Friday, September 30, 2011

38 Weeks

Pregnancy always shows in my face and "hind quarters" as Brannon calls it. I told Brannon not to get my hind quarters in the picture if possible, but there was no helping the puffy face or double chin. I will be very excited to start tackling this baby weight soon!

All my wishing and hoping for an earlier birth this time around really hasn't paid off yet. I have been walking like crazy among other "natural" things to try to induce labor, BUT to no avail. I have about one week to go before I am induced, so I guess there is still hope that she may come a little earlier. I should probably do the smart thing and just enjoy what time I have left of just having one child. I should probably also take advantage of all the sleep I am getting right now because if this baby is anything like Taj was, I will be getting about two hours of sleep every night. I am having some mixed feelings right now. Part of me just wants to have her as soon as possible and the other part wants her to stay in there awhile longer because I know life is about to change drastically for us again. I almost feel like I'm not ready, like my house isn't clean enough, like I have too many loose ends to tie up before she comes, like the laundry can never stay done long enough, like I can never stock up enough groceries, etc. I also have Taj's birthday next week to get through, so I'm kind of hoping that we can get through that before the baby comes too! I guess it's good that I can't stay perfectly prepared before she comes. I'm going to have to have something to still do when she comes besides being an expert diaper changer and an around-the-clock source of food. I guess having all these little things, mundane things, to do around the house will help me stay a part of the real world. I've been trying to prepare myself mentally this time around. I was totally unprepared with Taj and suffered with Postpartum Depression for a year and a half afterwards. It was unlike anything I've ever had to go through before and I DO NOT want to go through that again or put my little family through that again. Heaven forbid the baby blues don't go away this time too, at least I will be able to recognize it and know what to do to treat it. I'm pretty darn confident that this time around will be a lot better since I know a lot of what to expect, so as hard as it seems right now, I'm sure with some time I will adjust and wonder what all that worrying was about!
On a lighter note: I have some very exciting news that I am hoping to announce in the next two weeks and it has something to do with Shabby Apple:)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Here he is helping me make the frosting for the sheet cake I made today. He is having a taste of powdered sugar. He liked the taste, just not the mess on his pants and sticky fingers:)

Does anyone else catch themselves saying to their kids:

*Don't touch that! Gross! (or) Hot! (or) Sharp!
*Don't take your diaper off! Come find mama when you need your diaper changed, look at this mess!
*Don't drink your bath water! I mean it, one more sip and you are getting out! Okay that's it, you're getting out!
*Taj we don't pee in the bathwater, we go peepee in the potty...
*Stay out of that drawer, no seriously, I mean it!
*Don't rip the comforter and all the pillows off the mommy and daddy's bed and on the floor! Can't you waller the pillows ON the bed?
*Hey, mommy's couch pillows are not for riding down the stairs! Okay, mommy's just going to have to hide them!
*Taj close the door please. Taj PLEASE close the door. Taj close the door you are letting in all the flies! (After ten flies zoom in the kitchen, he shuts the door) Thank you!
*Taj close the fridge now please. Taj you need to shut the fridge now please. Taj, no you cannot drink soy sauce or lemon juice and trust me you won't like mustard! Okay take the apple and shut the fridge! (By this time moisture has condensed on everything because the door was open for so long)
*Taj take your fingers out of your nose! (As he looks at me with an "as if" stare and fingers up both nostrils)

Geeze, there sure are a lot of explanation points! For those of you who are worried, I'm not yelling all these things, at least not MOST of the time. I've learned lately that he is very sensitive to tone of voice, so I try not to raise my voice to him because the look he gets on his face if someone raises their voice to him would break your heart. Obviously I'm not perfect and I've had my heart broken (well deserved) several times by that look. Little boys are NOT easy for a girly girl like me to raise, but his good moments make me forget all the fiascoes of the day. His monkey hugs and big, puckered-up kisses melt my heart every time and at the end of every single day I'm so thankful Taj is mine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Toddler Story of the Day

