Life


I think it’s hard not to be disappointed by life.

It can really be quite sad. Lonely. Ruthless. Tireless. The drudgeries and expectations of adult circumstances crash against you ceaselessly, just as harsh ocean waves crash against a rocky shore. Your life is the rocky shore, and day after day after day it is the same thing. You are hit with the same thing, and it makes you TIRED.

Is there ever rest from the waves?

…no.

So how do you withstand?

Life was not meant to be a daily fight against the machine. It was not meant to break you, to overwhelm you with standards and tasks and endless requirements. But sometimes it seems like there is no rest. Where’s the rest?

Where is my rest?

The truth is…your responsibilities don’t stop. The things you need to do every day don’t go away. You wake up each morning to assignments that still need to be fulfilled, things and people that still need to be taken care of, regardless of whether you wish it or not.

That is your lot. …But that is not life.

Life is joy and happiness. Life is finding order in chaos. Life is greater than all of these daily trivities.

Getting through it without going crazy is all up to you. It is about your attitude and your perspective.

Seek optimism. Seek gratitude in your responsibilities. Seek amusement in the mundane. Seek joy in your family and posterity.

Life is rich. See its goodness and be grateful.

-A

 

 

 

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Why does it always seem like the “real world” sucks the magic out of life?

I always want to be able to see the magic in things.

To see the magic in life, you must figure out what the real illusion is and be able to see past it.

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6 months of Isabel


Isabel had her half-birthday on July 27th. She’s six months old, and beautiful. She has brought a sweetness and softness to our home that did not exist before.

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Girls are just like that, I guess. They are more sensitive, and just make things more beautiful and lovely. They emanate a special essence about them that beautifies.

I know in today’s society it is politically incorrect to promote and highlight differences in gender (and advocate “gender roles”), but girls definitely are different than boys. I think that it’s okay for girls to try and look nice and embrace femininity. I think that females are able to bring out tenderness in males. It’s good to have that balance. We cannot have one without the other – male and female were designed and created by God to – as a whole – have equilibrium and perfection.

That’s been the case for our house. Having a little girl in our home has definitely brought out a new side to everyone. We are always concerned and caring towards our little sister. The boys display so much patient and restraint with her, and they are loving and sweet. They may be running amuck but if she’s in their vicinity, they always take care to step lightly and avoid harm to her.

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Oft times, Aedan is very concerned for her well-being. Today we went to the pediatrician’s for Isabel’s 6-month wellness check up. She had to get some shots, and Aedan had a look of protest and horror on his face as he saw the nurse pull out a needle to administer her immunization. He even said something like “please don’t hurt sister”. Aedan is only 4, but the love and concern in his eyes were deep. I’m grateful for him and that through his experiences and order in our family, he’s growing up to be the loving and supportive big brother he should. Aedan loves to talk to “little sister” if she’s crying and tries to calm her down. I’ve heard him say “Shhh….Shhh… It’s going to be okay, little sister. You don’t need to be sad.” So sweet. Aedan loves to smile at her, and he gets the ultimate look of pride when he is able to sit with her (assisted) on his lap. He’s proud to have a baby sister and proud to be a big brother.

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Eli has acclimated well into the middle child role. At first, he was just kind of ambivalent towards Isabel. He didn’t really interact with her or pay her much attention. I remember at 2 1/2 years old, him coming to me in my bedroom to see me one day when Isabel was just a newborn. She started crying in her bassinet, and Eli turned to her, and in a tone said “STOP CRYING, BABY!” That’s pretty much the only time he’d choose to acknowledge her – when she was being too noisy for him. But over the past six months, he has investigated the situation a bit more, and he has come to accept her. I think the crying upset him because he really didn’t know how to react; it made him uneasy. Over the months, I would be in the kitchen with the kids close by. Isabel would whimper a little bit, and fuss and then sometimes calm down. I would turn around and find a t-shirt or a rag or towel tucked next to her. I was thinking that Eli was just being troublesome by throwing clothes at her, but I eventually realized that it was a gesture of care and love. Eli is a big blanky boy. It is his comfort. When he’s sad or just wants some security, he’ll be with his blanky. I think in his mind, he was trying to solve her apparent anxiety by doing what he knows to work best (for him)–getting whatever blanky-like thing was nearby and giving it to her. It developed to the point that when she would cry I would hear the pitter-patter of Eli’s feat as he ran away, rummaged, and then returned with an actual blanky. He, as Aedan does, loves her, and tries to show that to her in his own way.

