Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

This year, The Frog requested his costume months ago.  I was a bit worried because I knew I was going to have to go low-key this year, with Hazel's birthday being expected so close to Halloween... Luckily, he wanted to be a dog.
The Frog thinks it's soooo funny to try and frown for pictures.  It's pretty hard to frown and laugh at the same time...
 Once Peach heard this, she knew she wanted to be a cat.  (This girl LOVES cats.  LOVES them.)
 So I made an executive decision and made Hazel follow suit and be a bird.  (Well, a half-hatched bird.  I said low-key, remember?)  I had visions of my cute new infant peaking her head out of an adorable feathery blue hat, getting sighs and "awwwwww"s from everyone she passes.  Unfortunately, as construction began, I soon realized my plan was either going to look like cookie-monster with a beak, or blue Homer Simpson.  Jay and I decided Homer was funnier and so this is what she got:
 Poor poor girl...
The Frog wore his costume with face paint to preschool yesterday and Peach wanted some too.  I should have taken pictures of them then (but I could get all three of them because I didn't finish Hazel's hat until last night), because today they were uninterested in the makeup and actually, as you can see below, The Frog is planning to wear his skeleton pajamas instead and be a skeleton.

This group shot took WAY to long to get.  I think Hazel was the most willing one in the group.

As for Jay and I... we didn't end up going to my brother's awesome party this year, since it was the same night I got home from the hospital.  Which is okay.  Jay's costume was only half done, and I was going to rewear my Princess Peach one (if it would fit... which I see now that it totally would not have...) so he's going to the ward "Trunk or Treat" at our church tonight as a tiger.  (Remember Tigg'r from two years ago?) And if I decide I'm not scared of Hazel getting sick, I might throw on my rabbit, so we'll all be animals :) (Bonus: that rabbit costume is mucho forgiving for someone who looks pregnant, but isn't.)

I was excited for carving pumpkins this year because I thought that The Frog would finally be old enough to draw his own and we'd have one really really awesome pumpkin from him.  But no.  Pumpkin carving this year turned into, "mom does everything while we tell her what to do."  I'm glad I decided to start early in the day because it literally took. all. day.
Can you guess who's is for whom?
I feel like I've got so much to say about how everything else going on at the McCarthy's, but for now I only have time for: Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kid Conversation: Peanut Butter Bars

On Saturday, I took the kids to BYU as I gave a friend a tour. We ended in my office and the kids grabbed a peanut butter bar (from Costco) to split. Peach left the majority of hers in her cup in the car. Today when we were going on an errand, she saw it and started eating it again. The Frog saw this...

Frog: Dad, can you get me a peanut butter bar?

Me: We don't have them at home, just at my office.

Frog; When are you going to BYU next?

Me: Tomorrow, for work, but just because I'm going doesn't mean you are going.

Frog: Well, can I come with you?

Me: What are you going to do besides get a bar?

Frog: Nothing, you can take me home after I get one. When I get home, I'll go inside with the bar, and mommy will say, "Where'd you get that peanut butter bar?" and I'll say "AT BYU!!! HAHAHAHAHA" [and then he laughed maniacally.]

He's so funny.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Welcome Baby "Hazel"!

"Hazel" McCarthy
7 lbs. 8 oz.
19 in. long

And for those of you who love birth stories...

I woke up after a horrible night of sleep feeling like it would be THE day and announced it to Jay.  He decided it was a good date to be born, since 1024 is a power of 2.  (His vote was to call her "Kilo" on the blog, since 1024=2^10=kilobyte.  I obviously gave him a polite laugh and picked my own name...)  Though I suspected I was in labor, I wasn't positive because it felt so much different than my first two.  It was more like really intense Braxton-Hicks contractions (which don't normally hurt me) accompanied by really intense lower abdominal cramps.  It's hard to explain, but they just felt like they were in a different area than past labor contractions.

So, just in case, I took a shower and did my hair so I would at least go to the hospital clean to begin with (I never have the energy to shower there...) and packed up my hospital bag.  It was about 9:30am and I realized that a playgroup I'm a part of was planning a field trip to Pumpkinland for that day.  It was rainy and cold, though, so it got last-minute changed to just playing at someone's house (just down the street from us).  I was secretly glad, though I knew The Frog was excited about Pumpkinland.

