Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mom and dad are here!!!

Oh hallelujah, mom and dad are here!!!

This morning began like many others... I had a headache because brady slept in bed with me (what makes me get a headache from that?! I couldn't even kick him out during the night because he throws a fit about it and it wakes chris up and chris had to be up at 4am anyway to catch his 6:00 flight) and within two minutes of him joining Abigail to play, she had blown up at him and beat him up which sent him crying back to me. I had to send abigail to her room and emotionally prepare myself for the hour ahead of getting her off to school. More awfulness ensued and she was five minutes late for school again. I think it was right around 9 that all three kids and I were able to shed some tears within minutes of each other and I wondered again why I had thought motherhood would be a good idea. 

Getting home, I was emotionally worn out but eventually got to cleaning (although not soon enough because so much was left undone) and was planning to leave at 11:40 to pick mom and dad up from the airport with their 12:00 landing. Mom texted at 11:30 that they'd landed (apparently five minutes before). I was so worried the whole way there that they'd have been waiting for eternity but their bags took a while and they actually walked out just a minute before I pulled up. Whew! And of course the minute I saw them, my life was a million times better, especially since I spent the whole morning trying to avoid crawling in bed and crying myself to sleep. 

We went to sprouts and culver's on the way home and the food was amazing and the weather was so perfect that we are outside and dad kept taking the kids across to the little field to run and play. 

When we got home, we just kept playing outside until it was time to get Abigail from school. Dad came with me. Mom read books to the kids after school... I made eggs for dinner. We all ate and then went to Abigail's school at 5:45 for her first grade performance. They sang four songs. It was cute and entertaining. The kids are a bit more when we got home while they hung out with mom and dad and I vacuumed. And then dad read them books and helped brush their teeth while I finished vacuuming. And then they all went to bed. Elizabeth did shockingly well considering she didn't nap at all the entire day. You'd never know... She was so good. I was very surprised. 

And then mom and dad and I hung out for a bit eating cranberry walnut oatmeal cookies from sprouts and talking about how to fill in the cracks on my kitchen table. And I did dishes and got into bed. 

Man! Talk about a 180 on my day. Words can't even begin to express how glad I am to have mom and dad here with me this weekend.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The never ending sickness

A week ago, I volunteered at Abigail's school and, upon showing up, found out that Abigail's teacher was out with the stomach bug and actually a third of the entire first grade was absent as well. 

That same day at four o clock, I was waiting in the pickup line and I felt a little sick. But not my normal morning sickness that I get each evening, it was like clenching stomach pains. Instant fear set in. So when I got home, I got straight in bed and texted Chris that I was feeling sick and that hopefully I wasn't coming down with something. Well, he got home, I was still in bed. I started throwing up around 7 or 8 and continued throwing up until 2:30 in the morning. The next time I got out of bed was 11 hours later to go to the bathroom and then 12 hours after that at 1:30am Sunday morning to go to the bathroom. I literally laid in bed for 24 hours and got out for 2 minutes. 

Meanwhile, Chris was doing 100% of our childcare and had taken Abigail and Brady to Applebee's for lunch on Saturday while Elizabeth napped. On the way home, Abigail threw up all over herself and Chris's car. She said she ate too much but then didn't feel sick anymore. 

Sunday morning, I was already planning to stay home from church because I was still recovering and Abigail was less than 24 hours out from throwing up. But then during the night, Elizabeth woke up and had thrown up in her crib. So Sunday, our whole family stayed home. Even though Chris and Brady were well, we didn't know if they were just pre-symptomatic. 

Sunday night, Brady started coughing incessantly.
Monday, Brady coughed constantly all day and night. 
Tuesday morning, Elizabeth woke up and had thrown up in her crib. Brady continued to cough. 
Wednesday, Brady continued the incessant cough and started to act feverish with feeling so cold even in a 69* house with fleece footie pjs and a fleece blanket. He also fell asleep at the drop of a hat for nap and for bedtime. With the lights still on. Two hours later, he woke up crying about his right ear hurting. Another hours or two later and he was crying because both ears hurt. Lots of crying and being awake all night. He was in so much pain. 
Thursday, still lots more crying and fever and eat pain. I got an appt with the doctor at 2. Ear infection in the right ear and starting in the left. He slept pretty much from 2:30pm through the night, only being awake for an hour before falling asleep again on the sofa and then being awake for another hour before falling asleep again for the night. 
Friday, still coughing a ton but feeling a little bed and still drained of energy. He fell asleep at 1:30 on the sofa (even though Sloane and Bodie were over playing with us) and stayed asleep until 5:30 maybe? He still fell asleep fine when it was time for bed. Overnight, Elizabeth developed the cough, though not as incessant as Brady's once was. 
Saturday, Brady and Elizabeth both coughing a lot, but otherwise pretty normal (except neither having eaten all week (Elizabeth due to teething). 
Sunday (today), I was debating if I could take coughing kids to church. Decided to because we've missed so much church lately and it's just a cough. At 10, I called Abigail into my bathroom so I could curl her hair. She was throwing up on the stairs. So here I am home from church with all three of my kids again. Chris is mortified that we're one of those families now that misses a month of church because of kids being sick. We were supposed to host the bishop youth fireside tonight at our house but not anymore. 
This feels never ending.

I'm December I was out of town for two Sunday's. Then I went to our ward on New Year's Day. Then I missed two Sunday's from my pregnancy depression. Then I was there for one Sunday. Then I've missed  this Sunday and last Sunday. I think I've been to our ward three of the last nine Sunday's. I'm that person now. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Frog tennis

We love this game. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Touch ups

I'm a huge fan of using sharpie markers to touch up everything. I mean, I've used them to touch up furniture, kitchen cabinets, my previous leather blend sofa, clothing, and shoes.  So many shoes and boots. Today I was touching up a number of little Elizabeth shoes but didn't have a silver metallic marker for this one pair. Luckily I found a different silver metallic marker that was probably an even better match. It's so gratifying to fix shoe scuffs. 

This is probably how happy Abigail feels when she colors with markers too. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

EASY hawaiian bbq chicken

scrolling through facebook the other day, i saw someone posted an easy, four ingredient recipe that actually sounded good.  a few days later, i still remembered it so i decided to try it.  of course i made my own changes, because i never make anything exact, but seriously... this was so so easy and really good!

i used a regular pyrex glass square baking dish.  i had a thawed bag of the costco chicken tenderloins, so i just cut it with a knife and dumped it right in the [sprayed] pan.  i squirted some bbq sauce on top... not measured, just eyeballed.  i had a ripe 99cent pineapple from sprouts that i needed to use, so i diced it up and then just spread a layer of the diced pineapple on top. and last, i put a layer of provolone cheese on top and tore it in places where the circles didn't meet (because i'm a tad ocd about some stuff).  loosely place a square of foil on top and toss it in the oven.  i think i baked it at 20 minutes and then added another layer of provolone (because i looooove provolone) and let it cook again without the foil.  i forgot to time it but it was probably 15ish minutes and i watched the cheese so it would melt and get a little browned, just how i like it.  i wanted to serve it with rice because chris likes stuff more when it's served with rice, but it was a really busy afternoon and i couldn't get to it.  i think i'd prefer it just as is.  everyone loved it and it was also great as leftovers.

