Sunday, January 31, 2010

January: A Month I Won't Miss

January! It is almost over! And we survived . . .
  • Jill's first cold
  • Jill's first ear infection
  • Jill having diarrhea (and consequently a horrible diaper rash) for 3 1/2 weeks
  • Jill having a fever for 6 days
  • Jill cutting four teeth
  • Jill forgetting how to sleep for long periods of time (like at night)
  • Everyone getting sick

Some great things did happen in January though!
  • My dad had a birthday.
  • I got to see my parents.
  • Jeff's dad had a birthday.
  • Jill is now nine months old.
  • WE BOUGHT ANOTHER HOUSE!
And one other milestone this month: I spoke in the evening adult session of stake conference. I am not sure whether to include that in the list of things I survived or list of great things that happened, because it was definitely a mix of both. I was very nervous about it, but I did enjoy writing the talk. My topic was sharing the gospel. At one point I had looked up too much and got lost in my place (because I write out my talks word for word) and ending up repeating myself, but hopefully I played it off as just emphasizing that point and no one was the wiser.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When not to share

We apparently have done a great job teaching Jill to share!

Monday: Jill got sick.
Tuesday: Laurie got sick. (Laurie is Jill's grandma.)
Wednesday: Kyle got sick. (Kyle is Jill's uncle.)
Thursday: Jeff got sick.


Dum dum dum da dum . . . 

Will Daryl (Grandpa) or Mimi get sick? Stay tuned!!

Poor sick little girl

While everyone is blaming the sickness on Jill. I do have to wonder if someone else got it first and it just manifested first on Jill, because she's little and her immune system isn't used to being sick. Possible? Maybe?

Diarrhea Update
(Haha. How often to you get to see that subtitle on a blog post?) The doctor said the results are in: Jill does not have a parasite or bacteria in her. However, since the diarrhea has been going on for so long, he is slightly worried. He also said that the poop he saw when I took her in was unlike poop he had ever seen an almost 9-month old baby make. Hmm. (Yay for being special!) So, if she doesn't firm up by Monday, he recommends I take her to a digestive/intestine specialist to check for viruses.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Birthday Emily!

Birthday Girl!
Emily, one of my nieces, turned one on Saturday!


Yummy! A cupcake! :)


Hello precious little baby bump!
Jill's going to have another cousin! :)


Jill and cousin Emily


Jill and cousin Annibelle


We sure missed you cousins Hallie and Hanna! :)

Some days

WARNING: Do not read if you do not want to hear about Jill's bodily functions.

There are some days I am not interested in repeating. One of them was yesterday. Jill threw up six times, between 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Six times. Four of those times I was holding her. So, she and I went through a lot of outfits yesterday, and I have a lot of gross laundry to do. She also, of course, pooped out of some clothes yesterday as well. We went to the doctor, and somehow (I think miraculously) she is not dehydrated. She's on week 2 1/2 of diarrhea, and I've started to wonder if that is just her normal poop. She is mostly breastfeed, so her poop should somewhat liquid-y. She was just having more solid ones, so when she got sick at the beginning of the month and went back to liquid, I assumed it was diarrhea. Now that we're half way through the month and she's only had two somewhat solid poops, I wonder if I'm overreacting and this is just her normal. We took a stool sample to the hospital last night though, so I guess we'll find out soon.

1 plastic container of poop
2 ounces of Pedialyte
3 trips to the bath tub
4 new outfits for Mommy
5 times awaken from slumber
6 times Jill threw up

(Haha, sing that tune!!)

That aside, I am really grateful to be a mom and have a normally very healthy daughter. No matter how much I complain or how little sleep I get, I wouldn't change a thing about my life.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Family Picture

I was finally getting around to adding pictures on facebook when I realized I had never posted this picture on my blog, so here it is! The family Christmas picture. :)


Monday, January 11, 2010

2009

So, I'm stealing this from my friend's blog. She stole it from another friend. Who knows who thought of it first? I know, I know, we're in the second week of 2010 already, but it's never too late to commemorate! (Haha.) :)

Jeff and I in front of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. 
We got to visit our dear friends the Bellows. Sigh. We miss them.


February
Jeff went ice fishing for the first time.
He was pretty cold but definitely enjoyed himself!
(Thanks for taking him, Riley!)


March
Okay, so this picture was actually taken a few days into April, but it's a better pregnant Mimi picture than the one I have from March, because Jeff is in it, and we look darn cute together. :)


A lot happened in that month. I couldn't choose only one picture!!



