Wednesday, December 10, 2014

it's beginning to look a lot like . . . over-crafting

You thought I was going to say Christmas. Nope. Over-crafting. And thanks to the purchase of my cricut this year . . . paper crafting. Or paper crapping depending on how you look at things. But I kind of love it. I also am showcasing how good I am at procrastinating grading papers by showing off some Christmas decorations. But. BUT. To celebrate the fact that I just finished grading a lot of awesome and not awesome papers (before the onslaught of all the final papers coming in) - I'm doing a blog post. Holla! My anxious fans (i.e. my mother) will be thrilled.

I've already shown off this art installation. But it needs to be documented on the blog:

And just for the record - when my Dad saw it *live* he was kind and said how much better this actually looked in person. So you know, this picture doesn't do it justice.

Next up. An oldie but a goodie:

A junky picture. But there is something so festive about seeing all those Christmas Carols strung across the ceiling. Festive and busy looking. But I'm going with festive.

We have a three year old and a 39 year old that love this:

If Greg were taking the picture he would have made me zoom up on each individual piece and show off the intricacies. But whatever. This isn't his post. You can see, however, that Lego has quite the racquet going with its Christmas village. And we don't even have our Lego advent calendar out this year (I blame Greg's finals for that one).

Next up - something I made last year that wasn't finished in time . . . but is ready to be displayed in all it's Vegas glory this year:

Currently, we have no plans for New Year's Eve and oftentimes there is too much pressure to have a great New Year's Eve so we instead just decide to have a quiet evening with us and Ryan Seacrest. But you know - maybe having this sign up so early will get us in the mood to do something epic. EPIC!

Next a display that you can hardly see of 25 individual advent mittens I knitted BK (before kids).

My favorite thing for this year, however, besides the paper art installation, is this:

I call it my "Song of the Reindeer". I love it so much. You know what else I love? The fact that I just taped those silhouettes on over the regular pictures. If I actually put them in the frame I would never have done it. Bless you scotch tape for being invented.

And we CAVED. Totally caved. We bought a real/fake Christmas tree. We knew we were going to have to do it. I mean it's for Henry's sake. But in order to make it interesting I have the goal to ONLY put homemade ornaments on it. So far it looks pretty sparse:

Give me a few years.

And that concludes our Christmas tour this year. Over and out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

just a few (PG rated) birth highlights

So apparently the ward chili-cook off was a hit in getting our baby to decide to come on her own. Or it might have been the bag of pebbled ice I consumed that day. (The cape isn't slimming but imagine me as pregnant Bella from Twilight).

So sure - contractions started at about 10:30 pm. On Sunday morning I made us all go for a walk to see if we could keep it moving forward. And just in time for the upcoming family of four pictures . . . Henry gave himself a shiner - but obviously it wasn't too serious:

The walk had what I thought was the opposite effect - things slowed down - and then we went to church and I wanted to die. So yep, we decided to go to the hospital (but rest assured we left Henry at home). But the 15 minutes we saw of that primary program were pretty dang cute.

So there we were:

Yes, I'm actually going to post this publicly. Why? I don't know. But I'm doing it. The whole time I was thinking, "Remind me why I don't get an epidural?" Because honestly, I wanted drugs the whole time - that hypno-birth business doesn't work for me but ripping Greg's hand out of his socket while experiencing a contraction seemed to help ease my pain. Or at least focus on something else.

And about 2 hours after checking in to the hospital . . .

A perfectly healthy little girl. Once again, we are overwhelmed after this past tough summer, the fact that she was born healthy and perfect at 8 lbs 1 oz and 19.5 inches. The NICU doctors quickly checked her over and were amazed after reviewing the ultrasound history. The next day her health was confirmed with one more lung ultrasound.

And now . . . we are a complete family of four. Henry loves her in his own special 2.9 almost 3 year old way.

And we can't help marveling at the blessing she is in our lives. We are thrilled to be able to get to know Greta Jane better. So far though . . . we love her to pieces.

Friday, October 24, 2014

just because I don't want to forget

Usually, our mornings are kind of rough. We are running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to get everything together and still make sure Henry feels loved while secretly looking at the clock wondering if we are going to make it in time for our meeting. But this morning? This morning was perfect.

I woke up and didn't hit the snooze alarm once. I was dressed and ready for the day far earlier than normal and even managed to do a few annoying household tasks that always seem so difficult to do at 11:00 pm but were surprisingly easy at 7:00 am.

