Monday, February 28, 2011

Birthday Fabulousness

My birthday was great. I adore birthdays and think they are just so much fun. A day for YOU to do WHATEVER you want and to not have to do ANYTHING if you don't. Athough I have been 28 for over 3 weeks now, that's still the only thing I don't enjoy about birthdays. Getting ooooooolderrrrrr. I'm one of those people who will freak out at their 30th birthday.

Andy thinks I'm ridiculous.

I don't care.

Anyway, we spent the day relaxing, eating yummy food, attending a baptism of some of our good friends' daughter, who happens to be Laylah's good friend and who also shares a birthday with me!

That afternoon I got to take a NAP! I didn't have to change any diapers that day, and later, I was showered with fun gifts. Mostly things I had really been wanting and needing and asking for for awhile.
That evening Rachel (who was visiting JUST for my birthday :) stayed home with the kids while Andy and I ate sushi, went shopping, and got to see a movie. Loved it. It was a great day.
The next day we had cake and ice cream. During our date I mentioned that I didn't get any birthday cake on my birthday. Andy exclaimed, "Oh no! I forgot about your birthday cake!" He had hidden it in our fridge in the garage. So we ate it for lunch after church the next day. Good stuff.

What? You don't use a blow-torch to light your birthday candles when you're out of matches??
Here's a really awesome picture of me being a big 28-year-old nerd

Birthday Gift-A-Roos

Hot cocoa maker. Here's the thing-I am addicted to hot chocolate. It's a problem. I have been wanting one of these for a long time. It is A-mazing. I drink hot chocolate no less than 3 times a week now. And the kids ask for it every morning for breakfast because, darn it, it's just so easy and amazing. Did I mention delicious?

I L-O-V-E this game. I need it too, because of all that hot chocolate I'm drinking, remember? It is such a fun game. All the kids love it too. Except, it has a few questionable songs... pretty sure I don't want my kids asking me why a girl is singing about brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack... at least it's an awesome, not to mention fun, workout :)

I have been needing a new waffle maker for months. The one Andy and I received for our wedding died about 6 months ago. I love waffles. Our old one was a Belgian waffle maker. It made huge, thick waffles. Growing up we always had a thin waffle maker. I missed the small, thin waffles. So, Andy got me one like that. I love it, it makes way yummy waffles. Except now I kinda miss the Belgian waffles... ha. Whoulda thunk? I guess I need 2 different waffle makers to suit my moods :)
This is not such a great picture. But my amazing sister knows me oh-so-well and got me this darling purse for my birthday. I am seriously in love with it. I'm all about fluff.... so this purse and I get along famously. Plus, it can double as a diaper bag since it's so huge. Love at first sight...
I also got a lot of cash from parents, grandparents, friends, and family. Who doesn't love that? I actually wasn't as selfish as I usually am and I used a lot of it buying new bedspreads for my kids. I finally found some for both the boys and girls that I loved and it pulls their whole rooms together. It makes me happy to see a room come together. So... maybe it was kind of selfish and all about me after all.
Oh well, it was MY birthday.... right? ;)
I love my birthday. It was fun.

Friday, February 25, 2011

And the Award Goes To....

Daphne had a pajamma day at school. She asked me every day for 3 weeks if it was pajamma day yet. It finally came, she got to wear her pj's, her bathrobe, her slippers, and bring her pillow, sleeping bag, and a teddy bear. They watched movies and had "breakfast" for their snack:french toast, orange juice, and muffins.Don't worry, she directed me in taking these pictures..... one with her "Best Red Riding Hood Pajammas" award...
One with her bathrobe and slippers....

And then one withOUT her bathrobe and slippers....

And I think the thing she was most excited about was that she didn't have to get dressed in the morning when she woke up. She thought that was pretty awesome :)

Talkin' Away

I know, I know. You're all thinking "Wow, Sarah has the cutest baby!" Haha, just kidding. But I think he's pretty cute :) It's funny how a mother can sit and watch her baby for hours, but anyone else would be bored to tears. Well, except maybe a grandma. And that's who this is for. My mom and I were on the phone a few days ago and she heard Magnus talking away and mentioned how much she missed him. So, I recorded his "conversation" with himself (he talks to himself in the mirror above his swing) and posted it for her. Enjoy mama!