I told Jay to take the car to work that day, in case he needed to drive home quick, so we got on our rain-gear and I pushed Peach in the stroller while The Frog rode his "rocket-bike" to the neighbor's.  At this point, I didn't think the contractions were regular enough to worry about- maybe only 4 or 5 per hour.  They were frequent enough to make it really awkward to put the chain back on his bike when it fell off, though...

I consulted the ladies at playgroup and one of the more experienced (6 kids) told me some of her labors were different feeling from each other, so it could be labor, BUT she also had more false labor, with each successive child.  I decided not get my hopes up.

After going home, fixing lunch and putting the kids down for a nap, I called my mom to let her know I was unsure if I was in labor (it's now noon), since I texted her that morning saying to be on guard.  After talking to her, though, I realized I hadn't really timed the contractions and decided to do that.

Side-note: during lunch the contractions started to be hard enough I needed to breath through them a bit.  I had a contraction while giving the kids their food and I had to sit down and breath through it.  The Frog looks at me confused and says, "Mom?  Mom?  What are you doing?  Are you gonna poop your pants?!"  Which makes me laugh- very unpleasant during a contraction, in case you're wondering.  Don't tell jokes to women in labor.

Anyway, I timed my contractions for about an hour and realized they were actually happening every 4-ish minutes, for about 30 seconds, so that's probably regular enough to be considered labor and I called my mom back to come on down.

The plot thickens...

Jay and I just got approval to refinance our home (which we are SO SO pleased about!!) and he had an appointment to sign the papers in Sandy (about 40 minutes away) at 3pm.  Jay came home for lunch at around 1 and we discussed and decided he should go up and sign the papers and he'd probably still have time to be at the birth.  (because labor always seems to take forever, right?)  Plus my mom was already on her way down to help with the kids, so I had a backup plan.

So Jay leaves, the kids wake up, and my mom arrives all within about 20 minutes of each other.  SO glad I had her come when I did.  Turns out, it's hard to be in labor and be expected to take care of kids, or even be around much noise.  My mom took them outside to play and I labored on the sofa for about another hour.

By now, it's about 2:45pm and the contractions are starting to be more intense and are happening every 2 minutes.  My water still hadn't broken, which is what I was sort of waiting for since laboring at the hospital is so much more uncomfortable, but I just felt like I should go, especially since I was supposed to come in a bit early to get an I.V. of antibiotics since I tested positive for Strep B.

Side-note: sometime in there I went to use the bathroom and Peach, of course, wanted to join me.  I had a contraction on the toilet, so I'm sitting there breathing heavily and Peach is across from me on her potty, copying my breathing and lying her head on my leg, very dramatically.  I managed not to laugh this time.

So I text Jay, who is now in Sandy, waiting for his appointment, to tell him I'm going to the hospital and assure him my water hasn't broken, I just want to go now.  My mom took the kids to a neighbor's and we drive to the hospital.
me, right before leaving for the hospital
I had about 3 or 4 intense contractions in the car, one in the parking-lot, and two at the check-in desk.  I got into the room in time for one more.

Meanwhile, my mom just got off the phone with Jay who said he got the papers signed in record time (telling people your wife is in labor can really get them moving) and was just getting off the free-way to meet up with us.

I changed my clothes, another contraction and the nurse checked me and said I was at 9.5cm!!  Woah!  She put the baby heart-rate monitor on me, I had one more contraction and Hazel was now in my canal ready to come out.

They got ONE minute of her heart-rate.

I kind of moaningly said, "she's coming out," and it took the nurse a second to realize what I was saying.  I'm not exactly sure what was going on in the room at that point- I know someone was about to try and give me the I.V. and the doctor had just come in, but two pushes later and Hazel was here!

Thank GOODNESS I decided to leave when I did.  My water didn't break until her head had already emerged- which is not that common and actually really great since it minimizes the risk of her getting an infection from the Strep B.
Jay walks in about 5 minutes later and casually comes over to see how I'm doing and I lift up the blanket and say, "She's here!"  

"She's here?!"

