Thursday, December 30, 2010

I suppose I should document this . . .

Nope, sorry - this isn't a Christmas post! Although I have to say, we did have a splendid Christmas! It was quiet and beautiful and relaxing! Cherishing those while they last!

Instead let me tell you a little about my month. Aside from the pneumonia. I've been heading to the doctor 2-3 times a week for appointments, ultrasounds, and non-stress tests. This week I also had some blood work done, partially at my request and partially at the doctor's request. Which doctor? Who knows? I have seen a total of 8 during this pregnancy (including two perinatologists!), one of which may or may not be the delivering doctor.

Most of these appointments have been low key, everything looking good, lots of pics of our new little guy (he's adorable, by the way - his cheeks are to die for! I hope they stay chubby!!). Today things took a turn. First off, my blood pressure didn't want to cooperate. Secondly, I was down a couple of pounds (I know, you're thinking - how lucky are you? No, this is not good... it happened with Caroline and if you read her story, you know it only goes downhill from here). Thirdly, well - the results of the blood tests were back. And they didn't look good.

You see, Christmas Eve something happened. Itching. And not the normal pregnancy itching that comes with an expanding tummy, but intense itching on the palms of my hands and on my feet. This is one of the only signs that accompany a condition called Cholestasis. This is the same thing I had with Caroline and there was a 90% chance it would happen again. When the itching started, I knew what it was but I also knew there wasn't anything the doctor could do about it this close to the end of the pregnancy. So when I went in the following Monday, I mentioned it to the perinatologist, who ordered the blood work. That's the blood work that came back today. And it was positive.

Not really a big shocker, but I was hoping to make it to 39 weeks. Oh well!

The blood pressure situation is still up in the air. More test results should be available tomorrow.

So, the big news is . . . I'm heading in for an induction on Sunday, January 2nd! Stay tuned for more news and pictures!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Road to . . . . somewhere?

December has only just begun and I'm ready for one of two things: A do-over OR a skip-to-the-end! What a month!

Last week we had the Furnace Saga. After at least 4 trips to various locations for the part we thought was the problem and then two visits in two days from two different technicians, the furnace was finally fixed. We only had two full days without heat, so it wasn't the end of the world. However, the money we had to put out to repair it was not in our plans, so that was a bummer. The past week we have made a lot of positive comments about the warmth of the house. We are very grateful that we were able to get it repaired and now have a functioning furnace. And we'll be sure to open an empty package of warm air on Christmas morning to remind ourselves of that! Haha!

Now on to the sickies. The last week of November both Caroline and myself came down with something nasty.

It took Caroline two weeks to shake it. She actually still has some fluid in her ear, a minor cough, and a slight runny nose. I'm supposed to take her back to the doctor in 3-4 weeks just to make sure it has all cleared up. And speaking of the doctor, she's been there twice in the past week or so. On Dec. 1st she went in for her 2 year old check up. The good news? She's finally back on the growth chart! You go, girl! However, she's still just a teenie little peanut. In the past year (yes, YEAR), she has gained a grand total of 4lbs. I've got to come up with some Supernanny worthy tactics to get this girl to eat. Caroline's second doctor's appointment was due to me. Mentally I know I am a good mom who tries to do what is best for my kids. But emotionally I feel horrible for yoinking her arm the wrong direction and pulling her elbow out of socket.... again. So we had to rush over to the doctor yesterday to pop that sucker back in. Could I do it myself? Probably. But I have such a hard time with that kind of stuff. And to think - at one point in my life I wanted to be a nurse or doctor. HAHAHAHA! That seriously makes me laugh now.

My version of the evil sickies that Caroline shared with me (hey, she's learning to share so I can't be too angry, right?) was beyond stupid. After talking to nurses, a doctor, and a pharmacist, I was given plenty of ideas on how to deal with it sans meds. I thought I'd made a breakthrough and was on the road to recovery, but alas . . . it all turned south again. This time I went into the doctor and told her I couldn't do it anymore - I was done, wiped, exhausted, over it . . . and finally was able to get some antibiotics. Less than 24 hours later I can report that I am feeling almost human again. Aside from the plethora of bathroom trips last night, I actually slept without coughing, sneezing, or blowing my nose every 20 minutes. I look forward to the next few days when hopefully all that keeps me awake at night is a kicking baby and/or trips to the bathroom.

And now I need to do all those things that fell by the wayside when I was sitting on the couch/in bed with a box of tissues in my lap. I still have things to mail, things to order, and things to decorate for Christmas. Whether or not they will all get done, I don't know. I'm going to do what I can and try very hard not to beat myself up if they don't.

And that is my summary of December thus far. We also had Soren's piano recital (I missed it), a Christmas party or two (I went to one but left early), lots of homework/projects to finish before the holiday break, and preparations around the house for our new addition. It's been quite a month already. Hopefully the remainder of the month can be a little more uneventful! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

WARNING - WHINE POST

I have much to be thankful for, I know that. But sometimes, you just have to whine.

Currently I am sick and I have been sick for almost a full week. Caroline has been sick for nearly two full weeks. Yes, she has been to the doctor. I went to the doctor last week before this all settled in to annoy me. Do we know what it is? Nope. Is there anything that can be done? Nope. She's 2 and weighs next to nothing (but hey, she's back on the growth chart at least), so there isn't much over the counter that she can take. I'm pregnant and run into the same problem. So whatever this nasty junk is, it's hanging on for dear life to both of us making us tired, sick, and cranky! I broke down today and called my new clinic to ask if I could take Mucinex. The nurse told me it's better to be safe than sorry and to avoid it (none of her charts were showing that it was okay). So I am going to try Sudafed, which I hate taking because it leaves me in a fog of stupid. I could try Benadryl as well, but even the children's version of that knocks me out cold. So I'm annoyed that I'm sick basically. And I'm annoyed at how long it is lasting.