May marked our move across the country, from Provo, Utah, to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Also in May, my grandma Homer returned to Heaven. I have no pictures of that event, but if I did, I'm sure she would have a huge smile on her face.

Jill's baby blessing—Jill with her Grandma Boling



A definite highlight of July was having all of my family together
at my parents' house for the Fourth of July. 
Here's Jill with her cousins. :)


Cincinnati Reds game with Elizabeth Hathaway


Little Santiago was born to our friends, Anayancy and Luis.


We went to the creation museum with Michelle and Shane Hickey (friends of mine from high school). Jill obviously enjoyed her first goat encounter.


Our prayers were answered, and Jeff got a job!!


Jill met Santa Claus.


I hope you enjoyed my revisit to 2009. I sure enjoyed sharing this past year with you! I am so excited to see what 2010 brings my little family.

Cold is a relative thing.

I have always thought that cold was relative. For example, in the fall when it gets down to 60, I start wearing a jacket or a sweater. In the spring/end of winter, when it gets up to 60, I wear short sleeves. It's all about comparison.

My parents live in Detroit, so they get lots of lovely snow, and my dad just sent me this chain e-mail that shows that cold is not only about comparison, but about what you're used to. I hope it gives you some chuckles like it did me.

65 above zero
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Michigan plant gardens.

60 above zero
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Michigan sunbathe.

50 above zero
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Michigan drive with the windows down..

40 above zero
Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.
People in Michigan throw on a flannel shirt.

35 above zero
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Michigan have the last cookout before it gets cold.

20 above zero
People in Miami all die.
Michiganders close the windows.

Zero
Californians fly away to Mexico.
People in Michigan get out their winter coats.

10 below zero
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Michigan are selling cookies door to door.

20 below zero
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Michigan let the dogs sleep indoors.

30 below zero
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Michiganders get upset because they can't start the snowmobile.

40 below zero
ALL atomic motion stops.
People in Michigan start saying, "Cold enough fer ya?"

50 below zero
Hell freezes over.
Lions win the Super Bowl.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Can I just say . . .

. . . that this week has not been superb.

Poor Baby Jill. She got sick for the first time this past week. (Sick meaning fever, cough, runny nose, and diarrhea.) I went to the doctor this morning, and she now has an ear infection as well. And to top everything off, she is currently cutting FOUR teeth. Yes, four. Her top row all decided to make the trip together.

Why?!

Haha. So, we're both really tired, and she's miserable, poor little thing.

I love Infant Tylenol and Baby Orajel.

Funny story. Jeff was at the store, so he picked up some more Tylenol for us. He came home and handed it to me proudly. I looked at it and said, "Jeff, this is children's Tylenol. We need Baby Tylenol." He slumped, "Oh." So, I told him it was fine, she'll get bigger, and we'll need it eventually. But he went back to the store the next day and returned it for Baby Tylenol. That day I went to the doctor and was given a chart that listed how much she could take according to how big she was. At 18 pounds (and she's now 18 pounds 13 ounces), she can either take a lot of Baby Tylenol or a little Children's Tylenol. Haha. So Jeff didn't buy the wrong one after all. Poor, amazing hubby of mine.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Word Time

Wow! When Jill takes over my blog, I sure get a lot of pictures posted! She did a great job. (No really, she did. Seriously. Okay, I'm a dork.)

Okay, so, I figured all of those pictures should be accompanied with some writing. My search for a home continues. Life is so interesting. I remember packing when we moved out here, wondering whether we would be with Jeff's parents for a short time or a longer time (say 3 months or so). I packed accordingly. That has left me with no access to my sweaters, etc. Sad day. It is amazing though how I once thought that three months might be tops for how long we would be here. Little did I know how hard it would be to find a job (and Jeff was blessed to find one that quickly in today's job market) and then how arduous the path of finding a home could be. We've been here about seven months now, and we might even hit a year before we move out! Life surprises you.

I made a list the other day. Well, three lists I guess: Starter Home, Forever Home, and Dream Home. I finally sat down and honestly listed what I thought we needed in a house right now and what I could wait for and what I might never actually need but would be pretty sweet. It's interesting, most of my criteria for the forever home are the same rooms the Muncie house had, and the dream home criteria are similar to the Alphaville house.

So, the debate between buying an existing home, building a home through a company that does everything, or building a home somewhat on our own (hiring our own general contractor, doing what work we know how to do, etc.) continues. We're in the "information gathering" stage. I had no idea that purchasing a lot and running utilities, leveling, etc. cost so much money.

Off of the house note. Here are some interesting articles I have read recently. I will share the beginning of each and then link to the story, so you can read the article in its entirety.


