Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas Season

Well, just like for everyone else, it’s gotten busier around here.  Nothing too much though.  We’ve been taking life in general pretty easy the last few months while I’ve been sick.  Since I’m still suffering many a sick-day, Christmas is pretty low key this year.  Waking up feeling not too bad today, I actually started considering making some Christmas treats, even if just for us.  The idea hasn’t so far been appealing, so there was and is a danger of going completely treatless this year!  I know, The Horror!  Since I’ve given up grocery shopping in favor of sending hubby to the store for a few essentials once or twice a week, who knows if treat making will ever materialize.  Well, we’ll survive. 

I tried to get some tummy shots in a mirror the other day.  It actually doesn’t look nearly as impressive as what I see in the mirror in person, but maybe I’m just fantasizing. Either way, my weight probably hit it’s lowest a week ago, and has been sitting there since, but my pants no longer fit around the waist, so clearly the tummy is growing even if the weight isn’t changing.


Last Wednesday we picnicked in the car and went to Storybook Land in Albany.  It’s a free exhibit of chidren’s scenes (Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, Disney Movies, Christmas villages, model trains, etc.). I took the boys last year and they were a little bored.  Maybe after waiting outside in the freezing cold for over an hour raised their expectations too much.  But this year they l.o.v.e.d. it!  (I didn’t wait ‘til the last night so we only had to wait about a half hour or so outside.) And Hollyn was entralled.  At the end kids could get their pictures with Santa.  The first time for any of our kids, actually.  I’ve never wanted to wait in line/pay anything/etc. But we went for it this time.  Interestingly, all the previous years I’ve played up Santa (“Better behave, or Santa won’t bring you anything”), but this year his existence has almost never come up.  It’s the first time in the last several years no one even wrote him a letter.  When Brennan had his turn and was asked what he wanted for Christmas, he wasn’t even prepared how to answer.  He had to think of something on the spot. Smile



We’ve got a full tree this year, but Hollyn has mostly left it alone.  She’s broken an ornament or two and pulled a couple of tags off of some gifts, but she mostly ignores it all.  So that’s going about as well as could be expected.

We’re all doing well.  Yesterday the power went out from about 7:30pm – 8:30pm, then again lasting several hours about 11:30pm.  For that first one, there was a quick flicker, then suddenly it was b.l.a.c.k.  Like, completely black.  Of course our eyes weren’t adjusted anyway, even if the moon had been visible.  Brennan panicked a little.  He and Asher had been upstairs in their room, and made their way down to meet me as I felt my way to the laundry room where our flashlights and candles are kept.  Thank goodness Mom passed along a whole bunch of candles to me years ago.  They’ve always come in handy for these outages, although it’s time to get some more.  All this occurred due to a windstorm, which was pretty exciting to hear.  We were SO close to having the boys in bed on time for once, when all this happened.  In the end it was too exciting and they felt uncomfortable going to bed with all the darkness (despite the fact they don’t use night-lights or anything and always sleep in darkness.)  It was pretty fun though.  Thank goodness for the alarm on Brian’s phone to get us up on time since we were without power almost all night too.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Biggest Loser

I'm thinking of writing a book.  I'll call it, "How to Lose Weight Without Even Trying".  It will be a very short book, though.

But things are getting a little better.  I say that, feeling nauseous at this very moment, but I'm not as bad lately as the previous 7+ weeks have been.  It's almost tolerable. :-)  I stopped taking the anti-nausea medication over a week ago - it was creating more problems than it solved some days.  But really, I'm glad I'm starting to be a little less sick because that's the only reason I CAN go unmedicated.  I really, really hate this phase.  I don't know how my Mom did this FIVE times!!!

The plus side is the weight lose though.  Finally, FINALLY hit my post Brennan/pre-Asher weight, perhaps going a tad less.  I was on my way there before this pregnancy, but had plateaued shy of my goal.  So this is nice.  While it lasts, anyway.


I was getting Hollyn and myself ready to go out the door this morning, when I couldn't hold it any longer - I had to run to the toilet to throw up.  Hollyn joined me and started fussing and trying to push me out of the way, I assume for a better look or a turn of her own or something.  :-)  She shoved me for a minute, then stopped.  Then I suddenly felt her hand tenderly land on my back and she began to rub it gently.  It was so sweet!

