Sunday, January 10, 2021

Merry Christmas 2020

 Merry Christmas 2020

Whew! 2020 is definitely a year to remember! We are sure there are many who are grateful for the end. Although this year has given us opportunity to face many challenges, it has also given us the opportunity to turn closer to the Lord, to our family, to our community, and to reflect on the many blessings we are grateful for.  We are grateful for the lessons that we learned, and hope to continue learning and growing. Here is our 2020 rundown!

Emerson (1) is certainly teaching us lessons on patience. He is busy, busy, busy! He loves to climb on chairs, tables, counters, desks, stools...he’s a climber! Emerson loves being outside. He comes running to the door when any noise is made in that direction. He knows how to say “shoes”, “more”, “cheese”, “please”, “DADDY”, “mamma”, “nanno” (candy), and many more. His vocabulary grows every day. He’s anxious to communicate in order to get people moving his way quickly. Emerson loves the tub! With his independent eating habits, he may take a bath 3 times a day. He loves to snuggle for hugs and open mouth kisses. Emerson is a budding artist. His artwork is displayed on many walls and doors throughout the house. He knows he’s not supposed to, but his coy smile and sheepish grin have kept him alive these last few months of pencil and crayon discovery. We love him so!

Isobel (2) is only still when Mickey Mouse, Charlie Brown, or Tinkerbell are on the TV. She may have watched a little too much TV as we navigated elearning and a summer without a community pool. Isobel is all about dresses and shoes. She only wears dresses which is proving to be a little chilly this winter. Her vocabulary is exploding! She can talk nonstop! We love hearing her sweet little voice when she is happy! But, you don’t want to make her angry…! Isobel loves to go on walks to the park, put together towers with Magnablocks, and jump on the trampoline. Her favorite pastime is getting “cozy, cozy” with her blanket on the couch and watching a movie with Mom during Emerson’s naptime. She takes naps 3-4 times a week, but we can’t leave her in there for too long...We now own a carpet cleaner ;) We are so grateful for her! 

Adelaide (5) loves kindergarten! She is the most excited little girl when she’s going and when she comes home. Adelaide will talk nonstop about all her friends (they are all her very best friends), and her wonderful teacher, Mrs. Hutchinson. She is a proud Hutchinson Hippo! Adelaide is a developing reader and loves to sit on the couch with her library books and read all the words she knows. She is quick to point them out during scripture study. Adelaide loves being a big sister! Although Isobel is catching up to her quickly, Adelaide still tries to pick her up and take her around the house. She loves playing with her neighbor friends, and is quick to get her after school jobs done so she can run and play with them. We are so glad we have found good friends in the neighborhood who love ours like their own. Adelaide makes friends wherever she goes! We are so glad she is ours!

Esme (6) loves being back in school! We have decided that elearning is not the best for kindergarten or first grade. It was a hard semester of kindergarten, but we got through it! She loves to read, and can’t wait to go through her books and word lists when she gets home from school. Esme played soccer this Fall and loved every minute of it! She is fast! Esme can run that ball down the field. She liked playing goalie because she could practice her yoga while in the goal…! She’s also hilarious! She loves to tell stories and get people laughing. Esme also loves to run around the neighborhood with friends. We are so glad we live close to the park so she can ride her bike with the big kids. She is a speed demon! She zips around on the sidewalks and would beat Molly to and from her practices. We love her zest!

Elin (9) was not a fan of quarantine. Her prayers were usually laced with “please, end quarantine so I can see my friends!” “Make Covid-19 go away so we can get back to life”. She has made many good friends in the neighborhood. She loves fiercely! Her favorite activity this year has been “late nights”. She gets to have a few friends over for pizza, a movie, and plenty of candy. There’s not a week that goes by that she’s not trying to convince Mom and Dad that she needs to have a late night. She began violin this Fall and loves it! Elin is loving 4th grade. She is excelling in Math and Reading. She enjoys Texas History, and knows all about the Native Americans in the area. She likes to quiz Molly because Molly has no idea about Texas History. Paul lived in Houston during elementary, so he knows a thing or two...We love our Elin!

Ewan (11) has enjoyed a year of running the neighborhood, discovering a treehouse, fishing in the nearby pond, and living his best boylife. Elearning may have been made for him, but he missed the interaction with friends and teachers and getting more hands-on experiences with his GT program. Ewan would get all his elearning work done before 9am and have the rest of the day to devour books, beat his dad at Super Smash Brothers on the Switch, ride his bike with friends around the neighborhood, or pester his sisters. Some days, the latter was his favorite pastime. He may have it down to an art! He recently took up Zoom cello lessons with the sweet lady who taught Molly’s brothers. He loves the challenge, and Molly loves having one more thing to keep him busy and engage his ever inquisitive mind.  Ewan loves building towers for Emerson to destroy, and carrying around his “little buddy”. We’re so glad he’s enjoying life!

Aislee (12) was not too happy about elearning, but she thought having Spring Break for 3 months wasn’t so bad. The worst part of being quarantined was not being able to go to the pool and cool off when the hot and humid Texas summer hit. Although Aislee’s summer plans may not have been realized, she enjoyed bike rides, hanging out with some close friends, and reading countless books. She also discovered more cute boys. How, one might ask when most of their faces are covered? Well, they seem to have cute eyes...Aislee continues to enjoy choir, running cross-country, and debating with Mom and Dad over “reasons 12 year olds should have smartphones.” She may have to take a debate class in highschool if she wants to win. Aislee is the first up in the morning, unloading the dishwasher and preparing her breakfast. She likes to get things done before anyone else begins to rouse. We love her energy!

Olivia (12) is grateful to be interacting with people outside of her house! 2020 brought on some challenges with elearning, social isolation, and not being able to go to the pool. She did enjoy getting her school done quickly and being able to blow through books with Aislee and Ewan. Olivia may have read every chapter book in the house! She too has discovered cute boys and enjoys some playful banter with her sister over who is the cutest boy they know. Olivia continues to enjoy playing the violin, running cross-country, and writing stories. Masks are not her favorite, but she has been a good sport about it. It if means seeing friends, she will find the cutest one we have! Olivia and Aislee are enjoying some “big kid” freedom with bike rides around the neighborhood with friends and going to YW activities. It has been so fun seeing Olivia come out of her shell more this year! She is a lot of fun!

