Thursday, April 27, 2017

Vivian Joy Kimball.

We rounded out the busiest and possibly craziest weekend of our lives by welcoming Vivian into the world on April 23rd. We have been in the process of building our house for the last several months, and finally got to move in! The last couple of weeks have been so busy trying to pack up our belongings, finalize house stuff, and on top of it all being so pregnant! Vivian's due date was May 8th,   and our closing date on our house was April 21st. That gave us a two week window between move and baby, IF she decided to come on her due date. I knew that the odds of that happening were slim only because both Lane and Leo were born early, and all the physical demands of moving house so close to my due date. Leading up to the move, everyone kept telling me, "this move is going to send you right into labor!" Possibly the most unfortunate timing piece to this whole story is that my parents have been traveling so much lately, spending 2 weeks in Washington, coming home for a week, and then turning right around and leaving the country for an extended 2 1/2 week European tour with Mary Alice and my dads family. So moving and delivering a baby without the help of my parents has been interesting to say the least. Sometimes you don't realize how much you need your mom until you don't have the option to have your mom!
We woke up on Friday morning (closing day!) and drove up to Salt Lake to sign all of our closing documents and title for the house. Robin came over to stay with Lane and Leo while we went (Georgia was at preschool) and help pack up some boxes for when we returned. Mike and I enjoyed our drive to and from Salt Lake with no kids, the anticipation of this closing day had been a long time coming! We couldn't believe that our house was actually going to be our house and we reminisced about the whole building process and how much had changed in the last 7 or 8 months. After we signed all of our paperwork, Mike dropped me back off at my car and went into work for a few hours. I went home and helped Robin pack up a few more things and then load both of our cars to take an initial load over to the house. Robin was so cute and literally wouldn't let me left hardly anything! She would get mad anytime I tried to pick anything up- haha. Kelsi picked up G from school and met us over at the house, where she helped us unload our cars. The kids were so excited to be in the house and had a blast running around with Miles and Owen, showing them every detail of the new place. It was a long (loooooooong) day full of making trips back and forth from my parents house to the new house. Lucky for me, I was mostly on the receiving end, directing people where to put things in the new house, and organizing boxes as they came. The kids were good sports through it all, considering it was such a chaotic day and they kind of had to fend for themselves a lot of the time. By 7:30 we were all so exhausted. I bathed and put the kids down, and Mike and I just kind of started at each other blankly like, "what just happened today?" Moving can be such a pain! He kept asking me throughout the day how I was feeling, and to be honest I actually felt really good. I had an occasional braxton hicks contraction which was really normal for me, but other than that nothing felt abnormal, I actually felt as though I was contracting less than I had been in the days leading up to the move.
We woke up Saturday morning and Mike ran over to my parents for a quick load before the kids woke up. I got up with the kids around 7 am and started making breakfast for us. Mike came home around 8 and we decided to go get one more load in Alpine before heading to Georgia's soccer game at 9. Saturday became almost as chaotic as Friday, with lots of loads to and from Alpine. Also a trip to Lowes, and Costco for good measure. Again, Mike kept asking me how I was feeling and again, I really was feeling fine! Uncomfortable, yes. But no signs of impending labor. I made the kids Mac and Cheese for dinner and we called it a night early. When the kids were in bed, Mike ran out and got us a takeout. We enjoyed dinner, and set to work on setting up our dining table and putting felt on the bottom of our chairs and stools. We were both SO EXHAUSTED that night. Our couch was delivered earlier in the day, so the second we showered and sat down to watch a show, we both passed out very quickly. After a really normal nights sleep, we woke up on Sunday feeling way more refreshed. Mike, once again went to Alpine for another load that morning, and I once again began making breakfast for the kids. That morning was like a scene from a dream for me. We ate breakfast together as a family, the kids were playing together so contently, music was on, and I was actually feeling surprisingly settled and somewhat organized in our new place. The girls spend the morning playing Play-Doh while Lane spent his time lining up and organizing all of his cars. I hopped in the shower and then Leona helped me pick out a dress for church. It took a couple of different tries to find one that fit, but we settled on the blue and white striped trusty Target maternity dress. I helped the kids get in their church clothes and did their hair. We were late to church, which bothered me because this was the first Sunday in forever that we actually lived so close! I noticed while I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting that I was starting to have some contractions. I didn't think much about it because I do tend to have a lot of BH contractions toward the end. The only thing abnormal about these were that they were happening while I was sitting down and not up chasing my kids or packing and moving boxes. Everyone at church was asking me when I was due, and kept congratulating me on keeping the baby in during the move. Mike and I teach the CTR 4 class at church, so after Sacrament, Mike and I started walking into Primary when I realized that my contractions were happening pretty regularly. I looked over at Mike and said, "I think I might be in Labor." He kind of gave me a look like, whatever, and then had a second look of, "wait, are you really?" by the end of what seemed like the longest sharing time of my life when I made the decision to go to the hospital. We took the kids home and Mike made them lunch while I got a few things together to take to the hospital. They got me all checked into a triage room to check me and I was at a 4 and 80%. The nurse was really nice, but definitely did not believe I was labor. For some reason the machine was not picking up my contractions! She kept coming in and asking if she could feel my belly to make sure I really contracting. An hour passed and when she checked me again I was nearly a 5. I had been in contact with Mike the whole time, but told him that it was definitely time to come to the hospital. Mike took the kids to Kelsi's house to wait until Robin could get there to pick them up. Kelsi was such a lifesaver this whole weekend! Because my mom has been gone, I have really had to count on her to help during the move and this baby, I am so grateful for my sister!!!! Once Mike got to the hospital I gave them the go ahead to get the epidural as soon as possible, and the Anesthesiologist came in within 15 minutes. Once I got the epidural, I was so comfortable, I even took a nap. The epidural definitely slowed things down a bit. It took forever to get to a 6! Because it took almost 2 hours to get to a 6, I told the nurse it would be OK if they gave me some Pitocin. Once they got that going, went from a 6 to a 10 in 45 minutes! I couldn't believe it when they told me I was complete and ready to push. The anticipation of meeting your baby is unlike anything else. What will she look like? How much will she weigh? Will she have hair? We didn't have to wait long to have all of those burning questions answered, because 3 pushes later she was here! And more perfect than we could have ever imagined.

