Monday, October 29, 2007

Good Report

We have these awesome cereal bowls with a straw attached. Parker just discovered that blowing in milk makes a huge mass of bubbles.

had a doctor's appointment today. He came out with a pretty good report card. He's gained 3 pounds and has made a big leap in the past three weeks from the 50th percentile to the 70th percentile. He'll catch up to the other two in no time. I don't usually take pictures at the doctor. In fact, this is a first for me. But I came across my camera while looking for toy cars in my bag and decided to take pictures while we waited. The boys looked cute today. We recently purchased an iMac and I have not yet found a free program to make picture collages. So sad. It means I can't post nearly as many pictures of my cutie-pies as I would like without it taking up way too much space.

Grayden all bundled.

Parker showing off.

Reid unzipping.

Grayden waiting.

Parker kneeling.

Reid playing.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Costumes by Katie

I just couldn't wait to post these pictures. We went for the classic Halloween costumes...Frankenstein, a mummy, a spider, a witch and a vampire. The boys and my costumes are designed and constructed by yours truly. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out...which is why I included so many pictures. So you can see the costumes from every angle. Several pictures are blurry. Especially the one of our family. Trying to get three kids (and two parents holding them) still for a picture is impossible. Those kids had so much fun at the ward party, they wouldn't hold still for anything. And the pictures of Gray don't look much like him, but they are the only ones I had and I needed to get the full effect of his costume. The boys didn't win any awards for their costume. I think the voting was fixed. Regardless, they had a great time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Motherhood Success

First, I'll start with my mother's success...after a conversation with her shortly after my last post, I feel I need to give her a little more credit (mainly because she told me I did). She is more than a conference disrupting Halloween Scrooge. No, I'm not reneging on the whole Halloween thing. The phone call just confirmed my suspicions that the majority of my childhood Halloween costumes came from clothes she pulled out of my (or her) closet that she somehow managed to convince me could double as costumes.

No, today I'm giving her credit for the packages she sends in the mail. My mom sends the most awesome packages. In college, they were for me. But now, for my children. Halloween, from my mom's end, has greatly improved since leaving the house. We got a great package in the mail this week with the best Halloween PJ's three kids could ask for. Not only were they cute, they were high quality jammies. Complete with matching Halloween candy necklaces and a Halloween book. Way to go Grandma B! The above photo shoot is my kids showing off their new PJ's. I know, they look like models, especially first thing in the morning. Reid even has wet spot on his shirt from where he spilled his cereal down the front.

Now on to my own motherhood success. This is day number five of Spencer back to work. So far every one has:
  • been accounting for nutritional value
  • taken naps...with the exception of me
  • been dressed...sometimes not until lunch time
  • gone without least nothing permanent or even long term
  • kept their cool...with a few exceptions (mainly when I'm on the phone)
  • watched a little too much least it keeps the older two from fighting while I'm feeding Gray
I can't seem to get ready for the day before ten or so, but I'm using my early morning time before Spencer leaves for work to exercise. Right now, losing weight takes priority over personal hygiene. I've done laundry, worked on Halloween costumes, and not let the dishes pile in the sink. I even ventured out of the house this morning and no one got lost in the store or hit by car in the parking lot.

It's much easier for me to manage the household with three kids then with two kids and pregnant. I hate pregnancy and am so happy to be on the recovering end of things. Lucky for me, Grayden is an incredibly easy baby. So every thing is good so far. Ask me again in a few months...when Grayden starts fighting for a little more attention...I'm sure I'll be pulling my hair out.

Finally, not a motherhood success story...we went to the annual Circleville Pumpkin Festival last week. It's a big deal thing around here with everything pumpkin. I mean EVERYTHING. They have the normal pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies. But it's much more, with pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin waffles, and even pumpkin burgers. None of which I cared to please my palette with (maybe because it wouldn't be pleasing). They had a 1,500 pound pumpkin there, too, if you can believe it. We had a good time.

The only drawback...the weather. This is the hottest October in the history of Ohio. I see every one's pumpkin patch and farm fall pictures and everyone is dressed for fall..even my California friends. That's half the fun of it. I had to show up to the Pumpkin Festival in shorts and flip-flops.

