Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 1108: Pink & Purple

Warning:  This is a silly and frivolous post.

I think I may have mentioned that my sweet Sweet P is a self-proclaimed "non-girly-girl".  Don't take this post the wrong way.  I love her.  I love that she is the way she is and is so confident in it.

But, I'm having a lot of fun drenching Darling A in all the girly-ness I possibly can.

So, it is time to get her into a bigger car seat.  I found a great one a while ago, but two days ago when I finally decided to order, I discovered that the one I wanted  (pink and tan) was about $75 more than every other color.


I'm not quite that indulgent, so don't worry.  I moved on.  To the purple and gray model.  And then I had some indecisive issues about some other items I needed/wanted (Amazon has waaaaay to many items and options for indecisive people like me), so I saved my shopping cart.  When I checked it this morning, the purple and gray model was completely out of stock!


But guess what?  They had more by the time I got on my computer this afternoon to finalize the purchase.  And this made me happier than it probably should have.

And the rest of today was pretty good too.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 1107: After The Trial

So, here's the thing:  I like to do my daily prayer/scripture study/journal writing in the morning.  When I do it first thing, the time flies by and it's so much more focused and effective.  When I do it later in the day (if I remember to do it later in the day), I'm distracted by all of the day's demands and struggle to get in even a few minutes.

But---I have to get up by at least 6:30AM to make this happen.  Sometimes, that doesn't feel all that early.  But, I'm still tired from poor sleep for 9 months of pregnancy, followed by being up in the night for the past 7+ months feeding a sweet little baby.  So, when the influenza struck and really messed with my sleep, I temporarily let myself sleep in until 7 every morning.  Fully planning on getting back to the 6:30 wake up ASAP, when I was getting the sleep I need again.  Or, at least something close to it.

But, it's been a full three weeks now.  And I'm still not getting more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep a night.  On top of the night sweats, Darling A has been waking up more frequently at night (she was going all the way to 5:30, or sometimes even 7 AM before her first waking!).  I am so dang tired!

So, every night I would pray that I'd be able to get good sleep so I could finally start waking up at 6:30 again.

Last night I decided that was clearly not the order things were going to happen in.  So, in my nightly prayer, I committed to get up this morning at 6:30--no matter what happened.  I did this knowing that most likely the Adversary would disapprove of this new found resolve and that there would be plenty of disruptions to my sleep last night.

Don't worry.  There were.  I think Darling A is cutting teeth.  Or something.  She was up several times.

As I was crying after finally hitting a breaking point in the early morning hours, Ether came to mind and I was reminded that "if there be no faith among the children of men, God can do no miracle among them; wherefore he showed not himself until after a trial of their faith."  And yes, me getting more than 2 hours of consecutive sleep would totally qualify as a miracle in my book.  So, I am holding onto hope that if I consistently get up at 6:30 for scripture study, I will eventually start sleeping better.

One small miracle did happen this morning.  Darling A started fussing at 6:20.  I prayed and told the Lord I was committed to getting up at 6:30 to study and that I would try to study with her, but if He could help her sleep so I could have a more meaningful (and peaceful) study, I'd appreciate it.  She quieted down shortly thereafter.

And then in my study I read the following:

"12 For, do you not behold that I have agiven unto my servantbJoseph sufficient strength, whereby it is made up?" (The Lord will give me sufficient strength even if I'm not getting enough sleep.  This is an interesting change in perspective.  I've always felt unfortunate because no matter how hard I push my body physically, it just keeps going.  I've sometimes wished I could reach such a point of exhaustion that it would give out so I could have the excuse to just give up and go to bed!  But now I realize that what I thought was an unfortunate curse allowing me to push myself further than I ought to go is actually a blessing from a loving Heavenly Father giving me the strength to accomplish the tasks I need to no matter what.)   "And neither of you have I condemned." (He hasn't given up on me)

"13 Do this thing which I have commanded you, and you shallaprosper. Be faithful, and yield to no btemptation."(Blessings come after the trial of my faith)

14 Stand fast in the awork wherewith I have bcalled you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall be clifted up at the last day. Amen.

So there.  Blessings already for getting up at 6:30 today.

And then I woke the kids up and got ready to face the day only to promptly discover a message on my phone from the school saying it was a Snow Day.


This is an example of how we entertain ourselves on a snow day.

It was good though.  It gave me a chance to try my new strategies.  My bathrooms are cleaner.  The boys bonded over Little M having to play trains with Baby B for being unkind this morning.  And I feel much more confident and optimistic.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 1106: Overreaction

I'm pretty good at those.  And last night's post was a bit of one.

But, that doesn't lessen all the gratitude I feel for the advice and support you've offered me.  Thank you so so so much!  It was exactly what we need and I'm excited to try it out.

Darling A is excited too.  Because this is her very first ponytail.  Yes, it's a little silly looking.  But, still fun.

