Wednesday, October 24, 2012

not my banner week as a mom.

I had two days last week were I swear to you, I was being punked.  Every time we arrived anywhere BOTH kids were soaked through.  Like, I'd change them and we'd leave and they'd drink nothing and 10 minutes later we'd arrive somewhere and it was as though a gallon of water pee had been poured in their laps.  How do they do it??  Addie went pant-less on more than one occasion, and Garrett had a diaper change on the ground at October-fest behind one of those wooden-painted-poke-your-face-through-photo-op signs.  And the next night we stopped at a store on our way to dinner and he was so wet that he rode to dinner in just his diaper, while I held his clothes out the window to dry while Paul drove.  And he went into the restaurant in wet pants that were too short, a jacket zipped all the way up without a shirt on underneath, and no shoes. I should get a metal.  Oh, and I failed to mention that on the drive, (in just the diaper) he ate one of those cracker snacks with soft cheese, and decided to use the cheese as body paint.  And I sure did put his pee soaked man capris on right over his cheese legs.  Baths later are easier than a whole box of wipes now.  That's kinda become my motto.

Speaking of Garrett, I saw an ecard on pinterest that said, "I just punished my child for acting EXACTLY LIKE ME."  Garrett is a strong-willed, independent  free spirit.  Just like me.  And it drives me crazy.  We're going though a bit of a rough patch, he and I, and I've had some moments I'm not proud of.  I want to not yell at him.  And I swear he knows it, and some days wakes up in the morning, his sole mission being to get me to do just that.  A couple of days ago he Melted. Down. because I wouldn't let him have bubble gum and frappuccino for breakfast.  Yesterday, while I was in the other room with Addie, (I'd left him in the dining room playing with a fold-out Curious George magnet board thing that I thought he was really in to), he climbed up onto the kitchen counter and ate an entire bowl of caramel popcorn (probably about 2 cups)!  And right as I walked in the room to check on him he was licking his hands, and he looked up at me and said, "nom, nom, nom." (I can't get mad at that part, it was really good.)

On Monday we were heading out to go curtain shopping with my sister in law.  (Same day as the bubble gum incident, actually.)  I was late.  Garrett was mad.  Our van was in the shop so we loaded in the Explorer  that doesn't have a DVD player in it (!), and the gas tank was beyond empty, wow, there was enough gas to actually start it, empty.  I drove to the nearest gas station with a screaming toddler, a surprisingly happy Addie, and me saying, "please oh please oh please make it" over and over again.  And we made it!  Have I told you that some parts of California have broken the 5 dollar a gallon mark the past couple weeks? But the gas station I pulled into was only $4.77, so I guess it was my lucky day! ha...ha...  I turned to Garrett and very loudly and diplomatically explained to him that I needed him to BE QUIET for a minute while I got some gas.  I was yelling as I dug through my purse...digging...digging...finally dumping everything on the seat....  No wallet.  NO BLEEPING WALLET!!!  I called Paul and calming said, "Will you please run upstairs and see if you can find my #@&*^$@ wallet?"  He found it and I started driving home.  Then it happened.  (No I didn't run out of gas.) At a stop light I turned to Garrett and yelled at him louder than I've ever yelled at him before.  He stopped crying.  He looked at my, like I was a crazy mom possessed by satan.  I apologized over and over and I think I cried a little.  We made it home.  We made it to the gas station.  We made it to Annie's.  Everyone was fine and it was an ok day.  That night Garrett gave me a kiss good night and was walking down the hall with Paul to go to bed.  I called him back and he came back to me.  I sat down on the floor and took his hands.  I told him again how sorry I was for losing my temper in the car.  I told him that I want to try harder and be better but that I'm still going to make mistakes sometimes.  But that I love him so much and that I always will.  He gave me a little smile and then he turned and sat on my lap, snuggled in and gave me a hug.  He got up and Paul took him to bed and I just sat on the floor and cried for a few minutes.

Then the next day I did what I told Garrett I would do, I tried harder to be better.

