Monday, May 28, 2012

John Gregory - The final stretch

Dear Johnny,

We are so excited for you to join our family in the outside world.  You should know that you are already a special part of our family.  Cara gives you a hug every night before bed, and everyone loves it when you are moving and they can feel or watch your tiny body parts through my tummy.  When Andy asks if he can "squish" you really he just wants to feel you.  (You can worry about getting squished when you are out.)  When Ali hits it is really out of love.  You do like to move a lot, but I am sure you are getting cramped in there.  At 34 weeks my tummy was measuring 6 weeks big so either you are going to be a really big boy or you are swimming in a lot of water.  

You should also know that you are grounded at least until you are 10 for making life so difficult for the last 8 months.  You can make up some of that time by being an especially good baby!  This last stretch is no exception to the problems that have been create by having your sweet body in mine.  At 35.5 weeks my body decided it was time for you to join us.  I have something called Toxemia.  It is dangerous for us both, but I am checking my blood pressure many times a day and going into the hospital to make sure that you are doing well.  I am on strict orders to take it easy so Grandma took Andy and Ali and I am sitting with my feet up so that you can stay in for a few more days, even though I would rather snuggle you on the outside.  At home I walk with a cane because of my back pain; I have given you everything that I can.    

Choosing your name was a fun process.  It is a lot of pressure to decide what a person will be called for their life.  As soon as we found out you were a boy I started brainstorming.  (If you would have been a girl we would have named you Emma Lee after Grandma Romer and Grandma Sharon, but we had to think hard to come up with the perfect boy name.)  All of your siblings have special family names so I wanted to give that to you too.  Dad wanted you to have a J name like him.  We had thought about naming Ali Gregory had she been a boy, but that didn't seem right for you.  We went through a lot of J names but feel great about naming you after my Great Grandpa John Gregory.  We have a full life history for him that you will enjoy because he was a wonderful man.  His life was hard, but he was always faithful and an extremely hard worker.  He loved the temple and family history work, and he especially loved his family.  My Grandma Odessa always spoke of how wonderful he was.  Grandpa Neil's middle name is Gregory and John is also a very special bible name.  We hope that you will live up to the wonderful people you have been named after.

We are so excited to meet you, and to love you, and to have you join us for all of our crazy family adventures.

Forever and Always,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Proud Mama

It’s hard not to be a proud mom at the end of the school year watching the end of year performances and programs.  I don’t have good pictures of everything that has been going on, but they are worth recording at least for the sake of a family journal.  I must admit that with each event I give myself a little mental “check” that I am one event closer to having a baby.  So here is the checklist of things that have taken place in the last couple of weeks.

1.  Caleb finished a great spring soccer season. (The best part of the season for me was the beautiful, warm spring weather this year.) It is interesting to have an athletic child when Josh and I are so not into sports.  Caleb’s coach has been encouraging me to let him play on a competitive team (rather than the low key recreational soccer we have done.)  I have felt very adamantly “no” because of the time committment but tonight I got an email inviting Caleb to play on a competitive team (something I have not sought out) and I must admit that the pride kicks in and I think, well maybe.  Josh is all for it.  He loves watching Caleb play.  I was beaming with pride at his last game when he scored 3 of the teams 4 goals.  I would say that offence isn’t his big thing; really he is best at defense and is a fantastic goally. In fact, today he came home with his second pair of broken glasses in the last month from getting hit in the face with a ball.  He is willing to do whatever it takes to keep someone from scoring on him, and his heavy big kick is really a gift for his age.  He isn’t a great runner and is almost never in the pack so I question how he can be so good.  His coach just keeps telling me “he has instinct.  He knows how to be in the right place.”

He still really wants to play football, he has even saved up his money all year to pay his portion of the fee to play, but I think I have talked him out of it by offering to let him go to the one day USU football camp and take swimming lessons if he doesn’t ask to play fall football.  (He isn’t interested in flag football, only tackle football, which is a huge commitment.)  When I drove in the driveway tonight there was a soccer ball, a football, a basketball and a Frisbee all of which he has played with today.  How did Josh and I get this kid?!