so, simple, easy, on hand ingredients (only FOUR!)... and it was really quick to get into the oven.  if you used canned pineapple, i'm sure you could have it ready in three minutes flat.  and it doesn't dirty any dishes because it all goes straight into the pan to bake and nothing needs to be measured at all.  also, really easy to let the kids help out.  i really am so excited to have discovered this recipe and just had to share.  i feel like shouting it from the rooftops!  woohoo!  i made dinner!

and sorry, no pictures because i didn't take any at the time and i just finished eating the leftovers for lunch about 15 minutes ago.  maybe next time.

i think this is the link to the video i saw in my facebook newsfeed.

and here's a link to one of the postings of this recipe online...

honestly, if you're serving this to guests, presentation-wise, it probably looks nicer with whole chicken breasts and whole pineapple slices and whole slices of provolone melted on top.  but since i knew i would be serving this to three little people and didn't want to cut up everything individually on their plate, i did it my way.  and if i didn't hate touching raw meat, i would have cut the chicken into bitesize pieces before putting it in the pan too.  but, i hate touching raw meat or having it touch anything in my entire kitchen, so i just poured the bag straight into the pan and put the trash in the trashcan.  ; )

Monday, January 30, 2017

Not average

Brady is not a super average four year old. I realized that when I was talking to Chris in December about what brady would like for his birthday and Christmas and I was listing sunglasses and a watch and a few other things like that. Chris was all, "can't we get him a toy truck or something?! He's turning four!" I assured him that Brady almost never requested toys but did ask for a watch and sunglasses several times each week. 

Don't worry, we got him a mix of things and he loved all of his toys. 

But his odd requests continue.

This morning, he told me he'd like some binoculars for Christmas this year because he's "been thinking about it a lot." It's true, he's been requesting binoculars probably once a month since we went to the cabin in July. He really liked my dad's binoculars. 

The other day he was asking me how many days it was until he turns five. He asks me this several times a week so I gave him the usual, about 330 more days. Going along with the conversation he talked about how much he liked his baseball cake when he turned four and I asked him what kind of cake he'd like for his fifth birthday. 

"Umm, probably a cake with a dad on it because I want to be a dad."  

I told Chris I was going to have his picture screened onto a Walmart cake. ; ) It's gonna be AMAZING!!! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

19 weeks

How far along:  19 weeks  (1.25.17)
Total weight gain/loss: +6-7 lbs
Maternity clothes:  yeah, same as before.  just trying to find flattering clothes to wear when i go out. i'm starting to wear more fitted shirts when i go out, but honestly, a lot of the time, it just looks like a heavy gut.  
Sleep:  i feel like it's been better this week.  my dreams are weird but not necessarily exhausting.  i've been going to sleep at a decent hour.  and brady has even stayed in his bed several nights this week which probably helps more than anything.  i've found that i need an absence of brady and at least ten hours of sleep to feel rested in the morning.  it's crazy that i can get 8 or 9 hours of sleep and just still feel tired.  so i'm trying to get as much sleep as i can but the downside when you sleep as much as your kids is that you forego any awake alone time.  but i'm trying to convince myself that that's okay because when i'm well rested, i need far less awake alone time than i otherwise need.  
Best moment this week:  i'd say tuesday... i even blogged about it!  but even monday was pretty good with visiting teaching most of the morning and then talking to em on the phone some too.
Movement:  still some contractions... also, even more kicks and turns now. it's crazy how much and how frequently i feel them! i've even been feeling them while i'm standing up and doing other things! it really is great.
Food cravings:  it's still much the same as last week.  still hard for me to find food that sounds appealing.  although i have had some times this week where certain foods have sounded appealing even if i don't end up making them or even if i make them and they don't really hit the spot.  the desire for food is half the battle so i'm happy for any yearnings for food.  this is probably the reason that i'm not really gaining weight.  i'm pretty sure all of my weight gain this pregnancy happened in the two weeks i was in atlanta.  no joke.  
Symptoms: nausea and headaches most evenings that last until i go to sleep, depression (crying and anger and apathy), increased fatigue, terrible acne, still sometimes feeling like i'm going to faint/pass out when i stand up, weird dreams, waking several times during the night for no reason at all, weird food aversions, pure laziness, growing stomach...
Gender:  of course i'm still thinking girl, but i've been trying to be equally open to both.  i want to be mentally prepared for either one.  i think i really would prefer a girl this time around (having all of the clothes match up for that season and because it all seems so recent doing it with elizabeth the summer before last.  the main downside of a girl this time would mean that next time, i would 100% be dying for a boy and stressing if it's not. i've had this thing for a long time that i want each of my kids to have at least one brother and one sister.  and aiming for five or six kids... the chances are decent. but, with how hard this pregnancy has been so far and stressing about future pregnancies, it would be nice to get the boy this time.  soooo, i guess there are pros and cons to each and we'll just call it a win win.  we find out on tuesday though! it's gone by pretty fast this time and i credit that with not giving myself the opportunity (or torture, depending how you frame it) of thinking about it too much.  
What I miss:  similar to last week, but not as bad, i hate feeling so out of control about my life and emotions and being such a crappy mother.  i relish the times that i feel happy or almost happy. hoping to get this under control and maybe i'll enjoy part of this pregnancy! 
Milestones:  i'm in my last week before i hit halfway! i'll be out of the teens and on the other side of the hill!
Theme: the week of ups and downs... with at least one day of really low and one day of pretty good and enough days in between.
What's different this time around:  
most closely following elizabeth's pregnancy.
Extra:  it's hard going to sleep and not knowing what kind of day you're going to have next.  i realize how stupid that sounds, but i'm used to most all of my days being good or amazing.  but being depressed it's like "i wonder if i'll have the energy or motivation to get dressed tomorrow"... "i hope i'll be able to get abigail to school without yelling and shouting horrible things at my kids before 9am"... "will i be able to function enough to figure out what to feed myself and three kids for an entire day?"... "if i make it a goal to make it through the day without crying, will i just feel worse about myself if i don't succeed?"... "what is absolutely essential that i do tomorrow? if i just make sure to get abigail to and from school and get elizabeth out of her crib in the morning and then back down for a nap, can i stay in bed for everything else?" it's sad.  honestly, i go back and forth between thinking this is crazy and i'm an absolute wreck to having trouble remembering my previous life and basically convincing myself that this isn't too far from the norm.  i've lost my grip on reality enough that i don't fully trust myself anymore.  that part is scary.  
on thursday, i felt more like a zombie and out of touch with life than i have ever felt before ever ever ever.  my face muscles were permanently resting.  i could muster no expression for anything.  i could barely even get mad at my kids.  i spent a lot of time in bed.  i'd planned to shower before my anger class but never could get myself to and i barely even got myself dressed before i needed to leave.  i found myself just sitting and staring into space like i was frozen.  like even after the anger class when i climbed in the car and just sat there.  like what am i supposed to be doing and is it really necessary and okay, so do i need to start the car now?  everything looked dark, like the whole work was foggy with dark clouds.  even in the anger class, i couldn't get myself to take notes or answer any questions or even look at the instructor half the time.  it was terrible.  emotionally, i was so done... like just completely empty.  i felt like this horrible empty shell of a person.  but not even an empty shell of myself... it was an empty shell of a different person... someone else.  that i'd never even met before.  i felt so weird and detached and i just can't explain it any better than that.  luckily friday wasn't the same.  saturday was lacking motivation and i still felt empty, but i managed to drop off and pick up abigail from a birthday party she had although i struggled to maintain eye contact with anyone i talked to.  
sunday, i spent three hours in frustration but apathy with my kids' terrible behavior and was unable to do anything.  i didn't know if it was better to yell at them and make them get dressed and eat or if it was better to keep myself in bed so i didn't' do anything regrettable.  but at 10:30, abigail and brady still weren't fed or dressed and their room was still a disaster (although it was a small miracle that they didn't pull the desk hutch on top of them and die from it because it did tip over enough to dump the contents from the shelves and make a loud crash that i heard from downstairs... it reminded me of when i was pregnant with elizabeth and one sunday morning, brady fell out the window and almost fell off the roof). and i hadn't eaten or gotten out of my bathrobe, but elizabeth had gotten a bath and was in the process of eating.  when chris got home, i started crying and couldn't stop.  so umm, elizabeth and i had to stay home from church. i stayed in my bathrobe all day.
monday was decent with visiting teaching and i even made a broccoli potato soup for dinner.
tuesday was the good day that i blogged about.  
so, judging just by the days of this past week, i'm getting better... maybe my medicine is working! but who knows? i did cancel my wednesday therapy appointment though just because i didn't feel the necessity and i didn't want to have to find childcare and spend two hours away from my kids. i'm hoping i'm on the upswing but glad i have such a great support system in the meantime.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

