Sunday, June 18, 2017

Caldwell vs. Mason 1 Month

In a week Mason turns one.  It's been almost unimaginable thinking we've made it through the first year.  It never ceases to amaze me what a triumph getting through that first year feels like.  This time I also feel like I just came through some personal triumph outside of motherhood.  I've started compiling a number of Mason's pictures for a book and I came across Caldwell's 1 month photo and Mason's.   I have three thoughts. 

1.  When the doctors hand you that baby that you just birthed.  You are pretty sure it's the most beautiful thing on planet earth.  Don't get me wrong, I still believe my kids are the cutest things ever but babies are just funny looking. 
2.  My kid's have a massive amount of hair at birth.  I'm always shocked looking back at pictures.  
3.  I've always considered Mason my smaller baby, only because he came second.  I think Mason will be much bigger than his big brother. 

Caldwell Christopher Bates

Mason Meadow Bates
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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bucket List....

I have only been a mom for 3.5 years.  I have wracked my brain on why motherhood feels so hard for me.  I try to blame it on the fact that I require a lot of sleep and motherhood does not allow for a lot of sleep.  However, more than the sleeping thing I realized how much I lost a lot of my goals in becoming a mom.  I spend very little time thinking about what I want, but what everyone needs.  Since quitting my job, I've really been focused on the fact that life is here.  There's no more waiting until I graduate, or get a job, or the kids are easier.  This is it.  So I made a realistic and short bucket list in hopes I can start doing and thinking about some things for me. 

1.  Play a role in someone's conversion story - attend their baptism
2.  Publish a book
3.  Run a half marathon
4.  Got to an ultimate fight with Chris
5.  Have a fish eating pedicure
6.  Do a session at the Palmyra Temple
7.  Have another baby
8.  Take country swing lessons
9.  Got to Ireland/London
10.  Dye my hair purple
11.  Hike Havasupai
12.  Spend an entire weekend with Chris - without our children
13.  Wear my fancy shoes somewhere nice
14.  Do x-mas around the world with my kids 
15.  Make money doing something that fills me up
16.  Go "mudding"
17.  Re-read and actually finish Jesus the Christ
18.  Do a session in the Manti Temple
19.  Serve a mission 
20.  Spend a week on a Carolina beach with Chris and our kids
21.  Visit the spiral jetty
22.  Red the Book of Mormon in one day
23.  See old faithful
24.  Camp/Re-visit in the spot Chris proposed
25.  Attend a red carpet event
26.  Hike or ride horses to the Big Tree with Caldwell
27.  Become a true Don
28.  See an Olympic event in person 
29.  Get paid to speak at an event
30.  Give shelter to someone who needs it, for free
31.  Play volleyball on a team
32.  Pickup a hitch hiker
33.  Go to the NFR with Chris
34.  Hike the Y
35.  See the buffalo on Antelope Island

Thursday, June 15, 2017

How many college housing contracts can you sign?

I've been having dreams lately where I revert back to a previous place.  The subtly and timing of them haven't quite made sense.  Then I started thinking about all the different places I've lived.  The sheer amount of apartment complexes I've graced with my presence.  In September we will have owned our home in Bountiful for 2 years, and that marks my longest residence since I left my parents house in 2005.  I'm wondering if my subconscious is anxious by the lack of change.  Therefore, I thought I categorize my moves over the years.

Fall 2005 Chapel Glen & Sage Point
For the first two weeks of freshman year I lived in the U of U dorms called Chapel Glen. I had a shared room and my roommate who stayed up all night and kept leaving notes on my bed with pictures of me moving out.  I was too much of a pansy to stand up for myself and was miserable. I spent the first two weeks of college sitting under a tree on campus trying not to cry.  It's only funny now....  
 My dad came up and spoke with the housing offices.  I don't know if he had to pay to get me out, but I got moved to a single room with a shared bathroom at Sage Point.  My roommate was from Roy and I'm fairly certain she was selling herself for money, but she was nice enough.  I think one time we even went to Subway together.  The only way out of the housing was to change schools.  So I transferred to Utah Valley University at Christmas.

Spring Semester 2006 -In Orem was my first real college experience.  I bought a contract at Ventana with three really great girls.  They were all older, so two weeks into the semester when my "missionary" left they had all been there.  They let me tag along to so many things and really watched out for me.  If it wasn't for this place I probably wouldn't have continued through college.  Oddly enough, only one of the four of us married the boys we were writing.  So much drama for nothing.  

