Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pregnant with my 3rd child

First I have to say that this pregnancy was the easiest one so far and the only  I way I can explain it was that it was a miracle. Every difficulty that I usually have during a pregnancy (besides my varicose veins) was much less or nonexistent. I spent most of my first two pregnancies sleeping on the couch because of worse allergies during pregnancy, but I didn't have to sleep on the couch once for this pregnancy. I am usually very emotional and I hardly ever lost it for this pregnancy. A few times I broke down, but at least they were usually when I could skype with Derrill and didn't last more than an hour or 2 instead of days. I was also able to care for my two children alone without bitterness. I found a family member that could go with me to my doctor appointments. I was truly blessed.

We had some difficulty with getting pregnant this time, because apparently I wasn't ovulating. So I had seen an OB in American Fork for that purpose, but I didn't like his bed side manner, so I was looking for someone else to deliver my baby when I found out I was pregnant. We found out before Derrill had to leave for Nigeria in August 2013 but I hadn't chosen a doctor yet. My sweet Relief Society President suggested someone to me named Dr Woodmansee that I decided to try. I went to him a few times and then Derrill came home for Christmas.

Over Christmas, I talked to Derrill about and realized that I was not very happy with my doctor and that I needed to find another one. But I had tried that search in the last few months and didn't know what more I could try to find someone. So, I started praying about it and tried not to worry about it otherwise, because we were on vacation in California. One morning while we were there I woke up with a clean impression that I should call my old OB office and request a different doctor from that office. As I pondered this idea I was not at all comfortable with it, embarrassment wise. But was sure that I would be blessed if I followed the prompting. I called and scheduled an appointment with a Dr. Hasketts in American Fork. Derrill was able to go to that appointment with me and I just thought he was the greatest from the very beginning and didn't change my mind. He could even make a nervous pregnant mother like me laugh at almost every appointment.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pez Romana

Way back in the time of the dinosaurs, my parents had a problem. My brother and I had birthdays fairly close to each other and always wanted to play with the other guy's toys. The solution they came up with was to give me a present on his birthday and him a present on my birthday. This at least reduced the sibling rivalry. We instituted this too, once Superstar was old enough to need it.

This year I was super sneaky. He and I had just started watching Star Wars for the first time and he likes C3P0. I got him a Threepio Pez dispenser, recognizing that he might not like the candy (which he doesn't much).

I explained to him that  this was a useful present. Princess, you see, not only loves all things edible, but the #1 way she shows she loves someone is to share her food or ask you to share your food. I told Superstar he could offer to share one of his Pez candies if she would share a toy with him.

The best is that it works. Princess is willing to trade some, but not all, of her toys and has the ability to say no if Superstar's deal isn't good enough. They each feel loved from each other and are happier with the transactions than otherwise. Prices have tended to stay at one candy for renting a beloved toy for 2 hours, but Princess has sometimes held out for better terms of payment (now vs. later) or rental length.

The other best part is ... markets are great! As an economist I am very geekily happy every time they bargain and see that creating a market has restored peace to our home. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today's Thunder Storm - Nigerian flashbacks

Today we had quite a down pore of rain. It was also a thunderstorm and Princess was getting into a bath and was nervous about the noise. The electricity went off a couple of times, but it did that yesterday when it rained as well. Then the electricity went off completely and stayed off.

Derrill and I say to each other in such a circumstance "Welcome to Nigeria."

The real difference of course that we expect the electricity to be on all the time here and in Nigeria we plan for when it will be off (always have things charged, use surge protectors, etc) and the private generator nearly always kicked in right after. So since we expect the power to always be on here, having it out is less convenient here. But in Nigeria we are trained to do without it when necessary. I must confess I was grateful just to have some electricity in Nigeria. How quickly we forget or come to expect. I am grateful for the ability to expect again. ;)

Oh I should mention that we got our electricity back on an hour later. Thank you land of the free and New Mexico customer support or whoever.

