Friday, January 30, 2009

Random Thoughts

No real rhyme or reason to this post. Nothing monumental to write about. Just some random thoughts.

Our biggest challenge this week was the house appraisal. We are just refinancing our 2nd mortgage so we had to have an appraisal. This maybe wouldn't have been as big of a deal, but because I have been feeling so incredibly lousy, exhausted, etc. with the accident/pregnancy, my house has quite frankly gone to pot. So the thoughts of some random person walking through every room of my house with a camera made me a little anxious. All in all, it was a blessing in disguise. Just the kick in the pants we needed to get our house back to being organized and tidy. The kids finally had to start doing their daily job chart chores and it is amazing how much more peaceful things are when the house is in order. Today I spent at least 4 hours helping Ashlee & McKell get their room dejunked, organized, and cleaned up. It is SO nice. Cayden has done a great job cleaning his own room. So our goal is to have daily clean ups so it doesn't pile up again.

I have been feeling so-so this week. It is really frustrating when I feel "tricked". I will have a day like Monday where I actually am feeling quite good. Not much nausea, more energy, etc. It gives me a glimmer of hope that the worst is behind me on this pregnancy. But alas, no, then comes Tuesday and BAM! Right back to square one. To make matters worse, I took my last Zofran (my heavy duty anti-nausea meds) on Thursday and dropped off a refill request at 2:00. Rob went to pick it up at 8:50 that night, only to be informed that they don't have any in stock and won't have any until noon today. This was NOT what I wanted to hear. So, last night I went "Zofran free" and it really reared its ugly head today. I was so nauseous, sick, etc. until I was able to pick up the meds. Not fun. Other than that, things seem to be going well with the pregnancy. I had my check up and things looked right on. I had to take the blood test that gives heads up for Downs, etc. and it came back normal which is a big relief. We are now anxiously awaiting our ultrasound on the 19th of Feb when we will find out the sex.

We had some not so good news a few weeks ago when Rob's work announced pretty substantial pay cuts. Not fun. We are still refiguring out our budget and realize that we are blessed to at least have a job. We are trying to save a lot right now, get our food storage in order, etc.

Sadie has been sick all week with a bad cold. I hate it when babies get sick! She has tried to be a trooper, but I can tell she is run down and not feeling well at all. She has found a new attitude and uses it often. It's hard not to laugh. She is the first one to fold her arms during prayer and is very serious to keep them folded until we say amen.

So, that's about it for the random thoughts for the week.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cayden aka Troy Bolton

I just had to post about my sweet Cayden. We went and saw High School Musical 3 tonight as a family. Ever since the first movie came out, Cayden has thought basketball is really cool. I remember when he first saw HSM 1 and loved watching the basketball sequence over and over. He knew all the words to "Get your head in the Game" etc. But the High School Musical excitement wore off long ago...until tonight. We surprised the kids and took them to see it. Cayden seemed to enjoy it and just seemed kind of impartial about it all. But then we got home and he went to bed...with his new basketball from Christmas. When I went to tuck him in, I noticed something sticking out from under his PJ's....his basketball jersey and shorts. He kind of looked at me wondering what I would say. I just gave him a wink and a hug and said, "Good night Bolton." He got a big smile. As I walked out of his bedroom and turned off the light he said, "Hey Mom, it's okay if you call me Bolton." Have I mentioned lately how much I love that kid? And who the heck needs Zac Efron aka the real Troy Bolton when you can have Cayden.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The stupid policeman with very bad hair

So today I was planning on sitting down and writing a moving entry about my thoughts on the recent events of the Presidential Inaguration, our new president, hope for America, blah blah was going to be good.

But then "life" happened.

We've been having astronomical difficulties with Ashlee at school since November. Just daily reports of her not doing her work, being difficult, etc. etc. It was getting to the point that I dreaded picking her up each day because I didn't want to hear another "report" about something bad that had happened. Finally yesterday something snapped and Mama Bear came out. I had had enough and I needed to get to the bottom of it. So Rob took the morning off to stay home with Sadie and I spent 4 hours observing Ashlee at the school. The good news is that I was astonished at how well she is doing! My child with autism is pretty much functioning at a normal level like the rest of the 1st graders in her class. Yes, she has her moments and I'm sure it gets frustrating, but to me, knowing her history, it was nothing short of a miracle. I love the teachers that work with Ashlee because they are always open and willing to work with me and we really do work as a team. We had a lot of good discussions, ideas, and overall tweaking of a lot of things with Ashlee. I left actually feeling very encouraged and happy.

