Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spoiled rotten

Today is my 26th birthday. Twenty-six. Ugh. In my head I know it isn't old, but the fact that I'm moving into my "late" twenties still makes me cringe. It's hard to believe that 10 years ago today I turned 16, the birthday I had longed for for what felt like forever. A whole decade ago now! Sigh...

This birthday isn't depressing though. My dear husband has showered me with more gifts and pampering than I deserve. A week ago he took me to see "It's a Wonderful Life" from Odyssey Dance Theater, and if you know me well you know how much I love dance. Second row tickets even!

Then on Friday he arranged for a baby-sitter and whisked me away to the Little America for the night. We ate (and ate and ate!) at The Roof, with a spectacular view of the temple and the lights on Temple Square. We dined with Elder Bednar, Elder Hales, and Mitt Romney and their families. Ok, ok, we didn't eat with them, just close to them. :) It was heavenly to have a long, delicious, relaxing dinner with my cute husband.

We then took in the sights of Temple Square and froze our little buns off. We returned to the hotel to sit in the hot tub (a bunch of other people had the same idea!) and went to bed early (that's how I know I'm getting old, when I look forward to going to bed early and having an uninterrupted night's sleep!). In the morning we ate (and ate and ate!) at the scrumptious breakfast buffet and went to the Gateway to do some Christmas shopping.

We returned home to a smiley and silly baby and we all took a nap.

It's been a happy birthday indeed. And to think I forgot to take a single picture!

Thanks to my sweetie for spoiling me rotten.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thankful

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I certainly have been very blessed and have so much to be grateful for. However, family is most definitely right there at the top of the list.



This time of year I always get both happy and a little bitter, unfortunately, due to the disgusting display of consumerism that hits like a ton of bricks in our country. I've gone on a rant in past years (check the archives if you're interested in a refresher), so I won't do that this year. I just hope we can all keep the spirit of the season in our hearts and enjoy our loved ones and many blessings. Here's to a great holiday season!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The hunt

It's 7:45 AM. You're trying to get somewhat presentable for the day after getting out of the shower. You notice things are awfully and strangely quiet...where could your child be?

Simple! Follow the path of destruction!

This looks like a good place to start:
Hmmm...the little one was definitely in here:Getting closer:A HA!
Aww...how can I get mad at that cute little face?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Adventures at home

I haven't done a whole lot of blogging lately, probably just because I've felt so wiped out by life. I changed the team I manage at work and went from a very low-maintenance, lovely group of people to a uh, shall we say more challenging team. I have a lot of work ahead of me, and there is a lot of pressure to make this group successful, so I come home from work completely wiped out and frustrated.

On top of that, poor Claire is cutting one tooth after another, causing some very difficult nights and some long days. She got a bit of a stomach bug a week or two ago as well and made quite the scene barfing all over the place while we were out to dinner at the Olive Garden! I wrote about it a little more here if you are interested in the details.

Then, oh my heck, last Saturday we rented a movie and went down to the basement to watch it after putting Claire to bed. About 30 seconds after starting it Claire started crying Brady ran up to get her and I followed a minute later, but stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a strange, rope-ish looking things sticking out under our laundry/storage room door. I was pretty certain that we didn't have a grayish rope in our possession, and my heart stopped when I realized what I was looking at. I ran up in a panic to get Brady and we all raced back down to the basement to see that the snake had revealed itself entirely. Yes, you read that right, we have a freaking SNAKE in our basement! I didn't ever think I was really afraid of snakes, until I saw one in my home. Brady hates snakes as well, so we were paralyzed and didn't know what to do. It wasn't very fat, but it was kind of long and neither of us wanted to touch it. We couldn't kill it right there because we didn't want blood all over the carpet. We went in search of some sort of container to put it in, and during that time the creepy thing disappeared back into the storage room, and now we can't find it. YUCK!!! We don't know how it got in, but I'm sure it has something to do with all the construction going on in the field behind us. It's moved all sorts of little creatures into our neighbor's homes, and I guess a snake found its way into ours.

We set up a barricade to prevent it from escaping under the door. We're kind of stuck, because there is no such thing as a snake trap or snake poison that you can buy. You just have to either catch it or kill it. I would so much rather have a mouse in our home! They are much easier to dispose of.

Needless to say, we are pretty much avoiding the basement as much as possible. We put off doing laundry as long as we could, but had to do it yesterday. It's a two man job...one to stand watch and the other to throw the laundry in a fast as humanly possible. I don't know why we're so afraid of one little snake. Its pretty pathetic, to be honest. I've tried telling myself that pioneer women had to deal with snakes all the time, and they did just fine! I'm trying to summon that same bravery. Ugh, I just hope the things finds it's way back outside. Anyone not afraid of snakes that's willing to search our basement??

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

You know that expression, "cute as a bug"? I think this is the bug everyone is talking about:


We ended up having a great Halloween. We went to my parent's house to hang out with the fam and eat my fabulous (if I do say so myself) homemade chili and my mom's famous homemade breadsticks and sugar cookies. SO GOOD. So much for that diet I'm working on...