it's a good day!

i am so grateful and so excited about this that i can't help but write it down.  well, just kidding, i could... but i do feel like i need to do this because of my level of gratitude.

last night, i went to bed at 9.  every other member in my family was fast asleep and i could barely keep my eyes open, so it just seemed right.  i woke up several times during the night, but fell back asleep easily... and since brady stayed in his bed all night (best oreo i ever spent), i got somewhat quality sleep.  i was overjoyed when i woke up at 7am and felt more like myself than what i have in a long time.  this was great because within minutes, i heard all three of my kids wide awake.  elizabeth fell asleep again after a bit, but brady and abigail came down to me.  brady came down because he wanted his treat for staying in bed and abigail came down completely dressed by 7:15 because she was so excited about getting the last circle that she needed on her chart for her to move up a level. so i gave her an oreo too for being so on top of things and then once brady was dressed, i turned on charlotte's web for them.  perfect because i'd just checked our library account and saw that it was four days overdue and couldn't be renewed because someone had it on hold... and of course i was the one that was bummed about returning it without the kids seeing it first.  so this was a win all around.  we had the perfect amount of time.  elizabeth fell back asleep, i got back in bed, and the kids watched the movie.  they ate pears and oatmeal for breakfast while the show finished up and then we got abigail all bundled up for school.  we left at our usual time but it just felt so much more relaxed and fun.  such an out of the ordinary start to a school day.  or any day for that matter.

getting back, brady finished eating breakfast and then we both got in my hot bed.  i made and account and then right at 10, registered abigail for spring volleyball at the rec center.  i always think about signing the kids up for stuff at the rec center but never pull the trigger on it.  and you have to sign up within the first ten minutes because everything fills up really fast.  but anyway, yesterday i was visiting teaching mandi and she said she was coaching the 6-8 year old team and would love to have abigail so i thought that would be great, especially since there would be several other little girls from church on the team.  i got that all squared away but then brady fell asleep next to me and i got distracted texting and on the internet until 10:35 when i freaked out because i wasn't dressed and brady was asleep and i hadn't even woken elizabeth up for the day yet and we actually all needed to be in the car in ten minutes to drive to castle rock for elizabeth's audiology appointment.  well, have no fear, by some miracle, we managed and pulled in at 10:59.  i mean, i didn't have makeup on (when do i ever?) and elizabeth had only eaten a few bites of leftover oatmeal that i fed her straight from the fridge, but honestly, it was great.  the appointment was super quick and they even tested brady's ears too just because.  both kids passed just fine and we walked out by 11:15.  since we had charlotte's web to return, we went to the castle rock library and were just in time for story time.  so much less busy than the parker library.  i mean, we didn't even have any trouble parking... tons of open spaces.  i wasn't paying attention to the clock and we didn't get home til 1 and then i was getting lunch for the kids and brady was driving me nuts and hallelujah when i got elizabeth down for a nap and put a show on for brady.  i get overwhelmed easily these days.  it was nice to have a little peace while i put dinner in the crock pot.  i'm trying this pork loin roast and veggies for the first time... hopefully it's okay.  mostly i just wanted some crock pot veggies and this was the cut of meat i had in the freezer that made the most sense.  i would trade it in a heartbeat for it to be a regular roast, but that pretty much explains why i don't have any more regular roasts in my freezer anymore.

anyway, dinner got put in the crock pot and brady's show ended so we made banana muffins together.  it was perfect because he'd asked if we could make banana muffins and we happened to have a ton of spotted bananas (that's what happens when you put in a walmart grocery order for 7lbs of bananas but then before you ever pick it up, your husband goes by costco and comes home with 6lbs of bananas.  we go through a lot of bananas, but 13lbs is a little much for our family of five even.  so, this was a great way to use a bunch that we still had... and banana muffins actually sounded appealing to me.  we played his number puzzle flash card things while we waited for them to bake and then picked abigail up and had fresh muffins for our after school snack.

abigail and brady drove me crazy from the second we walked in the door... still are actually... but we're doing okay... and we didn't follow through with my plans to all cuddle in my hot bed and read library books.  but the kids ate their muffins (elizabeth too since she woke up soon after we got home), abigail did her homework, emma came over to play for a bit, i started this post, and honey got home around 5:30.  so many successes for one day that it's hard for me to even believe.  i mean, let's back up a few days to sunday when i also was awake soon after 7, but somehow at 10:30, chris came home from his meetings to dress and feed brady and take them to church with him while i stayed home with elizabeth because i was still in my bathroom and honestly, just couldn't really function or stop crying.  so that was me, missing church for the second sunday in a row.  i actually never even put on clothes that day... just stayed in my bathrobe until it was time to get in bed for the night.  i've had my fair share of low moments and low days lately, but yesterday, visiting teaching with my friends, i was feeling a little better.  and, as i said, this morning, i woke up and just didn't feel the horrible fog around me like i have been.  maybe it's lifting! maybe my medicine is starting to work since it's been two weeks! or maybe it's just a random good day like some of those random good days i'd have where my morning sickness, for no apparent reason, would be significantly less.  regardless, i am so grateful.  it has been a wonderful relief to have this day.  this day where i got dressed, spent very little time in bed, and didn't cry AT ALL.  my headache and nausea have hit for the night, but i'm crossing my fingers that i can keep my happiness and patience and finish out the day strong... just a few more hours!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

putting it out there

soon, i swear, (i know i've been saying that for a while) i will post all of my weekly pregnancy posts from this pregnancy so far.  i think i've only posted two maybe that i've written.  i wasn't posting them at the beginning because i hadn't announced my pregnancy yet (i mean, most people i know still don't know... i never made a big announcement).  and then i posted one or two that i wrote.  but then i wrote one last week and didn't post it on purpose... and same with the one that should have gone up yesterday.  i didn't post them because they felt too personal.  too vulnerable.  that was weird for me to realize because i really don't screen things for this blog.  what i think, i write, and then i post.  occasionally i'll go back and change something or clarify something because i don't want it to come off inaccurate to whoever is reading or i want to be sensitive if i know someone reading might take offense or sadness about something i've said.  but the thing is, i really don't screen things to protect myself and this time i did.  but after thinking about it for the past week and talking to a couple people, i've decided to keep posting my pregnancy posts.

