Thursday, January 23, 2014

Little One

Wow! We are past 24 weeks! We found out on December 30th that you are a girl! We are so excited! I made a cake when we got home the ultrasound, and then had the kids cut it after dinner. Ewan figured out that it was pink! It took him a few minutes to be okay with it. He has been surrounded by girls for a very long time. Don't worry. Uncle Blair was surrounded by girls for a while, but then he got six younger brothers! Ewan asked me to "try again" for a brother. I told him I'd do my best. We've been throwing out names since we found out! We'll find one, and it'll fit! Don't worry. We've been struggling with a headcold for a few weeks. It's been kind of miserable with stuffy noses, runny noses, coughs and slight fevers. I haven't been able to smell for over three weeks, and was feeling pretty relieved from the nausea and  vomiting. But, the cold is gone and now I am back to visiting the bathroom quite frequently. You like to show me who is in charge. Rest assure, I have known that the baby is in charge long before you came around! Last night the girls were wondering why I was sick again. I was explaining the whole chemical thing, and how all of them caused me to be very sick throughout my pregnancy, and that the twins were the worst! We started talking about IVs, and trips to the hospital, and how if Mommy doesn't eat, the baby doesn't get what she needs. It lead us to a discussion on metabolism and how are stomachs and intestines work. I can only imagine how it sounds to 5 year olds! Oh well. They will have some pretty interesting things to tell their kindergarten teacher today! Well, we are so excited! We pray for you every night. Aunt Kathleen had her baby on Tuesday, which made me all the more excited to have you here!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christmas/New Year's Letter

Happy Holidays
from the Burkinshaws

As 2013 has come to a close, we'd like to give our wrap up of the year. Life has not slowed down, to say the least. We are grateful for the opportunities we have had, and look forward to more to come in 2014!

Elin (2) keeps us on our toes. This year has been especially busy for her. A week before a month and a half of traveling, she decided to potty-train herself. Elin did quite well, and enjoys being more independent. She has enjoyed being considered “one of the big kids”. While jumping on the trampoline, she landed funny on her leg resulting in a proximal tibial fracture. Her cast lasted four weeks, but she did not slow down. Elin figured out how to walk on the cast after a day. She was climbing, running, and getting into trouble! Her best friend is Ewan. They have really enjoyed the few hours they get a day to be buddies. Elin either agrees whole-heartedly with whatever Ewan wants, or completely disagrees with it. She is quick to voice her opinion on any subject matter. We love Elin and are so grateful for her.

Ewan (4) is the little man of the house. He is always on the move, and only slows down long enough to watch a Kratts Creatures or Curious George. Ewan loves cars, trains and ninjas. The morning of Halloween he requested to be a black ninja while we walked around Wal-Mart. Ninja costumes are very easy! Maybe we will all go as ninjas next year! Ewan's most common phrase is “my daddy and me”. He sure loves spending time with Paul, and can't wait for more time with Daddy after graduation. Ewan was a little bummed at not being able to go to school this year, but we think he has gotten over it. He really enjoys the quiet time to really play with whatever he wants, and have a lot of Mommy's attention to draw and paint, build towers and train tracks, and take walks around the park. Ewan is a sweetie. We are grateful for his goodness in our home.

Aislee (5) loves life. She is constantly asking questions, running around, and coming up with all sorts of games to play. Her favorite is “Mommy-Daddy” where she gets to be Elin's mommy. Aislee is always eager and willing to do her homework, and loves to color all of the pages. She loves school and finding new friends. We get to hear all about her classmates and how they are her “new best friends”. Aislee has a very kind heart and wants to include everyone in everything. She is very concerned if we have prayer and we're missing somebody. Her favorite things to do are color, write, and play outside. She also likes some down time to watch a princess show. She pauses any movie or show when anyone leaves the room so they won't miss any part of it. She recently started piano lessons, and loves it! We are so grateful for the sweetness she brings into our family.

