I can't believe my Bubby Bear is 6 years old today!! Some thoughts from the time surrounding his birth...
I think we broke temperature records in the Puget Sound area that year. It was hot... I mean like REALLY hot. If I recall, it reached 100F or very close to it the week of Evan's birth. Imagine... huge, swollen, pregnant... and HOT. UGH... I can remember sitting on my birth ball in the family room. The lights in the house were all off and it was dark and I was just sitting on it in front of an open window with a fan on... in my underwear. I could NOT cool off enough and I was miserable.
We got new carpet that week. We knew when Evan would be born and planned ahead so that the carpet would be installed prior to my going to the hospital. They came on a Saturday. We took off and went to a church activity and then took Ethan to a park to play. When we got home, they were nearly done with our carpet installment. I kept looking at the very creamy-colored carpet and thought, "Gee. It looks like the same color we just had ripped up. Hmmmm. I'm SURE we picked a much darker beige. I'm just sure of it." Thankfully, I had saved the swatch the guy at the carpet store had cut from the bolt. So I pulled it out and threw it on the floor. Sure enough... they had installed the WRONG COLOR. My blood just about boiled over.
We called the carpet store and they tried to make this MY FAULT. Um... I don't think so. And unfortunately, he had no idea who he was dealing with. Think about it... a pregnant woman about to burst in the hottest week of the year... um a certain word comes to mind... I won't write it here... but it rhymes with 'witch'... use your imagination. He challenged me to bring the swatch and prove it to him. Um, did I mention that he was dealing with an angry, pregnant woman? So we packed up and headed down there. He took the swatch from me and walked it over to the bolt of carpet... and thankfully, nobody else had cut off any. Because there in the corner, was a piece missing that fit my swatch exactly.That was when I got the first apology. Then they tried to tell me that it would be 2-3 weeks before I could get it installed. Um... BZZZZZZ... wrong answer. Think again. I was not nice. I told him I was having a c-section in two days and I had planned this because I would not be able to leave the house with a newborn, a toddler, and a fresh incision. They needed to have it done before I got home from the hospital... that gave them five days. Guess who got new carpet the very next day? Uh huh... ME!
I toddled off to the hospital on Wednesday morning to welcome our new baby. I had my bag packed, complete with two going home outfits... one of the male variety (actually the same outfit we brought Ethan home in) and one of the female variety (because we didn't know the gender of our baby).Evan was born at 10:44am on Wednesday, June 11, 2003. I remember telling all the operating room staff that I wanted MIKE to be the one to call the gender of the baby. They were so respectful of that. I remember Mike saying "WOO! We have another boy!" And then I cried... and cried and cried... and then I felt weird... I told the very nice anesthesiologist that my mouth was dry... too dry... and then I felt pressure on my chest... and then I felt like I was dying (literally)... I kept saying, with a sandpaper mouth, "Something's not right. I don't feel right." He very kindly said, "I could give you something for anxiety but it would take you out of the moment." I shook my head vigorously "NO!" So he just stayed with me, wiped my tears, and continued to talk me through it. I wish I knew his name. I wish I could thank him.
So all that said....My Evan turned 6 today! But my poor baby woke up in a foul mood. He's been sick with a cold for several days. This morning, he complained of ear pain. He's never had an ear infection before. By about 9am, he was a vat of tears, just hanging on to the side of his head and crying. I made some garlic oil today and also picked up some homeopathic ear drops. I've been giving this all day and tonight he's a LOT better! YAY!I woke up early this morning and made cupcakes in anticipation of taking them to his classroom today but he of course stayed home. So thankfully I hadn't frosted them yet. I put them all in the freezer and I'll take them out and frost them when he goes back to school. I did make him a birthday cake though and we enjoyed that tonight.
