Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Not Dead

I thought I'd squelch the rumors about my untimely death by finally updating my blog. What's been going on? Well let me explain. No, there is too much to explain. Let me sum up.

November - Adjusting to thyroid meds, celebrating a birthday for our ONE year old(!!!), putting together an activity for the Primary kids at church (ages 3 - 11), packing up for a trip to Utah for Thanksgiving, insanity of a drive to Utah, one week in Utah with family, less insane (but still insane) drive home from Utah, Christmas shopping (mostly online, thank goodness), and being sick.

December (so far) - Being sick, helping Soren finish a handful of big projects for school, getting ready for the new year in Primary, watching all 3 season of The IT Crowd, chasing an almost walker around the house, being in charge of Sharing Time for Primary all month, continuing to get ready for Christmas (almost done with that), Church Christmas party, and grocery shopping.

Why no pictures? Hmmm... let me see if I can fix that.









Sorry I've got nothing with Soren . . . . the camera has been hiding out lately. I'll need to pull it out soon!

Ok, that's all I've got time for right now. I have a baby who is refusing to nap and a son home from school because his school is out of heat. They need me!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One nap a day? Not on purpose.

Caroline has only been getting one nap a day lately. Yeah, she's almost a year old - but I swear Soren was much older when he gave up his morning nap and we settled on a nice long afternoon slumber. But I have to keep reminding myself that Soren and Caroline, while related, are definitely opposites in many ways.

Really the problem is that I over schedule my mornings. I always assume I will have more time than I do to get done what is needed. But usually by the time we are all ready for the day, it is probably time for Caroline to go down for a nap. However, I still have to do grocery shopping, doctor's appointments, meetings, and other random errands. Some of these things are non-negotiable morning activities. Others are things I need to know I will get done before afternoon activities hit. Twice a week I babysit in the afternoons and then there is the time crunch on the other days to make sure I'm home before Soren is back from school. Anyway - it all gets stressful and messy so I just give up on the afternoons and try to pack my mornings. Which is probably stupid judging from the afternoon meltdowns Caroline has been having recently. And her continued refusal to eat like a person. Add that to trying to wean her off her bottle and our days are an adventure. And very exhausting.

I must be getting old. Or I'm just out of practice with this whole baby thing. Someone remind me why I want to do it all again? Hahaha!

Oh yeah. Cuz these little creatures are so stinkin' cute!!!









Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

For those of you who don't know, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It's right up there with St. Patrick's Day and Christmas. In fact, those are my top 3 - in no particular order. So I decorate the house and we celebrate frequently during October. Last year I was in the hospital the last few days leading up to Halloween and most of the day of Halloween. I was also on bed rest when I returned home in the late afternoon of Halloween day, so basically my celebrations were pretty lousy last year. I didn't even get to go to our church Halloween party! SO depressing!!! Well, this year I think I more than made up for it. Here's a run down of our Halloween celebrations!

Picture heavy post below!

Our Halloween Feast looked like this:



We had dinner in a pumpkin:



Homemade Root Beer:



(with dry ice and in a cauldron - of course!)

And for dessert (like anyone needs dessert on Halloween), we had Frank:



We turned off the lights and enjoyed a dark, spooky dinner by candlelight:



And not just any candles - bloody candles and bone candles:



Afterwards we had a mess on our hands - poor Mr. Pumpkin!:



But this pumpkin was more than pleased with how things went:



We then put out our pumpkins! I painted my pumpkin - Frankenstein - and Caroline put together one of her favorite things in the world - a Kitty!



Soren and Daddy decided a puking pumpkin was apropos (they are boys after all):



But kept the cute by adding an adorable monkey to the other side of the vomit:



While Papa decided to carve a scary pumpkin (the picture does not do it justice!)!



And then, of course, there were the costumes and Trick or Treating! We have Snoopy, Woodstock, and Charlie Brown.



Unfortunately, Frieda was not able to join them this year. That's because mommy was more concerned with everyone else being dressed up and forgot about herself! Loser!!! I did wear an orange shirt that said Trick or Treat on it, though. Do I get points for that?

Overall it was an awesome Halloween! We are already making plans for next year and I couldn't be more excited! Well, maybe I could. We'll see.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another Illness

Last week Caroline had a cold according to the doctor (not my normal doctor, she wasn't in that day). She seemed pretty pleasant most of the week, just sniffly and goopy and snotty and a little less nappy than usual, but not unbearably unpleasant. Until Friday night/Saturday morning. She was really cranky, wouldn't eat solids, and was just kinda being a punk. She wanted me to hold her alllllllll the time. I mean, I love her, but seriously. Saturday afternoon/evening the fever started. By Sunday afternoon, she had goop dripping out of her ears. Ok, I know that sounds gross, but there it is. My assumption by that point was that her ear drum had ruptured. Again. And after another appointment this morning, I was right. She also had an infection in the other ear and her eye was still ooozing junk. So we have antibiotics for her now (thank goodness) and she's out for the count after kind of eating some baby food and some banana. Oh, and drinking a bottle.

In one month she will be ONE and I really don't want her to be using a bottle. Blech. I'm not holding my breath on that one, though. We're still struggling with the cup. She is offended when I try to offer her anything in it for the most part. Every so often she'll take water or juice. But heaven forbid I put formula of any kind in it. She gives me this look like - MOTHER HOW COULD YOU!?!?!?! It's funny, but annoying. Kind of like repeated ruptured ear drums. Annoying, but not funny. See, I said KIND OF LIKE, not totally like.

The good news (after that random tangent) is that now I have instructions on when to bring her in if this happens again. So hopefully we'll be able to avoid another rupture. Apparently Caroline is one of those kids who goes from yuck I don't feel so good to MY EAR IS BLOWING UP in about 2 seconds. So I have to watch her close and monitor her temperature and all of that. Good times. Right now the doctor is not worried about damage to her hearing or anything, but we have to watch things closely so it doesn't get that far.

