Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's me again

First off, everyone is better from the stomach flu... thank goodness! I woke up in the middle of the night and was sick all day Thursday. Erin woke up healthy but Alex laid on the floor for another day while I laid on the couch completely helpless. It is horrible to see your kids get sick, but it's almost worse to get sick yourself and not be able to take care of your family. Jared stayed home all day and took care of everyone. I felt so bad listening to whining children and demands that Jared had to take care of. Why is it that I feel guilty whenever he has to do what I do every day?

Then there was Connor. He has been having such a rough time lately. I'm attributing most of it to teething--it has been non-stop for a while now. He fourth tooth just broke through. He really has been having a hard time going to sleep on his own, which means he is completely dependent on me. That was made very clear the day I was sick because I kept having to nurse him even though I felt horrible. Then I was so dehydrated that things just got worse. I don't know how much longer I can nurse him. He is 7 months now, so he should be sleeping okay. Hopefully he feels better soon and can figure out the sleeping thing. Lately we've just been taking him for a ride at night to fall asleep. He is also not crawling yet but he wants to, so he gets really frustrated whenever he is left alone anywhere. I'm not sure if he would be harder for me if he were my only child (because I would have nothing else to distract me from the frustration) or easier (because he would get more attention and not act this way). We're coping.

So for the new year, I did make some goals. My yearly goals seem realistic. Not easy, but they're not the kind that you blow after a week of trying and then failing.
1. First is to get our year's supply of food storage, which we have almost finished (as soon as we receive the last order we put in, buy a few more odds and ends--psychological foods, and get a water purifier). That's a whole other post.
2. Next is to go to the temple every month. It will not always be easy, but it's important to me so I'm going to do it.
3. This one is a financial goal. When I was in the temple in November, I felt a strong prompting that we needed to pay something off. We have made a plan, rearranged our budget and will be paying this off aggressively so that we won't have to worry about it anymore.

As far as my other goals... I decided that since I feel like I just can't keep up with daily life most of the time, that I won't be making other yearly goals (way too daunting) but monthly ones. It seems much more manageable. So far, I've made a bunch of goals for January and have only kept one of them: not to eat chocolate. I know, it sounds like a random one, but I have been having really, really bad headaches lately (like every day) and when I do I automatically try to eat things that I think will make me feel better, like chocolate. And chocolate is one thing that seems to make my headaches worse. So I've done it and I've felt good about it. Except, I still have bad headaches. What now?

The other January goals were to make my bed every day (haha), and to get up at 7:00 and do housework first thing for an hour. Oh yeah, and then go to the gym at 8:00. That's it. I still like those goals and here's why. You always have time for the things you put first. So I would always try to get up and go exercise first thing or read scriptures right away so it would actually get done. I realized that maybe those things were getting done, but my housework never was. I found that if I get up and start a load of laundry, put dishes away, pick up and fold clothes first, then the rest of the day would be better. Two of my friends do this and their houses are almost always clean. Don't get me wrong though. Even when I do that I feel like I am constantly doing housework and at the end of the day there are still two loads of laundry to fold, yet another sinkful of dishes and an exploded playroom to clean up. Let's be realistic, I have three little kids at home with me all day. One will most likely have pee and/or poop in her underwear (due to her "potty training") and another will most likely be found on the floor crying or attached to me, if you know what I mean. I think that the first year after I have a baby is challenging just because babies are demanding. It is for me anyway. The second year after I have a baby is also challenging, but that's only because I'm pregnant. Why do I do this to myself?

Next bit of news: I can see again! I went to the eye doctor today and got new contacts. I should say that I went to my old eye doctor again after trying out a new eye doctor last year. I tell you, you sure don't know what you have till you go see a different eye doctor who has you try three different prescriptions before you finally resign yourself to taking the wrong contacts and not seeing for a year. It has been a bit troubling, especially at Walmart when I can't tell which sign says paper towels. I realized that my old doctor never gave me a bad prescription before and now I wonder why ever left. Luckily he took me back and our relationship is back on course. I will be getting my new boxes on Friday and new glasses some time too, as long as they are "modern".

Not only can I see again, but he made me question two things. One, if maybe my vision is contributing to the headaches and two, if maybe I am slightly allergic to my cats (because of the redness/sensitivity in my eyes). Tell me if this makes me a bad person, because I feel like one. I kind of hope a little bit that I do have a slight allergy, because I've been looking for an excuse to not have cats anymore. Whoa, writing it makes me feel much worse as a person. It's just that they have quite a few strikes against them lately (i.e. fleas, poop laying on the grass like they're dogs, constantly throwing up, bringing dead carcasses indoors, and oh yeah, one of them almost took out my eye one time and gave me 5 stitches). I feel so bad for even considering it. I mean, where would they go? (Anyone?) What a dilemma.