2.  The 2nd Graders had their end of year program.  The focus of the program was service they have performed throughout the year.  Caleb did a great job.  He refused to wear nice cloths.  He is in a t-shirt and basketball shorts.  His argument is that he would be in the back.  I have to choose my battles very carefully with him or we would be fighting all of the time.  I thought I would die sitting on the bleachers for an hour, but he was cute. Our ward has over 150 kids in the primary and 27 of them are turning 8 this year so it also helped that I know about ¼ of the second graders just from church.

3.  It is the season for spring recitals.  I have been teaching Caleb piano lessons since he was four and I told him that when he got through his third set of books he could have a “real” teacher.  He just started with his teacher about a month ago, just in time to participate in the spring recital.  He is getting to be a good piano player.  Having children who are exposed to music is really important to me.  He is getting good enough that he doesn’t hate it like he did for a while.  He doesn’t love it either.  It is hard and hard things just aren’t that fun for most kids.  He does do it though, and I was proud of him at the recital.

4.  Starting a Suzuki Music School has been fantastic for Cara.  She started for her 6th birthday mid March.  She has been counting down the days to her recital.  You would think she would have the last day of school marked on her calendar, but no, the big circled day with a Sunshine was Saturday, recital day.  She was adorable and obviously takes it very seriously.  She goes twice a week for an hour and does 20-minute rotations of violin, piano, and recorder/theory.  Then she goes twice a month to a “large group” lesson where they practice performing in front of each other and work on theory.  I am a big fan, and a bonus is that she can ride her bike there.  This recital was all group performances except the short piano solos.

5. Andy had his Joy School Graduation tonight.  He was so happy.  He loved everything about it.  He has really enjoyed Joy School and I am excited to do it with him again next year.  I was preparing him that he would be singing and saying a poem for the program on the way there and he asked if he could play the piano too.

Ali enjoys the refreshments after each program and is a good sport about all of these events.

I seem to cause a scene everywhere I go.  My belly measured 40 centimeters at 34 weeks.  (A pregnant woman should measure the number of centimeters as weeks she is along so basically I was measuring 6 weeks big.)  I don’t think I have ever been this uncomfortable in my whole life!  My back is giving me major issues where my hip joints connect to my spine.  I can hardly walk.  I imagine labor pain to be a relief from the day to day pain of living right now.  At least it will be an indication of the end.  I really don't know how people live in chronic pain.  The only thing keeping me semi sane is knowing that it will come to an end.

The thing that I wanted to blog about though is how everyone has an opinion about how I look.  I have never been offended by what people say, but it amazes me how many people say something.  In our culture commenting on someone’s size is usually considered bad manners, but that rule must go out the window if someone is pregnant.  The most comments I got was when I went to the endowment session with Gabe and Alexa.  Every temple worker said something ranging from, “are we going to have a baby in the temple today?” to “bless your heart.”  I never go out without being asked “when are you due” and I don’t know how to answer because I had better have a baby within the next few weeks, but I’m not due for five weeks!!  I should also point out that I cut off my hair.  It was getting super long and I needed a change.  It is a fun razor cut and so far I really like it.  So go ahead, comment on my size, I won't be offended.  The funny comments are when people say I look small.  It is hard to know how to respond to that.  "Are you blind?"  "Well that's not what the tape measure says." I usually opt with the simple "thank you" and then I waddle away.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bage and Secka

Gabe and Alexa (or Bage and Secka as Ali calls them) were married last weekend.  Alexa lived with us this year and it has been wonderful being a part of their lives.  They were married in the Bountiful temple. It was the most touching and inspiring wedding I have ever attended.  It has been amazing to watch the changes in Gabe as he has prepared for the temple.  The day was beautiful.  Their photographer literally took thousands of pictures, but here is a little preview of the pictures week took with our phones.  I will post some professional pictures when I get them.  

Ready, Set, Scout's!

Ready or not we have joined the world of cub scouts.  Caleb's first pack meeting was the pinewood derby.  He loved it!  He and Josh imbedded a blue tooth device into Caleb's car so that it could rev and honk.  It wasn't the fastest, but he was proud of it.  His award was "Most High-Tech" which Josh was proud of. 

At his second pack meeting Caleb got his Bobcat and his first bead of progress.  My mom would be proud that I am working on it with him.

Another spring project, somewhat scout related has been polishing some rocks.  The kids have LOVED the process.  Caleb is already adding up all of the money he can make selling the rocks to his friends.