January in Review

Ok let’s talk about January. It was 31 days, right? Then why did it feel like 301? Why were me and my sons sick every single one of those days? How come my mental health was spiraling this month? Why was it so long and exhausting? I mean don’t get me wrong, there was good stuff in January too (thank goodness), but it was really an off month for us.

GOOD

  • Despite feeling like garbage every day, I stuck to my exercise goals pretty well this month. I didn’t really do a lot of resolutions this year and I’m determined to be easier on myself and show myself more love and kindness.. So yeah, I missed several days of exercise and I only stuck to my goal of no-more-caffeine for two days, but I’m still doing awesome when it comes to my health. I’m eating things that are good for me, but I’m also eating food that makes me happy. I’m drinking so much more water, but I’m also drinking a lot of Dr Pepper. I’m exercising most days of the week, but I’m not holding myself to any unachievable fitness goals. I feel good about this.
  • E got tubes in his ears. This also was really sad because your 14 month old getting surgery is not super fun, but it’s good because now hopefully the constant ear pain and chronic ear infections will stop. It’s amazing, only a few hours after getting his tubes, he was already a happier kid. Being free from pain has made him so cheerful (even though he was pretty dang happy anyway) and I’m so grateful for it. Also, he’s totally a better walker now – isn’t that funny? I guess the ear pain was throwing his equilibrium off, so once it was gone, walking became so much easier to him!
  • I don’t know what happened or how long it’ll last, but I have this new found motivation to organize every inch of my house. I love it and how fulfilling and gratifying it is.
  • Snuggles. All the sickness has meant so. much. snuggling. and I am here for it. My boys are usually so wiggly and active, so I’ll take in all the cuddles I can get.
  • Modern medicine is amazing, isn’t it? I’m so thankful for it. I’m also so thankful for doctors.
  • H started Sunbeams! While I’m still in denial he’s three, it’s been so much fun to witness. The first week he was pretty devastated that he couldn’t go to Nursery, but now he’s cool with it. He loves his teacher (I do, too), he says his class has lots of friends and every single week after church he’s come up to me and told me that he loves Jesus and Jesus loves him. So it’s amazing.

BAD

  • Did I mention we’ve been sick all month? Wild Man somehow got lucky and only just barely got sick, but me and the boys have been sick since Christmas and I’m over it. We’ve had bronchitis, pink eye, sinus infections, colds, sinus colds, double ear infections, terrible chronic coughs, ear surgery, a dislocated shoulder and have pretty much single handedly been keeping Kleenex in business.
  • I was blind for a good portion of the month. My glasses mysteriously broke into 3 pieces at the same time I had pink eye. I couldn’t get new glasses because I didn’t have a current glasses prescription and I couldn’t go to the eye doctor because I had pink eye. I also couldn’t wear contacts because of pink eye. I wore Wild Mans glasses for a while but it made me feel dizzy and sick. Then a dear friend let me borrow her glasses that were a little bit of an improvement. A few days ago I finally got my new prescription and my new glasses will be ready soon! But just in case you didn’t know, being blind, especially when you’re a pretty blind human, is miserable.
  • I’ve never really had winter blues. That is until this month happened. I’ve never felt so eager for summer before! I am a person who claims winter is my favorite month, so it’s a very alien feeling.
  • December brought in a lot of family from out of state, and December brought their departures. Why do some family members have to live far away? Why can’t we snap our fingers and pop in to see them?
  • H turned 3 in November. I keep hearing the term ‘threenager’ and haven’t understood. Until a couple weeks ago. Ohhhh my gosh. Whoever complains about ‘terrible twos’ have clearly not had a three year old yet. H has always been an easy kid, but now all the sudden he tests me every day. He has so much more attitude, he knows how capable he is of being independent and he looooves to hit *please picture my massive eye roll. I’m exhausted. He’s exhausting. Good thing he’s cute and can be a big sweetie, because there are some moments where I just want to hide.
  • Come Follow Me (The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints new at home study material) is amazing and I am so on board with this. I love it and the concept of making home study so much more of a priority is incredible. So why the heck am I allowing myself to slack off a bit? Not a good way to start the year off. I’m still doing it and keeping up with the weekly materials, I just know I could be doing it so much more in depth.

