The musings of ME:
SAH mother of 3 kids, spouse of a doctor-in-residency, caretaker and teacher of random children.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jackson at 19 months

We don't quite know what to make of Jackson lately. As soon as we think we've got his schedule pegged and his moods determined, he goes and switches everything up on us. He will be so good for about a week - a good sleeper, a happy guy, a good eater. Then we get the other Jackson - cranky all the time, won't sleep at regular times, doesn't eat. Arrg! It is so frustrating!

Lately he has done so many cute things and also so many things that make me want to pull my hair out, I just don't know what to think of him. The biggest thing I guess is that he is talking a lot in full sentences now. He'll say things like, "I want juice, please," or "Are you okay? Are you alright?" or "I want to get in the seat," or I want to color on the paper." However, now that he can clearly tell us what he wants, he thinks that means he automatically gets it. Timeout and spankings have become a regular part of our day. I hate that, but I also know he gets it because he'll sometimes tell himself when he is not making a good choice, "No, no, Jackson! You get a spankin'!" Then he swats himself on the bottom. Or when we put him in timeout, he (most of the time) will calm down and stop throwing the fit about whatever it is that he wants.

I'm actually impressed that he uses the pronouns me, mine, you and I correctly right now. (Mine is a personal favorite of his, where did he get that? The preschoolers don't walk around saying, "Mine, Mine, Mine." but our house sounds like that part with the seagulls in Finding Nemo since Jack has learned that fun vocab word!)

Bedtime a few weeks ago was such a simple process. I was ready to get him a big boy bed and move the crib into the baby's room, thinking no prob, my boy has got this bedtime thing down. Well now he has begun to realize exactly what the bedtime routine is, and so when we take him up to give him a bath, he emphatically insists he is hungry even if he just ate. (I want bites please!) He got us the first few times, but now that he does it every night, we aren't falling for it anymore. Then after bath, we read 3 books, after the third book, he jumps down off my lap, and races to go get another book, even though I have told him (and he understands) that was the last book. He thinks if he can do it really quickly, maybe mommy will give in!

Another funny thing is that during the day when we say prayers together at meals, I usually have a prayer helper and I basically whisper a prayer to them and they say it. Jackson will fold his arms and try to repeat my words along with the prayer helper and then proudly says Amen at the end!

In the last month or so, Jackson has become a daddy's boy more than ever. If he deosn't know where daddy is at any given moment, he searches the house hollering, "Daaaaa-deeee! Whay aw yew!?" When he gets hurt, he passes me by to go to Daddy. He wants Daddy to kiss it better! This morning when he woke up Ben had already left for school. Jack was absolutely distraught. It took me 10 minutes to calm him down and I had to use juice and Elmo! "I want Daddy. I want Daddy." He kept saying. What am I, chopped liver??

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break!

Sorry this is belated, but I have been working my fanny off (I wish) over Spring Break and so I haven't had a chance to post anything about what we have been doing, so here goes...

1. We took a family trip to San Antonio, just the 3 of us. Jackson was SO good in the car ride and he LOVED Sea World! I was a little nervous that he wouldn't be quite old enough to appreciate it, but he clapped excitedly at the acrobat divers and the dolphins and Shamu. He loved every minute of it!

Then he got to feed the sea lions, which was hilarious because he thought they were dogs because of the barking sound. He pressed his little hands up to the window to watch them gobble up fish that people were dropping, and called to them to come to him, "DAAAAW-GEEEE! u'mere, DAWWW-GEEE!"

He laughed and laughed when he was the one who got to drop the fish down to them, especially when they fought over his fish. Then we went in the bird cage, which is similar to the Fort Worth Zoo bird exhibit, but these tropical birds eat nectar out of a cup and they will come right up and sit on your hand and even let you pet them. He was a little apprehensive about touching them, but after the first time, he didn't want to leave.
We got to Sea World at about 10:30 and left at 4:00, and Jackson didn't have a nap until we got in the car. Normally this would have meant meltdown city, but there was so much to see around him, he was happy the whole time!

