Sunday, December 29, 2013

All I want for Christmas is Influenza A! (p.s. it's a photo dump)

That must have been what I said.....I mean, I got the flu, so I must have asked for it. And, I guess I did ask for it because I went to church! That's right......I, without my baby, went into a large yes, I asked for the flu. I was vaccinated though, so I really thought I was safe. Turns out, I wasn't :( So, here is a post about the last two weeks of our lives.

The weekend before I went to church, I took the boys out and they picked out their ornaments for this year- J picked out a Red Train! Go figure. You can see part of it in top left corner of the picture. J helped me pick out an ornament for the baby as well, a cute little cupcake (on the right), he then immediately started calling his sister Princess Cupcake, we think it's a nickname that's going to stick! B picked out a "Time Tunnel". If you don't know what a Time Tunnel is then you have clearly never watched "Dinosaur Train". Time Tunnels are what the dinosaurs on the dinosaur train travel through in order to get to the  different prehistoric eras. Do you see the time tunnel in this picture? It kind of looks like the Eiffel Tower- but B is convinced it's a Time Tunnel and who am I to try to convince him otherwise. I think they are all awesome choices.
 I didn't get a picture of my ornament from this year, and sadly I've put them all away- so I will just tell you what my ornament looks like- it's a cute little baby dressed up in a giraffe costume- in honor of the cute little baby that joined our family this year :) Ken has yet to pick out his 2013 ornament, I better remind him about that. (Ken, consider yourself reminded, you need a 2013 ornament!)

So then I went to church......and the next day I felt fine, but on Tuesday of the week before Christmas I woke up with a scratchy throat. On Wednesday I started to cough. That day was also the Jingle Jam at J's school and I was NOT going to miss that, so I went. I didn't cough on anyone. The baby slept the entire time, and B played at a new friends house. You've already seen the video, but here is a picture of my Cute J in line with some of his classmates, waiting to go up on stage. He was so excited to see me! It melted my heart.
 After the Jingle Jam I went to the store and bought myself some masks to wear whenever I was in contact with the baby. AND I bought a thermometer that we could use to monitor the baby and make sure she wasn't getting sick. The next day, Thursday, my cough got even worse, Ken set up a doctors appointment for me for Friday, but I was coughing so badly at times on Thursday that I would throw up after I was finally able to breath again. It reminded me a lot of the Bronchial Spasms I had 10 or 11 years ago and I was convinced I had a really bad case of Bronchitis. I would have gone to an urgent care facility that day but there just happened to be an Ice/Snow Storm raging that I stayed home.......until the afternoon after the storm was over, when I (with my mask to protect all innocent bystanders) took my children to Target, for 5 minutes tops, to pick up J's GLASSES!!!!!!!
 On Friday morning, after J got off to school, I took B and E up to my Parents house and waited for the time to go to my appointment at Ken's office clinic. While there the baby took a ride in a tiny sleigh :)
 And she also partook of some good Grandma cuddles. Then the baby and I went to my appointment. Little B stayed at Grandma's house, for which I am very grateful. He enjoyed that much more than he would have enjoyed hanging out with his Dad at his office.
 Baby E had lots of fun with her Daddy, she got to show off how cute she is and thank all his coworkers for the cute clothes and headbands they gave her :) While she was upstairs with Daddy entertaining all the ladies in Payroll and Commissions, I was down in the clinic being diagnosed with the Flu. I was positive for Influenza A to be exact. BUT I got a flu shot!!!!!! I protested. The flu shot doesn't protect you from all the strains of the flu, I was told. But I have a tiny baby, how do I protect her? I asked. Oh, up until about 6 weeks of age, baby's still have most of their mother's immunity, she should be fine. But, I got the flu, so that means I wasn't immune, I said. Yes.....yes that is true, wash your hands a lot, cough into a Kleenex, use hand sanitizer and wear your mask.
 So that was Friday Morning. I didn't have time after my appointment to pick up little B from Grandma's because I had to get home to meet J when he got home from school. I called up my Mom and told her that I had been diagnosed with the Flu and she offered to take both our boys for a few days. Ken took care of the baby and I for the entire weekend, making sure that we were both fed and that we both took long naps and slept as much as we possibly could each night. On Monday I was feeling better and I spent most of the day with the boys and the baby at my Mom's house. I took the baby into the doctor that day as well, I was worried that she had a burst eardrum....turns out the crust the kept showing up on her ear was a crusty eczema related rash. I'll take that over a burst eardrum any day!  I was still coughing but we decided to bring the boys home on Monday night. We had a pretty laid back Christmas Eve day and then enjoyed time with the entire Turner family for Christmas Eve Dinner...........Then we went home........and.........
 .........Santa Came! (oops, I forgot to rotate the picture)

