Thursday, January 31, 2013


**Warning: This post is mostly my venting and feeling sorry for myself. Also, it contains descriptive bodily functions. Do not read on if you care for neither.**

I think last year, around this time I had a similar post. A post having to do with how sick we all are. Besides the year both my kids were in the hospital for a week, this winter has been the worst sick winter yet. And what better place to complain about it than on my blog? I think it's best to document it so I can look back and say, "Hey it's not so bad this year...look how bad it was in 2013. Man that was rough."

First it started out with a cold. One small little cold. Thanks to the Mordor-like air in Utah, that turned into a constant cough. That cough turned into body-wracking jolts. Those jolts turned into rib-cracking, throw-up inducing heaves. Needles to say, I submitted myself to the doctor (that's when you know it's bad) and was diagnosed with inflammatory bronchitis and put on an inhaler. That inhaler has worked wonders and I'm doing much better. I still have a cough and I still am not allowed to exercise (what do you know that exacerbates it? I didn't dare tell the doctor I ran three miles while sick, he probably would have told me I deserved it. Isn't exercising supposed to help you get better faster? Ok, not all the time. But how was I supposed to know this was one of those cases?) but I am a functioning person again.

It's a good thing because both my kids have decided they want nursing to be my full time position around here. They too got the cold. Ammon's sounded like death-croup but after a few steam baths, I thought he was doing good. Until he got worse. After nights of no sleep because of his constant body-wracking, choking coughs, I dragged him to the doctor because I was afraid he had bronchitis too. Luckily, he was diagnosed with only a viral infection and I was told he'd be better soon. I'm still waiting for his snot faucet in the middle of his face to turn off and his coughs to go away, but it has subdued somewhat.

Lydia. Oh Lydia. It all started with a rash the shape of Africa over the ride side of her chest. It was big, and red, and bumpy. We circled it with marker to make sure it didn't get bigger, otherwise we were going to take her in. It got a little bit bigger but then slowly went away. It was the weirdest thing ever. Then the diarrhea hit. It was so bad that my girl who has had like five accidents total, including during potty training week, was reduced to wearing pull-ups because she just couldn't get control. Poor thing. She too had a cough and runny nose. Then the projectile puke begin. I swear, she wouldn't drink or eat a thing and yet she'd find SO much stuff to puke up. Every day. All day. She also developed another rash that would show up in weird places on her body, disappear, and then show up somewhere else. Then she started crying because her ear hurt. So I dragged her to the doctor too. Yep, ear infection. And she has lost so much weight from not keeping anything in her, that she doesn't even weigh two pounds more than what she did a year ago. The on-call doctor we saw was worried enough about her that he had her regular doctor call to check up the next day, and told me to bring her in two days later if things didn't start getting better. Luckily, the antibiotics stayed down and she seems to be improving. Please oh please, let her be improving.

Just when I thought we would make it, Ammon cried ALL day today. All day. I was about to lose it. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, but I knew something was up when he wouldn't touch his crackers at lunch. If the boy who eats everything didn't want CRACKERS then something was wrong. I put him down for his nap early and he want right to sleep, also weird. Then at dinner he was eating one saltine (we're having a lot of chicken noodle soup and saltines around here) and projectile vomited everywhere. I swear I don't know where it all comes from when they haven't hardly been eating. Ah, now it was all clear. He's got the stomach bug from Lydia. No wonder his diaper was all diarrhea this morning. Now to look forward to four days of barfing from my boy. The poor kid laid un-moving on the couch all night watching Baby Einstein movies (seriously those movies are genius!), and usually that boy will not hold still to save his life. That's how bad he feels.

So we've got bronchitis, viral infections, ear infections, puking and diarrhea and strange rashes. All going on at once. Do you understand why I'm venting?

Brigham seems to remain unscathed. Probably because he's either never home, or shut up doing homework. I'm glad because he doesn't have time to be sick, and he's relieved of all this madness. Needless to say, I'm tired. I'm tired of being sick and having to take care of sick kids. I'm tired of being stuck at home bored out of my mind with sick kids. I'm tired of seeing my kids so miserable. And I'm just plain sick of being sick around here! There's nothing so draining as sick toddlers, especially when you're sick yourself and your one stress outlet of exercise is taken away from you (though I cheated a bit today). Winter bites! I've never been so glad to see January pass by and be that much closer to ending the flu season.

I was posting about this on Facebook, pathetically looking for sympathy and help keeping this from ever happening again and here are some great ideas I got. Maybe a few people would like to experiment and tell me if they work.

When asking how to keep my kids from getting sick during winter it was suggested that I keep both my kids in a plastic bubble.

Effective, but unrealistic.

Feed them kefir (a health food that I actually might try).

Looks gross, and I'd have to go to a lot of trouble to make it, but it's supposed to be great.