6 lbs 15 oz // 19 inches

 They put her on my chest and the first thing I said to Mike was, "she looks like Leona!" The relief of having her out and hearing her cry was the best feeling. She calmed down right away and nursed almost immediately. We spent the next hour in the recovery room doing skin to skin and nursing until it was time to take us down to my recovery room. Mike finally got to hold her, and on a side note- the Jazz won! April 23rd, will always and forever be one of my very favorite days! It was the perfect day to welcome our sweet Vivi Joy into the world. Even though our lives are chaotic with this move, Vivian has helped me be able to slow down and enjoy the newborn yumminess that is so fleeting. The kids are head of heels in love with her, and we all feel so lucky that she is here, healthy and safe. Vivian's pregnancy was by far my hardest pregnancy, both physically and mentally. The only thing that could make up for how difficult those 9 months were is HER! I would do those 9 months over again and again for the gift of having her with us. I love you more than you will ever know, baby girl.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mary Alice Gets Home!

Probably the most exciting thing about Christmas in 2016 was that Mary Alice got home from her mission! As if the Christmas season wasn't magical enough already, having this event to look forward to made it that much more exciting. We were all looking forward to this for oh you know, 18 months... My kids kept asking me every day toward the end, "is Mimi getting home today?" Finally, the day arrived and it was even better than we could have ever anticipated!! We had to wait for her at the baggage claim for what seemed like forever, but then we finally saw her coming down the escalator and we all got a little choked up. My mom kept saying, "I know that I won't cry, I'm just not a cryer." Well, that plan went right out the window as soon as she saw Mary Alice. Even Mike was getting a little teary eyed. A mission is such a sacrifice! I'm so proud of her for jumping in with both feet and really committing to her mission for the 18 months she was there. I can't imagine how the Atlanta, Georgia Mission will ever have another sister missionary as cute and amazing as Sister Hunter. 

