Wednesday, February 29, 2012

35 weeks

The time has finally come... by the end of this week I will have less than ONE MONTH before our little one arrives. I'm excited that during my last doctor appointment I scheduled my last two week check up, then we're down to one week appointments. How exciting, and (a little) terrifying...
 In all honesty I have to admit that the idea of taking care of THREE boys is a little hard to wrap my head around. How will I manage to do ANYTHING? I often lay in bed at night having slight panic attacks about my capabilities to do all the things I need to do, but then I take a deep breath and pour out my heart to my Heavenly Father, after which I'm comforted to know that all I need to do is take one step at a time.

I've been slacking on blogging this month because we've had a lot going on:

*The beginning of this month we were ALL sick.
(Note: this picture of food has nothing to do with HOW we got sick, but while we were sick I threw everything in a crock pot, which I LOVE doing, by the way.)
* B had a horrible mystery rash, which we later determined was a cold virus. Thankfully it was nothing contagious, but it was scary for a mother to see her little one covered in horrible red splotches, hives, welts and red bumps all over. He was such a trooper.

 (Note: the first two pictures were not the worst of it, AND by 48 hours later he looked like the picture below.)

*Our downstairs neighbor has been causing all sorts of trouble for us. Not only have we been subjected to listening to his bass boom through the walls at different (and inconvenient hours) of the day; we have also had the pleasure of listening to his dogs bark; breathing in great amounts of cigarette smoke-- because he refuses to abide by the rules; and as of late he has come up to our apartment to bang on my door, practically knocking it down, to yell at me about how MY boys have been "too loud".

As a decent human being it was hard to have a civilized conversation with him as he proceeded to lecture me about my parenting skills (something he has no experience with) and call me names (none of the kindergarten ones), and swear incessantly in front of my kids. I respect his right to live how he chooses to live... in his own home.

However, when he starts harassing me and talking disrespectfully to me in front of my children, that's where I draw the line. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt in certain circumstances, though I'm not always perfect at this, but at this point all I felt was anger and sadness towards this neighbor of mine. After having a 15 minute "conversation" with him and trying to reasonable I had had enough. After shutting the door I was literally shaking and when Tyler came through it 5 minutes later I was in tears.

A pregnant woman can only be subjected to so much bullying before she breaks.

Thankfully this horrible incident might have a happy ending, as Tyler (my hero) made a phone call to our office informing them about the ugly situation we've been dealing with for months now, which apparently is only escalating. Our wonderful manager has agreed to sit down with us and help take care of this. I'm really hoping they will wave our termination fee and we will be free to leave here when an opportunity arises, should it happen before August (when our lease is technically up). The termination fee (prior to our lease date) is $1,093. Given the circumstances I'm staying optimistic that something will work out in our favor.   

*Oh, and did I mention that I've also been potty training Braxton? Yes. I've just decided to give it a whirl before Pula gets here. I figure the worst that can happen is we put him back in diapers, after all he's only just turned 2... but for the time being I've got the time to be able to help him, and honestly it would be great to only have one in diapers at a time. We will see.
The other day while driving home from church Tyler and I started talking about little Pula. Wondering if he would look like Quincy, blond hair and bright blue eyes, or like Braxton, dark brown hair and blue eyes....

I laughed and said, maybe he'll look like neither and have red hair! After all we do have some red heads in the family, Tyler's mom being one of them; although hers is more of a deep auburn than bright red. Still.... the possibility is there. I am anxious to see him, I wonder if he'll be bigger than my first two -- each one has increased in size. It's rather hard to gauge his size by my weight gain because I gained the most with Q and he was the smallest. Then I gained less with B and he was bigger... this time my weight gain has stayed in the middle of my previous pregnancies and actually at my last two Dr. appointments my weight has stayed the same. I was real happy about that.
While filling up our car with gas --can you believe the gas prices?? Yikes.--

I couldn't help but notice this beautiful tree. It stood tall and strong amongst the backdrop of the slate gray sky and it made me think about my family. All those little branches coming from one trunk. I've never had dreams about having a large family of my own, in fact as a young woman I didn't particularly like kids at all, as a young adult I vowed to work on my education rather than seek out a husband and start raising kids at a young age... have you ever heard that saying: 'How do you make God Laugh? Tell him your plans'.... yeah, that all that changed over the years. I got married at 20, had Q at 21, B at 24 and here I am having a third kid before I turn 26.

I think about how I've been blessed because of my children. I have learned while raising my kids that I could have never learned in a University. I've learned to sacrifice things, but it hasn't been too terrible because I've always been rewarded for my efforts... not always in the ways one might think, but I HAVE been rewarded.

