Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tired...

It's late, I'm tired and Hunter is wide awake. The poor little guy had a doctor's visit today where he was poked and prodded and he has been grumpy ever since. Steve went to bed at 10 with instructions to wake him if Hunter wasn't sleeping by midnight. But midnight came and went after 2 hours of inconsolable crying, and as frustrated as I was I couldn't bring myself to wake Steve. I was trying to think of anyone else that could possibly be up at this hour to chat with, but of course couldn't come up with anyone, not even my mom! I finally got him swaddled and calm and I keep thinking he's got to be getting tired, he hasn't slept more than 6 hours since he woke up this morning at 8:30! I sure hope he's getting tired, my eyes can't take looking at a computer much longer!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just a little joy...

My gas light was on, so I filled up my car today - $33. That's it. I can't remember the last time I paid just over thirty bucks to fill up my car. It wasn't too long ago it was $55. So for now, this brings me much joy, we'll see how long it lasts.

Hallie is three...

My little girl is three! We had a special day with our little three year old. A special breakfast, mickey mouse chocolate chip pancakes, followed by the birthday bucket, lunch as a family at McDonalds, some shopping, then dinner followed by Go Fish (I'm sure her new favorite game since we taught it to her this evening.)The things I love about Hallie...
Her love for shopping, she asks when she gets up from her nap if we need to run errands (aka a trip to the mall)
She adores her little brother more than anything
She makes her bed in the mornings
She always talks about her friends- the little girl she meets in the store is her friend
When talking on the phone she always tries to show instead of speak
The way she puts her hand on her hip when she talks - she's sassy!
She loves FHE
How excited she gets to eat with dad in the morning
She yells during the closing song of sacrament "It's Nursery time"
She sings for 45 minutes in her bed before falling asleep
Her expressions - she's dramatic (funny now, not so funny when she's 16)
She's the best eater - eats anything and everything
Loves books
Her excitement in riding her tricycle around the block ringing her bell
Her love for music
She's aware of others' feelings - she gets concerned when she thinks I'm sad or when her friends get hurt.
She'll sit and watch Gilmore Girls with me
She always asks to go "globbing" (looking at blogs)

And the best thing is she tells me she loves me everyday!
Her princess dress up from Nana and Papa

Easy Way Out...

We decorated pumpkins...the easy way! I thought I better take advantage of it while I can, before long, Hallie's going to insist we carve. But until then, we'll stick to the "build a pumpkin" kits! We have a cat and a skeleton as well, but I didn't want to pull out all the stops, we'll save those for next year.

One month already...

Is Hunter really a month old already...really? If counting by television standards, he would be four episodes of Survivor old. That's four tribal councils, four reward challenges...the list could go on and on. Or we could count by sleepless nights, but what would be the fun in remembering those. Hunter gets more than enough attention and love- Hallie thinks he's her little doll and she's always wanting to change his clothes, put on different shoes, and of course change diapers. She can be a little too much help at times, the poor kid gets smothered.

I think back to how careful we were with Hallie, so protective. Yet the second comes around and it's okay if Hallie manhandles the binky- we still use it. Or the blanket that has spitup on it, he's just going to dirty it again, why wash it!! Before too long, we're just going to let Hallie babysit him...she's really good with her dolls, we figure she can handle it.

Although exhausting, it's been a great month!We straightened Hallie's hair for church the other day and it made her look so much older. Steve's not sure he likes the older look. We'll stick with her curls for now!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It just isn't right...

We're currently in our open enrollment period for insurance benefits through Steve's work. I was going over all our benefits the other night and comparing costs of different plans (of course they've all changed since last year). As I was going through the benefits I noticed multiple categories of associates. They listed:
Associate
Associate + Spouse
Associate + Child(ren)
Family
Associate + Domestic Partner
Associate + Domestic Partner + Child(ren)

I have no problems offering insurance benefits to Domestic partners...whatever. What I did have a problem with was the fact that the "Family" plan was more expensive than the "Associate + Domestic Partner + Child(ren)" plan. I sat confused. Why in the world would I be paying more for insurance because I'm legally married? It's not a huge difference- $10+ dollars a month (for our plan) but still, why in the world is there a difference? Dental is cheaper as well if you claim "Associate + Domestic Partner + Child(ren)". I decided I would call the provider and ask...they were speechless. At first they told me that I was wrong. Another look at their system confirmed I was right and the lady I spoke with was just as confused as I was. She couldn't come up with a good explanation...she couldn't come up with a bad explanation. She just told me she agreed with me in that it was wrong to be charging more for a "legal family".