A nice bonus of having my mom there was getting pictures of Jay and I together in the hospital :)
Just after dad's arrival
So, my super-mom went to gather the kids and get them fed, Jay went with Hazel to get her cleaned up and checked out, and I got all cleaned up and wheeled to my recovery room where we all met up again.  Peach was SO excited to hold her new baby sister.  She got really upset if I tried to take her away.  She kept touching her face and saying, "I like Hazel.  I like Hazel."  It was soo cute.
Despite my mom taking many photos, this is the best group shot we got.  Looks like it gets harder to get them all looking, the more kids you have ;)
It's official!  Jay and I are out-numbered.  Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kid Conversations

My kids are hilarious, if I do say so myself.  And it's so much fun to listen to them talk about funny things with each other now :)  Sadly, I haven't been so great at remembering to write the best ones down, but here are a couple:

So, in typical Libby fashion, I often get lower-back/bum pain during pregnancy if I overdo it.  (overdo?  who me?)  I was walking down the hall with Peach, massaging my rear and kind of complaining to myself out loud:

me: ouch, my bum really hurts!
Peach: you need cream, mama?  (talking about diaper rash cream)

For some reason, our kids really really like gum, and it's turned into something I give them in the car if they cooperate while running errands.  Sometimes, however, I leave the gum in the diaper bag when I have my purse or other way around, so I don't always have it handy.  After not having it for several times, I was running errands with Peach:

Peach: Mommy, can I have some gum?
me: Yes, you may.  I'm pretty sure I have it today.
Peach: (clapping)  Good job Momma!  Good job for having gum for me!!

I didn't want to say anything and jinx our progress, but Peach may or may not have been potty training herself lately...  She's been telling me when she needed a diaper change for quite some time and loves taking off her clothes.  For a couple of months she's been occasionally requesting to sit on the toilet, but never produced anything.  Well, much to my surprise, a couple of weeks ago, while I was making dinner, I went to the bathroom and there she was, sitting on the potty (naked) and said with excitement, "Mommy!  I'm going potty!!"  I didn't think anything of it, because she always does this, but lo and behold!  This time she did it!!  This happened a couple more times over the weekend.  Despite the horrible timing (baby due soon) I decided to let her try and put her in underpants all week.  I've gotta say, she's been doing a really great job!  That's not to say I haven't had my fair share of messes to clean up, but seeing as how The Frog just barely (and I still don't completely trust him with #2) finished potty training at 4, this is mind-blowing to me!!  People said it would be easier with girls, but this is just ridiculous! So now you have the long back story.

I should mention the Peach is extremely friendly to strangers and is always talking to people at the store or church or wherever there are people.  She tells them all kinds of things about her life.  Well, last night, we had to make an emergency Costco-milk run before the sabbath today and I could see she was talking to the girl there helping load carts:

girl: (bending down to get closer to hear) What did you say?
Peach: (says something I couldn't hear)
girl: (to me) Does your daughter like to tell people when she "goes" in her pants?
me: yeah...
girl: Oh.  Well, she just went.

And she did.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


It's funny, this pregnancy I haven't had much to really DO for the baby before she got here (get out baby stuff from boxes and wash.  done.) yet I've been making lists like crazy for things I want to get done before she gets here- mostly unfinished projects.  I've been nicking away, little bits of all of them, but still have almost nothing to show for myself...  Occasionally, I'll add something to the list right after I complete it (clean out shed) so I can have something else crossed off :)