So... as I sat staring at the three I couldn't help but acknowledge how gracious this tree really was. I started to relate it to a little bit.

 I noted how it symbolized something important to me... motherhood.

One might observe -especially a horticulture enthusiast-- that the tree needed to be pruned years ago, and perhaps one might also think that there was nothing particularly beautiful about this tree--as it lacked leaves or anything flashy on it, and I myself thought that perhaps it appeared a little weighed down by all those branches it was supporting.

None the less, it stood upright holding up all those tiny hundreds of branches, sustaining life to create new additional branches, and giving all it had.

I thought, my tree might never have that many branches on it... but surely I feel blessed to have been a mother twice and soon to repeat the experience for a third time. I suppose I feel slightly reflective with this pregnancy --everything we've been through (getting to week 32 was somewhat of a monumental week seeing as how a few months ago I was told I would never carry that far and if I managed to make it further I might never hear my baby's heart beat) and seeing as how there's a great possibility that this will be my last baby, I'm appreciating what I can. I want to be able to ignore all the hardhsips of motherhood; feeling weighed down, invinsible, a little un-kept, and relish in the importance of what I've accomplished thus far AND the things are yet to come.

29 days and counting!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Valentines day

This year our Valentines Day was spent being sick -- our whole family-- it was super fun. We managed to have an alright day. Tyler stayed home, using one of his sick days, and so we were able to at least hang out for the day. Here's my sweetheart being oh so sweet....
 At least one decent picture of him...
 He thinks he's so funny.
 Although we weren't really able to celebrate Valentines Day, Tyler did take me out on a lunch date a week later. It was truly nice to spend time alone together without the kids, I really treasure those times-- especially with another baby on the way.
Even though our lovers day wasn't spent doting on each other, filled with gifts, or flowers, or a special dinner, or a delicious dessert.... it WAS spent with the man I love and that's enough for me. Besides I have forever with him and we will make up the difference then. :) 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Braxton is growing up!

It is truly hard to believe that two years have gone by since we first met our little Braxton face to face. From the start I knew he was such a different child from Quincy. He was always a good eater, a terrific sleeper, and a sort of no fuss kind of baby. In all honesty he hasn't changed much as he has reached toddler hood.

(This mama is so thankful).
We had a great time celebrating with my family on last Saturday. 
Braxton was thoroughly excited to get his party started... when he woke up from his nap he was a little disappointed that everyone wasn't there yet (they came a little bit later). However, once they showed up it was all smiles. 
Have I ever mentioned that we have an amazing ward? Well we do, the nursery leaders are fantastic and were even thoughtful enough to make B a little Birthday Crown. He loved wearing it home from church, but it took a little bribing to get him to put it on for his party. Nothing a little distraction from a cupcake couldn't fix. 
Now that he's two, B has learned the fun of blowing out his own candles. He had no problem waiting patiently for us to sing to him and then, as if he understood exactly, he blew them out after we were done. It was very cute. 
He thoroughly enjoyed the cupcake, AND some ice cream, AND some cookies, AND to wash all that sugar down he drank some Sunny Delight. It's sort of the running joke whenever we go to my parent's house-- my dad likes the stuff, and my mom hates it, however juice is juice when you're thirsty, right? B has no problem drinking it at all and so "bapuh" (Grandpa Loren) brought him his very own gallon of it.


The adults enjoyed some strawberry ice cream cake (courtesy of Winco-- and I have to say for the price it was pretty decent, nothing like a Dairy Queen cake, but then again... half the price.) I decided to fancy it up with some freshly sliced strawberries on top---- you know, to make it feel more homemade. ;) 

Like I said, there were plenty of treats, cupcakes with sprinkles (which the boys were dying to eat) and cupcakes topped with strawberries and kiwis.
Then of course we had left over sugar cookies we made a few days earlier so those got put out too. The boys were quite proud that THEY did all the decorating on these by THEMSELVES.
At 2 years old Braxton is now:
**Expressing his emotions so much more. When he's happy we get a big smile, when he's mad he gets a real fantastic scowl, when he's sad boy --oh boy-- does that lower lip stick out.

**He's also making more of an effort to talk-- YES. Finally, he is showing an interest in talking. He says the beginning of many words and is insistent about saying a certain word over and over until we respond with the correct pronunciation. Occasionally he'll try and mimic what we just said or more often than not he'll continue on, filing away the information. At any rate I'm thrilled that he's started this stage of talking, although it can be a little tiresome when he's adamant about a response to something and you've got to stop what you're doing to figure out what he's trying to say. We're taking steps in the right direction for communication. I (mostly because I'm with him 24/7) understand most of what he says, but it's REALLY  nice to know that OTHER people might understand him too.