i haven't cared before about posting about my weight gain or my stretch marks (i got sooo many the first time around) or pictures of how big i get, or even last pregnancy about being depressed.  but this time around, i'm even more depressed... and it's affecting my life even more dramatically.  and i'm getting help for it.  and for some reason, that part has been hard for me.  for some reason, it has felt really embarrassing although i hate saying that because if anyone else in this position said that, i would quickly assure them that there's never anything embarrassing about seeking help for a medical condition. but still.  i write my posts and then read them and think "who is this?!" and can't bring myself to post anything.

so, for a while i didn't really blog because i was busy with three kids.  then i didn't blog because i was busy with morning sickness and throwing up.  and now i haven't been blogging because i'm busy trying to get help and manage my pregnancy depression.  so i just wanted to put that out there.  i don't have any secrets to hide anymore.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

18 weeks

How far along:  18 weeks  (1.18.17)

Total weight gain/loss: +6-7 lbs
Maternity clothes:  yeah, same as before.  just trying to find flattering clothes to wear when i go out.  i've worn a fitted shirt a time or two.  i'm normally holding elizabeth though, so i still look more fat than pregnant.  it's all about posture.  anyway, i'm excited for the bump.  it's one of my favorite things about pregnancy.
Sleep:  i've had a harder time sleeping this past week and i'm gonna blame it on the zoloft.  i took it for the first time on wednesday night (and tried to skip the unisom... i thought the zoloft would make me drowsy)... that night, i felt like i was awake all night even though i know i was in and out of sleep.  since then, i've taken the zoloft in the morning and made sure the take the unisom at night. i've been able to sleep, but definitely not deeply.  sometimes i wake up during the night and can't get back to sleep.  once or twice, i've woken up early in the morning (i think friday was one of those days... i woke up at 5 or so and never went back to sleep) and just can't get to sleep again.  also, my dreams when pregnant are frequent and vivid and this week they've been even moreso.  so at night, i may be sleeping but i don't feel like it.  this is probably the most difficult part of all for me because at the end of the day, i just want to be knocked unconscious more than anything.  it hasn't too much affected my fatigue during the day.  i think i'm more tired, but honestly it feels like my body is tired and emotionally i'm completely drained... not as much that i'm just having trouble keeping my eyes open.  
Best moment this week:  umm, i don't know.  maybe friday or saturday or monday because i was kind of productive around the house? definitely not thursday or sunday... those were rough.
Movement:  still some contractions... also, lots more kicks and turns now.  especially when i'm sitting or laying down. the little kicks feel so precious.  anything else feels not that great, which of course makes me apprehensive because i'm still so, so early in this.  
Food cravings:  it's still hard to get myself to prepare food, but my body really does need the meals.  also, i'd thought that my morning sickness was coming back this week because it seemed to get worse once i hit 17 weeks, but then i turned to the zoloft side effect chart again and realized that maybe i'm in the one third of people that experience nausea from it.  so, i haven't thrown up, but finding food i want to eat is really difficult. also, even if i'm lucky enough to think of a food that sounds appealing and prepare it and eat it... chances are pretty good, i'm not going to be able to eat it anymore and will have to make sure my family eats all the leftovers. 
Symptoms: nausea and headaches most evenings that last until i go to sleep, depression (crying and anger and apathy), increased fatigue, terrible acne, still occasionally feeling like i'm going to faint/pass out when i stand up, weird dreams, some insomnia, weird food aversions, pure laziness, growing stomach...
Gender:  of course i'm still thinking girl, but i've been trying to be equally open to both.  i want to be mentally prepared for either one.  
What I miss:  same as last week, i miss not feeling so crappy about my life and being such a crappy mother.  i relish the times that i feel happy or almost happy. hoping to get this under control and maybe i'll enjoy part of this pregnancy! 
Milestones:  i'm officially on the journey to manage the pregnancy depression.  i started therapy (the plan for now is weekly) and 25mg zoloft last wednesday. the next day, at the recommedation of my therapist, i went to a "healthy anger" class that she's teaching.  it's a four week course and that was day one. honestly, i think all of this is probably going to be helpful in the longrun... but in the short term, it's time consuming and stressful finding childcare and scheduling and attending this stuff and dealing with side effects of the medication.  maybe this is the "it gets worse before it gets better" thing?
Theme: the week of starting help
What's different this time around:  
still most closely following elizabeth's pregnancy right now i think.
Extra:  it's hard that i don't feel like i've had a good, "i enjoyed that!" sort of day in a long time, but i do feel like it's really great that all of my days aren't terrible.  i think that would wear me down very quickly.  i had a rough day on thursday. i was exhausted from no sleep the night before and just mentally drained before i even got out of bed.  then chris got home at 3:30 so i could go to the anger management class that i really didn't want to go to and i know chris wasn't really thrilled about having to leave work at 3 for that either.  but i went to the class.  i was anxious the whole time for her to hurry up through the material because i knew i had to leave early.  class was supposed to be from 4:15-5:30 but it didn't really start til closer to 4:20, and she didn't really start teaching til maybe 4:25 and then chris texted and asked if i could actually be home at 5:40 so he could be to the stake center for sure on time by 6 for the bishopric trainging and so i had to leave at 5:10 and really only got 40 minutes of learning in.  also, when i came out, everything was covered in snow (that was fast) and traffic was way worse than i thought it would be so i was super stressed the whole drive home because i knew i was running late. i didn't get home til probably 5:55 and so chris i made chris late anyway and i spent 2.5 hours of my time and a lot of inconvenience to us both just so i could get 40 minutes of class. it was all hugely frustrating. i sat around for a long time while the kids played, put them to bed, and then put me to bed.  i was soooo done with the day.
friday was fine.  abigail had a teacher workday so i took the kids to the library for story time. it was good.  
saturday i took care of the kids that morning while chris was at a baptism and then he took abigail and brady to lollipop park while i stayed home and did a million loads of laundry and general cleaning up around the house.  our house went from disaster to not that bad so it was a success, but honestly, it was mentally and physically hard to do when i just didn't have the motivation for it.  it wasn't gratifying like it normally would have been.  
