Saturday, December 13, 2008

Crawling (I Guess) and Sitting

So Alex learned a new thing this week. He's figured how to sit back down from being on all fours. It used to be that if he fell onto his stomach or his back, all he could do was roll around until Aaron or I put him back into sitting. Now when he falls onto his stomach, he can go onto all fours and then sit back down.

This was a surprise to me one morning when I noticed he had fallen onto to his stomach and then when I left and came back, he was sitting. I was just like, "Hey, how did you get that way?" I tried to think if I had put him back to sitting but had forgotten, but was pretty sure I hadn't. Then later Aaron saw him get himself into sitting.

Now that he's been rocking on all fours for awhile, he's gotten so he can kind of get around, but I don't know if I can say he's officially crawling or not. He can't crawl across the room in a straight line, but he definitely can move around wherever he wants by sort of crawling, rolling, and scooting. He seems to be better at crawling backwards, then forwards, though.

It's pretty fun to see him progressing, though.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Six teeth!!!

So I was checking Alex's mouth to see how close his two front teeth are to coming in, and I discovered that he has four more coming in (two on either side of his two front teeth). I didn't know they came in so quickly like that!! And as far as I can tell, there still are no bottom teeth in sight. Weird.

EDIT: I just wanted to edit this and say he now has two top teeth in and two bottom teeth. It turns out the bottom ones are harder to see coming in. I found them when Alex bit down on my finger and I felt them. The other 4 teeth on top haven't cut through the gums yet so I guess he doesn't officially have those teeth yet. 

Also, when Alex had his 9 month checkup, we found out he's over 21 lbs (thought so!) and 29 inches tall. He just grows and grows.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Way to Keep Track of Alex

Lately Alex has been working on crawling, and despite the fact that he doesn't know how yet, he still seems to be able to get wherever, and we know that once he actually does crawl, he'll get there even faster. So we talked about getting a play pen for Alex to play in when we are doing other things and can't keep a close eye on him. So the first thing I did was check Craig's List, since we don't have a lot of money. That's when I ran into this:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Be Grateful

So today is a day of gratitude--a day where we consider the things we're thankful for. I have lots to be thankful for. Some of them include:
  • my husband
  • my son (and how easy-going he is)
  • the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • family
  • friends
  • food
  • breast pumps (otherwise Alex would have to drink formula)
  • warm place to live
  • music
  • soft bed to sleep in
  • blankets
  • anything that keeps me warm and comfy (blankets, sweatpants, robe, etc.)
  • ovens/stovetops
  • the Internet (so grateful. It's awesome)
  • having money
  • future job (which I will hopefully get soon)
  • positive people
  • for not having hives (which I will hopefully not have soon)
  • elecricity
  • indoor plumbing
  • books
  • living in the US
There are lots more that I'm grateful for, but those are some that I thought of. Hope you all have a good Thanksgiving Day with lots of good food.

My Birthday

So this year's birthday was pretty good, and it's all thanks to my honey, Aaron. First we went out to breakfast at IHOP. With money being tight, the only reason we did this was because I had a two-for-one coupon. Well, when Aaron went out to the car to get something, he talked to a waitress on the way back. I thought it odd, so I asked what that was all about. He said he'd asked her where the bathroom was. Since my husband is so straight foward and honest, and isn't really good at deceiving me (like in the past how he tried to think of an excuse as to why he was leaving and couldn't think of anything, so finally admitted he was going to buy me a present), so I took his word, even though he didn't ever go to the bathroom. Then towards the end of the meal, 5 waitresses came over singing happy birthday and presented me with an ice cream sundae. I was so surprised. I love surprises, so I thought it was great, really thoughtful, and sweet.

So I figured that would be all, but later I got another surprise. We'd agreed not to buy any presents for each other's birthdays, so I knew I wasn't getting anything in the real world, but Aaron and I play Guild Wars and I really wanted a Mad King Thorn mini (you can see what he looks like here). He's pretty rare, but I think he's so cute. Anyway, Aaron had been talking about how he used all his money to buy Trick-or-Treat bags (they drop around Halloween, so once Halloween is over, you can't get more except by buying them from other players). So I figured he didn't have the money to buy me a Mad King Thorn. Then yesterday in the afternoon, he offered to help me learn how to raptor farm, and was like, "You should sell what's in your inventory, so you have plenty of room for what you pick up." I'm like, "Okay." So I open up my inventory and I'm looking to see what I have, and there in my inventory was a Mad King Thorn mini!! Because he's rare, it cost Aaron a lot of in-game gold (260,000 gold). That's a large chunk of change, and it takes a long time to accumulate that much gold. On top of that, Aaron wants a Mad King Thorn mini as well, so I'm sure he would have rather have kept it then give it to me, which makes the sacrifice mean more.

Later in the evening, Aaron made me dinner, and we hung out. I also talked to my sister earlier in the day. No one else in my family called, but I got two emails, and my other sister had called yesterday. Basically that means my brother and dad are in the doghouse for not doing anything to say happy birthday (though my brother did message me on Facebook today to say sorry, so I guess that's something).

So that's basically it. I'm glad I have a great husband who made my day special. Yay!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Teething and Life in General

So Alex is now officially teething. We can see his two top front teeth coming in. It hasn't made him very happy and he's needed extra comfort, which is hard when I'm trying to make dinner and such (yesterday I was carrying him around as I was trying to get dinner on the table and he got heavy fast. I'm pretty sure he's over 20 lbs now, maybe even closer to 22 lbs, but I guess we'll find out next week at his checkup). We try to do our best to keep him supplied with cold teethers, but sometimes even that's not enough. Poor little guy. On the bright side, it hasn't seemed to affect his sleeping. He still takes great naps and sleeps through the night. In fact, lately he's been sleeping till about 6:45 a.m. or 7 a.m. It's been consistent enough that I even changed my alarm clock to 6:30 a.m., so I get to sleep in a little. Yay!

Last Friday Aaron and I moved our furniture all around, so that we can use our computer even when Alex is sleeping. This has been nice because it's allowed us to move the arm chair upstairs. It previously occupied the space next to our dining table blocking two chairs and only leaving one. Since we moved it, we've been able to eat dinner at the table together, with Alex in the highchair. Even though he's not actually eating with us, it's obvious that he likes being near us as we eat.