Molly thought 2019 was a challenge! 2020 has proved to be another memorable year. She has seen how the Lord has prepared her for the challenges of this year. She has been grateful for grocery pick-up, having a little experience with homeschooling, and having Paul home for dinner every night. It was nice to have him not traveling as often. We ventured to Utah for a short trip in June. Molly was able to attend her brother, Coy’s sealing to his sweet wife Kara. During the break, we enjoyed some hiking and swimming in St. George, Utah. Molly has enjoyed early-morning runs with Paul, eating lunch together, and being able to pop her head in to say “Hi” when the littles are asleep. She is looking forward to a half-marathon in 2021, getting out of the house a bit more, and seeing family. Again, she is grateful for a healthy body that allows her to keep up with the many happenings of a large family!

Paul’s 2020 hasn’t looked the way he probably planned or hoped, but he has taken what has come the way he does everything--with the flow. He turned a corner of the master bedroom into an office that started with a small plastic chair, a folding table, and his laptop and monitors. It has evolved to a raised folding table, an office chair, a few more stacks of paper, and his monitors. Molly is positive that he is looking forward to returning to the office so his many coworkers won’t hear, “Please, be quiet! Your dad is in a meeting!” There have been so many meetings! The summer brought a large project at work with long hours, more meetings, and stress. But, he got it done! Now that we have 12 year olds, Paul has enjoyed taking Molly out for weekly dates so he can get out of the bedroom he spends 20+ hours in a day! Costco and then lunch or dinner is the norm. They have found a few places they really enjoy, and some that their taste buds did not. There is a lot more variety here than they were used to! Paul is grateful for the opportunity to work, the time to play, and the many adventures 2020 brought! 

Well, that’s our Burkinshaw rundown. 2020 has brought challenges, but many opportunities. We have seen the love of the Lord in the love shown to us by our friends and family. Although this year has been hard, we have found that as we focus on the blessings that come from these challenges and choose to be grateful, we see more good and more things to be grateful for. May we look for the good and choose as President Gordon B. Hinckley has instructed us,  “It is a responsibility divinely laid upon us to bear one another’s burdens, to strengthen one another, to encourage one another, to lift one another, to look for the good in one another, and to emphasize that good.” We know that Jesus Christ lives and that our Father in Heaven loves us. May the Spirit of the Lord rest with you and yours always. 

Much Love, The Burkinshaws

Friday, January 24, 2020

Merry Christmas 2019

Merry Christmas 2019

As this year has come to a close, we are grateful for the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned, opportunities taken, and lots of change. This year has proven to be filled with change, challenges, and charging along life’s journey. We have learned many lessons and made many memories. Here is our yearly rundown.

Emerson Timothy joined our family July 26 at 39 weeks. He weighed 8lbs 3 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. We are so grateful he made it safely! His delivery could have been scary had it not been for a skillful and patient doctor and calm nurses. Things got quite busy after he came! His arrival was less than a week before the movers began packing up the house! Emerson moved half-way across the country at a week old. He has been a happy and giggly baby. He loves to be held. (All. Through. The. Night.) Emerson is pretty quiet. He’s just the most content baby! We are so grateful for his little spirit in our home.

Isobel (1) has become a very busy toddler. When she is awake, she is constantly moving! Isobel still takes a good 4 hour nap, and is usually ready for bed around 7:30pm. She’s a good eater, but definitely lets us know when she is done  sitting in her chair. She’s learning new sounds and new words every day! Isobel is often heard saying, “Uh oh”, “water”, “more”, and “hot!” She loves to tag along with Adelaide and mimics everything she does. Isobel loves to hold her baby, and act like his mommy. She’ll wipe his nose, try to change his diaper, and give him his pacifier when he’s sad. We love having her in our family!

Adelaide (4) loves being the big kid at home. She’s pretty good at taking charge. Adelaide likes having Isobel follow her around, and loves to hold Emerson as soon as he wakes up for naps whether or not he likes it...She’s in a coop preschool two days a week. Adelaide is the only girl in the group and loves being the “mommy” whenever they play house. She’s learning all her sounds, numbers, and all about the days of the week, animals and who Batman, Spiderman, and Captain America are. We are grateful for the spice she brings to our lives!

Esme (5) is in kindergarten! She thought this day would never come! Esme loves Mrs. Dunbar and art. She’s not a big fan of PE. She does not like Yoga. Esme is constantly moving at home. She loves to sing and dance and draw pictures. She often finds her way to the big girls’ room to claim their things, declaring that she, too, is one of the big kids! Esme is sorely missed by Adelaide when she is at school. As soon as she’s off the bus, they are joined at the hip! Full-day kindergarten is a long day for a 5 year old, and some days bedtime can not come fast enough, but she loves to learn! We are so glad she’s ours!

Elin (8) chose to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in May, the day before Uncle Jace got married. She loved that she had family around to share her special day, and the pizza and ice cream. Elin has a sweet tooth and loves candy! She is enjoying 3rd grade with Ms. Harvey and making new friends. She misses her friends back in Arizona and begs to FaceTime most weekends. Elin’s favorite day of the week is Friday for movies and candy. She sure is sweet!

Ewan (10) finally has a brother! His life just may be complete. He is adjusting well to a new school and a new city. He made quick friends with some boys in the neighborhood. Living close to a large park makes it very convenient for bike rides, pick up soccer and basketball games. Ewan asked for a TinkerCrate subscription for his birthday. He loves building and discovering new things. Ewan’s teacher commented at Parent/Teacher Conferences that he’s the sweetest, most thoughtful boy in her class especially with all the girls. We’re hoping that’ll carry over to home with his sisters…! We are grateful for his goodness! 

Aislee (11) has jumped right into middle school life. She has gotten quite involved in choir and the socialization of the preteen world. Aislee has asked for a phone more times than we can count. We’re just going to hold off on that one for as long as we can! Aislee has discovered a larger world of reading than Harry Potter. She has her nose in a book most days when she’s not singing all over the house!  Moving can be hard, but Aislee has accepted the challenge with determination and perseverance. Although she misses her friends in Arizona, she is determined to make Texas her home! Aislee is nothing if not determined! We are grateful for her good attitude. 

