Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day 2014

One of our last moments of bliss today.
Our Father's Day was quite the doozy this year. It started out pleasant enough. Even though we were up several times in the night with Ava, we woke up pretty happy and it was going to be a great day. It was a great day. I made Justin's requested breakfast of bacon, eggs, and hash browns while he talked my ear off about the motorcycle he wants to buy (a special Father's Day treat, as I dislike talking about motorcycles, especially the topic of how he wants to buy one). The breakfast was great, we gave thoughtful gifts, and he felt loved. Mission accomplished.

We read from a really really old church book (another Father's Day treat), and I prepared the lasagna that we planned to eat for dinner before we headed off to church. Zipadeedoodah, it's all going fantastic. We tag-teamed church because our girls are getting over colds and we didn't want to send them to their classes. Church went great, then we headed to the mountains to begin our dutch oven dinner.

This is where the chain reaction begins. As we drive away we realize we didn't grab jackets for the girls or a change of clothes for Ava. Eh, we figured, it'll be fine. We get up there, get the dutch ovens going, take a family selfie, and take off to explore. It was great. While we explored we gathered small branches for the fire. Then we sat down in front of the fire....

BOOM. Jaime falls out of her camping chair and catches herself by sticking a hand out in front of her - with fingers planted straight into the burning charcoal. Screaming, comforting, ice, screaming, crying, pleas to go home, and we finally get her to calm down. She settles into silent tears running down her face as her daddy holds her. BOOM. Ava has a blow out. We change the diaper and have no other clothes. She remains in poopy clothes and happily shares her mess with my already slobber, snot, and food marred shirt. Eh, I'll live, I think. Then the evening cools off and all kids take issue with the cold. Whining. Sad faces. We spend most of our time holding one or two kids each, trying to comfort everyone. We eat the delicious dutch oven lasagna. Jaime is so cold she sits in the truck by herself while we eat cobbler without her. We finally pack up to go home. Justin says he wants to go back down the other side of the mountain. I'm not sure what it entails, but I say okay. We start driving. Then begins the longest, bumpiest, whip-lashiest drive I've ever been on. With three kids 4 and under crammed in the cab of a truck together. I start to feel sick from the winding, bumping, lurching, up and down, back and forth movement of the truck as we pass over thousands of big rocks and a hundred bends in the road. The kids, who are recovering from colds, start to say they feel sick. Justin gets a jar from the things in the back in case someone loses their dinner. Jaime starts throwing up on herself, we get the jar under her mouth for about half of it, then pass the jar to Vida just in case. We finally get off the dang mountain road (27 miles and 2 hours later!) and start on the paved roads. Vida begins throwing up in the jar. I tell Justin this, Vida looks up at me when I do, and misses the jar a few times. We continue on to the freeway and the baby starts crying. We get home, bathe the throw up off our kids, scrub the car, start a batch of rank laundry and put everyone to bed by 10pm.

So tired. Wanted to share our tale. Good night!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sisters, sisters...

Jaime and Vida have become best buddies these days. One little thing will spark their imaginations and they'll begin a long make-believe role play of Mom-and-baby or Good-guys-vs-Bad-guys. It really messes with my brain when I hear "Mommy!" and I say "Yes?" and get the response "Not you." Even worse when I hear "I need to go potty!" and my heart jumps, only to realize it's a pretend potty emergency aimed at a pretend mommy.

Jaime has an odd quirk for being able to hold something in her hand for hours. One time I found two pennies in her hand after three hours of church that had turned her palm colors by then. Lately she has this thing for rings. She won't take them off. Most are cheap plastic rings with the paint wearing off and one is a cheap CTR ring given to her by her primary teachers that is now completely copper colored and turning her finger green. She wears them to preschool, church, to play, and to bathe. I forced them off her fingers for her shower yesterday and she about hyperventilated.

Vida has a hard time on Sundays when she misses her afternoon nap during church. She also has a hard time when we force her to do anything. She can literally sit on the toilet for an hour, legs turning purple, refusing to pee. Very strong willed child. Or she's just two years old. And crazy. I suppose that's redundant.

Little "A"

Little Ava is growing up too fast! I don't know how this happened, but I'm finally understanding what makes babies so special. Things around me can be crazy, stressful and hectic, but I can look down into that beautiful face and see a larger than life smile and cuddle the cutest tiniest little body.

Babies encompass everything good in the world. They seem to care only about things that matter, and not about anything that doesn't. I don't think I had the perspective to notice that about babies before.

Jaime, on the other hand, seems to understand this about babies instinctively. She loves Ava dearly. She greets her immediately every morning and does the cutest baby voice and silly sounds for her. Ava recognizes Jaime even when she's not looking right at her and smiles wide and tries to get her attention. Jaime helps entertain Ava when I need a minute cooking or taking a shower. She's also taken an interest in helping change diapers and it's the cutest thing to hear her giggle and giggle as Ava flails her legs wildly while Jaime tries to get her feet back in the right pant leg holes.