 - Joy

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Some cuteness

Our kids - Princess in particular - are quite taken with the family statues in UT hospitals. Her are the two of them posing for the statue when we picked JT up from his second hospital visit.

One month ago yesterday, JT learned how to smile for his daddy. Overall he likes to stay with Mommy so he can smile at Daddy.

Superstar in his first suit. He loves how grown up and handsome he looks in it.

JT is trying to figure out how to be comfortable in his high chair, so far with little success.

Enjoying some Youtube together time.

Princess likes her new tight braids. They don't hurt nearly so much as the hair bands we were using before.

Off to Texas we go.........

As usual plans change. We had printed off a list of truck stops and planned which ones we would meet at along the way. Derrill was driving the Pensky and I and the three children were nestled in the van. As luck would have it our infant needed me to stop almost every hour that first day (as I learned on following days he just needed some time to cry himself to sleep), so we stopped a lot of times more than the truck stops.

The first day of driving was really beautiful. We saw Wilson arch since it is along the highway and got to see a lot of red rock and plateaus. There were several places that I wished we had time to pull over or drive into park wise. At a truck stop both of our phones had lost connection and I had stopped to feed the baby again, and Derrill had already been about half an hour ahead of us before that. He was getting worried about us, so he had us drive in front of him the whole rest of the trip. We thought the truck would be the slower vehicle, but with the children I ended up being the slowest one most of the time. We broke up each day into 3 sections. One of Superstar's highlights was driving a stretch of highway everyday with daddy in the Penske. We also brought along activities for the kids to do and changed them at the stops between sections. Because of the cleaning that morning we got in real late to our first sleeping place in
Bloomfield, New Mexico.

[DW - As the sunset disappeared I saw a car on the side of the road just on the inside of the New Mexico border and thought I should slow down to see if whoever it was needed help. Lo and behold it was Joy and the kids, stopped for feeding. We had a second stop before we reached Bloomfield. We all felt better about driving in close caravan - if only it were more practical.]

At our hotel I met a lady on vacation from Texas who said she had been to Glen Rose and said it was a beautiful place. They were with a large group of family coming home from Lake Powell. The front lounge was very close to our room and had a lovely mural on the wall that they serve breakfast from (right).

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A week before Texas - Princess' first 3rd Birthday

A week before we left for Texas was Monday, June 16. As I said before that morning we celebrated Princess's birthday. Derrill gave her the option of a birthday breakfast made by him and she chose Abelskievers (pancake balls). So, Derrill made breakfast. I can't remember what order we did presents and cake.

 She opened a My Little Pony book from us with several My Little Pony figurines included [DW - And you'll notice she's wearing her Twilight Sparkle outfit] and Superstar got her a huge coloring book of princesses. She also received a couple of movies [Aristocats and Ducktales]. She spent the morning playing with the ponies. We went to the store and bought her cake, chocolate with pink frosting and had Oreo cookie ice cream, the children's favorite these days.

9th Anniversary - some Teton/Yellowstone pics

We were fortunate that western Wyoming has seen more rain this year than for the last several. It meant there was a great deal of greenery to enjoy as we drove to and around the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone national parks. I'm not that thrilled with most of my pictures, but here are some.

[Joy excuses me that I was taking many of them from inside a car.]

We had grand plans of driving to a lake, hiking up to see majestic waterfalls (with our 7-week old), and exploring a large portion of the Tetons and Yellowstone in only two days.

Pfft. Yeah, right. With all we'd been overtaxing ourselves already getting ready for the move, we were lucky to be able to do all the DRIVING, let alone any hiking. We enjoyed the sights from the comfort of our car for the most part and were exhausted enough as is.

This was our favorite waterfall: Kepler Cascades. I'll post a video or two later too. It's well worth stopping along the road to Old Faithful.

[Joy adds that Yellowstone was her favorite of the two parks because it had a lot more water features. "Once we entered Yellowstone we followed a river most of the way and that's how you get to see waterfalls and rapids.]

