Thursday, August 8, 2013

Being Mom

You know... this whole mom thing can be really tough. I've been browsing blogs of friends and of other moms I don't know on a personal level, reading in wonder at how amazing they all are and wallowing in my inadequacies.... I read of their love and joy for motherhood and wonder why frustration rises so quickly when Hyrum won't go to bed when I want him to. **Um... he just had an explosive diaper waiting to happen... chill out Kimball.** (This was my most recent "I'm so inadequate" experience.)

I have the most adorable 13 month old boy... why do I get so worked up over the smallest things? Actually, I know why. Being Mom is a refiner's fire... I'm realizing just how self-centered I can be... Being Mom is wearing at my rough edges of pride and that's hard.

I never thought I would have a hard time being a wife and mother. I always thought I fit the bill... I was going to be such a natural... other people even told me that. Then I got married. Wow... this wife business is tough! Then sweet Hyrum joined us. Reality is setting in. I'm not a "natural" at this mom (or wife) business. Some days I think teaching sophomores in High School was eons easier than raising a little boy... this is taking a lot of getting used to. That's okay though.

My motherhood struggles remind me about how I always wanted to run track and cross-country; how I gave my all but was never that great, but I LOVED every moment. I loved/still love running until it hurts and I'm blinded by my sweat. I loved every scrape and bruise I acquired from hitting hurdles. I loved every finish line I ever crossed because it meant I made it one more time. I loved measuring myself up to my prior races. Every PR (Personal Record) was a success, no matter what place I got in the race (which was rarely in the first 3). Track is just one experience of many throughout my life. There are a couple things I know I'm really great at that come fairly naturally, but most things... most have been tough, but that's what I loved about them. I LOVE overcoming hard things.

Most of my fondest moments in life are from working through those hard things. To name a few: Lazy eye-social issues. Moving 10 million times. Flute (although this is one I feel comes fairly naturally, there's A LOT of hard work that went/goes into this). Track and Cross-Country. Hostess at Winger's- thank you Oscar for showing me where I was weak. Mission, Mission, Mission. Student-Teaching. Teaching Sophomores at Granger High School. Wife. Mother.

I'm still in the midst of those last two and am far weaker than I am strong, but this Being Mom has some pretty great moments.

To name a few:

  • Perfect crazy blonde hair and bright blue eyes. 
  • Hugs from my Hyrum boy.
  • Kisses from my Hyrum boy.
  • Learning to walk... toddler is such a perfect word- I love watching him toddle around.
  • Baby babble to himself.
  • Baby babble to other babies.
  • Bringing me a book to read together. There's nothing more adorable than those big blue eyes looking up at me full of excitement while holding a book out for me to grab, then crawling into my lap... even though 2 minutes later he's done with the story (whether we finished or not) and on to another adventure. 
  • The joy of rolling the soccer ball back and forth.
  • Morning chatter.
  • Excitement when Dad gets home. He can hardly contain himself. It's really fun to build it up. We hid in the hall closet the other day and popped out to surprise David. Ah. Successful Mom AND Wife moment!
  • Eating peanut butter with a spoon. He's my boy. :)
  • Dinner time mess.
  • Watering the garden... or rather flooding it...
  • Veggie Tales.
  • Waving his arms around and laughing while I sing primary songs.
  • Tickling followed by squeals of laughter.
  • Moments where love suddenly flows through me as he falls asleep in my arms.
  • Growling at pictures of tigers and lions.
  • Licking my toes.... that just happened tonight.
  • Eating mud.
  • Splashing in the tub so water flies everywhere and everyone is wet.
  • Grabbing my fingers and leading me where he wants to go... usually to the front door to go outside.
  • Squeals of excitement at the realization we are going outside.
  • "Ooh, ooh, ooh!" when he sees animals.
  • Cousin love.
  • Playing the piano.
  • Dancing to music... even to singing Hymns at church. ;)
  • Light in his eyes. 
Being Mom is tough, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

The following pictures are from a variety of ages... that way you can see Hyrum as he's always been. :)

I sure love this boy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

There is still light and joy in the world... his name is Hyrum

I figured since this adorable Hyrum boy is almost 7 months old now, it's a good idea to give a little update on life and post a few more pictures. Someday, when I can figure out how to transfer my pictures from my phone to my computer, I'll do a blog that shows Hyrum's progress from birth to now. 

