Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lincoln's Story

As is noted in the post for Malia's birthday, I have decided to follow in my friend's footsteps and share the birth stories of each of my children on their birthdays. Not only is it a good reminder of what a wondrous event it is each time, but it is also good to remember that no matter how much of a stinker they may be today-no matter which birthday it is-that they will always be my perfectly sweet little babies!

Lincoln's Story.....

(I guess you'll have to copy and paste-the link isn't working so well!)

Click on "baby journal" on the menu on the left side of the page. (lovely site, yet another reminder of how I don't do so well at continually updating all these great online things!)

Happy Birthday Malia!

Wow-really?!? NINE years?!? That makes me feel old! It's really been nine years since I went from being myself to being someone's mom. Time really does fly. What a blessing it is to have Malia here in our family-even though she does sometimes get confused and think she's the mom too!

Her birthday is a bit scattered this year, a few gifts in the mail yesterday, gifts from Beebs and Pomps this morning (they are in Greece today-a stop on their big Mediterranian cruise), and the family thing tonight with our family, Aaron's Dad, and hopefully his brother. Whether or not we'll do something with my siblings this weekend has yet to be decided! We are also taking a big leap this year and having a friend birthday party. I know, I know, we are mean old parents for not having them before for our kids, but really-with this many kids, it's always a big party even when it's just our family! They've asked for years, and to be honest, I was hoping to do it last year since 8yrs old is a big birthday is this neck of the woods, but Lincoln being born just 8 days before Malia's birthday kind of made that prospect not so attractive. So this year we caved, and she gets a friend party on Saturday afternoon. 7 or 8 eight and nine year olds should be all kinds of fun!

Malia's biggest bonus for this year came in the form of UEA break ("fall break" now-watch my eyes rolling here), giving her a looooong weekend off for her bday; Thursday, Friday, AND Monday off school! She got to celebrate and take treats to her class yesterday, and the party will just keep going all weekend long! Not such a bad deal!

(I'm warning you up front-Here's where it gets long!)
A friend of mine shares her childrens birth stories on her blog each year on their birthday. I have loved the idea, but since my blog has been not so active until recently, I obviously haven't taken the chance to do so. I'm changing that today. So the following (LONG story) is Malia's story. Funny-I remember wanting to cry when she was born, thinking that I should be so overwhelmed with emotion, and wondering why it didn't come. I was too much in awe of what was happening-and never really did cry at the birth of my first child, yet it happens now as I reread and relive the events of that day. Becoming a Mom really was the best thing I've ever done. (second only to becoming a wife of course!!)

We married in August of 1997 and planned on having years of fun together. We were both in school and working with awesome travel benefits, and we wanted to take advantage of that! We had a great five-year plan. About two months after we were married, I started feeling like I needed to have a baby. I wasn't baby hungry, in fact I thought I must have been going insane because that was not at all in my plans! But I just couldn't shake the feeling. I kept it to myself b/c I knew Aaron would think I was crazy too, but one night I just couldn't do it anymore. I remember lying in bed staring up at the ceiling and saying, "Aaron, I think we need to have a baby." His reaction was like mine was initially, shock. After much discussion, we decided that I must just be feeling like that must be what needed to come next, because the natural order of things was get married, have a baby. We decided not to act on it; I pushed back into work full speed, began working as a supervisor, and began traveling with my job. I was feeling accomplished, life was good. We put having a baby on the back burner. Little did I know I had experienced motherly intuition before even becoming a mother. I was a day late and dying to test, but was so nervous that I didn't tell Aaron. I bought a test (that stayed hidden under the seat in my car for a day) and snuck it upstairs to test, still not telling him. I will never forget walking down the hall to the living room with a plastic stick in my hand saying "ummm, Aaron? I think you should see this!" Surprise, our first birth control baby! 

