Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In a Nutshell

This has been quite the year.  On February 14, I found out that I was pregnant.  I was 4 weeks pregnant, and I had suspected I was pregnant for about 2 weeks.  I was generally just not feeling good but no pregnancy test would come back positive that early.  I was very excited, because I knew that I was supposed to have one more baby.  I was blessed with my daughter's birth on Oct 5.

On Mar 17, my son turned 8.  He was baptized that day.  It was also our last complete day that we would spend in Olean.  We would leave the next day for parts unknown... it was supposed to be NV, but we ended up in UT.  I believe this is where we are supposed to be.  My husband loves his job here and my sister loves her job, and I loved my job.  I made some very good friends while I was working, people I hope to always have in my life.  I am currently self-employed, working from home doing orders for the company I used to work for.

When we arrived in Utah, my other brother-in-law and sister-in-law opened their house to us and let us stay until we found a place to live.  It took us a few days, but we did it.  It was very kind of them to do this for us.  When we were moving from NY, my sister asked me what I was looking most forward to, I said meeting my sister-in-law and my new nephew. 

We moved into our apartment on Mar 24.  We had many people help us, people that we didn't even know.  People from the Church ward we would be attending helped us out, even though we had never met.  It was wonderful the service that was given.  We have wonderful people in our ward.  We live in a 3rd floor apartment.  If I had been thinking, I would have insisted on a 1st floor, because I worry about the children falling over the balcony or something.  I know, I have anxiety issues.  The children aren't allowed on the balcony.

On Apr 30, my daughter turned 7.  We had my brother-in-law and sister-in-law as well as their children over to celebrate with us.  We had done a combined party for my 7 and 8 year-old before we moved, so they could enjoy their birthday with their friends back east.

I started feeling like I had bug bites in mid June.  I was wondering how the mosquitoes got in and why they were choosing me as their prey.  It was about the time that my Mom and my Aunt Georgia came to southern Utah to visit.  We met them down in St George.  We enjoyed a couple days together and then we had to return to where we lived.   It was wonderful to see them again.

I knew by the end of June that something was quite wrong.  I saw a doctor and explained that it was the same thing I had in my last pregnancy.  I had been diagnosed with severe eczema and folliculitis.  The doctor decided I had folliculitis.  He gave me antibiotics.  It continued to get worse.  I finally went to a dermatologist.  He did a biopsy, then another to confirm the first.  I was diagnosed with Pemphigoid Gestationis.   This is a pregnancy rash that occurs in 1 in 50,000 pregnancies.  It is very rare.  I was placed on Prednisone, and I continue to take it now.  When I get to 10 mg, it gets worse again.  I am at 10 mg again now, and am hoping to just continue to survive the itching and it will adjust.  We shall see.

My husband found his current job in mid May.  He interviewed while my sister, my children and I were in Washington state for my brother's 40th birthday.  My husband started work on May 31.  It was a wonderful thing.  I had initially planned to stop working when he started, but I loved my work and my co-workers so I continued to work until 9 days before my baby was born.

My sister, my children and I flew to NY on Aug 11.  They didn't know we were making the flight until the night before we left.  We were surprising everyone at home...except Mom knew.  It was wonderful to get home (to NY) again and see the family.  I will never forget the looks on their faces when they saw us.  Bob gave the children all a really big hug, he was the first one we saw.  Then Dad... then Roland and my nephew... then Jim and Colette.  Susan and Mom picked us up in Cleveland.  That night, the boys softball team had won their division championship.  We missed it by a few minutes.  The next morning Breann came over with my nieces.  We were home for City Cup weekend.  Colette's team won the Women's City Cup.  I was so proud to be there, and Colette did so well... I think she won it for the team.  It was a sad day, Aug 20, when we had to head home.  We drove the van back.  The kids did amazing on the long days in the van.

The children started 2nd and 3rd grade the day after we got home from NY.  They were supposed to start the week before, but we wanted to see the family.  My daughter has the teacher that my son had last year.  She is a wonderful teacher, and my daughter loves her.  She is a wonderful teacher.  I haven't had the opportunity to meet my son's teacher yet, as parent-teacher conference was the week that I had the baby, but she seems to be a caring teacher.