Leona Gets Stitches.

I should have known that the first child in our family to need stitches would be Leo. She is so much fun, and also so accident prone! Being so close in age to Georgia and Lane makes her feel like she can do just about anything they do, so she is constantly trying all the "big kid" stuff. This happened way back in November (20th, 2016) but I wanted to make sure to write it down, because even though it was so sad, it's worth documenting. It was a Sunday, and we had been home from church for a few hours. At that time, we were on the 1-4 o clock meeting block, so we would pretty much come home, eat dinner, and our day was over. I remember Leo asking me all day if we could make popcorn that night, and I promised her that after her bath, we could do popcorn and some movie time. We had finished eating dinner and were all just playing around. Mike was playing some game with the older kids and Leo was in our bedroom. I was cleaning up dinner, but thought I should go check on Leo and make sure she wasn't into too much mischief (which is normally the case when she is quiet). I began walking into our room, and could see Leo climbing up onto the Billi-Bo toy we have, trying to get onto our bed. I couldn't exactly see what happened because her back was turned to me, but she slipped on the toy, and hit her mouth right on the metal bed frame. I kind of stopped because I knew that was a bad fall, and sure enough she was SCREAMING within seconds. I ran over to her and turned her around, only to see she had a mouth full of blood. So much blood, that I couldn't actually see the cut right away. I initially thought that maybe she had knocked out her tooth, or bit through her tongue. But then I saw the big gash on her lip! I'm still not totally sure if the bed frame split the lip or if she actually bit through her lip when she fell, but it definitely needed stitches. I realized that I'm not great under those circumstances and really hope that none of my kids gets seriously hurt under my watch. I kind of freeze up and not know what to do!! Luckily Mike was there, and we got a towel for her lip and tried to calm her down. She didn't really calm down at all though, and soon enough, we were on our way to the Emergency Room. By the time we got to the hospital, she had calmed down some, and the bleeding had stopped a little bit too. We waited in the waiting room for what seemed like 2 hours, but was probably only 30 minutes. She was so cute while we waited!! Running around and saying, "watch my gymnastics guys..." and would do this little plank move on all the chairs. When we finally got called back, they tried to numb the lip with some ointment (twice!) that didn't even work. So we waited and waited for the Dr. to finally come in and just give her a shot that would numb the area. The Dr. was seriously the nicest human being ever! We LOVED him! I just hope no one has to experience getting stitches on a two year old, because it's honestly the saddest thing I have ever seen. They had to wrap her arms down so that she couldn't flail, and then they had me essentially lay on top of her. She was terrified. And for good reason! Long story short, she was hysterical, and I was hysterical, and Mike was probably like, "get me out of here..." but at the end of the day, she only needed 3 little stitches and given the circumstances, was probably the most well behaved two year old patient they have ever had! She kept the stitches in for a week and when we went back to get the removed, she didn't cry at all! She does have a tiny little scar on her lower lip, which makes my mama heart a little bit sad, but I know it will fade as she grows up. She was the cutest little patient, and I'm just grateful that it wasn't anything more serious. Here's to hoping my kids just live completely accident free lives, because seeing them hurt and in pain is probably the worst possible situation for me!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Baby #4!

