Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Welcoming the Auspicious Dragon Year

Doesn't the word 'auspicious' just make you sound so Asian?! I mean, who else really uses it? Just the other day someone pointed out to me that Baby Boy Montierth will be born under the auspicious sign of the dragon and asked if I was particularly proud of that. (Apparently they expect a population boom in China for this lunar new year for this reason) I proceeded to point out that the sign may be considered a lucky one, but the dragon can be temperamental and unpredictable, so I thought I'd hold out judgement for now! Don't get me wrong, we're totally excited to have this little one coming, but if there's anything the other two have taught me is that they are their own little people long before the Lord sends them to me. It'll take time for this little dragon and I to get to know each other - with a little 'luck' and alot of prayer it'll come together beautifully.

As for our festivities this year, I was into them long before the 23 of the month. There's something about pregnancy that has me aching for the 'Asian' in me. The house was deep cleaned from top to bottom (though you wouldn't know it after all the cooking I did). Isaac even got into the spirit of it, dusting all the shelves in reach meticulously. It was rather evident I hadn't done that in months! Every one's hair was cut or trimmed, meals were planned long in advance and included freezing of extras such as potstickers, wonton meat, baozi, spring rolls, etc for when the baby comes. I even figured out how to make mochi stuffed with peanuts and sesame seed. If there's any truth to the fact that fetus' can taste what you eat during the last part of pregnancy, this one is going to LOVE Asian food. Not that Kent or the kids minded the splurge one tiny bit!

Isaac was particularly excited this year for us to teach his preschool class about the holiday. He wore his 'dragon suit' for the occasion and proudly filled the little red envelopes with candy coins to give to his friends. We made lanterns in class, read stories, 'painted' Chinese words and ate potstickers and New Year candy.

The weekend was spent at the Phoenix festival where we ate lots of Chinese goodies, watch some dancing (Keila: "Pretty Chinese Pin-cess!!") and even met up with Kent's uncle, Jack.

Sunday morning Keila donned her Chinese dress that my mother sent last year to church. She was keenly aware that it made her look every part the Chinese princess and was prim and proper through most of sacrament.

Gung Hei Faat Choi everyone for this auspicious (I just HAD to use that word again!) Lunar New Year!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Barely 2012 And It's Crazy Already!

I once swore that I'd never do the long lists of pictures, a single sentence as text and call that a decent post. Unfortunately I may have to resort to that if I am to keep up this family journal. Ah, the things we do to stay afloat! ;0)

Life has been at a most frentic pace lately. Just in this last week alone we have barely had 3 hours together as a whole family. Between scouting, Kent's new job and just completing the bare minimum of his old position until it is filled - our dinner times have shifted an hour later and kids are put to bed right away. The evenings Kent spends in meetings, phone calls to arrange resident inteviews or just in paperwork and emails for scouting. To add to much of this, we finally got him in for a sleep study. As we suspected, he has sleep apnea and stops/slows his breathing as frequent as 15 times and hour. No wonder he and I were so exhausted as every 4 minutes he'd snort so loudly as to wake us. Apparently this isn't half as bad as in cases of extreme obesity - their oxygen levels fall so low and frequent (as in every 5 seconds!) that they never reach a state of deep sleep. We've suspected that Kent has had it all his life, but only the recent holiday weight gain has made it such that the snoring is so audible even with ear plugs that my complaints (and many nights on the livingroom couch! poor man!) have lead him to a doctor's visit. In this case, weight gain was very much a blessing! It will take a few more weeks before we'll get the CPAP, (continuous positive airway pressure) that will help insure he will sleep deeply and breath deeply through the night. I'm told by many people that it will make him a new man and me a happy wife! We're both extremely excited by this.

Another medical miracle we expereiced was that Keila and I had the "adventure" of being in a car accident just over a week ago today. I'm just so grateful that we were protected and no one was hurt on either side. I must admit that I was rushing to get back to pick up Isaac from preschool and went straight into an intersection on a yellow light. Either way, I was too close to the intersection and going to fast to stop in time. The other driver was turning left and hit the front side of my van which deployed the airbag. Somehow I was pushing back far enough with my arms that it never hit my belly. Montierth #3 was monitored at the hospital for a few hours and gave no anxiety other than his constant shifting that had the nurse a little annoyed at trying to find his heartbeat. Keila was unhurt, due mostly to the fact that the other driver was at such a low speed and in such a small vehicle. The only time she displayed any distress was at my initial response when I called out her name in fear and when the sirens sounded from the police and ambulance. the very next day she was chasing Isaac like nothing had ever happened. I only suffered bruises on my knuckles and palms as well as a sore spot on my rib (I'm sure it's the seatbelt) and the typical stiffness of whiplash. The irony of it all is that accident occured 7-8 miles away from home, but the other driver lives right around the corner from us, not even a 2 minute walk away. I was grateful to learn that neither he nor his coworkers were hurt beyond whiplash. Insurance stated that he was at fault, we hope that this won't be the cause of any un-neighborly feelings.

We're hoping things will get back to normal, or that we'll adjust to this new normal soon. Otherwise we are well and the kids keep up entertained with their antics. We found a new playplace which the kiddos love and will probably be a sanity line for me once the third little one is born and we are stuck indoors with the summer heat.

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Oh how this boy can get all tangled up, in more ways than one!

I love how Isaac looks out for Keila now without being asked. She has no fears of anything with her big brother by her side!