Did I accomplish anything from this phone call? No. Do I hope that the lady I spoke with brings it up with someone else who recognizes it as an issue as well and hopefully through a domino effect it's resolved? Yes. But I won't hold my breath- I was just tired of having the minority speak louder than the majority!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Patch...

When we went to the Elegant Farmer a couple weeks ago, we intended on picking out our pumpkins, but we never made it that far in the farm. So the following week after the zoo we went to a pumpkin farm. Someone needed to stay with Hunter, so Steve volunteered to stay back and "teach Hunter the rules of football". When Hallie, my mom, and I left, Steve and Hunter were both asleep on the couch...which is rule #1 of Saturday football watching!! (Never be afraid to fall asleep, and take advantage of DVR to rewind it later!)We located all the best shaped pumpkins in our opinion and put them by the car. We then narrowed it down with Hallie's help to the lucky three pumpkins to go home with us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Funny sign...

I was driving this morning when I came to stop light in front of a church. My eyes wandered to the reader board in front of the church.  "All pets welcome"  I chuckled, who seriously brings their pets to church, and this church is encouraging it! The second line reads, "Blessing of all pets, Oct 11, 6pm".  Sometimes I'm amused by the smallest things.

Sounds of fall...

I was walking outside this afternoon when I came across a patch of sidewalk completely covered in leaves. As I walked across the leaves, some dried and some freshly fallen from the tree, I couldn't help but kick the leaves a little bit as a little skip entered my step. And I realized, my favorite sound of fall is the sound of walking through leaves on a sidewalk or the wind softly blowing leaves across the sidewalk. I then started thinking of each season and my favorite sound and smell of each season. 

Here's the list:
Fall: Sound of leaves, smell of pumpkin spice
Winter: Sound of walking on fresh snow, smell of cinnamon and hot chocolate
Spring: Sound of birds first thing in the morning, smell of grass
Summer: Sound of sprinklers on a large open field, smell of bbq

Monday, October 13, 2008

My mom...

My eyes are red...puffy...and swollen. I've cried my fair share of tears: my mom left today and I spent the whole drive home in tears only to come home to Steve's open arms reassuring me that everything would be okay.  Two days ago, even the thought of her leaving made me tear up.  I blame it on postpartum hormones, but when it comes down to it I think it comes out of admiration and love for my mom. 
Whenever she comes, it just doesn't seem like its long enough. I was explaining to Steve that not only is she great company, and fun to be around, but she is a neutral third party.  She doesn't get frustrated with Hallie after the 15th tantrum for the day, she doesn't get annoyed when Hunter decides he wants to be awake at midnight, or he needs a diaper change after the last three in 20 minutes.  She wakes up to Hallie early in the morning and plays with her.  Steve and I "rock, paper, scissors" to see who has to entertain Hallie an hour before the other has to get up, or call out who changed the last dirty diaper! 
But not my mom, she just does it. She knows eventually she gets to go home so maybe that's why she's so willing to do the dirty work! My mom is also a motivating factor. As Steve so kindly points out, I tend to start projects and it takes me a while to finish them. So when my mom comes to town we always have a list of projects, and we always complete them.  She keeps me focused and pushes me to finish, when it's so natural for me to say, "Oh, that's easy. I'll just finish that later." She replies, "It's so easy, lets just finish it now!" Steve is convinced we need to have her visit more often just so she can help me finish projects.  