Today went better than yesterday.  At least, I felt more hope in my mothering skills.  Or, at least the potential for them to improve.

Plus, it was an early release day from school, so we had some extra time.  Usually, I kind of dread these days.  It's too much time for everyone home and the kids are all fighting by dinnertime.  Not so today.  I had a whole list of things for them to accomplish--including running on the treadmill which they've been wanting to do for quite a while.  Little M put in about a mile and Sweet P ran for 20 minutes!  I couldn't believe it!

So, the afternoon was very structured and not too frantic and it went really well.  Monday night I made a list of chores for them to do any time one misbehaved.  Then I read the advice from Becky about having them serve each other for offenses against one another.  So, I combined the two ideas and was super excited to implement.

Wouldn't you believe it?  They were all really well behaved!

Except for a monumental tantrum thrown by Baby B at dinner, but I'm still trying to assess what level of consequence he is ready for developmentally.

Then a really great violin lesson with the kids, accompanied by some wonderful insight on my parenting freak-out from their instructor/my friend in the form of a great book.

I'm still in a bit of a grumpy funk in general tonight.  I'm pretty sure I know what the problem is.  A while ago my therapist mentioned that some people come to see him expecting him to break out a magic wand and "fix" them.  He was telling me this as a part of congratulating me on being so proactive about getting out of my depression problem.

Yesterday I scheduled an appointment with him for next week and as I've contemplated what exactly I want to discuss with him, I'm realizing that that is pretty much where I'm at right now.  Too tired and lazy to do all of the things I need to.  I just want him to wave a magic wand and get me back to where I was before the influenza and its dreadful night sweats struck.

Trouble is, I know he doesn't have a magic wand.  And even if he did, that wouldn't really solve anything, since this is a long-term issue with long-term needs for progression.  So, I just need to cowboy up and get on with getting over my grumpy funk.  All by myself.

Well, not all by myself.  But, I need to do the things I know I should in order to be close enough to the Lord that I can access His ready and waiting help.

Why does this feel so hard?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 1105: Mess

I left her alone for less than a minute, thinking she'd be so happy to play with the closed container for a bit.  Look how proud she is of herself.

And she just looked so stinkin' cute, I had to quickly get the camera to take a picture.  And maybe that is where the problem started.  If any of the other kids  had made this mess, they would have been in trouble.  I even had to get after one of them who tried to clean it up before I took the picture.

What is wrong here?

I know, this probably seems like a gross overreaction.

But, we've been seriously struggling around here lately.

Sweet P has this amazing ability to focus--to the point of completely tuning me out.  Completely.  I have to ask her a minimum of three times in order to get anything done.  "I didn't hear you" and "I forgot" are her two big excuses.  Even if they are true, shouldn't the sound of my voice garner a little more respect?  But, instead of being able to calmly discuss this, she runs off and pouts in her room any time I try and brainstorm with her on how we can change this.

Baby B just pretends like he doesn't understand anything.  This works a lot of the time.  But then I think back and remind myself what we were expecting of the older two when they were his age.  They seemed so grown up.  He's still very much a baby in my eyes.  Most of the time, when I do expect more of him, he rises to the challenge, often as not without so much as a tantrum.  But, I have to consciously remind myself that he is capable of so much more than I automatically fall back on.

And then there's Little M.  Talk about not measuring up.  My Little Man is so so so very capable.  He has such a big heart and so much capacity to learn.  He voluntarily did the dishes twice last week.  We're talking hand washing dishes.  He is my go to guy for so many things when I need assistance.  But, he is so deliberately naughty!  It would appear that he cannot stand to see his little brother happy.  When Baby B is quietly enjoying himself, Little M swoops in to steal whatever he is playing with, to make an obnoxious noise right in his face, to tell him something is wrong with him, etc.--whatever it takes to ruin Baby B's fun, preferably to get him in tears.  He's the same with my pressure points.  He knows those things that drive me the craziest and he'll capitalize on them.  One of his favorites is when I've just issued a particularly harsh negative consequence for a specific offense.  He will promptly commit the offense.  When I follow through on the consequence, he bursts into tears (this boy has one of the saddest sad faces and it has always gone straight to my heart strings) and begs to "earn it back", or claims to have not understood, or been about to obey, or whatever.  Tonight he was a repeat repeat repeat offender.

I don't know what to do with him!  Or with any of them?  I'm feeling so inept as a mom tonight.  What do I need to change to be effective?  Why is it so hard to motivate?  I have really good kids--why can't I inspire them to be better behaved?


And then I look at my darling little Darling A.  And I know that ship is already sunk.  She is every bit my baby.  I melt for her.  How am I ever going to to be consistent with her?  We hate to hear her cry!

