Sunday, April 28, 2013

I spoke too soon...

I spoke way too soon about being so glad that no one else got the stomach flu.  Bryce was feeling better on Friday.  Saturday and Sunday were smooth sailing.  Then Gabe threw up Monday and Tuesday and had the squirts Wednesday, but was back to his happy little self Thursday.  That Thursday we picked up my mom from the airport and met up with a couple friends at Chuck E Cheese for Bryce's birthday.  Friday was his birthday and we had a pretty good day.  The biggest thing I needed from my mom after getting here was a VERY thorough grocery shopping trip. So while Brynn was at school and the boys napped, that's what my mom did.  My fridge, pantry, and kitchen in general were in such bad shape that it pretty much took up the whole afternoon (Bryce was patient considering it was his birthday, but he did have the greatest new toy that was keeping him busy).  After we finally had the kitchen put back together we had about an hour for a good cake and ice cream party before Brynn and Marty left for the daddy daughter-dance.  I sat through the whole thing with a sense of impending doom that I had now caught the stomach flu.  And sure enough, shortly after Brynn and Marty left, I threw up.

I am now on my second day of it, and I am completely devastated.  I know that sounds dramatic, but I am a few days away from delivery.  I do NOT want to go into labor weak, fevery, and pukey.  I think this flu is determined to run its course through the whole family, and with such a long gestational period/active period, that could really be a long time.  Do I take Marty into delivery with me if he has it?  Do I let my mom help with the baby if she has it?  My mom tells me I am borrowing troubles from next week, but I can't help it, I can't get all these awful scenarios out of my head.  I shouldn't be surprised to have it, as I spent three days being puked on from head to foot by Gabe (that's literal, by the way).  There's not much I can do to avoid the germs of a sick baby.  Still, I was hoping for a miracle.  I actually felt gross for two full days before I threw up.  That's one of the disappointing things, was that I was SO sure I was going to go into labor on Thursday.

On Thursday I woke up with my stomach feeling kind of gross, but I've felt that was on and off the entire pregnancy so I just figured it was a gross day.  I was so tired, I felt like doing anything was like wading through quick sand.  I was in so much pain and was having tons of contractions and just wasn't feeling like myself.  I spent most of the day on the couch watching the kiddos play (thank you, amazing kiddos).  That afternoon I went to my Dr, appointment and found out that I was dilated to a 4 and was 50% effaced, which is twice as far as I have ever been at the start of any of my inductions.  I also knew I was really dehydrated, but it was hard to drink while feeling so yucky.  Then at Chuck E Cheese I sat there enduring one contraction after another after another, I was just waiting for them to get stronger.  With all that put together, I really really really really thought I was going to go into labor.  I was so disappointed to wake up the next morning in my own bed and not at the hospital.

As of right now (Saturday) I am feeling better than Friday night, but still awful.  Oh my, it stinks to be so sick which you are SO pregnant.  Every time the baby moves, or I have a contraction, or I get heartburn, or any normal pregnancy symptoms having to do with my stomach makes the nausea and irritable stomach so much worse.  My stomach is so sensitive to every sensation, and there are so many of them right now, I wish I could just take out my stomach for a while and get some relief.  But I can't do that.  But wait!  I CAN!  I can take out a little 7 and a half pounds of joy! I am so dehydrated, party of me just wants to go into labor and go get some fluids and anti-nausea in a tube and I'm having to spend days in bed anyway, which is what I am going to do once I have the baby.  But I don't know why I even vocalize those thoughts because it's not really up to me to just decide when I will go into labor.  Unless you count being induced, which I am technically scheduled for Tuesday, but I know they have been putting them off for days lately so I don't have my hopes up too high.  The reason I always get induced is to be sure I can have my mom out here with me to help.  It's stressful to think about going into labor with no family in the state.  She needs to leave by Saturday at the latest so I am just hoping and praying they don't put off the induction too far for me to miss most of her help.  Although I am SOOOO glad she has been here the past couple of days while I've been sick.  Marty still had so much to do before the baby came, that it was so nice she could be here and take care of the kids while he took care of a bunch of business.