We then took Claire trick-or-treating to a few houses. I know she didn't quite grasp the concept of the whole thing, but her mom and dad sure had fun with it! She actually did really enjoy it. She likes lots of action and got a kick out of all the decorations and being outside and the kids. In fact, we started walking up to one house that was totally decked out- scary music, crazy decorations, even a fog machine- and rather than being scared she started clapping her hands and laughing. She loved it!
Brady dressed up as a total hottie...oh wait, that's every day...hehe

One of the neighbors did this big thing in their backyard with a graveyard, spook alley, and s'mores and rootbeer around their fire pit. The weather was perfect for Halloween and it was so much fun hanging out with family and enjoying the holiday. Hope you all had a good one too!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The silver lining

Lately I've had a tendency to get overwhelmed and to occasionally feel sorry for myself. When the going gets tough I've noticed that I will start to list in my head the things that seem just so hard:

Work is stressful. It's so hard being a "working mother" and trying to find balance in life.

School is awful. Homework sucks. Tests are the worst.

My husband is stressed to the max (thanks to work and school) and is a big ball of anxiety.

I can never keep up on the housework.

My sweet baby seems to have been replaced by a rambunctious and uh, independent toddler these days.

All work and no play is making Rachel a dull girl.

I never get a break. All I do is work to make other people happy, and then collapse in an exhausted heap at the end of the day, having no time to do the things that I enjoy.

But in the midst of my little pity party this morning, I was filled with shame. I have so much to be grateful for:

Sure, work is stressful, but we are fortunate to even have jobs.

Yeah, school sucks, but so many people around the world would to anything to have the opportunity to gain an education.

My husband may be distracted these days, but I am lucky to have a loving and hardworking husband that would sacrifice anything for his family.

My house may be a mess most the time, but I have a comfortable home to keep me warm and safe.

My little girl may be on a rampage now and then, but she is happy and healthy and my pride and joy.

And even though sometimes I feel like I never have "me" time, how lucky am I that the people I get to serve are the people I love and the people who love me?

And most of all, as I've felt the pressures of the world press down on me, I have felt the reassuring and gentle hand of my Heavenly Father lift and support me, allowing me to carry whatever burden may be placed on my shoulders at the time. I know I have been so blessed, and will try to remember that at all times from now on.

Friday, October 9, 2009

How to Feel Like the Worst Mother in the World

Step 1- Live under large amounts of stress and anxiety for an extended period of time. 6 weeks is ideal.

Step 2- Attempt to hold in the stress, anxiety, and frustration for the full 6 weeks.

Step 3- Explode unexpectedly, resulting in an angry and admittedly heated discussion with your spouse (who is under equal, if not more pressure and stress. See also, "How to Feel Like the Worst Wife in the World").

Step 4- Observe your sweet daughter climb up the stairs during said heated discussion.

Step 5- Continue heated discussion. Angry tears are a plus.

Step 6- Decide to follow daughter upstairs to see what sort of mischief she is getting into.

Step 7- Check all the usual places where mischief is usually made. Feel perplexed that you cannot find your child.

Step 8- Find daughter hiding behind her rocking chair, burying her face in a stuffed animal.

Step 9- Allow the overwhelming guilt to wash over you. Well done, mother of the year, well done.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So...tired...zzzz....

On Sunday morning Claire absolutely WOULD NOT take her morning nap, which is very rare. She just cried and cried if we'd try to put her down. So after about an hour or so of trying (no, we didn't let her cry for an hour straight) we gave up and figured we'd just go to church and hope for the best. Since she is a rather finicky sleeper of course she didn't sleep at church, even though I could tell she was really tired. We came home, got changed, and sat down to eat some lunch. I had Claire in her high chair next to me and was eating and talking to Brady as he loaded the dishwasher. Meanwhile, Claire was eating, jabbering, and banging on her tray as usual. I turned away from her and back to my food for seriously about 8 seconds, and looked back over to her to see this:

Not only was she dead asleep- seriously, she was out- she even started snoring!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Story of my life...

This is just so cute.

Also, can I just say that I totally relate? Not with marshmallows, but put chocolate or bacon or something like that in front of me and tell me not to eat it...the agony!



Oh, The Temptation from Steve V on Vimeo.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Time for a change and I need your help

I need some new clothes. I hate all my old ones. Well, maybe not all of them, but enough of them. I got a gift card from work and fully intend to go hog wild and blow the thing on a new wardrobe. However, I want to stretch it as far as I can. So, my question is- where do you buy your clothes? I'm looking for nice, unique, fairly inexpensive items. Any suggestions???

Friday, September 11, 2009

1 year old pics

We had Claire's 1 year old pictures taken, and since I think she's so stinkin' cute and I'm one of those mothers here they are:

She wasn't ever in the mood to give us a big smile apparently, but I still think she looked adorable...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

FYI

I've decided to start another website. I like to write, and so this will be my place for that. While I realize I already have this blog, for some reason I feel more like it's a family journal of sorts than a place to write and express ideas, etc. Also, I've been wanting to learn how to set up my own website, so this has been a fun little project for me to figure out how to do all this stuff without using a site like Blogger (I know- NERD). So, if anyone is interested, you can find more stuff at this website:

www.mommybythebook.com

Feel free to offer any feedback! I love hearing what others think.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Goodbye summer...