The best thing that happened this year was the birth of my daughter.  She is such a good baby.  All of my children have been.  She was born at 9:46 am, weighing 6 lbs 3 oz and 18.5 inches long.  She was such a tiny little thing.  She has grown so much.  She now smiles at us and is very interactive.  She is on the verge of laughing.  She discovered her feet the other day, which was cute.  She couldn't help but keep looking at them.  She had a zebra outfit on, and each foot had a little zebra on it.  She was really trying to figure it out.  She loves bath time.  She had a bit of the rash transferred at birth, but it cleared up quickly and didn't seem to bother her.

My mom came out to visit from Oct 9 to Nov 2.  It was wonderful to have her here for that long.  We stayed up together and found new shows that we enjoy watching.  "Chopped" and "Sweet Genius" on the Food Network.  "Psych" on USA or Ion.  We also watched a lot of sports, whether it was college basketball, football or the World Series.  Having Mom here made it possible for me to get some much needed sleep.  I think she left here sleep deprived.  She made the children chocolate chip pancakes frequently.  She cleaned my house.  She drove me and the children around.  She cooked for us.  It was so hard to say goodbye to her again.

For Halloween, my 8 year-old was Mario, my 7 year-old was an Indian Princess, my 3 year-old was a bumble bee, my newborn was an angel, and my husband was dressed in the outfit they gave him to come in the c-section room with me.  I was just me.  I don't get dressed up.  We went to a trunk-or-treat... I left the baby with my mom.  We gave out 3 Musketeers, Kit-Kats, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and Tootsie Rolls.  When those were gone, we came home and the children went out and I stayed with Mom and the baby.

My 3 year-old started school on Nov. 2.  He has wanted to start school since he was 2.  It was a great day for him.  He loves school and always wants to go.  He isn't a huge fan of the Christmas break.  He got a Toy Story backpack.  He loves that he gets a snack at school.

We had our first snowfall of the fall on November 5.  It was quite substantial.  I had to clean off the car before I went to pick up my sister from the airport, as she had spent the week up in Washington watching my brother's children.  We haven't had much snow this fall/winter...knock on wood.  Hope it stays that way.  I am no fan of snow.  It was in the 40s for Christmas :) 

We spent Thanksgiving at home.  My husband had to work, so we ate when he got home.  He brought my kids to my in-laws for dessert and my sister and I had a piece of pie at home.  Somehow I managed to lose weight the week of Thanksgiving.  I am doing Weight Watchers currently.  We will see next week how Christmas and New Years fared on the waistline.

My youngest son turned 4 on Dec 20.  We got him a cake, hot dogs and chips the Saturday before.  He wanted his cake to have Gummy Bears and eyeballs.  We got a cake that had a poinsettia flower on it (the eyeball) and bought gummy bears and put them on the cake.  On the 20th, we brought them to an indoor playground and had pizza and pop.

For Christmas Eve, we did the traditional stuff.  My sister and husband brought the kids to see "The Adventures of Tin-Tin."  I stayed home with the baby.  She had been up til 4 am.  Then we went and ate pizza at NYPD pizza and went and looked at Christmas lights.  Santa came while we were gone.  The children opened all their gifts.  They appreciated everything they got. 

My brother-in-law brought my nieces over on Christmas.  It was wonderful to see them.  My 14 year-old niece loved to hold the baby.  She is very good with her.  I could not believe how much the girls have grown up.  They are wonderful young women.  The 9 year-old niece did very well playing (wrestling) with my 4 year-old.  I kept telling him to leave her alone, but she said she didn't mind.

On my birthday, we went out to a Mexican restaurant.  It was tasty.

Tonight we plan to celebrate New York New Years.  I don't want to keep the children up til midnight.  We will have shrimp, fudge, cheese, crackers, cheese ball, M&M's, and sparkling grape juice.

The worst thing in 2011 was needing to say goodbye to my family.  Many of them planned to move out here this year, but they are having a hard time selling their houses.  The economy is horrible.  I look forward to all of us being together again!

I hope that everyone had a great 2011... and that 2012 is even better!  Tomorrow I will be listing my New Year's Resolutions.

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