Is this seriously happening?  I know there are worse things that can happen in a pregnancy/delivery, but GAH!  It's so frustrating!!!

*Gabe and I spent a lot of time outside, just because it's hard to predict when a baby is going to throw up and I figured it would make the clean up a bit easier.  Here he is right after having a Popsicle.

He'd play for a while and then lay down in the grass and suck his thumb.  I hate seeing my kids sick.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stomach flu

I mentioned Bryce had been sick.  The poor little guy had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.
 Brynn needed some attention that night, so she decided she was sick and wanted the BRAT diet sampler as well.  THANKFULLY no one else got this bug.  First of all, because I can not imagine going into labor with a stomach flu, and secondly because it was just so horrible.  Bryce was throwing up for four days strait and was too weak to even make it up the stairs.  A couple of times that week we thought he was on the mend, but then he'd take a bad downward turn again.  Finally by Friday he and Brynn started tormenting each other again, so that's how I knew he must finally be feeling better. :)  

That day I decided it was time to hose down the really disgusting high chair, so I gave each of the kids a scrubber and a bucket of soapy water and we all went at it.  Which of course turned into a water day - our first of the season.  It wasn't even that hot, but we had lots of fun!  I LOVE watching the boys play together.

We haven't had a full-on stomach flu at our house for a couple years.  Poor Buddy.  Here's to another long healthy stretch, hopefully.

Friday, April 19, 2013

We WATCHED Corey arrive in Antarctica!

Well, my brother made it safe and sound to Palmer Station!  (You can read a tidbit about it here.) Because the government posts a live feed of Palmer Station online, we actually got to see his ship come in!  Brynn was VERY excited, although Bryce was too busy throwing up (more on that later).

It's coming...

just a little closer...
 And, "Hi, Corey!"  Those small black specks off to the side of the ship are people, and I'm going to go ahead and assume that one of them is him. :)
Bryce has had a stomach flu all week and was SO miserable that day.  At the time all this was going on, he was doing so poorly and I really wanted him to be able to just lay on the couch downstairs and watch a movie.  That meant lots of going up and down the stairs to check the computer and see if the boat had come in.  Finally I gave up and asked my mom to text me when he was coming.  She saw the boat, texted me, and SECONDS later Bryce was crying that he was about to throw up, Gabe face-planted (hard) into the sliding glass door and got his arm stuck between that and the screen door, and Brynn dumped her bowl of cereal all over the kitchen table, chairs, floor and high chair (I'm not convinced she didn't THROW it).  And guess what I said?  "Sorry, kids!"  I ran upstairs and watched anyway.  I know that sounds terrible, but Bryce didn't throw up after all, Gabe got himself unstuck and calmed down just fine, and Brynn cleaned up the cereal mess herself.  I guess that's our present from the kids, Corey. :)

A FB message to Corey:

  • Thursday
  • Emily Oldham Johnson

    SO...we checked out some books at the library. One was called Polar Regions. Asking Brynn what we learned about from that one: "Oh! The more it's melting, the more it might flood!" (Global warming to a 6 year old). We also learned about how polar bears are being seen in not just on the ice, but also on the land (actually in AK - she flipped through the book and that's the page she wanted) because the ice is melting. We saw pictures of glaciers in 2002 and then 2010 and saw how much smaller they are. We also checked out a book about Extreme Weather. Calving was our favorite thing to learn about. "Brynn, what do you understand about calving?" "Well, there's a little crack in the cliff of ice and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger until it falls down. And I also saw that happen in "Ice Age 2."
  • Emily Oldham Johnson

    So yes, I will be way better at responding, but we are getting the e-mails and loving them and Brynn is devouring this stuff! (Bryce usually makes it through about half of what we are learning about before he finds some toy cars). Right now Bryce is in his room for his fourth day of stomach flu and it is sad sad sad and his looks so skinny! Poor little guy. I have Palmer Station up on the screen and we are just checking in from time to time. Love you!
  • Emily Oldham Johnson

    P.s. It's so funny to pray out loud with Marty "Bless Corey in Antarctica..." WHAT!? 
  • Emily Oldham Johnson

    We saw you come in!!!!!

