Monday, April 16, 2012

show obsessions

Since last summer, I have watched full seasons of:

  • Friday Night Lights (all 4? seasons)
  • Prison Break (all 4 seasons)
  • Glee (the first season)
  • House (the first season)
  • Modern Family (the first season)
  • Parenthood (2 seasons)
  • Downton Abbey (2 seasons)

And now Mark and I are watching 30 Rock.  Is this pathetic or what?! I promise I don't just watch TV! Darn you Netflix!!!!!

They're all so different. I couldn't even tell you which are my favorites. They're all great. 30 Rock is maybe a little too edgy for my comfort, but some things are just too funny that make me beg for how Liz Lemon lives for food, Jenna lives for fame, and KENNETH! ahh! I LOVE Kenneth. Kills me. Tracy Jordan rubs me the wrong way at times. Love his entourage though.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A year ago

...A year ago last Thursday (April 12th), I woke up early morning after having a dream that I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I thought, "why not?" So with Mark still sound asleep, I slipped into the bathroom and took out a dollar-store pregnancy test. Two lines showed up within a few seconds and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I jumped on Mark and told him the news. It was the last day of classes and I couldn't concentrate on my finals. It was the best news!

My life isn't just about babies (I promise)

My whole life I have been a huge reader---up until college (ironic?) when the only stuff I "read" was from textbooks. Now I can finally read just for reading's sake. I guess I could have done some of that in college too, but let's be honest here...

I strongly recommend this book by C.S. Lewis. Mark and his whole family are C.S. Lewis fanatics. They all get together and talk about this or that and I'd usually sit there in wonderment and curiosity at the insight this author has in each of his books. Well for Christmas this year, Ryan, Mark's younger brother, gave each of us one of his favorite books. He gave me The Great Divorce. I was so excited because now I could finally see what all this talk was about for myself. I finally got around to reading it and I loved it especially because of how quick it was (without wounding or short-cutting the depth of its message). It's so similar to what I envision Spirit Paradise and Hell, or Spirit Prison to be. You could read it in a couple of days (or a day, if you have a few hours) and my goodness you'll be surprised at the perspective he has.

Noah's cousins

Noah is one lucky boy. By the end of the year, he will have not one, not two, not four, but EIGHT cousins/second cousins his age (Scarlett, Paisley, Brooklyn, Penelope, Regi, Baby Nord- coming in August, Baby Freeman-coming in October, and Baby Stewart- coming in September). 

I wish so badly we would have gotten pictures of baby Penelope (Mark's oldest brother's 3rd daughter) who was born a month ago. She's a doll! We'll get some good ones with her this weekend. Sarah is a birthing champ and delivered her pretty much naturally (the epidural didn't work above her legs) and Penelope was over 8 pounds! She's a good pusher and got her out pretty quickly. Sarah was so sweet and pleasant when we came and saw her new babe. I couldn't believe it--I was a total train wreck after Noah arrived.

 For now, I have pictures of Noah with Scarlett (my cousin's baby) at Estefi's baby shower in March on St. Patrick's Day. He was quite into her, if you can't tell:
 Like he's saying, "hey! You're pretty!" She pretty much ignored him.
 Nice sweater!

My brother's wife Estefi (the one who orchestrated my BOMB baby shower) had her baby Reginato (Regi) Miguel Clark on April 3rd at about 1:15 p.m. at Orem Community. It brought back so many memories. He was 7 lbs. 6 oz. and absolutely perfect. This girl is gifted in the birthing department along with Sarah. With both Regi and Nico she pushed like 3 times and they were out. I couldn't believe how "with it" she was after giving birth. I nearly passed out and threw up a bunch after Noah came. Sheesh!
When I held him I couldn't believe how light he was, but only because Noah was 2 pounds heavier. He's just too precious and there's NOTHING like holding a newborn to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
Noah with my Aunt Cindy (my mom's youngest sis.). She surprised us with news that she's pregnant at lunch one day. We all met up for Thai food and she busted out an ultrasound. It looks like it'll be a boy, but she's not 100% sure. She'll be 40 when he comes, but she's a BABE and looks maybe 30. Her girls are 7 and 10 so they'll be awesome babysitters. I'm so so excited for her. Noah loved snuggling up to her at the hospital.

