Monday, July 1, 2013

One of Those Days

It was one of those days - I felt dead dog tired because Gordon still doesn't sleep through the night.  Never has.  My other two kids had at least done some stretches of sleeping through the night by this age but for some reason this one doesn't want to.  Anyway, he wakes up 2-3 times a night, sometimes more.  I kind of wonder if it might be because of the helmet (we had to get a helmet to help get his head rounded out).  It makes his head hot and sweaty so I think he gets thirsty.

So, he got up at 6:30 AM and I nursed him and he didn't want to go back to bed.  Charlie was up so I put the baby in his pen and ask him to keep and eye on him so I could go back to bed.  Charlie was practising on the piano and said sure.  What a great helper!  I figured it wouldn't be long before Dan was up so that was why I felt okay leaving him in charge.  I'm always torn at this point about whether I should go back to bed or just stay up and get started on my day, but I just felt tired so I thought I'd just go rest a short bit.

Despite the extra rest, I still felt tired and rest of the day seems to float away.  Nothing really got accomplished.  I managed to get some exercise in, though it was interrupted by having to nurse Gordon.  The rest of the day was spent trying to keep the kids from fighting and waking Gordon up during his nap, listening to Charlie complain about being so bored and whine about other things, trying to stay calm as the kids repeat everything I say just to annoy me, etc.  Before I knew it, it was 3 PM.  So, in order to salvage what was left of my day and at least get one thing done, I gathered up the laundry to take downstairs and start a load.  That actually happened after 4:15 PM.  Don't ask me what I did in the intervening hour because I can't remember.  Anyway, it wasn't all bad, we were able to cut up some stars out of construction paper so we could decorate for the Fourth of July.  Ellie was excited about that.  And, we did get to read a book together. 

It was just frustrating to not get much done when I'd made a long list of things that needed to be done that had been on my mind for a while.  I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who has days like this!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Journal

When I graduated from high school, a friend gave me a simple journal made of a three ring binder covered with nice fabric and filled with line paper.  Because of that, when I was in college, I wrote in my journal just about everyday.  Since then, I have always kept a journal but haven't been as consistent about writing in it regularly.  Several years ago, I started writing my journal on the computer because it could be saved forever and took up less space.  The only drawback was that we kept our computers in the basement and I couldn't always get on the computer.  So a year ago,  I signed up for an account on LDSJournal.com which allows you journal from anywhere you can access the internet.  I didn't start really taking advantage of the website until last month when I really started feeling like I wanted to write more about my life and the things happening in our family.  Just in the past two months, I have written a lot more often than I had been writing in any two month period over the past year.

LDSJournal.com is a great website for journaling!  It's not just a place for writing journal entries, there's also a section where you can fill in information about yourself like your birth date, life events, your education, your family, etc.  Every time you start a new entry, there's a prompt/question in case you need help thinking of something to write about.  I feel it's important to write in a journal for many reasons.  A few of the reasons are to remember important events and experiences, to process and deal with hardships, and to see patterns in your life.

One, a journal is a good way to remember your experiences.  While we may think we will always remember the significant events in our lives, we often don't.  For example, when our older son was a baby, I thought I'd never forget every cute little thing he did or milestones he reached but now that we're on our third child, I find myself wondering "when did Charlie start rolling over?"  I am realizing that the older I get, the worse my memory is!

Two, a journal helps you think about your experiences and what they mean to you.  When I have a problem or struggle, I write about it in my journal and just writing it down helps me feel better.  It's like talking to a friend.  I have gone back and read about those hard times and realized that I have grown and learned from those experiences.  Being able to look back through my entries and knowing that I go through the hard times helps me have the strength and confidence to face my current challenges.  Of course, I don't just write about the bad or hard things I have dealt with, I write about the good and happy things too.  One of the main reasons why I started writing more in my journal is to document all the cute things my kids do or say.

Three, a journal helps you to see patterns in your life.  This in a way is related to reason number two - when you write down your experiences, you are able to see a pattern in how you deal with situations.  You can see your strengths and weaknesses.  For me, I can also see how God's hand is evident in the things that have happened to me: How he has helped me during the hard times and how he has led me to where I am today.

This blog is also a journal of sorts but because anyone can see it, I obviously don't write about everything I would write about in my journal.  I would be interested in hearing about your journals and other reasons why people write in journals.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Party Time!

We had quite the celebrations for Ellie's birthday!  On her actual birthday, we made cake and she opened her presents from us.

Fun decorations!

Putting on the candles.

So happy!

Adding sprinkles to the cake.

Yum!
The cake was good!

She wrapped a present for herself!
Presents!

Lite Brite

Scooter!
Then, we had the highly anticipated party with friends.  She loved it!  We had fun playing pin the heart on the giraffes and hitting the pinata.  The Kai Lan cake turned out great!  And, of course, she loved opening the presents.  Best of all, her friends were there to share it all with her!


















