Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top 10 Memories of 2010--In Words and Pictures

Welcome to the 2010 edition of Top 10 Memories!  I'm linking up with Katie at Sluiter Nation today, so make sure you head over there and read about her memories, as well.

Most of 2010 was wonderful, but these memories are Top 10, not necessarily Top 10 Happiest.  That being said, these things made this a year I will never forget, for better or for worse.

Let's start the countdown, shall we?

10. Brandon started doing photography as a side income.  This was his New Year's resolution for 2010.  The thing is, Brandon does water resource engineering for a living.  He still refuses to call himself a professional photographer, as this is not his living and he thinks that's very unfair to "real" professional photographers.  I think he's wonderful (for more than just his photography...awwww...), and I think that a boost of a few bucks a month here and there is wonderful and necessary.  He pretty much just does family and kid shots, since he knows a little something about having a family and lots of kids.  From beginning to take some family shots occasionally, to doing Fall photos for a daycare, to having taken the photos on several of the Christmas cards we received this year, I think that he can definitely call his resolution a big success.  Here are a couple of my favorite shots:

 That cute baby?  Not ours.  That cute family?  Some of my favorite people in the world.

9. Brynn turned two, and Brynn stopped nursing.  Both were bittersweet for me.  I loved her/our birthday party--did you know she showed up three weeks early just to be a birthday present for her mommy?--it was Disney-themed, so of course it was a favorite!  Also, she really "got" it this year.  She blew out candles.  She opened gifts.  The year before this, she didn't know what to think of cake, and this year she shoveled it into her mouth by the handful.  We're big believers in child-led weaning, and Brynn had weaned herself down to only nursing just before bed.  On her second birthday, I wanted to jump up and down with excitement because WE HAD MADE IT TO TWO YEARS!  That's the recommended age from most health organizations, and I considered that a HUGE success!  And that night?  She didn't ask to nurse.  It's like a switch was flipped, and she thought, "Ya know, I'm a big two year old now, and I am done."  And she was done.  And I was okay with it, too, cause I was also almost six months pregnant and only had three months to rest before starting it all. over. again.
Mickey AND cake?!?  Yes, please!

 8. Julia got her first haircut at the age of 4 years 4 months.  When Julia was born, she was bald, for all intents and purposes.  We let her hair grow so she wouldn't look like a boy.  And we let it grow, and grow, and grow, until...Disney World.  What better place for your first haircut that the Harmony Barber Shop on Main St. USA?  Here's her "before" shot--would you want to cut those curls?  Didn't think so.

Disney World is magical, and they do a wonderful job of easing kids through their first time in a barber's chair.  She got covered in stickers, a great conversation, special "First Haircut" embroidered mouse ears, a certificate, and pixie dust in her hair when it was all over.  She loved it!  And I got to keep those precious curls in a little tissue with Mickey's face on it. 

7.  Disney-mania hits our household.  We took our first trip in September '09, when Brynn was 17 months old and Julia was 3.  They had fun then, but the second they spotted Cinderella's Castle in May, they went nuts.

 We were always fans of the Disney Princess movies, but after this trip the girls became obsessed with all things Disney--Sing-a-longs, CDs in the van, YouTube clips, park planning DVDs, behind the scenes documentaries, books--you name it, they wanted to see it, sing it, or read about it.  And I must admit that I have absolutely no problem indulging this obsession, mainly because they're enabling mine.

6. We're officially a big family--we bought a mini-van.  After our tax refund came back in February, we immediately went and bought a van.  We had a few requirements, and it met all of them: Honda Odyssey, used, low mileage, extended warranty, DVD player, in our price range.  I knew what we could afford, and since I was hugely pregnant and not in that great of a mood, the salesman had no problem negotiating with us.  We traded in my husband's Honda Fit (sniff, sniff...) and drove home with this thing:

Okay, so that's not the best view of the van.  This is the van loaded up for Disney (see what I mean about obsession), but it's pretty much the only picture we have of it.  So, enjoy the picture because of the van, or enjoy the picture because of my mad packing skills.
Since I'm in the business of publicly admitting embarrassing things here, I am willing to admit that I always wanted a van.  I mean, there's lots of space to pack things, there's a DVD player, there are more cup holders than I could ever possibly fill...awesome.

5. Julia, the prima ballerina.  Well, in my eyes she is, anyway.  She was definitely the stand-out star of her recital, where she danced to "I'm a Little Eskimo."  Still not sure why they would ever pick that song, and still not sure they didn't offend an entire race with it.  But the point?  She was the best dancer up there, if I do say so myself.  And I do.  I don't even think it's Proud Mommy Syndrome (it might be) that makes me declare that.  I just think she's that good.

And since that recital?  Even better.  We switched ballet schools (and not because they choose offensive songs), and now she's even started tap dancing.  She really loves it, and she loves to try and teach her little sister.  By teach, I mean she likes to yell at her that she's not doing it right.