Usually, the kids in the house move away from their parents to go to college or take advantage of a job opportunity elsewhere. Am I right? Well, the Clarks don't like to do it this way. We all stayed here for college and have all been lucky enough to live within just a few minutes of one another, and now, my parents are moving away from all 4 of us kids. As of about two months ago, my dad took up a job offer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to be their new CEO of Mercy Health System. 
I'm so proud of him! Look at that resume...sweet, dad!

Anyway, I am sad that my best babysitters are moving across the country, but I am happy that they are keeping their beautiful home here so they will visit often, especially my mom. They bought another beautiful home in Wayne, PA--just a few minutes away from his office. It's on almost 2 acres of land surrounded by trees galore. Needless to say, I'm going to love visiting there! It's less than 2 hours from NYC, 2 hours from DC, and about 4.5 hours away from Boston. Can you say AWESOME? ANYWAY. Here are some pictures of our Easter week with family:
 Noah sticks his bum out just like his mama.
 Lookin' fly in his new overalls.

 Easter egg hunt at Kerri and Brent's (Mark's mom and step dad's home)
Grandpa got to come visit for the whole week!! It was so fun spending time with him. We'll get to see him this week too for our graduation.

Friday, April 6, 2012

What your mom won't tell you about having a baby

(I have many many dear family members and friends who are wanting to get pregnant and have babies really badly. I don't write this to complain, I am merely stating what I personally went through and I wanted to write about it for laughter's sake. Many people close to me know how I have no patience for whiners when it comes to pregnancy--it's a gift that we should always be grateful for, no matter how miserable we are. This is just about those post-partum marvels that no one bothered telling me about!)

Explicit content. Proceed with CAUTION.
1. You will come close to losing your mind. You may even hallucinate (I have a good story about that...for a later day). All due to lack of sleep.
2. You have to sit on this thing the nurses call a "doughnut" (a blown-up circular flotation-looking device) for at least a week (in my case: 2 weeks) after giving birth due to sensitivity in those private parts down there.
3. You get really excited when you put on jeans and a t-shirt--switching it up from your usual robe and underwear wardrobe (what's the point of getting dressed when you're constantly feeding your babe?)
4. Your nipples will be unrecognizable (LARGE). I'll spare you those dirty details.
5. You can enjoy large breasts--until your sweet little one literally sucks the life out of them. Then you're looking at deflated balloons for a couple of hours.
6. Sex? What's that again?
7. ...2 months later....Ohhh, NOW I remember. OUCH!!! Cue: Astroglide lubrication (lots of)
8. Your hair comes out in hand fulls around 3 months after. Just get used to wearing your hair up so you don't get hair in your food or wrapped between your little one's fingers and toes.
9. If breastfeeding, you feel like you are eating just as often as your babe. You can't get enough food! This is not a negative thing for food lovers like myself :)
10. If you're unlucky, you are constipated for 5 weeks (yep, that was me!). Miralax, ducalax, and stool softeners may be part of your daily routine. But be careful, you may have an accident in your pants. Just make sure you're close to a bathroom.
11. You may start noticing deteriorating eye-sight. My left eye prescription went from a +3 to a +3.5 :)
12. You might want to wear pads even after the bleeding stops, especially if you know you'll be running or jumping.
13. Don't do sit-ups for a few months...the pieces down there may not be ready for such activity. This includes running, unless you want to feel like you got straight kicked there.

Ohh the JOYS!!!

I'm happy to report that although these things have all been MY struggles, most of you won't have to worry about it. I hear my recovery was much worse than the average Jane. I just didn't expect any of these things to happen and I wish someone would have at least warned me. You're welcome. :)

On a more serious note...You love this little person more than your own life, and you do anything for him/her. You wonder what life was like before it all happened, and you wouldn't trade it for anything. I would totally go through it all again! And hopefully someday I will.