The picture at the top is so cute... as I was making his cake this morning, Evan wanted to lick the beater. Of course I was happy to oblige! (We love cake batter around here... or batter of any kind... cakes, brownies, cookie dough! I wasn't allowed to eat that stuff in my house when I was growing up. We always had to leave the cookie dough for cooked cookies. Not around here. My late Aunty Ana said something to me one time that has always stuck with me [which is amazing since I was pretty young when she died]. She said: "Of COURSE we eat cookie dough. We eat half and bake half. That's the fun of making cookies!" We share the same birthday... so it stands to reason that I side with her philosophy!) Life is short... eat the dough!
Here are some other pictures... the cupcakes I made (which are now safely sealed and in the freezer for next week), my poor Evan bear crashed out on the couch today for his second nap of the day, the Wii game he got (yes, it's rated T... he's played it on the DS for a long time and is quite good at it), and birthday cake!
Evan: Happy birthday my sweet boy!! I love you so much! I'm so proud of you and ALL that you have accomplished in the past year. I can't believe you are in the final week of kindergarten. You are a first grader now! You've learned to read and write in this past year and you're doing math now too! You have brought us so much happiness and joy and we love you to the edge of the galaxy and back!!
On Friday night, we took Evan out to dinner and to the movies for his birthday (I'm working this coming weekend, which is closer to his birthday, so we did it this past weekend). We asked him where he wanted to go for dinner and true to form, he chose sushi! (Hey, this is the kid who eats broccoli and salad too!) So we headed over to our favorite sushi joint, Blue Island and we had a great time! Evan indulged in sushi, chicken, gyoza, and other treats. Ethan pretty much only eats the chicken and desserts.
After filling up on yummy food, we headed over to the mall to watch Up in 3D! WOW... I have to say that this is now one of my favorite Disney films of all time! (I think The Incredibles still holds the #1 spot though.) This movie is amazingly wonderful! There are SO many life lessons and unique characters. The soundtrack is a winner too. One of the strengths of this film has to do with the things that weren't said. There were many times when nothing was spoken and yet the message was so powerfully delivered. I won't give away plot spoilers but suffice it to say that you should be SURE to see this one in the theater... preferrably in 3D if you have the opportunity. You won't regret it. And be prepared to cry. There were many tear-jerker moments in this flick. I can't wait for this one to hit our local $2 theater... we'll definitely be going again this summer!!
My poor Evan is not feeling well. We took the kids to the movies on Friday night to celebrate Evan's birthday (I'll be working this coming weekend). While sitting there in the theater, he began sniffling like crazy. He also got tired... REALLY tired. He was so tired at one point that he removed his 3D glasses, handed them to me, and then curled up on two seats and went to sleep for a bit. Poor little guy. Since then, he's been hacking and sniffling and just complaining of generalized ickiness. He's so tired of having "snots" as he says. He's had a good attitude through it all though.
I do believe that he is going through a growth spurt as well. Ethan actually did the same thing right about the same time he turned 6 too. Evan has been eating like a mad boy and packing on a lot of weight... none of his clothes fit well at ALL. Ethan did the same thing. Now all of a sudden he's sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. He slept at the movies Friday night and then came home and slept all night long. On Saturday he woke up and slept in the car while running errands with Mike. Then he came home and fell asleep on the couch. (The picture above is from that time... Ethan was kind enough to get him a pillow, blanket, a bottle of flavored water, a flower, and the use of his special blanket to help comfort him!) Then he slept all night again. Today, he took a nap on the couch as well. So that's my assessment... feeling sick and growing... all at the same time. Poor boy! I doubt he'll be well enough for school tomorrow (he sounds terrible). I hope he's better by mid-week. His birthday is Thursday and I am making cupcakes to take to his kindergarten class!
We celebrated Mike's birthday this past Thursday on is actual birthday, June 4. The boys were REALLY excited to bake him a cake and blow up some balloons. For each person's birthday, I always ask them what kind of cake they want. Mike opted for one of his old standbys... lemon cake with cream cheese frosting. I lovingly obliged. Mike requested a square, 2-layer cake with frosting between layers. A cake BAKER I am... a cake DECORATOR I am NOT (as you will see from the photos). But that's okay... regardless of what it looks like, I got lots of ooohs and aaahs for the flavor! We baked it, frosted it, and loaded it with 41 candles in honor of the year. Later, Mike's brother David took him out to dinner. I had worked the night before and was dog tired, so this was nice for me.