Behavior and Consequences
Dr. Bill Maier

The effective use of consequences can be a powerful parenting tool. When our children break a rule or fail to act responsibly, we can implement a consequence or allow the natural outcome of their behavior to take effect. Over time, these results act as a teacher, helping our kids to learn how things operate in the real world.

Unfortunately, far too many parents short-circuit this process, either failing to implement appropriate consequences or bailing their kids out—shielding them from the slightest discomfort. These parents believe they are expressing love by sparing their children from consequences; in reality, they are setting up their kids for frustration and failure later in life. Read the whole article.

This one is becoming increasingly important as Jill ages and gets closer to the age where she'll need discipline. She's too young to understand it right now, but if I make the habits now, then I'll be able to be consistent for her when she's older. Sometimes I feel very intimidated by the responsibility I have try to mold her into a responsible adult. Article like this, the Church, examples of other parents, and prayer help me acknowledge that it can be done!


The Grief of Infertility
Brad Nelson

As we entered the one-room country church, my dad reached to steady my mom. The explosion of color, the thick scent of lilies and the face of my grandfather in a bronze casket had knocked her off balance.

At 9 years old, I was too young to fully understand what was happening, but I could feel my mom's anguish. The closer we got to the casket, the more violently she wept. Her legs faltered under the weight of her grief. There was nothing I could do to ease the pain.

Nearly 20 years passed before I again encountered such physically intense grief from a loved one. This time, the deep pain came as my wife, Kerrie, explained through tortured sobs over the phone that a medical lab had confirmed that we were unable to have children. Once again, I could do nothing. I remember thinking, It feels like someone died. . . . Read the rest of the article.

I have never personally dealt with infertility, but there are many people in my acquaintance, family, and friendships who have. I often don't know what to say to them, because I haven't felt it, and I'm sure even if I had, no one's pain is the same, but I do believe this article had good information on how to deal with the pain. I also found it valuable, because while I hope to give birth to more children other than Jill, there is never any guarantee that I will be able to. Being able to bear children is a gift, one that I am reminded of and grateful for every day. Never take it for granted.


It's Good to Be Bored
Meredith Whitmore

When I hear people say they "get bored easily," my tendency is to think that they feel a bit superior to the rest of us. Sophisticated. Maybe even pious. Why? Because in American culture, getting bored quickly is practically held synonymous with having advanced acumen and/or being a fascinating, very important (and therefore very busy) human being in general.

It's almost as if we believe that "achieving" effortless ennui must mean we are savvy and cosmopolitan enough to have "been there, done that, thrown away the T-shirt."

Yet, paradoxically, we constantly flee boredom by toting iPods, cell phones and a host of other electronic gadgets or diversions. A few years ago, Motorola even coined a word for the brief moments when (gasp!) we're without a device to distract us from inactivity:
microboredom.

But boredom—micro or macro, of the common variety or the snobbish—isn't the enemy it's made out to be. And stillness, which we incorrectly link with boredom, definitely isn't. . . . Read the rest of the article.

It's funny. I always go by the mantra that if I've ever bored, it's my own fault, because there is always something to do. A new game to play with Jill. A new book to read. A phone call to make to a family member. A blog article to post . . . You see? But reading that post made me re-evaluate boredom. It really is important to set aside time to look within and get in touch with the Spirit. I remember how much I hated college psychology, because I didn't want to look within and try to figure out why I felt what I did. I was too lazy. It was too difficult. But when I don't know why I act how I do, then I lose my right over myself.


Why Kids Beg . . . And What You Can Do About It
Meredith Whitmore

It was the autumn of 1980. "Another One Bites the Dust" ruled radio. The nation was about to elect Ronald Reagan president. And if pestering parents had been an Olympic sport, I would've been a 9-year-old gold medalist.

In those days, J.C. Penney's Christmas catalog was a favorite read among grade-schoolers. My family's copy was always dog-eared to the Breyer Horses page. One year I wanted—no, I
pined for—the special collector's edition of The Black Stallion and his boy rider, Alec Ramsey, wearing riding silks.

I saw the toy only in the catalog and a horse-lovers' magazine, but that was enticement enough. It positively called to me. After all, my life's ambition was to become a jockey. "This would be an educational purchase," I calmly reasoned.

I left my parents notes. I verbally reminded them daily for three months. I told my Sunday school teacher about it and even got on my knees and pleaded when it looked as if all the adults in my life were oblivious to my deep need. But despite my zeal and determination, I did not receive The Black and Alec that year. Or any year, for that matter. And I still remember the disappointment, all the result of my exposure to one page in a catalog.
Read the rest of the article.

