Tuesday, June 30, 2009

First Month with Baby, part 2

Rachel is channeling Calvin. See the resemblance?

Last time I left you hanging, with "part 1" in the title. So now I'll fill you in on the trips (yes, that's plural).

Trip #1: Family reunion at Aspen Grove. My Grandpa Wight hosted most of his descendants at the family camp owned and operated by BYU. Thank you, Grandpa! It was wonderful! I enjoyed seeing everyone again. I'm especially glad my children were able to play with their cousins (almost 40 of them). I wasn't as social as I wanted to be, but I did as much as I could. A lot of people helped me, either by playing with my older children or caring for the baby. My cousin Valerie even took pictures for me when I couldn't. And I took pathetically few pictures.

Samuel and his cousin Anna "feeding" a bronze bear cub

The camp is designed for people to walk everywhere, but we drove instead, per doctor's orders (it'd only been 2 weeks). The kids went to groups divided up by ages. One day Benjamin's group had a pirate theme. He came up with his own pirate name: Captain Benjamin with a Real Sword. Dominic and I took naps, went to a lecture, spent time with family, etc. Here are 2 of my sisters:

Emily holding a sleeping Sabrina

Jen holding Kristen's son Eric

The most active thing I did was archery. Dominic said I did very well for my first time ever shooting an arrow :) He did very well, winning the tournament and earning the Robin Hood award. Samuel was sick that day, so he stayed with us. The range master helped him shoot 3 arrows, and the third one actually hit the edge of the target. Samuel was elated! A hail storm added to the excitement.

Grandpa taught his great-grandchildren the song "Two Blue Pigeons." Apparently, when his grandfather was a boy and crossing the plains, he learned to count by singing that song and counting the pigeons sitting on the millstone. Samuel really got into it and stayed near Grandpa after the other kids left.

Grandpa in the upper right-hand corner, singing.
Shown here are some of his great-grandkids.

We actually made it to the family dance this year. I danced a little, but mostly we just enjoyed watching everyone cut loose and have fun.

Elisa dancing with Gracie, my cousin Teri's daughter

While we were there, Benjamin asked, "Is BYU real?" So on our way home we made a detour through the BYU campus, pointing out important buildings and the giant Y on the mountain. When we arrived home, we discovered that the pilot light for the water heater had gone out :(

Instead of going home to California, my parents came to visit us for almost a week. Grandpa wrestled, played games and took the kids to the movies. I was still recovering, so my mom took care of the cooking, cleaning and laundry (thanks!). They both took the kids to the library and park. I'm not sure who had more fun or who was more worn out - the children or the grandparents. It really doesn't matter, because we all had a great time.

Grandpa teaching Benjamin how
to play "Othello"

Grandma playing with Rachel

Trip #2:
Silver City, a semi-ghost town (because people still live there). The day before Father's day we visited this place about 2 hours away. The last 17 miles were on a mountainous dirt road; it was as bad as it sounds, but the view was gorgeous. Almost everyone we saw either had a truck or an ATV - anything else would get stuck in the mud during a storm.

The old schoolhouse, currently
getting renovated inside

It was interesting to see that some of the buildings were dilapidated, some well-kept, and others have the original store front but are now homes. We explored a little but didn't stay too long. The boys were fighting; we told them we'd leave if they didn't stop, and we left early. The weather was noticeably cooler there and perfect for taking pictures. We would like to go back eventually and try the restaurant's must-try pie.

Dominic and Rachel behind the old hotel, which is still in use

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First Month with Baby, part 1

Wow, I forgot how time-consuming a newborn is. Yes, a lot has happened, but I also haven't had time to tell you about it.

First, our visitors. Devin and Maran visited that first weekend. They even came to see me in the hospital. Sunday afternoon we all went to a park for a BBQ. I wore my bathrobe; there was no way I was going to get dressed after only 4 days. On Monday (Memorial Day) I did get dressed to see "Terminator: Salvation" (good movie, a bit loud). Little Courtney is getting very cute, cooing and smiling now.

Dominic's mom came for ten days. It was wonderful having her here. She took care of the older children while I was in the hospital and at home recovering. She kept the house clean (thank you!). She and Dominic went to yard sales, helping us buy much needed furniture - a couch and more kitchen chairs. She even got to be here for Elisa's 2nd birthday, a very low-key event.

Daddy helping Lisy blow out her candles.

One of her presents, a jump rope - she jumped all over the yard.

Who could ask for a better present than a baby sister?

Memorable conversations:
"She's beautiful." -Nurse
"You're just saying that, aren't you?" -Me
"No, and I see a lot of babies. They're all cute, because they're babies. But occasionally I see one with a beautifully shaped face. Like her." -Nurse

"Benjamin, you don't need to kiss my belly anymore. The baby is out here, now." -Me
"I know the baby is out of your belly, but you still look pregnant." -Benjamin, less than a week after Rachel was born

What the fortune cookie said: "Your business deals will work out well"
How Benjamin read it: "You will fall in a trap and die"
Dominic's comment: "Is it a misfortune cookie?"

"I need to do my homework now." -Samuel, excited to work on the packet he received from kindergarten sign-up

"My turn!" -Elisa declaring her turn to hold the baby

I asked the kids to look at me and smile. Instead, I got this: