Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Aaah!gonizing Fax

Who would’ve thought that sending a fax could be so painful?
It started out as a simple idea, just running an errand. I needed to send a fax, and found out last night that my fax machine is no longer compatible with the phone service; because we recently switched to Comcast. So, this morning I got ready to go out, gathered up all the kids and headed for the DWS to use the fax machine there. Of course, as soon as I pulled out of the drive way Ati was starving; never mind the fact that she was at that moment eating some fruit snacks. Then, a little while later (while still whining about being starving) she was hot. I pretty much ignored her whining and went on my way. We got to DWS and had to wait just a few minutes for someone else to finish with the fax machine; no problem. Then, it was my turn. I put my fax in, and it was too big. So, I had to split it in half; ok, not a big deal. I dialed the number, and waited…and waited…and waited. The fax would not go through. It redialed 6 times, and then spit out a report that said the number was busy. I tried it again. Same thing. Third time, still busy. By then it had be at least 30 minutes of waiting for the fax to go through, I was getting extremely anxious and frustrated. In the meantime, Malachi decided he was tired (it was his naptime) so he was crying, Eli had pooed and was really stinky, Ati and Eli both had their shoes off and Eli took his shirt off. They were both running around the building in circles, while laughing and squealing really loudly. During my first attempts of faxing I was also having trouble with the machine pulling multiple pages through at once, so that of course made it even more annoying. Well, after being extremely annoyed, and having annoying kids, I finally realized that I had been doing it wrong! I was supposed to dial 9 to get out of the building! Who would’ve known that?! (who except for all the people who actually read the directions, that were in big print, taped to the desk, right next to the fax machine!) What a relief, though, because it meant I was just an idiot and the machine was fine and I could be almost done…relieving except that I felt like a big idiot, my kids were still being really crazy, and there were people waiting to use the fax machine. There was a lady (not in line, but just there, watching) holding a baby that I assume was her grandson, who was giving me pretty dirty looks. She seemed to be thinking that “some people shouldn’t have so many kids” (of course, I don’t really know what she was thinking, that’s just how she looked).
So, anyway, I put my first fax back in, followed the directions, and only had a slight problem when 2 sheets tried to go through at one time; the fax went through! On to the next fax. The first few pages went fine, then the machine jammed! I don’t even know what happened, just that I was annoyed. So, it spit out a report that said “jammed”. Grrr. I gathered up the pages that seemed to have gone through, and quickly shoved the rest in the machine, for hopefully one final fax. My fax cover sheets were all wrong because of the amount of pages, and I probably double faxed a few things; but, I still don’t even know if the 2nd fax actually went through (the one that said jammed). I hurried and got out of the way so the guy behind me (who was in a hurry) could take his turn. Ati had been bugging me about needing to go potty, so I rounded up their shoes, grabbed the crying Malachi and rushed to the bathroom. Eli was left behind screaming because he couldn’t get his shoe on and didn’t want to be left. I grabbed his shoes and had him put them on in the bathroom. I was going to change his diaper because he was really starting to stink up the place, but I didn’t bring the diaper bag in (it was only going to be a quick fax). So, I left the kids alone in the bathroom (just for 20 seconds) and ran to get the diapers from the car. Of course, in the 20 seconds I was gone another lady (the one giving me dirty looks) had to use the bathroom, but my kids had locked themselves in the stalls, and there was no room for her. She was visibly annoyed, but just left while we were in there. I put Eli on the changer, started to take off his diaper, and found out: no wipies! Ugh! So, I improvised and quickly ran to the sink to wet some paper towels. It worked ok. When we were done in the bathroom I thought I would quickly try to refax the 2nd fax, just to be sure...haha, yea right! As soon as I got to the fax machine again Malachi was crying, Ati was starving and thirsty, and Eli was just running around. I gave up. We left. Had to chase Eli around the car a bit, but finally got him buckled, and pulled out of the parking lot. Phew, glad that was over.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Smell of Fresh Baked Bread…and poo!

It’s so great having a second car. I can go and run errands, and leave the house just for the sake of leaving the house. I am much enjoying it. Yesterday, while out on my walk, a friend of mine mentioned that she makes bread dough in her bread machine and then bakes it in the oven;for some reason that idea was such a revelation to me. I’ve been wanting to make bread, but haven’t gotten to the point of deciding to put in all the effort it requires. So, the idea of having the bread machine do all the work for me, but then being able to put it in the oven and not have that funky shape with the hole in the middle (from baking in the bread machine), just made me so excited. I went right away and found my bread machine in our storage. I also found some other fun things in the box with the bread maker: the Salad King (salad shredder), an electric chopper, and the popcorn machine. Now I need to go buy some popcorn, so we can play.
Today I started a loaf of whole wheat bread. I’m actually doing the whole thing in the bread machine because I just feel a little crazy with all the kids, but I want fresh baked bread. I will eventually work up to the part where I bake it in the oven, but just not today. I’m also really excited because I got a bunch of recipes to do other things, like cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, and pizza dough. It’ll be fun! (I hope)
Well, of course, while I was busy on the computer looking for recipes I tried as long as I could to ignore the offending smell of poo. Ati and Eli were watching a movie, while playing with legos and I knew (from the smell) that Eli needed his diaper changed. Unfortunately, I waited too long, and he was finally telling me that he had poo on his hand! I immediately stopped what I was doing and ran to assess the damage. He had leaked on a tote, some legos, the floor, and had proceeded to step in it and get it somehow on his hands and toy fishing pole. From stepping in it and then walking around, his feet and legs were covered in poo. Long story short, I cleaned it up…and now, along with the fresh smell of baked bread, I also smell poo, and berry air freshener…yum!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We Survived!...i think?

What a relief, I think we’re mostly done; other than a few lingering side effects. Every one of us ended up getting sick, to some degree. It’s interesting, though, because we all had different levels of severity. Surprisingly, Malachi was on the very mild end, if he really even had it.
So, to conclude this chapter of the story, here is a summary of the last few days:
Friday, Halloween, Ati woke up feeling “all the way better”, or so she said. I was still pretty skeptical, considering that she was near death (not really, just seemed that way) the day before. I’m pretty sure she was mustering up all her strength to feel better so that she wouldn’t miss her Halloween party at school (or trick or treating, of course). I ended up letting her go to school, but just for the parade, and then I was going to take her home. Well, she talked me into letting her stay for the party; and I sat by the phone practically the whole time expecting to hear that she’d thrown up or passed out. She actually made it through the whole thing, and did just fine. Of course, when she got home she was immediately cranky, and went back to lying around in her underwear. I think she just wore herself out and was still fighting the final battle of sick. She was still pretty weak the rest of the day, but managed to enjoy all the Halloween fun. Saturday and Sunday were similar, she was mostly better but still weak; and then Monday she woke up full of energy and ready to be alive again.
Eli was completely better on Friday, making his grand total of sick days: 6
Friday, however, was the beginning of the fun for the rest of us. To spare the boring details of it, I will summarize: Tad, Malachi, John and I all ended up with (the D word). Malachi threw up on Sunday, but only 1 time, and he only had (the D word) on Friday. I’ve been really achy, nauseous, weak, and tired since Friday, but I was still able to function (mostly). Today I’m starting to feel almost better. I’m not quite 100 percent, but getting there).
So, there you have it…The End!

A few other things of interest:

We finally have some extra money to fix up our old black van. It’s still a slow process, but within the next few weeks we will have a second car to drive! Yay!

We made a big decision:
We are going to buy (or build) our own home! Without the in-laws! We looked through our budget, and with John’s new job we hope to have our debt paid off sometime in the spring, which will free up some money to start thinking about moving out! There’s a lot more details about that whole situation and a lot more to be worked out; but I’m just really excited and immensely relieved! Until now we have had no plan for the future, and life here was becoming rather gloomy. Now I can smile and see the light.

And…Today is Tad’s birthday…he is 9! Crazy how time goes by.

Here are some random pictures from the last few days:

My Flowers Blooming



A Pretty Sunrise, in the backyard



Ati at her Halloween Parade (in the white dress)


More Halloween Fun


Thursday, October 30, 2008

On the Mend?

Well, we made it through another looong day.
It was a little more peaceful, for me at least, than it has been, but it was still pretty rough. Ati did a lot of sleeping, and Eli was somewhat entertained by movies for a lot of the day.
Of course, I spent almost all of my “quiet time” doing something with food. First, I did some baking and experimenting with a pumpkin muffin recipe I love. I tried to make them cream cheese filled, which ended up being a strange disaster; but I also added chocolate chips and made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that were actually quite delicious. I ate WAY too many, and lots and lots of cream cheese frosting. I have a MAjor weakness for cream cheese frosting; it CALLS to me… and I just can’t stop myself! Anyway, after the sweetness attack I spent lots of time looking up recipes, trying to find something yummy for dinner (then, of course, I spent the rest of the time preparing the dinner). I finally decided on Chicken fried Chicken and a side of Au Gratin potatoes; which, turned out quite delicious as well. What a delicious day, no wonder my tummy hurts…ugh.
Somewhere in the midst of the food and the sick babies I did get a “package”. John sent me some flowers to brighten my day, and it really made me smile. I love flowers; they’re always nice to have. They’re really nice flowers, too; Irises and tulips, and they bloom in the vase. Right now they are still in their sleeve, while they drink enough water to start blooming. I love my sweet husband, he’s so thoughtful; and I really appreciate all he does for me.



Ok, back to a more serious matter: the little people I love so dearly
…Eli seems to be heading “uphill” now, and I am really grateful for that. He was in a much better mood, but there were still parts of the day that he just wanted to lay on the floor. He hasn’t had a fever, hasn’t thrown up, and has a bit more of an appetite. His diarrhea (sorry, that’s such a gross word) is getting better too; not as stinky, not as soupy, and not as often. I predict that he’ll be mostly better tomorrow, and by Saturday he should be fine…sooo, here’s for hoping (holding my breath).
…Ati, on the other hand, is not well at all. She is severely ill; I don’t think I’ve ever seen her this bad. She’s eaten almost nothing since Monday, and everything she has managed to eat has ended up in her little pink bucket that I make her carry around. She hasn’t wanted to wear any clothes, because she gets really hot, so she’s been just in her underwear, and I can see every bone in her body. She’s always been a very small and thin girl, but she seems to be melting away. I’ve been pretty paranoid about dehydration and have at least made sure she’s getting enough to drink. She was able to keep down liquids most of the morning (I gave her an ounce at a time, every 20-30 min, throughout the day) and around lunch time she actually had a small appetite and was eating cheez-it crackers. There were a few hours during the afternoon that I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, and she seemed almost back to normal. But by dinner time she was heading back down hill, fast. She was just moaning and couldn’t communicate what was wrong. When we finally put her in bed she vomited everything she’d eaten the entire day-which was almost nothing, but for some reason mysteriously multiplies when it comes back out. We put her in the bath and cleaned her up, put all her bedding in the wash, and then put her back in bed. She’s been trying to sleep, but keeps moaning and crying in her sleep. I anticipate another eruption before too long; and probably another long night for me.
Last night when we put her in bed she hadn’t thrown up all day long, and I was extremely relieved and hopeful. Sadly, she woke up around midnight, and threw up every 20-30 minutes until around 5am. I, of course, was up all that time too. Sometime in the night I learned that she had somehow been able to keep at least a tiny bit of food in her tummy, because she’s now moved on to the “bonus round” of this game, which includes the “diarrhea package” (gross word again, sorry, but hey at least I’m learning to spell it now). She finally went to sleep around 5ish, but then, of course, Malachi decided to get up. So, I fed him, and before I was able to put him back down (just before 6am) Eli was awake! That was it for me; I was done sleeping for the night. I must’ve been intuitive about it though because I actually had gone to bed at 8pm, which is really unusual.
Surprisingly, I’m holding up pretty well for someone who’s been dealing with sick kids and very little sleep all week. It’s amazing what we can do as parents, when it’s really necessary. There was actually a moment this evening, when Ati and Eli were finally in bed, Tad was quiet doing who knows what, and I was feeding Malachi before I put him down for the night, that I felt really peaceful. It was strange, but nice. This has been a hard week, but I know I’ll be stronger for going through it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Flu prevails…with a VENGEANCE

An update on my adventures in Flu land:

This sucker is a MEAN one! Horrible, horrible, nasty thing.
Ati was literally puking all day long (yesterday). Eli had severe diarrhea in the morning, was seeming to be a little better, but then woke up from his nap covered in vomit. There was so much vomit around his head that it soaked through the pillow (not dripping around the edges, actually THROUGH the pillow) to the sheets underneath. I was running back and forth between the two of them, cleaning up puke and poo, with Malachi (being only 8 months old) needing just as much attention; poor little fella keeps getting left behind.
Malachi’s also been acting a little more needy than usual, which makes me a little concerned he might be coming down with this thing. So far he hasn’t had any other problems. I just hope it stays that way.
After throwing him in the bath and cleaning him up I put Eli back down to finish his nap, sometime between 2p-3p (I didn’t pay attention to the time). He was really upset about it and screamed for about 5 minutes; then he actually fell asleep. I didn’t dare wake him up for dinner, he was still fast asleep; in fact, I just left him the rest of the night, and he ACtually slept through until 5am this morning. I was mostly sure he was ok and just needed the sleep (he’s had a rough ride), but a small part of me was very concerned and worried there might be something wrong. Thankfully he was just fine, and it was indeed a good idea to let him sleep it out. This morning Eli's been similar to yesterday morning: In an ok mood, but still whiney, and still lying around. I gave him some juice and a little bit of cereal. His diaper didn’t have a drop of wetness (after 14 hours!) when he woke up, but I was relieved when he finally did pee, after about an hour…then came the poops again! Yuk yuk yuk.
Ati went to sleep yesterday afternoon (shortly after Eli did), and I finally got to take a short breath. I put her in her bed around 4pm and she slept until around 630p. Then she was up and down for a few hours, still puking and feverish. During her waking hours yesterday, she puked at least every 30 minutes for the ENTIRE day. I’m so worried about them getting dehydrated, but I’ve been trying to watch closely for any signs of it. I called the Dr office to find out at what point I need to take them to a Dr or hospital, and basically all I can do is watch for dehydration or a fever greater than 104 (that won’t come down), and just “wait it out”...i soo hate to just wait it out, especially when it’s already been 4 days for Eli, and Ati just started yesterday. I anticipate it’ll go at least through the weekend, and that’s just best case scenario, assuming no one else gets it.

So, more fun news:
This morning I talked to a friend, and it actually turns out that the whole neighborhood’s got it! Yep, it’s not just my kids; that’s somewhat of a relief, but also kind of annoying…I was kinda hoping Eli got it from his Flu vaccine and that Ati only got it because of her fragile immune system (I just assume she has a fragile immune system), and that no one else would get it. Apparently, one of the ladies I go walking with had it last week, and she got it from her older kids (who know's where they got it), and now her younger kids have it. Tad is friends with her daughter and he’s been over to their house, plus a group of us and all our kids were together last Wednesday. The friend who told me about it has a daughter that goes to preschool with Ati, who was feeling ill this morning. I called the preschool and the teacher is going to bleach everything to hopefully prevent any spreading. What a pain! I honestly don’t remember ever going through anything this bad. My kids have had random sicknesses over the years, and some have been pretty bad, but amazingly nothing as bad as this. I think it also seems much worse because I’ve got two going through it at the same time, and it’s lasting SOoo long. We’ve even passed around the “stomach flu” before (you know, the 24 hour one), but it’s never been this bad or this long.
Well, the funny thing is that it’s actually allowed me some extra time on the computer. It just happens to be in the family room, where I have had the kids grouped together. It’s easier to take care of them all in one room, and plus it’s helpful to have the tv to let them relax to. So, it gives me time to just sit here, as I listen for the next bout of vomit, and smell for any revolting aroma’s (indicating time for a new diaper and a floor scrubbing), or a request from Ati to get her more to drink (at least she still wants to drink).
I'm sad that I will have to miss my walk again today. But, there are much worse things that could happen. I was actually feeling sympathy for all the mothers in history who have had to suffer through such severe illnesses with their children. All those who have lost multiple children, and just had to sit by their side an "wait it out". Those who didn't have the modern medicine and technology that we have to prevent and to treat the ailments. Feeling helpless and overwhelmed as they've done everything within their abilities and it just was enough. I have just a little taste of what it would've been like, and my heart aches for how horrible it must've been for them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Official!

The freakish Flu festival of fun has begun! Those horrid little microscopic pests are among us, infecting my children, wreaking havoc, and causing me large amounts of grief. I HAaaTE the flu! But, who doesn’t?
I knew it was inevitable, and my suspicions were correctly verified around 5am this morning, when I was suddenly startled awake by the sound of vomit. Oh, vomit, what a wonderful sound…I can hear it from miles away, deep in a sleep. Although it was early in the morning I was strangely grateful and a bit surprised that she slept as long as she did. Ati, that is, being the newest victim. So far, thankfully, she seems to be doing ok (emotionally). She’s been rather pleasant and even somewhat helpful, it’s kinda weird. I think the key with Ati is preparation. She was prepared to be sick; because Eli’s been sick, and I sensed it in her by the way she’s been acting. I can tell when she’s “off”, and so I, too, was prepared for this morning. She slept with a bucket, and when she woke up to puke she got it mostly in the bucket.
Ati is a very interesting and complicated creature, and I’m sure I will never have her completely figured out, but it is reassuring to have learned the little bit about her that I have. She has an unusually high amount of energy inside that is overwhelming to her, and she has a difficult time controlling it. When her energy is out of control she can be an incredible BEAST, but when she is channeling it in a good way she can be an amazing and wonderful little being. I call her my Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde. Today (so far… I hesitate to speak too soon), in the midst of the Flu, she is being “good Ati”, and I think it’s partly due to being prepared.
Eli seems to be on the mend, but is still far from being well. He woke up with no fever, but I can tell he’s still feeling bad. He’s been in better spirits, but is still moping; lying around, on the floor, and whining and pooing, lots of pooing (and leaking! Lots of leaking!). His poo is so rancid and smells like vomit…makes ME want to vomit.
Not only are the kids sick, but the house is sick…at least it SMELLS sick…the aroma is just fabulous. It’s gonna be a fun day! (singing) Cleaning up poo is fun to do, la la, la la, la la…All I can do now is hope that my precious little Malachi doesn’t get sick, and of course that John or I don’t get sick…what a disaster that would be!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oct(opus)ober

This month has proven to be a busy one (the month of October, not Octopus). Not really busy in the fact that I did anything, but busy in the fact that I just haven’t had a moment to myself. That’s not completely true, because I do get a “moment” here and there (that would just be silly, otherwise), but never enough moments all in a row to really call my own. That’s how I feel life just is sometimes; a bunch of random moments, not really put together in any particular order. It makes me a little sad to not be able to record every moment, because I look back and can’t really remember what has happened, and don’t know where time has taken me. The days seem to be lost, from the world, forever…until, of course, one day, when I’m really old I might have some crazy person hypnotize me to draw out all my forgotten memories, and then I will find out that I’ve actually been abducted by aliens several times during my life…ha ha, maybe that would explain some things?

Anyway, to summarize October so far:
Baaaaaaaaaaah! Aaah! Bla..ugh
Yep... that about does it.

And now, an update on my life, as I know it:
Things are actually ok, life is normal. The weather has held up until just recently; it’s actually been quite beautiful, but now it’s getting really cold. I mention the weather because I’m still trying to walk 3 days a week, and am enjoying my new jogging stroller. I finally got a weather cover for it, and I’ll be trying it out this week. I’m hoping it will keep the kidlets warm enough to allow me to keep walking through the winter; if not, then I will be sad. Being healthy has been my obsession; it gives me something to focus on. I’ve especially enjoyed walking, it’s given me the biggest sense of accomplishment (I know, I’m pretty boring).
I know there are different “phases” in life, and I’m ok with that, and right now seems to be my “kids are driving me crazy ALL the time” phase. I’m really trying hard to work through it, and to actually enjoy them. There are a lot of times that I do enjoy them, they can be so cute and funny and I love them.
Right now Eli seems to have the Flu. It’s kind of funny because he’s one of the only ones to actually get a Flu shot…how’s that for irony? Anyway, he’s been all sorts of “leaky” and feverish, with fluids coming out all over the place, since Saturday. It’s hard when the little people (or any people, for that matter) are sick; I feel so bad for them; and it’s also so time consuming on my part. I had to skip my morning walk today, but I was able to go out this afternoon for a few minutes while Eli was taking a nap (grandpa was here while Eli slept).
Other than the freakish Flu fun, the kids are all doing fine, in general; nothing too interesting to complain about. They are also all sleeping through the night, for the most part, so that makes me very happy. Halloween keeps sneaking up on me, and I really can’t wait for it to be over; it’s my LEAst favorite holiday. Fortunately, the kids were excited when I got out their old costumes from last year. Kids are so funny, I was worried I’d have to buy them new costumes, but they don’t seem to be too concerned, so that’s nice.

Ok, sorry to rant and run, but that about does it for now…thanks for stoppin’ by!

The Wedding

Sept 20, 2008
Well, looking back now, I guess there’s really not much I have to say about it. It was a wedding. John’s sister, Karla, got married, yay! We are so excited about that.
We got all dressed up, watched them get married, ate some food, the kids danced, and then we ate some cake. It was a pretty good day. Here are a few pictures of the blessed event.

Ati...


Eli...


Tad...


Malachi (because it's funny)...


John and Eli...


Me and Eli (he has to bend down whenever I do)...


Our Family (who took this crooked picture?)...


Eli looking sweet with the boquet (and my STUPID finger!)


And, of course, the happy couple...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thee MALL

John’s sister, Karla, got married on Saturday (sept 20). We had plenty of time to plan for it, but didn’t have any extra money until last week. We needed to buy some new clothes for a few of us to wear to the wedding. Tad had already outgrown his church clothes and needed new ones anyway, so the timing was great for him. Eli had also outgrown his white shirt, so he needed a new one. Ati was fine, she has plenty of dresses. John was mostly ok, he just needed a new tie, and I needed a new dress (I guess I didn’t really NEED one, I just wanted one).
In the past I’ve gotten some pretty good dress clothes from Burlington Coat Factory, so my plan was to drop Tad at the bus and then drive straight up to Orem to go to BCF. We made good time and arrived there about 5 minutes to 9am; I was rather annoyed to find out they don’t open until 10am! What a silly time to open. So, I drove to Kohl’s because I knew there was a new one opening next to the mall. But, of course, they weren’t open either, not until October 1st! I then decided to go to the mall, and waste some time until Burlington Coat Factory opened at 10am. I thought we’d do some window shopping and maybe get some snacks or drinks, it would be a fun little activity.
I decided to start at Mervyn’s because I thought I might actually find some pretty inexpensive, but nice, clothes there. The first thing we had to do was find the bathroom, because I had to pee. Of course, the bathroom was being cleaned, and the entrance was blocked by a big cleaning cart; my double stroller would definitely not fit by it. I waited a little while and browsed around the kids section, looking for clothes for Tad and Eli. I found Eli clothes right away, but could not find anything for Tad. So, I kept looking and looking. When I don’t find what I’m looking for I tend to get really confused, and spend extra time wandering around.
I went back to the bathroom, but it was still being cleaned. So, I browsed some more…still being cleaned. Finally, Eli was starting to stink, and I was gonna pee on the floor, so I asked someone if there was another bathroom. The lady told me to just go in when they’re cleaning, it’s no big deal! She walked me over there to help me get in, but by then they were done, and I just looked like a big idiot; but oh well. I changed Eli, and found out I only had 1 wipie left! I had to use wet paper towels, and hoped I wouldn’t have to change him again any time soon.
We did some more browsing in the kids section and I finally settled on a pair of pants for Tad (I was wanting to buy a whole suit) that I decided I would bring back if they didn’t fit or if I found something better. The cashier asked me if I wanted to apply for a Mervyn’s card to get a discount. I laughed out loud and told her I definitely wouldn’t qualify (I’ve recently slaughtered my credit), but she could run it anyway. I laughed even louder when she told me I was APPROVED! Immediately I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I suddenly had all this extra credit and I needed to buy more stuff! Plus, I got an extra discount all day, just for getting approved, so I HAD to take advantage of it.
I started browsing in the women’s section and the kids were now thirsty. I knew it was just going to be annoying if I didn’t take care of them, so we went to the food court to get some drinks. Suddenly they were starving too! By that time it was just after 10am, and we were on our way to buy lunch. It was really early to be eating lunch, but I thought it would hold them off for the rest of the trip.
Finally we went back to the women’s section. I was having a really hard time finding anything I liked, or in the right size, but ended up with a bunch of stuff that was “ok” that I wanted to try on. I had it all stacked on top of the stroller and was ready to try stuff on when suddenly Ati had to poooo. Ugh! I had to unload all my stuff, and then find the elevator to go back upstairs to the bathroom. When she was done and I was able to try stuff on Eli was at a point of being out of control. He was playing swords with the hangers, and banging them on the wall and doors. He was trying to escape from the dressing room by crawling under the door, which was just barely too small for him to fit under so he kept getting stuck and screaming. Malachi was trying to sleep and started screaming because he was being woken up. Ati was thirsty again. Eli was getting into the stuff under the stroller and throwing it everywhere; he got my phone and threw it out of the stall. I was stressing because nothing was fitting just right. I got dressed and went back out to find some different sizes. They still didn’t have the right sizes, but I made do with the next best things. While I was looking for more stuff to try on Eli was screaming because he wanted to get out of the stroller, and Malachi was just screaming. I finally let Eli out, but then him and Ati were running all over and hiding in the racks. I had to chase them around. People were giving me all kinds of dirty looks because of my screaming, out of control kids. When I thought I had lost Eli I decided that was ENOUGH, and he had to stay in the stroller, no matter how loud he was; and he was VERY loud.
I hurried back to the dressing room to try on more stuff. The kids were still being out of control, so I got even more stressed and just decided to buy everything and try it on at home. I did talk myself out of a bunch of the things, though, and only took home half of what I wasn’t sure about. I had been there for several hours, and was so stressed I wanted to just run away!
Ati was still thirsty, and had decided she wanted ice cream. I talked her into a milkshake (less mess), and got Eli a lemonade. I was so glad to be done and we were heading for the car when some lady came up to me and gave me a coupon for a free video game (or carousel ride). I thought “hey, why not” and took the kids to ride on the carousel, cause it was free, and free is good. That was finally the end (I thought) and we left the mall.
The baby was hungry, so before we drove away I fed him in the car.
Because I had the car it meant that I would have to pick up John from work. It was still kind of early, so to pass some time we went to Super Sonic to get the car washed, that’s always a nice treat. Then we drove to WalMart, and at last the kids ALL fell asleep…peace and quiet for about 30 minutes! It was a much needed break.
At WalMart I just needed to buy diapers, and we only had about 45 minutes before John got off work, so the WalMart trip was a quick one, not too painful. I did put a bunch of cute shirts and some shoes in my cart (for myself), but had talked myself out of them by the time we got to the check out (I tend to do that often-I have a hard time spending money on myself).
When I told John about the new Mervyn’s card he was just as excited as I had been, and wanted to go buy some more stuff. So, after he showered we loaded up again and headed BACK to the mall! Some of the employees were still there from earlier and they recognized me; I felt like part of the family! Well, this time it was a little more pleasant because I had John to help corral the kids. We did have to find the bathroom again, though, because Ati had to poo; but at least we knew right where it was!
After returning and buying a bunch of new stuff at Mervyn’s we went to Nordstrom’s. Nordstrom’s is really nice, and more expensive, but John wanted to buy me some perfume. It was actually kind of fun. The lady in the perfume section was very helpful and explained a bunch of stuff about perfume to us, and had us try all kinds of scents that she thought I would like. I picked out one that I liked the best, Juicy Couture, and it was Really expensive! But, it was a nice treat for me; hey, it’s good to be spoiled every once in a while.
By then we had been at the mall another 3 hours, it was past bedtime, and the kids were all acting tired and crazy (what else is new?). We hurried home, and the day at the mall was finally ending! The kids went to bed, and I was happy.
But, Ati woke up around 3am. She was freaking out, which she does sometimes. I almost expected it, though, because she tends to have “issues” when she goes to bed too late and is over tired. The other reason I expected it is that Malachi had finally started to sleep through the night, so Ati had to hop back on the non-sleeping train. It’s a fun little game they play…who can keep mommy up all night?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Catching up a bit…

A few highlights from the past week:

(Monday sept 15)
After Ati got picked up for preschool I sat down to feed Malachi. Sometimes I feel so helpless when I am feeding the baby, it’s like a free ticket for Eli to do his worst. During this specific instance he was in the kitchen pouring yogurt into his shoe. He then rubbed it all over his hands and arms and came running into the living room to rub yogurt on my leather couches. I had to remove the suckling baby and chase after the yogurty two year old. After containing the situation, and cleaning up the yogurt I went back to feeding my now screaming baby. Once again, free ticket! Eli was again in the kitchen, this time he climbed onto the table, stuck both hands in a full glass of water that happened to be sitting on the table, spilling water all over the table, himself and the floor. I once again cleaned it up, once again fed the baby; this time I actually got to finish. I then decided to exercise, and of course had Eli climbing on me the whole time. It’s really difficult to do “resisted reverse crunches” with a small child between my legs, but I managed through it, and after many more struggles of various kinds I eventually put him down for a nap.

(Tuesday sept 16)
I spent 7 hours at the mall!...but that’s a whole nuther post.

(Wednesday sept 17)
I walked Ati to preschool. Normally I go with a couple other moms around 1030a, we walk for about an hour, and we end our walk at the preschool to pick up our kids and walk home. Preschool is only about 5 blocks away, but it’s up a really steep hill (remember we live on the side of a mountain), so it’s too hard for the kids to walk up it, but they are mostly ok walking down it. Well, we decided to walk TO the school because we had other plans for later. So, I had to put Malachi in a baby carrier and wear him, then I had Eli and Ati (about 60 lbs of kid) in the stroller; all up hill! I really got my butt kicked! But, as soon as I dropped Ati at school and put Malachi in the stroller I felt so light that I thought I would float away, it was great!
I was so exhausted by the end of the day that I fell asleep just after 8pm. I did wake up after a little while though, because I HAD to eat some oreo’s! yuuuum… then went right back to sleep.

(Thursday sept 18)
Went for an extra walk (normally I just go on m, w, f when Ati’s at school) and had to take all the kids (except Tad, whose in 3rd grade). So, I walked the whole time while wearing Malachi. It is hard work! But, I’m determined to get my exercise in, having too many babies won’t stop me!
We also went out to dinner that night, after much debate (the debate was about who was going, where we were going, and if we were even going to go), with “Uncle Eric” (John’s Mother’s Brother) who was here from Canada for Karla’s wedding. We ended up going to the Cracker Barrel in Springville. The food was ok, but not real great; and it never really is.

Well, that’s a brief summary of a few days last week. I’ll write more about the Mall and the Wedding, later.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I have a lot to say...buuuuut....

...I just don't have the time to say it! I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed lately, just don't have any time for myself. It's really frustrating, and I'm trying to get through it. I've barely had time to shower daily (which is actually an improvement). I have a lot of anxiety, and I feel like I'm losing control of things.
Today I'm trying to take a break and relax as much as possible; otherwise I'm gonna freak out and probably start crying for no reason. Malachi just went down for a nap and Nicole (our niece) is playing with Ati and Eli, and they seem to be not making too much of a mess...(hmm, I spoke too soon, I just heard a really loud bucket of toys being dumped all over).
I want to not worry so much about trying to do everything, I just can't "let go", no matter how much I remind myself. I'm a control freak with Obsessive Perfectionism Disorder. I have to have everything in order or I start to freak out. I do understand that I'm just feeling emotional today, and I'll eventually get over it. I just want to pout right now, and ramble about my unstable emotional condition...that's all.
So, eventually I'll get around to posting about the exciting events of my life, like The Mall, The Wedding and other trivial things...but for now I'll just say that I still haven't finished the laundry (I don't know that I ever will), I don't know what we're going to have for dinner, my whole body is exhausted, and I really just want to have a nap...but, will I get a nap? no, probably not...too many things to do, too many kids, and too little time.
Well, at least I had a few minutes to say a bunch of stuff that doesn't really matter; that's always nice.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

NON-poop related Weekend Activities:

Saturday I detail cleaned the outside of the fridge (with my super cleaner and a toothbrush!) and I did a pretty spiffy good job! It was so clean that every time I walked by it or went to open it I smiled with glee! I know, I’m crazy, but it made me really happy. After that, I was suddenly feeling extremely motivated to do home improvement. I got out some paint to finish painting the cupboards in the kitchen (which I still haven’t done yet), and John and I marked the countertop where we wanted to chop it off; it was just way too big and in the way, and the kitchen is too small for it.
While I was cleaning the fridge I had my “donkey tail” plant sitting on the counter. It's a pretty neat plant that came from my Grandma (who died in 2002). She had it for as long as I can remember, but most of it died when they moved to Utah in 1997. She was able to save a few branches and regrow the plant. Since she died I've been taking care of it, so it's kind of important to me. Eli kept trying to eat it. He thought it was grapes! It kind of looks like grapes, but I bet it tastes awful; I had to rescue my plant and explain to the kids that it is NOT grapes.

We also caught a big spider and put it in a ziplock bag (it’s still on the counter-haha, next to the paint!) so we can identify it. A friend of mine told me that the spiders we have in the area are actually Hobo Spiders, and I always thought they were Wolf Spiders. The Hobo Spider is actually poisonous, so if that is really what it is then we need to be concerned. John and I looked them up online (before we caught this one) and are pretty sure that they really are Hobo Spiders; now we just need to get around to actually looking closely at the one we caught to figure it out.

We decided to go out to lunch on Saturday, as a little family activity, and it was really nice. We don’t get to go out very often because money is tight, but it was nice to be able to do that. Then we bought some ice cream and had a little ice cream party later in the afternoon. I really like ice cream, it makes me happy.

Later that night I was still really motivated and was feeling great. I realized that it was probably because of all the walking I’ve been doing, and that makes me happy too.

Sunday morning we got up and got the kids ready for church really early, which was great, but for some strange reason we were crazy late actually getting to church; and it wasn’t the best day to be late because there was a missionary farewell AND homecoming. So, it was really crowded and we had to set up our own chairs way in the back (in the gym). It was annoying to be on the back row because that gave Eli free reign of the entire gym, and he knew it. He kept trying to escape so he could run around. Eventually some people came and sat behind us, so that contained him slightly.

Later in the evening we ended up doing a couple of little home improvement things because I was still feeling motivated from Saturday. John hung up some cupboards in the kids playroom for Tad’s stuff; to keep Eli out of it. He also put door knobs on the bathroom cupboard. I was really glad to have those things done because they were projects we started over 2 years ago! Yay, progress is good!

After being in the home improvement mood all weekend it made me think some more about our options for where we want to live. We’ve gone back and forth (and up and down, and all around) about our options. We’ve debated whether or not we want to stay here and remodel (and add on), or buy some land and build new, or buy a home that’s already existing. It’s such a difficult decision. We finally decided that “we’re not ready to decide”, but I actually feel good about any of those options. We really want to stay here, specifically in the ward we’re living in, so hopefully we’ll be able to. If we remodel this house we install a walk-out entry from the basement and also add a kitchenette. We'd remodel the main floor to include a master suite and a bigger kitchen; and we'd add a 2nd story with 3-4 bedrooms and a play room. It would be really nice to be able to do all that, but it might not be worth the cost, and we’d have to move out for several months while it was under construction. But, alas, we shall see….life has a way of working itself out.

Side Notes:
I Ate cereal and ice cream for dinner on Sunday, and we didn't feed the kids (we had a late lunch).

What a PooPy weekend

Literally!
I wanted to call Friday “the Day of Poo (and I don’t mean Winnie)”, but it turned out to be the whole weekend.
I am quite the expert when it comes to cleaning up poo. If it weren’t for me we’d all be swimming in it. Just to give a few examples, and recap the weekend of poo: On Friday (sept 12) afternoon I was getting ready to make dinner. I started getting out ingredients to make muffins when Ati started yelling that Eli had pooed on her backpack. I had heard him grunting, so I knew it was inevitable that I’d be changing his diaper soon, but I wasn’t ready to be cleaning anything else. Suddenly he was running toward me with a puddle on the floor and on the top of his foot. It was also dripping down his leg and smeared on Ati’s backpack that he happened to be wearing. While Ati was concerned about her backpack she didn’t notice the puddle on the floor that she was stepping in. Of course, as soon as she felt it on her foot she started to freak out, and she made a few more poopy footsteps across the kitchen floor.
I immediately began to assess the situation and yelled for everyone to “freeze! No one move!” I ran to my trusty box of wipies, while continuing to order everyone to “don’t move, don’t move”. I had to carefully wipe down Ati’s feet and the floor, then strategically move to work on Eli. I peeled off the backpack and wiped down his feet. Then I had to slide off his shorts and roll up his shirt (a one piece button around the diaper type shirt) to enclose the poo. Of course, the shorts left more streaks on his legs that I had to carefully wipe down. Once all the escaping poo was under control I was able to safely lay him down and actually change his diaper.
Once Eli had a clean diaper I let him run along, while I proceeded to clean up the backpack. Because of the texture on the straps I had to use some stronger reinforcement and whip out my trusty “Super cleaner” (I bought it from a door to door salesman-it’s really not as great as they say, but oh well, I still like it). Finally I was able to get back to my muffins. After a few more interruptions of my muffin making I moved on to making the main dish.
Once again, I was interrupted by poo. This time, it was actually Ati, who is completely potty trained! She was outside riding her bike, and had accidentally pooed in her underwear. I was able to calm her down, and pretty easily get the situation cleaned up. I was even able to finish making dinner without any more poo!
However, during dinner, Eli was doing some more grunting. I ignored it, hoping I could make it through the meal and change him afterward. Just as we had finished eating and I was working on clearing the table I noticed he was sitting in a brown puddle! It was soupy all over the highchair, dripping down his leg and making a splatter on the floor. Well, I just had to laugh, and got it all cleaned up. Then, I threw them in the bath.
That was all on Friday. I don’t think there was too much poo (to clean up) on Saturday, but there was more on Sunday. In the afternoon we were getting ready to go out and I grabbed Malachi out of his bouncy seat to put him in his car seat. He smelled stinky so I was going to change him, when suddenly I stuck my hand in something wet. I immediately knew what had happened. He was sitting in his seat so happily, that it wasn’t surprising what he had done. He exploded! All over his outfit and on the bouncy set. So, once again I was able to show off my expertise, and contained the mess in a fairly quick way.
Later that evening, when it was time to put the kids in bed, John was getting ready to change Eli’s diaper. I heard him yell when he unsuspectingly stuck his hand in poo that had leaked all over the inside of Eli’s pants. I could tell John was in distress, so I came to the rescue, with my super human poo-cleaning powers. I once again saved us all from drowning in poo.
This is only a small sampling of what I deal with regularly, but this is "what I do", it's my specialty!
I am the PooP-Master!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shrek! You failed me!

When Tad was 2 years old one of his favorite movies EVER was Shrek. He would literally watch it 3 times a day, from start to finish (if I let him, that is-and sometimes I did). He had such a good attention span for a 2 year old; I think I must’ve been spoiled. I guess if he wasn’t as good of a kid as he was then I might not have had any more children. It’s funny how things change with perspective, because back then I thought it was difficult to have 1 kid. Now, I would give my left leg (ha, not really) to have my other kids be as good as he was. Today I had a brilliant idea to put Shrek on for Eli. He’s about the same age that Tad was when Tad loved it so much. I told him I was going to put it on and he was really excited. He sat down, all comfy like, and seemed entranced. I was super excited that my plan was working. So, I left him downstairs while I went upstairs to exercise. While I was exercising I could hear some noises downstairs, but convinced myself (even though I knew better) that he was just playing with Lego’s and watching Shrek. About 20 minutes later, Eli came quietly up the stairs. He was holding a black permanent marker, and had it all over his hands, arms, neck and face! I immediately grabbed it from him and ran downstairs to assess the damage. He had climbed up on the chair at the computer desk and pulled down a whole shelf full of stuff. Pencils, pens, paper, check books and a roll of (unrolled) tape were all over the floor. Malachi’s walker, the dog stool, and the carpet were all covered in black marker!
Shrek is officially fired as a babysitter!
I guess all I can say is “oh well”, hopefully I’ve learned my lesson. Just after that happened, though, it was time for us to leave for our walk. We go walking on days Ati has preschool, and end up at the school to pick her up. It was nice to get out and not have to think about any of the “issues” at home. It was a beautiful day out too; the weather this time of year is amazing. It makes me sad that it won’t last long, and soon the ground will be covered in snow.
I did have to come home, though, and it was too bad that it reeked so bad of air freshener that I could smell it in the garage; yes, air freshener is a good thing (especially considering the alternative), but PLEASE, everything in moderation! I felt like I was going to drown when I walked in the house. Then, I let the kids play with chalk outside while I fed Malachi; you’d think that would be a fairly innocent activity. I look out the window after putting Malachi down and I see Eli running down the driveway chasing Ati and swinging around a filthy, sharp BBQ cleaning tool. I still haven't folded the laundry for this week, And, someone ate all my salad toppings, so now I have to decide what else I want to eat for lunch.
But the baby isn’t crying yet, so all is well!

oh yeah, our STAYcation!

It's been a week now, and I was just thinking about our fun little "mini-vacation" that we took last friday. We don't have a lot of extra money but we thought it would be fun to take a little trip with the kids. Friday, after John got off work, we packed up our stuff and headed for the far away land of Lehi, Utah! We got a room at the Best Western; just off of main street. It was pretty inexpensive, plus we booked the room online so we got an even better price. I wanted to go somewhere that had a pool and a free (real) breakfast, and the Best Western worked just fine for that. Our basic plan was to get a room, go out to a nice place for dinner, swim, and then have a nice breakfast in the morning.
It ended up being a really nice, fun little trip. It was especially nice because we didn't have to drive very far, or pack a ton of stuff; and most importantly it was cheap! (well, except for dinner, yikes) We went to Tepanyaki in Lehi, a Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi bar. We were a little uncertain if it would be "kid-friendly", but it turned out to be a fabulous idea! The kids loved it, and it was a lot of fun. The food was delicious, even though it turned out to be really expensive; so, it was a once in a blue moon type of thing. The kids thought it was neat to have the food cooked right at the table; after they got over the initial shock of the massive fire ball that came at us when the chef lit the oil on fire! I think the fire was a little bigger than he was planning, and it caught us all off guard. Eli started screaming and freaking out. He struggled his way out of his highchair and was trying to get as far from the table as possible. When he started wandering around the restaurant I put him back in his seat and he was mostly ok, just a little concerned. Malachi was also freaked out by the fire and he started screaming. We had to get him out of his car seat and hold him, which ended up being a disaster for me; he is very grabby and tried to get my bowl of soup. I ended up wearing half a bowl of soup, in my lap and all down my leg. Luckily it was a clear broth, and not too hot at that time, but I was pretty soaked.
The kids had fun trying to use chop sticks, and were given some with rubber bands that made them easier for little fingers. Eli liked the regular ones, he used them as swords. It was funny when he first got them separated and was saying "fight me, fight me", in his little midget language (which kinda sounded like “eat me”). It's fun when they are learning to talk and they come up with such random things.
After dinner we got settled in our room and ready to go swimming. Of course, I forgot to pack swimming diapers (who can remember swimming diapers?!), so John ran over to Albertson's to pick some up; it was nice that it was just across the street. We had a fun time swimming and Malachi was so super cute in his little swimming-floaty-boat-thingy. I’m sad I didn’t get any pictures, but our camera had a dead battery and was charging. He was really good and just sat there and "chilled" the whole time. I think he liked the plastic, he was licking it.
It was nice to relax, and swim, and sit in the hot tub for a little while. The pool was indoor and heated and it actually wasn’t too bad, except for Eli was shivering most of the time. I kept trying to get him to go in the hot tub, but he refused. I finally ended up carrying him into it, and when it was time to go he refused to get out!
After swimming we went back to the room and got ready for bed, and then relaxed for a while in front of the tv. John went to Albertson's (again) to buy us some tasty treats. You can't have a fun vacation without some tasty treats! So, we filled the kids with lots of sugar, and then told them to go to sleep, haha. Surprisingly, it actually wasn't too bad getting them to sleep; the trick is that we ALL have to go to sleep at the same time. When we first started taking family trips staying in a hotel was a horrendous experience, but we seem to be slowly figuring things out.
I was up several times during the night with Malachi, but everyone else slept pretty good. It was nice to have a comfy chair and foot stool to recline in while I took care of him in the night. There was also a little fridge in the room to store our leftovers from dinner, and the rest of our tasty treats.
We took our time in the morning and went down to breakfast before we packed up our stuff. It was a pretty nice little breakfast, pancakes and eggs and other stuff; and a good way to relax and end our little trip.


Eli, getting into stuff, and wearing John's shoes

Ati and Malachi ready to swim

Kids relaxing, watching tv (Eli pouting because he didn't want to be in the picture)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The joys of WalMart

I love WalMart, I really do. It's almost the only place I ever go shopping, so convenient. The main problem with going there is that it takes soo long, and I always end up with way too much stuff.
We went shopping this morning, after dropping Tad at the bus, and it was actually a really good time to go. Normally it's really crowded and annoying, but first thing in the morning there was hardly anyone there. I still had to take 3 kids with me, which is always really annoying, but I'm gradually getting used to it. They're kind of like permanent attachments, I almost don't notice they're there...ALmost.
Eli, aka Tex (for Texas Tornado), makes sure I don't forget he's there. I try to keep him in the cart, as long as I can, so he doesn't escape, but that is VERy difficult. He hates being in the cart, so he screams and makes a big stink. Then, when I actually put stuff in the cart with him he plays with it for a few minutes, then finds it hilarious to throw it out! It's soo annoying! So, it leaves me no choice but to get him out of the cart. The problem with letting him loose is that he is no longer just throwing MY stuff, he runs around and grabs stuff off the shelves, and throws it! I don't know what his fascination is with throwing stuff, but it seems to be his specialty (along with dumping stuff out, squishing stuff, and destroying stuff). One time I actually had an old lady yelling at me because my kid was throwing produce. It was kind of embarrising, but also really funny. When he's not throwing stuff he's either running away (so I have to chase him, which is also really embarrasing) or squatting down and very obviously pooping. It's definately an exciting thing to go shopping!
Then, I always run out of room in the cart about half way through my list, and that starts to cause me great anxiety for some reason. I get really anxious and start stressing out. Today, I accidentally went shopping without eating breakfast. It wasn't an accident, really, but it was not a good idea. I ended up spending nearly $300 on groceries! That's about 3 weeks worth of my budget, all in one day! I'll have to be extremely careful the rest of the month.
Anyway, I ended up having to take two carts out of the store. That is another thing that's really embarrasing. People always give me really weird looks, like they either feel sorry for me, they're annoyed, or they want to help but can't decide if they should ask me. I always feel awkward about it because I don't want help, I really can handle it myself, but I know that I look like I need help. Sometimes I think I should just let people help, I don't HAVE to do it all myself, I just have some wierd issues where I always feel like I need to do it myself (if I can).
By the time I'm done shopping it's been close to 2 hours and the kids are ready to eat each other, and Malachi is also ready to eat again (or sleep but can't) so he's screaming. I know that it'll be another 30 minutes before the car is loaded and we're home, and then another 15-30 minutes until the groceries are put away. So, I leave the store with screaming kids, knowing there's another hour before I can do anything about it, plus my two carts of groceries, and knowing that I'm gonna have to put it all away. I'm also stressing about all the money I spent...at that point I've brewed a whole lot of anxiety.
But, I ate some "Wasabi and Soy Sauce" flavored almonds and some fig newtons, made it home, and everyone was alive; the kids ran around making messes while I took care of the groceries and the baby, and life goes on like normal.

