Saturday, August 29, 2009

Poor T

(This is T on Thursday morning before anything had started)

T has been crying for two days now. He started out with a fever on Thursday. It has now developed into sores in his mouth. Funny, I had heard of a few cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease from a few of my facebook friends, but they live far away. As of this evening, I'm fairly sure that's what we're dealing with. I haven't seen any sores on his hands or feet, but they are definitely in his mouth, so I guess this could be a virus of some kind, but we'll see what develops in the next couple days. Q had something similar back when she was the same age as T, but she got it during the Thanksgiving holiday. Ugh! She couldn't eat a thing and was miserable and crying all day.

That's what we're dealing with now with T. A few months ago, I bought some Go-gurts and put them in the freezer with the thought of taking them on our trips with us this summer. I totally forgot about them. Today, they became a staple food for poor Mr. T. They soothed his poor mouth and didn't require his tongue to work much to help get them down.

My biggest concern is the fact that it could be shared with L. It takes about seven days to pass and just makes eating very difficult. We're washing our hands a lot and hoping for the best.


As of yesterday, L is two months old. I'm amazed at all that she's able to do at such a young age. She smiles almost constantly and tries to "talk" to us with her funny little gurgles and coos between smiles. Sometimes it even sounds like she's saying, "Hi." She's so fun just to sit and look at.

Today I bought her some little colorful plastic links at Target. I put them together and hung them from the handle of her carseat. I walked away for a few minutes and when I came back, she was holding them in her hand.

The "bag of flour" stage is going by so quickly. I can't believe how fast they grow and develop.

When I took her in for her check up yesterday, she was eleven pounds and twenty-two inches long. Just like our other girls, thin and long.

I took A in for a check up too. The doctor asked him if she was a good baby. He said no. She said, "Oh, does she cry a lot." He said, "No. She's a great baby." So glad to hear he loves her so much.

After the appointment, the doctor gave him the traditional sticker for being a good patient. He thanked her and asked where L's sticker was. Sometimes my kids ask for stickers for other siblings knowing that they'll eventually get the sticker, so I was interested to see what he was up to. The doctor asked him what kind of sticker he thought L would want. He said, "A princess." I thought for sure he'd choose the girl car from "Cars" (the movie), but he wouldn't hear of it. It had to be a princess. He said it was because she was a princess; not a term I love for little girls because it makes me think of someone who rules the roost and is spoiled rotten, but he doesn't think of it in that context. Like I said before, I'm so glad he loves her so much. We all do.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Your Wish is My Command

Trying to Get it Right

I'm awake so much earlier than I'd like to be this morning. L had it all figured out for a few days. She went to sleep at 8pm and slept until 5:30am. It was heavenly--all but the fact that I didn't go to bed at 8pm on those nights or even close; it was more like midnight, but I had things I HAD to get done that I wasn't able to do during the children's wakeful hours.

Anyway, thank goodness she's so cute. Here's what she looks like this morning; all bright eyed (well, at least one of us is). She is now eight weeks old.

I would like to say that I am a very scheduled and organized person. I would really like to be one of these "has it all together" kind of women, but alas, I am not. It is a continual quest with me. Someday. Oh yes, someday.

Here's the latest strategy. When I went back to school shopping with the kids, I purchased a Franklin planner and a white board for myself. I have been using an electronic planner for the last seven or so years, but I'm finding that it's not the best with the way I do things, so I'm happy to go back to paper. Franklin's were my life from my second year of college on. Z and I used go out and buy each other our planner refills each year for Christmas--I know, how romantic, huh?

Each night before I go to bed, I write the next day's schedule and my to do list on the white board. It greets me when I first wake up.

A few months ago, when I was struggling with my random personality, I found that my day could be divided into five different sections and that there were certain tasks that fit into each section. I based these tasks roughly on Flylady's way of doing things. This worked really well for me. I checked those things off my list each day. I felt like life was together, so these things make the white board as well. For anyone who's interested and may have a similar way of thinking, here's what these five sections look like:

EARLY AM (approx. 45 mins.) - start around 6:15am

  • Scripture study

AM (approx. 1 hr. 10 mins.) - start at 7am

  • Make bed
  • Pray
  • Wash face/brush teeth
  • Get dressed
  • Make up, hair, earrings
  • Straighten bedroom
  • Start laundry
  • Make breakfast
  • Dishes
  • Straighten kitchen
  • Clean sink

Late AM - 9am to 11am

  • Read with kids
  • Straighten house
  • Today's zone (see below)

Afternoon - 11am to 4pm

  • Make lunch
  • Clean kitchen
  • Clean sink
  • Read, sing, and pray with T/T's naptime
  • Laundry
  • Scripture study - alternate time #1
  • Free time
  • Prepare snack for kids
  • Time with kids
  • Start dinner (4pm-ish)
  • Kids' jobs

Before Bed (approx. 1 hour 10 mins.)

