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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I won!

I wish the "I won" was in reference to winning the grand prize to the Gerber Generation photo contest. I pretty much gave up on winning the monthly prize because 1) I keep forgetting to vote and 2) I got tired of reminding people to vote. Really, I just want to win the college scholarship, which is part of the grand prize. Ahhh, college paid for before he turns 1. That would be amazing. Anyway, what I really won was a blog award! I didn't even know there were blog awards!

First, I would like to thank my parents. Without them, I wouldn't be here blogging today. I'd also like to thank my family and friends for reading my blog. Thank you to my baby for giving me cute pictures to post. Thank you to my husband who reads my blog and lets me know when I've misspelled something. And lastly, thank you to Losing Brownies who gave me this award! Go check out her blog!

Now that I've accepted the award I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself and then give the award to another blogger. This is going to be hard. Only 7 things?!

1. I miss being pregnant...sometimes.
My pregnancy with Blake was a breeze. I know, for some women pregnancy is 9 months of nausea, weight gain, and swelling. But for me, it wasn't that bad. I liked being pregnant. And my hair was pretty much amazing when I was pregnant.

2. I like thunderstorms...
when I'm safe inside. One year at Girls Camp I was trying to tie down our tent and lightning struck a tree that was a few feet behind me. It knocked me out for a second and when I came to I was on the ground looking at my sister who was standing across from me. She looked terrified and I yelled, "Get in the tent!" My feet were burning and I ended up going to the hospital because I had a splitting headache and was incredibly nauseous. The doctor at the hospital didn't really believe me when I told him the story, which was annoying. I left the hospital with a prescription for a UTI and a huge bruise on my bum. Needless to say, I left camp early. Now anytime I'm outside and hear thunder or see lightning, my first priority becomes finding a safe place to go. Sometimes this annoys Evan. But he's never been knocked out by lightning before.

3. I don't like having my fingernails painted.
Although I love the way my fingernails look after my sister-in-law gives me a manicure, I don't like having my nails painted. I feel like I have to be extra careful not to mess up the paint and when they start to chip I just pick at them until they look gross.

4. I started this blog when I was still in college...
and I love going back and reading my old posts. Here are a few of my favorites:
work
fear of flying
celebrity look-a-like
gym adventures
more gym adventures
cleaning up other people's trash
more fear of flying
even more fear of flying

5. I would rather clean a toilet than wash and dry dishes.
I just hate doing dishes. It always comes at the end of the day when I'm already tired.

6. I still don't have a dining table.
I've been looking for a table that we can sit together as a family and eat dinner. Usually dinner is eaten while standing in the kitchen or sitting on the couch. I don't know why it's taking so long for me to find one.

7. I still wear my maternity pants.
They are comfortable and still fit, so why not? Maybe I should be depressed by this fact. But, I know I don't look like I'm pregnant and all of my shirts cover the elastic band so it's not like anyone knows. (Until now. Great.)

So, now I get to bestow the versatile blogger award on those I deem worthy (said in British accent):

Living Life on the Road Less Traveled
Expat in Eire
Momma Go Round
Lindsay & Company

Wow, I've really let this award go to my head!

Monday, September 27, 2010

never thought this would happen...

Since I've moved to New York, several people have asked me for directions as I wait for the train. Usually when a person asks me if the train stops at a certain place or how to get to Yankee Stadium, I can only say, "I'm not sure. I'm sorry!" and leave without helping them at all. I always feel bad and wonder as I walk away, "When will the day come that I can actually be of use to direction-seekers?" Well, yesterday was that day...and I've only been here for a few months! Luckily the lady asking for directions had a map, otherwise I would have had to do the shoulder-shrug-I-don't-know routine. Hopefully I gave her pretty accurate directions. I would hate to find out that they got to Coney Island only to discover my directions were wrong! Oh, and did I mention that the subway line they needed to be on wasn't running, so they had to catch a free shuttle bus? And because I'm so perceptive I had noticed a service change poster on the train that said they'd need to catch a shuttle bus so I was able to tell them, even though I've never been on that subway line! (The only reason me never riding on the Q line is significant is because I only really pay attention to the service change posters that refer to the subway lines I usually take; the Q is not one of them.) Can you tell how proud I am of myself?

