Friday, May 4, 2012

Random Thoughts

Forgive me while I try to figure out what is going on with blogger.  I have not updated since September, so I have no idea what is going on in here.  If my post looks strange, sounds strange, or is strange . . . . I blame blogger.  Ha! It's really going to be a random post of little things that make me laugh, smile, or scream.

To sum up, everyone is growing and changing all the time except us parents.  I'd like to say that we are growing and changing, too, though - just in different ways.

Oh, and we moved in January.

I can't believe Soren will be a freshman in high school in the fall.  I suppose he will be considered a freshman much sooner than that. . . . you know, like in 6 weeks (!!!!) when school is out for the summer.  It's hard to take sometimes, but other times I look at him and am so impressed with the amazing young man that he is.  Other times I want to strangle him because he's a teenager.  Ya know?  Sigh.  I enjoy the moments we get to spend together, but he's so busy that they are few and far between.  I know it only gets worse from here!

Caroline is .... Caroline.  Yesterday she seriously did a flying ninja kick to Henry's head.  I could not believe it.  And yet, I could.  Those two are crazy.  They love each other to bits, but boy do they enjoy tormenting each other.  Classic!  And Soren is in on the trouble, too.  The other day while we were eating dinner and Caroline was being a stinker, he looked at us and said, "Why is she so annoying??"  HAHAHA!  We both laughed.

I downloaded a goofy app to IPad the other day with all of these voice clips from My Little Pony (Caroline's favorite show in the whole wide world.... right now).  I was showing it to Alan after 10pm and suddenly I hear Caroline on the monitor in our bedroom.  I go in to tell her to go back to sleep and she looks at me and says, "Mommy, I heard ponies!!!"  I had to stop myself from laughing and put her back to bed.  I played maybe 2 or 3 clips for Alan, totaling less than 30 seconds, and she woke up.  "Mommy, I heard Pinkie Pie!"  Oh, boy!  She has quite the ear for the things she loves.

Henry is talking in sentences.  I can't understand them, but he sure knows what he's saying.  Sometimes I catch bits and pieces.  Yesterday we were at a friend's house (Jasmine is her name and she's kind of amazing), and as we were leaving he fully said goodbye to her and I believe followed it with see you later or I'm going home or something like that.  I have never met a toddler who talks as much as he does.  Holy COW the kid does not shut up!!!

And that's the time I have.  There is so much more to say, but this is a start in updating.  At least I hope.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Time to dust off the blog . . .

Here we are again.

See, here's the thing. I don't have time to be on the computer. I get it now. And I apologize to all of my friends who I may have mocked for not checking their email more or updated their blogs more or whatever. Two kids ages 2 and under makes that pretty stinking difficult. So, here it is:

I am very sorry.

There is way too much to update on, but I will do my best to start adding some fun back to this dusty, old, forgotten corner of the internet.

It will come as no surprise to you if I say that all of my children are growing like weeds. But I said it anyway. Ha!

Soren has most definitely passed me up in height. He seems to have flung full force into a growth spurt that can't be stopped. This year was the start of 8th grade for him and, loser that I am, I missed that "first day of school" picture. I suppose he is getting too old to be bothered by them anymore, but I am sad I missed it. Bad mommy! The school schedule this year was adjusted a bit, 5 periods instead of 6, so that threw us for a day or two. He is working hard already and I expect that trend will continue. Two of his classes qualify for high school credits, so he only has a little bit of stress to get awesome grades. . . . haha! This year he is doing wrestling for the first time and has plans to participate in basketball, and track. I'm also attempting to find some soccer team for him. Piano lessons started in October as well as Jazz band. This is where I would toss in a picture of him, but unfortunately they are on my phone and . . . yeah, I am not smart enough to get them onto the computer right now. Let it be noted that he grows more handsome and grown up every day but I still can see that mischievous twinkle in his eye that he's had since the day he was born. LOVE THIS KID! Erm, I mean . . . young man.