What's better than spending the afternoon on the phone with the phone company trying to figure out how to lower your monthly bill, listening to numerous annoying and completely time-wasting sales pitches, and being bombarded by crappy elevator music? I will tell you. It's having your two year old boy bust into the kitchen after playing outside proudly giving me his pee-soaked diaper that also happens to have a poopoo in it WHILE you are still on the phone with the phone company. Because I was waiting on a confirmation number, I hurriedly tossed the diaper aside to be dealt with at a later time, which turned out to be sooner than later. Taj had taken off his diaper outside in the yard in front of our elderly neighbor who isn't too keen on kids anyway, especially Taj since he tries to feed her dogs rocks. After he took his diaper off, he just pulled his pants back up like he was the world's greatest hero. I'm assuming the added glee came from the sensation of having no diaper on under his pants, which of course I couldn't allow since obviously he is not potty trained. So immediately after I hung up with the phone company, I further inspected Taj's clothing and found the said poopoo caked on the backside of his shirt and the inside of his pants. Apparently the diaper transaction didn't fare too well on his clothes. Needless to say, I spent the next part of my afternoon stripping the vile clothing off my angel baby and washing that skinny little bum of his until it was nice and white again.
Potty incidents gone bad have always been a big fear of mine as a parent. I didn't think I would ever be able to cope with these kinds of incidents before I had Taj, but thank goodness mother nature programmed mothers with a grooming gene fostered by love for their children so that people like me can overcome their fear of poop, pee, boogers, and puke and be able to clean up after their young. I always wondered how my mom did it, but now I know. It doesn't seem AS gross when it's your own kid. It's still gross, but somehow tolerable:)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Soon to Be Big Brother

Taj becomes more of a boy every day it seems. Whenever Taj comes in the house from playing in the sandbox, I find a mini-sandbox in his hair, down his diaper, in his shoes and caked on his clothes. Not that I really care (except on cleaning day)...I'm just glad that he actually likes playing in the sandbox. He wasn't too interested for awhile, but I'm sure most parents know how that goes. You buy your child something new to play with and either they could care less about it and would rather play with an empty box or stick OR they play with it for about 15 min. and never look back. So I'm happy that my sandbox purchase wasn't totally in vain!

I've been trying to tell Taj for months now about the baby sister inside my belly, but the most I've been able to do is convince him that a belly button is called a "baby." I didn't realize he thought I was pointing to my belly button when I would point to my stomach and say "baby." I only realized this because now he points to his own belly button and says, "baby." So I'm afraid having a new baby around that doesn't go home after a few hours will be quite a shock for Taj. We are already planning daddy and Taj dates and mommy and Taj dates to make sure Taj still gets the attention he needs. I'm actually starting to look forward to having two kids around the house instead of just one. Taj needs a playmate around:)

Other news: I attended Taj's IEP meeting last Friday and it was decided by myself and other school officials that Taj will attend the "Three year old preschool" twice a week. We felt this was the best placement for him because only half of the students in this class have IEPs, so he will have a good mix of kids to learn from. His first day of school is October 3rd and I'm really excited for him to get started. I'm sure it will be a very rough transition for him (me too) as he will probably think I am dropping him off at daycare, but he will have to get used to it because he will go for the entire school year! I really have mixed emotions about sending him to preschool so early, but I know it is for the best. I know that I will miss him, but this is what he needs and I am willing to do whatever it takes to ensure he gets a good start in life. I have great confidence in the professionals who will be working with him. They've set some great social, speech, and cognitive goals for him so I hope to see some great progress soon!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember 9/11

Ten years ago today for some reason (I can't remember why) I had to miss first period of school. I was freshly 16 years old and I was just getting out of the shower when my mom yelled for me to come into her room. The TV was on and I saw one of the twin towers smoking and then both my mom and I watched in horror as another plane crashed into the second tower. We stopped what we were doing and sat on her bed. I couldn't believe it was actually happening. It didn't seem real. Things like that didn't happen in America. America was safe, untouchable, or so I thought. I remember my mom saying "We're under attack" as we watched the second plane hit. I remember thinking, "No way, it's just some bizarre accident. No one would deliberately crash into office towers to kill people." That day when I went to school every television was on in every classroom and we watched America grief-stricken, terrified, broken, and confused try to figure out what could have provoked such an attack. We watched heroes being lost and being born. We watched how resilient America could be while going through hell on earth. That day was the day I learned what terrorism really means. It means acting in cowardice and hate and ignorance. It means the shedding of innocent blood. I was never afraid to live in American until that day. There is nothing scarier than a group of people who profess to do such violent acts in the name of God because they think they are doing this for God, then what is there to stop them if they do not fear death or consequence because they believe they will live in paradise for their acts? It's such a scary thought, BUT Americans are strong and Americans fight for their people. I know that I can rest easier knowing that our troops are out there eliminating and protecting us from terrorist groups. I am so grateful for the sacrifices that soldiers and their families make so that I can feel safe and live freely. I am so grateful that I have my loved ones around me and my heart aches for those who lost their loved ones on this day ten years ago. I will never forget 9/11, the sacrifices that were made that day and still continue to be made, and the people who lost their lives that day. I am proud to be named an American.