The boys got to ride a ferris wheel and loved it.

This is the only picture of Grayden at the festival...strapped in the stroller where he slept the whole time. As for the lack of socks...Reid has an issue pulling them off. And the head rests...Gray has the floppiest head a baby could have. My other two were born with such good head control. He is constantly flopped over with his head by his waist in a 'U' the swing bouncer, car seat, where ever. I thought we had everything we needed for a baby since it's our third, but we had to go out and buy an ugly head rest (for a cute boy).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ode to Halloween

It's more like Ode to Dressing Up. I dressed up so many times my freshman year of college I really can't remember which time was Halloween. And with a friend like Traci and a cousin like Brittnee, everyday might as well have been Halloween.

I'm not sure where I got my love for Halloween. It certainly wasn't from my mother (no offense mom). Halloween wasn't a highly celebrated Holiday in my house. I start planning Halloween on November 1. I love Halloween and may even prefer it to Christmas. I love the whole Christmas season...with Christmas music and the holiday hustle and bustle and the smell of a real pine tree in my home, but the actual day...Halloween is just a little more fun for me. Which is why so many posts are (and will be, I'm sure) dedicated to Halloween.

I've loved dressing up since I was a little girl. I'm happy to say I've passed that on to at least one of my kids. The boys have an over flowing costume box. I never thought dressing up was a boys activity. But they have costumes for a doctor, cowboy, construction worker, fireman, clown, pilot, biker, pirate, several animals, and many various other hats and accessories. Parker lives in these clothes...and completely mixes up the costumes. It's great. The other day when the older two were supposed to be napping, I hear them chattering and giggling away in their room. And every 5-10 minutes they came out with a new and hilarious costume that Parker was putting together for them.

So once's my Ode to Dressing Up slide show. I have very few pictures from my childhood (lucky for you my childhood friends). And pictures from only a small portion of my shenanigans with Brittnee and Traci (so sorry). For those of you who didn't know me growing's a little insight into my life that may or may not surprise you. So here's to celebrating Halloween Everyday!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Halloween Mishap

I've been thinking about Halloween since August (or maybe since last Halloween) and had costumes planned out and fabric purchased before the month was over. And of course I spent yesterday frantically trying to finish them up before Spencer had to go back to work today. All three boys now have costumes ready to win prizes at the ward Halloween party next week.

As I was sitting at the sewing machine, I kept thinking about last year's Halloween mishap. I'm sure some of you have heard this story, but I've never recorded it for my own records...and it's a doosy!

It was the day of our ward Halloween party, and I was in large part in charge of it. I had to be at the church in the early afternoon to start setting up and wouldn't have time to get back home to get ready. So when I fixed my hair that morning, I just fixed it for my costume. I was going as Lucille Ball...a costume repeat, I know, but no one out here has ever seen that costume and it was a good one. I show it off every opportunity possible. I was especially excited because I hadn't had an opportunity to leave the house in a costume since college. I was excited to show off my kids costumes as well. I sat down to the machine to make a few adjustments to my costume (I hadn't worn it since before I had kids and nothing fits the same after).

While sitting at the machine and ignoring my children, I see Reid (9 months old) coughing up blood. I should have warned you this would be graphic. Don't worry, that's as gross as it gets. Then I look to Parker who I now notice, a few moments too late, that he has my pin cushion and is dispersing pins around the room. Although I hadn't seen it happen, I just knew Reid had swallowed a pin. He was notorious for putting things in his mouth that don't belong there. To make matters worse, we only have one car and Spencer had it that day. So I had to get a friend to drive me to the ER.

After a series of x-rays, they finally found the pin. It had punctured his throat and was lodged there. So after happily crawling around the ER and winning over everyone's hearts, all of a sudden everyone was afraid for him to move so it wouldn't puncture anything else and cause a more serious problem. I had to keep him still and happy...which is an oxymoron for a 9 month old who hadn't eaten or slept for about 7 hours at that point. We had to take a life-light ambulance (not a regular for life threatening emergencies) over to the children's hospital. There they had to put him under and surgically remove the straight pin.