Sadly, this did not last. As soon as I got home, the "morning" sickness kicked in full force, if you know what I mean. Before I knew it, I looked at the clock and it was already time to go pick up the kids from school. It is a half hour drive and I honestly didn't know if I could make it without having to pull over repeatedly to puke. I finally pulled myself together as much as I could and headed out the door...15 minutes late. I take Bachus Highway out to the school. For those who don't know what that is, it basically is a highway in the middle of what my kids have labeled a "prairie habitat". Aside from the daily roadkill and wildlife, not a whole lot happens on Bachus Highway. I admit, I was going faster than I should, but NOTHING like I have seen other drivers do. I get passed all the time by people going at least 85 on that road. So, I am on my way, literally trying to will myself to not get sick, and not really thinking about watching for cops, and yep, I get pulled over. I look a mess, I pray I won't puke on the officer (something I later wished I could reverse), and the stupid hormones kick in and I start getting all teary eyed. I explain to this officer the situation and beg him to please just give me a warning. I honestly thought he was going to do it. I waited and waited and waited and then he came back...with a ticket. Nothing reduced, no warning, nothing. (At this point I began praying that I WOULD puke on him...just to prove the didn't happen.) At this point, I became just mad...mostly because he had a ridiculously bad haircut. I don't know why this stuck out to me, but it did. I like my police officers to be clean cut with short hair and this guy looked like one of the Beatles in a cop uniform. It really annoyed me.

So, $107 later for a stupid ticket, I really felt like puking even more. Not to mention my insurance going up. Rob joked that we'll just deduct that from this baby's future college fund. I am still not laughing. In this economy, who the heck has an extra $107 bucks just sitting around. Not to mention the irritation that comes when you realize that there is really no good reason for them to patrol that area like that. What, are they afraid someone might hit a jack rabbit? That someone might swerve off the road when they get a wiff of the West Jordan Landfill as they drive by? I mean, seriously, should that long stretch of highway only be 50 MPH? Honestly, is that really the best place this officer needed to be? Hey, here is an idea - how about patrolling one of the hundreds of school zones that would have been active at that time of day to make sure idiots don't speed through those and hit small children. I doubt the jack rabbits would mind.

So, sorry, Barack, my Inaguration entry will have to wait for another day. Right now, I'm trying to will myself not to puke again just thinking of the stupid South Jordan cop, his total lack of compassion, and his incredibly bad haircut. I keep envisioning a place in the hereafter for that cop that is full of pregnant women experiencing morning sickness with no compassion for him wanting to get out of the room. Do you think Obama could make that happen?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My calling...

I just realized today that I have never blogged about one of the biggest parts of my life right now - my church calling. I guess I got to thinking about it because we had our big 2009 kickoff pajama breakfast for primary. It was so much fun! The kids LOVE wearing their pajamas to a church activity. I personally think it is a new idea the whole church should adopt! Can you imagine how many more people would actually show up to church on time if we served breakfast and people could wear their pajamas? I think it is brilliant! I'm sure our bishop wouldn't think so.

So back in November of 2006 our ward was split for about the gazillionth time. A new ward was created and some of our old ward merged with a part of another ward. I literally didn't know half of the ward. We were assigned the unlucky church time of 2:30-5:30. I remember making the remark to Rob, "Oh that poor primary president that has to deal with those children at that hour!" I had just been called as ward choir director a few months previous so I felt foolishly confidant that I was in the clear as far as callings went. The stake gave the bishop 2 weeks to have the whole ward fully staffed and running. For the first 2 weeks we only had Sacrament meeting. After the first week, Rob and I breathed a collective sigh of relief and had a conversation that surely they had all of the "big" callings filled after a full week. We were "safe".