Any parenting experts out there?  I need help.  My kids are talented and amazing and capable of so much.  But, I'm afraid I'm so far from inspiring them to get anywhere close to where they can go in life.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 1104: Drops

A few weeks ago a friend of mine sent me a link to this great blog post.  I wanted to share it here, but then I got sick and I forgot that along with a billion other things.  Fortunately, another friend mentioned it in her lesson today at church.  It's a really great reminder about perspective.

I need to focus on that more.

I don't know what's going on.  Today, I'm just kind of grumpy.  Not depressed, or anything--thank goodness.  I've just been in a grumpy funk for the last little while.  I think it has a lot to do with how tired I am.  I hope that's all it is.  But, it's thrown off everything.  All of the good habits and thought patterns and everything that was giving me that happy jibe.

So, what do I do when I'm too tired to do everything I need to do?


Don't worry.  I'm okay.  Just grumpy and tired.  And tired of being grumpy.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 1103: Saturday Chores

I'm thinking about getting the kids started with some regular daily chores.  They help me out off and on when asked, but I'm reading this book Cleaning House and it's been really inspirational about giving the kids more responsibility.

Anyway, today they got involved in helping HH clean the house while I ran some errands.  It was really nice.  I came home to a clean home.

And then we had a relaxing afternoon watching "Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets" because HH just finished reading it with them.

And then HH made me be brave and drive through the car wash.  Driving onto those tracks scares me.  And gives me a panic attack.  But, we did it.  It was a free car wash and it was the high light of Baby B's day.  He talked about it for the rest of the day.

Simple pleasures, my Friends.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 1102: Sea Food Differently

HH and I went on a date tonight.  We tried to find something cool to do, but unfortunately, here in podunk town, there was nothing.  Fortunately for us, we're pretty cool all by ourselves.

So, we went to Red Lobster (we had a gift card and HH has been craving some shrimp) and then went shopping.  Dinner was yummy and a lot of fun.  I love talking to HH.  And I got some new boots when we went shopping(squeal!!!).  My old black boots got cracks last year, or maybe the year before.  I've been wanting some new ones, but better quality, so I was waiting for the reason to justify it.

Did I mention that HH set up an awesome incentive program to help us achieve our big goals this year?  He did.  My big goal is to go to bed on time (10:00 PM).  I haven't quite yet earned my boots, but I'm close, so when I actually found a pair that I loved and were comfy to boot (pun intended), I decided to snatch them up.

Date night was a total success--just the pick me up I was really needing.  HH is pretty amazing at that.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 1101: Not Broken

This is weird and gross--I've been having night sweats every night ever since I came down with the influenza.  Weird and gross.

And really disruptive to my sleep.

And it got me really down last night because I started thinking maybe I was just broken in some weird way and would be having night sweats for the rest of forever.

So, I couldn't get out of bed this morning.  HH stuck around for a few hours so I could try to catch up and he even scheduled me a doctor's appointment.

The "good" news is that night sweats are apparently completely normal when dealing with influenza.  Another 2-3 weeks with them is also totally normal.

Kind of stinks, but at least I'm not broken.  That was actually a relief and kind of made me happy in a weird way.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 1100: Better

I'm getting there.

After yesterday's post I determined to *try* to stop complaining.  That definitely helped.  And a trip out into the world for violin lessons with the older two kids.  They had a good lesson and I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that their instructor is a friend of mine and she just has a happy effect on me.  And then some time just chillin' with HH.  He also has a happy affect on me.

Today went a little better.  I'm starting to get a glimpse of gaining my health back.  I got in a foot-pain-free workout this morning--HUGE deal.  I got to do  a favor for my super generous neighbor for the second day in a row.  And there were just a ton of sweet little moments with Darling A.  I can honestly say I don't have a favorite child, but there is some connection with this sweet little baby, too tender and precious to put into words.  Every day I am aware of the gift and blessing she is in my life.  I adore her more and more every day.  Lately, she's been super giggly and it's so much fun.

And there you have it.  I think I'm just about back to good.

If only I had a brownie... (:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 1099: Stop It

Okay.  I'm still here.  I'm still sick.  I'm still really whiny.

Sorry about that.

And today, I'm a little bit angry.

So, I'm behind on a few posts, and I'm not going to catch them up.  They pretty much would read like the above few sentences.  But, I'm pretty sure I'll be okay.  It's just going to take a little time.  I need my health and my routine back.

Or, maybe I need to learn how to stay on the sunny side even without my health and routine.

Fortunately, I have this little amazing princess to bring me smiles and giggles and joy every day.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 1098: 9 Days

That seems to be my breaking point for feeling this yucky.  I feel like such a whiner.  I know there are plenty of people sicker than me.  But, I can't handle this much longer.  I need to be able to breathe.  And my ribs are bruised from the coughing.  We just don't seem to be getting better.  And I had a total meltdown tonight.

But, I bought a new humidifier.  That will make all of the difference.  Right?