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Brett has always kind of been a hard man on the outside. He’s very cordial to people, but it takes quite a bit of work to get to the point where he will be trusting with you, and will confide in you. Otherwise, he’s fine engaging in polite conversation, or helping people when they need it, but ultimately he’s absolutely content keeping to himself. Since he first held her in his arms (and progressively moreso by the day), I’ve seen how having a daughter has absolutely melted his heart. He will smile and be gentle and sweet. I see such joy and love in his face when he calls her “my princess”, and then picks her up and kisses her. Captivated. He tries his best to make sure she is looking nice (although, it’s always amusing when he is responsible for picking out her clothes and getting her dressed–he still needs to work on matching and baby girl fashion skills). He even throws around words like “cute” and “pretty” when talking about possible clothes/accessories for her. I feel like having a daughter is helping him to understand a little bit more about the way I function and how I need to be treated as well.

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Having Izzy has made me try and be a little more feminine and presentable myself. I enjoy Isabel being dressed up and looking nice, and I have tried to do the same. I’m not talking about obsessing over being well-dressed, but I’ve learned that it’s a good thing to try and look nice. Make sure you’re clean looking, and your hair is brushed and attractive and that your clothes aren’t too casual or frumpy. Without being over the top, it has become more of a priority to look nice. (It helps that I’ve lost a lot of weight and am working really hard to eat as healthy as I can.) It’s the idea of taking care of my “temple”. As Boyd K. Packer said, “Your body really is the instrument of your mind and the foundation of your character.” (“Ye Are The Temple Of God”, Oct. 2000). ALSO, I have has such a fun time hand-making accessories and beautiful things for her. I LOVE to make her headbands, and think of ideas for crochet projects I can make for her (hats, sandals, blankets). It’s been fun to turn my attentions to a more feminine nature.

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Overall, our little Izzy has added so much to our family. We love her. Every day I am so grateful to have this sweet little girl. She is a special joy to me, and I am so grateful for her smile and sweetness that she shares with us. Even taking naps with her is such a sweet time.

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Papa James Comes To Visit


Brett’s dad decided to pay us a visit. It had been a while since he had been out to Arizona. (The last time he had visited us was in Sept of 2009, and Aedan was only 5-6 months old.) Laura’s daughter – who lives in North Phoenix – had been experiencing some major health problems, so Laura & James came out to see her, and then James split off and came to stay with us for a couple days. I was sad to not see Laura; i love spending time with her. She’s very sweet and down to earth. But ultimately, it was good for James to be down here, and to spend some time with Brett, and to have Aedan and Eli get to know him a little bit better.

We had some FUN.

Tuesday & Wednesday – I didn’t have all the days off of work, so Pops was good to babysit and spend time with the boys while I got things done. I LOVE it when I can work without having the kids in my hair and all over the place, and at the same time know that they are having fun and being taken care of. One of those days we met up with Brett for lunch. We went somewhere very simple – McDonalds. Got some food, and let the kids run around the play place. Afterwards, we went to “Ocean Floor” which was right next door.

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This store is one of mine and Brett’s favorite aquarium stores. (I know. We are weird fish people.). They had just added a reptile/amphibian section since I had been there last, and there were some very cute baby tortoises. Pap James had a tortoise growing up, and thought it was the best pet. So, he bought two – with the condition that he takes them home with him. So, we dropped Brett back off at work and spent the rest of the day watching the little tortoises walk around the backyard.

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Thursday – Ultrasound day. Brett had the day off (and the next day). So, now was our really fun time. Aside from our ultrasound, this was the day that Brett had set aside time for some home repairs (They installed some floodlights in the backyard, fixed some leaky toilets, patched up some hammered areas with stucco on the exterior of the house, checked out our sprinkler system in the backyard. There were a number of things on Brett’s To-Do list that had been needing to get done. I was happy to see it all accomplished in one day!

Friday – We went to the Wildlife World Zoo in Glendale.

Saturday – Brett dropped James off at Jenny’s and He and Laura flew out the next day.

TODAY IS THE DAY! 18 weeks – Anatomy Ultrasound.


Up until this point, I felt like my life was a countdown to September 13, 2012 (The day of the OFFICIAL ANATOMY ULTRASOUND). I just “KNEW” it was a girl. I never thought, “Oh, this one’s a boy”. It was always girl in my mind, from the second I found out I was pregnant. So I would only think girl names, and girl clothes and girl decorations…

I was confident in my hunch until the day of our ultrasound. Then I was nervous. “Well, maybe it IS a boy.” (I wasn’t nervous to have another boy. I was just so grateful for this baby, no matter boy or girl. And If it was a boy, i would love him just as much as our other two little monsters and he would fit right in. But I LONGED for a little girl – another female in this boy-only family. A little girl to dress up and be sweet with. Girls are different than boys, and I was looking forward to experiencing that.)

