Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lunch with Friends

A good friend of mine was coming over on Monday.  We hadn't seen each other in forever and I was super excited to see her. life goes, C stayed home sick with a sore throat and tummy ache.  He got better quickly, but at that time I did not know if it would turn in to strep or worse.  So we decided maybe to meet for lunch.

That is when she remembered that a bunch of wonderful women were meeting for lunch to celebrate some birthdays in my old ward.  It was so fun!  There was only one woman that I did not know and I am certain that she is wonderful.  All the others, I KNOW from many years of friendship that they are amazing women.  I was so blessed to get to go.  

My friend's baby, A, and V:

 A is three months or so older than V, but they loved looking at each other in their car seats.  :)  A also rocked V.  It was great!

As I got home and realized how many of my other things I had not accomplished, I was reminded of the talk by President Uchtdorf on making time for those we love so we don't have regrets later.  Well, I don't regret this use of my time.  I love these women and now that I have moved, I miss them a lot.  I am so blessed to have such great friends surround me and sustain me.  Truly, how blessed I am!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Day with Niece C

Have I said before how very awesome it is that my sister lives just about 20 minutes away?  It is sooooooooooooooooooo cool.  One of the benefits is that I get the chance to spend time with my nieces and nephew.  I am truly blessed.
My niece, C, turned 5 back in December.  The gift we purchased for her they already owned.  Hmm...time for a new gift.  At that time, I told her I would take her shopping to exchange it for another.  With the holidays and sicknesses and V's multitude of doctor appointments, it has taken us a while to get there, but today was the day.
Although my sister and I arranged it a while ago, I called C last night and invited her to spend time with me today.  I was so excited this morning to do it.
My sister and I met in the middle and I picked her up. We headed to eat lunch with J at his school.  We got there early and had a great time chatting, spreading out our lunches, and watching C be killer at Angry Birds.  That girl is good!  Once J got there, the two of them had so much fun together!  I am so glad they get to grow up together.
Then, we were off to shop.  We returned gift A and went shopping for its replacement.  It didn't take long to find the perfect gifts.  C surprises me sometimes.  She is very shy at moments and at others so capable and not shy.  Paying at the store was one of those moments.  She put her gifts right up, took out the gift card and paid-no hesitation.

 The cashier realized that C was paying and asked her if she would like to keep the gift card to play with even though the value was used.  C thought that was a great idea.

 I was planning on taking C out for frozen yogurt or ice cream, but, since it was relatively cold today, she opted for hot chocolate.  We drove around looking for somewhere that had it (She didn't want Starbucks hot chocolate).  Finally, we found that Sonic did.  It was super hot and we brought it back to drink and play. 
 Since the hot chocolate was still too hot after a bit, we added ice cream.  YUM!  C loves ice cream.  She ate scoop after scoop and since it was our special day, all normal aunt rules went out the window and I allowed it.  :)

It was such a great day.  I am so glad that we had that chance.  It makes me remember to make more time to be with my family individually, both my own kids and my nieces and nephew.  This is where true joy is found.

And... for an update on V....she had her weigh-in today:  UP ONE WHOLE POUND!!!  Yes, I did not say ounce, I said POUND!!!! 

It truly is a miracle.  I can see her chunkiness coming.  I miss her super happy personality, as I just think she is so overstuffed at all times and it just isn't as comfortable.  But, hey, she is growing.  We are so blessed.  I like her GI doctor, I like her nutritionist, I like her new pediatrician.  I think things are going well....and that is also shown by this weight gain!!!

(I have no idea why this picture won't turn the other way.  It is right-side-up until I add it.  And, now I have two and I cannot delete one.  Odd.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Just Let Me Cry..."

Okay....I realized that this title might make you wonder if all is well with V and with me and with our family.  Yep.  All is great!  The only struggles of today have come with frustrations:  internet issues, a lost camera charger, and a cranky baby.  Nothing major.  Life is good.

But, that wasn't always the case.  If you read my blog, you know that life did not turn out the way I planned.  I went through times of great sorrow and struggle.

This morning, I was listening to one of my Hilary Weeks CDs.  On there is a song entitled, "Just Let Me Cry."  Oh, the memories that this song brings back.  I heard her once speak regarding the inspiration for this song:  it was for a friend that lost a young child, 8 years old or so.  I didn't have that trial, but I did lose a husband.

I have a very poignant memory that includes this song.  One of my angels (and best friends), A, and I had gone to the temple the night before I was to be at divorce mediation.  We stopped at a gas station on the way home and this song came on my CD player.  We sat and cried together.  It is a moment I will never forget for the words of this song capture that feeling so well--resolve that the future will be better and that there is nothing that anyone can do---it just is painful for now. 

