Monday, November 28, 2011

Our fifth little Hanson will debut sometime around July 1st. Since my body is refusing to cooperate with my wishes to keep things on the down-low for another few weeks, I'm announcing the exciting news!

Here are some things that have been happening around here as this little one has been cookin':

- I had an ultrasound last week and this little "grape" was super wiggly. That was fun. It was even more fun to confirm that there is only ONE babe in there. This was an early ultrasound, so no gender yet. That should be happening around mid-February.

- I amazed that I am gaining weight considering how sick I've been. I'm hoping for only a few more weeks of this stage...

- I think I look like I'm 20 weeks pregnant instead of the mere 9 weeks. Hopefully I'll still look this size when I really am 20 weeks...I can dream.

- I got a positive test earlier than ANY of my others.

- I got sick earlier than ANY of the others.

- My sense of smell is crazy! This has never been a pregnancy symptom for me.

- Do these last three things mean it's a boy? Or is it just psychological? Only answer if you think it's the former...

- Colds and pregnancy are not friends.

- I'm typically a night owl, but not lately! Several nights a week I'm out by 9pm. Yikes.

- Autumn got big sister privileges and came with me to my appointment on Friday. I told her the news on the way there. She said, "Eeeeeee!", among other things.

- We told the rest of the kids yesterday and Heidi said, "I cannot believe I'm hearing this!" and "I hope I have a baby brother!"

- Esther didn't believe me.

- Becca said, "Oh."

- The strange dreams have begun. Last night I dreamed there was a tiger in the house and noone else cared to do anything about it. They knew it was there, they just didn't understand the seriousness. I mean, come on, a tiger?!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

(Bonus points for whoever can name the song I'm thinking of in my Post Title!)

So has anyone noticed the strangeness of my Facebook posts lately? It's like I've been hacked. They're just so random...check it out!

October 25
Does anyone else hate sesame seeds on their buns and find themselves picking them off? Anyone, anyone? No need to be shy. :)

November 8
Mmmm. Blueberry muffins with streusel on top.

November 15
Is it "kidney beans, kidney beans, hoagies and grinders" OR "navy beans, navy beans, hoagies and grinders"? And what are grinders anyway?

November 26
Grapes? Or raisins? If it were up to me, grapes would always win -- but on the other hand, that sure would taste odd in my Cream of Wheat...

Maybe it would make sense if I could keep it going for weeks and weeks and weeks...maybe 40? Or 36?

Something like this, you know: poppy seed, sesame seed, lentil, blueberry, kidney bean, grape, kumquat, fig, lime, medium shrimp, lemon, apple, avocado, turnip, bell pepper, heirloom, as long as a banana, or next a carrot, spaghetti squash, large mango, ear of corn, rutabaga, English cucumber, head of cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, butternut squash, large cabbage, weighs as much as four oranges, or then a jicama, next a pineapple, cantaloupe, weighs as much as a honeydew melon, crenshaw melon, as long as a stalk of Swiss chard, or next a leek, weighs as much as a mini-Watermelon, size of a small pumpkin?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Last week was crazy. Becca fell off the top bunk on Monday afternoon. We spent the day on concussion watch. We watched movies and iced her swollen eye (face-first, ay!). The swelling went down some but in the evening it went back up to off we went to Urgent Care. The Urgent Care doc said he couldn't feel any fractures and to just watch for abnormal behavior or vomiting and to take her to the ER if either of those happened. We headed home with a plan to rouse her every 2 hours through the night. Then she threw up in the car...

At the ER she had a CT scan with results showing 2 fractures around her eye and 3 mm (like 3 drops of blood) of bruising on the dura (the outermost lining of the brain - not IN the brain, so big difference there).  We were transferred to Miller Children's Hospital for observation and a repeat CT scan.

Becca and I spent Tuesday morning from about 2am to Wednesday afternoon about 1pm in the hospital. The repeat CT scan showed the bruising was stable so we just waited to make sure she didn't show any abnormal behavior that would indicate intervention was necessary.

I have NEVER spent that much time all alone with my youngest. Once we knew things were going to be okay, she and I enjoyed some good one-on-one time. She is such a sweetie. As long as nurses or doctors weren't messing with her checking things or poking at her, she was happy. And even when they did have to check things, she really was a trooper.

It's been a week and a couple of days now and I am continually amazed at how quickly she is healing! We've been through the "bruise rainbow" and are almost done! She has a follow-up with the opthamologist next week to check her eye again, but that's it.

