Monday, November 2, 2015

My Four Year-Old

I am way behind on this blog... my daughter turned four on October 5.  She is such an amazing soul.  I took the day off work so I could hangout with her.  My husband took the day off too.  Hers is the first birthday that has been celebrated in our family since I started working full time.  Thus, the lateness of this blog.

For her birthday, she wanted Minnie Mouse cupcakes.  I went to the store, and brought her with me.  She decided she needed a birthday outfit.  After much persuasion, and it being her birthday, she got the birthday day outfit.  It was a Dora outfit.

My 11 year-old was in charge of making the cupcakes.  She wanted polka dot cupcake liners, white frosting and regular sized Oreo's and mini Oreo's.  The minis were going to be used for the ears.  The regulars were crushed up and put on the white frosting.

When I finally found the cupcake liners, they were right next to Minnie Mouse cupcake decorations.  I was once again persuaded to buy those.  Some were the sugar decorations that you can eat... It ended up being that you didn't want to eat those.  I guess they were really hard.  My daughter did make some of the Minnie Mouse cupcakes she was planning to with the Oreo's.

Her gifts were a "Frozen" bean bag chair, a toothbrush and toothpaste (which she really wanted), and a bicycle.  The look on her face when she got the bicycle was priceless... The YouTube video is below:

She goes to daycare now since my husband and I both work.  That night, she helped me get her cupcakes ready to bring to daycare.  She helped me get the decorations on them and then put Oreo ears on them.  She was so proud of the creation :)

She enjoys being with her siblings.  She loves to get to play with them.  She loves bath time.  She loves noodles.  She loves peanut butter.  She loves ice cream.  She enjoys getting to do crafts with her big sister.  She would prefer to be a nudist.  Given any chance, she takes on that role.

Nap time seems to be a thing of the past now, unless she is sick, or I get really lucky.  Then there are the days when she wants to go to sleep at 7 PM and I have to convince her that it isn't a good idea.  Mostly because I don't want to wake up at 4 or 5 AM.  Those hours and I are not friends.

She has a gorgeous smile.  She decided that she likes short hair.  She never liked having it brushed, and the short hair makes her happy.  I had decided that I could handle an A-line cut.  When I walked in and the instructor (we go to a cosmetology school) suggested a Pixie cut, I had lost the war.  She had been asking for a Pixie for weeks beforehand.  It looks good on her, but I have to admit that it seriously took time getting used to.

Her eyes change color.  Some days they are a really dark blue, some days they are a lighter blue and some days they even look brown.  My eyes are the same way, but they go from brown, to hazel, to green.  I have a brother whose eyes go from blue to gray.  I think it is pretty cool.

She loves watching YouTube.  She likes Masha and the Bear, or Lalaloopsy toys.

I am certainly blessed to have this little four year-old.  She keeps me young, along with her siblings.

She had a wonderful birthday!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Eleven Years Ago - April 30

April 30 is a wonderful day in our family.  It is the day we welcomed our first daughter, shortly after noon.  She has been such a blessing to our family.

She has always been an extrovert.  We would go to softball games, a couple of hours away, and she would have friends within minutes that she would play with all day long (or until the tourney ended for our team).

She has always had a strong will.  She knows what she wants and she goes after it.  She sets goals to complete and she completes them.  She may get frustrated but there have not been many times that the goal wasn't completed in the time frame she had set.

This year, for her birthday, she chose to go to the Asian Buffet in our area.  She is big fan of sushi.  I can't eat much they have to offer, so I just sat and watched. but I couldn't miss being at her birthday dinner with her!

For her birthday gift, she wanted a mani-pedi.  She got one on Saturday, when there would be enough time to fit it in to the day.  She ended up with pink and black (every other toe) toenails and her fingernails have plants on them, with a black background.  They look really cute.

I bought cupcakes and popcorn.  We rented the third Night at the Museum.  We popped popcorn and watched some of the movie.  We didn't start it until pretty late, because we had to go to JoAnn Fabrics to get stuff to decorate teachers' doors for Teacher Appreciation week.  She spent a couple of weeks figuring out how she wanted to do each one.  We had three doors to do.