So things are going all right with the job search. There aren't tons of jobs I've found to apply for, but out of the five I have applied for, three have asked for interviews. Unfortunately, no one really wants to hire right now. They're just looking now for someone early next year. So it doesn't look like I'll be able to really get anything before the end of the year, but hopefully things will work out by mid-January. I have a phone interview tomorrow for another technical writing job. Let's hope that if it would be a good job for me that it will work out.

Monday, November 17, 2008


So my sister-in-law clued me in to a Web site called eHow. Basically, it's a site where you can write articles on how to do stuff and get paid. I decided to try it about a month ago and I've already made $4. I know, not much, but from what I can tell, for most people, it increases each month. It takes only an hour or so to write the article, but you will continue to make money on it as long as it's useful. Plus, that's only from writing 14 articles (only 6 articles have made money, and $3 of it was from one article).

I think part of the secret is figuring out which articles will make money. The first article that made any money was an article that had only 20 views with no comments and no ratings, even though I have other articles that have 80 views, 5 ratings, and 5 comments that haven't made any money. From that, I figure that the money comes from when people click on ads that are brought up by your article (which are associated with the content of your article). So I guess the best way to go is to write articles that you think will encourage people to click on ads.

There are some who say they make $20/day with eHow. Sure it's nothing to live on, but $600 extra a month might be a car payment or even rent (or most of rent) or payment on some student loans or whatever. I think it's worth looking into, and if you write more than I have, I'm sure you would make more than me.

Anyway, if you want to check out my profile and what I've written, you can go to And if you're feeling generous, check out some of my articles and click on some ads. Maybe it will help me out.

Also, if you have time, you might want to consider creating your own profile and writing some articles.

UPDATE: It's up to $7.90 now (on 11/25/08), so that's $4 in a week, even though I haven't written any more articles. I'll take $4 more for not doing anything!

Goodbye Job, Hello Unemployment

So last Thursday, I was at home working, as per usual, when I get an email from my manager's boss (who was my manager until 3 months ago) asking if I could come in for a meeting that morning. In that very moment, I had a sinking feeling. I don't know how I knew what was coming, but I was pretty certain, though the whole time I was trying to rationalize why it wasn't what I thought it was. I went and told my husband that I would be going to work because my boss asked me to come in and I found out later that for some reason, he knew what it was going to be about as well, though he was hoping he was wrong too.

So I drove in, and went into my former manager's office. I could tell it was hard for him to tell me what he had to tell me, but the jist of it was that my company was cutting costs and my position was being eliminated. He emphasized that this was not because of performance and he, and my current manager, would have loved to keep me if it were in their power to do so. This made me feel somewhat better. What also helped was they were giving me a severance package which would give me time to find another job and give me health insurance through the end of the year.

Still, despite these positives, I was in shock. I had not expected it and had only heard that day that there might be layoffs (which may be why I had an inkling of what the meeting was about). The rest of the day I felt like I was in a trance and could barely concentrate on anything.

Friday came and I hit the ground running so to speak. I updated my resume and started searching for jobs. I applied for three: two writing jobs and an instructional design job. I heard back from two jobs that day and scheduled two interviews for today, a phone interview and a regular interview. That was pretty exciting to get interviews so quickly.

So today was the phone interview and it went very well. From what I understood from the interview, there are a lot of applicants for this job and the manager is interviewing everyone by phone (he thinks he needs to give every one a chance, I guess). He said at the beginning he was going to narrow it down to the best half dozen applicants and then bring them in for an interview. At the end of the interview, he said that I would definitely be called for another interview. Unfortunately this won't be until December and he's projecting hiring someone in mid-January. When he found out I was laid off, he realized that basically that would mean I would be trying to find something ASAP and asked if I would take something else if I were offered it first.I had to be honest and say that I would if it were best for my family. If I were guaranteed a position, then yeah, I'd wait, but I can't wait just in case (I didn't say that, though). He seemed worried that he might lose me, so I guess that's a good sign. He told me at the end that I should hear from him or his assistant by December 8 and, if I didn't hear, I should call him, so I figure that's a good sign! He said I was a very strong applicant. He also said that I had the coolest resume out of all the applicants. It's exciting to feel wanted.

But we'll have to see what happens with my other applications. I applied for two more jobs today, so 5 jobs so far, and I'm looking into other avenues as well. As part of my severance package, I get to have the help of a career transition service to help me find a new job. Additionally, I'm going to look into what LDS Employment Resource Services cand do to help and sign up with my previous temp agency to see if I can get some temp work. They're actually the ones who got me the job with Altiris in the first place when I was just out of college, so I figure they're a good resource and, if they remember me, they probably like me. I mean I worked as a temp for 18 months straight before Altiris hired me, so I was a good asset for them in the past.

I'm also going to look into government assistance in the meantime, such as WIC, Medicaid, Workforce services, unemployment, and possibly CHIP (though it's very possible I will have another job by the time my insurance runs out, or at least soon after). I just need to find out what all is out there to help me.

In the meantime, Aaron is looking into switching majors. He's been going for computer science, but it's going slowly because all he has left are major classes (except one general ed. requirement that is left), and it's hard to take four computer science classes at once. Ultimately, he just really wants to teach, so although he really wants to teach college, he's considering switching to elementary ed. and teaching school instead (and maybe going back for his master's and doctorate degrees later). This would allow him to finish quicker because he would more likely be able to go full time. He's still not sure yet, but he's planning to go and talk to a counselor in the Elementary Ed. department to find out what the requirements are and how easy it would be. He also wants to find out if there is a way to get your teaching certificate after his bachelor's degree in computer science is complete. This might be an alternative because even though it would take him awhile to finish, he wouldn't have to wait till getting his doctorate to be able to teach. And if he was ever able to go back for his master's he would more easily do that (I'm not sure how easy it would be to get into a computer science master's degree program when you graduated with an El. Ed. major). But we're still not sure because it would depend on how long that would take. Basically, he realizes that I don't want to work for the rest of my life and if he were able to teach then I would hopefully be able to quit working outside the home and just concentrate on getting freelance work to bring in extra income. That would be cool for him to start working sooner, but mostly I just want him to have a job that he's happy at, so I can be a happy stay-at-home mom.