It's amazing how excited a 3 year old can be about a new toothbrush! Good Call Santa!
 Santa brought me some amazing gifts too......or should I say KEN! I mean, I'm pretty sure I've got this whole "Santa" thing figured out, next year I'm going to try to catch him in the act and get some proof!
We had a very nice Christmas morning, B enjoyed reading a book about trains (thanks Grandma Wheeler)
 The boys enjoyed putting together the puzzles that they gave to each other.
 At Grandma and Grandpa Turners house I discovered the BIGGEST WHITMAN'S SAMPLER ever!!!!!
 Later in the week......while I still struggled to get over the stupid flu.....J used the giant magnet set that Grandma T gave the boys for Christmas, to write out 0 through 6. When I told him I needed a picture, he also added some of the AWESOME wooden toys that Grandpa T has given to the boys.
 Because Mommy doesn't think it's the best idea to hold her sweet baby all the time (like she wants too) Baby E has been discovering all the fun toys we have for active, learning, tummy time loving (or hating) babies around our house.
 This weekend (still not feeling like all the symptoms are gone- HOW LONG DO THEY LAST!!!!) the boys all got haircuts. J actually asked for a super short cut, B and Ken got their regular cuts, then all the boys dressed alike in red shirts and blue jeans. It's amazing to me how big my baby boys are getting. Ken is staying the same....if not getting younger!
 We also made Gingerbread cookies this weekend. J told me how to make gingerbread "You need Bread and you need to add Ginger!" So I let J and B help me make the dough, now they know that it takes a few more ingredients. That was yesterday. This morning we took out the very chilled dough and made lots and lots of cookies. I must say, they are soft and don't taste too bad, we may have to make some more next Christmas.
 And for the Grand Finale! Guess who started smiling (YES REAL SMILES) this weekend! She'll be 6 weeks old this coming Tuesday, so it's pretty much perfect timing. We love our sweet baby girl. And, it looks like, she loves us too! (She even loves me, the weird lady that has been wearing a mask for 1/3rd of her life.)
Hopefully I'll be able to get rid of this cough and the masks soon. But I'll keep wearing them (and washing my hands till they bleed, and rubbing hand sanitizer all over the exposed skin on my arms and changing my shirt whenever I realize that I coughed on my elbow or my shoulder rather than into a Kleenex) for as long as it takes. We've got to keep that cute little Angel as healthy as can be!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our Christmas Tree- 2013

Last night we set up our Christmas tree. But before we started J got to hold his baby sister. He did very well and she let him hold her for about 5 minutes!
One of the first things the boys got out were the nativity sets. 
I love Christmastime! I've really enjoyed decorating our Christmas tree over the past 8 years that Ken and I have been married. I realized yesterday that I'm kind of particular about how it's decorated. We have a fake tree- it was cheap and so it has some "holes" where the limbs are kind of far apart. To make it look fuller I usually stuff the holes in the tree with extra garland, then I add extra lights and so on and so forth until the tree is practically perfect. For a few years I only put matching ornaments on the tree, but last year I decided that I wanted to let each family member pick out a new ornament each year- which meant that the ornaments would no longer ALL match.

