Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Nathan!!

Eight years ago today, I became a mother. I was so excited, and so happy be having a baby. He was a wiggly one, and loved to put his little bum up in my left ribs. It hurt so bad, and near the end when he was running out of room, I would constantly be pushing back at him so he would get off my ribs. They were bruised from the inside, I promise. It was the dead of summer in Mesa, so I was always HOT and sweaty. This picture was taken 2 days before Nathan was born. I felt so huge, ugly, and uncomfortable.On August 30, my sweet sister Heidi decided that we were going to walk that baby out. We went to lunch, shopping, and got pedicures. It was a lovely afternoon. About 4:15 pm, while standing in Susie's Deals in Chandler, I started having some pretty consistent contractions, and told Heidi. We kept on shopping, and I was getting a bit uncomfortable, and she could tell that I was not focused on clothes anymore! We went back to her house, and paced her small hallway and tried to relax while she made a few calls. I think she called my mom and David. I left her house promptly, and headed home. By this time it was about 4:45pm, RUSH HOUR, driving surface streets from Chandler back to Mesa. It was a long, hard, painful drive that I can't hardly remember. It was stop and go traffic, I was driving and was contracting about every 3 to 4 minutes. They were getting harder, and I could hardly breath through them anymore. By the time I got home it was nearly an hour later. I went inside, and David, being as naive as can be, tells me to go lay down and make sure that they were real (don't blame him, it was his first time with this labor stuff!). I did go lay down, but only because I was not feeling up to standing.

It was only about 10 minutes and 3 contractions later that I came out of our bedroom with the hospital bag in hand. It was time to go. We called both sets of parents, telling them it was "go-time", got back into the car, and headed back into rush hour traffic, toward the hospital. We got there around 7 pm. The next 5.5 hours were filled with lots of contractions, ice chips, my family and David coaching, and a very welcome dose of Pitocin (sp?).
When my OB/GYN broke my water during labor it was filled with meconium. That means that Nathan had already had his first bowel movement inside the uterus. That is a bad thing, by the way. If a baby inhales the poop into their lungs it could really make them sick or potentially kill them. They warned me that he would not cry right off, until they had cleared his airway of the meconiom. So they got him all sucked out, but he did not begin to breath or cry on his own. He was not responding. It was a tense time in the delivery room. The nurses began giving him oxygen and "bagging him". At the time, I had no idea what was going on. It was my first time to have a baby, and so I thought this was all normal. Finally, after I don't know how long, there was the sweet sound of a infant cry.

It was 12:40am on August 31, 2002 that our sweet Nathan Reese Peterson was born. It was not until later that night, that my mom came in and told me what a miracle it was that Nathan was alive and breathing. She explained that everything that had happened was NOT normal, and that he could very well have never begun breathing on his own. David and I cried together, and said a prayer of thanks for Nathans' first breaths, and his continued breaths. I remember it like it was yesterday...

Anyway, I will wipe the tears, and continue. The first 5 months of his life he cried almost constantly. He was an extremely colicky baby. I was new to this "mommy" thing and spent MANY hours crying with him. It was a exciting new adventure, but honestly it was also a sad and lonely time for me. After about 5 months he slowly came out of his crying, and became a joy. He was such a fun baby. He and I would play on the floor together for hours. He was so entertaining!!
And ever since then Nathan has consistently been a joy. He is such a bright, smart kid, and such a wonderful oldest brother. He has had the burden of having to mature much quicker then most kids. He became a big brother at 15 months. He then became a big brother again when he was only 27 months old. He was 4 when number 4 was born and just barely 5 when our last and fifth child was born. BUT, the blessing of getting to mature so quickly is that he excels at school. He is very young for 3rd grade, yet is reading at a 6 grade level. He does very well in all subjects, and finds such a joy in learning. I love that about him. He has a natural built-in desire to do good, and to please. He makes me smile everyday. Happy eighth birthday my goose-a-roose!!!!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The piano and the egg

This morning I made the kids eggs for breakfast. I was feeling rather nice and allowed the kids to help me crack the eggs into the pan. We all enjoyed breakfast and Nathan and Aubrey made their way to school. I got breakfast cleaned up, the younger three dressed and ready for the day, and began my day. Next thing I know, I wander into my family room, where Jay and Betsy are both holding eggs. I scolded them, quickly returning the eggs back to the carton in the fridge. Then I turned around, facing my back door and piano and saw broken eggshells on the floor, at least 6 of them. I fumed angrily, grabbed a rag and began wiping egg off my floor. This is not an easy feat. I started wiping near my piano, when I noticed, in the corner a broken eggshell, but no real signs of the egg. In a panic I began looking for the egg... Well, I found it. It was IN MY PIANO!! Jay, and possibly Betsy, had broken the egg ON MY PIANO KEYS!!!!! The egg had seeped down between the keys.

