Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Christian-isms

I've been worried lately about Christians health. He seems so skinny and small (Beau has started calling him "my petite christmas treat") and I'm worried that there may be something going on with his gut that is causing some growth issues. He has diarrhea more than I would like and I probably need to keep a food journal or something so I can figure out what's causing it. I know for sure that maple syrup and things that contain that kind of flavoring (Oatmeal squares, life) totally give him diarrhea. He also has turned into such a picky eater. There was even one evening where I held my ground and told him if he complained about his dinner one more time he would go straight to bed with nothing to eat. That night he woke up throwing up spit (because there was nothing in his tummy) but didn't have a fever or anything. And the next morning he was shaking as I gave him some juice and a big bowl of cereal. I felt awful as I realized that he totally had low blood sugar and that was causing the vomiting. ugh! You just can't win sometimes.

 He is also such a loving little guy. He frequently will come tell me how beautiful he thinks I am and say I love you. His guileless nature is the sweetest thing to see as he has almost no inhibitions around his excitement, elation, joy, and frustration. It's quite a ride parenting this little firecracker.  On new years  we took the boys to see ferdinand in the theater and Christian kept turning to the woman on the other side of him thinking she was me and asking her things. We were both laughing so hard cause he probably did it 5 of 6 times and would stop mid-sentence totally confused.  A perfect example of how his mind resets so fast -which makes teaching him things a little tricky.






"The Grunch" (grinch)
"Remember the undions?" (onions)
Wagging his ears to Charlie Brown music
Fran chan sisco (San Fransisco)
His pants on backwards or inside out ALL the time
Face planting daily
Candy can (candy cane)
She's a  "grill" (girl)
"Mom I need my 'private-seat' (privacy when he's going poop)
"I can't see Tenny being 5!" (on not being able to see that Tennyson turned 5 overnight)
"The farmer in the jail" (dell)
"It's third-man!" ferdinand.
"Mom I got an owie on my chiky!" (cheek)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

This week


I don't have very many pictures of this week because we honestly didn't do much. I was consumed with getting our house set up, unpacking boxes and figuring out where to put things. For some reason setting up a new house is the part of moving that feels the most daunting to me. I have almost no confidence in my ability to decorate my home. 

Tuesday morning we all took Beau to work and as I drove away from dropping him off I tried to resist that dreaded feeling when something fun comes to an end. We had such a fun Christmas and New Year together and I didn't want to feel overwhelmed from doing most of the parenting again. Luckily we had a lot to get done so the boys and I started making returns and getting stuff done. An added element was that I totally forgot that the boys didn't have preschool this week so it was another week of all of us being together all the time. Monday evening I went back over to our old place and got some more stuff done and cleared more stuff out and Beau met us there. Having him come home to us in that house one last time made me feel sad and nostalgic. I don't do well with change and it takes me a while to wrap my head around something new, even if I know it's better for us. 


Wednesday morning I went running with a friend and a few miles in tripped on a curb and ate it HARD. Luckily there wasn't much blood and I could finish the run and luckily it was dark so what was probably a hilarious face plant wasn't too obvious to those around. My hand hurt pretty bad for the next few days and I was worried for a minute that maybe I had done something permanent. Luckily now its definitely on the mend. Beau left to NYC wednesday afternoon and told me on his way out that there was a big noreaster headed that way so I immediately knew he wouldn't be coming home when planned. The boys and I had some home made Tikka Masala (so good I might add) for dinner and watched a lot of the great British Baking show. I seriously love how much Tenny loves that show. 

Thursday morning we left early with the Wheelers up to the city for our first time at the California Academy of Sciences. It was really great and what was even better was how Candice got us all in for free on her pass. All 3 boys were mesmerized by the rainforest creatures, the aquarium and the dinosaur bones. We didn't get home till 2 PM and I immediately put them down. 






Friday was a rough one for me. I hurry and got the kids out the door at 7:50 to meet our cleaners at the old house. Then we drove back home, ate breakfast and got dressed, went to the YMCA, then went to the hardware store so I could find something that would remove the awful stain in the carpet upstairs. Despite my attempts to prep them about how we don't run around and be crazy and yell in the store we got in there and they were insane. Why I was surprised that they were acting exactly as I expected I don't know. But somehow I thought because I was more stressed that morning they would pick up on it and have better behavior to help me out. No such thing. It ended poorly but we got what we needed! This week I felt so conflicted with it being the New Year and a fresh start to work on some goals  and feeling absolutely ZERO motivation to do anything productive. I didn't want to cook, clean, exercise, run errands.. all of my usual daily tasks felt so heavy and filled with dread that every time I fed them I gave myself a pat on the back that I didn't take them out instead. But by friday evening I made a chocolate cake with Tennyson after sending Christian to his room for screaming too much and while it was cooking we all drove the 3 minutes to corner bakery for pancakes. It ended up being a lot of fun for all of us and we got back just in time to pull our cake out of the oven and let it cool while we waited for Beau to get home from his business trip.  We were all ready for bed when he got home around 7:30 and then we got to dig in to our home made chocolate cake (which I forgot to take a picture of). It was pretty cute. 