Well, Labor Day has come and gone, which signals that summer is coming to an end. I'm starting to get excited for the beautiful fall leaves and the upcoming holidays, but I will so miss being able to spend time outside.

Brady and I both started school again this last week and are uh, loving it...? Ok, maybe not, but we're trying to have good attitudes about it. I can't believe we're still in school. Kids, let this be a lesson to you! Pick a major and a school and stick with it until you're done! No lollygagging!

We tried to make the most of this last weekend by doing some fun things. Yesterday we got up early and did some bike riding while my parents watched Claire. In addition to it being a holiday it was also my dad's birthday, so we surprised him by taking him to the Miller Motor Sports park out near Tooele/Grantsville and raced around in the little go-karts. Way fun! Those things go fast! They totally put the go-karts at Boondock's to shame. Then we all went up in the mountains to roast hot dogs and marshmallows and enjoy one another's company. It was great.
Here's little Claire enjoying the mountains (and her Goldfish crackers- a staple of her diet these days).

We also let Claire have her first true experience with spaghetti on Sunday, which was certainly an adventure.


I must admit Claire has been a bit challenging over the last few days. She seems to have more teeth coming in and is quite unhappy about it. Either that or she's going through some developmental phase. Either way, she spends much of her time whining and clutching at our legs, but not much seems to make her happy. Poor girl. Poor us. The thing I love about kids though is that they'll drive you nuts most the day, but then do something that makes you love them even more. Case in point: this last Sunday was particularly challenging as she seemed impossible to please. I thought I was going to go crazy. But then we tried the spaghetti and listened to music during dinner, and she was just so stinkin' cute as she danced to the music and giggled and smeared food all over that I couldn't help but forgive her for all the whining and think she was the best baby in the world. Kids are great.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things I would rather be doing right this minute...

1. Getting a professional massage...oh, heaven!...

2.. Working on my little side project I've got a-brewin'

3. Playing with Claire (is it bad that's not #1 on my list today?...)

4. Hanging out on the beach somewhere

5. Snuggling under the covers with the hubby

6. Reading a good book

7. Shopping for new clothes with loads of money someone decided to give to me

8. Swimming and relaxing by the pool

9. Walking around NYC and eating at some fancy-schmancy restaurant

10. Watching a movie in an actual movie theater

11. Oddly enough, working out...

12. Sitting on the couch doing a whole lot of nothing

13. Roasting marshmallows in the mountains

14. Sleeping

15. Pretty much anything but WORKING. Blah....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One more update...

I failed to mention in my last post that we also had another change in our lives, but a bittersweet one. About a week ago we sold Gertie. It was a difficult decision for us, but I had had this nagging feeling for a while that it might be the best thing to do. Once we found a new home for her, I felt certain that we had made the right decision, even though it was difficult. At this point in our lives we just couldn't give her the love and attention she needed, and I felt bad that she was living such a sad life. Between work, school, and family we couldn't do much more than give her a walk a couple times a week and a pat on the head now and then. And she is a dog that craves lots of attention, so obviously the arrangement wasn't working.

Her new family is awesome though. A single lady with lots of love to give adopted her. Plus, she had another English bulldog! So now Gertie has a little friend to frolic with all day long. Thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, we've been able to see how she is doing and she looks just as happy as can be! I'm pretty sure she doesn't miss us at all. We do miss her, but we feel good knowing she is in a good home. And really, it has been good for us. Our lives are simpler now and our house is cleaner, so it was a win-win situation overall.
We'll miss you Gertie, but we wish you a long and happy doggie life!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Catch up

I know you're all heartbroken about my lack of blogging lately, so here is a summary of the latest:

Brady and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary.

To celebrate we decided to go camping just the two of us. It was a blast. We relaxed, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, went mountain biking, and enjoyed the scenery. I feel so lucky to be married to my best friend.



On August 1st my work put together a huge event for the employees and their families. This thing had to have cost close to $1 million, seriously. It was at Thanksgiving Point and there were all sorts of fun activities and food. At the end they did a drawing for TONS of prizes, including big plasma TV's, iPods, BBQ grills, and all sorts of stuff. They had 3 grand prizes that we knew about- Jazz lower bowl season tickets, a trip for 4 to Disneyland, and a trip for 2 for a Caribbean cruise. For days Brady kept saying that he was certain we would win something, to which I would tell him not to get his hopes up. I guess the power of positive thinking really might have some bearing, because WE WON THE CRUISE! How freaking awesome is that??? As soon as they called my name I started jumping up and down and screaming. I just couldn't believe it. That night when I went to bed my face hurt because I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day. We are SO excited. We have to take the trip within the next year, so we're hoping to go in March sometime. Heck yes!

Everything else has been crazy busy. I would love to have some time to just sit and do nothing for a while, but that will come later. All the stuff we've been doing has been good stuff- I wrapped up the class I was taking this semester, we've enjoyed lots of time with family and friends, Claire has been a busy little girl as always and is crawling all over the place. So all in all, good times. Today I'm sitting home sick with a fever and all sorts of yucky stuff, so hopefully that will pass soon, but I'm glad we've been able to have a good summer and to enjoy ourselves. Only a couple more weeks until school starts again- yuck! We'll have to make the most of the time we have.