Sorry for whining.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 1097: Visible Floor

This picture is for my mom.  She is the only one who will appreciate this:

This morning you couldn't walk across that floor without stepping on a glass bottle, or a roll of toilet paper, or something else.

Now you can.

That was the high point of today.

We are still sick.  I'm sick of being sick.

For real.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 1096: De-Clutter

I woke up with a bee in my bonnet.

It helped that I felt considerably better.  So, I de-cluttered.  And de-cluttered some more.

After putting Sweet P back to bed, that is.  She finally fell victim.

At least now, we're all in this together.

Eventually, I wore myself out.  But, the house looks considerably better.

And I feel better.

Tonight was violin night.  Sweet P was still pretty sick, so Little M and I went by ourselves.  And it was kind of nice.  Their instructor was able to have a bit of a longer and more relaxed lesson with Little M (he did great!) and then she and I had our parent teacher conference.  Where we pretty much both established that we love each other and both think the other is doing great.  It was nice.

Here's hoping for a healthier day tomorrow!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 1095: Sleep All Day

That's pretty much what I did today.

And I think it made it big difference.  I feel more alive than dead finally.  It wasn't my ideal way to spend my final day with my parents here, but I know that tomorrow I won't be able to take a three hour nap, so today I had to take advantage.

Poor Little M went in for Round 3 with the Plague today.  I don't think it was too bad for him, though.  Just a mild fever for the first bit of the day.  He did get some extra sleep, which honestly, all of the kids could really use.

Make that, all of the people in my house, actually.

Remember that wall hanging I made a couple weeks ago?  My dad hung it on a wall for me tonight.  I'm pretty darn excited about it.

We'll be sad to see my parents go in the morning (actually, HH will be the only one to see them, since they're leaving at the crack of dawn!).  This wasn't what I had planned for their visit.  But, I'm really grateful they came.  I'm so glad they were here for the baptism.  I'm grateful for all the projects they helped with and all of the laundry my mom did.

And I'm glad that we did get a lot of fun in, even though some of us felt rotten.

Mom and Dad, you'll be missed!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 1094: Well, I Stayed Conscious

Did I tell you that they asked me to be the chorister at church?

Did I tell you this is something I've always struggled with?  I know it should be easy, given my many years of musical experience.

It's not.

I get going okay, and then all of the sudden, my  hand just throws in a random extra wave, or something and I get totally off.

But, I agreed to it and I've practiced.  Today was my first time actually conducting in front of the congregation.

You should know that I slept in Darling A's room last night.  HH is getting quite sick and since he has to go to work tomorrow and all, I decided to just take one for the team (before you think I was super kind and giving, I already couldn't sleep because I couldn't breathe, so it just made sense), so he could hopefully get more sleep.  Long story short--I got little bits of sleep in 5-15 minute increments, interspersed between long patches of no sleep.  I was pretty dizzy and tired all morning, but obstinate.

So, I got up to conduct.  I think the first song went reasonable well.  During the Sacrament hymn, however, it was all I could do to not black out.  Literally.  Everything started to fade from my vision and my knees buckled a time, or two.  I almost took the entire music stand down with me one of the times, but was able to correct before anyone (at least anyone I spoke to after) noticed.  I think I was really off on the timing, too.  But, when you can't see and you can barely keep breathing, that's understandable, in my opinion.  The third song went okay, but then I was pretty woozy during the closing hymn as well.

Good start.  At least I can only improve from here, right?

The rest of the day went okay.  I got in a little nap.  It's such a fortunate thing that my parents are here because HH was pretty much past out for half of the day.  It appears that sleep is what you really need to conquer this beast of a flu, though, so I don't begrudge him a single wink.

This isn't how I imagined my parents' visit going.

I suppose that's how most of life is, though, isn't?  Our task is just to enjoy things along the way as much as we can anyway.

Some days I do better at this than others.  Sleep helps a lot with that Beast, too. (c:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Day 1093: I Like My Birthdays

When Sweet P was three, she would fall asleep while listening to the Children's Primary Songs, produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  One day she surprised HH and I by coming down the stairs belting this song as loudly as possible, "I Like My Birthdays".  And from that day on, she was counting down the days until she was finally old enough to be baptized.

Today that day finally arrived.

I'm so pleased that she has made the decision to be baptized.  I've done my best to help her understand what it means.  When baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a covenant is made between the individual being baptized and Heavenly Father.  We covenant to bear one another's burdens, be willing to mourn with those that mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places.  We promise to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments.

That's a lot to expect of an 8-year old.

But, in return the Lord promises us that, as long as we live worthily, we will have the gift of the Holy Ghost to be present with us always--to testify of Christ, to prompt us the right way to go and the correct decisions to make, to comfort, and to guide.

So, today, amid family and friends, she was baptized, then confirmed and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and given the gift of the Holy Ghost.

