

This week was filled with leaving Utah and heading towards Texas, land of the bigger and better.   On the way we stopped at Four Corners (totally useless, but very novel and so the kids had to do it.)  Activities included sitting, standing, and laying in all four states, straddling two states, and seeing how fast you can run through four states using the outer loop.  Additionally we stopped at Carlsbad Cavern and Arches National Park and all I can say is A-MAZ-ING.  Seriously go, no pictures I took, or looked at online, begin to do these places justice.  It's another testament of an amazing Creator and God.  And the lyrics "then sings my soul, my Savior - God to thee, how great thou art - how great thou art" come to mind and replay in a loop.  Really both are extraordinary for totally different reasons.
 (Delicate Arch)
Tourist stuff aside, I headed to Texas with mixed feelings.  We had two stops planned, one in San Antonio to visit the in-laws and one in Dallas/Fort Worth to visit a college roomie/bridesmaid.  But through some misunderstandings or poor planning or I still have no idea really...Travis's family wasn't going to be there for 3/4 days we were supposed to be there.  I ended up extending a day so we would have a two day overlap, but felt a time constraint as school beginning loomed in the near future.  I was a bit frustrated and worried about staying at the house without them being there, but it ended up being awesome.  After arriving late and garnering a speeding ticket - I was going four over the limit - who knew that could happen, I stopped to get some groceries to restock the house.  And we chilled out well that's relative.  We stilll went to the Alamo, Riverwalk, and Witte Museum as well as going back to school shopping, went to church, visited with extended family.  And this was great because normally I am so dedicated to wringing every moment of Gpa and Nana time that I don't even get off their property to visit the others despite being next door neighbors.  So second cousins got to play one whole evening uninterrupted, I caught up on the family gossip with cousins, and my second set of In-Laws (Travis's Uncle and Aunt - who are like second parents to him) and I talked and caught up on the passage of time.  And sure enough once Nana and Gpa arrived we hit it hard with them too.  We had a birthday celebration celebrating every birthday since we can never share them with all of our nationwide spread family.  We went to the river to swim, we went out to my favorite Mexican, Gpa took the kids fishing, and Gpa and I every night sat and commentated on the Olympics as if we were announcers in our own right.  It was crazy fun and I'm so glad we ended up going to San Antonio instead of heading straight to DFW. 
 (The Ranch)
Once we hit the road to DFW I was giddy.  Emma and I have one of the longest standing friendships.  I met her my first day of college.  She could tell you a million stories about me mostly embarrassing and I could do the same about her.  We are ridiculous and wildly entertaining.  Upon arriving my kids devastated her house with energy after being in the car.  We sent them out back to the pool and we caught up.  Eventually we got the kids geared for bed and left her hubbs in charge while we headed to Cheesecake Factory for a late dinner and a cheesecake fix.  There I created more memories with her and she has already regaled several with an embarrassing story from that night - suffice to say I am a cheesecake fundamentalist.  But this is what makes her great.  She is the world's most considerate and adventurous hostess.  Her energy is similar to mine and so I can count on her to join me in all my crazy schemes or at least talk her into some of the better ones and she can usually think of one or two of her own.  Her birthday was only two days after I was supposed to leave.  And she was heading to a concert the night before and she tried to talk me into staying and joining the celebration and oh, if I were by my lonesome, it would have been a done deal, but 4 weary travelers later I opted out.  Still missing that fun that I didn't get to have.  While at her house we had another swim day with another college roomie, Ahna and her kids.  We went out boating, tubing, and they taught me to wake board.  Her and her hubby are the most patient teachers ever.  And we got a sitter to go out one more night, the three of us.  Their love of food is pretty close to mine too.  It was the most fun and she is an expert at packing in the fun no matter how short the time.  I love this girl and know that in twenty years we will still be visiting one another annually and creating mischief where ever we go. 

I left Saturday morning.  We originally were going to leisurely drive home visiting Arkansas, Tennessee, and anywhere else we wanted.  But due to travel fatigue we visited one last roommate in Arkansas, really I gypped you - Jen, and then tour a trail straight home driving until 2am the one night to turn around and wake up again at 8 and finish that trip.

It was the best vacation ever and the most fun and best summed up by Bella. "It was the greatest experience of my life, but we don't ever need to go on vacation that long again, Mom." And I agree with her, at least with kids in tow. I hope you have enjoyed living vicariously through me. Look for my final post about the 50 state tour with our final stop to Hawaii next summer. Aloha
 (Ahna, Me, Emma)
 (Emma the Pro)
 (She buys me donuts too!!!)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Everything and Nothing

School has started.  I have terrible pictures but it's the first day and so it need memorialized.

We spent a night last week in the ER.  Also noteworthy.

I still haven't finished my blog update on vacation week 5+.

Everyday I think of something I want to blog about or at a minimum - facebook status update about.  Still it doesn't get done.

Life is crazy, and just keeps getting crazier.  It will all get done in due time.  I know some of you are waiting with bated breath.  Or at least I've convinced myself you all are wondering about me and mine.  :)'s post is much more meaningless than that...several nights I have dreamed the same dream.  Different house, different characters, but always the same underlying theme.  I have a home and am finding tons of new rooms, or extra space, or more features, etc...

Finally this morning, after a wake up call at 8:30 on a Saturday morning - who does that?  Do you people know me at all?  I digress - after dreaming the same dream, I while laying in bed ponder what it means, I grab my phone on the bedside table and google the heck out of it.

"The finding of extra or secret rooms: A common dream theme – recognition or discovery of previously unnoticed aspects, abilities, fears, or traits in yourself. If the discovery is distressing, this may reflect a feeling of a change in your status quo which is disturbing. But the hidden room can indicate entering a new dimension of your awareness, one that reveals previously hidden or unknown facets of your personality."

"The Dream Doctor says the extra-room dream is associated with "a rediscovery of lost aspects of the self," noting that it's often experienced by women "who have scarified personal hobbies and passions (painting, music, desire to own a small business) for the responsibility of parenting."

So two of the dreams have remained with me.  The first goes like this:  My neighbor is over looking at my house to see how it compares to hers (Note: this happens a lot in our neighborhood since all the homes are like 1/5 options).  And as I show her around I take her to the basement.  Another note from the web: Basement = the unconscious mind And there in my basement I find water.  Like lots a foot or so over the entire floor.  And it's rising somewhat rapidly.  But instead of being upset, I realize that there is a rope swing in my basement and I grab it and start swinging across the water making a game out of it and having the time of my life.

Dream two:  I am looking at homes, home shopping.  I have found the one we plan to purchase.  I am taking a final walk through and I just keep finding more and more rooms, features, pimped out(edness).  And by the end what was a normal looking house on the outside is this ginormous McMansion on the inside and I own it!

So I implore my readers:  What the heck do you think this all means?  And...why do I keep dreaming it repeatedly.  Am I supposed to do anything with this? 

Sweet Dreams!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Prepping for School Before/After

The week after we got home from vacation - Travis was home.  We played, went to the Turkey Hill Experience, fished, and started prepping for real for school, including the annual Father's Blessings.  I love this experience as I learn more about my children through Heavenly Father and their father as the mouthpiece.  As our neighbor, who is not a member of our church, once said after Travis gave her a blessing for healing "He really has a gift, Mary."  And he does, It's the Priesthood and not a day goes by that I'm not thankful that our family has full access to it. 

With those father's blessing, I think I garner as much peace of mind as the kids.  What I wouldn't do for my tiny babes who aren't so tiny anymore.  And as I am forced to introspection I can't help but feel pretty proud....first day pics

P.S.  They have all had hair cuts since.  They couldn't get me in the week before school started.