I think that is about all I have energy for today. I'm hoping that in 5-7 days my new (old) thyroid medication will kick in so I can start feeling human once more. You see, to make a long story short, my old thyroid meds are on some crazy conspiracy theory worthy backorder so I ran out and my doc prescribed something new which was HORRIBLE and made me feel like I'd been hit by a truck daily so I called around and found a pharmacy about 20 minutes away on the other side of the river that actually has my old medication so I got a new prescription for it and now I have my new-old medication again and am waiting for my body to feel the love. Was that a short enough version?

Anyway, I'm alive. The kids are alive. The spouse is alive. We are getting through things one day at a time. Mainly because that's about all I can handle focusing on at this point.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Picture Post



Uncle Blake, Soren, and Uncle Stephen fishing....



Soren showing off his mad skillz.





Caroline wearing a dress I wore when I was a little baby girl! (note the purple? oh yeah, I was rockin' it back then, too)



Classic Caroline face! Love it!



Yeah, I'm already a bookworm. Cuz I rock like that!



Siblings! Oh boy do these two love each other.

Quick story before I forget:

Last night we were reading scriptures. Usually Caroline is eating and/or asleep by this point in the evening, but last night she was awake. So Soren starts trying to read and she keeps leaning herself over so he can see her and smiling at him. She did not want him distracted by this book! He needed to pay attention to HER! Every time he started trying to read, she'd contort her head so it was in his line of sight. We all ended up in giggles and laughed so hard we were crying. What a riot!

That's all for today. Enjoy the photos!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Recipes

There was a request for a few recipes I suggested to a friend, so I figured here is as good a place as any to put them all!

Pork & Cous Cous


This one is pretty straight forward. I buy the cous cous in the boxes at the store (Walmart carries it, but WinCo does not. Safeway offers it in bulk-ish packaging). Usually I need 2 boxes (4 adults, 1 teenage-sized boy), so I like to mix flavors. Here's what I do for the pork:

4 to 6 thinly sliced boneless pork chops
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Salt to taste


Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the frying pan. Gently sprinkle garlic powder and pepper into the oil. Place pork chops into frying pan. Flip chops frequently for even browning and proper cooking. Cover between flips.

This meal is really very quick to prepare. I usually do a veggie on the side and/or a salad as well.

Chicken Rolls

1 pkg. softened cream cheese
4 chicken breasts
8 Tb melted butter (add 4Tb to filling, use other 4Tb for dipping)
2 Tb milk
2 pkg. crescent rolls
Onion powder (to taste)
Parsley (Dried)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 400. Cook chicken (microwave is fast and easy, but you can cook it on the stove if you'd like). Cut up cooked chicken and mix with cream cheese, milk, butter, onion powder, parsley, salt & pepper. Roll out crescent rolls. Fill crescent rolls with desired amount of filling and roll. Dip roll in melted butter, then dip into bread crumbs. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with ranch dressing or chicken gravy if desired.

We usually eat these with salad, rice, and broccoli.

Chicken Salad

If you have a food processor, this is a SUPER fast meal.

2 cups cooked chicken
1 cup chopped celery
1 Tb lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c mayonnaise (or more if desired)
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Toss first 5 ingredients together, adding enough mayonnaise to moisten to desired consistency. Fold in chopped eggs.

You can do lots of stuff with this - toss on lettuce, put on a croissant, put on regular bread, eat it all by itself... whatever. I like to have grapes on the side and you can also toss in cashews, green onions, or anything else that sounds tasty.

Taco Soup

1lb Hamburger
1/2 Onion - chopped
2 cans diced stewed tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1/2 package taco seasoning
2 cans beans (kidney or black)
1 16oz pkg. frozen corn
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 8 oz can water
1 pkg. Ranch Dressing (dry)

Brown 1lb hamburger with 1/2 onion. Toss everything into a crock pot, pot, or whatever. This needs to cook for a minimum of a 1/2 hour. Top with sour cream, cheese, crackers, or whatever sounds good.

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 package drumsticks (or any chicken with the bone; we use a mix of thighs & drumsticks)
1 onion

In a small bowl, mix up all the spices. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture into the chicken evenly. You can let this sit in the fridge overnight, or use it right away. Slice onion and line the bottom of the crock pot with the onion. Add seasoned chicken to the crock pot. Cook on LOW for 8 - 12 hours or cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours. You do NOT need to add any liquid... trust me.

Sweet and Sour Chicken or Pork


1 Cup brown sugar
2 Tb corn starch
2 13 oz cans pineapple - crushed, tidbits, or chunks (or 1 20oz can)
2/3 Cup vinegar
2 Tb soy sauce
1 green pepper, chopped
2-3 pieces of cooked and cut chicken or pork
Bag of stir fry veggies (frozen)

Mix brown sugar & cornstarch. Pour in pineapple (w/juice), vinegar, and soy sauce. Heat to boiling to thicken. Add cooked meat and vegetables. Cover & simmer in sauce. Stir in green peppers. Serve over rice.

There they are! And now I'm hungry. Hee hee!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You know how....

You know how you love to read blogs and stuff? Well, if not, then whatever. But I do. I love reading updates on my friend's and family's lives and hear all the latest juice or the boring, mundane tasks of daily life. I like hearing news, funny stories, and things these people have learned that have helped them grow and become better in some way. I love seeing a big number next to my google reader update because that means I have lots to catch up and read and it makes me happy!

And then there are the blogs that aren't updated frequently at all! I get so frustrated, annoyed, sad (not in an intense way, just like - hey! I wanna know what's up!) and think to myself, "Why don't you update? I'm craving some info, please!" And then it dawns on me...

I'm one of those people!!!

So I hope you don't get upset at me for not updating more. I get upset at myself when I realize the little things I am missing out on writing down for posterity. But sometimes it's more important to cherish the moment for what it is than rush to write it down. Or sometimes sleep is more important. Or sometimes just vegging out is... I dunno. Maybe I'm just coming up with excuses? Could be.

Anyway.

So what's the latest around here?