Just so I feel like I've accomplished something and so I remember why I've taken almost no pictures and keep forgetting to blog the funny things the kids say, this is what I've been working on since Early September:
  1. Reorganize kids' closets so girl clothes are in Peach's closet, future boy clothes are in The Frog's, and baby boy clothes are in the garage
  2. Get out baby clothes, wash and inventory if anything is needed
  3. Buy New Born sized diapers- thank you Amazon!
  4. Wash infant carseat cover, bundle me and swing cover
  5. Move carseats to accommodate baby carseat
  6. Recover glider cushions- my neighbor just gave me an old glider (hurray!) but it's been outside on their patio and it needs a bit of love.  I knew I wouldn't have time to refinish it, but I thought I could at least recover the cushions.  My super-mom offered to do it for me AND refinish it AND she's using fabric she had just lying around so it feels free!!  I am so blessed!  Thanks Mom!
  7. Finish baby quilt- sooo close.  I could be done now, but I think I want to quilt something where the block border intesect.  Then the binding and I'm done.
  8. Finish quiet book- this is probably not going to happen.  I started it years ago and I hate working on it and I still don't have a definite plan.  
  9. Finish Peach's 1st year scrapbook- I now have 3 pages left to layout and then I just have to go back and glue things in place.  
  10. Put kids' summer clothes away- Peach is done, now for The Frog
  11. Get back door deadbolt installed- my dad just agreed to do this for me.  yay!
  12. Move Crib back to The Frog's room after already moving it to Peach's (again)- we didn't have a real plan on where the new babe would be, but I'm now thinking when she shares a room it will probably be with The Frog because he's a deeper sleeper at night.
  13. Get rid of wasps by the patio- We have TONS of wasps crawling in and out of this crack by our patio.  Terminex did did something to get rid of them. But then they came back.  But then Terminex came back.  But then they came back.  But then we got a frost last night, so I think they're dead now for good?
  14. Stay on top of garden produce- we have been eating it... but I know a lot will be wasted.  Anyone in need of cherry tomatoes?!  Thanks to my mom, all our pears have been dried :)
  15. Find a cleaner to help out when baby gets here- this is proving SO much harder than it should.  Anyone have any recommendations?  I don't really want to go through a company because they're more expensive than individuals but when people don't call you back...
  16. Call electrician to move upstairs thermostat and replace it with Nest- I had to call more than one electrician to get someone to call me back here too.  Isn't my money good enough for people?  But seriously, Nest is awesome!!  (you know you're a home-owner when a new thermostat excites you :D)
  17. Make a food storage plan - I have a great start.  I decided to just make a 7-day meal plan (I'm toying with a 14-day plan, if I can manage it) made of exclusively food storage friendly items and then calculate how much of everything I'd need for first 3 months, then 6 months, etc until we can build up to a year.  I feel so frustrated by the general guidelines for food storage because I feel like if I ever had to use them, how would I know what percentage of what kinds of (for example) grains our family would use?  When I'm done, I'll probably share.  I have a lot to say about food storage and have found some awesome websites.  It will probably be its own post.
  18. Take inventory of current food storage items- this actually ended up being a fun counting activity for The Frog
  19. Clean & refill 55 gallon water barrels- we inherited 2 of these from the previous owners of our home, but who knows when the last time they were cleaned out.  Actually, one of them was missing a bung cap and The Frog has been putting rocks, pears, leaves... in it since he could walk.  We dumped it out the other day and there was even a ROPE in there!  It's going to be hard to shake the rest of the stuff out...
  20. Construct Water Barrel storage- my amazing dad did this for me!  It's awesome!
  21. Buy Water Barrel accessories- I don't even have a bung wrench to open them to clean them out!  My dad helped me open them though.  However, it and two faucets are on their way.
  22. Clean out shed- happened spur of the moment, but needed to be done
  23. Clean grill - I haven't taken things out to clean them since we bought it 2 years ago.  ew.
  24. Make a dinner plan for 1 month to cycle through-  I kinda cheated and started this project last winter/spring before I got pregnant and quit.  For me, the hardest part about making dinner is just deciding what to make.  Once that's done, it's brainless and easy.  I'm hoping to even have stream-lined shopping lists for each week.
  25. Plan Family Home Evening lessons for a month- just so I don't have to do it once the baby comes.  I have general topics now, but haven't fleshed out the details yet.
  26. Halloween Costumes- The Frog and Peach are basically done- I went extremely simple this year.  Jay, not at all, though I should have all the supplies.  I confess, I'm planning to re-wear something... I have materials for the babe, but I don't want to make anything until I can measure her.  Newborn heads are much smaller than everyone thinks they are...
  27. Re-make freezer inventory (this looks way nicer in Numbers.  Google spreadsheets are hard to format for printing)- I used to have an awesome system going where I made a spreadsheet of everything I typically freeze, laminated it, and stuck it to the freezer in the garage with a magnet and I even found a magnetic, mini-expo marker with an eraser build into the lid!  It worked great because I'm the only person who generally takes things out of that freezer, so I kept the inventory accurate and I could see what I had at a glance.  Sadly, The Frog became privy and tall enough to reach it and kept scribbling things out or erasing things and eventually lost the sheet for me.  :/  I need to do it again because it was so nice to have.  I'll just have to hang it high up on the wall this time?  The thought of taking everything out just makes me tired...
  28. Bind The Frog's bed quilt- I finished piecing this thing last JANUARY.  I'm so ashamed... I couldn't decide on how to quilt it, and then I came up with an awesome plan that was just too awesome and daunting, and then I got pregnant and then I decided, there's no way it's going to get done if I do it myself. :(  I just HATE having someone else do the quilting because I take pride in doing the whole thing All By Myself!  (I'm starting to sound like some little someones I know...)  A quilt just takes so much heart to put together!  Luckily, my sister-in-law's mother has access to a long-arm machine quilter and at a good price.  For some reason, it's just easier for sentimentality purposes to let a friend help rather than just blatantly paying a stranger to work on my quilt :)  Anyway, she just sent it back to me this week and now it's waiting to be bound.  I can do it!
  29. "Winterize" front closet- I had the brilliant idea to vacuum storage all our coats last spring so our front closet wouldn't feel so cluttered.  I'm scared to get them out again because I fear there won't be enough room...
  30. Finish October quilt blocks- I'm taking a quilt-block-of-the-month class and we have 2 blocks to complete each month.  They are turned in the second Saturday of each month.
  31. Finish November quilt bocks- I want to finish these before the Babe gets here.
So, what do you think.  Am I crazy?  I've almost done half... (14/31) I have 3 weeks before the due date, and my other two kids came early...

