Thursday, March 25, 2010

Letters from my children... and Lacey being funny!

A couple days ago Lil got herself in trouble. She has been neglecting one of her chores- more specifically, her bedroom. She is supposed to clean it every day, and she hadn't cleaned it for the last 4... SO- I sent her to her room. She was not allowed to leave for anything except bathroom breaks and meals. About an hour and a half later, as I was preparing dinner and had spent most of the afternoon trying (without success) to get her to clean her room, she came into the kitchen and very sweetly said, "Mom, I wrote you a letter." She then set it on the table and took off at a VERY brisk pace. I went and looked at the letter, and though I was tired, and frustrated, and annoyed at her still being in her room because she was refusing to do a 10 minute job, I couldn't help but smile at her note.
For those who don't have a 5 year old and can't decipher her writing... "Mom I Do noT love U HATe Lilia" (Instead of "Love, Lilia") hehehehe. I love it!

So when she came back out a few minutes later she said, "Mom, did you see my letter." And I said, "Yes! I loved it!" She looked at me like a nut job and said, "Did you read it?" And I said, "Yes! And Lilia, your hand writing is getting SO GOOD! I LOVE it, and I am SO proud of you!" Her response? "UGH!" and off to her room she went madder than ever! It was pretty funny!

The next day, after her room was finally clean, she gave me this note:
"Dere (dear) Mom I Rele (really) love U mom you ARe The BesT evRe (ever) Love Lilia"

Yesterday, Lacey drew a picture (on the back of my insurance paperwork) that was really REALLY cute. So of course, for posterity's sake, I HAD to post it here. I asked who the two people were, and she informed me that it was Grandma (my mom) and Uncle David (my brother- not one of the other two Uncle David's she has).
(I typed the names on the picture so you would know who was who)

Earlier this week, I caught Lacey playing in the kitchen. Seems she wanted to provide baby Matthew with some more food...
That would be a manual breast pump- and she has it upside down and no bottle attached, but well- it's a good start! She cracks me up! SO FUNNY!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I realized today that I haven't posted these pictures on my blog yet- I had the kids pictures taken a while back, and these are the proofs I was sent... they turned out so cute!

Also, I haven't said it in a while, but...

I LOVE my children! They are all amazing, and wonderful, and challenging, and sweet... They keep me on my toes, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

Big hugs for Lilia, Lacey, and Matthew!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Random pictures and stories...

Just some random stuff I pulled off the camera.

I love my boys! Such handsome men!

Lilia loves holding Matthew. She is especially helpful at calming him down when Mom is unable to come to his rescue. I just send Lil to hold and cuddle him until I am available.

Lacey making her own peanut butter sandwich... of course she doesn't want to get her clothes dirty, so she used my tank top as her outfit of choice when making her PB&J masterpiece.

So the biggest mistake I keep making with my Matthew safe diet is accidentally using food items that contain dairy in them. Take for example, two days ago. I was CRAVING meatloaf for dinner. I have been wanting meatloaf for a week or more, and I went in search of a recipe that didn't have milk in it. I found one that sounded promising, so I made it. As I was putting the raw meatloaf in the pan to cook it, I decided to double check all the ingredients, just to be safe. Good thing I did, because the meatloaf had breadcrumbs in it. Those breadcrumbs were a store bought brand and sure enough... they contained milk! UGH! I had just made a 2 lb. meatloaf that I couldn't eat! I was so mad! I ended up giving the meatloaf to a family I know who was having a really hard/busy day, and made a new meal for dinner... But because of this little mistake, I decided to reorganize my pantry. NOT the easiest chore with a newborn around. It took me all day, but I did it!

Here's all my food out of the pantry and spread throughout my kitchen...

The empty pantry before I reloaded it...

And the finished product. I now have two "Matthew safe" shelves one "Matthew can't eat it" shelf, and one "keep out of the kids reach" shelf

And this is the laundry basket full of food I am getting rid of since it all contains milk products that we won't be eating anytime soon.

To clarify that last part- just because Matt and I can't eat it doesn't mean the rest of the family is off dairy- Just at dinner and dessert time. My kids can still have chocolate milk or cheese sticks with breakfast or lunch. They can still have quesadillas, or cheese sandwiches. But I am making our dinners dairy free so we can all eat together as a family and so I only have to make one meal (not two). As for dessert- if they wanna buy something already made with milk in it- I am okay with that- but don't expect me to make them dessert I can't touch. Call me mean... I know. So yeah- we are doing a service project at church involving donations to the food bank at the end of the month, and this basket will be my donation! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An unexpected and UNWANTED surprise...

Look what I pulled out of my head on Friday morning?

And yes, I know everyone tells you not to pull them cause two will grow back in it's place, but I wanted to blog it, and didn't want it on display on my head anymore! Oh, and since it isn't totally easy to tell- it was not grey- it was WHITE. :S I hate getting older...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Matthew Drama...