We also went to the River Walk, which I thought was so beautiful, I didn't want to stop, but Ben got annoyed with all the people (it was St Patrick's Day) and we didn't do the whole riverwalk. I held up with all the walking surprisingly well for being 28 weeks pregnant. It is nice to plan a vacation where I can get some exercise, too!

The last day we went to the Alamo. I liked that, too, but I didn't really get to read much of the history because Jackson was getting a little bored and wanting out of the stroller, so I mostly just enjoyed the scenery, but it was nice to have gone and experienced it and now I have a mental picture of what the Alamo is. I'm officially a Texan now! ;)
All in all, it was a great trip with beautiful weather, and we decided there is so much to do and see that we will make it a regular trip with our kids, but maybe not next year since we'll have a not-quite 1-yr-old this time next year.

Not-so-funny story: We got into our hotel at about 4:00, rested from the long drive for about an hour and half, and then decided to go to Benihana's for dinner. Jackson and Daddy wrestling after a long car drive

We got there and they said it would be about a 35 min wait, so we waited in the car since Jack had fallen back asleep on the way to dinner. We woke him up when it was almost time and went inside. At this point we were all starving, but no worries, right? It was almost time to eat. Nope, don't think so. We waited inside for another 45 minutes before our pager went off, then finally we were seated, our waitress came to the table to get our drink order and we waited another 15 minutes trying to keep our hungry bellies and our starving 18-month-old pacified before giving up and leaving to go to IHOP. I was afraid Jackson was making everyone else miserable, he was VERY cranky and Benihana's is expensive and you pay partly for the experience. I didn't want to make everyone else suffer because of my cranky kid. I have never been so angry at a restaurant before! You do not mess with a hungry pregnant woman, especially one who has to deal with her hungry, cranky kid to boot!! By the time we had waited for food at Benihana's, left to find an alternate restaurant, were seated and served at IHOP and went to Wal-mart for a few things we had forgotten to pack, we didn't get back to our hotel and get Jack to bed until after 10:00!!

P.S. Waiting seems to be the theme of San Antonio! Everywhere we went we had to wait a long time for service - at Wal-mart, Sea World (of course), IHOP (but not nearly as long as Benihana's), the food court on the Riverwalk, even the gas stations! I guess Spring Break is just a busy time for the city!

When we got home from our vacation, we started our Spring Break home projects. Ben built us a deck for our backyard, he installed a ceiling fan in the living room, I painted our bedroom and we finished the nursery (minus the crib, of course, since Jackson is still in it.) I need another week to get all my To Do's done, but I am happy with what we did get done! It was a very productive and yet relaxing Spring Break!

My boys and their tools
The almost finished project

I was frustrated that my camera didn't always cooperate with me. I kept changing the batteries, but it kept telling me my batteries were dying after just a few pics, so sorry I don't have many to post.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jackson's breakfast request

This morning when I brought Jack downstairs to eat breakfast, we walked into the kitchen and instead of his usual, "Want juice please," he said, "Want chee-tos, mama." hahaha, I laughed out loud. That was the funniest thing for him to request first thing in the morning.

I call those baby veggie puffs Chee-tos, and that is what he usually gets if I give him chips, but he has had the real thing before, too. Yesterday he saw a bag on the table that a preschooler had for lunch, and he threw a fit wanting some, but he wouldn't finish the lunch he had in front of him, and made a huge mess of it in protest, so I cleaned him up and put him down for nap with not much in his tummy. Guess he remembered that bag on the table and wanted some for breakfast this morning. (He didn't get any for breakfast either, but maybe I'll oblige with lunch -just a few! I'm not a totally mean mommy, you know!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

On the Loose with Dr. Seuss

Will they like green eggs and ham?

(not pictured: Z., A., and Jackson)
They liked it, loved it, Sam I am!

Feeling Yucky!

I just don't remember all these little aches and pains when I was pregnant with Jackson. At least, not this early. I am only 28 weeks and I am not even as as big as I was with Jackson, but I am so much more uncomfortable and at an earlier stage! I even have aches and pains I didn't have with Jackson at all!