Friday, October 19, 2012

these kids...

I love staying home with my babies.  I sometimes wish I worked, or wonder what it would be like to work outside the home, even part time.  Sometimes I feel like I should...sometimes it sounds like a nice break...sometimes I want more adult conversations.  But when it comes down to it, I'm so thankful that we have enough that I'm able to be with my babies full-time.

And here's what we do...
 Ever since learning to crawl, both my kids have loved trying to climb in boxes, baskets, and buckets.
 I found a drawer full of 6-9 month pants.  I hate when I over-look clothes!  Fortunately, Addie is skinny enough that the drawer of pants is now a drawer of capris!  (Except these overalls were a no go, she couldn't even lift her arms and the sides wouldn't snap.)
 Capris and sunglasses!  A California girl for sure.
 Garrett is a helpful one.  He wants to be involved in everything.  So dad let him help re-pot the plants.

 More helping from Garrett.  I was working on some projects for my nephews nursery and Garrett really wanted to help.  So I thought of a quick project for him, and it worked!  I pulled out some cereal and noodles and made some lines with glue, and Garrett did the rest.  (Except for the 'A' he would NOT do the A.)

 His finishes craft for his cousin.

 Wrestling on the floor with my girl.

We took the kids to a pumpkin patch a few nights ago and we were the only ones there.  I felt bad for the kids trying to sell their pumpkins, but it was nice to let the kids play and we got a couple good pictures.
 Addie was carefully searching for the perfect pumpkin.
 Look at this face.  I love that kid!
Taking a break from the great pumpkin hunt.

 Garrett was in charge of carrying each pumpkin we picked and taking it to the front so we could pay.  He did a great job and lined them up biggest to smallest.
I think we'll hit up a couple more patches before the end of the month.
 "Help me. Help me. Help me."  He always wants to help and be involved in everything.
We went to BJ's in Huntington beach.  Right after this picture below was taken, I picked up my Diet Coke, that was actually Diet Pepsi (strike one already), and the bottom of the glass stayed on the table. A wall of soda flooded over the edge of the table into my lap.  The manager, "So the glass just split?" Me, "Yep. I just picked it up and the bottom stayed on the table." Him, "I think it's a manufacturer defect because that actually happens a lot." Me...(you can probably imagine how hard I bit my tongue because I had too many awesome things come to mind that Paul would get mad at me for saying.)  Him, "If you'd like to bring me your dry cleaning bill I'll happily reimburse you." Me...(more tongue biting as I was rockin' my 5 year old 8 dollar Target dress.)  Anyway, we got free appetizers, free dessert, and free diet coke pepsi.  And I still love BJ's because of their Margherita pizza and because a portion of every pizookie purchase goes to the CF foundation.  But seriously, find a new glass manufacturer and switch to diet coke.
 A new friend in Huntington Beach.
 Burger King, outdoor playground, and weather out of the hundreds.  Finally!

 "Mom, truck. Mom, truck!"  I looked back and he was holding up his toy truck to the window comparing it to the one outside that looked the same.
 I love these two.

 G thought dad's golf club covers were shoes.
 Game night with friends. Garrett's friend P was teaching him how to play battleship.  He was being so patient with him.  When I went to check on them, P said to me, "He kind of just wants to put all the pieces in every hole, but he's not doing that bad for a 2 year old."
 Learning how to line dance.  Garrett really got into it.
That about catches us up.  And here's a couple funny things G has said/done the past couple days.

Yesterday morning I laid on the couch and said to Garrett, "I'm too tired today.  Can I be the baby and you be the Mama?  He looked at me for a second, as if thinking about swapping, then said, "Ummmm, no."

I was going into the bathroom, and any mom of a toddler knows that if the kid knows you're going in the bathroom, you won't be alone for long.  Garrett has his own toilet in the bathroom and he often sits on it when I'm in there. (Special bonding time.)  This particular time I stopped and grabbed a tampon from the box under the sink, and heard Garrett running, "Mom! Mom! Mom!"  I said, "Ok! Ok! Come sit on your toilet."  Without missing a beat he opened the cupboard under the sink, grabbed a tampon, plopped down on his toilet  then held up the tampon and said, "Mine."  Ok, can't be exactly like me.

