Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

We took Olivia to the neighborhood Easter egg hunt yesterday morning, but when we got there we realized we had forgotten to bring her Easter basket!  I figured we could just have her hand us the eggs she gathered and we could hold them or stuff them in our pockets.  As soon as Liv crossed the starting line she realized that the other kids had baskets and she didn't.  I got her to hand me a couple, but then she started picking up eggs and putting them in the other kids' baskets!  They would get anxious when they saw her put her hand in their basket, but then realized she was adding to their cache, not taking from.  So they were stoked.  And Olivia was just happy to be collecting something and putting it in containers (which is her favorite activity at home).  We did manage to get her to hand us a few eggs, and she enjoyed sitting on the grass and opening them to find candy inside.  We let her eat as many candies as she wanted in the moment and then took them home, emptied the rest, and filled them with nuts and organic bunny crackers for her to open later.  What touched me was that, even when she discovered there was candy inside the eggs, she still went and tried to give some of her candy to the other kids.  The other moms were amazed and I was so proud of my generous, sweet girl.  She will be such a great big sister.  I can't believe how much she has grown since last Easter
This morning before church I filled her basket with her gifts: a new pack of colored pencils (she is wearing down her current ones at an alarming rate and this pack has 12 new colors!), a pencil box to hold all of her pencils, a Barbie movie, and some snacks instead of candy.  We also got her a trike that I am excited for Jack to put together.  I wonder how she will take to it...  I'm not a big candy person and rarely eat it, but Jack got me some of the treats I do love: reese's eggs and fererro rocher, and also a $50 gift card to Target.  I got him some collectible things he can build and put together.  Remember our baskets last Easter?

We had some wonderful Easter Sunday classes at church.  I'm go grateful for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and that we are able to remember Him one this day (in the form of egg hunts and Barbie DVDs apparently ;)

and now are waiting for Livs to wake up from her nap so we can go have Easter lunch/dinner at Jack's mother's house with a few of his siblings and their kids. I love spending time with family on holidays, it's my favorite thing about celebrating.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hawaii day 2- Oahu

I woke up at 4:30am.  Couldn't go back to sleep.  It was 8:30 in Utah, which technically was sleeping in for me.  I laid in bed in our hotel room for a while and then went out onto the balcony to watch the sun rise.  When Jack woke up we jumped in the shower and then I dressed in a black tank and maxi skirt and went down to get Starbucks from the lobby.
After eating scones and drinking fraps in bed, we walked around the resort, looking at the tropical parrots perched all along the paths and the ponds full of huge koi fish.  We ended up on the beach again and then went back up to the room so I could pack a small bag to take with us for the day. 


We got to Pearl Harbor at about 9am and I ran inside to get tickets.  The tours stopped at 1:00 and the only spots they had available were for 12:45!  We could either wait around in Honolulu for three and a half hours and lose whatever else we wanted to do that day, or we could skip it altogether.  I almost cried.  Jack though, ever the clever one, got us in to the 9:30am tour :) I think it helped that the tourguide saw my big belly as well.  We went into a theatre and watched a movie about the Pearl Harbor attack.  It was so cool and so sad to see all of the real footage from that day.  We then took a boat out to the USS Arizona, which still had the smoke stacks sticking out of the water and had a memorial set up with all of the names of the men who had died.  The ship was a burial site for most of the men who had been on the boat and also, any man who had served on the Arizona and had survived the attack, later has the choice of being buried in the ship once he dies.  The whole experience was just amazing to me.  I'm a huge WWII aficionado and love anything having to do with that time period, so it was especially special to me.  Visiting Pearl Harbor was something I was able to cross off of my bucket list.

no I don't have extensions, my hair was just ratty from the humidity :/


After the tour we got in our rental car and drove about an hour and a half to the Polynesian Cultural Center.  The drive was beautiful and we kept the windows open the whole time and listened to music while smelling the ocean breeze.  This tunnel we went through reminded me of the entrance to Jurassic Park :)

We stopped at the Oahu temple and walked the grounds before going on to the PCC and having lunch there.  We bought day passes and walked around to different stations that had presentations and shows about the different Polynesian cultures and traditions.  They sang, danced, cracked coconuts, and climbed tall trees.  We then got ice cream and sat by the river to watch the river parade.



   
When I got too tired we went to the car and made our way back to the airport.  On the way I noticed that my week-old pedicure was peeling so Jack stopped somewhere for me to get my toenails repainted :)  We took the short flight from Oahu to Maui, where our group of friends met us with fresh flower leis and a big van.  We all hopped in and drove to our rental condo, which was so nice!  It was big and open and airy and every couple had their own room.  Tasha and Jordan made pasta and garlic bread for dinner and then we all talked and played a few games before people got tired (again, around 9:30pm) and started to drift off to their separate rooms.  We and Tasha and Jordan lasted the longest so we had the most fun that night. Obvi.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

a thinker

This is a conversation between Jack and I the other night.  It had been a long day, that started too early then was dotted with tantrums, hitting, messes, broken dishes, heartburn, and a dirty house.  I had just finally climbed beneath the sheets with my husband.

