How to: Juggle the Craziness

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Aren't sick kids the worst?  The 'sick' part, not the 'kids' part : ).  Caroline's fever came back this week just about 48 hours after she stopped a round of antibiotics, so either her UTI returned OR she has a trach infection.  (Kids with trachs are very prone to infection because their airway is so exposed. Usually not too serious, thankfully.)  She's not totally down in the dumps, but along with her fever, she does have gunk coming out of her nose and her heart rate is high.

But wait, there's more... Ivy woke up with her first real cold yesterday.  Our June bug is a sicky - runny nose, stuffed up, etc.  No fun for her or for Mommy and Daddy - mainly because she's not sleeping very well.  (PS - Am I the only parent that develops a mild case of Tourette's when a baby gets up in the night unexpectedly? I'm working on this, I swear [wait, no more swearing...])

Plus, B is sick with a head cold too.  He's usually pretty resilient, but this cold has knocked him down.  I'm running a convalescent home over here... (full disclosure: I did get out to a friend's pool with Ivy  - she has a walking cold : )

A happy sicky!
When the routine gets knocked out of whack like this, it's hard for me to take care of myself - I don't eat right, I get casual or stop exercising, reading scriptures and praying becomes haphazard (maybe that explains the inadvertent language?), and I stay up late doing the things that I didn't have time to do during the right now.

I get so frustrated with myself that I don't keep up with these simple but essential routines.  I feel my best when I do them, but sometimes I think I ignore them when I'm stressed because I tell myself I just want to relax and have fun instead.  I want to eat handfuls of chocolate chips with peanut butter, read fun stuff, stay up late and definitely avoid the gym.

Well, that's being human.  The real question is will I keep trying to go back to those practices or will I get so angry with myself that I let that anger shame me into forming habits that harm me emotionally, physically, and spiritually?  

I say I will keep trying - keep buying fruit and eating some of it, keep telling myself to go to bed by 11:30 (that'll start tomorrow), keep setting aside time to pray and to study the scriptures.  It is worth it.

**This talk by Susan Bednar spells out how these simple things really are what give you the strength and peace you need day-to-day.  It inspires me to keep trying.  Here's a good excerpt:

"I was promised in the blessing that if I would exercise, get more sleep, eat
regular meals, have meaningful prayer morning and night, and engage in more purposeful
and consistent scripture study, I would receive the physical and spiritual tools to better
cope with my circumstances and the discouragement I was feeling. The reason I
remember this blessing so clearly is because afterwards I thought: “Doing this is going to
solve my problems?...”

I suppose you could say I was like Naaman in the Old Testament, who was sent to the
king of Israel to be healed of his leprosy but instead was told by a messenger sent by the
prophet Elisha to “wash in Jordan seven times” (2 Kings 5:10). Naaman was a bit angry
and refused to comply with the simple, prophetic injunction until his servants questioned
his motives. “And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the
prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it?” (2 Kings

I’m sure if I had been directed to do some great thing like go on a relaxing Hawaiian
cruise, or enroll in an evening art or music class, or pamper myself with a new hairdo and
a pedicure, I would have seen the wisdom in responding to that kind of inspiration. But
the small and simple steps that were required to receive the promised blessings seemed so
mundane to me.

Thankfully, humility took root. Over time I had to decide if I would continue on the path
of just going through the motions, or if I would accept and incorporate this guidance in a
more steadfast and heartfelt way, having faith that doing these things really could make a

I know by sad experience how easy it is to nudge off our plate of daily responsibilities
these small and simple things that can make such a great difference. I know as we apply
these powerful principles, the blessings come. “By small and simple things are great
things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6)."

"You can do it, Mom!"

Warning: Excessive Cuteness Ahead

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Today, it's all about indulging in shots of my beautiful 9 month old baby girl.


