Dressed In White

Eva Summer Johnson
Blessed by her father
Dec 4th, 2011

Also in the circle: grandpa Jim Duffin, great-grandpa Walt Farmer, uncle Tarl Lambson, bishop James Cox

  • Health as you mature
  • Strong love of the gospel
  • A love of the scriptures and desire to search them
  • A desire to come close to your Heavenly Father
  • A desire to do the right things
  • To have compassion and empathy for those around you
  • An ability to gain friends and help those around you
  • To be an example to those around you
  • Blessed with peace

Your family came to support you on your big day. We can't get enough of your smiles. We all love you very much.


Anthony's sleep-inducing armpits

or "Why Anthony is My Hero"

Simply put, I have the best husband in the world. Two weeks after Summer came home from the hospital, Anthony went on night duty. Every night I get to go to bed around 10 or 11 and sleep solidly until about 6am. Anthony is in charge of Summer, including the 2am feeding and diapering. He lays down with her for about an hour each night on the couch to help her fall asleep and often curls up with her again at 2am to get her back to sleep. We've joked that Summer has learned to associate Anthony's armpits with instant sleep.

He has been on night duty for 3 straight months now! (except for maybe a half dozen nights). This great act of husbandly service and love has saved my sanity. I do not do well when I am sleep deprived (I get grouchy and depressed), so he has made the sacrifice for our whole family. I am so so so grateful for him (and so are the kids because they get a happy mommy all day).

Now at the ripe ol' age of 3 months, Summer's royal treatment comes to an end. We've started the cry-it-out and learn-to-sleep-on-your-own sleep training. 3 days in and she's getting better already (only 20 minutes or so of crying tonight). Anthony is excited to have less baby sleep duty, but I think it's a double edged sword. For the past 3 months he's also been able to take long naps whenever he wants because he knows as long as he lays down with Summer I won't complain (in fact I'm delighted to have her sleep a long time too). But I think that's been a well deserved perk for being on night duty. Thank you Anthony! I love you.


Marriage By The Numbers

  • 7 years
  • 3 children
  • 8000+ diapers
  • 4 cars (2 have passed on)
  • 3 houses
  • 3 trips to Disneyland (1 as newlyweds)
  • 320 Star Trek episodes
  • 2555 days of gratitude for a great marriage.
And that's the gospel truth. We're pretty lucky to have a lot of common interests and very little conflict. Raising 3 kids together is a lot of fun. Challenging, but in a great self-and-relationship-maturing kind of way. I love my family.

We spent an over-nighter this year in Park City. My parents kept the older 2 and the babes was with us. For that reason it was pretty low-key: movies and sleep-deprived napping.

The day before our anniversary I spent a night in Park City with the kids and my parents. We had fun exploring the hotel, the park and the pool. It was actually a great refresher for me to get some quality vacation time with my adorable kiddos.


Eva Summer

Summer's full name is Eva Summer Johnson. We had a tough time naming this baby. We had an ever growing list of 20+ names that just kept growing even after she was born. We almost named her Jadie Eva Johnson. Adorable, except that it started to sound like JD Johnson, which sounded like a boy's name to me. We considered names like Haley, Holly, Joanie, Jill, Hannah, Susie, Allison, June, Brooke, Mallory, Melanie and Melody. The one name that I just couldn't let go of was Summer. It took Anthony a while to warm up to the name, but since I was so wishy-washy about everything else he finally said, "Let's name her Summer." Once I had his blessing on the name, I knew that was the only name I wanted!

The name Eva comes primarily from the name Austin and Ruthie gave the baby after we found out she was a girl. They chose the name Aviva (or as Ruthie says it "a-eeva"), which is a character on Wild Kratts, their favorite kid show. I loved the idea of my kids helping to pick the name, but I didn't like Aviva per se, and I also wanted a family name. Anthony's great-grandma's name is Eva and it seemed a perfect fit. We even have one of Eva's paintings hanging prominently in our living room. However, to avoid having our child burdened with the name "Summer's Eve" we opted for Eva Summer and to call her by her middle name.
Much thanks to Debbie for taking all these fabulous pictures for us the week Summer was born. I love how they turned out.

The first 5 pictures are an attempt to match some similar pictures I have of Austin and Ruthie as newborns. Now the question is, which one of the 5 should I hang next to these (Austin top, Ruthie bottom)?