I am so incredibly thankful for that little girl!  She makes me smile.  She is so good at crafts.  She is a great singer.  She enjoys doing theater.  She loves learning.  She is a great daughter and sister.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bump, Stitches, Headaches, Sinuses and Cerebral Spinal Fluid

This has been an interesting couple of weeks.  About 7 weeks ago, I brought my three youngest children to the doctor.  It turned out that my youngest had strep throat.  My next youngest had symptoms of strep, but ended up not having it.  At the appointment though, the doctor was concerned about a bump on his neck that had been growing.  She referred me to get an appointment with a dermatologist.  My daughter had been having horrible headaches, so she wanted us to get her in for a brain MRI in six weeks. 

Last Monday (the 6th), my 7 year-old son had athe bump on his neck removed.  I am the mommy.  I stood there and held his hands, as I stood by his feet, the whole time staring directly at the ground.  My three year-old was in the room too.  She came up and got between my chin and my feet and watched the whole surgery.  She was completely intrigued.  I am not sure exactly what she saw, because if I would have looked, I would have passed out immediately.  I know myself well enough to be able to say that.  He got two stitches in his neck.  She watched that too. 
The bump on his neck
My toddler wanted a photo of her neck taken also.  So, I took a picture of her neck, to appease her.

Her neck
I got the report back a few days later that it was a benign cyst.  That is always good news to hear the word "benign" or "negative" when coming from a doctor and discussing something that had been removed from the body.  I was never a fan though, when I was hoping to be pregnant, and I would hear the words "negative."  That seems like the only time when "negative" coming from the doctor, was actually negative news for me.  He does seem to be allergic to bandages though.

Stitches and allergic reaction to bandage
My 10 year-old has been suffering from headaches for several months now.  Recently, they started getting so bad that the light and noise affected her to the point of tears.  It was then that I decided to have her looked at by the doctor.  We were told to do a food journal, make sure she is hydrated and get her an MRI in six weeks.  Well, six weeks was this Monday (Apr 13).  She had her MRI. 

Going into the MRI
I have had an MRI before.  I had to take Valium before going in the tube.  I am not a fan of them, but I know they are necessary at times.  She was perfectly fine with it.  They gave her goggles that played a movie for her.  She chose "The Hunger Games."  I think the MRI wasn't long enough for her.  She would have preferred to watch the whole movie.

I was told that we should have the results by Wednesday.  The doctor was only in her office half a day on Wednesday, so we got the results on Thursday.  She has fluid in her sinuses which is usually a sign of a viral or bacterial infection.  The doctor gave her a prescription for zithromax to see if that helps.

She also has a spot where the cerebral spinal fluid in her brain is dilated more than average for someone her age.  The doctor doesn't seem too concerned about it because there is not a mass that is causing this.  She said it is an incidental finding, as this shouldn't be what is causing the headaches.  The MRI is going to be repeated in nine months to see if there has been any change. 
Getting the movie goggles on

I have told myself that I am not going to "WEBMD" what this could be.  It seems that only comes up with horrible things.  I don't want to see horrible things, especially when it very likely nothing. 

My 7 year-old got his stitches out yesterday.  It seems that the removal was more painful than having them put in.  He was brave about it though. 

I am hoping that my visits to the doctor are about over for my children.  If the medication doesn't help her headaches, she will be referred to a neurologist.  I am guessing she just suffers from migraines.  They seem to run in my family.  :( 

I am hoping and praying that the headaches subside and she doesn't need to go to a neurologist.  We shall see!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy 12th Birthday!

I don't know where I was 12 years ago on Saturday, or 12 years ago next Saturday.  I do know that 12 years ago last night, I went to the hospital to have my pregnancy induced because I had too much amniotic fluid.  Who knew there was such a thing?! 

Anyway, I gave birth to my little guy 12 years ago today, well, tonight actually.  He ended up being an emergency c-section.  I was so blessed to have given birth where I did, because there was a NICU right next to the operating room.  I think this saved my little guy's life.  I knew something was wrong immediately, because all the shows I watched, the mother always got to see the baby after birth.  This was very different.  I had never seen them grab the baby and run out of the room.  This is what happened though, in real life, for me. 

I had just had major surgery.  All I kept saying was "Keith, you need to find out what is going on.  You need to find out what is wrong with the baby!"  It seemed like a lifetime and no one told me what was going on.  Perhaps, because they weren't quite sure what was happening or what the outcome would be.  My baby wasn't breathing.  They had some work to do to change that, but they did change that. 