I can't go to sleep at night because my legs twitch. I have to get up and stretch or take a hot bath! Then I finally fall asleep and then I wake up multiple times to either go pee or because I have a blinding cramp in my leg or foot!! I have to get out of bed either way, which wakes me up from my deep sleep and starts the whole cycle again!

My back aches a lot and Ben has to adjust me almost nightly. I can't sit straight up because I don't get enough back support, but I can't lie on my back or side because I am uncomfortable or it hurts my back on the side that Ben keeps adjusting.

I feel like the layer of muscle/skin around the baby is much thinner this time because I strongly feel every little kick or movement - which also contributes to the no sleep issue.

I get almost menstrual like cramps all the time and Braxton Hicks contractions all the time and when the baby kicks my bladder, I seriously almost pee myself!

My food just seems to sit in my stomach and not digest, which makes me feel nauseous and get heartburn.

Plus, I am so emotional!! I cry all the time, and I NEVER cry!! Movies make me cry, commercials make me cry, getting frustrated makes me cry. The other day a lady from my ward called my house to ask me a question and I couldn't even finish my sentence to answer her because I was crying so hard I couldn't breathe!! What is up with that!!??

So my question this just how it is when you have multiple children - symptoms get worse, or am I just being a baby or what?? Does it get worse with EVERY child you have? Maybe I did feel these things with Jack but didn't notice because I was so deliriously happy to be pregnant with him after having the miscarriage. Maybe things are worse for me now because I am working so hard and so exhausted all the time.

I am so not this person who just complains about things all the time. I am a multi-tasker, a get-it-doner, a work till you dropper, and a fight through the painer!! Suck it up, Colleen!! Get a grip! You chose this, you want this, and you can do this!!

Hey, on a bright note - all my 3 year olds are returning next fall! I have received all their 2009-2010 contracts! So out of the 12 spots I can fill in my preschool, I will fill 3 with my own children (0-18 mos count as 2 spots), 3 full-time spots with returning 3-year-olds and 1 half time spot with a returning 3-year-old, and I have 2 serious prospects who just haven't returned paperwork yet and I haven't even started advertising for next year yet! Go me!

Plus, all the kids and the prospects will be 4 by Fall, (except S.B., but she is so advanced. Oh, and of course, my own 2 boys...) so I face the possibility that all the group will be 4! This would be so much easier than having a split group of different ages! It will suck for advertising for 2010-1011 since they'll all be graduating to Kindergarten (except S.B.), but hey, I'll worry about that then!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol Notes

Sorry for those of you who don't follow the show, but I am a huge fan - like I seriously get giddy when I know it is coming on or I have a show DVR'd that I haven't watched yet. And don't even think about calling me when AI is on - I'll get nasty with you! ;)

Anyway, I fell asleep early last night and so I didn't watch Michael Jackson night, but I just watched it tonight and I some things to say about it. I seemed strange that they would do a Michaal Jackson night on AI because the judges are always telling contestants to stay away from Michael and Whitney and Mariah and others who no one can compare with. But, WOW! Everyone did such a great job. Up to this point, there were only a few who stood out to me, but everyone was incredible tonight (last night), except maybe 2 or 3.

My not-so-favs:
I don't get the hype about the visually impaired guy. His voice doesn't impress me! Jorge was a front runner in my mind, but I actually didn't enjoy his song tonight. In fact, he was one of my last favorites! And what was up with Megan's Rockin' Robin song?! It was so weird!! I want to like her because she is so cute and her voice is so unique, but her little dance that she does is too eccentric for my taste. Plus, Rockin' Robin is kind of a kiddy/Disneyish song to me, and she made it even more so. It was just strange.

My favs:
Don't you think Danny Gokey looks like Robert Downey Jr? He seems so humble, too. I really like him. I also really like Adam Lambert, and don't you think he channels Elvis in a punk rock kind of way. He makes faces that remind me of the King at times. Plus, I totally agree with the judges. Although everyone was good tonight, he was just SO in another league!! Allison, the 16 year old has such a Pink-ish voice. I like the hard quality of her voice and she can really sing!