sunday, i thought i was doing an okay job except that i lost my patience with brady at one point.  i got us all ready for church and was doing mostly okay.  i was taking deep breaths and talking to elizabeth/myself as we walked from the car "we're doing it.  we're doing okay.  we made it.  we made it to church.  we made it to 11:00.  i haven't really screwed up today... well just once, but i'm doing okay.  we made it."  as we walked in church, i realized that maybe i needed a minute to take another deep breath or two.  i tried to send the kids in by themselves to sit down, but the family that saves us seats every week was nowhere to be found.  it was embarassing as my kids just stood in the aisle but eventually they walked back to me.  i walked them to the second row of the overflow and i could feel my body getting hot and almost like tunnel vision and just a sort of panic about the situation but i thought it was just because i was embarrassed.  the kids were confused why they were sitting there and why i wasn't staying but, honestly, i just turned around and left them there.  in the foyer, i knew i was going to cry and needed somewhere private to calm down.  i turned to the right where the little one room bathroom is, but my friend sara was standing there (i assume one of her kids was inside) and i semi tried to smile (on the verge of tears) and turned.  then i walked as fast as i could through the crowded hallway (the other ward was between blocks) to the other side of the building where the women's restroom was.  still holding elizabeth, i locked us in the handicap stall and instantly was bawling.  like crying super hard and out of control.  but then i realized that it was so loud because i was gasping for breath.  and then i realized that i wasn't feeling super sad or emotional and i wasn't even really crying so much as just hyperventilating.  and there i stayed for probably fifteen minutes, trying to catch my breath.  i was kind of sit leaning against the corner wall but i couldn't put elizabeth down and i couldn't sit anywhere myself and at one point i was hot and cold and feeling lightheaded and my arms were starting to tingle and i kept thinking "you're so stupid... you're hyperventilating and you're gonna pass out and then who's around to help elizabeth? no one!" so i knew i needed to get myself somewhere else. eventually my breathing calmed down enough that i didn't sound like i was drowning and i rushed through the (now mostly empty) hallway to get to the mother's lounge.  there was only one girl in there (from the other ward) nursing her little baby and i just put elizabeth down and then i could finally sit.  my breathing was still really bad and eventually the girl offered to help me.  so i asked for her phone so i could google something (i'd left my purse with the kids when i told them to sit down) and she handed it over with google already opened. i googled and tried to read if i was experiencing a panic attack and what to do.  then kristina came in to nurse her baby and of course wanted to help.  i initially just said "will you go check on my kids? i left them a long time ago.  just check that they're still there."  she came back and said they were sitting with the leavitts (an older couple... sally was our realtor) and then she asked what was going on so i tried to explain to her (through my panting breathing) what happened.  she's a nurse so she checked my pulse and was asking me questions and then eventually, sara came in (with no baby) and rushed to me and knelt by my side all "how far along are you, darling?"  kristina didn't know i was pregnant until this experience and i don't think sara knew unless someone told her.  but i'd had this talk with sara several months ago about how i was scared of getting pregnant again because of the pregnancy depression and we had a good talk about it.  so, as she put it, "when i saw you leave the chapel, i knew something was wrong."  so maybe someone had told her previously that i was pregnant (i know it's making its way around), but maybe she just saw that i was troubled and knew that that must be it.  or maybe both.  either way, what a good friend to literally leave sacrament meeting to search the building for me. she had a take charge attitude. she got wet paper towels for me to wipe my face and she wiped my neck and upper back.  she asked me questions like what i'd eaten so far that day (milk, chips ahoy, and chocolate chips) and how i'd slept that night (crappy) and what my previous day was like (busy with housework) and checked my pulse and helped me put my head in front of me and calm my breathing.  against my will, she and kristina had kristina's husband retrieve chris from the stand (as if it wasn't enough of a scene that my kids couldn't find their seats, i left immediately, and then i never returned).  i'm glad he wasn't conducting or anything.  so then chris came in the mother's lounge to get me, sara gave him a whole list of instructions (give her protein and make her put her feet up and stay in bed and rest for the whole remainder of the day, have her call her doctor about this immediately to cut down the dose or break the dose up to be taken at two times during the day instead of one) and we walked to the car.  sara got my purse for me and the leavitts had brought the kids in the hallway to see us (abigail especially, was very concerned).  we had abigail and brady stay with them and we took elizabeth with us.  i got in bed immediately when we got home.  chris took care of elizabeth and brought me chicken noodle soup.  my breathing was calmed down to normal by noon... i think it helped being in my own bed... also, it was exactly an hour after it started... about time to get the breathing under control.  i stayed in bed for the whole rest of the day except to put elizabeth to bed sometime around 8.  i didn't sleep... just rested.  abigail came in a few times to give me hugs and kisses and tell me she hoped i would feel better.  when i checked my texts, i had messages from three friends.  mary apologized that she didn't grab my kids to sit on her row with her family when they initially walked in and couldn't find a seat.  sara was checking on me.  and kristina was also checking on me and told me that her parents would bring abigail and brady home.  so taken care of.  i really don't hang out with anyone just for fun anymore (i feel like we're just all too busy and i don't make it a priority), but i do know that when i need anything, i have a whole bunch of people that have my back.  chris ended up putting elizabeth down for nap at one and then going back to the church for a few things and bringing abigail and brady home.  he took care of all of them the whole day.  what a lifesaver.  
monday was fine.  it was mlk day. chris was going to go to his dentist appointment and then to work, but he came home after his appointment and just stayed at home with us.  thank goodness.  i think he was looking out for me.  the kids played a lot inside, outside in the snow, and across the street at emma's house.  chris and i did cleaning projects around the house (i conquered a lot of paper clutter that abigail brings home from school) and i made chicken broccoli braid for dinner.  at 5:15, abigail came home, chris got elizabeth up from nap, we all ate dinner.  and then... we had a family movie party and all watched aladdin together. i think i was the last person asleep (i pretty much always am) and i was out by 9:30. so... on paper, not a bad day.  i didn't feel super happy at all, but i definitely stayed afloat.  
tuesday, also fine.  i got abigail to school.  got the rest of us to elizabeth's child find appointment.  it went really well.  she qualified for speech therapy. we all ate lunch and then i put elizabeth down for a nap, a show for brady, and to bed for me.  
my days are pretty up and down but honestly, something that's helping me so much right now is that mom and dad booked tickets out to come see me next month.  they were going to visit one weekend in feb, but then i found out that chris would be out of town the following weekend (also, a holiday weekend when abigail would have friday and monday off of school) and so they changed their dates and booked tickets for that weekend so they can be there with me while chris is away.  this has given me so much comfort since i'm not dreading that weekend anymore and also that i just can think of this and it makes me feel so loved and taken care of.  they're the best.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The magic tunnel

