Monday, September 26, 2011

WARNING: This post contains emotional and irrational thoughts of an overly exhausted pregnant woman.

On Saturday I went to the general women's broadcast with my mom. My favorite talk was by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Yesterday morning while I was trying to make time go by quickly I came upon this free printable of a quote from his talk. You can get a copy here.

The reason I was trying to make time go by quickly, is because I was anxious for a doctor's appointment I had scheduled for 9:15. This was not a routine visit, it was one I called and made that morning in a complete panic. The panic began the previous week. 12 days ago on my facebook page I posted that I had felt the baby move a ton, and loved it! Well, since that time I had not felt the baby move at all. I would sit there and try to really focus to feel any type of movement. Nothing came that was even remotely similar to the movement I felt that day. I tried to push the worry aside, convincing myself that I was still not very far along, and that was probably why I didn't feel much. But I could not forget those strong kicks I felt that one day and oh how I longed to feel them again, to get some kind of reassurance. Well, a few nights ago, I was talking to my mom, and we started talking about the Cantaloupe recall because of listeria that had been found in them and had sickened many people. I hadn't been too concerned up to this point, because I knew that I only eaten cantaloupe once this summer (granted it was a whole cantaloupe over the course of a few days) I figured since it was a month ago and I hadn't gotten sick that I was fine. I didn't even think that it was the bend that had been recalled. Well when talking to my mom, she informed me that it had been the brand that had been recalled (she was the one that bought it) and that she was reading that sometimes the listeria strain incubates for a month before you show any symptoms. She was trying not too sound worried, but I could sense a little concern in her voice. Listeria is extremely dangerous for pregnant women. she said just to be on the safe side, if I got a fever, that I should probably call the doctor. So I pushed this to the back of my mind. Then on Sunday night I started thinking about it again, and decided to look it up online to see if I could find out any more info. Well, that was my first mistake. Everything I read left me completely terrified! I called my mom and told her of my worries, and she reassured me that I was OK, and that thousands of people had eaten the cantaloupes and been fine. She also told me to STOP looking online. Well I should have listened. I kept looking a little bit more. I read that the incubation period could be up to 2 months, pregnant women are 20 times more likely to pick it up, and that the baby is the most affected. I freaked out a little, but tried to push the scary thoughts aside so I could sleep. Well at 3 am I woke up. It didn't take long for my thoughts to go back to what I had read. Pretty soon I had worked myself up into a tizzy. I had convinced myself that I had listeria, and had just not noticed the symptoms because they are similar to the symptoms that I was already experiencing with this pregnancy. I was convinced that the infection had reached the baby, and that the baby had died, and that was why I hadn't felt the baby kick lately. (I know this sounds extreme, but these were my thoughts!) I layed there awake with worry until my alarm went off to get up and get the kids up. I had devised a plan. I was going to get up a little earlier then usual so I could shower before I woke the kids up. Then I would call the doctor and see if I could get in. After getting the kids ready I woke up Brandon and informed him of all of my worries and that I was going to take the kids to school, and that he didn't have to get up yet because I needed him to come to the doctor with me. He was so disoriented from just waking up, and I am sure that he was thrown totally off guard. Especially when I told him that something was wrong with the baby and he needed to prepare himself for the worse. I went on to get ready. Brandon came out, and tried to convince me that everything was OK. He was torn, because he really needed to go into work because they had a ton of stuff going on. In the middle of my crazy emotions, I said, "Fine! I will go by myself and be all alone just like last time!" (I feel so bad that I said that!) He then realized how worried I was and tried to get a hold of someone from work. Seeing that he couldn't get a hold of anyone, I told him that I wold just have my mom come with me, because she had told me that she didn't have anything going on already that day. So I sat on the rocking chair trying to hold it together until Brandon and the kids left for school. (I was able to hide how I was feeling from the kids, so they had no idea what was going on) I text my mom, and she told me that she was supposed to give a lady from her ward a ride to work but that she could come with me anytime after 9:30. She also said that she wold try and find someone else to take the lady, all the while trying to convince me that everything was fine. But I had made up my mind that something was wrong and nothing would change it. When the clock changed to 8:00 I called the doctor right away (that's when they open) I told them of my concerns and they said that I could come in at 9:15. I called my mom, and she said that she thought that she would be back right at that time and she could meet me there. When I hung up Brandon called. By this point I was a complete mess and after hearing my voice, he said he was on his way back. He got back just in time for us to leave. While we were driving there he tried to cheer me up. He was so sweet, but I was pretty un cheerable by that point. I again told him to prepare himself for the worse. Well after having to wait forever for them to even check us in because of insurance annoyances, we finally got checked in, and were called back right away. I was seeing a nurse that I had not seen before. She was very sweet, and didn't make me feel bad at all for my worries. She got the doppler out and starting trying to detect the heartbeat. I heard a heartbeat right away, and felt some relief until she informed me that, that was actually my heart beat that it was picking up (it was racing). She moved the doppler around some more, and could still only pick up my heart beat and not the baby's. She then said, "Well let's just got straight to the ultrasound to get a better peak" As she was getting the ultrasound set up I mouthed to Brandon "I told you" Well, as soon as she put the ultrasound wand on my stomach there popped up the baby, wiggling around all over the place. Everything was fine. The heartbeat was strong, and she counted 8 movements in the few minutes she had the ultrasound on. She said they just want to see 10 in 2 hours so that was great to see 8. I felt relieved to see him or her moving around on the screen. We asked her if she could tell what it was, and she said, that she wouldn't be able to tell even if she tried because she wasn't trained for that. Bummer! I told her my concerns about the listeria virus, and she said that if I developed a fever, to come in and they could give me a blood test to see if I had the infection, but that most likely I was just fine.