School is back in session and Soren is now into middle school. He's loaded down with much more homework these days, has adopted a bit more of an attitude (but not as much as a lot of kids his age, so I'm grateful), and has officially moved from the stage of "I love school," to "WHY must I go?" Yay for us. However, he now has a bit more independence and responsibility and I think that is helping him feel a lot more grown up. He continues to be an awesome person to have around and I sure love him. It's fun to joke around with him and be silly. He keeps me young and makes me old at the same time. We are waiting to see which sports he'll be interested in this year, but he is back in piano lessons (finally) and still involved in Scouting. Between that and all the homework, he keeps pretty busy. However, most nights we try to find times for a round of Mario Kart, a family favorite in our house.

Caroline has moved from our bedroom to the laundry room for the time being. She is sleeping better and longer and putting herself to sleep after she wakes up screaming in the middle of the night. We like this. It allows for much more sleep all around. Who doesn't love sleep? You know, aside from children. To offset the joy of sleep, she is now more mobile than I'm really ready for, but are you ever really ready? I dunno. She pulls up on everything and is now bonking her head a lot more, acquiring many bumps and her first bruise. I'm sure many, many more will follow. It's the nature of this stage. As for communication goes, she's managed to master the "more" sign, but uses it even when she doesn't want more. We're working on more signs, but she is stubborn, so we'll see how this goes. She can also say 'hi,' and usually at the correct time. Dadadadadada is still a favorite phrase, though she also tries to sing along to Aba Daba Honeymoon by saying "Abadaba" over and over again with me. It's adorable. All in all, she is at a fun stage and we all enjoy her smiles, laugh, and generally cuteness.

Life is good. We have our ups and downs and are praying for some changes, but if they don't come to pass, then it really could be worse. We try and focus on the good. We love our family, our friends, and our blessings. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

School is on the Horizon!

Tomorrow is the first day of school! Woot! I think the only real reason I'm excited for it is so that we have a schedule/routine somewhere. Caroline is so unpredictable it almost is annoying. Haha! For example, all last week (Monday through Thursday) she woke up around 6:30am, ate a good bottle, then went back to sleep until close to 9am. Thursday night she decided to NOT do that and messed up my schedule (I was expecting her to be my alarm clock) and we were nearly late for Soren's allergist appointment (more on that later). She has proceeded to have whacked out sleep the past few nights, waking up and screaming for no reason and insisting on a bottle around 2am (though last night it was midnight and then she screamed until 2am). Seriously, I have no idea with this child.

So basically, I'm ready for some type of normal schedule. School provides that, thank goodness.

We have learned that Soren is allergic to: cats(!!!), trees, weeds, and grass. He also has Oral Allergy Syndrome. This means that he reacts to the pollen that is inside of fruits because his body is all like I AM ALLERGIC TO EVERYTHING. Does that make sense? Dunno. It made sense when the doctor told me. So we now have to drug him up daily so that his body isn't freaking out all the time.

The good news? The same day Soren went to the allergist, he also went to the eye doctor and his vision is rockin', so he lucked out in that department considering both Alan and I were wearing glasses by 5th grade.

I'm surprised at how quickly the summer has zipped by, but I'm excited for autumn because, quite frankly, it's my favorite time of year. Not too hot, not too cold . . . leaves changing colors and spilling themselves all over the ground, the cool, crisp, autumn breeze, Halloween, and - strangely enough - we celebrate Caroline's 1st Birthday in just a few short months. In 10 days she will be 10 months old. How did this happen?!?!?

Speaking of which, she is crawling all over the place and yesterday she had the audacity to pull herself up on the coffee table. I was not pleased. Especially because I was in the middle of playing Mario Kart with my boys and she distracted me. Haha! Seriously, it's exciting and fun to watch her grow and learn, but I'm not really ready for her to be walking. Luckily she's behind Soren, who was well on his way to running a marathon at 10 months (CRAZY!), but still.... it just makes me that much more baby hungry which is lame because she's STILL a baby!!

Speaking of baby hungry (my segues are repetitive today), no we are not expecting another addition yet (there was some rumor going around due to a poorly worded facebook status update), but my health is stabilizing so it's almost plausible now to really prepare for the procedures again. Which is what I'm in the process of doing - getting my body ready for another round of the nightmare that is fertility treatments. Woot! Don't worry, I fail at keeping a secret of that magnitude for very long (as evidenced by how quickly I spilled about Caroline) . You'll know almost before I do.

Ok, off to shower and then fight the crowds because I still have some school (clothes, not supplies) shopping to take care of today.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

12 Years Ago

Yesterday Alan and I celebrated our twelfth anniversary! Twelve years ago we were young, stupid, and in love. Now we're just older, a little wiser (but still pretty stupid), and definitely still in love. I am proud of us. We've been through our fair share of ups and downs, but we've made it. It's been hard - really hard - at times. It's also been absolutely blissful at times! Those times make all the hard times worth it. Let me see if I have a picture from our wedding day floating around my machine.....



That's one of my favorites actually!

I love my sweetheart. He makes me laugh, smile, roll my eyes right out of my head . . . he's taught me so many things including computer stuff, cooking stuff, serving others, how to relax, that I'm a good person who deserves to be loved... and so much more. I'm lucky to have such a great guy as my husband. Sometimes I talk to my friends about spouses and it helps me realize what an awesome husband I have - a guy who would go to the ends of the earth to make sure I was happy. He is such a talented guy - he's not just a computer nerd, but he's also got a great voice, can build anything, fix a car, cook a gourmet meal, grow a garden, clean a bathroom ..... but best of all he loves his family and we love him! What a great husband, dad, and man. Goodness, I'm lucky. Did I mention that?

So yesterday we celebrated by going to the temple, then we went to Black Angus for dinner. After that we hung out with my brother and his wife for the rest of the evening. It was a great day! I'm so grateful for parents who are willing to watch our kiddos! We had a great time and I've got pictures of our dinner, but I've got boys who want to play Mario Kart, so I'm off!

:)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What a summer!

I'm not even sure where to begin on my catching up....

I'll start here:

-Soren spent two long weeks away from us, but enjoyed visiting family in Utah. He was able to spend about a week with Grandma and Grandpa, just shy of a week with his Aunt Tiffy, and a few days with his Great Aunt & Uncle. Lots of fun for him! Highlights include going shooting with Great Uncle Dave (or Grandpa Dave) - he got to shoot a machine gun, a .22, and a .38 special and was in heaven (such a boy), going to Thanksgiving Point, swimming at SCERA, and being with family. He has always loved his trips to Utah, so I was not surprised that he had a blast.