As a side story, when I met with the anesthesiologist, Reid had started to put something in his mouth again. I sarcastically said, you'd think he's have learned by now. She looked at me like I was a stupid parent and told me in all seriousness that he wouldn't be able to understand that at his age...Duh!

They got the pin out and Reid had to stay at the hospital over night. We missed the ward Halloween party and I still haven't left the house in a costume since college. With the ward Halloween party coming up next Friday and me still post-partum, I don't fit into any of my old trusty costumes. We'll see if I have time to work something up in the next week.

And now back to the start of my story...I had to have a friend come pick me up, wait in the ER, ride in an ambulance, meet with an anesthesiologist and a surgeon, and sit in the waiting room at the children's hospital, all while sporting a Lucille Ball hair do. If anything could be funny about that day, that was it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jail Bird

We're really not trying to outfit Gray in prison garb. I just realized that all but two of his outfits are striped. And the other two are solid. Kind of boring. I just don't care much for puppys and firetrucks and other characters on my kids clothes. PJ's-fine, but not for leaving the house. So for a boy, there are not a lot of options until he's old enough to wear jeans or camo or whatever else. There's not a lot out there for newborns. We do have a few pair of jeans in the 0-3 month size, but since he's a little thing, they don't fit. Even Reid, my brute, didn't wear them until he was 2 months or so. So one-piece-rs it is.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lots of Thoughts

I thought Grayden looked like my other two...I'm not so sure he looks as much like them as I originally thought. I can't quite pinpoint what it is. It can't be the mustache...I'm sure Gray's will grow in due time.

My thoughts on conference...I was grateful for who ever it was that quoted Elder Bednar (I believe) and I don't remember the exact quote, but he posed the question, What was learned that was not said? As is illustrated by my attempt to quote something from conference...that's how I felt about the entire conference. With three kids and my mom visiting (sorry Mom, but with all your playdough turtles and whatever else, you were a distraction, too) I didn't get as much out of conference I like to...which is how my life is at this point and I can accept that. I just remember conference in college when I could sit down with my paper and pen and take notes through the whole thing. Conference will not be like that for years to come. I know I liked Elder Packer's talk but I can't remember at all what it was about. And there are several stories that stood out to me, but I can't remember who told them. Thank goodness for the conference issue of the Ensign. That brings me back to Elder Bednar's quote. I came out of conference knowing what I need to change in my life and a renewed energy for living the gospel even though I was distracted through much of conference. I learned things that were not said. I was so grateful for conference this weekend.

A thought from President Wood (our past stake president)...He told us that having three kids is when life gets a little more difficult because you have to quit playing man to man and start playing zone. Mom went back to Arizona today. So we could play man to man for the week. Now we're back to zone. Everything's gone smoothly so far. Three kids doesn't seem so bad. What I'm a little nervous for is next week when Spencer's paternity leave is up and every zone is my zone. I'll be seriously out numbered. I'll have more kids than I have arms to fight them off with and that worries me.

I've always thought memory tends to be closely linked to smells...I haven't used that pink baby lotion since Reid was an infant (go figure). And every time I slather Grayden in that yummy smelling stuff, I am reminded of taking Reid to the orthopedist for the first time and receiving the awful news about needing to amputate Reid's leg. I think the day of his appointment was the first time I slathered Reid in that stuff at just a few days old. I remember sitting in the doctor's office and smelling it on him and on my hands (that smell was quickly replaced by the smell of baby poop however...Reid pooped on just about every surface of the doctor's office and every spare outfit and every spare diaper I brought and somehow I had left the house with no wipes). I'm afraid the smell of baby lotion is now tainted for me. It reminds me sobbing on a car ride home from the doctor's office. That was the hardest point of the whole amputation / prosthetic leg process. Recovering from pregnancy and coming down from all the hormone highs, I tend to be highly emotional anyway. I just about burst into tears every time I smell that awful pink stuff.

