Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas Break Pt. 2: NC Trip

Our travel went even more smoothly than expected: not a single snowflake on the drive, good time, and a seamless flight the next morning that was 30 minutes shorter than expected. Christmas Eve at the hotel was pretty fun except that I was really carsick from travel and ate too much, so I threw up. Other than that, we had a good evening. We arrived in NC Christmas afternoon and had some dinner and opened presents.

Tuesday, we traveled to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Ceci and Brinson went with us. We had a great time. The museum has tons of stuff inside and out, including a butterfly room and giant tree fort.  We were all very tired by the time we got home. I organized a bunch of files for dad and set aside the stuff  needed for Mara's scrapbook. Mara and Ricky, Brinson and Ceci, and Christian and Rachel all came over in the evening.

Wednesday, we stayed at the house and I worked on Mara's scrapbook and mostly just hung out. We had Christmas dinner withe everyone except Rachel, who had to work. Ricky's family came over for dessert after. I was especially glad to eat my favorite cake for Christian's belated birthday.

Thursday, we went to the children's museum in Raleigh (Marbles). Mara and Ricky went with us. The kids really loved it. We ate at Cookout on the way home. Mara's bachelorette party was that night at Rachel's house. It was fun to eat lots of snacks and watch a silly movie. I did a face mask instead of my nails.

Friday was the big day: the wedding! It was a beautiful by cold day for a NC winter. We all made it to the temple on time and everything went smoothly. The luncheon followed and after a rest at home, the reception. It was perfect: family, friends, excellent food, and beautiful decorations. We were all pretty worn out by the end of the day. Poor Mara and Ricky had to drive 4 hours to Charleston that night!

Saturday, we went to the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. It was also amazing. My grandparents came with us. The kids really enjoyed this one too because there were lots of animals and hands-on things to do. I'm really glad I took the time to plan these trips, because they were all really fun for the kids! When we go back, James and the other siblings went to help someone move. We then all went out to dinner at Golden Corral with Grandma and Grandpa.

Church went well today, even though I was super tired through most of it. It was nice to be with adults since I'm not anymore in my ward.

Plans for the next 3 days: clean out the fridge and freezer, make dinner, help Mom clean her room, service for Myles, Nash, and Lars if they think of anything, getting ready to travel home, and actually traveling home on Wed. It involves lots of flying and driving, but we should arrive in Vernal by the kids' bedtime if all goes well. Thursday, of course, will be a catch-up day: unpacking, cleaning, shopping, and laundry, and then the in-laws come to visit that evening because of work.

The tiredness might kill me by then. I found out on Dec. 20 that I am pregnant, so not very far, just barely over 5 weeks. I think it may be our last one, but I am not 100% sure. If not, there is definitely only one more. It's weird to think about being done with the baby stage, but I am ready. This trip reminds me how difficult it is to manage a lot of little people while pregnant. Everything is harder when you need a nap every day! I'm due August 29th by my calculation. I should find out more at my first appt. on Jan. 22nd. I am really excited.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Break Pt. 1: Home

Everyone finished up school Tue. and Wed., but let me back up.

Last Thursday was finally the last day of the stomach bug going through our house. Lewis threw up all over the kitchen floor. I took the 3 older kids to see Coco and then switched with James so he could go see Star Wars. We loved Coco! Thankfully, Lewis was fine after Thursday.

Friday, we had family movie night and watched Home Alone. The kids LOVED it. I loved seeing them laugh so hard at a movie.

Saturday, I can't remember what we did, so I guess it wasn't all the crazy. Sunday was normal.

Monday night for FHE, we watched a movie about Hanukkah because Joseph and Kenny have been asking a lot of questions about it. We got the Living Scriptures subscription from James's mom and dad as a Christmas present, so that's pretty nice.

Tuesday, James and I went to the faculty Christmas party. It was a lot of fun and delicious. We came home with some bath/face samples and a Frank Sinatra CD from the white elephant gift exchange.

Wednesday, we had people over at our house for game night. It was pretty fun. Devin and the Packards came over. As they were leaving, it was snowing! The kids played in it some today, but there really isn't that much. It's nothing compared to what we normally have.

I've been stressing a bit about a couple of things, especially thing related to our upcoming trip on Sunday/Monday, but several have resolved already. Phew.

I probably won't write about the rest of the week, but it will be pretty simple.

Friday: temple in the morning with James, family movie night (Home Alone 2)

Saturday: clean and pack like crazy, hopefully not forget anything

Sunday: early Church so we can drive to our hotel and avoid an inclement weather, then open presents and eat our clam chowder at the hotel, pack everything up, and prepare to fly first thing in the morning. We arrive in NC around 3 p.m. on Christmas Day! I hope everything goes to plan and I write from NC next!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Warm Weather!

By warm, I mean in the 40's during the day. We haven't had one snowflake yet either, and I love it. I realize now that struggling during the winter was a trifecta of difficult things: snow, cold, and dark. Since there is only dark to contend with, it hasn't been too bad of a winter so far. (Well, late fall, but you know what I mean.)

Last Saturday we went to breakfast with Santa. The kids really enjoyed it even though they don't actually believe in Santa. Haha. My bad. We made some neighbor gifts and delivered them. I actually made more (kettle corn) throughout the week and had the kids help deliver them. As far as time commitment goes, I think kettle corn is one of the easier things I've done. One day I want to stick to one treat and have it be my "thing" but I haven't settled on the perfect one yet.

Sunday was normal. We had FHE with Cherissa and Tayson on Monday.

I went to the dentist Tuesday and found out I have 2 cavities. It's about time, because it's been 18 years. I knew I had gotten one because I can feel it with my tongue. It doesn't hurt, thankfully. We got some dinner afterward and checked out the high school basketball games. Sport are so boring to me.

We all ended up getting Kenny's bug from last week, but it wasn't too severe. Joseph was sick Tuesday night, so I kept him home on Wed. and he drove me crazy. I should have sent him because he was completely better, but oh well. James and I didn't feel well on Tuesday but it did not progress beyond that slightly yucky feeling. Katie was sick Sunday night, but I didn't even realize it because it seemed just like indigestion. Lewis seemed completely fine but was grumpy and clingy Mon. and Tues. mornings.

Wednesday, James had bishopric meeting and I went visiting teaching, or tried to. She wasn't home. I still never know what counts as too aggressive, but it's really hard to line up schedules with women who work full-time even though I am home all day. (And no, I don't judge either one because they have to work, I just hate how complicated it makes scheduling.)

Today we get to see Coco for free with the kids, courtesy of the teacher's union. I think it looks pretty good but haven't heard much about it. It should be a pretty relaxing weekend. Only 3 days of school next week and 2 for Kenny! (Walking to the bus stop midday isn't my favorite.) It's hard to believe that Christmas is coming so soon.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

One Day

One day at a time. This resting thing is hard sometimes. I think I have things to do that will take up more time, but then they go more quickly than expected. I guess that's not always a terrible thing. I have definitely been watching too much TV, though!

Saturday, I went to the Relief Society brunch, which was delicious. I got to go see a neighbor's Christmas village afterward. I have never seen such a huge display! We took the kids out for lunch.

We had a really great FHE on Monday. We opened Christmas books from Grandma Head and read them to the kids, then watched Studio C.

We had our ward Christmas party on Tuesday. It was so fun! The dinner is always great, and then there was lots of singing and a visit from Santa. The kids don't believe because I've never taken the time and effort to tell them a believable story. I'm okay with that. I never believed in Santa.

We ended up eating dinner out last night because I'd been having a rough day (no particular reason) and needed a pick-me-up. Chinese food always works for that.

I can't believe Christmas is so soon! I think we're mostly ready for it.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Our Thanksgiving did end up fine. Our meal at Denny's was actually quite tasty. I ended up cooking a second Thanksgiving meal on Saturday because I really wanted leftovers.

Holly Days was extremely fun. Everything was free! kettle corn, hot chocolate, cotton candy, marshmallows, fries, pony rides, bouncy houses. a fire dancing about a million other things we didn't have time for. It was seriously awesome. Katie is still talking about her pony ride.

I've been keeping it together even though Kenny is sick now. I've been working on small things around the house, but nothing big because I feel like a break is in order. My life has its ups and downs, and right now feels like a time to sit back, reflect, and enjoy the Christmas season instead of starting up another big project. (Though, I do really thrive on those. I feel my best when I'm the perfect amount of "busy".) I have several things in mind for the future, but for now I'm just going to wait.

I'm enjoying the idea of Christmas more this year. Maybe it's because our Thanksgiving was very simple; I don't know. I'm really excited to travel to NC for Mara and Ricky's wedding. I'm trying to be less anxious about it than I am. I don't mind flying, but I worry about making the flight on time and possible icy roads. I know it's going to work out, though.

Today's small project will be putting together two coat racks/stands. Our house does not have a good mud room or entry way or coat closet, so that's my only option: one coat stand at each door. I really hope it eliminates coats lying around everywhere. We'll see.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


So, I realize why I dislike October/November. Bad stuff almost always happens to my family.

2009: James ended up with a really bad kidney stone that required surgery.

2010: James had to get a ton of dental work done, and we had no insurance.

2011: Uncle Mike passed away, and he was way too young.

2013: I had a baby. Though a wonderful thing too, it's super tough to have a newborn. Adjusting to 3 kids really kicked my butt at first.

2015: James had another kidney stone surgery.

2016: Tons of things went wrong when we were trying to register our cars. It cost a lot of extra money, time, and worry.

2017: James had a bad reaction to his gout medication, which caused him to throw up and get really dehydrated. His potassium level dropped dangerously low, so I took him to Urgent Care and then the ER last night. He spent the night in the hospital get rehydrated.

 There is always a silver lining.

a) We can afford all the medical bills because we have good insurance AND savings.

b) We will get to eat out for dinner. It should be a different, but fun experience.

c) We'll get to attend Holly Days (a sort of festival downtown) tomorrow. We are never here for it.

d) It will be, in a way, a more relaxing holiday now that everyone's home.