Ava brings happiness into our home. A lot more juggling, but a LOT more love and joy.


Here's a snapshot of our Easter this year. Justin quarantined the kids while I hid eggs and baskets in the yard. We planned a candiless Easter again this year, which I love doing. We did dried fruit and macadamia nuts in the eggs, and books and activity things in their baskets. They loved it. However, the candiless part failed miserably. Jaime had a Easter egg hunt for primary and preschool, and they both did a egg hunt at a family's home for Easter dinner. Candy overload. They loved that too...

They're certainly sweet to me!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cook Book: Updated

I updated my cookbook. I've been noting any typos as I followed the recipes myself. And when I made a copy for one of Justin's coworkers and for one of my friends, I updated the file with all of the changes. I also added a few new favorites at the end of the sections.

So, for anyone interested, HERE is the updated file.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Trip to California

Last weekend I got to participate in one of those life events I wouldn't have missed for the whole world. My good friend, Estelle, got married in the Newport Beach temple. I flew down for two days and stayed with my sister. I attended the sealing which was emotional and special to all who attended. The reception was fun and it was nice to see so many people I know. I just love being in California. It feels like home. And I'm so happy for Estelle!

The flight there was easy enough. I nursed Ava to sleep and she was calm the whole time. It was nice to have an hour to read a book! That's a rare commodity in my life. I sat by a nice man who was aware and respectful of breastfeeding and seemed to understand. The flight home was a different story. Ava was having a decidedly harder time and because standing up to bounce and sway wasn't a feasible option, I nursed her several short times and this time I wasn't sitting next to people near as understanding as before. People were positively staring. I only brought one blanket and was using it to swaddle her, so I was not covering up. Don't get me wrong, I was plenty modest and nobody would have seen anything unless they leaned over and put their face in her face, but that didn't stop the stares. The obnoxious, obvious kind. The man next to me did not seem like a family man and seemed very uncomfortable. The rows next to me were filled with teenage girls who were in a group traveling together. All of them staring. I was so uncomfortable for at least half of the flight. Then, Ava started to calm down a little and I realized that my example may bare fruit someday. One day when one of those girls has a baby, she might think "Breastfeeding is okay" or "I can breastfeed in public," all because some crazy lady sat across from her on an airplane and openly breastfed.

Our Family of Five

Things at home are going along as usual.

Ava is growing and changing. She's not looking as much like a newborn. She smiles a lot, with the cutest little twinkle in her eye like we have a special connection that only we understand. Things with her CF concerns are at a stand-still right now. The pulmonary specialist has ordered another sweat test for her at six months that will hopefully determine a diagnosis that we can work with. She seems perfectly healthy. No breathing concerns. The only thing we've been dealing with is crazy eczema that is stubborn and persistant.

Jaime is growing up like crazy. She's becoming more mature and aware of everything around her. She asks insightful questions and offers well-thought-out (yet extremely kid-like) solutions to life problems. Lately, I've been the most shocked to see how she is noticing things about what I'm going through. A few days ago she could tell I was at the end of my rope as I tried to get them ready for bed on my own while Daddy was on a business trip. As she listened to me struggle with a very uncooperative Vida, she said, "Mom, I'm sorry it's hard to stay patient with Vida." I was just blown away that she'd notice that and feel empathy for me. That's Jaime through and through - thoughtful, deep thinking, kind and helpful. Not that she doesn't have her more difficult moments, but I'm really proud of the sweet little girl she's working hard to become.

Vida is...well Vida is two years old. I'm learning a lot about her lately. For instance, I've learned that she seems to prefer playing on her own and can play for long periods of time on her own if Jaime is distracted. She also tends to live her life demonstrating little emotion, but it isn't far under the surface and will present itself sporadically (hmm...sounds like one of her parents...). We've also discovered that she seems to have some kind of blood sugar issue (like her other parent...). If she doesn't eat regularly she cannot stay calm and rational. She can go from 'the world is ending' to 'hey, what's up?' with just a few bites. Helpful thing to know. She still has nudity issues. Justin came home from work the other day and she was stark naked. Eh.

Justin is working hard at his job and calling. He has been traveling tons this year, but that might be changing to less so soon with a promotion this month. He'll be managing the team he's currently on. I'm so proud of him! I've really enjoyed watching him grow in his career and learn a lot about the business world. He'll be learning new skills like hiring, training, managing, encouraging, and setting goals for other people.

I'm...well, I'm kind of a crazy person right now. I work hard, try even harder, and then try and assure myself it's okay that it's not all done. I care for three kids, attempt to manage a home, cook meals, and get in a couple hours of work everyday. The kind of stress in my daily life is something I'm not well equipped to handle, so I'm trying to develop coping mechanisms and Justin is trying to be a support to me. We're working on it.

Well, that is what's going on with each of us! We love you all and hope you are doing well!