Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sneaky Sneaky...

I think we have figured out a way around this storage issue junk. There's actually a couple ways. First way is by using The site is free, and you can upload your photos there and create a direct link url and post the pictures on your blog with that link. The problem is it's kind of a pain in a couple ways. First of all, you have to upload your pictures there. Secondly, you have to get individual links to each picture and add them each separately to the blog. Thirdly, (kind of the kicker in my opinion) you have to access those pictures at least once every six months in order for them to remain "active" and stay on imgur/the blog. Miles said he would create a bot that would crawl my pages and load each blog post every six months, but that still sounded like a bit much.

The next option is still a pain, but I think I'm going to try it out and see just how much of a pain it is. Miles is a co-author on the blog. HE, apparently, does not have storage issues through his gmail account. So the total storage is not directly related to your blog, but rather your gmail account. Therefore, he is able to upload LOTS of photos. The pain that comes in, is this...if I want it to be published under my name (still not sure if I care that much about it...although Miles says he does, and if I do it under him then he'll get all the comment notices sent to his email...) I have to:

1. Create the blog post under my account
2. Log out and back in under Miles's account
3. Upload pictures
4. Log out and back in under my account
5. Finish up blog post and publish

So I actually think you could continue to have unlimited storage if you just use a spouse/alias account. I'm going to try it out this week and see how difficult it seems. If anyone else has good ideas on how to hack the system, let me know!

Friday, November 23, 2012

On Hold

Of course...just when I get back into blogging, I run out of photo space on my blog. :( So for now...things will be put on hold. It's not as fun to blog without pictures, so until I either figure out a way to get more space for free, or just bite the bullet and pay for it, I won't do many posts. Maybe I'll write them up in drafts in the meantime so all I have to do is add photos later. We'll see.

Monday, November 19, 2012


After a *LOT* of searching and researching, we have finally decided to move forward with a home. We made it official today by signing a build. It wasn't something I anticipated ever doing - building that is. I guess the idea started when Miles did some contract work for a builder and we talked with him about getting a deal to build through his company. Things didn't pan out quite as we wanted and the area we wanted to build in didn't meet all our requirements (mostly mine - I wanted a larger backyard for our kids to play in). We did a fair amount of looking at homes - old, new, short sales, foreclosures, and model homes. Finally, we decided after taking everything into account (price, location, lot size, home size, bedrooms, living space, need for repair/improvement, etc.) that our best bet was to build.

While I'd love for it to be our "dream home" I've come to realize that unless you have an endless supply of money, that's pretty hard to get, and you usually end up compromising somewhere. However, I do like the location/neighborhood and proximity to the freeway and both Provo and Salt Lake City, as well as lot size (.25 acres) and many things about the home itself. I think we will be happy there for many years, if that is where we decide to stay. So we finally signed the contract paperwork and are now waiting on a building permit before they break ground. But I think Miles and I are on the same page - it's not a done deal until the keys are in our hands. We've just had too many things fall through or not go as planned to believe anything is for sure. Even moving forward on this home has taken a while. Beyond just deciding if it was what we wanted and would be good for us, we found out that there was a natural spring running under the ground in our lot space. They hired a geologist to divert the spring, but said there was still the potential of standing water in the winter and/or spring. They can't say for sure what will happen. We asked the builders to attach an addendum to the contract stating they will take care of it if there are any problems with standing water in the future. Once they agreed to that, we decided we were ok to move forward. So, I'm not sure which way this will go, but I'm pretty excited and very hopeful that things will work out. Of course there are things I'll miss here, but that's a post for another day after we move.

6 weeks Post Partum

I can't believe it has been six weeks since my little girl entered this world. Sheesh time flies! I figured that since today was my 6 week checkup, it would be a good time to record how I've been doing in general since having Elsie.

I noticed pretty soon after delivering her that I felt a lot better than I did after I had Owen. I was up and walking around, wasn't as sore, didn't need as much medication, etc. The only reason I stayed in the hospital the whole time was so I could have some time with just Elsie before jumping into life with two kids. Once I was home, I felt pretty good, and wanted to be active and do things around the house. However, I could tell when I was pushing it too much and my body was telling me to slow down. I mean...I did just have a child, I guess I couldn't expect to be 100% that fast.

I had some swelling in my body while I was pregnant, most noticeably in my hands (thank you carpal tunnel) and feet, but pretty much everywhere. Well, right after delivery, the swelling in my feet and legs got to a seriously awful state. It was far worse than when I was pregnant, and worse than the swelling after Owen. I had pitting edema (where you push on your skin and it stays indented) for about a week. It was pretty hideous. I was worried for a while, wondering if/when it would go away. I read online that most people said it went away after a week. Well...a week and one day later, it all but disappeared. It was so nice to have my toes, feet and ankles back! Here are before and after pictures:


I must still have some swelling in my hands though because I can't put my wedding ring on without some effort/discomfort and I still have some minor carpal tunnel pains. :( I was going to ask the doctor about my carpal tunnel at my appointment today but I forgot. Darn it. I really do hope it goes away completely though because I feel like I have to modify how I hold/pick up both Elsie and Owen.