ON MY BRAIN

  • I need Disney in my life. Thank heavens we have trips right around the corner. Thank heavens for Disney, am I right?
  • I’ve been serving in my wards Primary presidency for about a month now, and it’s been really incredible. It’s amazing to me how once you are sustained into a calling and you allow yourself to, you feel so connected to that position. My calling is fairly busy and I’m still figuring a lot of things out, but I’m really, really loving it. I serve with a group of amazing women and I’m confident this is where I’m supposed to be in the church right now.
  • Have you ever thought about how weird pets are? No really. This has been on my mind so much lately. They’re just this animals we allow into our homes to stay, eat, sleep and play at for free. We don’t speak the same language and sometimes we bug the heck out of each other. I’ve spent a few late nights up by myself with Penny (our lab) and couldn’t stop thinking about how funny pets are. Does this make me sound crazy?
  • I’m going to be a fun mom in February. No doubt about it, I was a lame mom this month. I already have our February bucket list in a prominent place and I’m ready to crush it.
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E’s Ears

I’m not sure if you know this or not, but my sweet baby E has had a rough go when it comes to his little ears. In his fourteen months of life, he has had twelve ear infections, most of those happening since August/September-ish, and most of them being double ear infections. We also found our pretty recently that for a while now, both of his ear drums have been ruptured. Isn’t that awful? You’d be floored to hear this if you know him or have seen him recently though, because he’s just so happy still. But it definitely now makes sense why when he was ticked, he was ticked. The pain tolerance his little body has is absolutely incredible. During a recent discussion with E’s ENT (ear nose and throat doctor), he told me that the pain he must have been feeling was so excruciating it would send a grown man to the Emergency Room. That shattered my mom heart. I had no idea. I mean, I knew it hurt, but I had no idea it hurt that badly.

We finally got him into the ENT a little while ago where they told us E needed tubes (no shock – thats why we were there). Thats also where we learned about the double rupture. Poor baby. So earlier last week, he finally got his tubes put in, along with a small exploratory surgery just to check out his ears and make sure there isn’t anything else to be concerned with. Good news, everything looks great. I’m so grateful for modern medicine and for doctors. I’m especially for doctors who make your children feel special. I was so impressed with all the doctors and nurses we talked to on E’s day of surgery. They all got down on his level and talked to him – something that social little boy really loved. It made me feel even more comfortable and confident.

Recovery has been pretty good, all things considered. The first few days involved a lot of blood and a lot of ooze, but thats all stopped now. He hates the ear drops we have to put in multiple times a day with a passion, but those are almost over with. We are so excited for a pain-free baby who hopefully hopefully hopefully won’t have to deal with anymore painful infections anymore.

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My Potty Training Tips + Tricks

*Disclaimer: I’m not an expert at this. I made the discouraging discovery just yesterday that we’ve been trying to get H potty trained for a whole year now. This is just what worked – and didn’t work – for us.

Potty Training isn’t fun. I’ll just say that up front. But, once you figure out how to make it work for you and more importantly, your little one, it gets a lot better.

I always heard not to push potty training on your toddler, and truthfully I didn’t want to because potty training sounded awful to me. So last year (ugh how has it been that long?) when H would try to climb up on the toilet and pull his pants off, I took that as the sign that he was ready for it. So we bought some underwear, I read some articles, got advice from trusted friends and family, bought some potty treats and decided to go for it. It started off ok-ish, but he never told me when he needed to go and there were so. many. messes. So I kind of lost steam, then we had a family vacation and I put him back in diapers because I didn’t want to deal with it. Then I decided to wait a while before we’d start again.

