Dear Life, I demand you take these lemons back!

This is what our basement looks like now:
This is just the beginning stages. The rest of the drywall is coming out too, in all the rooms.  Right now all of our furniture is crammed in the kids' rooms.  We can't access it even to pack downstairs.
We were out of town for three weeks and then in hotels for about two weeks. Right now we are staying at a ward friend's house for a few days.
The official word on our house is that we have to move out permanently. It won't be fixed for months.  I was hope hope hoping they could get stuff figured out and we could move back in and go on with our lives, but nope. God doesn't like that plan.

Every time I go near that house I cry and cry. It was the first house in my life as a parent where we had a complete happy family.  It's ripping my heart out having to pack up all those memories because the carpet was ripped out from under us.  The kids are being troopers, but it really is tragic as far as I can see right now.

So we are hunting for a house. We have to move south. That palatial blue house is near where we're looking, but every iron we put in the fire is coming out cold.  It's very frustrating and stressful.  Every day is like "Yay! Our house problem is nearly solved" and then "Just kidding, back to square one."  Every day is one day closer to a baby coming and every day we don't have a contract signed is another day of stress. 

And then there's the pregnancy.  I'm 32 weeks.  Oh, and it's 100 degrees here so tack that on to "things that will make a pregnant woman want to lay down and die".
Seriously, can I just have ONE normal year? One pregnancy without major life upheavals?  I am an ace at trials, but frankly this one is putting me over the edge of misery.  Yes, I have a thousand blessings but I am 8 months pregnant in 100 degree heat with three hot, tired children, and no foreseeable home in sight. Give me a freaking break. Enough is enough. I have done my super hard trials year after year and had a good attitude.  This is just uncalled for.
Even my body agrees: last night I was laid out with straight up hurty contractions every five minutes for three hours. I nearly went to the hospital but I was just so frustrated that I passed out.


Chips in Bed: update on our Nomadic lifestyle

Just a quick update:
Currently staying at an extended stay in Murray.  All our stuff is locked up and inaccessible because of asbestos in the air at our house. No idea when we can get back in. 
Full demolition started on basement, house is currently untenable until inspected by people who inspect and certify stuff.
We have three possible living options starting in August in SLC (one may include moving back into our rental house for a few months) all of which allow me to keep the children in their school, which is top priority considering the big changes happening with the new baby coming and our intentions of finding a permanent house in the next six months.
After a few months we are hoping to buy somewhere between SLC and Am Fork.  If you have a great idea of where we should look, I want to hear it.  Sell me on why your area is more wonderful than Sugar House (which is too far of a commute for Hush).  Convert me and explain to me how I won't be massively offended when my new neighbors parrot whatever crazy talk Bill O'Reilly has been whining about that week.  Please find me a place with some unicorns.

In the meantime, thank you for your couch offers and prayers!  We have other places to stay through Sunday, then we are hoping to do a tour of friends in Vegas and beyond.  Beggars can't be choosers, but I am discovering how weird I am about being a houseguest with three kids.  At this stage in pregnancy I need to not worry that my kids woke everybody up and feel awkward that someone not related to me is letting me use their kitchen.  I have houseguest hangups, but if you're out of town I am not above begging for a few nights out of a hotel.  Is that weird that I can't stay WITH people? I'd worry all day that we'd left dishes out.  Sooo... are you going on vacation the last week in July? 

At hotels you can eat chips in bed and lounge around in your underwear.  Not so as a houseguest.


Apr├Ęs le deluge

We came back from CA to a flood in our basement. A flood of sewage.  It's a rental house and we have a good landlord, but the plumber guys needed the environmental disaster people, and they needed the asbestos people, and they needed some hazardous substance people and after over a week in hotels we have officially lost our house.
Silas' face says what I've been feeling all week.

Now would be an appropriate time to make "No room in the Inn" jokes or VonTrapps chased out of their home by poisonous substances.  But I'm really in no mood for jokes. We have a family of five, nearly six, and no home.
We did score a visit with my sister wife Mardee and her kids.  We are pregnant at the same time (with the first three kids) and then she got one ahead of me while I was unmarried.  Now we're both expecting again.  Friends from WC2 ward in CA.

The five of us are bouncing from hotel to hotel and looking for a short term living situation so that the kids can stay in their school and we have a place to put this baby.  We have to stay in Utah this week because of prior (paid for) commitments, but after that if we don't have a place to move into the kids and I will likely go back to CA and leave finding a house to Hush.  We are hoping to buy in the next six months so we really do not want to change the kid's school.
Kids being Honey Badgers at the Monte Bean Museum at BYU

The minions are being troopers!  They all pile in one bed at night at whatever hotel we happen to be in. We stayed in Provo for the first few days because we wanted to reduce Hush's commute time from American Fork.  I also bought pass of all passes so we have spent the week going to waterslides and doing fun activities.  It's a lot of close togetherness though and that is definitely wearing on all of us. 

That's today's update, live from some random hotel in Murray. 
Sometimes you just need a cool place with little chairs to sit and read for a bit like the dapper gentlemen you are.

Westerly Welaxation

June and July are good months to take up residence at Pam's house.  The pool is warm, the beds are cozy and the food is gratis.  It's pretty much bliss, but for the fact that Hush has something called a  job that apparently he has to attend and he therefore must stay in Utah.  After 30 weeks of hard pregnancy, a stay at the Mothership is downright indulgent: my mother does the dishes and makes any dinner we request!  That, to any mother, is the vacation we all dream of having.  Add that to the constant entertainment of my children by their cousins and the result is I finally got sufficient rest that my body didn't hurt anymore.  Miraculous!  There were about five pain free days!

