Monday, October 27, 2014

These Days

Hello readers! Are there any of you left? After another month with no posts, I don't blame you for leaving me. Here's what's been going on these days:

Liz- I got a job! And here is the ironic part- It's a job at the place where I had to take the test I was complaining about in my last post! How funny is that. When they called me for an interview I couldn't believe it. I'll be working at Sprouts. It's like a Trader Joe's type place. Is it hair? No. However they are willing to work around my very difficult availability. And the pay is decent so I'm thankful for it. Once again I fought the no Sundays battle and won. Victory is mine! I'll be slowing down my baking a bit. But still plan on trying to bake once a week or so. 

Jimmy- is chugging along in school. He will kill me for writing this, but his chemistry class was giving him a hard time. He took chemistry 1 like 4 years ago, and is now taking chemistry 2. Yeah....anyhow he has worked his butt off ( seriously, studying all hours of the night. Coming to bed at 4am to wake up at 6am) but on his last test he got 110 out of 100 ( there were some extra credit questions). I'm so proud of him and all the hard work he has put in.

Brynlee- Ah, Brynlee. In case we aren't facebook friends and you missed it, we had a hair cutting incident. It was really bad. Hairgate is what I call it. She butchered the front of her hair- as seen below. 

Yeah. Mom was not pleased. Mom was quite mad- and might of cried LOL. However, after some styling we have this:



To be 100% honest, I actually really like the length on her.She looks really cute with short hair. The front is still a train wreck and requires lots of hairspray and bobby pins to keep it back. But it could've been worse I suppose. At least she didn't cut it down to scalp.

Claire: Is getting bigger and bigger. She isn't crawling- but rolls to where ever she wants to go. We need to start baby proofing ASAP. She is eating baby food now. She loves peas ( seriously, who loves peas? I gag while I feed them to her!) and sweet potatoes. She's kinda iffy about carrots and mixed vegetables. She is still napping 2 times per day, but I see that ending soon. She is super curious, and super cute :)

I'm super excited about Halloween- I loved handing out candy last year. Seeing all the little kids on parade was so much fun! I ran out of candy really fast so I bought extra this year. Hopefully it will last me longer!

Monday, September 22, 2014

On the Hunt

Here we are again, job hunting I go!

For those of you haven't applied for a job in a long time you are really missing out! It's oodles of fun out there these days.

This is totally going to date me-but you guys all know I'm 30 so who cares. Remember when you actually went into a place to apply for a job? When you filled out a paper application, and handed it to a real live human being? Then, you waited patiently by your corded phone to hear back. Hopefully. Maybe.

Those where the days. Oh they are long gone now. Now, it's all online. Which is great if you are lazy. I mean I applied a ton of place this morning, and I'm still in my PJ's. But the personal touch is gone. So now my application will shoot into a pile of 10000000 others probably never to be seen again. Add in my availability and it will take an act of God to get me hired. And those are just the ones that don't have a crazy test with them.

Yes, a crazy test. If you want to work at Target ( Yes, I've applied there in recent years) you have to take a test. Not just any test. A serious test. I just applied at a grocery store type place. I consider myself fairly intelligent- and then I took the test. Vocabulary questions ( like words you get on the game Baulderdash, no joke), math word problems, impossible scenarios where you have no idea what kind of answer they want. These are all tests for people to get jobs that pay minimum wage. Seriously. I wish I was joking. Apparently in order to ring up groceries I need to know which word doesn't belong with the other 4 words. Who knew being a grocery clerk was so intense?  And you get 10 min to do all this....which runs out quickly let me tell you. I'm not expecting a call back from that place.

I went through all this when I was in hair school. I literally applied EVERYWHERE. I was rejected by pretty much everywhere. It's a bad day when you can't even get a job at Babies R Us. I went though this when I first moved here ( you remember the Supercuts saga). And now here we are again.  I forsee a lot more rejection in my future. But hopefully as a door is closing a window will open and I'll find a fit somewhere. Until then I'm feeling humbled. And on the hunt.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How Did I Get Here?

You know those things you see people do ( especially parents) that are so completely obnoxious you want to die? You think to yourself, I'll never do that. Or even better, I'll never let my kids do that? Yeah. I said that too at one point. The tune I'm singing is a little different now.

When I waitressed at Chili's we had this family that would come in. NO ONE wanted them. They had 2 little kids that were terrible. They would tear about the table and make the biggest mess you've ever seen. Dumped out salt and pepper, sugar everywhere, ketchup everywhere. Food and trash all over the floor. And they left the crappiest tip-totally not worth the 1 hour you spent after they left attempting to put the table back together.

Well I haven't gotten that bad- I still work really hard to make sure my kid doesn't destroy tables at restaurants ( when we go, which is never LOL). But as I walked through Walmart distractedly talking on my phone as Brynlee ran a muck up and down the aisles I had a moment. What was I doing? I HATE people who talk on their phone all the time- sorry if this is you. But I can't hang. People who are on their phone in line at the store, people who are on their phone in drive thrus. Maybe it comes from being a cashier and being completely ignored by people who where on their phones while I rang them up. I just think it's rude. And irritating. I really don't want to hear your loud one sided conversation while I wait in line. I really don't. Anyway you could wait like 3 min and talk loudly in your car ( because that is actually legal here)? Thanks!

Yet here I was. One of those people. Brynlee was wreaking havoc and instead of trying to corral her in I thought, "hey this is Walmart. If you can't run a muck here, where can you run a muck?". I think everyone thinks that-which is why Walmart is the way it is! I've gotten to the point where I expect my kid to make a huge mess, expect her to say rude things to people and expect her to not listen. How did this happen? I've become desensitized. Maybe I'm tired ( ok, no maybe about it). Maybe I've given up the little stuff. Maybe I realized kids don't act like they do in TV shows. You know, how the characters have kids who play quietly by them selves and never make a mess and do exactly what they are told. Turns out real kids aren't actually like that! Reba and Friends/, you sold me a lie!

Either way, I hate the parent I've become. Just because it's hard doesn't mean I can just give up on disciplining my child and let her go wild. Hoping it's just a phase that will pass is not a good parenting style. Give me a few months and I may be as bad as that dreaded family who came into Chilis! That is assuming we actually go out to eat again. I'm not sure how I got here. But I can't stay here. Next time I go to Walmart my child will not run wild up and down the aisles. Even if I have to leash her to me ( which by the way I was totally against until I had kids, LOL).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Neglected

Oh poor blog. I've neglected you. For a month! Poor thing. I've been busy, but not THAT busy. I've been lazy more like it. And really, how much is there to blog about when you are a stay at home Mom? So what's been up with us you ask? Let me fill you in:

Jimmy: Probably the biggest news here. Jimmy is......going back to school. Like really going back. Bank of America cut his overtime and was automating the process he does. We really felt like we were being nudged...and then shoved in a different direction as bills couldn't be paid. He was on a sinking ship and it was either time to get off or go down with it. So we are taking a leap. Is it scary. Yes. Do I cry sometimes. Oh yeah. BUT if it all works out it will pay off big time. So, how are we going to live you ask? Loans, grants, prayers and bread. Not necessarily in that order. Which leads to my update...

Liz: I can sum up what I've been doing in one word. BREAD. Bread all over. Baking it. Eating it. Breathing it. My little bread business has blossomed into more than I ever expected. I'm not sure how long I can keep this bread train going, but I'm going to keep riding until it stops ( AKA the new year, when no one eats anything but salads, LOL)

Brynlee: Has started preschool again. Hallelujah! She's happy, I'm happy. We're all happy about that. This Brynlee's last year of preschool, and I couldn't be happier about where she is academically. Her teacher is amazing and whips those kids into shape. I have no doubt Brynlee will be super ready for kindergarten next year. Unfortunately Brynlee's night time antics continue. The other night I woke up to find paint ( yes, paint) in a Tupperware container by the trash. I found paint in my sink. I found my craft cupboard torn apart. And I found Brynlee passed out on my couch. Apparently she though the middle of the night was a great time to try to make me a hand print...and have a Dr Pepper because she had opened one of those. Oh boy...

Claire: is almost 6 months! She is rolling all over. She gets stuck under the coffee table all the time, poor thing. I can't help but laugh when I see little legs stick out from under there. She is getting bigger and bigger. And unfortunately so is her baby tude. Not such a fan of the swing anymore these days. She is happiest in her bouncer, or just rolling around on the ground. She loves being outside...but Arizona in August is not meant for the outdoors. We are looking forward to cooler weather for sure. Come on 90's!

Mitzie: is still a cat. LOL. She sleeps like 20 hours a day.I'm kind of jealous of her sometimes. We got Mitzie a new brush, the "furminator" and good grief does it take off her fur! It almost works too well because whenever I brush her fur is everywhere and it freaks me out!

So, until next time. Hopefully it won't be another month before I post!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Something Sexy About the Rain

I guess it took me moving to the desert to really appreciate rain. I've always hated it. Hated it! I'll blame my hair. Rain and my hair do not mix. Humidity and my hair do not mix.