Hope you all are enjoying your summer as well!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The big ONE!


Holy cow people, I am officially the mother of a toddler! Claire celebrated her first birthday this last Friday, which really was just another day for her, but a BIG day for Brady and I! We spent the whole night before reminiscing about her birth, her milestones throughout her first year, and all the little things we love about her. It's hard to believe an entire year has gone by. 12 months! 365 days! And we've managed to keep her alive and in one piece! And as an added bonus, we survived too! It's been a challenging year in many ways, but one of the best years of my entire life. I can't even tell you how much we love this little girl. She's changed our lives and our hearts so completely. We love her sweet little smirks and grins, the way she pats us on the shoulder when we pick her up, the way she jabbers while she plays with her toys, her wonderful chubby cheeks, her curious nature, her gentleness, and how she is always on the move! She is truly a wonderful child and I couldn't ask for anything more. Happy birthday little Claire-bear!

To celebrate we woke her up in the morning by singing Happy Birthday. She didn't know what was going on really, but she sure thought it was fun! We ate pancakes for breakfast, ran a bunch of errands, and finished the day with a party in the park with our family. She had a blast opening presents. She was totally hamming it up in front of everyone and putting on quite a cute show. She didnt' know what to think of her cake, I don't think she liked the feel of the frosting. She ate a little bit, but mainly spent the time trying to throw the cake or smear it all over herself. We had a nice dinner and started cleaning up when the sprinklers came on to let us know that the party was over right now! So that was fun. But overall the evening was very nice and we appreciated our family coming out to support us. Claire certainly is one loved little girl!

Some highlights:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Satisfaction

I don't know if there are many feelings better than looking at your bank account online and seeing this:

Line of credit: $0.00
Visa credit card: $0.00

After paying far too long for poor judgement in our foolish, younger years we are finally freeing ourselves from consumer debt. Hallelujiah!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer fun

We've had the chance to do some fun things this summer, which we are very grateful for. Last summer was kind of a bust with me being either hugely and very uncomfortably pregnant, or we had a newborn. And since we had no clue what we were doing with that little newborn, we pretty much stayed home all the time because the idea of coordinating an outing AND taking care of the baby was a hugely daunting task.

We've discovered though that babies are surprisingly portable and we've had a good time taking Claire out and about. We've been swimming a few times, to a couple outdoor concerts in the park, to the mountains, to see fireworks, etc. It's been great! I had forgotten how nice summer actually was. I missed being outside! I'm already dreading being cooped up for months on end once winter hits.

Last night I had the chance to go to the Kenny Chesney concert with my girlfriends, which was a blast as always. We've been to a few of his concerts now and he always puts on a fantastic show. I'm sure people think we're either drunk or crazy because we sing and dance the entire time, but we don't care what anyone else thinks :) Last night was a little difficult because it was sweltering hot. 105 degrees to be exact. SO. HOT. And anyone that knows me knows I don't do well in the heat. The concert started at 5:30, so we basically just sweated our guts out in the sun for hours until it finally got dark. Everyone was too hot to sit in their seats and watch the opening acts, so the crowds, including us, were out standing in line at the concession counters to pay a fortune for water and hoping for cups of ice. We stood in line for over an hour to get ice. No joke. We went to one counter, and they said they had ice, but no cups. So we went and got in another line that took 45 minutes to get through. And can you guess what they said? They had cups, but NO ICE. That's right my friends. How is that for irony? So they gave us the cups, and we went back to the other line to wait forever to fill our cups with ice. LAME. But still worth it!
Can you tell how warm it is? Ugh!

I was kind of bummed because one of the opening acts that I was totally looking forward to cancelled, but the rest of the show was still great. Cute little Miranda Lambert kept me entertained every time she said "Utah". She pronounced like "yew-TAW" everytime. Gotta love that Southern drawl!

I would have to say that the best entertainment of the night though were these individuals:

Drunk as can be! Holy cow, I've never really seen anyone drunk like that, it was hilarious. I've seen drunk people before, but not like that! The lady- who wore a variety of hats and t-shirts throughout the night- seemed a little buzzed already when she got there. She disappeared for about and hour and a half, and came back completely smashed. She started stumbling up the stairs towards her seats by us and came to a couple of ladies sitting down. She grabbed their hands and started dancing around, smiling and singing the whole time. She then moved to someone else and did the same thing. She started yelling to her husband, flailing her arms the whole time: "I've made so many friends tonight!!!". Over and over, gesturing wildly. She then moved on to a group of girls in front of us who had also had a few drinks and hugged them and danced around and announced it was her husband's birthday, and proceeded to throw her arms around his neck and drag his face down (she was a row lower than him) and insist all the girls kiss him on the cheek. She then turned to her husband and said, "I've had a few beers" like it was a secret. Haha! Oh my goodness, the stories I could tell from watching those two. The dancing, the clothing changes, the flashing as she tried to climb over seats, the singing, the waving of the arms, the spilling of beer on two innocent old ladies, the removal of clothing to clean up the beer...Good times! The sad thing was they had their two sons with them, one about 15 and the other looked about 9. They were mortified. Poor, poor kids. The lady started looking like she was in really bad shape after a little while, and the whole family got up and left after about 20 minutes into the main show. I'm a little worried about how they got home....