P.S. M is getting huge. He has his 4 month appointment next week.... update to come! I know, you just cannot wait! ;)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hearts Hearts Everywhere!

We have had quite the week. Sick, sick, and more sick. Strep throat, ear infections, allergy problems, sinus infections, fevers, and regular old colds, all added to the continual breathing treatments for the babe for that nasty RSV. That's why it's taken me so long to post about our lovely Valentine's Day. And it was quite lovely...

It was such a fun holiday. Andy and I like to celebrate together beforehand and then we make it a family affair the day of. Well, the day we had planned to go out (Saturday) I wasn't feeling real great, so we skipped it. We're going to go out this weekend instead. Even though I adore holidays and I really love Valentine's Day, for me, the day is all about showing my love for my family and spoiling them with mushy stuff. I feel like you shouldn't single out a day where you show your signifigant other just how much you love them. You should do that all the time! Just maybe a little extra on Valentine's!

We started out the day with pink oatmeal (ever since my last pregnancy, I've become addicted! Crazy, eh? Oh, and frozen blueberries mixed into regular oatmeal=pinkish purple :) and the kids had all of their Valentine's ready to go to deliver at their class parties. I had made Laylah and Jonah special "love lunches" to take to school and Baron and Daphne also got one at home.

After school, the kids all went through their Valentine's and told me all about their fun parties. Bear had a playgroup Valentine's party the Wednesday before, so all of his candy he had received was gone, of course. The 3 older kiddos were sweet to divide up a bit of their stash and share with him. Everyone was in the lovey spirit :)

It was such a gorgeous day outside and we all played and rode bikes for a few hours until I realized it was getting late and I hadn't really planned for dinner. Thank goodness for Papa John's Heart Shaped Pizza. Delish. Not to mention cute.

All of my sweet as sugar Valentine's! One of them isn't too happy (probably getting the full effect of all the candy I had been eating that day....)

Valentine's wouldn't be complete without a visit from Cupid! He left us some heart shaped donuts and a funny little Sugar Monster
This little monster sings the song Candy Girl by the Archies. The children L-O-V-E-D it! It was so much fun to watch them dance around for the next 1/2 hour, smiling and giggling. Hilarious.

Here's my Valentine's gift to Andy:

This took forever because I took the photos of myself and I felt like a nerd. I kept deleting them and having to start over. Finally, after about an hour, I gave up and used what I had. I saw this idea somewhere about a month ago. Andy always gets mad when I spend money on him (I do it anyway :) but he really loves it when I do something homemade or really thoughtful instead. And he loves pictures. So I did this. I know, it is totally cheesy, but of course, he loved it. I told him it was for the office to put on his desk so he can look at me all day long and remember how much I adore and love him ;) He said he would, but he wanted a different frame, because the one I gave him was too girly. Haha. Too bad, it's already at the office on his desk :)

I received a delivery in the mail. Traditional flowers. Fresh flowers are one of my favorite things. Andy and I both agree that they are kind of a waste of money even though I love them. It was a treat since Andy only gets me flowers every couple of years or so. They are still sitting on my table and smell glorious. Every once in awhile throughout the day I go and bury my nose in them. Mmmmm.

The next day I got another delivery! A little surprise of chocolate covered strawberries. I love when Andy draws out holidays longer than normal. He knows I love surprises. These strawberries were huge and delicious. I ate half of them before I realized I wanted a picture. Oh, and I didn't share :)

Sweet Valentine's Day! Hope yours was just as great, if not more so...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Only a Year Ago

Do you remember what I was doing this past week one year ago? If you forgot, THIS is what it was.