Well, those are my thoughts. Stay tuned if you are a fan. I'm sure I'll have more!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I have so much to blog I don't know where to start!

This weekend I finished reading Confessions of a Shopaholic. About halfway through I had decided I didn't like it, it was a little too fluffy for me - the main character annoyed me with her stupidity and bad choices, but then I also identified with her. The story could have been written about me 7 years ago! Maybe that is why the main character annoyed me so much - I don't like that person I was very much. I liked the ending of the book, but it was a little predictable. I don't think I'll see the movie because it looks like it mostly presents the annoying character before she went through her change toward maturity, like that is supposed to be funny. In short, I would recommend this book to a friend (but not highly).

Sara and I worked on the new baby nursery off and on all day Saturday! We got the wall mural of the pirate ship finished, but we did not get to paint the other walls. I still need to get that finished - I'll add that to my never ending list of home projects and Spring Cleaning that needs to be done over Spring Break. The pirate ship turned out so cute! It really goes well with the bedding I bought. Now I am anxious to get the whole nursery finished and set up the crib, but I won't be able to have everything in order until a few months after the baby is born. I don't want to kick Jackson out of his crib until he is at least 2 which won't be until August! Besides, the baby will be in our room for the first few months anyway. ("The baby" is still yet to be named - sigh. At this point, we don't even discuss it. I am hoping the name will come through prayer becuase if it is left up to us, our son may be Baby Boy Blake forever.)

Today was SO not a fun day. I took Jackson to the doctor yesterday because he had a low grade fever and mild diarrhea all weekend. (Sidenote - this weekend was to be his first in nursery at church and he missed it! I know he'll love nursery, so I am bummed about that!) He started pulling at his ears so I thought he might have an ear infection. Dr. Chen said his ears looked red and so did his throat, but no infection. If his fever hit 101 or above, I was to call back and he'd call in some antibiotics. Last night, Jackson woke up and his fever was 102, so today Mrs. Olivia came (aka the super-awesome lifesaver sub that even cleans my microwave!) and took the entire group for me again, so I could keep Jackson away from the other kids. I don't know what he has, but if his fever is that high, I need to keep him away from the other kids, especially L., because that is my policy for the other kids as outlined in my parent contract. So, my day consisted of isolating Jack and myself upstairs, trying to keep him happy when he felt miserable, and was tortured by the sound of his friends playing downstairs. Plus, all the really good toys are downstairs, so he was just not a happy camper at all! AND he wouldn't eat anything all day and cried forever when I tried to get him to sleep when normally he goes down for bed and naps SO easy! He just plays with his puppy till he falls asleep. When he finally did take a nap, I ran out around noon to get his prescription that was called in at 9:00. CVS didn't have it ready. It was on the voicemail and they hadn't checked the voicemail for the day yet. (What??) I had to race back because I cold only afford Mrs. Olivia for 3.5 hours since she subbed for me yesterday for a couple of hours when I took Jackson to the dr. When the kids went down for nap, sick Jackson was just waking up and so I was on my own with everyone for the rest of the afternoon. Needless to say, it was a rough day.

Don't you feel like when it rains, it pours? At one point, I had 3 parents picking up kids at the same time, I was trying to change screaming Jackson's diarrhea diaper and keep his hands out of it (this is his new favorite thing - to reach down into the diaper - UUUUGGHH!) , 2 kids were still waiting for me to get them snack, and L. was waiting for me to change HER diarrhea diaper and clothes because it leaked out of her pull-up. (L.'s meds give her uncontrollable diarrhea sometimes, so although she is almost 5, she still wears a pull-up when on certain meds.) It was just crazy!!

After all my kids were picked up, I went to get a mani/pedi. At that point in my day, I would have paid $100+ for someone to slough my feet and give me a full foot and calf lotion rub, while sitting in the massaging chair! Good thing the nail ladies didn't know that! ;)

I am looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight. Maybe Jackson will feel better and sleep through the night tonight. I hope, I hope...

3 working days until Spring Break!!!!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

5 year anniversary!

Just wanted to say publicly that I love my husband so much! There are so many admirable qualities that he has, so I thought I'd list five of my fave's (in no particular order) in honor of our 5 years together!