So all in all it was a fun night. Hooray for summer!

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July weekend

Happy Independence Day! We were able to enjoy a nice holiday weekend. Unfortunately Brady had to work most the day Saturday (lame), but he was able to get off a little early and we went out to good ol' Grantsville. We had a BBQ at his brother's house, then hung out at Grandpa Johnny's with the rest of the fam to watch fireworks and eat homemade ice cream. The weather was great and we had a good time. I was a little worried about Claire being scared of the fireworks, but she did awesome! She loves lots of action, so she was such a good girl even though we kept her up way past her bedtime. Well, until we actually did go to bed later on, that is. Claire thrives on routine, and since she went to bed 3.5 hours late she had an awful night= we had an awful night. All is well now though, so overall the weekend was a success!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

For better or for worse, in sickness and in health

Last week my beautiful little sister Natalie got married. After much preparation, she had a lovely ceremony at the Salt Lake Temple and a gorgeous reception at Tuscany restaurant. I was blown away by how pretty everything turned out to be. But more importantly, it was so great to see Natalie and Brant sealed together for all eternity. The way Brant was looking at my sister in the temple was priceless, and I'm happy she found a good guy who loves her and makes her happy. The lucky pair are now on a Caribbean cruise (oh my word, what I would give to go on a cruise right now!) and I hope they are having the time of their lives.Aren't they cute??

Sadly, the happiest day of her life was actually one of the most difficult in the Paulich home that I can remember. Well, really, the whole week was difficult. On Monday night after we put Claire to bed she started throwing up- over and over again. Every time we'd get everything all cleaned up and get her to sleep again thinking "that has to be the last of it" we'd hear her cry and lo and behold, it was everywhere once again. It was so sudden and she wasn't acting sick at all. The next day though she was much better. I actually kind of felt like it was a motherhood rite of passage or something. I survived my first night of barfing children! I am a true mother now! I know I have plenty of nights like that in my future too.

So I woke up Tuesday with a sore throat, thinking that maybe my body was just a little run down from the lack of sleep the night before. By Wednesday night, at my sister's dinner the night before the wedding, I really started to feel awful. I went to bed that night and had a very sleepless night (partially due to a massive mosquito bite on my ankle that itched like you wouldn't believe) because of a fever and not being able to breathe. Brady woke up at about 3:00 AM saying he didn't feel very well and went downstairs to use the bathroom. He proceeded to throw up violently and uncontrollably for the next several hours. I believe he threw up a total of about 24 times!

Claire woke up, out of sorts and running a low fever, and proceeded to scream for almost an hour straight. My little family was so sick, and my sister was on the verge of getting married, I didn't know what to do! Do I be a bad wife and leave Brady to deal with things on his own? Or do I be a bad sister and miss the wedding? Brady really wanted to go to the ceremony, but the idea of him barfing in the temple was not a pleasant one, so he stayed home with Claire as I raced downtown so I wouldn't miss the wedding. I remember feeling so worried about my little family and so sick myself and just so desperate.

The rest of the day went much better. Brady was able to stop vomiting, and we all held it together for the reception. Claire actually had the time of her life dancing to the music, it was the cutest thing! She was getting a little tired and grumpy, but when the music got going she wildly starting waving her arms and legs and had the biggest smile on her face. Priceless.

Sadly Claire had a high fever the next day and some wretched nights to follow, but I am happy to report we are all finally recovering. I have my smiley little girl again, and my voice is almost back to normal. My sister Ali and my mom both got horribly sick too, but they are well again. My mom actually saw something on the news about Utah being the worst state in the nation right now for infectious illnesses, and I believe it! Holy cow, what a week we had!

I realize that lately I have blogged pretty regularly about us all getting sick. I think we've just had a streak of bad luck, but I'm crossing my fingers that this is the last of it for a while, and the rest of the summer will be full of happy, HEALTHY, adventures!

Happy Father's Day

So, as always, this is late, but I still wanted to give a shout out to all the awesome dads in my life.

I may have mentioned this before, but I have a pretty great dad. It's not easy being the father of all girls, and he's done it so well. He's sensitive and caring and always puts his family first. I know he has quietly sacrificed a lot to make sure we are happy and well taken care of. He is our #1 fan and not only has he endured endless dance concerts, but he has videotaped and taken pictures of each and every one. He's a good example of what a husband should be and has always treated my mom with love and respect. I feel so blessed to have a great father.

And of course, I can't forget my dear husband, who is the best father I could ask for for my little girl. He loves her to pieces and dotes on her in every way. He changes stinky diapers, gets up in the night to feed and comfort her, and always manages to get a smile or giggle out of her. Claire sure loves her daddy, and so do I!

Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The building is making me bonkers

When we moved into our little townhouse 3 years ago there was a big, lovely field right behind it. It was quiet and peaceful and we'd often see deer wandering through it. I loved it. I knew though that it probably wouldn't last long. A big open plot of land in Lehi? Yeah right!

Just as I expected, last year trucks and tractors started driving around on my peaceful, lovely field. Someone bought the land and decided to turn it into a housing subdivision. Now all I hear all day long is the sounds of engines running, beeping, digging, horns honking, stuff banging into dump trucks, and something being dropped that causes my entire house to shake. ALL. DAY. LONG. Right behind my house! It starts at about 6:30 in the morning too. I stress out because Claire's bedroom is at the back of the house and everyone that has ever had a baby knows that naptime is an iron-clad, MUST HAVE, throughout the day. Without sleep, Claire gets c-r-a-n-k-y. Which makes mom i-n-s-a-n-e. By some miracle Claire manages to sleep through the chaos so far, even though it constantly sounds like an alarm clock is going off when the trucks back up. Sometimes I am tempted to go out on my back porch and demand that the men give it a rest for a couple of hours because some people's kids are trying to sleep, darn it! But I'm sure they'd just wonder who the crazy lady is and keep on going with their project.

While I'm on the subject...they're building these ridiculous McMansions that all look the same on these teeny-tiny plots of land. Seriously, there are about 6 feet between the houses with almost non-existent backyards. I don't know why but it irks me that people pay so much money for a postage stamp sized plot of land and build a big house on it. Where's the fun in that? I want room for my kids to play and the dog to run and room to grow a garden and put a swingset and actually have some privacy, you know? Brady and I have decided that one fine day we are just giong to buy an old house on a big piece of land and fix things up a bit. That sounds like a little slice of heaven to me! Someday...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What the...?

Um, does anyone know what happened to summer? Because I think it's gone missing. I'm not too happy about it, and neither is my dog and baby because wet outside= no walks. If you happen to stumble across it, please let dear summer know that it is sorely missed and needs to stick around. Otherwise I'm going somewhere else to try to find it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Return to happiness

This week has been a very stressful one work-wise. There have been a lot of changes to the team I manage, some favorable and some not. I've had to meet with each person individually and try to make them happy while telling them some bad news at the same time. Some people I have had to cut from the team altogether, which was so hard. I hate watching the life in their eyes fade as they feel the sting of disappointment. I am not cut out for this whole "it's business, it's not personal" kind of life.

But, I have been thinking a lot lately about my current state of mind, and how grateful I am for it. I'm stressed out and overworked, uncertain about what the future will bring, but deep down I'm still happy. Why is this a big deal, you ask? Because for a long time, I wasn't happy, and it was awful.

For some reason I have hesitated to say anything about the postpartum depression I have struggled with over the last 8 or 9 months. Often times blogs are what my cousin likes to call a "best-life contest", and heaven forbid my life not be the best! I don't want to seem like a downer, or a whiner. But ultimately, I think I was in denial for most of the time and didn't want to admit to myself that something was wrong.

I can't say when exactly it started, but probably when Claire was 2 or 3 months old. I was afraid of postpartum depression, I had heard so much about it. I always assumed though that it would be this big major thing with all sorts of noticable red flags about how depressed I was. Instead though, it just crept up on me and then lingered for a long time. I assumed that being depressed meant being sad ALL the time, and sometimes I did feel happy. But there were many times when I should've been happy, and I wasn't for some reason I couldn't figure out.

I never once considered hurting my baby or even hurting myself, but I often wondered how I could go on the way I was. I often felt alone, and hopeless, and sad, and half-crazy. For a long time I blamed it on some marital road bumps that had come up that I couldn't seem to get over- most likely because I was depressed. I was fatigued and unmotivated, which I blamed on the lack of sleep and lots of work, but really, I think most of it was because of depression. It gnawed away at me until I was irritable all the time and anxious and anti-social in a lot of respects. I just wasn't me.

Poor Brady didn't know what to make of any of it. I'm sure he just assumed I was stressed out and not a very nice person anymore. I think though he also thought I didn't love him anymore, and that's certainly not the case. I feel bad that he felt that way.

A few months ago I went to the Draper Temple open house with my family. Brady was actually able to take the day off work and we all went out to eat afterward. It as a beautiful day, and I should've been overjoyed, but for a reason I couldn't explain I just felt down and grumpy. It was then that I knew I had a problem. I told Brady that I thought there was something wrong with me, and just saying the words out loud was like a huge burden liften from my shoulders. I wasn't better yet, but it was a start.

Just recently I've discovered I have a little motivation again. I'm not as listless or anti-social as I once was. I actually enjoy certain activities again. I've actually felt like joking around and getting out and doing things. It's happened little by little, but I think-for the most part anyway-I'm back, and it feels so good.