So growing up rain meant I was going to have a giant fro. Great. And it's usually cold and kind of miserable.

But here in the desert it's different. We get very little rain here, but when we do 95% of it is during the summer. Monsoons is what they are called. It gets really hot ( as if it wasn't already, LOL), then super windy and then boom. Down pour like no other. It's not the best if you are stuck somewhere because they are crazy to drive through. But there's something magical about warm rain. And it's an nice change of pace from the sunny skies we have allll year long. I know, boo hooo too much sun right? But it does get kind of monotonous sometimes. So when we have anything other than rain it's really exciting.

It comes on super quick, and then usually leaves just as fast. But it's fun while it lasts. A few weeks ago Brynlee and I went to go swimming the day after a monsoon. The pool man was cleaning the pool but he said it was OK to go in. So we were swimming around when the pool man fishes out a dead lizard right next to me. Ew. I guess it was like swimming in the ocean? Nasty. Monsoons wash all sorts of goodies into your yard. And your pool. And really make your car dirty like nothing else can. But besides that there sure is something sexy about the rain!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Doctor Doom

Claire had her 4 month old check up today. I was scheduling Claire's appointments for when Brynlee was in preschool but since it's summer off we all went. I swear Dr's offices must get their kicks from making people with young kids wait. You'd think they would want us out of there ASAP as a certain 4 year old was running a muck. But nope. We waited. And waited. Finally they called us back to the room, where we proceeded to wait some more.

Brynlee proceeded to wreak havoc on that room as Claire got fussier and fussier. I would have pacified her with her pacifier but that didn't make it into the car apparently. The Dr finally came in. Claire looks, average. Average I said? She has rolls on her rolls! But nope, 50th percentile for height and weight. The best part is, her lumpy head is looking much better! Pretty sure no helmet will be needed, yay! Although then it was time for shots. The Dr left and we waited for the nurse. And waited, and waited. I kept popping out of the office to make sure they didn't forget about us in there. I went to feed Claire and realized I managed to bring a bottle but no formula. I did not do a great job of packing the diaper bag apparently. Why did I give up breastfeeding again? Nothing like giving shots to an already grumpy baby. Brynlee continued to touch everything possible and speak at a loud volume only appropriate for outdoor sporting events. Claire fussed and fussed. I wanted to pull my hair out of my head. I was just about to say peace out, we'll come back later when the nurse arrived.

4 shots in chunky thighs later, I drug my 2 crying kids ( Brynlee was now crying because she fell off the stool I told her to stay off in the first place) out to the 100 degree car. I needed a really really really BIG diet coke. And a lobotomy. And a hysterectomy.

But we made it out to the car in 1 piece. I thought about how hard this was with just 2 kids...I picture my mother in law with 7 and the image is laughable. I decided Brynlee will not be attending any more dr appts unless they are for her. I'll find a neighbor or someone to watch her. I'll pay someone to watch her to not have to experience that again. Some kids sit quietly and read a book or play with a toy. But that is not my child. I told Jimmy what happened and his reaction was " So Brynlee was acting normally". Yep, pretty much. I'm not sure why I expected any different.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Product of My Raise

Brynlee likes pink. Maybe like isn't a strong enough word, obsessed is more like it. If it's pink, she wants it. I have to coerce her into any clothing color besides pink. She wants pink ice cream and pink candy, even though she always hates the flavor and ends up wanting to eat mine!

I think pink is OK. It's fine, but it's not my favorite color by far. I don't have a ton of pink stuff and I don't wear it very often. But like most little girls, my daughter loves it. Why? Why does she like pink so much? Is it because she has been surrounded by it since day 1? Toys, clothes, whatever. If you have a girl they have pink stuff because that is what the stores make. Pink for girls.

I started thinking the other day. Does she link pink because it's ingrained in her head to like it? If I'd never bought her a pink thing, would she still love it? I guess we'll never know.

I grew up with a Dad who likes two main sports. Baseball and football. He'll watch other sports on occasion, but those are his two. Number one being baseball.

I'm married to a man who likes two main sports. Baseball and football. He'll watch other sports on occasion, but those are his two. Number one being football.

I like two main sports. Baseball and football. I'll watch other sports on occasion,but those are my two.

See a trend here? Basketball, eh. I've never been a huge fan. But I wasn't raised with people who were huge fans. If I didn't' grow up in the house I did, would I even care about baseball?

OBVIOUSLY we are our own people. I wasn't raised Mormon, but now I am. I make my own decisions in my life and that's that. But the older I get the more I find how I was raised coming into play. I do things my Mom does, I say things my Mom did.

I really am  product of my raise. It's kind of scary sometimes. Because that means my kids will be a product of their raise. That's a lot of pressure on me to raise some great people!

Brynlee still talks about the post office incident ( refer to the postal meltdown post). Apparently I'm never going to live down the time I lost my cool and kicked the package while sobbing outside the post office. I'm sure Brynlee will still talk about it 20 years from now. I say things, Brynlee says things. I do things, Brynlee does things. I am being watched and copied. I'm not sure I'm such a great person to copy most of the time. I better step up my game!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Key to Hapiness

Eureka! I've found it. Yep, at the ripe age of 30 I've found what truly makes me happy. How lucky am I right? Some people go through their whole lives not ever finding what really makes them happy.

So here it is... are you ready...serving others! Yes!

Let me back up here for a second. If there is one thing we LDS people know how to do is help people. If it needs to be cleaned, we'll clean it. If it needs to be baked, we'll bake it. If it needs to be moved, we'll move it! Happily ( usually, sometimes not so happily).

When I first started going to the LDS church I remember one particular Saturday we were participating in a service project. We spent the whole day cleaning out a wash. Kids, adults, teenagers. All working together to clean up public space. Was I super happy about it then...no. In fact I remember several service projects where a certain friend and I did not participate ( I won't name her, she would be mortified). We actually sat around doing nothing while everyone else worked. Not my proudest moment. Ah what are the teenage years if nothing but one mistake after another right? Anyhow in recent years I've benefited from serving others and being served.

In all the times we've moved we've never had to hire movers. Including last September when we moved in 115 degree weather...church members came and helped! It's crazy. When we had Claire, church members brought us meals for 4 days. And they were good meals! It was such a relief with a new baby to not have to worry about cooking dinner.

When Brynlee was in the hospital with spinal meningitis church members drove 45 min to bring us dinner, to the hospital! So awesome. I'm still in shock that people did that.

I have a very special Aunt and Uncle who shower my family with presents. Clothes and goodies for everybody. It's like she's Santa Clause. Whenever I see a package from her ( which happens often) it warms my heart.

Being on the receiving end of service is such a great feeling. Almost as great as being on the giving end!

A lady in my ward gave birth to a still born baby last month. This hit me particularly hard as she and I were pregnant at the same time ( me with Claire). I signed up to work at a luncheon for the family and to provide a dish. As sad as the situation was, I felt incredible. That's when I realized it. Helping others makes me feel helpful in a world filled with horrible things that are out of my control. I can't cure cancer, or end hunger or end poverty. But I can do a little bit to help people that are suffering from these things.

Last weekend I was asked to participate in a benefit sale to help a neighbor. I've been selling bread to bring in a little extra money that we desperately need. It's actually going really well. Who knew, right? I was asked to bake bread for this cause and before I knew it I was agreeing to donate the money from my sales for that day. I got home wondering how that happened. I basically agreed to donate $100 that I don't have and could really use... what was I thinking? My attitude at times was not great I admit. But after I did it I felt so amazing! My neighbor was extremely shocked, and grateful. I realized if we wait until we have surplus to give, we might never give. At this point I'm thinking I might never have a surplus. I'm not sure it's in the cards for me. But if I kept waiting then I'd be missing out on these great feelings of self worth I get when I serve others.

Now it's like I'm completely addicted. Donating bread to manicurist who agreed to give a girl with cancer a manicure over there, donating bread to be auctioned off for a fund raiser for the phoenix children's hospital over there. If I see an opportunity I'm all over it like white on rice. I'm sacrificing time. I'm losing money. And I feel awesome! Try it people. I'm telling you, giving is not just for the holiday season. Give all year, be happy all year! Now who else can I give something to...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

And the Little One Said

We have a roller! Not an expert roller, but a back to front roller. Claire is on the move, and I got to witness it. I also got to see her first smile and here her laugh for the first time. Lucky me, perk of being a stay at home Mom.

Unfortunately now Claire is following in the foot steps of her big sister. She rolls from her back to her front, gets stuck, gets angry and yells for help. When I put her on the floor, leave the room and hear her yelling I know the exact position I'm going to find her in. Beached like a little whale.

It's exciting, yet shocking. Wasn't she just a newborn? Wasn't I just pregnant? Wasn't I just 20? Time is zooming by and I have no choice but to enjoy the ride.