We woke up Henry and he was his happy, charming self (not always the case in the mornings). But really, as I stood there loading the vitamix up to make my naturopathic prescribed shake I couldn't help but be nostalgic and sad and filled with love and happiness all at the same time. This is one of those last days where it is going to be just the three of us. And you know what? I kind of like the three of us. I know that this little lady is going to be great but I have been stressed to the gills with this pregnancy - so stressed that it has made it harder for me to enjoy some of the simple things. Harder than I really care to admit. But this morning? This morning was perfect.

And so I made us all pose for this picture (after Henry had insisted we run around with our Halloween capes on and "fly"). Because really I wanted to remember this morning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

something wicked this way comes

Greg and I had a discussion and we decided that when Henry turns 3 we have to start getting serious about the holidays and traditions. Because really, we want this kid filled to the brim with memories. I read a book (of course I did) that said that people complain about how busy the holidays are but you'll regret thinking that when your child is a teenager and they no longer want to do any of these things with you anymore. So . . . dangit. We are going to take advantage of the fact that Henry currently believes that we are the two coolest cats around. Greg is cooler than I am right now - but I don't blame Henry for thinking that. After all, all I want to do is lay around on the couch.

We've been making pumpkin cookies. So you know, that's a hit.

But really - we are pretty pleased with our spiders this year.

Or in spookier (night times):

Of course, we have the Haunted Lego House with bats that is also pretty spooky:

And then we have Spooky himself (he's our version of Elf on a Shelf except we don't say that he is watching whether Henry is naughty or nice and he doesn't move all the time, so I guess he is nothing like Elf on a Shelf - but whatever):

(and I can't find a better picture of Henry with Spooky so I am memorializing this instagram shot).

We also have a spider web that prevents us from reading any of the books on the bookshelf. Which hasn't been a problem. Which means we should probably get rid of all these books:

We don't have our costumes ready (nor do we know what we are going to be - it all depends on this little lady) but if this house doesn't say, "ready for a baby" I don't know what does.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

me. Me. ME!

Toddcat told me that this blog has officially become a blog all about Henry - and he didn't mean that in a nice way. CRAP. Really. I'm off my game. Perhaps it's because I now find things cute that in the past would have been "huh"? For example, Henry's request to read the hit book "Scary Scary Halloween" is something I love, his love of watching Youtube videos made by someone called "The Disney Collector" or how he goes to bed making me promise that he can wake up to some Cheetos for breakfast (I promise but I usually don't have to deliver). But I digress. Forget him.

Back to me. Me. ME!

I told Greg that my one goal this pregnancy was to ONLY complain to him about how uncomfortable I was. Especially entering the dreaded third trimester. But I have failed. Not just failed but failed spectacularly. I stopped at Sodalicious for a 44 oz of pebbled ice only and they asked me how I was doing and I told the girl at the counter how uncomfortable and miserable I am. Really. She didn't want to know. But here - for the blog's sake -  I will just admit it - I do not like being pregnant. There are women that do - but I am not one of them. Don't get me wrong - I am so so so grateful for the health of this little lady but man sakes - I am in desperation mode. So desperate that I sleep outside in the screened in porch on a couch every night. Every. Night. (Periods added for emphasis). I go to bed so so so so late to try and at least make it possible so I don't wake up to go to the bathroom every hour (I'm averaging 4 hours of interrupted sleep a night maybe 5?). And don't get me going about how I went to a naturopathic doctor to help with all my other ailments.  I'm currently taking 23 pills and supplements a day. And drinking chlorophyll. It's awesome-sauce.

Anyway. I just re-read this and realized how whiny and lame-brained I sound. But I will say this - because I'm pregnant and in the third trimester (chub-mester phase) - I spend about 20 minutes longer doing my make-up and hair everyday. Hey. It's the little things. And it's all I've got. But I've got polygamist hair going on. It's time for a cut.

And my mom promises me that I will look back fondly on this time. And be glad I have some pictures in all my glowing glory. So here are some for posterity's sake.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reading Round-up - September

So I may have not done a bunch of blog posting for the month of September - but I did manage to read quite a bit. Look at me - busy reading. NOT busy getting ready for a baby. Baby? What baby? Speaking of which - I just have to re-post this side by side shot because seriously - spot on.

If you don't get it - watch this 1 minute clip.

There. Back to books.