Being Hyrum's parents is truly one of the biggest blessings in our lives. As you can see in our family pictures, this boy is full of light and joy. He reminds us of all that is good in the world and inspires us to be part of that good. Sometimes I worry that I'm going to fall short as his mother because he is full of greatness already, but then I remember that Heavenly Father trusted him with David and me, which means I have it in me to be Hyrum's mother as I trust Him to guide me.

This is basically a picture blog today. These are our family pictures, taken in October.

 Enjoy admiring our adorable boy! ;)

Hyrum LOVES joining in on conversations.
Anytime we're in conversation with someone he'll pipe up and add in his 2 cents.

This boy is full of fun!

He loves when Dad gets home from work. Dave can get this boy to laugh like there's no tomorrow.

This is Hyrum's "Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!" face. He says this when he gets really excited. 

Our little explorer.... he is EVERYWHERE now!

Such a ham :)

Don't you just want to squeeze and kiss him?! I do... everyday!

More pictures coming soon!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Miracle of Life

Since our new little nephew Caleb was born, I decided I should really write about Hyrum's birth before I completely forget everything! 

HYRUM DAVID ROMNEY was born 20 June 2012 at 5:11 am. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 I had a doctor appointment about 9:00 in the morning. David and I both thought Hyrum was going to come late, so we figured I might as well have my membranes stripped that day. At my appointment the doctor told me  I was dilated to a 2 and looked ready to deliver any day. I still didn't think anything would happen until the end of the week. She stripped my membranes and I went home with no labor expectations since stripping membranes doesn't technically induce labor.

I felt the same as usual until 4:00 pm when my abdomen and lower back suddenly tightened. I wasn't sure if that meant anything and I wasn't having any contractions so I continued through my day (trying to make sure things were in order to begin packing and moving). About 4:30 or 5:00 I began having fairly regular contractions. They were about 5 minutes apart, but I wasn't sure if they were actual contractions or false labor, so I started reading everything I had on labor to try to determine what I was feeling. The contractions slowed down for awhile, but by 6:00 they picked up speed again. I finally decided to text David that I thought I might be in labor, the text went something like this: "Um... so, I think I might be in labor..." Needless to say, he called me back with great urgency around 6:30 on his way home from work, wondering what was going on and what I thought we needed to do. I think we were both slightly bewildered since we expected Hyrum to be late!

I instructed him to just come home, we should eat dinner, I wanted a blessing, and then we should probably head to the hospital. I wanted to wait as long as possible because I was still in slight disbelief that this was actual labor and didn't want to get sent home once I got to the hospital.  While talking with David on the phone I had one very intense contraction and from then on they consistently came every 4-5 minutes. Every time they hit I had to stop in my tracks and kneel down. David got home and I was kneeling in pain by the couch. Hopefully I can get him to post his thoughts soon!
Since I wanted to eat dinner he decided to go grab a burger while I ate some leftover pasta. While he was gone my contractions quickened to every 3-4 minutes and continued with their knee-buckling intensity. After he returned and ate dinner he gave me a blessing and then we headed to the hospital, which was 30 minutes from our apartment. I must say, speed bumps are the bane of a laboring woman's existence! I also had to chuckle at the song playing in the car on the way down: Hung Up by Madonna: "Time goes by, so slowly..." My contractions continued every 3 minutes all the way to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital around 8:30 pm. It's really hard to hurry down a hospital hall way while having intense contractions, but of course I said I did not need a wheel chair. Silly me, I'll take it next time! ;) Once in the room they hooked up a couple of monitors to track Hyrum's heart beat and my contractions, which never slowed down. They were concerned about Hyrum for a little while because his heart beat would slow down with every contraction. After about 30 minutes he seemed fine. They figure he was turned in a position not conducive to contractions and once he turned himself he was okay. After they decided Hyrum was fine they unhooked me from the monitor so I could go for a walk through the hallways. We never even made it to the door way because my contractions began hitting every 2 minutes and never slowed down... not to mention every single one felt like my abdomen was being ripped out.