- Caroline has recovered from her ear drum explosion. She is now eating solids about twice a day (if I'm not too lazy) and sleeping better, but not great. I've given in and generally will give her a bottle in the middle of the night if she wakes up wailing. Which she still does most nights. But she isn't screaming all night anymore and she does generally sleep in her bed, so that's nice. She can now get herself into a sitting position on her own, scoot herself all over the floor (she was never into rolling to get to what she wanted), and she is a on the verge of pulling herself up. The last two things happened in the past week. She was not this mobile last week. It really is amazing how fast they learn.

- Alan has been working hard and finally hit his one year anniversary at his job. This means he officially has 2 weeks of vacation/sick leave/etc. that is PAID. Hoorah - we can finally take a family vacation. Sometime. We sure love him and all the sacrifices he is making for our family. We're all hoping that the sacrifices won't have to be so extreme soon.

- As for me? I'm working off and on with web design, being a mom, doing church stuff, getting Soren ready for Middle School, and trying no to lose my mind. My health is slowly stabilizing and we are looking into a treatment or two for some pesky side effects of my many health issues. Hopefully as the winter rolls closer I will physically be able to start treatments again for another addition to our family. Unless my body decides on it's own that it can handle it. We'll see what the next few months hold for us.

Some exciting news? Soren passed his state testing (the WASLs) with flying colors. His councilor from his middle school called yesterday and said that, looking at all factors, she wants to put him in the higher math for 6th graders. I'm hoping he will thrive on the challenge. He did exceptional on his testing, exceeding expectations in all areas. He's a smart kid, but the move here has been rough on him. I'm hoping he can connect with a good group of kids this year.

I have loads of pictures to post but I decided to post them on Picasa. You can view them here.

We've had so much company this summer - it has been exhausting and awesome. There are more pictures to share, but I have to get them onto the computer first. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Houston, we have lift off!

Not really. But baby girl did manage to roll from her back to her tummy on Saturday all by herself. And then she did it again today. Crawling is just around the corner, I'm sure. She already is fairly proficient at scooting backwards. Of course she's usually screaming while she's at it because she really is not a fan of being on her tummy.

Silly peanut.

I just needed to jot down that info before I forgot.

Also, Caroline has been spoiling me. Which is wonderful considering that most of July I felt like I had a newborn again with the amount of sleep I was (not) getting. The past few days she has woken up around 7ish and then we've cuddled in bed and both have wound up falling asleep again until close to 9. I love it! But, I know it must end. I have to get back to walking in the morning and soon school will start and I'll be needing to have us both up and going to help Soren get out the door on time. Cherish it while we can, though, right?

Our biggest struggle now is eating. It's an endless struggle with this girl! She would just rather be doing so many other things! Oh well, as long as she's growing and stuff, I guess I shouldn't worry too much. But, I still do!

Soren is gearing up for 11 year old scout camp that starts tomorrow. He isn't thrilled, but hopefully that will change. Scouting hasn't been his favorite thing, but I know it's good for him. He'll come around hopefully.

Oh wow, stinky diaper. Gotta go!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Not a broken record, a broken drum!

Instead of sounding like a broken record, I am reporting a broken drum.

Apparently, my sweet baby girl's screaming is related to a broken drum. Eardrum, that is. I took her to the doctor on Tuesday because I knew something was not right. A night or two here and there with sleeping issues is one thing. The entire month of July? Not normal. Teething I can understand, but this just was more than teething. I had that mommy feeling. She wouldn't let anyone but me hold her. She was whining most of the day and screaming all night.

What did the doctor say? She was fine. A little fluid in her lungs maybe, but everything else looked fine. Just fine.

Mmhmm.

Thursday morning my sister (who had been in town visiting) noticed some yuck in her ear. So she started to clean it out a bit with her finger and gobs of yuck came out. In her experience (she has 4 kids), yuck coming out of a baby's ear is not a good thing. So I called a pediatric clinic that a lot of my friends use and took her in that afternoon for a second opinion. It didn't take long for the pediatrician to inform me that her ear drum had burst. Not only that, but the antibiotics that my previous doctor had prescribed ("just in case") was not even an effective dose according to the american pediatric association. So, obviously, Caroline now has a new doctor. Last night we managed 8.5 hours of sleep. HOORAH! I still feel extremely sleep deprived, but I know it could be much worse so I'm just gonna power through.

There is much more to report and discuss, but I've got to get over the hump of sleepiness and back into the world of the semi-living. So for now, that is all I've got.

Thanks for the supportive words, advice, and virtual hugs after my last post! I was in a bad place when I typed it up and was just needing some major venting. Thanks for understanding! Still not sure exactly what combo she needs in order to get her sleeping back on track, but we're trying a few different things.

Monday, July 13, 2009

All Night Long

I feel like a broken record.

Forgive me, but Soren never did this to me and I don't know what to do with myself. What do you do when your child will not, no matter what you have tried, sleep?

Caroline just whines and cries all night long at least every other night, and sometimes every night. I am so exhausted - I have not felt quite this bad since she was a newborn.

Fed her? Check
Tylenol/Ibuprofen? Check
Cuddled her? Check
Tried tummy/back/side/etc. position? Check
Tried ignoring her? Check - she's in the same room as us, though, so it's a little hard (and, no, that can't be helped).
Rubbed her gums with something cold? Check
Ear infection? No idea, but she is generally fine all day long and will even nap once or twice with no problems. So who knows.
Is she sick? No runny nose, no cough, no poopie problems... slight fever once or twice, but it's so minor I don't even stress about it.
Sang to her? All the freaking time, but I think when it's an angry voice, it doesn't really help.
Put her down and walked away for a while? Yeah, but that just makes it worse all around.
Let someone else take her? Yeah, but it's fairly pointless. I still can't sleep and she's still crying.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm just being a big whiny baby. Maybe I am and I should just get over it, but between a baby that won't let me sleep and health problems that have me run down anyway, I'm really starting to lose it. I'm not sure how much more I can take emotionally/physically/etc. It didn't really start getting to me until the last 2 times (Friday night and last night) that she did this. I started joining in on the crying and just am at a loss of what I can do to help her because her body needs sleep even more than mine does.