Jack: What would your dream job be?
Me: I dunno.  I guess a nurse in the NICU?
Jack: Why don't you do it?  Just finish your degree and go to work?  I bet I can still manage the business here and watch the girls while you work part time or something.
Me: (thinks about it) No, I don't want to.
Jack: Why not?
Me: Because I want to be home with our girls all day.
Jack: Then isn't that your dream job?
Me:  .........


I have thought about this conversation many times since.  There is nowhere I'd rather be than at home with Olivia and soon her baby sister.  I take for granted sometimes that, financially, I am able to be a stay-at-home mom.  When I was younger I saw the whole stay-at-home mom gig as a bad thing.  Like it wasn't a choice, but something women did when they weren't good at anything else or were super churchy or something.  Now I see that it is a choice.  A choice that I made and one which I love (most of the time).  Someday when the girls are in school and I have nothing better to do with my time, maybe I'll go work at the hospital; but for now I am exactly where I want to be every day.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hawaii day 1- SLC to Honolulu

We left on Tuesday.  We originally had an 8:30am flight and a layover in San Jose that was only 20 minutes, then to Maui, then onto Honolulu.  We were flying to Maui first because we planned to leave Maui to come home the next week and a roundtrip to and from there was cheaper.  Jack was so worried about the overly tight connection in San Jose that Expedia had booked us on that he called Delta directly.  They said there's no way we could make the connection in that short of time and would be stuck in San Jose all day until a flight out late that night.   Instead, they gave us a nonstop flight from SLC to Honolulu for no additional cost!  We could leave at 11:45am and because of the nonstop, we would get there the same time we would have originally! (Confused? :) )

The later flight was such a blessing, because then my mom wouldn't have to leave her house at 6am to get us to the airport.  We had been preparing for weeks: deep cleaning the house me making lists for Olivia, doing all laundry, packing, buying maternity things for the trip, Jack getting our business set up for when we were gone, etc. I woke up with Olivia, we ate breakfast together and took a shower together.  Jack came down and played with her and held her while I finished packing my toiletries and the things I had used to get ready that morning.  I came into the living room to find him looking at her with tears in his eyes.  It was really sweet.  A month before I had almost considered not going.  This was by far the longest we had ever left her and it was hard.  I had spent many sleepless nights, but now was adequately prepared thanks to prayer and the support of Jack and my mom.
Jack's sister, Amanda, was so sweet to take us to the airport so that my mom could just stay at the house with Olivia and make the transition easier.  We loaded our bags and walked out the door while Liv was playing with her toys.
glasses and braces? What am I, thirteen years old?

I was excited to be traveling again!  It was so great to be in the airport and on the plane, just the two of us.  The flight went by quickly.  We ate snacks and lunch, watched a movie on my laptop, read magazines, and played Monopoly on Jack's ipad. Soon we were disembarking in Honolulu!  Jack bought me a lei and we drove our rental car to the Hilton Waikiki Village.  Once there, we bought tickets to the rooftop luau and took our bags to our room.  We each took a quick shower to rinse off the flight and then I dressed in a bright orange sundress and fixed my hair.
The employees welcomed us up onto the rooftop with shell necklaces and virgin mai-tais.  We sat at our table and listened to the band play Hawaiian music.  There were hula girls dancing in the aisles.  It was a pretty small group (about 100 people) which was nice.  A large Polynesian lady with a gorgeous voice sang while the men and women in the show danced and then we lined up at a big buffet to get food.  All of the rolls were purple because they have purple potatoes in Hawaii :)  The food was fantastic and we loved watching the dancers.  An hour before the show was over though I grabbed Jack's hand and we snuck quietly away.  We walked barefoot through the ponds, gardens, and pools at the resort and straight out onto the beach.  The water was much warmer than I had anticipated and it was so fun to walk through the wet sand holding hands and watching the sky get darker.  We sat on the beach and talked for a long time, then noticed that a young Hawaiian teenager had been trolling the shallow water with a flashlight for quite sometime.  When we was further down the beach from us, he pulled something out of the water and hauled it up onto the beach.  We walked down to investigate.  He had caught a small octopus!  He said he was taking it home for his mom to cook for their family's dinner.  I was able to touch the suckers on the bottom of its tentacles and it was a pretty cool experience.  Because we were four hours ahead of Utah time, I was exhausted by 9pm and we went up to rinse off the sand and snuggle into bed.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

recommendations

It has been a while!  Here's what I'm loving lately.

