Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Twelve-a-polooza!

Yes, I'm late posting again, but why break a streak that I've had for months now? At least I'm consistent.
On December 12, 2000 at 3:01pm Oliver Sterling chose to grace the world with his presence. He was special for many reasons. First, he was our first son and first child. He was also the first grandchild on both sides of our family. He also happened to be the only grandchild that my dad would live to see and hold. Basically, we knew he was pretty special.
He started off at a chubby 9lbs and 20 1/2 in. long. Within a month he'd grown to over 12lbs! Om fact, at his one month appointment he was off the charts in weight at about the 110th percentile! He was a chubby baby boy!
He also managed to learn things fairly quickly, at least physically. He held his head up from birth, crawled around 4 months and started walking around 9 months. He was a little daredevil. Always trying new things with no thought of the danger. For his first birthday he got a wooden rocking horse and he immediately climbed up no it, stood on the seat and rocked as hard and as fast as he could!
He was a very creative child, making up games, and creating things out of paper. In preschool, his teacher pretty much gave him unlimited access to the cabinet with the tape so he could make whatever caught his fancy; scooters, chairs, toilets (yes, paper toilets). I never knew what project he would bring home from school. His teacher even had to force hi to play in other areas, like the blocks or kitchen area. Otherwise he would have done only art!
Sterling made up a new card game
He's always done very well in school and been near the top of his class. Although, there was a period of time in 3rd grade where he wouldn't do his homework and instead would hide it under his dresser. After we threatened to have him held back if he continued to do it, he decided he would rather do his homework.
After that period of time, he has always been very responsible in doing his school work without reminders or prodding from mom and dad. He enjoys school for the most part and prides himself on his good grades. In fact, he had straight A's in 5th grade when he finished elementary school.

Sterling in 5th grade with his kindergarten teacher
Sterling in kindergarten with his teacher, Mrs. B.

Our Cowboy
Sterling with his first grade teacher Mrs. K. He won an
award for best story and illustrations at the KTWU Writers and
Illustrators contest.
Sterling also likes music. He started off playing the violin for a couple years, then switched to playing the trumpet (like his awesome mom) in 5th grade. He had his first middle school band concert a few weeks ago and I was impressed with how well the band sounded, especially given that they were all 6th graders. He also is a pretty good dancer.
He is a very kind and loving big brother...when he wants to be. He does especially well with his much younger sister, brother and cousins. They seem to adore him and he adores them right back. He even shares a room with Eddie and since Eddie doesn't want to sleep alone, he sleeps in Sterling's bed with him too. At night, I can find them laying next to each other with headphones on listening to Sterling's "zusic".  
He is a good example to his younger brothers and sisters and has been a good big brother for them to look up to and follow his example. 

 At some point several years after he was born we realized that Sterling would have a very unique birthday to celebrate. Since he was born on 12/12/2000 he would get to turn 12 on 12/12/12! This year was that year and he decided to celebrate with some close friends. He had 10 friends come over to celebrate the twelve-fecta of birthdays. Several months in advance we had contact the news to let them know of this unique and unusual event and they agreed to come and cover his birthday. To make it even more special, Sterling decided to ask his friends to bring items to donate to Doorstep and Toys for Tots instead of gifts for him. Lauren Seabrook of Kansas First News came to our home to cover the event. Sterling did two live interviews at 5:30pm and 6:00pm which he did awesome on. Then they did a taped interview of Sterling, his friend Noah and I for the 10:00pm news. Here's the link to the 10pm news coverage and here's the newspaper article that appeared in the Topeka Capital Journal.

Overall, he had 12 tons of fun (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) on his very special birthday and we were so proud of him and his decision to donate gifts and food to charities instead of receiving things for himself. He is a very mature boy and tries very hard to make good choices.

We are also very proud of his choice to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. In our church, when a young man reaches the age of 12 he is able to receive the priesthood, as long as he is found worthy, and help in the passing of the sacrament (similar to communion) as well as other duties. This is a big responsibility for a 12 year old and helps them to prepare to take on more as they get older. It is a very serious commitment and we are proud that he has lived worthy and able to receive the priesthood and fulfill those obligations.  
We have been truly blessed with an amazing young man to be the oldest child and to lead the way for his younger siblings to follow. We love you so much Sterling!!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Conversations to Remember

Me (to Kailyn and Eddie): Ugh. Sounds like your brothers are fighting again.
K: My sister is not fighting but Eddie's brothers are fighting.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Late AGAIN!!!!