Luckily for you, that's not the only never-thought-this-would-happen moment I had yesterday. On my way home I walked by a rather large man wearing sunglasses. As he passed me, he turned his head slightly in my direction and said in a deep voice, "Juuuicaaayyy." (I don't know how to spell it out to convey the hint of predation and his obvious overconfidence.) As soon as I had crossed the street I called Evan to relay the story to him. He told me Blake would be there to defend my honor. What a loyal son! As I laughed about the incident, I wished I had said, "You obviously haven't seen me at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, not showered, still in pajamas with nice accents of spit-up and poop adorning my clothing. Oh, and did I mention I have no make up on and my hair is in the same ponytail it was in when I woke up?" Or, I could have just shown him this picture:
 Yes, I'm pregnant in this picture. Not very juicy, eh?
or this picture:
Maybe it's just me, but neither of these pictures scream, "Juicy!" I don't consider myself a juicy woman. I don't even know what that means. But thanks to our friends at Google images, we never have to wonder again what it means to be a juicy woman:

    This lady has a blog.                 

As you can see, being juicy can pretty much mean anything. It can mean being a Big Mac, being a grass covered lady with half a face of glass, being a laughing man with a leather jacket and faux-hawk, or being a normal looking woman. At least we don't have to wonder what it means anymore.

P.S. DO  NOT, I repeat, DO NOT Google image "Juicy Woman". This is a family friendly blog.

Friday, September 24, 2010

6 things

Since yesterday our sweet bundle of drool, I mean joy, turned 6 months old, I thought today I would write about 6 things I've learned since becoming a mom.

1. The way you pictured giving birth may, in reality, not happen as you'd hoped.
I was induced because I was a week past my due date. I really thought my body would do what it was supposed to and that I would have a baby the old fashion way: lots of pushing, sweating, grunting, possible screaming (although I always knew I would be getting an epidural. Birthing a baby was not the time for me to show my pioneer spirit.) and then out comes the baby. Well, that didn't happen. I had to have a C-section. I was actually really sad when the doctor said I'd need one. I just feel like it sets me up for more complications with other pregnancies. But, things don't always go as planned.

2. Breastfeeding hurts...A LOT!
Ok, now I know breastfeeding does not hurt for everyone. And if it was a breeze for you, then you are one of the blessed. But, for some women it is incredibly painful. I am one of those women. No, I wasn't doing anything wrong. It just hurt. And every consultant I talked to, every pamphlet I read, every prenatal class I attended told me it should not hurt. So I couldn't help but wonder through the tears as my baby tried to nurse what in the world was I doing wrong? Well it turns out that there's something called latch-on pain. The only way I found out about this was through a lot of research online. I finally found something that told me that as the baby starts to nurse there might be as long as 60 seconds of pain as everything gets into place. After that it shouldn't hurt. That was basically what I was experiencing: 30 seconds of pain, then it wouldn't really hurt after that. But when all you hear is, "It shouldn't hurt. If it hurts you're doing it wrong, " you think that if there's any pain at all then you should take the baby off and start again. Not true.

3. You will get lots of advice and will probably only use about 2% of what you're told.
Every baby is different. Some things work for one baby that might not work for another baby. So, you figure out what works and do it.

4. The first few months are...*ahem*...difficult.
I know motherhood will always be difficult and mothers deal differently with different stages their children go through. While I love Blake and have loved him since he was born, there were times, like when he was waking up every 2 hours to eat, that I thought, "What have I done? My life is over. I can't be a mom." This thought usually popped into my head around 3 am when he was waking up after I tried to quietly slip into bed without disturbing him. My mom kept telling me it would get easier. I didn't really believe her because when you are in the throes of the most exhausting experience of your life you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. (Mostly because your eyes are always half open due to lack of sleep.) But, it has gotten easier, and more enjoyable. I think I love every stage Blake has gone through. I miss how little he was when he was born but am glad he's on a more regular schedule. So, it does get better.

5. I don't sleep the same way I used to.
I don't think I have had a deep night's sleep since Blake was born. Even though he doesn't sleep right next to my bed like he used to, I can hear him turn over in his crib, drop his pacifier, whimper, and cry out when I'm sleeping. And it usually wakes me up, at which point I say over and over in my head, "Please stay asleep, please stay asleep!" I think with motherhood I've developed an increased ability to hear him. Super hearing. (Not the super power I would have chosen, per se, but oh well.)

6. 99% of mothers are trying to do their best.
I'm sure there's a percentage of mothers (I hope it's less than 1%) that aren't trying their best or who are addicted to some substance and have lost their ability to care for a child. But, for the most part, mothers are really trying to do what is best for their children. Whether they bottle or breastfeed, co-sleep or put their baby in a crib, wear their baby, teach their baby sign language, play classical music for their baby, put their baby in day care, or don't do any of those things, they really are trying their hardest to be a good mom. And as mothers we should support each other. We shouldn't make one another feel bad for not doing something that we are. I may not make the same choices as other mothers, but that's only because I feel like my choices are best for my baby. Your choices may be different. And I'm not going to judge you for that.