In other news:
Malachi slept through the night again! Went right to sleep this time, around 9pm, only made a tiny peep when I lay him in his bed. He did wake up around 6am, but I think he had pooed (except I just fed him and lay him back down. I didn't realize until later that he pooed, oops, oh well).

Now, I've got to go feed the little people. If I'm feeling ambitious later I might actually fold the laundry today! and I bought some frozen meatballs for dinner, I hope they're yummy. I don't normally like meatballs, but they looked good (and easy) and I thought I'd try something different; and that's just what happens when you're starving and at WalMart with 3 kids and a whole lot of anxiety. Life is good!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don’t cry over spilt milk

Or should I say: Rejoice!...over spilt milk! For me, at least, because it means that my sweet, sweet little baby boy slept through the night! Sorry about the breastfeeding humor, but I think it’s kinda funny to wake up in a puddle of milk; which is what happens when my baby suddenly changes his eating habits. It’s actually really annoying, but I will gladly celebrate spilt milk any day if it means sleeping babies.
Last night wasn’t quite as bad as the first two nights of this experiment; it was actually a bit of an improvement. Just before 8pm I noticed that Malachi was getting sleepy, so I hurried and fed him some rice cereal (because I think it helps him sleep better; but who knows if that’s true or not?). Then, a little bit after 8pm I nursed him and he fell right asleep. He was so asleep that he was limp and didn’t even wake when I stood up and lay him on the bed, it was great! I was able to take him upstairs, mostly asleep, but he woke up a little. When I lay him in his bed he realized what was going on and he got mad and started crying. I picked him up and patted his back for a few minutes to try and get him back to sleep, but he refused, even though I knew he was really tired. So, I lay him back down in his bed and he began to cry again, as expected.
I left and went back downstairs. By the time I got back to my room he had already stopped crying! Happy day! He was quiet for a long time and I began to feel extremely victorious; but then…he started to cry. Happily, though, it only lasted a few minutes. I think that happened 1 or 2 more times over the next 30 minutes, or so, and that was it! Yay! He slept the rest of the night, and didn’t make a peep…I even got up before him, and had to wake him at 745am, to feed him before going to the bus.
I am still so excited, relieved, happy, joyous, hopeful, and all that good stuff…wow, what a relief, to say the least. This brings me one step closer to conquering the Kingdom of the Little People.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Victory is...close?

Well, I’d like to say “victory is mine”, but not quite yet. So, “close” will have to do. I’m referring to the battle of the sleepless baby. My sweet little Malachi, who’s been sleeping through the night practically since he was born has suddenly (about a month ago) decided that he no longer wants to be a sweet little baby who sleeps through the night. He’s been extremely needy, like he wants to be held all the time. I’ll feed him and he’ll fall asleep in my arms, but as soon as I put him down he wakes up and starts screaming. It’s extremely frustrating. When he finally does go to sleep at night he’ll only sleep for, maybe, an hour or two at most. He wakes up all night long. I’ve been getting more and more exhausted and tired of being tired. I know there’s nothing wrong with him because as soon as he is picked up (or even if you walk toward him and he thinks he’s going to be picked up) he stops crying and is perfectly happy. Sometimes he’ll fall asleep in his swing or in his car seat (only when we’re driving), but that doesn’t always work. I have to laugh, too, about how the tables turn because all the kids seem to rotate who’s NOT sleeping. It’s probably been at least 8 years since I, myself, have had a consistent good nights sleep.
Not including Tad, in recent history it’s been mostly Ati, with a sprinkling of Eli, and now a large helping of Malachi. Starting when Ati was about 3 ½ and learned to climb out of her crib (yes, I keep them in the crib as long as physically possible, mostly for my own sanity) she started having “night terrors”, and that was a major ordeal that lasted for what seemed like FORever. Anyway, during that time, Eli started waking in the night too, and it was at an all time annoying climax, between the two of them, just about a month before Malachi was born. I was terrified about the fact that I already had 2 kids not sleeping and I knew I would be adding a 3rd for sure.
To my surprise, and amazement, Ati and Eli both started sleeping again and when Malachi was born I only had 1 baby to deal with. Fortunatley, Malachi was a really good baby, for the most part, and would sleep for long periods of time at night, like 5 or sometimes 8 hours. It was great! Everything, of course, got all screwed up again when we moved to Wisconsin, and then to Pennsylvania. Ati went in to MAJor “freakin’ out” overdrive (luckily everyone else was still sleeping ok), and by the time we finally came back to Utah she was at a point of waking up every 30min-1hour during the night. It was horrible! It was also affecting her moods during the rest of the day; we started to realize she might have OCD (but that's another story, for another time). Coming home helped a great deal though, she was immediately cured, but then had a slight relapse and after a month or so of being home (and some MAJor screaming “time-out” sessions) she’s back to a very pleasant sleeping routine. Of course, almost immediately (I’m not sure specifically how long, but it feels like it was immediately) after she started sleeping again, Malachi happily took her place on the “not sleeping train”. Yay! It’s been so fun! (that's sarcasm, if you couldn't tell)
Anyway, a few days ago, John and I decided we really need to do something about this. We want to let him just “cry it out”, but because of our minimal living arrangements we’ve had him sleeping in our room, and that makes it nearly impossible to ignore. So, after considering many different options we finally decided to move him out. We have a spare room upstairs (we’re otherwise all in the basement) that we use as an office/exercise room. We decided to squish his crib into it. So far we haven’t actually moved his crib, we just put up a portacrib that we’re using in the meantime until we decide if it’s actually going to work or not. It was a difficult decision to move him out, because I really didn’t want to put him upstairs; it’s so far from us, plus John’s parents are right there and I didn’t want to deal with them in the middle of the night or have them get him because they can’t stand to let him cry.
Well, Sunday (sept 7) we put him in the new room during the afternoon for a nap, and he actually slept really well, it was great! I thought, this is gonna be a breeze! That night things only went “ok”. He wouldn’t stop screaming and it took several times of us going in and “comforting” him, until he finally went to sleep (I think it was sometime close to 10pm); then, he actually slept until about 530am. Of course, I couldn’t sleep, hardly at all. I was so used to waking up every few hours that I still did, and I kept expecting him to wake up. But, even though I was still not sleeping I was very relieved that he was. And, he did wake up at 530a, but it was still a good start. Monday didn’t go so well. It was actually pretty rough, and it felt like he was getting worse! He didn’t take a nap at ALL during the day, even though I put him down several different times and let him cry for what seems like, and was probably pretty close to, HOURS. It's like he was "catching on" to what was happening, and he's trying to fight it. I was dreading the night. The good news is, after the initial “going to bed” conflict, he actually slept ALL night! At first he screamed and screamed, just like the first night, and I had to go in a few different times (I waited 15-20min each time) to comfort him. The last time I went in was around 930pm, and about 945pm he was suddenly quiet. It’s always a little concerning when they’ve been crying forever and then they are suddenly quiet, but I resisted the urge to go check on him (I would hate for him to wake up and go through all that again). He made a couple more noises over the next hour or so, but that was it.
I was able to have a shower this morning while ALL the kids were still sleeping, and then I had to actually wake him up because he was still sleeping at about 745am! I would’ve let him sleep, but I was super swollen (from him not eating all night) and I wanted to get him fed before having to walk Tad to the bus. So, all was well, he was happy, he got fed, and we all went to the bus. I’d like to think that it’s all going to be ok now, but I don’t want to get too excited. Right now he’s actually in there crying again, it’s supposed to be nap time. It’s probably been about 30 min that he’s been crying.
I wish I knew what was going on inside that sweet little head of his because he’s such a wonderful, sweet, happy baby (most of the time) and all this crying and not sleeping is really hard to deal with. I think maybe it’s some kind of separation anxiety or something like that; or at least I’m hoping it’s that simple, and that he’ll out grow it really quickly. But, for now, I’ll take my mini-almost-victory, and be happy.