If you don't hear from me again until she gets here, now you know why :)

Conference Activities

What a great weekend!  I always love General Conference- well, I have since I went to college and actually stayed awake during all 4 sessions :)  However, since having children, I haven't been able to pay attention as much as I wanted and it's always been quite stressful and contentious somehow.  I was determined to make this year better!

I got the idea (thank you Pinterest!) to make little activity bags- one for each of the apostles and members of the first presidency and prophet- and then I printed out and laminated these cards, putting one of each in each bag.  Then with every new speaker, we would go through all the bags and, together, try to determine if the picture in the bag was the same as the speaker.  I think The Frog had as much fun doing this as doing the activities.  I also had 3 other activities planned for when there was a long streak of other general authorities.

General commentary?  It worked great!  Yes, I still had to help entertain the kids, but I feel like I got sooo much more out of conference this year.  I can say that I at least got the overall topic from almost every speaker, which is leaps and bounds above the previous 4 years.

Here are the activities I chose:

  • Stickers- one of the best activities, believe it or not.  Peach (2) and The Frog (4) both liked this and spent quite a bit of time on it because I gave them a bag of those foamy stickers that you have to peel the backs off of, which means it took more time to use each sticker :) We just put them on construction paper- their choice of color.
  • Color with crayons, then water color on top- my kids just really seem to like watercolor, and doing crayons first just extended the time spent on it a bit.
  • Glitter glue symmetry prints- scribble with glitter glue and then fold in half to reveal.  It was a bit quick, but when The Frog opened his up, he thought it was really cool.
  • Draw with elmer's glue + glitter- too quick and too messy.  Won't do this again with young kids.
  • Finger paints- I thought it would be fun to try having them paint on tin foil, but The Frog wasn't interested in that.  Peach did, but I'm realizing that for some reason, painting activities hold my kids' interest longer if they are allowed to use a paint brush.
  • Painting toenails- this was an extra activity actually suggested by The Frog.  This one is especially good because they have to sit still while waiting for the polish to dry.  And they spend a good deal of time looking through all the colors and deciding what they want.
  • Bead necklaces- this was an unassigned activity too and it was really really great for The Frog- Peach wasn't so interested and mostly threw beads everywhere.  I got out a muffin tin and The Frog and I spent a good amount of time just organizing them by color first, then he made his own necklace.  We did this Saturday morning session and the kids wore their necklaces (and tried on each other's) all weekend.  (I ended up just making one for Peach since she wasn't that interested, but she loves wearing it.)
  • Toothpick and marshmallow sculptures- I was a bit worried about this because I hate handing out treats before lunch, but The Frog was very disciplined about not eating any of his sculptures until after lunch, and it was a fun, quiet, activity to do in the afternoon too!  The Frog got really into this and built some pretty cool things!  Peach mostly just kept sneaking a marshmallow and running away.  haha.
  • Origami- I found a Halloween origami set at JoAnn's for $1.  It's a good idea, especially for the future, but a bit too old for my kids.  The Frog just watched me do it for him.  Peach was wholly uninterested.
