Sunday, June 28, 2009

What's In A Name?

Well, this might seem a little strange to some of you, or maybe all of you, but it is what is. The naming of our new baby boy has brought much angst for me. It has been bothering me at every turn, and especially in every prayer I offer. I do not know all the reasons why now (although I have some good ideas -- I expect he will be a great missionary throughout his life), but the Lord has a personal vested interest in the naming of this child. Of course, there is certainly scriptural precedence of the Lord having a say in people's names. And, although we call these special spirits "our children," indeed they were, and are, his children first. We are just their caretakers here on the earth.

Personally, I love the name Maddox Ammon, and I really do not want to change it. The rest of the family liked it, too. Even the kids have finally got it down, and they didn't want a change. Also, the legal aspects will probably be a pain, too, since the paperwork has already been submitted as Maddox Ammon. But the Lord has made it clear by the whisperings of the spirit that this son of his needs to go by Ammon. So, he will. If the legal process is too expensive or difficult, then he will remain Maddox Ammon, and go by his middle name. However, as one who has had to live with going by his middle name all his life (and it is a big pain), we will do all we can to legally change it to Ammon Maddox. But if we do ever have another boy, as of now, I would plan on using Maddox as the first name for that kid. That's how much I like it. Anyways, sorry to anyone who has already begun sewing a "cute" little sweater with the name Maddox on it, but again, the Lord has made it significantly clear that he wants the name of this child to be Ammon. And I know from experience that when we align our will with the Lord's, we can't go wrong.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Introducing Maddox Ammon Livingston

So what has happened lately? Oh yeah, the new kid. I guess the blog needs to be changed now, since it’s five instead of four, but oh well. Anyways, his name was a last-minute entry and squeezed out the other contenders just a few hours before he left the hospital. I found it on a baby name web site late last night after the kids went to sleep. I told Carol this morning and she liked it, so that’s what it ended up being. Now, let me get to all the details.
Some of you have heard some of them (or all of these, maybe), but many have not, so here is the whole story. It started Friday evening the 19th. We did our family baby pool. The days were June 20 – July 4 (due date was July 1). The last two dates available were 20 and 21. I had the last pick so I went ahead and put my name down on 20 figuring Carol would want the 21st. She said, “that’s OK, I’ll take the 20th. I said: “I can just see it, you’ll have the baby tomorrow, just so you can win.” So at 4:00 am on Saturday the 20th Carol woke up with a strong contraction. Again, at about 5:15, another one woke her up. I was planning to go to the temple that morning with Daniel Bird. She assured me that she was Ok, and that she didn’t really think it was anything. So off we went at 6:45 to make the 7:30 session. I called when we got out and she sounded fine. So everything was fine, I thought. No baby today.

We got home at 10:15 and the Bird’s two young boys were at our house, and we find Carol on the chair in the fetal position in the middle of a contraction. Trevin had a sports class at 11:00, and Carol again assured me that we should go and she would be fine. But by 10 to 11:00 she is having the contractions fast and furious. So we load the kids up and take them to the Bird’s at 11:15. I told Daniel: “About two hours.” He said: “Right, yeah whatever.” I said: “Seriously, we’ll have a baby in about two hours.” So we get to the hospital at 11:30 and 20 minutes later, when they finally check her, she was completely effaced and the nurse accidentally broke her water while she was checking for her cervix. They got her to the room and then things stopped for a little while. But this is Carol, so it didn’t take too long.
He was born at 12:58 PM on June 20th (so Carol won the pool). She did have to push for 28 minutes, which was about 23 longer than normal. He was face up, so it took him longer to get through the birth canal. He came out looking really good, though, and looks a lot like his brother Trevin.
Funny side story to that; when we had Caden, Bailey was the only one who wanted a boy and she got one that looked just like her. This time, Trevin was the only one who wanted a boy and he got one that looks just like him. But he still won’t hold him.

Tyler and Bailey were disappointed to hear it was another boy, but they got over it. And everyone but Trevin has been excited to hold him and touch him and look at him.

Trevin will take a little more time. Caden, on the other hand, just loves the new addition. When we got home, today (Monday) he got his blanket, which he is quite attached to, now, and ran to the car seat, saying: “blanky for baby.”

It has been a busy couple of days for me, but I’ve managed to keep my head above water. However, Saturday night was entertaining (or will be for those of you who are about to read about it). I made a big mistake when I put the kids down to bed. They were all bawling cuz they missed their mom. Bailey kept saying: “It seems really strange with just you here, dad.” So after baths and everything else, they got to bed at 10:45. I had a lot of other things to catch up on after they fell asleep, so I was up till 12:45. Then, at about 2:45 Trevin comes in to my room crying. I picked him up to comfort him, but felt that he was extremely wet. At that moment, the Motherly instinct was out the window, and my fatherly instinct immediately kicked in as I set him back down on the ground as fast I could. I got him into their bathroom and discovered that I had forgotten to put a diaper on him (he still wears them over night). He was soaked from chest to toe, so at 3:00 o’clock in the morning I gave him another bath, by the light of a flashlight. I got him into my bed, and then went to take apart his bedding and find him some dry clothes, in the dark. I don’t know what time it was when I went back to sleep, but at 6:00 Caden cried out. I ran into their room and he yells: “I wet!” And he sure was. I hadn’t forgotten his diaper, but he peed right through it and his bed was soaked, too. I changed him, then pushed Trevin over and laid Caden in my bed, too. At one point I woke up and Trevin was laying on top of Caden, and both were still sound asleep. I pushed him off, then I went back to sleep again.