Alex is doing great and is just a happy baby. I posted some new pictures here: New pictures are on the third page. We just love him lots and are so grateful for him. He's a real cutie.

Well, please pray for me to get a job. I need all the help I can get!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Alex and Sleeping

So after two months of feeding Alex at midnight, Aaron (understandably) was a little sick of it and wanted to wean Alex from his nightly feedings. I was basically waiting for Aaron to say he didn't want to do it anymore before we tried because how can you tell when a baby is ready to make it through the night without a feeding? We tried at the beginning of September and he wailed at 2 a.m. for hours because he was so hungry. I didn't want that to happen, so I waited as long as Aaron was fine with it. I don't blame him for wanting to wean him, though, and he said that Alex was getting more restless during the feeds (maybe like he wasn't too happy and being woken). As we started, I prayed that it would work and Alex would be fine without eating. I'd been keeping track of how much he ate at night hoping he would start to taper off naturally and basically wean himself, but that didn't happen.

So we started the process of weaning. I wanted to go slow, so we planned to reduce the amount he ate by .5 oz each night, but the first two nights, Alex didn't even finish the amount in there, so I lowered it even more. Once we got to 2 oz, I went right to 1 oz and then nothing (seemed stupid to wake Alex up for a half an ounce). The night we gave him 1 oz, I was crossing my fingers. I figured if he could make it with just 1 oz, he could make it with nothing. That night he slept fine and I woke up in the morning and realized that he had gotten through the night without crying.

This gave me confidence that he would make it through the next night without anything just fine as well, but I was still a little worried. Well, that night, not only did Alex make it through the night fine, but he slept till 7 a.m.! Then this morning he slept till 6:50 a.m. I guess waking him up during the night to eat disturbed his sleep, or something. If this becomes a habit, I may just change my alarm clock to 6:30 a.m., rather than 6 a.m. I'm not getting up if he's not. So that was pretty exciting.

In addition to weaning Alex from the nightly feeds, Alex has been indicating that he no longer needs his late afternoon nap, which was only 15-30 minutes anyway. So for the last couple of days, I've been keeping him up a little more between waking up and his nap and between each nap so the naps are later. He's still adjusting, but seems to be doing fine. This is great because it gives me time in the late afternoon to go out with Alex and do stuff, where before he was only ever up for about 2.5 hours at a time, and once you feed him and change his diaper and such, that doesn't leave much time to go out.

So overall, it's pretty exciting. I'm glad my boy is such a good sleeper. That Sleepeasy Solution really worked for us. I'm glad I found that book.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sitting Baby and First Word?

I've been meaning to post for awhile, but haven't had the time or had the pictures ready, so this is somewhat old news. The first bit of news is that Alex can now sit on his own without accidentally falling over. He will fall to his belly if he's reaching for something out of reach to the side of him, but other than that he stays sitting. This was a revelation a few weeks ago when I put him down in a sitting position and a half hour later he was still there. Yay! I'm really happy about this because it makes putting him down easier and he can just sit and play.

The second bit of news is Alex said his first word--well, you be the judge. He babbles a lot, as they do at this age, and most of it is mamamama mamam amama, etc. Well, there have been a few times where he has said mama, and I know it could just be babbling, but at times it has seemed like he knew what he was saying. For example, I came home once and he and Aaron were in the living room. Aaron was holding Alex standing and when Alex saw me, he said mama. Then another day, I came in the room and said, "Hi baby." Then he says, "Mama." And there are other times where he says, "Mama" looking right at me. When I searched online, it said that children at this age don't comprehend the meaning to words, but deaf children taught to sign from birth can sign back as early as 6 months. Don't tell me they don't know what they're signing (although interestingly, deaf children will babble with their hands). I think it's more that it's harder to form words with your mouth than signs with your hands. I think Alex understands a lot, but can't control his mouth and voice enough to say a lot of words. If this is true, then Alex has said his first word! If you want to see a video of Alex babbling, go to

And finally, Alex has decided to do a very annoying thing: he rolls onto his tummy while in the crib. I wouldn't mind so much if he would just sleep on his tummy, or if he knew how to roll onto his back from his tummy (he's done it a few times, but can't do it when he wants to). He actually has slept on his tummy at times, but for whatever reason, doesn't do it all the time. This morning I heard him at 5 a.m. So I went in and he was pushing up on his arms fussing about being on his tummy. So I turned him over and went back to bed, 15 minutes later, he's on his tummy and fussing about it again. Then during his morning nap, instead of sleeping his usually 2 hours, he's up and fussing because he's on his tummy. I turned him over to see if that would help, but I don't know if he'llgo back to sleep. So frustrating! And I don't know how to teach him to roll to his back. He learned how to get to his tummy by going on to his side, reaching for something he wanted that was out of reach, and the basically falling forward onto his tummy because he lost his balance. But how do you teach a baby to go from his tummy to his back. He's not going to fall onto it because he's reaching for something, and he doesn't seem to get how to shift his weight to do it. Ugh, I don't know what to do. I think most babies just do it (I mean, he rolled over to his back the first time at 4 months. Don't ask me why he can't do it now).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Textured Quilt and New (Used) Exersaucer

So yesterday I finished my first quilt ever. It's a textured quilt, which basically is a whole bunch of different fabrics put together with different textures, colors, and patterns for Alex to feel and experience. Because I was basically doing it on my own (with some email help from Janci), I don't know how much of it was done right, and it's a little, um, crooked, but for my first attempt, I think I did pretty well. I'm just glad it's small. I think it was a very good thing that my first quilt was a small one. Because it has a lot of different fabrics, they don't really "go" together, just so you're warned.

Here's a pic:

Also, yesterday, after searching Craig's List and KSL for the past month, I finally found an exersaucer that was close to where I live, in my price range, and in good enough quality (there was one being sold that had no toys on it. They said you could just put your own toys on top, and I'm like, but the point of the exersaucer is he won't lose the toys like he does when he plays on his high chair since they're attached. Not only that but they wanted $20 for it). So I went to take a look at it. It's older, at least 2 years, but probably more, but I got it for $12, so no complaining here. Alex is enjoying it so far. I spent some of the day yesterday cleaning and sanitizing it, so it was all ready for him to play with. Here's a pic:

If you want to see more pics of Alex from the last month, click here.