Brady asked me today how babies come out of moms' bellies. I told him it was through a special tunnel. 

So right now I hear him telling Abigail about how babies come out through a magic tunnel. I feel like magic is also a good adjective for this. Agreed? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

17 weeks

How far along:  17 weeks  (1.11.17)
Total weight gain/loss: +7 or 8 lbs
Maternity clothes:  yeah, same as before.  just trying to find flattering clothes to wear when i go out.  my stomach has grown so much in the last two weeks though, i think i'm gonna start embracing the bump and ditching the flowy shirts.  cardigans, though, are here to stay for the remainder of the pregnancy i'd say.  it seriously astounds me every time how wide i get from my back to my front.  for some reason this time, it's been strange to me that my belly is getting bigger.  maybe because i'm focusing less on a baby in me and just more with how to cope with pregnancy symptoms, but i see my belly and am just shocked that it did that (got round).  i can't explain it, but i'm having the hardest time wrapping my mind around it.
Sleep:  i've been doing okay with it but i can't tell i'm more tired because even if i fall asleep at 10, i can sleep until my alarm goes off at 8, and then by noon, i'm struggling to do anything more than just sit in place and stay awake. so far i've been avoiding naps, but i don't know how long i can keep that up.  
Best moment this week:  maybe my after school running errands with abigail date.  chris came home from work early and he normally picks abigail up when he does that.  this time, i asked that i could pick her up and take her to run a few errands with me.  we went by the kaiser pharmacy, sprouts (this was our favorite... we both had a lot of fun), and then stopped by walmart curbside to get my to go order.  i was dressed, i'd showered, i was being productive, and i was being a good mother.  i genuinely enjoyed spending that time with abigail which was absolutely huge for me.  
Movement:  just to follow up from last week about the "balling up" movement i've been feeling.  i asked my doctor about it at my appointment on thursday and she said it's contractions, which makes more sense because they feel just like contractions and i've been feeling them for weeks... like even when my baby was much smaller.  she assured me that it's fine to be feeling contractions this early and that it's just because i've had all these pregnancies and that's what my uterus is doing.  makes me not really look forward to how things will progress since they're already uncomfortable and holy cow it's still fresh enough in my mind how uncomfortable and painful and frequent they were during the latter part of elizabeth's pregnancy. on a happier note, even though i have an anterior placenta again (i'm pretty sure that's right... whichever is the one that puts the placenta on the front of your belly) and, consequently, can't feel a lot of the kicks and movement that is taking place, i'm still feeling a fair amount of movement... mostly on what i would describe as the outer perimeter spaces of my belly. it's exciting.  i do love feeling the kicks.
Food cravings:  it's hit or miss again, mostly because i don't feel like preparing anything.  i was eating a ton of sweets and candy because it had literally no prep work, but my body started hating sugar so i had to quit that.  tuesday, i got motivation and actually got groceries and real food, so the next night i made that zucchini garden chower (from butter with a side of bread) and it really hit the spot.  not that it tasted off the charts, but my body was just so desperately wanting vegetables.  also fresh fruit.  that trip to sprouts was well worth it.  i've had a few days of nausea though and days where just nothing sounds good.  i did make a roast and potatoes (served half straight from the crockpot and make the other half into mashed potatoes and made gravy... my first time!... to go on top) on monday night and holy cow that roast hit the spot so amazingly perfectly.  the next day for leftovers too.  i just kept thinking that if i'd had another in my freezer, i would have put it in my crock pot right then so i could have had it again for dinner. trying to stay motivated in cooking food and eating healthy.  it's not that i don't want to eat healthy foods, it's just finding the motivation and energy to shop for them and prepare them.  
Symptoms: nausea and headaches most evenings that last until i go to sleep, depression (crying and anger and apathy), increased fatigue, terrible acne, still occasionally feeling like i'm going to faint/pass out when i stand up, weird dreams, some weird food aversions and random cravings, pure laziness, large stomach...
Gender:  my gut still says girl, just because of my symptoms, but a boy would be great because apparently abigail and brady both want a boy.  i'll be thrilled either way... but i'm still gonna be shocked if it's not a girl.  
What I miss:  not feeling so crappy about my life and being such a crappy mother.  i relish the times that i feel happy or almost happy. hoping to get this under control and maybe i'll enjoy part of this pregnancy! 
Milestones:  i hit a wall.  i was surviving okay and had a really good day last wednesday and was thinking "i'm doing it! i'm surviving!" and then thursday morning happened and everything was turned on its head.  abigail had a snowday and i'd already lost my cool with abigail and brady by 8:30.  by 9, i was texting chris and telling him i didn't think i could care for them today.  it just wasn't pretty, but thank goodness he came home at noon and took them ice skating.  i had my 16 week appointment at 4:00 and was nearly in tears in the waiting room, and trying to hold them back while i was with the nurse.  as soon as she walked out of the room, i lost it.  it was only a few minutes, but i was halfway through soaking my kleenex by the time shirelle walked in.  honestly, 16 weeks should have been a ten minute appointment.  basically just measure you and check for the heartbeat.  well, shirelle spent a full hour with me... most of which i spent crying.  i walked out with a prescription for zoloft and a referral for therapy.  i really didn't want to go out to eat with everyone at texas roadhouse (mark and his girlfriend were in town so our family and brian's family joined them for dinner) except that i was dying for a solid meal.  luckily, i was seated on the end near all the kids and didn't have to talk much at all and made it through fine without crying.  it was a rough day.  like heavenly father saying "good for you for feeling almost confident yesterday, but you need help and i'm gonna give you this not so gentle nudge to make sure you get it for yourself." 
Theme: the week of seeking help
What's different this time around:  
feel i'm most closely following elizabeth's pregnancy right now i think.  morning sickness mostly over.  sad and angry with my kids.  
Extra:  i'd talked to dad about my pregnancy depression while i was in georgia with him and he'd lovingly told me that he would be happy to research any medication i was considering taking.  that made me feel really good because i know the information is out there, but finding correct info is harder and i'm emotionally unstable and a little biased.  also, since dad is a lawyer, he's got a bit of experience doing quality research.  ; )  so thursday night, i talked to dad on the phone (he called saying he was going to come out to visit me soon!  i have felt so taken care of by him this pregnancy.) but couldn't bring anything up about my appointment.  but an hour later, i texted him and asked if he would research zoloft for me and that my doctor suggested 25mg.  he's the greatest.  he got back to me on sunday night saying he felt comfortable with it.  monday morning, i got online to make the request to the kaiser pharmacy, picked it up on tuesday evening, and started taking it wednesday night.  it should start working within three weeks.  i know there are risks for my unborn baby, but at this point, i feel like that is a far less concern than subjecting my existing children to an unmedicated mother.  also, i had my first appointment with the therapist on wednesday morning. i was semi nervous about it because i've never been to therapy, but i was also kind of excited because i was motivated at finding a solution.  especially because the second half of my tuesday was pretty good and i was still feeling confident from that. in the waiting room, i took the depression questionnaire (because now i'm taking it before every kaiser appointment so they can monitor how i'm doing) and i've gotta say, those are so hard.  it's always like "in the last two weeks... blah blah blah" and you're options skip from never, to several times to more than half the days, to nearly every day.  can i get some better in betweens?!  anyway... i met with the therapist and we eased right into the appointment.  conversation and questions.  i was feeling okay (i mean, as okay as you can feel when you're sad and crying) until she told me about my questionnaire answers... apparently, the way i'd answered only put me at "mild."  i thought that sounded about right because even shirelle at my appointment had said "your score really isn't that bad!" in a very encouraging tone. but then she continued... but i'm getting a different reading from talking to you and listening to your responses and i'd put you at the moderate-severe point instead of up here at mild.  talk about depressing.  when i was already depressed.  as she said at the beginning of the appointment "at kaiser, we don't do long term therapy... you're not going to find a long sofa anywhere around here.  we do short term therapy.  it is quick and to the point and i get fast results with my patients."  it's like therapy bootcamp.  and let me tell you... it doesn't feel nice.  also, for whatever reason, i keep feeling like she doesn't like me although i don't have a reason to feel that way and virtually never feel that way with people.  i always feel like someone likes me or feels neutral so this just seems strange.  during our appointment, she gave me a flier for a four week "healthy anger" class that she's teaching that starts immediately and i should go.  for someone that wants to lay in bed 24/7, i'm feeling overwhelmed right now.  in addition to my regular prenatal appointments, i'm starting a class c antidepressant, starting weekly therapy, and starting weekly anger management classes. i feel like such a burden asking friends for childcare so often and asking chris to come home from work so often to take care of our kids. it doesn't help that all of my appointments are a half hour away. seriously, just knock me out and wake me up when it's time to have a baby.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

when words of warning come true

brady is OBSESSED with sweets and treats and anything with sugar in it.  it doesn't matter if it's candy or cake or soda or juice or sugared yogurt or even just plain applesauce... he loves everything sweet.  i realize that most kids like sweets, but his is a real obsession.  abigail wakes up and asks for breakfast.  brady wakes up and asks for a treat.  even if i tell him that we're not going to have a treat right then, he's all, "well then can i have oatmeal with sugar and chocolate chips and marshmallows?!"  no.  not that either, bud.