At about 9:00 in the morning, Caden was still asleep and Trevin came out. We were going to go change his clothes and I noticed he felt wet again. I asked him if he peed again. Sure enough, he peed right through the diaper and got his clothes wet and our bed wet, too. I said: “Man, you’re a peeing machine.” I told him he had made our bed wet, too, and Caden was still sleeping in our bed. He said, with a big smile: “Ha ha, Caden sleeping in a pee pee bed.” Oh, that boy, never misses a chance to add another “funny” to the blog. Well, that’s our birth story for number five. Mom and Maddox are both doing well. Thank you everyone who helped us out one way or another throughout these past couple of days. We appreciate all of you and all that you did. Now, enjoy some more funnies…

The kids have certain things they have to do each day before they get certain privileges. So Trevin was talking about playing the Wii. Bailey was still at the piano unfinished with daily 15 minutes of practice. She responded to him, and said: “I don’t care about the Wii. I like playing school and drawing and things like that. I like doing girly things, not boyly things!”

Bailey was having toast with butter one morning and Trevin asked: “Are you having jam?” She replied: “Nope, I’m just having grease.”

A couple more from Bailey, recently: She was practicing the piano and the song was just on a single piece of paper. The ceiling fan was on and the paper kept getting blown to the ground. I told her to put it behind her books, but she said she needed to look at it cuz that was the song she was practicing. She complained about the fan, so I said: “Then just turn the fan off.” Her reply: “I never would have thought of that.” The very next morning I came out from my room all dressed and ready for the day (instead of in my lounge-around-the-house-all-morning-shorts), and she asked: “Dad, did you already take a shower?” I said, “Yep, last night when I got home from work.” She replied: “I just don’t think I can believe that.”

Grandma Shirts watched the kids one night while I was at work and Carol was at enrichment. They were racing around our “track” inside our living room and kitchen and if they took a short cut and skipped the kitchen, grandma said they got disqualified. So the next day Trevin was explaining the game to me and said: “If we took a short cut we got crucified. Bailey got crucified twice, and I didn’t get crucified.” I was thinking “what kind of game was Grandma playing, anyways?” I asked Bailey and she cleared it up for me.

Carol and Bailey were out together and they saw a Ford Expedition stretch limo. Bailey said, “Wow, look at that huge car!” Carol said: “That’s called a limousine.” Bailey said: “That’s the biggest car I’ve ever seen in the world. That must mean they have a lot of kids.”

So we’re trying to get Caden interested in potty-training and we broke out the training underwear. Some the pairs have big trucks on them, so I was showing them to him and trying to get him excited about it. I called Trevin into the room to show Caden that he wears underwear and not a diaper. I told him that Trevin wears underwear and not a diaper. Trevin then said to Caden: “I don’t pee in my underwear.” Caden then said, while rolling his head back: “Ohhhh” (kind like Ohhh, now I understand). Then he added: “Nice!” (kind of like saying cool, or sweeeet).

So we were saying family prayer and Caden was sitting with me. I was the voice for this prayer so I wasn’t paying close attention to what he was doing during the prayer. As the prayer ended Carol was looking at him as he kept rubbing his finger on my arm. Carol asked me: “What is that?” So I looked down and there was something little on my arm that kind of looked like a crumb. He kept pointing at it and pushing it around on my arm. I asked him: “What is that?” Without hesitation, he replied: “Boogie.” And upon further review, he wasn’t kidding.

Carol told us all that Braden Erickson (a kid in our ward) had broken his thumb while doing a blocking drill at football practice. Bailey said in a very serious tone: “So he doesn’t have his thumb anymore?”

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Very Happy (And Funny) Birthday Boy!

So it’s that time again. We’ve had another birthday and lots of other things have been going on. Plus, I have a healthy list of funnies to share, but first, yesterday (June 13th) was Trevin’s fourth birthday. Man, how time flies. He has grown up a lot in the last year and it is great to witness the strides he has made. He got to start his special day off with the third week of his All Sports class. And they played Tee-Ball. He is way beyond tee-ball, but he still had a lot of fun and really impressed his teachers. That’s my boy. He opened his presents later in the afternoon and then after Tyler’s last basketball game, we had pizza and cake & ice cream to wrap up his day.