So I lifted my head to thank her, and she jumped on my lap to have her own turn at the bowl. Hahahaha.  Parenthood is nothing if not interesting.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chuggin' Right Along

I know, no pictures for a while.  The camera needs new batteries.  What a drag.  Also, just not in picture-taking mode these days.

Life got better after that one bad week.  We did have ANOTHER truck issue, and even more repair bills.  Ugh.  In some ways, life is harder than it's ever been for us, but we seem to be handling it better than we've handled similar trials in the past.  The Lord has and continues to bless us in so many ways, we just keep pressing on.  And despite the many stresses hanging over our heads, our days are happy.  And the good news is that things can hardly get worse, so we have pretty much nowhere to go but up. :-)

I made it to the gym this morning, after about 7 weeks off.  It's really hard to plan on that the night before, because nights are when I feel my worst.  And waking/getting up has never felt good either, so it's hard to know if I'm suffering morning sickness, or just general unhappiness-to-be-woken-up sickness when that alarm goes off.  But I made it today.  *Go Me!*

We had a great Thanksgiving.  The usual good food and good company.  We stayed in town and went to Mom and Dad's.  We'll be sticking around for Christmas too.  I feel bad that we spend so little of our holidays with Brian's family.  They have fun traditions, and we always miss them when we're not there.  And I feel guilty about the lopsidedness of whose side we spend holidays with. (Self-imposed guilt.  Brian's family would NEVER even imply...)  But such is the case when you live next to one spouses family and rather far from the other one's, I suppose.

Not much else to say, I guess.  The kids are all going great.  Hollyn is getting so grown up, it breaks my heart, but what'cha gonna do?  She's starting to add a lot of words to her vocabulary, although if I try to get her to say some for you, she won't. :-)  Brennan's doing well in school and is a great help to me.  7 year olds can do SO much, for which I am very grateful.  He's totally obsessed with the computer game Minecraft though.  I need to start putting limits on his play.  It's sad for me, to have to do that.  Why can't he stay little and obsessed with legos and toys?  Asher is enjoying preschool and makes his teachers laugh all the time.  He's still really into drawing, although he's started spending a lot of time playing in his room these days.  And when he plays in his room, he literally bounces off the walls playing some elaborate fight-scene.  From downstairs we can hear him, "Bump!  Thud! Crash!..." from the bed to the wall, to the door.  Making all sorts of battle sound effects. Really, really loudly.  I suspect this is where the bruises on his legs are coming from.  It's pretty funny to hear though.  What a crazy kid.

Anyway, that's the Stevensons... :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

What a week!

Man do I hope this week and all it's surprises is finally over!

Staring Halloween Wednesday, everything seemed to go wrong.  I had a health crisis that day.  It was horrible.  Started the night before which left me awake all night.  Brian took a personal day (what a great boss he has!) to take me to the Dr.'s, then watched the kids all day while I rested, barfed, and tried to recuperate.  I'm so thankful for Brian!

The following 2 days we had different housing inspections.  Blah.  You can imagine how much housecleaning I was able to get done.  And this was after a month of morning-sickness - meaning very little had been done in the way of, well, anything, for weeks.  So our house was a disaster.  Yay.  How great of me to be on my deathbed during the day I was supposed to be cleaning.

Still, we survived, and following the Friday inspection I headed out to Portland for Time Out for Women.  SOOOO fun.  I was hesitant to go, but darn-it, I really wanted to!  I slept on a rollaway in the hotel which was a mistake.  Not really noteworthy, but just one more annoyance in the week.

I got home, picked up the kids from the Stake Center and Mom's house since Brian had been doing Stake Conference stuff ALL Saturday, and got home to learn that Brennan had thrown up the night before.  Brian had done some cleaning, but I still had to finish up and remake the bed, while feeling very nauseous myself.

Sunday was busy, as I had a job at Stake Conference myself, plus Brian had his.  Otherwise a fine day though.  The calm before the storm.

The next several days nothing worked to keep me from feeling horrible and throwing up everything.  I even have expensive prescription anti-nausea medication, and it didn't help at all.  Hollyn threw up too on Tuesday night, so I'm thinking I probably had a stomach bug on top of morning sickness.  Fun stuff.  But it gets better.