They came out, after that lifetime, and asked Keith if he wanted to go see his baby.  He looked at me, knowing I had just had major surgery, and I said "Yes!"  Off he went!  After they finished getting me stapled up and stabilized, they started wheeling me out of the operating room.  As they were wheeling me out, Keith came out with this little bundle, completely wrapped up from head to toe, except for his face. 

The tears started streaming, and I uttered, "Hi, I am your mommy!  I love you!"  He was so white and so tiny.  I was not permitted to hold him.  I couldn't count his little fingers or toes.  I just remember how white he was.  I blamed it on the fact that Keith and I are both quite pale.  I didn't realize that it was because he hadn't been breathing.  I didn't learn this fact until later. 

He stayed in the NICU for four days.  Thankfully, I was in the hospital the same amount of time.  I was finally allowed to hold him at about 3 AM when I could make the trip to the NICU.  Before that, I had my husband go and take pictures and count his little fingers and toes.  That was how I saw my baby for the first several hours of his life.

I have been blessed everyday since then to have such a wonderful young man for a son!  There hasn't been a day in the past 12 years where he hasn't made me smile.  He is an amazing big brother.  He always has been.  He became a big brother at 13 months and 13 days.  He can not remember his life without being a big brother.

He will get the Aaronic Priesthood in our church on Sunday.  He will be able to start going to the temple to do baptisms after that.  He is very excited about both things.  He is a good helper around the house.  He is sensitive and loving.  He never wants to cause anyone sadness.  I was truly blessed by this fellow choosing me to be his mommy! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

This year I made a few New Year's Resolutions, but I neglected to blog about them.  I decided that I was not going to make any "lose such and such amount of weight" resolutions.  I want to get in better shape, I don't care about my weight.  I guess that isn't completely true, I do care, but I figure if I am getting into shape, the rest will fall into place itself.

First of all, I decided a few months ago that by the end of this year, I would do a chin up...unassisted.  My upper body has always been weaker than my lower body, well, at least since adulthood.  I remember when I was younger I could beat boys at arm wrestling...

Friday, Jan 17, we got a membership to your local fitness center in the area.  They have a couple swimming pools, an indoor track, cardio machines and weight training area.  This past week, on Thursday, my husband and I went and did some weight training.  I managed to bench press 65 pounds.  I thought my husband was going a little loco when he suggested that, I thought the bar would be enough since I hadn't done any real weight training in almost four years.  I did three sets of eight with 65 pounds.  I have to say I was proud of myself :)  Then I did bicep curls.  The first set was 8 pounds, 12 times. Then 12 pounds, 12 times.  Then my husband thought I should go to the assisted pull up machine.  I took 112.5 pounds off of my weight, and I did three sets of six chin ups.  Then I did, two sets of eight dips at that weight and then one set of five at 93.5 lbs.  I have been sore for a few days now, but I feel great (if that makes any sense).  

Another resolution was to exercise 3 to 5 times per week for 20 minutes or more each time.  We have been swimming a few times since we got the membership.  It is a nice place to bring the kids to swim.  I need to sign my three year-old up for swimming lessons.  She is doing better being in the water, but she still has some fears I need to figure out how to help her overcome.  My daughter, and another person and her two daughters have been training for a 5K with me.  We started on Wednesday.  Before that, I was still making sure to get in my 20 minutes or more.  This structure is helping.  My children love going to the fitness center, so it makes it a lot easier.

The next thing I did was give up ice cream.  I had my last bowl on New Year's morning.  It was the rest of the Turkey Hill Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream in the house.  I even took a picture of it before I ate it.  My addiction to ice cream has probably contributed to a few several of the unwanted pounds I am hauling around.

My last bowl of ice cream for 2015...taken 1/1/2015
I have not had another bowl of ice cream since then.  I haven't even really been tempted.  It might be due to the fact that after I ate it, I prayed that I would have help not eating ice cream for the rest of the year.  Heavenly Father does answer prayers, and sometimes you know He has a sense of humor in the way that He answers.  By the end of the night, I was puking out of both ends (as one of my friends phrased it).  Sorry, about all the information, but what better way for me not to want to eat ice cream, for quite a while!  