For some insane reason, I decided to forego medication. I made that decision as I started having contractions that day. The weeks leading up to it I was going back and forth between medication or none. I do not know why, but I felt as though I should go without an epidural. My labor nurses were fabulous. Once I said I wanted to go as long as I could without meds they never brought it up again. They confessed afterward that there were a few instances they really wanted to suggest it, but they aren't supposed to offer it unless the patient asks for it. I asked David a couple times if I was insane for going without it. He just shrugged his shoulders and kept helping me breath. 
I was truly blessed with inspired nurses. DeAnn (I think that was her name) was absolutely perfect for me. She knew exactly how to work me through my contractions. During our pregnancy classes I thought the visualizing trick wouldn't work at all, but it was exactly what I needed the first hours of labor.

I was at a 3 when I arrived at the hospital, but after hours of non-stop contractions my water still had not broke and I was only at a 4 or 5. (That was probably around midnight.) I knew I was a pretty special case when the nurses and doctors were surprised my contractions hadn't broke my water and they kept saying, "Wow, you really are having a lot of contractions." and "Wow, you don't get much of a break do you." and "Wow, they are pretty intense aren't they?" Yep.
They finally decided to get a doctor around 1 or 2:00 am to come break my water because it was being so stubborn. He said I was at a 6 when he broke it. OH MY PAIN! Once my water broke, what I once thought were intense contractions suddenly became like mild side-aches. I cannot even begin to describe the pain of my post-water-break contractions! I would literally scream as though the pain were about to kill me. David was such a trooper. I think he was pretty shocked when I started screaming, but he stuck with me and helped me breath. DeAnn, once again, proved how perfect she was for me. She had to change her plan of attack because visualizing wasn't doing anything for me. Every time I screamed she simply stated, or rather demanded, "Kimball, STOP IT. Screaming is NOT helping." I would respond, "I KNOW! I'm trying, but IT HURTS!!!!" Her method may sound harsh, but honestly, it was exactly what I needed!

My post water-break contractions also lasted awhile. I was so relieved when I could start pushing because it meant I could focus my energy on something instead of trying to suppress it. Pushing also seemed to take FOREVER. I felt like Hyrum was never going to come. They kept telling me I was doing great. It took all my effort to believe them, because it felt like nothing was happening. Once they could see his head they asked if I wanted to see it in a mirror. My initial thought was, "NO!" but for some reason I agreed. Seeing his little blonde head suddenly made it seem like there was a light at the end of the tunnel. A few more pushes and he was here! 

It's hard to describe the immense exhaustion, yet overwhelming joy and love I felt. I had this amazing, bloody, screaming baby in my arms. I helped create him and I labored with ALL MY MIGHT to get him into this world. There is nothing more amazing than holding that little miracle in your arms. 

My body was completely in shock. I couldn't stop my legs from shaking for a good hour after, but I was okay and Hyrum was healthy.

Hyrum proved his toughness through labor. They said his heart stayed completely steady the whole time. Usually pushing causes a baby's heart beat to slow, but his stayed constant even amidst the pushing. He received a 10 on his APGAR score, which is practically unheard of. They joked that the last baby to receive a 10 was born in Bethlehem. You can imagine how proud his daddy was hearing that. ;)

Oh how I love my Hyrum. He is truly a fabulous little miracle!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Brick Wall.... SPLAT!

A couple weeks ago we hit midterms of second quarter like hitting a brick wall driving 70 mph. Literally... all my students went SPLAT! Why would I use such a horrific simile, you may ask? As midterms approached  I found I was adding more "M" grades than point values that come out in an A-F grade. "M" means MISSING. ALL of my class averages were Fs! Literally... Fs- not even 50% F, they were in the 30% range! I don't even know how this is possible... but it happened. As I spoke with other teachers I discovered my classes weren't the only ones. I was dumbfounded.  

Let me explain a few things about my class:
  1. Most of our work is done IN CLASS.
  2. When I give homework assignments they are as SIMPLE as can be.
Let me share a story illustrating WHY my class is set up this way:

Once upon a time I assigned my students a 2 PARAGRAPH essay (the minimum number of sentences per paragraph is 4... this means all they need is 8 sentences). They were to analyze the beliefs of 2 world religions they just learned about and took notes on. They were then to hypothesize about how people from those 2 religions would interact with each other based on their belief systems. That was the whole assignment. It was due the next class period which was 2 days away (we're on a block schedule.) Jump forward to the day it is due: 1st Period- "Please pass forward your 2 paragraph essays." *A few rustling papers and then silence as I stare at the ONE paper in my hand then look around the class in astonishment.* 3rd Period: repeat of 1st... 4th Period- 5 papers.... and so on the next day of classes. 