Or put them in 24/7 quarantine with 90% ethanol baths twice a day.

24/7 quarantine would be unbearable, I know because that's where we are now, and Ethanol baths = death baths

Hmm, interesting methods, but I might just get desperate enough to try them if things continue on as they are. So there you go. My yearly winter madness blog about my sickness woes. Probably first world problems, but they are indeed grievous to me.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Picture Panic

Over Christmas break, my family had some impromtu pictures taken before my brother's Eagle Court of Honor. Katrina had her new fancy camera and her fabulous photography skills and my Mom ushered us all into coordinated colors and here's what happened:

We actually got some decent family pictures! The one above isn't the greatest because of Ammon not looking, but the one below is probably one of the best ones we've ever had taken. Do you know how hard it is to get a group this big all looking at the camera AND smiling? It's exhausting. If only Scottie weren't missing, it would be perfect.

Oh man I love my family. These pictures make me smile. And despite the hassle to get us all in semi-similar outfits and working with what we had, I really like the way the colors turned out.

My mom also wanted some pictures of the her grandkids. We did the best we could with backgrounds at a church but we ended up getting some pretty cute ones.

And I think this one is pretty cute:

We also got a good picture of my parents:

We let the kids take a break because they were getting pictured-out and let them run around the gym. Katrina got some really cute candid shots.

Ammon love, love LOVES balls. And he's always got his tongue hanging out too when he's concentrating. 

I think he's going to have a pretty decent arm.

Lydia enjoys some basketball as well, but she also really loves singing and reading.

Then we tried again to get some grandparent shots, but that meant taking balls away from little boys. Which means: it didn't work out so great.

Oh how I love Grandma! I don't care if Ammon is trying not to cry, I'll love this picture forever.

We finally had to relent and let Ammon hold a ball so he would hold still instead of flail around screaming. Makes me mad. I wanted a good picture of my kids with my parents. It's not horrible, but I hate that volley ball in it.

Then we had a few more candids while waiting for Kenny's Eagle Court of Honor to begin.

Apparently, when I was playing the piano for a bit, Lydia decided to lead the music. 

What a cute girl!

And what handsome men I have in my life.

Thanks Katrina for the pictures, I love them. Better than anything I could have taken. And congrats Kenny on your Eagle!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Welcome New Car, Congrats Sadie, and Happy Birthday Ammon

My little monster man just turned two! Part of me can't believe that he's only two and the other part can't believe he's already two! He's my baby! A baby isn't two!!! Sigh. It was sort of a bittersweet day for me because I couldn't believe that he was so big, and yet I was so proud of how far he's come at the same time.

The first half of the day was a whirlwind because we actually were out all day buying a new car. So happy birthday Ammon, you get a brand new Honda Pilot! Well it's not brand new, but it is to us. We've been in need of a new car since Brigham's car is on its last tire (seriously) and we've been looking for something that we can grow into in the years to come. So after much research and deliberation and changing my mind 800 times, we settled on this beauty:

It was really hard for me to fork out the money and Brigham teases me because I literally changed my mind ten different times that day and had him walking in and out over and over at the dealer (what a good man) and I cried, and I was excited, and I was stressed, and I was ready, and I threw fits, and I was resolved...and everything in between. But it's done. And the more I drive it, the more I love it. And no Caitlin, I'm not pregnant :)

So all day was taken up with looking at different Pilot options, settling on this one, and buying it. My poor kids didn't even get lunch we were so busy. No lunch for the birthday boy. However, we later gorged at Olive Garden to celebrate Ammon's birthday and Sadie's mission call to Australia (congrats girl!) with my brother, his wife, and my sister.

Then we went back to the house, Ammon changed to more comfortable clothes,

opened presents,

and played with his new ball (best present ever, he's obsessed),

enjoyed being sung to,

refused to help blow out candles,

thought Mommy was funny blowing out candles,

and then stuffed his face with DELICIOUS cake. Recipe found here. Seriously, it's good.

So Ammon's birthday was an interesting day. Perfect for an interesting boy. I'm grateful that despite all his weird health issues, he's still been a strong healthy boy. Sure he might have had diarrhea for the last three months that still won't go away (bet you're glad you aren't changing his six diapers a day), but he's still growing strong and jumped to 90% in height, and 75% in weight and head size. We'll get his body figured out someday.

He's a happy boy that makes us all laugh. He usually has his tongue hanging out of his mouth. He's a stubborn boy and super smart. He's not a talker, but that doesn't mean he's not vocal and he sure lets you know what he wants. In between the mischief he's getting into, he's finally saying some words and animal sounds. He makes me laugh when I try to get him to say something and he just babbles off random sounds lazily hoping it will suffice. He tortures his sister, and yet copies her every move. Oh yeah, and he's handsome too :)

Happy Birthday my boy! I love you!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012 Literature Review

If you know anything about me, you probably know how much I love to read. In fact, on Pinterest you will be able to see that many of the things I pin that describe me are as follows:

(and I would be gorgeous like Belle too which wouldn't hurt. Best Disney movie of all time)

Seriously, I would be.