38 week update

*I actually wrote this a week ago and then didn't get a picture to post with it, so now it's late.  I've done a lot on the list, and I'm dilated to a two right now, so we'll see how the next week and a half goes!

Everything is still going well, meaning baby and I are both healthy.  I am miserable and sore and can't walk more than a minute or two before my back wins that battle and I have to sit down.  But I really and truly know how lucky I am to have had so many healthy babies and pregnancies.  I had an ultrasound last Friday to check a mild case of placenta previa, but it has corrected itself.  I am so relieved to not have to worry about a c-section anymore.  I got to see really good views of her face and I felt like I could actually tell what she looks like.

I'm trying to get things ready, but it's slow going.  I see the same thing happening that happened right before I had Gabe.  I couldn't get over a nasty cold and instead of preparing freezer meals and cleaning every corner, I had to chain myself to my bed to try and get over it before going into labor.  So the baby stuff I managed to get ready, but home stuff...not so much.  And it was OK.  My mom came out and helped me, plus I realized life still goes on and I actually CAN still love on and enjoy my baby with dust on the entertainment center.  So I'm trying to remember that now and do all I can to get baby stuff ready and go easy on myself with everything else.  Walmart has a great freezer section.

We decided that Gabe just isn't ready for a toddler bed, so we are borrowing a crib from a friend for a few months and we'll just have two cribs until he is ready!  I had planned to put Baby Girl in the cradle for a month or two, but my mom reminded me that the baby might need a little better protection from Gabe.  And I started having flashbacks of two year old Brynn climbing in with the Baby Bryce and throwing toys in with (or on) him.

We are trying to prepare Gabe the best we can.  The older kids are a great help.  Marty taught them to gently stroke Gabe's cheek and say "sooooft."  And then we do it to a baby doll.   I wonder if it will actually help?  I know I've said this before, but he's just so trainable, I believe that it will.  The bad news: since I have been semi-laid up I have become awfully available to him and I can tell he is becoming all too accustomed to sitting in my lap and having my attention whenever he wants it.  I very suddenly noticed a difference in how well (or poorly, rather) he will play on his own and how he takes it when I walk out of a room and leave him by himself.  While that's never been a big problem, it is now.  So I'm having to remind myself that it's ok (even a good thing, sometimes) for me to not give him attention right when he wants it and let him cry.

Bryce is taking very seriously the upcoming responsibility of taking care of baby sister in the car since he will be sitting by her.  He has done a wonderful job taking care of Gabe the last year and a half and I think they will miss each other when Gabe goes to the back with Brynn.  It's going to be inconvenient to have Gabe back there, but with Bryce's touchy car-sickness I just don't dare move him back any farther.  Plus who knows what little things Gabe will find to put in the baby's mouth? :)  I think I've said this, but I really can't wait to see big brother Bryce in action with a newborn again.

