Tuesday, November 4, 2008

the birthday breather is over.....


September flew by and we slid right through to the end of October when the birthday bashes end with a bang! It starts on the 27th with Joel. 26 years ago, pregnant for the 3rd time in 3 years, I didn't know what I was having, but I was already very busy with two little boys. I wasn't due for a couple weeks, but I guess working overtime on chocolate donuts for the ward Halloween party got his curiosity and he wanted out. Michael was working construction at the time and although I hadn't really had any labor pains, something told me that I should get the phone number of the house he was working at that day (imagine no cell phones). A couple hours later I found myself in pain and called looking for Michael and he was no where to be found. I called my friend to drive me to the hospital and called another client that Michael had worked for and sent her driving around the neighborhood to look for Michael's truck. I got to San Dimas Community Hospital at about 9am and because the regular labor rooms were already occupied, I got stuck in a closet (literally rolled a bed in to a supply closet). Things were moving so fast that they had to give me a towel to sit on to pull on to keep me from pushing (TMI I know). Apparently Michael was located because he showed up just in time to witness his son being born @ 10:15.

Back then, they laid the babies on their stomachs and my baby (un named at the time) was active and kept lifting his head and moving it from side to side. So by the time we were leaving the hospital, he had a rug burned nose. Being our third son, we couldn't agree on a name. Michael wanted Domenic and I wanted Kellen...I knew we legally had 2 weeks to name him, but the nurses stood there in the room with the wheelchair and wouldn't let us go until we put down a name...so we compromised on Joel Andre.

Shortly after we got home, my neighbor called to find out what we had and I remember being so hurt when she expressed disappointment that we had a boy. How could I be disappointed when I had just given birth to the most beautiful boy ever??? I've never forgotten that and have never felt any disappointment having 3 sons...they are all so talented, smart and bring me such joy...I love my boys!

Joel always did well in school...not just because he was book smart, but because he was "street" smart. He has a knack for figuring out what the teacher wants and delivering. He did exceptional in sports...he's a natural and had the drive and energy to carry him through college. I loved watching him and made every effort to see every event possible.

As those of you who know...Joel has had some major trials in the past couple years, but the same tenacity that brought him through school and sports has continued and carried him through these trials. It was him and his attitude that helped the rest of us through his challenges as well. I'm so very proud of his accomplishments and am grateful to him for his unconditional love and support through everything.

I love you Joel...we love you Joel...Happy Birthday and wishes for a successful year!




I found out I was pregnant with #5 on a fluke. I was temping at a Dr's office while a girl was out on maternity leave. My baby (Rhyannon) was only 6 months old and I had just quit nursing. I was so tired, but was sure that dragging 4 kids to the sitter, working a full day and then coming home and taking care of my family was the reason for my fatigue. One day for the heck of it, I had my blood drawn just to make sure I wasn't pregnant. I was truly shocked when it came back positive. I hadn't even told Michael that I was checking and when he got home from work that night and took one look at me...he knew why I was upset. I wasn't upset that I was pregnant...I LOVED being pregnant...just not right then...I wasn't ready just yet.

My first 4 kids had been born at San Dimas and for the heck of it, I decided to change things up and go to Foothill Pres instead. I was due the 3rd week of November, but on Halloween I started contracting. I had been contracting off and on since very early that morning, but it wasn't consistant. My visiting teachers had come to visit and talked me in to going to the hospital....so about 4:30pm I headed over to Foothill. Ontie Melinda got there just in time and agreed to dress the kids up and take them trick or treating in our absence. The nurse checked me and I wasn't very far along...she called Dr. Nanni and she was instructed to give me an injection to relax me and send me home. I decided against the injection and instead opted to take a walk around the hospital. After about an hour of walking I headed back to the birthing center and asked to be checked again. Next thing I know...the nurses are running around the floor looking for a Dr. to catch my baby. Dr. Raidel happened to be there and he stepped with gloves in hand to play catch. I remember hearing Dr. Nanni yelling as he got there a while later...wondering what happened...he had sent me home.


Ally Melinda was born at 6:15 - right in the middle of trick or treating time. Having a birthday on this day has always been fun because even if there isn't a big celebration planned....it's still a party no matter where you are. Ally was a beautiful baby with dark hair and such a pretty face. I held her close to my chest for as long as I possibly could because I knew she would be the last baby that I would ever bare.

Ally was always "attached to my hip" as Michael would say. She did everything with me, went everywhere with me and would sit and brush my hair the minute I'd get home from work. Ally did well in school and always had lots of friends. Ally took piano at the age of 5 for a very short time, but to this day remembers what she learned. Ally has no fear...and would stand at attention when it was time for immunizations or would ask us to pull her tooth when it was the least bit loose. At the age of 9 I signed her up for AYSO soccer and from that time 'till she was a freshmen in high school we spent every weekend at the soccer field. She was so fun to watch. As she got older her coach discovered that she was a great goalie. She had great timing and had no fear protecting her goal..the only thing was...she hated the position. It got to the point she would stand back there and cross her arms.

As Ally got in to her teens...she started to pull away and became quite distant from not only me, but the rest of our family. I won't deny that this has been hard on me. I love all my children equally and for different reasons and for this reason I've spent many nights on my knees hoping and praying that she would open up to us. Although we have a ways to go, things have finally started to improve this year. We had her out for about 10 days this month and we had such a nice time. Ally is very good and patient with Rachel and Jessica...she was a pleasure to have around. I hope as time goes by that we can continue down this path and grow closer together because we love her and want her to be a part of everything we do.

We love you Ally...we wish you a happy birthday. This year will surely bring lots of changes for you and we want you to know that we are here to support you in anyway we can. I can't believe my baby is 23!!!

That's the end of the Rodriguez/Arnold clan birthday's for the year. I'm happy to say that we don't have any more until...well...March (because I'm not having birthdays any more until Greg catches up)

2 comments:

Mom said...

I do have special nieces and nephews! Joel is so inspiring! His cheerful attitude has always attracted friends and family, as he supports and shows love to those he cares about.
Ally is another beautiful milk chocolate "Alder cousin" who may not be able to get a word in, but shares her dimples generously.

We love you both!!! Happy b'dy to 2 more "Alder cousins!"
Love,
Aunt Syndea

Joel said...

Not book smart????? You kidding lady. Im known as The Professor in these parts. But yes street smarts of a "street pharmacist"