The big news of 2016 was that Mike and I are expecting our fourth baby! I found out in August right around the time we were moving that I was pregnant. Because of the miscarriage I had had 5 months earlier, I was a little nervous about how everything was going to go this time around. Mike and I both agreed it would probably be better to wait to tell anyone (even family) about the pregnancy for as long as we could. Well, that didn't go over so well when my mom pulled me aside while we were moving in and said, "Rose, I can tell that you're pregnant." WHAT???!!!! I was like, maybe 4 weeks along! Moms. Why does their intuition have to be so spot on? I lied to her and told her that I wasn't, but she didn't buy it. Several weeks later when I told her that I was in fact pregnant, she refrained from the "I told you so" comments and just smiled knowingly to herself. Haha. This pregnancy has been by far my hardest. I was so sick for the first 18 weeks. Trying to take care of 3 kids, while moving into a new place and being constantly nauseated and throwing up was really difficult for me. I felt like I had lost complete control over my life. I was so unorganized from the move, the weather was turning cold and grey, and it was just not a good time for me. I did eventually get on some medication that really helped, and made my life a lot less miserable! So, I would say the first half of this pregnancy was probably the longest 20 weeks of my life. I'm not 33 weeks and time is going so incredibly fast!! I'm so unprepared for this baby, yet also so anxious to finally meet HER and incorporate her into our family. The kids ask every single day if it's time for their baby sister to come out yet. I have loved being able to experience their anticipation this time around! When I brought Leona home, Georgia was only 2 1/2. She was as excited as any 2 year old could be, but also just did not even comprehend what a "new baby" would be. This time, Georgia, Lane and even Leona are always talking about the things they are going to do with their baby. I'm proud of Laners, because being the only boy was a rough prospect for him. Leading up to the gender ultrasound, he would not stop talking about his baby brother. He would save all of his outgrown clothes in a special spot and tell me, "can you put these in a box for my baby brother? I think he will love these pajamas." He and Mike were really holding out hope that this baby would be the baby brother Lane kept talking about. It took a second for it to sink in, but now he is ecstatic about being the only boy! He thinks it's really special and cool, and always says that we have two boys in our family, Michael Lane and Michael Spencer.
 We received some exciting news about our house last week! I have been driving myself crazy feeling like the house wasn't going to be done in time for the baby. The process as a whole has taken way longer than I initially anticipated, and there have been a lot of pregnant hormonal tears shed over the whole matter. But we finally got a closing date solidified! We will close and hopefully start moving into our house on April 21st. I'm going to be induced on May 1st or 2nd, so if all goes smoothly, we will be in our house before the baby!!!!! I mean, we won't be organized at all, but brining a new baby home to a brand new house is really giving me something to look forward to. So things are on the up and up over here, and I'm starting to feel some nesting urges which has helped me to buckle down and de-junk my belongings and pack up the apartment. We are SO EXCITED about this new addition to our family, she is so loved already.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Holidays!