Caroline . . . where do I start with this girl. WOW did the Lord ... erm... bless me... with ... her? She is my challenge. Every. single. day. I love her to bits, but she and I definitely butt heads. Frequently. I am learning to choose my battles and yet still teach her valuable lessons (like that mom is the boss! haha!) every time we have a struggle. We still have a few issues now and then with the potty, but we really are through the tough part (I hope)! My princess will be three years old on Friday and that pretty much freaks me out. I can't believe how fast (sometimes) it has gone. It is fun to see her really begin to embrace pretending and playing. She also is in a pre-ballet class, which is like heaven for her. It seems like she has a smile on her face the entire time she is dancing. LOVE IT!

My baby boy, Henry, is just an absolute joy and his smile is the sunshine that starts my day (usually earlier than I want to be up, but that smile seriously saves him - and me!). He is huge - just over 20lbs, and loves people. The kid smiles at anyone and tries desperately to catch the eyes of strangers at the store so he can give him a grin. He is working on cutting tooth number 4 (so close!) so we've had lots of tears and even more drool!! Henry is very aware of all the people in the house - he knows daddy and will almost leap out of my arms while saying "dadadada" if Alan is in the room. Soren is bababa (brother) and they adore each other. Caroline is not an easy word to say and neither is sister, but he knows who she is and I can see his little brain calculating ways to outsmart her so he can get his hands on the many toys she tries to hide/take from him. I think he is plotting a takeover and it will begin the minute he is a stable walker, but maybe before! I figure he will outweigh her in 3-6 months easily, so that will help in his battle. Crawling is just around the corner, but for now he is scooting around, rolling around, and rocking around on his knees/hands while he tries to figure out the coordination that crawling will involve. LOVE my Henry!!!

So that is a quick run down of the kiddos. Alan and I both are working hard to keep things running as smoothly as possible here at home. Our house was hit with various illnesses for pretty much all of October, but I think we're all on the mend now and hope to be able to fight off the sickies for the holiday season.

I did have an interesting (to me anyway) thought today as I sat on the floor, Caroline in my lap and Henry crawling around me. Caroline was watching Toy Story and I was contemplating how much laundry I needed to do, how badly the floors need to be swept/washed, and how desperate I was to get the laundry room organized (again) when it hit me . . . 100 years ago - even 50 years ago - the day to day responsibilities in taking care of a home were much more complex. There weren't nearly as many conveniences to help with things like laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. I believe that one of the reasons we have the many time savers that we do today is to allow us to spend quality time with our children. They need us more now than ever. The world is a scary place with so many twists and turns that will pull our children down paths that no one should be on! It is so important for them to get the guidance, love, and care that they need in order to arm them before they walk out the door - either each morning or when they leave our homes to live on their own. I'm grateful the dishwasher is washing the dishes this morning so that I was able to love on my kiddos. I am so happy to have a washer and dryer to do laundry while I put puzzles together and play peek a boo. I love my crock pot because it makes the hours after 4pm a little more bearable on the days I remember to load it up and plug it in.

Anyway, those are my thoughts this morning! :) Hopefully next time I update I will have lots of pictures to throw on here, too! Today, however, words will have to have to suffice!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

April is over?

(If you are viewing this via facebook and can not see any pictures, please head to my blog at

How in the world is time flying so quickly?? Didn't I just update this blog? Guess not! Haha!

April was a great month for our family! Henry was blessed on April 10th and we were able to have lots of family here for the event. Both of my brothers were there and 6 of the 8 kids in Alan's family were able to be here with their families as well as Alan's parents. We were so thrilled to see all of them and missed those who weren't able to come - including my parents who are over in the Philippines.

Here are some pictures of the big day!

The group of us (sans my one brother and his wife who had to leave early):

Our family with a cranky 2 year old:

A few shots of Henry, our happy little handsome boy:

Oh my goodness, don't you just want to eat him up? He's so flippin' cute. Ok, here's one more:

My parents sent this outfit from the Philippines and it looked adorable on him - even if the shorts were a little off season. It was such a special day and we loved being surrounded by family.

I wish I had taken pictures of all the fun we had while the family was here. They started arriving the Friday before the blessing and the last ones didn't roll out until the Thursday following. Caroline LOVED having cousins here and Soren enjoyed it as well, though I think he had the most fun with his uncle Stephen, who is only a few years older than him. Henry enjoyed all the cuddles and smiles! And Alan and I enjoyed visiting. Good times!

