Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday #4

Today marks 4 weeks since we arrived in Las Vegas. Our 4th week living out of suitcases and carting everything from place to place. We are staying at the Culvers' house again while they are out of town. We are grateful for generous friends who shelter our homeless selves and save us lots of money on hotels. As we pulled our suitcases in yet again last night, both Andrew and I remarked how utterly tired we are of this. We are really hoping to close this week. Otherwise I'm running away to stay with family somewhere and not coming back until I have a home. :) I'm not trying to be a complainer, but it will be so nice to have a home to call our own.

We had to take Eva to the doctor on Saturday and found out that she has a UTI. I was so relieved just to get a diagnosis and some antibiotics to help the poor thing feel better. Her medicine tastes disgusting and she has to take it twice a day, but she has been so brave and good about it. Medicine is a REAL struggle with her, so this is truly a miracle that she's taking it well.

Yesterday Andrew and I watched the PBS documentary "Faces of America." I highly recommend it - it was awesome. It made us both want to learn more about our family history. Also, that we had enough money to have our DNA examined.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Maybe the third time WILL be the charm.

I am starting to prepare mentally for giving birth to and having another newborn. As you know, I have always been verbal about how much I hate the baby phase. Yesterday I came upon a blog called SortaCrunchy - she did a series of posts on Babywise that made me step back and think...a LOT. I thought about WHY I don't like having a newborn. Obviously, it's not the newborn's fault. But for some reason, I went into parenthood with the mentality that the baby was the adversary and it was a battle from the beginning. I couldn't give an inch or I would lose the war. (Where did this come from? I don't know. My mother CERTAINLY doesn't feel that way. She adores babies.) Schedule them, put them to sleep in their own bed, cry it out, don't give in when they wake up at night, show them who is boss and how things work from day one. Those were my goals. Um, hello? No wonder! What an incredibly stressful way to enter parenting. Now that I have done it twice, I'm ready to try something new. And I'm really hoping that the third time will be the charm.
I'm going to try breastfeeding again. But this time I'm not going to pump - I've done that enough for a lifetime. I have put many heartfelt prayers up, asking for my body to know what to do and how to produce enough milk to feed this child without supplementing formula. Not because I'm against formula (obviously), but because I want to try something new.
I'm going to try wearing this baby in a sling. I know it's a controversial topic right now what with the media craze on 2 types of slings being recalled. But I feel I have educated myself enough that I feel good doing it. We'll see how it goes.
I'm not going to push sleeping through the night at 8 weeks with this baby. I will still retain a somewhat scheduled approach if I can, simply because that is my nature and personality. But I won't hold any iron-fisted standard over where we SHOULD be with sleeping. I'm going to try to relax in that area and be a better nighttime parent. (Read this post, please. It really got to me. That is one of my main struggles as a mother.)
I'm going to look at this baby as a gift from the Lord and try to savor the precious newborn moments by rocking and cuddling rather than stressing out about schedules and feeding times.
So there is my admission that I did it all wrong the first two times (thank heavens they still turned out fine, so far) and I'm ready to go at it again. With fresh perspective.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My bi-monthly update

~I haven't taken a single picture in a LONG time. Not even on Andrew's birthday or Mother's Day. Terrible.
~Yesterday two old roommates from my first semester of college, Samye and Marissa, came to swim at our hotel. Kara came too, and it was like a twilight zone moment. I just kept thinking, how strange. I never would have imagined 7 years ago that one day we would all be sitting together at a swimming pool in Las Vegas. Life is strange.
~I'm getting an awesome tan. And I found a cute maternity swimsuit - at least as cute something so large can be. I am SO much bigger than my other pregnancies at 24 weeks, it's not even funny. I cringe to think how huge I'll be at this point with #4. I don't know if it's physically possible to stretch any bigger any faster.
~We got in trouble from the hotel for the kids coloring with chalk on the sidewalk. The guy came today with a huge, LOUD machine to rudely spray it all off. Part of me wants to be spiteful and just give them the chalk again and tell them to go to town. The immature side of me.
~Today as I made peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, I broke down bawling. I miss Washington. I have never cried from missing a place in my life, other than Nauvoo. But I do miss WA. This time of year is the BEST there. I miss my friends there, and I miss SO much having a house of our own. I am trying every day not to spiral into uncontrollable depression from being homeless, but it's really really hard. Probably one of the biggest trials on my patience I've ever experienced. Unfortunately, I think I'm failing at this trial. I JUST WANT MY HOUSE. It's almost all I think about, try as I might to distract myself.
~Andrew started training. He has an hour and a half commute each way from our hotel, so it makes for some long days. For all of us. But I'm glad that he's keeping busy and is back in study mode. It reminds me of when we were first married and he came home with all his big pilot binders. This is the 4th "pilot training" we've experienced in our marriage. And hopefully the last.
~I got to take a Target trip by myself the other day. I bought an adorable turquoise hat with a big brim for all our days at the pool, some bright pink nail polish to compliment the beautiful tan feet I'm getting, and a bag of gummy bears. And a ring, and some more sunglasses (I can't seem to keep track of them for very long). It was so nice to go by myself and be able to look around at what I wanted!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Living in a casino