The furnace stopped working at some point on Tuesday night. Yesterday we had no heat and Alan and I investigated and think we have pinpointed the problem. Alan left work early to rush over to a store that closed at 5 to get a part. Which didn't end up fitting in our furnace. Ugh! So we went all night without heat again. Alan had meetings this morning and then was going to be a gem and go out part-hunting again. I'm not sure how long his meetings will go and what obligations he has at work, so I am trying to huddle down into blankies and stay warm. I think furnaces should not be allowed to break in December or January. Isn't there a law about that somewhere? Alan is trying so hard to fix this to keep the cost down. I sure love him.

Now we come to the eating part of life for me. Nothing looks good or sounds good. Everything - and I mean everything - gives me heartburn. I had crackers this morning at 6am when I woke up from yet another terrible night of sleep and 20 minutes later I needed Tums. So basically I don't want to eat and I'm hungry all day because I don't want to eat. This happened with Caroline as well. And I lost weight and the doctor scolded me. But seriously - I have plenty of stored fat to share with baby, so I don't see what the big deal is. Except that when I don't eat I am very cranky. Probably because my body needs food. Bah!

I love this new baby we have coming, but he could really create a much more cheerful momma if he repositioned himself. I don't really care for the lower back pain nor am I a fan of the tailbone pain. I try not to complain too much about this because we obviously are thrilled that we are able to have another baby, but it really is very painful and makes walking, sitting, standing, and basically any type of moving very difficult.

I think above all else I feel horrible for how much Alan is having to do because I'm such a mess. He is doing it and not complaining (out loud), but I know he works hard all day and then to have to come home and fix dinner (most nights), load the dishwasher, take care of me, help with the kids, fix furnaces, etc. . . . I just feel bad. This is one of those times where I wish I had the money to hire someone to come in and give the house a good scrubbing. I know I can't do it right now. I can barely get out of the house for an hour or two without paying for it the rest of the day. And I know I have friends who are more than willing to come help, but with all the germs flying around here I don't want to risk getting them sick.

And I won't even get started on the situation with insurance and doctors. That's a whole 'nother whine tangent.

So basically I just needed to dump. And there it is.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Where did November go?

Looks like November is almost over! Some events of this month included:

*Caroline's birthday - she's TWO!
*Our first snowfall of the year! We don't get much snow here, so anything we see is exciting!
*Thanksgiving with lots of yummy food and good company! I'm grateful for wonderful family that hosted this year! Thank you, Rob & Kim!
*A visit from Alan's brother, JT. I sure love that guy - he's awesome! It was nice of him to be willing to just hang out and relax. I still am hoping we weren't too boring for him!
*Our first family sickness - it started with Caroline, then me, and now Soren seems to be under the weather. We are all hoping Alan stays strong and avoids it.
*Caroline has moved into a toddler bed! So far she is doing pretty well, but she definitely is enjoying the freedom of moving around her room once the door is shut. We are reminding her that bed time means to stay in bed. I'm sure this is something we'll be discussing for years to come with her - especially if she is anything like her brother.
*Halloween decorations came down, Autumn decorations went up! Then autumn decorations came down and Christmas decorations are in the process of being put up. I didn't realize how busy November is in the decorating department!
*Baby boy continues to grow and make momma rather uncomfortable. His most recent hangout has him applying some insane pressure to my lower back & tailbone. So if you ever hear me say that he is being a pain in the butt, I literally mean it. Ha!
*I've been knitting like crazy - a giant scarf for Alan's Christmas present. And I'm not joking about giant. It's about a foot wide and will eventually be 6 feet long, not including the tassels. Alan has a very long torso - that is where a lot of his 6'7" height comes from - so a "normal" scarf doesn't fit him. I am so excited to finally be able to make this for him and he is, too! My next post will contain pictures of all the knitting I've been up to since I started learning.

I think that about covers it for us. No pictures in this post. I'm too sick and tired to do anything that advanced right now haha! Now I shall go turn something mindless on the TV and get back to knitting. Or napping.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Birthday Girl!

The past Thursday we celebrated Caroline's 2nd birthday! And as the old cliche' goes - I can't believe she is already 2!



Here she is at about a week old. So tiny! It's still strange to think about how small she was. I'm glad that she is bigger now - even if she is a petite little princess!



Caroline is about 6 months old here, give or take a few weeks. I loved this purple dress on her! Part of me was a little sad that she had so many dresses to choose from because it meant that she didn't get to wear most of them more than once or twice. However, it was (and still is) fun to dress her up each Sunday in something new/different!



And here she is at one whole year old. I loved this shirt her Aunt Sarah made for her with a giant one on it! She wore that a lot during the first few months of her being one.



And here she is around 18 months old - already full of spice and sass! This is her "Mom, put the camera down already, okay?" look. Oh, and she finally started getting some hair at this point.

And now, she's TWO! And already very good at it!



She's showing off the ponies she received, as well as her blocks (which are, of course, all over the family room floor now). She had a great birthday, surrounded by family. We had homemade mac and cheese, applesauce, and juice! A perfect Caroline meal. Then we had cake:



Don't worry, at least SHE knew it was supposed to be Cookie Monster . . . and that's the point, right? I've never decorated a cake with tips and fancy junk before, so this was a whole new territory for me. However, it was fun! Who knows what I will attempt next year! Probably a sheet cake from the store. HAHA!

All in all, it was a good day. After we sang to her, she melted down into a puddle of tired screams and took a good nap. Then she opened presents which included 2 ponies, a book (If You Give A Pig A Pancake), 3 balloons, and Duplo blocks, from mom and dad as well as a coloring book, crayons, 2 toy bottles for her baby doll, a book (Sesame Street counting book), and 2 more balloons from her brother. What a lucky girl!