 After moving home for the summer after Freshman year I moved with one of my best friends from High School Lindsey to Palmyra, New York.  It was a combination of church history and American history.  During the week we lived in this hotel and on the weekends we traveled the entire east coast.  If you know Linz, she is literally a person who makes stuff happen.  That semester was so defining for me and my testimony.  We had three people to one room.  Lindsey and Nikki (Sessions) were on one side and I was on the other.  I have a tendency to be introverted and go to bed early, and they were so kind.  Lindsey and I went there with a great friendship but what I love about Linz is we branched out apart a times.  We made other great friendships and had a great semester. 

Spring Semester 2007 I came back from New York with lots of friends who would be living in Provo/Orem.  My friend Jenny (Eriksson) from New York moved into this place in Orem behind a store called "House of Hose."  The third roommate owned the condo and worked nights at the hospital.  Apparently we were too much to handle because in November we were half kicked out/half ready to leave.  She seemed cool and we remember her giving a killer sacrament talk but whenever we had people come hang out she would just slam her door and glare at us.  We moved our stuff home and then slept wherever the rest of the semester.  Often on the couch of some of the boys (who were friends) we'd met in New York. 

Summer 2007 - The Branbury
That summer Jenny and I needed an  actual place to live to we moved in with Kandice and Leandra (who I had met on Institute Council) the previous semester and had the summer of our lives.  I remember going home to Salem sometimes and just sleeping for an entire day and then going back to Provo.  We'd stay up so late doing who knows what.  That fall semester I stayed at the Branbury.  We moved to a different apartment.  Jenny left me and went to Utah State and I lived with Leandra and a few of her friends.  That winter semester I ended up selling my contract and moving to South Provo (don't have a picture of that place) with Kandice, who had also left Branbury.  The missionary I had been writing was home and selling my contract during school was better than trying to get rid of it in the summer when we had hoped to get married.  Well that didn't really work out so.....

Village on the Parkway - Summer 2008
The Village was the last place I wanted to be in the summer of 2008.  About the time I was going through my breakup I saw Whitney (Davidson) in the hall of the institute in Orem.  She'd lived with my in the hotel in New York.  I remember it feeling like a answer to my prayers when she asked if I wanted to live with her that summer.  I had no where to go, all my friends seemed to be gone or married.  So I moved all my crap up three flights of stairs and shared a room with Whitney.  Alyse (Hales) my good friend from high school ended up moving in the apartment below us.  I don't remember much about that summer.  Probably just crying a lot and playing Connect 4 with Bradly Gallagonia. 

Old Mill 2008-2009 - One Year Contract 
For an entire calendar year I stayed in one place.  Whitney (Davidson) and Alyse (Hales) added Lacee (Leach) to our group and moved here.  This complex was the epitome of those who were "stuck" in Provo.  I think there were moments when we felt like we were the only one's in this place going to college.  Everyone had careers, but we loved it.  Mostly because good roommates are all that matters when it comes to where you live.  That year we had the best.

Millrace Condo's 2009-2010
I didn't know it at the time, but this would be my last Provo Residence, until Chris and I would move back for a short stint after we were married.  I also didn't know that after living there for one calendar year I would marry the boy three doors down.  Whitney (Davidson) and I moved in with Kelsey (Halls) who we had met at Old Mill and Sarah (Maybe) Whitney's friend from High School.  If Old Mill was a place for those "stuck" in Provo.  Millrace might have been worse.  I think we used to refer to the boys there.  "They all just need to learn to make out."  I'm talking a bunch of 30 year old's who had never had their first kiss. I was only 23 at the time but I was afraid this would be my future.  I had graduated and was working and terrified that I'd be one of them.  Never married at 30 and kicked out of  the singles ward.  Lucky for me I'd had my first kiss along time a go.

Mandalay Apartments 2010-2011
Cedar City
I have no idea how I ended up here.  I left I really good job with lots of travel for graduate school in Cedar City, Utah.  This was one of those things I only did because God told me to and I had about 17 million freak outs at the time.  My roommates were freshman and they literally all got engaged by Christmas.  I am not even joking.  It was like a sick trick and I kept thinking about these 19 year old babies getting married.  But it worked out.  That December I went on my first date with Chris.  I didn't expect any of it to work out.  That summer when all my internship opportunities didn't work out.  I moved home to Salem and in close proximity to Chris.  By August we were engaged.