This is Tennyson after requesting a slick back look with his hair. Ha! He kills me in that tie dye family reunion shirt. 


The last of my moving boxes to unpack which I finally tackled on saturday after cleaning our place all day saturday morning. Moving is the worst! (but totally worth it when you're saving money)

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Lessons learned lately and our latest bout with IVF

I feel like I've learned a lot lately. As I have listened to and implemented thought strategies I've been learning from Bold New Mom. I have become much more aware of my thoughts and how my thinking is contributing to my own happiness and the environment I create in my home. The Christmas season is so amazing but I find myself feeling overwhelmed with ways to serve and create traditions. It's ridiculous how much I let this stress me out. I think of a way to serve, then I over think it, then I feel like it's too overwhelming and I don't even start. It is a pattern I encounter over and over. I think some of it has to do with the fact that hauling my 3 toddlers around can require so much of my mental energy and when I try to do something on top of it I feel like a chicken with my head cut off. Then this week I felt my concerns and stresses were answered with amazing examples of women who "just served" me. Just told me this is what they were doing and that they wanted to help. Monday Candice told me she was bringing me dinner and if 5:30 would be a good time. I felt so loved! On sunday Candie Johnson told me she wanted to watch my kids and could do tues-thursday. It was such a tender mercy and I immediately felt the holy ghost witness that it was how heavenly father showing me that he loves me and is aware of me. I just started crying. I also really felt like it was an answer to my stress of how to serve. JUST SERVE! JUST DO IT! Stop over thinking things and just do things that help other peoples lives. Help them feel loved! I just prayed and prayed for Heavenly father to shower blessings upon those blessed womens heads.

Other things I have learned and been made aware of is why I parent the way I do. And when I'm honest with myself it's because of my need for control. I think that if I can control my children and make them or train them to act the way I want them to or the way I think they should than that is success. Something that I heard said was "control is just an illusion anyway" that you never really control anyone, you manipulate or you scare someone into choosing a certain behavior but you literally can not make any other person do anything. This has been so enlightening and empowering when it comes to my kids. I remind myself everyday that my only job is to love them fiercely and to be consistent in consequences and setting boundaries. I love that I can really say to myself " of course Tennyson is going to hit his brother, or yell at me about that, or keep doing something even though I told him not to- he's supposed to because he's 4 and 4 year olds are supposed to be the center of their universe. He is exactly the way he is supposed to be. I've let go of the narrative that somehow my life should look or feel different, or that Jeremiah or the universe owes me some huge debt of gratitude. I have chosen this life deliberately, I was supposed to choose it because it's what I chose and it looks and feels exactly as it's supposed to. Circumstances are always neutral and the emotions I want to feel in my circumstances are peace, love and fulfillment thats my choice.

This really was applicable and helpful as we embarked on what we hoped to be our final fresh IVF cycle. After lots of deliberating and a phone consult with a doctor here in the bay area we decided to go back to our doctors in Boston. It was so much work. So many third party ultrasounds, blood tests, pap smear, semenalysis. And that was all before we even got to Georgia to begin monitoring. We figured if we timed it with thanksgiving we could do our monitoring at Emory which would be in the time zone we needed, we would have child care while the two of us went up to Boston for the retrieval. It would be complicated but worth it. I compared prices, spent hours on the phone and finally figured out which place to get my meds, flew to Georgia and hoped for the best.

After starting my stimulation meds things were going well, my follicles were on track and my estrogen levels looked good. The frustrating part was getting Emory to send my results in time. For whatever reason I had to call and confirm that they had been sent every time. It was an added step I just really didn't need. I was up at 5:30 AM every other morning and then every morning, driving the hour up to Emory getting my blood work and ultrasound and then driving home. There was a lot of positive self talk "this is great!" "so much alone time" "all of this great music I get to listen to" "driving a car is not hard!" I was grateful to have my mother in law there to watch my kids and to have a comfortable place for us to stay. After 10 days of monitoring I was getting anxious to get the call that it was time for me to take my trigger shot and get on that plane up to Boston. But it just kept getting pushed back, "go in tomorrow morning for blood work and ultra sound" which meant one more day of meds, playing phone tag with Emory to fax my results, and one more day in Georgia trying to figure out what to do with my kids to keep them entertained. By tuesday I was starting to lose my mind. I called Beau who was in New York waiting for the go ahead that he could head up to Boston and meet me there for the retrieval, and told him to get down here and help me out. I was feeling pretty exhausted with it all and needed the comfort of having him there with me and helping with the kids. He was there late that night like the Knight in Shining Armor that he is. It felt so good to be reunited after a week apart. The next afternoon I got a call from my doctor, not the nurse, telling me what was really going on. Things didn't look good.