Olivia (11) enjoys more space in our new home. She has been able to read in a quiet place! Olivia has also jumped in to middle school with both feet! After homeschooling in the Spring, we worried that the adjustment would be a challenge. But, Olivia has done great! She loves her art and orchestra classes!  She will be starting private lessons at the new year. Olivia is a wonderful helper at home. She enjoys keeping things tidy and organized. It is such a blessing to have her so ready to serve. She’s looking forward to running cross-country as a 7th grader. We are grateful for her goodness!

Molly is probably most looking forward to 2019 being over! This year has been challenging, but there have been so many tender mercies from the Lord. Molly’s mom was able to come to Arizona while Paul and Molly visited his parents in London for a week. They got to see so many amazing things, visit amazing historical places, and enjoy each other’s company. Molly can now say she has thrown-up on two continents! The year just got busier with brothers getting married, going on missions, and coming home from missions. Molly spent a lot of time traveling between Tucson and Cedar City, Utah. After the move to Texas, Molly got a head cold which developed into a really bad ear infection. After a trip to Urgent Care and the Emergency Room with some facial paralysis, Molly was able to get the necessary treatment to help her recover. We’re on the mend! She is grateful for a healthy body that allows her to keep up with the busyness of the family.

Paul has been all over this year! He loved running through Hyde Park, walking around Piccadilly’s Circus, and...driving from Tucson to Dallas. Traveling with seven young children, a newborn, and a recovering mommy across the country is quite the adventure!  As we explored the possibility of moving, Paul interviewed all over. We decided to stay with Ryatheon, but move to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. It has been a great opportunity for the growth of our family. He’s put on the “mom” hat while Molly struggled with morning sickness, rested from delivery, and recovered from infections. He has been quite the trooper this year. He’s glad Molly is feeling much better, and is also looking forward to what 2020 will bring! Sleep, perhaps?!?

Well, that’s our Burkinshaw rundown. 2019 has been quite the year. We tried our hand at homeschooling. We added a new baby to our family. We moved from Tucson, Arizona to Prosper, Texas. Things have changed. Things have been challenging. Things have been good! We are so grateful for this time of year. We are grateful for the opportunity to reflect on the birth and life of our Savior. His example stands Supreme of how we should be. May we remember the Gifts that He has given us. He has given us the gift to love, the gift to forgive, the gift to repent, and a promise of everlasting life. Let us remember the Gifts that have come from Jesus Christ and strive every day to be a little better. May this time of year find you well. We love you all and are grateful for your examples to us.