You just have to laugh.

And PRAY that your next baby isn't bigger than 9 pounds 5 ounces.

I think I'm getting the hang of this

The last 3 months have probably been the hardest of my life. I can attribute most of the "hard"-ness to one thing:

LACK. OF. SLEEP. (side note: just because it's been hard doesn't mean I haven't loved it!)

Sleep is priceless. Once you lose it, it's hard to catch up. I (along with all you new moms out there) probably need another thousand hours or so to feel "caught up", and I'm told that it will never happen.

But I feel like I'm getting the hang of this motherhood thing. Balancing being a wife AND a mother--now that's a whole other blog post. Poor Mark has dealt with my hormonal, lack-of-sleep, stressed-out self since around December 22nd. He's going straight to Heaven with what he has put up with.

Other things that have been tough don't even compare with what fatigue can do to a person, namely ME. Now it's April and I've been saying the past couple of weeks that I finally feel like I'm somewhat normal again--that I'm getting used to sleep deprivation and know what I can and cannot handle each day. Noah is still not sleeping through the night and I just tell myself that he misses me :) (He's a growing boy and needs his milk! (now. now. now. now. now. or i'm going to die. die. die. die--))

Speaking of sleep--have any of you heard of Crystal Light's Energy drink packets? Oh. Em. Jee. That stuff is Mom "crack" I swear! We thought we'd try it so we got a couple of flavors. I've had it 3 times and on those days I felt like super-mom/woman/wife. For example: dishes done, laundry folded, whole apartment vacuumed, dinner in the oven, three mile walk/run with Noah, etc..... But with that came a hefty price! Not being able to go to sleep and waking up the next morning feeling like Noah was 3 weeks old again (NOT a good feeling as far as energy goes). I think I'll have to keep it to a minimum.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

So loved

I'm sitting in my bed with my two sweet boys asleep--Mark on my right and Noah on my left. I just went on my Facebook page and read all the sweet and encouraging words from many of you during our scary time with Noah just 3 months ago. I seriously cannot believe all the support and love from so many people--some who I hadn't spoken to for years! I can honestly say that all those words and prayers were felt throughout those scary days; I feel so loved.

There was a talk given in General Conference on Sunday morning by Elder Ronald A. Rasband that really hit home for me (among several others that I will probably talk about in a later post). He begins his talk by talking about his grandson Paxton who was born with a rare disease and had to be in Primary Children's NICU for an extended amount of time. Although Noah was only hospitalized for two weeks, it felt like years to me; but I am so grateful that his disease is just a hiccup in his normal life and will be resolved very soon. I was so grateful for this talk. Tears just streamed down my face throughout the whole thing as I held Noah in my lap and thanked my Heavenly Father for this gift that he gave Mark and me. "A perfect body is not required to achieve divine destiny" is something that both Elder Rasband AND Elder Nielson of the 12 Apostles said in their talks. Just having a body here on Earth is "priceless." I think that puts greater significance in how we take care of our bodies. "With all of you who have concerns....with a dear one, know this: with infinite love, and everlasting compassion, God our Heavenly Father loves your inflicted one, and he loves you." When I heard him say that, my whole body was filled with warmth and love. I truly felt Heavenly Father's love for me at that moment, and I know more than anything that He loves Noah infinitely.

We were reminded in a few General Conference addresses that we should never ignore a prompting when we feel it; I have a huge regret. On the day of Noah's blessing, ALL of our family members were gathered together. As my dad welcomed everyone into the home (we were at my parents' for a lunch afterward), I stood next to him and Mark. I had a prompting to say a few words myself to thank everyone for their continuing support on Noah's behalf. I especially wanted to recognize all of them for bringing us a meal (sometimes several meals) to the hospital so that we didn't have to leave Noah. But I didn't. I know I thanked everyone during those times of need, but it would have really been nice to collectively and publicly thank all of them for being rockstars.

Thank you times a million for even thinking about us during those tough times. I really cannot express it enough!