I am definitely not looking forward to dealing with this. But I am going to do my best! I have few sayings in my wallet that help me when I'm shopping: "I don't need the most expensive; I need what works." "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." and I can't remember the last one, but it's a quote that is similar to those ones. They help me evaluate before I buy. They actually even help me not even go shop in the first place. :) I almost get angry by sales, because I think the sales price should be the every day price. The words printed on a label should not make something more expensive. The amount of fabric, quality of work, detail of embellishment, cost of shipping, and overhead of store and employees should determine the price—not the name. Sigh.


Breaking the Debt Cycle
Paul Asay

Zombies. Vampires. Werewolves. They’re amateurs. Sure, movie monsters can be a little frightening, but if you want a real scare, take a look at your 401(k). Or hunt for a job. Or turn on the evening news for five minutes. Fake blood doesn’t send chills up the spine like red ink does. The economy is as terrifying as anything at the multiplex these days. And while few teens are feeling the pinch enough to impact their spending, they need to understand how we got into this recession . . . or risk repeating those mistakes. Read the rest of the article.

One thing that I found interesting about this article was the part about how people think life with debt is normal now. It's true. I do think that many people think that debt is a normal, necessary, part of life. It is scary to discover how many people spend more than they can earn. I wonder what America would be like if we saved more than we spent. Is it possible for an economy to survive based on saving rather than spending? I don't know. I didn't do very well in economics.

Picture Time

Hey you! Are you ready to look at some pictures?
Since I'm the one who keeps Mom too busy to post pictures, 
I thought I'd help her out and post them for her!
Enjoy!

Here's Mommy and the Hermanas on Christmas.

Mommy with her friend Anayancy

Me and Grandma! I'm working on some new teeth. :)

Mommy and my grandmas

Look at me in the stinkin' cute dress cousin Emily lent me.

Mommy, I love Pizza King! Please let me eat some pizza next time!

There's my first cousin-once-removed Tina and her new hubby Marley.
Don't they look spiffy?

Mommy and her friend Amanda. Amanda sure was surprised by how big I've gotten!

Michelle and Briana (more friends of Mommy) came to visit, too. 
What a lucky girl I am!

You can just say it: I'm pretty darn stinkin' cute. :)
Go Cougars!
(Thanks Uncle Jason and Aunt Amy for the awesome hat!)
(P.S. I'm pretty excited about wearing big girl jeans!!)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lessons Learned

So, I'm really behind again. Bleah. My parents came in for almost a week, and now my friends Bri and Chelle from high school are here. (They're in the next room; we're all supposed to be sleeping; I swear I'm not neglecting them.)

Sigh. This house hunting sure is . . . interesting. So, last month we bought the first house we looked at (not the only one, just the first one). It wasn't our perfect long term house, but it had a lot of great features for this stage of our family. Everything was going great—It was even coming to come partially furnished!!—then the inspection came back with major snags: foundation, landscaping, mold, termites, roof leaks, unproper electrical. Tens of thousands of dollars, and the seller was not really to negotiate. (I say good luck to them in the future!!) So, we were released from that contract.

We kept looking, trudging forward. We didn't find any that Jeff and I both liked. Then a HUD home came up. It was in a gorgeous, brand new community. It was only three years old, and the second and first floor were in immaculate condition. The basement had flooded (so there was mold from the water around all the dry wall) and there was a crack in the foundation. Those problems would not cost that much money at. It had sold for $240,000 three years ago new, and it had the price reduced to $180,000. We put in an offer for $125,000 (seller paying closing costs). It was rejected. We looked at the website again today, and an offer of $120,400 (seller not paying closing costs) was accepted.

Sigh.

So close to a beautiful home in a great neighborhood. The front was all brick. The family room was open all the way to the second floor, with the second floor hallway open like a balcony. The basement was huge, and so was the master suite.

Slipped away by just a few thousand dollars.

Brutal.

So, we go back on the prowl, bruised and probably more educated.

On a positive note, I went to the mall the other day with a sweater and a pair of shoes. In the process of finding sweet after Christmas sales and returning those two items, I left with two pairs of shoes, a sweater, a pair of jeans, and $10 back on the credit card. Sweet, eh? Why does anyone do their shopping before Christmas? Haha. Everything is so much less expensive after!!

So, we are still looking at homes in the area, but we are now also toying with the idea of new construction. We're slightly intimidated though by all of the unknowns that can pop up. Have any of you built? Or thought about it?