Much Love, The Burkinshaws

Friday, September 20, 2019

Road to Recovery

I know, it's crazy! I'm posting more than twice this year! This is our family journal. This is a place for us to share and remember. Although I like sharing all the good and exciting, sometimes it's important to share the hard too. We can appreciate the struggle, see the blessings, and discover a lot about ourselves in the struggle. To say that the last few  months have not been a struggle would be a little bit of an understatement. I'm just going to tell a little about my personality for perspective. I am a doer. On my college soccer team, our team shirts read "Go Big! or Go Home!" And, that has kind of been how I have done life. I'm up for adventure and challenge. If I'm going to be here, I might as well get some experience, right? And, if other people can do hard things, what makes me different enough not to? I don't mean that I take the hard road for the sake of taking it. Or, that I don't learn from other's experiences and try to make all the mistakes, but I don't back down easily to challenges. And, let's face is a challenge. I've always had this kind of attitude. Things need to get done, so I might as well do them. With that being said, I am learning that I can not do everything. I shouldn't do everything. I am not meant to do everything. And that is okay. So, back to challenges of life. With the move approaching, baby getting ready to come, and all the craziness that comes from having a house full of relatively small children that are need a lot of me, I was like, "It's gonna be hard. It's gonna get crazy. It's gonna be an adventure." I'm sure my optimism, positivity, or mere stubbornness can surely drive Paul crazy, but I am his sunshine, and he is my rock. So, four days after Emerson was born, the movers came. They packed, loaded, and got us out of there. We said goodbye to our amazing friends, doctors, and house. We were on our way to Texas with a packed 12 passenger van! We decided to take a little slower than we normally road trip. We usually bust out the 18 hour drive to Oklahoma in one fell swoop. But, we had time and we were going to enjoy this adventure a little bit. When we got to McKinney, we had a day before closing. We kind of explored the area with the kids. They went to the pool. We grew weary of 700 sqft hotel rooms! We closed on the house and unloaded the van. Our things were scheduled to arrive that Saturday, but unfortunately would not be arriving until the following Thursday. We had no beds, no pillows, and no furniture. We did get the refrigerator delivered on Saturday. So we could have food! The kids were starting school on Wednesday, and we had to figure out all the registration stuff. They don't let you officially register for school here until you have closing documents and have promised your kidney. It was a little crazy! Luckily, Paul had taken his 3 weeks of parental leave during this time. Also, because our things hadn't arrived when anticipated, the vanline told us that our air mattresses, bedding, and other household essentials were on them! So, come and visit! We have some really nice air mattresses! Anyway, we were getting a little more settled. Since we moved into a home almost twice the size of our home in AZ, we needed a few furniture items. Costco and IKEA are 15 minutes away! Yay! Urgent Care is 5 minutes away too! Paul was moving some of the seats out of the big van so that we could pick up a couch at Costco. The new garage has a little lip in the pavement. He hit the lip, and the carseat came down on his ankle. I was feeding Emerson when I heard the not-so-calm "MOLLY!" As I came around the corner, I saw him on the tile, clutching his ankle, and lots of blood. I got him some paper towels. We told the kids to stay upstairs. I called the one person I had contact with in the ward, for which we are so grateful for the kindness we have experienced so far. Texans are friendly! Marissa came right away and watched the kids while I took Paul to Urgent Care for stitches. The house is officially ours after the blood sacrifice in the garage! He's fine. The movers came, unpacked, and left us to figure out where to put everything. We're still working on that, but it's coming along. School supply shopping was ridiculous! I'm not sure why we have to be so specific on folder color, but when everyone needs 3 yellow folders, 2 red folders, 3 blue folders, and 1 orange folder there are none of those colors available the night before school starts. So, amazon prime has become my best friend. Kids were in school. We were figuring out bus schedules, lunches, classes, and lockers (middle school....insert lame eyeroll). With school comes new germs! And, with moving comes new allergies! I don't know what combination, but everyone had a little bit of something. The babies had goopy eyes and snotty noses. The big kids had coughs and headaches. And then the mom, this one, got it. I thought it was just a cold or allergies. I was up with a nursing baby a lot. I was up making lunches pretty early. I was unpacking, organizing, situating, and figuring out all the stuff. But, I was determined to make this a grand adventure! Go Big! or Go Home! I started to get really stuffy and achy. My ear hurt. But, I thought it was just a cold. I was going to get better. Viruses just run their course. Drink lots of fluids. Eat my vegetables. Take a shower. I'd feel better. Friday before Labor Day, I was in so much pain. I was taking ibuprofen trying to manage the pain, especially at night. I woke up to feed Emerson, and my ear didn't hurt anymore, but there was drainage. I told Paul that I thought my ear drum ruptured. It would heal, but that it was starting to hurt again. I decided that if it didn't get feeling better by Monday (Labor Day--My Birthday), I would go to Urgent Care. Monday came. I was in Urgent Care right as it opened. They checked me out. Felt so bad that I was there on my birthday. Told me I had an ear infection. Got me some antibiotics. And, off I went. I don't take medicine very often. There are too many side effects with my heart problems, and I'm usually pregnant or nursing which also limits what I can take. I like to believe that our bodies can do a lot of the healing when we are healthy. Antibiotics usually work really fast for me. Within 48 hours, I feel so much better. Not this time. Pain, stuffiness, a lot of pain. My ear wasn't getting better, and I just couldn't do it. On Wednesday morning, I felt my cheek twitch a little as I was getting up. For some reason, which I totally believe was divine, I remembered a post a friend of mine made a few years ago about Bell's Palsy. I immediately started googling all about it. I told Paul that I was worried that I might be getting it because of this dang infection. He told me not to stress. Everything was going to be okay. Sunday came around and I was still struggling. I asked Paul's brother-in-law who's a PA at an Urgent Care in Tulsa what he thought. I was willing to go back in and figure this out. He was going to call a steroid in for me to get the swelling down and hopefully help the issue. I was getting ready for Church when I noticed that I could wink. I do not normally wink. I mean seriously. Paul can wink with both eyes. He teases me when I try because I cannot do it. But, I came out and showed him that I could wink. We decided to go to Church, and then figure out what needed to be done. I was out in the hall after feeding Emerson with the three younger girls talking to somebody when I felt my smile not smiling the way it should. After sacrament meeting, we had a linger-longer. I found Paul and told him I needed to go. The left side of my face wasn't moving. We let the kids eat, and then headed home. We took Emerson with us to Urgent Care. Since I had just been there on Monday, they got me in really quick. He looked at me and advised with an ENT who sent us straight to the ER. After getting checked out there, the ER doctor came back with the diagnosis of either Bell's Palsy or Ramsay Hunt Syndrome--All kind of scary stuff. We had a course of action of prednisone, antiviral, and continued antibiotics, and an appointment with an ENT the next week. The doctor said that we probably caught it early. He expected a full recovery. We were hopeful, but my sunshine was starting to cloud. I had to tape my eye shut at night. My ear hurt. My body was falling apart. I was a hot mess. I cried, a lot. I had never taken prednisone, and was really nervous about side effects. Things started to get better. Paul came with me to my ENT appointment. We were able to leave Adelaide and Isobel with our new, wonderful Relief Society President, Lara. She is wonderful! The ENT doctor, Dr. Dang listened to how things happened and where we were at. She did a scope, hearing test, and exam. She kept telling us that she was going to get me all fixed up, everything was going to be fine, and I'd fully recover. It was almost like she was trying to convince herself, too ;) We learned that it is neither Bell's Palsy or Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. It is a very bad infection. The fluid and inflammation was so bad that it was irritating the facial nerve that runs close to the eustachian tube. So, we were to continue with the prednisone to help with the inflammation (I'm currently tapering), start nasal spray with a steroid, keep the oral antibiotic (I had like two days left), and start an antibiotic/steroid ear drop. While we were in the office, she put a tube in my ear drum to drain the fluid and get me on the road to healing. That was not very comfortable. I'm glad they put little people under when they do that. She said the numbing part was the worst. No. No, it is not. Having them actually puncture your eardrum and put a tube in it is the worst. It's probably a good thing I stopped nursing Emerson and gave him to Paul during the procedure. I'm a week out from the appointment, with a follow-up next week. I'm doing a lot better. My face is coming back. I'm still in glasses rather than contacts just to keep my eyes moist. My ear is a little stuffy, but getting much better. We're recovering, and learning. I really feel like I may have pushed my abilities a little too far. Rest is important! Sleep is wonderful! And, sometimes it's important to ask for help. Paul is amazing and wonderful! I have wonderful kids that are capable of a lot more than I give them credit for. Mom doesn't need to do everything. And, if it's not done the same way I do it, but it still gets done, it's okay. I'm still learning to not just jump in and get things done when I should really let them do things. I'm so grateful for prayers that were said on my behalf! I sure felt them! I'm grateful for Priesthood blessings! I am grateful for an eternal perspective and inspiration. It could have been worse, and it's going to get better. And, now I know that I need to take care of myself a little bit more. Eight babies in 11 years is a little much. But, I wouldn't ask for anything different. So, there may be times where I'm just going to let Adelaide watch Bubble Guppies while Isobel is taking a nap, and I'm going to lay down with Emerson and enjoy his babyness. He's the sweetest! He is smiling and cooing. He talks to me when everything in the house is quiet, like he's just been observing the happenings and is giving me his two cents. Things are good. And, they're going to get better. My follow-up is next week. With each day, there's more movement in my face. My smile isn't so "wonky". My eyebrows lift. I can twitch my nose. I'm starting to taste sweet more. My eye isn't dry. My ear is becoming less clogged. It has been quite an adventure!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

And On To The Baby!