If you are at all queasy about these kinds of things, you can stop here. Here come the pictures. I wanted to document how quickly her healing has been. For our family here, we've been with her all week and are used to how she's looked - but if you're checking in here, it may be a bit of a shocker. Just to warn you!

ALSO: If you feel inclined to leave a comment, please know that we have fielded all sorts of questions and comments in the past week and a half. Some very kind, some not so kind or thoughtful. Hopefully if you read my blog, you know that I love my children and take care of them. Some knocks are just going to happen despite any parents' best efforts! Yes, we don't regularly allow our children to play on the top bunk (especially our littlest ones!). Yes, we have a climber. No, I do not follow her around the house 24/7. Yes, she was playing with a sister. Yes, I actually had the ladder blocked off previous to this though some inventive children undid my work. Yes, it is blocked off again. Okay, deep breaths Abby. I'm okay now. Just had to put that out there.

Monday evening, can't even open her eye...

Tuesday, early in the morning:

Wednesday afternoon, buckled in and ready to come home (and able to open her eye a little!):

Thursday, eating lunch:


Sunday (looking a little sleepy still post-nap):

This morning, Wednesday the 23rd, 10 days later:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Last night I was searching for a particular video to show to my mom. I also came across this one. It's only 42 seconds and will make your day! I've decided to check my PhotoBooth more often...I need these reminders of just how funny my girls are!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

I came into the kitchen and saw this:

Which led to this

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I started to make dinner tonight and realized how much of our girls' "vocabulary" has crept into our own. I told Eric I was going to check if we had the "gredients" for dessert. That was one of Heidi's.

Right now Becca says:

nunnerwear (underwear)
nanks (thanks)

"I'm drive" (I'm dry!)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"We are the muses. 
Goddesses of the arts
and proclaimers of heroes.
Heroes like Hercules.
Honey, you mean Hunkules!"

I have loved this movie from the first time I saw it (you knew I was talking about Hercules, right?) And with four sisters of my own, it was only natural that we would assign each of us to one of the muses in the story. Five muses, five sisters - how could we resist?

This planted a seed though. I asked Qait (short for Kathryn, Isaac's inventive spelling) if she'd be willing to draw a muse for each of us, basing the drawings on our interests. Someday, when she's finished them in pen (and color?) I'll frame them and hang them in my house! I'm including Qait's and my notes too.

Me: I think you should do a doodle of the five of us as muses! Not as look-alikes to the Hercules ones, but in a way that made it clear we were muses, but us, and included things that made it clear who was who? I don't know...but it seems like such a fun idea. And I don't have a drawing bone in my body. :) 

Q: I have been sketching! JUST sketches, although I think they look pretty cool for being starter sketches. Abby, tell me how close/far I am from what you had in mind. I could do more cartoony, but I figured I have at least a little artistic license. ;) So I decided on a style sort of based on the Hercules muses, but more detailed and individualized.
To all of you--tell me if you are unhappy with the characteristics I put with your muse. It was sort of hard. I did some research and sifted through the nine typical muses --a lot of them are just for a specific kind of poetry, you know?
Now! In the drawings, things are not necessarily how they'll look finally. You might be able to read my notes jotted on the pages. There are lots of pictures (I had fun), but hopefully they're not too repetitive. I kept adding even after taking pictures, especially on Rae's muse. And Liz, sorry you look rather Pocahontasesque. :) Umm... I don't know if you want to hear my commentaries on each one, but I'm excited about them, and this is how I'd tell you about the picture if I were sitting with you.


LIZ: I present you as the muse of romance and poetry. You have always seemed like such a romantic in the best of ways, and I love your passion for writing poems! There's a heart-shaped tip to your arrow and a feather pen tucked in your sash. Are you satisfied with that? I meant to make you look like you're concentrating, but instead it's an angry face. Oops! And the feet...everybody's feet need work.


ABBY: Music and history. It was hard to pick for you--please give me ideas? I put you with a flute because--even though we are all musical--you have such a talent for music, especially having played a number of instruments. You have a book because that just seemed really suitable. :) I put you as the muse of history simply because you have an incredible mind for detail and events, and when combined with your love of reading, it worked.


RAE: I already told you I think of you as artful (not artsy--that's fartsy). Your "props" are kind of difficult, though. You are the muse of writing and art. To represent art, you have a double scroll tucked under one arm. You are also holding items of decoration, a string of beads and a sash. At your feet is a vase or pitcher, also a decoration. But that area of your artistic talent, though wonderful, is not as strong as your talent with photography. I couldn't decide how to portray that. So you can see in my notes I added a portrait in the folds of fabric and sketched an old-fashioned camera. Thoughts?