Haiven's Nursery

I had a lot of fun putting Haiven's room together. I went with owls/birds for a theme and kind of ran with it. I found the crib bedding and window valance online with BabysRus. I got the rug and wall vinyl from Target which happened to match perfectly with the bedding and my mom thought I just had to have the matching lamp, so we've got that too:) I was so glad we didn't have to buy a new crib or changing table or glider. This room was surprisingly inexpensive to do too. I made the nightstand in high school, had a friend make the decorative wall shelf, bought the dresser off KSL and painted it, bought the picture frames from DI and painted them, and made name and temple blocks. It was a lot of fun to have so many projects to do, but I am SO glad they are done for now. I don't want to sand or paint another piece of wood for awhile!

Taj's Bedroom Makeover

Back in July when my nesting energy was running rampant, I decided to revamp Taj's room in addition to getting Haiven's room ready. I wanted it to be more kid-friendly and tailored to Taj's personality. So far he has loved seeing all the cars and trucks on his wall. Bringing the toy box upstairs to his room was also a great idea for those days when he won't take a nap, but when I make him stay in his room for quite time. All that I really did for Taj's room was add the vinyl cars/trucks/trains on the wall, paint a shelf and chair, and make name and temple blocks. It was super cheap to do and his room is so much more fun now. I'm happy with how it turned out and that Taj actually likes to spend time in there now:)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I had no idea this term existed until today. For the past year we have been working with Taj on his speech and after seeing very minimal results, decided to have him further evaluated for other causes behind his speech delay. After several evaluations from different occupational therapists, it was determined that Taj also has a sensory disorder. Sensory disorders vary widely and a person may only have one type or a person may have several types of sensory disorders.
Every kid has their quirks, especially two year old kids, so instead of feeling anxiety over Taj's peculiarities, we felt relieved to finally know a reason why he does the things he does. For instance why just getting him to eat is a daily battle, why he completely overreacts to having his hair, fingernails, and toenails cut, why the blankets, pillows, stuffed animals have to be a certain way and texture in order for him to go to sleep, why he can't wear shirts with hoods or socks with large seams, etc. Since being evaluated by the occupational therapist we have been doing therapy with him on our own at home with things like brushing, joint compression, swinging, rough housing, and several other activities to help Taj's nerves get the stimulation they need. If we are religious about it, Taj's eating habits do seem to improve, which is great! I can't tell you how stressful it is to have a child that a lot of the time refuses to eat anything all day long, especially a skinny child. He does get about four large sippy cups of whole milk with a supplement in it, so at least he is still getting some calories every day. I'm hoping his eating improves as he gets older and as he learns to deal with different textures.
Because Taj will be turning three soon, he was evaluated by the Davis County School District to see if he qualifies for early intervention in the district. Several questionnaires, observations, and appointments with speech therapists, occupational therapists, and a child psychologist later, it was determined that Taj is on the Autism spectrum. He is on the Autism spectrum because of his speech delay, sensory issues, and a slight cognitive delay. He does not however have Autism or Aspergers (sorry if spelling is wrong). Taj has PDD-NOS, which stands for: Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Basically, Taj has enough characteristics of Autism and equally enough high functioning strengths that he can't be fully classified as one way or the other. The psychologist told me it was a "catch all" phrase for children like Taj who are on the Autism spectrum but who don't actually have Autism. The best course of intervention for this is early intervention. Taj has an IEP meeting next week where it will be determined which preschool he qualifies for. I was told that he will most likely be put in a Functional Skills class where he will learn self help skills first and then as he progresses, move on to other things. I am excited about this because there will be more teachers than students in the classroom, which means Taj should get a lot of one on one help and direction. Because we are getting Taj the help he needs early on, he will most likely be able to carry on a normal, high functioning life. We of course are going to do everything on our end to help Taj get to where he needs to be cognitively and with his speech. I am very excited for him to start preschool and I'm sure that we are going to see some great results.
As a parent, sometimes there are a lot of open-ended questions when it comes to your child's well-being. As a mother, something just didn't feel quite right about Taj's speech and behavior and I'm glad that I took the initiative to look into it because the earlier Taj starts treatment, the better. Waiting even a year or two may have delayed him even further. We love Taj more than life itself, quirks and all, and are committed to giving him the best start possible! I'm grateful school districts offer the help they do for families like ours.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