Cedar City House Fall 2011 
This was my last spot before having to live with a boy in December.  Chris and I were engaged for 6 months so I could finish a semester at school.  He was living in Spanish Fork and we met up on the weekends.  I loved my roommates Kara (Redd), Jade (Roundy) and Maycee (Barton).  Although my time in Cedar City was short, it's the place I dream most of going back to.  Which is strange, but I found more people in this little town who were "my type of people" than in any other place.

Perhaps I'll categorize my marriage housing next....

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Caldwell 3 - Mason 7 months...

Chris asked me today if I was still writing about the boys in my journal.  The truth is I haven't been doing much of anything but trying to survive these 4-5 months.  Now that I am staying home with the boys it seems fitting to record a bit about them.

Caldwell 3 years old - Okay three years old is my absolute favorite.  At the end of summer Caldwell went through a hard stage.  Mason's arrival really didn't seem to bother him until Mason was about 6 weeks old and then it was like - oh this kid is staying.  He started acting out a lot.  I remember one Sunday where Chris and I literally just gave up on church 15  minutes in.  Then all the sudden Caldwell turned three and he is an absolute crack up.  I'm enjoying him so much.  He can talk really well, and communicating is so nice.  December was entirely magical for Caldwell.  His birthday, and then Christmas.  At least once a week he asks me if it's Christmas Eve yet. Chris and Caldwell have been watching YouTube fail video's together or America's Funniest Home Video's.  Watching them together, laughing and enjoying each other is so much fun.  Caldwell is now potty trained and he almost did it by himself.  I'm glad I waited until he was three.  

It's funny how as a mom you always just worry about your kids.  My biggest worry is that Caldwell is not being stimulated enough.  Especially with so much snow.  He always wants to play with friends and enjoys it so much.  However, because I've been working I'm still not very familiar with kids to play with.  My biggest goal with being home is to get Caldwell out of the house.  It doesn't help that every time I sit down to nurse Mason that I turn a show on for Caldwell.  With that, as well as, Mason being a hard baby, I definitely use TV as a crutch and I'm really trying to stop.   I have this fake goal in my head that I want to do 30 days of no TV for Caldwell and I.  I also keep telling myself we will shut down TV for the entire summer, which seems more realistic.  Also, I'm so excited for Caldwell to start pre-school in the fall.  Not because I want him to grow up, but because I know how much he will enjoy it. 

Mason 7 months - Mason Bates is the best.  He's rolling over and pivots so quick it makes us laugh hysterically.  I had to order 18 month onesies for our tall little guy.  Caldwell was always off the charts for height, but for some reason I think Mason will be bigger than Cald.  Mason loves Caldwell so much.  They play each morning on my bed and there a lot of times I find Caldwell laying in Masons crib.  Mason has almost stopped nursing.  I'm not sure why.  I went through a really stressful last two months and I honestly think the stress has caused me to lose my milk.  We are nursing about once or twice a day is all.  Which makes me really sad because I really wanted to make it 12 months.

In all honesty Mason has been a difficult baby.  There's a part of me that doesn't want to complain because I have a beautiful baby boy who we couldn't live without.  But I think it's good for him to know the drama he's caused with his screaming and his ability to NEVER sleep.  In 7 months Mason has slept through the night maybe twice.  I have read books, let him cry it out, changed formula and tried what feels like everything.  I've come to the conclusion that he is just Mason and I have to stop stressing about it.  At this point, I just get up and try to love on him as much as possible because I know this time won't last forever.  The screaming is a different story.  Mason is just fussy.  Now that he's digesting things better and he doesn't have a billion ear infections he has gotten so much better. But since I held him so much during all that, now he wants to be held constantly.  He didn't roll over until nearly 6 months I literally could not sit him down.  

These are the photo's of Caldwell's third birthday.  Throughout the month of December Cald had that red rash around his mouth from his nose dripping.  Poor guy.  Even though he doesn't look pleasant in some of these pictures, he was so thrilled.  We have had lasagna and garlic bread on Caldwell's birthday the last two years.  He loves it, so I sort of hope it becomes a tradition.  I also want to remember how much Caldwell loves Rubble from Paw Patrol.  I hope I can always remember his voice saying, "Rubble's digger" for as long as I live. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Caldwell meets Mason...