ME (QAIT): I'm least happy with the drawing of myself--not for quality--because it diverts from the style I was heading for. I have myself as the muse of music (like Abby, though maybe I'll define it as lullaby music or something of the sort) and of astronomy. That one surprised Michael, but I really do love the stars. I have a star map and a telescope at my side, and I'm holding a lyre. The straight hair is not staying.


MADDIE: I think yours might be my favorite...maybe. I like them all. Maddie, you're the muse of comedy and tragedy (or drama, humor) because you have the most delectable sense of humor. I think drama came to mind because you are quite a passionate soul. Your muse is depicted holding a dagger hardly hidden behind her back for irony and tragedy. In the hand resting on your knee, you hold the ribbon of an actor's mask. Your foot is resting on a miniature Greek stage with two tiny actors expressing joy and grief.

ALL: With the final pictures, I want to have a drawing for each muse separately and one drawing combining all of us. The various levels of glamor from sketch to sketch happened just with the fluctuation of my ideas and mood. Rae looks fancy, Maddie's cute, Liz looks fierce, Abby's 50s-relaxed, and I look like Barbie. That was just all kind of how it happened. :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

So two.

We all enjoy Becca so much. This is a fun age.

Apparently this is the best way to watch Mickey Mouse. On a bucket. I love how she's the only one in the family who could get away with this. Noone else's feet would fit! Oh, to be two.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We had no idea that we'd be starting a tradition when took our first picture here in 2007. I guess we'll need to come back in four years and take another.

It felt like it took a good hour to get this shot but it actually only took about fifteen minutes...

We have so many bloopers of this picture, it's hilarious! One kid ready, that kid gone and another in it's place, someone's back, someone pictures with kids are always an adventure.

Autumn, Heidi, and Esther on one of our last family walks on campus before Eric graduated!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This summer we dubbed our Fridays as "Family Fun Fridays". One week we went to the Los Angeles Temple and Visitor's Center. I love how they've redone the Visitor's Center to be more interactive. The girls loved it too.

Eric's Mom & Dad have a picture on their wall of Eric and Anna standing in front of the temple, arms crossed, looking so serious (they were supposed to be looking reverent). 

We just had to make our own but I don't think they look very serious (or reverent)...but they sure look cute!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Easter Girls

I love how each of the girls' personalities comes out in this shot of all four of them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I guess I won't wait for the six-month mark to revive my blog. It's starting to reflect how I really journal....


But really, I'm ready to write again. 

Monday, April 4, 2011


I was talking to a friend last week about how much I dislike helping my girls learn to "not suck" on their thumbs/fingers. I dislike it as much as I loved it when they were babies. Make sense?

The fact of the matter is, babies are wired to suck. (I can't think of any other way to say that but I realize how weird it sounds. I'm not being sarcastic or goofy. Just stating facts.) That's how they get their food. It's an instinct. Whether the food comes from the breast or a bottle is irrelevant. The vast majority of babies know what to do when presented with milk.

So here's my theory.

If babies don't get to suck as much as they want to while eating, they will find another outlet. If a baby takes forever to eat, they'll be less likely to suck their thumb or need a pacifier. If a baby eats very quickly, they'll be more likely to enjoy a thumb or pacifier.

If I take a quick tally of my own kids, it looks like this:

Thumb-suckers/very fast eaters (because of very fast let-down!) = 4

That's 4 for 4 in case you're not paying attention.

I can't remember all the details from my 11 nieces and nephews. One definitely didn't need either thumb or pacifier and ate for long periods of time. That fits the theory. Another needed a pacifier for a short time. I wonder if he ate for shorter periods during that time? But generally, he ate for long stretches of time so that still works for the most part. One niece used a pacifier. She finished her meals faster than her brothers who didn't need pacifiers. That fits too.

I realize there will always be anomalies in any theory. But even if someone blows it out of the water -- could this still be a practical theory? What do you think? What has been your experience with your kids?

If this holds true with enough people, I can chalk it up as one more thing I wish I'd known sooner....

The other that comes to mind most immediately is directly related. It's when I learned that babies don't LIKE or DISLIKE pacifiers, they have to LEARN to like them. And in relation to this, they have to need them, I guess. But if I had known both of these things combined, I could have kept at the pacifier to supplement the need to suck....Nowadays I wish I could take away their digits the way I could take away a pacifier. But then...hindsight IS always 20/20.