Thursday, February 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

This little girl has been looking forward to her birthday for months!  Every time we go to a birthday party, she asks when her birthday will be.  She knows the date, she just didn't know exactly how far away it would be.  She's also been wanting to have her own party and celebrate!  I'm telling you the anticipation has been delicious!  We've talked about it over and over: who she wants to invite (Sadie, Whitney, Ava, etc.), what she wants to do (have a pinata, eat cake, open presents), the decorations (balloons of course!), etc.
Among Ellie's talents is creativity: She made this merry-go-round from tinker toys and a teapot lid.

Ellie is a wonderful little girl.  It's been so fun to watch her grow and see the things she does.  She is happy, creative, strong-willed, persistent, and loving.  I can't imagine life without her!

Somehow we are celebrating Ellie's birthday three days in a row.  Tonight we will have little family thing with a homemade cake and ice cream and do presents from us.  Tomorrow evening, we're going out to eat.  Saturday afternoon is the party with her friends.

Her excitement makes me super excited!  Here's a video of her talking about her birthday.  Happy Birthday, Ellie!!!

video

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Baby Gordon

I can't believe it's been four months since Baby Gordon was born...  We're just barely getting adjusted to having a baby around the house again.  Charlie and Ellie love their little brother and are always giving him kisses.  They seem to have taken this home invasion in stride and haven't shown any signs of resentment that this little bundle has completely taken over our lives.

I've been meaning to sit down and write about the day he was born, something I make an effort to do so I can remember that special day.  I should back up a bit and say that I started feeling pre-labor signs a couple weeks before the due date and was just uncomfortable physically.  It was just difficult to really get much done with all that extra weight and pressure in my belly.  I was tired a lot of the time but didn't sleep very well at night, getting up at least once or twice and then not falling back to sleep easily.  Needless to say, not much got done around the house and what got done took a long time.  I tried to stay with our daily routine as much as possible so we still got together with friends and do the things we like to do such as story time at the library or going to the park.  I was still swimming a few days a week - although the day before the birth, I just didn't feel like it was a good idea so I didn't go.

Friday night, September 21st, I went to bed early because Dan suggested that it would be good to get some rest since the baby could decide to come any minute.  He couldn't have been more right - at about 12:30 AM, I woke up feeling intense contractions.  I got up and used the bathroom.  I tried to relax and timed the contractions.  After a while, the contractions weren't going away and seemed to get stronger so I told Dan we better get ready to go.  I called the after hours line for the on-call ob and she called back a few minutes later.  After I told her about the intensity and frequency of the contractions she told me to meet her at the hospital.  Now I wish I wrote about this earlier because I'm trying to remember the details.  My water broke while at home; I was in our sunroom addition where I was gathering my stuff for the hospital bag.  I remember grabbing a towel that was on one of the chairs.  Dan called a couple of people.  The main person we had lined up to watch the kids didn't answer so we called another friend.  She couldn't come but said she could send over her 18-year old son.  We hurried into the garage and his car.  He was very calm but I was in a lot of pain so I kept telling him to hurry.  We parked the car in the parking garage and walked to the elevators to go to the first level registration area, but signs posted directed us to go to the ER entrance which required us to walk outside some distance.  When we finally got into the ER reception area, the attendant helped us to the registration area.  I opted to sit in the wheel chair on the way because walking was too uncomfortable.

I thought the registration process took too long because I had already pre-registered the week before.  After about 5 minutes, we were directed to go upstairs where a nurse greeted us and helped us into a labor and delivery room.

Everything progressed rather quickly.  They asked about whether I wanted an epidural which I said I did and told them the anesthesiologist I wanted.  They refused to call him because he was not on-call.  I was upset about that but there wasn't anything I could do about it.  In any case, it ended up not mattering because there was no time for an epidural.  We'd gotten to the hospital around 1:30 AM and the baby was born at 2:24.  The ob arrived just barely before the birth.



The first few minutes after birth.

As you can see, everyone's happy he's finally here!

Our sweet little family.
Oh, here's something funny...  Since we'd bought a minivan a few weeks before Gordon was born, we decided to sell my car.  It was actually kind of sad for me because it was the car I bought after graduating from college.  I'm just glad I sold it to a friend, a girl I used to babysit!  And, of all days, she came all the way from Utah to pick it up on this day.  It was fun to see her and her sister and to have them meet Baby Gordon!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Updates

(Note: After reading the original version of this post, I decided to edit it.  I'm trying to improve my writing and I realized that I could do better.  Sorry if you got the email version of this and are reading it again!)

Party Supply Order

I promised to give an update on my order from Birthday Party Direct.  We received the package on Tuesday, so it took them less than three business days to get it to me!  That's very good service!  My only complaint is that the edible image for the cake was smaller than I'd expected.  Ellie was super excited when the package came and we opened it.  She wanted to blow the balloons up right then and there.

My Wrists

My wrists seem to be holding up under the increased activity I've been doing.  I do feel some discomfort sometimes but so far it hasn't been too bad.  I am hopeful that this trend continues.  It's hard to know how things will progress because it's only been a few days that I've had to be on my own so far.  So, I'm still careful but I am doing quite a bit more because when you're a mom, there's no end to the work to be done.