Some highlights from her visit:
Cleaned out Hunter's room
Replaced moulding
Fixed the hole in the wall (long time in coming!!)
Went shopping
Visited the zoo and went on the train ride, Hallie's favorite
Went for daily walks and admired the beautiful fall colors
Watched conference
Went to the apple farm and enjoyed some delicious carmel apples
Played multiple games of memory with Hallie
Painted Hunter's room
Played Settlers of Catan
Made delicious cinnamon rolls
Hung up Halloween decorations
Watched Gilmore Girls Season 7
Went to the Pumpkin Patch and decorated pumpkins
Thanks mom for making the sacrifice to come spend time with us and help out with Hallie and Hunter (and occasionally Steve when he got out of line!) We love you and miss you already!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Elegant Farmer...



We ventured out for the first time as a family to a local apple farm, Elegant Farmer. We figured Hunter could use some fresh air after being in the house for a while. It was the first time we had been to this specific farm, we were stepping out of our comfort zone a little bit! We intended on picking a 1/2 bushel of apples and picking a couple pumpkins...we walked away with a piece of delicious apple pie, a couple doughnuts and some carmel apples. We walked around the farm pushing the baby in the stroller, and pulling Hallie in the wagon just looking for some delicious apples, but there were none to be found! We then tried locating the pumpkin farm but after walking for a while without any orange sightings, we decided to turn around. Somewhat disappointed in the farm we headed back to the barn/car. We stopped in at their little store and made a couple of good purchases: apple pie baked in a paper bag, and carmel apples with the most delicious, thick, rich carmel. What the farm lacked in quality "pickable" apples, they made up for in good treats!

It's fall...

We took a walk this afternoon to savor the beautiful colors of fall. Trees are changing color, there are leaves covering the gutters and sidewalk...I love this time of year. I love the candy corn, candied apples...and candy!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

One week down...

It's weird to think that our due date was yesterday- and instead we had a child almost a week and a half ago. It's crazy what a week can bring! I just wanted to do a quick flashback:

September 26, 2008 -
A beautiful and warm fall day
Ran errands all morning
Spent the afternoon working while Hallie was sleeping
Worked in the storage room trying to finish up some organizing and cleaning projects
Anticipated the season premiere of the Office and Survivor
Got ready to mow the lawn - Steve put a kabosh on that idea when he found out
Played with Hallie outside
Watched Steve mow the lawn and raked up the grass behind him

All these events led up to us getting ready to go to Bob and Virginia's for some dinner and Thursday night TV. My back started aching as I cleaned the storage room, but nothing too serious. A couple hours later of on again, off again pains I realized I was having contractions. After I finished raking up the grass I told Steve (If I would've told him before this, he would've stopped mowing the lawn and I knew it would not get finished!!)

As we're getting ready to walk out the door for the evening I told Steve I didn't think we could go because of the contractions. (9 minutes apart and their house is in the opposite direction of the hospital). We called them and suggested they come over to our house so we could leave for the hospital when we needed to. They brought pizza and wings and I learned from my last labor that once you get to the hospital they don't feed you. So I filled my tummy with the goodness of Toppers Pizza! We start Survivor and contractions are 7-8 minutes apart, which is when we were told to go to the hospital, but it was the season premiere of Survivor.

I had waited four months for this day and I wasn't about to miss it. So I endure labor through the first hour, which normally would've been the whole episode, but of course the opener was 2 hours! I really wanted to make it through the next hour but contractions were 4-5 minutes and the pain was becoming more than I wanted to handle. Bob and Gin were so generous to take Hallie home with them for the night as Steve and I headed over to the hospital.

Once we got to the hospital I was ready for the epidural, but of course they need to check you in, make sure you're in labor, they whole bit. Of course they hadn't received our pre-admission that we had sent in so we had to fill out that paperwork. At this point I'm starting to think that watching Survivor may not have been worth it for the pain I was experiencing, I could've had an epidural by now!! More time passes, finally get checked in, get my epidural (they gave me three doses because it wasn't working but I'm happy to report, that third dose worked like a gem and I couldn't feel a thing! Much diffferent than my experience with Hallie) and it's just after 11 p.m. Just in time to finish watching Oregon State beat USC - huge upset!!

The whole time I was thinking to myself, "I'm not ready for this yet, I need to call this person and that person, cancel our plans with so and so, blah blah blah." Coming early really threw both of us off. Steve had just sent an email to his boss letting him know where he stood on all his projects and that he'd finish them up on Friday when he came to work- plans changed!