As I set up the tree this year I decided I didn't care if the tree had holes in it- or looked fake. I also decided that I wanted to let the boys decorate the tree, I figured they would have fun. And they did! Sweet J jumped right in and started grabbing any ornaments he could find.
Part of my decision to let the boys do the majority of the decorating was because of the Baby, I expected her to be quite fussy, she wasn't though, she was quite happy in her swing.
Here's my happy little B! He enjoyed having his Daddy help him so that he could put some ornaments a little higher on the tree.
And here is what the tree looked like when we finished decorating last night.
This morning the boys "redecorated" the tree. Last night J told me that he was going to hang this plush angel toy....I told him not too, that it wasn't an ornament, he showed me her Halo and said "then why does she have this hanger on her head?" It told him it was her Halo....he looked at me like I was insane. The Angel is now on the tree.
Can you see how B redecorated? 
If you can't, check out the bottom of the tree, he moved as many of the ornaments to the bottom as possible. I'm not going to change a thing! This is quite possibly the most precious Christmas tree I've ever seen.

Big Enough, Good Enough, Strong Enough....

Last Tuesday night, the baby was a little fussy and having a hard time sleeping. Eventually I gave up trying to get her to sleep in her bed and I sat on the couch and held her............all night long. While I was pregnant, I was addicted to hearing her heartbeat, and now that she is here, she is showing signs of an addiction to my heartbeat. If I place her little head on my chest, she will usually calm down and fall asleep. That night I slept on and off, while I sat on the couch holding my sleeping baby, and in the morning I was quite upset with myself. What if I had dropped her? I didn't, but what if I had? What if she had rolled off my chest while I was dozing. I felt horrible, the fact that I had only slept for about 2 hours added to that feeling. 
That next day she had a pretty normal day, but that afternoon she started fussing again. I know this fussiness is normal, but it was eerily similar to the previous night, and Ken was going back to work the next morning. THEN- it got worse. Here's my Facebook status from that night.

"It's quite possibly the perfect storm of crappiness. Ken has to go back to work tomorrow. The baby hasn't slept for more than a 1/2 hour at a time since 4 (which makes me worry that the sleeplessness of last night might continue tonight) AND J just threw up. YAY! Pray for us. Ken's going to try to get the baby to sleep and I am going to bed, right now."

That was just after 7 pm. Right before I got in bed my neighbor (who happens to also be my Visiting Teacher) called. She had made some soup for their dinner and she had a lot leftover, she wondered if we wanted any. I started to cry. Yes, we would love the soup, but we could also use some prayers. She promised that she would bring the soup for dinner the next day and that she would also pray for us.
I prayed again, begging God to help my baby sleep, I was so tired, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to take care of her or her brothers if I didn't get sleep. I was scared, so scared about the next day when I would be alone with my 3 children for the first time. I had no idea how I would make it work if I only had 2 hours of sleep again. I took half a sleep aid and got into bed. I woke up when the baby cried around Midnight, she ate and went back to sleep for 3 more hours, then ate and went back to sleep again. It was AMAZING!
The next day I had a very interesting feeling. I felt like I was going about this whole "Mom of 3" thing all wrong. I had been praying, BEGGING God to make certain things happen. And for the most part he had blessed me with those things I had been asking for, but sometimes, like that sleepless night, it was hard to see where the blessings were. 

But on Thursday morning, my outlook changed. Here is how I explained it to the world....once again- through Facebook.

"Today I decided that rather than tell God what I need him to do, I should ask him to give me the ability to do whatever he needs me to do. It seems to be working :) "

Why, oh WHY had I never thought about life this way before? I felt kind of changed in a way. That Tuesday night I was doing my best, MY best, and I guess it was enough. I mean my baby slept, but I was left exhausted and that was not a good thing for my mental and emotional health. I worried that I wasn't enough, that my best wouldn't be good enough. And you know what- it probably wouldn't have been in the long run. BUT, I am not alone. I know God lives, and I know he loves me and he loves my family and when I made that change from telling God what I needed to asking him to give me the ability to handle whatever comes my way, to do whatever he needed me to do, and he did!