Where Does the Time Go?

Has Summer been in our lives for 2 whole months already? Boy time flies! She's already seeming so big and strong compared to those first few days. And I am still enjoying the ecstasy of not being pregnant. I rejoice in being able to lay on my back, take hot baths, clean up the house, go for walks - and especially in having the energy and motivation to really play with my kids again. Of course I have back aches from holding Summer in awkward positions, my house is still a terrible mess, I don't have as much kid-focus as I'd like and sleep is still my #1 priority. But even two months later I am still so high on not being pregnant that those things seem inconsequential. If only I could always remember how grateful I am to have this amazing, healthy body!

Speaking of gratitude, I was at Costco last week with Austin. I was pushing him in the shopping cart and he wanted my attention so he was grabbing my face and pulling at my hair and talking loudly while I tried to find the right bread rack. An 80-year-old man walked past us and I figured he was feeling sorry for me having to deal with a squirmy 5-year-old. Instead he looked me in the eyes and sincerely said, "Oh, how I miss those days." Man! If only I could live my life backwards! If I could first be 80 and miss the "good old days" and then go back to parenting these young children, how much more would I value each day!? I've been trying to think about that all this week and it has given me more patience and JOY with those squirmy bodies and undone chores.

Enough musing. What I really wanted to blog about is what we've been up to these past two months.


...turned 33 on Wednesday. We went to Wingers for dinner. Later he instructed me how to download a Kindle e-book for him. Is it just me or do instant downloads take something out of the gift giving process?

...turned 33 last month. Anthony brought me into the modern era by buying me a smartphone. I hesitated to open the box, wondering out loud if I would use it enough to justify the expense. An hour later I was totally hooked and can not imagine my life without this little beauty.

...printed our 3rd blog book (plus got digital copies of the books). It's so easy with my new favorite program www.blog2print.com. 3 out of 5 blogging years complete.


...has been doing crafts like a mad man. He is so self-entertained with his crafts that I invested in a "craft center" where we keep the basics: lots of plain paper, markers, scissors, glue, and masking tape (plus a few other things). With these basic supplies he can create remarkable things! He's made backpacks, costumes, hand-shaped birds, telescopes, sailboats, story books and more.

...got a little too eager with the crafting last week and loped off a chunk of skin from his pinkie. Thankfully it was a Saturday so Anthony was home to handle the blood and the trip to the Urgent Care for 3 stitches.

...is potty-trained...sort of. I was intending to wait till she turned 3, but she had other plans. When we brought Summer home I couldn't help making comments about how big Ruthie was to be in diapers and how we would have to potty train her soon. After about a week of that, Ruthie told me wanted to wear underwear. I was feeling just barely healed enough to help with emergency toilet runs and I figured I wasn't going anywhere with a newborn for several weeks anyway. So we trained. Like with Austin, it took her about a week to recognize her body's signals. Currently she's about 50% on making it to the potty. I've just decided I lack the energy to focus on that other 50%, so we're reverting to pull-ups for the next month or two. But I'm happy I don't have to change poopy diapers anymore.


...has started smiling and "talking". We love it! The kids love it when she says things that sound like words. "Mom, she said hey!", "She said good!", "She said hi!" Grandma reports that she's even had a few hour-long conversations with the babes.

...loves her swing. They say babies have different cries for different needs. I think one of Summer's cries is a "swing cry." Just goes to show how different each kid is. Austin hated the swing and always wanted to be held. Ruthie kind of liked the swing, but was calmed more by noises. Summer seems to relax from over-stimulation in her calming swing.


Summer's Birth Story

Thursday, August 25th. It was another "normal" day. Austin went to preschool that morning, I posted to my blog about how I hoped this baby would come on Friday, we ate lunch and settled down on the couch to watch a movie and take a nap. It was around 1pm. Austin, trying to get to his spot on the couch, rolled (gently) over me during a contraction. I felt a pop and thought my water had broken. It was actually just the mucus plug, but the contractions immediately began to hurt. I measured 2 at 10 minutes apart and called Anthony at work. By the time he got home 20 minutes later my contractions were 5 minutes apart so I called my mom. By the time she arrived another 20 minutes later the contractions were 3 minutes apart. My wise mother shooed us out the door quickly. My dad arrived only 5 minutes later to watch my kids so my mom could join us at the hospital.