I am glad I have been blessed to retain this memory.  While my eyes tear up at the memory, I feel the great love of my Savior and His arms around me at this time.  I feel the great blessing that A was in my life.  I am so glad that it was to the temple that I turned for strength before the struggles.  I have been blessed beyond measure.  I have been through some crappy times, but each step of the way held blessings for me.  I now can weep with joy rather than heartache.  I am so blessed.

(P.S....V's ultrasound results came in today:  normal.  :)  I think she is growing.  Tomorrow is a weight check!  We will see then.)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

First Band Concert - 1/23/13

C is taking band this year.  As a 6th grader, this is his first time in band and this was their first concert.  (On a side note....notice that I am blogging about this pretty much AS it happened!!!  Whoot! Whoot!)

He plays the trumpet.  Here he comes....

In pictures it is difficult to tell what is going on, but this picture is of C leading them in a difficult warm-up.  This concert was to kind of show the parents what they do each day in school, including warm-ups.  I was proud that his teacher chose him to lead this warm-up.  It meant playing by himself in front of lots and lots of people.  The stands in front were full, the extra chairs they brought in:  full, and (as you can see in the picture) some parents had to sit behind the band.  I was proud of both his composure and his skill.
V, however, did not like the clarinets.  She was fine with the band concert until then.  She screamed every time they played.  Luckily it was after the trumpets, so I got to see C perform.  We were sitting in the top row of the bleachers right in front of C.  I thought about moving down to the floor when they added chairs off to the side, but I didn't do it.  I should of.  I had to climb over a bunch of parents while holding a screaming baby.

I went and changed her diaper and held her and rocked her and tried to help her sleep.  Now and then, I was able to sneak back in and watch a part of it.  Luckily, it was a BAND concert and I could HEAR all of it.  One of the times that I snuck back in, this is what I saw (and I couldn't grab my camera fast enough or steady it well enough).  It is J asking if he can climb over everyone and come get a drink.  Funny thing is every time he did this, it looked like he was in jail.  This picture doesn't do it justice at all.

This is the final song....your traditional school spirit song..."Go Big __________ (fill in your school's colors)."  It was fun to see how much they are learning.  It was great to see C perform.  I am proud of him.

I definitely feel so blessed to have my wonderful kids.  As I was walking with V, I walked down the school hallway.  I saw C on the A honor roll list.  :)  I saw K on the A/B honor roll list.  :)  I saw pictures of them both on the library board for reading enough Lone Star books to go on the Lone Star field trip.  We are blessed that they have the opportunity to go to a good school.  I am blessed that they are my kiddos.  So blessed.  So very blessed.

On a side note-V goes to a Gastroenterologist tomorrow.  Hope we get answers soon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Four Months old...and another doctor....

I took V to yet another doctor today.  It was good.  He spent an hour with us talking to us and examining her.  I am glad we went.  He assured me that all that her previous pediatrician had done was right in line with what was needed, but that it was, indeed, time for more testing and more specialists and to find out what is going on.  I agree.  She isn't growing.  It is time.  I really appreciated the time he spent with me and with her and for his explanations which I wasn't getting before.  He said her heart sounds great.  Good sign.  He said she is hitting all her milestones perfectly.  Another good sign.

So...he is sending her first for a cystic fibrosis test.  I was tested during pregnancy and was negative for being a carrier, but he said that there are a few types of cystic fibrosis that don't show up on the test.  It is the "most common of the uncommon" and needs to be ruled out.  We are also going to a GI specialist.  There are a bunch of tests that they might run, but he is obviously leaving it to them to decide what is best for her.

He was even kind enough to tell me that it might say "Failure to Thrive" on the chart, but that doesn't mean "Failure to feed", "Failure to love", or "Failure as a mom."  I appreciated that.

And...I am so glad I already had an appointment scheduled for today.  She was not herself today at all.  It began this morning while I was making lunches.  I heard her over the monitor as she was starting to wake up.  All of a sudden there was a blood-curdling cry.  I ran in the bedroom and could not tell anything was wrong.  I picked her up and held her.  But, all morning, she struggled to open her eyes, was somewhat lethargic, and cried more than usual.  When I took her in to the doctor, she was still not herself.  In fact, the first part of our visit she just screamed and screamed.

He, of course, looked at her and got the story from me and decided to put some dye in her eye to make sure.  It was cool because after the dye he used a special light....sure enough, she has a pretty big corneal scratch.  Poor kid.  It hurts.

 Here is my happy (although very little) four-month old!

 In the middle of downloading the four-month pictures, I found this one.  We finally had a large wedding picture printed and framed and is proudly displayed in our living room.  I love it.  I especially love that the temple is right behind us.  That is important.

We are so blessed to have modern medicine to keep this happy girl happy.  I am so blessed indeed.