So we got pictures and headed on our way. I immediately started to feel so silly that I had worked myself up into such an uncontrollable panic. I hate that I let myself get to that point! I really think that my miscarriage last year is still having a huge affect on me. I no longer have a sense of security with my [pregnancies, and suddenly the realization that things can go wrong and do go wrong are at the front of my mind. I am hoping and praying that this is the last episode like this that I have.

This brings me to the quote I posted at the beginning. When I had been praying and praying all night long, I admit that my faith was wavering. I had thoughts, like, 'why would He answer my prayer when there are so many other people praying' Why would He save my baby and not someone elses. I feel terrible for thinking those things, but I did. When I came upon that quote it made me realize that Heavenly Father really does hear ALL of our prayers, and they He cares about ALL of our concerns. For a minute during my crazy thoughts this morning, it brought me some peace. Unfortunately I was so worked up by that point that the peace only lasted a second. But I am going to print up that quote and post it where I can see and remember that I am never alone. No matter how crazy I may get, He is always there.

I hope the rest of this pregnancy can go by quickly with much less drama! =)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pregnancy Brain Part 2

I figured I should right these things down, so I can remember them later, and find the humor in them once I am functioning like a normal human being again.

Today a few things happened

#1- I went to my bank's drive through ATM to get some cash out. I got the cash out, took the cash and the receipt, but neglected to remember to take my card back. I realized this about ten minutes after the fact. The bank was closed since it was Saturday so I had to put a temporary block on my card until I can go into the bank Monday and see if they have it.

#2- I wanted to take some pictures of Tori in her baptism dress. I got the camera, made sure the battery was charged, and that the sim card was in the camera. We then drove up to the temple. It took twice as long as usual due to some annoying construction traffic. When we finally arrived, there was a huge sign on the gate, saying that it was closed to the public due to construction. Luckily there was a really pretty area right around the corner that would work for taking pictures, and we could even probably get the temple in the background on some of them. Tori was so done riding in the car by this point, so we found a place to park and got out. It was then that I discovered that I had forgotten my camera at home. Brandon could tell I was in a very fragile state when I called, and so he drove it to us =)

I am starting to get a little worried, or rather, annoyed at my absentmindedness! I hope it doesn't get worse. I don't know how much more I can take! LOL

Sunday, September 18, 2011

More Birthday Fun

Tori woke up on the morning of her birthday just as excited as can be. She was so cute. She wanted to make sure she didn't go downstairs to see her birthday table until everyone was ready for school. Here are her and Levi waiting outside the bathroom while I do Alexis's hair.
Here's our cute birthday girl!

