Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random thoughts about my day that you really just don't need to know...

Graci is statting better, but they are still doing some additional testing in the morning to see if they can find out what was happening with her oxygen levels. Before the whole deal with the stats, we were told we would probably be going home tomorrow (can you believe that?)!!! After being told 2-4 weeks in the hospital, this is VERY GOOD NEWS!! So as long as they don't find anything too wrong tomorrow, we may be heading home. (:

My mom brought the kids up to visit Graci today. She was SO happy to see them, but not as happy as me!! I swear Jessica grew up a ton since Monday morning! She is so dang cute!! And the boys were so so sweet and lovey. Elli is still like oxygen to me-- I don't know how I survived without her these past few days. Her monkey screeches and cuddles just make my day.

We took the kids to the play zone here and they had a great time. There was a music class going on, and it was SO much fun. They had all kinds of interesting instruments for the kids to play with. Jessica was SO animated, and several times Elli just burst into giggles because she was so happy. They both love music. The boys were in heaven because they had a play station (we're probably the only family in the world that doesn't have one in some form or another).

After the kids left, Graci wanted to go back to the playroom. We did some crafts and I was actually enjoying myself until she asked me to play dollhouse with her. I'm just going to admit it-- I HATE to play dolls. Make-believe is just not my thing. I remember going over to Cindy Duncan's house growing up and pulling out the barbies. She had the most amazing imagination and I always felt rather stupid trying to create scenarios for the barbies. I like to dress them, but when it comes to the real make-believe part-- it's just not my thing.

Tonight I decided to give it a try-- for Graci's sake. You would think that being a former first-grade and preschool teacher I could conjure up some kind of make-believe storyline for the little dolls, but no. Graci kept looking at me to take the lead, "Come on, Mom, play dolls with me!" I fumbled my way through a pathetic story of mom and dad going out on a date and leaving the little kids with their grandparents. The grandma made donuts with the kids. The boy jumped on the couch. Grandpa told him to get down. The end. This got me through a whole 2 minutes with the dollhouse. Not going well. So I decided to take a new approach. "Let's rearrange the furniture, Graci." "I don't want to." "Oh, yes you do-- (as I'm dumping out every piece of furniture) it will be fun!" Rearranging furniture is something I can do. No imagination required. Luckily, by the time we got done with this, the playroom was closing. Phew. Are there any other moms out there that would choose to clean toilets rather than play dolls, or am I alone in my
make-belive woes?

After the playroom we went and got some dessert to watch a movie with. Graci chose a rainbow sprinkled cupcake, and I that fabulous mousse pie I have already raved about. Yes, I've probably averaged one slice of that heavenly chocolate every day since I came to the hospital. Graci, on the other hand, got settled into her bed and said, "I think I want to eat grapes for my dessert instead of the cupcake." This, friends, is why Graci can eat bacon for every meal-- and why my hips are no longer fitting into my jeans. I inhaled my pie while Graci delicately ate her grapes as we watched "My Little Pony." I was actually proud of myself for not eating that frosting-laden cupcake too-- is that pathetic or what?!

As we were settling down for bed, some elders from our church came around to visit with us and see if there was anything we needed. One was Polynesian and was wearing what my aunt Debbi has now told me is a "lava lava." It wraps around your waist like a skirt and looks so great with a shirt and tie. Debbi said that if you serve a mission in Samoa or Tonga, you don't have to bring a suit-- just white shirts, ties, and sandals to wear with your lava lava. Sounds comfy, huh? Anyway, Graci kept asking him, "Why you look like girl?" She was very troubled by the lava lava until he told her he was adopted too. That won her over. He also did magic tricks that had her bedazzled. The other elder brought up the fact that they attend the University of Utah. I told them they were no longer welcome in our room, and so began the battle of which team was better (BYU or the U). I handed him a box of tissues and told him to save it for the big game. This was mostly going on between me and the non-polynesian guy, who after five minutes or so decided to tell me that the polynesian elder actually PLAYS football for the U. Oops!!

I really liked Graci's nurse today. By the end of the day I felt like we were friends-- and she'll be here tomorrow, so I'm glad. We got talking about families, and how ours was big. Sometimes I have this complex about having so many kids. I remember looking at big families when I had maybe one or two kids and thinking, "how in the world can they possibly give enough attention to everyone?" Lately, it's really been hitting me that WE are one of those famlies! We're so, well-- BIG! Like the other night when I grabbed a box of granola bars to eat on our way to family pictures. I began passing them out and was literally shocked to realize that there weren't enough for all of us. We have more people in our family than granola bars in a standard box-- CRAZY. How did that happen?!!!! Seriously!!!! Or in the morning, when I'm making lunches and go through a WHOLE lOAF OF BREAD!!! What is that about?!!! I run the dishwasher twice a day, NEVER get on top of the laundry, have like a thousand toys floating around-- it's just nuts. And it's not really those things that get to me-- it's tucking one of them in at night and realizing I didn't read to him that day, or saying no to playing a game because I am doing homework with someone else.

As if to emphasize the point, a friend of mine recently told me that she knew she was DONE after two children. Why? Because she was one of five and said she never really felt like she had enough attention. That REALLY threw me for a loop.