This isn't all I've learned as a mother, but I think these are things I wish I had known before I had a baby. It's been a crazy 6 months. And when he starts crawling it's only going to get crazier. I'm a little scared.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy 6 month birthday, Blakey boo!

I'm sure he'll love that little nickname when he's 16. 6 months ago today I was laying in a hospital bed convinced that in about 2 hours I'd have a beautiful baby boy. Nature had a different idea of how things would go down. You can read about it here. (It's long and slightly depressing. I was really emotional about the whole experience for a while.)

But, this blog post isn't about me. It's about our little baby who is growing up way too quickly. It seems like yesterday he was snorting when he cried and didn't know the meaning of the word sleep. (Well, we're still working on the sleep thing.)
 I've always wondered how some women can look amazing after they give birth. 
I was not one of them, nor will I ever try to be. I'm having a baby here, people!

Now, Blake has 2 teeth, not much more hair than when he was born, and a set of lungs that has only gotten stronger with time. He loves to play in his jungle bouncer and make all sorts of wonderful noises for the people below us to wonder what the heck is going on up here. He can't crawl yet, but can push himself backwards. He usually ends up pushed under the couch, staring at me like, "Ummmm, I'm stuck."
 He's gotten really good at eating solids. We started peas yesterday. He's not really a fan of those. But, who is!? I'm guessing he is close to 17 pounds, 27 inches long. We don't go to the doctor for his 6 month check up for another 2 weeks, so we won't know how much he's grown until then. Overall, he's a pretty happy baby. I'm excited to see what the next 6 months have in store! (and slightly nervous about the whole crawling and walking thing. At least now he stays in one general area!)
Happy birthday, Blake!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

little drummer boy

He looks a little scared, then happy, then confused.

video

Seeing New York- Green-Wood Cemetery

Our next adventure in exploring New York was visiting the Green-Wood cemetery. We decided to walk to the cemetery which is about 1.5 miles away. We could have taken the subway, but it was a nice day and we can always use an extra $5. I didn't really know what to expect from a cemetery so I was pretty surprised when we walked up and saw the entrance:
It looked so cool! So we took a stroll around all 478 acres (ok not really. We probably didn't even see half the cemetery. Maybe if we had taken the subway we would have been in better shape to see more of the cemetery.) It was really pretty and actually really quiet. It was nice to be in a quiet, peaceful place for a change. Where we live is pretty busy and loud most of the time. So visiting the cemetery was a nice change.
He did try to eat the grass right after this picture was taken.

  Can you see the city skyline in the back? So cool!

 If anyone ever asks me why I love the east coast, I'll just show them this picture. (and they'll probably say, "Because of the dead people?")


Story: I saw this tree and thought it would be funny to lean against it and hold Blake up in the crook so it looked like he had climbed up himself. That didn't quite work out because the tree looked gross (I don't know how else to explain it other than it looked like something was going to crawl out of a nook or cranny.) So just pretend like it looks like a 6 month old climbed a tree by himself. Funny, right?

Blake looks so grown up to me in this picture. And he's making two little bald patches on my head.

Reflecting on life.
The Green-Wood cemetery was fun to visit. I think it might be more fun if next time we tour it in a car (just so we can see all of it.) Next site-seeing adventure: Governors Island! (hopefully)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Brooklyn, we have a problem*

So, I decided I wasn't going to blog about this topic because 1) I don't think my husband would want me to and 2) it's kind of embarrassing and I don't want it to keep people from coming over...not that we have people over often. But, because this blog is more or less a journal I've been keeping for a few years, I think I need to blog about it. And journaling is a way for me to get my frustrations out and sometimes a way for me to see that my situation isn't all that bad. So here it is:

A few months ago Blake and I finally got to move to New York to be with Evan. It was a long 3 months of separation so we were happy to finally be a family again. All was well for about 2 weeks. One night I was sitting on a mattress we had on the floor because our stuff still hadn't arrived. I was playing with Blake when I looked over and saw...a roach. *gasp* I didn't even really stop to process what it was. I just saw something crawling towards me on the mattress, screamed, grabbed Blake, and ran into our living room. Blake started crying because I obviously scared the daylights out of him and Evan thought something had happened to Blake. Through gasps of air I tried to communicate to Evan that there was a roach in the other room and that he needed to go be the man of the house and kill it. He was able to find it and killed it. And, he knows me so well that he even left it out so I could see that he killed it because once he told me he killed a spider and he in fact did not kill said spider. So Evan, being the caring husband that he is, tried to play it off like that was the only roach we'd ever have and that he had seen it before but couldn't kill it so he was glad that we had finally gotten rid of it. Only, the rule of the insect world is, "Where there's one, there's hundreds"...or millions...or trillions! {shudder}