Essentially the protocol they used during my last fresh cycle with them had not worked. When they pulled back on my gonal f just a bit my estrogen levels tanked and my ovaries stopped being on the track they were supposed to be. We decided to give it one more day, take a large dose and see if we could get them to turn around. I was pretty upset and feeling blind sided but tried to talk and coach myself through the emotions and thoughts I was having. "This is happening exactly how it's supposed to happen because it's what's happening. There is absolutely nothing I can do about this. It is a circumstance." The night before my final trek up to Emory I asked Beau to give me a blessing. I had actually asked him earlier in the day so that he had a few hours to prepare and I was just really hoping that however things ended up turning out I would feel peace and acceptance of God's will.

Sitting on the edge of the tub in the bathroom Beau gave me a blessing and I felt so strongly the voice of the Lord speaking comfort, love and just how proud he was of me and my efforts. After he finished Beau felt the same way. A lot of "it's going to be ok".  The next morning I could tell that the results were not going to be what we'd hoped. I cried on the way home, cried to Beau when I got home and expressed the disappointment and sadness I felt at a lost opportunity and what felt like such a waste of so much work and money. When I've felt this kind of heart ache before my mind goes to "why do we have to do this?" "I hate that we have to do something that feel so painful sometimes"And then I spiral into anger and self pity about it all. But this time was different. I'm sure some of it was getting to go home and celebrate christmas but I felt a lot of peace about it all and once I was done being disappointed and sad about it, it cycled through me and was done. It was painful for a day or two and then I moved on to thoughts about it that were more useful. This was the first time I've used the tools I've learned through the Bold New Mom program in this way and it TOTALLY worked. I was actually amazed and I know it's because of the love and mercy of God that I was able to work through them.

I got home and immediately started packing. Beau looked up flights and figured out we could get out on a 9:20 PM direct flight and as soon as I got the call from the Dr. he booked them. Our bags were already packed so I started cleaning and getting last minute stuff ready to go. We went to dinner with Grandma and Poppy on our way to the airport and the boys snoozed the whole flight home. The next morning Beau was off to work for a busy week and I took the boys to preschool. Just like that it was all over and we were back to real life not an inch closer to being pregnant. It kind of feels like a weird dream. When the Dr. called to explain things to me he felt really awful and when I expressed how surprised I was by this outcome he replied that he felt the same way. He was really confused by what happened and told me what he would do differently next time.  At least I can already say that I'm a better more loving person because of this experience. It's just the unknown moving forward that kills me if I think about it for too long. My goal is to be present in the here and now for the next few months. I want to enjoy my kids each day and be able to see in each moment how blessed and full my life is right at that second. Because worrying about the future robs me of the joy of the present.



Sunday, December 17, 2017

Adventures of this Week

After we got back from Georgia and got our bearings under us one of our first items of business was to get a Christmas tree of our own. After trying a few lots we did what we said we wouldn't do and went back to the lot we got our tree from last year. Turns out they aren't so expensive after all (relative to the other tree lots in Palo Alto) Got in n out before hand for dinner and then picked out our tree. Then Saturday morning we decorated it. 





A friend recently posted something like "does anyone else feel no guilt in TV when it's a christmas show?" and I completely agree. We have been watching muppet christmas carol, charlie brown christmas and the grinch on repeat at our house. I look forward to bedtime now because I love reading our Christmas books as well. 

Christian getting ready to go into Primary at the start of the new year!

Sunday  night we ventured over to the temple to see the lights and look at the live nativity. It is such a beautiful temple and a great way to spend our evening. 


Christians preschool buddies!



We had a smashing time at the HGGC Christmas party this year! It never disappoints!


The boys look forward to turning on our christmas lights every evening. They've gotten so good at it. 





Tuesday night we had an early dinner and drove to Los Gatos to see the light show there. The best part for the boys was being able to drive the car on their own. 





Friday was our day to see the Stanford Santa. They asked for Legos and a big Jackson Storm. Afterwards we got a chocolate treat at Sees Candies.  The older I get the more of a sucker I am for chocolate truffles. 





On friday night the boys dropped me off at a friends for a Kiras birthday evening in half moon bay. All night Beau was sending me pics of the fun time they were having with their guys night. I missed them so much I came back later that night to spend saturday with them. 