Ivy recently turned 9 months old.  Here are the stats:

Weight: 19 pounds 10 ounces (74th percentile)

Height: 27.5 inches  (50th percentile)

Head: 17.5 inches (68th percentile)

She loves pulling up using furniture, ledges, bathtubs, people's legs - anything! Songs, funny faces, and using her sister as a jungle gym sister entertain her.  She's a fan of spinach, sweet potato, oatmeal and blueberries, and quinoa doused with marinara.  She still cries after we put her to bed every night but usually falls asleep on her own quickly (not tonight though...ugh).  She likes bath time in the big master tub, and she enjoys scurrying away when we attempt diaper changes.  

She's a fun, fun little lady.

Even as I type this, I'm emotional because she is just such a joy and makes us so happy.  She is a miracle.  She amazes me.  I can't express what a treasure she is.  But seeing these pictures will give you an idea of what I mean ...

Seeing the blessings

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Isn't she funny?!?  She's in her stander, playing with a toy from her occupational therapist.

Caroline is such a cute muggins.  Her smile is one of my personal 7 wonders, and just when she seems unaware of what's going on around her, she surprises us with a glance that says "Hey, I have a strong opinion about this, and I will share it with you someday."

Lately, her health has been stellar.  She hasn't had to go the hospital in months, and most of her doctors see her only on a check-up basis.  

We've become so used to this stability that we've almost taken it for granted.  It took a set-back a couple weeks ago to remind us how quickly her health can change.

At first, a low-grade fever hung around for a few days.  We assumed she was simply fighting off a virus because she had no other symptoms -- how naive we've become : ).  Late at night on the fever's third day, her breathing became labored, her heart rate sped up, and she needed her O2 bumped up to almost twice the normal levels.    The pulmonologist said to bring her into the office first thing in the morning, but if she got any worse, to take her to the hospital right away.  We were scared, but prayer and a blessing helped us feel peace.

Thankfully, she didn't have to go to the hospital, and with a lot of breathing treatments and antibiotics, she improved and is healthy again (very healthy - see above taken yesterday: ).*

We love our girl, and mini-trials like this help us remember how precious she is and how much we would miss her if she had to leave us.  That's why we really try to SEE her beauty daily.  She's our little bug, and we're blessed to have her.

*C's health changes on a dime. I wrote this post a few days ago, and mid-yesterday she spiked a fever again. This sickness stems from a UTI and I guess the first round of antibiotics didn't take:(. She started more meds last night, so hopefully her body can completely fight off the infection this time. 

Celebrating the 4th with A. Lincoln

Thursday, July 4, 2013

First of all, will someone make this for me? #offtopic #notGF #SorryB

To celebrate our wonderful country (and my completion of HALF of Team of Rivals - I will finish - it's so good!), I thought I'd pass along inspiring quotes from the book to ponder today.  Enjoy.

Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us, to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it. - Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln himself recognized that humor was an essential aspect of his temperament.  He laughed, he explained, so he did not weep.  He saw laughter as the "joyous, universal evergreen of life." His stories were intended "to whistle off sadness." (pg. 103)

Lincoln's abhorrence of hurting another was born of more than simple compassion.  He possessed extraordinary empathy - the gift or curse of putting himself in the place of another, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires. (pg. 104)

Don't worry - these quotes are straight from the book.

Lincoln as described by the Chicago Press and Tribune: "Always clean, he is never fashionable; he is careless but not slovenly...In his personal habits, Mr. Lincoln is as simple as a child...his food is plain and nutritious.  He never drinks intoxicating liquors of any sort...He is not addicted to tobacco....If Mr. Lincoln is elected President, he will carry but little that is ornamental to the White House.  The country must accept his sincerity, his ability and his honesty...He may not preside at the Presidential dinners with...ease and grace...but he will not create the necessity for a congressional committee to investigate corruption in his administration." (pg. 265)

Though Lincoln desired success as fiercely as any of his rivals, he did not allow his quest for office to consume the kindness and openheartedness with which he treated supporters and rivals alike, nor alter his steady commitment to the antislavery cause. (pg. 256)

The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. - Abraham Lincoln

A Happy 4th to all and to all a good night!

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