Nothing like the weight of a book in your hands and being able to turn the page to reveal the next part of the story. Though, sometimes when it's cold at night and my arm is warm under the covers, I wish I could say a spell like Harry Potter so the page would just turn for me so I wouldn't have to take my arm out from under the covers and freeze for a couple seconds. But that's just a first world problem for you.

This one is just funny. (And props to you if you know what book this picture comes from. My all-time favorite author growing up)

Anyways, I keep track of all the books I read on, a fantastic website that helps me keep organized, rate books, see what my friends are reading, and review and comment on other's reviews. I love it! You can also set a goal each year for the number of books you want to read. For 2012 my goal was to read eighty books but I didn't quite meet the goal and finished with seventy-five total read books for 2012. My goal for 2013 is once again eighty since I didn't make it last year. I don't really push to meet this goal - it's not that important to me - I just like to see about how close I get.

The point of all this (anything book related I probably could talk/write hours on, so sorry) is that I wanted to review a few of my five-star reads from this last year. It takes a lot for me to really love a book since I read so many, so if I give something five stars, it's going to be good.

The first couple were true stories and were SO inspirational. I recommend them for everyone. The first one is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

The story is actually about what happened to Corrie as she risked her life to help Jews during World War II and what happened to her when she was caught and sent to a concentration camp with her sister. Most people have already read this book because it is older, but I hadn't. I started it when I was a teenager, but the first couple chapters were hard for me to get into so I didn't get far. Well when I tried again, I couldn't believe I had waited so long. The faith, love, and hope of Corrie and her sister is so inspirational that I cried, I resolved to be better, I prayed, and I thanked these people for their example of true faith. It's truly amazing.

The second book is also a true story that inspired me for the better. Same Kind of Different As Me is about a modern-day slave after he is grown and run off and has been to prison for doing horrible things and is now homeless and feared by most people, and what happens when one tiny lady shows unconditional love for him and teaches her husband to do the same. It goes to show how far love and compassion go to heal lives of others. After this book, I just wanted to go save the world and tell everybody how special they are and work on my Christ-like love. It's a very humbling book and another true example of great people out in this world that do so much good for others with their charity and love.

The next books are more entertainment-type books than inspirational. First of all, I am a huge fan of the movie and book I Am Number Four, and I got to read the second book in the serious this past year: The Power of Six. This book is probably my favorite in the series (there are three now). It's hard to say too much about it if you aren't familiar with the story line, so I'll just say go read the first one and then this one. It's intense, and I knew it was good when I couldn't stop thinking about it even after I finished reading it. Read 'em. They're good!

I also really loved starting the Matched series. Probably because it reminds me a lot of Hunger Games (my favorite series ever), but instead of physical limitations, it dwells more on words, free expression, and choice limitations. There are beautiful passages in this novel and it also had me thinking about what life would really be like if our society is the same as in the book's. I can't wait to read the third one that just came out.

And last but not least, I loved The Name in The Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicles #1).  I'll just copy and past my review of this one becuase it pretty much says it all: Boy did I love this book. I was sad when it was over and found myself hurrying to finish up tasks so I could get back to the story, and then sad when I realized I had already finished reading it. I found it has a similar outline to Harry Potter, except more adult, medieval, and less wizard-y. Definitely an epic novel in length and quality. And while it's the first in the series, the book wrapped up enough that you aren't dying, but are excited enough to look forward to the next one. 

I could never quite put my finger on why I loved it so much, I just know that I did. Unfortunately, my mom read the second one and she says it's no good. I haven't read it yet, so we'll see. I'll be very disappointed if it's as bad as she says.

So there's the majority of my five-star books of 2012. I'm excited to see what great reads I find in 2013. In fact it makes me giddy with excitement. I know I'm crazy, but every time I come out of the library with my bag full of books, I feel like I've won the lottery. But hey, at least it's a cheap form of happiness :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Calling Friends and Family

Well folks, I gained some weight during my Christmas vacation. To be expected, but not welcomed at the same time. Not only that but I've been in a rut for awhile with my eating. My self control has took a serious plummet.

After talking with my family and finding that we had some common problems and that we all wished we could help each other, we decided to set up a healthy living blog. While some of us want to lose weight and some of us want to eat better, or some just want to help support others, now we have a way to do it even though we don't see each other everyday.

The blog I set up will be a great way to do this. Because everyone will be different in their goals, it will be simple and easy and a great way to just try to be more healthy. I'm excited to join with my friends and family in working together towards better health. My mom did a similar blog like this before and said that it really helped her and she really liked it. So she inspired the idea and I put it together with her help.