1. Deseret Book's light ranch.  I hate light ranch.  I hate anything that says light, low fat, low carb, diet, or sugar free because usually it means that they replaced flavor with a bunch of nasty chemicals and artificial crap.  Anyways....this light ranch is yummy and only 50 calories a serving.

2. These moccasins.  Jack bought the silver ones for me for Christmas and I've pretty much not taken them off since.  They are sooo comfortable and can be worn as slippers or to go out.  They are great for pregnant and non-pregnant feet alike.

3. This frosting recipe from Giada:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature


In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, butter, cream cheese and sour cream. Using an electric hand mixer, beat on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

4. This curl creme (I got mine at Walmart for $5).  It's the only one I've found that truly gets rid of frizzies.  My hair is neither straight nor curly naturally.  Just kind of a wavy yuckiness.  When I put this in my damp hair and scrunch, I can even let it air dry! Plus it smells good and is not heavy (still don't put it on your roots though).

5. Have you ever seen the movie A Better Life?  No? Watch it. Now.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

back home and on bedrest

Jack and I just spent a crazy wonderful week in Hawaii with our best friends.  I know. We are so blessed.  My mom and little sister stayed at our house with Olivia.  I had anxiety for months before the trip, and almost considered not going, but I had gotten to the point where I really needed a break.  Pregnancy, a very active toddler, and a long winter had taken a toll on my body and spirit.  I spent nights and days praying long and hard that I would be able to take this week away from home and away from our little girl and be able to not only do it without tears, but enjoy it and make it worth the while.  And I did it.  WE did it.  When it came down to it, I think Jack had a harder time leaving her than I did.  I had mentally and spiritually prepared for it a little more I think.

I made oodles of lists and instructions and posted them all over the house for my mom, but at the end of the day we just had to buck up and walk out the door.  Trusting that my mom would keep her safe and happy.  I have never been nervous flying, but I had a moment on the plane when we hit some bad turbulence and scary thoughts entered my head about us never making it back and Olivia being raised by someone other than her parents just because I was selfish enough to take a vacation instead of staying with my responsibilities.  Jack talked me down and again through prayer I was able to feel better about our decision and knew that we would make it back safe.

It was never an option to bring her, I knew that Hawaii would not be Olivia-friendly and it would end up being mores hard work and stress to bring her than not.  It was strange making the transition from taking care of another person all day to just thinking about ME.  I only packed for me. I could just read my book and listen to music on the plane without worrying about a little girl running up and down the aisles.  I didn't have to look for healthy toddler-friendly options at every meal and pack snacks or diapers for every situation.  I didn't have to worry about nap schedules and bedtime according to the time change, and I could sit and relax as much as I wanted.  It was just what I needed before our second little girl arrives and adds a new level of craziness to our lives.

I'll do a Hawaii post sometime later this week, we got some great pics and made amazing memories.

For the past couple of weeks I've been feeling more and more pressure down in my pelvis, and some pain and strain down low.  I chalked it up to new baby sitting so low (something I never experienced with Olivia until the week before delivery), but it started to get worse the last couple of days in Hawaii, to the point where I considered going to the doctor our last day there.  We decided to wait until we got back to our own OBGYN, and right before our flight home Jack and Jordan gave me a blessing that I would be fine on the plane home and there would be nothing to worry about in traveling.

As soon as we landed in Salt Lake I called the Dr's office and was told he was on call at the hospital, but that I needed to go there asap to make sure everything was fine.  After two hours of being monitored and checked and having urine processed, I was told that I hadn't dilated at all and the baby was totally fine, but that there were the beginnings of an infection.  They sent for a culture and I was told to go on modified bedrest for the next couple of days until they know for sure what we are dealing with.  It's funny that an infection (probably a UTI) can cause so much pressure and discomfort while you are pregnant.  So my visions of spending our first days home chasing and playing with Olivia and going for walks in the welcome new sunshine of Northern Utah have to be postponed.  Luckily, she did wonderfully with my mom and they got lots of playtime and outdoor exercise in while we were gone.  And my mom even kept the whole house clean!

It's okay, a week of vacation followed by quiet days spent on the couch reading books and watching movies with my little lovie don't sound so bad (Liv is usually only allowed one or two movies a week, so I'm sure it will be a treat for her too).  Now I can keep her close and smell her head and cover her in kisses enough to make up for last week.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

26 weeks


Best part of being 26 weeks along: I'm not too huge yet.  I feel just the right size of pregnant where everyone definitely knows it, but can still roll over in bed.  I'm excited for baby girl to get here, but not yet anxious that I haven't done a thing on her room :)

Worst part of being 26 weeks along: Muscle pain in my lower stomach, groin, and back.  Olivia was always sooo high and I had to push her down from my aching ribs several times a day.  Baby #2 is super low and my muscles feel the strain.  My back got so bad that I couldn't stand on my left foot this weeks without shooting pain.  The chiropractor helped a lot.