After we get home from Texas it was time to wait for the baby to come. We had about 4 weeks until my due date, but we were hoping that his arrival would be a little early. I felt like I needed a little time to recover before packing up and moving half-way across the country. I went in for my 36 week check and was a 2 and 50%. Dr. Decker, bless his heart, said that he'd be seeing me within the week with this baby. I didn't really believe him. I knew things were happening, but I didn't think that it would happen that soon. My next appointment, I was at a 4 and about 75%. So, things were happening. Every night for the next two weeks I'd wake up from 1-4am with contractions every 2-3 mins. They weren't painful enough for me to go in, but they sure did keep me up. When I'd go in for my appointment, Dr. Decker would reassure me that things were happening, and that he was surprised that I was not really in labor. My mom came that week just in case something happened. She was going to help me get ready for things. He stripped my membranes twice, but nothing was moving fast enough and I really didn't want to get induced. But, we decided that 39 weeks was probably a good time to have him, since the movers were coming that next week, and we were closing on the 5th. So, we went in on July 26 at 6:30am. Instead of inducing me, because I was a 4+, he broke my water. In the past, within an hour of my water being broken, a baby would be there. After four hours of no progress, I decided to let them put me on the pitocin. I do not like pitocin! That stuff is like being on the machine in The Princess Bride. It takes years of your life away! But, something just didn't seem right. Within 20 minutes of the pitocin, I was at a 6. About 30 minutes after that I was an 8. The contractions were coming strong! I was breathing and counting. Paul was great. He is an amazing support! Dr. Decker came in to check since I was getting to that point. I was ready, but I couldn't really breathe. He left the room and said, "Let me know when you're ready. I'm 6 seconds away." Paul pretty much followed him out and was like, "Yeah, we're ready." So, things started happening quickly. Nurses were moving. And so it began. I would just breathe and count in my head. I tried to see how high I could get before the next wave came. Sometimes it as 25 seconds, others it was 10. I began to push and just count. Something felt different, but I wasn't sure what it was. I felt like I was working really hard to get him out, but there wasn't that relief yet. Dr. Decker had me just keep pushing. So, I counted. I just kept counting in my head while pushing. I got to about 45 and was still in pain and working really hard. He had me really push (I thought I was...) for a little longer, and then the relief came and I could feel the rest of his little body come out. I was a little in shock. it got a little intense. They put him on my chest and I asked if everything was okay. He didn't seem to really "cry" like the others. He just looked at me. And, then...he cried! The nurses asked if they could just take him for a second to warm him up. I was still dealing with other things coming out of my body. So, I was like "sure, but he's not leaving the room." They rubbed him down while the rest of delivery happened. Dr. Decker said that he looked like a Burkinshaw and he was a big baby! He looked big! They gave him back to me. I just held him in relief as all those emotions come over you after having a baby. The "holy cow! That hurt!", "I'm glad I'm not still pushing", and the "Oh, my goodness! There's a baby on my chest" feelings. He latched quickly and spent the next 15-20 minutes suckling as I continued to breathe. I asked Paul what happened. Why did it feel like I was working so hard, but nothing was happening? So, he told me. It seemed like with every push, he'd come down a little bit more but then get sucked back up. When I pushed for that really long time, Dr. Decker was able to see that the cord was around his neck and shoulder. He was tethered and couldn't descend all the way. The next long push got him to where Dr. Decker could get the cord, and then he came out really fast. All of my babies, except for the twins, have come posterior. So, he hit me as he came out. His little face was a little bruised, but he was perfect. I can totally see how women can have PTSD after having traumatic births. With all the rushing around, people scrambling, the calm going can be pretty scary. I'm glad we decided to stay with Dr. Decker and deliver in Tucson. He has delivered the last six, and knew me and how things usually went. He was aware of my capabilities in the delivery room. He stayed calm, reassured me that everything was okay. I think it made a huge difference. After I was all cleaned up, the brought me some food. I almost missed lunch, and was starving! I don't like hospital food much, so Paul went and got me a little more food after I went to recovery. We discussed names. We called and text family. We Facetimed the kids. Paul went down to get the kids. We had a lot to do in the next week before the movers came, and I was ready to not be in the hospital. We finally settled on a name, Emerson Timothy Burkinshaw, weighing 8lbs 3 oz, and 19.5 inches long. Paul stayed that night at the hospital. The nurses were really great this time. They didn't bother me at all. They didn't wake me up when OI was resting. No one followed me into the bathroom. Last year, the recovery nurse was a little overbearing. I wanted to say, "Hey! I've done this before. I know my body. I don't need you to hover at the toilet or come in every 2 hours and tell me I need to rest." I still don't know why they have someone come in at 3am and get some blood! Breakfast came, but wasn't much. Paul went and got me some Panera to supplement. He then went home to shower and get the kids. I wanted to be out of there by 4pm. The kids came up with Paul and my mom. They hung out for a little while, eating hospital ice and taking turns holding Emerson. Everyone was very excited, especially Ewan. He finally has a brother! Paul took everyone back home, and left my mom and the little van so I could check out. I had already been cleared by Dr. Decker. The pediatrician was a little worried about Emerson's bilirubin levels but said it was probably from the bruising and that I needed to come in first thing on Monday to have them checked. We got all loaded up and checked out. I was so ready to be home! Paul didn't tell the kids that I was coming home. We weren't sure they would let me go after 24 hours because I was GBS+ with Isobel, and they usually keep you even if you're not positive after. But, I think Dr. Decker knew we were okay. The kids were pretty excited to have me home! We ate dinner, held a baby a lot, and then went to bed. I decided to go to Church the next morning. It probably a little crazy, but Paul was getting released from the Bishopbric and I wanted to be there to support him. My mom was leaving also. My younger brother was getting home from his mission soon! It was a busy time! We are so glad things worked out well. Emerson made it to our family safely! We can't imagine life without his sweetness. He is quiet and content, but will definitely let you know when he has been "mothered" too much by a sister. He likes to be held at night. He likes to eat. And, he is very good at messing his pants. On to some pictures!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Time to Write Again