Since it's thankful Thursday today I'm thankful for my hair. Yes my nesty, crazy messy hair. We have a love hate relationship but I'm thankful for it all the same. Crazy hair is better than no hair at all right?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Diet That Works

Hello 120's!!!!!!!!

No not tempature. At least not yet anyway. Weight! I have 4 ish pounds to lose until I'm at my pre baby weight. Before you roll your eyes, and think about how lucky I am that most of my weight just "melted" off let me tell you. I've worked REALLY hard to get to this point. Ask my husband, he'll tell you how grouchy I've been, LOL.

No seriously, I've been doing zumba but I've been following the military diet which has worked really well for me.

I can't do juice diets and all that jazz. I can't cut out carbs or sugars. I just can't. I feel deprived and then I get frustrated. But with this diet you don't have to cut out a complete food group to lose weight.


Do this for 3 days, eat sensibly the other 3 days and have one day where you can cheat to your hearts content. That is what has worked for me. Looking at this you are probably wondering how an egg and a  piece of toast can keep you full, but it did for the most part. And I usually feel satisfied after every meal. 

I realized how much snacking became a habit when I was pregnant. I think half of the time I want to snack just because I feel like I should, not because I'm hungry.

Don't get me wrong, you won't see me in a bikini anytime soon. Just because my weight is almost where it was DOES not mean the consistency of what is there is like it used to be. There is a squish to my gut that only 9 months of baby growing can bring. I have a lot of work ahead of me in the exercise dept. But, it's a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ways my Child is Like my Cat

Being that Brynlee is my first child, all of her behaviors are new to me. I'm not sure if these are behaviors all kids exhibit at some point or if I'm just lucky. But as we muddle through the beginning of what will probably be the hardest summer to date I can't help but draw a few parallels between my child and my cat

1.  Underfoot, always. I swear Brynlee/ Mitzie will anticipate what room I'm going into and purposely run into it in front of me. Why? Why I ask? It's like that irritating person in the aisle at the grocery store going painstakingly slow. They are taking up the whole walk way and you are stuck behind them.

2. Chair thief. If Brynlee sees me going to sit down somewhere, she will dart into the chair before me, on purpose.

3. It seems like basic functions ( like getting her own snack) or using the bathroom properly have evaded her.

4. The idea of pesonal space is nill. If I do actually make it to my seat before she tries to steal it, she will wedge her little body right in next to me. I have to lock the door behind be if I want to go to the bathroom alone. I can't even walk into my closet  without company from kid or cat.

I know, I know. These are all desperate attempts to get attention ( i'm irritated, not stupid). But I'm not sure I have that much more attention to give. I'd like to put myself in a hamster ball, just to get a few feet of space.

In case you hadn't guessed this day has been a bit rough. It could be the golf ball sized hole I found in my new favorite throw blanket at the hands of the 4 year old captain destructor. Or maybe it's the baby vomit that I got to clean up from the swing, and several other places. Or possibly it's the neighborhood trip to the river that I wasn't invited to. In their defense I never could have gone. Where are you supposed to put a 3 month old while you are floating down a river all day? Insert point about this shaping up to be one tough summer. Let's not mention the girls night that I put together tonight that I'm not longer attending.

In short this day sucked. At least in 2 more hours I get to turn my AC back on and it won't be 85 degrees in my house anymore. Ah the woes of a stay at home Mom.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Facebook Photos, a bit of Perspective

These pages on facebook where people in the local community buy and sell things are really big out here. Maybe they were big in Simi and I was just unaware. But they are all over the place here.

I've bought and sold a fair amount of stuff on these sites. I've gotten some really good deals, and have been happy with all of my purchases so far. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how different people actually look in person than in their facebook photos. Like most of the time you wouldn't even know it was the same person.

I get trying to put your best picture on the internet, totally. You won't see me posting pictures of myself with double chins or closed eyes ( and there is plenty of both, believe you me). But I like to think that my profile picture looks like me at least, maybe just from a good angle. :)

It got me thinking about how easy it is to look at people on facebook and think they have the perfect life. And maybe they do. But maybe they don't. Maybe we are just seeing them put their best foot forward. Maybe their lives are like every other normal person on this planet filled with peaks and valleys and ups and downs.

We had a great lesson in church today about mothers. One girl commented about how her house is never clean and it makes her feel like a failure sometimes as a stay at home mom. I understand where she is coming from. For some reason even though we spend all day chasing kids around keeping a clean house feels like something we should be able to do and it's really tough! Especially since we have tiny people following us around messing up everything we've just cleaned. However a lady in her mid 70's also commented. She said that her husband used to use their kitchen table as his office. His stuff was all over and it drove her crazy. He has since passed away, and her kitchen table is now clean. What she wouldn't give to have it be a mess again.

The point is there will be a day when I will look around at my toy free house and miss the days when it was cluttered with kid stuff everywhere. So I'm going to work a little harder to not be bothered by the constant clutter and enjoy it.

My profile picture is not perfect on facebook. My life isn't perfect either. And my house looks like a toddler and baby had a party and caused a toy explosion everywhere. But that's ok. I'm going to work a little harder on relaxing and enjoying these imperfect moments before they pass me by.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Birthday and a Date

Someone turned 4! Where oh where has the time gone? I think about how different my life was 4 years ago. How different I was 4 years ago. Then I think about how different things will be 4 years from now...when I'm gulp...34? Ugh.

Here are some highlights from the birthday girl's big day:




Riley came over and played for a little while. The girls enjoyed a tea party with watermelon and graham crackers.




Tea set courtesy of my Aunt Lynne. I don't even know why we bother putting that back in the box, it gets used everyday multiple times a day!


Brynlee's new shirt from her "aunt" Carla. It's pink so of course she LOVED it and had to put it on right away


Aww some sister love! Can't wait to watch these two grow together. 

On Saturday Jimmy and I had a babysitter. I'm not comfortable leaving Claire with a 16 year old quite yet, so we took Claire with us and off we went. But where did we go? Hmm. Turns out it's hard to figure out something to do when you are short on funds but have a baby and have 4 hours of time. We ate dinner, and that took up all of like 30 min. So, I pulled out an old pastime of mine and Audreys. We hit up the Goodwill. 

Our mission, should we choose to accept it: Find the ugliest things possible. Let's just say mission accomplished.


Jimmy of course had to check out the tie rack  and dig for treasure, aka uglier than sin ties.


Disc man anyone? I could't believe the old stuff they had there. Corded home phones, tape players. Even a bunch of cameras that actually take film. It was like walking into a time capsule.


Despite our odd way to spend a Saturday night, Claire seemed to enjoy it.


I think I won right here. Check out this jacket. Coming at you straight from the 80's ( or perhaps early 90's?). Complete with shoulder pads and all. 

We did end up buying a new copy of the Little Mermaid for Brynlee since she broke the one she has. And I bought a book. Our grand total was $3.00. So was it the most ideal way to spend a date night? No, not exactly. But we did have some fun. And some good laughs.




Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Hey it's Thursday! And I'm thankful! Today, I'm thankful for my car. Oh Sophia. You've done me so proud. Bless that car's heart it is OLD. 12 years to be exact. And she is tired. Moving to Arizona has really aged her, and she is looking her years these days. We are currently using our garage as a workshop/storage, but I want to clear it out...ok have Jimmy clear it out ( I'm not meant for manual labor) so I can park in there during the summer. That'll give Sophia some rest from the blazing Arizona sun.

But, I'm thankful for my car none the less. It works. And that's all that I really need right now. Once we get rid of Jimmy's seemingly never ending car payment we can explore options of putting Sophia out to pasture. She has served her time. But she is in pretty decent shape all things considered and is still chugging along 12 years later. A lot of families have to survive with one car, which would be such a nightmare. So while she makes a funny noise sometimes when I start her, and the air conditioning is not the best ( which is really inconvenient right about now) I'm thankful for my car. Keep on dancing old gal, Mama loves you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2 Months and Counting

Someone turned 2 months!

She is now 11.3 lbs. The Dr said she looks good...except for her lumpy head. Ugh. I keep trying to get her to lay on the other side but she is stubborn so looks like I'll have to take more drastic measures. Her Dr said at her 4 month check up if her head is still flattish on one side we'll discuss the helmet option. My mission: to not get to that point.

She got her first shots today...never my favorite. I was lucky that Jimmy took Brynlee to get her first shots so I didn't have to be there. I did have to watch Brynlee get multiple IV's and 2 spinal taps though so I think I paied my dues there. Claire did really well. I think it helps that she has chunky thighs. She was not to happy to be poked, but seemed fine a few minutes later.

