Grey heard about the special memorial ceremony at the Ft Logan Cemetery and begged to go. He heard all about the flyover, gun salute and other cool stuff they would have. We thought it sounded fun so we packed everyone up (including the oxygen tank) and headed over. The ceremony was sooooo boring after the initial cool military stuff and the flyover ended up being a tiny, slow navy plane. We were waiting for the jets! But it turned out pretty special because we got to go visit Jared's uncle Jerry's grave who passed away a few years ago. We spent some time talking about him with the kids. He flew helicopters for the Navy and spent a long career in the military. I always tear up thinking about those who sacrifice so much for our freedoms. I am grateful for them and their loved ones.
Why is it so hard to get a picture with all three looking decent?!
We sure miss Uncle Jerry. He has a beautiful resting place.
Poor baby Vanessa ended up in the hospital at just FIVE weeks old. Cole had a virus with a runny nose and a fever. I did all I could to keep him away from Vanessa but he kept grabbing her binky and face and everything in sight. Needless to say, she caught the bug. I feel so bad but I kept waiting and waiting hoping she would get better. She was sleeping a lot and not eating much. She had a stuffy, runny nose for a few days. By Friday I noticed she wasn't eating hardly at all and she would seem wheezy when she exhaled while trying to eat. Her cough seemed a little bit worse--more than just drainage. She didn't have a fever or anything so I kept going back and forth. Since it was a Friday, I decided to call and make an appointment just to be safe. Worst case I figured she might need a breathing treatment.
Elise wanted to come to the appointment, so I brought her along not knowing what was in store. As soon as Vanessa started being monitored, the nurse and doctor were not happy with her stats. She was sucking in on her ribs and neck to breathe--which now I know what it looks like. They gave her a breathing treatment but that didn't do anything. They did a quick test and she was positive for RSV. While still monitoring, V's oxygen dropped into the upper 70's and the nurse pretty much panicked but didn't want to show it in front of us. She ran out to get the doctor and they called the hospital and walked us over with the oxygen to her face. They wouldn't let me take it away from her face for even a second. I was trying to remember all the little babies I knew who had RSV and turned out just fine. :) Poor Elise had no idea she would be hanging out all afternoon but was such a trooper.
Vanessa & I stayed at the hospital from Friday through Sunday. It was a little exhausting but so glad it wasn't any worse. She was sent home with the oxygen for a few more days but quickly improved. Thank goodness!
My sweet, patient Elise at the hospital waiting for Jared to bring dinner and take her home.
The sad baby pics...
She was SO tiny in the huge bed
A tired mommy
Happy to be headed home soon!
And back at home with the new oxygen appendage (so annoying by the way...)
This school year came to a close pretty quickly with the new baby around. We hauled Vanessa around to all the end of the year parties and programs and she was amazing!
Grey (1st grade) - I sent him in a different shirt and he wore his BYU sweatshirt over it after our long discussion about it that morning! Also he requested the USA background
Elise (last year of preschool)
Cole (parent's day out)
Grey had field day which I completely forgot he needed a yellow shirt for. So I took him to school, ran to Target with the other three kids to buy the shirt, ran the shirt back to the school (carrying the three kids along with me) just in time as they were heading outside, then hurried to Elise's dance class which we ended up being almost half an hour late for and realized I forgot both tap and ballet shoes. It was a disaster morning. But we made it back to watch him for a couple of hours after dance.
Elise & Cole had a circus musical that was adorable. Cole was a "strong man" with a little mustache. I was laughing so hard at him I was almost crying.
And then Elise graduated from preschool which I am not going to lie... I cried. I want my kids to grow up but some days it feels way too fast! Especially since she has been in love with a boy in her class all year and talking about marrying him. AAAAH!
Next up--a second grader and kindergartner. Life changes so quickly!
This newborn experience with Vanessa has been unbelievably amazing. I have never had a baby quite like her. She sleeps, eats, smiles and sleeps some more. I just adore her and for once in my life actually enjoy the newborn stage. It is going to fast with her and I am just trying to soak it all up before she grows up. She has just been an absolute dream baby. Jared actually adores her and begs to hold her which is saying a lot--he struggles with the newborn phase. It does help that she really doesn't cry unless she needs something. And she sleeps! This baby has slept 4-5 hours at a time since she was born. I usually feed her before I go to bed and she wakes up once around 3:30 or 4 and then sleeps until morning. I never had that until at least six months with the other kids.
The kids love, love, love this girl. They try to hold her as much as possible and fight over who gets to give her kisses first. She is very loved! Can't get enough of her.
We crack up about her big eyes. She is always very alert and looks surprised.
This year Mother's Day was such a roller coaster of emotions. Most likely because I am totally hormonal after giving birth. Being a mother is such a crazy mix of the absolute most amazing thing as well as difficult in soul-searching and exhausting ways. I feel unbelievably blessed to be a mother to these four incredible kids. I thank Heavenly Father every single day (and more...) that he gave them to Jared & I. There is nothing else on this earth that brings me the joy that I feel watching them and spending time with them. My favorite moments are those when we are just snuggling or reading books together. I love our family walks together when I am a few steps behind and look ahead to see Jared and my three big kiddos while Vanessa is snuggled up to my chest. Those are the moments I want to freeze and make last forever. My heart is so full.
On the other hand, I spent the day thinking of all the ways I wish I were a better mother. I think that is the hardest part of motherhood for me. I really struggle with the vast distance between the mother I want to be and have envisioned in my mind and the mother I actually am each and every day. I wake up each morning and want to spend a certain amount of time with each child or even just read a book to or teach them something. Every evening I go to bed and look back at the things I never got to and don't get to most days. My days are filled with diapers and feeding and wiping up messes which I really don't mind except that it detracts from my time and energy for the older ones. I know these things will get easier as time passes, but each day that passes is another day older for Grey & Elise. They really get the short end of the bargain right now. And I feel like with four of them, I am giving every single ounce of myself but the kids aren't getting much of anything since it is spread so wide between them.
Also, as a worrier (thanks mom!), I worry about the future. I worry about the struggles and trials these sweet spirits will have to face. They are so innocent and perfect and I just dread the hardships they have ahead. I worry whether Jared & I are preparing them well enough for those things. It has been on my mind a lot this year with Grey's baptism coming up. I want him to be fully aware of the choice he is making. I want him to understand it as much as an 8 year old can. I want to help him set up the framework for the rest of his life. And the same for each of the other kids. I am rambling now... but I will say how grateful I am for prayer because I would not survive the difficult parts of motherhood without it. And I need prayer to express my gratitude for this amazing gift of being a mother.