Soren has had a few band concerts and one of these days I will upload all of the video footage we have of him. . . he's kind of amazing. I tried to upload one via blogger, but it took hours and didn't work, so I will get some up on youtube soon. He is loving playing the piano in jazz band, though I think there are times he longs for the trumpet. I think in the past month he has had 2 jazz band concerts and a regular band concert as well! It wouldn't surprise me if Soren is really looking forward to the summer. He's been very busy the past month or so with band, track, scouts, and other responsibilities. I sure love him and all that he does. He's an awesome kiddo.

Caroline has turned a corner in the land of potty training. What a relief for all of us! She also has been showing so much love and affection to her "Baby Henry." It's adorable!

Just look at the love on that girl's face! While I'm trying to enjoy every second of Henry's "babyhood," I also am looking forward to the time that I can watch the two of them play together. Caroline is also becoming more and more independent. When we ask her if she needs help, we often here, "No, I good," or "No, I got." Rarely does she say these things in any kind of mean tone, just very matter of fact. And a lot of times she does "got." Haha! It's fun to watch her grow and learn!

Our little Henry is not so little anymore. I mean, yeah, he's still a baby, but wow is he getting big and heavy! At his 4 month checkup he was nearly 14lbs and 26 inches long! Lugging him around in his carseat is definitely akin to a work out in the weight room. Geez! I love his little chubby legs and cheeks and tummy! He's also started "talking" to us. Sometimes when he's eating he'll just stop and look at me and start making noises. Too cute! And when he gets angry he sounds like a little tiger cub. Hard to take that seriously . . . hee hee! We are slowly working on spending more time on the floor so he can learn to roll over, but I know that will come eventually, so I'm not worried. He can take his time.

As for me, I'm tired most of the time - still trying to learn to juggle two little people as well as keep up with my almost teenager. (OH MY GOODNESS . . . Soren is going to be an officially REAL teenager in 2.5 months. UGH!) I try to keep up with housework, but it often falls by the wayside. Still working on finding a balance in life. I know I will get there. I've been trying for months to finish 2 books. I'll keep trying. And whenever I can find an adult conversation, I am there! Although socializing with telemarketers generally makes for an awkward afternoon. I much prefer to chat with friends. :) I'll get our new normal figured out soon and hopefully that will free me up to do some things for me - aside from sleeping and eating (when I remember).

My little tiger cub is complaining. Time to go!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Latest....

Oh, life. How I want to enjoy you daily!

Life pretty much consists of chasing a toddler to the bathroom and feeding a baby. And sometimes attempting both at the same time.

Caroline is still struggling with potty training, but I know she'll get it eventually. We had a really good run where she was only having trouble with #2 and #1 was easy peasy lemon squeezy. No pun intended. However, then we had some major trauma with #2 and she is now struggling with both again. We are working on solutions and I'm trying not to lose my mind. However, I will not be putting her back in diapers, so please don't suggest that ;) Otherwise she is such a cute little source of laughter and joy in our house. I love it when she gets excited about something and her eyes light up. I love that she still wants to snuggle with me still. I love to watch her with her brothers. I love listening to her cute little voice requesting things. I LOVE listening to her recap her day for her daddy when he gets home. I love watching her play with her toys. I love reading books with her. I love chasing her around and listening to her giggle. I just love this girl, stubbornness included! She wouldn't be Caroline without the added dose of spice!

Soren is a pretty amazing kid. Heavenly Father sure blessed me something crazy with this guy. Most of the time he jumps up without complaint to help out with almost anything he is asked. This makes the times he rolls his eyes, sighs loudly, or asks why a little frustrating, but I'm grateful that they are few in comparison to how much is asked of him. He is a great kid and I love him. Soren has been fighting with allergies and some nasty virus for a couple weeks now, but that hasn't stopped him from working hard with his school work and continuing to excel in band. I love listening to him perform and I really need to upload some of his concert footage. I also really enjoy listening to him tinker on the piano. His piano teacher is out of commission (she just had a baby) for a while, but that hasn't stopped him from taking the initiative to learn a few songs on his own. Not only that, but Soren also pitches in when it comes to cooking and baking. And to top it all of, he is very helpful with his siblings. It's so fun to watch him with Caroline and Henry and see the joy on his face (most of the time haha).