Fast forward to the following Wednesday. I was shopping with my mom when I got "the call" on my cell phone. Of course, it was very vague - the bishop would like to meet with you and Rob. My response? "But I'm shopping." I told them I would be home later and the bishop could stop by around 9:00. I called Rob, asked him to clean up the living room, and gave him the heads up that he would be getting a "big" calling...certainly it wasn't for me...I was the choir director! So 9:00 rolls around and the doorbell rings. I answer it and there stand the 3 Nephites aka our whole bishopric. This is the first time I had ever even met our bishop. I knew his counselors, especially Bryan Gee who was our neighbor down the street. I vaguley remember Bryan having a kind of smirk on his face and not making eye contact. hmm...

They come in and we sit down. I sit right back and feel relaxed because hey, I am the choir director. I start immediately thinking of all the callings they could want Rob for. The bishop pretty much looked at Rob the whole time he was talking. I certainly was in the clear. Then came "the moment." Bishop Gillette says, "Sister Peacock, we would like to ask you to serve as the primary president of our ward." At this point, I about fall off my chair, Rob squeezes my hand and I think Bryan may have been laughing.

Long story short, I accepted and that was that. Because it was a brand new ward, I had to fully staff a primary, keeping in mind I didn't even know half of the ward. Talk about blind faith! The other factor was that I learned quickly that we had, by far, the largest primary in the stake. I immediately was blessed with 2 of the best counselors in the world, Teresa Hope & ShaLisa Larsen. These women quickly became incredibly friends to me and I will always cherish the time I was able to serve with them. I also had 2 wonderful secretaries - Adrienne Syme and Brooke Wehrli. Also wonderful women and good friends. I jumped in the deep end, did a lot of praying, and hoped for the best.

Now, I am heading into my third year as primary president. My original presidency was all released a year ago, and I have a whole new presidency full of more amazing and wonderful women. About a month ago, I got another new second counselor. I joke that I must be a slow learner because I am the only one who stays in...I apparently still have a lot to learn!

I can honestly say that I love my calling. I love the children in our ward...all of them! We have a HUGE primary with an average of 160 there every week plus nursery kids. They have amazing spirts and incredibly testimonies. They challenge me, teach me, love me, and make me laugh on a weekly basis. I believe it is the best calling in the church. I can't even put into words all that I have learned in this calling. It hasn't always been easy and it definitely has its challenges. But I also know with no doubt that this is where the Lord wants me to be serving and I am happy to serve. It is mostly humbling to be asked to serve these "noble and great ones" of the church.

I absolutely couldn't talk about this without also mentioning Rob. When people sometimes say, "I don't know how you do it all!" My first response is always, "I have Rob." I don't need to say anything more than that. He has never complained. He has never been unsupportive. He has always been happy to be there for me 100%. I honestly believe this is why I am able to do this. He picks up a lot of the slack. He is an amazing man. I joke with him that he needs to complain and be a little bit unsupportive because when it is his turn for a "big" calling, then I'm really going to look bad in comparison. He can't do it.

So, that is my thoughts on my church calling. The best calling in the world....even better than choir director, which by the way, I was released from. :o)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mommy Moments