I do miss my family, but I haven't spent Thanksgiving with my parents since high school anyway. I guess I've gotten used to that. It's still a bummer we don't get to see Mara and Ricky, Nash, and all the Heads. Next year. This is still only the second most exciting week of the year. It wasn't as stressful as the NICU! Thank goodness for that.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


This won't be a super happy post, so I am sorry in advance. My life is not perfect. I'm really struggling to see the good in it this week. Though November is supposed to be a month of giving thanks, I always have a difficult time with it because of the dark days. I would say cold, but it hasn't been that cold yet, nothing more than a hoodie required for when I go outside.

I feel like I'm not good at anything. I can't seem to remember to do my daughter's hair, the house is always messy from 7 am to 8 pm, and I can't seem to stop eating snacks at night when all my negative emotions hit. I know I should be trying to be a little healthier, and the fact that I don't try harder makes me feel guilty. I have all the knowledge I need to be in perfect shape, but I lack the desire. It doesn't help that I hate exercising. At best, I tolerate it. I only do it now to avoid pain. It does work, but it certainly isn't the best motivating factor.

The past two days have been especially difficult. I got some bad news, and instead of giving emotional support, James has been sick and asleep. I know it's not his fault, but the timing is especially unfortunate. He stayed home yesterday and hardly got out of bed. He takes maybe 1 sick day every 2 years. Why does it have to be when I need him the most?

I remember reading something about cravings going away if you ignore them for 20 minutes. Well, last night I was going to try hard not to eat a bunch of snacks just to feel better. After an hour, I couldn't stand it anymore and just did it anyway. I honestly don't know how to handle my negative emotions in a healthy way. I guess food isn't the worst thing in the world. I've been dealing with food my entire life. There is nothing else that works so quickly. At least it's not drugs, right?

Things will get better. It won't always be dark. I know we've been given seasons to be able to appreciate change. I just haven't learned to appreciate November yet. I used to hate October too, but I really enjoyed it the past 2 years. I'll take it one day at a time.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


I hate Daylight Saving Time and wish it would die. My kids have done fine adjusting, but I am tired still!

The Heads visited last Thursday - Saturday. We went out to dinner on Thursday, and it was delicious. Friday, we went swimming at the hotel pool, ate dinner together at home, and played games.

Saturday morning, we just hung out. I played the piano for stake baptisms and got home just in time for us to go to the ward service project, raking leaves in someone's yard. There was lunch afterward. James and I then went on a date to see the new Thor movie. It wasn't the most deep story, but it was a fun movie. We finally got home at almost 7 and did nothing productive the rest of the day. The kids went to bed late because of the time change. It worked! The earliest risers were up around 6, which is pretty typical of any other day.

I went to a baby shower on Tuesday at Cafe Rio. It was pretty fun. I got to practice a little Spanish too.

Yesterday, James went hunting and had bishopric meeting after dinner, so I just relaxed until he got home. Today I'll be shopping.

Projects this week: another latch hook rug while listening to some C.S. Lewis, updating my food blogs to have Instant Pot recipes. It's nice to have some variety besides just sewing. Every time I worry about finding a project to do, I figure something out. :)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Lewis's Rough Week

Poor Lewis has been working on 4 teeth all at once for the past few weeks. I think the last one finally popped through today. It's made him super grumpy off and on.

Starting Monday, Lewis was miserable with a cold and mild fever. I kept him somewhat happy with ibuprofen, but he just wasn't himself and felt super crummy. He finally doesn't have a fever today. We went to the doctor for a checkup. Lewis has fallen off the charts for weight, so the doctor recommended supplementing with formula. I've never had to do this before, but I've also never had such an active baby at this age. I feel like a terrible mom for not trying to give him more calorically-dense foods. I guess our meals are too healthy to make someone fat? I don't know how I'm going to convince  him to drink any formula. The doctor said the nutritional value doesn't even matter, just that it has lots of calories. I'm worried that he will refuse anything I try to give him. He doesn't like bottles at all. I guess we'll see what happens over the next few months.

James took a conceal carry class yesterday. And of course we celebrated Halloween with the ward Trunk or Treat. Lewis stayed home with James since he was so sick. We have visitors coming today (the Heads) until Saturday morning.

I've done a few small sewing projects and hope to complete a few more. They are just upcycles from some things I had lying around the house.

Here's to hoping that the mom guilt will let up a bit. I don't want to cry.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Anna & Joseph Visit, Fall Break

James left last Thursday for his trip to Seattle. Anna and Joseph both came on Friday. We had fun hanging out.

Saturday, we ran a few errands and went to the library for a fresh batch of books. I watched a chick flick with Anna after everyone else went to bed.

We somehow survived Sunday even though Anna left after Sacrament. I am in Primary now as the pianist, so Lewis was a little bit of a challenge. He refused to sleep at all, but we found enough people to hold him that he was a total angel. Thank goodness. Dinner and the rest of the evening went all right. It was the last of 4 nights alone without James, but I felt the most anxious about going to bed, more so than any other night. I don't know why.

Monday, James finally got home in time for dinner and Katie's birthday! I can't believe she's 4! It was fun to see her reaction to her presents and eat yummy cake. I made a mint chocolate one that turned out amazing. She wanted a heart shape too, so I borrowed one from my neighbor.

The past few days I've been grouchy and tired, no idea why. Perhaps it's because I keep trying projects that fail. I did make a cute latch hook rug, but everything after that has been frustrating. I tried to fix James's car door handles, but no luck at all. It's too complicated for me. Same for fixing a kitchen drawer that has totally fallen apart. I did manage to learn how to sew zippers, but I didn't enjoy the process at all.I fixed my temple dress but can't zip it up easily because it doesn't fit well when I am nursing.

I did get our shopping done since we were out of lots of things. Anna will be back today around dinnertime. She and Joseph leave Saturday. James is going to make his famous fries for dinner. Yum! I usually do the cooking because I enjoy it, but James makes the best fries in the world.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rough Week

Last Saturday was Super Saturday. I learned how to make wreaths! My very first one is on the front door. I know it won't last till Christmas, but knowledge is power. I had no idea it could be so easy. We hung out during the afternoon and didn't do anything that I remember.

Sunday, I got a new calling as Primary pianist. It's my third time with that calling, second time in this ward. I don't mind at all. It might be my favorite calling I've had so far.

Lewis has been grumpy all week because he's getting 4 new teeth. He took a break on Wednesday, and it was Kenny's turn to be sick. I took him in to the doctor for an official diagnosis of an ear infection. 45 minutes at the pharmacy, and we finally got home. Poor guy woke up crying in the night and had lots of pain and nausea in the morning, but after some medication for the nausea and a dose of the antibiotic, he was already feeling better. Today (Thursday) it's back to Lewis being grumpy. 2 or 3 of the teeth have popped through, but he's still working on the others. It's messed up his sleep a bit too.

We did finally manage to go on a date yesterday. We got some fun stuff for the kids at D.I., then ate dinner, and then went to the library. Life is easier without the kids, but I always miss them when it's been longer than an hour.

James just left for Seattle to go visit his sister Angie. I'm really bummed that he's gone, but he'll be back on Monday. The kids have fall break today and tomorrow, so no school. Since I've finished all my quilts now (1 T-shirt and 2 denim), I'll be working on a latch hook rug and, surprisingly enough, maybe reading some books! When I was sewing before, it took too much concentration to listen to any audio books, so I haven't read or listened to anything in a very long time now. I don't know what I'm going to do during the actual winter because I'm out of material after I make the rug. I found patterns at D.I. for women's clothing, so maybe I'll see if I can come across some cheap material to actually make them.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Accidental Sleep Training

So last Friday, I was so tired I could barely function. I hadn't been able to sleep for a week and Lewis seemed to make noise (though not crying) every 2 hours or so. This is the kid who used to sleep 8 hour stretches! Desperate for some sleep, I tried turning the baby monitor off so I wouldn't hear his weird grunts but would still be able to hear his crying.

Two nights later, I realized I can't actually hear crying from across the house without the monitor. I asked the boys if Lewis woke up during the night, and they said no, but they sleep through almost anything. I noticed that Lewis seemed a little upset Saturday morning (after the first night), but he didn't sleep any extra during the day.

To make a long story short, I do keep the baby monitor on now, but Lewis can now fall back asleep on his own without making tons of noise. Also, he will go to bed wide awake and go to sleep without complaint. We have been there on naps for months. He's been ready to give up night feedings for a couple weeks now. He wouldn't eat much and always went right back to sleep. Phew. I'm glad it's over. I just feel awful for those two nights where he maybe fussed a lot (I'll never know) and couldn't hear him.

We went to two friends' baptisms on Saturday, Tayson and Marcus. It was really nice, and there was a lunch afterward for Tayson.

James had parent-teacher conferences on Monday, I went to one for Joseph on Monday, and James attended Kenny's yesterday. He also volunteered to go grocery shopping for me! That was pretty nice. Usually that only happens if I've just had a baby.

The rest of the week has been pretty relaxing. Tuesday, we went out for dinner and to the park. I've been happy about our favorite TV shows being back, mostly ABC comedies that we watch on their website. (Or the Roku app.) I'm glad there are some good, pretty clean shows out there.

As for this weekend, I have Super Saturday tomorrow! I'm just going to go the classes, hang out, and eat lunch. It should be great.

Katie has a funny obsession with hair this week. She got gum in it last week and gave herself bangs yesterday. They don't look terrible, actually. She also climbed up to the shelf in my bathroom and smeared lotion all over my mirror and put gel in her hair. At least, I hope it's gel. She's going to be the death of me.

Since I finished with doll clothes, I made a T-shirt quilt and denim quilt this week. They both turned out cute. They were both pretty fast since everything was already cut out. Today I'm making a cape for Katie. From leftover sheet pieces, I can make 2 more doll outfits too.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The End

I'm so glad James is done with mosquito abatement! We saw him very little last week because even when he was done, he had two meetings and two days of Homecoming duties. However, we had a great weekend watching Conference, eating lots of snacks, and working on projects. I made some more doll stuff and even a few baby rompers. They turned out so cute! Sewing kept me from eating too many snacks, too.

James took Katie to the dance Saturday night for an hour. She loved seeing all the princesses. I still think she was the prettiest one there. I might be biased, though.