We got over the initial shock, although I was still very nervous about telling anyone, I feared that something would go wrong. Aaron on the other hand was already playing the proud daddy role and wanted to tell everyone. Just days past the 12 week mark, my worst fears were confirmed. I was at work when I felt something, upon getting to the bathroom I discovered that I had bled through 3 layers of clothing down to my knees. I was devastated. I went home and broke down; Aaron was wonderful to me as I spent the next 3 days on bed rest. Because of confusion in paperwork, we had been told that our insurance had been cancelled, so I didn't go to the hospital. I spoke with an on call doctor who told me to monitor the bleeding and take another pregnancy test in a few days if the bleeding stopped. Those were the longest days of my life. The test came back positive again, we found out that we DID have insurance after all, so I finally went to see my wonderful OB at 14 weeks. We heard the heartbeat right then, it was amazing. What an indescribable feeling to KNOW that life has been created inside you! 

The pregnancy went very well, except the nausea in the beginning and the swelling over the hot summer months. I kept our thermostat set at 62, which helped me. Aaron kept a sweater on while inside the condo for the month of August! I loved the eating for two and took full advantage of it, gaining 40lbs! 

October finally rolled around, and four days before my due date, I had regular contractions. "Here it is!" I thought! I prepared myself mentally, and slipped into the tub to relax myself into labor. No good, the contractions stopped. Dang! At my 40-week appointment, on my due date, I was still only about 50% effaced and only a bit past 1cm. Dang again! I remember sitting home that night while Aaron was at work. I was watching Friends, the episode where Phoebe gave birth to triplets. I cried because she got to have babies and I was going overdue. 

On Friday the 10th, I told Aaron that if he wanted be "intimate" any time in the near future, that was the night. We ended up having a pillow fight instead. Go figure! Apparently that did the trick, early Saturday morning I woke up wet. I didn't tell Aaron, I knew he had an appt at 9am that morning. I waited until he went to work, and then called the hospital, they said not to worry about rushing in unless I was having contractions. I wasn't, so I waited until 10am when Aaron's appointment would be over, called him and told him not to worry, but that we should go to the hospital when it was convenient for him. He was home in ten minutes! I showered, got dressed, did my hair, put on makeup, it made him crazy as he was dying to go! We arrived at the hospital around noon, they confirmed my water was broken and began Pitocin b/c my contraction were so small. I put up with the pain as long as I could, by about 9:30pm, I was through with it! I called for the epidural, which was very painful, but provided complete relief from contractions despite the nausea it brought along with it. I slept from about 11pm until a flurry of dr's and nurses woke me up around 1am, her heart rate was dropping, she was not tolerating labor anymore. They told me that the time had come. Aaron walked back in right then, he had gone home to get some things--what timing! I was having a very hard time pushing because I was so very numb, but when the nurse said, "look! You can see her head!” I found my motivation! My dr was out of town, so the on call dr delivered. As her head came out, Aaron just kept saying "tiny ears! Look! Look at those tiny ears!" Wow! I did have to have just a few stitches, a huge relief for me! At 2:18am, Catherine Malia Ball made us an official family! My perfect little girl, 6 pounds 15 ounces, 19.5 inches long, with lots of dark hair...all over her body!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Lincoln Log is a Twig!

But at least he is not as much of a twig as he was a couple of months ago! YAY for that!

After struggling with anemia, his weight plummeted, and he dropped from the 50th percentile (15lbs) at 4 months, to the 40th (17lbs) at 6 months, down to the SECOND at 9 months (only 16 1/2 pounds). At 10 months, he was off the charts. No good! Even worse were the extra supplements, blood tests and dr visits to try and nail down what was wrong and why he started losing weight.

But today brought GREAT news! No, not that he has returned back up to average, but he is finally growing again. He's made it clear back up to 6th percentile! After dropping completely off the charts for a couple of weeks, he's moving on up! (sing it, ala Jeffersons of course) And even better is that his height has gone from 26th percentile (to which it had dropped at 6 months, It had been at 60th+ for a while), now back up to 52nd percentile! Hope for some height after all! : )

So, the official stats are that he is weighing in just over 19lbs, and is up to 30inches long. Grow baby grow!

The bad news is that his iron levels have dropped a fair amount again so we are going back to supplements, but as long as he is still growing it's all OK. The three shots today weren't a joy either, but hey, you do what you've got to do.