So, back to the nurse-- it was very refreshing to hear she was from a family of NINE children and absolutely LOVED it!!! She said neither she or her siblings would change a thing. My friend, Heather, one of eight, just told me the same thing. I think I really need to hear those things right now!! Because I guess what it comes down to is that we KNOW each of these children are meant to be in our family. So really, it's got to work, right? Even though I cannot possibly give each of them the same one-on-one as I would if they were an only child, it can work. They can feel completely loved and completely, well-- complete, if we're willing to put forth the effort, right? Come on, folks-- I need some reassurance on this!

I'm probably feeling this way right now because I've been here at the hospital all week, leaving four of them at home. And I'm missing Jeremy terribly. Which is also probably the reason that I'm so long-winded in this entry. I need an adult to talk to. I love little Miss Graci Kate, and love one-on-one time with her, but I'm one of those parents that after kids get tucked in REALLY need some good adult conversation. So, thanks for listening to me ramble! Sorry this was so long-- I am now turning in!!

mother of MANY!!!!


  1. Good morning Christanne - have a heaping cup of 'reassurance'! Having met and hung with three of your brood and your spouse - ya'll are doing just fine in the mom business! The boys and Graci are just a true joy - I'm sure the rest of your 'quiver' are as well. You only problem is that YOU feel like YOU aren't spreading yourself around enough - well - that's (in part) why it take two parents (it even's the odds a little) - and - if you don't save a little of yourself for you - then there won't be anything for anybody (ponder that for a while and it will make sense!)

    The proof of any recipe from any kitchen is how the meal turns out. Comparing that to child rearing - from our chair it looks like your 'recipe' is a good one!!

    Hugs to all ya'll - and so glad that Graci is progressing so well!

    aus and family

  2. Hi Christianne, I Loved this post! You are so not alone in your thoughts. I've had several tell me how they were "jipped" on their childhood because they were from a big family, and I am sure you are one of the lucky ones to hear unsolicited comments everywhere you go. I have had those moments when I wonder if my kids will have those negative feelings because I could not give them all the attention they maybe would have gotten from being in a smaller family... especially the older kids. However, they have each other, and that is a huge blessing in their life.

    When I was real sick for almost a year a few years ago, I had feelings of guilt and discouragement at times as I looked at other moms who were able to do so much more with their kids. Our kids grew during that challenge and learned things that have added to who they are today, just as Don and I did.

    We just keep doing our best, take care of ourselves and nurture our marriage and hopefully it will all turn out. We can't go wrong if we are following the Spirit, and Heavenly Father will make up where we fall short.

    Thanks for sharing! It's good to hear Graci is doing so well! I think I need to eat more grapes and less cupcakes, too!

  3. With my most recent baby, I was on bedrest for four months--two of them in the hospital. The twins were two and a half. Over a year later, when we moved to a new house, they started to tell everybody the story of how their mom had to live in the hospital for a while.(I think because they were feeling anxiety about the move.) So I worried about that.

    Fast forward to this week (a year after the move) and something came up that made me tell a story from the time in the hospital. I said, "Remember when you lived with Grandma, and I stayed in the hospital?" Not even a flicker of recognition crossed their eyes.

    I'd also like to remind you that judging the balance in your life at a time when you have a hospitalized child is maybe not the best cross sample (my cute friend). You're doing a noble, brave, and beautiful work by nurturing the family that you have. Stay with that feeling.

  4. Dear Christianne, What a wonderful post. You came from a family of five and I believe you all felt loved and accepted. We were not perfect parents, but I hope,in part, you want a large family because you find such happiness in knowing and loving your siblings. You all strengthen each other. I believe your capacity to love and nurture grows with each child. And, should you every choose to have more children, you will be blessed with that capacity. Can you imagine what Elli's and Graci's lives would have been like had you not been inspired to adopt them? I believe your entire family, including your extended family has been so blessed from those decisions. I know it's not all a bed of roses, but neither is any family. You have exhausting, frustrating days, but you have beautiful, wonderful days blessed with tender mercies and tender moments. All things are possible if you have the Lord as a partner, and I know you do. Much love from your grateful Mother.

  5. I just wanted to add that small or large families are what you make them. Each couple has to make that decision based on prayer and good judgment. I believe the Lord knows what is best for each family and will guide us in those decisions.

  6. It is the random thoughts that become so precious in the years to come. We love you for all you are sharing with us and doing for your family. After listening to Women's Conference tonight, you are creative and compassionate and an example of what womanhood and Relief Society are all about, Christy. Don't worry about not wanting to pretend because you are creating the impossible along with Jeremy. You are always in our prayers. Love

  7. Christianne, I loved this post. I sure do miss you. I have really been struggling with the same thoughts lately. You and Jeremy are amazing parents and have an amazing family. I was just telling a friend about how amazing you are yesterday.

    I have been following Graci's progress and I am so excited things have gone so amazingly well!!

    Just for the record, I have a horrible imagination and hate playing dolls. I never enjoyed it even as a kid.

    We sure do miss your family.

  8. Your comment on not wanting to play dolls made me smile. I am completely the same way! I could dress the barbies for prom over and over and over, but when it actually came time for Ken to pick them up for the date...I had no idea what to do. All I ever did with my playhouse was rearrange the furniture. I loved the "setting up" part, but never acting out parts.

    And as far as big families vs. small families... you can't compare families to families. I know plently of only children that are completely screwed up! The fact that you and Jer take time for "daddy dates" and "mommy dates" will ensure your kids feel like they get special attention! That is one of the most amazing, selfless things you two do.