We've had a pretty relaxed week, especially compared to our schedule since the beginning of school. I'm really glad things have calmed down a bit. Jonah comes over twice a week on average while his mom is at work. It can be challenging to stay in a good mood. Sometimes he and Kenny gang up on Katie and won't play with her. I hate that people say the genders aren't different from birth. Katie has access to all the "boy" toys she could want, and the boys have access to all the "girl" toys they want, but they rarely play with each other's toys. It's not because I've forbidden it either. They play imaginative games together all the time and often disagree about how to play the games.

For being so close in age, Katie and Kenny have often struggled to get along. Joseph and Kenny, on the other hand, have gotten along ever since Kenny was 18 months old and quit wrecking Joseph's toys. (And everyone loves Lewis.) Sibling relationships are interesting to watch.

I've been sleeping very poorly this week. It is rather disappointing that after two kids who slept through the night at 8 months, Lewis doesn't. I have hopes for 10 months, though, because that's when Joseph hit that milestone. Waking up at night is such a bummer at this point. I have had about ten good nights of sleep in the last year and a half. It's not as easy to manage as when I was 22.

I finished sewing all the AG doll outfits and ended up with 24. I have 4 more outfits to sew for Katie's baby doll, and then I'll start on my jean quilts and t-shirt quilt. (3 total) I'll probably listen to some audio books while I do it because straight lines are boring and don't take a lot of concentration. I'm especially excited for my first t-shirt quilt.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


I'm still waiting for the magical day when Lewis starts sleeping all night. For right now, he wakes up once, sometimes twice. Basically, the same as when he was a tiny baby. From what I can tell, he weighs 16 lbs. now, so he isn't as tiny as he was as a 6-month-old. I'm just tired of waking up at night. I get up every morning feeling sleepy, no matter how long I stay in bed. I usually feel more awake after breakfast, but today I'm still tired even after forcing myself to work out. (I wish extra points were given for working out when I didn't feel like it, was too tired, or had a kid whine or climb on me.)

I have barely seen James this week. Last Friday, he and the boys went to Comicon. It was a pretty rough day at our house. Katie missed her brothers a lot and acted out. She was happy for the 2 hours that we did Barbies and the princess tea party, but after that, all heck broke loose.

The boys got back in time for the Primary program practice and pizza party. We got home from that in time to see James's grandparents, who were in town for a wedding. They stayed to visit for 1 1/2 hours. Then I had about an hour before it was time to go to the RS meeting. My ward rented a bus to pick up everyone. It was a ton of fun and a really great meeting.

Despite that, I really felt down in the dumps all of Sunday. Part of it is seeing one of my friends with her brand-new baby (from a distance; she just came to see her kids in the Primary program). She has 6 now. It has always been my dream to have 6. I don't know why I feel jealous of her. She is about 6 years older than I, so it's not like I'm even running out of time to have some more kids. For whatever reason, I'm feeling crazy and ready for another baby right now even though the one I currently have is still waking up. I should be grateful that my biology actually prevents me from getting pregnant while I'm nursing until the baby is about 9 months old. (That is what happened with Kenny and Katie, so I have an 18 month gap there.) Yes, I have tested that. That would make it possible by November, which is not so far away. Besides, I am already tired, and being pregnant and nursing together are more exhausting than anything in the world. I will just have to wait. I realize that this complaint is nothing compared to what many of my friends are going through when it comes to having kids. In relative terms, I have it easy. I don't understand where these negative feelings come from.

The kids did really well in the program. I'm glad. Getting ready for it was a little stressful.

Monday, we did see James, so we did FHE. We played Charades with the kids and they absolutely loved it!

Tuesday and Wednesday, James worked his last two days of mosquito abatement! He also had a meeting, so I didn't see him till 9 one night and 10 last night.

We are going on a date tonight, not sure what, but it will be nice. We haven't had time in the last month thanks to mosquito abatement, but now that that's over, it should be much easier to plan them. (Ha ha ha.)

Thursday, September 21, 2017


It's hard to remember all the events of a week. Maybe I'm getting old and need to write more often!

James is still working mosquito abatement. Next week is his last week! Hurray! Last week, he worked all of Saturday again, so it just felt like another regular day, just with more kids. I canned some tomato sauce and took Joseph took a birthday party. The timing worked out perfectly with getting the jars sealed and Lewis taking a nap. I think perfect timing is definitely one of God's tender mercies.

Monday, we went to Cherissa's for FHE and had s'mores. It was really fun. I could eat like a thousand of those things.

Tuesday - moquito abatement, so we didn't see James till about 8.

Wednesday - James was home, but we didn't do anything specific. We didn't feel like going anywhere.

Today, James is working mosquito abatement again. He was going to do Saturday, but he will be at Comicon with the boys. They leave tomorrow morning early.

I've still been sewing a lot. I had originally planned on pacing myself with the projects, but I actually enjoy it now and find myself sewing for a couple hours each day (if I have the time, which I usually do here and there.) Lewis is so mobile that he'd prefer to explore most of the time and is happy on the floor dumping something out. Katie actually loves to watch me sew, especially when it's stuff for her Barbie dolls. I think I've made about 40 pieces of clothing for them. I find them all over the floor, naturally. The thing I'm most excited about is that I made Lewis a Perry the Platypus costume from free patterns I found online. I already had some turquoise fabric that's also nice and thick in case it's cold. The shirt and pants turned out perfect, and I had the perfect amount of fabric for them, which made me really happy. I never thought I'd like sewing or even follow patterns at all. The internet is amazing for finding stuff like that. Regular paper is so much better than those tissue paper ones.

Our weekend is quite busy, but I'll report on that next post.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Heads Visit

We've had a lot of visitors this summer. Can you tell?

James's family arrived Wed. night. We just hung out for a bit. The kids were already in bed.

Thursday, I took the kids to the hotel to swim in the pool while Joseph was at school. They had a really great time. We relaxed during the afternoon and then enjoyed a meal together, then played a game of Balderdash. James won. I never play board games with him because I always lose. I know that sounds silly, but it's really not fun to play games when I never EVER win.

Friday, we went to the Harry Potter after-school library activity. The kids got to do a couple crafts and a scavenger hunt. We then hurried home, ate dinner, and then I took the boys to Tayson's birthday party (inc. Uncle Joseph). They had a really great time, and so did I because I got to hang out with some of the moms there. We got home late for bedtime, but that was okay.

Everyone left Saturday morning, including James, because he still hadn't finished getting his mosquito abatement hours. I worked on sewing during the day. Too bad the whole time we had visitors, I felt grouchy and tired due to PMS. Stupid PMS. All in all, though, it ended up being an okay Saturday even though we didn't see James all day.

Sunday we had a regional broadcast, so we were home by noon from church. That made for a very weird and long afternoon. I'm going to have to adjust to that again next year.

We haven't done anything of note this week, just D.I. and the library. James is going to do mosquito abatement Sat., so we've been able to hang out with him during the afternoons.

I've been working on getting the material cut into patterns that Melodie gave me from her mom. I actually found patterns for baby dolls at D.I., only 50 cents! 4 of the 6 views had all the pieces. I ended up having the exact amount of material I needed for those and a couple of actual baby clothes. I'm hoping to finish some of those for Katie's birthday. She can't say she doesn't have enough doll stuff!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Phenixes Visit

Friday, we picked a bunch of tomatoes and made salsa. I helped Mara finish up the slideshow for her wedding. It was fun to see all those old pictures of Ricky. I'm really glad I digitized everything a couple years ago. It has been really convenient. James and Myles went hunting after dinner while Mara and I hung out. We started a movie when they got back, but I fell asleep during it. Oops.

Saturday was really fun. I went shooting with Myles and Mara in the morning. After lunch, we went to the temple for the 3:00 session while Alyssa came to babysit. It was really great to be there. We got some Sonic shakes on the way home. After dinner, Myles and Mara went hunting while James and I put the house back in order.

Sunday, we had church. I was the only one in the library, but it went very smoothly. Myles and Mara stayed until after dinner, then headed to Rexburg.

Monday was a holiday. James took the kids out for the morning while I sewed. It was so awesome to both start and finish a project! We met up for lunch and then relaxed in the afternoon with one of James's friends and his kids, who are about my kids' ages.

Tuesday and Wednesday, James had meetings, so we didn't do much together. I did a little more sewing. I've been trying to spend time with Katie, but it's a challenge. I do her hair nice in the morning, but it often doesn't last more than an hour. I've made her Barbie clothes and played Barbies with her, but it never seems like enough. There's only so much playing I can do before I get totally bored anyway. I really miss my boys while they're at school. So does Katie. It's just not the same without them. They are so good with Lewis, too. I would never leave Katie and Lewis alone for too long. Because he is so mobile, he gets all kinds of stuff in his mouth. He is a constant hazard to himself!

The Heads arrived last night (Wednesday) and are here till Saturday. I took the kids swimming at the hotel pool this morning. So far this afternoon, we have just been relaxing and waiting for everyone to come home. They should all be here by 4 pm.

Thursday, August 31, 2017


We didn't do anything too interesting over the weekend, just went to yard sales. I cut up a bunch of material for latch hook rugs, the stuff I already cut up for patterns. The rest is too small for anything except for rugs.

Sunday was normal. We had a good FHE on Monday at James's school. The kids love going to play fight simulator in Daddy's classroom. We got Frosties afterward.

Tuesday and Wednesday, James worked mosquito abatement, so we didn't see him much. I worked on crafts so I wouldn't be too lonely. I made a couple of shimmery capes and a doll coat. They all turned out good. I'm start to enjoy sewing! It still gives my brain a good workout. I don't understand all the directions right away and really have to to think things through a lot before proceeding.

I can't believe Kenny is old enough for school! He started this Wednesday. He absolutely loves is so far.

Myles, Mara, and Nash arrived last night. Nash already left for Provo, but Mara and Myles are here till Sunday. So far, we went grocery shopping, hung out, and worked on the slideshow for Mara's wedding. Myles went hunting with James. When they get back, James and I are going to the bishopric BBQ while my siblings watch the kids. It should be a lot of fun!