PS: I don't know a good way to make my pictures smaller so they aren't so large in my entry. If anyone knows an easy to make them smaller, please let me know. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sleep-Training Conclusion

Or at least I think it's concluded. Last night Alex slept through the night! Well, he actually fussed a little at 2:30 a.m., but then fell back asleep before I went in to do a check-in, and then he fussed some between 5:30 and 6, but I'm not supposed to get him out till at least 6, and he wasn't fussing very loud or very much, so I wasn't sure if he was all the way awake and I should do a check-in, or if he was partially asleep, and I should wait. But basically he slept through the night!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Sleepeasy Solution Training Continues

Okay, so the last two nights have been rough, but I can see progress, so I'm happy.

Two nights ago, Alex went down fairly easily. After crying for 50 minutes the first night, I wasn't sure what to expect, but he only cried for 20 minutes. But then, unlike the night before where Alex slept other than when I got him for a feeding, Alex woke up at 1:30. I was planning on giving him a feed at 2, but because he woke himself up, he needed to get himself back to sleep without a feed. So I got up and started doing my check-ins (basically I go in and say something like, "Alex, Mommy is here and it's okay to go to sleep. I love you, and I'll come back in a little while to check on you"). So  I did that 5-10-15 minutes and then continued at 15 minutes. Well, he continued to cry and wail for an hour and a half. Talk about hurting my little mommy heart. I did not enjoy hearing it! But I kept reminding myself that he would be better for it and that I would be better when I could get a full night's sleep. But I like that I go in every 15 minutes to remind him that I am here, I am not ignoring him, I haven't left him, and that I love him. I think that's better for both parent and child then just letting the child cry it out.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sleep-Training Continued and Homemade Baby Food

So today's been pretty eventful. First of all, the sleep-training is going well so far. It took Alex 50 minutes to fall asleep last night, but at least it wasn't longer, and it should get better with time. I woke him up twice to eat (1/2 hour before he got up the two nights before) and although he squawked both times when I went to put him in the crib, that was the only sound he made (assumably, he went right back to sleep). So that was good.

The first nap of today was not so good. Alex cried for the whole hour, but the book does say that it's harder to get the naps worked out and I know it's partially my fault because I put him down a half hour late, and he fell asleep in the car seat while we were walking around the store; the book says that falling asleep for even 5 minutes between naps can really cause problems with the baby getting to sleep for his next nap.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Six-Month Checkup and Sleep-Training

Yesterday Alex had his six-month checkup. Checkups are always bittersweet. It's great to find out how Alex is progressing--how much he's grown in height and weightand such--but I don't look forward to the immunization shots. So yesterday morning kind of got away from me and I realized I only had 15 minutes before I needed to leave. So I was rushing a bit and totally didn't think to bring a bottle with me. Alex usually takes a bottle after he gets his shots to calm him down, since he won't take a pacifier. So I get to the doctor's office and realize this and I'm like great. So I ask if they have any samples; they do, but not in bottles (like they had at the hospital). So I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping Alex will be okay.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


So now that Alex is 6 months, we've started him on solids. The week or two before that, I was looking in to getting a highchair. I looked at the store and gagged at how the good ones were about $100, so I decided to look for used. If I'd been smart, I would have been looking since Alex was born, but I didn't know for sure if I even wanted a highchair, or if I just wanted a booster seat that attached to a dining chair. Once I decided on getting a highchair, I could finally start looking. So I went on Craig's List and KSL, but I didn't see anything promising near where I live. But I kept looking every day and eventually I found one that looked good. It's a Graco Meal Time chair (found here). It has different heights, reclines, and wheels around. At first I wasn't sure if I liked that it has wheels, but now I am so glad. I wheel Alex around everywhere. When it's time to eat, I wheel him in the kitchen to feed him. If he gets fussy, I wheel him into the living room to watch Baby Signing Time or I can wheel him next to where I'm at so I can interact with him. It's wonderful.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Alex's First Solids

So I fed Alex his first meal of solid food yesterday. Both Aaron and I felt he was ready. He'd been watching us intently whenever we ate and seemed to copy the motions. So I bought some rice cereal, since I hear that is the easiest to start out with (easily digestible) and you can easily make the cereal thinner and then thicken it up with subsequent feedings.

For the first feeding, I followed the instructions on the box, but it seemed awfully thin--mostly breast milk really (which is what I mixed with rice cereal). As expected, he got most of it on his front, but he caught on to how the spoon worked really well. Soon he was opening his mouth wider to allow the spoon to enter his mouth. It was pretty exciting giving Alex his first meal of solid food.

Swaddle Frustrations Continued

So Alex is officially out of his swaddle, but I don't know if that's a good thing or not. Sometimes it seems fine, like yesterday when he took a 2.5 hour nap, and then there is today, where he slept for an hour the first nap and 45 minutes for his second. I don't know if it's because he wasn't in his swaddle or if it was something else. I think, though, that I'm going to make sure he's in a sleeper or a long-sleeved onesie when I put him down from now on, just in case that was part of the reason why.

Additionally, Alex doesn't go down easily for his naps and at night like he used. When he was in the swaddle, he would fall asleep either sucking on the bottle or being rocked in our arms. Then we would put him down. He would sometimes open his eyes as we put him in his crib, but he would go right back to sleep. Now, as I put him his crib, I can't hold both arms to his side and so at least one falls. This wakes him up and then when I put him down, he usually moves both arms and legs about, waking him further. I also wonder if the matress is cold while my arms are warm. Sometimes he falls back asleep within a minute or two. Sometimes he falls asleep 10 minutes later. Sometimes he just keeps crying until we get him.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trip to Washington

I'm so dead tired right now. I'm pretty much ready to pass out, but there are some things I need to do before going to bed, but first I needed a break to relax and to rejuvenate some before attacking those things, I thought I'd post.