And if I have one more person ask me some form of the question, "You forget how they cry all night, don't you?" I may snap. I didn't forget - I never had a baby do this. Soren was nothing like her in that regard. Not only that, but I am not stupid. I know some babies cry a lot. But if:

A - you've never had a baby that literally can scream for hours on end all day and all night - I don't want to hear it.
B - you aren't in the thick of it experiencing it (again or for the first time), at least TRY to remember how you felt during it and rethink what you are about to say to me
C - you have some actual good ADVICE and not condescending comments that make me feel even more useless and stupid, then you can actually talk to me.

I know it's been 10 years between my kids - NOT my choice - but seriously, I'm not a freakin' idiot. Also, yeah, I'm a lot testy, moody, and generally grumpy when I do not get sleep for days and nights on end. I try, very hard, to put on a freakin' happy face, but it's hard, ok? So if I am short tempered, oh well. I'm doing the best I can.

This angry, annoyed, frustrated rant is brought to you by sleep deprivation.

(I am looking forward to the day I can look back on this period of life with Caroline and laugh. Really, really, really looking forward to it.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Charlie Bit Me!!!

If you have not seen the YouTube video called "Charlie Bit Me," go look it up now cuz it makes me giggle. However, it's not as hysterical as Soren will tell you it is. Still, funny.

Anyway, I just wanted to put a note in here that yesterday we discovered 3 things:

1 - Caroline will fight dragons, curses, and mommy's fingers in order to get asparagus in her mouth.
2 - She has 2 teeth (bottom front) and isn't afraid to use them.
3 - Baby teeth are surprising when you don't know they are there.

Off to the grocery store to (hopefully) avoid the 4th of July weekend crazy crowds of doom. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Speechless

Do you sometimes sit in stunned silence because someone you thought you knew did something you never thought they'd do to you?

It's at times like this that I realize that we are never safe. If we have a friend who is willing to hurt others, they won't be above hurting you. And that is why I think I'd prefer to surround myself with people who do everything in their power not to hurt others, no matter how frustrating, annoying, and ridiculous people are - there is no reason to intentionally hurt another person.

So another page is turned, another chapter is closing. The writing was on the wall a long time ago, but I didn't want to see it. And now I finally took off my blinders and I see it. And I don't know why, for so many years, I've let people stomp on me, take advantage of me, and treat me like garbage. I am so done with all of that. I'm done with 7th grade drama amongst adults. I'm just done. It's ridiculous and I have better things to do with my time and energy.

Sure, I'm hurt. And upset. And feel like eating a gallon of ice cream. But I'm not going to. Because that's lame. And really, I'm just kind of like - why am I going to let it get to me? Doesn't hurt anybody but myself. And it's less about what happened and more about losing friendships that hurts. But I've been through it before and I'll go through it again. The circle of life and all that.

Onwards and Upwards.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Who-za-what now?

I've realized I need to stop kidding myself. My blog will get updated when it gets updated. I can either put undue pressure on myself and then beat myself up when I fail, or I can be real. And being real means my blog updates will be sporadic for while, quite possible forever-ish. And that's ok!

So, the latest is this:

I have something called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. It's ridiculous and stupid and one more problem with my health that I so totally need in my life. It explains why I've been so very exhausted (aside from the obvious baby who doesn't really think sleep is a necessity). But the unfortunate thing is that I have to wait for my Thyroid to fail before we can start medications. So srsly - get on with it.

In other news, many of my spare moments have been filled with sitting on the phone with Verizon yelling at them for being idiots. I canceled my Verizon FIOS account in August of 2008. That's right, nearly a year ago. Long story short, they messed up and have just continued to mess up. So after being kind and patient for 10 months, I'm fed up and have spent lots of time talking to a bunch of different people who aren't helpful. Hopefully I'm done with that today. I think I've also decided that I am going to drop Verizon Wireless as my cell provider because I've simply had enough of Verizon all around. Perhaps I will dedicate a post to that situation soon with a copy of the letter I am going to be sending to corporate.

So that's kinda where I'm at right now. I have a baby girl squirming in my arms, so I need to go and feed her and get her all happy and settled. We've had 3 good nights in a row, so hopefully the trend continues because for about 2 weeks there I was getting next to no sleep.

Summer is here, life is a little more low key, but company arrives soon and life is going to take a turn for the nuts. I'll keep you posted as I'm able. In the meantime - here's a cute baby who is now officially a ham for the camera!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesdays Childs is Full of Grace



Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child that's born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny, blithe, good and gay.

I always loved that poem growing up. I'm a Thursday, Soren is a Friday, Caroline is a Tuesday, and Alan was a Sunday. What about you?

So, Tuesdays (if I can keep with the habit), are going to be about things I am grateful for! God has given me many things to be grateful for, including His grace, which is why I brought up grace in the first place!

Today I am grateful for:

1. The warm-ish weather that has allowed me to be consistent with my walks and not wuss out because of rain! It's so gratifying when I come home, knowing I've done something good for my body and good for my spirit. Thanks to my sweet friend, Chelsea, who goes with me almost every day!

2. Cuddles with my kiddos. This morning I got a good cuddle from Caroline (not a frequent thing!) and Soren and I had time to play a game together before school, which is as close to a cuddle as I can get these days from him. He did give me a hug and kiss before school. I wonder how long that will last.

3. Fresh strawberries. Man do those taste so good! Mmmmm! Delicious and nutritious!

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, June 8, 2009

??? Mondays



Good morning! Or afternoon! Or evening! Or whenever it is that you might be coming across this little entry! For us it is mid-morning and Caroline is currently munching on her 'elevenses' bottle and trying to kick me so that I will relent and hold her and her bottle so she can be lazy.