Olivia (5) is full of energy. We wish we could bottle it! She is constantly moving. Olivia especially loves to play outside. She can be found walking the wall chasing lizards or collecting rocks in baggies all along the back porch. She is also loving school, and has so much to say when she gets home. It took her a little while to warm-up to her teacher, but after cutting her (own) hair, and her teacher distinguishing her from Aislee, she is right at home. Olivia loves being included with Aislee at all times and has to know what's going on. She loves singing and dancing around the house. She has decided that Wednesdays are her favorite days, and has to say the prayer at mealtimes and bedtime. Olivia loves to write letters and draw pictures for her classmates. Olivia also started piano lessons, and really enjoys it. We love the energy she brings to our home!

With four moving kids, Molly has to stay moving to keep up. She trained and ran a half-marathon in March, and got 8th in her division. Molly decided towards the end of Paul's very long and hard semester that she was going to take a trip with the kids. She drove to Cedar City to visit her family, and then caravaned to Oklahoma with Paul's family. Paul flew out 3 1/2 weeks later so they could go to Branson, MO for a week sans kids. It was wonderful to spend time as a couple. The summer was busy with Girls' Camp, family activities and kids. And, with the start of school for Paul and the twins in August, life hasn't slowed down. Molly was released from the Young Women's Presidency, and called into the Primary Presidency. It'll be neat to be more involved in what her own kids are doing for a little while. Molly has also been struggling with pretty serious morning sickness since September that hasn't gone away. We are excited to welcome a new baby girl coming May 2014!

Paul is probably the busiest with work, school, Church and home demanding his attention. He's finished out his classes with A's, and is looking forward to 2014 and being done with school for a while. Paul and a group of guys from the neighborhood ran the Phoenix Tough Mudder in February. His team did very well and got really muddy! He also ran a 5K in July with Molly and placed in his age-group. Paul worked very hard during the summer while constructing the “Great Wall of Burkinshaw”. It's a 100 feet long and ranges from 2-4 feet tall. It'll be full of fruits and vegetables someday (probably when life slows down)! Since September, Paul has had to pick up the role as Mommy also as Molly has been very sick. He is a very good nurse and tries to keep her as comfortable as possible while managing the chaos of 4 five and under. He has kept up with laundry, dishes, and vacuuming as if nothing is happening. He is fantastic!

We are so grateful for 2013 and the things we have experienced and learned! As we reflect on the end of the year, we are so grateful for our loving Father in Heaven and for his Son, Jesus Christ. Without which, we would not know of the Atonement and know that He lives. We look forward to the new year, the new opportunities, the new adventures, new challenges, and new blessings that are sure to come. May 2014 bring your home many great and wonderful things!

The Burkinshaws

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Little One (December 29)

We hit the 20 week mark! YAY! We will be seeing you in 20 weeks or less. It's so exciting! We were going to find out the gender on the 20th, but I was kind of picky about the ultrasound. I haven't gotten very good ultrasounds from the place by the hospital with the last two, so I requested somewhere else. They've decided to try us with the lady who everyone asks for. If it doesn't go the way we'd like it to go, they'll get me another somewhere else. We find out tomorrow! The nausea has been a little bit better, but it's mainly because I have a bit of a head cold and can't smell anything. My nose is starting to clear, so I'm starting to feel nauseated a lot more. After Christmas, we headed up to Aunt Kathleen's house to go to the aquarium with Spencer and Owen. All the kids really enjoyed it. Then, Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Bryce took the kids back to their place so Daddy and I could have a long date! We saw the 2nd Hobbit movie, went to dinner, and stayed at a hotel. In the morning, we went to the Temple. We didn't think it was a good idea to do a session since I was feeling a little sick. We started doing sealings, but then I started getting a wave of nausea and then I started coughing. I existed quickly and found the bathroom. I made it! So, my streak is over and the nausea is back. I did get to finish a sheet of sealings, and then it hit me again. Then, we picked up some lunch and went back to Kathleen's house. We tried taking all the kids to Frozen, but it was sold out. So, we went back to the house with lots of candy and they watched Monsters University and ate lots of candy! Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Bryce went on a date when he got home from work. We stayed the night and left in the morning for home. It was a good visit, and we had lots of fun! We may be going up to Utah this week. Great-Grandpa Burkinshaw was diagnosed with leukemia, and has a short time left with us. He is a pretty special Grandpa.