Near the end of the day yesterday, I felt just a tiny bit of pain in the left wrist.  However, it went away this morning.  Today I did more than usual because a friend was coming over to watch Ellie and Gordon so I could go pick up my son from school and I didn't want her to see what a disaster my house was!  I tidied up the kitchen and dining areas and living room and also folded and put away some laundry. It wasn't spotless but it was a lot better than before.  Why is it that we women want to make it seem like our homes are always clean when they're not?  Anyway, it felt good to get some work done.  Before I had this problem, I used to complain about doing dishes or other chores but now I am grateful to be able to do those things.  I guess it's all comes down to your perspective!  Funny how one starts to appreciate certain things when one does not have them anymore.

Gordon

This sweet baby boy is the joy of our lives.  Each member of our family loves him to pieces!  I love watching Dan and our two kids interact with him.  Seeing him always brings a smile to everyone's face.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Review of Party Supply Websites

Per my post yesterday about Coming Back to Blogging, I will be doing reviews of things that interest me and may interest others as well.  The kick that off, I am writing my first review this year.

My daughter's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks.  Like most little kids, she loves birthday parties so of course I have to throw her one.  The first thing we did was decide on a theme: Ni Hao, Kailan!  If you don't know about Kailan, you are missing out!  I wrote about this cute show several years ago.

I looked everywhere in Cheyenne for Kailan-themed party supplies but no stores carried them.  Obviously, Kailan is not popular here!  So I had to look online and luckily I found tons of websites that sold Kailan stuff.  Yeah!

(This is an independent review.  I was not compensated in any way for writing this review.)

I had to order from two different websites to get all the stuff I wanted.  Party City had the dragon pinata and better prices on the invitations and table cover.  Birthday Party Direct had the cake decorating kit and everything else.  I'm getting the cake decorating kit because the store I'm ordering the cake from does not have the kit for Kailan.

Both websites were pretty easy to navigate and offered free shipping.  Birthday Party Direct required a minimum purchase of $40 for the free shipping but Party City's minimum was only $20.  My order for Party City was made last Wednesday evening and the stuff came this Wednesday so it only took four business days to get here.  I just made my order from Birthday Party Direct yesterday so the verdict is still out on their delivery time.

After ordering, both websites asked me to fill out a survey on my shopping experience, which I did.  The surveys were run by a third-party website, BizRate.  At the end of Birthday Party Direct's survey, I was offered free subscriptions to four magazines worth $100 magazine which required me to pay a $2 processing fee per subscription.  I was also entered into a drawing for $20.

Come back to read follow-up post on how Birthday Party Direct does on delivery time!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Day at a Time

Early this morning, my sister left.  For the past few weeks she's been helping me take care of the kids and home.  To say that I'm grateful for her help would be an understatement.  I really don't know how I could've survived without her.

I am trying to avoid the painful tendonitis (officially known as de Quervain's tenosynovitis, aka mommy wrist) I get after having every baby.  Because this is my third baby, I am being extra vigilant about prevention.  Instead of waiting for the symptoms to appear we are trying to head off the problem by wearing my wrist braces, taking anti-inflammatory medication, and by limiting the amount of lifting I do.

Right after Gordon was born, Dan took a week off of work to help with the baby and around the house.  That wasn't just helpful because of my wrists but also for my recovery.  The week after that I was on my own and the following week my mom came to help.  She stayed almost two months until the week after Thanksgiving.  That was a lifesaver!  Even while she was here, I felt the symptoms start to crop up but because of her help, they didn't flare up into full-blown tendinitis.  The day after she left, one of the young women from church started coming to help me until the Friday before Christmas.  Then, we went on vacation to visit family for the holidays.  Fortunately, after we got back from our trip, my sister was able to come help.  I'm really grateful that at each juncture I was able to get the help I needed.  Until now.

Today was really hard day physically and emotionally.  In the past few days I have started feeling some pain in my wrists, probably due to my doing a bit more because I felt like I could and due to my being less vigilant about taking the medication.  So for the first time in a few weeks I was on my own with the four-year-old and the baby all day.  Gordon was more fussy than usual, it seemed.  I felt sad that my sister had left.  The reality of my situation set in and I just felt so alone.  I wondered how I would be able to get through the next few days, weeks, and months until my wrists finally recover and I can finally resume my normal activities without fear of pain.

I know I am not the only person to suffer pain or struggle with things not turning out the way I want.  Even though I've already been where I am before it's still hard to face this trial.  I still need to ask for help, both from God and from those around me.  That is also a hard thing to do.

I find comfort in knowing that I have survived this before and that I will eventually get through this again.  I just hope that this time around things won't take as long to get better.

Coming Back to Blogging

I've been trying to get back into blogging and am finally feeling up to it.  This year I will be trying to post more frequently so be on the lookout for at least one post a week.  I hope you will comment on the posts and look forward to getting better at blogging!

There will be a couple of changes to this blog.  I will still blog about things happening in my life only more frequently.  I will also be blogging about things I'm interested in, such as my hobbies and things I find useful in my life.  So you'll see reviews about products and things that I like.  I hope these reviews will be helpful.  I will always disclose about the products, such as whether I receive compensation for reviewing them.  I expect that most of the time I will be reviewing products independently because I want to be unbiased in my opinions. That way, readers know what I really think and what I actually use.