As I remember this experience I am still dumbfounded. I have no understanding of how that can happen in EVERY class. The next few days leading up to midterms I projected their grades up on the screen so they could see the ridiculousness of what was happening. They were shocked.... just as they were when they received their midterm grades the beginning of the next week. We had some great chats about what it takes to succeed. I expressed my dismay at the apparent apathy toward LIFE. I don't feel like I'm a bad teacher, sure, I'm not is my first year... but I know I'm not THAT bad. 

After pondering and discussing the matter of how to succeed and giving them a great wake-up call, I then asked for their feedback on how I am doing as a teacher. We made a contract earlier in the year about how they can succeed and how I can help them do so, but I hadn't asked for their input into the part about me... so I decided to take that adventure. Thankfully I received a lot of positive feedback that seemed sincere as well as realistic suggestions on how to improve... and of course some ridiculous ones. Then there were the polar opposite comments...

The following are some comments from my students I just had to share:

Polar Opposties:
  • You give us the perfect amount of work and enough time to do it. VS. You need to give us more time to finish assignments.
  • You get too grumpy sometimes/You're really uptight. VS. You're nice, cool, and "chill."
  • You need to explain things more clearly. VS. You explain well and are very helpful.
Oh... You Funny Students:
  • I would like to ask you to get a little easier, but I don't want to tell you how to teach.
  • Lay off giving assignments. Let me have an A or B without finishing any work.
  • (This one is kind of sad, but funny too) You expect too much out of some kids. Some people don't care, which is stupid of them, but it's their own choice. Don't put extra effort into forcing them to try.
  • You're doing good for being pregnant.
  • Students should be thankful you're nice and don't yell at us.
  • And my favourite: You're a good teacher, but in the coming months you will probably have mood swings because of your baby stuff. So then again, you might lash out at the class.
A Few of the Warm Fuzzies:
  • I like your teaching!
  • You are really and truthfully a wonderful teacher.
  • You are one of my favourite teachers.
  • Keep doing what you are doing because you are an awesome teacher.
  • You are awesome. You are too nice, but I like that. I just hope you don't go home and be sad. Just be strong and be nice as you are. Always smile, just the way you are.
  • You are great even though you are hard.
  • You really are a great teacher, especially being that it's your first year.
  • You are the most awesome teacher in the world. I love you, you will always be my favourite teacher.
  • This class is the best cuz you teach good.
  • I like you teaching us. You let us have fun sometimes. Your work is hard, but you make it seem easy.
Ah... I love these kids even though we've had a rough quarter! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

I SPY...

A Grandson or Granddaughter?
A Niece or Nephew?
A "Lil' D" or "Lil' K"?

Lil' Romney's 1st picture! :)

Well, here we are... parents! Ok... so lil' Romney is still a 1-inch peanut, but there's a little person growing in me! It's hard to believe it's actually happening. It was amazing to have the ultrasound and see that little peanut with a heartbeat! There have been times, before I went to the doctor, where I've wondered if I'm just becoming a lazy human being with random sick spells.... it's good to know I'm not. Apparently I'm exhausted because, even while sleeping, my body is working harder than a man working out in a gym. 

Thankfully I haven't been exceedingly sick as of yet. Usually it hits when I get home after work, recently in the mornings, and after I eat anything with a lot of sugar. :( There are a few foods that are out-right rejected: Shredded Wheat and sugary substances. Really, I shouldn't be eating lots of sugar anyway... but every once in awhile shouldn't hurt! Apparently that peanut inside me thinks differently. I'm just praying he/she changes his/her mind by the time Thanksgiving rolls around next week. My two favourite things about Thanksgiving dinner are cranberry sauce (which I'm assuming will stay down just fine) and pie. I REALLY WANT TO EAT PIE! If I can't eat pie, that little peanut is going to have a good talking-to when he/she comes out! I love you little peanut, but I might not like you very much next week if you don't let me enjoy my Thanksgiving pie.

Anyway... enough about the pie. I am currently about 9 weeks along (on the 40 week scale), due around June 22nd. We have our thoughts about whether this peanut is a him or a her, but we'd love to hear everyone's guesses and name ideas! :)