We are sure grateful for our Sweet Caroline. She has added so much to our family! I love watching her learn and grow and I also love seeing Soren get to be the awesome big brother I always knew he would be! Even if our little princess is full of spice and spunk, she is a sweetheart and we love her so much!!! Happy Birthday, big girl!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Halloween (Finally!)

There were a lot of Halloween celebrations this year for our family! First came our ward (congregation) Halloween party at church! Caroline and Soren won an award for Most Original Costume(s). I am going to miss it when Soren won't dress up anymore.



Soren wanted to dress up as Calvin, so we dressed Caroline up as Hobbes! They were so cute! This was the only time I bothered with the makeup. I still don't know how I managed to get Soren made up as a clown when he was 2! It was nearly impossible to get Caroline to sit (sort of) still enough to put that nose and whisker mess on her face. All in all, it was a good time - even if Caroline lost it shortly after 7:30pm. She loves her bed time and, quite frankly, I am ok with that.



(Caroline in one of her Halloween outfits. She enjoys emptying out the shoe basket and sitting in it. Also, she loves playing with all of the shoes. Lately she has mastered the art of slipping my shoes on and walking from the hall into the kitchen to show me. What a silly girl!)

Our next party was at Alan's work! OH how I LOVE his new company! They had a fun little haunted house (or haunted cubicles) set up for kids to wander through and explore. Soren and Caroline stuck together for a while, but then things became a little scary at certain parts, so Soren went up to the front to get a better view of it all and Caroline hung back with mom and dad. It was fun and boy did we end up with a lot of candy!



For this party we sprayed Soren's hair with color. That was fun! I also dressed up, but failed to get a photo. I had a t-shirt on with a "1-Up Mushroom" (from the Mario Bros. games) over my baby bump as well as a Mario hat.



Our last party was on Halloween itself. We had some friends over and ate a yummy meal! Here are pics of our feast:



Bean dip and chips! Yum!



Deviled Eyeballs! Soren had a blast putting all the red lines on these.



Jello Jigglers in fun Halloween shapes. The kids had fun cutting these things out.



DELICIOUS Rootbeer! We discovered this when we lived in DC and were so happy to finally find it here! Yay!

And the tables were decorated:





I forgot to get photos of a few things, including our Candy Corn Chowder (no Candy Corn was used in the making of that!). Silly me! But here's our pumpkin cheesecake dessert:



I couldn't get the picture to rotate, so this is what you get it!

Overall we had a great time! I wish that I'd had more energy to do a few more things, but maybe next year!

So that's my update on Halloween... finally!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Before I forget . . .

We always are having funny moments with our kids . . . . here's two from Caroline:

Yesterday we were all getting ready for church. Caroline was dressed and pretty much ready to go. She found her purse, put some things in it, put it over her shoulder, and yelled, "Boys! Go church!" Cracked us all up! She is such a momma hen sometimes!

Today I was looking at a few things online, including a milk pitcher with an ad for Pillsbury cookies. Caroline saw the ad and her eyes got all big and she yelled, "COOKIES!" So silly!

One of things I love about having kids is that they always keep me laughing. Sometimes I have to remind myself of something funny they said or did because at that moment maybe they aren't making me laugh, but overall it's lots of silliness.

In other news, my blood pressure took a spike over the weekend and I went to the doctor today because I was kinda freaked out - I hadn't seen numbers like that for quite a while. Luckily we've just done some medication adjustments and hoping that will resolve the issue for the time being. Just give me 4 more weeks to get the house in order and the holidays settled. And a dinner with my hubby at The Melting Pot. Then I will feel much better about being stuck on bedrest or in the hospital! Not that I want that, but if it's going to happen - just give me 4 more weeks!

Ok, my little climber is trying to wreak havoc. Time to go!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Traditions!

For some reason, I just love Halloween. It could be the theatre geek in me that loves the idea of dressing up in costume (or dressing others up in costume!). It could be that hidden side of me that enjoys some of the more gruesome aspects of the holiday (I love creepy looking food, the idea of haunts and ghosts, and getting to channel into that for a short few weeks of the year). Or it could just be that I'm a little crazy. Either way, it's a holiday we celebrate with gusto at our house.



Last night we went beyond the decorations in the house and the cute little outfits - we completed phase two of the Tullis Halloween Tradition: Halloween Sugar Cookies! Some people are into Christmas Sugar Cookies, but not us! I think I have one cookie cutter for Christmas. For Halloween I have an entire pumpkin full! Yay! I tried out my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe for the first time and was very impressed. It was super easy and very tasty - not too sweet, so just right for a bit of decorations on top to give it that extra kick of sugar. Yum!





It was great fun - we all were involved in the process. This was the first year in ages that I made the dough and not Alan. And this was also the first year that Caroline was really able to participate. We had so much fun - especially when she commandeered the pumpkin cookie cutter and wouldn't let it go. She LOVES pumpkins and points them out wherever we go (especially all over the house, which gets old after a while).



Alan tried out an orange glaze for the topping instead of a frosting this year. It needs some tweaking, but it turned out pretty good! And I got to toss sprinkles on after he glazed them. Yay! Most years we only get to frosting a few, so I have a build up of sprinkles sitting around. It was fun to get to use them! Here's the finished product:



Next phase? Pumpkins!!!

Oh, and we finally decided on Halloween costumes for this year. But that, my friends, is for another post. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Haircuts!