I jumped on the bandwagon and loved. Loved. LOVED. "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr. I first heard about this book on a Radio West podcast. I then read an author's blog that I follow that was gushing with praise, I then read a columnist's review that loved it. So I decided to see what the fuss was about. It was beautiful. A little slow (at first) but then I couldn't put it down. It was just nice to read some beautiful fiction. It's been awhile. It's not something I think I would read again - but I really enjoyed it.

No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around Our Gay Loved Ones. I kind of think this should be required reading by every Mormon. It provided a healthy perspective on an issue that is highly misunderstood and when discussed can arouse volatile emotions. I really appreciated the stories shared (although they all started to run together after a bit).

The Beginning of Everything. Just fine. I needed something light after circling the wagons. Nothing amazing but a nice break for a little story.

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls. Oh David Sedaris - in small doses - funny - in large doses - not as funny. I listened to this book over the course of two months and finally finished it. Small doses means I liked it better than I know I would have had I just plowed through it.

Marathon Man. Since my workout regime is non-existent right now (except for my fitbit where sometimes I manage to make it to my steps goal) I decided to motivate myself to when this pregnancy is over by learning about this really fast runner, Bill Rodgers. I liked it. A little heavy emphasizing his role in trying to make a difference between being labeled as an amateur or a professional - but really what world class athlete doesn't try and make themselves sound a little bit better than they are? What human doesn't do that?

Women and the Priesthood. Her approach is not mine. So while there were some excellent chapters that were great for me - all in all - I was disappointed.

Voila. I've read 53 books for the year? Think I can make it to 200? Me either.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Favorites

And a few favorites to round out the week:

My favorite selfie that is not of me . . . so does that make it just a regular pic (?):

Greg took Henry to the park one night and snapped this one. Rosscat and I have had the stomach flu on and off all week and let's put it this way - stomach flu is not pretty. Stomach flu when looking like a beached whale is even worse (if you ask me - I like to trump Greg when I can). It was a rough week. But we survived (I think) and Henry handled it like a champion. Although he is very good at pretending to throw up in the kitchen sink. I think he has seen me do that one too many times with this pregnancy and now the flu.

Our favorite book of the week:

Whoa. I apparently hit the jackpot with this one. We have read it at least twice a day for the past two weeks. And when we get to "H", which stands for "Hydraulic Excavator", watch out for some excitement. I can't say that I love this book but goodness - it's gold in Henry's hands. GOLD.

Our favorite "beds" of the week:

My sister gave me some great advice when I complained that Henry was having some HORRIBLE sleeping patterns (wanting to sleep with us all the time  - which is something I just can't handle). Henry and his nighttime wake-ups were his way of telling us that he is working on growing up and we need to help him. And besides, something had to be done. Sleeping is bad enough right now. Sleeping with a 2.5 year old that wants to attach himself to you like a barnacle in bed is no bueno. So we got tough. And we (finally) converted his crib to the toddler bed and after one rough night of locking him "in" (yes, we are tough love parents when it comes to sleep) we are back in sleep nirvana. He LOVES it. He thinks he is such a big kid and I love it because no more barnacle sleeping. And yes, he sleeps with a robot pillow and the "Jenny from the block" cabbage patch doll. And yes, that is a Nixon bobble head above his bed along with a bunch of stars wars (excuse the term) junk. We are working on minimalism. Slowly. Slowly. Slowly.

Oh and my favorite bed?

I have taken to sleeping solo, outside -  just about every night. My own version of "glamping." For some reason this is more comfortable for me so I'm just going for it. Whatever. Sometimes I say goodnight to Greg and remind him "I'm not mad at you - I just need to sleep alone amongst nature - with a bathroom nearby."

Favorite toy of the week:

The kitchen sink. The amount of water Henry is wasting by playing in the sink makes me cringe a little bit but at the same time - he loves upping the "water transfer project" to this new level of awesomeness. And yes, he has the binky and yes I'm fine with it. One thing at a time - right now we had to conquer the sleep business. Eventually, he'll realize that going to junior high with a binky makes him look a little ridiculous among his peers.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Reading Roundup (August)

Not to brag (but it's my blog, so I guess I will) . . . I read a lot of great books for the month of August. I must admit, I thought they were so great that I kind of am questioning my judgment. For example, right now, my taste buds are virtually gone. Things that I have always found to be flavorful and delicious are disgusting. Whereas corn flakes? GIVE ME SOME. See what I mean. Weird. Bless this baby (who continues to be the miracle baby).