Saturday was spent mostly packing and moving the stuff that we had already packed up. We officially have the keys to our new place on Park ave so we have started to slowly bring stuff over.  While we were packing one of our loads Christian was climbing around in the front passenger seat of the car and fell head first on to the driveway out the door. I heard the thud and immediately knew we were in for it. Sadly due to lack of time and a 4 hour wait at the urgent care we didn't have a chance to go get staples. Instead I irrigated it, cleaned it with antibiotic, put some super glue on it and bandaged his cute little head up. We went to the urgent care today (sunday) when they finally had room, waited for 40 minutes only to have the doctor tell us that it was too late for staples and sent us home with some bacitracin. The rest of our saturday was spent christmas shopping, cleaning and hanging with friends at a birthday party. Wes' favorite activity at the moment is throwing christmas ornaments. He probably broke 10 of Poppys while we were in Georgia and has continued to wreak havoc on our tree.  

Thanksgiving and our time in Georgia

Its been a few weeks because we went out to Atlanta for thanksgiving and stayed a little while longer which I will explain in another post. We haven't been to Georgia in years so it was fun to spend some time with the cousins there and be loved by Grandma Becky and Poppy. 




  
The boys were in heaven with the "big wheels" destroying Poppys plants and driving in the mud.




We had a Jewkes family soccer game in which I played goaly. Afterwards the adults went for lunch and Wes was so tired he could hardly stay awake







Thanksgiving day we spent all morning cooking and prepping. I made rolls, sweet potatoes and banana cream pie. Afterwards we talked about what we are grateful for and  went on a walk around the beautiful lake Beaus parents live on right now. 


I was in target getting some supplies and Becky had taken the kids on a Golf cart ride. I was near the back of the store when I heard quite a raucous and thought subconsciously  to myself, "this is a noise you usually hear in utah" (tons of little kids together yelling stuff in a pubic pace). It took me a few more seconds to realize I recognized those voices and wandered up to the front to see Becky with a gaggle of kids are yelling above one another so that she heard which kind of slurpee they wanted. It was so funny. 


Becky was so fun taking us on golf cart rides to chick fil a and all over Peachtree city. It's fun for them to live in town even though we miss staying out in the country. 

 
After Beau left back to Palo Alto and we stayed back in Atlanta for IVF reasons I was determined to have fun and we did! We saw the movie Coco which was darling and then later the Star movie about the nativity. It was so so but the kids enjoyed it. Both times we had the theater completely to ourselves. 


The Gaddy christmas lights did not disappoint this year. We made an evening out of it with the Boyles and went to dinner before the light show. We even got to drive through it twice! The boys favorite parts were the snoopy airplanes and of course mater. 



I met Julie and her kids in Senoia for their Christmas parade and festival. It's such a darling town and the boys spent the whole parade begging the people for candy. Christian was patient and would sit with this hands out cupped but would get passed over every time. It was so cute and so sad. He did end up getting a few pieces.


In an effort to light the world the boys picked out a toy at the dollar tree and we went to a park. The boys were instructed to find someone to give it to and say "merry Christmas!" it was hilarious and darling to see their reactions. Kids are the best. 



Uncle Jason is our family dentist and does a great job. He is so good with kids and the boys did great! Christian had no cavities, Tennyson had 4 and I had 2. I haven't had the front of my mouth numbed in a long time and I couldn't even eat till 7 PM that night. It was pretty hilarious. 




Grandma Becky game with us to the Atlanta Botanical Garden light show which was actually quite amazing. They had an outdoor model train Christmas area that the boys could not get enough of. My favorite part were the jungle lights that came down from the ceiling and were set to music. It was quite ethereal. 



One of the days we met up with Claire and Julie and El Charro in Griffin. I hadn't been there since I came to Georgia when Beau and I were dating. And they STILL have the best diet coke and queso dip. We had 11 kids and 3 adults at a sit down restaurant so we were quite the show. It was hilarious. Afterwards we went to se a santa in Griffin that does free pictures. As predicted Wes is not so in to Santa this year. 


I came downstairs to find these notes written by Tennyson. These moments always catch me by surprise and fill my momma cup full. 







We helped Grandma and Poppy pick out their christmas tree and of course they picked out a wild and crazy one. The boys ran around after the tree farm owners dog. Wes especially could not get enough of him. Getting the tree on the car was a bit of a doozy but we all made it home in one piece. 




More walks with grandma and Poppy.  The golf cart trails really are amazing. 





We got to participate in an annual gingerbread house making party. It was harder than I thought it would be and the boys behaved exactly as expected. Tennyson was super into it and giving me directions and Christian just wanted to eat all of the candy and kept knocking things over.  We left Georgia in a hurry on the 6th but had such a good time while we were there.