Since she wasn't having her party until the following Saturday we wanted to stretch out opening presents throughout the day. We let her open 2 before school =)

I had to snap a picture of Alexis =)

After opening a few presents it was time for her breakfast of choice, Cocoa Puffs! I made sure to sneak in some sausage too so they got a little protein in to start their day =)

When I picked up the girls after school, the first thing that Tori said when she got into the car was, "this was the worst day ever!" I about died. What could have possibly gone wrong, and on her birthday of all days? Well it turned out that after she had finished eating lunch she had forgotten to close her water bottle, and when she went to pack up her backpack at the end of the day she noticed that it had leaked all over her backpack, folder and brand new book from the library. I was relieved to discover that this had all happened during the last ten minutes of school, so her whole day had not been awful after all. LOL My poor little drama queen. After talking about the rest of her day and deciding that it was a good day despite the water bottle incident, we headed home to do homework. After that we went to Red Robbin, her birthday dinner of choice. Brandon met us there from work. We got there around 5 and were delighted to beat the dinner time rush. We had great service and got our food really fast. Then we headed back home to get baths done, and lunches made before our families came over for cake and ice cream. Here she is sitting in front of her birthday table again. It was torture, according to her, to wait to open all of those presents! I think it made it more exciting. Finally everyone arrived (grandma, grandpa, Michael, Nana and Papa) It was so much fun to have them there to help us celebrate.

Her cake of choice was a cookie cake. That was easy enough! She got the birthday hat at school =)

It turned out to be a perfect birthday celebration!

Her birthday party was planned for the following Saturday. It was fun for her to be able to look forward to more birthday fun throughout the week. Since Tori's all time favorite thing to do is paint, we planned a painting party! Here is everything all ready to go

Crushed up candy ready to make picasso pops:

Art supplies galore:

And an anxious birthday girl ready to party:

After the guests all arrived, we started out by making the picasso pops. They had all sorts of crushed up candy (dum dums) to choose from, and they each got to design 2 lollipops. After arranging their candy of choice into a circle on the pan, we cooked them in the oven for 7 minutes. I was so excited when I saw this idea online. I didn't try it out first and was a little nervous that it wouldnt work, but they turned out so cute. In the midst of all the craziness I didn't get a picture of the finished products, but they turned out so cute, and the girls loved them!

After that, we moved to the table so they could begin on their "masterpieces" I found a great deal on art canvases at Michaels. They each started out with a plain piece of paper to practice their ideas on. Then they moved to the canvases to paint to their hearts content. We had paint, glitter, sequins, feathers, and more to choose from. I told them that this was their own personal masterpiece and they could make it however they wanted. They loved this, and really took their time and had a great time with it.

The painting took quite a while, which I was happy about. Then we moved to ice cream sundaes. We had all sorts of toppings, and I told them that now they got to make a masterpeice ice cream sundae (corny I know, but they loved it )

I stuck a candle in Tori's sundae and we all sang happy birthday. She blew out the candle so fast that I missed a picture, so I made her pretend to blow it out again. She thought that was kind of silly but played along for me =)

By this time it was almost time for the parents to arrive, so we hurried and opened up presents. Her friends were all so thoughtful, and she got some great girfts. Tori has always loved cards. When opening a present she always makes sure to find the card first and read it. I think it's so sweet. I caught a few on camera =)

Well, that was a quick recap of her fun birthday celebrations. I was so tired and wiped put after her party, that I had to lie down the rest of the day. I am so grateful for my mom! She came and helped with the party, and I could never have done it without her help! She even brought the ice cream, which I had totally forgotten to buy when I went to the store that morning. I bought all the toppings but no icecream! Another thing I will blame on my pregnancy brain =)

Now on to baptism preparations. What a special day that will be for Tori =)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Blame it on my Pregnancy Brain

