Saturday, November 17, 2012

Our Weekend Visit

I had my work's Christmas lunch in Lehi on Friday. **Love you girls.** Avery was going to go down to work at his dad's for the weekend. Being the geniuses we both are, why not go down as a family and stay over Friday night.

It's important to remember at this point in the story, we now live in Ogden.

I arranged to have us sleep over at my dad's, Ave's mom was going to take the little one, so we would even get a free night without a child. Date night? What's that? I scheduled a hair appointment for Saturday with my basically S-in-L. It was all coming together so perfectly.

I should've known then...

First, Ave's mom had to cancel on us. Okay, I can deal, arrange for Audrey to stay with us at my dad's, ask dad if he will watch her, so we still get our date night, and find someone to watch her during my hair appointment.

Crisis averted.

Enjoy Christmas party whilst wrestling toddler. Pfft... I have been a mom for all of 18 months now, no sweat.  Buy movie tickets for date night... James Bond is sexy. Get kiddo settled down for nap at my dad's. Then Ave's mom calls un-canceling begging for chance to watch Audrey again. Tell her she can have her Saturday. We're working on sharing. Pick up Avery, enjoy dinner with extended family, make sure Bug is taken care of, kiss her good night, and off to alone time.

'Skyfall' review: AWESOME, plus sexy.

Get back to dad's, Ady-bug has been asleep for maybe an hour, contemplate going to bed early too. Then I hear the crying. No worries. Comfort child, feed bottle, let say 'hi' to mom and dad for a little bit. That's all it was, she missed us. ;)

Tuck child back in pack 'n' play, get into pajamas, lay down on brother's stolen bed, blissful sigh...
**ONE HOUR LATER** crying... no screaming, 'I'm-going-to-die-if-you-don't-pick-me-up-now' shrieking. Gently cuddle baby, attempt to soothe, offer bottle, offer binky, rock, bounce, threaten, bribe, worry, cry a little too **TWO HOURS LATER** no joke... still crying. Let me clarify, would stop crying if laying on my shoulder, then would sniffle, and relax enough to trick me into attempting to lay her down... then all hell would break loose again, someone was clearly ripping her arms out of her body, had to be to warrant that much screaming.

There comes a time when in attempt to soothe the poor child, you kiss, you rock, you whisper sweet things... it's not working. Then you grab then by the arms, explain calmly why they should be sleeping, tell her that she is going to wake the entire household with her banshee cries, try to plug it up with a pacifier... it's still not shutting up. Then when you see yourself covering her mouth, only to not let go, just so that she would just be quiet... it's time to wake up daddy.

Don't judge me. You know you've all been there.

I can recall every single instance that I've had the distinct feeling that I can no longer handle the crying, and I will do something I regret if I don't walk away. Luckily, those nights can only be counted on one hand. Most were in the first few months of her life. But, last night, she was determined to remind me why we don't yet have a second child.

Avery took over, tried everything I did. I laid on the bed going through scenarios in my head. She wasn't hungry. I had changed her diaper. She might've been teething or in pain, but I didn't bring any infant pain reliever with us. More than likely, it was a new place, not her bed, not her nightlight, with strange noises, and she was really, really tired. Why she wouldn't just relax and go to sleep then, is still beyond me. I suggested a car ride, and Ave braved the cold and drove around for a little while to no avail. I cat napped, ears still perked for them to get home. Calmer, but still not allowing us to lay her down, they watched television for about an hour. Finally, at about 3:00 AM, he was able to put her in her bed. Whatever it was, she had exhausted herself beyond the point of caring.

**THREE HOURS LATER** yep... oh, man. This time the comforting and binky worked until **ONE HOUR LATER** when it didn't. No consoling the child, no laying her back down to sleep. Avery begged me to take her for an hour or two so he could get a little more sleep before he went to work. I felt for him, most likely I would try squeezing in a nap at some point, but technically I had been up with her more/longer. Just for score keeping purposes, you know, I win. I attempted the whole routine for about another hour, finally bagged it and called it what it was, an early morning start to a seriously crappy night's sleep. We watched SW: Clone Wars until Ave woke up.