The "Nursery/Exercise/Office" Room

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just one "Peace" at a time…


Ah, how nice it is to have 2 kids in school, even if it is only for a few hours. Today was Ati’s first day of preschool, and I think I’m more excited about it than she is! I still have Eli and Malachi, but I think I might be able to work out some kind of system so that I can have a few minutes to myself.
I put on Finding Nemo for Eli, and he seems to be entertained for a few minutes at least. That gave me a few minutes to feed Malachi, and now he’s actually down for a nap. I never know how long his nap will last, but for at least a few minutes I have: 2 in school, 1 watching a movie, and 1 taking a nap! Neat! Even though everything is just for "a few minutes", I'll sure take every minute I can get.
I’ve also washed all the laundry for this week, just have towels in the dryer, and have sorted and put away half of it…progress is good.
The house still looks like we were hit by a tornado, aka Eli, but I’m still trying to not spend all my time (and thoughts) cleaning it…instead I’m going to go eat a grapefruit…mmm…










(here's Eli watching the movie)




(and Malachi sleeping!)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Not in the mood for laundry…but I’ll have another muffin please!

I just barely put Eli down for a nap, and Ati is having quiet time. Malachi is sort of asleep in his swing, but he’s been stirring a bit, I’m sure he’ll be awake soon. I long for the days when ALL my babies will leave me alone, all at the same time.
This week has been exceptionally rough for me, for some reason. I think Malachi’s had a bit of a cold, so he’s been really fussy (since Sunday) and not sleeping well. Sun, Mon, and Tues night he was up til nearly midnight, and then awake every hour or two. During the daytime he wasn’t very happy either. Around Wednesday I found myself being extremely irritable, irrational, emotional, and just plain ornery. I was feeling hopeless and helpless, like I just wanted to scream or run away…I did do a lot of screaming, but I didn’t run away.
In the midst of my “nervous breakdown” I realized that it was all because I was just tired. My brain doesn’t function well when I’m tired and I become extremely irrational; so even though it didn’t change things, it was good for me to realize what was going on. I’m also trying to cope with the fact that I can not get anything accomplished, EVer, and that it’s...uh...ok? My only priorities right now need to be taking care of my kids; and that is really, really hard for me. I have to constantly remind myself to do less (or do nothing), and that it’s ok for the house to be a mess.
I usually try to take some time during “quiet/nap time” and get some things done, but yesterday I was so exhausted that I just took a nap! Yay for me! Even though Ati still came in every 20 min to tell me something, or bring me a “pretend” meal, I did get a little bit of sleep…and, I felt 10 times better, it was great! Today I’m still pretty tired, and just not in the mood to do much; and so we’re having hot dogs for dinner.
I normally do laundry on Monday, and fold it on Tuesday, but here it is already Friday and it’s still in baskets and bags in my room. I really should be folding it, but I don’t think I will, not today at least…I like to call it therapy, for my obsessive compulsive disorder, but maybe it’s just laziness? Nah..

Here's some humor, it's Eli wearing my boots...he really LOVes boots!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Good to be home, and then some.


(A recap of our trip home from PA)

Well, as it turned out, PA was not profitable for us at all, and we made the decision to come home to Utah. We were only in Philly for about 3 weeks, but the kids and I had a great time and I really loved the East Coast. John, of course, was out in the heat and working harder than he ever has in his life, with no profit, so needless to say he didn’t have as good of a time as we did. Another thing that happened was that he broke his tooth just a few days after we got there, so he was in a lot of pain for a while. We had decided that we would stay until he was able to get his tooth fixed, which was supposed to be July 2nd; but, after an extremely hard day of work on Friday, June 20th he made some phone calls and found out he could have the tooth fixed in Utah instead.
So, we did some last minute sight seeing, packed up our stuff, and headed home on Monday, June 23rd. I wasn’t ready to come home “mentally”; I was having a good time and I really, really wanted it to work. But, because of the financial situation as well as some problems with the kids, specifically Ati, we agreed that it was the best decision for our family.
Saturday, June 21st we took the day to relax and enjoy a few things before our long journey. We headed toward New York and stopped in New Jersey to catch a Ferry to the Statue of Liberty.




It was amazing, and a really good day for us. We were really glad we took the day to relax and relieve some of the stress from all the drama we had this summer.
We spent all day Sunday packing and left first thing Monday morning.
We first headed to Virginia to visit with John’s sister Leah, and her family. We couldn’t be all the way on the East coast and not at least stop by. So we visited with them for a few hours and then drove through the night straight from Virginia to Illinois, to stay with my sister Kim. It was about a 24 hour drive that day and we arrived in Illinois sometime before lunch time. We were pretty exhausted and a little delirious from lack of sleep; I get a little more than crazy when I haven’t slept, so it was sure interesting. We were so glad to be able to stop and stay with Kim and her family. It was nice to visit with them, and it was also really nice to rest and regroup for our next stretch of driving. We stayed with them the rest of the day Tuesday and left first thing on Wednesday morning.
From Illinois we drove straight home to Utah and arrived Wednesday afternoon-ish. It was a crazy mad dash home, but it was the only way we could do it, and we were so glad to be back. Even though the drive was really long and crazy it was in some ways kind of exciting and fun (at least I thought so). It was really neat to be driving across the country and to go in and out of the different states and to see the scenery.
A lot of the driving was a night, so it was a little disappointing to not see as much as we would have liked, but with 4 kids it was really nice to have them sleep. The first night of driving was pretty hard because it was a new thing to sleep in the car and so they didn’t sleep too well. But, the second night went really well, and for the most part, they slept a normal night time amount.
As we drove across the country it was fun to see the harbors along the coast, the Washington DC temple, lightning bugs in Virginia, the West Virginia State Capital building, eerie fog through Ohio at night, Indiana-and then I actually splattered a lightning bug across the windshield, and flood damage from the Mississippi River in Illinois. Then through Iowa with the rolling hills and farmhouses, and Nebraska with their horrible gas that gave us only 10 miles to the gallon! Nebraska was pretty boring and Wyoming went on FOREver…then the sun came up so we could actually See Wyoming-it still went on forever, and then we entered into Utah! What a relief it was to be home.
What an adventure it was.

Friday, June 6, 2008

At home in Philly


(<--here is the front of our apartment building. the tree with the big orange line on it got cut down and chopped up into tiny pieces. it was actually fun to watch, better than cable!)
After much travel and chaos we can finally call Philly our home. We are actually just outside Philly, in a township (i think it's a township?) called Drexel Hill. We're in a cute little private community in a 2 bedroom apartment building. It's going to be an interesting few months with 4 kids in a 2 bedroom apartment. So far, since we finally moved in yesterday, things have been good. The kids all slept through the night (except for a few minutes when Ati was crying in her sleep) and we're having fun getting to know the area. I haven't been in a big hurry to unpack just yet, because of all the chaos and confusion getting here. I'm still not convinced that we will actually stay in this apt, so I don't want to get too comfy until I know for sure. Today was John's first day of working, and I think we should have a better idea this evening if it's going to work out or not. Well, so much for order and peace...all the kids are at this moment screaming and beating each other up. It's sure gonna be fun!









These pictures are at (and walking to) the little playground in our apartment community. There was a huge sand box that Eli absolutely loved. I loved all the tall trees and the quiet neighborhood.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

About My Blog

I started this as a way to bring some sanity into my otherwise insane life. Somehow, documenting chaos brings organization to my world, as well as an edge of humor.
I can look back and feel like I’ve accomplished something (or nothing) and laugh about it in a new light.
To summarize my life: I have 4 kids. Yep, that’s about it…
I spend countless hours trying to develop ways to make my life more simple.
You might laugh and say “how can you get any more simple than that?”
Well, if you’ve ever had kids you would hopefully be able to sympathize with the fact that kids are NOT simple. Having four, most days I feel like: I might as well have 12...or 32. Chaos!
But, alas, some days are good…and some days there is joy…and some days I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Such is my life.
I think I’ll start calling myself “The BeastMaster"

I welcome anyone who wants to read about the joys and woes of being me. I may or may not be entertaining, I still haven't decided yet, and of course I'm biased and a little neurotic.

Comments are appreciated, and you don't need an account to leave one!