It's so sad that we are nearing the end of February and I'm just now getting around to writing down some memories from over the holidays! I told myself that I need to catch up on the writing of this blog first, before I go back and add the pictures that go with it. I wish I wouldn't have gotten so far behind in my journaling! It makes catching up that much more overwhelming, but I'm determined to push through and keep writing, even if I'm drowning in constantly trying to catch up!! 
The month of December is always so crazy! It seems to go by way too fast, and also creep by slowly, leaving me wondering, "Is it January yet???". This year was a little bit different for us because we were living at my parents. I normally love to decorate for all the holidays, I feel like it gets me in the best Christmas spirit every year. This year, however, I didn't feel the desire to decorate AT ALL. It's a hard in between place to be, with most of our things still in boxes in my parents garage. I didn't want to go sifting through all my junk to find the box labeled, "Christmas Decor" only to have to pack it all back in a box and put it back in the garage a month later. We did get a tree though, and we also hung stockings, which made me feel (unreasonably) giddy. There is just something about a fresh Christmas tree to illuminate your living room that makes it feel so homey and cozy. The kids didn't seem to mind that I didn't decorate at all because they would just go upstairs to Nana's house and admire all of her fun decorations!
This year's Bear Hollow Preschool Christmas Sing was extra special because we got to have two of our kids in it! Georgia and Lane were both so excited about their performance. It happened to land right on Mikes birthday again this year, and both sets of Grandparents were able to come. The kids had been practicing their songs for over a month leading up to the performance and could belt out all the lyrics to the Christmas songs we listened to on the radio. We got to the University Mall and I could tell from the moment we walked in that the concert was not going to go well for Lane. Sweet boy. He has a hard time with large groups of people and especially strangers watching him do anything. Georgia got right up there in the very front row and sang her heart out! I stood by Lane the entire time and held his hand while he looked down at his feet and didn't sing a word. Haha, the difference between those two is hysterical. It turned out to be great though! Georgia absolutely loved it (until Santa walked in at the end), and I was extremely proud of Lane for holding it together up there and actually standing on the bleacher with the rest of the school, even if he didn't sing a word. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get! They were both so cute with their Santa hats on. I love watching my kids perform or pretty much just do anything. After the performance, we went the Spaghetti Factory with Grammy and Grandpa for Mikes birthday lunch. I can't believe Mike turned 31! The years are cruising on by for us old folks over here.
Christmas this year was so much fun. All of the kids are the most amazing age for Christmas excitement and magic. We did our annual Christmas Eve dinner with my family, and loved having everyone together! Ryan and Katie came into town from Nebraska, and it was so great to have all of my siblings together again, as it had been quite a few months since it had happened. My mom and dad always do such a great job putting together the dinner and entertainment for the evening. The Nativity is always a hit with the grandkids and adults alike. My kids still talk about that Nativity and what they want to be next year! Georgia starred as Mary this year, with Lane in his supporting role as a Shepherd, and Leona coming in strong as the Angel. I just love to see them come out in their costumes with the biggest smile on their faces. After the Nativity, we opened the gifts from my parents. They spoiled us, like usual! It was the perfect night to kick off the magic that would continue on into the next day. We ended the night with popcorn and The Polar Express as a little family, then sent our little angels off to bed while Mike and I began the heavy task of CHRISTMAS MORNING MAGIC. Luckily this year I had tried to wrap a few things as I got them, to try and make Christmas Eve a little less hectic. I thing we still went to bed around midnight, but that's way better than 2 or 3am! There is nothing more magical than Christmas morning. Seeing our kids faces and hearing their squeals of excitement makes all the stress of Christmas melt away. Georgia and Lane both got new bikes this year, which have already been put to good use. Leona got a dollhouse and a new baby with a stroller, etc... The big gift for all our kids was this "Extreme Coaster" that they can ride on, and they all loved. We have put a lot of miles on that thing since December 25th.
We spent the morning and afternoon of Christmas playing with all of our toys and eating candy from the stockings. Mother Nature blessed us with a very white Christmas! It was beautiful and magical, and such a pain to drive in. We had our traditional Kimball side Christmas Dinner at Shannon's house in Farmington this year. The roads weren't too terrible until we got to Bountiful, and then they got a little scary. Luckily it stopped snowing shortly after we got to Shannon's, which made the drive home totally fine. So fun to be with the Kimball's! We don't see them nearly enough. Again, I loved having every single one of Mike's siblings there. There is something special about "no empty chairs" around the dinner table. The cousins always do a gift exchange that everyone loves, and we normally go caroling around the neighborhood. This year was really special. Everyone kind of had a bad attitude about the caroling, and no one really wanted to go but Robin was determined we do it. Shannon had this great idea to go to a local care center a block or two away from her house and have us carol to the patients that lived there! It was the highlight of my day! To go around to to these cute elderly people who were in this care center on Christmas Day and sing them some songs was the sweetest and most touching thing. All the kids loved it, and the adults came away from it with a full heart. After caroling the kids were so exhausted from the full day, we packed up and headed out!
As the years race by, I'm grateful for the moments amidst all the chaos when time seems to slow down, if only for a moment. Christmas this year was one of those times. I'm beyond grateful for the families that we have, for the family that Mike and I have created, and especially for my Savior Jesus Christ.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Thanksgiving 2016.