All good until January when we'll go in for a 15month check, and hopefully even higher numbers on the growth curve!

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Hey all you people who have complained about me not updating anything, HERE IT IS!

Enough posts to entertain you for at least a few minutes. And hey, if you just read one a day, it could keep you going for weeks! HA!

Complete with photos, quick wrap up of what has been missed over the past couple of weeks. One day I'll get back to putting up photos on the old posts where I had promised them, but for now I've spent an entirely too large chunck of my day doing this, so for now, I'm back to real life. If you do not see any posts for a couple of days, NO complaining!

The REAL thing- Happy Birthday Lincoln!!

If it's good once, it's even better twice, right?

Despite the fact that he had no clue, we did have a little family thing on his real birthday too. Well, if you count our family as "little"! Grandpa Tal joined us for the evening as Lincoln officially turned a year old. He loved his little gifts; a giraffe ball sorter thingy (good description, I know), Crazy Turtle, and his favorite fruit puffs. (note Alaina's stellar wrapping job-I asked her to get a "gift bag" and this lovely plasitc shopping bag was the result)

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Baby Birthday Party

Holy Cow! It's really that time already! My baby is turning ONE!

Since he doesn't know the difference, and it's more convenient for everyone else involved, his Birthday Party happened on Sunday, three days before the actual day. Thanks to the fam for driving ALLLLLLLLLLLLL the way out here to our place and joining us for dinner and some not so great cake! (not sure what happend there, sorry! good thing the kids aren't picky I guess!) Lincoln thoroughly enjoyed himself, especially the cake. That boy put it down like I have rarely seen! Takes after his mother I guess! : ) And the bonus-he didn't throw any of it up!

Here's my baby boy putting it down-maybe he will retain an ounce or two for his 1-yr check up this week!

If the shoe fits.....

Hi, my name is Catey. ("Hi Catey") I have a shoe fetish. I love shoes. I really do! It used to not be so bad. As a kid, I had a few pairs, you know, the necessities; church shoes, tennis shoes, sandals or jellies in the summer, and some boots in the winter. It wasn't until my teenage years that I added to the colleciton, you know, your style needs become a bit more varied. By the time I got married I had nearly 50 pair of shoes. My poor husband didn't know what to think! He had the standard guy collection, which is strikingly similar to the kid collection! Over the years I finally started streamlining-getting rid of the things that weren't worn very often (or really at all!), and finally cleaning out the closet. I was down to around 20 pair-including the rubber slippers that I had picked up for me in Hawaii to stash away, and the multiple pairs of flip-flops that wear out so quickly. That was until I found a lovely little thing-a new option in home parties. SHOES!!! And, well, here I am, adding to the closet again. I did take a big step last week, and passed 11 pairs of seldom worn shoes on to someone else. (applause from group for making an effort) But really, it was mostly in part to make room for my new shoes! (*gasp*) The bonus in all of this-they have been free! And really, how can you blame a girl for taking advantage of free shoes? you can't! So, here it is, the spoils of my adventures....

(not including the boots and mary janes for each of my girls)

To the lovely ladies of 4theloveofshoes, many thanks for expanding my shoe selection! The other certificate for free shoes is burning a hole in my purse still! The shoe parties are entirely too much fun! And seriously, if you have missed both of them that I've had-hit up one of the other neighborhood ladies that has booked a party and mark it on your calender NOW. Too much fun to miss!

What Would Jesus Do?

I realize that this has become a trendy little saying, spawning a jewelry line and everything. Seemingly the mainstream Christian's answer to the CTR rings (and everything else CTR). But really, how often do we think about this? I'm sure many of us say it to our children in hopes of avoiding issuing a long drawn out guilt trip. These four little words sum it all up quite nicely and save you your ten minutes of rambling-which you know will be mostly tuned out anyway. How often though, as adults, do we really stop and ask ourselves this question? Not often enough in my opinion.