In the hospital triage they measured me to be dilated to a 9. I was shocked and immediately called for the epidural! Being so far along, they recommended I get a spinal instead since it acts faster, the draw back being it only lasts for about 2 hours. I was so grateful for the pain relief! I think the only thing that made those strong, close contractions tolerable was the fact that I'd only been in labor a few hours. If I'd been going on 10 or 20 hours I'm sure I would've been insane with pain.

Once the spinal was in, the commotion around me died down, all the nurses disappeared and we relaxed for a bit. Unfortunately it took 1.5 hours for me to dilate the last centimeter and by that time the spinal was starting to wear off. I insisted that we start trying to push NOW before the spinal was completely gone. The doctor arrived a few minutes later and the VBAC effort began. After 45 minutes of pushing, the baby hadn't budged an inch. Several times the doctor tried repositioning the baby and me, but still nothing. She wasn't even descended into the birth canal enough to reach with forceps. By this time the spinal was almost gone and I was moaning and grunting and nearly crying through each contraction. The doctor suggested we could keep trying, though he didn't think the baby would budge, or we could do a c-section.

Motivated in part by the pain, I was eager to do the c-section and be done! Somewhere in the reasoning part of my brain, I also recognized that even with an epidural and a longer pushing session, it was going to be a long and possibly body-damaging delivery. I admit I am more afraid of severe tearing and life-long incontinence and other such problems than I am of a surgery. Besides, I'd already had a c-section, so that damage (severed muscles, big scar) had already been done.

After some prep and another spinal (ahhh!) we did the c-section. One funny side note... I think Summer was my most active baby in the womb. I sometimes commented that she was doing tap dances in my stomach. As I laid there on the operating table, moments from her delivery, I heard the nurses commenting to each other, "Look at that! That baby is moving like crazy in there!" She was doing apparently doing her "I'm about to be born" happy tap-dance.

Summer was born via c-section on August 25th at 6:18pm (18:18). She was 7lbs 130z and 19in long. My impression when I first saw her was that she looked just like Ruthie. I held her and kissed her and was so joyful and relieved to have a healthy perfectly formed little baby. I was also so glad to finally be done with pregnancy.

Although you may be tempted to express sorrow that I didn't achieve my VBAC goal, don't. I am thrilled with how everything turned out. I did want to have a vaginal delivery with Ruthie because I wanted that experience and the "easier" recovery. But it turned out to be a very difficult recovery. I only wanted a second VBAC because I hoped that it would somehow be "easier" than the first. But my c-section recovery was great. I was on my feet the next morning, on very little painkiller, and ready to leave the hospital by day 2 (though I was required to stay for 3). Now 2 weeks later, I feel great. I have to remind myself not to pick up Austin and not to exercise just yet, though I feel like I could. I think the tricks to a smooth recovery on this delivery was 1) reducing the pain killers so I wasn't nauseated, 2) getting on my feet as soon as possible so I could take ownership of my recovery and 3) lucking out with great nurses and doctors.

Additional thoughts on the c-section... Now that I'm a c-section gal, if (big if) there is a baby #4, it's nice to know I can be done at 39 weeks for sure (although I kind of like letting the baby pick their own birthday). Also, after this delivery, the doctor told me I couldn't have tried any harder to push that 7'13 baby out - which for me, validates the c-section I had with my 8'5 baby.

Another funny side note... Summer grew in utero with a nightly dose of Star Trek Voyager almost the entire pregnancy. So it was a bit ironic that this turned out to be the doctor who delivered her. And this is Voyager's Harry Kim. My baby was delivered by Harry Kim! It was meant to be.

After delivery, Anthony followed baby Summer to the nursery and an hour or so later I got to hold her again. Soon the little ones were on their way to visit...

At 8pm the sibs arrived to finally meet their 2-hour-old nameless baby sister.

Lots of great hugs and holds so early in life!

The cousins came the next afternoon to meet the new little one.

On Sunday evening the kiddos played hospital with the cool moving bed, while we packed up and got ready to take our little Summer home with us.

Great Grandma and Grandpa Farmer came to visit latter that day.