I love my piano. It is not a super nice, fancy piano, but it is mine, and I love to play it. I use it often to calm my nerves and refer to the music I play on it as free therapy. So when I saw the egg, nearly dried up, and all over my keys, I just about cried. I quickly ran to my computer, and Googled "how do I clean under my piano keys?" Well, after about a half hour, and about 10 different video clips, I felt confident enough to dismantle my wonderful piano.

All it took was eight screws and 2 bolts and I began removing the keys. It was not nearly as difficult as you would think. I got the keys out, laid nicely in order on the kitchen table(they are also numbered #1-#88) and began the task of vacuuming out 40 years of dust, mice nests (yes, you read that right) and random surprises like a missing credit card from 2 years ago, a key, papers, 21 cents in change, and of course the egg.

That is one of two mice nests I found, right under middle F, G and A. According to the Internet, pianos are quite popular mice residences. One guy on a Google video even went far enough to say that out of the 300+ pianos he has refurbished, he found mice nests and/or signs in over 80% of them, yeah, just about threw up. But, then again it made me feel better knowing that it was pretty commonplace! YUCK.

So I am happy to report that my piano is now cleaner then yours. =) I washed each individual key before I put it back in, dusted the entire thing better then its been done EVER, and vacuumed out the insides everywhere I could possibly reach.

So what did I learn today?? .....Other then don't let toddlers with eggs near a piano?!?!

I realized how much I love my piano. I have always loved it, but since this afternoon, I love it more then I ever thought possible to love a piano. As I stood there, wiping each key with care, I felt like I better understood the scripture 1 Samuel 16:7; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I admit it...

My name is Valerie Peterson and I am a yard work addict.

I grew up in a home where my dad took immaculate care of our yard. He still does. He trimmed it, edged it, mowed it, pulled weeds, etc., EVERY Saturday morning. Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I LOVE to mow a lawn. Maybe because as a child my dad was very protective of his yard and mower. I always wanted to help, but he was in his dominion, and I loved to watch him carefully mow his lawn in perfectly straight rows. I still find myself out on the front porch, watching, as he does his yard work, when I go to Mesa to visit. I love the smells, the sounds, everything about it. In fact, in my marriage of almost 9 years, David has only mowed our grass maybe three times. MAYBE... I just don't let him, it is my dominion now! I call it" my quiet chaos". Everything is silent for the time that I am behind that mower. I can't hear my kids, can't hear the cars drive by, can't do anything but push that mower in a straight line. It is a great time for me to reflect on things. To plan the rest of my week. To focus on improving myself.

I have to admit that my yard is not nearly as nice as I dream, and not as nice as I want it to be one day, but I can bet that if you drive by on a Saturday morning, I will be pushing that mower with a smile on my face.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My thoughts

I feel like I need to update my blog, yet I am having a hard time thinking of anything tremendously entertaining, interesting or noteworthy to write about. But I realize as I type this that most of my time and efforts are spent on things that really are not that entertaining, interesting, or noteworthy.

Motherhood is like that. It sometimes feels very unappreciated, undervalued, and most often, pretty dang monotonous. I wish that it were different. I wish I could report that something BIG AND IMPORTANT has happened, but it just hasn't.

I find myself pressing on daily, doing the things that need done, and rarely find time to do those entertaining, interesting or noteworthy things that make for good blogging or story telling.
My kids are all happy, healthy, and progressing well. They all have been getting along pretty good, doing fantastic in school, keeping up with their homework, and keeping me busy.

That is what my day is generally filled with. Kids. Nothing more, nothing less. I know that one day I will find that I miss these days that are so monotonous, but it is hard to see that when day in and day out I am busily running around doing things that don't seem to make a big impact on anyone. I think that is what motherhood is about.... Finding joy in watching your kids grow everyday, and finding joy in the sacrifice it takes to be a mommy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back to School

The kids have been counting down for quite a while (so has the mommy)..... and the big day finally arrived!! This morning went very smoothly, and the kids were super excited to get to school. Here are a few pictures from today.
Nathan went into 3rd grade today, with Mrs. Bonham as his teacher. Aubrey went into 1st grade with Mrs. Lopez, and Emily joined the ranks, going into kindergarten with Mrs. Tanner. All three had a fabulous first day, loved their new teachers, made a friend or two, and can't wait for tomorrow. Neither can I!

Monday, August 2, 2010

This mama has HAD it!!

9 days and counting 'til the most exciting thing in the world happens...