We all survived the 'Night the Toddler Would NOT Sleep at Grandpa's'. Avery dragged himself through work, I got my hair all did, and then got my little nap. **THANK YOU LORA** As did Audrey, sort of. She was still super ornery and tired all day. Gee, I wonder why? And after finally making it home tonight, promptly went down for the night at 7:30 PM.

If she wakes up tonight, she can just cry it out.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

18 Months

She's not a baby anymore. We've got a full fledged toddler on our hands. Complete with temper tantrums, talking, and running away from me at the store.


I have yet to take her to her 18 month appointment yet, so I'm not sure on her stats. But I'm sure they won't be good and I'll get in trouble for her weight. She's so tiny. I know she's only barely over 20 lbs, because we weighed her weekly on our scale until we knew we could switch her to the forward facing carseat. We did a dance when it finally hit 20. What do you do? Unfortunately, she is still drinking a lot of her calories by taking bottles. At least we're down to whole milk only, not plus formula, we finally were able to break that money draining need. I'm dreading weaning off the bottle, even though I know she should be old enough to just do the cup, the daycare gets kind of annoyed, she's the only one on a bottle still. But that's the only way she'll take milk, and the only way I know she's getting some calories. Ugh. She's getting better at eating, but not great.

Currently she eats lots and lots of goldfish crackers, string cheese, red bell peppers, greek yogurt, popcorn, cooked carrots, potatoes, any kind of pasta, small bites of chicken, and big bites of beef. She likes her red meat.
And chocolate chip cookies.
Along the lines of weaning... she still uses the bink to sleep. The orthodontic assistant in me cringes every night, but I haven't had the nerve to get rid of that either. It's like the immediately-fall-asleep push button.

She started nursery last week and was a champ. Didn't even look back, just like when she started her new daycare last month. She does so well. She loves being in new places, being with the big kids, and doing the activities. She's really started getting into drawing and has been found with a pen in hand drawing me a pretty picture on important papers. She loves books.... loves!!! She brings me a Boo-boo (book) about every two minutes to read, then turns around and backs her bum right into my lap.

She loves her doggies, says hello to them every morning. Lately, she's been enjoying Yo Gabba Gabba (cringe) while I get ready in the morning. Along with the standbys of Phineas and Ferb, Sesame Street, and My Little Pony on Netflix. The other day we were listening to music and Aristocats played which made  me immediately have the desire to watch it with her. Quick rental online at Amazon and stream to the XBOX (I love modern technology) and we had ourselves a movie afternoon. She sat through the whole thing, almost, but super close. She really only gets about one 'show' a day, but she won't just watch any old boring thing.

We've both enjoyed the new home and all that goes with it. She helps me put the clothes in the washer, unloads the dishes, helps me cook, and vacuum. Our routines for meals, cleaning, and playing are starting to get figured out and I love it. It feels so... normal. We're planning on getting her the Ikea play kitchen for Christmas. I've been saving links for felt food, to test out my sewing skills, we'll see if it happens. I'd like to try to put together a apron and mitts too, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Post shot of a busy day playing
Her speech skills are coming along, she's got the normal Ma-ma, Da-da, Dogs, Kitty, Turtle, Fish is more like -ish, Car, Cracker, Nose, Socks, and Shoes. I'm sure there's more, but that's good enough to prove she's smart. She knows most of her body parts, loves the belly button, as most kids do.

Basically she's just super amazing and the cutest dang kid you ever would have the privilege of meeting. You are welcome.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My Ups & Downs

Let's get real here for a moment...  Life sucks. Sorry, Life. For the most part I love every little bit of you; the experiences, the flavors, the relationships. But you can just be draining!