And in other news, Addie took her first steps yesterday.  She lets go of things and stands unassisted a lot, but twice yesterday she let go and took a couple of steps forward!  It's so fun to see babies learn new things.  But who knows, it may be within a couple days that she'll be walking around, or like Garrett's first steps, it may take 2 or 3 months to decide she's a fan of the whole walking thing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

weekend with Auntie Mara

I mentioned yesterday that Mara booked a moral support flight last minute.  It couldn't have come at a better time.  Paul was going to Utah for 2 days for a meeting and we decided kind of last minute to add Addie to the flight so that Garrett and I could have some one on one time.  Life with only one kid is easy enough I suppose, but the hard days I was having leading up to it had me overwhelmed and worried.  Mara's trip was perfect timing. Not only was it great to have her here to talk late, go on walks, watch chick flicks, etc. But Garrett is in love with her, so she got to do a lot of the diaper changing, loading in the car, bath-time... He picked her, so I got a little break from the everyday and several times a day stuff.  And we had a great time!

We took him to The Aquarium of the Pacific.  He loved every bit of it!  It was the perfect outing.  And I wish you could all hear how he says 'fish'.  After we finished there, we walked around long beach and had some lunch.  When we left, Garrett was asleep in the car before we even made it to the freeway.  Then he slept for 3 more hours once we got home.  So much to see and it all just wore him out.

The next day we went shopping in Huntington Beach.  And that evening we went to a Pumpkin Patch.

And the rest of the time we hung out at home.  Cooked, played games, talked for hours.  And the night before Mara left, Paul was back and he stayed home with the kids so just she and I could go out.  It was such a fun weekend.  Thank you Auntie Mara for coming to California.  Garrett and I both needed it!  We love you!

This was the only picture I got from Paul and Addie's trip.  Looks like it was a party!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I think I'm ok. I think I'm going to be ok.

I started a post two weeks ago called 'Depression'.  It began with me saying how I kind of feel like I owe you, my couple of readers, an update on where I am.  Not because I owe you anything really, but because I opened the depression door to my life several months ago, and some may like to stay informed, and maybe even throw one up for me, ya know...a prayer.  Can you tell I don't like asking for help and I want to be the strong one who doesn't need anyone to pray for me??

I've decided to hold off on that post for now.  But I'll get to it in the coming weeks, because this one was a doozie.

I'd had a rough couple of days, and it was only getting worse.  Paul knew, my mom knew.  I didn't want them to know, but someone had to know.  It was obvious to Paul, and my mom knows everything.  I woke up a couple mornings after my spiral began, and I knew I needed some back up.  A couple people who would be willing to give up a day to listen to me cry and scream and say 'I give up' and send me inspirational thoughts and ideas, and pray for me.  My mom is great for this, but I needed these to be people who knew the non-family member side of me.  The ones who I could say words like 'Shit' to (or worse) as much as I wanted, and it would be welcomed and even encouraged.

I was still in bed, mad that the sun had in fact come up, and that I had to face the day, when I sent a group text to these two.
 Kate (top) Mara (bottom)
These are my best friends.  I still have a high school best friend, a roommate best friend, a college best friend, etc.  But at this adult/wife/parent time in my life, you're looking at 'em.  These two pulled through with flying colors.  I really don't have a lot of friends, but I've learned over the years that quality far outweighs quantity.  I love these ladies.  I don't know how I would have made it through that day and the days that followed, and the ones that are to come, without them.  Kate is in Salt Lake and Mara just moved from Reno to Atlanta, but they still managed to carry me through that day.  We spent the whole day on the phone, email and texts.  Kate is so good with words.  The whole day I was challenged and encouraged by her thoughts and ideas.  Mara never judges and will do anything at anytime for a friend.  Within two hours of my first text, Mara had booked a flight from Atlanta to LAX, all because she could tell that I needed a best friend by my side for a few days.  I can't thank them enough.