Another round of mommy moments. Just a few random thoughts on our family. Cayden has been really into chess lately, so imagine his excitement when he got the flyer from school announcing Chess Club. He was beyond ecstatic when he saw that this included 3rd graders. So yesterday, my 9 year old started chess club at school. I have to chuckle because I have never played chess in my life. I think I may have used the chess pieces in my Barbie house for decoration, but that is about the extent of it. Fortunately, Rob plays chess very well. He has been great to practice with Cayden. He doesn't let him win, which frustrates Cayden at times, but he really uses it to teach Cayden so he will get better. Cayden said he had a great time and can't wait for next week. Cayden is literally counting down the days until his best buddy, Ben, comes back from Idaho. Ben went to visit his grandparents in Idaho while he was off track. It very well may have been the longest 3 weeks of Cayden's life! Ashlee is still having a very difficult time at school. She started off SO well this year so it makes it extra hard that she has been struggling so much. She started struggling about November and it has been a rocky road since. Every day, when I pick the kids up from school, I dread the conversation with the teacher. I can honestly say that I have no idea what to do. I've wracked my brain to figure out what could be causing it - diet, sleep, medication, etc. but nothing seems to be changing the fact that she is struggling. Wish us luck! McKell is doing great at school and loves to learn. She was so excited to get an A on her rocks and minerals test. Yesterday, just very non-chalantly, she said, "Mom, did you know Mr. King?" I had no idea what she was talking about. She was irritated with me. Finally, I got out of her that she meant Martin Luther King Jr. Apparently, she and "Mr King" are tight. I told her that I wasn't alive when he was. I guess she then found me useless and went straight to Grandpa Neilson. She was fascinated that not only was Grandpa alive when "Mr King" was alive, but that he remembered the very day that he was shot. McKell has always had a special bond with Grandpa Neilson. And this only endeared him more to her. Our little Sadie is growing like a weed and has been deemed the "little weirdo" in our house. She is personality galore right now and does some of the goofiest things ever. Rob bought this "Your Baby Can Read" DVD series. He is convinced we can have her reading by the time she is 2. I just humor him. However, it is quite hilarious when we say the words like "arms up" and she does it on cue. My parents call her the trained monkey. She has also become very demanding. She can't say what she wants, so she does a lot of grunting and yelling. Oh fun! She really is such a joy and brings so much happiness and laughter to our family. We hope that baby #5 is as good of a baby as Sadie has been. I guess since this is Mommy Moments, I should also include the baby to come. I am 14 weeks along which is baffling to me. I can't believe I am already almost 4 months along! Although my jeans would definitely confirm that. The maternity clothes have made their appearance...unfortunately. I guess with #5, you show a lot earlier. The kids thing it is hysterical that I am having to do the "elastic in the jeans" trick. They're constantly fearful that my pants are going to fall down. I'm glad they are finding humor in the situation. I am still incredibly sick and very tired pretty much every day. I really need that fun stage to be So that is my mommy moment for the day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our Big News

Whew! It is a relief to finally get that news out! We are officially pregnant with baby #5! I am due on July 15 but will most likely be at least a week early - July 8 or earlier. I'm actually keeping my fingers crossed for an end of June baby considering there are already a gagillion July birthdays in our families.

So, here is the rundown. I figure this is the 'ol blog of honesty, so I'll bore you with some of the details. As you know, we have 3 "older" kids. Cayden and the twins are only 2 years apart in age. Then, we had quite a space between the twins and Sadie - 5 years. The older 3 kids are SO wonderful with little Sadie. She couldn't ask for better. But as they get older, we realized that they would all be very close and Sadie would kind of be on her own. We fasted and prayed a lot about it and decided to just leave it in God's hands. This was clear back in May. After quite a few months, there was nothing to report and we thought we may just be done. We really didn't think too much more about it.

In October, as you probably remember, Rob and I were both in car accidents. We definitely didn't realize the extent of my injuries at first. Once we did, I decided to for sure go back on birth control because the LAST thing I could imagine was having 2 herniated and torn discs in my back WHILE being pregnant. Apparently, this is not what fate had in mind. Before I had a chance to go back on birth control, we found out I was pregnant. Ironically, we thought for sure that we weren't pregnant. As you may remember, the great MRI debacle, where they had to do a blood pregnancy test to make sure I wasn't pregnant before doing an MRI. That test came back negative, even though I was indeed pregnant at the time. Fortunately, the MRI they did was okay for the baby and there are no problems there. So, a week after Halloween, on November 10th, when I was "late", I decided to take a home test just to figure out what was going on. 3 pregnancy tests later, and 2 lines of all of them, and we knew it was true.

My first concern was the MRI, but all of the doctors concurred that it was all fine. The second concern was another ectopic pregnancy. I had to do a series of quantitative blood work to make sure my HCG levels were going up like they should. Those weren't extremely high, but okay. The third concern was to get an ultrasound, which we did a couple of. We were finally able to see a heartbeat which was a big relief. The fourth concern, and one we always ask, "HOW MANY!?" We were assured it was only one. WHEW! So, it looks like everything is on track for a very healthy baby.