  • Halloween lanterns- I really like having these cute lanterns around, but I didn't plan it out very well.  I just kind of made this activity up.  I cut Halloween shapes out with my Silhouette, which, by the way, doesn't do great on construction paper.  Good to know.  I wish I had colored vellum lying around...  Anyway, we glued Halloween shapes to a white piece of paper and then wrapped them around a spaghetti sauce jar.  I quickly discovered that the shapes were not staying curved to the paper and I pretty much had to go over everything with packing tape.  Even so, I think they turned out super cute, and it was fun to light them during dinner and even breakfast this morning (it's darker out when we eat breakfast than dinner :D).
  • Tissue paper and tape snakes- we just took tissue paper and crinkled it into a long "snake", then wrapped it with tape to get it to stay.  Didn't take as long as I hoped and I had to help The Frog more than I thought I would.  He did play with it briefly, but it didn't take as long to decorate as I had hoped.  Peach was uninterested, and instead hid balls of tissue paper in everyone's shoes.  So I guess she was quietly occupied...
  • Cookies- since the beginning of the second Saturday session always begins with a lot of "business" items, I thought that might be a good time to bake and eat some cookies.  (I made the dough the night before).  It went over well, as you might imagine, and I felt good that we all had lunch already.
  • Painting on wooden magnets- I got 2 of these little kits at JoAnn's for $1.  I didn't realize that the paint wasn't washable until I got them out to work on, but it worked out okay and both kids spent enough time on them to make it worth it.  I did have to be very controlling about having only 1 paint cup open at a time so we could wash our brushes and so I would only have to keep track of one color to not spill and stain everything.
  • Play dough- this is normally great, but The Frog napped for the first half of the very last session of conference, so he kind of had a queue of crafts to work on and I think he wanted to do some of the other things that he doesn't play with regularly.  In the future, I might actually make play dough and part of the fun could be measuring the ingredients and kneading in the coloring.
  • Legos- short lived for the same reason as above.
  • Blocks- The Frog and I built a pretty cool castle, until Peach woke up from her nap and kept knocking everything over.
The Frog was so pleased with their projects, he wanted them hung up.  This is now our "Conference Craft door"

The Frog building with marshmallows and toothpicks

Halloween lanterns glowing at breakfast

Tissue paper and tape "snake"

    Didn't do-
    • Leaves- The Frog had collected some pretty leaves earlier in the week, so I pressed them and thought we could do something with them, but we kind of ran out of time, and it was one of the things that we would have done while The Frog was napping.
    • Scissors and punches- we never did this one because it was associated with D. Todd Christofferson and he only spoke in the Priesthood session.  Typically, though, my kids love to go to town on blank piece of paper with a pair of scissors, especially when I get out my funny scissors with different cutting edges.
    Some other things I want to remember:
    Peach really loved listening to all the musical numbers and would sometimes request that Jay and I sing along with the Mo-tab or she would come in and sing her version of "I Am A Child of God" while the choir sang whatever they were singing.  So cute.
    It was funny to hear The Frog compare the pictures to the speakers- "no, he doesn't have glasses", "this guy has white hair", "he's kinda fat- yeah, that's him!"

    I'm very pleased with how the weekend went.  I made a special breakfast both days- waffles yesterday and pumpkin cinnamon rolls today- and we did a picnic lunch on the lawn yesterday.  I'm hoping that the kids will grow to love conference and look forward to it when it comes.

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    Halloween Decorations

    One morning, The Frog requested a craft, so I tried to think of something easy.  How about construction paper pumpkins?

    One thing led to another and The Frog wanted to do more and more.

    This is in the window by our kitchen table now.  I just love looking at it, and I love how proud The Frog is of it.

    Notice the ghost has a belly-button :)