And I must have had more swelling in my body than I realized, because within just 1-2 weeks after having Elsie, I dropped nearly 30 lbs. (almost all my baby weight) and was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans/pants. That was a nice surprise since it wasn't that fast with Owen. Although let's be honest...I still have some "Owen pounds" hanging on that I need to get rid of. ;)

Breastfeeding has gone a lot better this time. I have felt so much more comfortable and confident with it. I also decided before she was born, that I just wasn't going to stress about it. If it worked out, great. If not, I wouldn't get down on myself and feel badly about supplementing with formula. Early on, I had to coax Elsie to eat with small drops of formula, and on occasion when I felt as though she still seemed hungry I would give her 1-2 oz. In the beginning I would do that maybe once a day. After a few weeks though, it seemed like my supply had come in ok and she seemed satisfied. At my appointment this week I asked them to weigh her. She was 9 lb. 13 oz. (with a onesie and pants one). So in six weeks she gained about 2 lbs. They seemed pleased with that. Of course I still worry and feel as though I am always on guard to make sure she is getting enough - especially with her reflux issues that cause excessive spit up.

The downside of breastfeeding this time is that I have a cut that has not healed. I had them with Owen, but they eventually went away around 6 weeks. This cut is showing no signs of leaving any time soon. I showed it to one of the doctors at the office a couple weeks ago and she called it "impressive." It's about 1/2 inch in length and 1/4 inch in width. Yeah. It's bad. I showed it to my sister and she said it made her stomach turn and she wanted to heave. I've tried everything - Lansinoh, Newman's Ointment, salt water, nipple shield, pumping, etc. Nothing makes it go away or help for any extended period of time. When I showed to my doctor this week, she said that it just might never go away the entire time I'm breastfeeding. Seriously?! It's so disappointing to me. Last time I really had to worry about supply issues. This time, my supply seems ok, but I go through agonizing pain at every feeding. I haven't given up yet. We'll see if I can hold out for an entire year or not... :(

The sleep deprivation is pretty intense. I forgot how bad it is. And it's even worse this time around for two reasons - 1) I have to be more alert and awake during the day to take care of a toddler and I can't sleep when Elsie sleeps and 2) Because of her reflux, she wakes up about every 1 to 2 hours at night. It is SO exhausting. And between each feeding I am out, so I feel especially tired when she yanks me out of a deep sleep. No REM cycles for me! But I know it's temporary, and I'm hopeful that we'll get the reflux figured out so I can get some more sleep.

After Owen was born, I struggled with post partum depression for about six weeks or so. This time I was on the lookout. I didn't want to be caught unaware like I was with Owen when these crazy emotions started taking control of mind and body. I think having that awareness was the first step in feeling better this time. I have not been hit with PPD at all this time. Baby blues, yes. PPD, no. There have been moments where I have overwhelmed and cried. But I have been able to handle those times and not allow them to get out of control. I also think that I have gotten used to being a full-time mom, so there wasn't any major change there. Don't get me wrong - I did have a break down to my friend the other day about not feeling as though I get anything done or that I'm able to get out of the house. But in general, life is pretty much the same. And I am ok and happy with that.

If ever things start to get overwhelming, or I haven't gotten enough sleep, I can feel waves of emotion come on. But I'm usually able to pass the children off, or take a deep breath and give myself a moment to feel, and then move on. I feel very lucky that I have not suffered from PPD this time around. It was so hard after Owen, and I know there are many people that deal with this. And what I am especially happy about is that I have been able to enjoy and *BASK* in my sweet baby and her newness. I feel as though so much of Owen's early months passed me by in a haze, and that makes me sad. This time I am trying to savor the moments and find happiness, even in the crazy, unproductive, boring, lazy days. Even in those days...there is peace, laughter, sweet smiles, and utter joy in being the mother to these two beautiful spirits.

Six weeks is still rough around the edges as we figure things out. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my two sweet babes!

Friday, November 09, 2012


We got our first snow of the season. Owen was so excited. His Aunt Megan decided to take him out for some winter fun. It was so cute to see him playing and enjoying the snow. Last year we got minimal snow and he probably only wore his snow gear a total of three times, (Luckily it still fits this year too!) and he didn't really like the snow very much. This year is a completely different story. He could not get enough and loved every minute outside in the snow. He and Megan made a mini snowman, attempted snow angels, and had a snowball fight, all while Elsie and I stayed warm inside. I'm excited for Owen to enjoy the snow this winter.

Building the snowman:

Even Bruce got in on the action.

Poor little guy had a hard time getting the snow off his fleece gloves. I'll have to get some better gloves for him.