I resolved to plan meals ahead of time.  I have not done too well at that.  Although, I do know what we will be eating a couple of times this week, although I don't know what days.  I need to do better about that one!

I resolved to learn to cross-stitch.  I haven't started that yet, although I bought all the materials for the item I wanted to cross-stitch.  Then my daughter taught me how to crochet.  I am working on a blanket that might take me the whole year to do.  It is BYU-Provo's colors.  My daughter (she is 10) thought a good size would be 400 links.  I think this will be a California king size blanket.  Oh well...our bed is a queen, but it wouldn't hurt to have something that the whole family can sit on the couch and cover up under while watching a movie!

I also like to make spiritual resolutions.  As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we get callings.  We don't get paid for doing the service we provide.  Currently, I am one of the librarians. I have been a primary teacher, scout leader and Relief Society teacher in the past.  I want to be there to fulfill my calling as one of the Ward Librarians.  This entails making copies as requested, giving out pictures, chalk and erasers, etc.

Another resolution is to go to the temples more often.  Before I became a mother, I would go much more frequently than I do now.  I want to change that.  There is a peace that is felt at the temple, where I know that I am doing things to help others.  I feel like it is a time when all my stress is left outside and I can concentrate on serving others.

Ogden Utah Temple
I am already thinking about New Year's Resolutions for next year.  I didn't think of them in time for this year.  I think that the ones I have this year will help with next year's resolutions a lot though.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christmas Eve Came and Went Again

This year for Christmas Eve, we drove to Rock Springs, Wyoming, to have lunch with my sister and her son.  It was a nice trip and I am thankful that there was somewhere we could meet and have lunch.  We ended up at Golden Corral.  They do have pizza on their buffet, so it wasn't like we went against the pizza on Christmas Eve tradition.  I just couldn't eat it, since it wasn't gluten free.

The three of us girls were together again.  I enjoy getting to have these times with my sisters.  Even if it is for just an hour or so, it is definitely worth the time.  One of my sisters lives with me, her husband had to work, so she rode with us.  She sat in the back with the children and got to play referee.

After we had lunch, we headed to a music store.  My daughter has wanted a guitar for a while now, and they were having good deals there.  She didn't have enough money for one, or any money for one, so she borrowed it from her brothers.  She agreed to pay them back.  So far, the only hitch is, she isn't allowed to play it until it is paid for.  She is really happy with it though.  It is purple, which isn't a surprise!

After going to the music store in Rock Springs, it was time to say goodbye to my sister and my nephew.  I always hate the goodbyes, but it is definitely worth it to see them.

My husband took the kids to see Big Hero 6 when we got home.  I stayed home with my toddler, because she isn't a big fan of sitting in movie theaters.  I also had some things to do around the house before Santa came.  Santa comes on Christmas Eve in our house.  My sister and her husband also stayed home.

My husband called when they were on their way back from the theater, so my toddler, sister, bro-in-law and I could go walk around the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights so Santa could come. My daughter loves looking at Christmas lights.  It was a beautiful night.  While we were out, we saw a TV by the curb saying that it was free, and that it works, so I remembered where it was so we could go claim it if it was still there, after opening gifts.

This was taken a few days before Santa came.  There were a lot of gifts under there.  My seven year-old exclaimed it was the best Christmas ever.   I was happy that he felt that way.  Opening gifts on Christmas Eve, gives us the time to remember why we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day.

My sister made all the children blankets.  Our puppy always loved laying on the blankets, so it wasn't too shocking to see this under the tree later that evening.

I am so blessed to have my children.  We enjoyed Christmas Day with my sister and her husband, and my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew.  It was a nice day with them.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My Youngest Son Turned Seven - Dec 20 and Lost His First Tooth - Dec 30

Where has the time gone?!  He was my only child that was born in NY.  We are once again in Utah.  He is my little blonde hair, blue-eyed fellow.  He reminds me a lot of one of my brothers, both personality and looks.

He had planned what he wanted to do for his birthday for months.  He wanted to go to Wingers, which is a restaurant in the area, that gives you all the popcorn you can eat.  I think that is what drew him in!

