Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Call for Help

For all my artistic & crafty friends & acquaintances, I have a request. Help me how to figure out how to reupholster a chair using fabric from a maternity shirt that I love, but won't probably ever wear again.

Grandma Gifts

Cami and Graham love their "Grandma Jeanne blankets." Each child received one shortly after their appearance in this world. One of Cami's many ways of showing her great love for Baby Rose was sharing her Grandma Jeanne blanket; but Rose received hers two days ago during an unexpected package day (thanks to Grandma & Grandpa & the awesome Seguine family -- more about this later.)My fantastic mother-in-law didn't want Cami or Graham to feel left out of the package opening ceremonies, so Cami received the "best game" (for her): Candy Land. (I've played a lot of Candy Land in the last forty-eight hours -- Tricia, I've even won.) Graham got a collection of Nerf-y-soft sports balls, which have been played with, too. And Baby Rose spent the night wrapped up in her very own coral-colored Grandma Jeanne blanket.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Boy Toys (for girls, too)

Graham & Cami started watching Thomas the Tank Engine on Youtube recently and now trains are becoming the family obsession. Books from the library, educational websites, and more Youtube videos showing real footage have invaded our lives. Jason even took Cami & Graham to a train museum in Pennsylvania last week & both kids have asked to go back every day since.

What makes me the happiest about all this, though, is that an often-neglected toy has become a huge hit with Graham. For Cami's "fourth Christmas" (she keeps track of things by how old she was) we gave her the IKEA train set. She thought it was fun for about a day & then it's spent most of its life in the playroom being ignored. Until last week. Graham is in love & (amazingly) Cami isn't being possessive about it. My little boy will sit in the kids' room pushing train pieces around the circle & "few the tummel" (translation: through the tunnel) for forty-five minutes at a go.

And so, Jason and the older kids are at IKEA this morning, buying extra track & a few extra train cars. My belief that the simplest toys are the best has been confirmed: now I just hope that the extender pack doesn't ruin it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Verdict is In

Jason has wondered several times whether or not Rose would have an innie or an outie. Late last night it became official: she's got an innie.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

No Damage Done

Cami, after backing into a chest of drawers, "I think I broke my brain!"

Cami Comment

I should just start tagging blog entries with "Cute Things Cami Says" or "Grahamisms" or something like that. I know, I know. It's easier to be organized if you start that way, so maybe I'll put off the procrastination. Or maybe not.

Yesterday while Jason took Graham for a haircut, Cami & I took a little walk with Rose in the baby sling (love it still -- Arlene, you are my hero for making it!). As we were going to meet back up with the men in our lives, Cami revealed what she thinks of ATMs. "Mom, can we go to the bank & buy some money?"

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rose's Life: She Belongs in a Garden

Thursday, 17 April 2008

I love Rutgers Gardens. I don't know why so few people in this area go there. It's gorgeous any season. Even in winter when the fish pond is frozen over there are amazing things to see -- like the etchings that leaves have left in the ice.

On her second day home, Rose got introduced to the wonders of nature from the safety of the baby sling. So she slept as Cami and Graham climbed flowering magnolia trees, ran among the lilac bushes, and played in the dirt. I'm so glad we went that day. The sunshine & the flowers fed me in ways that food can't. And when we returned this past Tuesday, the magnolias had lost most of their flowers -- Gardens have to be experienced continuously or else you'll miss something extraordinary. Sort of like childhood & parenthood.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rose's Life: Coming Home

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

I practically had to smuggle Rose home. There are rules about patients driving themselves home from the hospital. But I had been discharged the night before, so once the pediatrician had given the ok for her to come home, the nurse cut our wristbands & walked me to the hospital door.

As as soon as I buckled my munchkin into the backseat, she began to cry from hunger and then needed a diaper change. Getting the diapering supplies out of the front seat was a bit tougher than I expected, because I'd locked myself into the backseat of the car -- the child safety locks were on. It was such a relief when I started the car & began to drive.

