Friday, June 10, 2011

A Morning to Remember

Ever have one of those days when you say to yourself, "Really? Is this really happening to me, today of all days, right now of all times??" Well we had one of those days today. Actually, looking back on it, it's quite funny to tell the truth.

Today we were all pumped and ready to get out of town and head to San Diego to taste the sweet Cali sun and celebrate at my brother Joe's wedding. I had a fairly normal night (as far as nights with nursing babies go) and only noticed a very minor oddity in how I felt as I went back to sleep around 2:30 am. I had to pee. I know you're going, "Why would that be odd? Hello!! Everybody has to pee in the middle of the night sometimes!" But you see I had just gone to the bathroom before having the feeling again. I didn't think too much of it except that it was a little weird.

I go back to sleep (sort of) for the next hour and my alarm goes off at 3:45 am. I get up and get ready to go to the airport and notice I still have that feeling. So I try and.....nothing. I think, "Huh, that's weird." I ask Nate what he thinks of it and he tells me it's a sign of an infection sometimes. My "oh-that's-not-it-because-we're-going-on-vacation" self completely denies that possibility so I continue to pack and get ready to go.

After getting in the back of the car with the kids and heading on our way (with Valerie - Nate's mom - so she can drive our car back home), I start getting an annoying pain in my lower left back. The onset was almost instantaneous and the pain wasn't going away no matter how I shifted. I said something about it out loud and Valerie says that dreaded word that Nate spoke earlier, "infection." No, no, no!! It can't be! I'm supposed to be going on vacation, not getting sick! I'm determined to get there come hell or high water. So we continue on as if nothing is happening.

As soon as we get to the airport, our next challenge presents itself. Emma starts gagging and throws up. I helped to wipe her up and gave her some food as I think she was just very hungry and it was early in the morning. So here's me with a stabbing pain in my back and Emma puking. We hadn't even gotten out of the car to get checked in and Nate goes, "Okay, I give up." But I wasn't about to give up! We get out, get bags and car seats checked and head towards the security line. By this point my pain had definitely escalated. Well we get through security fairly quickly but we notice Carter's wet diaper had leaked and he was wet, Emma was sopping wet from her diaper leaking and her throw up, she's covered in melted chocolate from the granola bar she only half-way ate, and I'm hurting so bad I'm sweating and pacing and cringing with pain. But did that stop us? Of course not!! We headed down the stairs to the train to get to the terminal. The crowd was huge. Needless to say we did not make it on that first train. This kills me because it really hot down there, I feel like throwing up and need to pee, and there were no restrooms in sight. I had to suck it up and wait. We waited for what seemed like forever and finally the next train came. We get in and others get on. The doors began to close and what happens? More people rush onto the train, stopping the doors from closely, and ultimately jamming the doors. Really??? I'm in pain here people!! Get the stupid train going!! After they hand-closed and checked all of the doors, we finally got going. Once we get to the terminal, I book it to the bathroom and puke. That eased my nausea but the pain was still as stabbing as ever. I then finally change Emma and Nate gets Carter changed. That was when I went up to talk to the gate people to see if there were paramedics or nurses they could call to help me. By this point I'm doubled over in pain, about to cry, and feeling worse than I've ever felt before. I hadn't been in that much pain since giving birth. The lady calls the paramedics and I wait for them to show up. People around me are definitely staring and one nice old lady offered to help saying I looked like I was in a lot of pain. I really thought I would faint from the pain.

When the medics got there they put in a wheelchair and sat me in full view of everyone and began to question me. Not sure why they did that, but they finally realized it wasn't very private (after the whole world knew about how I needed to pee but I couldn' and moved me. I'm now calling out in pain and knew I was making a scene. But I did not care. They did tests and got me on a gurney and put me in the ambulance. Unfortunately, Nate and the kids could not ride with me so I had to leave them. I felt so bad for Nate and especially for Carter since he only got a chance to eat for couple of minutes before they took me away. Talk about a worried mom!! Well after a very painful ride to the hospital, lots of questions, tests, and an IV, I finally got the good stuff....morphine. That stuff was heaven for me! I was finally able to relax. Then I got the cat scan and diagnosis....kidney stone. That baby was apparently 5.9 mm, as compared with an average size of 5 mm. The doctor said if it doesn't pass by Monday, I'll have to go in and get it broken up. We shall see! I certainly hope not! But ultimately I was feeling tons better and was completely shocked by the crazy morning I had!