Making a snow angel:
I don't typically wish for snow, but seeing how much he loved it, I would happily take piles of snow for us to play in!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Thankful Thursday Week 1

I've been keeping a list of what I am grateful for each day with plans to write it all up at the end of the month. But then I thought I'd do as my friend did and post weekly instead. I haven't just been writing the things I am thankful for in general, but what I have been especially thankful for each day so far this month. They're not all profound or life-changing, but they are real to my life. Here we go...

Thursday, November 1st: I'm thankful that our good friends (the Molyneuxs) moved back to Utah, and live relatively close to us. So many of my dearest friends have moved away, so it's such a blessing for them to move back. Also, I think Miles might love Braden just as much as I love Haley, (he actually claims it's more and said you just can't compare any friendship to their bromance...) which makes it all the better.

Friday, November 2nd: I'm thankful for friends who jump in to help make my life easier in transitioning to two children. Today, my good friend Holly, made arrangements (all on her own without me asking!) to take Owen for a play date...for the second time in the past week! It is SO nice to know that Owen is getting out of the house, having fun with friends, and is well cared for. Not only that, but when she dropped him off, she kindly listened to my emotional breakdown about my struggles with a baby with reflux and feeling totally useless during the day. She was an amazing support and strength to me today.

Saturday, November 3rd: I'm thankful for answered prayers. I was feeling sick and was able to make it through all of my responsibilities as a mom. I am thankful that we can pray to a loving Heavenly Father who knows us and our needs, and who hears our prayers. I'm thankful that the lines of communication to God have not been cut off and that we can get answers when we seek them.

Sunday, November 4th: I'm thankful for Miles, who is a good father to our children and not only takes care of them, but is also an amazing husband who takes care of me too. After a long night with Elsie and being up with her for two hours, he took care of her from 4:45 am - 7:45 am so I could rest. Then, he took Owen to church alone since I wasn't feeling well and gave me a much needed break during the day.

Monday, November 5th: I'm thankful that I was able to get out of the house by myself with two children for the first time so that I could enjoy the beautiful fall weather, colors of the changing leaves, and have a fun outing at the park with Owen and Elsie! (This was a huge mommy milestone for me.) Also, I was equally grateful to have encouragement from friends (Holly and Adri) to do so, and have them there for added help and support (lifting Owen in and out of swings, running interference between crying children, etc).

Tuesday, November 6th: I'm thankful for good health insurance that has afforded us so much (covering our complete IVF cycle for Elsie, labor and delivery, ER visits, doctors appointments, prescriptions and more). And I'm thankful for good dental insurance, even when I'd rather not have to use I did today in getting a root canal. But thank goodness for insurance that will make this, and my two crowns cost a fraction of what they would have otherwise. I feel especially grateful knowing there are so many who do not have any insurance and do not have the luxury of going to see a doctor/dentist without fear of what it will cost.

Wednesday, November 7th: I'm thankful for the country we live in and that through the democratic process, we were able to select a president to lead us. And while I personally support our President, I am thankful for this knowledge which I 100% believe:

Therefore, I am especially thankful that I am able to be a stay-at-home-mom so I can lead and guide my children each day and help in their formation into good, kind, caring, thoughtful, members of our family and society.

More thanks to come next week!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Reflux is of the devil

It took me a little while to come to the conclusion and accept it, but my baby girl has acid reflux. Thanks to numerous friends and family members suggesting that it was the culprit, I took her into the doctor for a checkup and in hopes they could help her out. She was prescribed Prevacid at first. However, when Miles went to fill the script, they wanted $250 for it. The pharmacy called our insurance who said that it requires a pre-auth first. On Monday, I called the doctor's office to ask them to take care of it. They said we had to try Zantac first. It has been almost a week now and I am not seeing any big improvements. And half the time, soon after she has taken it, she does a big spit up and I worry most of the medication is just coming right back up. Not to mention, she HATES taking the medication. I asked the office how long she has to stay on it before switching. The nurse seemed a bit uninformed, but said she thought at least a month or longer. Ugh!

For now, this is what we are dealing with:
• LOTS of spit up - sometimes right after eating, sometimes an hour after eating. One night I woke up to the sound of her spitting up and it hitting something. After some searching, I found she had projected her spit up from the bouncy chair she sleeps in next to me in the cosleeper, onto our bed (about two feet away).
• A squirming, squealing, screaming baby when she's being burped or the reflux is hurting her.
• A frequent eater (Sometimes she will eat on and off for 3 or 4 hours straight with just small breaks in between.) I think it's for two reasons: 1) She spits up so much she's still hungry 2) It's comforting to nurse and also helps keep the acid down.
• Waking frequently at night (usually every 2 or 3 hours...sometimes shorter).
• Laundry every day (multiple outfit changes, tons of burp cloths and blankets).
• Congestion (This just started last night. She spit up out her nose and due to residual junk left behind/inflammation of her nose membranes, she is now severely congested.)

It really is awful and I feel so bad for her. I really hope her medication starts working or that I can figure out what to do to help her.

I'll leave with a couple pictures of her giving stink-face at having to take the medication. (And this doesn't even do justice to the faces she pulls.)