Isaac's preschool had their annual snow day. No big surprise, Isaac was digging yet again but when I asked him if he had fun, he just hemmed and hawed. Apparently sand is a much better medium to work with, it's warmer for one and provides treasures. Snow just give more snow!

Keila's first response, "COLD!!"

Monkey see big brother, monkey do.

The parting souvenir, a tiny snowball. She was rather sad it didn't last on the drive home and added her tears to the soppy mess in her lap. Farewell snowball!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Montierth #3 - It's A ....

I'll admit it, I'm a control freak of sorts. The funny thing is that having children teaches you how pointless it is and has given me a taste of the joy of spontaneity and surprise. The results are not always pleasurable, but I've learned I can adjust to the unexpected better than I thought and at other times, it's actually fun.

Given this new taste for the unexpected, (and the simple fact that we have stuff for either a boy or girl) I thought I'd try and convince Kent to not find out the gender of the baby until it was scream out it's lungs in the cold air and laid on my belly. It was a no go. Apparently he feels the connection to the child more when he knows what it is and can call it by it's name long before it's born. I was rather insistent though so we reached a compromise of sorts. We'd have the vital info sealed in and envelop for a while I'd enjoy speculating on the little life that shifted inside me for a few months. When we were ready (or when Kent could no longer stand the suspense) we'd set have a small party where our friend Shannon Baker would bake the answer to the gender in a cake - pink if it was a girl, blue if it was a boy. Having never liked the fuss of a baby shower and having everything I needed already, this seemed perfect for my taste - a way to celebrate with friends on a new life.

Unfortunately it backfired a little. Apparently the presence of the sealed envelope induced a strong sense of curiosity for everyone else EXCEPT us. We had felt like we were having a boy, but didn't know for sure and when others knew that the info was readily available, we were pestered at every turn for a date when all would be revealed. I know, I know, I set myself up for that one and so we finally set a date for Sunday Jan 15.

To my surprise, I was getting excited to know. It helped alot that Isaac kept coming up with all sorts of names and ideas of things he would teach his sibling, dependent on it's gender. (teach her to dress up and act like a princess or teach him to fight with a sword like a knight) Shannon knew a week in advance and would tease just a little to peak my curiosity while Kent was expressing relief in not needing a name for both genders. It was also the idea of having some of my closest friend present to enjoy the moment and share in some cake and ice cream. The following pictures say it all!

My dear friend,the engineer and creator of the beautiful cake.

Isaac was right in there, dying to know the answer ...

and it's a boy!!!

Now it's time for the name game!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another Year Gone - 2011

It is time yet again to bid farewell to another year. While we were greatly sadden at the loss of Kent's mom early in the year, we have also be blessed with much growth and love. Here is the latest and greatest on the Montierth family.

Kent spent the first part of the year happily strolling along in life with a good handle on his calling as a Scoutmaster and his job as a clinical pharmacist. It seems he was too content and the Lord gave him a nudge in another direction. Through the urgings of his boss, he applied for a management position over the staffing pharmacists in the hospital and got the job. We were told in advance that the individual in that position would moved into the clinical management job in 2-3 years time. As such Kent needed to obtain an MBA to qualify. So the last 2 months of the year has been spent at a much more frenetic pace as he works out the new responsibilities of this job, continues his position as a clinical pharmacist until it is filled by someone else and prepares to take MBA courses starting in August of 2012. See what happens when you're too content?! ;0)

As a wife and a mother, Flo takes all things in stride (albeit a crazy one!) and manages to juggle Isaac at preschool, volunteering at the preschool so Keila gets free playroom time, decorating Keila's bedroom, managing her calling at church as a visiting teaching coordinator, exercising and thus far completing 2 sprint triathlons. For the last few months she's been wearily holding up the pregnancy of the third child in her old age. ;0) She has only one real goal for 2012, and that is to simply keep her head above water with a husband working and doing an MBA, one child in kindergarten, one in preschool and a newborn. If there are no restrictions placed on the level of sanity need, then she feels confidant she will accomplish the task!

Isaac is in his second year of preschool. He has a sharp little mind and loves the interactions with his friends. With some daily urging from his mom, he's begun to sound out words and read a few books to Keila. His imaginative mind has busily creating all sorts of contraptions from anything that isn't nailed down and finds great pleasure in his newest toy - Lego's. They may have just earned themselves an advocate for life! He is a sensitive and responsible boy - a big helper around the house and will often get a wet rag wipe down doors, walls and floors whenever he sees his Mama is busy cleaning.

If there ever was a toddler moving fully into a young lady/princess, it is Keila. She is all about things that are feminine and beautiful. Having just put up a full lenght mirror in one of the bedrooms, Flo and Kent caught her admiring her reflection and even turning around to gaze at her backside! Apparently this is an inborn skill! Her chatter is all about what princesses do and do not do as well as lengthy conversations on wisdom that Isaac often imparts. She has a very lady-like way to getting your attention by simply placing her dimpled hand on your mouth and telling you, "Hush, hush!" She LOVES to dress up, color, paint and 'decorate' as well as play with her friends from the playroom.

Montierth #3 is due sometime in April. We do not know the gender of this child yet (rest assured we will keep you posted) but it will be unveiled at a small party in just a few days. We are all excited for this new addition and the adventures he/she will bring to our small family.

We are grateful for the many blessings of this last year and for all the friends and family that made it memorable. Here's to a new year and a clean slate with more joys to come!