4. Bed rest.  See, I told you not all of this would be happy.  Just after this recital, I went in for a routine midwife checkup at about 32 weeks.  I mentioned that I had a strange pain in my lower left abdomen, a pain I was sure she'd dismiss as round ligament pain.  But when she felt my belly, she felt a contraction.  (Gulp.)  I was moved to a doctor's office chair for monitoring, as all the rooms were full.  A few minutes later, they rushed into the room and told me to get to the hospital ASAP.  My contractions were consistent, and they were coming faster and stronger.  When I got to the hospital, I also learned that I was dilating and almost completely effaced.  This was not in the plan.  I was given drugs to stop labor, and thankfully it worked.  But from that moment on, I was on strict bed rest.  My midwife even told Brandon that if the house was on fire, I was not to get up--he needed to come get me and carry me out.  I did get bathroom privileges, so that was nice, but that was the only time I was allowed up.
Before I was actually put on bed rest, I never realized what people were complaining about.  I mean, who wouldn't like to be forced to rest?  Except that I didn't get any rest.  What I got instead was anxiety and depression over being separated from my kids.  I had no focus.  I evaluated every twitch I felt to see if it was a contraction.  I timed everything.  I obsessed over my water intake and whether or not I was in a good position.  I listened to my kids downstairs having fun without me.  And I hated every second.  Because I was so terrified of going into labor again, I couldn't focus enough to read or pay attention to TV, and I couldn't sleep at night for fear something would happen.  These were the last few weeks of my girls being my only kids, and having them visit me a couple of times a day upstairs was not enough time with them.  And having my mom and mother-in-law cooking and cleaning and putting them down for nap, while appreciated greatly, was like hell, like a big slap in the face.  That was MY job, and in my mind I was the only one who could do things correctly.  Plus, I was jealous of the time they were getting to spend with my kids.
My friend Tami drove me to all my appointments, and at each one I held out hope that I'd be taken off bed rest, but at each one I'd be disappointed.  My contractions were still happening, I was still dilating, they were just making sure he'd be okay...blah, blah, blah...it all started running together. 

35 weeks 5 days, documenting bed rest

I was finally taken off bed rest at 37 weeks.  And then?  He decided to stay put for another two and a half weeks.  Thanks, buddy.  Which brings me to...

3. Sawyer was born!  This should probably be my number one, but since these aren't actually in a particular order, it's good at number 3.
At this point, I was nicely dilated and effaced and my midwife told me I'd be in labor within 24 hours, but I didn't believe her.  And when I was in my tub with a tummy ache the next morning, I still didn't believe her.  And when I rode into work with my hubby just so we could go see if something was happening, I still wasn't convinced.  Until we got near the hospital.  And then my contractions hit.  HARD.  When I walked in, I was six centimeters dilated, and in absolutely no time flat was ten centimeters.  (Yay, third babies!)  I scooted down on the bed and he nearly came out, and one big push, plus a tiny push later, I reached down and delivered my baby, my first son. 
Yes.  I got to deliver him and pull him up on my chest and I thought my heart would burst out of it with love.
He started nursing like a champ and immediately loved snuggling with his mommy.

Easiest birth ever.  And easiest baby ever.

2. I have three kids.  I HAVE THREE KIDS!!!  And never does that come to light more than when I'm attempting to have them all in one place at one time, like for a picture.  A time that will always stick out for me is this picture at Halloween:

I was so happy when this shot was taken.  First of all, how cute are these kids?  And secondly, I was chuckling to myself about the story behind the three Tigger costumes.
I bought Sawyer's costume at Target, and then found Brynn's buried in the garage during a garage sale, so I thought she could wear it and we wouldn't have to spend money.  But Julia?  Julia could NOT allow the two of them to be Tigger without her!!  Do you know how hard it is to find a Tigger costume in a size 5/6?  Not easy, let me tell you!  But thanks to the interwebz, Julia got her costume.
She has no affinity for Tigger, but this whole episode pretty much sums up her personality.  She is the most important (in her eyes), and she will not be left out.  And when you have three kids?  You have to make them all the most important and never leave anyone out of anything.  My lesson was learned.

1.  Yes, I love technology...always and forever... 2010 was a big year for technology in our house.  We had new camera lenses and flashes, new software programs, and...dun, dun, DUHHHHHHHHHHN!!!  The iPad.  Brandon traded a camera lens for it, and it's been a non-stop battle over the darn thing since we got it.  Every person in our household wants to use it all day, every day.  And that includes the baby.
Also, I got a Twitter account this year.  Yep.  Just this year.  Cause I'm that far behind the times.  And also, there's this little blog thing I've got going...

So, there you have it.  2010.  This might just be the most memorable year of my life, and not just because my memory is failing me more and more and I can't recall much about the past.  This year was wonderful and full of good friends, family, and lots of love.  And 2011?  Will be even better.


  1. Aw, Jenn!! I just love reading about your family. What a year huh? I'm so glad you received so many blessings since you are such a blessing to others. Love ya girl!

  2. I'm so glad we fell into this friendship this year! And when I get ready to plan a trip to Disney? I'm coming to you!

  3. What a wonderful post to say goodbye to 2010! And your husbands skills? Of the hook. He should be proud to call himself a professional, making a living off of it or not. Great shots!

  4. This is so beautiful. What wonderful things happened to all of you in 2010!! Even the fact that you got a mini van was kind of ok... ;)

  5. Hey! I know that cute little family up there! :) This is such a great list! I am having so much fun (finally) getting to read about everyone's years!