So any one of my friends or family that want to join and participate in this blog, send me your gmail address and I will add you. We are starting Monday and going private so get me your info and join us on living more healthy.

I'm super excited! If you want to just check it out before we begin, just look up and see what's going on. Please don't be afraid and join us. I love helping others try to be better and getting tips and support in being better myself.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Collage Overload

It's already the new year so I figured I'd better get around to my Christmas post. Of course, I have a billion pictures so prepare yourself. At least I condensed most of them to collages so it's not quite so overwhelming.

One of the first things we did in Washington was go see the Christmas lights at the Botanical Gardens. Only my Mom and I really wanted to go so we thought it would be just us and the kids, but we ended up with almost the whole group together.

I love the lights here! They make flowers and other garden-type things out of Christmas lights. They also have an aquarium display where fish are made out of lights.

We had a great time this year!

Next on the agenda was baking day! We make lots of goodies to give away and eat.

As you can see Ammon's contribution was staying out of our way with a sucker. He kept trying to mooch EVERY SINGLE THING. So we gave him something to keep him occupied so we could bake without whining.

We ended up with a decent amount of goods. And they were delicious.

We always make the gingerbread house on baking day too. I'm usually put in charge of the gingerbread house, and assigning the kids a side, and helping with frosting. Luckily, that means I usually get to help decorate too. I think I'm the only adult that actually wants to decorate and that's why I get put in for me :) Here's a picture of each of us with the side that we decorated.

I was "helping" Ammon decorate his side (which means I pretty much did it all and he just sat and ate candy). And Sadie helped Lydia. Ryan and Kayleen did their own.

Another thing I was assigned this year was costume manager for the Nativity re-enactment. Last year we had some pretty crazy costumes and this year we had guests coming over, so I guess my parents wanted more realistic looks. Therefore all costumes had to pass through me before they got the go-ahead. That doesn't mean that we didn't have some fun when we pulled out the costume box.

Kenny and had a little too much fun, and Kayleen liked sitting on the couch in her mask. And Lydia always loves some dress-up.

Don't worry I was forced to be responsible so our Nativity turned out pretty fantastic on Christmas Eve.

If you notice I was a wise-men women with Kenny and Brigham, Sadie was Herod complete with a lion draped around her shoulders, Kyle and Katrina were Mary and Joseph with Brigham doubling as the innkeeper, Sadie also doubled as a shepherd with Kayleen and Lydia, and Ammon was the older baby Jesus when the Wise-men came and bestowed gifts. We're politically correct like that :) My dad narrated and not pictured here were Kenny as the angel who appeared to Mary and Joseph (he had to memorize crazy long parts), and Ryan who was the angel who appeared to the shepherds (he also played Away in a Manger on the piano).

After the Nativity, we enjoyed a birthday ice-cream cake that my Grandma Busby bought for Jesus' birthday

What no one expected was that the frosting stained everything it touched. Including lips and teeth. I must say we laughed at each other's blue mouths the rest of the night. I was just happy that it matched my earrings and shirt. I wanted to look nice for company after all.

Christmas morning was wonderful. I had been stressing because Lydia kept asking for a princess computer for Christmas and that was one thing I wasn't going to get her. I had asked her if she would rather have a pillow pet (since that is what I DID get her) but she said she just wanted a princess computer. However, Christmas morning the very first thing she did was pop up in her bed and randomly say (all squeaky since she has been sick and lost her voice), "Mom, I decided I don't want a princess computer, I want a pillow pet instead. I changed my mind."

I couldn't stop laughing because it was so random and so funny. We hadn't talked about it in ages. Well she did get her pillow pet. And she loves it! So much in fact that when she fell off the piano bench, instead of worrying about getting hurt, she cried because she dropped her pillow pet in the fall.

Everyone had a great Christmas and I love opening presents with my family!!

Ammon was a bit cranky all Christmas because he was tired. I expected it because that's generally what toddlers do on Christmas morning, for some reason.

There was also a hit gift for Ammon that everyone laughed at. It was a dinosaur hat from his Aunt Kayleen that she personally picked out for him at the dollar store. He personally doesn't like it, but I LOVE it on him (mostly because I'm a mean mom and I like to laugh at him) so I try to make him keep it on as much as possible. It resulted in a few tantrums.

How could you not like that hat? I especially love him with his new spiderman slippers, that he loves, and hat together. It's the essence of little-boy.

So there's our Christmas. We've a great time trying out everyone's new games and movies and toys. Sadly, I return in a couple days but happily, it's after a great vacation and getting spoiled rotten. I loved celebrating Christ's birthday and I'm grateful for the true and everlasting gifts that I have from Him. I hope everyone's Christmas was wonderful too!