It's been just over two weeks since my 'crash'.  I'm finally starting to feel myself again.  Though, I don't really know what 'myself' feels like.  I won't say I see the light at the end of the tunnel, because I don't want to 'get' to the end of something, or be somewhere different necessarily, I'm just wanting where I am to be a little brighter. My depression and the postpartum hormone roller coaster have not been easy on me.  I remind myself often that life has changed a lot over the past three years.  Not to mention that it hasn't even been a year since my body finished making two people at super-human speed.  I'm doing ok.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 15, 2012

My new title

I became an aunt on 10.11.12!

My nephew, William Taylor came 5 weeks early.  I mentioned the rough pregnancy in another post.  Bed rest, high fluids, steroids to speed up lung development, and the hope that he'd stay in until October 25th (Due Nov. 15).  My sister in law went in for her 34 week checkup on Oct. 9th and was dilated to 5cm.  She should have been in active labor.  The doc said if she dilated more than that with no contractions they've have to break her water and take the baby.  2 days later she was at 7cm and still not a single contraction.  They sent her right to the hospital, broke her water, and she had the worlds easiest and shortest labor, (water breaks, oh maybe that's a contraction, ok they're getting stronger, oh, I can push? 1, 2, 3, and he was here.  All in less than an hour).  She held him for only a second and he turned blue and stopped breathing.  They took him from her and did CPR.  It was a scary first few hours.  They put him on oxygen and started doing tests.  There was concern with his heart, lungs, diaphragm, and brain.  At one point I got an emotional phone call from my dad saying they doctors were saying they may life flight him to Primary's for open heart surgery. But by the grace of God, things have slowly been getting better.  He was able to stay in St. George and is in the NICU, but improving everyday.  Still not sure how long he'll be in there, but I'm just waiting for the green light and me and the kids will be driving up to see him.  I can't wait!  These fuzzy cell phone pictures aren't cutting it anymore.

Look at that hair!  He has more than my Addie has now, and she's almost a year old.  He's so cute and I can't wait to hold him and spoil him.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Garrett's Big {over the} Top 2nd Birthday!

Here's how it went...

I thought to myself a couple months before his birthday... Let's see, Garrett's Birthday...nothing big...hmm...he loves hot dogs...and popcorn and snow cones... I know!  We'll have a little circus-y themed family party!  A couple days later I found an 8 pack of circus paper plates on sale and thought, "Eight should be enough."

Then a few days later while driving with my mother in law, I told her, "So, Garrett loves hot dogs, and I found some cheap circus plates, so maybe we can have a little family party and call it a 'Circus'.

Fast forward to Saturday September 22nd.

(Click on each collage to make them bigger.)
The arrows were custom ordered from The Wood Connection in Murray, UT.  I made the pennant banners and the photo blocks.  Wood used on blocks from Home Depot.  Finials and bases from Hobby Lobby.  And I took the pictures of Garrett one evening before the party.
My mother in law made the (amazing) tents.  The lemonade bottles are Starbucks Frappuccino bottles.  Even if you're not a coffee drinker, these bottles are cheaper than any empty ones I found.  Birthday banner from Hobby Lobby.
 I saved cans and covered them in scrapbook paper.  This was the most popular game.

