Monday, August 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Josh!

Joshua and his two companions in early July (date is wrong on picture)
I posted on Facebook yesterday, "Wow, am I really old enough to have a son turning 21?!  Weird feeling..."  And indeed it is.  21 years ago at this hour, I had been having regular contractions for about 3-4 hours.  We went to the hospital at about noon, after Bruce mapped out the spacing of the contractions on a spreadsheet, and announced to me what I already knew, that it was time to go!  We've laughed about that ever since.  Brilliant deduction, Bruce!  And then the classic argument in the hospital parking lot when we couldn't find an immediate place to park.  "Just park anywhere!", came the cry.  Having had five more labors since, I now know that I was going into active labor at that point, and I needed to be up and walking in order to handle the contractions.  Instead, I was relegated to sitting in a car, and in a few moments, lying on a hospital bed for the nures/doctor/anasthesiologists convenienc.  Ugghh.  It makes my insides turn to think about it.  (Hence the five home births after this one).  Had I been at home, he would have been born at about 1 or 2 pm.  Instead, he had to wait while I struggled through what I thought was a help - an epidural - but turned out to be more trouble than it was worth.  Our first little son, Joshua Bruce, came at 8:23 pm, with the help of forceps and a grade 4 episiotomy.  I didn't know any different, and we do the best we can with the knowledge we have, so we were happy - so happy!  My parents lived only 10 minutes away, so they were at the hospital within the hour.  There are few things happier in life than handing a new grandchild to a beaming grandmother!

The hardest time we had raising Joshua was in the first four months of his life, and again, because of inexperience and following poor advice, we struggled as parents.  My pediatrician told me to not nurse him more than every 2 and 1/2 hours, because my milk would run dry if I did.  So I held to it!  I would watch the clock religiously, and even if Josh would start crying at 2 hours, we would hold him, rock him, do whatever it took to have him wait until 2 and 1/2 hours exactly to feed him.  Ahhh!  Poor little guy!  With the rest of our children, I fed them on demand, and found that once in awhile, they needed to be fed sooner than 2-3 hours, but it was rare, and my milk never ran out.  The things you learn from experience!  Anyway, Bruce had just graduated from college four months earlier when we had Josh, and had not yet found employment, so I was the one working full time.  I took six weeks off, and then went back to work, pumping during my breaks to keep up the milk supply.  Soon, bottles with formula became necessary, and when we started that, and Bruce could feed him when he got fussy, he preferred that over nursing.  That was a no-brainer, but sad for me, because I loved nursing him.  By four months old, he was weaned completely and just eating from a bottle.  Again - the things you learn from experience!

Those first few months when he was a fussy baby (and rightfully so!) were hard, but that was the end of it - we haven't had a hard time parenting him since!  Oh, he had a few teenage struggles, but they were minimal.  One of them was where he had to say NO emphatically before he could go and do something that we had asked.  But I learned that it was all talk.  Even though he would say NO vehemently, he would eventually go and do what I asked him to do.  Ha ha!  We've laughed about that a lot.  He has been delightful to have in our home, and we have been ever grateful to be his parents.  When he was little, he would line up things from biggest to smallest - shoes, trains, cars, chairs - whatever he could find.  He loves order and consistency.  He was a very neat eater from day one, and  he hates getting his hands dirty.  But that doesn't prevent him from working hard and getting the job done when needed.  He was a very natural piano player - it came so easy to him.  Over the years teaching piano, I never had a student for whom piano came as easy, as it did for Josh.  He is a gifted musician, and that became more apparent later with his singing.  He was perfectly suited to be a part of the Mad Boys, the a capella singing group that he and his friends had in high school.

I'm so grateful to be Joshua's mother!

We also celebrated Peter's birthday this past week! On his actual birthday, he was at Scout Camp, and we were in Colorado, so we had to move his birthday entirely.  For his party, he invited some friends over and we floated the river.  I love floating the river!  After eating some hot dogs and cake, and opening presents, Bruce took Peter and his friends and they went bridge-jumping.  Peter is 13!  We got to laughing about how he never has his shirt on in his birthday pictures because we are always doing some sort of swimming activity for his party.

When we sang to Peter on Saturday morning - we always sing Las MaƱanitas in the morning - we talked about his birth and childhood, so I won't go into that here, but I will say once again, what a delightful child Peter has been.  He caused us a little more trouble when he was a toddler.  We used to call him the $5-$10 dollar a day child, because of wasted product he would open and pour onto the floor.  But wow, what a joy it has been to be his mother!  I am so grateful to have Peter as a son. He bore his testimony yesterday in our family testimony meeting, and said that he was grateful to be a Deacon, and that he looked forward to fulfilling his duty as each advancement in the Priesthood comes.  Happy Birthday, Peter!

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