As for me 2 months post postpartum I'm feeling pretty good. Still seem to cry at the drop of the hat. Unfortunately. Ready for that feature to go away. And I still have pregnancy brain. But other wise I'm doing well. I'm 8 ish lbs ( depends on what time of day I weigh myself, LOL) away from my pre pregnancy weight and am actually able to SQUEEZE myself into some of my bigger pre pregnancy jeans. I'm packed in there though, believe me. I started taking a Zumba class again- by myself. Looks like when it comes to Zumba I'm destined to be a lone rider. Which is OK with me, less people I know to look like a complete idiot in front of. :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Buddies

Somewhere along the line it became hard to make friends. I've never had this issue in the past. Not to toot my own horn, but I usually get along with people pretty well and make friends easily. It's one of the positive traits of being a perpetual people pleaser.

But since moving here I've had some issues making friends. I made some friends when I worked at Supercuts, but have kind of fallen out of contact with them. You'd think since I live in a neighborhood filled with people my age ish I would have to be beating people off with a stick. But no, not the case.

Once you are married and have kids the friendship dynamic changes. Ideally you find someone that you really get along with, that has kids that your kids get along with and that has a husband your husband gets along with. It's like asking lightening to strike 3 times! I've found myself really trying to make friends with people. Like sitting here thinking of excuses to go talk to certain people to try to plant the seeds of friendship. It's hard when you are the new person coming into an already well established ring of people. They aren't desperate for a new friend the way that I am, and it's actually kind of pathetic how hard I've tried.

Well I'm desperate no more. I decided the other day that I'm having to try WAY to hard. It shouldn't require this much effort to become friends with people. I feel like Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed when she is desperately trying to become friends with the popular kids...and no one wants to feel like Josie Grosie ( If you have not seen this movie I insist you stop reading and run to your nearest Redbox and rent it immediately). Long story short, I'm done. Not done trying to make friends. Just done trying so hard. I did a craft fair on Saturday and made a new friend in a matter of minutes. We sat and talked the whole time, and I actually had fun despite the dismal customer turn out. I realized, this is how making friends should be. Effortless, not full of effort. It it happens, great, if not then oh well. I shouldn't have to force myself on people to become friends with them.

I already have a best friend anyway. She is short, dramatic and full of attitude. But I love her and we spend all our time together. There is quite a gap in our ages but whats a few years between friends? So, to my best friend Brynlee. May we be buddies for life!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Jinx! You Owe me a Good Night's Sleep

So I totally jinxed myself. By talking about how great Claire is, and what a good sleeper she is. Well she is still great. Good sleeper however...not so much.

A switch flipped and suddenly she wants to eat every two and half hours. Not the end of the world during the day, but it is the end of the world at night. Ah! I'm tired. I'm hoping she is just going through a growth spurt and that this phase will not last long.

I forget how little she is. Not only is she not supposed to be sleeping through the night ( from an anatomical stand point) but it's nuts for me to expect her to. It's the hopes of a sleep deprived woman coming out, that's all. I would like to go back to waking up to feed her just once a night though.

I packed away all my newborn clothes, and it made me sad. I never thought I would be one of those, but it is really sad! If we decide to have another child, (please dear Lord let it be a boy otherwise Jimmy will go steal one) and it is a boy those newborn clothes won't be worn by one of my kids again.

Watching children grow up is such a mixed bag of emotions. It's exciting to see the new things they can do and to be able to stand by as they become little people. But it's sad to see the kids that they once were being left behind.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

An Odd Thing to be Thankful For

Today, I'm thankful for Summer. I know, crazy right?

Well summer DOES suck around here. There is no denying it. But, since I can't avoid it I might as well try to be positive about it. So, here are some things about Summer that I am thankful for:

1. No socks, like ever. Less laundry, and if you are me less socks to lose.
2. S'mores. Mmmm. I love s'mores. Brynlee and I just made some over a candle.
3. The 4th of July. While it is un bearably hot here, the 4th of July is still one of my very favorite holidays.
4. Tan lines. Especially on little girls and on little girl bums.
5. My hair dries in about 2 min. For someone who has a ton of hair it's nice that it doesn't take 3 hours to dry!
6. Here, when you get out of the shower you don't feel cold. I hate getting out of the shower in the winter time and being freezing. Not much of an issue in summertime around here
7. LONG days. It's nice when Jimmy gets home and the sun is still out.
8. For about a month the pool feels wonderful. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right and great for swimming
9. The smell of sun tan lotion.
10. My big tub of coconut oil stays liquid, which makes it so much easier to use.

Bring it on Summer, I'm ready for you!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Queen Clarion

You know you watch a lot of children's TV when you start calling your baby the name of the queen fairy on Tinkerbell. Yes I call Claire Queen Clarion, and she seems to like it. 

Claire is the EASIEST baby. I thought Brynlee was pretty easy, but now I've got a baby that is so low maintenance it's a joke. We scored big time. Claire only fusses when she is hungry usually. There was a few weeks when she would be a little fussy in the evening, but if I held her she was fine. Yesterday during the poop fiasco she didn't even make a peep. She likes to be held ( what baby doesn't?) but I put her down all the time and seems to be OK with that. As long as she can see someone she is fine.

She has been a great sleeper. She sleeps in her crib every night. No rocking, or singing or anything. She does need to be swaddled though. That is her one thing. In order to sleep really well she has to be wrapped up. She wakes up to eat in the night and goes right back to sleep when she is done. My lack of sleep these days is not really her fault. She wakes me up to eat and then I have insomnia for the next 2 hours. It's so irritating!!! She is usually done feeding in 15 min from start to finish. The rest of the time it's all my problem.

She has had one thing that was never a problem with Brynlee. I noticed she seemed to favor one side of her head. And her head looked a little misshapen. But she just got squeezed out of a birth canal, whose head wouldn't be misshapen after that? However Jimmy pointed out that her head was getting REALLY misshapen. I did some research and started to panic. Am I not moving her around enough? Is she going to have to wear one of those ( really expensive) helmet things? Did I ruin her head for life? It didn't seem to be torticollis because her neck will move to the opposite side. Her head just snaps right back to her favored flat side. We started making a conscious effort to get her to look to her less favored side. I've rolled up wash clothes and stick them under her favored side when she is awake to force her head in the other direction. After about a week it seems to be looking better, and her head will go to the less favored side more easily now. She has her 2 month appointment coming up so I'll ask the Dr then. Life is hard enough without a lumpy head!

She started smiling recently. Not a ton, but a smile here and there. When I went to get her out of bed this morning I peeked into her crib and there she was smiling away. Not a bad way to wake up!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On my Own

And then there was one. One adult with two kids that is. Yep, Jimmy went back to work, Donna left and now it's just me.

Yesterday was day 1. Not too bad! I woke up in a great mood, despite it being 7am and just having fallen back to sleep after the 5am feeding. The day went pretty well. It was a bit chaotic trying to feed and get everyone ready to go to dance class, but otherwise all was good. I did go to bed at 8:45 though. Yep, I didn't even make it to 9pm.

Today didn't go quite as well. We started out with Claire having a blowout of epic proportions as I was trying to get Brynlee ready for school. I was literally cleaning poop out of her belly button. It was front to back practically arm pit to arm pit. But we got Brynlee off to school on time. I went on a cleaning frenzy while Brynlee was at school and Claire was pretty cooperative. I find if I clean while Brynlee is home my clean house stays clean for about 2 min until a certain 3 year old messes it up again. This way it stayed clean for almost 3 hours until a certain 3 year old got home from school. I had to go to the store and figured only taking 1 kid was better than taking both so Claire and I ran some errands. In the car, out of the car. In the car, out of the car. I forgot how heavy those car seats are! Jeesh. We got home just in time for Brynlee to get out of school Oops, there went my nap time. And exercise time. And finding my inner peace time. Then it was feeding time for both girls and homework. Unfortunately that was accompanied by a splitting headache on my part, which refuses to go away. 1600 mg of ibuprofen and it's still hanging around.

I found myself losing patience today that I had plenty of yesterday. * sigh*. It's an adjustment period for everyone right? We'll get it figured out. I never did get dressed. I'm still sitting here in my pajama top however I did manage to throw on some yoga pants ( for the exercise I never did). Tomorrow will be better. On the positive side, at least I'm practically already dressed for bed. Which I'm ready to get into as soon as Jimmy gets home!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thankful Thursday on Friday... Again

Oops I missed Thursday, again. Hmm. This might become a weekly occurrence.

This week I'm thankful for the human body and it's ability to bounce back...sort of.

I had Brynlee when I was 26. I gained about 35 pounds with her and it all came off with relative ease after child birth. I was wearing a pair of my larger jeans 1 week ( Yes, 1 week!!!) post postpartum. By my 6 week check up I was back in my pre baby pants, at least most of them and was right around my pre pregnancy weight. It did take pilates to really get back to my pre pregnancy shape but all things considered I got pretty lucky! At the time I did not realize how lucky.

Cut to now. I'm 30 and gained 35 pounds with Claire as well. However I was more active during my pregnancy with Claire courtesy of my super active 3 year old who won't sit still. So, while I knew getting back to my pre pregnancy weight would be tough I thought I would bounce back similarly to how I did before with Brynlee. It makes sense, right? No. Wrong! 2nd baby and older = pounds not melting off the way they used to. Here we are 7 weeks post postpartum and I still have 12 pounds to lose. And I can barely get my old pants up, otherwise buttoned. And if I can get them buttoned I've got a muffin top so big a bakery would be jealous.