You may notice that we really like water - rivers, waterfalls, lakes, geysers, rapids, even snow and glaciers. Among the nice points of our new home is that we are on the banks of the Paluxy river. We can't see it too well this summer for the trees, but I imagine in winter we'll have a nice view.

Oh, and I discovered the panorama function on my camera for the first time.

Snow in June. I had no idea Yellowstone was that kind of cold. We left without any sweaters or anything, so a quick stop at The Mangy Moose gift shop in Teton Village was in order. Joy was not too thrilled about the name of the shop, but I overcame her reticence. [Joy: "We also found a really cool salt shaker set."]

 Don't take it wrong when I say I've always had a thing for mooses. I loved the talking moose, deer, and buffalo heads at Disney's Country Bear Jamboree. [We went to dinner at a place with very similar animal heads on the walls, and I was disappointed they didn't sing. I told Joy if we ever had some in our house, they needed to sing.] I called the deer head in my high school theater Moose. One of my first Christmas gifts to my beloved was an ornament wishing her Merry Kiss-Moose.

I was very excited to see a real moose so close. I jumped straight out of the car (yes, I remembered to stop it first) and ran over to take pictures. This was not very good as I forgot to get Joy's door, which I normally do. I made it up to her later.

"You left me with the baby."
I did. I'm still sorry.
"I love you."

Speaking of His Cuteness, I forgot not only a sweater, but also a hat. HOW could DERRILL WATSON forget his HAT?? So I just had to get a new one. Here is JT sporting it.

When will we go to Texas?

When would we leave for Texas? Our home would be waiting for us June 1 and our currently lease agreement was up June 30. That gave us a month of leeway.  How soon could we get everything done?

Well, we wanted to pack our things, clean our house and go on an anniversary trip to Yellowstone National Park. We first plan was to send Derrill on June 1st & 2nd to look at the home,  and fulfill some other obligation we thought we had to the owners, go on our anniversary trip June 3-6, and then get our moving truck on June 11. That would give Derrill a day to drive up to California, a day to pack the truck, and a day to drive back,  Saturday we would pack the car in Utah with our other stuff and finish cleaning the house. Sunday we would rest and Monday June 16 we would start driving to Texas.

We found out that Derrill did not need to go the first week of June to the house, so that freed up a few days for more packing. We did go on anniversary trip June 3-6 since my sister Fran watched our two older children. It was wonderful and I will have to blog about that sometime too. But on the night before our Yellowstone trip was supposed to end we noticed that our infant who had been coughing for a few days had developed a fever. We decided to forgo our plans for the last day and rush home to get him to a doctor. We were very glad that we made that change of plans, because by morning his temperature was 103 degrees F.

Choosing a home in Texas

We got a new job Southwest of Dallas and at the end of June we moved to Texas. I had never been there before. Derrill had only been there when he had his flyout interview. He is going to be working in the Texas A&M system teaching Economics which is what he loves. We really just been having one adventure after another because in April we had our third child, but that story is for another time.

After Derrill got his job, we planned to look for a house to buy and move down here after we bought it. We spent some time before we had our baby looking at homes online and narrowing down some of what we wanted in a home. After we had our baby and we were trying to choose a time to come and see homes, we realized that we needed to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan in order to start looking at homes. I got some names of some lenders and made some phone calls. One man I talked to said that there would be no way to close on the loan until after Derrill started his job. We didn't want to wait that long to move here and get settled. We were thinking late July, early August would work.

So, I started looking into places to rent and I found that there were not very many 3 bedroom apartments available. I could find about 7. As I made calls, I also discovered that apartments were being taken quickly because there was a shortage of places to live given the influx of new students - TSU is adding more than 3,000 next year. I called people and started realizing that we were not going to be able to visit and see something and choose what we wanted to live in. I began to think that we would be really lucky if we could get into a 3 bedroom. I discussed my thoughts with Derrill and he suggested he would rather live in a 3 bedroom and commute from Dallas than live in a 2 bedroom. I began to panic and determined that I had to take the first 3 bedroom that I could get.