Our ultrasound was at 9:00 AM in the morning. Brett’s dad (AKA “Papa James”) had come to town to visit, and was spending a couple days with us. So, he got to play babysitter while Brett and I had some kids-free time together. On our way to the Radiology center, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts (DISGUSTING) and grabbed some donuts and orange juice. (Really, that particular place serves some horrible donuts. They’re dry and flavorless and leave you with a horrible fatty aftertaste. I do not recommend.) I wanted to get this baby some sugar to make sure he/she was moving – because it seemed that he/she was so mellow, and even at 18 weeks, I never really felt baby kick too much.

We got to the radiology center, checked in, and didn’t wait for too long. The Ultrasound lady was really friendly. AND – one thing I really liked about her – she got down to business right away. First thing she asked us as I sat on the table was “Are you guys wanting to know what the baby is?” YES! OF COURSE! Rather than waiting for her to scan and measure from head to toe and THEN tell us gender, she looked for it right away.

Ugh. but did I really want to know? I was thinking “Only tell me if it’s a girl…”. NERVOUS NERVOUS! Brett didn’t care. In fact, he was nervous for a girl. He’s comfortable with boys and the thought of having a little girl scared him. But…she was able to get a very clear view.

And…

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“To me, it looks like it’s a girl” the tech said.

I smiled to myself, but was in disbelief at the same time. “How SURE are you?” I asked her.

“Pretty sure.” she said.

“Yeah…but like percentage wise…?” Ultimately, i made her check 3 times throughout the Anatomy scan (about every 20 minutes) JUST to be sure. So she made she to zoom up on that little area that clearly DID NOT HAVE A PENIS. I just remember smiling at Brett and smiling the entire ultrasound. I’m finally getting my little girl. I felt like I was just dreaming the whole time. 🙂

So now, I was justified in wanting to buy anything girly, or to sew or craft or crochet girly things for my little baby girl.

We celebrated by satisfying one of my cravings. A giant Arizona Breakfast Burrito from Filiberto’s. We called/texted people on the way home and were excited to share the news! Now I wanted a shopping sprees for some girl clothes!

And then, to settle on a name. Was our baby a Lillie or an Isabel?

Catch-up Time: 14 weeks, 4 days


I kind of fell off the map with this blog. Maybe because this blog was established as a way to document every miniscule little detail of early pregnancy while I was still really nervous about everything. Regardless, it’s good to have on record, so I’ll try to catch up.

 

I had my 14-15 week check up, and got another scan on the little office machine. It was so nice to see the baby! The PA asked if she wanted me to have her take a peek and guess the gender. WHAT A QUESTION! I should have said yes…but I felt like I was cheating without Brett there. (By the time I got home and told Brett that he was baffled. “Why didn’t you let her tell you!?”)

Everything was good. So, it was another good appointment. It was SLIGHTLY nervewracking for this appointment, becuase it was the first week I had been off of my progesterone pills. I feel like the progesterone was the only thing that had let me stay pregnant up until that point, and was just paranoid that now I wasn’t taking my 2 pills a day, something horrible was going to happen. But, everything seemed well.

By the way, I was HAPPY to be off progesterone. It had some really yucky side effects that I could barely stand. I constantly fell under dizzy spells while on progesterone. And it seemed like once I popped a pill in my mouth, like clockwork, exactly 30 minutes later I would become INCREDIBLY dizzy. The room would spin, and I would feel like I was floating. That would last for about 10 minutes until I was just slightly dizzy on-and-off throughout the day.

I hope I never have to take progesterone again, because it was miserable. But I also hope that my future pregnancies are healthy enough to sustain themselves without progesterone. Bottom line: I will do whatever I can to keep and carry a baby healthily.

We’re getting there! 10 weeks, 4 days


Today I had my second official OB appointment.

It was good.

It wasn’t like I was dying of anticipation and a nervous wreck, not knowing if something was there or not BECAUSE… I got a doppler about 2 weeks ago, and I’ve been lucky enough to listen to the baby’s heartbeat whenever I want.

This appointment was special, though, because they did an ULTRASOUND. At this stage, it’s easier to take a scan in order to find the baby’s heartbeat than it is to use the doppler and search around for that little itty bitty heart. So, it’s always fun to see the baby on screen…especially when you know that the pregnancy is going well.

So, it was quick, but overall a great appointment. It’s just so nice to see a baby there and healthy and developing as he or she should. (She said that, according to the ultrasound, the baby was measuring 11 weeks, but they’ll still go with my due date from my last ultrasound–which is: Valentine’s Day 2013.)