Thanksgiving was with the Kimballs this year! Mike's oldest brother Billy hosted the masses at his home in Farmington, and the feast was quite the feast indeed. I was asked to make the rolls this year, which actually worked out so well because we are currently living with mom who is the very best bread maker in all the land. Originally when I was asked to make the rolls I was thinking that I would bring about 80, which seemed like sooo many to begin with. That is until I talked to Robin and she asked me to bring 160!!!!!! That is not an exaggeration either. So my mom and I set to work on making one batch of her famous rolls every day the week of Thanksgiving. We would finish the batch of rolls and then stick them right into the freezer to keep them fresh. It ended up working out beautifully and the rolls tasted completely fresh as if we had made all 160 rolls that morning. We had a very full house that day, with 7 out of the 8 Kimball kids + their families, plus this sweet Venezuelan family that has been living with Daniel and Marianne. The kids had such a fun time playing with all of their cousins and with Billy's dog "Utah". Ben also has a pet turtle that Georgia was obsessed with. Georgie is such an animal lover! It's amazing. Any animal that she see's she is immediately drawn to it. I keep telling her that she would be such an amazing Vet someday. We ended the day snuggling cute baby Charlie (our newest nephew) and eating enormous amounts of Ice Cream Pie. We love being with the Kimballs and spending Thanksgiving with them was perfect. I just hope that next year I don't have to bring the rolls. 


We took a little Disneyland trip the second week of November! It's kind of getting ridiculous how often we go to Disneyland, but we love it. I have done so much research on going to Disneyland during the best time and when it is the least busy, and we have pretty much gone during every time of year. But, to be completely honest, Disneyland is just a busy place. Even if the crowd calendars tell you it's going to be a GHOST TOWN, it's still busy. This trip was a pretty calm one though. We did a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and the only day that I felt like it was way busy was Sunday. Tuesday it was so hot. I kind of felt like maybe I might die from heat stroke. Mike really pulled through for all of us and kept saying, "come on guys, we're at Disneyland! Let's go have fun!" Hopefully we never go to Disneyland when it's in the 90's again. Georgia has turned into such a little thrill seeker! She would have rode Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain the entire time if she could have. Mike had a ball with Georgia this go around, because she seemed less interested in meeting characters and princesses, and more interested in going on the big kid rides. Thank goodness we have the tallest kids! Lane was a good sport with the bigger rides, but they definitely scared him. He went on Thunder Mountain once, and that was enough for him. He has had this obsession with Matterhorn for the last few months. He always wants me to ask him "Disney trivia" questions about the Matterhorn and the Yeti! So funny. I kept telling him he probably wouldn't be tall enough to ride Matterhorn, but we would see when we got there. Surprise, surprise! He was totally tall enough to go. Mike took him, and said it was hysterical because he kept his head down the entire time, in fear of seeing the Yeti. Haha, I took Georgia after they got off, and to be honest, I actually forgot how scary that ride was! I was laughing until tears, because I couldn't believe Lane even did it, and that I took Georgia. Leona was quite the party animal this go around! She would not close her eyes for ANYTHING. I was totally banking on her taking a nap every day, like she does at home, but that definitely didn't happen. She was so entranced with everything that she saw, she refused to nap. Which made for some cranky Leo moments, but surprisingly not very many. She was just happy to be there. She and I pretty much spent the entire trip together. Mike would take the older kids to the bigger rides and I would take Leo on the rides her size. Her favorite ride this time was Ariel's ride. She still talks about it every single day. Lane found a new favorite ride this time, Goofy's Sky School! Georgia goes back and forth, but ultimately sticks with Thunder Mountain Railroad as her top favorite of favorites. My girl! Some other highlights from our trip: the theme parks being decorated for the holidays! So much joy walking around Disney with "Jingle Bells" playing in the background and wreaths hanging from every lamp post. Soundsational Parade! Huge highlight for us and the kids. Meeting Goofy, and Leona actually giving him a hug. Meeting the princesses and seeing how excited all of my kids were- Lane included. Making friends with some random lady in the line for Winnie the Poohs ride. The conversation ended with her giving Mike her business card and saying, "If you guys are ever in the Bay Area and need a place to stay, you call me right up and I'll make up a room." Haha, I don't think we will take her up on the offer, but how nice???? Lanes epic meltdown on Main Street USA over a scoop of ice cream. He cried for so long, he didn't even eat any of the ice cream because it had melted. Being at Disneyland on Election Day, and coming home to see the amazing upset win of Pres. Donald Trump. Spending sun up to sun down with my people. I can't tell how precious these memories (tantrums and all) are to me. I look back at these Disney trips with only the fondest of memories, and I hope that our kids will do the same.