Of course another big concern we all have is my back issues. All of my doctors are of course concerned that I am carrying a baby with 2 active back/neck injuries already in place. We are just going to have to play it all by ear. I have pretty big babies and I carry them a lot in my back with a lot of joint issues normally. We're just going to take it a day at a time. This is why we can't do a whole lot right now with my back with cortizone shots, surgery, etc. We are hoping it will heal on its own. Time will tell.

So I am 14 weeks and unfortunately, it has been another "Sadie pregnancy". I apparently was very spoiled with Cayden and the twins. I didn't get sick hardly at all with them. I loved being pregnant with them and had great pregnancies and great deliveries. Fast forward 5 years to the pregnancy with Sadie. I was dog sick from the beginning to the end with full blown morning sickness until about 7 months along. NOT fun! I was really hoping that was just a fluke and that this pregnancy would be more like the older kids. Nope. I have been SO nauseous, headaches, exhausted, etc. I'm on my old oncology meds to help with the nausea - Zofran. Unfortunately, it doesn't work completely and one of the side affects is headaches. BLAH! But at least it helps a little. I am really hoping it doesn't last as long this time, but I am out of my first trimester and still waiting for that "burst of energy" crap all the books tell you about. My poor house is a mess, I look like crap, etc. you know, the "joys" of pregnancy! LOL!

The kids are SO excited about it. We just told them on Sunday. This was quite a hysterical dinner conversation. We made them guess our big surprise. The guesses ranged from "Making cookies!" to "going to Disneyland." When I told them it would make me look really different, Ashlee guessed that I was getting a haircut. For such smart children, they can be incredibly dim at times. We were all laughing so hard at their guesses. Finally, the lightbulb went on for Cayden, but unfortunately, he had just taken a big mouthful of food and couldn't talk. He was hysterically laughing, trying to talk, trying to chew, and pretty much gagging because he wanted to say it. It was one of the funniest moments of my life. He finally got the words out, "You're having a baby!" This seriously took my brilliant children about 10 minutes to figure out. They are so very excited, which makes me so happy. Of course Cayden is already praying for a brother. If he gets another sister I fear he may move to another family. We have a hunch it is a boy and will be able to find out in a few weeks. We also informed the kids that this would be our last baby, which for some reason, none of them believe. Of course, they don't know how the baby gets in mommy's tummy etc. so I guess they just think it's like Santa or the Easter Bunny. Rob, ever the scientific one, tried to explain that Mommies and Daddies can make sure there are no more babies coming...this didn't hold a whole lot of credit as Cayden was still gagging on his food and I think had water spewing out of his nose at the time. The kids have since told anyone and everyone who will listen to them. Yesterday it was the drive through window crew at Wendy's. I'm happy they are so excited.

So, that's the big news from us. I'll keep you posted on any developments. Rob and I are really happy and excited. We know it is going to be a lot of work with a newborn and a 23 month old, but we also have faith that God knows a lot more than us and his timing is not always our timing. To quote one of our favorite movies, "We're really doin' it Harry!"

This is Sadie's "surprised" look. Every time we would say, "Sadie, we're having a baby!" She would do her "surprised" face. Oh, if she only knew....

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Eve

So, this year was not the year of the Party Animals in our house. We wanted a low-key New Year's Eve and that is what we got. We went to Texas Roadhouse with my parents and sister and then came back to our house and played some games with the kids and then sent them to bed and played some games. It was mellow, but lots of fun!
Sadie bringing in the New Year
Our crazy kids getting ready to bring in the New Year. When we were kids, my Grandma Neilson would set the clocks ahead to make it seem like it was midnight, even though it was only about 9:00. We would do the whole countdown and run out in the streets banging the pans and yelling, "Happy New Year!" I'm sure the neighbors felt sorry for those dumb Neilson kids out banging pans at 9:00. But the tradition has carried on. I'm sure our neighbors weren't quite sure what was going on either. The kids thought it was great having Grandma and Grandpa here for New Years. We played "Disney Scene It" and had lots of yummy food.

A toast to bring in the New Year

A rousing game of "Sequence"

Holiday Decor

So before I take it all down, I wanted to post my holiday decorations. Anyone who knows me, knows I go a little overboard on the holiday decor, but I love it. Putting it away is not ever as fun, but we have fun decorating for Christmas. Here are a few highlights.
The Family Christmas Tree straight from Eureka. This is the tree with all of the ornaments we have collected over the years. Every year the kids each get a new ornament representing something they have done that year.
One of the many Christmas trees. This is my snowman tree with all of my snowman ornaments I have collected.