Only a few years ago we were struggling to conceive a child, and that always seemed to have me down. The last five years have jailed Avery into schooling ie us being broke as a joke. The last three years we have had to depend on the generosity of friends and family for something as necessary as housing. The last year has been a lot of major changes for my extended family, which has been mostly downs... minor hiccups of lifts. The last five months of unknowns and transitions were at first killing me slowly with stress: no job, no hints of a job, no home, no money, no vehicle. Then suddenly... hope.

Not the Obama campaign slogan kind. The Godly, "I never forgot you," kind. The kind that drops you to your knees in gratitude. Thank you for not letting us starve. Thank you for not letting us go homeless. Thank you for the many blessings and gifts we've been given to survive this ordeal. I'm sorry when I was angry or frustrated and may or may not have some certain cuss words.

Avery had a job interview... in August. It looked really positive. A good job, a good opportunity, a good change. The unfortunate side, it was at Hill Air Force Base. The move was not the problem, that's the change. The problem would be, he would be employed by the government. Politics aside, I don't care, his job directly affects the Air Force; the military, the soldiers, and that's a good thing. What I do care about is that like anything with the government, the process takes an unnaturally long time. He interviewed in August, we had tentative contact from his future supervisor regarding gathering necessary paperwork for a couple weeks. Then nothing for four weeks. By the end, we thought the job was gone, another disappointment, and no more hope.

I think having hope, then losing it... can be far worse than never having it in the first place.

Then a preliminary offer. Not at all what Avery was expecting, but we honestly had no choice. The job market was not our friend. He accepted. We started looking for a rental home. More downs. Another story for another day. Finally, found a semi-decent one, that would require a lot of work to even be livable. Then the coordination of moving all of our belongings from Utah County, hiding in a 5x10 storage shed and our best friend's basement, to Ogden. Within a week.

Yeah, no. Sucks. And tiring.

But... new home! Uppity, up, up!

Bills. Rent. Groceries. Toilet paper. Cleaning supplies. No income. Depressingly down again.

Avery started training this past Tuesday. Very exciting, and uplifting. He's bored because it's mostly sexual harassment and security training. But... job! YAY!

Then we needed a second car to get us to our separate places of employment. More searching. Maybe a yes. Stress about the auto loan. Hand the check over. Drive it home.


Try to register it the next day. Doesn't pass Safety.


Yeah, Life, no you suck. You are just not my friend lately. You just can't let us win one, can you? Everything has to feel like this nail gouging hill climb of a battle to achieve the smallest victories. For every upward movement we feel, there's this sudden rock slide of disappointment to knock us back down.

But guess what?

From the bottom, the only direction is up.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Evening Being Puked On

Toddler puke smells... badly.

Baby vomit, is light and almost sweet smelling. I had lot's of experience with infant puke. Audrey had acid reflux the first 10 months of her life... no exaggeration. Only recently had that little joy righted itself. Even our last bout of stomach flu was during the more infant phase.

Then last night happened.
At least four times.
And I almost joined her... it was that nasty.

Toddler puke is chunky, and thick, and smells way worse than anything I EVER remember coming out of me. I have a huge, adult, probably-got-a-ton-of-stuff-floating-around-in-there tummy. But she wins... *gag*.

And we're not still not sure what triggered it. She's been having some mucus, drainage issues for a bit now. We figure just allergies, since she's not running a fever. She also happens to be growing some molars, my little tooth gardener. We'll hear her cough throughout the night, and occasionally start gagging on some slime, as we run in like frantic first-time-parents, that we are, to tip her upside down. She always hates that, being half asleep and flipped upside down with suddenly bright lights... I can't imagine why.

Then last night *cough*cough*stomach contents.


Ave bathed her while I mopped up the mattress. *gag* Brushed her teeth, because I'm a freak like that, and laid her back down. 30 minutes later... AGAIN!!!

This time, we tried keeping her up for a while to try settling her stomach, she drank some water, watched some Avatar: Last Airbender. Luckily, we had a popcorn bowl from earlier close by, because she wasn't done. A soaked couch, cleavage full, and two hours later her stomach was completely empty.