To be honest the initial meeting between my two boys left little to be desired.  Caldwell is well acquainted with the gloves the doctor's wear and my old OB used to give him a pair of gloves when I went in for a visit.  So Caldwell was more interested in getting a pair of gloves than his new brother. He did give him some kisses and was sweet for a moment and then moved on. Papa and Grandma Hanks showed up and then all was lost.  Caldwell loves Papa!

I was really nervous about bringing the new baby home.  Caldwell has been in a really hard stage and he wants to be entertained every minute.  He also wants to be outside all the time.  Luckily things have gone better than I expected.  My favorite thing is Caldwell loves changing Mason's diaper. Every few minutes he will tell me the baby pooped and that we need to change his booty.  We like to call it "booty duty" at our house.  Chris is never on "booty duty" but I tell him he is a lot.  Caldwell yells "GROSS" every time we take Mason's diapers off and likes to unfold the new diaper.  It cracks me up. Caldwell has had some melt downs when he's needed me and I'm nursing, but for the most part we've done okay.  Luckily I bought a bunch of dollar store items and some new toys prior.  I try to give Caldwell some attention and a new boy prior to nursing and he seems to do fine.  However, we are starting to run out of toys so who knows what the next few weeks bring.  Also we have Netflix which has helped, even though I hate to admit how much TV he's been watching.  I have to keep telling myself that this is just the season of life I'm in and TV has to be okay for now.

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Baby Story...

Mason Meadow Bates arrived Thursday, June 23rd.  First off, this pregnancy might be the hardest thing I've ever done.  I stopped working on June 1st in part because of high blood pressure, but also in part of just flat out being sick.  My doctor didn't put me on complete bed rest, like I was with Caldwell.  She just required me to rest throughout the day and take naps.  Which was basically a gift from heaven in the last few weeks of this pregnancy.  I don't think I could have lasted working full-time much longer.  In fact I felt like I wasn't fully pulling my weight at work with how sick I was.  I was relieved when my doctor put me out of work.  My mother in law was extremely helpful with Caldwell, coming each day to take him to the park, the zoo, etc.  Then he'd lay by me in the afternoons and we'd watch Curious George or Magic School Bus.  Lots of one on one time and snuggles before little brother came.

On Tuesday June 21st I went to the doctor. She had offered to induce me the week before because I was a 3 and 50% effaced, but my nephew Jade was getting off his mission and I didn't want to miss out on his homecoming.  I also knew family (mostly my mom) would need to be there for his arrival home and not in Bountiful at the hospital, so I put off the induction.  That Tuesday I went in and I was a 4 and 70% effaced.  The doctor stripped my membranes and we scheduled the induction for Thursday in case I made it that far.

First off I never got my membranes stripped with Caldwell and I doubt I'd ever do it again.  I think it just gave me too much false hope and a lot of pain.  Not necessarily the act of getting striped,  but after I had a lot of contractions, bleeding and pain.  Tuesday night I was pretty sure my water broke. When it broke with Caldwell contractions came quickly and there was no question I was in labor, so I waited.  Nothing happened, I just kept leaking so I went to bed.  The next morning Chris stayed home from work because I asked him to and I was pretty sure I was still leaking, but no consistent contractions.  We went for a walk to the park with Caldwell to see if anything happened, it didn't.  At noon Chris told me we might want to go and see if my water had broken.  At this point I had a lot going on down there so I told him we might as well.  We went to the hospital and they told us it wasn't broken and we could go home.  As much as I hated being a false alarmist, I'm really glad we went and just made sure everything was okay.  Getting striped really caused a lot to happen that wasn't labor.