He was pretty excited about his new basketball and he got a new Wii video game, "NBA Live ‘09," which he and Tyler will really enjoy.After all that, we still had a piano recital to go to. Bailey was the first of five and played two songs, including “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet.” Tyler was last and also played two songs, including, “If the Savior Stood Beside Me.” They both did really well. We are pleased with their progress.Now back to Tyler’s game. They played their hearts out and kept it close for a while, but they were overmatched and in the end they lost, again. Tyler played especially well this last game which was nice to see. He made a lot of good plays and after the game the coach from the other team sought me out and complemented Tyler to me. He was very impressed at how well he played for his size (he was always one of the smallest kids out there). “He plays way above himself,” was his comment. It was nice to hear.

Now it’s on to baseball for both Tyler and Bailey in a couple more weeks. Trevin will probably do another round of sports classes, too. Carol is now about two and a half weeks from her due date, and we are hoping for it to come exactly then, on July 1st. We’ll see what happens. So that’s about it. Here are the latest funnies from out little comedians.Bailey has been getting more excited about the baby as the due date gets closer. The other day she announced that: “If it’s a girl, I’m really going to be jumping around in that room.” Then she added, “If it’s a boy, I’ll be jumping around just a little bit.” But that is much better than her comment when Caden was still in the oven. She was the only one who wanted a boy and we asked her what she would do if we had a girl (she wasn’t quite 4 at the time), and she said, no joke: “Throw it in the garbage.” So this is great progress for her in accepting things whatever way they turn out. Either way, she will be a great mini-mom to the new arrival, we’re sure.

So Trevin comes out of the bathroom one evening as he’s getting ready for bed. He heads over to Carol to get his diaper on; all the while he’s singing “Latter-Day Prophets.” He gets to Joseph F. Smith and then says: “Joseph F. Smith is funny.” Carol said: “How come Joseph F Smith is funny?” Trevin replies: “Because he says lots of funny things. Lorenzo Snow, too.” (Just in case you’re a reader that might not be familiar with LDS prophets, Joseph F. Smith died in 1918 and Lorenzo Snow many years before that.)

Then, not two minutes later, Carol sent him back to his room to put his dirty underwear in the laundry basket. Generally we put a clean pair in one of the drawers in the bathroom, so when he get sup he can put them on right after using the bathroom. So, on his way back, he loses his train of thought and stops at the bathroom and puts his dirty ones in the drawer. I asked him if those were clean or dirty. He picked them up, paused, then with vigor, held them up to his nose and gave a good hearty sniff. I started cracking up and headed out to tell Carol. When I finished telling her, Trevin said: “Yeah, and they were yummy.” Seriously, he is a non-stop crack-up. I just wish I was more diligent in writing everything down as soon as he said it.

Later still that evening, Trevin comes to sit on the couch with me and I said something like hey, whoa there buddy, kind of in a funny way I guess, cuz Trevin laughed and said: “Dad, you’re funny.” I asked: “As funny as Joseph F. Smith?” He bluntly replied: “No.”

Many of you who read this know our friends the Birds. One Sunday morning, I looked outside and saw three birds poking around the yard for worms. The kids were at the table and I said, look there are the Birds. All three of them; Wyatt, Wesley and Jason (the three Bird boys) are in our back yard. Then Trevin, who apparently saw another bird fly by, said: “I just saw Deon (the mother Bird) flying.”

So for anyone who doubted me when I said Carol is obsessed with getting a new van, I offer you this. About two weeks before Trevin’s birthday, Carol asked him what he wanted for his birthday. He replied: “A new car.” “What kind of car?” came the reply. Not a Hot Wheels, not a race car, not a remote control car, or any other kind of toy car. Nope, Trevin replied: “A Honda Odyssey. A black one.” And just as a side note: Carol said to me the other day, “So, I was thinking about that van in the shower….” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard similar statements over the past few months. It is unbelievable.

I was in the bathroom the other night shaving and Caden came running in. He called my name: “Daaad.” I said “what?” He said: “I going get your bummy.” He slapped me on the bumper and then ran off laughing.

I put our air conditioner (window unit) in during this recent hot spell and I had Bailey close by helping me. She was actually inside and I was up on the ladder putting the board up to cover the window. I used duct tape to hold it, and I had her hand it to me through the window. When I gave it back to her, she points to it and asks: “This tape is made out of ducks?”

Tyler saw Brenna Priebe (a girl in our ward and the kids piano teacher) driving after church on Sunday, and said to Carol, “In seven more years, you guys will be sitting up front with me.” So Carol tells me about it at the dinner table. I said: “Brenna turns 16 in July, huh?” Carol said: “Yeap. Brenna is very excited to turn 16.” Then Bailey chimes in and says: “That’s why Brenna always has a smile on her face.”

We were at Tyler and Bailey’s piano recital, which was at their teacher's house. The recital was done and the kids were outside playing. Trevin comes running in cuz he needs to use the bathroom. So I go with him and as I’m shutting the door, he says: “Dad, the Priebe’s have a nice house.” I said: “Yeah, you like it huh?” He replied in a very impressed tone; and as only a male could: “Yeah, they have A LOT of stuff in their garage.”