Can you believe it's been a year? I sure can't. It has flown by and we absolutely love it here. I know that the longer we're here, the more I'll love it. There is so much to do and it is just different. I used to hate different and anything with change. I have started to embrace it. I've changed a lot. I have truly adored VA. One of my friends, Melanie, posted some exact thoughts I had about moving out of the state of Utah (I would link to her blog, but it is private. So, I'll give you the gist of it, since I felt the same way). It is so different and so refreshing. I feel like I have grown immensly over the past year and become so much more independant. I feel like I have matured and grown up. Don't get me wrong, I still love Utah (especially the people there), but living in the mission field has given me such a different perspective. Probably half of our ward are converts and they are each so unique and individual. I love hearing their conversion stories. I have become much more tolerant, less judgmental, and a much better missionary because of it. I didn't think it would have been possible, but I have become more outgoing. I have come to love Visiting Teaching, wheras before, I only tolerated it. I really enjoy learning from people with such different life experiences than myself. Utah is so sheltered, and there is nothing wrong with that, by any means. But sometimes I feel that people live in their own little world there and kind of compare themselves to all the other mormons and try to be better than others instead of helping others become the best they can be. It all just seems kind of.... fake... sometimes and maybe insincere. I am so grateful for the opportunities I've had and for how much I've grown. I am grateful to have the experiences that I've had. They've made me a better and a more accepting person. I have a testimony of the gospel. I love it, it is so precious to me.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

On My Mind

I have several posts I want to catch up on (after all, I did just have a birthday, my sister was here, and we had some fun adventures :) but I'm not up to it today. Instead, you get to have a peek into what's been on my mind lately... besides, I notice that after I write something down, it stops rattling around up there ;)

-My hair is falling out like crazy. I wake up and there are gobs of it on my pillowcase. When I wash it, I can pull chunks out as I run my fingers through it. It is always ALL over my clothes (and IN my clothes.) If it is in a ponty-tail one day, I will take the rubberband out at night and about 50 strands come with it. I hope this post-pregnancy phenomenom quits soon or I will be bald.

-Baron has the cutest little voice. I absolutely love to hear him speak. Every time he does, I want to whip out my video camera and have it forever captured so I can always go back and watch it at my leisure. He mispronounces the funniest words and I just LOVE it. He is so very cute.

-I got a new calling. I am SO relieved. I used to be the activities coordinator for Relief Society and now I am a primary teacher. Although I have never been a primary teacher before, I am really looking forward to it. The only thing I enjoyed about my calling in Relief Society was my friend Mandy, who I worked with. I will miss getting together with her and laughing about..... stuff. I know it's a bad attitude to have, but I am so glad that I am no longer in charge of an activity every stinkin' month. Bleh.

-I am so tired all the time. I honestly don't know how I still function. I stay up way too late every night, still get woken up once a night to nurse (around 4 AM) and then get up every morning before 7. I never nap. I remember my mom telling me that once I had kids, I would be tired the rest of my life. I really wasn't until this last baby was born. I was blessed with excellent sleepers who rarely (if ever) get up in the night, and they all sleep in their own beds. But with the general "busy-ness" of life, 5 little kids, and all the things we have going on, I just feel.... tired :) I'm sure I'll feel this way the next several months. This too shall pass, right?

-Along with that last one, Magnus is sick. He has RSV and needs breathing treatments every 4-6 hours. If I could give anyone some advice.... don't ever have a winter baby. My 2 winter babies both had RSV, ear infections, runny noses, and colds within their first few weeks of life. Just plan to have all your babies in the spring or summer. It's for the best. Trust me on this :)

-I love my husband. He is so great. We are having a contest to see who can get to their goal weight in a set amount of time. He makes everything fun. Whoever wins gets a shopping spree. You better believe I'm gonna win.

-Along with that last one.... I signed up for my first triathlon. It is April 2nd.... I am so excited! And nervous. And happy. And sick of swimming :) I have to plan my swim days around the days I wash my hair. It's annoying.

-I adore having a new baby. I absolutely love it. He is so sweet. I cannot get enough of him smiling at me. I will take 50 pictures of him in a 5 minute time frame. When I hear him laugh, I can't keep a smile off of my face.