Thursday morning my induction was scheduled.  We got to the hospital at 7:30 a.m. and checked in. Jan had come over to stay with Caldwell and boy was it hard to leave a sleeping two year old to go to the hospital to have another baby.  I don't know why, but I just wanted to hug and kiss him a million times before we left the house.  After we checked in at the hospital, our room wasn't clean, so we had to wait about a half hour for them to clean it.  It had been dirty from us the previous day, same room and everything. Once we got in the room things went really quickly.  Our nurse was good and got us hooked up to everything and the pitocin going.  I was having some pretty consistent contractions, although not painful so once the doctor broke my water things started to speed up fast.  At about 10:00 am the contractions started to hurt.  The hospital I was in was pretty small and they told me when I wanted an epidural to tell them because they had to call the anesthesiologist from home.  It hit me kind of fast, but the nurse got the doctor their quickly.  Getting the epidural with Caldwell was sort of awful but this time I was pleasantly surprised.  I didn't get sick or anything, just sort of sleepy. Once it was in and everyone left I started to get really light headed.  Chris noticed the babies heart rate dropping and I felt like I was going to throw up.  I told Chris I was fine, but he could tell I was about to pass out.  He ran and got the nurse and they said my blood pressure had dropped, which had made the babies heart rate drop really low.  It was the only scary and real painful part of the entire thing.  They gave me some medicine and about noon my doctor came in to check on me on her lunch break.  The nurse hadn't checked me in a really long time.  So when the doctor checked me she was like holy cow, you're a 10!  Let's go ahead and push.  It caught me off guard how quickly everything went.  I started to cry and she offered to let me wait and let it sink in for a minute.  I told her no that I was fine.  I don't know if I was crying out of relief to not be pregnant anymore or the drugs but I knew what was coming this time and was a bit weepy towards the end.  I pushed for about 20 minutes and at 1:11pm Mason Meadow Bates was born at 7 pounds 11 ounces.  As I was pushing the doctor said, do you want to know if he has hair?  Of course I said yes and she said, "he has a ton of dark hair!"  He looks almost identical to Caldwell when he was born, but maybe with slightly darker hair. The the entire birth process and delivery was much easier than last time, and I remember enjoying it last time, so that is saying something.  Chris was more hands off this time.  With Caldwell he was right in there, holding my leg but he chose not to watch too closely this time.  Which I can respect and I think he enjoyed the whole process much more this time too.

After Mason was born we were left alone in the delivery room for a couple of hours to snuggle our guy.  We had lunch delivered and Chris got to snuggle Mason while I shut my eyes for a few minutes. Even though labor is enjoyable, it was hard and I felt so tired after.  We took photo's and sent a few pictures to family.  It wasn't long before we were moved to a different room and we had called Jan to bring Caldwell to come meet his brother.....

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pregnancy #2...

I had hoped to do much better at recording this pregnancy as I did with Caldwell.  The truth is this one is just so different and so much harder.  I recall being tired and somewhat sick with C but I don't recall missing work or literally feeling like I can't do anything.  Any energy I do have is in the mornings, so I use it up at work and by 1:00 I'm beat.  To the point I literally go lay in my car and fall asleep with an alarm or just long for a pillow to lay under my desk.  For the record, I've never actually laid under my desk.  This go round I keep thinking, who the hell fought for women's rights. Being stuck at home would be awesome! ha ha just kidding, sort of.

This week I am 30 weeks, so I only have 10 more to go.  Which I know will come quickly but right now it seems like forever.  There's a part of me that wishes I had stuck with my degree and taught school, only because that would mean I would get to stop working the first of June, instead of clear up until my due date.  I'm irrational here people, this baby is killing me.

The other thing I'm surprised about with this pregnancy is how emotional I get and irrational I feel. Poor Chris looks at me half the time wondering where this person came from and I just can't seem to control my crazy.  This last week Chris has been really sick.  He even stayed home from work one day, which never happens and was in the emergency room the Friday night before - for what we thought was his gal bladder.  Then this weekend Caldwell and I contracted whatever he had and last night before I went to bed, I thought I can do this. I can stay up all night with my sick kid and still go to work.  Even though, I myself was feeling really bad. I kept telling myself it was only one day.  I put Caldwell's crib mattress beside a little bed on the floor in our extra room so Chris could get a good night sleep in our bed and we did okay.  Caldwell would wake up with his sore throat and scream saying, "mommy it hurts."  I could rub his back or get him a drink until he fell back to sleep. That was until about 2am when we switched beds and I slept the rest of the night on the crib mattress. By the time my alarm went off I had been asleep what felt like 20 minutes.  So I called in sick and Caldwell is sitting here on my lap feeling slightly better watching Despicable Me and I thought I'd record this interesting time in our lives.  What are the chances we'd all get sick with Chris having his gal bladder issues and me my pregnancy issues?