Many people have asked why the delay in my postings for a few weeks. A few of them I actually admitted to having too much to say about a certain occurance, and choosing instead to say nothing at all. I've decided-now that there has been plenty of time to process everything-to touch on it vaguely anyway.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine wrote a piece on what is an unfortunate truth about too many people. Of those who choose to participate in the privelege of calling ourselves Christians, how many of us really use that title the way it should be used? For the most part, her writings focused on the sad fact that often times it is people who call themselves Christian who are often the most judgemental and least forgiving and accepting. Yes, that ugly word; Hypocrite. While I knew what events has inspired her writing, and I had mixed feelings about the entire situation, I have to say that she was more right than I wish she was. I've taken the past 2 1/2 weeks to reflect upon some things that have been said and done, and find it sad that in attempting to preach what is right, many people are immune to their own voice. In other words-you're not listening to what you are saying!!! That old axom, "do what I say, not as I do." It was unfortunate also that those who tried to mediate and stay neutral ended up being blamed for things that they hadn't done-nor would they dream of doing. Too often we forget that accusations in the heat of the moment can be very hurtful. Yes, they are usually an unjustified outburst due to the "heat" of the moment, but I very much believe that it would serve us all well to step back, and cool off before we choose to open our mouths. You know, count to 10 and all that good stuff. Those who were not completely honest know who they are (even if I, or the rest of the people involved, don't), and that is for them to worry about. Leave it at that, plain and simple.

It is always sad when trust is fractured, when feelings are hurt, when friendships are damaged. I suppose that it is a double-edged sword that as the dust settles you can see who you can count among your true friends. Good to know how people really feel and who is willing to stick around, dress the wounds, and clean up the mess, but sad to find that those who you may have thought were your allies in life are long gone across the lines of battle-headed in the opposite direction.

Despite what happened (or any delayed fallout that may result), I think the wisest thing said in the entire exchange was when this was brought up; "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you" Matt 5:44. And may I add to it, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. forwith what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure yemete, it shall be measure to you again." Matt 7:1-2

May we all be willing to step back. May we all ask ourselves more often, "What would Jesus do?", and not only ask it, but MEAN it.

The bird says....WHAT?!?

First I will say it is such a treat to have my sister in the Stay at Home Mom ranks. Even more so is the fact that she is brave enough to embark on public outings with me! And to make things even better, Mom had some time off work and got to join us!

We took a little trip to Thanksgiving Point to spend the afternoon at the farm. This has become one of our favorite outings, even if it is mostly for the pony rides! Not to mention it is always entertaining to go out with people who aren't used to taking a wild little herd out anywhere!

The kids had a great time, as always, and got the double treat of a wagon ride and a pony ride. It is always fun to watch them with the animals, and especially this year to see just how much the calves and the foal have grown! *sigh* they grow so fast, don't they? ; ) heehee And I am admitting it out loud, I enjoy the chickens. I miss my chickens-even though they weren't MY chickens (they belonged to the kids). You may think I'm crazy, but they really do make good pets. And if it weren't for the HOA, I would totally have chickens again~! I never got my Barred Rock Banty...... WHOA! Sorry-crazy chicken lady coming out of hiding!

Anyway, between a killer shopping trip (Quaker sale-YAY! Spent $83, saved $364 just incase you were curious), and lunch out, the real highlight of the day was playing with the turkeys at the farm. Now, turkeys are not usually creatures that like to play. But as a parent you may as well be talking to yourself when trying to warn a 4yr old to stay away from something they want to do. Jacob was certain that the turkeys wanted to be petted. After repeatedly warning him NOT to stick his finger in the turkey pen, he got what we all knew was coming. One of the turkeys pecked his finger. Poor kid. Adding insult to injury was the immaturity of his mother, aunt, and grandma who all laughed their heads off when it happened. (not to mention the other moms who witnessed the results). NO-lest you think we are mean, it wasn't the actual injury that had us laughing. It was his repeatedly showing us the injury.......

HEY! None of those birds at this farm!

One small step....

Famous words, no? Fortunately not famous LAST words! Quite the opposite, they have always signaled a new beginning. Appropriately so, even on a small scale.