Henry is now 3 months old and when he isn't hungry or tired he is full of smiles and laughter. Most of the time he sleeps wonderfully - plenty of naps during the day (even with all the screaming that his sister serenades him with) and he has generally been sleeping well at night, though we have some off days now and again. He is growing like crazy! I think I am too late on a few of his 3-6 month outfits . . . the kid is LONG! Not that surprising, though. This weekend is extra special for our Henry! This Sunday he will be blessed at church. This is the longest we have waited to bless one of our kiddos, but worth it because so much family is able to be here. Hooray!

So that's the latest. Alan's still working hard, I'm still being a momma. And while it's challenging, the rewards are worth it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Let me preface all of this with saying that I love my family, I'm grateful for them, and I know I have many blessings. But sometimes it just feels good to vent.

1 - Potty training is horrible and is ruining nap time which just creates a cycle of drama that culminates in me feeling like a failure by the end of the day.
2 - Newborns who wake up to eat then go back to sleep without much of a problem in a crib are great. Until they decide that they don't want to be put down to sleep anymore but would much rather be held. And then if you put them down they wake up really angry because they are tired and you put them down and now they are awake.
3 - Toddlers who finally figure out there is someone smaller in the house have a tendency to suddenly need mom more, want to be "up" all the time, and decide that, if that doesn't work, they'll just start hitting everyone. It's awesome.
4 - Nearly 3 months into sleep deprivation, mama's temper starts to come out more and more.
5 - Toddlers who know how to push mama's buttons tend to do so just to see the angry monster come out. As a parent, it sucks when it works and you find yourself irrationally angry at a two year old.
6 - Feelings of inadequacy suck, too. Don't even get me started on the feelings of inadequacy. I can't count how many times I have felt sorry for Alan and Soren when they've walked through the door after work/school.
7 - Being a mom is hard work. Really hard.
8 - Crying is therapeutic, but I still hate it.

I know this is just a moment in time, that it will pass. I know that in a few short years I will be longing for the time when my kids were small. But right now each day seems very long. And on days like today, I wonder how my kids will remember me. Right now I just feel like an angry, grumpy, emotional tyrant.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lots and Lots and Lots . . .

So I have a minute to breathe and update life, so here goes!

Henry is TWO months old!!! How did that happen?? Anyway, he is now starting to give us some smiles and giggles. His sleeping patterns are starting to emerge, but he also has been a pill the past few nights. We need to figure that out. And boy, oh boy, he is growing like a weed! At his 2 month appointment he was 24.5 inches long (2.5 inches longer in 6 weeks!) and nearly 10.5lbs (over 3lbs gained in 6 weeks!). He is actually heavier and longer than Soren was at 2 months. Impressive! We are loving having this little guy around - such an easy going kiddo!

Caroline has big things going on, too! We are on the potty training ride right now. I hate potty training. However, she is doing remarkably well. Today is day 5 and she has managed to take herself to the potty successfully twice without any help from mom. Well done, big girl! I'm hoping we'll keep making progress because not having to change her diapers is awesome. Other than potty training, Caroline has also discovered her little brother. She has also decided she loves him. This is fabulous for all of us!

Soren continues to amaze & impress me. He is doing very well in school, trying very hard to take the initiative with his school work & keep his grades up. This year he participated in National History Day again. For his project he created a website (last year he did an essay). He won first place at his school and 5th place in the region, missing out on going to state by one place! I was so proud of him, especially because Alan and I were so busy during the prep time for his project that we were of little help to him - he did this mainly on his own with the help of his teachers. Such a fabulous job! Soren also continues to amaze me with his musical talents. He had a jazz band concert at the beginning of February and played not only the piano, but then ran across the stage twice to play his trumpet with solos and everything. This past weekend he also performed in a duet and an ensemble for Solo and Ensemble - a state wide music event. For middle schoolers, they perform and are adjudicated. As you progress to high school, however, it becomes a judged competition with scoring and all of that. I participated in Solo and Ensemble in junior high and high school so it is fun to see Soren doing the same, even if it is for trumpet and not for voice! Soren continues to be an amazing kid, even when he acts like a teenager. Haha!