Yep, you guessed it. It's time to write again. We had a baby! But, this post is pre-baby. I've been meaning to write for a while, but life is...well, life! A lot of things have happened over the last few months. I should probably start a little while ago. We decided we needed a change, We weren't quite sure what it was, but we knew that we needed it for our family. We were growing out of our home, Paul was traveling a lot for work, we were expecting our 8th baby this summer, and we were unhappy with the school situation in our area. So, Paul started looking at other opportunities for work. We had some criteria. We wanted to be a little closer to family. We haven't had family close for a lengthy period of time and felt like we were missing out on some stuff. We needed more space. And, we needed better educational opportunities. The search began. Paul got a lot of interviewing opportunities. He flew to Denver, Kansas City, Dallas, and Oklahoma City. He had recruiters from all over sending emails. Most of the interviews ended with, "You have a lot of experience. But, you are overqualified for this position." We were a little disheartened, but we both knew that this was the time for change. He had applied for a job in Kansas City, one that he knew he was probably over qualified for, but that was the area we were really looking at. They wanted to set up an interview, but he had been traveling for work and things were busy. We were also getting ready to go visit Paul's parents in London. He decided (with some encouragement) to contact the company one more to see if he missed the opportunity to interview. They responded quickly and said they'd like him to fly there that Tuesday and interview. He would be coming home from a business trip to Alabama Sunday evening, and we would be leaving for London on Thursday. We decided to go for it! He flew out for the interview, got home, picked Grandma up from the airport, and packed for our trip. We had a wonderful time in London and are so grateful we had time together. Thank you, Grandma Maureen (Mom) for holding down the fort with our littles. A few days after we came home, the company said they would be sending an offer at the end of the week. So, the offer came and we thought about it for a while. We prayed a lot, had many discussions, went to the temple, sought advice from parents and close friends. We started the process knowing that we would be able to continue looking around and if another opportunity came that fit our family better, that we could pursue that. May was creeping upon us. We were getting our house ready to put on the market and had my brother's wedding to get to. The wedding was beautiful! We were able to see family for a short visit. We came home and met with realtors that the company sent. We got a list of things that we needed to prepare for. Instead of having to keep a home show-ready with 7 children and being almost 8 months pregnant, we decided that the best course of action was for me to take the kids to Utah as soon as we got the house ready and spend a few weeks up there, in between doctor's appointment. The house went on the market May 31st. I left that morning with the kids and drove to my parents' house. We were told that the house may take 30-90 days to sell. We were hoping for a quicker sell than that, but we were prepared for the long haul. Meanwhile, Paul's current company got wind of his offer, and at this point it was actually offers. We had received another offer from a company in Oklahoma City that we were seriously considering also. So, the company was ready to make a counter offer. But, we weren't really interested. We were ready to move, and Tucson wasn't offering the change we needed. Then, the company said they would move us to Dallas. It got a little more interesting. Dallas was a city on our list--great schools, closer to family, work opportunities. Prayer, fasting (on Paul's part), and going to the temple. No real answers came other than that the Lord trusts us with this decision and any of our options would bring benefits to our family. On June 3rd, I got a text from our realtor that we had a full-price offer on the house. The offer came in on Sunday, but she didn't want to bug us until Monday morning. we negotiated back and forth for a few days with the buyers before receiving two more offers that weren't quite as good. And then we took it! Now, we had to figure out where we were going to go and whether or not this baby was going to be born in Tucson or somewhere else. After much thought and discussion, we decided to stay in Tucson until the baby came and set the closing date for August 8, my due date was August 2. I decided to stay in Cedar City until the inspection on the house was done and some of the other walk-throughs and stuff were completed. We were home, we could breathe, but we had decisions to make. The official offer had come from the company and it was better than we were expecting. We struggled with the decision for a while--back and forth. We finally decided to take the offer for Dallas. Now, we needed to find a home. There was also a time crunch. I couldn't fly after 36 weeks. We planned on taking the kids back to Grandma's (thanks Mom). And fly out from Vegas to Dallas over the week of Fourth of July. We spent 4 days looking at over 25 homes. We looked at new builds, we looked at existing homes, and we looked at short term living. We spent a lot of time walking around houses, neighborhoods and the surrounding area. We narrowed things down to 4-5 homes. Narrowed it to 2-3 homes. And then settled on two. We made an offer on one. After little negotiation, we were under contract! We went back home knowing we probably had a house in Texas, our home in Sahuarita would hopefully close, and we had to get a baby here!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Christmas Letter 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

It’s that time of year again! As 2018 comes to a close, we are grateful for the opportunity to reflect on the year. It has proven to be another busy year full of lessons learned, opportunities taken,  and many memories made. Here is our yearly rundown.

Isobel Kathleen came to our family a few weeks early on Memorial Day, just hours after Grandma arrived.  Although her arrival was a little unexpected, she was ready to come at 8lbs even and 19.5 inches long. Isobel has been a bright spot in our home with her quiet and happy disposition. She is beginning to be on the move as she rolls and scoots all over the house. Isobel enjoys being held by siblings, but will certainly let us know when she is overly loved. We are so grateful for her safe and happy arrival, and look forward to seeing her continue to grow and develop.

Adelaide (3) is full of sugar and spice and everything nice. Sometimes, it’s a lot of spice! Adelaide loves to sing and dance, play make believe, and cuddle her baby “Izerbel”. She loves to be involved in everything. When Mom’s in the kitchen, Adelaide has a chair pulled up to the counter finding ways to help. She’s a good mixer, masher, and mess maker. Adelaide only wears dresses and skirts as she twirls around the house. It’s a good thing we live in a warm climate! We are so glad to have her as part of our family!

Esme (4) is still a whirlwind of energy! Now that she is four, she is a “big” kid and will not be excluded from any of their activities. She loves that she is the oldest at home, and ready at any moment to take care of her “littles”. She adores Isobel even when “Sobers” may not be wanting to be adored. Esme started the first year of Let’s Play Music. She loves having something that is just for her. She has enjoyed learning all the songs, playing bells, and singing “Do-Mi-So”. She is looking forward to being 5 and beginning school. We are so grateful for her sweetness!