Thursday, August 24, 2017


We didn't do anything of note last Saturday, just got some chores done around the house and yard. We are never going to finish weeding the garden.

Sunday, James went to the mission homecoming of his cousin in Spanish Fork, so I just had Katie and Lewis all day. It was weird, but that's how my afternoons are going to be once Kenny goes to school.

We watched the eclipse. It was okay. I didn't realize that 92% is not nearly as spectacular as 100%, but oh well. Maybe we will still be in Vernal in 2045 when we get a total eclipse here. I'll be a grandma by then. That's a strange thought.

We went to the dentist on Tues. for cleanings and have to go back on Friday for Kenny to get some fillings. There are 2 more appointments after that between now and September, but then hopefully we'll be off the hook for a while. Going to the dentist with the kids makes me feel like a real adult. Haha. We also picked green beans from a lady in the ward. I chopped, washed, and froze all of them, about 6 lbs.

James started his 6th year of teaching and 3rd at the high school. Joseph is now in 2nd grade, and Kenny starts Kindergarten next Wednesday. We took him for testing yesterday.

I've been crafting a lot. I made two maxi skirts, one for me and one for Katie. I'm going to give it to her for her birthday. The cool thing is that they are made from recycled T-shirts/camis. Hers is pink and mine is blue. Mine is from all camis that I dyed. It is super comfy. I made it large enough that it will be able to function as maternity clothes in the future.

Staying busy with all these crafts has really helped me pass the time while James is at work and work. Tonight I won't see him till 9 p.m. or so, but I have plenty to keep me occupied. I won't even have time to feel lonely.

Friday, August 18, 2017

More Projects

All I felt like I did this week was the normal stuff and sewing. It's really great to have so much material to work with. I made another doll outfit, a princess dress. It was a difficult pattern for me, but I figured it out and got it all put together. It looks pretty cute. I also cut out the rest of the doll patterns and started getting things ready to sew some Barbie clothes as well. Pinterest really is great for finding ideas!

Lewis has been waking up twice a night. :( He hasn't done that since he was about 2 weeks old. I hope he's growing because at his appointment, he'd dropped to the 2nd percentile for weight. The doctor said this is defined as "failure to thrive" and said to push more solids. The same thing happened with Kenny, but he really fattened up between 9 and 12 months. I still feel like I'm doing something wrong even though I'm not. Lewis is a happy, content child. I think all the scooting is really burning lots of calories.

I'm definitely feeling worn out from the extra waking at night. It's enough to make a bit grumpy in the morning. I hope Lewis starts sleeping all night, 11 hours a night, by 8 months because that's what his siblings all did. We'll see.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Projects, Piriformis

James's mom gave me pretty all of her extra fabric, so I've been brainstorming project ideas for all of them. My basic plan is to start with the biggest projects first, such as non-patchwork blankets, then move to smaller and smaller pieces. So far I have everything ready for two baby blankets. I made Katie a cute cloak and a curtain to divide the kitchen and old dining room (which James wants to turn into a small "man cave"). I was thinking about how to challenge myself with these projects, and I remembered the Melodie also gave me doll clothes and Halloween costumes patterns. My goal is to sew one item from a pattern each week until I've done them all. So far, so good. It's definitely been a learning experience. I'm not as bad as sewing as I thought. My mom taught me a lot even though I was never interested in advancing my skills very much. I hope to get to the point where sewing is relaxing. Right now, it's mentally exhausting, but I do like the results. A pattern that says one hour generally takes me four.

After a week on a non-memory foam mattress and a lot of sitting in the car, I'd been having some lower back/leg pain on one side. I had never had problems until my pregnancies. It never lingered after #1 and #2 but it definitely has after #3 and #4. (the joys of pregnancy!) I finally figured out what it's called! Piriformis syndrome. Basically, the muscle behind the glute gets strained and inflamed and causes pain down the sciatic nerve. That muscle likely gets strained in the first place because of all my joints loosening up during pregnancy. And, things just get out of whack during pregnancy anyway. Ouch. The fact that it's been bothering me more over the past few days after only a few days of respite got me into gear, so I've started exercising after a year break. I have never loved exercising (hence, the year break) but I know it's good for me. I hope I get extra credit for doing it every time I don't feel like it (which is pretty much always!)

Friday, August 4, 2017


I'll be brief because I have a ton of catching up to do. There is no food in the house!

Friday: traveled to Rexburg, picked up Nash at the airport in SLC so he could drive to NC with Myles, stuck in annoying traffic for a while but arrived safely.

Saturday: slept in, shooting with brothers, lunch with brothers plus Kyle and Ricky, James & kids to Renaissance Fair, Lees' for dinner, Sam & Jesse arrived.

Sunday: lunch with brothers plus Kyle and Ricky, church, Head grandparents' for dinner, played Cranium.

Monday: classes HP style (potions, DADA, care of magical creatures), lunch, Cars 3 and donuts, dinner for which I made bread, FHE with root beer testing, played Apples to Apples and Catch Phrase.

Tuesday: Rigby Lake, neighborhood party, played Bananagrams.

Wednesday: quidditch soccer, horcrux scavenger hunt, lunch, relax time, dinner outside, s'mores over the fire, quick visit with Lees.

Thursday: travel home, stops at SLC aquarium and for food.

Today (Friday): cleaned the car, unpacked, did laundry, just about to go shopping when Lewis wakes up (along with a few errands.) Babysitting neighbor kids for a few hours later.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Calm Week

I say calm because we didn't travel anywhere far! I still don't know where the last week went, really.

Oh wait, we did travel to Heber on Saturday for the Belcher Bash. It was a lot of fun. The Belchers are James's grandma's siblings (of which there are 8). They were all there, but most of their children and grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) didn't come. I don't know many of them super well since they are a little far removed, especially since I married into the family, but it's fun all the same.

James is really lucky to have so many relatives that he gets to see so often. I have never met most of my 2nd cousins, and the ones I have, it was one time.

Sunday was normal.

Monday, James had the day off for Pioneer Day! We went to the Scout breakfast, parade, and DUP museum to see if we could find anything belonging to the Belchers. (No luck.) I then took a nap at home while James took the kids out for a while. All in all, it was a pretty fun day.

Tuesday, we had to get a tire replaced on the Corolla, so went to McDonald's and let the kids play while we waited for the car. Too bad they couldn't fix it, but the location of the nail made it impossible.

Yesterday I took the kids to the dentist for the first time ever. I know, I know. Joseph had NO cavities, Kenny 4, and Katie 1. It will take 3 more appointments to take care of everything. Lucky me! Actually, I sat and talked with a lady who was waiting for her son, so the time flew by.

No date today, but I'm heading to the temple for a session. I finally fixed my dress where the zipper was getting caught. I don't feel very confident in my sewing abilities still, but I'm making progress. Too bad I was never interested as a girl/teen because my mom can sew anything and was right there to teach me. I just didn't take a lot of time to learn from her past the basics. I regret that.

Current goals: learn how to sew using a pattern. I have some for 18" (American girl) doll clothes that Melodie gave me as well as enough fabric and thread. It can't hurt if I mess up because I won't have paid a dime for any of the materials. That's my favorite way to sew. I have a pattern for Halloween costumes too. Maybe since Joseph doesn't get hand-me-downs, I can learn to sew costumes for him. We'll see.

Learn how to cook more stuff in the Instant Pot. So far, I love it! It makes incredible rice and soups. I haven't used all the functions yet, but I love that it's faster and I can just walk away while dinner's cooking and not heat up the house. I hope to adapt all my recipes (or all that are possible) to use in the IP.

I was feeling stuck in a rut for a while, but these new projects will help me stay focused and happy.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Phenix Girls Visit

Last Thursday, James and I went on a date to go shooting with his new gun. We also got dinner at Arby's since the kids don't like it. (Who doesn't like curly fries?!) He ended up getting a different gun since that one didn't work. I am a pretty good shot with a handgun. (.22, not so much with the more powerful ones since they kick so much.)

Friday was movie night, so we watched Star Wars with the kids. They really like it. It's one of the few non-animated ones they enjoy.

Saturday, we did a family adventure to Little Brush Creek cave and Red Canyon. Both were awesome. The kids really enjoyed playing in a little pool outside the cave. We called it the "princess pool".

Sunday was a typical Sunday. The home teachers came.

Monday night, Mara and Carmel came to visit! We hung out and talked.

Tuesday, we took a day trip to explore 3 ghost towns. All in all, it went very well. The roads weren't very well-marked, but we found where we needed to go anyway. My only real complaint was how hot it was when we stopped for lunch. There was no shade to be found. I loved listening to some awesome music on the drive and seeing so many cool views. I love Uintah County. There is so much to explore! We really do live in the Wild West.

Wednesday I just did my normal housework and hung out with the girls. I used my Instant Pot to make dinner. I love that appliance! It makes such amazing rice too. I have used it twice since I got it on Monday and plan on using it a lot. It definitely replaces my slow cooker, which was getting too small for us anyway. I've never owned a rice cooker, but if I did, it would replace that too. I've been stuck in a rut recently with cooking, so I'm really excited to have a whole new appliance to try out, which also gives me lots of recipes to try out as well.

The girls left this morning. Katie had a meltdown because she felt so sad. I'll admit, I felt pretty sad too (still do). Living far away from family is hard. I'm glad so many siblings have come west for college so I can see them more often! Carmel is not going to BYU-I anymore, though, so I won't see her till Christmas, Nash is on a mission, and Myles is going to be in NC permanently, so there will just be Mara. But we love Mara a lot, so it will be great to see her at Thanksgiving (maybe before).

We'll be off to the library as soon as Lewis wakes up. Then, it's time for a new belt for my vacuum. I can't live a day without it. Haha.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Heads Visit

The kids got back last Thursday night with the Heads. I was quickly reminded how much louder and messier the house normally is.

We hung out Friday morning while I got the normal chores done. In the afternoon, we went swimming and then to dinner at Rex's cousin's house. It was really cool to meet her and her husband. That would make them James's 1st cousins once removed. We had a really good time.