Wednesday night I hurried home after a late appointment wanting to make something for dinner other than cereal.  (Yes, the poor kids have been basically living on cereal lately.)  I prepared some muffins first.  But apparently there was a mess in the oven, and apparently messes like that can catch on fire.  So that was fun.  I had trouble getting the fire extinguisher to work, as the fire raged on.  Finally got it taken care of though.  We couldn't do a lot of clean-up until the oven cooled down, so the kids had cereal for dinner afterall.  Lol.

Later that evening, Hollyn was messy and we were out of diapers, so Brian ran to the store.  He was sick with a head-cold, but ended up with the better end of the deal, because right after he left Hollyn threw up all. over. the. floor.  It was awful, especially since I was already nauseas myself, and the fumes from the fire experience weren't helping.  Neither did the vomit smell added to it. 

I tried to clean up that mess, but she threw up again.  I rushed her into the bath, asked Brennan to get out of bed to watch her (he was still awake and happy to do something besides lay in bed), cleaned up the vomit, and finally got the muffins to the neighbor's house to cook.  So that was a fun night.

We hoped the worse was over, but the next morning, yesterday, Brian had truck-problems on his way to work, which meant the truck in the shop, repair bills, and rides at inconvenient times.

But, today seemed to be fine.  I think the storm has passed.  We survived 4 different illnesses coinciding, a fire, an unhappy election result, car repairs, and a very messy house.  Please tell me this week is over!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Happy Halloween!

 Yes, I know Halloween was SO last week.  In fact, the kids' candy was gone within about 24 hours, thanks to them preferring to dig in after one round of trunk-or-treating instead of filling their bags as much as possible.  But who was I to point out the long-term consequences of their immediate greed. :-)  Anyway, I was pretty sick the last week, so it took me a while to get to this.

*Note, neighbor friend Wyatt, who practically lives here these days because his family doesn't have Minecraft and we do, weaseled his way into all the pictures of the kids.  Love you, Wyatt. :-)

Couple of Ninjas

Bumblebee Transformer, again.  I love that he was content to do that... And a ninja

Little Puppy-dog.

 Brian didn't dress-up this year.  But Mom did.  We call this costume...

There's a Bun in the Oven.

The Bun

Friday, October 26, 2012

See, I Told Ya

I said I'd be back, and voila!  I'm on my 3rd computer now, after the 1st two both had hard drive crashes within a week of ownership.  I wrote a nice, honest review on Amazon about our experience, and then Brian came to the suspicion that it may have been our fault after all. The "new" desk I bought off craigslist is secretary style, with a drop-down table.  Well, turns out those magnets that hold the table up when closed, they're pretty strong.  Strong enough to, say, ruin a hard drive if an electronic device was placed over it.  Whoops.  At least I know to avoid setting this laptop on them.

Anyway, it appears I'm back, and man does it feel good to be connected again!  An old, outdated tablet does not compensate fully for a computer.

My sister Kelly and her 3 youngest kiddos came for a quick visit last month.  We seized the opportunity to visit the pumpkin patch.  Although late September, it was pretty darned warm outside.  So much so, that it made me feel lazy and unmotivated to be out in the sun really long.  But the kids had a blast even though we skipped the corn maze.  There was LOTS of other stuff to do which didn't involve being lost for an hour :-)

After not taking many pictures the last several weeks (no computer to load them on to, remember?) I tried to catch up on my little EIGHTEEN-month-old.  I know, holy smokes, right?  She's been to nursery the last two weeks, and is I suppose having a good time.  She hasn't cried once, even though Brian, who drops her off, hasn't stuck around with her.  I had a feeling the lure of the toys and other toddlers would sway her easily :-)  She's been way over hanging out with either of us for a good long time now.

This is a common smile she flashes us.  It's her purposeful smile.  She squints her eyes and exaggerates her mouth.  Melts my heart every time.  She likes to pull this one out when she's about to be scolded.  And it works for her every time.

 She has started saying some more words, though still not a whole lot.  She's a pretty quiet one, at least when you're trying to get her to talk.  She will (but not if anyone else is being shown) repeat all our names.  Mama, Dada, Minna (= Brennan), Ashhhhhh (= Asher), and Hi-a (= Hollyn).  Sometimes I throw in her near-by cousin's name too. :-)  I can tell that she recognizes these as being the names of us, so that's what's fun.  She also recognizes the names of many specific things and if I ask her to find one of them, she goes looking in the places she last saw/put the item.  So even though she doesn't say many words, she's apparently understanding them.