Elin (7) loves being a big sister. The first thing she does when home from 2nd grade is ask to hold her baby. She takes her around the house, plays with her on the floor, and reads books to her. Isobel enjoys her attention. Elin is in her 2nd year of Let’s Play Music and loves the piano! She got a new “big kid” bike, and will take any chance she can to ride with the others around the neighborhood. We’re still working on stopping with hand breaks, but she’ll get there! Elin is still pretty reserved, but she is very creative with markers and paper (so. much. paper.)  We love her to pieces!

Ewan (9) has had a very exciting year! While he was at day-camp for Scouts, Molly gave birth to Isobel. Ewan was brought down from the mountain to meet his newest baby sister, who he adores! Towards the end of the summer, he had a little accident at a trampoline park. Ewan was walking a little funny, so Molly took him to find he had a broken foot. No cast was needed, and he healed rather quickly on his own. He has started the 1st year of Presto, and loves it!  Right before his 9th birthday, he fell on his arm at school resulting in a buckle fracture. Ewan sported a green and black cast for three weeks. He’s glad it’s off, and so are we! (P-U!) We love our Ewan!

Aislee (10) is becoming quite the lady. She finally got her ears pierced for her 10th birthday. We’re learning that matching accessories are a must! Aislee is a great helper, as always. She’s learned to make quite a few things in the kitchen which relieves some of the food making pressure. She loves to ride her bike all over the neighborhood, especially going down “big hill”. We haven’t had any major accidents, but quite a few flat tires! She has really gotten into Harry Potter books and wants to know how it all ends! She’s also in her first year of Presto music which she enjoys. She’s looking forward to 2019 and all that growing-up brings! Aislee is one of our favorites!

Olivia (10) still has her nose in books most days! She likes to tell us all about her latest characters and their amazing stories. Olivia would like to write her own series and has fantastic ideas! She also knows how to help in the kitchen, making her favorites--Macaroni & Cheese and turkey sandwiches. Every little bit helps! Olivia also got a new bike this year. She cruises all over the place! She and Aiselee ran cross-country as some of the only 5th graders against a lot of middle schoolers. Although it was hot a lot of the time, they enjoyed pushing themselves. Molly may have running buddies yet! Olivia definitely keeps as running smoothly!

Busy seems to be the name of the game! A little over a month away from delivery, we took a trip to Utah for Uncle Court’s wedding to sweet, Aunt Lexi in the Mt. Timpanogos LDS Temple. Molly got to test her creative juices with a semi-naked white chocolate cake. After assuring her parents that she would not be having a baby for weeks, grandpa graciously sent grandma that weekend! A few hours after coming home from the airport, Molly informed Paul that it was time to go, and they needed to be quick about it. An hour and a half at the hospital and Isobel was born! We are grateful for grandma and grandpa’s intuition!  With Isobel sleeping more soundly, Molly is getting back into a running routine. She is looking forward to 2019 and the many adventures that are planned. It’ll be a good year!

The year has been full of travel, work, family, and Church for Paul. We took our Spring Break to Oklahoma to enjoy time with his family and say goodbye once again to his good parents as they left for their 2nd mission to London, England. We were not prepared for the cold snap and had to buy the kids jackets and socks! Soon after Isobel was born, Paul got a new assignment at work that has kept him a little later most days, and traveling a little more. He is grateful for the new opportunity, but looking forward to the Holiday break with some much needed rest! We also went to Utah for a few days of Fall Break to get away from the heat. Little did we know that winter would come a tad bit early, and we were met with snow! Paul had to scrape the windows of the van for the first time. Maybe we shouldn’t travel too far next year…! Paul is looking forward to his parents coming home in October, and being able to spend time with family!

And, that’s a wrap folks! 2018 proved to be full of life, for which we are grateful! This time of year always gives us an opportunity to reflect on what is truly important. Our family, our Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and our desire to become more like Him through love and service are at the forefront of our desires. During this time of giving, may we remember the greatest gift given, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As our dear prophet, Russell M. Nelson has reminded us, Christ has given us the capacity to love, the opportunity to forgive, the gift of repentance, and a promise of everlasting life. May this Holiday season bring you and yours many wonderful blessings and memories!

Much Love,
The Burkinshaws

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

We had a baby (yes, another baby)