This is how cellphones are lost: Letting your two year old pack the diaper bag/purse with all the "essentials". Every time I try to grab something out, five other things fall out on the ground. Let's just say: lesson learned!
Cute little piggy's asleep in their feed dish. This one is for you Marci the Pig Lover!
He really was having fun, just a little apprehensive as was I on account of the very rickety bench we were sitting on. He held onto my leg most of the time.

I hope most everyone was able to enjoy their Labor Day Weekend like we were. My family made the trek "up north" to visit for the weekend. Really, nothing makes a holiday a holiday like family and I am thankful I was able to spend this one with mine. After my family headed back south today, we decided to take Taj to Wheeler Farms for the afternoon. If anyone is looking for a cheap family activity Wheeler Farms is where it's at. We looked at all the farm animals which included horses, cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys. Of all the animals, I think Taj like the other people's dogs best, it figures! We also took a hayride around the farm, minus the hay thank goodness! We spent a little over an hour there before I began to go into meltdown mode from the humidity and then we retreated to Cafe Rio. All was well until I figured out later in the day that I didn't bring my cell phone home with me from Wheeler Farms. Right now I am experiencing shock and denial. How could this have happened?! What will I do for one WHOLE day without my cell phone?! I really didn't know I was this dependent on my cell phone, but really it's my lifeline to the world and I feel so bare and vulnerable without it. The good news is, somebody turned it in to the lost and found, so my phone and I will hopefully be reunited by tomorrow night! Other than the cellphone incident, it was a perfect day spent with my little family.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

34 Weeks

I am officially 34 weeks this coming Saturday and boy am I feeling it! The baby has definitely "dropped" and it wouldn't break my heart if she came in about three more weeks. I'm hoping she doesn't like it in there as much as Taj did:) I know that most everybody has their "nesting" list they want to cross off before the baby comes, so here is what mine looks like:

*Have carpets cleaned

*Clean vents, baseboards, cupboards, doors

*Clean underneath the stove and fridge

*De-clutter closets

*Touch-up paint on walls, doors, and baseboards

*Finish last minute projects for Taj and baby's room

*Cut Taj and Brannon's hair

*Get my own hair done!

*Get Whooping Cough Vaccination (My doctor recommended we get the DTP vaccination so we are up-to-date on our vaccinations)

I feel as if we can get the house deep cleaned and groomed as well as ourselves before the baby comes, then I won't feel as bad about it being a chaos zone around here for the first couple of months after the baby arrives!

Family Outing

Check out the sweet gigantic mustard stain on my shirt. I could blame it on just having a belly that sticks out too far and is always in the way, but the truth is that I'm just a lot more clumsy when I'm pregnant! Oh well, at least it wasn't my shirt. Brannon will have to deal with it when I give it back to him:)

Last weekend Brannon planned a family four-wheeling outing. I was 33 weeks last week and more than slightly nervous about bouncing around on a fourwheeler for several hours. Thank goodness baby Haiven stayed put for the ride. I had to be very bossy and tell Brannon not have us bouncing all over the place. I started bossing him after 10 seconds of being on the ride and he was like, "You're already telling me how to drive!?" Heck yes! I told him it wasn't a joke that the ride could put me into labor and we all very well know that Brannon would be pretty much incapacitated if I went into labor on the mountain seeing as he passes out when he sees blood. I was just glad that we had cell service the entire time. Might I recommend NOT going for a long fourwheeler ride when you are what Brannon's likes to call "Very Pregnant." It was VERY hot outside and for some reason one of the side panels my leg was resting on heated up so hot that I was afraid it would blister my leg, so I had to hold my leg out to the side for the entire ride, so not fun! We stopped and had a picnic along the way, but little did we know we had picked a spot with a bees nest. We had to stay there though because it was the only place with any shade. Brannon and Taj got some good entertainment eating their lunch and watching me yelp and scream and wave my arms every time a bee got near me. I've very surprised none of us got stung and also very thankful! All that's important is that at least Brannon and Taj had a great time and I didn't give birth on the mountain!