I am sorry for not posting a little more often. I have found myself completely wrapped up in parenting... more specifically, keeping my youngest charge alive and getting him healthy.

Back at the end of February I came to a startling realization. My newborn had been sick for a whole month! He was constantly congested, and his jaundiced look wasn't going away... I remember waking up one morning and it hit my like a ton of bricks. Something else is wrong. Something serious. A thought formed in my head, and I brushed it away. It kept popping back up, and I kept ignoring it. Finally, I listened to that little voice and made a call to one of my friends. "Cynthia- how did you know that Brian (her son) had allergies? What were his symptoms?" You see- Cynthia's son has been struggling with some pretty hefty and very serious allergies since he was a newborn... As Cynthia listed all the signs her baby had shown, I mentally checked them ALL off my list. Matthew was showing EVERY sign of having allergies.

Around that same time, he really did get sick and woke me up at 2am with a NASTY (scary) bout of Croup. So I sat up with him all night in the bathroom with the humidifier running (to keep his airways open), and waited for morning. When the doctors office opened the next day, I got Matt in for an appointment. He was pretty seriously ill with Croup (which, I now know is extremely dangerous in newborns- it can turn deadly very quickly). I mentioned to the doctor who treated him (not our regular doc) that I suspected that he had allergies, and though she seemed to dismiss the idea, she did say they would look into that once Matthew was healthy. To treat Croup, they gave Matt a steroid, and wanted me to bring him back the next day. Within an hour of that shot my son was a completely different person! His jaundiced looking skin paled out to a healthy looking creamy complexion. His "baby acne" that covered his chest, back and face was completely gone (it was a rash- not acne), and for the first time in his short little life he was breathing easy with no signs of congestion. The steroid shot- which SHOULD have helped with his breathing- fixed all his other health issues too. It turns out that by opening up his airway with the steroid, it helped him to breathe easier and boosted his immune system enough to clear his alleged allergies up as well!

Here is a couple pictures of the reddish color of his skin before the shot ( I know they are newborn shots- but his skin color never changed... he stayed that red until the steroids)

And now a picture I took 2 hours AFTER the shot.

So the next day, I took Matthew BACK to our regular doctor for a follow up from the croup. The steroid was well on it's way out of his system, and his skin was starting to turn red again, and the rash was back... When I talked to my pediatrician, he confirmed that Matthew absolutely WAS showing signs of a food allergy. He then went on to explain that it was most likely cow's milk since that was the only food allergen to truly manifest itself in breast milk. Most other food allergens wouldn't show up in high enough doses to cause a reaction.

Since that diagnosis I have completely cut all dairy out of my diet. And lemme tell ya- the difference in Matthew is astounding! Not only is he pale enough to actually look like he belongs to me and Joe, but he is mostly rash free, has stopped projectile vomiting, isn't congested as much, and is sleeping better. I keep slipping up with the dairy, so he isn't completely free of the rash and congestion, but as I become more accustomed to the diet, I think it will get better.

Now- in my own defense, I am not purposefully eating any dairy products. My "slip ups" are with things I was not aware HAD dairy in them. Things like bread crumbs in my meatloaf recipe, or butter in my syrup, or dehydrated milk in the seasoning packet for Ramen noodles, etc. It is RIDICULOUS how many store bought products have milk in them! But- I love my little man, and therefore, I will continue to go diary free.

Oh, and in case anyone is interested- if you wanna drop some weight quickly, cut out dairy. Works wonders, I tell ya!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The beginning of a new chapter...

Joe and I were married December 27th 2000. It was going to be in my hometown in Modesto CA, and it was sandwiched between Christmas and the celebration of my great grandfather's 100th birthday (the 29th). We had a HUGE turnout from my side of the family because of that. It was not super easy to plan our California wedding from Utah, but we managed, and it turned out well. We were married in the Fresno CA temple (I would have preferred the Oakland Temple, but it was closed for maintenance...). After the ceremony, we headed back to Modesto for our reception later that night. There were a few mishaps, but all in all a fantastic evening, with plenty of family and friends to celebrate with. After the reception Joe and I stuck around town "honeymooning" until the next evening when we made a quick stop in at Grandpa's party to wish him a happy 100th birthday. Then we left to head back to Utah, honeymooning along the way in Vegas. When we got back to Utah, we had an Open House for those of our family and friends who lived in UT. It was not as well attended, but it was beautiful and The important people came. Both Joe and I felt extremely blessed to have such amazing family and friends, and their support was greatly appreciated!