After fighting with the mullet look for far too long on my sweet Caroline, I finally broke down while at a play date on Tuesday and asked my friend to cut her hair. (Thank you, Addi!) It was the first haircut for the princess and while I do miss her gorgeous curls that were nearly past her shoulders, she looks more like a little girl now and less like a hillbilly. I've also noticed that her hair still has plenty of curl post tubby-time, so I'm hoping to see those ringlets again soon. Here are some pics of the occasion:





She did really well - not a scream or a tear. I just told her we were going to play with her hair. Between that, her mouse, and the adorable zebra print apron thing, she was good to go!

The result:





Clean and tidy and cute! Maybe, if I get a chance, I will take a pic of the rest of her outfit. It's another Halloween number - the pants are adorable!

In Soren news, he tried out to play piano for the 7th grade jazz band (aka "Stage Band") and is now being challenged with some tough music! It's good for him, though. He's going to grow a lot this year - musically I mean. He'll probably grow a lot physically this year, too. We are around the corner from him passing me up in height. I've been very impressed with his adjustment to school this year - much better than last year! He's a great kid and we are lucky to have him around - even when he continually forgets what "take the garbage out" means. Haha!

Alan was offered a full time position at Nautilus, Inc. this week. That's right, folks - he's working for the makers of Bowflex and the Treadclimber! The biggest bonus in all of this is that it is a 6 mile round trip to and from work - no bridges to cross, no traffic to deal with, and - best of all - he's home early at night! He also is able to come home for lunch a few times a week which is awesome. They are working him hard, but he is glad to be there - learning and growing. We are loving the added time we have with him at home. Yay, Alan!

As for me, things are plugging along. I keep trying to get that final room of the house sorted. Maybe this weekend. Haha! We are nearing the end of the second trimester of this pregnancy and moving into what was the worst trimester for me last time around. I keep hoping and praying that things will go a bit more smoothly this time, but I'm planning for the worst. We'll see how it all goes! I'm trying to scale back my activities and take it easy as much as possible! That's not easy with a tweenager and a toddler, but we're doing our best around these parts.

Speaking of toddlers, someone wants attention! Be on the lookout for upcoming Halloween posts. I'm currently in the planning phases of our feast!

Friday, October 1, 2010

A View from the Top



Yup - that's my boobs and my belly. And my table with this weeks tablecloth.

Now quit looking at my boobs.

Instead, look at this cutie pie:



Yes - we are all decked out for the month of OCTOBER! It's a family favorite around here! Or at least it's one of my favorites and therefore I push it on the house and the only person in it that I can dress up (besides myself, of course!).

HAPPY OCTOBER!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Who Wears It Better?

Hee hee....








Don't worry, I already know the answer! :D

Oh, and if you didn't get the memo - yes, we are a total Star Wars nerd kind of family!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Increase

Sometimes - or really all the time I suppose - you just have to trust and have faith. I know that God has been watching over my family for quite some time, but recently the evidence has been so very clear to me!

Ever since we found out that Alan would be losing his job - actually before we even knew and things just weren't looking good - I felt at peace. I knew it would all be fine. We did the leg work - Alan and I scoured the internet looking for leads and talking to friends. Alan submitted applications and/or resumes all over the place. And we did a lot of praying. He looked into unemployment payments, I looked into WIC, Medicaid, and other services we could use should the worst happen. I admit to one minor (read: major) breakdown, but I think I brought that on myself. But overall, we felt relatively calm and at peace. We were planning for the worst, hoping for the best. Hoping for anything, really.

The past week has been amazing. Yesterday not only was Alan able to interview at a new company, but within hours he had an offer. He started today. This is the second time something like this has happened to us this year! And this time it's almost too good to be true. I keep pinching myself because I can't believe it. This job is a 5-8 minute drive. I'm sure on a bike he could make it in 15 minutes. Right now it is a contract position, but the possibility of it becoming permanent is huge. And it all feels right and good. Again, almost too good! We feel so blessed and loved. We know that the prayers of our family and friends have blessed us so much. How wonderful it is to know that God is listening. I mean, I know He always is, but it is nice to have the confirmation sometimes!

We also were able to see our new little boy wiggles and squirm last week. He is growing and looking healthy! I do have to go in for another ultrasound next week to double check his heart (or triple check, I suppose). The last ultrasound they were unable to get just the right view of his heart, but the heart rate looked good and we heard it thumping away for the first time. The biggest issue was that he wouldn't move. Well, he moved - but it was just squirming. He's parked himself on my right side and just doesn't want to budge. This made getting the right angle on his heart impossible. I'm sure everything is fine, though. Our new little guy is still constantly in our prayers, though!

Soren had his Back to School Night. I was able to meet most of his teachers and find out some basics about the new school year. I feel confident that he will continue to excel because he's such an amazing guy! This year he is involved in band, piano lessons, and Boy Scouts. He is hoping to join Stage Band (a jazz band that practices before school), Weight Club (a group that lifts weights in the weight room before school), Wrestling, Basketball, and Track and Field. We'll see how he juggles things - he sure likes to keep busy! Soren continues to be a huge help at home, not only stepping up to help with his sister, but pitching in to help clean and cook. He's so awesome and we love him.

Caroline's vocabulary has literally taken off. This morning she was looking at something and turned to me and said, "Oh my gosh!" I am sure she's picked that up from one of us, but it was strange (and funny) to hear it coming out of her little almost-two-year-old mouth. She's also started saying things like this:

Caroline: MOM! Mom, mom, MOOOOOM!
Me: (Standing right next to her) What?
Caroline: Circle!

She likes to point out the obvious, but she wants to make sure she has my attention. I've been requesting that she go back to calling me mama. It's not working. Well, except when she wants to, of course. Then it's, "Mama, snuggle," or "Mama, song," or "Mama, food!" Caroline is really starting to put little sentences together and it's adorable to watch her figure all this language stuff out.