1. Ben is multi-talented! Not only is he extremely smart and hard-working, but he also is able to do lots of handy things around the house! He built the play structure in our backyard for the kids and he put up extra shelving in all our closets for more storage space. He built a cabin in East Texas that he uses as a hunting cabin, and he brings meat home almost every time he goes. Over Spring Break, he is going to build a deck for us in the backyard, and install some new ceiling fans in the house. He is such a handy guy! Growing up with a father who was not quite as handy (when our bike chains broke, we got new bikes...), I have come to really appreciate that! Plus, he knows osteopathic manipulation and he is awesome at it! Lately, I have been having a lot of back pain. When Ben can adjust me, I feel so much better!
2. Ben has the priesthood and uses it to bless our family. When Jackson was about to have surgery on his hydrocele at 6 months, I was obviously very stressed. Our little baby was going to be under anesthesia and we weren't allowed to be with him until he woke up. Seeing him with an IV tube poked into him and his little listless body on that gurney about broke my heart, but I was comforted by the blessing Ben gave him before he went in. Again, this is something I did not grow up with, and so I really can see how much it makes a difference in our family. We are blessed to have him as our spiritual leader!
3. Ben is extremely good with money. When we got together, I had an enormaous amount of debt that carried over from my divorce. Ben helped me get squared away financially, and still helps me get control of myself when I'm not paying attention to finances. Because of HIS good money skills, we have not one cent in cc debt and are able to save for all sorts of fun trips and things for our house! It feels so freeing to not have to live paycheck to paycheck. What a blessing it is that he is good with money because I don't have the patience for the details. ;)
4. I have complete trust in Ben. I know he is honest with me always, and I never need to question where he has been or what he has been doing. After past experiences, it is a lot for me to be able to say that about my husband, but I would (and do) put my life and happiness in his hands.
5. Ben is so much fun to be around. Okay, I know he gets carried away sometimes and says things around people that sometimes make me wince, lol, but for the most part he is top-level fun to be with. Even when we are just at home in our PJ's, he makes me laugh at his goofiness on a regular basis. Some guys are fun because they are spontaneous and crazy, and Ben can be those things, too, but the best thing about Ben is that when we go do fun things, we never have to pay for them later. We plan to take big fun trips and we have paid for them first. So there is never that guilt afterward of "Should we really have done that?"

Oh shoot, I have to include this one, too. We'll call this one to grow on...

6. Ben is such an awesome dad. From the minute Jackson was born, he wouldn't leave his side. He even went with him to the nursery to watch the nurses give Jack his shots! You'd think as a med student, that he wouldn't have much time for Jackson, but Jack and Ben have a little game they like to play. Ben gets home, finds Jackson, and watches him from a hiding spot until Jackson notices him. Then Jack gets so excited to see Ben, that he runs into his arms and they play this hiding, growling, wrestling game that always makes me laugh. Jackson idolizes Ben, and Ben can't wait until Jack is older and they can be hunting buddies, play sports together (oh man, that's another one, Ben is active, healthy and good at almost every sport, which I love, too.), and go camping together. In fact, the number one reason why Ben wants to be a doctor is so he can afford to provide for and do many fun activities like those previously mentioned with his kids. All his hard work is for his family's future!

Ben isn't just the fun-loving dad though. He also helps with things like doctor's appts, diaper changing, bath time and mealtimes! I love that Ben is such a hands-on dad!

I know there are major qualities that I love about Ben that I have neglected, but I could be here all day, so I'll just list these 6. I am so grateful that Ben is my husband and that we are sealed for eternity and that our children can be born in the covenant! We have already made so many wonderful memories together and I look forward to an eternity more! I love you Ben! Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

27 weeks

Today was an eventful day at the doctor's office. I had to drink the too-sugary "Sunkist" drink and then give blood for the gestational diabetes test. I had to have another check-up ultrasound to make sure the fluid in the baby's kidneys hadn't gotten worse. Then I had to meet with my Dr. for the 4 week check-up. I won't know about the bloodwork for a couple of days, but I'm sure it will come back fine. The baby's kidneys look great, no more problems there. (I am actually a little disappointed because I like getting to watch him grow! All I ever see is how much he makes ME grow!) His profile reminds me of Jackson. I predict they will look a lot alike. (Duh)

According to Dr. V, I had only gained 2 lbs (What? That's it? Don't get me wrong. I'm glad about that, but you have got to be kidding me - I have SO gained much more weight than that.)