I love my kiddos and right now my life pretty much is them. I'm okay with that, though. I'm so very blessed to have the three of them in my life and even more blessed to have an amazing husband who continues to help me every single day and love me even when I'm falling apart.

Life is pretty stinkin' good right now, even with a toddler, newborn, and tweenager. It's not great at every moment, but overall I really can't complain.

And it's a good thing I'm writing this post today and not yesterday because I would have been singing a whole different song! Haha!

Videos and pictures coming very soon. However, there is a certain little guy who needs a fresh pair of pants and a little more food. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Infertility & Motherhood (Part Two)

Part two has been a long time coming, but I have good reason! Not only have we been adjusting to life with a third kiddo in the house, but I've also had LOTS of visitors. So here's the rest of the story (I hope).

If you remember, I mentioned that I agreed to do a Clomid Challenge test with my ob/gyn to assess the quality/quantity of my egg supply. I wasn't overly worried about it - I was busy working 4 jobs, not including the job of wife & mother, and didn't really have time to worry! But the day the doctor called with the results it was very obvious that the news was not good. His tone of voice told me before he did that it didn't look good. I was told that the only way we'd be able to have more children was if we did InVitro Fertilization with donor eggs - that mine were no good.

I don't remember exactly what happened next - I don't remember if I was crying before or after I hung up the phone. I don't remember if I called Alan and told him or if I just sent him an instant message. I do remember lots of crying. Sobbing, really. I vividly remember sitting at my desk in my home office unable to catch my breath because I was crying so hard. I finally got it together enough to say a very long, heartfelt prayer - I knew it was the only way I'd get through the day. Not only did I have work at home to finish, but I had to physically go to work (another job) that afternoon. I needed the strength to get through the day and I knew it wasn't going to come from me - I was emotionally spent.

Thankfully the Lord stepped in and seriously carried me through the rest of that day. He also prompted me to immediately seek a second opinion - to finally get myself to a fertility specialist (also known as a Reproductive Endocrinologist or RE). I'd had appointments with them before, but had to cancel them due to insurance or financial issues. My sweet ob/gyn sat on the phone with me as we went through every RE on my insurance list, giving me his opinion as to where he thought my best fit would be. I am forever grateful for the time he took out of his day for me.

That horrible day occurred January 15, 2008.

To illustrate miracles . . . I had a positive pregnancy test on March 22, 2008 which resulted in our little Caroline.

And while I could say that was the end of the story - it isn't, really. Having two kids 10 years apart has had its own challenges. One of the more odd ones is that I still didn't feel like a normal mom - my experiences were still very different than those of my friends. I went from not fitting in because I only had one child to not fitting in because my two children were so far apart in age. So for 2+ years I felt almost like I fit in and yet I didn't really feel I did. I had two kids, but it was really like I had two families of one kid each. There was still so much I could not relate to or subjects I couldn't really join in on because I did not have experience with two kids close together in age . . . and there were times I still felt like I was in between worlds - the world of the infertile woman and the world of mother.

And then we headed in for another round of infertility treatments in April/May of 2010, hoping we'd be able to finally have something resembling the family we'd both pictured in our mind for years. Quite frankly, I was shocked when the treatments worked! And now we have our baby Henry.

I won't pretend I didn't get a little annoyed with all the comments about how I'll finally know what it feels like to have kids close in age or how I finally get to deal with all of those horrible things - like fighting, sibling rivalry, trying to potty train a toddler with a baby running around, etc. etc. etc. Yes, I am starting to learn for myself what that is all about. And there are days I feel like I want to pull my hair out. But then there is that part of me that smiles when both little ones are screaming because I finally have that in my life. Finally I can join in conversations, maybe not right now - but soon, about all of the things those "real moms" have talked about for years. In so many ways, I finally feel like a "real mom," even though I know I've been a mom for over 12 years.

(And today is one of those days that I needed to post this so I could remember to be grateful for the screaming toddler, the unpredictable newborn, and the hormonal teenager that were all making me crazy! They are all blessings, right? Right!)