I suddenly have a new found respect for all the moms out there who have had multiple kids and look great.

I'm sure you are wondering when I'll get to the thankful part?

As I get frustrated with my new soft and larger body, I think about what a miracle it is that women can get back to pre pregnancy bodies at all! I mean look at what my body just went through. I went from being able to use my pregnant belly as a table to it being flatish. Ok not really flatish but much smaller than it was just last month. It really is amazing. I've still got a lot of work to do. And I'm sure I'll complain plenty along the way as I stare longingly at my skinny jeans that haven't seen the light of day in 10 months. But I'll get there. And the fact that I can get back there ( or I think I can get back there) EVENTUALLY is something to thankful for.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Thankful Thursday...On Friday

I missed yesterday, oops. In all likely hood it won't be the last.

Today I'm thankful for two healthy normalish children ( at least so far). When you think about everything that could go wrong when you are pregnant it's a miracle that anyone comes out normal! When I was pregnant with Claire I kept having nightmares that she would be born missing and arm or something. Obviously I'd love her just the same if that were the case. But I kept worrying and worrying.

As she was being born and the 6 nurses were delivering her ( because literally there were like 6 nurses in there) they said to me "Oh she's cute!" The first thing I asked is " Is she normal? All 10 fingers and all 10 toes?". Yep, she's got it all. When they showed her to me my first thought was " No, she's not cute. She's scary looking!". Yep I said it. She WAS scary looking, poor little thing. Her face was all squished, probably from hanging out in the birth canal for 20 min waiting for the Dr who would never make it. She's pretty darn cute now though. So, in honor of my thankfulness for my kids here are some pictures.



                                             Brynlee at about 2 months I think? I'm not sure




 I'm thankful for this furry child of mine as well. No, having a baby did not diminish my love for my cat.


Baby Claire!

Brynlee ready for dance class

Claire sleeping on Jimmy at 1 month.

This is Brynlee's eyebrow. What 4 year old has perfectly arched eyebrows like this?! All she needs a little tweezing and she's good to go ( no, I'm not going to tweeze her eyebrows. I'm just saying that when she's older she's got it made!). I'm totally jealous

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Struggle and a Run

I started thinking the other day about struggles.

Everyone struggles, and everyone struggles with different things. Does that mean one person's struggles are worse than someone else's? I'm not sure. Really no one can be the judge of that. Because unless you've experienced the exact same thing as someone, you can't know what they are going through. And you can't really experience the exact same thing as someone because you aren't that person. You don't handle things the same way that person does. You don't have the same history as that person.

My point is I think we should stop one upping our woes. I mean what does trying to prove that your struggle is worse than someone else's accomplish anyway? Besides making you feel worse in the end. I think we should try to swing the other way. No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse. No matter how dark things are there is a positive aspect somewhere. Like my last fun fact said, if you make over $21,000 per year you are among the richest 4% on the planet. Ok, so we are rich! Woo hoo! It's all about perspective.

I have some startling news. I'm running. Me. Actually running. I'm training for a 5K. And yes I DO need to train for a 5k. That's how out of shape/suck at running I am. I know most people could probably roll out of bed and run 3.1 miles ( because that's how long a 5k is in case you didn't know) with the greatest of ease. Running has never been my thing so the fact that I'm running by choice is quite a feat. Since it's getting hot here quickly, all the 5ks are in May and then there aren't any again until Sept/Oct. I won't be ready by May. I did just have a baby after all. And am recovering from not really exercising for the past 10 months. So Sept/Oct will be the goal. Hopefully by then I'll be one of those people who can run 3.1 miles with the greatest of ease. Or at least someone who can stagger across the finish line

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Paranoia, Paranoia

I wouldn't consider myself a huge worry wart. Do I worry about things? Yes, I definitely do. But who doesn't right? I'm not the most easy going of people on the planet, but I'm not strung high as a kite either. I'm a middle of the road worrier. A medium sized worry wart if you will.

But I find myself being paranoid recently. After the Brynlee almost dying at 2 moths incident I've decided to be a little more cautious with Claire. As I've previously posted I don't take her out very often at all, and if we do she is in her car seat covered up and shielded from the world. But now that she is a 1 month old I've considered letting her out of quarantine.

However after watching the news the other night and seeing that a case of measles has been identified in Maricopa county ( which is the county I live in) I started thinking otherwise. This case was identified a good 30 min away from me, so not really a big deal right? Then I started reading about how you can catch measles...it's like a scene out of the movie contagion!

-it's airborne
-it's so contagious that the virus can literally live in the air for hours after the person who is carrying it is no longer present
-someone can be carrying it for up to 4 days before exhibiting any symptoms
- babies ( great!) and young children ( great!) are most susceptible to long term effects and even death from contracting measles

Then I read where this person who was confirmed to have measles in my county has been before they exhibited any symptoms. Oh just the phoenix airport! Probably the worst place ever for someone with a highly contagious disease to have been. This person also attended church services at a LDS building and ate in a restaurant.

Well you can just call Claire Anne Frank because I'm not taking her out EVER! 

OK that's a little dramatic, Claire will leave the house again eventually. But as far as going to places with droves of people not anytime soon if I can avoid it all. Looks like she will be in quarantine for a little while longer!







Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thankful Thursday and a Happy Place

I'm going to copy an idea from another blog I read and talk about something I'm thankful for on Thursdays. If I can remember to blog on Thursdays that is.

Today I'm thankful for air conditioning! As it starts to heat up here, I think about how lucky we are to have modern technology. I'm not great in the heat. I can admit it. I get moody, snappy and unpleasant. So it only makes sense that I live in the desert right? LOL How amazing it is that I have this magic box thing that cools my whole house down for me so I don't want to kill someone.

I'm not super thankful for air conditioning bills...but at least I have control over my bill. Houses here are designed with heat in mind, and we don't have a ton of natural light in my house. I thought it was strange at first, but it helps keep it cooler and I'm a fan of that. Thank you air conditioning, I love you!

As I was up the other night at 4:30 ish I started thinking about happy places. I actually have one. I have a place I picture myself at when I'm trying to relax. I've been to this place before so when I need to calm down I try to physcially put myself in this place.

Here is mine:


But not just any beach. This beach. It's called nauset beach and it's on Cape Cod. When my family would go visit the cape each year we'd always go to this beach for a day. Cousins and aunts and uncles would come and it was always one of my favorite days of our vacation. This beach is not like the beaches I've been to in California where people are packed in and practically sitting on top of each other. You have to actually drive on the sand to get to this beach. And you park right on the beach and have a ton of space to sprawl out.

I can't tell you how many times I feel myself at this beach. I can feel the sun warm me after swimming in the freezing cold water. I can feel myself slowly drift off to sleep listening to the sound of the waves and kids playing and people chatting. Beach naps are the best! I can taste my Italian sub from D'angelos, because that is the only thing acceptable in my mind to eat on this beach trip. I can smell the sunblock and it smells wonderful. Ahhh. Maybe I'll vacate to this happy place right now. I'm grateful to have memories of a place like this that I can go to when life gets tough and things get hard. I hope everyone out there has their own "nauset beach" that they can get away to.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Parenting Moments

I was thinking the other day about moments. Specifically moments as a parent. I think back to my parenting resume over the past 4 years. It's not too bad, but there are some times that were not my proudest. I can name my worst parenting moment easily. It is not something I'm proud of and when I think about it I physically wince and want to cry.

It was a Monday and Brynlee was about 6 weeks old. The night before had been a nightmare...Jimmy and I got into a fight and I stayed up way too late. Brynlee was still waking up several times a night to eat so to say I got a little amount of sleep is an understatement. That Monday morning Brynlee was up bright and early. She was extremely fussy. I tried feeding, rocking, swaddling. I tried everything and she just kept screaming and crying. After several hours of this I was at my whit's end. I could not take it anymore. My lack of sleep and general grumpiness was not helping and I was DONE with the whole situation. I stuck a crying Brynlee in her crib and went outside for a little while. Eventually the crying stopped, and I composed myself. I went in to check on Brynlee and she had thrown up everywhere. Not just spit up, but thrown up. It was all over her, all over her crib. I'm not sure how long she lay in there covered by her own vomit before I decided to go check on her.

Later that day she ended up in the hospital with spinal meningitis fighting for her life. She would survive (obviously) but I kept thinking back to that moment. Instead of toughing it out with my baby, instead of sticking with her and sticking by her I put her down and walked away from her because I couldn't handle it. Of course she was fussy. Her brain was swelling and she was life threateningly sick. But I was tired and didn't want to deal with her anymore so I gave up.