So on Aug. 8, Aaron, Alex, and I headed out to Washington/Oregon to see family. My sister, whom I haven't seen in 5 years, was coming from North Carolina with her husband and four kids (two of whom I've never even met), so I took the opportunity to go as well so I could see her. My other sister and my brother were both there as well (the former lives in California and the latter lives in China). It was really great to see everyone and to see my nieces and nephews.

To take advantage of the rates, we decided to leave on a Friday morning and return on a Tuesday, a week and a half later, so it was a long trip, but with all who we had to see, it really needed to be that long. There was very little time where I had nothing to see or anyone to visit.

On the first day, we flew into Portland, and my sister Krissa (the one with kids) picked us up from the airport and took us to her mother-in-law's house to hang out till my mom picked us up. We were able to spend time with her and her four kids Jesse (8), Larissa (5), Mitchell (3), and Noah (8 months). And of course she had fun meeting and playing with Alex. In the afternoon, Mom picked us up and we went to my Grandma's in Salem, Oregon. We spent the night there (kind of crammed with six adults and a baby: us plus Mom; Roy, my step-dad; Jeremy, my brother, and Grandma). My sister Marcie flew in the same day with her boyfriend and his son. They came by for dinner and to hang out, but stayed in a hotel that night.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Swaddle Frustrations

When we discovered swaddling, and especially when we discovered the SwaddleMe blankets, it helped Alex fall asleep and stay asleep longer. In fact, he was sleeping through the night (10 hours) by 3 months. It was heaven.

Then he got bigger.

Well, let me explain. Most babies are ready to not sleep in a swaddle by 3 months, but some continue to like it until 6 months, 9 months, or even longer. You just have to watch your kid for clues on when they're ready to get out of the swaddle. Well, as I mentioned, I use the SwaddleMe blankets. They have velcro that really helps the baby stay in the swaddle and unlike the Miracle Blanket, don't cost $30+ (around $10 each), so you can afford to buy more than one (you don't want to need the blanket and find out it's in the wash; it's good to have backups).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weighty Subject

Just a quick note to say that I lost all the baby weight. Yay!!! Now to lose the extra weight I had before I got pregnant . . .

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Alex has officially rolled over!

So on June 29, I was getting Alex ready for bed and I thought I should give him some tummy time, since he hadn't had any, so I just put him on his tummy on the bed. Well, he shocked me quite a bit by rolling over from his stomach to his back. Luckily he did it a couple more times and I got one on video (see my Facebook page). Since then, he's only done it once, which is somewhat surprising because I hear when a baby learns something new he/she wants to do it over and over because he/she is so excited. He didn't seem all that thrilled about it (which you think he would be because he generally doesn't like to be on his belly, and it would be a way to not be, but whatev).

So this morning, I put him on the floor on his back under his baby gym. Then I got on the computer to get some stuff done. Later I heard his playing with tissue paper. I checked and he seemed all right, so I let him continue. He had moved himself away from his toys, though, and was completely off of the blanket. He's been doing this quite a lot lately. I don't know if it's because he's bored with the toys, or if it's because he just likes moving, or what.

So a little while later, he is really fussing, so I stand up, and he's now on his stomach. Yes, that's right, he rolled over from his back to his stomach. I'm so sad I missed it!!! I don't know how he did it or what his motivation was, but he sure wasn't too happy to be on his stomach, so I wonder if he'll do it again soon. It's just too bad I didn't see it happen. I feel like I need to have a camera tracked on him so I don't miss things like this. Oh, well, hopefully he'll do it again soon.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Homemade Baby Gym

I don't know if you have heard of baby gyms, such as this or this. They can get quite expensive. Well, I'm a part of the Welcome Baby program and once a month a volunteer comes and shows me ways to help my baby development, what activities I can do with Alex, and what developmental steps I should expect in the next month. Well, last visit, she showed me how to make a homemade baby gym, that is really easy.

All you do is buy some PVC pipe, two elbow joints, two T-joints, and 4 caps. Then you cut the pipe into four 6-inch pieces, two 16-inch pieces, and one 18-inch piece. Put it together and then you can hang whatever toys you have. When done, it looks like this:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Getting Baby to Sleep

I think I posted awhile back about how the first night Alex didn't sleep at all (new parent + cold newborn = disaster). Well, it basically became my mission to figure out if there was anything I could do to help Alex sleep longer, and to know at what age I needed to do what so he would sleep as well as he could as soon as he could. I was somewhat disappointed to discover that there is not much you can do when babies are newly born. They need to eat often because they can't eat much, and they're too young to be trained to sleep longer (one book claimed that you could train a newborn, but from all the reviews on it, I don't believe it's true. I read the book as well, and completely disagree with the author). What the majority of books I read do agree on is that you can begin to train your baby between 12 and 16 weeks old.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Basic Update

So I thought I would update just with how everything is going in general. Alex is really good; he's 3 months old now and can grab onto things (as shown in the pic where he's grabbing his clothes) and can sit in my lap (though I have to keep steadying him because he can't sit up yet). Some days he doesn't take naps well, but he's doing well so far today. He slept from 7:30 to 9:15 and right now he's napping and has been for an hour. I love it when he sleeps well. Yesterday he didn't want to sleep at all (and the ice cream man woke him up while he was taking one of his naps. Arg!). I don't think he got more than 45 min in a row all day.

But even so, he sleeps really well at night. I have to say that bedtime routines really work! Every night an hour before bedtime, I give him a bath, then a massage, put him in his sleeper and a swaddle blanket, and then I feed him. Once I do all that, I just put him in his crib and he goes to sleep. He was waking me up at 5 a.m. to eat, but for the last week, he has been sleeping till 6:45 or later, and some mornings I get him up to eat because I can't wait. After feeding him, I will put him back down and he will sleep 2 to 3 hours more. So most nights he gets at least 10 hours of sleep if not more. I try to get to bed by 10 so I can take advantage of that and get 8 or more hours of sleep. I don't know how I made it through the first couple of months being woken up every 2 or 3 hours. It's a good thing it's short-lived. I think he's a sleeper just like me--we both love sleep! But the bedtime routine really seems to help get him ready for bed and help him to sleep (that and the swaddle blanket, the dark room, and the white noise machine).