Saturday, we went to a few yard sales and didn't find anything. After everyone left, James worked on putting the bunk bed together while I did the usual mom stuff. It was pretty exciting to get it all set up. I love having all the boys together in one room.

Sunday was normal.

Monday to Thursday (today) have been a little rough. I'm struggling a lot with my body image, and I'm not sure why. I lack the motivation to exercise or eat super healthy, but I have stayed the same since 2 months post-partum, not gotten any bigger. My regular clothes all fit, just not my super "skinny" size 8 pants (of which I only have 1 pair).

I'm just tired of feeling fat. No one close to me thinks I look bad or anything. It's the pressure I put on myself to get back in shape. I'd rather drown my feelings with cheese and ice cream instead of actually do anything about them. I never know how long Lewis will sleep during the day either, so some things (like weeding the garden) just haven't gotten done because I hate to break them up into tiny chunks of time. I feel like I'm wasting my time if I use all of naptime on outside work. I'm keeping up with the house just fine. It's just a struggle to want to go out and do stuff.

I miss James. His days at mosquito abatement are long. The money is nice, sure, but I don't see him from 7 am - 4:30 pm. The last hour is pure torture sometimes. It seems like all hell breaks loose after 3:30!

Sorry to complain to the 20 people who read this. I love being a mom, but the days are long, frustrating, and lonely sometimes. I never realized how much I'd worry about how I look or if I'm doing a good enough job.

I just want to sleep all night again. Lewis wakes up at 5 am to nurse, which means I'm awake for the day no matter what I try to do to sleep again. 9/10 times I just toss and turn, which means only about 6 hours of sleep...almost enough, but not quite. When I hit the afternoon slump, the kids are all awake and annoy me constantly even if Lewis is napping. So I find myself reaching for sugary junk food, which then makes me crash and feel grumpy.

This too shall pass.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rexburg and Anniversary

James got Friday off, so we traveled to Rexburg and got there in time for dinner despite all the traffic and road construction. We went out with his parents to a Mexican place in St. Anthony. It was yummy!

Saturday, James worked with his dad in Twin Falls and I helped Melodie set up a new computer. Mara and Carmel came over to see if my wedding dress fit Mara. It fit perfectly! We went to a wedding reception and then to the rodeo. We didn't stay the whole time because it was bedtime for the kids.

Sunday, the kids came over for dessert and stayed for a while to play games. It was pretty awesome. I'm so excited for Mara and Ricky.

Monday, we went to Victor to visit Grandma and Grandpa Head. We left mid-afternoon so James and I could get ready for our anniversary. We stayed at the same hotel as when we first got married. They accidentally overbooked the room we wanted, so we actually got a different theme room for half price. Since we saved over 100 bucks, we went out to fancy dinner at Applebee's. (Well, fancy for us!) They even gave us a free dessert.

We went to Fat Cats and played a few games of pool. I returned to feed Lewis, which was good because he wouldn't take a bottle. We then chilled at the hotel and watched some TV before turning in.

We met everyone, including my sisters, at the parade in Rexburg. After it was done, James and I (and my sisters) went to Walmart to say goodbye to Jacob and get a few treats. We then dropped off the girls, packed up, and headed out without the oldest 3. They get back today with Grandma and Grandpa. Based on the texts and pictures, Katie misses me the most.

We stopped by the BBQ at my relatives' house in Idaho Falls. It was really good to see everyone. James, Lewis, and I finally got back to Vernal around midnight. We'd hit some bad traffic because of various fireworks shows.

Wednesday was a work/catchup day. James and I decided to eat dinner out (again, oops) because there was no food in the house and I didn't get the shopping done till almost 6.

Today I mowed the lawn while carrying Lewis in a front pack. I have a piano lesson this afternoon and will meet James at the library right after. I think I'm finally caught up from the trip.

It's really weird how clean everything is. My laundry basket stayed empty for almost a whole day, and I haven't needed to vacuum at all. It's eerily quiet, though, and kind of lonely, so I'll be glad when the kids get back tonight!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Getting Ready

Friday night, we went to do sealings with our ward. For some reason, it was really hot in the room and I felt yucky. 

Saturday, we did a few yard sales. James went fishing in the afternoon and we hung out and did nothing the rest of the day.

Sunday, we did FHE with Cherissa and Tayson since she has class on Monday nights.

Monday, we went to the park to play baseball with the kids. They liked it okay but there was some crying involved.

Tuesday, we fed the missionaries.

Wednesday, my dad came to visit for dinner at the buffet. He stayed the night and was gone by the time we got up at 6:30. He's in Salt Lake for a big presentation for his work. We had a great time even though it was a very short visit.

Today, we went to the doctor for the two older boys (who are very healthy and still small) and then to the library activity. The rest of the day I'll spend on packing and getting ready for Rexburg tomorrow. It should be a great weekend. We're going to celebrate our anniversary and the 4th, one of my favorite holidays. We're going on a date today to the lake to attempt some fishing from our kayak. Wish us luck.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


It's been really hot this past week. It's definitely summer now!

For our date last Thursday, we saw Wonder Woman. It was pretty good.

Saturday, we went to Paddle Fest at Red Fleet state park. It was a lot of fun (and free!) to paddle the canoe to the dinosaur tracks. We loved it. Even Lewis did okay. We ate lunch out, took naps, and then went to a wedding reception for one of James's former students. All in all, it was a perfect day with the family.

Monday, not so much. We went to Steinaker and the kids all went with James in our new kayak. I sat with Lewis and chilled, but it was super hot and buggy, so I got kind of grumpy from doing that. The kids had a blast, though.

Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, we just relaxed once James got home from work.

I've finally been sleeping better thanks to a little more vitamin D. All I had to do was start working in the yard for 30 minutes each morning. I've enlisted the kids' help to try to teach them the value of hard work. The grass is doing better than ever before, but it isn't perfect. We are really struggling with keeping up with the weeds, though.

We went to the library activity this morning and had a great time. I love that the library does these every week almost all summer. They usually have 4-5 activities and free snowcones at the end. No one ever complains about that!

I feel like a genius: I finally figured out how to get pictures from James's phone. There were some gems in there that I need to add to Facebook.

No date today because there is a RS meeting about keeping kids busy in the summer without electronics. I hope Lewis is an angel because I plan on taking him.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Phenixes Pt. 2

We had a great time at the fair on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday doing the normal things: candy drop, little red barn, exhibits, and book pond. I found time to work on my talk for Sunday. I think it went pretty well. At least that's what people told me. Maybe I'll be off the hook for longer than 11 months this time.

We went to dinner at the Chinese buffet Saturday night. Myles had arrived late Friday night because he was going to help Dad on the car. They decided not to because they were afraid of not finishing and leaving us with only the Corolla, which does not fit our family. They got to go to the classic car show, and James and Myles also got to go shooting since they weren't busy on the car. James will take it in today to the mechanic and we'll get it back tomorrow.

Sunday was a nice day of rest. Everyone left on Monday afternoon after Dad and Myles installed some ceiling fans both in the dining room and my room. It's so nice to have them!

The past few days I've been a little tired. The sunlight wakes me up early. Lewis has been a little extra grumpy because he's teething. So far one tooth has popped through. I think another is coming. It was completely unexpected because he's only 4 months old and my other kids were 6 months old. Oh well. It has to happen sometime. I just don't like being bitten!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

And More Phenixes Visit

Last Friday, James took the day off work because he had a leg infection. It really stunk because he couldn't go to the family reunion. I talked him out of it so his leg would get enough rest. He's doing a lot better now after a round of antibiotics. I was still getting over a cold, so I had a yucky cough that made me not sleep well. For a weekend, it was kind of a bummer. We did a few yard sales, but that was pretty much it.

Monday, I touched up all the paint in the house, mixed the colors together, and used that color (a beautiful sea-green) to paint the pirate ship with the kids. They had so much fun but got paint everywhere. I'm still getting it out of my hair.

Tuesday, the parents and Nash came over. We had a little dinner and hung out till late (until James got home from fogging). Nash really wanted to talk to me by myself. It was actually kind of funny.

Wednesday, Mom and Dad took Nash to the MTC in Provo. I worked all day on sewing some skirts for Katie and making a few pairs of pants into shorts along with my normal routine. Mom and Dad got back around dinner. We hung out after that just talking. James helped some neighbors move so we now have another couch. It will take some rearranging to find the best setup.

Today I've been working on my talk for Sunday. I'm going to scrap some old jeans and hang out till dinner. Then, to the fair!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Phenixes Visit

We went on a date last Thursday: a progressive dinner that started at Taco Bell for appetizers, then to KFC for sides, Subway for the main course, and Coldstone for dessert. James and I were both asleep when the guests arrived Thursday night. I'm glad we decided to do so because they didn't arrive until 2 a.m.

James and Joseph had their last day of school on Friday. I put my family to work on prepping to plant the garden. They pulled weeds (well, hoed them mostly), added more dirt to the boxes, and put down mulch. We took turns holding Lewis so he'd be happy. I fertilized the grass and garden and swept of all the walkways.

In the afternoon, everyone went rabbit hunting while I made dinner. Mara had requested pound cake and Parmesan chicken, so that's what I made. We even put 22 candles on the cake and sang to her. I gave her a chocolate bar and some almond butter. We hung out for a while after dinner and then everyone left again for more bunny hunting.

Saturday morning, we took a bunch of milk jugs and the old dishwasher to shoot. I went this time. It was pretty fun to put a bunch of holes into the appliance that's given us so much grief. After lunch, we split up and saw both the dinosaur bones while the others went hunting yet again. We had dinner and then watched a movie once the kids were in bed. I started falling asleep so I didn't come close to finishing it.

Sunday was like normal, but with Joseph's birthday celebration a few days early. He wanted a cake with coconut, so I made a German chocolate cake and the Hawaiian haystacks he'd requested. He finally got the fidget spinner he'd been wanting too. It's a lot easier to put in 7 candles instead of 22. We talked to both families like always.

Monday, I was feeling the effects of a sinus infection that had started Saturday night and gotten worse. I stayed home to clean and put things back together while everyone went to Moonshine Arch. After lunch we just hung out. Mara's boyfriend, Ricky, made dinner for us. Everyone had to leave right after dinner. It was a really great weekend, but it certainly wore me out.