Poor baby.
Today she's fine, just acting starving and completely ornery, and tired, very tired.
And she stole my sandwich.
She would only, finally, take a nap when her giraffe lovie finished drying.

I joked with Ave... let's have another!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nine Months Come and Gone

Watching the Super Bowl.

Audrey is nine months old today. Everybody together now... CRA-UH-AZEY.
How common is it, that the first few months drug on forever.... but the last six have FLOWN? Just me?
She is so stinking cute. But I'm sure you knew that.
She's just recently gotten really talkative. Everytime she takes off crawling she lets out her war cry, "Ah, da-da-da, nah-nah, pbbttt!" She's a super fast crawler now, to the point I have to run after her if I turn my head for a second. She's started climbing as well; chairs, bookshelves, couches. She's been a great stander for forever, seriously since she was born she wanted to stand. But NOW she can do it all on her own. She can hold steady on her own feet for a second then she chickens out and plops down on her bum. For Christmas she got a walker-stroller, she can cruise with that thing. She also scoots along the side of the couch and ottoman. Even our double french doors to the backyard, she'll scoot from side to side watching the doggies outside.
So, it's probably only a matter of time before she starts walking on her own.
*SIGH* I'm hoping since she's such a chicken right now it will postpone the inevitable. It already weirds me out to find her reaching up on the chair, with only one hand holding on.  For a such a tiny baby, she looks like such a big girl.

Weight wise, she's still tiny. She's just barely over 16 lbs. I just barely switched out her clothes to the 6-9 month size this week. And only because she had gotten too tall for the smaller size, not too fat by any means. Her shoes are still 0-3 months.
She's still not a great eater. Which probably contributes to the weight. She takes her bottle like a champ, but only if she wants it. She'll drink about 4-6 ounces at a time every few hours to equal about 30 ounces . She refuses baby food. She loves the puffs, pirate booty, goldfish, and animal crackers. She'll eat bread and french fries, sort of. She only sort of mashes it in her mouth, tasting it, and then spits it out. Which is what she also does with any other food I try to feed her; fruits, veggies, meats, pastas, etc. My mother-in-law did get her to drink a smoothie from her sippy cup, which she liked. Normally she won't drink any water or juice. Weird kid.
Her first tooth popped through yesterday. YAY!!!
She is in a pretty consistent nap and sleep schedule now. I lay her down typically at 10 AM, she'll sleep 1-2 hours, then again at 3PM and she'll sleep 2-3 hours. I guess that's not really all that consistent, but it's great for her. She goes to bed 7-8PM. She'll then wake up occasionally during the night, but typically I don't go get her. She'll cry a little bit, or just talk to herself and eventually goes back to sleep. She wakes up ready for the day 7-8AM. It's a great day if I can hold her off until 8:30AM.
I usually only work Monday and Tuesday. Which right now is tricky trying to find some consistent childcare. But then I have the rest of the week to hang out with baby girl. We do chores, she loves the vacuum. Go to lunch with friends, her bestie is probably Kyler. She loves big kids though. If we go anywhere where there are older kids running around, she'll chase them everywhere giggling. She desperately wants to be able to play with them. She doesn't even mind when they knock her over rough-housing. That might have something to do with her being used to two golden retriever siblings.
She'll sit and watch Sesame Street and Phineas and Ferb... for like two minutes. But anytime the P&F theme song comes on, or the Big Bang Theory theme, she'll drop everything she's doing and come crawling over to dance to the song. She loves music. Her idea of dancing is bouncing up and down on her bum and flapping her arms. She's got talent.
She loves the bath. Her daddy. She'll give big open mouth, fishy kisses. Peek-a-boo is her favorite game. Or peeking under the baby-gate at daddy. She'll tilt her head sideways and lean down just to giggle at him. She hasn't quite gotten the hang of saying 'hi' on the phone, she's more interested in eating it. Just like any new item or bit of dirt she finds. Straight to the mouth. She loves running errands. She'll only tolerate her car seat for so long, but loves riding in the cart like a big girl. She's never been very cuddly but has gotten to where after she finishes her bottle she'll just lay there with her round, full belly poking out and relax for a second. And then it's arch the back to get down and take off again.
I know everyone says this about their children, but I can't believe how big she's getting. Sometimes I really do miss my tiny little newborn. But she is developing such an amazing, curious, joyous personality... I can't help but love her. I miss her terribly when I'm away from her.
Kind of a turnaround from only six months ago. Which I suppose is a really good thing.
She's an amazing little girl. What's not to love?
Happy nine months baby girl!!! Don't worry, I'm already planning your birthday party.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Life Through Others'