so lately, he and abigail have been terrible about sneaking stuff together.  their thing right now is to grab treats from our kitchen counter (because after the holidays, we have so many and not enough place to put them) and then hiding behind the dining room curtains and eating them.  they're not very good at getting rid of the evidence and i'm always reprimanding them and trying to explain it to them, but it's not getting through to them.  well, abigail a little bit, but brady, not at all.

so yesterday while abigail was at school and elizabeth was napping, i was being pretty productive until i just hit a wall and felt like crap.  headache and nausea back in full force, so i went to my bed for some rest and quiet.  i thought brady was playing nicely (of course he wasn't), but when i came to the kitchen next, i noticed that two starbursts and two full side airheads were missing.  and a couple other things.  and this was after i noticed he'd already had some of my european wafer treats from my dad and some of my walnut and fig dark chocolate (also from my dad from europe) that morning without asking.  i still don't know how he got those without me knowing because i keep them on the higher windowsill right by my bed.  ugh.  anyway.  it was A LOT of sugar for a less than 30lb boy that just turned four.  i didn't lose my patience but i told him he was going to be sick and either that he would probably throw up or that i hoped he'd throw up (likely both).  i didn't give him a single bit of sugar for the rest of the day and was honestly a little surprised that he didn't even have a belly ache.

fast forward to 11:30 or so.

oh wait, back up to 10pm... he was still awake.  hadn't had a nap, but was totally high on sugar.  ugh.

k, now back at 11:30, he comes in to my room and starts gagging and then i help him to the bathroom to throw up in the sink.  now let's repeat slight variations of this every hour or so through 9 am this morning.  and in between, i was trying to get him to sleep upstairs in his bed but he kept coming down to me and wanting to get in my hot bed (honey and i decided our next step for him sleeping through the night is to get him his own electric blanket) and honestly i'm just so proud of myself for keeping my cool with him even though it was the most annoying thing ever.  i would have likely had more sympathy if it wasn't self induced sugar poisoning from straight up sneaky disobedience.  but, i'm definitely glad it's not anything gross or contagious since most of this just was basically phlegm style spit up.  also, i'm glad that he actually threw up.  this happened to abigail around this age i think when we went to one of the king's easter parties and chris and i just bounced abigail between us.  we'd each thought that the other person was giving her meal food and didn't realize how much candy she was getting in there (especially for a kid that didn't really eat candy) and then next morning she majorly puked alllll over her bed (bright red... think of that red40 dye that's in all the kid candy).  we told her it was because she ate so much candy and not enough grow food and we've reminded her of it ever since so it's still fresh in her mind.  it's been immensely useful.  definitely worth the annoyance of washing her bedding and giving her a bath on easter morning.

so, now we have a great learning experience to remind brady of as well.  ; )

also, i should mention that last night at 10, we sent brady up to bed and heard him come back two minutes later.  i said something to chris who was all "i bet he's just going to the kitchen to get a sippy." and i said "no, something's up... he went the other way at the bottom of the stairs... through the dining room.  he's trying not to be seen."  next, we hear plastic crinkling, and i get out of bed to find him in the kitchen with an orange sucker in his hand.  he threw his head back in despair and cried when i told him he couldn't have it, and i was glad to be still standing by my bedroom doorframe because chris and i couldn't stop laughing and it allowed me a place to hide my face.  i'm not looking forward to this kid aging and getting more freedom.  it's not gonna be good.

also, i told him he's only allowed to have one treat a day and that's if he earns it by staying in his bed all night.  so far today he's doing okay with it.  he's also still pretty lethargic from being awake all night spitting up.

there's never a dull moment around here.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The three worst words

When we're having a couple minutes of snuggle time before nap, few words invoke more fear into my little baby than "I love you."  

We're pretty much just relaxing and swaying and snuggling and loving our lives when I think "okay, time to put her in her crib."  I whisper those three little words and instantly, her whole body tenses, two tiny little fists clench my shirt sleeves, and the saddest little panic of a whimper sets in. 

Every time I'm always like "dang it! I wasn't going to do that again!" but I forget. I'm still trying to get myself in the habit of something else like "I'll see you when you wake up" or something but I can never seem to remember in time. 

That poor girl. 

Second Sunday

Of course I just wrote this long and involved post and was so proud of myself but blogger erased it when it was posting. I hate blogger. With a fiery passion. And technology. Because why limit my hate?! I need to start copy pasting my posts to "notes" or something before I hit post. What a colossal waste of time. Well, I'll try to recreate it in a shortened, crappier version of the original post. 

Second Sunday of the year and second Sunday in nursery. 

Honey surprised me by coming home at 10:15 and taking Abigail and Brady to church with him at 10:30 since I had the two of them practically ready by then. What a luxury to have 25 minutes to get myself and Elizabeth fed and ready. So much easier! 

Elizabeth is getting to be such a struggle during sacrament meeting, but, another one down... We survived. 

Nursery went well. The kids did well and the time flew by. 

After church I took a few pictures of the kids. Nothing to frame, but it documents them well. They really love each other. 

Also after church. Was a complete whirlwind as I got the four of us all fed and changed into comfy clothes and Elizabeth down for a nap and the house picked up. My new friend Sarah got called to be the new visiting teaching coordinator. The plan was for her to come over at 3, but thankfully she came at 3:30 instead. It only took a little over an hour and that was when Chris was getting home! Excellent timing. It worked really well because Elizabeth was napping and Abigail and Brady were watching a show in my room. All was still and quiet. When I trained Sarah, I realized that sometime in the previous few days, my privileges had gotten revoked so I no longer had access to visiting teaching stuff. Totally fine though because they'd already transferred everything to her. It was nice to have those ties totally severed. I need to figure out how to do that with my welcoming committee calling from over two years ago. Somehow I'm still "in charge" of our ward's Facebook group. 

Chris had to leave again just two hours after he got home... For some fireside I think... But I did have him get Elizabeth up from nap and feed the kids dinner  and get them mostly ready for bed. 

After church, on the way to the car, Brady was already talking to me about the scary video he saw in class. And then at home he didn't want to go upstairs to change clothes because he was scared. And then he kept bringing it up every hour or two for the rest of the day and  then was too scared to stay in his bed when it was time to go to sleep even though he shares a room with Abigail and I was sitting right outside their door. I finally texted his teacher about it just saying that Brady kept talking about the video from class and could she send me the link so I have a clue what he's talking about? It was her first Sunday teaching him because she was gone last week. She wrote back. 

I still need to respond. I don't want to pin Brady as a kid she needs to work around and I'm super hesitant to ever say anything to Sunday school teachers or people at church because they're doing a calling they didn't ever self qualify for or request... But I need to do something before Brady has bad associations with church and scary bad guys. He's such a thinker. Abigail is so carefree and confident that everything will be just fine and work itself out. Brady need to know all the details and takes it on himself to worry about it. The questions he asks me are hilarious and sad and exhausting. The poor guy. On the plus side, he managed to stay in his bed all night and was very pleased with himself this morning. 

Elizabeth is sick and her canines are breaking through. She had a rough time going to sleep last night. Poor girl. But at least she slept all night (although with frequent coughing) and is still sleeping in at 10:30... Hopefully her little body recovers soon. 

Goals for this week... Unpack my suitcases from thanksgiving and Christmas, get groceries, do laundry,  go to whatever appointments are on my calendar, keep my house relatively cleaned, not lash out at my kids. It's lofty, but it's something to work towards. 