I can tell it hasn't really sunk in.  She is eight, after all.  But, it's the first step down the path that leads to eternal happiness.  I'm so grateful she's taken it.

The rest of today had quite a bit of craziness and chaos, so I'm not going to chronicle it here.  HH's parents drove part way yesterday, arrived at our house this afternoon, spent a few hours with us before the baptism, attended and participated in the baptism itself, joined us for dinner after, and then headed back home because they had some very pressing responsibilities that couldn't be left unattended for long.  What a sacrifice!  I'm so grateful on Sweet P's behalf that they made it though.  I know it will mean a lot to her and I couldn't appreciate them more.

If my parents had known how sick our household would be (HH is coming down with it too, now), they might have made their trip a shorter one, too!  But, I'm really grateful they were here today, especially, as well.

There are certain things our kids miss out on because we live so far from family.  I'm grateful that all four of Sweet P's grandparents were present and a part of her baptism, so she can remember that forever.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 1092: Zombie

That's about what I feel like.

Last night my fever went up to at least 104.5.  It was a crazy night.  The past few nights have all been a little crazy with kids up crying and screaming with night terrors and whatnot.  But last night takes the cake.

Shortly after I went to bed, I heard Baby B screaming and HH running the bathwater.  I was confused and concerned, but it took several minutes to gather the muster to get my extremely ill self out of bed.  And then I discovered that Baby B had some "diapering issues", to put it nicely.  So bad that HH was getting out the steam vac to thoroughly cleanse the carpet (he had gotten out of bed beforehand, so the mess was all over the carpet instead).

I bathed Baby B, all the while feeling that in some bizarre way this was a blessing in disguise.  I had been laying in bed praying that my fever wouldn't go any higher, forcing us to go to the hospital.  I felt very strongly that the only way that would happen was if I got out from under my down-alternative comforter.  But, you know how you feel so freezing cold when you have a fever?  I just couldn't make myself do it.

Fortunately, love for my sad Baby B eventually got me out from under my covers and I knew that staying out for a while while bathing him was probably big save for me and my temperature.

Eventually, HH got everything else cleaned up (he is so amazing) and we got Baby B back in bed and I returned to bed.  When HH came in, I was pretty hot again, so he forced me out of the covers and placed a cold, wet cloth all over me repeatedly until I was much cooler.  I knew I needed it, but it hurt and he apologized over and over.  He's such a good man.  Who knows what would have happened if he hadn't taken such good care of me last night?

Anyway, so today has been pretty rough.  I tried to make some more progress on re-upholstering the chairs, while my mom worked on a quilt she's making for Sweet P.  I thought it was an easy, low-effort activity, but I felt intensely worse by the time I was done.

We headed to the airport to pick up my dad.  Poor Dad.  What a great visit to make, right?

He and my mom and HH finished the chairs tonight, though.  And HH steam vacc-ed a lot more of the house.  And that was all very nice.

Unfortunately, I started feeling pretty discouraged.  I just didn't see how I could make it to Sweet P's baptism tomorrow feeling this way.  I asked HH and my dad to give me a Priesthood blessing, promising myself that I would have the faith to be content whether I felt better physically, or not.  Shortly after, while reading my scriptures, I had a personal spiritual experience, but the outcome was that I felt immensely better in a very short time.  Still sick, but I knew I'd be able to do all I need to tomorrow and enjoy Sweet P's baptism, as well.  It was definitely a miracle and one I'm so very grateful for!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 1091: Influenza Stinks

So, I didn't kick it.  It is here and here with a vengeance.

And my mom has it too. :(

It was an awesome day.

Thus, I'm going to share something from yesterday's journal entry instead of detailing my yucky day for you here.

Lessons Learned From My Boot:

  • I don't have to exercise every day to be happy
  • When I don't exercise there is more time to spend with my children (and I'm more relaxed because we're not rushing), really talk (and listen!) with my friends, serve others, get to know new people
  • Many errands don't need to happen--we can just do without
  • People pay less attention to my appearance than I think
  • I care about myself enough to take it easy and let myself heal
  • I am more patient than I give myself credit for
  • The house doesn't have to be clean all of the time
  • It doesn't take as long to catch up on clutter as I sometimes fear
  • HH is a good, and very capable, cook
  • The kids are willing and capable to help out with more things than I knew
  • When HH and the kids help out and serve me, it really makes me feel loved

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 1090: Right Where I Need To Be

Today was really nice.

Yoga in the morning with my mom--my foot is feeling better all the time!

Lunch with a friend going through some really hard stuff right now.  Sad to hear about it all, but glad to be able to be a part of her support group.

And then a visit to the temple with my HH and a friend tonight.  It was so amazing.  It never ceases to amaze me at how different pretty much everything feels now that I feel so different about myself and the world around me.  I felt so close to and loved by my Heavenly Father.  It was indescribable.

I'm so grateful to my mom for watching the kids (including an unusually sad Darling A) so we could go.