Thursday was an amazing day, Friday was pretty great too. I realized I could do this, and I felt, so completely, that I wasn't doing it on my own. My Heavenly Father, he made me Big Enough, Good Enough, Strong Enough, to do what needed to be done. Am I doing everything perfectly? No. Is every moment of our lives blissful? Nope. Have the kind little forest creatures come to help me get the cleaning done? That's a big negatory, good buddy. BUT, I've been able to do what needs to be done, everyone gets to school and preschool, we all get fed, the baby gets held and cuddled and naps and everything else babies need, the laundry and the dishes get done AND sometimes a counter gets wiped down or socks and shoes get picked up! I even get dressed! It's Miraculous! And it's a big big blessing.

I do find that it's really easy to slip back into thinking "I need to DO THIS!!!!! Heavenly Father, you need to make this happen!!!" but when I start feeling that kind of anxiety creep into my mind I try to remember to stop, and ask God to give me the ability to do what HE needs me to do, and he does and I am grateful.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fight the Good Fight!

What's the Good Fight? So many things. Right now I have a couple of "Good Fights" that seem to be at odds with each other. The first "Good Fight" is to keep the baby healthy and how do you keep a baby healthy during a very cold fall and winter AND the flu season? Well according to all the doctors, you keep your baby away from large crowds, especially crowds that my have people who really should have stayed home because they are sick (i.e. church and parties- because who wants to miss out on those things! No one, so people tend to go even when they aren't feeling the best). So for the past 3 weeks I've stayed home from church, and although we did go to Thanksgiving dinner at my Parent's house, we didn't stay long and we haven't been to Sunday dinner with the family in 3 weeks either. Which leads to the second "Good Fight", Kate needs to Socialize! I feel quite isolated staying home as much as I have been and I'm starting to wonder if the Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression are more common during the winter. I was really feeling sad after spending 20 minutes at the Turner Family Cookie Swap. I felt like it was important to introduce the Baby to her her Great Grandmother, and we tired to get to the party during the hour before it started, (to avoid the crowd), but that didn't work out,
(imagine a 3 year old who is awoken from his nap before he is ready......and then proceeds to cry and lay on the floor and make it really hard to get everyone ready to get in the car and go to the party)

and we arrived pretty much at the same time that most everyone else did. So there was a crowd. The baby met many wonderful relatives.....

Like her Great Grandmother- Verna O. Turner
And her Great Aunts, Deb and Sue (why didn't we get a picture with Susan?)

.......and then we collected a few cookies and headed home, to have dinner by ourselves. I held back tears for most of the night, but inside I was having my own little pity party. It's the Christmas season and I just don't seem to be feeling the spirit of the season. I don't get to sing Christmas Hymns at Church, I stayed home from the Church Christmas party, and like I just said, I had to leave a Family party without really socializing. So I did what I've learned is best to do when I'm feeling down, I told Ken all about it. I had to let it out, because my pity party was RUINING my "You can do this, Kate!" attitude that was really helping me feel like an adequate mother (oh, I just realized I need to blog about that....maybe tomorrow). After crying a little and telling Ken all about how I was feeling kind of lonely we came up with a plan. Ken is very willing to let me go out, and yes a girls night does sound fun BUT I would miss my baby. So another thought was to invite a couple or two over for a game night. SO, we are going to try to make sure that I get some very much needed socialization. Hopefully my Sisters and their families will be super healthy this winter too- because I miss going to Sunday Dinner.

So we are going to continue to Fight the Good Fight- both fronts of it. The next 5 weeks will probably fly by and in a few months I won't even remember how hard the "Fight" was, but sometimes, in the thick of the "fussies" (that's what we call the crying that 2 to 6 week old babies tend to do in the early evening) and the  "Poo-pocalypses" and "Poo-tastrophies" that our girl is so amazing at producing (I haven't figure out how she does it yet- but she's AMAZING at making gigantic messes!), it sometimes feels like this time of our life might never end. I just have to remember the two older boys to realize that it will end all to fast and soon my sweet baby will be 3 or 5! AAAAAAAHHHHHH. So, feel free to say a little prayer for us, but don't worry too much, we are going to be fine. We are pretty good fighters.