Little One (December 10)

18 weeks tomorrow! I really think you like to let me know who is in charge, and it's not me! We've had some rough weeks! I know it's been kind of tough for Daddy too. When I'm not feeling so well, he has to do a lot of stuff! He does very well and is always willing to do more. The sleepy medicine helps for a few days, but it really knocks me out for a good day or so.It gets me back to functioning when I've had several days of not being able to keep anything down. We've also been struggling with some coughs and colds. This morning, we slept in until 7:30! That never happens! We had to rush around to get the girls off to school. Daddy got to feel you kick a few days ago. You're pretty strong! The kids are very excited for all things about you! They keep counting the months until May, and telling everyone that you're coming, and then telling them that it's a secret. It's not really a secret anymore! I haven't officially announced you, but I can't suck in anymore and more and more people are beginning to notice my tummy and that I'm lookin' a little grey...With all the morning sickness and stuff that's been going on, we are so excited for you! We get to find out whether you're a boy or a girl in a few weeks! The kids are so anxious and keep asking me if we're going to the doctor today. We'll have lots to celebrate for Christmas! Daddy is finishing up this semester this week, and then he gets almost a month off before he starts the next semester! Only three more classes! I got released from the Young Women and am now the 2nd Counselor in Primary. I'm going to really miss the girls and the leaders, but I get to see more of the other kids on Sunday. I'm looking forward to learning new things. The girls are loving school! They're doing really well with reading and writing. They love to label their pictures and tell me all the things that are happening in their class. Ewan is all Ewan. He loves you so much. He's always asking about you and how big you are. He wants to give you kisses and rub my tummy. He likes the time at home while the girls are at school so he can do whatever he wants. Elin is pretty good to play a long with whatever he wants to do. They're pretty good buddies when she's feeling good. She's been kind of cranky and not sleeping very well which makes Mommy and Daddy not sleep very well, and then makes Mommy's morning sickness even worse! We were trying to figure out what was wrong a few nights ago, and she finally said that her ears hurt. I took her to Urgent Care yesterday because it was Sunday and we really needed some sleep. Sure enough, she has an ear infection. Even with two doses of the antibiotic, she is a much more pleasant two year, as far as two year olds go! Elin likes to get into everything and has no fear of high places. Other than the craziness that is our lives, we are lovin' it. We look forward to bringing you into it! You'll fit in perfectly!

Little One (November 3)

Little One,
   We had another doctor's appointment around 12.5 weeks. I had to take Elin and Ewan with me. They got to hear your very strong heartbeat! Ewan figured out that something was going on, so he ended up telling the girls about you! They were very excited! They couldn't decide on a boy or a girl, so for now they believe there is a boy and a girl in there...very exciting! The morning sickness isn't getting better. If I stay up with my medicine, I'm able to function. But, if I miss a dose, it's like I've lost a whole day. Kind of a bummer, but better than nothin'. The twins had school off on a Thursday and Friday a few weeks ago, so I took the four kids to Aunt Kathleen's house in Peoria for a visit. They really had a good time with their cousins. Aunt Kathleen is expecting a little boy in January! More cousins! We drove through Gilbert, and visiting my friend Jenni for lunch. It was a good visit. And then, we drove to North Tucson to get Elin's cast off. What an ordeal! Your older sister is a pretty active toddler. Her "water-proof" cast stuck to her skin pretty good. The doctor and nurses had to soak the cloth to get it away from her skin. She was pretty raw and bloody, and very sore. They didn't give me anything to cover her with, just kind of said, "Good luck". So, we drove home and fast as we could to get her in the shower and bandaged up so she wouldn't itch it. Boy, did she want to itch it! It took her a week and a half to walk on her owey leg. Elin still has a little limp, but she's getting better. We go in again tomorrow for a follow-up. Ewan had a birthday! He turned 4! And what a good four year old he is. He got some trains and building tubes and clothes. He is ready to teach you all about them you get here! I think people are starting to figure something is going on even though we haven't really told very many people. I told some ladies at Book Club, because I had a little episode in the bathroom after drinking a little too much water. I worried that people heard me. I don't think they did...Oh well. I think we're still going to wait. 14 weeks! We're into the 2nd trimester! I'd really like to go running sometime. I think Daddy and I will go on a running date this weekend!