I digress, but really, when we go to the Perinatologist's we are kind of greeted like rock stars only because everyone in the office knows our story and knows how miraculous it is. I'm sure that is an office that sees a lot (A LOT) of sad things so when we show up with my big belly leading the way its sweet to see how they know us and are invested in her. We are blessed.

But back to the point of this post. Books. Books. And more books.

Here is what I read for August:

I'm on Goodreads and put more "thorough" reviews there (thorough meaning maybe a whole paragraph). But here is the breakdown - in a nutshell.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - oh goodness it started out so strong and then halfway through it changed and became a completely different book than the one I thought I was reading. I am always interested in Booker Prize Nominations (that's how I learned about Margaret Atwood) but this one was way NOT what I was looking for. A disappointment.

The Power of Habit - so great! I really liked how it broke it down into "cue - routine - reward" its forced me to look at some of the things I do differently and it has given me hope that I can create new habits and break the ones I don't like.

All Joy and No Fun - the Paradox of Modern Parenthood - highly highly highly recommended . . . like a 5 star recommendation. I loved how she dissected down what happens to me and my relationship to my spouse as we enter various stages of parenting. It was fascinating. It made me feel less guilty about a lot of mom-guilt I have and helped me just kind of understand myself and my relationship to Greg better.

Give and Take - Read this book! So many exclamation points in this post (my sister would be so ashamed). This is a book I want to own and refer to. I would love to be thought of as a giver. One that consistently gives and helps and works to connect others while not being taken advantage of. This book was so fascinating to me that when I started reading it, I immediately had Greg load it up on his phone so that he could listen to it too and then we could talk all about it.

Landline - and finally . . . . a fun one (gosh there was three non-fiction in a row, that's not like me). Landline was sweet. I really enjoyed it - but I also really love romantic comedies (I recently watched "You've Got Mail" for the one-hundredth bajillionth time so there you go). So if you like romantic comedies - this is right up your alley.

And there August books - you are documented.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Favorites

I'm still adjusting back to the idea of having a living, breathing blog. But posterity is posterity - and thank you for all your kind comments about our Little Lady. Things are plugging along. A quick update - the fluid is still there but it is also not getting bigger . . . so we get to keep having lots of pictures of her and preparing for delivery - but she's healthy - despite this. In the meantime - I'm getting as big as a house. But let's not talk about that.

A few favorite things:

1) Henry LOVES LOVES LOVES the Natural Curiosity Museum at Thanksgiving Point. The best thing is we bought a pass and so think nothing of going and hanging out there for an hour or so. It's kind of the sweetest thing. Greg is back in school so last night I found Henry, myself, and the little lady traipsing through the toddler ropes course. Let's just say I'm not as limber as I usually am - but I did it. And Anna showed up for part of the time - so it was a win. If you haven't been - go! We avoid the crowds by going after work. Last night it was a dream - no one was there.

2) I love this Halloween Advent Calendar by Pottery Barn so much that even though it was discontinued I decided to borrow my sister-in-law's to copy it and try and make it. Greg convinced me that that was the stupidest idea in the world. So instead I found one for sale on ebay and WON. WINNER! Totally worth it. Totally.

3) I have access to an awesome library here at work. Literally AWESOME. I mean where else will people just deliver requested books to you at your office? But instead of reading all the classics - Henry insists on reading this book every night this week. Machines Go To Work. It's um riveting.

4) I read the book, "A Short Guide to a Long and Healthy Life" and in it the Doctor mentioned that one thing you should do is take care of your feet. I bought this stuff - and I really, really, really, really like it. Cracked heels be gone (especially in sandal weather because hello - no one wants to see that).

5) We lost the remote to the fan in Henry's room. We have literally turned the house upside down looking for it and no luck. It's been three weeks and finally we broke down, called the fan company with the model number shelled out $40 and voila - we are back in business. And no longer does Henry have to suffer with a stuffy room in the night. Praise be. I am sure we will find the original remote tonight.

6) And finally - my $6 chatbooks are the bee's knees. Here's to many more!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Introducing . . . Blue North George Ivy West

I'm hesitant to make this public. Not that I don't want to tell everyone in the world the story, but disclosing this out in the open is difficult. And I prefer my writing style on this blog to be easy, breezy, CoverGirl - NOT serious Sally. I hope to tell it in a way that doesn't offend anyone nor makes light of it.