  • Straighten house
  • Shine sink
  • Shower
  • Floss, wash face, brush teeth
  • Wipe bathroom sink
  • Jammies on
  • Last load of wash into dryer
  • Lay out tomorrow's clothes
  • Pray
  • Check calendar for tomorrow
  • Scripture study (alternate time #2)
  • Track today's finances and points
  • Set up schedule for next day

Knowing how I am and how my life is, I have had to set up an alternative plan for scripture study, which is by far the most important thing in my day. If there were other things that I figured were high priority, I'd probably have alternates for them too. I also have to remind myself to just look at the task at hand and not get overwhelmed with the entire list.

The other thing that having a Franklin does for me is that it makes me want to set goals. The one thing I want to accomplish in the next couple months is to streamline my house. Things just keep piling up. I have broken my house down into ten weeks of cleaning and given a task in each area to each day of the week (Monday through Saturday). I tried to make these tasks things that were doable in a couple hours time. Today, for example, I'm cleaning off and out my bedside table. The other day, I cleaned out the left side of my bedroom closet. I have also given myself flex days and the last week is a catch up week. If I happen to miss a day, I either squeeze it into another day when the task is smaller, or I fit it into a flex day. I just continue with the plan each day not stressing over those things that have been passed over.

Of course amongst all of this are feeding the baby, bathing the kids, and all the other things I have to do. These either make the to-do list or just get done amongst the other jobs. I try to stay flexible. I know that my children, like their mother, rebel against being pushed into a rigid plan, so I try to keep this in mind as I deal with the things I do that involve them.

As for the "zones," I love this idea of Flylady's, here's the plan:

  • Sunday - planning day
  • Monday - laundry and upstairs
  • Tuesday - grocery prep and kitchen
  • Wednesday - desk tasks and downstairs
  • Thursday - errands and car
  • Friday - catch up and date night
  • Saturday - deep clean and family fun

The most important thing I do on a daily basis is train my children. My job as their mom is to teach them to be self-reliant. For this reason, there are a number of things I don't have on my list. They are picked up by my children. I also give myself the freedom with the above list to delegate any of the tasks to someone else. There is no law that says I have to do it all.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You're Not Going to Believe This

I noticed, right about the time that the baby zits should be showing up (right around three weeks), that #7's skin was becoming increasingly red and rough--a lot like sandpaper. I let this go for a couple weeks thinking it would remedy itself.

As it continued to get worse, I started to remember two and a half years prior and #6's skin at this age. I had taken him in for a check up to find that he had eczema, but he had it more than over his face. It ran down his chest, torso and down his arms. As I recall, I took him in thinking he had some kind of disease. As it turns out, eczema is the term used for extremely dry skin.

This is the solution the doctor gave me. It works and quickly. I did it twice with #6 and made his skin beautiful once again.

You get two 100% cotton sleepers (I found them at Target, but they were called "union suits"). In the evening, bathe the baby and slather him/her all over with Vaseline petroleum jelly. Get one of the sleepers wet all over in hot water and wring it out. Put that on the baby over the Vaseline. Put the other sleeper (dry) over the wet one. Swaddle the baby and put him/her to bed for the night. In the morning, both sleepers will be dry (or nearly so), and the baby's skin will be beautiful.

I did this with #6 in November. I thought he'd be freezing in the night, but he slept very comfortably. Unbelievable, I know.

As for the face, I tried an experiment with #7. You can't very well, wrap 100% cotton over a baby's face for bedtime, so I put Vaseline on one cheek and Cetaphil (a lotion that my brother used for his eczema when we were kids), on her other cheek and put her to bed one night. In the morning, the Vaseline cheek seemed redder and bumpier. The lotioned cheek seemed a bit better, so I resorted to using Cetaphil lotion (a bit expensive but great lotion not just for eczema) nightly for about three nights and from time to time now if she looks a little bumpy. Her skin is now great.

I know this isn't a daily problem for most people, but keep this in mind for future reference. Just in case you ever need it. It really works great!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Doctor's Visit

Got in to see my doctor about the heart thing. A few days after posting about my frustration, I decided to be a bit more assertive, and they scheduled me.

First of all, I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I have returned to Weight Watchers. I lost .8 pounds in the entire month of July--thanks to a lack of motivation and a couple family reunions. I weighed in last Saturday. When I stepped on the scale at the doctor's office this afternoon, after a week of journaling everything I've eaten and being careful of my point intake, I am down 4.5 pounds!!! I am so excited! I noticed day before yesterday that I felt skinnier and then felt even more so yesterday. This started the appointment off on a good note.

Also since making this appointment, we attended my family reunion. I had the chance, on the last day, to talk with my neice who had similar heart issues during her two pregnancies. She shared her experiences and symptoms. They sounded nearly identical to mine. She was diagnosed with SVT. It was nice to go into this appointment armed with some amount of knowledge.