Her favorite thing to say right now, on her own without prompting, is "no".  Oh goody. :-)  The other day in the car she was repeating to herself, "No no, no no..."  She says it sort of accented though, so it's still cute.  For now.  Interestingly, it seems like when she's saying it because she means it, she pronounces it "neh".  Other times she says "neeeeeew" and puts her lips in a little "o" shape to accentuate the vowel.  I think it's how she says "more" but I can't be sure.  It could just be for fun.

Speak of the toddler, I hear her wanting to be gotten up from nap-time.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I'll Be Back

Hey ya'll.  Hello?  Anybody there?  Probably not.  I'm sure no one has noticed, but yes, I have been rather quiet for a bit.  At least it feels that way because I have all sorts of things I want to post about, but haven't gotten around to.  The biggest reason is because we've had computer drama.  I don't have a working computer at the moment, in fact I've just shanghaied Brian's 'cause he's not up yet. :0

So my detailed and pictured posts will have to wait for another day.  But just so I don't forget, here's a couple topics I don't want to forget

Hollyn's words
Brian's b-day
Brennan's crush
Asher's explanations (scientists, how people are made (of soup ;-), etc)
Room redo
School starting and affects on life

Hmmm, maybe that's it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Problem with Growing Up

 Hollyn is now over 16 months old.  I'm looking VERY forward to nursery in a month a a half. :-)

One of her current endeavors these days is that, after having learned how to open all our cupboards and what items are in each, she hits the snack-food cupboards all day.  There are granola bars and cracker packages ALL OVER my house, because Hollyn spends all her waking moments fetching an item, and handing it to me.  Unless I give in and open it for her to eat, I usually just accept it and set it down in the nearest convenient location.  If you're wondering about the package of pistachios and the bag of cereal on my desk, that's why it's there ;-).  If I don't open the food item for her, she silently walks back to the cupboard to grab another one and try again.  If/when she gives up on that, she starts going through all the other drawers and cupboards leaving things scattered all over the floor and often hiding them in other drawers and cupboards. *sigh*  As if I didn't have enough trouble keeping up on the housework.  And it isn't just the kitchen.  She loves to notice when the upstairs bathroom door is left open, and has a ball carrying my feminine products all over the house.  I keep having to throw away tampons that she opens (paper-wrapped) and chews on. (Of course they're no good once they've gotten wet.) I usually pretty much feel like I'm about to lose my mind.  I don't have enough space to move everything from out of her reach so I suppose I'm doomed to just do what I can until we move past this stage.

Still, we sure love this little girl!  With all her gettin' into stuff I'm starting to call her Goldilocks. :-)  Seems like a good fit.  Brian still likes to call her "Smallyn" because she's so tiny.  At 18.5 lbs she's in the 10th percentile for height and weight.  I like my tiny one though.  So much easier to carry and clothe than a big chunker.

She loves to play with her brothers.  It's so fun to watch her "get" the games that they're playing.  She also loves to color (at least for a few minutes).  She still says "Up-mmm" instead of just "up" and FINALLY will say "Mama" on command.  She doesn't call me that, but can at least repeat the sound now.  She loves to snuggle things close to her face while we say, "Oh sooo pretty..."  She has a huge tantrum if someone goes outside and doesn't let her come along.  The other day I went to deliver a cake to some neighbors.  I left her home with Brian and even though I snuck out the back door she noticed her brothers go out the front.  And immediately started crying.  I didn't give it much thought when I ended up staying and chatting with my friend for a while.  About half an hour later Brian came in delivering Hollyn to me because she'd apparently not gotten over her upsetedness.  Oh brother am I in trouble.  Luckily it's a some-what easy fix at this point.  If I let her step outside for even just 30 seconds she usually feels satisfied.  I'm not sure what we'll do come rainy winter though.

 Also still likes to "talk" on the phone.

Remember that cake I took to the neighbors?  It was sort of a joke because they moved next door to themselves, from the 3-bedroom across from us to the 4-bedroom diagonal from us.  But I brought them a "welcome" cake anyway.  I made two smaller cakes out of the recipe so we could have some.  The boys kept asking "which one is ours?" so I used some icing to make it more clear ;-)

 My cute boys!
Yay!  Mom let me walk outside for a bit!