Now you may be wondering, "Are you still going to go to San Diego?" The answer is yes, we are going!! We changed our flight time (which we almost had to pay an extra $400 to do, but got out it thankfully) and are about to head out again for our next try at leaving. Hopefully this try goes a ton better than the last one!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Parenting is to Parenting Books as Reality is to Dreamland

Yesterday I got the notification that my parenting book I had put on hold at the library was ready for pick up. I'm pretty excited about this so I pack the kids in the car, head off to the library, and get my book. When I get home, it's lunch time so while we're eating I start to read. The book: On Becoming Toddlerwise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I started off in the chapter on Conflict, Training, and Correction since this is where I felt I needed the most help. Much of it was smart and intellectually stimulating. I actually found some things that I wanted to try including giving Emma instructions instead of asking her to do things. But overall the big looming, blinking sign hanging over my head as I read was PARENTAL FAILURE. I'm sitting there with my 2 month old in my arms, while trying to eat and read, and trying to keep Emma from standing up in her high chair and throwing her food on the ground. Immediately I sternly say NO and tell her to sit down. It doesn't happen so I tell her again with hand directions this time. Again she doesn't obey and even shakes her head no with a little smirk on her face. So then I grab her arm and bend her legs and force her to sit back down. She screams and throws a small fit, but stays sitting for a bit. I go back to reading and what do I read? Something about not forcing them to do things. BIG check for me. Then I read some more about not using threats or bribes. Uh-oh, check two! So many times I've said, “If you don't do this, you'll go to your room (or get a spanking)!” or “If you do this, Mommy will give you a chocolate (or a snack)!” Oh boy....having gotten mostly through the chapter I think to myself, “Do I really want to read this??” The rest of the day I try out some of the things in the chapter like saying “look at Mommy” first before giving her a direction or putting her in isolation when she disobeys. She obeyed me a little more I would say. In fact when she didn't pick up the kitchen utensils she threw on the ground when I asked her three times (I even looked her in the face and got her full attention on the items and she still ignored my directions), I put her in her room and wouldn't let her out until she stopped crying a bit. I opened the door and told her to say sorry to me then gave her a hug. But she seemed really anxious to get around me and go somewhere. I decided to let her go where she was going and immediately she went downstairs. I listened to drawers open and items clunking together. I then went down to see what she had done. I was surprised to see she had gone down to do exactly what I had wanted her to do just a few minutes before. She put the utensils away! She knew what I was asking of her and was deliberately disobeying at first. There was no misunderstanding there. But she discovered that when disobeying meant being locked in her room, she knew she had to hurry to complete the task so that she wasn't in there anymore. Smart girl! That encouraged me a bit, so I thought, “Hmmm, maybe I should keep reading that book." Day two. Today. I finally got both kids asleep and decided to eat lunch and read again. This time I begin on the chapter called Structuring Your Child's Day. Here's where things really began to make me feel awful. Practically everything I was doing in this area according to these authors was wrong. Now, I know that parenting books aren't all correct and that every situation is different. I know that doctoral authors are not know-it-alls even though they think they are. So this chapter I kind of want to say to them, “Are you kidding me???” They are saying my day should be structured to every 15 minutes or half hour. They say get your kids up at exactly the same time everyday and that a good time is 7 am. Well, buddies, I have a 2 month old baby that goes to sleep at 11 pm gets up at 5 am to eat and a husband that gets up at 6 am to go to work. I want to go back to sleep so that I can keep my sanity, so no I am not going to wake my toddler up if she's still sleeping and I can get some shut eye!! Also, they say there should be all these different kinds of play time, but no where in there did they account for mommy work out time, dishes, laundry, cleaning, phone calls, emails, errands, and other things that have to get done. They also don't know that my child just simply does not do quiet time, unless she's into something she shouldn't. She takes naps, but put Emma on a blanket for 30 minutes to play? Good luck!!! She'd be up and off that in 2 seconds. Don't let her switch toys every 5 minutes? She switches toys every 30 seconds! And how am I supposed to control that when I have a baby to nurse? The evening schedule they have is totally out as well. I teach piano so dinner is at a different time every day depending on when my lessons are. And those switch around so much that it changes week to week even. And apparently I put her to bed too late. That is actually a good thing for me to hear because now I have a good excuse to start putting her to bed earlier and getting some good nightly alone time with my husband. So overall, I am overwhelmed by this chapter. Maybe I'm too selfish and shouldn't be so focused on what I need to get done, but rather what I need to do for my children. But seriously this is too big a bite for me to chew. Maybe I just need to change one little thing at a time. I guess we'll see how this goes. For right now I am going to say to that parenting book, “You live in the parenting dreamland and I live in the parenting reality. Sorry, but I think reality overrules dreamland. Thanks anyways!” :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Month With Two Kids