For the most part he doesn't cry or fuss (except when he's hungry or tired/overtired). He'll sit in our laps while we're on the computer and just move around. He is entranced by things moving on the TV or computer, if only for a minutes. It's funny how absorbed he gets. He really likes to be held, though when he's full and happy, he'll just lie on the bed content or floor content. I made him a baby gym out of PVC pipes and he will entertain himself by the toys hanging there.

And he is such a flirt. He'll smile at you and then turn his head like he's shy. It's so cute!

On June 1 Alex was blessed at church. Aaron's dad and sister came from Washington to attend. Here are pictures if you would like to see, click here. Unfortunately, none of my other family was able to come. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Babies who hate cribs

So I frequent the ads on because I've gotten some great deals on used stuff. One section is for cribs. And basically, I'm sick of people who put on their ad that they are selling their crib because their child hates cribs or won't sleep in their crib. Okay, well, maybe I don't know their situation and their child really won't sleep in a crib, but an ad I saw today really got to me. It says, "i bought this brand new a couple months ago but i came to realise that my son hates cribs so im selling it, it has only been used once for 10 minutes tops." Now, besides the fact that this person has lived long enough to have a child, but to not realize that I is capitalized, and doesn't seem to have grasped grammar, I can't believe that putting her son in a crib for 10 minutes "tops" is long enough to realize that he "hates" cribs. I mean who is the parent here? Apparently not this woman.

I have to wonder how she discovered this. Did she put her baby in the crib and, like all babies (at times), he cried because he didn't want to be put down to sleep. I mean seriously. And where does the baby sleep now? Probably in bed with mom where he has slept since he was born and has not been taught to sleep anywhere else. If that's the case, you just need to give the baby time to get used to the crib. This is why I stopped having my son sleep with me once he was about 2 months because by 3 or 4 months they start to understand and realize, "Hey, I like it here with mom. I'm going to cry if she doesn't let me sleep with her." Since I stopped it before then, he didn't have a problem transitioning to a crib and has slept in one since we got it for him--no problem.

I just don't get some people.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Boppy Pillows

I thought of another product I've really liked, and that's my Boppy pillow. I have found so many uses for it. You can have it when you're holding the baby so your arms don't get tired. If you have older children, it can be used to help them hold the baby. You can also use it to place baby on, whether on the floor or a bed, so he's propped up, and it can be used for tummy time. And of course you can use it while nursing.

So overall I think it's a great product whether you're nursing or not. I see so many listings for Boppy pillows on Craig's list and I find it funny when they say something like, "I ended up not being able to nurse, so this is almost new." I don't know if they really didn't see the other many uses of it, or if they're saying that so it will seem that their pillow is worth more because it was "barely used."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Alex is the cutest (and I'm not biased at all)

Well, I haven't updated my blog in quite awhile, have I. Alex has been keeping me quite busy, and then add working full time on top of that, and well, it doesn't leave me much time to write. Well, hopefully you agree (from the userpic) that Alex is quite adorable and for the most part he has been really fun. He's a really good baby, especially if I'm paying attention to his cues.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Update on My Crazy Life

So, I know I haven't updated at all. This is because I've been so busy with being a new mom. I got my new laptop from work three days ago and so I now have more freedom to use the Internet (and I don't have to worry about whether my husband is on the computer and what not. So nice!). Anyway, Alex is doing great. He's up to 8 lbs now. Unfortunately, for the last few weeks I had to pump my breast milk and feed him with a bottle because he wasn't pulling enough milk from me. Because of that, my milk supply went down slightly (only producing 1.5 oz per meal total instead of the 2.5 oz that he needed). So I had to supplement a little with formula while the pumping (and taking an herb, Fenugreek, which increases milk) helped to increase my supply so I could feed him with breast milk exclusively. Luckily, it only took about a week. In fact, last week, I was producing around 4–5 oz per pumping, which was enough that I didn't have to pump for nightly feedings—I could just feed him what was left over during the day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Short Update

Well, things are still improving for Alex. We weighed him again this morning and hewas up another 2 oz. That's 5 oz in two days! He also had another test done for jaundice to see whether we should continue with the billibed. I got a call from the pediatrician's office this morning letting us know that we did not need to put him on the bed today. Yay! We'll have another test done in the morning to see if he's well enough to continue, or if we need to put him back on the bed. When I talked to the lactation specialist today to update her, she said that making sure he gets fed well will help him more than the lights, so the two combined is probably what helped him improve. I guess tomorrow we'll find out if he's better. Also tomorrow, my mother-in-law is coming into town to help out and to see Alex. I'm excited about that. Yay!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Baby Is Here!

Well, last Thursday, I had a scare. I hadn't really felt the baby move for about 8 hours and I was worried, so I drank some juice, lay on my side, and waited to see if I got 6-10 movements. Well, I didn't. Scary! So I went to the hospital. They hooked me up to a baby monitor and I heard the wonderful sound of my baby's heartbeat. As they were monitoring me, however, they saw that I had high blood pressure (between 130-154/80-104), and so they had my obstetrician come take a look. After 7 hours of being in the hospital that day, my OB came in and announced that I was going to be induced the next day. The high blood pressure is bad for the both mother and baby, and with my due date only days away, there was no reason not to. Well, this was a shock to me because I figured since this was the first baby, I wouldn't have him for at least another week. I was worried I'd have to be induced because of him coming late; I did not expect to be induced before the due date!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One Week to Go!

Or at least there is only one week until my due date (less even. I'm due on Sunday). My hope is that I will not go into labor this week, but I will sometime next week. This is because starting yesterday, I am officially on maternity leave, and it would be really great to have that time to relax, clean some, get some errands done, and basically have a break before I have a baby that takes over my life! But once Sunday comes around, I want that baby out! If at all possible. I would really like to go into labor naturally and not have to be induced, but my doctor won't let it go past 41 weeks, so I should be induced by March 10 at the latest (I say the 10th and not the 9th because I'm not so sure he will induce me on Sunday. I figure he'll probably rather wait till Monday, but he hasn't said anything either way, so I'm not sure). My mother-in-law is coming on Thursday, March 6, and it would be nice to have the baby either by then or on that day so she can have as much time with him as possible. 