I am trying to come up with ways to motivate myself to do a little blogging each day, so I am going to be stealing ideas from friends. Mainly because they are great ideas, but also to give me a jumping off point so I don't bore myself in the future by reading every detail of my day. They are all pretty much the same with little bits of excitement here and there.

So today is Monday. I'm debating between 3 different things for Monday. What do you think? I'll give you snippets and you can give me your opinion on which fascinates you more about my inner psyche. Or whatever.

Motivational Mondays: A motivational thought, synopsis of a motivational book, or just some ponderings that have motivated me to be better.

I've been reading this great book called The Four Agreements. I like to read a lot of varieties of books and this is one of those . . . metaphysical, existentialist, thought provoking kind of reads. I've been fascinated by the approach and the way I've been able to apply so many aspects of it to my life. It has made me stop and think about what I say, how I react to what others say to me, and how I approach each day. It has also reminded me that there is only so much I can get done in a given day/week/month and that is ok! I like books that remind me I do not have to be perfect but also encourage me to strive to be all I can be.

Media Mondays: Things that I've read/heard/etc. that intrigue me/annoy me/interest me/etc. that involve the media.

GASP!!!! Have I really been that sucked into mommy land that I somehow missed this info???? My favorite band, Barenaked Ladies (aka BNL) had lost a member! Not to anything morbid, but he left the band - after twenty years! Wowza. I was in shock when I read the news today (after hearing about it from my brother). And even more in shock that it happened in February and I didn't know and it's flippin' JUNE. How behind am I? So sad. I died a little inside, wondering how in the world some of the songs could even happen, let alone what their onstage banter would be like without Steve. I know this probably sounds a bit obsessive, but I've been in different stages of love with this band since . . . 1995? Yeah, that sounds about right. So, change is lousy. But it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

Musical Mondays: This is where I go on about something musical that I'm currently in love/hate with and/or has fascinated me recently.

The TONY's were last night! Yay Broadway! I don't usually sit through many awards shows (I could go on a very long tangent about the Academy Awards here, but I'll save you the misery), but the Tony's I love. Sure, I was bummed there was no Hugh Jackman to oggle over this year, but Neil Patrick Harris did a fine job. I really enjoyed getting the latest scoop on what was going on out there in NYC. I don't keep up with it like I used to, what with my graduating in Theatre and all, so it's fun to watch snippets of plays/musicals and hear the latest and greatest. I was very impressed with Next to Normal and Shrek The Musical looks awesome. Billy Elliot intrigues me, but I'm still unsure - even though it won a bajillion awards. It all made me miss the theatre a lot.

Well, I may have decided for myself (which is really what I should do) what I shall do with Mondays, but if you have an opinion, feel free to share.

I leave you with this adorable video of my babies:


video

On a side note, Princess won out in the end with her bottle and is now fast asleep in her crib.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It is easy to get a thousand prescriptions but hard to get one single remedy.

What a week it has been! I feel like I've moved into the doctor's office! Not really, I exaggerate. But you knew that already.

Ever since my sweet little girl entered the world . . . actually a few weeks before that . . . my body started falling apart. Rude! First it was the Choleostasis followed by the sudden jump in blood pressure and concerns of Pregnancy Induced Hypertension. Fun times! My poor blood pressure is determined not to return to normal (even though normal for me is high for most), so I'm juggling three different medications to try and control it. My liver function is better than it was but still twice as bad as the normal individual. It's coming down every month, though, so that's something. But a new development has started rearing it's ugly head. My thyroid has decided to flip out. So this week not only did I have a normal monthly doctor's visit (yep, I go every month), but I also had to do another blood draw (had one last week as well) in addition to an ultrasound of my thyroid! Ok, body! Enough of the stupid! I know this will all pass, but seriously......

This week on the way home from one of my visits to the doctor I ran into a friend (not literally) who was on a walk. I stopped and chatted with her for a minute and before I know it I'm signed up to go walking with her in the morning! We walked yesterday and today with plans to walk Monday through Friday after Soren hitches a ride to school on the bus. 2.5 miles. Mostly uphill. And when I say uphill I don't mean a super steep little hill, but rather a very long climb. Ha! It's been good, though. I enjoy her company and we push our strollers up the hill and chat about lots of different things. So great!

I'm sure there is more I should share, but I'm tired! I need a little nap before I partake in the rest of the day which includes a "Pride Night" at Soren's school where the band will be playing as well as a song practice for a piece that we (a group of ladies from church) will be performing on Sunday during church. I'd say thank goodness tomorrow is Friday, but it's going to be busy as well. And Saturday. And Sunday. I wonder what is on the calander for Monday?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Growing Up

It's interesting to me how much not only my life has changed - but how much I have personally changed in the past 6+ months. And how much everything around me is changing as well.

Oh, I'm still me. I'm still crazy and silly and a big ol' kid at heart. But for the first time in my life, I really feel like a mom. Maybe it's having two kids, maybe it's being older... I don't know. Maybe it's because I cook dinner 5 nights a week and am now baking my own bread (& grinding my own wheat). Maybe it's because we are eating things like chickpeas and fresh blanched asparagus. All I know is, I actually feel like I'm not pretending anymore - that I am a full fledged part of the "mom club." Strange.

I know I don't spend as much time on the computer anymore. Oh, it's still on - sitting there humming away. But I'm changing diapers, feeding baby girl, helping Soren with homework, cooking dinner, mashing up fun little foods to torment the princess with, cleaning up little messes, playing peek-a-boo and patty-cake... etc. The good news is that I am starting to find time for the things I used to enjoy - as a release - on the computer. That is a relief.

But, as cheesy, cliche, and silly as it may sound - nothing compares to the joy I feel in being a mother. I say that knowing that there may very well be people reading this who are currently in pursuit and/or feel as though that time may never happen for them. I say it also knowing that there are friends who have no desire to ever be a mother. We are all built different - emotionally, physically, etc. - so it is what it is. But I know that this is the job I was born to do. And, as tough as it might be on some days, there really is nothing that compares to a big hug from my boy, a huge smile from my girl, and the love that is ever present in our home. I love my babies.