I'm not saying Moms shouldn't take a break. That Moms don't need to take a break. But still to this day I can't help but thinking that I abandoned my baby when she needed me because I was tired and hormonal. I hate that I wasn't patient enough and loving enough to be there when she got sick and to stick with her while she didn't feel well.

Now that I'm all depressed again I'll change the tone and list my proudest parenting moment. As Brynlee has gotten older she wants things. Lots of things. We go to the store and she wants everything she sees. Even if I tell her we aren't getting anything for her today, she still asks to get EVERYTHING we see. As I say "no" over and over and over again she usually gets angry and pouty. Little does she know that her bad attitude makes me want to buy her things even less, LOL.

So, my proud parenting moment was at a birthday party. Before we went to the party I explained to her that the other little girl would be getting lots of presents. And she would be opening lots of pretty packages and blowing out candles on a cake ( all of which are things Brynlee wants to do). I tried to explain to her that is was the birthday girl's special day and that Brynlee needed to stand back and let her open her things and enjoy her birthday without "helping" her. Unfortunately Brynlee listens to me about as well as my husband does while a sporting event is on TV ( or really anything is on TV)...meaning not well at all. So I wasn't sure what we would get at the party. I was hoping I wasn't going to be the parent with the kid who was having a meltdown because she didn't get any presents but I wasn't sure. Imagine my delight ( and surprise) when Brynlee actually listened to me and was perfectly behaved. I left that birthday party beaming, and with my step a little lighter. I know this probably seems really dumb to those with kids that behave like angels on a regular basis. But I don't have one of those kids so for us this was a BIG deal.

Fun Fact:
People earning over $21,000 a year are the richest 4% on the planet


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Trade Off

I can't help but compare Claire to Brynlee at this age. Things are so different this time around it feels like Brynlee was born 100 years ago rather than 4. I feel much more prepared to take care of a baby this time. But one of the main things is that I'm not working.

I'm not stressed about where Claire will go in 7 weeks when I go back to work. I won't have to try to juggle being a full time employee and Mom. I won't feel the guilt of dropping my baby off at day care ( worst. feeling.ever). I can go on field trips with Brynlee's school. And will be able to take care of my kids when they are sick with no worry about missing work.

This does come at a cost though. Jimmy works really hard to make this happen. Really really hard, including long hours to accrue overtime pay. I'm not a huge fan of discussing money, buy money is TIGHT. Trying to make ends meet is stressful, just a different kind of stress than trying to juggle the tasks of being a working Mom. I'm constantly confronted with things I'd like to buy ( and in some cases things we really need to buy) with money that's not there. A new car, vacations, gadgets. It's a definite trade off.

I'll definitely go back to work one day. I miss working ( for pay) and getting out and meeting people. Once my kids are in school full time I'd like to work part time. Ideally I'd assist for an awesome hair stylist and hone my skills. In my head that's how things happen anyway.

So the question comes to mind, is this trade off worth it? Is a "lesser" quality of life worth being home to take care of my children? My answer depends on the day...just kidding. Mostly. :) Right now, I say yes. I'm excited to be there for the milestones with Claire that I missed with Brynlee. And to be there with Brynlee as she reaches new milestones.

I

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Birthday, a Visit and Other Happenings

So, I'm 30. Yep. The big 30. Being that my birthday was 12 days after Claire was born, I didn't expect anything super exciting this year. 12 days post postpartum isn't exactly a time to party it up! I did have a nice birthday though.

My friend Tessa came out to stay with us, and it's the first friend I've had visit. It was nice to have her here and she was super helpful with Claire. She has no kids but can swaddle and soothe a baby like no ones business! On my birthday she made me a cake, woke up early and took Brynlee out to get donuts and decorations and decorated the house. What a pal. We went to dinner that night ( my first time braving a restaurant with Claire) and had a really fun time. Tessa and I even got out for a little bit kid free which was nice but kind of weird.

Since Brynlee got super super sick when she was a baby I'm paranoid now. If I take Claire out (and I have to do that sometimes) she is in her car seat with the canopy down so no one can see/poke/touch/prod her. So going out to dinner for us was a big deal. Here's hoping Claire doesn't end up in the hospital for 2 weeks!

In a moment of temporary insanity I decided to try on some pre pregnancy pants 2 weeks post postpartum... yeah. BAD idea. I could get them on but they were not even close to zipping. What was I thinking you ask? I'm not sure. I feel so much smaller than I was a few weeks ago. But I guess I'm not THAT much smaller. The worst part is that these pants used to be loose on me. Not so lose anymore, LOL. I guess I'll keep sticking with my trusty yoga pants.

I had a Dr appt this week which I thought was strange because it's only been 2 weeks and normally you don't go in until 6 weeks post postpartum. But my Dr just wanted to check in and see how things were going and how I was feeling which I thought was really nice. However at this appt I was asked to step on the scale. My first scale encounter since I had Claire. I had an idea of what the number would be, and I was dead on. 20 lbs down, 15 more to go ( until I'm at my pre pregnancy weight anyhow). 15 lbs isn't too bad. It's doable I think. I just wish I had something besides yoga pants to wear while I'm working on it!


Monday, March 24, 2014

When Breast isn't Best

Happy 2 weeks to baby Claire! These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions for me. I'll blame the hormones and lack of sleep. After a valiant effort, I've decided that breastfeeding is not for me. I tried, I really did. I did all the research, and I did everything right this time. However things starting getting really bad and I felt old familiar feelings creeping up.

With Brynlee, trying to breastfeed started to make me have post postpartum depression. I would watch the clock constantly, dreading the next feeding. She would start to show signs of hunger and I'd try to do anything I could to make her stop crying so I didn't have to feed her. I started to resent her and the pain she was causing me. It's a truly terrible feeling to dread feeding your baby! It should be a time of bonding, when both parties are satisfied.

These feelings started to appear again with Claire. After getting off to a decent start, things went south quickly and every feeding became a horribly painful experience. On top of that Claire would fuss as I was feeding her, and instead of looking satisfied after nursing for 45 min she would just scream. That, combined with my constant crying and emotional breakdowns made me realize it was time to stop. Racked with guilt, I sobbed all day yesterday as it was the first time we gave Claire a bottle. Having been through this once before, I didn't expect to feel the guilt I was feeling. I turned to the internet for information to see if anyone else had these issues. What I found was hundreds and hundreds of people who are going through and who have gone through the same thing. I realized I'm not alone. A quote from someone on one of those sites really stuck out to me. She said "Breastmilk is best, but baby needs a happy healthy Mommy above all else."

Claire has been so unhappy the past 5 days, I couldn't figure out why. After pumping and feeding it to her, she looked at me and screamed for more. I think she was just hungry! Because since we have give her more food she has been a totally different baby.

I so admire people who breastfeed, and love breastfeeding. It's like the people who love being pregnant. It's great for them, and I'm a little bit jealous because I don't love either of those things. But for me and my family breast turned out not to be best.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Baby Story

We have a new addition to the Cuillard family!

Welcome Claire Whitney Cuillard,
Born: March 10th at 3:36 pm
Weight: 7 lbs 13 oz
Height: 19 and 1/2 inches
Apgar score: 9

We headed to the hospital on March 10th at 7:30am. By the time the Dr actually broke my water it was around 10...good old Dr's always running behind! He decided to put me on small amounts of pitocin after all, to make sure things progressed the way we wanted.

It's funny how your body purges out the pain of child birth. As the contractions started I remember thinking this isn't too bad. This isn't too bad at all. Cut to an hour later and I was ringing the bell for the nurse to come in like my life depended on it. Anesthesiologist, now please! Epidural yesterday please! Not that I wasn't planning on getting one. I just wanted to wait until I couldn't stand the pain anymore. I'm not sure why. It's kind of stupid really. If  I'm going to use the drugs, I might as well use them early on and be comfortable. I think in the back of my mind I was afraid if I got the epidural too soon it would wear off before it was go time and I'd be in trouble.

I've been lucky to have two really great epidurals. It was perfect with Brynlee and it was perfect with this one. The nurse came in and checked me and I was progressing, but slowly. I even dozed off for a while. When I woke up, I could feel we were close. I called the nurse in and she checked me again, I was a 10! So there you go. I went from a 4 to a 10 in an hour. She ran out and called my OB to come over ( his office is down the street). On a side note after only delivering at Kaiser previous to this I was amazed at how different this was. To see the same Dr all 9 months and have him be the one to actually deliver the baby is nice. At Kaiser they just pass you all over the place.

Anyhow, to not get into the nitty gritty on here, my Dr did not make it. That's how quickly the baby came out! I wasn't even pushing and the contractions where literally pushing her out. About 6 nurses ended up delivering the baby and my Dr ran in about 30 seconds too late. I've decided that I have horrible pregnancies, but pretty great labors. Anytime you have a baby and don't actually have to push to get it out is nice. So, if a girl out there wants to carry the babies for 10 months and then I'll deliver them we'll be in business!