So at my appointment yesterday, the doctor this time checked my cervix (again, not comfortable at all!!). I'm still only 1 cm dilated, which is somewhat disappointing. But he seemed surprised or something by how the baby's head is right there. I got the impression he could feel the baby's head when he was checking. (I think the midwife could as well, but she wasn't this awed by it.) He said that was very good, but it probably made me feel like I had a bowling ball in between my legs, and reduced my bladder capacity to 50 cc (I don't know how small that is, but I'm guessing small). I have definitely noticed that my trips to the bathroom have increased. (And it was horrible while I was at work because the bathroom is so far away from my desk.)

The baby still likes to move around quite a bit. I keep feeling his feet move across my belly and push up against my ribs. I've still been lucky that his movements haven't waken me from sleeping. Maybe he's sleeping when I am (which would be a good sign for when he comes out). Even though he's dropped, I still feel like his body is pushing up against my rib area, making it uncomfortable sometimes to sit and nearly impossible to sit forward (with my elbows on my knees). And of course any sort of bending over is uncomfortable. My sister recommended getting a claw thing she has that you can use to pick things up with. I should have done that but didn't. I can't wait till I can bend over again!

There are so many things that I still need to do. I need to clean up the baby's room, get a crib (though we have a bassinet, so it's not essential that we need one right away), pack my bag for the hospital, wash some of the baby's clothes and blankets, and buy some items I still haven't gotten. Today I'm planning on making some flannel blankets. I'm excited. I got fabric and thread for them yesterday and should be way easy to make. Yay! I love not being at work. It's so nice to have a break! I have been so tired lately, though, and I know I should conserve my energy for the delivery, so I will try not to do too much. That's what my husband is for, right?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Baby Update

So yesterday I had another prenatal checkup (seems like I'm always having one. I'm up to once a week now). Everything looked fine in terms of blood pressure and the baby's heartbeat. Because I'm now 38 weeks along, I had the lovely pleasure of having my cervix checked by the midwife. It wasn't a very comfortable experience, but I found out that I'm 1 cm dilated, which she said was good because a lot of first-time moms don't dilate (I'm not sure if she meant this early or what). She said the baby has dropped and his head is right there next to the cervix. This is good; the baby is getting ready to be born! Even though I've dilated a little, I haven't felt any contractions (or at least not that I've recognized. I've had a lot of pressure on my pelvis and some pain, but since I've heard contractions are more of a cramping sensation, i don't think these were contractions). Anyway, I guess the point is, everything is going well and the baby is healthy from all indications. I should have my baby in the next couple of weeks. I'm so excited.

Monday, January 28, 2008

President Hinckley—He Will Be Missed

So last night I was watching TV when the local news broke through with news announcing that President Gordon B. Hinckley, the president and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had passed away. This really wasn't too surprising because he was 97 years old, but it was still sad. When I realized what had happened, I started crying. I didn't realize it would hit me that hard. Even now as I write this, 12 hours later, I start to tear up when I think about it. Really, I know I should be happy for him, and I am. His wife passed a few years ago and after being married on this earth for about 70 years, it was obvious to everyone that he missed her deeply. I actually thought after she passed that he would soon follow her because of how much his heart obviously ached for her. So now they are together again and that is wonderful. And I am glad that he is free from pain and can be in a happier place.

Still, I will miss him very much. President Hinckley became the prophet when I was 14 years old. Previously there had been only three other prophets in my lifetime—President Kimball, President Benson, and President Hunter. Living in Washington, I never really connected with the previous prophets.  It was just a kindly old man who led the church. This was especially true with President Hunter, who was the prophet for only 9 months before his passing. On the other hand, I really connected with President Hinckley. When I was a teenager, we had a regional conference in Tacoma, Washington and President Hinckley came to speak. It was the first time I'd ever been in the presence of a prophet. I was very excited and could really feel the Spirit there. 

Then when I graduated high school, I went to BYU. During my time there, I was able to be in his presence, as well as many of the Apostles, many times. One time I even had the opportunity to shake his hand. That experience will always stay with me. He was walking in with his wife, Marjorie, and he shook the hands of those he could reach. It was in the Marriott Center, where BYU plays basketball as well as other events, and so the seats went upward from the floor. Once he had shook the hands of those he could reach, he stepped back and said, "No, no. You're going to get a hernia." Everyone wanted to shake his hand so badly that they were straining to reach. I was lucky enough that I was able to shake his hand.

With President Hinckley, you never doubted that he loved you and everyone else in the whole world. It doesn't seem possible to, but somehow he did it. It was amazing. And he had the best humor; it was funny, never crude, humble, self-deprecating (but never in a way that diminished who he was as a child of God and a prophet), and lightened any situation. He had so much energy for someone in his 90s and really drove the Church to do more and be more, and inspired each of the members to be better people. You could tell that he really relished life. Even though he missed his wife, he never longed to be gone from this life either. He made the most of each moment and found joy in each day. He was truly inspirational. 

Because of all this, I truly felt connected to President Hinckley and I love him very much. I will miss him, but I'm happy for him as well. I know I can't be selfish and expect him to stay on earth forever. He deserves to rest and be with his family on the other side of the veil. And I'm sure that our next President will be just as wonderful, just as loving, and I will love him too. But for now, I miss President Hinckley, and I am sad I will never be in his presence again (at least not while on this earth). Rest in peace, President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Yes, yes, yes!!!!!

I am like SO HAPPY! Today I had a meeting with my manager to talk about going on maternity leave and about how my responsibilities will be dealt with while I'm gone. I was really nervous about this meeting because I wanted to broach the topic of my working from home at least part time once I come back, mostly so I can continue to breastfeed and so I won't have to pump as much. I wasn't sure what my manager would think or what he would say, but I knew it would be better to talk about it sooner than later. I had gone over how the conversation might go about a million times in my head and most of the time I got flustered trying to figure out what to say and how because it meant so much to me to be able to work from home. (And I prayed at least three times today for God to help me to know what to say and that if it was a good thing for me to work from home, that I would be able to.)