Oh, and about that goal to get up at 7:00? That also follows that we should be going to bed around 11:00, right? Last night we got to bed before 11 and just laid there because we are so used to staying up later. Of course, now it's almost 1:00 am. Who knows, maybe it's a lack of sleep that's causing the headaches. Maybe it's just a tumor. Either way, I gotta go to bed; my head is pounding.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Warning: It may gross you out.

Lately it feels just a little busy for some reason. Nothing unmanageable or anything, just lots of little things and not feeling like I have enough time to do any of them. Yesterday Marissa was throwing up, but she wasn't acting too sick. Today Alex is soo sick and keeps throwing up stomach acid. I feel so bad for him. Erin came home with a stomach ache and I've been a little iffy lately too. The stomach flu is a plague in our ward right now. Literally like half the ward is sick. I'm still not sure who to blame for all this. On the bright side, the baby just fell asleep and the other three sickies are asleep with their bowls in the family room, with the occasional moan and throw up that I have to attend to. It is making the freshly baked bread that I attempted to bake today seem slightly less appetizing. While I was putting it in the oven Marissa got hurt somehow and passed out (I hate it when my kids pass out). Just as she was coming to I heard the sounds of some more puke that I had to turn around and catch.

Please hold... okay... add Erin to the list of casualties. She just exploded and didn't make it into her bowl. Thanks goodness for leather couches. I hope that pillow isn't ruined. Poor girl. And Alex has thrown up two more times too. So, anyone want some bread? I've lost my appetite.

I am also supposed to give a little talk at Enrichment tonight. I hope I make it. The topic is renewing your family. I think we all need a little renewal right now. Hopefully the naps will help. Jared and I also had to speak in church on Sunday about setting and fulfilling spiritual and temporal goals. I hardly had any time last week to prepare, so I think it was a little jumbled, but what I said came from the heart so I think it was okay.

Then there was camping. We stayed at the Disney campground, which would have been really fun if we were staying a few days and got to go to all their fun activities. It's pretty posh camping too. They have water, electricity, a laundry and really nice bathrooms with showers. And where you put your tent is perfectly groomed. It was fun, but it was also really cold. I was trying to keep Connor warm in my sleeping bag (not always successfully) and Jared was in charge of keeping Marissa warm. The worst part was that our air mattress had a hole or something so we had to sleep on the ground--perfectly groomed but very hard nonetheless. I'm not sure at what point in life my body went from not being affected by sleeping on the hard ground to being completely stiff and bruised by it, but I'll say it: I'm not as young as I used to be.

(Make that one more for Alex)

The next morning we woke up early to go see our friend finish the Disney half marathon. Getting there was fine, but somehow we couldn't get back the same way we came. We ended up having to go on 7 different buses, monorails, or ferries just to get back to our campsite and had to wait for each one of them. We did not have the happiest feeling on earth at that point. We were supposed to check out at 11:00 and we got back at 12:30. By the time we cleaned up our campsite, it was 2:00--and we still wanted to go to the temple, which closes early on Saturday. Our friends were going to watch our kids, but couldn't at the last minute. I kind of wanted to cry, because it seems like there are always so many obstacles to getting to the temple.

(Two more times for Alex)

Oh, and did I mention the drive up and back? It seems like once our kids hit age 4 they start getting really carsick. This means we have two that get sick now. Since I'm already grossing you out, yes, they both threw up on the drive. There was a stretch of about 40 minutes where I was driving that three kids were crying non-stop, and there was nothing we could do about it. I do wonder why we do things like this and whether it is all worth it, just so that we can go to the temple. But we did both get to go and I am so grateful for it. I felt so much peace when I was there.

I guess on another unrelated topic, I decided to start potty training Marissa this week. I dunno, I guess I just wanted a whole bunch of extra laundry to do. I made this rash decision before the stomach flu, but after one of her diapers got cut open and all those little ball-y things were all over the house. That and her having some pretty bad diaper rash drove me to the great potty training idea. Yep, she's wet again.

oh no, here goes Alex again... here's hoping we have a speedy recovery.

I hope I didn't gross anyone out too much, but since I already gave TMI, I'll end on some other gross but happy news. Marissa just pooped on the potty! Wohoo.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas 2010

We had a great Christmas. Having kids definitely makes Christmas fun. They were sure surprised to wake up Christmas morning to find this in the dining room... (notice Marissa opening every piece of Hubba Bubba on the floor?)
...that crazy Santa. What was he thinking? That tent was huge! So either we have a really small dining room or a really big tent on our hands. In case you are wondering, our dining room sleeps 7. The kids were just about blocked when they came out of their room, but it was a great surprise for them. We got lots of camping stuff this Christmas. All the kids and Jared got sleeping bags and we got a camp stove. Our first trip is planned for next weekend!