We came home from the hospital the next day and are now adjusting to life at home with 2 kids. Basically how it's going is I take care of Claire and Jimmy takes care of Brynlee. I'm not sure which one is more difficult :) At least Jimmy gets some sleep with the kid he's taking care of.

We've yet to take a family picture... I'm hoping to lose some more of this gut I have in the next few days. I know, I know it's only been 4 days. But I'm still sporting a significant sized belly and I'm hoping it's not going to hang around forever. It feels so great to NOT be pregnant I find myself just smiling with joy. It's wonderful!

Interesting Fact: Under extreme high pressure, diamonds can be made from peanut butter

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Save the Date

We have an induction date! Monday on March 10th, baby Claire should be entering the world. Should be. If all goes according to plan.

It's strange having a date set. It allows planning which I like. But it allows waiting too. I'll get really excited. And then I'll get really freaked out. If I had insomnia issues before, they are back with a vengeance now. It's weird to think that I'll only be pregnant for 2 more days. And that in 2 days our family will change forever!

I'm finding induction is somewhat controversial. Some people are really against it. They look down on your for going that route. I can maybe see why. If I was more patient I would just wait. And wait. The baby will come out EVENTUALLY. But this option works out much better for my family and I. This way I can make sure there is somewhere for Brynlee to be. If we didn't have any kids at home it might be different but I worry about going into labor in the middle of the night and having to wake everyone up and cause a huge commotion for everyone involved. And since my due date is on Wednesday anyhow, the baby is full term. And lets be honest, I'm done being pregnant! We have family and friends coming to town the week of March 18th so this will give me some time with the baby and just our family. And time to heal a bit before we have guests. Not that I need to explain to anyone why I'm choosing to induce. But if you were wondering, there you go.

The plan for this induction is different than what I did with Brynlee. Because I'm further along and my body is just about ready, my Dr will just break my water. My appt is at 7:30am and he said I should have the baby by noon with how far I'm dilated and how much my cervix is thinned. I forgot to ask him how far I've actually progressed because I was so flustered...but hopefully I won't need an pitocin and I definitely won't need cervadil this time. We'll see! Things don't always go according to plan, this we know!

Lastly, I think Mitzie has a boyfriend. Or something. There is a male cat who hangs around our house. I love cats, and in this case cats keep scorpions away. So the more cats that want to hang out at my house the better! I'm not sure who this male cat belongs to. I think he might not belong to anyone. But he's super friendly so who knows. I'm not sure how male and female cats are supposed to interact, but these two DO NOT seem to get along. They will try to fight through the screen door if they see each other.

So, imagine my surprise when I looked out the window that Mitzie is normally perched on and see this.

There he is. Just waiting for her. Perhaps I misunderstood their fighting through the door antics? Maybe that was part of the mating ritual? He looks like a little cat version of Romeo waiting down there for his Juliet. 

This will probably be my last blog entry for a while. Next time I write I'll be a mother of 2!

Fun Fact: Leonardo da Vinci worked on the Mona Lisa for 15 years. By the time he died in 1519 he still didn't consider it finished.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Just Call me Jennifer

I can't remember if I've talked about my newest church calling on here. And don't really feel like looking back through all my posts, so if I did sorry.

Throughout my married life I've held many different church callings. A lot of them seem to pertain to teaching, but always teaching children. Or teenagers. Basically trying to teach church stuff to people who did not want to really hear it. It has been taxing, rewarding and humbling all at the same time.

I really love to teach. When you are showing something to someone and it clicks and they finally get it it's like the best feeling ever. So imagine my excitement when I was called to teach, again. But this time, I get to teach adults! People who actually want to listen to what I'm saying. I teach in Relief Society once a month ( which for all the non LDS readers is where women meet. In our 3rd hour of church...yes I know we go for 3 hours. It sounds crazy! But in our 3rd hour of church the women meet together and the men meet together). So every 4th Sunday I teach a bunch of women of all ages.

It is intimidating at times. A lot of these women are probably more knowledgeable than I am. But I really enjoy it.

During my lessons I find people laughing at me. And it's not usually me trying to be funny. It's me just being me...which is a goof. A mess. Someone who uses strange gestures and says weird stuff. I've had many women comment that they like my lessons because I'm so "real" ( thankfully those who don't like my lessons don't comment....). I wasn't sure what that means. But after Jennifer Lawrence's most recent red carpet fall I think I get it. I'm real like she is. Falling on the red carpet is totally something I would do...if I were to ever get on a red carpet. I'm a disaster, therefore relate able. Maybe my messiness makes me approachable? Either way. As long as ladies are laughing and not snoozing while I'm teaching I'll consider it a teaching success.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Helpers

I was thinking today about the idea of "helping". In theory, helping is great! Let me switch gears for a minute.

Brynlee is on a kick where she says she is "sharing" something. Meaning she takes your things. I've tried to tell her there is a difference between "sharing" and just stealing someone's stuff. It's a hard concept for a 3 year old to grasp. Or maybe it's not and she is just being a stinker about it. She keeps "sharing" sister babies stuff aka taking her stuff and playing with it.

Brynlee also tries to "help" me. Which most of the time is her just making whatever I'm trying to do more difficult. But bless her heart she does try. And she is little so I can't fault her too much.

But that got my mind going about different types of people. Helpers if you will. Some people really enjoy helping. But even better, they help you in the way YOU need to be helped. Whether it's fun, glamorous or exciting. If you need it, they will do it. Even if it's inconvenient or unpleasant for them. Because sometimes the help you need is none of those things. Those are the best kind of helpers in my opinion. They are old faithful, reliable when you need it most. They don't make you feel uncomfortable when you have to ask them for help and they are not quick to hold it over your head for years to come.

However there is another kind. People who want to "help", but really only want to help the way they want to. Which sometimes is not very helpful at all actually. It's like Brynlee's version of helping. Meaning they want to do something, and cover it with the word help to make it seem like it's for someone else. But it's really not. It's for them. They are selfish helpers. And these types usually make you feel really bad about asking them for help in the first place. Or make you feel like you should be forever in debt to them for the "help" they provided. They are the kind of people you call for help as a last resort.

I've encountered both kinds, and feel like a I know a few from each category fairly well.

I won't get into what got me thinking about this. Jimmy has been gone for about 12 hours and after basically talking to only Brynlee all day my mind starts to wonder and ponder. But I'm challenging everyone to think about this idea. What kind of helper are you? What kind of helper do you want to be? Maybe next time someone needs help really think about it. Think about what you are offering to do for them and who it's really benefiting. And if you are really  being much of a help at all.

I strive to be like the first category, the real helper. But I wonder if I fall short sometimes and land in the latter category. The selfish helper. Imagine a world where we are all like the first!

Fun Fact ( and how fitting this one seems these days): January 8 1835 was the only day in history that the USA had no national debt

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Time to Tour

A few days ago I started getting really uncomfortable. Not just like 3rd trimester uncomfortable, but like even more so. I had a Dr's appt yesterday, turns out I'm dilated to a 2 or 3. Yay!!!!!! Baby is head down, ready to go. Like her head is sitting on my pelvis and my Dr could feel it when he checked me. And boy do I feel it. My back is killing me, and I'm waddling big time. We are moving in the right direction!

He told me that even if I don't go into labor on my own in the next few weeks, I'll be ready to be induced by then. Thank goodness. No 10 day overdue baby for me! Hopefully. I knew something felt different, but I was surprised that I went from a 0 to a 3 in a week. Surprised in a good way. Shouldn't be too long now. Which is exciting, yet scary. Still no hospital bag packed...I'm planning on waddling my way up the stairs to pack that after I finish this. 

We had planned on doing a hospital tour since I'm delivering at a hospital I've never been to. But they only do tours Monday through Friday and we never got it together. So I decided to go take a peek after my Dr's appt. That way at least one of us knows where we are going! They were super nice and showed me all around. Its so different than Kaiser was. I get my own room, and it's big! I really think I'll have a good experience there. And I get a menu to order food from. I'm really excited about that. Probably more than I should be, LOL.  The only negative is that it's about 25 min from our house, but that is where my OB delivers so 25 minutes we will go. If I was still living in CA I'd have to drive 45 min to Kaiser anyway.

I find myself wanting to get another animal. I know that's crazy. It's nuts. That's why I haven't done it. But this nesting thing is getting to me and I want a baby something already. I keep seeing kittens for adoption on Facebook and it takes all my willpower to skip on past the post. If I brought home a kitten now it would be a colossal mistake, and Jimmy would KILL me. Mitzie probably would too. I think she likes to run the show around here. 

Speaking of Mitzie, she has slept on my feet for the past almost 5 years. I hate it, but I love her so I let her stay there. I now sleep with a gigantic pregnancy pillow. It's huge. It took a little getting used to, but now I really like it and don't know how I didn't use one of those when i was pregnant with Brynlee. But once the big pillow came out, Mitzie migrated over to someone else's feet. Ha! If I'd known a big pillow would have moved her over there I'd have gotten it out years ago. Jimmy had a talk with her the other day about how she could actually sleep in the middle of the bed, in between our feet. She blinked at him. And then wound up right on his feet again. LOL. She fits right in with this family, that is for sure!