Unfortunately, on the way home I pretty much crashed.  I think I'm coming down with the flu.  As in influenza.

Boo for Flu. :(

Here's hoping for a miraculous recovery tonight!  This weekend is kind of a big deal.  I can't be sick!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 1089: Have A Seat

Today was a crazy day.

After months of debating back and forth, I impulsively decided to have the kids get the flu shot at yesterday's check up.  And then it ended up being the FluMist.

I forgot that one was a live virus.

Never again!

Little M woke us up around 12:30 screaming with a fever and pain.  So much fun.  And then, the rest of the night is a bit of a blur.  Everyone was up and crying at some point.  I think they are all okay.  Little M was fine and excited to go to school this morning, even though I had planned on keeping him home.

I'm tired.

But, we had a laid back morning (Baby B and Darling A slept in suuuuuuuper late) and then ran some errands.  We picked up a bunch of supplies at JoAnn's for a project, exchanged Baby B's Christmas slippers for a better size and wound up getting $3 back in the process, picked up an item for my mom's new ipad, and even through in a grocery trip for good measure--blackberries for only $1!

It was long, but the kids did great and we got everything we needed!  Thanks to my mom and her coupons and shopping prowess, I ended up saving over $80 on all the supplies at JoAnn's.  Huge.

And then tonight, we began the big project.  My camera is upstairs and I'm in a hurry, so I'll have to upload the photos later, but we re-upholstered one of our kitchen chairs.  They are in serious need!  They have holes and tears and are plumb worn out.




(Although, if you look closely, this includes another "Before".  We tried black duct tape on our very worst chair a few months back.  It didn't work out so well.  The duct tape rolled up and then who ever sat on it had a sticky bummy!)

Except for one.  It looks beautiful and brand new.  It took the combined efforts of HH, my mom, and me (who knew I could wield a staple gun with such skill?), but it looks fabulous!  And it's so comfy with the new cushioning!

I'm pretty proud.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day 1088: It's Good To Know Where You're Going

This morning Sweet P said, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could just have school here, so we didn't have to go back to school ever?"

My response?


Don't worry.  I softened it a bit and explained.  The truth is, I know they are happier going to school.  Sweet P especially needs to learn from someone besides me.  When it's me, she takes it personal and is sad.

Anyway, it was nice having a quiet morning again.  And getting back into our routine a bit.

I had an appointment with my therapist.  It was a little different from past visits.  Mainly, because I'm pretty much a fully-functioning human being finally.  So, it was just a casual conversation about my few remaining concerns in the areas that I'm still not fully confident.

I thought it would be my very last visit.  But, after today, I think there will be at least a few more.  And that's okay.  I want to be in as strong a position as possible.  And nothing has ever helped like this has.

And then, this evening we went totally off our routine.

There was a routine check up at the pediatrician's with all four kids (they were remarkably well-behaved) and then a trip to the airport to pick up Grandma!

My mom, that is.

And we might have gotten super lost on the way home.  And not gotten home until really late.

But, we made it home and we survived and we've had great fun with my mom already!  And we're so happy to have her here!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 1087: Slow Lessons

Today was not my favorite day.

Don't get me wrong--it had it's good points.

But, I'm okay for it to be over.

But, I did get the opportunity to re-solidify the most important lesson I've learned in all of this.  I was all grumpy and stressed out by the time we made it to church.  Then came time for the Sacrament to be passed around and I chastised Sweet P for trying to talk to me during the Sacrament when she's supposed to be "thinking about Jesus".  And then I realized that I should stick that chastisement right back on myself.  Although I'd been quiet, my thoughts were not where they should be.

So, I turned them to my Savior.  And I remembered the peace I felt when I'd felt yucky a few weeks ago and turned to the power of the Atonement.  And it was amazing how quickly all my negative feelings melted away.  Why do I get so caught up in thinking I have to carry around my hurts and my fears?

The Lord says, "Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."--Matthew 11:28.

I know this is true because I've experienced it.  However, I'm pretty sure this is a lesson I will be repeating for a while, as it is for some reason a struggle for me.

I'm so thankful for it though!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 1086: Sideways Partying

Today was Sweet P's birthday party.


It was a little busy and chaotic and a few things went wrong.  Okay, more than a few.

Fortunately Sweet P was blissfully unaware of all of them, I'm pretty sure.  She had a great time and it was fun to have her friends here to celebrate with her.

I just can't ever get over how beautiful my princess is.

And yes, that is a light saber on her cupcake and Scooby Doo on the cup.  She loves too many things for us to pick just one thing to be the theme of her party.

I'm not going to lie, I was just really grateful when it was all over and quiet again.

A little bit later HH left with some friends to go try his hand at ice fishing.  I surprised myself by not having to force myself to be okay with this, but actually being excited for him to go.  So much so that I even pushed him a bit when he was hesitating.