Her favorite toys right now include a spoon, spatula, bowl, and frying pan from her little kitchen (she tells us, "COOK!"), my stuffed monkey (which must be naked in order for her to play with it), her baby doll (who now has stolen one of Caroline's old baby blankets and one of her sippy cups), and her books. She also enjoys playing with my cell phone, daddy's keys, and her brother. This little spicy girl makes our life exciting, unpredictable, and terribly fun.

We are blessed and are so grateful for it! Thank you to all of you who have kept us in your thoughts and prayers. We are hoping this job sticks and that we can move forward from here and worry about other trials, struggles, and issues in life - but hopefully not a job issue again!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Life is . . .

What to say! Today was the first day back at school for my big guy. He was nervous, excited, and dreading it all at the same time! He did not want pictures taken this morning, but I'm mean and took them anyway:



At his desk before leaving for school - he's thrilled, see?



In the car trying to avoid the camera - HA! Gotcha!



Giving up and giving me a cheeseball grin on his way out the door. Admittedly, he was almost late for school, which I'm sure really helped him feel happy.



Caroline in the back wondering why I pulled her out of her crib far too early.

So he's been at school nearly a full day now. Caroline has been wondering around calling for her brother, but to no avail. He isn't here to tell her how cute she looks with the goofy headband she's put on her head or remind her of how adorable she is with her fairy wings and dress up skirt on. He isn't here to chase her around the house or take her out to jump on the trampoline. Nor is he here to hide around corners and jump out and say "Boo!" to her as she runs by. Boy, she has missed him! But she's had mommy time - we've snuggled, read books, giggled, and generally had a fairly quiet morning. I did catch some video of her making a mess while eating her yogurt:

video

This is a fairly recent advancement for Caroline. She is now fairly self reliant with feeding herself. Sure, I rescue her every so often when she's having trouble or just choosing not to eat, but overall I've been turning it over to her and dealing with the mess later. Plus, she's so stinkin' cute while she eats. Look!



See, adorable! And messy!

In other news, it looks like we'll be having more testosterone in the house in a few short months:



According to this early ultrasound, it's a boy! However, I have another one in a week for more measurements and they'll be able to be a bit more certain about things at that point. We are getting excited for our new arrival either way!

The biggest bummer of the day is that Alan's contract position is ending in a couple weeks. We're pretty sad about that, but feel confident and have faith that everything will work out. If you could keep him and our family in your thoughts/prayers/etc, that'd be awesome. Every time I try to get myself worked up about the loss of employment, the Spirit seems to calm me right down. So, it is what it is and life goes on.

That's the latest to report from here!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ahhh . . . Doctors.

There is much to say, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to sum up.

We are, for the most part, all settled into our "new" place. There are still some things that need some organizing and one more box I've got to really dig through, but the house is livable. We've even managed to start cooking in the kitchen again. Fabulous! I realized one of the reasons I have been so frustrated this time around is that usually when we've moved in the past it has been fast - we are packed up and gone in less than 3 weeks. This all felt so much more drawn out because it was! Now that the light at the end of the tunnel is much brighter, I'm feeling my stress levels fade a bit. That is a wonderful feeling.

My sweet boy turned 12 on July 31. I still can't believe it! He was also ordained to be a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood. This was a very special day for him and for our family. I'm so happy his grandparents and aunt were able to be here to share it with him!



Isn't he handsome??? And so grown up! What a joy he is in our family.

His sister couldn't miss out on an opportunity to smile for the camera, too. . .



She's such a little ham. And boy did she love having Grandma, Aunt Martie, and (sometimes) Grandpa here. Grandma rocked her and sang to her and that made her day! The list of things she loves more than music is pretty short! Martie jumped on the tramp with her, helped Caroline into her fairy wings and flew her around the house, sang to her, cuddled her, watched Sesame Street with her, and carried her anywhere she wanted to go. Grandpa, on the other hand, generally made her very nervous. I think it was his mustache. She did relent and hug and kiss him a few times. She can be very picky. That's why we call her a lil' stinker! Haha!

We all enjoyed our visit with the Tullis clan. Can I still call them a clan? When we were first married, having them all visit was quite an adventure for us! Now that 5 of the 8 are married, 1 of the 8 is all grown up with a job and living on his own, that only leaves 2 kids that come to visit with Grandma and Grandpa. Unfortunately, Uncle Stephen was stuck at home because of obligations there. Oh well - he missed out! We had a fairly low-key visit - lots of visiting, lots of help around the house (YAY - Thank you!), blackberry jam was made (YUM!!), but my favorite part of the visit was our gorgeous hike around Mirror Lake on Mt. Hood.











It was the perfect day for a hike! I'd like to say we all enjoyed ourselves, but Caroline tuckered out at the end and fell asleep in my arms. It was a long walk down the mountain with a sleeping 22+ pounds on my shoulder, not to mention the extra baby I was carrying out front. Still, though, totally worth it!

And for the last photo of the post, I present to you baby #3:



Yeah, I can't make out much of it, either. The appointment was an adventure. After 3 hours at the office building I still don't know if everything is ok. My heart tells me it is all fine. My head tells me otherwise. We'll see. If there is anything to report - good or bad - I'm sure I'll post about it.

Time to go - two crazy kids are playing soccer in my hallway.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Boxes, Stuff, and More Stuff

It seems sort of silly to update your blog when you feel like you've been doing the same thing for over a month. Especially the past 2+ weeks my life has basically consisted of the following:

1 - Wake up
2 - Eat
3 - Pack some boxes and/or unpack some boxes
4 - Eat
5 - Deal with the children
6 - Pawn off Caroline on Soren so I can pack/unpack
7 - Eat
8 - Feed the children
9 - Caroline down for a nap, Soren occupied, More packing/unpacking for me
10 - Collapse on the couch in exhaustion and be useless after Alan gets home from work
11 - Eat
12 - Sleep

I think I can finally see the light at the end of the packing/unpacking tunnel, I just wish it was brighter! Hopefully another week or so of effort and we'll be settled. Hopefully.