This week has been routine. James works mosquito abatement full-time with hours that are very similar to school. He leaved around 7:10 and returns at 4 or 4:30. When there is fogging to do, that happens from 8-midnight.

I'm adjusting to having extra kids around. I don't mean Joseph; I mean all the extras who come over. They can be pretty annoying at times because they knock on the door a lot. I don't let friends come in because there is nowhere to contain then and I want to feed Lewis without distractions. I know I'll get used to it. It just seems like someone needs something every 30 seconds. I've been extra tired because of this cold, but I'm getting better. I have no hope of getting a nap if I need one, so I've just had to push on through the day. Oh well.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Magical Unicorn

 Why is my life so busy? I suppose some of it is self-inflicted. James and I worked on getting our garden ready on Saturday. Like all projects, we realized there about three extra steps still need to be done before we can actually plant anything. None of those have happened yet because of James working two jobs and me trying to finish up a big project. I can only focus on one thing at a time without feeling like I'm going insane, so I chose to finish scanning all of our old letters we wrote each other while James was on his mission. It felt really great to finish that and get rid of a bunch of all mildewy papers.

Tuesday was actually pretty relaxing. I finished getting my temple recommend renewed.

I didn't see James at all on Wednesday because he went to Lagoon on a school trip. He didn't return until after midnight.  While he was gone, I babysat the kids from next-door for a few hours. They were pretty good, but it does make the house a little extra hectic.

Today, Thursday, was not so great. Hopefully it will get better from here on out. Our car wouldn't start this morning, so James was late to work from jumpstarting it. I had two places tell me that the battery was OK and that the alternator was also OK. However, I don't believe that the battery is OK. I did not get a new one because I had left Walmart to go somewhere else to get the alternator tested. I then went to Joseph's class to take the treats. It turns out there was no reason to do so. They did not stop class to eat the treats like they did in Kindergarten. All I accomplished really was to say hi in the middle of their reading time. It was a lot of extra stress just to deliver some Ding Dongs. Next time maybe I will send them in his backpack or something.

My piano lesson rescheduled for 1 o'clock today, and about halfway through, Lewis pooped all over me and I had to go change him and wipe poop off of my foot. Better my foot then the carpet, I guess. I also forgot a few things at Walmart. James and I are supposed to go on a date today, but he has to work mosquito abatement again since he was not available yesterday.

Lewis has started gumming me very hard while he's eating and that does not feel good. It does not make me look forward to when he has teeth. Days like this, I wish I could go back to childhood and curl up in my bed and go to sleep. I do look forward to the date later, even though James will be late to it and I think the first part of it I'll be at Walmart getting a new battery for the car. It wouldn't be such a big deal, but we only have one car that fits all of our children and us together. Big family problems, I guess.

Five people are coming to visit tonight: Myles, Mara, Carmel, Kyle, and Ricky. I have the rooms ready, but the rest of the house is a huge mess. If I can get Lewis to go to sleep for longer than 30 minutes, maybe I will be able to semi get things done.  It should be a fun weekend.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Heads and Cousins Visit

Last Thursday, the Heads came into town for work and a visit. We went to dinner at Tacos El Gordo and then got dessert at Wendy's. Then, we swam in the pool at the hotel. I just hung out and made sure Lewis was happy. It was pretty late when we got home, but I think the kids had a lot of fun.

Friday was pretty normal. My cousin Peder, his wife Lora, and another couple came to visit. We had a great time eating dinner and hanging out. We all went to bed early because they had to be up early for the race.

I saw the end of the race (the Dino Half Marathon). Everyone was super tired, but not very hungry. (I guess that makes sense, but not being a runner, I never would have thought of not being hungry after 13 miles. In fact, unless I am deathly ill, I never lose my appetite!) After the Heads had lunch, they returned home. Everyone else rested and then left around 3. We didn't do anything the rest of the day, really, except finish our rearranging project. James bought a rug for the new dining room, which is sort of a corner of the living room. (It was made to be a dining room; we've just never used it as such. It's bigger than the area in the kitchen, so we can fit a bigger table when we find one. We are outgrowing our current table that only fits 6 - and not too comfortably.) For Mother's Day, we watched a movie and had junk food.

I had a really great Sunday. James made me breakfast burritos and didn't have meetings in the morning. We had to be to church a little early. I got a new calling as assistant librarian. I never saw that coming, but I think it will be nice and relaxing. The first thing I did was download Chrome. I haven't used Internet Explorer in over 10 years.

This week has been busy. We returned the dishwasher we'd bought (a used one) and got a new one. James spent Tuesday night installing it and... it works! I am overjoyed to have a dishwasher again. The whole house is a lot cleaner when the dishes don't take an hour out of my day. I'm still working hard on digitizing my old journals and letters. I hope to do some paint touch up, but I'm going to wait till I'm done with the digitizing. One big project at a time. With the leftover paint, we will probably paint the pirate ship. Since we have the primary colors, it could be almost any color...or more than one!

As for today, it will be a long one. I won't see James at all until almost 10 tonight. I really can't complain, though. If he gets all the required hours, he gets a bonus at the end of the season. So far, so good, and there's a new Anne of Green Gables series to watch on Netflix.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Our last Saturday was overplanned. It started with grocery shopping, then yard sales, then prepping for dinner, then going over to a friend's house to eat dinner. It wasn't terrible, but we didn't get some things done that we needed to, like install the new dishwasher or mow the lawn. I ended up feeling really stressed for a lot of the day. I don't totally hate busy days, but when Saturday is really busy, it just feels wrong.

I've still been working on my digitizing project. I've loved reading the letters from James's mission and my old journals. When I look at myself from middle school, I realize that I was actually a really good kid and my life was a lot like it is now. I wish I didn't start caring so much about my appearance. That started in the 8th grade.

Lewis can roll both ways now. He is the earliest to do that. He's been waking up at night once because of this milestone. I don't mind too much. I got really spoiled there for a month when he slept all night. I'm not complaining about the earlier bedtime, though. He is also starting to laugh. I love it!

With mosquito abatement Monday and Wednesday and trying (unsuccessfully) to install the new dishwasher on Tuesday, we've had a busy and not super fun week so far. That will change today and tomorrow because we have family coming to visit! Hurray!

We had our last day ever of preschool yesterday. It was bittersweet. Preschool didn't turn out like I'd hoped. I wanted it to be a social thing for the moms as well, but that never happened. There aren't enough kids to do it next year, but I don't mind. Kenny will be in school, and I'm sure Katie will get plenty of princess videos when she's home with Lewis and me.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


We went to a few yard sales last Saturday and got a few random things.

It's been a perfect week weather-wise. I love the low to mid-70's, partly cloudy, slightly breezy. We went to the park yesterday with the kids and had a great time.

I unexpectedly got back money from the hospital since we overpaid, so we bought a new dishwasher! It was originally 400 dollars but marked down to 260 because of having been repaired, so James asked for 225 instead and they were okay with that at Lowe's. I can't wait till we can install it! I'm guessing tomorrow.

I've been working on digitizing old letters that James and I wrote to each other while he was on his mission. I'm also working on my old journals. They are actually pretty funny to read. I started writing in 1999 when I was 11 years old.

Things are so busy, but mundane, so there really isn't anything else to report for the week. Life is good. We're going on a date to dinner tonight. It's nice to have a reliable babysitter.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2 Jobs

James started mosquito abatement again and worked Monday and Wednesday this week. Last Saturday, he was gone all day at a conference in Salt Lake. We really miss him when he's gone those extra hours, but school is winding down so it won't last forever.

Lewis is still such an awesome baby! He has his days where he needs more attention, but he's slept for 11 hours straight the last few nights...going to bed at 7:30 and waking up at 6:30. I am so lucky!

I finished digitizing all of our scrapbook stuff like letters, certificates, and kids' artwork, as well as a few old photos. Instead of taking up 2 1/2 shelves, our memorabilia now takes up 2/3 of one shelf. My next project (probably far in the future, but I don't know) will be to digitize all our old journals and the letters we wrote while James was on his mission as well as the other letters James received on his mission. I'd also like to make a photo book of our wedding and James's life before we got married, but I'll need more photos first. He also has a giant mission scrapbook that would make a much smaller photo book. For right now, I'm learning more about using Google Photos. The only thing I don't like so far is that I'll have to correct the dates on all the photos I've scanned in since it put the date I scanned them (most in 2014) and not the folder I uploaded them from (which usually has the correct year). It's going to take some time, but I really love having everything in digital format.

We found a small exercise bike at D.I. and having been using it while watching TV. I'm starting to lose weight already just from eating healthy (but not going hungry) the past week. My goal is 10 lbs., only 8.5 to go to get to my normal, healthy "nursing weight".

I guess that's about it for this week. What can I say, I have a pretty boring life sometimes.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spring Break

We left last Friday for Rexburg. All in all, we had an uneventful drive. We had to stop 3x to feed Lewis, get gas, etc. He barely cried. We had dinner with the Lee grandparents.

The kids did a big egg hunt Saturday in the yard. Then we went up to Victor for the the rest of the day. It was really fun. It's always great to see the Head grandparents. The kids got to color eggs.

Sunday after church we had dinner with Myles, Kyle, Mara, Ricky, Carmel, Maddie, and Ricky's brother. It was fun, though I started getting a cold from Kenny and couldn't think clearly.

Monday, I read a book all day since I was still tired. We had FHE with the kids.

Tuesday, I went to book group with Melodie. It was really fun, and we even got homemade eclairs. James and I went on a date for dinner.

Wednesday, we went to to zoo in Idaho Falls and got pupusas for lunch afterward. It was perfect weather, and the pupusas were delicious! I made dinner for my siblings and their extras.

Thursday, we drove home. I managed to unpack everything in time for the Relief Society un-birthday party, which was really fun. There was some really delicious cake.