I love surprising myself with all of these new changes.

The kids and I then had a very chill afternoon.  They opted to do a puzzle together.  The puzzle picked by Little M happened to be one given to me by an old boyfriend.  It had a love note on the back.  Once they discovered this they became quite intrigued and couldn't wait to finish it so they could read it.  Too funny!  And they of course, wanted the back story.  Since this was the guy I was planning on marrying until HH came along, that made the story all the more interesting to them.  It was kind of fun sharing this part of our history with them.

After that was all over, I remembered that a belated present for Sweet P had most likely arrived in the mail today, so I sent her out to fetch it.

It was the book Sideways Stories From Wayside School.  If you've never read it, you should.  It was one of my very very very favorites.  After a simple dinner and a group effort to clean it up, we sat and read it together.  So fun.  I love their giggles over the silliness of it.

It was great.

I loved today.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 1085: I Miss Yoga

I've been struggling to get comfortable enough to sleep the past few nights.  I think it's because I haven't worked out and/or stretched very much the past few weeks.  So, I went to yoga this morning.  I had to do a lot of modifications, but it was really nice to be back.  It felt so great!

The day went by well enough.  Although, Darling A hardly napped again and I kind of freaked out about that in the middle of it all, but we survived.

Tonight we took the kids to the gym to play on a new inflatable obstacle course thingy.  They had a blast.  It was a lot of waiting around.  But, it was worth it.

Plus, it was free.  Who can complain about free fun that also involves exercise?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 1084: On My Way

That was the gist of the podiatrist's message to me this morning.  One more week in the boot.

I was talking to my mom late last week and telling her that I was really worried I would fall apart if he told me I had to keep wearing it at this appointment.

Then last night, I realized that I would probably voluntarily keep wearing the boot, just based on how my foot was feeling.

So, getting the news this morning was not such a big deal.  The end is right around the corner.  I want to make sure this heals all the way.  Six more weeks until I can run.  That's a little bit sad, but I'm trying not to focus on that.

I'm actually pretty proud of myself today.

After my doctor's appointment, I offered to make a phone call to help HH out.  He needed to know if his one and only current scout would be at their meeting tonight.  The boy's mom is my friends, so that's why I offered to make the call.  That's when I found out that they'd gotten back in town the night before and the whole family was sick, including her.

I offered to make her dinner, but not very eagerly at first, so she declined.  I was concerned because in the past, I would stress so much over making the dinner absolutely perfect that I would be completely exhausted emotionally by the time I finished.  Plus, I had a hair appointment at 5, and wasn't sure how to make that work.  But, she sounded so sick and she's helped me out a few times and then I reminded myself that I don't have to stress so much, so I offered again.  Only, it wasn't so much of an offer this time as it was me just telling her I was going to bring her dinner.  And that it wouldn't be a big deal since I was making soup for my own family already that night.

She sounded so relieved.  I felt instantly better about my decision.

So, I spent the day making soup and bread, baking a couple more pans of cinnamon rolls for a couple other families I needed to take them to, and holding a somewhat needy and sleepless Darling A.

Then the kids came in from sledding with the neighbor girls to ask if they could all go over to the neighbors for a snack.  I asked if that was okay with their mom and when they responded with, "Well, I'm sure she won't mind", I suggested that they all come in and have a snack here instead.  The last time they all sledded together, they spent half the day at the neighbors, so I wanted to reciprocate.

This is another thing that normally would have ruined my day.  It meant that I took time out from cooking and cleaning to make them a fun snack and to visit a bit and then to referee when they took the playing downstairs and had a few fights and tipped the couch over.

Today it was okay.  And it gave me the opportunity to catch up with their mom for a while when she came over to check on them.  I really like her.  And I got to invite her to Sweet P's baptism.  It's a big deal and I want her to have all of the love and support she can get.  And it sounds like they're coming, so that was great news!

Then HH arrived home and the madness began.  Actually, it was pretty relaxing at first as I got my hair cut--love it!  Then I got to take the dinner to my friend, drop by the library, drop cinnamon rolls off at another friend's, do a return at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, pick up a craft for Sweet P's party on Saturday at Michael's, swing by Target for a couple necessities, and drop one more pan of cinnamon rolls off at a neighbor's.  Whew!  It was a busy night.  And I was naughty and went out without my boot.  I was regretting that before long.

But, I survived.  It was fun seeing the smiles on all the faces where food was left.  And I really appreciated HH taking care of the kids for three hours so I could get it all done.

Now, I'm tired.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day 1083: Eight Is Great

Sweet P turned eight today.

Eight years ago today, I became a mama.  And I was blessed beyond even my own comprehension by the gift of this sweet spirit being the first to join our family. 

This is her cute "thinking of a wish face".  She requested cinnamon rolls for her birthday breakfast.  I remembered having fun making them in muffin tins when I was a small girl, so I made few this way for her as well.