In other news, Caroline has managed to climb out of 2 different playpens and her crib. Since I am nowhere need ready for her to be in a toddler bed of any kind, I borrowed a crib tent from my sister in law and she is confined once more. She hates it, but quite frankly - I don't care. Her room is not in a state quite yet that she would be safe to be free to roam, I'm not mentally ready to give up nap time, and I don't want her out of the confines of a crib yet. Soren never tried this whole "climbing" thing, so I'm sitting here going - what?!? Already!?!?! Rude! Hehehe. Climbers. I knew I'd get one eventually and here she is!

Soren heads off to Boy Scout camp next week. Crazy! He'll be 12 in less than 3 weeks. Crazier! I'm sure grateful for him. I can't tell you how wonderful he has been this summer. And in general. But especially with all of the chaos going on in the house - he knows that I need help and he is (almost) always willing to jump in and do things - sometimes without me even having to ask! I'm going to miss him when he's off at camp. A lot.

Alan is working hard at his new job and enjoying it. There is a lot to do and it keeps him very busy, but usually the busy stays at work and he doesn't bring it home, so that is nice. He finally has his new Droid Incredible phone and is in love. I keep threatening to take it away from him when he gets too distracted, but he's having fun with his new toy. Good thing, too, because I don't think Santa is bringing him anything this year! Haha! Just kidding, sweetheart. :)

As for me - well, I think I already touched on that. I am still working on packing up the rest of my parents belongings and unpacking all of ours. It's been a process and most days I am seriously wiped out, but I know the end isn't too far off. We are enjoying having a place to ourselves again. Last night and today I pulled out all of my music books, my guitar, my music stand, and all of my teaching things and got them all organized. It's so fun to have a little space for all my music stuff! Now I just need to set up an appointment to get my piano tuned . . .

I don't really have any new/exciting pictures to post. I forgot my camera on the 4th of July, so I've nothing to show for that, but rest assured we had a good time with friends and family that weekend! Maybe next time I'll get a few pics of the kiddos up and a couple of our "new" digs.

:)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Productivity

The past week or so has been a mixed bag of days where I feel like I was able to do a lot and days where I did nothing. The days that I do nothing are days that I am trying to fight back nausea, headaches, and general feelings of craziness in my body. The days that I feel productive are the days where I am able to mostly ignore all of that stuff.

Unfortunately, Father's Day was a day that literally had my on the couch all day! Blech! Luckily, Alan is a sweet guy who likes to cook and enjoyed cuddles with his kids. He did get a Droid, so he really can't complain too much, right?

Luckily, today has already been oodles better! I was able to fold 3 loads of laundry (and put them away!), semi-organize more clothes given to little miss Caroline (adorable stuff! Thank you, friends!), unload and load the dishwasher, and even make a batch of laundry detergent! Yes, you read that correctly.

You see, months ago my cousin had posted on her blog about the joys of home-made laundry detergent. Five years ago I would probably have laughed it off as some psycho thing that only crazy people do . . . and yes, my cousin is crazy, but that's why I love her. However, over the past few years I have become more and more aware of many things, including all the added ingredients put into things that we eat and use. So I didn't pass this one off as crazy. I passed it off as awesome and I couldn't wait to try it. I went shopping and bought all the bits and bobs needed (3 ingredients, no big deal), and those items sat in the laundry room for months. Until today! Hooray! Aside from the money I'm saving, I'm also helping out two people I love very much - Alan and Caroline. They both have eczema and all the added stuff in soaps really irritates their skin. Now I don't have to buy the super spendy laundry stuff because I have a home-made, all natural alternative! Yay!

Interested? Here's the recipe I used - it is a dry mix, but there are liquid mixes out there, too. I found all ingredients at my local grocery store (WinCo).

1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap, grated
2 cups Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda)
2 cups Borax

I used my box grater for the soap, but if you want to use a food processor, you can. Then I just mixed all the ingredients together and put them in a glass canning jar. You need 1 tablespoon of soap per load. Pretty kickin', I'd say!

I put Caroline in her high chair, gave her a cup of milk and some crackers. I was done before she was. Awesome!

Hopefully I will keep feeling good today so I can get more done. There's unpacking/packing still to do aplenty. Crossing my fingers!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Happy Changes :)

Alan started his new job this past Monday. Can we all say, "FABULOUS!"?? Yes. Yes, we can. He has loved his first week, learned a lot, and is enjoying adjusting to it all. We are enjoying having him a little longer in the morning and seeing him MUCH earlier in the evenings!!!

School is almost over for Soren! He has one more full day and then a very much partial day (like 2 hours) and his 6th grade year will be complete! Crazy!!! He has a few things to work on over the summer, but in general he will get to relax, hang out with the family, and not have to stress about homework, essays, or other projects. That's wonderful for ALL of us! We have some fun plans of things to do around the area during the summer, so I'm looking forward to that! He's had some amazing end of the year events including: A band concert in which he performed a stunning solo that had me nearly in tears (yeah, hormones, shut up), a track banquet where he was awarded Most Improved, and a few pizza parties for participating in different things throughout the year. He also managed to make the paper. Check out his handsome photo:



I had an ultrasound on Thursday and it was determined that there is ONE baby, so I'm happy about that! I was able to see the little heartbeat and the doctor said things are looking fabulous. We are pleased as punch and ready to take on the rest of this pregnancy with a lot less stress! Now our hope and prayer is that we can avoid some of the complications we had the last time around. I'm feeling ok overall - good days and bad. Nothing has been predictable - sometimes I wake up feeling fine, sometimes I feel horrible. Other times the yucky hits right in the middle of the day and I am curled up on the couch the rest of the day. I'm just taking it one day (and one Totino's Pizza) at a time.