So as much as I tried to tell myself that it was the only roach we'd ever have, I knew that wasn't true. A few nights later Evan was asleep and I went into the kitchen to make a bottle for Blake. As I turned to my left, there it was...the biggest roach I had ever seen. We have hardwood floors that have lots of dark spots in them so I had to bend down a little just to make sure it wasn't just a spot on the floor. Due to the earlier roach incident, I decided wearing shoes at all times in the house was now a necessity. I would not be caught barefoot when I saw another roach only to have it escape. So it took about 30 seconds for me to muster the courage to kill the thing, which makes me think it may have been dead or on its way out of this world because what kind of roach just sits there for 30 seconds? Anyway, I smushed it with my shoe and ran into the bedroom crying and telling Evan I couldn't live here with roaches. He cleaned up the remains and apologized for making us live here.

For a while I was scared to go into the kitchen. I would stand in the doorway, surveying the floor so as not to be ambushed by any roaches. Then I would only spend enough time in the kitchen to make a bottle or heat something up. I researched online the best way to get rid of roaches and found out that boric acid as well as keeping things really clean is the best way to get them out of your life. My kitchen and bathroom are lined with boric acid (100% boric acid, not the sissy gel stuff.) I don't leave food out uncovered, I make sure the dishes are clean and put away before I go to bed, I vacuum the floor a few times a week, and try to keep things really clean. And it was working...until this morning. Evan killed a roach in the bathtub.

I've killed a few tiny ones in the bathroom. I can handle the tiny ones. Unfortunately the tiny ones turn into big ones. And it's the big ones that make me lose sleep at night. My downstairs neighbor told me that roaches are just a part of living in New York. I'm not sure I believe that they have to be. I know that no matter where we live we'll have to deal with some sort of pest, well, pestering us. I just deal a lot better with ants, or something small. Anyway, so I'll be vacuuming every night and trying to figure out how to rid myself of these disgusting creatures. Suggestions are welcome.


*I don't want anyone to think that we have roaches crawling all over. I've only actually seen 2 and killed 1. We are very clean people and have actually become more clean since moving to New York. I just think all bugs are disgusting and think it would be too soon if I never saw one again.

Friday, September 17, 2010

wow.

This girl is amazing. Not only does her ability to turn an ugly dress into a stunner astound me, but her ability to see a certain design or come up with one on her own and execute it leaves me speechless.

http://newdressaday.wordpress.com/

On a more disgusting note, I woke up with a spider crawling on my pillow this morning. Goodness knows how long that spider had been using my bed and most likely body as it's own little spider playground. Luckily I saw it and disposed of it. And Blake enjoyed watching me do it. It wasn't a very big spider. But my rule is if it doesn't pay rent it can't live in our apartment. (Blake is excluded from that rule. He's so cute he can pretty much do whatever he wants...except pull my hair. That's against the rules.)


I keep trying to post a cute video of Blake, but it's taking forever so I gave up. You'll just have to imagine him doing something cute.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Laundry Story

On a crisp, autumn night 2 piles of laundry sat on the floor of a brownstone in Brooklyn. They certainly weren't going to clean themselves, so they were gathered into a bag and taken to a nearby laundromat. They were rinsed, sudsed, rinsed again, spun, and tumbled until they were dry and ready for folding. The events that transpired when the clothes arrived back at the brownstone are in fact true:

"Blake, do you want to h..."
"Hang on, Mom. I'm watching Wipeout."

"Will you help me fold the laundry while you watch?"
"I'd love to!"
"Ok. Here's your pile."

"Oooo they're still warm!"

"Hey! Here's my sock! I'll just hang on to it while I look for the other one..."

"Hey! My moon!"

"Now where did I put that sock?"

"Here it is!"

"All done, Mom!"