We made it to Las Vegas! Right now, we are living in a casino. Here is a recap of the last 2 weeks or so, for anyone who is interested.
April 27-29: The packers and movers came to our WA home and took away all our stuff. We slept those first two nights in our own house and then the third night got a hotel on base. (Air mattresses and I do NOT agree, especially when I am pregnant.)
Fri., April 30: After cleaning and totally emptying our home, we pulled out of town around noon, leaving that beautiful place with a few tears and lots of great memories. As I left the house for the last time, I leaned on the counter and imagined all the good times we had there. I saw myself pulling meal after meal out of the oven and standing over the stove countless times. I saw the kids sliding down the stairs on their stomachs at top speed, laughing hysterically. I saw Leighton learning to crawl and walk. I saw Andrew caring for our backyard, planting our garden, and aerating every chance he got. Good times. That night we stayed in Coeur D'Alene. We ate dinner at a yummy Greek restaurant (the chef's name was Eva) and slept in the HIE, our home away from home.
Saturday, May 1: Our longest day of driving. Andrew somehow forgot Leighton's allergy to dogs and let him pet a filthy one at the hotel in the morning. After him screaming for a while, we found a little mountain town to pull over and found his little eyes almost swollen shut. After we realized what caused the reaction and I was sufficiently angry with Andrew, we gave him Benadryl and were back on our way. (Separate cars the whole way was NO FUN.) We drove through never-ending Montana, stopped in Missoula for a terrible lunch, and finally made it through snow storms and rainclouds to my sister Kim's house in Idaho Falls. Her little baby Sam was a week old that day, and it was fun to meet him and see my mom, who was still there helping out. We ate Cafe Rio for dinner and once again slept at the HIE.
Sunday, May 2: We went to most of sacrament meeting at Kim's ward and left after eating Mom's delicious chicken noodle soup for lunch. (I had 4 bowls.) We made it to Utah that evening and had fun visiting with all the Webbs. 5 of the 8 siblings were there, and I was reminded how lucky I am to love all my in-laws so much. Annie made us a good dinner and we had a good night's sleep in a comfortable bed. Oh, and at this point our allergies were in full swing. Eva was the worst and was sniffy and sneezy and wheezy - the worst for a car ride.
Monday, May 3: We stopped to see my sister Cami at work for a minute and then went to a late breakfast at IHOP. Of all places, that is where the greatest miracle happened on this trip: we got the phone call saying we got the final approval on our house. After I got off the phone I couldn't hold back the tears. Minutes before getting on the road to Las Vegas, we found out we had a house to call our own. Better late than never. The drive wasn't too bad that day, as we were so excited just to get there. I was pretty surprised by the heat so early in May and wished in my heart for the cool WA rain. (It wouldn't be the last time I wished for rainclouds that week.) We went to our friends' the Culvers' house, where we were staying while they were out of town. Our house is in their neighborhood, so we got to drive and walk past it a couple times that day, wishing we could just go straight there. But it was so nice to sleep in a home and not a hotel. That night we went to Clay and Kara Noyes' house for dinner, and I felt SO grateful to live near friends that feel like family.
Tuesday, May 4: Andrew reported to work, and I waited all day for 5pm to come. At 5pm we walked around the corner to our house and got to go in for the first time. I was pretty nervous, considering I had only ever seen 5 pictures of it and had no idea what condition it would be in. When I walked in the kitchen, I had to hold back tears, for real. It was PERFECT. The whole house is perfect and I couldn't have hoped for anything better. What a miracle that it's ours. (Or it will be, if we can ever close. And if I can ever learn some patience. I'll be patient AFTER we get in the house, I promise.) As it's still occupied and still full of someone else's stuff, the kids didn't last too long in there. We made a good celebratory dinner of fajitas and ice cream and talked about the house all night long.
May 5 - Friday, May 7: Tried to pass the time while Andrew was gone at work. Friday afternoon the Culvers got home and it was so fun to see them. We gave them their house back and went to eat dinner (purchased from my new favorite grocery store) at an awesome nearby park. (Okay, the weather here in the evenings is blissful.) We spent the night at yet another HIE.
Saturday, May 8: Went to Home Depot to shop for Andrew's birthday present. Leighton was not acting very appropriately for a public arena, so we gave up and went to the Culver's. Hung out there in their amazing backyard for a while, then went to do some more shopping at Target. Late afternoon we got frozen yogurt from a cool place called U-Swirl. We stopped at Costco so Andrew could get my Mother's Day present, then went to the Noyes' ward luau, which was the coolest ward party I've ever been to. (Sorry to my old ward, but you know what I mean.) Good food, great weather, dinner on a blanket on the grass, and hula dancers that inspired Eva to shake her hips the rest of the night. Awesome. We moved to our new temporary home at the casino hotel, where we have a great view and a beautiful pool.
Sunday, May 9: Mother's Day. Let me be honest: it's not my favorite day. I'm not sure why. The talks in church always bother me, my kids always act terribly and make me wonder why I am a mother in the first place, and for heaven's sake I'm always pregnant. Except last year. Throw on top of that our first Sunday in a new ward, terrible allergies with watery eyes included, and you can guess my mood yesterday. Less than stellar. I did get to talk to my missionary brother for a few minutes and then had a meltdown in the car that was brought on by hunger and not getting a treat from the boys handing them out at the door (to mothers). The third hour of church improved my outlook significantly. Sometimes all I need is to be with some other women, I guess. We spent the afternoon in our hotel calling our mothers and doing nothing (a theme in our lives right now - makes me long for our house even more!), then went to the Culvers' for a delicious dinner. By that point I was able to appreciate my gift of a Shark Steamer (I really shouldn't watch's all I wanted since I saw it!) and my kids a little more.
Monday, May 10: Still no closing date yet, grrr. But we did get to spend the morning at the luxury swimming pool, which is always nice. Lunch at TGI Fridays and a lazy afternoon waiting for Leighton to wake up from a much-needed nap. Now he's awake, so maybe I can convince Andrew (who has the week off) to let us go somewhere. I've never longed so much for a kitchen to clean or a sewing machine to make a skirt for this heat.
But all my housing impatience aside, let me be honest: I love it here.