Today has been crazy with grocery shopping and tons of laundry. The rest of the house is a mess now and James won't even be home tomorrow, which is a bummer. I'll make it, though. I really need to recommit to taking care of myself. I'm getting enough sleep now that I consistently sleep all night (go Lewis!), but I've been eating a lot of junk because I still feel kind of bad about myself. Things will get better. They always do.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Blessings and Visits and Trips, Oh My!

My siblings came last Friday night to visit. We had lots of fun on Saturday shooting, preparing tons of food for Sunday, and hanging out. Sunday, we blessed Lewis. Along with Myles, Nash, Mara, and Kyle (Myles's roomie), James's mom, brother Joseph, and sister Anna came. Lewis was blessed to be a calming spirit in our home, as well as a peacemaker. Those were very happy words to hear. I already know that about him. His cute little smiles make everyone happy, and he is still the world's easiest baby. Last night, he slept for 10 hours straight!

We had a great dinner Sunday night with the family and one of James's friends. We had chili, cornbread, salad, and chocolate cake. There was the perfect amount for some leftovers, but not too much.

I haven't seen James much this week. He had parent/teacher conferences Monday and mosquito abatement Tues. and Wed. I used the extra time to work on my digitizing project and rake up all the grass in the yard. We've had gorgeous weather, and Lewis even cooperated enough so I could get it all done. The yard looks a lot better now that the thatch is gone and it has started turning green.

Today is packing day. It hasn't been great. Katie's had two tantrums, Lewis has been fussy and taking super short naps, and the two older kids have been fighting a lot. It's driving me crazy. I've finally almost finished now that it's afternoon. They're begging for a snack and whining, but I insisted on at least finishing the blog first. What is it about writing that's so therapeutic?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Project Time

James and I went on a date last Thursday to see Beauty and the Beast, and I loved it! I totally missed the "gay moment" that was talked about a lot in the news. The media can be so stupid sometimes.

We had a wonderful Conference weekend just relaxing. It was a little too relaxing because I fell asleep both afternoons. Good thing I can reread everything online.

Lewis went to the doctor on Monday. He is taller and skinnier than he was at 2 weeks. No surprise there. I'm glad to have such a happy, healthy boy.

Sometimes I feel like I go from being bored to having way too much to do. Today is one of those days. I'm working on a project to digitize a lot of old scrapbooks and papers. They are taking up too much space! I made myself a list so I won't feel so overwhelmed. I'm hoping it will take me at least a month, maybe more, or at least until I plant a garden.

Kenny is 5! We signed him up for Kindergarten yesterday after preschool. He asked for lava cake and breakfast burritos for dinner. His favorite present so far is the marble run.  He's been playing with it all day.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

My Birthday

Friday, we went to the library and picked up a few things at the store while I took Joseph out for his Book It pizza. We then went home and watched Trolls for family movie night. It wasn't as dumb as I thought it'd be. We had some cake and ice cream too.

Saturday, I had the most amazing birthday! It started off awesome because Lewis slept from 9:45 to 6:45, which meant I got a full 8 hours of sleep. I realized that my mild "blah" feeling comes from not getting quite enough sleep during the week. I usually get about 7 hours, which is enough for me physically but not enough mentally.

James made me breakfast, a delicious omelet, while I fed Lewis. We went to the Outdoor Expo and looked around. The kids loved it because they got free candy and played in a pirate ship. We also visited D.I. and got a few things for Lewis, like an umbrella stroller and front pack since our previous ones wore out. James made lunch with one of my presents - a new waffle iron. We spent the afternoon relaxing and eating snacks while watching TV. James and I went out to dinner at Vernal Brewing Company. It was absolutely delicious! There actually aren't very many restaurants we haven't been to yet, maybe 10 out of the 40, but they are the expensive ones. Hopefully we will be able to go on dates more often and experience the rest.

Once the kids went to bed, we hung out with Lewis and had some more cake and ice cream. (I was SO stuffed at this point.) Everything about the day was great except perhaps for my overeating to the point of being uncomfortable. It was delicious, though!

Monday, we had FHE with the kids and watched Studio C.

Tuesday, I went to the temple after dinner since it was my turn. I really felt the Spirit. Sometimes I am more sleepy and don't pay attention as well as I should.

Wednesday, James took the kids out for an adventure while I relaxed with Lewis.

I'm struggling with how I look right now. I feel really fat even though I look exactly like I did after my other boys. (After Katie I was 10 lbs. heavier than now, which really showed up in my face.) What I really need to do is stop worrying so much, but it's hard. Though it is possible for me to lose some weight now, it's hard for me to be motivated when I don't get quite enough sleep and wake up feeling grumpy. I know I'll get there. I'm going to ask James to put the scale away where I can't find it and just rely on my tape measure.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


It's been really hard to wake up since the time change. I wish they'd just do away with it, but I suppose there are more important things for Congress (or whoever's actually in charge of it) to argue over. Oh well.

James's family came to visit this past weekend. It was a lot of fun. We had corned beef and cabbage on Thursday. Friday, I went birthday shopping for some new shoes and other misc. items with Melodie. The kids all went swimming in the afternoon while I spent it with Lewis. Then we went out to dinner at the Chinese place. Melodie and I watched "When Calls the Heart" while the others played games. That can be hard to do while I'm feeding Lewis.

They had to leave Saturday morning. I went to baby shower in the afternoon. After that, we hung out until 8, when two of James's friends came over for games. We played a really interesting game called Mansions of Madness.

Sunday was pretty normal. I went to all of church after James had his morning meetings. We did FHE a day early with Cherissa and Tayson because...

Monday, James worked for 3 hours on our dishwasher. Unfortunately, it's still broken. :( It may be a few months before we can afford a new one, but with this being the 3rd repair in 4 years, I think it's time to replace it. Bummer.

Tuesday, James went to the temple. The kids and I caught up on some reading. Joseph has finished 2 sets of books from school now! I think by a year from now, he'll be reading anything he wants.

Wednesday, I went to a stake RS birthday party that also had pie. It was fun. I even took Lewis, and aside from forgetting the diaper bag (I'm out of practice), it was perfect.

Today has been the most blah day of all. Lewis has been a little grumpy and not napping as long as he normally does. I think it's probably another growth spurt.

I just want to feel normal. I feel about 90% of normal, but there's that 10% that keeps nagging me in the back of my mind that I never do enough, am not a good mom, and will ultimately fail to make a difference in anyone's life. Once I get out of bed and start my day, I usually feel fine. Today has just dragged on more than usual. My birthday is coming in a few days. If that doesn't cheer me up, I don't know what will!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Week 6

We had a really good week. The weather is absolutely gorgeous, both sunny and warm, and all the snow is gone except for a tiny bit of ice on the cold side of our house. I'm so excited! This time of year, it feels like everyone comes out of hibernation and is really happy.

I had an eye appointment on Friday and ran some errands. We went to the park on Saturday and also bought some fertilizer for our yard. The kids had a great time. They've been playing outside with friends all week. It's so great to be able to send them out. We've all been going crazy from being cooped up all winter. They helped me clean up the yard. We always get lots of trash that blows in during windy days.

For FHE on Monday, we bought and watched Moana. I love that movie! It was a great ending to a stressful day. The dishwasher broke and I thought I already had the right part, but it turns out I didn't and had to order it from ebay. It wasn't expensive, but I'll have to wash by hand until the 21st (or until I get it fixed.) It looks a little complicated. This will be my 3rd time fixing the stupid thing. It's a Bosch and not that old. I think it was maybe a year old when we moved in 4 years ago. Oh well.

James and I started a "temple Tuesday" tradition. It was my turn this week. I enjoyed it, even though I was kind of sleepy.

I had my 6-week postpartum appointment yesterday. It went well. I thought it was in the afternoon but it ended up being the morning, and my neighbor that I would've asked to watch my kids was sick, so I took the younger 3 with me. They were a little crazy (except for Lewis, who slept the whole time), but we made it. I able to get back sooner from shopping in the afternoon.

I've been getting ready for our visitors, the Heads, who arrive this afternoon. I made bread and got things ready for corned beef and cabbage along with my normal, routine housework. All that remains is to sweep and clean outside. I'm excited to introduce Lewis to everyone (except Grandma, who already met him and needs no introduction). He's grown a lot since she saw him last anyway and is now smiling. I'm so glad to have such a happy baby who sleeps so well.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Week 5

Not a lot has happened this week. Lewis is starting to smile, though it's mostly on accident. It's so cute. His naps are getting somewhat shorter (not 4 hours long anymore), but his sleep at night only continues to get better. He's done 7-8 hours for the first stretch all week. He's also going to bed earlier, around 8:30 some nights. Of course it's still pretty unpredictable, but I can't complain.

Everyone loves Lewis a lot. There are sometimes fights over who gets to hold him or play with him on the floor. We're working on tummy time. I always hate doing it, and so do my babies.

The snow is finally melting! The weather forecast is in the mid to high 50's and sunny all week. I'm so happy. I've had a few mornings where I wake up feeling kind of sad, even though the sun is up, but once I get out of bed and start the day, I feel fine. My reflux is gone now too. I was worried that it was going to stick around. I think eating healthier has helped it a lot. It's also helped me to start losing weight. Hurray! By June I should be back at pre-pregnancy weight or pretty close. Those last few usually won't budge while I'm nursing.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Week 4

Lewis is 1 month old! How is that even possible? He is such a wonderful baby. The only time  he's really been cranky was for a few days this week when he went through a growth spurt. I had to nurse him constantly when he was awake. Thankfully, he still slept normally at night - only waking up once around 3 a.m.! I get plenty of sleep thanks to him.

Sometimes nursing can be depressing, a little. I'm barely starting to work on my excess weight, so during those growth spurt days, I literally felt like a fat cow. I wouldn't trade it for anything, though. Joseph was sick for a day, and I didn't worry as much because I know Lewis is getting plenty of antibodies. (At least, I wasn't a total germaphobe, but I didn't let Joseph hold or kiss him while he was sick. But they do live in the same house!)

I guess my big outing this week is going grocery shopping and running a few errands. I was going to go to the ward temple night last night, but I had a terrible headache that ibuprofen wouldn't touch. Last night was the first night I didn't wake up sweating, though, so maybe my hormones are almost back to normal! I don't remember ever sweating this much before.