It has already been a month now that Nate and I have had two kids. Whew! We made it this far! Oh it's not over yet? You mean we still have the rest of their lives??? Shoot...this parenting thing is harder than I thought! Maybe I jumped on the second kid wagon a little too In all seriousness, though, it has been an interesting adjustment to having two kids so close together. I love them both very dearly and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world, but I must say there are times when I think to myself "What have I gotten myself into?!" Thankfully (and equally regretfully), they don't stay little forever.

Carter has done really well for his first month of life and we couldn't have asked for a sweeter, more mellow baby. He sleeps pretty well at night, going 3 or 4 hours at a time before waking up to eat. He also does really well getting his bubbles out, which has made him a very pleasant baby. He seems to be okay not being held 24/7, which helps out a lot with the attention I need to give to Emma. He is growing very quickly and is already out of all the newborn stuff and is into the 0-3 month clothes. According to our scale he is about 11 and half pounds already! He's a strong, growing boy and it makes me sad to see him grow so fast because before I know it he won't be a baby anymore! Carter has also quickly become a mama's boy. I am loving every minute with him and honestly feel so attached! Little boys are so sweet and I have to say you don't know how much joy comes from having a boy until you have one.

As for Emma, she was okay with Carter for the first week or two and then the realization that he's not going away finally hit her. She started purposely trying to push him away from me and doing other pokes and prods that weren't very nice. Her world has officially been turned upside-down. Poor thing!

She is still helpful though, which shows me how sweet she really is inside. She always alerts me when Carter crys with a "Whying!" and a concerned little face that melts your heart. She also loves to give him his blankies and his binkie (while getting a taste And she even helps me pat his back to burp him.

Beyond helping/hurting Carter, Emma has continued to learn and grow. She can repeat words she hears now, even if they sound completely different. She says prayers with Mom's help and can repeat all of the alphabet after me. She can even say BYU now! :) She's gotten really good at certain puzzles and loves to play games on my phone. She is such a smarty and I know it's going to be hard to keep up with her! She's also had her difficult times, throwing tantrums and really disobeying Mom and Dad. I am waiting on a couple parenting books I have on hold at the library because I am completely at a loss for how to deal with her and discipline her sometimes. It's a good thing there are people out there, including Nate and my wonderful mother-in-law, who can and do help out before I completely lose it. I'm also grateful for Sundays now since Emma is finally in nursery and I get a reprieve from her for a couple of hours! Emma transitioned to nursery really well and that has made us really happy. She goes with Meema (Nate's mom) since she is a nursery leader and doesn't even look back. She loves playing with the toys and other kids in there and has kept the nursery leaders on their toes (tee hee...I laugh!). I was told that she has created a new standard for child-proofing the nursery. :) That's my child!

A couple of weeks ago my sister Leah from St. Louis, Missouri flew here to come see us and help out with the kids. It was so nice to have her here! Since my parents are on their mission in Germany, my mom couldn't come out. So she arranged for my sister to come so that she could be her hands. We had so much fun while she was here! We took the kids out so Emma could go play at Kent Commons at Indoor Park. I also took her to Seattle and we saw the Space Needle and the Pike Place Market. Leah had never been so it was cool to show her! We went up to the top of the Space Needle, but unfortunately they don't allow strollers so we each had to carry a kid. Leah took Emma and she definitely had her hands full keeping track of her! Emma was a crack up though because she would just run in circles around the top and since it's a little slanted and puts your equilibrium off, she kept running diagonally into the Leah also bought some fresh fish and produce from the market and made us some awesome fish tacos that night! She is such a great cook and really treated us to some good cooking while she was here! After she left, Nate was like, "Where's Leah to cook us dinner and do the dishes???" She is an amazingly sweet person and we were so grateful to have her come!

So it's been a full, fun, busy month with two kids, but I think we're surviving. I feel like if I can get through this, I can get through anything. Here's to many more months with two (and eventually more) kids!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Carter Joins Our Family

Well I happened to come across this poor, neglected blog and found it hasn't been updated for some time now. I almost forgot we had a blog! I actually remembered when I was reading Elder and Sister Hoggan's blog about their mission adventures in Germany and saw the link to our blog. It might just be old age, but I'd like to blame it on rebuilding my computer and not saving any of my browser favorites. Anyway, the past few months sped by as they always seem to. Christmas was great and it was nice to be able to have our own tree and decorations on the house. Last year we didn't do any of that since we were going to be in Utah with Amy's parents and family. I really enjoyed the time off of work as well.