  • Hospital bags are packed
  • Baby girl clothes (!!!) and blankets are washed and folded and are in the dresser
  • The boppy, mai thai, baby bath and other things are ready to go.  That was easy because we never had to put them in storage since everything happened so fast!
  • The diaper bag is packed (for two!)
  • Read Baby Wise (for literally the FOURTH time)
To be done:
  • Rearrange the guest bedroom for her (remember Emily - you're not giving it up forever!)
  • Set up crib and buy more crib sheets (what?  is a place for her to sleep important or something?)
  • Buy Newborn diapers.  I've been stocking up on size 1 since size N only goes up to 8 pounds and that's about what my babies are born at.  But while going through stuff I realized I didn't even have one package!  Oversight!
  • Clean and install carseat (I'll clean it now, but wait a bit to install it)
  • Still looking for the baby monitor
  • Fill my baby basket.  My "baby basket" has saved every post partum for me.  It's a big basket that I keep stocked with diapers, wipes, nursing paraphernalia, baby blankets, onesies, burp cloths, water bottles, snacks, and basically everything I ever need to take care of Baby.  Then I carry it with me to whatever area of the house I am at that day so I'm not constantly running back and forth to the nursery whenever Baby or I need something (which is constantly). 
  • Clean every nook and cranny - NOPE!
  • Prepare freezer meals - NOPE!
  • Pick a name!!! It's seriously driving me crazy!
There are a few other little last things to buy, but why does the baby department have to be at the very back of Walmart?  I honestly don't know if I can do it.  I KNOW Marty would be so happy to, but the question is, do I trust a man with this stuff? :)  The other night Marty practiced putting my hair in a pony-tail for me since in the past I've had a hard time doing it with the IV in.  It was a little thing and probably silly, but I loved it.  I love being in this thing together with him.  Oh, and of course he let me know that he has "Eye of the Tiger" all ready to go for the delivery room. 

I'm sure I'm missing lots of things, but that's what I can think of right now!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mommy school update

Remember when I blogged about our special three-year-old "Mommy School"  here and here?  I just wanted to update on that really fast (oh..yeah right to the "really fast").

Bryce's special mommy school has been so different than my first experience and even different than what I was expecting with Bryce.  Some good, some not so good.  First of all, it was really hard to find a time that I could spend with just him.  In the afternoon when Brynn was at school, he and Gabe would both nap pretty much the whole time.  And when I would try to hold mommy school during Gabe's first nap, Brynn just couldn't help herself and had to be right in the action which meant she was "helping" way too much.  So, I started combining things.  During Gabe's first nap I get out Brynn's homework and Bryce's school stuff and we do everything together.

Because we do this every day and not every other day (well, also this pregnancy has kicked my trash), I have been less ambitious about finding big projects to work on with Bryce.  In some ways, I feel bad about this but we seem to have fewer power struggles this way anyway.

  The really great part about this is how much Bryce has learned by osmosis while I help Brynn with her homework.  I'll hear him counting father than I know I've gone with him or bring up something about a hexagon and assume he got it from Brynn.

He still has NO interest whatsoever in holding a pencil or crayon.  I often read about how kids get to the pencil phase at different times so sometimes I'll have him write letters in shaving cream or something.  But soon he's going to be in a real preschool and then he'll just have to deal with the pencil thing!  And the following directions thing.  He still has a hard time understanding why it can't always be his way or the highway.  After all, he is just certain that his way is best!

In fact, Gabe is more interested in crayons than he is!  This picture was on a day when I didn't time homework and the nap right, so Gabe got to be involved.

I'm realizing I've got less than four weeks until Baby comes and I call mommy school quits for the year.  On the one hand it makes me feel like pulling out all the stops cramming in everything we didn't already do.  But on the other hand it is just not happening. 
To me, homeschooling is, just as much as anything, a state of mind.  Even if I drop the formalities for a while, I am planning to still do lots of learning together, lots of library trips, lots of googling all about their questions (not keeping myself too busy to research their questions right away is the key to this), lots of counting the windows on the tunnel at the park, lots of "what letter does that start with," etc.  I'm just trying to decide when to begin the "100 Easy Lessons for Reading" thing, but I'm thinking in the Fall when he goes to formal preschool.  We should be settling into the four kid thing by then, right?  Right?