Friday, January 6, 2017


Yesterday, Abigail's school was cancelled due to frigid temps. Today, it was on a 90 minute delayed start for the same reason. It looked beautiful outside so I checked my weather app. 

That's why. -8 degrees with a -20 degree windchill. We had a more leisurely morning getting ready and even read a chapter of Abigail's magic treehouse book before getting in the car to go to school at a blessed 10:30.  

I never take pictures of my kids anymore but this morning I made a concerted effort. Abigail's class is having their blue party today so Abigail is dressed in head to toe blue. I mean, even blue plaid high tops! Thanks to Jodi and Elle for those. 

Also, these two. They both just got out of the bath and put on fresh pj's so Elizabeth's hair looks crazy. Clean but not fancy. Also, she insisted on wearing these pink jelly sandals. Thanks for those, Liza. Elizabeth has been giddy about them all morning. 

And man, my dad knows me so well. This morning, I was enjoying my European chocolate treats while writing in my daily journal. 

Can I just say that I shared my dark chocolate walnut and dig chocolate with Brady and Elizabeth. I am terrible at sharing with my kids, but I did this morning and they were both delighted. Normally I would have eaten the good stuff while giving them cheap chocolate chips or something, but this morning we all lived the high life. They both have a fierce sweet tooth and also, I think they appreciate fine chocolate. 

Last thing for right now, we got our pictures today from the photographer in Atlanta. They're super cute. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

16 weeks

How far along:  16 weeks  (1.4.17)
Total weight gain/loss: +6 lbs. best guess. this is so hard though because it varies so much from day to day.  
Maternity clothes:  yes. well, kinda.  actually, i guess not.  the only maternity stuff i'm wearing is what is in my regular rotation.  so, a few shirts.  most of what i wear is still non-maternity.  i don't expect to need maternity pants for quite a while though.  right now, i'm just still trying to figure out the trickiness of finding clothes that are somewhat flattering.  cardigans are my best friend because otherwise my midsection looks sooo wide.  it's at least double the distance/thickness from my back to my belly as it was pre-pregnancy.  nothing looks good right now.  
Sleep:  i have weird dreams but they're not out of control. since we got back in town, brady has been scared again at night (of bad people with knives, cutting through our doors and breaking into our home... no, i have no idea where this came from) and sneaking into our bed at night, which means i sleep much less soundly and frequently wake up with headaches and not really ready to greet my day.  
Best moment this week:  my morning with shaylee maybe?  i struggle to adjust to normal life after being in atlanta or with my parents. this helped me a lot.    
Movement:  just the same as what's been going on, which i don't think i've written about yet.  i've been feeling feelings down there for at least two weeks but was hesitant to for sure say it was the baby.  but, as was the case last night, feeling the baby ball up (from the outside) helped me confirm that what i was feeling on the inside was also baby related.  i feel little swooshes and stuff.  i need to ask my doctor at my appointment thursday about it though because i've also been feeling a lot of uncomfortable heaviness.  like how later in pregnancy, the baby will ball up and everything is super still and hard and really uncomfortable.  i've been getting a fair amount of that over the last week, but it doesn't feel "normal" because my baby is only like 4.5 inches long.  i just don't remember feeling this uncomfortable in these situations until much later in pregnancy.  i'm sure it's all fine, but when it's your fourth baby, its disconcerting to still be experiencing "new" things that didn't happen with your other three healthy babies. 
Food cravings:  i don't like thinking of what to eat or preparing food to eat or anything like that, but for the most part, i enjoy food when i eat it.  especially if someone else prepares it for me.  i did really, really well with my eating when i was in atlanta and for the whole two weeks, only threw up one really minor time.  but being back home and preparing my own food made me realize i'm not past the morning sickness all the way yet.  i've been feeling sick at night again (which i did in atlanta, but pretty minorly) and threw up on saturday night (we got back late friday night).  i don't like to look in my fridge or pantry or even be in my kitchen.  but shaylee fed me that great turkey burger lunch with cottage cheese and raw veggies and i thought it was all insanely delicious.  also, we went to texas roadhouse on monday night and i enjoyed my food there too.  i've been eating way too much chocolate and candy.  not because i want it, just because the only "prep" it involves is lifting it into my mouth. what i would give for mom's cooking right now.
Symptoms: nausea and headaches every afternoon that last until i go to sleep, depression (crying and anger and apathy), some increased fatigue, acne, still occasionally feeling like i'm going to faint/pass out, weird dreams, some weird food aversions and random cravings, pure laziness, large stomach...
Gender:  my gut still says girl, just because of my symptoms, but a boy would be great because apparently abigail and brady both want a boy.  i'll be thrilled either way... but i'm still gonna be shocked if it's not a girl.  
What I miss:  not feeling so crappy about my life and being such a crappy mother.  i relish the times that i feel happy or almost happy. most often, i'm just two sad thoughts away from curling up and bed and crying.  i pretty much hate myself 24/7.   
Milestones:  i hit 16 weeks!  i know it's weird, but i've always felt like 16 weeks is when you're legit.  i feel like the last month has been a blur.  what a happy surprise to go from sick in bed all day and feeling like it'll never end to somehow being on the "i've got a small belly and will find out the gender soon" side of it.  
Theme: the week of feeling movement in my belly and sadness in my heart.  
What's different this time around:  
i'm most closely following elizabeth's pregnancy right now i think.  morning sickness mostly over, but still occasionally throwing up.  
Extra:  i'm so glad to have hit 16 weeks!  i'm officially one of those women that wishes away her pregnancy and wants it to pass as quickly and painlessly as possible. far more than even last time, i am so so stressed out by pregnancy depression.  i don't really mind feeling sad (i just count down until the end of my pregnancy when i can be happy again) or apathetic, but holy cow at what a terrible mother i am.  i'm mean and angry and hurtful and feel little to no affection for my kids.  i still really like elizabeth because she's my baby and she's at such a cute age, but even then, i don't want to be around her.  i like to watch her be cute sometimes, but i don't want to actually interact with anyone.  i'm truly terrified at the emotional damage i'm causing our children and how i'm hurting my relationships with them. i keep telling chris that i don't know if i can have anymore kids.  the guilt i feel every day is overwhelming.  i honestly don't know if i can knowingly do this to them again.  so of course this also stresses us out because we've both always wanted at least five kids.  right now, my friend's daughter has agreed to be my mother's helper.  she's only come twice so far (and just plays games with the kids), but i'm hoping that over time she'll come 4 days a week and be able to have a bit more responsibility with the kids.  chris and i agree that we want to pay her more than the amount that she and her mom both put forward as far, and i told chris that that would be good timing to do that when we start requiring more from her.  honestly, i still dream of having a live in nanny because, in an idea world, my kids would be shielded entirely from their terrible mother.  but, that's not happening right now... so an after school mother's helper is the best for right now.  i wish i wasn't so scared of taking medication during pregnancy.  or that there was a harmless, class a drug that has been extensively tested and found to have no effects on the baby.  ugh.  every pregnancy, i swear to myself that i'll go on drugs the next time around.  and then i can never make myself.  i realize i probably sound super dramatic to anyone experiencing more significant pregnancy challenges, but i am weak and this is a big struggle for me right now.  i'm most appreciative of prayers. 

1.4.17 at 16 weeks

1.4.17 at 16 weeks

1.4.17 at 16 weeks

1.4.17 at 16 weeks

ps- i probably could have edited these pictures, but brady was my photographer and i thought he did a pretty okay job.