Fun Fact:

The world's population spends 500,000 hours a day typing internet security codes!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to Pack a Bag

2 weeks and a few days! Until my due date anyhow. Since Jimmy just had a cousin deliver 10 days ( yes, 10 days. 10!!!) after her due date I'm not holding my breath over here. I was induced with Brynlee a week early, but up to that point she was showing NO signs of coming. So I'm not sure what to expect here.

Just waiting. That is probably the worst part. I'm a planner, I like to plan ahead. And this is one thing you can't plan. We are just about ready for the baby to come. Except I haven't packed a hospital bag. I'm having issues with this. I keep thinking I need to do it, and then am not sure what to pack. What if I don't deliver for another 4 weeks, then I'll need to use everything in my bag. And I need to pack a bag for Brynlee too. But I don't know how long she'll be staying somewhere, so...I just avoid the issue and pack nothing. Surprise, me avoiding something.

I didn't have the packing bag problem when I was pregnant with Brynlee. But I just keep staring at my empty duffel bag. And freak out and then throw it back in the closet, LOL.

Somehow there are things with this baby I hadn't thought of until recently. I've had a LONG time to think of all the possibilities, but I got hit with a new one the other day. I read a blog where a Mother was talking about having her 2nd child. And how she was afraid it would change her time with her first child. Their trips to Target together, their time to play together. All that was going to change.

WOW. This came as a revelation to me. For the past 4 years, it's just been Brynlee. And for the past 7 or so months, it's just been Brynlee and me. And in a few weeks (or so) it won't be like that anymore. And won't ever be like that again, unless we make special just Brynlee and me time. It's kind of sad. And scary. And exciting all at the same time. Along with a ton of other things that are sad, scary and exciting all at the same time. Yikes!

So here's to two more weeks ( hopefully, fingers crossed) of being pregnant. And here's to the many changes coming up. And here's to me making my 50th attempt to pack a bag...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

An Olympic Sized Conflict of Interest

So I've caught Olympic fever. I watch every night, and get really excited when it's time for the Olympics to start. I'm going to be in trouble next week when they are over and I have nothing to watch!

I've noticed a trend though that peeves me a bit. It seems that a large majority of the athletes train in the US. Often times side by side with our own athletes. In some cases, they even have the same coach. Really? How is it possible to be training with your opponent. Or even worse have your opponent being trained by the same person you are, right next to you!

I'm all for camaraderie between countries, don't get me wrong. But can't these athletes train in their own country? Or if they are going to train here, represent the USA. It's like they use our facilities, and then beat us at the Olympics. 

Not surprisingly Russia is pretty serious about these games. The male Russian ice skater who did not skate due to a back injury was called an "invalid" by a Russian politician. They are not messing around over there! There was a couple I saw during ice dancing the other night who was not from Russia. I can't remember where they are from, ( shocking, I know) but they are not Russian. However they had trained in Russia for a while. As the Olympics approached, Russia kicked them out and told them they could not train in their country anymore. And guess where they came to train instead. Yep, here. It seems like that is a little harsh on Russia's part, but I see where they are coming from.

What really bugs is when athletes like hockey players are playing for professional teams here in this country. But when the Olympics come they want to represent their own country. I see wanting to represent your hometown. I really do. But I can't help feeling a bit used by all these people.

Our training facilities and money are good enough for your to partake of. But when it comes to actually giving back to this country, they don't want to do it. To be honest I'm not really that educated about it. I'm sure that they have to pay to train here or something. So maybe by training here they are stimulating the economy a smidgen. Either way. Lets save the best for our athletes I say!

On a different topic, to anyone who has enjoyed my pregnancy brain moments I had yet another one the other day.

I was at the park with some girls in my neighborhood. I'm desperately trying to make friends with the people that live near me so I have someone besides Brynlee to talk to. I saw them at the park with their kids so I shelved my shyness and went over there too. As I was talking to a girl the conversation went like this:

Girl: I had a fortune teller told me I was going to die at 40 once. At least I have 11 more years.
Me: Oh so you are 31 then?
Girl: No...I'm 29
Me: Oh yeah, sorry. Clearly I can't add....

Ahhh! So embarrassing. Why brain why? I was never good with math in my head before,but really? I'm sure all the new people I've met while living here think I'm dumb as a box of rocks. Please brain, come back to me!

Lastly, I'm starting a new blogging tradition. My Aunt send me a book of interesting facts. What a great present! There are some really good ones in there. So, at the end of each blog post ( if I can get my firing on less than all cylinders brain to remember) I'm going to post one. 

Interesting Fact:

"The average person walks the equivalent of three times around the world in a lifetime." 

Friday, February 14, 2014

An Apology to my Possesions

Dear Stuff,

I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I haven't always taken care of you the way I should. I may have used and abused you before, but I feel like as I've gotten older I've done a better job.

And then I brought another person into this world who seems to make a hobby out of getting into you and putting you through the ringer:

To my couch that is brand new and gets jumped on constantly, even when I tell a certain someone not to.

To my brand new living room carpet that is constantly covered in crumbs, despite my best efforts to keep a certain messy eater off you. Let's not bring up the whole spilled strawberry milk incident. That is still to fresh in both our minds

To my book light that is now bent into an odd position and can no longer be used.

To my beauty blender ( which for those who don't know is a very EXPENSIVE, yet awesome make up sponge) that got covered in permanent marker.

To my space heater that no longer works. I'm not sure what happened to you, but I know who happened to you.

To my crafting ribbon that met with a pair of scissors way before your time.

To my walls...my poor walls. Crayon, marker, boogers ( yes boogers) seem to always find their way out of a certain someone's hands and on to you. Repeatedly.

I apologize. And bear some bad news I'm afraid. Soon another one of these wreakers of havoc will be entering the world. You have a little bit of time before that one will discover how fun it is to destroy you. But not much. Get ready to be double teamed.

Sincerely,

Liz

PS I know based on this it sounds like I NEVER watch my kid! But she is smart and she is crafty. She uses stools/chairs/anything to climb up and get things down ( like permanent markers!!!!!) that were purposely put out of reach.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

You Spin Me Round

This baby of mine is quite the mover! I remember Brynlee moving about, but not like this. Brynlee's kicking was more of an annoyance. This is painful! This baby is beating me up, seriously! At my lovely weekly Dr appt I asked the Dr if he could tell what position she was in because she is kicking me in places I've never been kicked before. She is head down already, and on her side a bit. So her legs are on my right side. Which makes sense because she's always kicking those things and the side of my stomach juts out in odd shapes.

I'm not ready to have the baby yet, but I'm so done being pregnant it's not even funny. I wish there was a baby limbo where she could go for the next 4 weeks so I could catch up on my sleep since I'm not getting any. And maybe get some energy back before I'm trying to wrangle a newborn.

I've decided I'm going to try breast feeding again. I had such a HORRIBLE experience with it with Brynlee that just typing that sentence kind of makes me want to cry. But I'm older and wiser now. I know the mistakes I made and hopefully it will go better this time. If it doesn't work I'm not going to beat myself up about it, but I'm really going to try. I wish I was one of those people who took to breastfeeding easily. Maybe this baby will have a better latch and it will be great. Maybe? Hopefully?

4 more weeks, and no signs of labor yet. At least I don't think. It's hard to judge. I'm wondering if sometimes what I'm thinking is a really painful kick is actually a braxton hicks contraction. Since I was induced with Brynlee I'm not really sure what to look for and it's scary! But I feel in my gut that this baby is going to stay right where she is until someone evicts her. I had Brynlee at 39 weeks and until that point she showed NO sign of leaving anytime soon. I didn't even have any braxton hicks with her.

Thanks to some awesome family members we are just about ready for her to come, when she decides to make her appearance. I had a list of things I needed, and now it's just about widdled down to diaper cream and toiletries.

My Aunt Lynne has given us the gift of diapers for a year, AGAIN! And gave us enough money to buy a glider for the nursery since I was being outbid for every used one I was trying to buy online. Once the nursery is finished I'll take a picture. NONE of the furniture matches, LOL. But that's ok.

Somehow I misplaced all of my newborn clothes. Every last piece. I'm not sure how I managed that since I pain painstakingly saved all of my baby stuff. I guess that's what happens when you move 3 times in a little over a year, including once out of state. Mom and Dad to the rescue there, so now we won't have to bring the baby home in a paper bag.

My mother in law financed all my crafting endeavors. Thanks to her they know me at Joanne's by name, LOL. It's been such a stress relief to be able to paint and emerge myself in something that is just for me. And she bought our changing table for us, and laughed with me really hard as we tried to maneuver it home in Jimmy's Mazda 6. We so need a bigger car.

With family like this, who needs a baby shower?!