Erin took this picture of us, hence the cut off heads. This is what Santa brought us. I am seriously no good, for two reasons. One is that I didn't get anything to surprise Jared with. He knew I was getting the sleeping bag and camping stuff, so what else did I get him? Socks. That's right. Black in the stocking and white from Connor. I am so lame. One friend surprised her husband with a flat screen TV and another with a surround sound system. Jared got socks. 11 pairs. I vow to do better next year. Although, I do believe I made the same promise last year. Sorry Jared.

Second reason I am no good is that when I saw the blender, I mean Ninja (and yes, I asked for a blender, and the griddle. Over and over again. Jared would not just buy a kitchen appliance to show his love unless I asked.), I said, "Oh thank you Daddy!" to which my puzzled kids said, "That's not from Daddy, that's from Santa." I really am not so good at keeping this Santa thing up. Yes, they were right. It was definitely from Santa. Come to think of it, the same thing happened last year with the calendar Santa left me. One of these days they'll catch on, although not this year. Today Erin asked her primary teacher how Santa got into our house if we don't have a fireplace. Then they started saying how weird it is that there's a holiday celebrating Jesus and Santa. That's just trouble waiting to happen.

By the way, this is what was in the giant box. It's a rocking horse that I made in wood shop when I was in eighth grade. I had my parents ship it to us for Christmas because I thought we'd probably enjoy it--and we did until the kids broke one of the "skis" off of it. I don't know how that could have happened with my quality construction, but never fear, it will be fixed. I have a deep emotional attachment to the rocking horse. Why did I choose the rocking horse in shop anyway? Not sure... really not sure. It could have been a shelf or a camp chair, but no. I choose the one with the most pieces and the most curves. Thanks again to Aurora for cutting out the rest of my pieces after I broke the band saw trying three (count them--three!) times in exchange for me sanding all of her pieces. It was worth it. (Also, nobody tell Mr. Johnson, my shop teacher, about the band saw; he thinks I only broke it twice.)Look at Erin posing with it and some of her favorite Christmas presents. She's so funny. Here she is with all of her presents. She was extremely grateful for everything. I think all the practicing paid off. She got a lot of crafty stuff like paints and beads which as it turns out was perfect for her. She loves her pillow pet named Uni and her ZhuZhu pet Winkle.
But her all time favorite gift was the $5 plastic crown and clip-on earring set she got from daddy. Okay, mostly just the earrings. They broke 5 times that day alone and one is lost now, but she will still tell you that those were the top gift for her. Here she is in the shoes and wand that she got for Marissa while singing, "A princess's toe must be pointed."Here's Alex with his goods. His favorite gift was the T-ball set, but he liked the puzzles a lot too. He really liked everything, just as I predicted. The pillow pet he named "Buzz Dave" and we won't forget it either because that night he had Erin write his name along the whole bottom of the pillow with green marker. When he woke up the next day one side of his face was green. Nice. By the way, they have been sleeping in their sleeping bags every night since Christmas. I'm contemplating getting rid of the beds. Definitely a good gift this year, especially since we've had some chilly weather lately and we have refused to turn on our heat. It's mostly a pride issue; we live in Florida, we don't use heat! Here's Marissa. Her favorite gift was her computer. She loves it. I'm sure she jumped up and down when she saw it. She loved everything, especially because she got the same things as the other two. She really does think she's older than she is and plays with them and their friends like she's one of them. Well, she is really. It's just really devastating to her when they get to go play with their friends and she can't understand why she doesn't get to go. Yes, I realize Operation was in Alex's picture too. It was for all the kids. You can she the dresses I finally finished in the girls' pictures. They do love them and I am happy about that, although I probably love them more. Marissa calls them the coca-dot dresses.

Here is Connor with all of his stuff. What a cute and content kid. He had a great first Christmas chewing on whatever he could find. There was lots to choose from. Oh, that zebra? That was a really fun toy and would still be if the older kids hadn't popped it. It's the price you pay for having older siblings. But hey, look at all that stuff of theirs you get to chew on Connor?Mostly the kids are all happy about having new things to play with. We had a really great Christmas break, I mean "winter break". The kids played and played with all the new things and each other, we went to Wannado City twice before they closed their doors for good (sad), we went to a fun birthday party, Erin had a sleepover, we went to see Tangled at the drive-in (the kids' first time), we went to an adult only Christmas party, a Christmas Eve party, a friend's house for Christmas day and topped it off with a great New Year's Eve party at another friend's house complete with games, food and fireworks. We are so grateful to have such great friends that invite us places or we may never do anything fun. For New Year's Alex and Marissa crashed on the couch and didn't even budge when 20+ people were loudly ringing in the new year with noisemakers and all, Connor screamed with all the ruckus, Erin was outside playing with her friend and I got to kiss my love. Happy New Year! We hope this one will be a good one too.