At least this time I have the excuse that I'm working part time. You wouldn't know it but my kids' birthdays are on the same date each year, yet each year, I'm surprised when they come! They always sneak up on me and then it's Bam, Bam, Bam, right after another!! But back to the real reason I'm first, beautiful girl had her 10th birthday on November 29!

Once upon a time, there was a mommy, daddy and little boy who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new baby at the beginning of December. But this new little baby had other plans.

On November 29, 2002, the day after thanksgiving, Mommy and Daddy had put their little boy down to bed and Mommy decided to go lay down and try to sleep. It'd been a long day installing a new garage door and she needed to rest. After sleeping for about 1/2 hour she woke up and noticed she was having contractions. It was about 9:50pm and although the contractions weren't painful, she decided to go lay on the couch with daddy so he could time them. After a few contractions at about every 10 minutes there was a gush! Surprised, Mommy stood up with soaked sweat pants and said, "I think my water just broke!" to which Daddy replied, "Are you sure?" Mommy then explained that she didn't routinely wet her pants so she was pretty sure it was her water that broke.

At that point Daddy went to get little boy ready to go to a friend's house so they could go have the baby. Mommy was trying to call their friends but they weren't home (unbeknownst to Mommy and Daddy, their friends had gone out of town for thanksgiving) so she tried another friend from church. Contractions were coming about every 1-2 minutes and Mommy wondered what was taking Daddy so long to get little boy ready. Turns out he was folding little boy's clothes to put them in a back pack. Mommy told him to just throw them in so they could go...cause contractions REALLY HURT!!

They dropped little boy off and hurried to the hospital where they were put into a room in triage to be evaluated for labor. Daddy called grandma to come pick up little boy from their friends while the nurse asked some standard questions and checked Mommy who was dilated to about a 5. She then jokingly inquired whether Mommy had a history of 30 minute labors. Mommy laughed and said, "I wish!" Nurse decided to call IV therapy to start Mommy's IV since she had a history of being somewhat difficult to start an IV on. So she left the room. Maybe 10 minutes passed when Mommy said to Daddy, "I think I need to push!" The nurse walked back in just then and Mommy told her that. Nurse acted nonchalant and said, "Well, lets just check you then." Then Mommy saw the Nurse's face just fall as she exclaimed, "You're 9cm and fully effaced!!"

After that there was a MAD rush around the room as the nurses wheeled Mommy down the hall into a room. There were several people rushing around the room trying to get everything set up while the Nurse had Mommy get up and move to the Labor and Delivery bed (in the middle of a contraction). All the while saying, "Don't push! Don't push!"

As everyone rushed around the room another nurse tried to start an IV. The Doctor on call came in the room and was in the process of putting on her gown when Nurse yelled, "The head is out!...The baby's out!" And Emmy Verona Bidwell was born into this world. In the chaos that ensued no one had noted the exact time of her arrival so it was estimated that she made her appearance at 11:31pm. Although cell phone records would later show that a phone call was made to grandma to announce the safe arrival of her first granddaughter at around 11:15pm.

Emmy was about 1 1/2 weeks early so wasn't nearly as big as her 9lb big brother. She weighed in at 7lbs 11oz. She made her appearance earlier than was expected and has continued to be advanced in most everything she's done since.

She loves to read, write and draw. And she LOVES to do math. She consistently scores in the top of her age group in math and reading. in fact this year she scored in the 99% for all 4th graders nationally. In reading she was in the 96%. She is such a smart girl and loves to be challenged. She likes to push herself and see just how far she can go. She enjoys playing piano, running and playing soccer. This past spring she ran in a 1 mile race for her school and was the first girl in the school to finish! She is an amazing and talented young girl and I can't wait to see what she decides to do as she grows. Emmy is also an amazing big sister. Watching how she and Kailyn interact is really a joy to me. She has such a nurturing and caring personality. Someday she will make an incredible mom!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Conversations to Remember

This morning while getting Kailyn dressed for school she told me this:
K: Mom, Emmy is a sister but she loves me lots and lots! She doesn't like to go away from me. She wants to be my favorite bestest!
Have I mentioned how much I adore my girls and their special sister bond? :-)

Robert Allen