My last year of 20s

Saturday was my 29th birthday.  Aren't Saturday birthdays the best?  I often share Marty quite a bit on the weekend, but I had him to myself all day Saturday and all day Sunday and it was honestly one of the BEST birthdays I've had!!  I stayed in bed until NINE.  I didn't even know what that feels like!  Marty took the kids to the store that morning so it was totally quiet and peaceful in my house.  When they got back I opened my dollar store presents from the kids.  A flower and green mug (green's my favorite color) from Brynn, cotton candy and a slotted spoon (???) from Bryce, and chocolate from Gabe.  Marty gave me a bunch of spa stuff trying to keep me comfortable - not an easy task at this point.  He started rubbing my feet with lotion and Brynn said, "Hey!  I wanted to spa Mommy on her birthday!"  So she took one of my hands and started to lotion it.  Then Bryce was feeling left out, so he went to work on the other hand.  So I literally had three people "spa-ing" (Brynn's term) me on my birthday and I couldn't stop giggling about it all day.  As a mom, especially a pregnant one in pain most of the time, you feel like you give and give and give - and love it, truly - but it's hard sometimes.  And then you have a birthday and everyone gives back and you feel appreciated and loved.  Good day.
Marty and I went to the Hale Center Theater for my FAVORITE date, a play.  It was 39 steps and really funny.  And I guess I can no longer say I never win anything because out of everyone in the audience my name was the one name drawn for free tickets to the next play!!  Awesome birthday present!  Plus Marty and I were on the front row and one of the actors came to me for participation, which I would normally eat up but the guy just about put me into labor.  Nerves = contractions (I get contractions every time I mess up at the organ!).
Then we went across the street for a free birthday meal at Liberty Market.  Mm!

 I seriously can't even say how wonderful this guy made my day, and how happy he makes me each day.  I definitely helped an old lady across the street in the pre-existence or something to deserve him.

 I requested lemon cake - something I requested probably about every other year as a kid.  We'd had several friends drop by during the day and it was really fun for us to have cake and ice cream with our SSIL (step-sister-in-law...have I mentioned they moved to QC recently?  Hooray!). 
I was reminiscing about being just this pregnant with Bryce on my birthday four years ago.  Only that time I was looking for the most mild meal possible and not allowing any cake due to the WORST heartburn ever.  I've been really lucky with that this pregnancy.  Marty bought me spa type stuff on that birthday, too. :)  He's always there for me!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