He started to ask to open his gifts the day before his birthday, because it was "just one more day."  I kept telling him he had to wait until his birthday.  I got woken up very early by him so he could open his presents.  I told him he would open them later, after his cupcakes and cookies had been made.  He wasn't horribly amused with that idea.  I remember being a kid though!

That morning, the kids went over to one of our family friends so Keith and I could get some things done around the house, before the party time started.  Keith then picked them up and we met my sister and her husband at Wingers for lunch.  Their gluten-free fryer was down, so they let me have all the salad I wanted for $2.  I had two plates of it.  Thankfully, I love salad!  The birthday had chicken, and all the popcorn he could eat.  They also brought him a huge slice of mint chocolate chip ice cream pie.  He shared it with everyone!

His uncle and his dad then had to run down to Salt Lake to take care of some business.  When they got home, we sang happy birthday and he opened gifts.  I had bought birthday wrapping paper, because I didn't want to wrap his stuff in Christmas wrapping paper, just because we had some.  I got a couple of pictures with my phone, but the rest are on a camera and I don't have access to it to get them off right now.

His big gift was a remote control car and a game called Tenzi, which is dice.  He got a few other smaller things.  He was elated!

In the past year, he started first grade.  He has learned how to read a lot better.  He knows how to cook scrambled eggs, and enjoys doing it.  He loves Monopoly.  He enjoys playing with our dog, Hazel.  Him and his brother share a room and have bunk beds.  They still haven't quite come to terms with which bunk is whose.  They will switch whenever they feel like it.

He loves doing yardwork a lot more than housework.  He will be the first one out there to pull weeds or shovel snow.  He helped to turn the soil in the garden with the shovel.

He loves playing with his siblings.  He has an amazing smile and a good sense of humor.  He hates to get his haircut!  His request for his birthday meal was turkey roast.  We had that the next day, since he didn't give me the request til about 6 pm, and we wouldn't have been eating til after 9 since I would have had to go buy it.

He lost his first tooth on Dec 30.  My sons hold on to their baby teeth, in their mouth, for as long as possible.  He was so excited to finally lose a tooth, so the tooth fairy could come!  He is like me when it comes to getting adult teeth, his adult tooth was growing in behind the baby tooth.

I am so blessed to have this little fellow for a son!

My Toddler Turned Three - October 5

First of all, my toddler turned three on Sunday, October 5.  She wanted to go feed ducks, so we did that.  She is quite easy to please!

She got a lot of clothes for her birthday, as she had been growing like a little weed.  She also got a little box with an owl on it, because she loves owls, and Jenga blocks to play with.

That morning we started off by watching General Conference, which is a semi-annual broadcast from our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We then had her open her gifts, for which she was very excited.  She loves the surprise entailed with presents, but I think she would be just as happy if she was opening empty boxes.

We then had lunch and toward evening, when it had cooled off a little, we went to the park where we feed ducks.  After we fed the ducks, we went on a walk around the park.  She got to walk, instead of ride in her stroller, because she wanted to :)

Her request for dinner was chicken and broccoli casserole.  I didn't realize that we didn't have everything for that, so we had that later in the week.

It is so hard to believe that this little one is now three years-old.  By the time she turned three, she started to urinate in the potty.  She has pooped a few times in it, but I still can't convince her to make that a regular practice.  She will bring me a diaper so she can poop.  If I don't put it on her, she will not go, even when her stomach starts hurting really bad.

Her health has seemed to improve, but she still has times when she gets sick out of blue.  She doesn't want to eat during these times which cause me great stress.  We learned that she is allergic to mosquitoes.  Where she gets bit, it swells right up.  At one point, her whole hand was swollen because she was bitten between her pinky and ring finger of her right hand.

She was weaned, cold turkey on August 4.  I think this was harder for me than it was for her.  She took it pretty well.  I was a nervous wreck, because the times she wouldn't eat, at least she would nurse, and I knew she was getting nourishment she needed.

Her hair grew a lot this year.  It is actually long!  She loves owls, as I mentioned before.  Her great-grandma, who she is named after, loved owls too.  It is amazing to me that there is that kind of connection, because I never have had owls around.  When we were visiting my parents in NY, she had owls around, and my toddler immediately started playing with them.

She loved her summer in New York with her grandparents while my foot was broken.  She would spend hours playing outside in their backyard or sitting on the swing.  I am so blessed to have this little girl as one of my children.