I'm really debating actually posting this, because it's not really like me to divulge details like this to a bunch of people, especially about my weaknesses. In fact, I've never even told my family how I've felt because I don't want to come across as being whiny and giving them something else to worry about. Besides, I've felt that there's really nothing anyone else can do, it's my personal battle that I will have to fight. I don't like having people pity me, or think differently of me. Don't feel like you have to leave comments to validate me or anything like that :) This time though, I guess I just feel so grateful to actually be happy again that I feel like telling the world. And I guess I want other people to know that they don't have to suffer alone if they are going through something similar. I really should've talked to my loved ones more, or maybe even a professional because it really did help to get it off my chest. I hope that if anyone needs me they know they can call on me and I will be there however I can, because I've been there myself.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Reason to celebrate

After 10 long months, I am thrilled to report that Claire is FINALLY sleeping through the night consistently! It's been a rough road, but we came out the other side in one piece. We tried every bit of advice ever given to us over the last several months but with limited success. Claire just wasn't a great sleeper, end of story. But suddenly a couple of weeks ago she would wake up when she normally did and wouldn't want to eat, which is what we were aiming for. Then a week or so ago, she just slept all night long altogether! She is teething again so she wakes up every now and then because she's in pain, but she goes back to sleep eventually. I cannot tell you how life changing this is! I had pretty much gotten used to get up in the night. Doing it once a night wasn't so bad, especially because Brady and I alternated nights. The phases she went through where she was up 6+ times a night were pure torture. I dreaded going to bed. But now, bedtime is blissful- as it should be :)

And just because she's so stinkin cute (seriously, she is at the cutest age ever), here is a picture from our excursion to the mountains this last weekend:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The latest

Not much happening lately, just the usual. We sure are happy the weather is getting nice though! We've tried to take advantage of the warmer weather and get out and do some things. We're determined to not let this summer pass us by! Last summer I was very uncomfortably pregnant and not in the condition to do a whole lot for the first half, and then the second half of the summer we had a newborn. So as you can imagine, we didn't get out much. Now that Claire is older we are looking forward to enjoying the great outdoors a little bit more.

We took Claire to the park a few nights ago to swing on the swings. My mother in law watched her the day before and took her over there and said she loved it. However, Claire was kinda grumpy when we went and was not particularly impressed:We'll try again some other time. :)

A week ago we went up to Memory Grove to have a little picnic. Several weeks ago Brady and I went to a funeral downtown and ended up grabbing some sandwiches later and eating in Memory Grove. We enjoyed ourselves so much we decided we needed to bring the fam up. So we loaded up the baby and dog and had my youngest sister and Brady's brother join us for a nice afternoon out.
Aren't they cute? They've been good friends for a long time. Logan just got his mission call to Brazil and will be leaving in August. We're so proud of him and know he will make a great missionary! Funny story: My sister Ali (pictured above), actually met Brady and Logan before I did. Way back in the day Brady was dating Ali's dance teacher and he and Logan popped in a a rehearsal one night to bring the team a snack. Ali actually went up and talked to Logan and they got to know each other a bit. A few months later Brady was single and he and I met at school...and the rest was history. It was funny because after I went out with Brady the first time I told my family and my sister said, "Hey, I know a Brady." Later I showed her a picture of him and she was blown away because it was the same Brady. Crazy huh?"Food, please"

This picture of Gertie was just a few moments before she saw another dog and decided she just HAD to go play. Before I even realized what had happened Gertie had mustered her strength, took a big lunge, and broke her collar. She then proceeded to chase after this other dog- completely unfazed! Her brute strength amazes me. Luckily we were still able to get her on the leash later on, because there is a big pond up at Memory Grove that a lot of dogs like to swim in. Bulldogs are not meant to swim. They truly are like boulders with little stubby legs. Some dogs don't like the water and we wondered if Gertie would be like that, or if she would be dumb enough to go charging in. Apparently it's the latter, because she saw a tennis ball floating in the water and once again made a great lunge for it. Fortunately Brady had a good grip on the leash and she only got in a little ways and just got her paws wet. Good thing we didn't take her off the leash, otherwise Brady would've had to have gone for an impromptu swim! We spent the rest of the afternoon wearing her out with a nice walk around the park. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time enjoying nature.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Does anyone else find it a bit irritating...

...how childish the American Idol judges have become?? I realize there are a LOT more important things for me to be worried about in life instead of how Paula and Simon act like they are in 7th grade, but I was watching it last night and couldn't help but be super bugged. Not only that they constantly contradict themselves, point out the awesome things they have done in their own careers and on the show, and berate the contestants for the weirdest little things. If you ask me, the judges have gotten a little big for their britches and seem to think the show is all about them, not the contestants. But then again maybe I'm being foolish to assume they would be humble. They are celebrities after all. The only one who seems semi-mature is Randy, and he calls everyone "dawg"! Go figure!

On a positive note though, I still LOVE Kris! Go Kris go! I like Danny, but I like Kris more. Adam is super talented and is a great performer, but he kind of gives me a weird vibe, and I'm not a huge fan of his voice. But hey, that's just me. (Go Kris!!)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Randomness

Not much new and exciting lately. I'm happy the semester is over, even though I was only taking one easy class! It's just nice to have one less thing to worry about. I am going during the summer, so I guess I should enjoy it for the next week until things start up again. I can't believe I've been going to school for so long. I just want to get it over with! Ugh. My youngest sister is 8 years younger than me and is graduating high school in June. She will be going to the same college I do, so now I attend the same school as my two youngest sisters. Cool for them, but kind of sad for me considering I should've been done forever ago. Oh well, I figure that the fact that I keep trying counts for something. I'll probably have over 300 credits by the time I get my blasted bachelor's degree!