These were supposed to be tidbits

  • Marty got an iphone.  He's been debating about it for a long time because he was able to get such an amazing Verizon deal on a shared plan with his brother.  We are the last people in the world without a smart phone in the family, but it's a big deal to us because our phones are pieces of junk that have been taped back together (for years) just to get some more time out of them.  He is very cute and has set lots of rules to make sure to avoid fomo and the gambling-type addiction of the click-click-click on the ever-accessible device.  I need simplicity right now, so I just got a basic phone and I'm just happy to finally have a texting plan.
  • Today is an experiment of the schedule Brynn will have in first grade.  Today is her field trip so her hours are 7:40 to 1:40 (although next year she'll be out by 12:30 - so excited for that).  It's 10 a.m. and it does feel quieter with her gone.  I'm disappointed that even getting up and at 'em by 6:15 we didn't manage to squeeze in our morning devotional.  Our mornings are going to be a tight squeeze next year for sure.  It almost makes me consider the 11-4 schedule...but I don't think I'll do it.  And embarrassingly, I had so much anxiety driving her to school.  The whole time I was wishing I had written her name and phone number on her stomach with a sharpie.  Here she is all ready to go! 
  • After we dropped her off, we went to Walmart.  I haven't been to a store in about a week and my kids DIE without milk.  Have I mentioned my back has gotten so bad I can hardly walk?  Which is why we are out of EVERYTHING.  I thought I'd be ok to just go in and get a few basics, but I'm definitely paying for it now.  I'm lucky Marty doesn't mind running errands - looks like it's just become his job for the next month. I did get a new diaper bag.  It is HUGE.  I'm realizing I'm going to be packing diapers and all the paraphernalia for TWO babies now, so I need to something to function better than the free ones I've been getting at the hospital.
  •  I taught the kids what an assembly line is, and how very very exciting it is!  Kids are so gullible. :)  That's how I got my laundry done yesterday.  I couldn't lug the loads everywhere they needed to be, so...thanks Brynn and Bryce! 
  • The last couple of days I have finally been noticing an improvement in Bryce's behavior.  Two days ago I had just HAD IT with him refusing to shut the door and he got to witness a mommy explosion.  He hung his head and sat on the swing for a minute or two.  Then he started to cry and came running to me and climbed up on my lap and told me how sorry he was that he wasn't listening to me.  It was so sweet.  We snuggled for a long time outside on the lawn chair.  The rest of the day he was trying to be extra good at listening and was bringing me cups of ice water ("because I noticed that you like to chew ice") and books ("because I noticed that when you lay down you like to read grown-up books and I noticed you didn't have one").  That night when Marty got home, with no prompting whatsoever, he asked Daddy for a blessing to help him be a better listener for Mommy.  Today he's been trying so hard to be good.  I'm not really sure what is clicking for him right now, I don't actually think it was the "mommy explosion."  I just hope it keeps up.  Marty feels like I really need to be offering him a lot more positive reinforcement for his good behavior and I think he's right.
  • Brynn is not down with our baby name choices.  She is hoping for: Crystal, Clara, Alia, Kyla, Delia, Kathleen, Blair  And some made up gobbledy-gook I can never remember (and neither can she).  Not bad names, honestly.  I'd love to have a Clara, but Marty says Clara Johnson sounds too flds.
  • I left the windows open last night and this morning in our house it was 68 degrees and glorious.  We had a nice and cool couple of days, but we're headed for a hot weekend.
  • My brother is on his way to Antarctica to work for a couple months researching the "icefish" down there. They are unique (as in the only vertebrates in the world) because they lack hemoglobin in their blood, which is what transports oxygen to the body, so their blood is white and not red and the fish are almost translucent.  It can have important implications for the medical field, but beyond that you'll have to ask Corey - I'll leave the marine biology to him. :)  He's been traveling by plane for two days and is now finally on a one or two day boat ride to get him there.  He's crazy. :)  But I'm excited because it means we, and especially my kids, get to live this adventure vicariously through him.  He's going to send us updates now and again and I can research it with B&B in kid friendly terms.  Good luck, Corey!
  • Something about Gabe?  Hm, still the sweetest and snuggliest baby in the world.  He and his accomplice (new baby sister) are already wreaking havoc on me and I'm pretty sure that carrying them both is what has put my back out of commission.  My mom has suggested carrying him on the other side which makes a lot of sense but is easier said than done because of his right-handing thumb sucking and how comfy he is snuggling up on my left shoulder.  Boy, that spoiled baby has got a big surprise coming in about three and a half weeks!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I am still just loving how my baby wants to live outside.  His high chair is right next to the back door and he has a hard time making it through a meal without remembering that.  He'll be in his high chair and peek around the back of it, then throw his plate on the ground and start furiously signing to go outside (everything about it is cute except the plate on the ground which will ultimately result in a contraction when I bend down to pick it up). 
He discovered sidewalk chalk with brother and sister and loves the stuff.

I also can't get over how trainable he is.  It only took a couple of times asking him to shut the screen door behind him when he comes in and out and now it's just part of the routine.  There is something so cute about him barely being able to walk and yet struggling to open and shut the door because that's just what you do when you come in or out.  One of my favorite things to watch as a mom is when your kids are proud of themselves.

Monday, April 8, 2013


Stick a fork in me.  I'm so done being pregnant.  Ouch.

To me, having four babies in six years is ambitious.  The world probably doesn't recognize that as being ambitious.  But Heavenly Father sees my ambition and is behind me the whole way. 

I am raising my kids to be righteous, responsible, smart, and kind.  Someday I will turn them loose and they will rock the world.'re welcome, world.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter 2013

On Friday we had our annual Easter Egg Hunt at the neighborhood park with friends.  Brynn is finally learning how to be competitive.
 And just like last year, Bryce was very picky about which eggs to pick up.  It's not a matter of quantity, but of quality for him.