I'm also realizing this could be old news. It's not "my" theory. It's just my "I just realized this" and "do you think so too?" theory. Maybe there's some parenting book out there that touches on this very subject. I wouldn't be surprised. But it's news to me right now and I think it's kind of fascinating....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

LP's anyone?

We've had a crate of records (mostly opera) for 2 years now and never listened to one of them. There are probably about 50 albums in it and we kept talking about how we would eventually get a record player. Last month we were given a VERY good reason to finally buy that record player.
MORE records!

A friend's friend wanted to get this collection off of his hands and knew that it would take way too much research to actually sell them. It turns out that LP's have a special grading system that is used to explain what condition they are in. Add to that the research he'd have to do to know which albums were rare and could be competitively priced and which could not. Fortunately for us, he decided he didn't have the time or desire to do that and instead offered them to friends before donating them to Goodwill.

I can't believe how many records we have now.

I also still can't believe how amazing records sound!

If I've ever heard a record before, it must've been when I was young enough that I don't remember. Eric spent the first day hunkered down in the music room dusting the records and calling out to me periodically to share a special find. Eartha Kitt's original Santa Baby?! So fun!

Then we trekked out to Target and found a really nice, and decently priced, vintage looking record player. The girls were as excited as we were about listening to these records. We found two different versions of Peter and the Wolf and the girls enjoyed listening to one of them that night.

I need to try to accurately explain the difference in sound when listening to records compared to CD's. When we're all home and one of us is listening to CD music in one room, it's easy to continue on with our own tasks. It doesn't even seem strange to turn on music or the TV in another room. But when the record player is going, noone wants to turn on anything else. And everyone feels distracted from what they're doing. We're all drawn to the music room. The music sounds bigger. It sounds more real. The quality is so much better! It's true that you have to get used to the little "pops" that come with record players, but we got over that fast.

I'm looking forward to many more nights listening to music on our record player. We've got a lot of music to catalog and it's gonna be fun!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Too, to, TWO!

My baby is two! She's growing up way too fast. We really struck gold with her gifts this year. She loved every one of them and plays with them all daily. It's wonderful when things work out like that!

Play food from her sisters -- to go with the grocery cart they also got her.
Earlier this week I found her baby doll sitting in the front of the cart with a wallet right next to her.

Jamberry, by Bruce Degen
Oma and Opa, she loves this book so much. It is JUST the right size for her. Now if only I could get her to let go of it long enough for us to get past the first page!

They Might Be Giants, "Here Come the 1, 2, 3's" movie and audio cd from Grandma & Grandpa. Eric and I got her their A, B, C's album. I love TMBG's kid stuff. And so do the girls! We also have "No!".

She's watched enough birthday celebrations that she knows what to do.

Here's to another great year!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My dear, sweet Esther is truly a middle child. Sometimes she plays like a big kid and other times she wants nothing more than to be a little kid. And as all middle children can attest, sometimes it just seems like everyone else has something else to do!

She doesn't know that in the coming years she will learn one of the greatest perks of being a middle child. Middle children are blessed with the flexibility to choose whether they are "big" or "little". Do any of you other middle kids out there remember this? I sure do!

There were days when I would play with older siblings (or neighbors) because I could and I loved that feeling of being an older kid. But then there were days I wanted nothing more than to play Barbies or dollhouse and warmly welcomed my younger friends and siblings. Looking back, I am grateful for that. It was a "safe" place. Room to grow, but time to do it at my own pace. This is so unlike being the oldest or even the youngest. I watch my oldest and try to remember that and give her time to grow. Hopefully she doesn't feel pressure over that. I watch my youngest and try to remember that she's going to grow up anyway and I'll need to let her grow!

I have been anxiously awaiting the stage where Miss Becca would be big enough to buddy up with Esther in their own adventures. That day has finally come! Over the last month I have seen so many changes in the way she plays. And Esther is thriving because of it. She is so glad that Becca is ready for more interactive play.

"Helping" me put together our new bed.

Waiting for their toenail polish to dry.

I have no doubt that all four of my girls will be close to each other. I'm sure the degrees of closeness will vary over the years as it has with my own sisters but I am so glad that they will have each other to confide in, to laugh with, and yes, even to fight with.

Just thinking about my girls and their friendships now and how they will grow over the years makes me really grateful for my own sisters. You guys are the bestest! All four of you!