Brandon and I have joked throughout this pregnancy that I totally have pregnancy brain. I'd like to blame what happened this past week on that =) On Wednesday night Brandon and I went to back to school night at our kids school. We drove separately, because he was coming straight from work. It happened to be pouring down rain. It was pretty bad. Because of the limited parking at the school they had people directing everyone where to park. I pulled into where they told me to park, opened my door, opened my umbrella, and headed out into the rain towards the school. I looked back at my van and noticed that the lights were still on, but assumed they would go off in a minute. (They always stay on for a few minutes) Brandon was already there, so I met up with him and we were mingling in the gym with some other parents, when someone announced in the microphone that there was a blue Dodge minivan outside that was still running. They then went on to announce the license plate number. I couldn't believe my ears. It was mine! I started looking through my purse for my keys, just in case there was some mistake and it wasn't me. Brandon saw me, and said "You have got to be kidding me, it's you??" I was so embarrassed! I didn't want anyone to know it was me. I begged him to go out and take care of it, and so he did. Not with out giving me a really hard time about it though! In my defense, it was raining so bad, that I just wanted to get into the school as fast as I could. But that is a first for me, so I totally blame it on my state of mind at the moment. I have done a little research online and it turns out that pregnancy brain is a real thing. Thank goodness. There is still some hope that I can regain some sanity once this baby is here. But I don't know. While I was researching about pregnancy brain, I came across quite a bit about "mommy brain" As well. I think I may just be doomed! lol =)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Day of School 2011

We are a little over a week into the school year. This year was especially exciting because the kids started at a new school! Towards the end of last year we heard of a new charter school that was opening in Highlands Ranch. We did a lot of research into it and praying, and really felt like this was where our kids needed to be. The new school goes through junior high, which was a huge selling point for me. The values taught and curriculum really struck a chord, and we couldn't be more happy with our decision to send our kids there. They were all really excited and nervous for this new beginning. Knowing that everyone was going to be new there, helped to calm their fears a little. An added bonus is that they are required to wear uniforms. I LOVE that. Here they are all ready to go on their first day. The uniform they are wearing is the formal uniform that they are required to wear on the first day of school, field trips, and the first Wednesday of each month. It's actually Levi's favorite shirt to wear.

There is no spiked hair allowed at the school, and considering the fact that we have always spiked his hair, ever since he had hair to spike, it took a little getting used to =)They were all so excited!

For the first day, they had the kindergartners go a half an hour later then the older grades. This meant Levi and I had a while to wait in the car before he could go in. I'm still loving his toothless grin =)

The way the school is built doesn't allow for very much parking, so they have a system where we just pull around and drop off our kids, and they go into their classrooms. This was a little difficult for me to accept at first, especially for the first day, but Alexis and Tori were champs and did great. The reason they had the kindergartners go late was so the parents could walk them in on their first day. (thank goodness!) Here is Levi walking towards the school, excited as can be!

Here are a few pictures once we were in the classroom. His teacher's name is Miss Oakley and Levi loves her! She is a great kindergarten teacher. She is the one in the green. For the first week of school they all got to bring in a teddy bear, and have it go throughout the first week with them. On Friday, they concluded the week with a teddy bear picnic.

Once everyone was there, we all gathered around the rug and Miss Oakley read us this story.

It is the story of a raccoon who is starting school for the first time and is so nervous to go and be away from his mom. His mom kisses his hand and says that it will always be there in his hand, and that if he is ever missing her to touch his hand to his cheek and know that she loves and misses him too. This was such a touching story and there were quite a few of us mom's with tears. This was especially touching to me, because I always draw hearts on my kids hands if they are having a hard time going somewhere, and tell them if they miss me to look at the heart on their hand, and know that I love them and am thinking about them.

After the teacher read the story, she gave each of the kids a heart sticker and had them bring it to their mom's and put it on their hand and give it a kiss. It was the sweetest thing ever! I loved that they did this. They also gave us a little pack of tissues and some hershey kisses.