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Year's Eve 2012-2013

** Disclaimer....this was on the same camera and the same download as the pictures from Christmas #3....but the date is way wrong....almost 6 years wrong.  All these pictures were taken 12/31/12 or 1/1/13**

We had a great New Year's Eve.  I am so grateful for family.  This was truly a time to be together as a family.  Unless you are a teen--then it is time to be with friends and that is okay too.  K went with friends.  There are three of them that are close and love being together.  They spent the night eating junk, playing games, talking, and being on Facebook while they sat right next to each other.  -sigh- I guess that is the generation we live in.  Still crazy.

The rest of us went to my sister's house for New Year's.  We decided to do separate dinners and each bring snacks for the evening.  It worked out really well.  The snacks were yummy, the company outstanding, and the games were fun.  I think our favorite was Telestrations, a new game that my sister's family got for Christmas.  It is so funny and so fun.  

Here the kids are playing it, from left to right:  E, J, Ch, C, S, and T.  I love the cousins!!!!!
V spent part of the evening zonked on her favorite toy.  So cute.
 And....the countdown.....
And the toast.. 
 Then, before we went to bed, we took J's rocket outside to shoot it off.  It is very cool.  My sister's family actually gave it to him for Christmas and we brought it with us that night.  It has a light so we could see it even at night.  You jump on the pad and the air pushes the rocket up.  Pretty cool.
Then, because the kids have been wanting to have a cousins sleepover all break, we all just stayed the night.  How blessed we are to have them live so close.  I can't imagine having a better sister and I just love her, love her hubby, and I love their kids.  We are blessed beyond measure!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Christmas #3: With K, C, and J: 12-29-12

Since K, C, and J were with their dad on Christmas, we had "Christmas" a little late.  We had it on Saturday, the 29th and, with the exception of Santa not coming, we treated it just like any other Christmas day.

We began with our traditional Christmas Crepes.  We eat strawberry crepes with whipped topping on Christmas morning.  K loves the whipped topping.
 Then, it was off to upstairs to sort and open presents.

 And we are all ready to begin.....

 K was so fun to have around...she just got so excited with every gift.  I appreciate her being so grateful and kind.  It is a wonderful to give her things and to have watch her response.

 This series of pictures is so fun!  I was so excited about this gift...mostly for the packaging.  I took a bunch of fives and taped them together, then rolled them up, opened up a tissue box, and glued the box back together.  I had put a few tabs up through the top: "Pull here,"  "keep pulling", etc..

 It was such a fun way to give her money for Christmas.  She was counting as it came out, "Wow, there's $15 in here, $20...25...30....35...40...45..$50!!!!!!!

 This is how V spent some of the present opening time.  The noise helps her sleep, I think.
 And then there was the mess...... Oh, wait, one more present.....

J opened it for us...Ping pong paddles?  What?  K immediately asked if we got a net too.  When we said yes....and pointed to the "media room,"  they ran in there to see....

 Our new ping pong table.  :)  We all love it.

Then, we were going to have "Christmas" dinner with my sister and her family....paches and frijoles negros, and plantains, etc....but I cheat and buy the paches and we couldn't get them at the same place as usual.  We decided to use the gift cards my best friend had given us to CiCi's and go out instead.  Best. Decision. Ever. It was so relaxing.  The kids loved being there and no big prep or clean-up.  Just eating together.  I don't love the pizza really, but this time it was so worth it.  And the kids absolutely loved it.

I am so blessed.  Food. Family. Gifts. Fun.  What a great day!  Blessed indeed!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Christmas #2: Home (Mom, Dad, & V) 12/25/12

We got home on the 24th to a cold evening.  After unpacking, we built our first fire in our new home and enjoyed Christmas Eve, just the three of us.  A stinky part of divorce is not having your children with you on important family-time holidays.  I thought maybe it would be more difficult than it was.  I missed K, C, A, and J.  But, we had just seen A and K, C, and J were with their dad in a cabin and I knew they were having a great time.  This makes separation so much easier.  

 Christmas morning we helped V open two of her presents:

CK and I also opened our presents from each other.  And then....the snow began.  I am so grateful that CK was able to have a white Christmas.  My Idaho husband misses that a lot.  It wasn't a ton of snow, but a good couple inches--enough to blanket the earth in white and make it feel even more like Christmas.

 After our Christmas celebrations, we watched some football and prepared to celebrate CK's birthday....yes, he is a Christmas baby and loves it!

All-in-all, it was a very relaxing and laid-back day.  We loved spending the time together.  I am so grateful for CK.  His birthday is a good time to remember just how awesome he is.  He treats me like a queen.  He loves all his children with all his heart, something that he CHOSE to do.  Step-parents can be very special that way.  I am so grateful that he has taken my three kids and loves them so very much.  He is a great dad to all five of our children.  He plays with them, loves them, teaches them, and, when necessary, disciplines them.  He listens to me and always tries to better himself as a husband.  If there is anything he perceives could be better (even if I don't notice and/or say anything), he just does it.  I am amazed at his selfless character.  I am indeed blessed to kneel and pray together with him every night and morning.  He is the man of my dreams and the longer we are married, the more this is so.  I am so blessed.