-Laylah is turning 8 in three short months. I can hardly believe it. She is growing up so much and is such a responsible, lovely young lady. She is the greatest helper. How is my baby girl old enough to be baptized? I don't get it.... where does time go?

-Along with that last one.... we are planning our summer trip to Utah. We're coming in July and I can hardly wait! I am so excited to be home. Laylah will be baptized there, we are going to Bear Lake with my family, Andy and I will be going to my 10 year highschool reunion, I'll get to meet 4 new babies that will be born this spring to family and friends, and we will also celebrate Jonah's birthday while we're there. What a fun trip. So excited.

-Jonah and I have been getting along much better lately. I tend to clash with 5-6 year olds and we had not been getting along so well. I went through it with Laylah and now with Jonah. I've even noticed it starting with Daphne. They just really annoy me. But, it's gotten so much better. It makes me happy.

-I am so glad I went to hair school. It is such a great, creative outlet for me. I adore doing hair and creating "masterpieces" and having someone feel better about the way they look. The extra money is just a bonus :)

-Daphne is a crack-up. She is so hilarious and everyone is constantly telling me how great/funny/smart she is. Don't worry, I don't tell her this. We don't need her cocky little attitude to get any cockier ;)

-I truly love my family and I am so grateful, every day, for my many many blessings. It makes me happy to think about how much my Heavenly Father must love me. Even on bad or hard days, which seem like a more common occurance lately because I don't always have the best attitude (still working on that pessimistic side of myself), I still know He is always there for me. Always.

-I really love to cook and bake these days. Love it. I love finding new recipes and creating delicious meals. It's fun. On that note.... my kitchen timer just dinged. We're having bakes sausage, spinach, and mushroom omelet along with english muffins, orange juice, and fruit for dinner. Yummy yum.

What's on your mind lately?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Away For a Spell

I know I have been away from my blog.... my sister's been visiting for the past week. This photo was taken the last day she was here when we went to brunch with our babes. We had oh-so-much fun! Non-stop, exhausting, what-did-we-do all day and where-did-the-time-go F-U-N. And you know what that means..... my house is a wreck. It was pretty much neglected the entire time she was here and it needs to be scrubbed top to bottom. I also have lots of laundry to do (of course :) but not as much as I nearly would have had because my lovely sister did all of my kids' laundry for me very sneakily throughout the last few days. Oh, how I love my sister. She is marvelous and I miss her already. As well as my sweet as pie nephew, Liam, whom I met for the very first time when she came. He and Magnus are a mere 7 weeks apart and they loved staring at one another and smiling at each other daily.

Anywho, I'll be busy re-cooping for the next few days, and also, I'm sure, talking to Rachel on the phone :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I {Heart} Diclofenac

I have a love/hate relationship with my body. It is an incredible thing, an amazing gift from my Heavenly Father. But sometimes I feel angry towards it, like it isn't doing it's job for me.

I love that I can give through it, bring forth human life from it, as well as sustain that life. It is an incredible miracle. I love being a woman, feeling feminine because of it, and getting to dress it in fashionable, fun, and modest clothing and accessories and SHOES :) I love working it, straining it to the max, feeling how much my body can actually do. I love being able to taste with it, to prepare and eat delectable food because of it. I enjoy seeing with it, all of the beautiful creations around me. I love being able to try new things with it and learn to love those new things because of different experiences. I love doing the familiar things with it that it has come accustomed and used to. Like rocking a baby. Giving a hug. Wiping away a tear. Riding a bike. Snuggling up in a warm bed next to my Honey. Smiling. All of the things that bring me comfort and joy. A body is really an intense, amazing, wonderful thing. I love my body.