 We had our new-to-AZ cousins come, and the kids were so cute together. 

You can't really see Gabe in the stroller.  I bravely took on bringing six kids to the park for this event (a friend had a dr. appointment and I watched her kids).  It went just about as I expected it to.  They were all very good kids, but it was busy, busy, busy, and when we got home I was DONE.  I shouldn't admit to this, but I kept forgetting about Gabe and finding him at the very top of the playground equipment!  So I got the stroller out of the car, and there he sat for almost an hour and a half!  Not fussing or squirming.  Just sipping water and munching on snacks here and there and taking it all in.  He's an observer.  He loves to be in the action, but doesn't have to be part of the action. 

Here's an "after" picture of the Easter baskets on Sunday morning.  It seems like more and more holidays are starting to resemble Christmas.  I usually try to cut down on candy by filling eggs with berries, but I didn't do that this year.  There were several things that all my kids needed, and the Easter bunny brought those.  New sandals, water bottles, books, and flashlights (on Friday nights they can stay up with flashlights reading as late as they want, but we've been missing the flashlights for a while).  So yes, I probably spoiled them, but at least there was little enough candy that it was all gone by the next day!  Does anyone else feel like you JUST get over one candy holiday and another one comes up? 

After the Easter egg hunt, Gabe new exactly what to do with those "balls."  At first, he kept signing "ball" every time he saw an Easter egg, and then he'd throw it.  But at the egg hunt he realized there was GOOD stuff inside those balls.  He started opening his right away...

And here he is looking very happy with a mouth full of candy! 
  WHO, Gabe?  WHO do you look like?  I can't put my finger on it!

I always wait until right before we leave for church to put on Bryce's Sunday clothes.  Here's why:

TEN minutes before we are supposed to leave (and I need to be there early to play organ and get everything set up for our choir numbers), he drops his entire full glass of green smoothie all over himself!  I'm sorry Buddy, but the camera was right there and I just had to snap a picture!  I ran him to the bath trying desperately not to get it on MY church clothes.  And it also explains this next picture:

 I wanted to try to get a really nice picture of our family before heading out to church but ALL I had time for was tossing the camera up on the entertainment center, setting the timer, taking one single picture, and running out the door without even checking to see if all of us were in it!  The exposure is terrible, Gabe's not looking, Buddy is ticked about something, and I look like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off (pregnant).  Right now I'm disappointed, but someday I'll laugh. 

And we got to have the cousins and Grandma Johnson over for Easter dinner and it was so fun and yummy!

Overall the day was good, but by the end of the night all I wanted to do was go to bed and wake up when
a) there were no more holidays (that whole, "holidays are GREAT with kids!" really caught up to me)
b) the AC was working (it broke that day and with all the cooking we did the house REALLY heated up - plus I have my own built-in heater right now)
c) I could have a fresh start on a whole new slew of mis-haps (won't take the time to record everything that didn't go according to plan on that Sunday, but it was enough to keep me running and very very sore with about a bazillion contractions)
d) when I am no longer pregnant :) 

I was feeling a little bad about not doing all the spiritual things I had intended for that day.  Especially because I remember feeling the exact same way last Easter.  But we've been singing Easter songs in our devotionals for a couple of weeks and reading about the Atonement and Resurrection (I'm reading the New Testament with the kids this year and it's just where we happened to be), plus we did our FHE scripture egg activity and watched The Testaments.  And the thing I'm happy about is what an impression it all seemed to have on Bryce.  Brynn has always gravitated toward that stuff so naturally, but with Bryce it's hard to tell what he is going to resist (mostly in the name of needing to burn off extra energy) or what he is going to take to heart completely.  In the case of our Easter prep, he was all in and asking questions and random times of the day and sitting reverently when we talked about the crucifixion.  The last three days he has requested to watch The Testaments.  I love seeing that side of him.