This happened a few times. We’d get into the groove, but then something would come up where it was just easier to put him in diapers or pull ups and forget about it. Also, he’d just never tell me when he needed to go. I mean, maybe a couple times a week he would, but I got exhausted trying to remind him every half hour or so that we needed to go. To make it worse, he got to the point that every time I’d bring it up he’d scream, “no!” and run away from me. Didn’t seem like he was ready, right? So again, I’d kind of give up on it. We’d have random days/weeks where we’d put him in underwear and he’d do ok. But mostly it ended in lots of gross laundry for me and an un-potty-trained toddler.

Then something clicked, and I think this is why people tell you to wait until your toddler is ready. Like really ready. I thought he was ready all those times before, but I guess he wasn’t. Because about a month ago he brought me underwear and then a few minutes later he told me he needed to go potty! Then throughout the day he just kept telling me he needed to go! Yes, I’d still remind him here and there and pooping is always an adventure, but it was like all the sudden he just got it! So we excitedly started rolling with it and its been a dream! Well, as much as potty training a toddler can be a dream.

After a lot of hit and misses when it comes to getting your kid ok with using the restroom, here are my list of do’s and don’ts. Oh also.. Apparently its common for some kids to be afraid of the toilet or going on it. H never was, he actually thought it was cool, so I don’t have any advice as far as making the toilet not scary. We just got lucky this time.

DO

  • Find some kind of award system that works for your little buddy. Treats always were a big motivator for H. We had small candies in our cupboard and if H went potty on the toilet he got two, if he pooped on the toilet he got four and if he told us he needed to go he got a bonus one. We also had a little bit of a sticker reward system going from time to time, as well. I had a small book that we titled, “H’s Potty Book” and when he went potty he got one sticker in his book, when he pooped he got two. We had a certain amount of stickers for each page (it was quite a few) and when a page was filled he had a reward we’d predetermined that he’d get to cash in on. Sometimes it was going to a certain place, sometimes it was a toy, sometimes it was a big treat, etc.
  • Celebrate potty and poop! Such a mom thing to say, but I’m serious! Make your kid feel like a million bucks when they go on the toilet – especially when they are the ones who initiate it! Sometimes H would get so pumped up and proud of himself he’d ‘have to’ go like two or three times in a row! Toddlers respond well to excitement and praise. Remember that.
  • Also hand-wash-train them. Keep in mind that after you use the restroom, you wash your hands! Get them in the habit. You use the toilet. You wash your hands. Always. Know what makes this easier? Fun soap. For example, H loves foamy soap.
  • Buy fun underwear. Kids (mine at least) are so much more motivated to not make a mess in their underwear if its exciting!

DON’T

  • Don’t make them feel bad if they have an accident. A few times I am sad to admit I told H I was mad at him for pooping in his underwear. Whenever that happened I saw that he was extra upset when it came time to go potty again. It just made there be a yucky, heavy feeling over potty training and no one needed that – especially H.
  • Don’t make the whole process this big ordeal. When we first started, I had this big system that I thought would be awesome. It was long and complicated and there were far too many steps. It was unattainable and ended up making me frustrated.
  • Don’t let other peoples opinions change your mind. I can’t tell you how many times I heard ‘is he too young for this?’ ‘is he ready for this?’ ‘you should try this instead’ etc, etc. Stick to your mom/dad gut. Do what feels right for you. Know who knows your kid the best? You. Obviously if sometimes has some awesome advice or a suggestion you totally think will work, implement it. But don’t let peoples judgements or unsolicited advice change your coarse.

WHAT I USE FOR ‘MESSES’

Laundry

  • Fels-Naptha Bar. This is what I use to initially scrub poop out of clothing. This little bar is a game changer and I absolutely swear by it. Its cheap and totally works. Highly recommend.
  • Oxi Clean. After scrubbing the clothes, if there is still some work to be done on the clothes, I soak them in Oxi Clean. Its a powder you mix in with water (i’m pretty sure you can put it in the washer too?) and it works wonders.

Carpet/Floor

  • Folex. This is all I use to get urine and poop out of the carpet. Fun Fact: it also works great for pet accidents. This stuff is insanely effective.
  • Max Odor Eliminator. I got this for our dog when we first had her as a puppy. It somehow magically takes odor right out of the carpet. Its this stay foam stuff that just absorbs into the carpet and you don’t need to vacuum it up. Its very cool.