Baby thoughts...I struggle to really enjoy having a newborn around, even though I have angelic babies who rarely cry and sleep well. I don't like how helpless they are. I don't like that they disrupt my sleep. I don't like that they can't respond or even smile to anything I do. I don't like that they can't communicate. And I don't like that they look like old men. But as much as I struggle to enjoy newborns, there is something very sweet and near to heaven about them. In his short two weeks of life, Grayden has already greatly blessed our home.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Which Smith is Which?

Parker's First Bath

Reid's First Bath

Grayden's First Bath

I'm a little hesitant to post such awful pictures of my boys. It's just unbelievable to me that three different boys could look so much alike. They all made the same horrible face during their first bath. Apart from their size, it's nearly impossible to tell who is who. Don't worry, Grayden is much, much cuter than that when not in the bath (which is not the case for the other two...Parker and Reid come up with some pretty funny things to do in the tub these a few months ago when Parker decided to wear some swim goggles on his bum cheeks).

We're all still doing well. Grayden is getting pretty good at the sleep thing. Last night he ate at 10:00pm and didn't wake until a quarter 'til 4:00. I've only been getting up once during the night. While I prefer uninterrupted sleep, once a night is not bad for a one week old.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Baby Gray

This is Grayden just before we brought him home from the hospital.
His newborn pictures look just like Parker's. Same length, one pound lighter. (And for Spencer's family and friends...if you look closely you can see the green Polo Ralph Lauren symbol on his left side.)

This is Grayden just moments ago.

We officially welcomed Grayden Clark Smith into the world on Thursday afternoon. Hallelujah! At 8lbs 4oz, he was my easiest delivery yet. Grayden weighed a full pound and a half less than Reid. Which was my doctor's purpose for inducing me early. She didn't want me to have to deliver another giant. Truthfully, I don't have a problem delivering big babies. I never knew any different and never had a difficult time delivering them. And really, I take great pride in having delivered a 9lb 11 oz baby with no epidural. But now, after having a smaller one, I see why she wanted to induce me early. That boy shot out like a rocket. When it came time to push, I wasn't quite ready and only gave it a half hearted effort when out popped his head followed shortly by his shoulders. It happened so fast the nurse looked at the charts to check how long it took...90 seconds. He was completely out after 90 seconds of half-hearted pushing. I couldn't have asked for better.

The only trial of the whole process was the epidural. When the anesthesiologist was talking about possible side effects, she mentioned that sometimes an epidural won't work everywhere it's supposed to. It may just take on one side of the body or there could be patches that don't take. I don't remember ever paying attention to that before, but thought how lousy that would be. Well as luck would have it, that was the case for me. At first, it only took on my left side. So after up-ing my dose several times (and loosing all function of the left side of my body) it worked on patches of my right side...places like my lower leg and my hip, but not where it really counted. It was a bizarre feeling to experience labor pains on just half of my body when the other half was completely dead. But I was grateful it worked on that half.

In typical new born fashion, Grayden makes the funniest old man faces ever. I think it might be the lack of hair and teeth. He is a sweet baby. I think he fussed a combined total of 5 minutes the entire time we were in the hospital. And it's the same at home...until night time comes. He's still in the phase where he confuses day time and night time. He sleeps all day and wants nothing to do with it at night. The first night wasn't so bad...he was awake on Spencer's shift (that's right, we take shifts...just another reason I'm an advocate for formula feeding your baby). But last night he slept through Spencer's and was awake for mine. Once we get him to switch things around though, I think he'll do well. He can go 6 hours between feedings during the day. If we can get him to do that at night, we'll be set.

Parker and Reid are adjusting surprisingly well. I'm not sure Reid would care much for Grayden if Parker wasn't so excited about him. But Reid will imitate Parker to no end. So Parker's excitement is emulated in Reid as well. Although, I don't think the baby was nearly as exciting for either boy as was my hospital bed. Taking rides on that thing was better than a roller coaster for those two. Parker plays hospital at home all the time now.

I'm doing could I not be? Any amount of recovery is better than being pregnant. Not to mention, I get to sleep on my stomach again.

Thanks everyone for your well wishes and to my friends who live nearby...thanks for all your help.