Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008


I've always had my kids pretty much when I planned to. I would pick the month I wanted to get pregnant and when I wanted the baby to be born. Three of the four times it worked out just as planned and once I had to wait one month. Even that made me panic that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant. I have never dealt with waiting like too many people have to. On the other end of the spectrum, I have also never had to deal with getting pregnant when I wasn't planning on it or didn't want it. There have been times in my life when I would have found out and cried because it wasn't what I wanted. However, we have recently had that sort of pregnancy in our home. Oops!
Just a week after KC's babies left home, she was pregnant once again. We enjoyed the first litter so much that I couldn't bear to have her fixed right away. I figured we would have another litter next summer and then call it good. Never, did I think she would get pregnant so soon! When I got home from Africa I thought her belly looked bigger but didn't think much of it. But it kept getting bigger and she was more irritable all the time. Sure enough-pregnant! We had no idea when it happened but the last few days we figured by her size that it would be any day. We were right.

Abbie came into our room at 1:30 am to tell us that KC was keeping her awake. I was sure KC was letting her know it was time. The constant purring proved that she was in labor. She loves Abbie and wants her to be part of these things. She insisted on staying on Abbie's bed with her but we, of course, were not going to let that happen. Three times we would put her in the box next to Abbie's bed and she would jump out and climb the stairs to the top bunk. We took the ladder off and she still tried to get her pregnant, contracting body up to the top bunk. Once Abbie came and sat right by the box she settled down and stayed.

The first video is of KC as the first baby was being born. (I don't think this will show up very well-it was too dark.) I went into detail the first time she had her babies so I'll try to keep this version shorter. I was once again amazed by how she purred through the whole thing. I love to think that she was enjoying the experience. The video isn't very good but you can hear her purring and see her contract. She pushes with her contractions just like we do.

Here is kitten #1. None of them have names this time around. One is black and the other 3 all look the same so it will be hard to tell them apart. But if you think of any names, feel free to leave a suggestion.
Look at the cute, slimy thing. I love it!
Abbie stayed up until 4:00 and I made it until 5:00 before I crashed for a few more hours of sleep before my busy Sunday would start. Emily, and her crazy curly hair, would wake up and see what was going on every once in a while and then fall back to sleep. Connor, who was having a sleepover in the girls room, let us know he was excited and turned right back over to sleep.

Here's the whole litter, minus the kitten that came to earth just to get a body. The kids, especially Emily, are very excited to hold the kittens. I make them wait until their eyes open. Emily must have asked me at least 10 times today when she could hold the kittens. "How many more minutes until I can hold them?" As for KC, she's a pro this time and leaves the kittens much more than she did last time. I'm with her on that one. You need breaks whenever you can get them. And I know this picture has nothing to do with kittens but it has everything to do with having babies. My friend was blessed with three babies at once. Not quite as many as KC but a whole lot for humans! She also has three other kids and her husband is in dental school. She still finds time to help others and do amazing things. She's my hero. Today, I was lucky enough to have the triplets and Sage over for a few hours. All five of them demanded on playing the piano at once. I had to use both benches and of course had to take a picture. So cute!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