Can you tell I LOVE snowmen? This is the top of the entertainment stand. Rob thinks it is funny to do a yearly "Snowman Count". I know we were close to 100 last time he counted.

This is my nostalgia shelf in my kitchen. Most of the items on top are heirlooms from my Grandma Neilson. The little elf on top of the Happy Holidays sign is "Pixie Peeps". She makes her appearance at the beginning of the Christmas season. She is a special helper to Santa and every night after the kids go to bed, she goes and reports to Santa how the kids have been that day. Every day when they wake up, she is in a different spot. The "Believe" banner is the one I made with Tiff and the girls a while back.

My kitchen window sill

Our fireplace

The Family Stockings

The front room

My Christmas village. I got this when I lived in Japan. The kids and I LOVE setting this up every year.

This is our front door. This is where we hang up all of the holiday cards we receive. As you can see, the ones on the bottom have all gone "missing" because they are the ones that Sadie can reach. The cute "Joy" banner is from Dorey. Thanks Dorey!!

Our formal front room tree

My nativities on our piano. The one on the left is one I got from Japan. The one on the right is my new Willow Tree set.

Basement door
Finally, this may not look like much, but to me it is a treasured heirloom. My mom made this in Relief Society when we were kids. We LOVED getting to take turns picking out a felt ornament from the pockets each day to count down the days before Christmas. A few years back, my mom surprised me with it. I was SO thrilled! My kids have followed tradition and also LOVE doing the calendar every night before bed.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mommy Moments

I'm going to try something new on the 'ol blog and write down "mommy moments". These are not anything earth shattering or huge, but just those every day things that happen in our lives. Cayden - I was so proud of him last week. He got quite a bit of money (for a 9 year old that is) for his birthday. Rob is trying to teach the kids to save money so he told him he would take him to deposit it into his savings account at the bank. He said that Cayden seemed fine with that, but then hesitated. After a few minutes, he told Rob that he had changed his mind. At first Rob thought he had decided he wanted to buy something. But instead he told Rob that he was okay putting some of his birthday money in the bank, but what he really wanted to do was give his birthday money to kids who wouldn't be getting very much for Christmas. And that is exactly what they did. He is such a sweet and caring boy.
Ashlee-Ash is unpredictable at best. We often say that the only predcitable thing about having a child with autism is the unpredictability of it. She has had a few rough days over Christmas break. Yesterday, someone had drawn on one of the new Wii remotes. Sadly, we immediately assumed it was Ashlee. When asked about it, she said with great pride, "NOPE! Not me!" and then as if she was shocked herself, "You know, I haven't made any bad choices ALL DAY!" She was so proud of herself. She also recently announced as she was playing with the Fisher Price Nativity that God had just told her that baby Jesus had a new baby brother named Eggroll. One final "Ashlee-ism". After McKell's dance recital, we were on our way home and Ashlee became very sad. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "Because Mom. I want to take dance too. You know, it is REALLY boring just being a NORMAL person!" We'll be calling the dance studio on Monday.
McKell - McKell is SO insightful and we can't get much past her. She is very intuitive. She is also brutally honest. My self esteem has to be pretty solid when McKell gets into one of her 'observant" moments. She never says anything to be mean, just honest. She was looking at my wedding photo this week and matter-of-factly said, "Mom, I think you were much better when you got married." I asked her why and she said, "Because you weren't exhausted all the time, you had bangs, and you were a little prettier." Yes, 4 kids and 13 years ago, I'm sure I was all of that.
Sadie - This child cracks me up all the time. For the past little bit, she does the "Back up Truck" move. Instead of just coming and sitting on your lap on the floor or on a little stool etc. she has to back up like a dump truck. Rob and I now start doing the "beep beep beep" like the sound the garbage truck makes any time she starts "backing herself up" to have a seat. It is hilarious. She also has a fascination with boxes and loves nothing more than to find boxes to sit on, stand on, push around, etc. Our future UPS delivery girl!