Little One (October 15)

So, we hit the 9 week mark and the 10 week mark! 1/4 of the way through. YAY! I had a doctor's appointment around 8.5 weeks because Daddy had that Friday off. Our day was planned so I could go to my appointment, and Daddy would pick the girls up from school and then meet me at the park, but Dr. Decker wanted me to get an ultrasound as soon as possible because I have been so sick. He thought there might be two in their. So, Daddy took the four kids to the zoo all by himself! What a great Daddy you have! I had my ultrasound, and there's only one! We were both a little relieved because two would be a little stressful with a new car, and school and getting help. I got to see your little body and heart. You're measuring right on! The last couple weeks have been kind of rough. Dr. Decker wanted to try this new medication for my morning sickness. He said that if I couldn't keep clear fluids down for more than 24 hours he would have to admit me to the hospital. We don't really have time for that, so we're trying the medicine. It makes me really, really tired! I could sleep 20 hours a day! Maybe that's how it're so tired that you can't throw up. It's been hard on Daddy. He's had to do a lot of the stuff around the house because I'm either throwing-up or sleeping. We're trying to find a good balance. I had a pretty good day on Monday when my friend Jenni was here. But the next day was not-so-hot. Good thing your siblings are so patient with Mommy. Elin's a little trooper with her broken leg. She figured out how to walk on her cast after two days! She's been walking, climbing and getting into all sorts of trouble. I will admit that her cast stinks! It smells awful! The doctor said that it's a water-proof cast so she can get it wet, but I don't think so. I'm pretty sure that's why it smells so bad. It kind of makes Mommy sick. But, every smell makes Mommy sick. I've had to hold my breath when cleaning the bathrooms, doing the laundry, and making dinner. All sorts of things send me into the bathroom. I had to change my shampoo because the smell of my hair was making me sick! You are so worth it! We told grandmas and grandpas about you after the ultrasound. They were very excited! Some of the uncles and aunts may have heard about you too, since they were in the car with grandpa. We're thinking of telling the rest of the family this weekend. We haven't told local people or announced it on facebook. Depending on how this morning sickness goes, we may have to tell people sooner than we had planned. It's hard to hide running to the bathroom a lot! We love you!

Hey there (October 1)