I should also add here... that morning, Ethan called up Mike on the phone and as soon as Mike answered, he broke into the most heartfelt version of "Happy Birthday" either of us have ever heard. Mike said it was one of the most precious things in his life and brought tears to his eyes. Ethan is the most thoughtful boy... he LOVES to celebrate occasions and ALWAYS takes the time (several, several times a day) to wish that person well and tell them how much he loves them. I love him so much!
Good news has come to us not once, but TWICE this week! We found out that our family will be growing by two more babies!! I get a new niece or nephew on each side and I'm so excited.
Nikki (my brother's wife) announced that she is pregnant with baby #2. And Mary (Mike's sister) and her family called us up today to announce that she is pregnant with baby #5! It's funny because Nikki and Mary are both at right about the same stage of pregnancy... somewhere in the 6-week range. So it looks like these babies will be arriving around the same time... December or January. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!
Jay actually sent Mike a text message while we were at church today. We were initially worried by the way it was worded and thought perhaps there was a family emergency. So after sacrament meeting, we went outside to the parking lot. Jay made sure we were on speaker and that all four of us could hear as they shouted in unison, "We're having a baby!!" I was so shocked! I had to clarify that I'd heard correctly!
Congratulations Nikki and Mary!! Be sure and let us know when you find out the gender!!
I recently received a $5 Borders gift card at work. I took the gift card, along with a 25% off coupon to my local Borders and was like a kid in a candy store. If anyone ever wanted to know what to get me as a gift... gift cards to either Borders or iTunes. Both arenas make me giddy!
I had initially planned on picking up the first book in the Rick Riordan series Percy Jackson and Olympians. My intent was to read it aloud to the boys (or at least Ethan). But as I perused it a bit, it seemed a bit over his head. Besides, we have other books we are working on and many that we have yet to start. So I kept wandering and spotted a book that I had seen before but had put back. Its title is Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. I adore historical fiction and this was right up my alley. So I bought the paperback edition and after my coupon and the gift card, I owed a mere $.74! The Amazon review says the reading level is ages 9-12, but don't let that stop you from reading this wonderful book. (Remember, Harry Potter was also written to a youth audience but that hasn't stopped adults around the world from enjoying it!)
The main character is Matilda Cook. She is a young girl of about 14 years. (Don't believe the Amazon review which tells you she is 16. This is inaccurate, given the details in the story. The novel takes place in 1793 as the title states. In the second chapter Mattie states, "My father had built our home and business after the War for Independence ended in 1783. I was four years old." So there is no way she could be 16. This was the only reference to Mattie's age we are given.) Mattie helps run the family business (a coffeehouse in the downstairs of their home in Philadelphia) with her widowed mother, a servant girl, and a cook named Eliza. Her grandfather also lives in the home. In the heat of August, yellow fever hit Philadelphia with a vengeance. Thousands and thousands lost their lives.
Fever 1793 is the story of how Mattie survives during the yellow fever outbreak. It's based on historical facts (there was indeed a yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia in 1793) but is a work of fiction. It's a sad story, to be sure, but one infused with themes such as hope and endurance and love. Mattie battles illness, hunger, homelessness, and desperation. She's learned much from her grandfather, an army officer under General Washington, and she uses that knowledge to help her survive (and to help others survive as well).
I really enjoyed this novel. It's a fast and easy read and took me only a couple of days to read it. I highly recommend it! Despite that this was the post-Revolutionary War era and despite that more than 200 years have passed, it was amazing to see how much we are still alike in so many ways to our ancestors from that time. As I've said before, the older I get the more I realize that the world is a lot smaller than I thought, time is a lot shorter than I thought, and we're all a lot more alike than we are different.
As I mentioned above, I love historical fiction. If anyone has any suggestions for good historical fiction, leave a comment and let me know!