We had so much fun celebrating our oldest baby today.

After the cinnamon rolls we headed to the gym and went swimming.  So much fun!  Except that I got a little overzealous in my play with the kids and my foot seems to be suffering a bit.  But, it was still a lot of fun.

Then we headed to a local restaurant for lunch.  It's one of those buffet-style and not my favorite.  But, we were really wanting one where Sweet P could get some plain shrimp and HH discovered that the manager was willing to do some special, just for her.  The kids all had a great time.  She got her shrimp and was thrilled when we discovered that they actually made shrimp pizza.  Disgusting, if you ask me, but she liked it even better than the plain shrimp.

And then there was the do-it-yourself soft serve ice cream bar.  You can guess how much all of the kids loved that.

After lunch we came home and HH took the older two sledding while Darling A slept and Baby B and I did some laundry.  Super exciting, but the Birthday Girl had made a specific request to sled with her daddy, so she was happy.

Then we opened gifts.  She loved each of them (so did a sad and a little jealous Little M), but I think her current favorite was a journal from me.  It's one I've been keeping for her since she was about a year old, when I came across one my mother-in-law had kept for HH and fell in love with the idea.  I did much better when she was young and only had one sibling, so the entries have been pretty sparse the past few years, but she was pretty excited to get it and read all about her younger self.

Next, she and I headed to the church so she could meet with our bishop (ecclesiastical leader) to discuss her upcoming baptism.  It was fun just hanging out with her on the way there and back.  She's fun to talk with.  We had a pretty in depth discussion earlier in the day because I could tell she was a little nervous about this appointment, even though it was just a chat with the bishop and nothing scary at all. We talked all about what it means to get baptized and why it's important to me that she understand and make this decision for herself.

After we returned home, she got to stay up and read for an extra 30 minutes.  I love that that is something that is so exciting to her!

It was a great day.  I love my Sweet P.  I feel so blessed to have her.  And to have had her for our oldest.  She is a great help to me.  She's so good with her siblings and genuinely loves to care for them and make them happy (most of the time).  She is strong and independent and I love the great example she sets for them.  She's becoming quite the artist and I'm excited to see where she goes with that.  She's funny.  She loves stories, whether it's reading, or writing them.  She's so creative.  She is beautiful in every way inside and out and one of my main concerns in life is making sure she never forgets that!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Days 1081 & 1082: Ringing In The New Year

Since we were awake as we went from Day 1081 to Day 1082, I thought I might as well make this a combo post.

New Year's Eve ended up being a little bit of a crazy day.  Somehow I ended up deciding to make/bake a ton of things and Darling A refused to nap for longer than 20 minutes at a time.

Not a good combination.

But, all's well that ends well, right?

Everything ended up being just fine.  The cheese ball I made was delicious.  Sweet P devoured the shrimp we had.  These Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cookies I made were as delicious as they looked when I first laid eyes on them (although, we skipped the cherry icing.  We're not into super duper sugary stuff around here).  The stuffed mushrooms I made for the get together with friends later on went over just as well as they have the past two years (pretty darn).  And the egg strata I made for New Year's Day brunch ended up being a very appreciated easy (and yummy!) New Year's Day lunch.

We had a fun evening with the kids.  Began setting some goals for the New Year thanks to some great planning and incentivising from HH during dinner.  And then we got set to pop some poppers HH and the kids had picked up.

The poppers ended up being pretty disappointing.  But, we each got our paper crown, so who can really be disappointed in that?

I mean, everyone looks good in a paper crown.

Then HH picked up the babysitter, Darling A decided to wake up so the babysitter could get her wish of snuggling a cute baby all night long, rather than reading the book she'd brought, and HH and I got on our way.

We had a lot of fun with a few of our friends.  I ate too much food.  And I was so so so very tired to begin with that I had a little trouble controlling my mouth and said some pretty odd comments.  And I may have gotten a little overly comptetitive during a less-than-friendly round of "Word on the Street".  In my opinion, I was not the only comptetitive person there.  But, some may or may not agree.

All in all, it was a great evening with lots of fun and laughter and some super yummy steamers--new to me and HH.

And then this morning came way too early.

But, I can't help but compare how I was feeling this time a year ago.  And it's a night and day difference.  Last year I was sinking further into a very deep and dark depression.  I was struggling to even fake a happy face long enough to hang out with friends.  I felt quite alone and sad in the world.  I was seriously doubting the wisdom of the pregnancy I was in the middle of.  I was not at all excited about anything.

This year, I feel great.  My life is beautiful.  I have so much more room in my heart for loving my friends and family.  I'm really looking forward to all that this year will bring.  And I'm so grateful for that final pregnancy which brought me such an amazing gift in our darling Darling A.  She is beyond sweet and precious.

I could go on about that, but she just woke up from a late nap and is quite sad!

Happy New Year, Everyone!