In the video, I asked about a hematoma (or SCH) because the last ultrasound I got at 7 weeks said that there “might be a possible subchorionic hematoma“. My OB told me not to worry too much about it, because at that stage it would have been very small if it was even there, and it would probably clear up on it’s own. So, the P.A. today was able to tell me that there was no sign of a hematoma. 🙂

Also in the video, she asked if I had any sugar this morning because the baby wasn’t moving around a ton, just kind of hanging out (it was like 9 am). She said that sometimes if you take some candy right before an ultrasound the baby will be wiggling around a lot more. I’ll have to remember that for next time? I hadn’t even eaten breakfast yet this morning, so I’m not surprised there wasn’t much going on. I had just woken up about 45 minutes prior to the appointment myself. Eli (My almost 2-year-old) is barely awake at 9am unless I get him up. Maybe this baby is like Eli–a SOUND sleeper! I wouldn’t mind that at all. Eli has always been the easier to put down for naps, and he sleeps for HOURS. Aedan, on the other hand…

Every progressing day of pregnancy I am more and more confident that things are going to be okay this time around. I’m just two more weeks away from the second trimester, and I’ll finally be able to just breathe and enjoy this pregnancy without being so fearful. It’s a weight off my chest, and it’s just so nice to be happy and excited rather than apprehensive.

I’m scheduled for my next prenatal appointment in 4 weeks. They said that we’ll have the anatomy ultrasound at 18 weeks (which is only a month and a half away!), and at that point, they will probably be able to tell us that we’re having a little girl….

OR boy. lol. But I’m feeling like this is a little girl. If it ends up being a boy, I will be just as happy, because my two little boys I already have are just so amazing and adorable and I really think little boys are just so much fun.

So, for now, baby is doing fine. I’m doing great (the fatigue and morning sickness has pretty much worn off). Baby is this big:

Still debating when to announce the pregnancy to everybody. (And by “everybody”, I mean family. But Brett’s family is massive, and they’re all horrible secret keepers, so it’s like telling everybody anyways.)

A Valentine Day Baby. EDD 2/14/13


(^^My updated Pregnancy Calendar above ^^)

I just finished up my consultation with my actual OBGYN. I was lucky that he was in the office and not out on delivery, so I got to meet with him rather than one of his PAs. (I love his PAs, though. So I never have a complaint when I have to meet with any of them. Julie, is my favorite, and she’s so caring and compassionate and kind of quirky. She helps me understand what’s going on better. She’s been excellent any time I’ve met with her.) It’s always nice to meet with the doctor, though, since he is the one in charge.

Dr. Howard is the one that delivered Eli. And I just found out today that he is Hawaiian. lol. irrelevant, I suppose, but funny. He’s matter-of-fact sometimes, but he has good interaction with patients, and he always seems really friendly. He has this great deep voice that’s really easy to listen to as well. I like him.

We met today to mostly go over my ultrasound results. He said that everything is really hopeful because the pregnancy is viable (as in, there was a good heartbeat). The only note that the ultrasound tech made (that she did not tell me) was that “there was possible subchorionic hematoma (?)”. (With a question mark after it, just like that). Dr. Howard said that it was silly she even put that in there, because it wasn’t even for sure, and at this point, it is so miniscule that it doesn’t really make a difference.

SCH or Subchorionic Hematoma is a gathering of blood between the membranes of the placenta and the uterus. As the placenta fuses to the uterus, sometimes there can be little spots where there’s a tiny gap, and blood will pool in that gap. He said that it will most likely correct itself, and it’s really nothing to worry about at this point.

He’s said that I my pregnancy should be viewed to be as normal as any other. I’ve had two healthy births before, and because of that, it’s only beneficial to me. The ones he really worries about are the women who have never gone to carry and deliver a pregnancy before, and they just miscarry again and again. He says at my state I’m in, I have a 95% chance of a healthy pregnancy. And, once I hit the second trimester, that goes up to a 99% chance.

I’m scheduled to go back in 4 weeks! Man, for all the attention I’ve paid to this pregnancy so far, 4 weeks seems like a long time away. I’ve either had an ultrasound or met with a PA nearly every other week since I found out I was pregnant. 4 weeks is going to be an eternity. But by then I’ll be 10 weeks, 5 days, and they’ll be able to see and hear the baby’s heartbeat on their little office scan machine. He says everything is looking good, and there’s really no need to come back until then unless I have some bleeding (which I haven’t, so he’s assuming this next month will be fine for me.)

From this appointment to my next, my baby will have gone from this:

7 weeks

to this:

10 weeks

It’s going to be a long month, but it will so nice when July 23 gets here! I think after that appointment we may announce to family about the pregnancy. I’ll only be a week and a half away from my second trimester, So I guess it will be the ideal time to tell.

Then, a week after that we have my little brother’s wedding. Exciting times.

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