"Thanks, Blakey! Are you ready to go to bed?"
 "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"


The End

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Maclaren

Before Blake was born, I had the hardest time picking out a stroller. I would find one that I liked, but hated the color or design. Or I would find a color I liked, but hated the stroller itself. Worse, I would find one that I loved only to check the price tag and learn that it cost a small fortune and I wasn't willing to pay that much (kind of like when I searched for a decent diaper bag and found some that cost $300...which should be a crime in all 50 states.) Finally Evan and I found a stroller we both liked that seemed easy enough to use and it came with a car seat.
My mom was kind enough to buy the stroller for us and in the 5 months we've had Blake it has gotten a lot of use. I remember rolling the stroller around the kitchen with Blake in it just to get him to go to sleep. I love our stroller. It's easy to use, cute, has plenty of room for Blake to grow, has a great storage basket underneath, and is currently doubling as Blake's high chair. The only thing our stroller isn't good at is...being carried up and down subway stairs. Evan has no problem doing it, but I do. In fact, I rarely take Blake in the stroller on the subway by myself because 1) it's hard for me to carry and 2) I'm afraid I'm going to trip and injure my child. So while we will continue to use our "hummer" stroller (that's what a host at a restaurant called it when we rolled up to be seated), I needed a stroller that I can use when Evan can't carry the hummer for me.

So my search for a lightweight yet durable stroller for Blake to cruise around Brooklyn in began. Enter the Maclaren. Everywhere I went I saw people with this stroller. It was recommended by people in our ward. These strollers looked cute and not too expensive. I finally caught a glimpse of what type of stroller it was and immediately went home and googled it...and subsequently fell in love. The Maclaren was lightweight (8.8 lbs). durable, cute...and British! I could just imagine myself walking the streets of New York pushing my British stroller, feeling pleased as punch. The only thing that was going to throw a wrench in my plans to obtain a Maclaren was the price. Their least expensive stroller cost as much as the "hummer" my mom bought us! So the envy set in. Everywhere I went I eyed other strollers. I could spot a Maclaren a mile away. I would stare as they passed me by thinking, "If I could just get a Maclaren, everything would be wonderful!" (Ok, that's a little dramatic, eh?) I searched other brands of lightweight strollers, but nothing came close to the Mac.

Finally, I found a Maclaren on ebay for half the price. I couldn't believe it. I knew for sure I was going to get scammed. I've never used ebay before and wasn't even sure how it worked. Would I have to bid on it? Would I get into a bidding war and lose my precious Maclaren Volo? Luckily, I didn't have to bid on it. So, after much anxiety, I bought it...and it came today!

Now, the color is not my favorite. But for half the price and the ability to carry my child down any set of stairs in this city, I had to take it (or go on steroids to bulk up so I could carry our hummer. And since steroidy women aren't very attractive, I'll take the Mac...not to mention the medical ramifications of steroid use.) I haven't taken Blake out in it yet, but as soon as he wakes up and I actually get to take a shower (yes, it's 4 pm and I haven't showered.  I've been waiting for the UPS guy all day and didn't want to miss him!) we're going to take our Maclaren Volo for a spin. I just hope it's as wonderful as I've built it up in my mind to be.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Seeing New York- Natural History Museum

I think this post might be one in a series of posts about the fun things we do in New York. It would be fun to see a new sight every weekend, but that would require us to dip into Junior's college fund and that certainly isn't an option. Maybe we'll make it a once a month thing. Anyway, this past Saturday we went to the Natural History Museum in NYC. Although Blake won't actually remember going and seeing all the cool dinosaurs and sea creatures, we have pictures to prove we were there (to use when Blake's older and complains that we never do anything fun.)

Our trip to the NHM was a lot of fun! Especially when we met Michael, a museum security guard who stopped to talk to us about...well pretty much everything. Michael came over to see Blake, and in the 5 minutes we spoke with him, he talked about:
1. New York radio stations
2. A radio host named Blake
3. Blake Shelton (the country singer)
4. Winning prizes through radio station contests
5. Meeting Usher 3 times because of the different contests he's won
6. Whitney Yogurt Company
7. Carol King
8. Neil Sedaka
9. Barbara Streisand
10. How babies know their mother's voice
11. Having another baby and it being a girl
12. Coming back to the museum with the baby girl, finding him and showing him our new baby
13. Los Angeles
14. Virginia

Michael was the friendliest/most talkative person we have met...ever. If we are still in New York when we have another child, I think we really will try to find Michael at the museum and show him our new baby!

Utah and California

A few weeks ago we set out on a graduation/mission homecoming extravaganza that would take us across the nation to Utah and then to California. My little sister, Tori, graduated from BYU and we were there to celebrate with her!



After Blake and I had our fun in Utah, we flew to California to welcome home Evan's brother Josh from his mission in Chile. We were all excited to see him again!
Not only did Blake get to meet another uncle, he also had his first swim!
He also did a lot of reading,
and playing with new friends!
Overall it was a great trip and we were sad to come home! (But happy to finally be home after our late night flight and being taken to Manhattan instead of Brooklyn by the car service driver...that was beyond annoying.)