8 weeks! This past week has been pretty rough. Daddy had his final project with his group and wasn't home until at 10pm most nights. It was pretty hard. Then we had Uncle Bryce and Aunt Kathleen's family come and visit. They brought us a piano, bar stools, and some other furniture from Grandma and Grandpa. We're still trying to figure out where everything goes. Olivia cut her hair, again. I had to take her in to get it fixed. The next morning, Aislee was telling Olivia that she wanted her hair cut too. Olivia said, "This is what you need to do. Find some scissors, cut it, and then Mommy will have to take you to get it fixed!" Yeah, not gonna happen! Luckily, Aislee hasn't been too impressed with the HOW. Wednesday evening, Elin was jumping on the trampoline with everybody and landed kind of funny. I thought it was a bad hyperextension. She was in a lot of pain most of the night. So, I took her to Urgent care the next morning to get an x-ray. Turns out, it was a proximal tibial fracture. It's not a really bad break, but she's in a cast for four weeks. Boy, is she heavy! Morning sickness hasn't really lightened up any. I am still sicker than anything! The doctor called me in some zofran. It works sometimes. I still throw up and feel pretty awful, but what can ya do? Actually, I decided to ask Heavenly Father for help. I really need to function and take care of everyone else, even though I feel not-so-hot. I've been asking for strength and a little relief. I've also asked Daddy to give me a blessing. It's so wonderful to have a worthy priesthood holder that can give me a blessing whenever I ask. I think it's helping a little. The only meal I can eat is dinner...but at least it's something. I'm really anxious for my appointment on Friday. There may be two in there. I'm really not feeling the way I did with singletons! I was throwing up one time and Ewan came in to check on me. He asked me what it was I was throwing up. I told him, "stomach acid". He said, "Mommy, you need to stop eating stomach acid. You're making yourself sick!"

Our Little Person (September 24)

I spoke too soon! I am documenting this for future reference since I can never remember when my morning sickness becomes full-throttle. 6 1/2 weeks. Yes, that is right. It hits like a semi going full-speed. I have been in and out of the bathroom for several days. Ginger Ale and Squirt have been my best friends. The smell of fruit snacks, cheese crackers, and anything else sends me running to the nearest bathroom! Your daddy has been fantastic! I haven't been very mobile lately, which is really hard for me. He let me sleep-in Saturday and Sunday morning. He made me an breakfast burrito Sunday morning which was the only thing I kept down the whole day. I know that he feels really bad for me, especially since there isn't a whole lot he can do for me. I don't remember ever feeling this bad during a pregnancy except with the twins! Maybe I'll get another two-for! I prayed for that too! We would be happy with anything. We continue to pray for your health, strength and safety. We still haven't told anyone, but I'm wondering if people are already suspecting something since I haven't been running for almost two weeks. I hope the tiredness and nausea cools down a bit so I can exercise a little bit and feel a little more normal. There is such thing as the "pregnancy taste". We love you. We look forward to meeting you!
The treat of choice

Dear Little Person (September 18)

Six weeks yesterday! The twins had a homework assignment where they had to draw their families and write their names. Both of them drew a baby in my tummy. They don't know about you yet, but they've been asking for you for months! Their teacher asked me about you too, since you're in the pictures. I didn't know quite what to say. Other people have heard the kids talk about another baby and have asked me...It's hard to keep such an exciting thing a secret! You are exciting! I've been feeling pretty awful the last week or so. I haven't thrown up yet, but I've really felt like it. I feel pretty blah most all day long. I get feeling a little normal around 5-6pm, and then by 7 I just want to crawl into a pile and sleep. I'm tired all the time, but the other kids aren't really helping. They come in our room a lot at night. It kind of makes for long nights and tired days. But, you are worth it! I remember a few months ago pleading with Heavenly Father for you, and telling him that I was ready for the yucky feeling, and exhaustion just so that I could have you. We have been blessed!

Hey Little Person (September 10)

Hey Little Person,
   I've decided to start writing something about this pregnancy, but not publish it until we announce you. I'm not quite ready to tell the world, not because we aren't overflowing with joy, but because I feel that pregnancy goes a little faster the longer I wait to tell everyone! You have been thought about, and prayed about, and waited for! Your older siblings have been talking about you for months if not a year, even though we weren't sure when you'd arrive. We have been anxiously waiting. Your due date is about May 14th. And, at this point, you are 5 weeks old. It's hard not to tell everyone about you. I think we've mentally told people! It's harder not telling all the kids about you. They talk about a baby in mommy's tummy all the time, and we pray for all the Aunts who have babies in their tummies. Your Daddy and I pray about you every night. We pray for your well-being, your health, and your strength. I have yet to experience any symptoms, besides a positive pregnancy test, but I'm sure it will come like it has come with all the other pregnancies! You are worth it!