 

Happy Potty Training! 

 

Spider-Fam

On Sundays we take a family picture. We’ve done this every single Sunday since before H was born and its one of my very favorite things I’ve ever committed myself to. Want to have the coolest documentation of your family growing? Do it. I dare you.

Anyway, yesterday we decided to be Spider-Man…Spider-Men? for our Sunday picture and I’m just really happy with it. H is currently incredibly obsessed with The Avengers, especially Spider Man (and Hulk), so when I saw these adult pajamas that were Spider Man and knew our boys both had multiple pairs of Spider Man jammies… I mean how could I not?

You know what they say! A family that Spider-Mans together, stays together!

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SICK and Blind-ish

Ok January, I have one question for you.

WHY???

WHY do you insist on being so rough this year, huh? Why is everyone and their dog (except my very lucky husband) sick right now? Why is this month just lousy and so. freaking. long?? Is it February yet?

Are you sick too? Really, though. Is everyone sick? The boys and I have been sick since late December and it’s never even lightened up for us. We just keep adding symptoms and sharing them. Right now the three of us have awful colds that are in our chests, but also our heads. Definitely sinus colds. We also have pink eye.

Funny story that’s totally not a funny story about pink eye. Last night when I went to bed I put my glasses in the same spot I put them every single night and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning they weren’t there. I am super, super blind without my glasses or contacts. I searched around nearby for several minutes before I decided to waste a pair of contacts for a minute so they could help me find my missing glasses. When you have pink eye, contacts are a no-no. Also they’re very painful. So I put them on and went back to my room to find them. Where did I eventually find them? The floor of the entrance of my closet. How did they get there?? No idea. Not only were they in this weird spot, they were also broken. The lense part was separates from both side parts. Also a mystery was that there was only one side part. I’ve yet to find the third piece. Is that crazy? Like what the heck?

So no glasses and contacts are a no. Then remember how I said I’m super blind? Naturally you’d think, time to get new glasses! But I was stuck there too. My glasses prescription is expired and an eye doctor won’t see you for an eye exam while you have pink eye. So I have to wait until I’m all better before I get my new specs. In the meantime I decided to wear Wild Mans glasses which…kind of sort of helped but also kind of sort of didn’t help. They were still pretty darn blurry, but better than nothing. They also made me feel dizzy and nauseous. Fun! I complained a little bit about it on Instagram and one of my lovely friends came to the rescue. She told me she had an extra old pair of glasses that I could give a shot. I did and though they’re not perfect, they’re significantly clearer than Wild Mans prescription. Look! Something good did happen in January! My friend took so much weight and stress off my shoulders while I wait to get new glasses.

There is not point to this post, obviously. I’m just over feeling sick. I’m annoying if having sub-par vision and I just really need a bath, Dr Pepper and chocolate.

Husband Q&A

You know those things that are all over Facebook that instruct you to ‘ask these questions to your husband and see how he answers them’?…or something like that? Well, I decided to do that, except theres no way I’m doing that on Facebook, I’m doing that here. I thought Wild Man’s answers were funny and pretty good – so enjoy. Also, just so you know, anything in (____) are my interjections.

What is something I say a lot? I love you

What makes me sad? The babies hurting or in pain

What is my favorite thing to do? Spend time with family, but baths are up there too.

How tall am I? 5 9. I actually don’t know. 5 4. (I’m 5 4, I think. Or 5 5).

Whats my best feature? Boobs. Haha. Kindness. (boys…)

What do I do when you’re not around? Not laundry! (i hate laundry with all my heart) You worry, watch Hulu, write or scrapbook.

Whats my favorite tv show? Master Chef of Amazing Race. No idea actually.

What makes you proud of me? Everything. Your willingness to help and your kindness to everyone.

Where can I most likely be found? Home or Target

What is my favorite restaurant? Chick-fil-a or Costa Vida

Where is one place I don’t like to be? Alone and lost

If I could go anywhere, where would it be? Disneyland. Which is another place you could be found from a previous question.