We settled on a name :D I'm not the kind of gal who can leave it up in the air until the baby comes, I was getting anxiety not knowing what we would call her.  I always leave a small window open as an out, until I can look at her and know that the name suits her, but we are 98% sure of her first and middle name.  My favorite name.  Jack agreed to use it.  I'm pretty much over the moon and am excited to share it when she gets here.

If we didn't have proof in ultrasound pictures, I'd still be sure this was a boy just because of how different this pregnancy is from Liv's.  The heartburn has been unrelenting and Tums just don't cut it.  I have to take a Pepcid Complete almost every day.  Plus the sitting low in me thing.

I am just as excited to see what she looks like as I was the first time around.  Will she be blondey, blue-eyed like Liv, or darker with my green eyes?  Will she be active and social and extroverted like Liv, or keep to herself more?

It has been very difficult to feel like I do enough with/for Olivia while pregnant, and sometimes the guilt creeps in.  I have to remind myself that I'm giving her a little sister and how great it will be for her to have (hopefully) a best friend and companion for the rest of her life.  Someone to play with and who understands her better than mom and dad can.  I'm sure I'll have to remind myself of this even more when Little Sister is actually here and she doesn't get enough of me because I have to split my time and LS will be the more demanding kid.  I honestly have no idea how Olivia will react to having a baby in the house.  She hasn't really been around babies ever and I don't know if it is sweet, affectionate Olivia who is good at being soft and sharing who will come out; or feisty, independent drama queen Olivia who loves to be the center of attention.

I've gained 20 pounds so far.  I haven't been eating unhealthy, I just get hungry a lot more often.  I follow the same pattern I always have as far as eating clean and pure foods. I eat fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and full-fat dairy.  I use good portion sizes, don't eat candy or drink soda, and I don't like to eat the low-fat, no-sugar, artificial stuff that has chemicals and junk in.  My weakness is still homemade cake and cookies, and sometimes ice cream, but I haven't been eating more sweets than I do when I'm not pregnant.  I feel like my body is putting on the amount of weight it needs to for the baby and I am feeling pretty good about where I'm at.  With Olivia I lost 15 pounds in the first trimester (I was so sick I had to go get an iv twice for dehydration) and then put 40 pounds on.  With this I'm 5 pounds under where I was at this point with Liv, which I chalk up to chasing a toddler all day.

I haven't had as much time to focus on the fact that there is baby coming.  I make the plans and feel the pregnancy and deal with the symptoms, but there are still moments in the day where it hits me again that I am going to have another little girl.  Two kids.  Mother of two.  Olivia, and another one whom I will love just as much as Olivia.  I'm boggled.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bringing Home a Second Baby (click 'read more' to get the full post)


[I found this blog post on Perpetually Nesting]

I have to write about this before it fades.
The days following Eze’s birth only held two emotions for me. Guilt and fear.
Love, of course, overshadowed all of it, but I’m not talking aboutthat, right now.
With white knuckles and tears staining my face, I clung to a truth our pediatrician told me in passing.
He has six kids. Therefore I believe everything he says.
“When we had our second,” Dr. Abe told me, “My sister told me this, and now I’ll tell it to you.”
And here it is:
“The greatest gift you can ever give a child is a brother or sister.”

Friday, March 1, 2013

freeze.

Do you ever wish you could freeze a moment?  I think it often.  If I had one super power it would be to freeze time.  When I was younger I would have used it to study more for finals or extend a date.  Lately it usually has to do with my little one and the fact that she is literally growing before my eyes.

When it is too cold to go outside (which has basically been the past three months) I like to go walking on the track at our rec center.  The walkers have to stay in the inside lanes, and Olivia doesn't understand this concept and likes to weave back and forth in front of the runners so Jack usually takes her into the stands above the pool to climb up and down the big concrete steps and get her energy out.  The other night when I finished my walk I went in to sit by them.  A rare sight met me; Jack was cradling Olivia in his arms and singing her a song.  It wasn't rare that Jack was holding her and being sweet, it was rare that she was holding still and allowing herself to be cradled.  When I sat down she climbed into my lap, wrapped her chubby arms around me, and laid her head against my chest.  Then sat like that for 20 minutes.  It was miraculous.  I wished so bad I could not only freeze that moment, but store to visit later.  When she is too big to hold or doesn't want to be my friend, or doesn't live with us anymore, or has a husband to take care of her instead of her Mama and Daddy.  I would go back to this moment and hug her little body and smell her sweet toddler breath and rub my cheek against her blonde baby curls.  At least I can hold onto the memory.

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