The centerpieces were popcorn cups from Target, pinwheels I made, and fresh sunflowers from Trader Joe's.  As well as buckets of peanuts and circus wind-up toys.
Garrett's Big Top Candy Shop.  My dad helped me build the frame of it, my mom made the awning.  The scale is from Hobby Lobby (bought a long time ago) and the jars are from anywhere and everywhere.  I've had a collection for years.  In the shop there was, pixy stix, licorice ropes, circus peanuts, circus mints, gun balls, salt water taffy, circus animal crackers, colored marshmallows, lemon heads, clown noses and crayons.  
 The prop table.  All the props are from The Wood Connection.
 My friend Ashleigh did a little face painting for us.
 Addie was catching some shut eye when things got started, but she finally decided to join us.  I found the train car on  It was pink and purple and the seller was asking $10.00.  I offered $5.00 and got it. And then added a little spray paint and cut the letters on my cricut.  I made Addie's tutu.  It's just a headband and strips of tulle.  I also made the leggings from a pair of adult knee socks.
 The duck pond was a hit as well.  Purchased at Party City.
Blow up clown shoes are from Decor Party Supply.  We made the circus sign with a piece of wood, paper mache letters from Joann's, a drill, and Christmas light.  It fell over before we even started, and only half of the lights worked. :(  All of the fabric for the backdrops, tables, tents and banners, was purchased at either the fabric district in downtown LA, or M & L discount fabric in Anaheim.
 Oh and we also hired a petting zoo.  (I told you we were keeping it small.)  Goats, bunnies, pigs, chickens, sheep...and a pony and a horse.  This was so. much. fun.  The kids got to go in and play with the animals,  and ride the ponies as much as they wanted.  The traveling zoo brought the fencing and got everything all set up in no time.  It was great.  Garrett rode a pony at Thanksgiving Pointe a few months ago and was not a fan.  So I was worried that after my in-laws went to all this work finding it, that Garrett would be scared.  I guess he just needed a couple more months, because he loved it!  He tried to pick up all the animals, and he never wanted to stop having turns on the pony.  He even rode the big one several times.

 Addie rode it, too.  She was all business.  Like that pony was taking her to a destination and there was no time for smiles.  But she didn't seem to mind.

 Look how cute my kids are.  Garrett was only not smiling because he wasn't happy about having to share the saddle.
 The cake table.  I made all the cupcakes and the little cake.  The toppers were from Decor and Hobby Lobby.  My mother in law made the cupcake ferris wheel.  Isn't it amazing!?  I wouldn't even be able to begin to tell you how she did it, but it was somethin' else.
 Hot dog cooker and popcorn popper from  Hot dog baskets were from World Market and Target.  Basket liners are from World Market.  Pretzel holder is a mug rack.  Circus food is so easy.  We served: Hot dogs, gourmet dogs with chili, onions, cheese, and jalapinos.  Corn dogs, chips and salsa, nachos, soft pretzels, fruit, vegi trays, popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy, and peanuts.
 My good friend Kevin, over at The Wood Connection built the frame for me.  I painted it and added fabric and the banner.  The photo booth and props were so much fun.  I tried hard to get everyone over there, but I think we still missed a few.

 My father in law bought a book and did a little balloon practice and was actually quite good.
 The pinata is from Party City.  Notice that Garrett is only in one picture.  The one where he's gently and ever so lightly tapping the side of the clown.  And when he saw the poor clown broken on the ground he almost cried and was not interested in treats or prizes from inside of it.  It was then that I realized how bazaar an activity it really is.  Why would we beat something that made our party look so cute??  From now on, if we ever do one again, it will be an insignificant item, like a ball, or a tire, or something not real looking and not cute.
He loved being sung to, and he loved blowing out the candles.  And eating the cake, too.  The hanging circles are paint chips that I stole got for free from home depot.  I have paper punches that I cut them with and then hot glued them to strings and tied them to a dowel.
 Happy Happy Birthday to my favorite 2 year old in the whole world.
Dad, Mom, Me and Addie, Paul and Garrett, David and (GF) Melissa, Phil, Annie, Poppy and Bekah.  I made all the clown shirts.  Michael's had a 50% off sale so they were $2.00 each.  I used fabric glue and all different ribbons that I had one hand.  Pom poms are from any craft store and I hot glued those on.  Thanks family, for humoring me and wearing them the whole time!

A big thank you to Phil. Bekah, and Annie.  There were a lot of hours and a lot of money put into this party, and it wouldn't have happened without them!

And thank you to Sarah from Dovetail Images for capturing every bit of it, so I could just enjoy the party!