First and Last FAMILY Camping Trip of the Year

Our family has done a fair share of camping this year. I went in the spring time with Heather and Breezy and then Rick was super Dad and took Connor on a Father/Son and then all 3 girls on a Daddy/Daughter and then all 4 kids (WOW!!!) to the ward campout where Emily wet the bed and he had to spend a few hours in a nearby laundromat. Rick and I also spent a night camping on our getaway. It was this night that I realized we never went camping as a family, something we always do. So I decided we would go camping in September. Rick wasn't thrilled. He had done plenty of camping with the kids. But he's always a good sport with my crazy ideas. We decided to go to Timothy Lake on Mt. Hood. I had been there once before and loved it. We invited Heather, Dad, Jake, Steph, Jaxon and Sage. Stephanie and Abbie are the brave ones out in the water. The babies stayed close to shore. I usually enjoy swimming in the water but this time was just a bit too cold. But look at that blue sky. Beautiful!Emily took a face plant at one point. She was a good sport about it.
We loved hanging out by the fire. This is why we go camping!!! I loved it. One of the favorite moments was when Heather, Steph and I started singing. We have our favorite camp songs and love to harmonize together. Something healing about sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and singing songs. Made the hours of prep and cleanup all worth it. I LOVE this picture. It captures Holly's attitude. Always thinking about what naughty thing she will do next. She was filthy the entire camping trip. I suppose that means she had a good time.
Abbie had so much fun. She inherited my love for play and the beauty of the outdoors. We both savor moments like these. Can't wait to take her backpacking.
And poor, poor Connor tells us he's never going to go camping again. Yup, you guessed it. He fell in the fire. It was a very stressful 30 minutes as we tried to decide just how bad the burn was, what we needed to do about it, and most of all, how to keep the poor kid from going into shock. Rick worked on the burn part-I couldn't stand to look at it-and I tried to calm him down. He was a mess. I really think he was in shock. He was short of breath and his body wouldn't stop shaking. Eventually we had to wrap him up because he was getting so cold. Very traumatic and rightly so. How many people have gotten burns like that! Rick was excellent as he cared for the burn and I was so grateful for prayer and priesthood blessings that helped that much more. We felt things would be just fine, and they are. In fact, once he got his wits about him and was able to rest, he was super chipper the rest of the day and has only complained a few times in the week since it happened. He's been very tough about the whole thing. Look at that smile!
And I just had to throw in these pictures of Emily's haircut. So cute. She gets comments everywhere we go.
Love those curls!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Wonderfully Wet Weekend

Rick and I were able to leave our kids with our very favorite babysitter, Heather, (sorry Robin-she's a tough one to compete with!) and spend the weekend celebrating our 10 year anniversary. Originally we had planned something grand to celebrate 10 years but Rick was good enough to let me use up the funds to go to Africa instead. So we scaled it back a few days and stayed close. We spent the first few days kayaking on the Puget Sound and the last two in a cabin at Mt. Rainier. As we were kayaking, we reminisced on some of our favorite memories of the past 10 years (we had to do something to keep our minds off the aches and pains from kayaking!). One of the memories that came to mind was our spring trip to our favorite Escalante River. We had gone in search of the sun and instead got snow! On our hike out, I fell in the water, which had risen drastically, on one of the very first crossings and was drenched and freezing cold for the entire hike out. I was pregnant with Abbie at the time and, as a first time Mom, worried about the cold and stress on the baby. Of course we all know, it all turned out just fine. Rick and I both laughed as we came to the sign at the beginning of the hike. It's hard to see on the picture but it says, "Yup! You gotta get wet!" They weren't kidding! We were both completely drenched and were happy to get into our warm car. By the way, this in one of the first and only scrapbooking pages I've made. It's probably better that I don't do it anymore!

I share this memory because 10 years later we found ourselves having another "Yup! You gotta get wet!" weekend. We were in search of some fun in the sun and instead spent the weekend in the cold rain. Don't get me wrong. We loved every minute of it. We started the adventure with kayaking. We had to change our plans a bit and left a day later so we crammed our 3 day kayaking adventure into 2 days. That meant extra kayaking and more time to chat on the open waters. It was fun to share memories of that past 10 years. I loved it.

Here we are waiting for our dinner while camping. I'm sure I was really cold at this point. In fact, I think I was really cold almost the entire time. Thank goodness for the hot tub that would help out the next day!

Because I was so cold, and the firewood was all to wet to get a fire to warm us up, we got into our two-man tent to eat our yummy dessert. And because we really didn't have much else to do, we took lots of pictures of us eating our yummy dessert. We were trying to get just the right picture to capture the moment. Now I can't decide which one we liked best so I added a few of the many we took.

The second day of kayaking was my favorite. The camera got packed into a wet bag so I didn't have pictures of it all. The waters were much calmer the second day which made the kayaking easier. We also saw sea otters, tons of herons and other birds, and maybe even a shark!! What do you say to that, Rick?! It always made me laugh when a sea otter would pop it's head up right in front of us. Makes you wonder how much was going on underneath us! We stopped on an island for a little hike and we picked up a crab and found that it's baby was clutched in it's arm. Cute! After a total of 8 hours and 30 miles of kayaking in two days, we had a good lunch and then headed for our cabin in the woods. If you ever want a fun place to stay at Mt. Rainier, and you aren't bringing kids (we tried to have ours come but the host said absolutely no kids under 10!) I would recommend you stay here. We loved it. I had to include a picture of the hot tub because it was the thing that kept us sane when we were being rained and snowed on. And no, that's not Rick in the hot tub and it's also not someone we ever had to share the hot tub with. It's just the picture I got from the website.