This year we celebrate our 10th anniversary, and I am more in love with him than I ever dreamed possible. In the last 10 years Joe graduated from the U of U with a bachelors in Computer Engineering. We have moved from U of U student housing, to our first house in Layton, followed by our current house. We have had three beautiful children. Lilia was born in August 2004, Lacey in July 2007, and Matthew in January 2010. I was able to quit working for the bank and become a stay at home mother. All in all, we have had a fantastic 10 years, and look forward to MANY MANY more!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Big Question

I move to Utah in late June of 2000. After a week or so, I had secured myself a full time job at a local bank, and was moved in to my aunt and uncle's spare bedroom. Joe lived about half an hour away. He worked a part time night job, and was a full time student, so I wasn't able to see him much- only on the weekends, really. But it was good to be able to spend more time with him! We spent a lot of time on the phone during the week. I was introduced to all of his siblings, and their families, and I got to know them all a lot better. Within a few months we KNEW we were ready to make the next step.

During our months of online dating, we had plenty of opportunity to discuss many things. One of those discussions was on how talented my family is in the wedding department. My mother makes wedding cakes, my aunt is a seamstress and makes wedding dresses, my other aunt owned a party supply store and had an eye for floral arrangements, and most importantly to Joe- my uncle (who lived a mere hour from Joe) was a jeweler...

Sometime in late July or early August, we made a trip down to Provo to visit Joe's sister ( a most uncomfortable trip on the back of his motorcycle might I add!). While we were there we stopped by my uncle's jewelry shop. Joe and I perused my uncle's ring selection, and lemme tell ya- there were HUNDREDS to choose from! My uncle makes custom jewelry, so he had many MANY molds for me to look at. I remember choosing a bunch of different ring styles, then I excused myself to go visit with my aunt, leaving Joe with the final choice and leaving me with some semblance of a surprise at not knowing which ring he would choose for me. From there, I knew it would be a while for my ring to be finished, so I knew not to expect the proposal anytime soon.

A few weeks later, I called Joe on a Friday to ask what our plans were to be that weekend. Joe and I made plans for Saturday, but he told me he wasn't able to come see me on Sunday due to plans he had made. I asked what his plans were (sheer curiosity, people) and he said, "Oh, it's a service project for church." I left it at that and went about my typical Friday evening. Later that night, I talked to my mom and happened to mention how bummed I was to not be able to see Joe on Sunday because of his service project... I then asked her what kind of service project he would do on a Sunday... that's SUPPOSED to be a day of rest in the church. My mom (quick thinker that she is) said, "Oh! Well maybe he is taking the sacrament to elderly people in the ward who can't make it to church!" Well that made perfect sense to me, especially since Joe was currently living in a ward CHALK FULL of elderly people. So Saturday rolls around and Joe and I have a very enjoyable day. At one point I asked Joe what kind of a service project he had
the next day and he said offhandedly, "Oh, I am taking the sacrament to the elderly in the ward." I completely and totally believed him... (Seems my mom and him were in cahoots...) Before he dropped me off that night, he asked for my mom's phone number. Now even though this might have raised many a red flag for most people, it wasn't a big deal to me since my mom had been emailing Joe almost as long as I had been. She talked with him regularly, and I knew it, so to have him call her wasn't a big deal. I handed over my mom's phone number and all was well.

The next day, after dinner, I gave Joe a call. I talked to him about my day, he told me about his. I asked how the service project went, he gave me some pretty convincing details about it, and we made to get off the phone. Just before I hung up I said, "Oh, how long did you talk to my mom today?" His reply- "Oh, about the time it takes to drive from my house to Provo..."

... ... ... "Um..."

(At this point, Joe knew he totally blew it. The ONLY people he knew in Provo were his sister and my jeweler uncle. AND his sister was out of town!)

I said, "Soooo... what were you doing in Provo?" I swear I could hear crickets, before Joe said, "I am proposing on Saturday okay?!" And with that he hung up the phone. The poor guy! He had tried so hard to surprise me, and had come SO CLOSE! But then he tripped up on an unexpected question. To hear him tell the story, is agonizing. He had planned and schemed so long with my mom. He had come up with not just a fake service project, but DETAILS of the project to throw me off... He knows the kind of person I am (was- I am better now) and knew I knew he had the ring. Since we had plans midweek, and he wasn't proposing then, he told me when so I wouldn't be upset when it didn't happen the next time I saw him...

Saturday, Joe, in all his sweet glory spent all day taking me all over the valley reenacting many of our earlier dates... we went to Marie Calendars for lunch (our first date), he took me miniature golfing (many dates since then), and we sat in the parking lot talking for hours like we used to when he would pick me up from work in CA... He eventually drove up to the Bountiful Temple, and dropped down on one knee. I was all sorts of smitten, until I realized he had proposed with a keyring. I was so angry I hit him square in the chest with his keys, and he attempted to laugh (and catch his breath) while he pulled the real ring out of his pocket. I can honestly say, I didn't remember ever choosing the ring style he put on my finger, but I absolutely LOVED my ring! Almost as much as I loved my guy!

Stay tuned for Installment 6: The Beginning of a New Chapter