The best thing about today was that I had scheduled a morning appt. I usually schedule an afternoon appt so Mrs. Olivia will have an easy job just sitting with them while they sleep. But I know she gets bored and would like more time actually getting to work with the kids and learning our schedule. (She will most likely cover for me when I am out those last 2 weeks on maternity leave - or upstairs rather.) So she subbed for me from 8:30-12:30 and by the time I got back the kids - including Jackson - were finished with lunch and ready to get on their beds and settle down for naptime, so now I have until 3:00 to myself to get some things done! Awesome!! The only thing better would be if it were Thursday or Friday. (just because by the end of the week, I'm beat!) Poor Mrs. Olivia though, she had my whole entire group including Jackson who is teething and cranky. When I asked her how it went with the whole group, she said, "They were good, but I don't know how you do it?!" I'm taking that as a compliment. That makes me feel validated because some days, I don't either, haha.

Here's something scary...on my next 4 week visit, I have to go register at the hospital (across the street) afterward. Already? Didn't I just find out I was pregnant? Sheesh, here we go...we are really doing this huh? What were we thinking!? (part kidding, part serious)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekend Recap

This weekend I created a facebook account. I'm very excited about it because I have already found so many friends I have lost contact with. I had a myspace, but I never checked it and it didn't seem like anybody used myspace. I think I am going to like facebook a lot better. It seems geared toward a more mature crowd.

Tonight I took dinner to a sister that I Visit Teach who just had a baby. I made meatloaf meatballs with rice, green beans and Sister Schubert's rolls. (If you haven't heard of Sister Schubert's rolls, you need to check them out. They are the next best thing to homemade bread. I buy them in the frozen foods section at Wal-mart.) Do you think it is rude that I didn't go in or hold the baby? I just remember that I was so uncomfortable during those first few days that I didn't feel much like entertaining company, even for a few minutes. Plus, it is cold and flu season and some of the kids in my group have been sick. Ben and Jackson have both had colds in the last week, and I'd just hate to bring those germs into her house with a new baby. I'll love on the baby when she gets a little older and mom feels better!

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I think it was just pregnancy hormones, which don't normally affect me so much, but I cried all day off and on for little to no reason. Every now and then I get overwhelmed and I have to remind myself that I chose all these responsibilities (Preschool, Jackson, and baby #2) and we received confirmation from the Lord on the timing of each one. I know the Lord would not give me more than I can handle, so it must be within my capabilities to handle it. I guess I just need to buck up and get through it. It is certainly not going to get any easier. And don't get me wrong, I enjoy my day-to-day life. It is funny how a person can feel so blessed and so stressed all at once.

Next weekend Ben and the other hunters in my family are going to East Texas to our family's cabin to do some more work to it. They will be adding a bathroom and hunting pigs. He is very excited about it because his dad is coming down from Oklahoma to go with him. They had so much fun on the dove hunt last September that his dad went out and bought a gun and a bunch of new hunting supplies. So now this is their new father-son bonding thing. Ben can't wait until Jackson gets old enough to be his hunting buddy. I can though...

What I am excited about is that while the boys are away, the girls are going to play!! My Aunt Sara, my mom, my cousin's serious gf, and my Grandmother are coming over for the weekend to work on the nursery. It is so fun to have a girls only weekend (well, plus Jackson), and even more fun because we'll get to be creative together, get the nursery done, hang out in our PJs all weekend and watch Lifetime!! We did this when we were working on Jackson's nursery only we had a lot more sewing to do then. It was also my mom's birthday that weekend so we celebrated together! Pics of the new completed nursery to follow soon! Now if Ben and I could just agree on a name...What do you think about Griffin?