January was full of busy-ness. Amy had piano lessons as usual and I had work. On top of that, she was working on putting the finishing touches on the Kent Stake's Women's Conference program. She was released from her Personal Progress calling with the YW and called as the ward music chairperson. It was a good switch for her with the arrival of Carter.

On the morning of Jan 27th, Amy began having regular contractions and we began to monitor them. As they increased and became closer together, it became evident that we would be making a trip to the hospital. Shortly after noon, we decided to head in. We checked in at about 3 pm. This time, rather than going 'natural', Amy opted for an epidural. It was so much different than before. We were able to watch movies and relax. I even was able to get some work done that I needed to finish up. (I'm really grateful for a job that allows me to work virtually from home/other locations sometimes). The doctor came in and checked her probably about 6 pm and estimated that the baby would arrive by 9pm that night. I had my doubts about that. However, shortly before 9 pm, Amy was checked again and they said the baby was low enough to be delivered. The nurse called for some additional help to get everything prepped for the delivery and the doctor was alerted. He came in, Amy pushed twice, and Carter was here! I was amazed how easy it was -- last time with Emma was a nightmare that I look back fondly on (pretty weird I know). I was even more amazed that the doctor was almost right on with his prediction -- Carter was born at 9:09 pm. The doctor let me cut the cord, which I find a symbolic gesture and pretty neat.

He didn't cry much. Nurses were trying to clear the fluid out of his nose and mouth. They gently tried to get him to cry to expel that fluid. He finally got enough of a cry to force that fluid out. They cleaned him up a little bit and let Amy hold him. After a while they brought in the scale and got his measurements: 8 lbs 8.4oz and 20" long. He had a healthy color and a healthy bump on his head, caused most likely by the speedy delivery, which I will conveniently be able to tease him about later in life.... such as that he was dropped on his head when he was born.

Amy zonked out shortly thereafter. I was up until around 1:30 am while the nurses kept coming in and doing their checks and the all important first baby bath. After that, I don't remember much. Carter had a really good first night and slept for most of it. We stayed at the hospital the next day and night and came home on Saturday morning. Some of our family and church friends visited us at the hospital. Amy really wanted to go see the conference program which was going on and we debated as we drove down the road. We ended up going to my parents' house and showing Grammee her latest great-grandchild. It was such a relief when we finally made it home. We could sleep and relax and Carter made it very easy for us.

Carter all decked out in his "going home" clothes (above). Us leaving the hospital Sat morning (below).

Emma is adjusting well. The first few days she had the "what is this thing" look on her face but now she always wants to pat him and say hi to him. She had her moments where she wanted to be in mommy's lap while Carter occupied that position but I think she's coming to grips with the reality that Carter is here to stay and she'll have to wait her turn.

We've had a generous showing of support from many friends in the ward, family members, and neighbors for which we are very grateful and appreciative. To all those that helped us in any way, whether it was bringing meals or gifts or just simply saying "congratulations," we wholeheartedly say Thank You!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Haven't Blogged Forever!!

It seems my blog suffers as much as my journal does. It's been neglected for way too long. Since there's too much to post about in detail. I think a short synopsis of pictures is in order.

May 2010

Emma figures out how to twist open my mascara:

Emma showing her posing personality:

Memorial Day at Tahoma National Cemetery and BBQ at our house:

Emma after getting into markers:

The beautiful gold finches in our backyard:

June 2010
We found out we were expecting again! Yay for surprises!

Emma used to get up on the stool and play the piano like she is in this picture. Now she can actually climb on top of the piano! Crazy girl!

Father's Day:

Casey's birthday at Point Defiance Zoo:

Our lovely garden that Nate worked so hard to get put it. This is pre-planting:

July 2010

The ultrasound of our new little baby due February 1st!

Fourth of July:

Family vacation at Lake Chelan, WA:

The lake was freezing and it was really windy, but we got to play in some really awesome waves!

Emma's First Birthday Party. I can't believe she's already one! She's growing up so fast!!

For August I will do a separate post since there's quite a bit to talk about and I only took pictures on my phone instead of our regular camera.