The doctor showed up, and with minimal pushing we had Hunter just after 1 a.m. He was perfect. (They always are in the sight of their parents!) It was surreal. One minute we're doing our thing and the next thing we know we've brought a child into the world. We just held him and marveled at his beauty. And just like that it was over. I wasn't pregnant any more. Such a weird feeling: nine months of preparation and then we were holding our child, yet it all felt so natural.

We were so fortunate to have Bob and Virginia as well as so many good friends that helped us out with Hallie. It made it easier for me to stay in the hospital knowing that Hallie was having a good time and being taken care of.

We got together with Bob and Virginia this Thursday night for Survivor and we were reflecting back on the previous Thursday, and it was amazing how our lives had changed drastically in such a short period of time. 7 days, alot can happen in 7 days!

My mom is here with us now which has been such a nice treat since Steve is back at work. She's been great for Hallie and is willing to sit and color with her for FOUR HOURS! Something neither Steve nor I would have the patience for! On top of that she's made some great food - nothing like fresh cinnamon rolls! Hunter is the best child ever...prayers have been answered!

The first night my mom got here, Steve passed over night duty to her because he had to go back to work. That night and each night since then, Hunter has only woke up once a night to feed and then sleeps the rest of the night. Could it get any better? I'm sure this won't last very long. I keep telling Steve that as soon as my mom leaves and Steve's on his second week of paternity leave Hunter's sleeping habits will change and he'll be up all night! Let's hope not. We're still adjusting to a number of things but each day is a little better. I'm thinking maybe, just maybe I can handle this!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Day five...

I have five days under my belt of being a mother of two...we've had our ups and downs already. We couldn't have asked for a more mild/calm child than Hunter. He's fairly easy compared to what we were given the first time around, and for that I count my blessings. He sleeps really well, he doesn't cry much when he's awake. He doesn't have to be held in order to go to sleep. We are definitely blessed.

Steve has been so kind to be on night duty every night!! Steve just brings Hunter to me when it's time to feed and then takes him back until he's ready to sleep. Steve then sleeps in while I get Hallie up and going and takes a nap during the day. What a difference it makes to have that support. I'm not running on empty which is allowing me to enjoy this stage that much more. Unfortunately paternity leave is only so long- and my blue skies with puffy clouds will quickly be stripped from me. But for now, I'll take and enjoy every minute!

Hallie is still "adjusting". Which I'm hoping is a stage she quickly grows out of. She is more than either/both of us can handle. All these tantrums are driving us crazy, over nothing! NOTHING! In her short three years I've never seen tantrums to the extent that we experienced them today. One after the other, and then again, and again. Steve was putting her down to bed tonight and she had another meltdown. Screaming, flailing, throwing herself against the floor continuously. After a considerable amount of time, Steve had had enough.

So I take a turn. More anger, frustration, screaming. I try to calm her and with enough coaxing I finally got her quiet. We go to brush her teeth and yet another breakdown. (I thought she asked me to put her toothpaste on...she didn't) So I take her back to her room and let her scream for an additional 10 minutes. Both Steve and I return to the scene to mend the broken bridges. I held her as she finished her sobbing, and for some reason this feeling of sadness just overwhelmed me and I started to tear up.

I started to see Hallie as the older child, who would only continue to get older, and not need us as much. (Which don't get me wrong is a great feeling in ang of itself!) But to contrast that with a newborn who is completely reliant upon his parents. I could see my relationship with her change as my time and attention is focused on Hunter, and the thought of that hurt a little. She's my little buddy and friend who I enjoy so much, to see how much she's struggled in the last couple days because of this new addition is hard for me. As Hallie watched the tear fall from my eye, she immediately stopped her own tears. She says to me, "Don't be sad mommy, can I wipe your eyes?" (Enter more tears!) Who would've thought that the little girl of three years ago who only made me cry tears of frustration and anger would have such a tight hold on my heart? I'm so grateful for her (despite her recent actions) and her friendship. It's amazing the power a child can have over you, and how powerful their influence on you.
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