On Wednesday, Soren came home from school with a packet previewing what the 5th graders will be discussing in Human, Growth, and Development (aka - Sex Education). I knew it was coming. So we sat down yesterday and had the most amazing 2 hour conversation I think we have ever had. I love that he talks to me. I love that he asks me questions. I love that I'm not too shy/embarrased to answer him. I love that we can have a dialogue that is eerily adult like and yet I can still chase him, tackle him, and tickle him later. It is strange, however, to know that my little boy is growing up so quickly. It hurts my heart a little to know that he knows all about quite a few different very grown up subjects now, but it's all part of the process of life.

Caroline continues to learn new things and gets a little bigger every day. She had her 6 month appointment earlier this week and was 15.1lbs and 27 inches long! That puts her in the 25th percentile for weight and the 90th percentile for height (surprise haha). She's starting to sit up on her own for little spurts of time, she actually plays on her tummy now (until she gets bored and then she rolls over), and she loves to talk, talk, talk! Her favorite phrase right now is 'da-da-da-da.' One of the things that she does that makes us laugh is trying to eat our faces, noses, chins, etc. I know it's something she'll grow out of before I know it, so we love it! Sometimes it is shocking to me that half a year has already passed by - some moments have gone so quickly. Other times it is a relief to know that some very difficult times seem to be behind us and, for now, we are able to enjoy her more and more each day. Three naps a day for 3 days in a row has not hurt, either.

As for me, I am slowly discovering myself again. I am starting to emerge from the post-birth 'mommy 24x7' fog. I've been able to have a girl's night again. I've been to play groups at the park. I'm starting a book club (although Alan and I may always call it The Finer Things Club. . . bwahahaha). I have wanted to be a mommy again for such a long time that I have been cherishing every second (even the crappy ones) of life with a new little baby in the house. But now it's time for me to be me again. But a newer me. A better me. A me with some more perspective on life. It's ok - I love the me I am becoming from the me I used to be. I'm ready.

One of my goals (aside from a clean kitchen sink!), is to try and journal/blog once a day at least on the weekdays. So we'll see how that progresses. I have a handful of other goals and hopefully, if naps can keep up to at least 2 a day, I can start really working towards them.

Today is a day off from school, as well as Monday, so I'm hoping Soren and I can scoot off to the library and then come home and try a new bread recipe! That should be fun because we are going to be grinding up some more grains and working with different flours - rice, oat, and buckwheat. Wish us luck!

And to end the post, I leave you with some fun pictures since I haven't shared for a while:



Baby girl, sitting in the garden box Alan built over the weekend! She loves to be outside. If she is screaming her head off (a habit that is becoming less and less frequent), we just take her outside for a few minutes and she calms right down!



Bwahahaha.... I always said I would never put huge bows on her head, but seriously? I just loved how funny it looked on her so we kept it on all day yesterday. Also, whenever I use the flash, she goes cross eyed. It's pretty funny. But hey, she's cute!



Soren wanted to jump in the box, too! Actually, we made him go in and then plopped Caroline in his arms - which he rarely says no to! Cute kiddos!



Here she is, sitting up! We call that toy her 'sitting up' toy. I usually only let her play with it if she is practicing sitting up! She's getting better, little by little. I'm enjoying the fact that she's not mobile quite yet, though.

Ok, that's all for now! I'm off to chill with my boy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Homemade Love From Nae

OK! So this is how this works...The first five people to respond to this post will receive something made by me for you. My choice made especially for you. Of course there are some restrictions and limitations:~

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make! (Of course, I will try to make something that I think you would like.)
2. What I create will be just for you.
3 It will be done sometime this year.
4. You have no clue what it will be... it may be a story. It may be poetry or an article on properly cleaning your face before a masque. I may draw or paint something. I may bake something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure. ;-)
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
6. I will send it anywhere! It doesn't matter where you live!

Yay - it gives me something to do!

That's all for now - more later!

Friday, May 8, 2009

You know you're a mom when....

You come home feeling proud of yourself for saving a ton of money at the grocery store! I went shopping today to pick up a few things for our Mother's Day dinner on Sunday and about died! I saved over $60!!! Go me!! And I was even at Safeway - and I don't shop there that often because the prices are usually crazy, but when they have sales... wowsa!!!

So check this out - 20lbs of RIBS (yum!) for.... $13. You read that right! They were on sale AND the check out lady scanned $13 worth of coupons for me! Plus I got some V8 Fusion (YUM!) for $1.49 (with coupon). But my favorite deal? 3lbs of strawberries for the price of 1lb! Score! They were buy one, get one free and then I had a free lb of strawberries coupon!

In other news, I am going to make my yummy bread again either tonight or tomorrow. I think I shall take a picture this time and show off my creation! I am also contemplating purchasing raw milk instead of regular ol' supermarket milk. The FDA is trying to scare me out of it though.... cuz there have been 800 whole reported cases of E.coli in the past 9 years that have been traced back to raw milk. But seriously? I'm tired of the over-processed American diet. Let's get back to basics, peeps!

Also - I love Netflix. I love that I can watch stuff on my computer. It's super dooper nifty neato!

Have I blabbed enough?

Oh, and another thing? I have the best job in the world. I sure love my kids - even when they drive me crazy. Being a mom rocks. Being a mom that gets to stay home with her kids rocks even more!

Ok, time to figure out what to feed the masses. I was supposed to crock pot today but I FORGOT because I was in the middle of playing Mario Kart. I am seriously addicted. I only have 2 more characters and one more vehicle to open. I just want to beat the game so I can stop obsessing! If Caroline slept longer, I'd be done already....

*giggles*

Have a great weekend! And, in case I don't post again - Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women of the world!!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Who needs sleep?

Sleep is for the weak, right?

I guess I'm week... I really miss my sleep! Caroline has decided that she really is done with sleeping through the night, which is upsetting for all of us. It's a good thing that I love her so much that I'm willing to sacrifice hours upon hours of sleep for her!

The good news, though, is that Monday she sat up on her own for the first time! She's not very stable at all, but I managed to get a picture or two of her new 'skill.'