It's surreal to do something so mundane after a life-changing experience. Jason expressed it well when Cami was first born. He walked around campus thinking of his classmates, "My life has changed so much -- why hasn't yours?" It's not quite the same feeling, when it's baby #3. But I still found myself responding to driving situations with greater caution & a sense of restraint.

Cami was playing in the driveway with a little girl from across the street when I pulled up. As I got Baby Rose out of the car, Cami was so proud to show her friend her sweet sister. She was also disappointed that I wasn't ready for Katie to come inside to play, but she cheered up as she showed me the new crib that she had helped her daddy set up in our room. Miracle of miracles, this crib actually gets used!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rose's Life: Heating Up

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Jason brought to Cami & Graham to the hospital after a struggle at church. They bounced around for about an hour & then Jason took them away for Rose's safety.

I thought it was just me. I kept feeling warm, but I finally mentioned it to one of the nursing staff & she called the maintenance crew to come turn off the heater. When Jason brought the munchkins back for an evening visit, the room was actually a bit chilly. But by bedtime, the temperature was on the rise. And Rose overheated.

Because Graham had been hospitalized early on in his life, there was the suspicion that I may be a carrier for something that makes my babies sick. So, sweet baby had to have blood drawn for both an immediate white blood cell count & a cultured test.

Monday, 14 April 2008

When I woke up the next morning, with my baby cuddled up with me, I was sweaty. I looked at the thermostat and saw that the heat was up to 79.3. I took Rose to the nursery to get her cool & then sat by the open doorway to my room to keep myself cool. The maintenance crew returned & spent about an hour exploring. It turned out that my room was one of at least three that was overly-warm.

Unfortunately, Rose didn't shed the heat quickly enough to make the pediatricians happy. Even though the white blood cell test showed that she wasn't fighting an infection, it was deemed unwise to release her without one more night of observation.

I admit it. I cried. I had promised myself that I was not going to make all the overly-confident mistakes that I'd made with Cami & Graham which had landed both of them in the hospital before they were six weeks old. And here I was, unable to even take my baby home.

Arrangements were made for me to stay in a hospital room on a different floor, when Rose was transferred to a regular sick-baby nursery. My wonderful neighbor, Lesley, drove me home (the kids were already asleep, so Jason stayed with them); I packed up a backpack with clothes, food & Advil; & then I kissed my kids goodnight (they still don't know I came home that night) before breaking all sorts of postpartum recovery rules by driving myself back to the hospital. Where I cuddled my sweet baby again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rose's Life: Her Appearance

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Because of a change in protocol, I got an epidural not long after I got the pitocin -- and that made all the difference in the world! I didn't have to fight the pain, because I didn't feel it. And so I wasn't exhausted.

But, I did throw up. Which for me is a "high risk" situation, because I might pass out & that would shut down oxygen to the baby. So, I was half-expecting to go under the knife. But, at 11:55 a.m., my water broke. Dr. Fisher came in from seeing another patient (who had already been pushing for 2 1/2 hours -- poor thing), to check. And when I mentioned that I felt like it was time to push she jokingly asked if I could wait. I delayed just long enough for everybody to change into the appropriate clothing, elevate the bed, get the footrests up, etc. I pushed four times & Baby Rose was here.

She was born at 12:09 p.m. Which means that all three of my kids have been born within twenty minutes of each other. Cami was 11:52 a.m., Graham was 11:54 a.m. Funny, huh?

The Stats
Weight: 9 pounds 3 ounces (4 ounces heavier than Graham)
Length: 20 1/4 inches (2 1/4 inches shorter than Graham)
Head: 14 1/4 inches (2 inches less in circumference -- which is why I only had to push four times, he'd made that path wide & clear)
Chest: 13 3/4 (I don't remember, but still smaller than Graham)

Rose's Life: Day Minus 1

For everybody who would like to know the gory (although I'll spare you most of the gore--Jason delved into that topic on his blog) details, here's the first installment chronicling the past nine days.