There are a few negative aspects of blogging. To me, blogging, is mostly about telling the stories. Being a storyteller is strangely enlightening. You tend to see the world in a different light. Reading some of my favorite authors' blogs can leave me feeling giddy and thankful. Both good things in this dreary world. Some of our stories are hard to tell. Sometimes they're painful to relive. Often the painful ones are more or less therapy for me, especially to reread at a later date and remember how strong I actually am. I survived that? I am awesome!
But sometimes those stories involve other people. Actually, most stories involve others to some extent. But sometimes their story overshadows your story. Sometimes telling their story would just belittle their experiences. Or insult their character in some fashion.
I don't wish to hurt anyone by telling my story. My story can include being angry at the action of others. Calling them out on it, doesn't necessarily correct the behavior. It only hurts feelings. Anonymity isn't an option on the internet. Especially, when half the people who read your blog are related to you.
My parents are now divorced.
This has been very painful to me. That story cannot be shared in the fullness because I love both my mother and my father very much. There are no sides. There was a marriage between two people. There is still a family. But the whole dynamic between these parties involved has changed... dramatically. Change is hard.
It came very suddenly, and played out quickly. Announced right before Thanksgiving in fact. Yay... holidays. *SARCASM* Then my grandfather passed away. My father, who was already grieving due to a different loss, now felt the emptiness of losing a parent. The next day, my little brother had to be admitted to the hospital, and was subsequently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Sucks to be him.
No, really. That poor kid. The same one who joined the Marine Corps, got in a horrific, fiery motor vehicle accident, which led to multiple surgeries and years of recovery. Had twin baby girls last fall, at the same time returning to school to support his now family of four. Yeah, sucks. That boy has the worst luck in the universe. Luckily, he caught it quickly enough to cause no long term damage. But his medical costs just went through the roof. And now the Corp will probably discharge him, they don't like liabilities like diabetics. Ouch!
See, makes my life look not all that bad. But then there's the part where it seems like I am playing off his story, or demeaning it in some way. Do you see my point?
Some stories cannot ever be really shared to their full extent. Because some people in your life are too important to ever really be able to explain accurately to the interweb. One day I hope to look back on this winter and wonder how I survived. It was a winter of tragedy. Most of it was spent grieving in some sense or the other: grieving with my siblings about our broken family, grieving with my individual parents and helping them find happiness, grieving with my sister-in-law regarding her sick husband and now unknown future, grieving with my extended family over the loss of our patriarch, and grieving alone about the weight all these troubles carry. Well, that last one is a little unfair. I have a very strong companion in Avery. He is my shoulder to grieve on, and my pulley. When I need to stand back up again, he does all the heavy lifting.
I have a lot to be grateful for: my immediate family is sound. The three of us are quite happy together. Audrey is a beautiful, happy little girl. She brings us both so much joy. Avery is doing so well in school, and is on track to finish his Master's research by the spring. Which means so much for our future! All happy, joyful things! My work has been a blessing in disguise. Our friends have been incredibly understanding. Extended family all still love us and are trying their best to do the right thing.
Is it sad that sometimes the sad stories overshadow all the good?