I was feeling a little down one evening, though nothing compared to a few weeks ago. Katie started telling me how Jesus is her friend. It was really cute and brought tears to my eyes.

I guess that about covers it for the week. Time for another feeding!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Week 3

So much of my life revolves around Lewis, so it's hard not to write from the point of view of a new mom. Once we go out in April, then my blog titles will probably change.

Friday, I had a pretty normal day and hung out with the family (plus James's mom and brother Joseph). It involved lots of laundry. I had to rest a lot because I had a blocked milk duct that really hurt so I didn't get much sleep, but I was able to resolve it quickly with lots of feedings.

Saturday, Melodie and I went shopping with the $50 someone gave me as a gift. I got a nightgown, fruit bowl, chocolate bar, earrings, and pants. Random, I know, but the best shopping trips are ones where you have plenty of money but aren't looking for anything specific. James and I went on a date during the afternoon. We picked out silly things at D.I. and found some mud to drive the car through. We also got a treat at Wendy's. Once the kids were in bed (except Lewis), we played a board game. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Usually strategy games drive me crazy because they require too much thinking.

Sunday, I went to 9:00 Sacrament meeting while everyone else was home and James at his normal morning meetings. They all went to church at 1:00 while I hung out with Lewis. We both ended up taking naps in the chair. I usually fall asleep at night in that chair too, when I'm trying to get Lewis to bed. I'm often asleep by 9:45 or so, but I can't say I'm terribly sleep-deprived. I could just use a cat nap here and there. The rest of the evening was spent talking to families and eating a yummy dinner and dessert.

Monday, everyone left to go home and there was no school, so we spent the day cleaning and relaxing, a pretty typical holiday around here.

Tuesday through today have been about the same. I've been keeping up with the housework while feeding Lewis what feels like constantly. It's worth it have a kid who sleeps so well at night. He goes to be between 9:30 and 10 and wakes 1-2x during the night, then wakes up for the morning between 7:00 and 8:00...usually. One morning it was 6:00.

Last night was a terrible night for me, but nothing to do with Lewis. I had fed him at 3 a.m. but couldn't get back to sleep. At 4 a.m., I got some terrible afterbirth pains. I had to take both ibuprofen and Percoset and get in a warm bath. It took till 5:30 to get back to sleep. I had pains like that after Kenny - weird, random pain in the middle of the night after a week of no pain at all. It's like all my insides shrinking are having some trouble. Thankfully I feel fine now.

We're getting a lot of snow. I don't care, because I know it's going to melt soon. I can't wait for March to roll around soon, because that means spring and my birthday, and then our quarantine is over.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Week 2

Week 2 with a newborn is always a thousand times better than the first week. This time around was no exception. The first few nights home, Lewis did not sleep well, but he soon figured out night and day and has been doing exceptionally well. Typically, he eats a lot while he is awake (about 2 hours, during which he often eats twice), but then he takes really long naps. Usually he does 3 naps that are 2-3 hours each. The only thing I've done to manipulate his schedule is wake him up around 8 p.m. and keep him awake until 10 p.m. Then, he usually wakes up 2x during the night and is up the next morning around 7 or 8. Last night, he actually only woke up once (around 3:30), so I've been getting really good sleep. The only thing that has really been interrupting it is my random hormonal sweating that is thankfully almost gone.

I have been a lot less emotional this week as well, thank goodness. I have my moments where I cry, but I don't feel like I can't stop. I have been doing some cooking again and some basic cleaning, but nothing too intense. I even went grocery shopping, and it wasn't bad. I do get occasional aches, but nothing that requires medicine. I look okay in my regular shirts and can wear some of my pants (the baggy ones). I don't feel too bad considering what I went through 2 weeks ago.

Everyone is adjusting well to our new little family member. The kids all adore him, and there has been no sign on jealousy. I will be really glad when we can all go out together (at the end of RSV season, which is at the end of March.) I might go a little crazy, especially on Sundays when it's hard to coordinate going to different church meetings when James already has meetings in the mornings. I know it will work out, though, and this is just temporary and necessary for Lewis's good health.

James's mom and brother are visiting. They arrived yesterday and are staying until Monday (I think). It has been really good to have more emotional support and help with the cooking and cleaning. It's not that I can't get it done, I just don't get things done as quickly as I did since I have more interruptions for feedings and such. If anything, my days have gotten longer since I no longer nap - and neither does Katie. That was pretty upsetting for the first few days, but I've since learned to roll with it and hang out with Katie and Kenny more while Lewis takes his afternoon nap. They are pretty entertaining to talk to and are even starting to get along better.

I am certain that I'm going to make it. A week ago, I wasn't so sure. I'm glad that things always get better, even though it takes some time.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Lewis Wade Head

It was a pretty exciting week, to say the least. Warning: this post will be very long.

Sunday and Monday passed pretty normally. I was officially due Sunday, but nothing happening, so I went to church. Tuesday, I woke up with painful contractions, so James stayed home from school. I really thought it was the real thing, but it wasn't. Despite walking a lot, they tapered off by evening. Mom and Myles arrived that day, so we just hung out.

Wednesday at my doctor's appointment, I got my membranes stripped. Long story short, that didn't work either. I went in Thursday morning to get induced, something I thought I'd never do, but I actually felt pretty peaceful about it. I got a pretty good night of sleep, and we headed to the hospital at 7 a.m. for my induction. I was having contractions, but they were still just 10 minutes apart and not progressing at all. My induction felt a lot like my other labors, because they have all required Pitocin anyway to help speed them along. Everything went pretty well until I got to 7 cm. The baby's heart rate kept dropping and taking a long time to recover. They actually turned the Pitocin off by this point because the contractions were strong enough. They also put some internal monitors on the baby to make sure he was really okay. It was pretty clear that he was distressed by the contractions.

At 9 cm, I signed a consent form for a possible C-section and they got the OR ready. A few minutes later I was at 10 cm, so I ended up delivering in the OR. I had to get unhooked from the epidural at this point to transfer rooms, and they couldn't hook it back up because it was no longer sterile. Needless to say, I had a pretty horrible time with pushing. The dr. used several vacuums to assist, because the baby really needed to come out quickly. His head was turned a little the side, which explained why he wasn't coming out easily. After about half an hour (I was in too much pain to really know), Lewis was finally born at 10:04 p.m. Once his head was out, his whole body came with it. I'm just glad he didn't end up on the floor. He was 7 lbs. 7 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long.

I started shaking uncontrollably at this point. The OR was freezing, and I had literally been 1 cm from a C-section, and the pain was so great I just wanted to quit and get knocked out. I'm glad I made it, though.

Lewis was a little pale and not quite as responsive as they would have liked, so they whisked him away to the nursery (which is also the NICU, but I didn't know that till a few days later) to be hooked up to oxygen and a couple other things, but I'm not sure what. I was too out of it. Despite the difficult delivery, I didn't feel too terrible after some sleep and a few meals - and a shower. I also didn't tear, but I have no idea how that's even possible.

Friday, I felt a lot better physically, but not so much emotionally. Lewis made huge improvements and was off everything except oxygen. I was finally able to nurse him for the first time around noon. (Delaying made me more emotional, but it did not affect his ability to learn to nurse, in case anyone was worried about that.) My family came to visit around lunch and see him through the window. Children under 13 weren't allowed back at all because of RSV season. I kept on feeding him every few hours morning and night, and he did really well.

Saturday was mostly the same (feeding, family visit, and some paperwork and lots of rest). I got officially discharged but decided to stay put so I could be available for feedings. Saturday night and all of Sunday were the most emotional time because of my milk coming in and not being able to go home with Lewis. I went home for a little bit on Sunday to see the kids before church, but it was heartbreaking to be there without my baby. James was good to stay with me every single night on that uncomfortable couch-bed.

Monday morning, I finally got to keep Lewis in the room with me! He was off oxygen and just had one monitor on his foot. That one monitor was pretty stressful, though. It kept beeping every few minutes, and my first thought was, "My baby is dying!" every time. I returned him to the nursery for night time so I could sleep. I ended up feeding him 4x, so not much sleep happened, but that didn't matter.

Tuesday, we finally got to come home! It was so wonderful to have a baby with no monitors attached and to eat real food, take a nap in my own bed, and have everyone finally get to hold him. I've been playing catch up today with paperwork and bills, but not too much cleaning yet. I've been recovering really well and don't need pain meds anymore. Lewis is completely healthy, eating and sleeping and pooping all the time. He is seldom awake, but when he is, he is very calm and alert.

One of the nurses said she would have sent us home Saturday or Sunday, so that really didn't help the experience. It seemed that they were very strict on what he had to do to break out of the NICU - like stay warm, gain weight, etc. which shouldn't be a problem for any full term baby. He didn't have any problems with those things at all. He is already heavier than his birth weight, and he not even a week old.

How I survived, really: Mom and Myles taking care of the kids, James being able to stay with me night and day, and spending lots of time in the nursery/NICU talking to the nurses. That's not to mention many prayers and several blessings to be able to cope with everything. It was impossible to stay alone during this trial. I'm really glad he got good care, and I know I did the right thing in having him, but it certainly doesn't make me excited to have another baby any time soon. I have already forgotten a lot of the physical pain because my recovery has been pretty quick, but I know the emotional pain will linger longer. I know that many women have much worse experiences than I do, but this was definitely my worst birth story. Despite all that, the fact that I can write this story without sobbing (still a few tears, but not too many) shows how powerful that Atonement is when it comes to healing. I'm grateful to have this little boy. I am sad for my friends who have experienced outcomes that were not as favorable as mine.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Getting Close

Everything is driving me crazy: my fighting children, the insane amount of snow that keeps on coming, the internet not working almost every afternoon, boredom, and the waiting game. I have a doctor's appointment today, and I'm really hoping for some good news. Even though dilation really has nothing to do with when I'll deliver, it would still be nice to know that something has been happening during this last week of misery.

Next time I write, I plan on having 4 kids! :) Hopefully that will be in a week or less. Joseph was born at 40w and Kenny and Katie at 40w3d, so that puts me at Wednesday at the latest. If I go past that, I will definitely lose my mind!