Friday, 11 April 2008

I went in for my typical "Yes, I'm overdue, let's have a non-stress test" OB exam. Baby Rose was moving around just fine for about 15 minutes & then stopped. So, Dr. Johnson (who delivered Graham) decided to have an immediate ultrasound, which revealed that Rose's nose is huge (now that I can actually see it, it's just very broad) & I had just a touch too much amniotic fluid. So, when she asked if I had any plans for the weekend & I responded that I'd kept Saturday & Sunday open, she said, "Well, you get to have a baby."

I spent the drive home phoning relevant parties (ie. Jason, my parents, sister, and dear friend Sara) to let them know what the plan was -- and for all those concerned, I had the phone on speaker. Around 2 o'clock, Cami & Graham were safely deposited with Patricia Killpack (who is an angel!) & I was at the hospital. Waiting. The induction drugs weren't administered until around 8 p.m. So, while Jason and I played a board game & watched TV (I'm so glad we don't pay for cable -- there is still nothing on) & slept, my body did the "prepping for a baby" things.

"Graham earns a blog point"

This one is mostly for the benefit of the Grandmas. . .and, I hope, the rest of you think it's funny, too.

Graham hasn't quite grasped third-person pronouns. He's great on personal pronouns: he'll point to himself and say "Me" and then point to me (or Jason, or Cami, or anybody else he has this conversation with) and say "You." He's got a total grasp of using "I," usually in the context of "I want more apple juice!" But the he/she/it distinction is a bit elusive.

Everyone is a "he." We didn't realize this until this week, though, because Graham always spoke about Cami as "Cami." However, now there are two siblings to talk about. And talk about Baby Rose, he does. "Baby Rose needs to nurse," is the most common thing he says. Unless it's "He needs to nurse."

I kept thinking, maybe he doesn't realize that Rose is a girl. And I would try to correct him. "She needs to nurse, Graham." But, in the hopes of seeing inside his head, today I asked him if Cami is a "he" or a "she." His response earns him a blog point, "He is not a sheep!"

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Christmas in April

Cami is a pretty creative girl. . .she just expects her creativity to be acted upon immediately. But her bedroom was not really fit for habitation, so when she said she wanted to have a Christmas party yesterday, I insisted that a major clean up happen first. Partly because I wasn't sure what this party involved -- thankfully, she didn't intend to have anyone besides our family attend -- and partly because it was just impossible to walk in the kids' room.

Anyway, after making her slave away for hours (not really, because we also took the kids to Colonial Park to enjoy the gorgeous sunshine), we got the room tidied up, finishing around 2 o'clock. Then Jason had the most brilliant idea: Cami could do all the Christmas decorating in her room, rather than taking over the living room. So, she decorated the tree & while I had a nap, Jason, Cami, & Graham enjoyed "Frosties" from Wendys under the Christmas tree -- and then went outside to wash the car.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hormone Crash

Yep, the sleep deprivation, coupled with the hormone crash, means I've been yelling and crying at my family today. But, in the hopes of focusing on the good things in life -- not my natural strength -- I thought I'd share what made me laugh today.

Cami loves singing to Rose. This morning she sang the following version of Brahm's Lullaby:

Lullaby, and goodnight,
With roses bedight.
With lilies be dead.
With lilies be dead.

Lay thee down, now, and rest.
May thy sunburn be blessed.
Lay thee down, now, and rest.
May thy sunburn be blessed.

I wish I'd gotten this on film.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It must be spring; Rose has sprung...

Today's special guest blog by husband Jason. And I'm not going to say a ton, either, except to report that Priscilla Rose made her debut appearance sometime between noon and 12:15 today, coming in at a record-setting (for our crew) 9 lbs 3 oz. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until Starr resumes regular blogging service to get full stats, although she did tell me that weight was the only stat on which Rose beat Graham. (Which I take to mean that he was longer, bigger head, etc.)

Here's one photo for the interested:

More photos, plus some video, can be found here (shameless plug alert), but I should add that whatever you read there is entirely the opinion of this husband and should not be taken to express the views of Starr, her blog, or any of her employees or affiliates. (Except me. I'm one of her affiliates. And it expresses my views. So I guess it shouldn't be taken to express the views of any of her other affiliates. Right?)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Un-Labor Day

Labor Day in the Garden State usually involves hours & hours of drive time going to the beach. Even if it is (under normal circumstances) only about 90 minutes away. We've never tried on the traditional date, but we've seen the lines & taken alternate routes to get home from places like Trader Joe's.