But then again, I feel as if it has failed me. It has disease inside it. It has slowly but surely turned against me. It has attacked itself from the inside and affected my day to day living and way of life. I hurt. All the time. I ache. I cannot get out of bed in the morning without assistance. I can hardly lift my baby from his crib without crying out in pain or having a silent tear run down my cheek. I cannot lie down comfortably for longer than 10 minutes. I was blessed with a wonderful sleeping baby who goes 10 hours at night, and yet, I cannot enjoy it. I don't sleep comfortably, or restfully. It hurts to do things that I used to do with ease. Things you would never even think twice about doing, and yet, now I do. Like lifting a child. Carrying a basket of laundry up the stairs. Taking a big, deep breath. Stretching. Reaching up for that item on the top shelf of the pantry. Simple things.

That is where I am right now. I just fed me baby. It is 5 AM and I cannot go back to sleep because the pain is so great that I don't even want to think about trying to lie back down in my bed. I feel like a stiff 2 X 4, unable to bend. I know that I do not have it bad as some, by far. I am able to function and still live life. But sometimes, I do feel sorry for myself. I really try not to, I know everyone has their lots in life. The reason I feel this way now is because there is something that can help. Diclofenac. Oh how I love that little, white pill. It takes away the majority of my pain on a day to day basis. It is a blessing.

However, before I had Magnus, my doctor told me that, although I could take the medication while I was nursing my baby, it would cause him pain. Colic, a sore tummy, and horrible gas. He told me I would have to think twice about nursing him and decide what I wanted to do.

I had greatly researched and read many articles about Ankylosing Spondolitis and pregnancy. The breakdown was this: 1/3 of woman had no change in their symptoms of the disease. 1/3 of woman's symptoms decreased. 1/3 of woman's symptom's became worse during pregnancy. Originally, I thought I fell into the category of symptoms becoming worse. Now I know that my symptoms really didn't change very much. Because after the article told about that, it said that after the birth of their child, 90% of woman with AS had a relapse (or "flare-up") within the first 6 months and their symptoms came back worse than ever before. That is just the nature of the disease, as it is with many auto-immune disorders. It comes and goes and comes and goes. Sometimes you can hardly remember you have it, other times, it's all you can think about because of the obvious and debilitating pain.

So, what I did was hold off as long as possible. I only took my medication if I absolutely HAD to, in the beginning. I thought I was doing great. My body felt so wonderful just from giving birth that I needed no pain medication. The euphoria from having a new baby and not having that additional weight on my joints was wonderful. Until about 2 weeks ago when all my my symptoms returned, tenfold. I woke up to the hungry cries of my baby in intense and agonizing pain one morning and woke Andy because I literally couldn't move. I hurt and ached all over my body. He had to help me up and I felt like a hunched over 90 year old grandmother as I hobbled to the baby's room where I tried to lift Magnus out of his crib. I was able to kind of swing him up into my arms. I could hardly breath without having pain course through my body. I couldn't sit to nurse. The only way to ease the pain is to walk around and allow my joints to become "un-stiff" from my inactivity during the night.

So then I had a dilemma. I started taking my medication on a daily basis after that. I immedietly noticed my generally happy, sweet baby turn on me. He became fussy nearly all day long. He cried and cried, even when being held. His poor little body would go stiff in my arms every so often and he would cry out in pain. After several days of this, I stopped taking my medication again. After a couple days of medication-less milk, he returned to his good-natured self. I would much rather have myself be in pain than my baby, of course. And then there is the decision that maybe I should just stop nursing. I have nursed all of my babies and I have never had any extreme enjoyment from it. I know it is the best possible thing for my child, and it's not like I hated the experience and so I endured through it for at least 6 months with each one of them, sometimes even longer. I actually started to enjoy it more with each child. But it is different this time, as I suspect I had known it would be all along. This is my last baby. This is the last time I will get to experience any of this "baby-type" stuff. I want to enjoy it and savor it and make it last as long as possible. I do not want to give up nursing already. I would rather endure the pain. So I will.

I apologize for this long, rambling post. It is nice for me to be able to organize my thoughts into something that makes sense to me. And I'm not sleeping and have nothing better to do :) If you have any interest, click here for a little more info on Akylosing Spondolitis. The video at the end gives me hope that they (I don't know who "they" are.... doctors? Scientists? Sure) are working on early prevention and maybe even a cure. Wouldn't that be amazing? I think so :)