So yay for Caroline! Now if we could just work on the sleep thing.....

In other news, I've been experimenting in the kitchen! Maybe when I think about it, I will start taking pictures of some of these experiments. I made some bread last week that was delicious and totally nutritious at the same time! I've been grinding my own wheat and yesterday I made chicken rolls with whole wheat crescent rolls that I made all by my lonesome! I was pretty amazed at myself, even if they didn't taste 100% like I wanted them to - it was a start, though.

Also, yesterday I had a free lunch at KFC and about died when I saw the ingredients on the back of the Honey Spread they offer their victims:

High Fructose Corn Syrup (don't believe the commercials, it's all lies)
Corn Syrup
Sugar
Honey
Caramel Color
Natural Flavors
(11% Honey)

I'd rather just have regular honey, please.

Well, I had more to ramble about, but it's time to take Soren to scouts and get dinner rolling. More later.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I would be remiss if I did not put in a little plug about what this week is:



Although we've been blessed with two wonderful children, that does not change the fact that we've dealt with (and will most likely continue to deal with) infertility for most of our married life.

Infertility is a real medical condition. It effects a couple physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There are rarely any quick and easy fixes for infertility. And even if you are one of the lucky ones who are able to get pregnant and even have a successful pregnancy, infertility doesn't go away. It's still there. So while I may be sitting next to the most beautiful baby girl in the entire world (what? it's true! hehe), I still vividly remember the longing for another child. Why so vividly? Because it's already returned! And we already know it will be an uphill battle to expand our family any further.

If you know anyone who is suffering from infertility, please choose your words carefully. It's a fine balance between saying enough about your life to remain involved with your friend and saying too much. You know your friend better than I do. Be sensitive, but more importantly - be as informed as you can. And, for the love of all things, don't say anything as stupid as - "Just relax," "Take a vacation," or "why don't you 'just' adopt." Please. Be smarter than that.

You can learn more about infertility here.

And be grateful for any little terrors you have running around.

Oh - and here is a bonus picture for listening to me yammer:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Is Here!

Some people mistakenly think that all it does in Washington is rain. This is not true! Especially in the area of Washington in which we live. Sure, we do get rain. Sometimes it rains for longer than any of us would like, but living amid the green is so totally worth the little issue of "rain." However, it has been a bit of a transition for us because even when it was raining in DC, the sun was usually out. Or it came out the next day. Here, sometimes the sun hides a little longer than I have been used to - especially during the winter. So we were all happy to welcome the spring the past week or so! The sun has been out, the temps have been warmer, and the rain has been intermittent and, some days, nonexistent! So - HOORAY for SPRING!!!

In case you didn't mark it on your calendar (oh, you ALL did, you know it!), Caroline turned 5 months old about... 2 weeks ago. HAHA! Here's some pics of her on the day it happened:



That's my girl! She's just had her tubby and is getting shmeared with lotions! I can't believe she is smiling here - for some reason the lotion part is the part she hates most when it comes to bath time!





Another smile after one of the worst parts of bath time - getting OUT of the tub! Noooooo!!! Isn't the towel fab? Thanks Auntie Jen!!!



Our little princess love, love, loveeesss to stand. She'd prefer to be on her feet to almost anything. You know, aside from being held, eating people's faces, crying, etc. No noodle legs here. I figure she'll be walking long before she masters the art of crawling. Kind of like her brother.

So we also had Caroline's first Easter and Soren's 11th. That's strange to say. I don't think I'll say that anymore. I honestly failed at taking pictures of everything, but I did get one of Caroline in this fabulous dress her Grandma gave her for Christmas.



We had an Easter Egg hunt, but I think she was asleep for the whole thing. And dinner with most of my family (sans my sisters and their families since they don't live here.... ). It was all pretty mellow and casual. That's how we roll. Well that's how *I* tend to roll, anyway.

Last weekend we took the whole family to the temple and walked around outside for a bit and enjoyed the beautiful weather.



It was a gorgeous day and super nice to go and enjoy the sweet feelings we all had while we were there. Soren and Caroline headed back home with Nana and Papa and Alan and I stayed at the temple and did some service there. It was very nice, but hard to be away from my kiddos!

So that's the latest with some recent pics. I will leave with this picture - which is posted mainly for my friend April, but also because baby feet are cute to share with anyone:



Do you see those socks? Those are HAPPY socks! And they are on cute, finally chubby, little baby toes! And feet.

Yay!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

O.. Hai!

Remember me?

Did you think I got lost and stuck on my trip home from DC? Well, if you live in DC, you know I didn't, else I would have been stalking you all and spending copious amounts of time with you.

Honestly, I don't know why I've been on my own personal blog-vacation, but I have. I guess I feel like life is pretty much the same, ya know? How much do you want to hear about Soren and Caroline, anyway?

Oh.

You DO want to hear about them? And see pics? My bad.

Really, I've just been pretty sleep deprived because someone I know (name withheld to protect the not-so-innocent) has decided that sleeping is for babies and she's a big girl. Or something. I dunno. I mean, I love spending time with (name removed), but when most of it is spent with loud screaming in my ear? Well, let's just say I've upped my dosage of Tylenol. The sleep deprivation causes me to spend a very limited amount of time on the computer, mainly because when I am slightly awake, I usually have my adorable daughter wailing laying in my arms.

I really do love being a mom. Honest! In fact, I'm anxious to have another child join the ranks of our little clan (which is a totally fitting word because we are Scottish!). Of course, who knows how long THAT will take. Oh well. Heavenly Father obviously wants me to learn patience and none of the many, many, many lessons I have had thus far seem to be working, apparently, or else I wouldn't need any more, right? Hee hee.

Oh, right. You wanted pictures. Unfortunately, my camera is upstairs. So all you get are a few that I took with my phone:



They are so cute! Every few weeks I take a picture of the two of them and stick it as the wallpaper on my phone. This is the latest version I have.



A rare image.... so precious, though!



Our goofy boy being... well... goofy!



So cute!

Ok, that's it for now. I've got "someone" yelling again.

I'll try to get those pics off my camera soon for those that are hungry for more!