This has been a pretty difficult pregnancy for me. I'm not one of those women that loves being pregnant. I'm just not. I like to have personal space and having a baby with 50% foreign DNA inhabit my body for 40 weeks is the opposite of me having my personal space. It's hard. And I've been sick. Sicker than sicker. I've also been scared. Scared that something would be wrong (despite my wrinkle free face - I'm not a spring chicken). When you are laying in bed doing your best to not give up and just hold some Gatorade and Saltines down . . .  it's hard to not think about all the statistics and all the possibilities.

With Henry, I thought the ultrasound was just a party - you know, where you find out the sex of your child and celebrate. Nope. This can also be a rather scary appointment. The tech makes all sorts of measurements, looks to see if there are any problems, alerts you to them . . . that sort of thing. Once I realized the stakes - I went in to this ultrasound more nervous. I hoped that all those horrible concerns that I would fantasize about in the dredges of morning sickness were going to be dispelled. But I also knew that maybe they wouldn't be. A mother's intuition means something doesn't it?

While in the appointment, the tech asked three times, "You have a doctor's appointment after this. Right?" Me, on high alert already, knew that this was not casual small talk. As we waited, and waited, and waited for the doctor after the ultrasound I became increasingly nervous. Finally, she came in and we learned that yes, there was a problem. A problem that couldn't be explained from the images gathered earlier that morning. Fluid build up between the lungs and the stomach that could signal something significant. They just couldn't tell. We were then sent to wait and wait and wait until we could be seen by a specialist a week later.

It would be an understatement to say that this was a long week.

We prayed. We fasted. We prayed some more. And we went into the specialist's office remarkably at peace. Scared. But I was worried I was just going to be a basket case of non-stop tears. Nope. Calm, cool, collected, and ready to just know.

After about an hour long ultrasound by a technician, a doctor came in and performed his own ultrasound. He walked us through what he was seeing and he explained that our sweet baby has "bi-pleural effusion" significant fluid between the lungs and the stomach that oftentimes results in the lungs not being able to develop and as the chest cavity becomes more full with fluid the heart works harder and harder and eventually can't handle it - resulting in heart failure resulting in a stillborn, or some parents make the decision to perform a c-section still recognizing that the child will not be able to survive for long outside the womb. He was kind . . . but he told us that, as is, the baby had about a 5 to 10% chance of survival.

He told us our best option was that we needed to do some tests to see if this baby would be a candidate to go to either Houston or Colorado and have shunts put in that would try and shuttle the fluid out of the cavity to allow enough room for the lungs to develop. We waited and he contacted his colleagues at both hospitals. After determining what tests were exactly necessary - we were scheduled to come back the next morning to do some tests to see if a shunt was even a viable option

That day/night was bad. An understatement. But - we were okay. We knew. No more of this wondering.

And now for the miracle. The next day we went back ready to have the amniocentesis and a thoracentesis. As the doctor is performing the ultrasound - again - he stops. He continues. He is silent. He leaves telling us that he needs to go and consult his pictures from yesterday and his colleagues. He comes back to tell us that the fluid that was measuring 1.0 cm yesterday is now measuring only .3 cm (that's point 3 or 3mm) - and that he had to measure it in a different spot because where he was measuring it before the fluid isn't big enough to get a decent measurement.

His look of confusion is something I never want to forget. He told us that he thought that he was looking at a different baby. We continued with the appointment - had the amniocentesis performed looking for genetic abnormalities to determine the cause of this fluid build-up, opted to wait for the thoracentesis because of how much smaller the fluid had become and were told that things looked better but we needed to continue to wait and see.

As miracles occur I have learned that this was a big one. The doctor told us that he has never seen fluid decrease like that in such a short of time. Of course, he has seen it increase but never decrease in the same amount of time. And as miracles occur I have also learned that this baby is one big miracle wrapped up in a bunch of small ones. Since then, test after test after test has come back "normal" and "healthy." This weekend I was reminded again of the sweet faith of a child. When we were originally told of the 5 to 10% chance of success, our 7 year old niece clung to that statistic. As I was being my realistic self she was saying "But Krissi, 5 percent! 5 percent!" Our will is not always the Lord's will but how grateful and blessed we feel that sometimes our will and Lord's will coincide.

And while things are not perfect -we continue to go in for ultrasound after ultrasound after ultrasound - things are good. The fluid is stable if not a little bit less each week. And lo and behold - today is the first Monday we haven't had to go to doctor for about two months. Praise be! (They gave us a 2 week break instead of our usually weekly appointment).

And she is beautiful.

*no more long blog posts for awhile - I mean who has time to read these things?