I gave Levi one last hug before leaving. Suddenly my excited boy got a little nervous. As he wrapped his hands around my neck his lip quivered and he said, "I want to go home" This melted my heart! After a big long hug he took his bear and walked over and sat with all the kids on the rug. I lingered outside the door a few minutes to make sure he was OK. He put on a brave face but I could tell he was still nervous. When I picked him up a few hours later, he was all smiles and said he loved it =)

Later in the afternoon we went to pick up the girls. After over an hour long wait in the carpool lane (such a nightmare, but thankfully they have tweaked the system so it goes much faster now) I was finally to the front of the line and could not wait to hear how Alexis and Tori's first day had gone. When they jumped into they car, Tori immediately burst into tears and said she hated it and wanted to go to her old school. My heart sunk! She told me that the playground was so small (it really is, but they will be adding to it soon) and that she just had to stand around at recess and that they hardly got any time to eat lunch, and that she hated having to wait for me for so long at the end of the day. After talking about it we came to the conclusion that lunch and recess were hard, but that they would get better as the routine got better, and that waiting for me was hard, but that would also get better. She admitted that the rest of her day was fun and that she loved her teacher (Miss Whelan). So the hard parts were parts that would get better, and the fun parts were the most important parts. I was so nervous to pick her up the next day. When she hopped into the car she said that she loves school, and that she made a new friend name Violet. She has continued to love school more and more. What a relief!

On the first day when Alexis hopped in the car she immediately said that she loved it so much. She loved her teacher (Mr. Harvey) and met a really nice girls named Katie. Each day she has continues to love it and has made several new friends. One thing I love is that her teacher gives them time at the end of the day to do their homework, so they will rarely have any to do at home. Homework has always been a hard thing for Alexis, so this has been such a blessing!

So we survived the first week, and so far this week is going great! Last week was hard for me to get used to waking up so early, and I was exhausted all week long. This week I am feeling much better, and feel like we have a really good daily routine. Brandon has been able to take the kids to school on his way to work, since it is right on the way, and that has been a HUGE blessing and help to me.

Here's to a great school year!

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's Great to be 8!

Today, our Tori bug turns 8. Time is flying by! It feels like yesterday that she was born. My pregnancy, delivery and recovery with Tori was very hard, but she was such an easy baby, and brought us so much joy from the beginning. It is so fun to look at each of our children as they grow into who they will become. They are each so unique. I love it. Here are some things we want to remember about Tori as she turns 8 this year.

~She is so incredibly kind and compassionate and always thinking of others. I want to record a cute little side story to go with this one. On Friday as Brandon was driving the kids to school, Levi discovered that he had forgotten to put his snack in his backpack and was quite distraught. Without thinking twice, Tori said, "You can have mine Levi!" She took hers out of her backpack and gave it to him, leaving her without a snack for the day. Everyone who knows Tori, knows that she loves her snacks, so this act of kindness said a lot! She is always doing things like this.

~She loves to go fishing and hiking with dad.

~She loves to look pretty. I often find her in her room in front of the mirror applying all kinds of makeup and accessorizing from head to toe.

~She is very creative and is always coming up with some kind of craft off the top of her head.

~She has a huge sweet tooth.

~Some of the funny sayings she says often are, "Oh, come on!" and "Are you serious?"

~ She is a very loyal friend

~She loves to sing, and is really good at memorizing songs.

~She is so good with animals.

~She is starting to go by Victoria at school instead of Tori

~She loves to get and give presents.

~She is always writing Brandon and I cards telling us how much she loves us.

~She is getting to be quite the little reader and has started reading chapter books.

~She is really good at remembering things. Several times when she is with me when I am going to the store without a list, I will specifically tell her some of the things that I need to get (I am notorious for forgetting why I went to the store in the first place) I know that if I tell her, she won't let me leave the store without those things!

~She loves raw vegetables (especially carrots, broccoli and celery) She will gobble them up, but the second you cook them, she won't touch them any more. (This is exactly like Brandon)

~She loves to ride her bike.

~She loves to roller skate, and is really good at it.

~She still is a blanky girl, and sleeps with her "Winnie the pooh blanket" every night. It brings her so much comfort!

~She loves to take videos with my little video camera.

~ She is often the peacemaker between Alexis and Levi's daily brawls.

~She is very strong willed.

The list could go on and on. Our family would not be complete without Tori. She is such a special, important part of our family. We love you Tori! Happy Birthday!!