We had time to go on one hike in Mt. Rainier. I was glad my Dad told us to go on it It was absolutely gorgeous. A little more than 10 years ago, Rick and I visited Mt. Rainier as an engaged couple. I was amazed by this mountain then and was once again in awe at the beauty.
I especially loved the wildflowers. I suppose I get that from my Dad. I just can't get enough of them. I'll admit, they even make me a bit giddy. I had so much fun taking pictures of the flowers.

I'm not quite as good as he is at taking pictures but this one makes me happy.

Did I mention yet that it was raining on us while we were hiking. We didn't have access to Internet or phone, so I had no idea what the forecast was. And I refused to believe that we were going to have yet another wet and cold day. So I put on my shorts and chacos and set out for the hike. Turned out, everyone else knew the forecast for the day. We were the only ones in shorts and I was certainly the only one in sandals. My toes were little ice cubes and I kept wondering at what point you can get frost bite. I had to take this picture of the snow on the ground because I couldn't believe it was so cold in August!!

It was worth it to see waterfalls like this one. The picture takes in about half of the waterfall.

At the end of our hike we were supposed to have a view like the one on the right. The picture on the left is the one we took. Instead of the awesome view of the mountain, we had a view of the snow. Not what we had planned on but I still loved it. We pretty much ran back down the mountain. Mostly because I was so cold, but also because we knew that the hot tub, without the random guy, was waiting for us at the end of the hike.

We took this video at the top of the hike. Just like our wet hike in the Escalante 10 years ago, it wasn't what we had planned on but really it made it even better. Mostly I just loved spending that time with Rick. As we drove into town, I turned to him and said my goodbyes. It's just not the same when your surrounded by kids, family, friends and everything else that takes up our time and energy. I miss that time with him and am excited for another weekend getaway. And I won't even complain if it's another wet weekend.

Oneonta Gorge Take Two

Rick and I had so much fun hiking the gorge this summer that we wanted to take the whole family there. Everyone loved it just as much as we did. Abbie and Connor did an awesome job of climbing over the logs that block the river. And yes, there were hundreds of people there. It was one of our 100 degree days and everyone was as anxious as we were to escape the heat.
Aunt Heather joined us and helped Emily get through the logs and rocks and water that was too deep for her to get through on her own.
Abbie was so happy when we finally made it to the deeper water. I'd been telling her she was going to have to get waist deep and she loved it! Despite the look on Holly's face, she loved hanging out on Mom and Dad's back and was happy the whole time.
We found some rocks to jump off into the very cold water. Rick even found a way to dive right through the falls! I tried my hardest to get a picture of him doing it and after we were all done, realized I could have filmed it. Oh well. Just imagine him diving through the falls.
Hikes like these make me love Oregon! So fun!!


I still have so many stories of Africa to share. I even woke from a dream recently with a panicked feeling that I need to continue to let these stories be shared. So, if you have been inspired by these people as I have, keep checking. There will be more to come.

For today, I need to catch up on our end of summer fun, including our haircuts. We were all in desperate need of haircuts so I called my dear friend Cristy Johnson and had her chop off some hair.

Between Abbie, Emily and I we created quite the pile of hair!

Later that night Emily got her hair as crazy as she could. It's amazing what can happen with curls!Connor joined in the fun and was happy with his awesome hairdo.
Abbie tried to compete with Emily's crazy hairdo but to no avail. She resorted to crazy faces and using her hands instead. Who knew haircut day would end up being so fun!

To Connor's dismay, we forced a haircut on him as well. No more cool do's for now. We knew it was time to get it cut when his buddy Sam said that his hair would be just like a helmet if it was made of steel. I know, that sounds pretty cool but the really long sideburns just weren't working for me. Soon enough, I won't have a say so for now it's good to see those cute eyes again.