How do you annoy me? When I grab your love handles (very true)

Who’s my favorite person? Penny (thats our dog and thats absolutely not true – he knows that). Hopefully me but I’m also competing with H and E.

What is my favorite kind of soda? Diet Dr Pepper with half and half in it. Or just plain Diet Dr Pepper.

Whats my favorite kind of food? Pasta

You get a call that I’m in trouble, whats it for? Someone is hurt and in need of medical attention.

If I became famous, what would it be for? Blogging.

28 Pieces of Advice

On my birthday I meant to post 28 pieces of advice since thats how old I turned and because I’ve learned a thing or two in my 28 years of living. But, I decided to take a break from most social media (the blog included) in December, so I clearly didn’t get around to posting that. Instead, I’m posting it now! I’m obviously no professional on how to live a wonderful, happy life and I don’t have all the answers to life and its problems, but I do have some advice on how to feel better and live a little happier. Enjoy!

  1. Don’t be ashamed of being exactly who you are.
  2. Wash your face every morning and every night. It doesn’t take as long as you think it will and its good for you. Also your old lady/man self will thank you for it.
  3. Drink a lot of soda, but also drink water. Find a healthy balance there. Its hard, but try.
  4. Stand up for what you believe in. If you can’t stand up for it, how much do you believe in it?
  5. Do or say something nice to someone else at least once a day. It will change you.
  6. Do or say something nice to yourself at least once a day. It will change you.
  7. Try yoga. Just give it a shot. Life changing.
  8. Find a creative outlet and let it be a getaway for you. It can be scrapbooking, drawing, writing, dancing, making movies, etc. Just do something that lets you escape from time to time.
  9. Don’t think you can do it all. Ask for help and know its ok to say no or take a break when you need one.
  10. Go to Disneyland. Because, duh! If this isn’t an option, binge watch lots of Disneyland YouTube videos. Everyone needs Disney magic in their lives and I will preach this until the day I die.
  11. Laugh at yourself. Its amazing how problems seem to lighten when you have the control to laugh at yourself and not take things so seriously. It takes work, but when its happening, its awesome.
  12. Don’t let social media dictate how you live your life. Do what makes you happy, not what you think you’re supposed to do because ‘everyone else is doing it.’
  13. Sing in the car – even when you’re at a stop light and the person in the car next to you might see your performance.
  14. Take a lot of pictures. Every day! You’ll never regret the number of pictures you have.
  15. Be happy for other people and don’t put others down. Have you heard that quote, “we rise by lifting others?” I love it and I try really hard to live by it.
  16. Pray every morning and every night.
  17. Use your manners. Plain and simple.
  18. Work hard at whatever it is you’re doing. Ron Swanson (from Parks and Rec) has a quote I think about all the time, and while its super funny, its also super relevant. He says, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”
  19. Be a helpful human. Ask people how you can help them, but also serve without asking what a person needs too, sometimes.
  20. Get enough sleep. Its fun to pretend you don’t need it, but then lack of sleep catches up to you and crap hits the fan.
  21. Create or maintain a good relationship with your grandparents, or someone significantly older than you. I swear some of my greatest lessons and conversations in life come from my grandparents. They know so much and can offer so much wisdom.
  22. Get a really good vacuum and broom. I did that recently and I had no idea just how much of a mood booster it would be.
  23. Occasionally spend time with yourself. Its nice to be alone with yourself and your thoughts sometimes. Its a good reset.
  24. If someone offers to let you hold their baby, do it. There is magic in those tiny adorable little ones. (but also don’t kiss that babies face, no matter how adorable it is – you’ve seen the articles)
  25. Go on walks. Its exercise. Its time outside in the fresh air. Its like a small little therapy session for you body and soul.
  26. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Its awkward at first, but then it starts changing you and how you feel about yourself. Serious.
  27. Don’t be ashamed of wearing comfy clothes more than you wear a pair of jeans and a blouse. Theres no shame in wanting to feel cozy.
  28. My last piece of advice is a song lyric, its my life motto, if you will: “…Try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought…”