Anyway, knowing that the baby wasn't coming, Jason and I wanted a good adventure with the kids. The Staten Island Ferry had seem good to both of us, but then I suggested the beach. In the almost-four years we've lived here, Jason had never gone with us. So, today was the day. And it was exactly the day I needed. No crowds, the water too cold for even Graham (although before he touched it, he tried to take off his clothes & said "I want to swim"). And with it being the off-season, there were tons of beautiful shells to collect. It was a peaceful, playful day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"I'll Be Late"

It's 10 April 2008, 1:59 a.m. Should I be sleeping? Yes. Do I want to be sleeping. Yes. Will I be sleeping soon? Probably not.

Punctuality is important for me. I find it inconsiderate when there's an appointment that I don't make it to on time. But, I'm far less concerned if other people are running late. I just don't want to be the one who held things up for others.

But for all those who may be keeping track, today is the day: The Official Due Date for Priscilla Rose Turner to make her grand entrance into the world. But, unless something extremely significant happens in the next 22 hours, "I'll be late."

Sunday, April 6, 2008


The third child is due in five days. But as usual, I'm not experiencing any of the "my body is getting ready" stuff. Unless you count that I took a two-ish hour nap already today & it's only 11:30.

Anyway, I keep wondering how this delivery will compare with the first two. Primarily, will it involve pitocin (which is evil)? And will I get a finally get a labor & delivery nurse who believes me when I say "I'm ready to push (Cami)/get an epidural (Graham)" instead of telling me, "The monitors say you haven't been contracting powerfully enough to do those."

But, on the theme of thirds, this morning my mom emailed Cami three photos of me at age three. Does anybody think any of my kids look like me at all?

Friday, April 4, 2008

I'm Not Nesting. . . Again

I have heard stories of people who are in labor & refuse to admit it because they MUST steam clean their carpets before they go to the hospital. I'm definitely not one of those people. In our family, Jason comes closest, because the weekend before Graham was born we went to IKEA, bought new shelves & a rug for the office/playroom & then Jason transformed the eyesore of the century into a rather respectable & happy room.
However, this time I'm progressing.  Last month I wrote out a list of things that needed to be done before the baby comes & I've done one or two things every week.  I still don't have any sense of urgency, but there's some sense of satisfaction -- and the ex utero munchkins really like jumping around on the crib mattress.
One thing I did promise myself was to learn how to add photos to the blog.  So, below you'll see a picture of Cami making marshmallow crispy treats -- which in the spirit of full disclosure I tried to add & Jason figured out how to actually add.  IF there's a second photo (I'll try to find an amusing one of Graham), I succeeded.  If not, I got frustrated & will try again later.

OK.  So the photo is at the top.  But at least there is one.  And for anybody who cares to know, Graham is passionately attacking my sister Christel. . . I hope she doesn't mind I made this one public.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Decade Mark

April 1st, 1998. My dear friend Cami (for whom my Cami is named) drove me from Kayesville, Utah, down to Provo. We had every good intention to get through the gates of the Missionary Training Center about an hour-and-an-half (translation: on time) earlier than we actually did.

It was pretty obvious that I was a girl when all "brand new missionaries" were asked to stand & I wasn't wearing a dark suit -- in fact, I was in a light-green brocade dress.

The MTC was tough. And wearing the tag was tough. But I wouldn't have friends from all over the world without having lived with all the other missionaries on Temple Square. I wouldn't feel as confident about moving to England if I didn't know that I can send an email to a friend in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, or Malta & say "Hey, want to get together?" Friends that I haven't seen in eight years (other than photos on the 'Net) won't be so far away -- and that's awesome.

So, even though I often feel that the April Fools' joke was definitely on me, I can look back ten years ago & see the blessings that link to that day.