So, here's how it played out. They sent me in for an EKG, and I will be going to in get a portable heart monitor to wear for two weeks. In that time, we are hopeful that there will be at least on episode that can be recorded, so we can figure out what exactly is going on. If that doesn't work, I will go in for a bit of time on a treadmill. We'll see how this all goes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Putting the Baby in the Swing

I went to bed with a terrible headache last night and woke with it this morning. This is very rare for me. Sleep is usually the solution.

This morning, before Z left, he put G in charge of T and DJ took charge of L. Oh how I love my older children's capabilities and service in our home!

After some time, the house was quite quiet. I got a little nervous. The fact of the matter is, they had things in control. Whew! I asked DJ if L was asleep. She said, "Yes." I asked where she was. She replied that L was in the swing. At this point, I realized something about myself. I have rarely been one to let my kids fall asleep in a swing. I asked DJ to bring the baby up and put her in her bassinet. As I did this, I questioned why sleeping in the swing was such a big deal to me.

It occured to me that when I was between years of college and was home for the summer, I took a job as an on-call daycare worker in downtown Beaverton. I had worked at a daycare center everyday after school my senior year in high school and loved it, so this was right up my alley.

I was finally called in to work one day and was assigned to the infants. I walked in to find two other women working there. Swings with babies in them lined the walls. Being the newbie, I followed the other women's leads. They shared the "way things are done" with me. The babies, it seemed, stayed in the swing most of the day. They were taken out to be fed and changed and were then returned to their swings. I instantly felt sorry for those babies. It was so easy to follow the other ladies' lead. I hated it, but it was just the easier way to get along. After this experience, I hoped I would never trust my infant to a daycare center.

By afternoon, I could take it no longer. I didn't care what the other women thought. I started taking one baby at a time from the swing to play with him/her. There were a lot of them, and it was hard to split my time up with so many.

It's funny, but now, with my own children, if they're in their carseat or swing or bouncy, we call it "freeing the prisoner" when we let them out. That's how I feel about these devices. The poor baby is in prison unable to escape on his/her own; just waiting for the mercy of someone else. Don't get me wrong, they're all very useful, but over use is what I'm referring to.

So, as I thought of this brief memory from my past, I recognized it as a symbol for many things in my life right now.

There are many things that I "put in the swing." Things that I don't do because of another's example. I don't even consciously think about them. This is particularly the case in my home. If my husband doesn't do it, I don't do it.

I have decided that I'm tired of this pattern. I know what's best to do, so I need to do it. Even if an example isn't placed before me, I need to do what is right. No more using another person as my excuse. If it needs to be done, I need to be the one to do it.

Another example of this was a woman in my ward when I was growing up. Her husband was less-active, and from what I understand, they never married in the temple. They had a number of children; at least one of the boys was autistic, but every week, she brought the kids to church alone. She was very faithful, but I'm sure this wasn't an easy time for her.

Years later, while I was on my mission, I received a letter from my mom. She explained that this woman had shared her testimony in Relief Society. In this testimony, she told the women of the ward that during a lesson, something had touched her heart. She knew that she was only partly living the gospel, and in order to please her husband, chose not to do many of the things she knew would bless her life. She had decided that she couldn't deny herself of those blessings any more, so she was going to live the gospel to the fullest no matter what, regardless of her husband.

She did all that she could. She attended ALL of her meetings. She magnified her calling. She became a faithful visiting teacher and started to institute family prayer, family and personal scripture study and Family Home Evening. She did these things faithfully.

As time went along, her husband started to attend church and was given a calling. The changes in their life were remarkable. I remember driving home with my parents after they picked me up from the airport from my mission. Their home was visible from the main road on the way home. The entire house had a different appearance. It looked like someone cared about it. It was newly painted. The yard was well-kept.

As I remarked about this, my mom shared a bit more of their experience and told me that they'd been sealed in the temple not long before that time.

I share this story because it's just another example of putting things in the swing. I have fallen into this trap. There are a lot of things I am lazy about. I have decided that I don't do them because someone else should be doing them. If they're not doing them, then I'm not going to either. Is it my stubborn side? Is it my way of avoiding accountability? Well, regardless, I'm done with it. If it's the right thing to do, then I'm going to do it. I place so many of these things on others' backs thinking that they should be leading out. In so doing, so many things are getting overlooked. Things that should be blessing our lives aren't.

So, from today, if it's going to happen, I'm the one that's going to make it happen. No more waiting for an invitation to attend the temple. No more avoiding meetings. No more being too busy with other things so that personal or family scripture study doesn't happen. So what if other members of my family eat the wrong stuff--not me. If they don't clean up after themselves, why should that affect me? I will be the one to take responsibility for what I do, and I will do what's best. No more setting things in the swing and letting them ride all day day after day after day. Wish me luck.

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