Caroline continues to be her spunky, spicy little self. She is picking up on tons of words and has recently started responding with "kae!" to lots of things. Slowly but surely she is going to get used to not being in the same room as Momma 24 hours a day. I'm also teaching her important life skills, like taking her diaper to the diaper bin, climbing into the car on her own, and not throwing everything that is round just because it looks like a ball. A few days ago she sat down with one of her books, opened up a page, and said the colors she saw (brown & purple - PURPLE! Such a smart girl!), then closed it and pointed to the turtle on the cover and said, "Turtle." She also pointed to the lion on the cover and roared. It was pretty awesome as she had no prompting whatsoever. We are reaching such a fun stage where learning is exploding and I am loving it!

In the midst of all of this we are starting to transition the house into "our" house, albeit very slowly. My parents leave for the Philippines in about 2 weeks, so it's all coming quickly. We spent time today moving things and unpacking some of our things. It's amazing how long it has been since I've seen this stuff! One of the best things was opening a box and smelling my house. As strange as that sounds! And my BOOKS!!! I wanted to kiss each of them as I put them on the shelf. I refrained, but the desire was there! I'm looking forward to being surrounded by my things again, but it is already nice to open boxes and be able to put some things right into a charity box. Try living without your stuff for 2 years. You learn quite quickly that there are many things you don't need that you thought you did!

So that's what's going on - lots of changes, lots of busy, and lots of excitement! We hope to adjust quickly and get into a routine with our summer. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Story

For those of you not on Facebook, I made an exciting announcement today! We're expecting Baby #3! Hooray!

Here's the story (warning - some girly information included, so if that makes you squirmy . . . well, you've been warned):

Because of what we have to do in order to have a chance of getting a baby into our arms, we decided to head to an infertility doctor (R.E.) before my parents headed off on their mission. Due to the amount of visits I have to make to said doctor during a treatment cycle, I figured it would be much easier to do if I had help with Caroline. I did not feel good about dragging a toddler into a fertility clinic. So we headed in for a consultation last month and we happened to be at just the right point to go ahead and start a treatment cycle! Which we did.

Things went a little differently with this new clinic and doctor than they did when we lived in DC. OH how I loved my doctor there! I missed him. This new doctor . . . he was nice, but I felt like I was prompting him on what the next step was every time I went in for a visit. I even had to remind him about the procedure when the day came. Ugh. Consequently, I was fairly . . . . pessimistic about any of it working. Which made me kinda bummed because it cost us nearly all of our Flexible Spending Account money for the year (no coverage for infertility with the insurance we are currently on). Quite frankly, I didn't think it would work.

We did have four eggs, but lost two of them. Well, I don't know if we actually lost them, but they weren't there at my final ultrasound. So that was kind of annoying. He thinks they released on their own and, considering the cramps I had, I almost believe him. Almost. So we could be looking at up to four babies, but I don't think God would do that to me. I think He knows me well enough to know that I could not handle that on so many levels.

We were told to take a pregnancy test on May 20th. Ha, like I could actually wait that long. So I took a test on the 15th (faint positive), the 18th (stronger positive, and then again on the 20th (very obvious positive). I refused to believe anything until I heard back from the doctor for blood test results. That's when I finally started believing it.

Oh, and the random cravings for tuna fish (GROSS!) and hot dogs (really?? yes, really) - that had me believing it a little, too.

So today I went in for more blood work and everything looks good. I am 5 weeks along and am due Jan. 24th. Yes, it is still beyond early, but because of our history with infertility it is hard to keep this kind of news quiet. We are too excited. And, as I mentioned on Facebook, if something does go wrong, I know I will have the love and support of friends and family.

Right now all I can think about is the last trimester and how nervous I am for a repeat performance of the complications I had with Caroline.

Oh, and whether or not it is multiples. We find that out on June 10th.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Too Cute Not To Share!

Caroline has really started to pick up on lots of words. I had to get a video of her showing off a few!

video

And Soren is loving track! His favorite event, I think, is Discus.



However, he also enjoys Shotput!



At the end of the day, my kiddos are two of the cutest people on the entire planet!



Being a mommy rocks!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Response to the Complaints

I've recently had quite a few people tell me to update my blog. To you I say - please, get on Facebook, add me, and check Facebook. Hahaha!

But seriously. I need to be better about blogging. And I know I've been saying that for nearly 18 months, but it still remains true and it is also something that continues to be added to my to-do list. Man that list is long!

Life is pretty much the same, which is probably why I don't think to update my blog much.

Alan is still working hard, commuting a ridiculous distance, and racing to get home to his family each night. We cherish the time we have with him and love the wonderful things he does for our family. Like this weekend when he made Gyros on Saturday and Clam Chowder on Sunday. He won lots of points because that had to have been one of the best food weekends we've had in ages around here. That not to say he doesn't make delicious food every weekend, but he just out did himself! Love that guy!

Soren is keeping up with school and doing quite well. His grades are better than they've been all year and he was just recently accepted into the National Junior Honor Society. He started participating in Track for the first time and is loving it! His events are shot put and discus, but he's also going to be attempting high jump and 100m. Track has him very busy, but he's also been continuing with his piano lessons (he's becoming an amazing musician!), is a Boy Scout, and is playing the trumpet in band. He continues to be an awesome big brother and tries to squeeze in lots of time for his sister.