It's been a really long time since we've posted. We're going to try and post more often, mainly for our own records. We'll start this story the Friday before Memorial Day. I've been having contractions off and on for a while. I felt like my stomach was always tight! Sometimes, it was so tight it was hard to walk. So, Friday I went in for my regular OB appointment. I was 37 weeks and a few days. Dr. Decker checked on the heartbeat, and then checked me. I had totally set myself up with very little expectations. I always think some progress is being made, only to find out that nothing is happening. He asked where I was the week before, and I said "just soft and about 50%", he said, "Well, you're about a 2 and 80%." I thought, "Cool! Something's happening...." But, I'm usually in labor for days, if not weeks. I'll be dilated to a 3-4 and 80% for over a week or so. I called my parents to give them an update since my mom was planning to come out some time, but she also had a trip planned to Denver on the 9th, and I wasn't due until the 14th. They said something like, "Oh, you could have her any minute!" I was like, "No. Don't get too excited. I'm fine. Nothing exciting." I called Paul and let him know. He was home with the kids. He knows my history and said, "Well, you're making progress..." I then went to an ultrasound to check on baby's heart. They had detected a slight arrhythmia at my appointment the week before and just wanted to check things out. It was still there, but they said it would probably correct itself at birth or soon after. They recommended I come in for non-stress tests the next week, until delivery. They would call and make the appointments after the holiday. That ultrasound place is not my favorite, and I think I have spent way too much time there for silly things. The office staff is very cold and insensitive. I just get irritated every time I am in there.
 Anyway, I drove home. We went to the pool when I got home, and made pizza. We watched a movie as a family. Saturday was pretty normal. We cleaned the house. Paul worked on the backyard, and took the kids to the pool. My parents called and said they had gotten my mom a flight for Sunday night. She was flying into Phoenix. I was glad to have my mom come, but a little nervous that her trip was premature. I wasn't in any pain, my contractions were sporadic, and I worried that she'd come and then have to leave before the baby even got here. I was mentally prepared to go late. I didn't want to be induced this time, so I was in it for the long haul. Sunday was a normal Sunday. Paul had early meetings. The kids and I got ready and went to Church. I was a little uncomfortable, but I chalked it up to being HUGE with my 7th baby, and getting six kids ready for Church by myself. Lots of people asked about my progress, and I let them know that things were happening, but I would probably be in this state for a while, and to count on seeing me the following week. After Church, Paul let me take a nap. I hadn't been sleeping very well, and was a little tired from getting up early with a toddler. We had Mexican soup for dinner, made cookies for a youth fireside that Paul was doing, and got kids ready for bed. I left for Phoenix when he got back. He picked up two large cups of ice from the gas station after gassing the van up for me. I chewed on ice the whole drive up and talked to my dad. I stopped to use the bathroom (pregnancy bladder) at a gas station. I got there just as my mom was walking out the doors. We got back on the road to get home. We stopped again at a gas station on our way because I had way too many ice chips! After that stop, my contractions started. I thought it was probably from being tired and sitting for a few hours. They were a little more uncomfortable where I had to hold the seat belt away from my stomach. I really felt fine and could talk the whole way home. We got in around 1am. I got my mom settled and then went into bed. Paul was already asleep, but kind of woke up when I came in. He asked how I was doing as I leaned against the bed during a contraction. I said, "Well, I'm having contractions, and they kind of hurt. They're about 2-3 minutes apart." He said, "Ok. Let me know if they get worse." So, I laid there for a while timing contractions until I fell asleep. Around 2:30am, Esme came in because she had wet the bed. I let her have a little too much water before bed, and forgot to have her go potty before I left. I told Paul that I was still having contractions, and asked if he could clean her up. I kept timing them while he was busy. When he came back in, he asked how I was doing. I told him that they were still 2-3 minutes apart and hurt a little, but I was fine. A few minutes later, I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. This part is a little TMI, but I had never had this happen. I went into the bathroom, and I was bleeding. I called for Paul to come in, and that we needed to go to the hospital now. I was kind of freaking out a bit. My stomach was so hard I couldn't feel the baby move. I knew something was wrong, and I was scared and very anxious. Paul calmed me down a little, started the shower for me, and then went to take care of some things. I got cleaned up, and then he got in while I packed the rest of the hospital bag. I was still freaking out inside, and praying that everything was going to be ok. I wasn't feeling her move, but I was having awful contractions. I told my mom that I had just gushed blood and we were going to the hospital. As we stood in the kitchen, I was really panicking. I started crying and telling Paul that I couldn't feel her and that I've never bled. He hugged me, told me that things were going tobe ok, and then gave me a blessing. During the blessing, I felt her kick. It was in between contractions, and only once, but I felt it. It was the reassurance I needed at the moment to not completely fall apart. So, we drove the 45 minutes to St. Joe's and hit almost every light and every pot hole. The whole time Paul was asking me if I was okay not having a baby that day. He didn't want me getting my hopes up of being in labor if I really wasn't. I had gone in with previous babies and have them tell me that although I was a 4, I wasn't changing enough in an hour to be in labor and have them send me home. I said yes, but I the contractions were beginning to hurt a lot. We got there, got into triage, got all registered, and then the nurse checked me. She asked what I was at my appointment. I told her, and then she said "You're at a 5 and 90%. You're here to stay." I don't know if I was really relieved or not. I was still worrying about the bleeding, and being 2.5 weeks early. I told her about the bleeding and she said it was just the "bloody show". I had only ever heard about "losing your plug" or a "streak" of blood. That was NOT what I had experienced. Dr. Decker was on call and came into triage to check on me. They started an antibiotic push because I had test + for strep B. I had never had that before, and was planning an unmedicated, unplugged birth. Dr. Decker had them slam it as fast as they could and give me a little bit of fluids. He knew that once I got to a 6 or 7, I could go to a 10 in one contraction. It took them about an hour to do all the check-in stuff. They got me to a room around 6:20am. Dr. Decker came in, checked me, and then broke my water. I was a 6 and 100%. After they did all the check in stuff up there, I got on the birthing ball and bounced. Soon, the contractions were on top of each other. Paul was rubbing by back, holding my hand, and letting me lean against him. I started feeling like I needed to push around 7:15am. I got in the bed to have them check me again. I was a 9.75. But, I really felt like I needed to push. The nurses started running all over, getting things ready and telling Paul to tell me to just breath. Dr. Decker came in, they got him all set up. I was in a lot of pain, leaning on the bed, holding on to Paul, there were some tears, and heavy breathing. Around 7:30am they had me put my feet up and get ready to push, but I now felt like I couldn't. It was hurting and I couldn't breathe. I got ready, and I screamed a few times. It was very intense. And out she came! I heard Dr. Decker say, "That's a big baby!" as I apologized to everyone in the room for being so loud and embarrassing Paul. They laid her on my chest as I kept saying, "Oh my goodness!" I was shaking and freezing! They took her for a minute and wrapped her up. We waited in the delivery room for about 2 hours. They brought me breakfast (hospital food isn't great), and then weighed her after I fed her for a few minutes. The recovery room wasn't ready yet. I had to stay at the hospital for 48 hours with the strep B stuff. We were pretty bummed and were anxious to get home. The evening nurse was great. I think the day time nurse sensed our desire to get home and had us ready to go fairly quickly, compared to last time when they really dragged their feet. The pediatrician cleared us to go home early in the morning, and so did Dr. Decker. Paul brought food in for me that actually tasted god. The kids came up Monday evening to meet her. She is very much loved. We settled on Isobel Kathleen. She was born at 7:39am, weighing 8lbs even, and 19.5 inches long. She spent the 1st 24 hours humming in her sleep, but has been very quiet and easy-going since we've been home. She is very patient with her many admirers. She wakes up about twice in the night to eat. She's a good eater, and everything seems to be working well. There was an arrhythmia detected at her one week check. She's gaining weight. We are so grateful everything worked out, and that she made it here safely.