One of our adventures was a practice session on the ice.  Jude is interested in hockey and we both wanted to see if it's a sport we could manage.  Ms Jackie's kids were so patient getting him all armored and suited up, but Jude needs some practice on hockey skates before he's ready.  Also, holy moly hockey moms are hardcore.  There's so much gear! I don't know how they can keep it all straight and fitting and all that maintenance. 

Silas is acting as my sewing dummy in this picture.  When my mother and I are together we often do sewing projects.  She's a master seamstress and I have ideas that she thinks will never work.  We usually come up with something fabulous.
My hair turned teal.  I like it!  I'm excited to see what colors it gradually fades into while I swim all summer.  What's funny is that most of my family didn't even notice.  They're used to the changes.  
Mimi and Silas having a hug-a-war. (Ages 7 and 4). I hardly saw Mimi the whole time we were there because she was too occupied with cousins.  Houdini also saw the children twice while we were in town.
Dville in summer means Giants.  My mother is a huge fan.  She watches every single game, shouts at the screen loud enough to wake the neighbors, and mourns every time they lose.  Not only that, her phone alerts the whole house to every play with a cacophonous chime.  Every day is Giants day, even if they are losing.  Since I spent most evenings on the couch, I become a defacto fan. It's hard not to get caught up in Pam's contagious enthusiasm (and requisite disappointment).  My sister Val showed up at the Giants game a few days before the fourth to surprise my mother.  
Sometimes when you're talking on the phone with your long distance husband you find yourself doodling a fairly poor rendition of the Death Star, assuming the henna wouldn't stay long.  It did. My doctor appreciated it at our appointment.
One cousin adventure was the county fair.  Is forgotten how fun the fair is.  We did the animals, raced RC cars, ate some over priced food, danced with a Doo Wop band to Barbara Ann, and rode some rides.  Did not get a picture of the whole group, but we had two of Celia's kids, one of Paige's, three of mine, my BFF Ashley's two, and my sister Val.  
Ashley, Brynn and Si racing.  You had to pass a quiz on Solar Energy to race the cars.  I am now an expert on solar energy.

After three long weeks of recovering from having a family Hush arrived on the morning of the fourth!  Everybody needed to miss each other for a while.  It was a joyous reunion and he made it in plenty of time for the annual baseball game.  He made us proud.
Saturday morning we hit Capitola with Camille and Alex.  I've been dying to teach Hush how to surf, but being that I can't lay on my stomach I had to pass the honor off on Cam and Alex who have been surfing weekly for a few months.  I could hardly contain my jealousy.
I tried to get them to let me paddle on my back, but there was no wetsuit that could contain my porpoise. 

This is what nearly 8 months pregnant looks like. Apparently I feel much larger than I look.
And this is our surf crew (two on the right, I think. They all look exactly the same to me when they're in the water.)

Ok, I'm running out of steam on this post. More pictures to come.


Three in Three Years

It's all finally paying off.
Remember that time I had three kids in three years and it was the most exhausting demanding intense parenting experience ever?
Well times have changed.
I remember getting that third unexpected positive pregnancy test and thinking, "Oh, this is going to be impossible."  Mimi was 2 1/2 when Silas was born, Jude was 16 months.  Three under three. Jude could hardly walk. Mimi had nothing resembling judgment.  Everybody had car seats, nobody could dress themselves, nobody could feed themselves.
As soon as Si was born I instituted the rule Only Two People Crying at Once and for the most part, they cooperated.  They learned that their needs are important, but not necessarily going to be met at once.  
Because they were raised as a pack my children learned to either solve their problems themselves, help each other, or wait.  They learned independence, helpfulness and evaluative skills.  It was me and the three which made for a sink or swim situation.  They swam.

And now I am reaping the rewards.
For all the times I ran in and out of the house collecting shoes, I get to enjoy putting all three of them out to pasture in the backyard knowing they have playmates.
For every seatbelt I buckled, I now have kids who just climb right in the car and buckle their own seatbelts.
Where I used to chase babies saving them from imminent drowning, I now lounge and watch as they make up games in the pool.
At the park where I used to stand for hours lifting them in and out of baby swings, I get to watch as they push each other on the swings and pump themselves.
For every kiddie singing class I went to, I am now rewarded when they request Johnny Cash, Green Day, and The Four Seasons and then sing every word at top volume.
For every sleep interruption they caused, I am now encouraged to take naps (so they can have screen time and help themselves to food.)
My job is just not that labor intensive anymore.
The best part about this stage is their genuine affection for each other.  I do not know how this really came about.  Perhaps it's the old adage, "You love the ones you serve." If I'm unavailable they have to help each other.  Mimi can reach cereal bowls.  Jude can make toys and video games work.  Silas can fetch things and doesn't mind being bossed around.  They're a team.
Their sense of security within their group I think has promoted their fearlessness.  Mimi is bold as a puppy and Jude, seeing her, is a lot more brave than he would be if he were first child.  Silas sees the others and wants a piece of the action.  They're not wimps.
They can also dress themselves, sort of.  Well, considering their primary fashion example, I shouldn't be surprised they come downstairs needing a little bit of outfit editing.

The last year has mellowed my minions.  They act as though they feel stable and well balanced.  They love their school, their home, their new dad, their friends, their church and their Salt Lake life.  They feel normal and act self confident. 
This is my last summer with my little triumvirate, but I think they are ready to focus their love on a tiny baby.