Caroline remains our pretty little pixie. She's taller, but she's still just as petite as ever. I'm so grateful they invented those pants that you can make smaller and larger as needed. They've been a lifesaver! Not surprisingly, we can't seem to keep that girl quiet. She loves to talk and while most of it is still gibberish, she's mastered a few words including: cow, kitty, mama, daddy, please, thank you, ball, no, and yum. Her smile still melts our hearts and her laugh is contagious. I can't believe how much sign language she knows and how it still does not curtail the screaming. Haha! Nothing beats the way she looks at her brother. So much love between those two!

As for me, I officially completed the Couch to 5k program this past Friday. It's unfortunate that I was not feeling well this morning because I missed a morning run for the first time in 10 weeks. I am hoping to make that up tomorrow, but we'll just have to see how I'm feeling. I am grateful that I can be an "At-Home" mom (not a stay at home mom, because - let's face it - that's rarely where we are!) and be here with my babies. I sure love them! I am very blessed.

I suppose our biggest news is this: My parents received their mission call and will be heading into the Missionary Training Center on June 28th! We are so happy for them and look forward to hearing the stories they will have to tell once they reach the Philippines. We are also glad that we can be of service to them while they are gone and take care of things on the home front for them.

I think that sums up the big stuff. I'll do my best to try updating with the little stuff soon. Like how when I was downtown today I saw a very large robot walking around Pioneer Courthouse Square. Yeah, that was random! Keep Portland weird, indeed!

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's Me Again

I know, I know. I never update. Well, hey, deal, kae? I have a lot going on in my life! Well, that's not entirely true. I have kids. Is that a good excuse?

Anyway.

I had to post today because I'm so proud of myself. And, I know, pride cometh before the fall. But fall is like, 5-6 months away, right? I'll be over it by then, I promise.

So I've been doing this whole Couch to 5k thing, right? If you haven't heard, then obviously you don't follow me on Facebook or read my sporadic updates closely enough. Get with the times! Haha! Anyway, today I accomplished what just 5 short weeks ago seemed impossible. I did the following:

-Ran in the pouring rain
-Ran to the top of the 1/2 miles hill I live at the bottom of
-Ran 2 miles
-Ran for 20 minutes straight

For me - this is a huge accomplishment. Huge. I've never been a runner. I've never enjoyed running. I've never really eve run to the bathroom (thanks for the joke, Marie!). My exercise of choice has always involved a pool. But all of that is starting to change. Man, you should have seen the crazy grin on my face as I came to the end of my 20 minutes. It's pouring down rain, I'm dripping wet everywhere, and I had the cheesiest look on my face and was so proud. I did it. And I'm going to keep doing it. Because wow did that feel awesome.

The Couch to 5k program is 9 weeks long. I've just finished Week 5 and have 4 weeks to go. I'm excited to finish and start training for my first 5k race, which I hope will be the first week of June. I don't expect to finish first. Heck, I don't even expect anything but last. But I will finish. And 5 weeks ago I would never have said that - never even THOUGHT it!

Also, I'm going to be attempting to drink a green smoothie this morning. Nervous about that one. Really nervous. Hope it tastes good. I need a quick, easy, and nutritious breakfast option. I hope this is it, but if not - I shall keep trying!

In non-"me" news:

- Caroline has entered the clingy stage of life. Separation anxiety is huge for her right now. So that's fun. However, she has been known to fall asleep on people recently, which is strange.
- Soren was invited to join the National Junior Honor Society. Yep, he's brilliant. I think he's finally getting the hang of this middle school thing. His grades this term are better than they've been all year!
- Speaking of Soren, basketball ended about 2 weeks ago and track starts in a week. He's decided to give track a try and actually wants to start running with me. Awesome!
- Alan is my hard working man and I love him. Between work and the commute, he doesn't have much time, energy, or brain power for anything else. We're grateful for the sacrifices he is making for our family and love him like WOAH.

It's hard to believe March is over. I WILL MISS YOU, MARCH!!!! Now, on to April.

HAPPY EASTER! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Such An Irish Lover!



HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY!!!

Ahhhh, one of my favorite days of the year! Unfortunately, today was a little different than usual. The past 3-5 days have been a little busier than I expected, so I didn't get to do any grocery shopping until today. Result? A fairly simplistic St. Patty's Day feast. It was still NOM, though! Just not traditional. That's ok, though!

Here's the menu:

Reuben Sandwiches
Tater Tots (Hey, at least it was potatoes! haha!)
Juice (with special "sprite cubes" that didn't quite work out)
Coleslaw
Lime Cheesecake

And here's the pics:



Here's the table partially ready to go. It wasn't quite ready when I was taking pics, but I knew I had to do it so I didn't forget!



Corned Beef and Swiss Cheese. I took a shortcut today and just went to the deli at QFC. Of course that was after I tried the deli at WinCo and Safeway. I missed Wegman's today like crazy. Mainly because I went to FIVE different grocery stores looking for everything on my list.



Here's the (homemade) Coleslaw and Rye Bread, along with sandwich toppings.



Here's our special juice. Pineapple Starfruit Limeade with fizzy soda and Lime Sherbet. OH what I went through for that sherbet!

And here's our little Irish Pixie all dolled up and celebrating!



She fell in love with my Irish Bears, both gifts from awesome friends who know of my deep love for St. Patty's day. :D

My lime cheesecake (another experiment) is still in the fridge. I'm nervous about it. I really don't experiment that often in the kitchen, but the past month or so I've been going a little crazy. Overall, dinner turned out nicely. It was definitely "St. Patrick's Day Lite" at our house, but that's ok! Next year I think we'll host a huge party and invite lots of friends. Mark your calendars!