** He knows the colors red, blue, yellow, green, purple, orange, pink, black, white, gray, and brown. I love hearing him say "beeeenk" (pink). It's just so cute. He is sure to tell us not only when he sees a bus, but that the bus is "eh yow" (yellow). He is really starting to become aware of all the things around him and making an effort to tell us he knows what things are.

**He is still making progress in the sharing department, Quincy and he go through spurts of when they play well together and when they can't stand each other. I think this will be a lifelong theme....

**He has gained a sense of humor. He often finds things really funny. There's a particular Subway commercial where people's buttons on their jeans are popping off and B thinks this commercial is hilarious. He laughs at silly faces Q makes, or when Tyler dances all goofy for him.

** He knows where is eyes, ears, mouth, chin, eyebrows, eyelashes, nose, chin, cheeks, head, hair, arms, hands, fingers, elbows, belly, bum, legs, knees, belly button, peanut, feet, and toes are.
**He has a love for balls and cars and books relating those subjects. He has recently started pretending to play with their safari guys in the cars and I can see his imagination starting to emerge. He refers to all male things as dada's and females as mamas. He has recently made the distinction that older looking girls are mamas whereas younger looking girls are just gahs (girls). 

**He's a great helper and likes to tell me whenever he sees a baby, and then proceeds to run over to stranger's babies and point excitedly.

**He is going through a little snuggly phase with me. A huge part of me is enjoying every second of this, and another small part of me is worried how his new baby brother will affect his snuggle time with mom. I'm hoping he'll learn to love being a big brother.

**We have not started potty training yet (although I keep debating it) I feel that probably by summer (when the talking has progressed) we might have better luck tackling this job. Plus by then I won't have such a needy, teeny tiny baby. ---Fingers crossed!
Everyone enjoyed eating the treats. :)

Our growing family. 
B scored big time this year for presents.

And Quincy was there every step of the way to help him. :)
Nanny and Pappy got him a stylish new church outfit, which I managed to not snap a picture of...
Great Grandma Rena sent some money and with it we bought him a Cars book with noisy buttons. I almost regretted the purchase, except for that he loves it SO much. 
Although it has been the cause of a few fights, we have to have time limits with this new book. 
Tyler and I got him an ABC Cars book with a read along CD. I  think this one will be good for road trips. 
And as a solution to all the fighting that's been going on around our house with the one and only Lightning McQueen car (which is technically Q's) we got Braxton his very own. Now no fighting. 
Grammie and Grandpa Loren got B a bunch of new books: A truck book with sliding things on the pages -- he REALLY loves this. 
He also got a Big Brother book, and a Baby Einstein's first words book-- he likes them all! 
They also got him some punching balls... yay. :/ 
We couldn't very well be the party poopers about these balls and so we let the boys play with them for a while. Sadly (for the boys... not us) most of them have been put away and only one remains blown up right now. B also got a whoopee cushion which is a whole other story in itself-- Braxton loved it (for other people, but refused to sit on it himself.) I have a great video of this experience, but sadly it was too much work to load it. 
And although Grandma Teesy and Grandpa Kent were well into their vacation in Hawaii they didn't forget to send a birthday package as well. They sent both the boys some angry birds gummy treats. B also got a train carrier with three trains inside (he likes to put his other cars into this, as the slots are the perfect size for them). 
Uncle Spencer was generous enough to give B: finger paints, tons of tiny stickers (which I usually find on my furniture), water color paint and brushes, crayons and a coloring book, a pet that grows in water, and bubbles. Clearly the bubbles were a big hit.... :) 
Uncle Spencer and the boys. 
Putting their punching balls to good use.... 
Pula had his own party in my tummy. :) 
B and Uncle Kar kar being 'oh so serious'. 
Grammie and Quincy. 
The boys and Kar kar. 
The boys with Grammie and Grandpa Loren.

This picture cracks me up with Quincy... giving some thumbs up. What is he thinking? It reminds me of Michelle Tanner from Full House saying "thumbs up dude!" Ha ha. 
A humongous THANK YOU to everyone who came to celebrate and to those who came in spirit! :) We had a great time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A delish lunch with my boys...

Tyler got a craving for some five guys two saturday's ago and so after some physically demanding time spent putting together our new bookshelf from IKEA (which I LOVE-- thanks babe) I thought he totally deserved it. The boys were all for a trip out to eat! It was worth every penny.