Sunday, October 31, 2010

There's No Place Like...

We've been in Cedar City now just over a week. What a week it has been. The day before we left, Sydney and Cora had their 9 month well check and did not pass. The stinkers are below the 5th percentile (though for twins they're actually doing really well and are growing fine, they're just small), and they both had ear infections. Since we were flying out the next morning the doc gave me an antibiotic script for them and told me to be liberal with the Tylenol and Motrin. We got on the plane and we were doing well, Sydney was about asleep and then just vomited everywhere. My girls were pukers before, but this was out-right vomit. The woman in front of was was ready to vomit herself. So I handed my mom Miss Cora and got down on the floor with paper towels and water and scrubbed it out of the carpet on the plane (the flight attendants gave me glovees). Nothing else exciting that day, we made it to Salt Lake, drove down just fine, and the girls even slept all night. Next day Sydney puked at lunch. We thought, OK, maybe a 24 hour thing, I think we're done.

All of the fam showed up Sunday night (minus Ann's hubby and my own with their jobs). So we had 8 kids in this house with only 1 over the age of 3. Four were all born this last year. There were just not enough arms for how many babies we had. Sydney threw up that night and we thought this has got to be it. I bought her some Pedialyte, she drank it and we thought we were OK.

We wanted to get some family pics of all the grandkids together and decided to do that Tuesday morning. Tuesday morning comes and as we're feeding the twins breakfast Sydney has everything come up again. It's so sad because it just keeps coming. By this point she's looking too skinny. Thank goodness Mom has the hook-ups here. Through her job she works with a peds office on a regular basis so they got us right in. Sydney got her first IV that afternoon. She was not impressed, but the gal was a rockstar and got it in on the first poke. We gave her fluid, she perked up, we took her home and thought all was well. She threw up again Wednesday afternoon as we were getting stuff ready for my dad's birthday dinner. And again Thursday morning. So I took Sydney in again Thursday afternoon and we got a few labs done and another IV in. Another bolus, an x-ray, we left the line in and put more fluid in her Friday morning. She'd dropped almost a pound in this whole experience. When you weigh 15 pounds, that's a big deal. But she gained almost all of it back by Friday and she has been chowing down her food over the last 2 days. She looks better and is much more interactive.

As hard as it was to be away from home, it was also a lifesaver to be at my old home because of all the family support and built-in babysitters for Cora and Katie. The Dr's office got us right in and took great care of us. I'm so glad she'd doing better now and we'll just keep fattening her up with ice cream mixed with carnation mixes.

I went for a Halloween 5K run in the morning yesterday. Then Katie, my mom, and I went to a sheep-herding parade down main street, then Katie and my dad and I went trick-or-treating last night. She loved dressing up like a witch and getting candy. I didn't like living in such a small town when I was younger. I thought it was such a lame place. It's nice to be proven wrong. This is a wonderful town with all kinds of things to do and some really amazing people. I am learning more and more that home for me is a bit of everywhere. There are things I love about everywhere I've lived. Who knows where Jeremy and I will end up, I just know I'm grateful to call so many wonderful places home.


Well, I tried to post about this before I left New Hampy, but as I was reading it to my mom I hit some crazy key and erased the whole entry, so here I am trying to recap whilst my little girls sleep and I'm wishing I was here in Cedar City, Utah.

My mom came out to visit us October 16th. She was staying for a week and then she and I were flying back West with the three little girls for a couple of weeks before Jeremy would come out to join us. The morning before she came Jeremy and I spent most of the morning out in the garden digging up plants and pruning the raspberry bushes since we'd had a few frosts and new the season was over. I thought about our little garden with pride. We were very blessed with our crops and I learned a few things in the process.

Our cherry tomato plants were enormous. Jungle size. I trimmed the plants 5 times throughout the season as they continued to overshadow the peppers, zucchini, and regular tomato plants. I would watch, tend to, and trim the garden and think "take care of what you've got." I doubt that's grammatically correct, but what I was seeing was by letting some of the plants grow unchecked, I was putting the entire crop in danger. The huge plants were taking the sun and nutrients from the surrounding plants, and even the cherry tomato plant itself began to have a diminished crop. There was not enough strength in the plant to support all of the growth and continue to produce as well as it had.

Put this together with President Uchtdorf's talk about simplifying and I can't help but apply it to life. As good as growth (aka - more good things to do) may be, there is a tipping point when it is no longer a good thing, but a drain on what you currently have/are. Small confession: as much as I don't want to, I do compare myself at times. I see other people my age doing different things that are wonderful with their lives and wonder if I should be doing it too (because apparently mothering 3 under 3 isn't enough for myself at times). Then I think of this lesson and realize if I don't take care of what I have and continually try to add more to my plate, our little family and my soul will suffer from being malnourished.

I'm not advocating doing nothing, being a sloth, or thinking life is always perfect the way it is. But just as with the plants in our garden, controlled growth brings the greatest crop from the garden. It takes a lot of courage and strength to simplify life, and a constant effort to keep the important things in the top priority slots.

The comment overhead about mothering my 3 under 3 not being enough was indeed sarcastic. There are so many days when I am reduced to tears as I strive just to feed all of us all three meals and actually get out the door to anything. It's hard for me right now to figure out what to simplify. I can't say "I don't feel like putting dinner together tonight." That means the five of us starve. I can't say "I don't want to do laundry or change bums today." That would mean sore bottoms and no clothes to wear. So often what gets dropped is food and drink for myself, personal scripture study, and exercise. Yet those are the things that really help me have the strength I need to give this family everything. There is no all reaching answer here other than to be aware and continually assess the important things, always seeking a balance. I'm so grateful for inspired counsel from our apostles and prophets that helps me make the changes I need in my life. I want to remember this lesson of simplifying and pruning as our family continues to grow (I'm talking in age now, not numbers) and keep my eye out for unruly growth so our crop will be good.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Family Pics

We tried our luck at different locations asking random people to take our photos and we got some pretty good results. But we never can get Katie to smile on purpose for a picture.