We are all finally healthy, hooray! It's so nice. I missed my happy little baby. Claire has just been so cute now that she's feeling good again. She is so active and busy and loves to make lots of noise. She's able to feed herself little bits of food now which I find hilarious. She absolutely loves Gertie and every time I try to feed her she hangs over the edge of her high chair trying to look at the dog. She loves to read books and go on walks outside. She's really become my little buddy, and I love it. It still amazes me how much love I feel for this little person. Hopefully we can all stay healthy now that the weather is warming up. Although, that swine flu is really starting to freak me out...I have to fly to Las Vegas next week and I'm worried about being on a plane with a whole bunch of people who could potentially be sick. I'm tempted to wear one of those face masks, but I don't want to be paranoid either...what to do?

I'm addicted to chocolate- again. I managed to do a good job of getting off sweets a few months ago, but then Valentine's Day and Easter had to hit. I never buy junk food just to keep in the house, but on the holidays I get a ton given to me, and I can't just let it go to waste, right? I need to get back on the wagon.

I love American Idol this season. I liked last season a lot too, but I think the group they have right now is amazing. I love Kris. I love Danny too. So hard to decide! Sorry y'all, but while I think Adam is a fantastic performer, he's not exactly my cup of tea. I like my men to sound like men when they sing, you know? And while I can see how some people find him attractive, I think he looks like Peter Pan or something. Call me crazy, but those are the facts (according to me!).

But, as much as I like American Idol, I cannot wait for So You Think You Can Dance?. May 21st people! I. LOVE. IT.

Alright, enough time wasting. Back to work!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Seriously?

Claire is sick AGAIN. Bah! She has been sleeping horribly this week because she is teething (she has half of one tooth and another one cutting! She's growing up so fast!) and her schedule got thrown off in California. On Friday she took a 3 hour nap which I attributed to the fact that she hadn't slept well the night before. When I got her up she was burning up, so I took her temp and it was almost 102 degrees! I stripped her down and just put a blanket on her and took her downstairs to feed her. Once she finished eating, she just chilled on my lap for about half an hour, holding my finger. She never does that anymore! She is so active and busy all the time, constantly wanting to play and explore, so I knew she wasn't feeling good. She was that way the rest of the afternoon.

I wasn't feeling so hot myself, and when I got home from work I was feeling pretty crappy. I had wicked chills and was weak and nauseous. During the night I felt like a human furnace, but my fever broke somewhere around 6:00 in the morning and I woke up drenched in sweat. Claire had another awful night, and I was hoping she would get over her fever quickly too, but no such luck.

She was screaming for quite a while this morning, then calmed down when the ibuprofen finally kicked in and she felt a little better. Again this afternoon she was burning hot with bright red cheeks, so I took her temp again and it was 102.9! The poor thing has been quite miserable. Of course, she gets sick on a Friday afternoon and her pediatrician is closed over the weekend. I never know if I should give her 24 hours and see if she gets better, if I should take her to the InstaCare, or who knows what? No one trains you to handle this sort of stuff! My number one fear about becoming a mother was that my baby would get sick and I wouldn't know what to do. When you have baby showers and people write down their advice everyone writes stuff like, "take lots of pictures!", or "sleep while the baby is sleeping", or "enjoy the time you have, it goes fast!". Yeah, that's all great and stuff, but where is the real advice when I need it?? What kind of cough is a "bad" cough? How high does a fever have to be to be considered high? When do you give medicine and when do you not? What do you do when they throw up? What if they're just screaming forever but you can't find any other symptoms (as in the case when she had a bladder infection at 3 months old) How long to you wait before you call the doctor? That's the kind of advice I need! Thank heavens for moms, that's for sure. I think I call my mom about 3 times a day whenever Claire gets sick. Luckily, she calls me just as often to check in and see how she is doing, so I don't feel bad :)

I can't wait until this awful cold and flu season is over. I should get to bed because I know tonight is going to be another loooong night.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Failure

One of my biggest fears is failure. I hate to fail. As a result, I think I hold myself back from a lot of things because I'm afraid I won't be able to do it, or I will look stupid, or something along those lines. I need to learn to look at my failures as opportunities to improve myself, and not be afraid to take a chance. I thought this video clip was great.

http://dreams.honda.com/#/video_fa

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Vacation pics



The babies were ready to play after we drove all night to get there...

Beach time!
Claire's first time at the beach. She didn't like the sand.
All wrapped up. I highly recommend one of these wraps, she loved it!
"What's with all the pictures?"
Sadly this is how we spent much of our beach time, letting Claire sleep on us.
Little Cruze was so wiped out he fell asleep holding his toes. The fam in Laguna Beach. Once again, Claire was sleeping on me. Grandma with the kiddiesWorking on their tans...

Bonfire on the beach

Wow, sorry, that was a lot of pics. Hope you enjoyed them :)