No one has been to the moon here, although I will admit to being a bit spacey lately. (ha)

Lincoln, my sweet little baby boy, is walking! Setting the record for the oldest walker in our family, he is finally preferring to walk-at least part of the time-instead of crawling. He started out with a few steps here and there just a few days before he hit eleven months, but it has taken a month (until about a week before his first birthday) for him to give this walking business some serious consideration. Again-a rare thing for us! All of the other kids got a taste of life on two feet, and immediately took to running! It has become the game at our house to up the count of steps. You know he is feeling adventurous when you can hear the older kids progressively getting louder, "eight...niNE....tEN....ELEVEN....TWELVE!...THIRTEEN!!!" I think we are still topping out in the high teens, but he is making progress! It is fun to watch him start to prefer standing to sitting, standing himself up, and try walking before resorting to crawling after falling or sitting down a few times. Balance is a tricky thing!

My baby is walking! It is always so exciting, but just a tad bittersweet. One step closer to independence....

But hey, at least he isn't totally being shown up by his younger cousin Hallie. (Kelsey-She's SO advanced! rofl!) While she is much steadier on her feet, at least he's up on his with her. It is interesting what you can see about a personality in something like learning to walk. Watching the two of them together on Sunday was so fun. Little Hal is so deliberate and steady in each calculated step, while Lincoln is up, stepping as fast as he recklessly can, until he plops down long before what he was trying to reach. Interesting statement on boys vs girls, on first children vs way down the line kids, or just fear in one about the craziness of a large group and excitement in the other to see someone the same size? Time will tell I guess!

The Wheels on the Bus part 2

More cars? Really? In what has become a weekend staple (let's hope it doesn't REALLY become a regular things!), Aaron has been off to get a vehicle. No, not for us, we had that privelege already. But really, when someone is willing to take a day off, fly to a different state, and help you drive 11hours to get back home all in the same day, it is only right to repay that!

A couple of years ago I would have been very wary of buying something big, like...oh, I don't know....a CAR, over the internet. Scary business those cars... After Aaron worked in car sales for a time we got first hand experience with what car salesmen can be like. Notice I said *CAN* b/c not all of them are truly scumballs. Every once in a while you do run into a decent and honest person selling cars. Unfortunately it is not the norm, but it does happen. Even taking that into consideration, buying cars is always such an interesting thing. So take the convenience of online shopping, avoiding the hassle of dealerships and all their extra fees, and the desperation of some owners trying to sell you their "perfect" used vehicle ("my grandma only drove it to church and back, I swear!"), buying a car through a computer didn't look all that bad. Well, though I am sure there are some bad stories out there, we did have a good experience. (and there was intrepidation on the sellers end too! another story for another day)

Apparently all of our online car searching sparked the same in a friend (we must be spending too much time together or something! HA!). And before you knew it, there was another car sitting out of state waiting to be picked up! This time not in the middle of the desert, but nestled away in the mountains of Colorado! Road Trip!

It is interesting how these things work out. Sometimes, you find exactly what you want, where you want it, when you want it. Other times, it ends up being the car you didn't necessarily want, but you just know it is the right fit! Hopefully it is still the right fit nearly a month later! : )

So a day later, and another 10hours or so in the car, the boys rolled back into good old Eagle Mountain. It has got to be a good sign if you can spend that much time in a vehicle together, not get bored or irritated with each other, never run out of things to talk about, and STILL want to hang out together when you finally get home!

And one day, the road trip will actually be a vacation, not just an expedition to retrieve a vehicle!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Uh oh. NOW I've done it!

All right, all right. It has been brought to my attention by multiple people now that I have created the great blogging sin. I have gone more than a week without a post. Apparently it is OK to go a few days without a post, but over the week mark, well, goodness! You know it's bad when people are bringing up the title of the post that has been sitting there for so long! My deepest apologies! You'd think I have 6 kids, a potty-training toddler, a preschooler I'm teaching to read, and umpteen loads of laundry to do a week! Not to mention, well, life! : ) I promise I'm getting there. I have a backlog of posts all tucked away in my head that I just need to throw down in print, then I'll give you hours worth of reading.

See Kel, I promised there'd be something here to read this afternoon! There will be more tonight or tomorrow! And maybe I'll even get around to adding those pictures in too.....