And here's a little view of my life today. After driving J all the way to the bus stop (It's 1/10th of a mile, but it was 6 degrees outside), we came home and I fed the baby. She immediately started to nod off, so I laid her down next to me on the couch- I had to run upstairs to grab some stuff, and also change out the laundry in the washer and dryer, so I made her a little nest. B joined us on the couch- since the couch is the best place from which to watch Caillou- and he may have kicked his sister in the head (very lightly, I guess it was more like a swipe than a kick) but we spent a very happy 90 minutes napping/blogging/cartoon watching together this morning.

And with that, I must be off. I've got a wide awake baby now, and she needs some cuddling! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Snow! It's pretty, it's fun to play in, but when it's falling......

.......just don't go anywhere.

Our first winter storm hit earlier this week. It just so happened to dump about 7 inches of snow in our area AND it dumped all this snow on the day that the baby had her 2 week checkup. Ken got J off to school that morning and then took B over to his preschool carpool a few minutes early so we could have 50 minutes to get to the doctors office. We got the baby all bundled up and headed off, into the snow. 

In our area we have small roads that run parallel to the freeways, they are called frontage roads. When we want to go up to the Salt Lake area we usually take the frontage road north for a few miles before getting on the freeway, because the closest freeway entrance to us is to the south and we really dislike backtracking. But on this day we decided to head for closer freeway entrance because the frontage road hadn't been plowed. As we got closer to the freeway we could see that it was pretty much at a dead stop. I told Ken that we should just try taking the frontage road and avoid that part of the freeway. So we turned around and headed north. As we approached the hill (which both the freeway and frontage road have to climb) we  noticed that several of the cars in front of us were getting stuck part of the way up the hill. This did not bode well, so we decided to turn around again and take our chances on the freeway, however slow it would be. As we once again approached the the freeway we got stuck in some more traffic, which was caused by even more cars getting stuck in the snow. It had been about 20 minutes since we left home and we were about 2/3rds of a mile away from home. If we ever did make it to the freeway, we would be quite late to the doctors appointment. Thank goodness for cell phones, we were able to call the doctors office and let them know that we were pretty much snowbound and reschedule, luckily they had an appointment available the next day, but it was pretty much at the same time as J had an appointment at the eye doctors. 

So Ken and I divided and conquered! I took the baby and B to the doctors and Baby E was pronounced practically perfect in every way. She now weighs 7 pounds 6 ounces. I predict that she will be out of newborn clothes within the next week or two if she keeps putting on weight like she has been. She's a pretty normal little 2 week old. She has tired to freak me out with a little bit of day/night confusion, but other than that our girl is quite an angel. 

At the eye doctor we found out that J needs glasses. We decided to have his eyes checked just to make sure he was okay, because we decided not carry vision insurance next year. So now we are in a rush to get him some glasses before this years insurance benefits run out. Next year I'm going to get Lasik, and that got me wondering, will we eventually get our kids Lasik? Before they depart on missions? Or do we just tell them that we don't know why they have bad eyes......they must have stared at the sun......and make them pay for their own Lasik!
So those are some random facts about the past couple of days. Today the boys played out in our back yard- they were both very excited to get all dressed up in their snow gear. We were blessed to receive a pair of snow pants that were just J's size from my Sister, J passed down his snow pants to B- I think both the boys are set for snow gear for the next 2 years- though we will probably need new snow boots next year, I had to glue J's back together this week. Do you see B trying to put his mitten/glove back on? He just couldn't figure those things out! He enjoyed about 10 minutes outside, with me helping him get his glove back on about 5 times. Then they both came back inside and we all enjoyed some hot chocolate.