One thing that really worried me was that to work from home, my company requires you to have a company-issued laptop, which you can use to connect to the company's network. I do not have a laptop for my job and I figured that my manager would not see it as a necessary expense for my job and would, therefore, not want to pay for one. So I had figured out a way for me to do some of my work from home that would not require me getting on to the network, and I prepared a speech on how I could do that for part of the day and then come in to work to do the rest of my work.

So basically, I was really nervous going into it because I didn't have any idea what the result would be. So I went into his office and we started just chatting about the baby and how wonderful having kids is. Then we talked about what responsibilities I have that would need to be covered while I was gone. Some things could be put off while I was gone, but there were some that could not. We talked about who in the department could do them and divied them up accordingly. Then, when it looked like the meeting was over and he had another meeting to go to, I said, "So you have another meeting right now, right?" and he said, "Yeah, why?" And I said, "Well, I wanted to talk to you about what is going to happen when I come back to work after the maternity leave is over." He asked, "You mean like with your schedule?" And I said, "Pretty much. You see, my husband is going to be home all day with the baby taking care of him, but there's one thing he can't do and that's breastfeed. I was wondering if it would be possible for me to work at least some of the time from home." Surprisingly, he answered, "Yeah, I can work with you on that. We'll need to get you a laptop that you can use to work on at home, but a lot of your responsibilities don't require you to be here in the office, so that should be just fine." I was just like, "Really? I was so worried about that." And he responded, "No, it's no problem really. We can work it all out." And I saw him write in his notebook, where he writes down things he needs to do, a note about getting me a laptop to use at home.

Well, as you can imagine, relief just swept over me. I was SO HAPPY! I couldn't believe that it went so well, and that he immediately volunteered to get me a laptop and I didn't even have to fight for it or justify why I needed it or show him how I could do some of my job at home without needing to get on the network. I had worried about all that for nothing, really. I really could feel that Heavenly Father was there guiding the whole situation. It made me feel very loved and it made me feel good that He wants me to work from home just as much as I do. When Aaron and I decided to get pregnant, we really didn't know how it would all work out, and we knew there would be sacrifices. But I have tried to have faith that it WOULD work out and that Heavenly Father would be there to help things to work out. This truly is a testament to me that He is watching out for me, He does care, He does know my situation, and He is willing and ready to bless me if I have faith in him. I feel very lucky and grateful for that. Yay!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Merry Christmas 2007

So yeah, I know that this is REALLY late, but I pretty much have justbeen too lazy to write my Christmas blog.

Essentially, Christmas was AWESOME! I took a week and a half off of work and it was so nice to have a break. I spent most of it either relaxing (read being a lazy bum) or "nesting" (which according to my pregnancy book, I'm doing about a month early). I mentioned this in my last blog, and the urges continue. This time it was going through our second bedroom and basically getting rid of anything/everything I could convince Aaron to get rid of. Luckily, Aaron was very cooperative and we got rid a whole bunch of stuff including clothes he doesn't wear, a box of ties from his mission, a garment bag we never use, and whole bunch of little stuff. Basically when we were done (and this took a few hours a day for three days), we had a lot more space and things were way more organized. It will still be really tight trying to fit the crib and such in there (the room isn't very big), but I think that it will all work. I also got some plastic storage containers with drawers and put them in the closet, which will work as a dresser for baby clothes and such. Doing all this gave me a huge sense of relief.

Christmas itself was really great. Though I was tempted to open the presents we got from relatives before Christmas (since there are no parents to say no), I restrained myself and waited till the day of. Aaron was nice and let me wake him up semi-early so I wouldn't have to wait too long to open (he actually got up only about a half hour after me). We had a lot of fun opening presents from my dad and step-mom, his mom and step-dad, and each other (the rest of the parents just sent money). Aaron did very well at picking out my present: he got me soothing bubble bath, lotions, and a hot pink bathrobe from Bath & Body Works, as well as a jigsaw puzzle and a pink sweatshirt with Tinkerbell.

I got him a white noise machine (he has trouble sleeping and I hoped it would help drown out noise from neighbors to help him sleep better). I also got one for the baby's room. We've been using it every night since and it seems to be working really well for both of us. It basically just creates a fan sound, but doesn't blow around like a fan does, so it doesn't make your room cold.

Other gifts for us included a statue of a father and mother holding a baby (so cute!), gift certificates to Outback Steakhouse, earrings, a t-shirt, a traveling jewelry case, and baby clothes. It was a very fun Christmas.

I thought our Christmas tree turned out rather well this year. Here is a shot of it:

After presents were opened, the Christmas pudding was done. This is a breakfast that we have had in our home since I was a kid. It's a recipe created by my mom that is made with brown rice, apples, canned milk, sugar, and raisins and, when baked correctly, has a custard top to it. It's very yummy, and I'm excited to make it a tradition in our home as well. This was the first time I had attempted to make it on my own, so I was a little worried about it turning out. Overall I was really happy with the results. Since my mom doesn't really measure, she had to estimate when she gave me the recipe, so it did end up having too many raisins, so next time I'm going to half the amount I put in.

The rest of the day was spent pretty much relaxing and spending time together.

I got a picture of me the week before Christmas with my prego-belly:

Nothing much exciting happened the rest of the break. I just spent it organizing other portions of the apartment, taking things over to DI that we didn't want, and getting a better idea of what I wanted in terms of baby items: the crib, bassinet, car seat, stroller, etc. I also starting checking out Craig's List to see if any cribs and such were put up for sale that I liked. I think I've found a crib that looks promising, but the seller lives quite a ways away so she's trying to figure out a good way to get together (her husband works in Salt Lake City, so we're planning on meeting around there some time this week). It sounds like the crib is in good condition and comes with a mattress; in fact, she said her husband didn't want to sell it, but seeing as they aren't having any more kids, it would be awhile before they would need a crib again and she didn't want to store it. And I'm going to get a stroller and car seat today that has good reviews on Consumer Reports and by users.

So things seem to be coming together in terms of having things for the baby when he arrives (I know it's still 8 weeks or so away, but I think it will go by fast). If anyone in Utah County has any extra baby things that they don't need, let me know. Especially if you have boy clothes in good condition that you no longer need.

That's pretty much what's going on with me, and even though it's way belated, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!