Wednesday, October 10, 2012

September and part of October

Apparently I haven't been very good at keeping up with this blog.  I have good intentions, but it doesn't happen.  Right now I find myself with 50 minutes of spare time, which has become very rare.

Okay September.  School was a huge challenge for Olivia.  She'd cry every morning when I dropped her off no matter what I said to her.  It would tear me to pieces seeing her that way, but I kept a strong face and tried to encourage her.  It eventually got to point where I had to tell her that I wasn't going to listen to the crying anymore.  That seemed to help.  What made the biggest impact was asking her what her last name is. Odd, yes, but this worked.  She told me what our last name is and I told her because of this last name we can do hard things.  She thought about it and proudly walked into her classroom, tear free, and told her teacher that she could do hard things.  We talked about this later in the day and I explained to her that some things might seem hard right now, but soon they will be easy.  We have been tear-free almost every day since!

We found out the gender of the baby in early September too.  We're having a BOY!  I'm very excited.  After having my two girls and planning on this being my last child; I really wanted a boy.  This will be the first grandson on both sides.  My mom currently has 9 granddaughters!

Olivia started swim lessons again after having a break for 2 months.  She is s-l-o-w-l-y making progress.  Coming from a girl who was afraid of getting her face wet, the progress she has done has been remarkable.

October 9-- Third week of lessons Olivia finally puts her face in the water.  She said it was amazing!

Lucia decided to potty train herself.   I'm not complaining.  Lucia is stubborn and pretty much does things on her own timetable.  One day she decided that she was going to wear panties and go potty.  I wasn't able to argue with her.  I made her a potty chart that she worked diligently to complete.  The reward was swim lessons with Olivia.  We're now starting a new chart to record the nights that she wakes up dry.  She really wants to wear panties to bed like Olivia but this will come with time.

Olivia was recognized at her horse lessons this past week.  She was their 2000th session this year and to celebrate there was cake, balloons and a bag full of goodies for her.  This week is their last session for the year.  I complain to myself every week about the hour drive (each way) but once we're there it's total bliss.  I look forward to next May when sessions begin again.

Olivia at Resolution Horse -- Their 2000th session rider this year.

Lucia and Olivia with two of the volunteers.  Patty in the blue and Terry in the brown.  They have been wonderful to work with!

Lucia started her first swim lessons this week.  She is doing really well.  She won't jump into the pool unless helped and won't put her head under the water, but this will come with time.  I was determined to start her much earlier than Olivia to hopefully get rid of the fear early.

Lucia-- first swim lessons with her teacher Amie

I have been carpooling with a lady in my apartment complex to and from school.  I take the kids to school and she picks up.  I am not a morning person but I LOVE this time in the morning with Olivia.  It's 20 minutes that we get to talk.  I'm using the time in the car to work on various things like memorization, reading, math facts, or just to talk.  On Tuesday I asked her what she wanted to talk about and she wanted to talk about the circulatory system.  She's always been fascinated with the human body.  You would think that she'd want to become a doctor in the future but her reply is a cowgirl mommy.

September was also the Brigham City Temple open house which was a very special treat for our family!

Olivia, Nicol and Lucia at the Brigham city open house.

I guess we're caught up now.  Hopefully I can stay on top of this a little better....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

School Not Going Very Well

All summer I would hear from Olivia, "When do I start Spanish school?"  She was even more excited the day that she got to meet her teacher and tour her new school.

For the past 10 years I was convinced that I would home-school my children.  I wasn't happy with the education that I received.  I wanted to find what they were passionate about and help them succeed.  When Olivia was 2 years old I started a pre-preschool with her.  She quickly picked up everything that I threw at her.  As time went on we were working on first grade reading and math.

About the time that my husband decided to return to graduate school I knew that I might not be able to home-school.  I know for some they can do it no matter where they live or the situation but I felt that between living in a much much much smaller place and trying to get pregnant and it might be too much for me.  I had severe postpartum depression after Lucia and didn't want to push my children aside.  So it was time for me to think of schools.

Public school honestly was my last option and with grad school we couldn't afford a private school.  I looked into dozens of charters school and still felt lost.  I prayed a lot and took this matter to the temple and felt strongly that Olivia needs to learn Spanish.  This is for many reasons including: it's a part of her heritage, it would be wonderful if she could talk to her grandparents, it will give her an advantage in the future, etc.

So I was off to find dual immersion schools.  My options fell from dozens of options to only 3.  One school was in a horrible area that I'm not even comfortable driving in, the second was a gifted program that she would have to test in and the last option was a charter school.

Olivia tested for the gifted program early in 2012 and we finally received the results in May.  She did WONDERFUL on the test and obviously shows that she is advanced and gifted but because they give first preference to children whose siblings are already attending the school, there wasn't room for her.

I headed to the charter school to see what I thought and fell in love with it.  It truly is a great program for her!  We applied, was accepted and Olivia was beyond excited to attend.

School started last week and today is Olivia's 7th day of school.  Friday I was told that she cried twice during school and all weekend she cried saying that she didn't want to go to school.  Monday was a holiday and therefore no school.  Tuesday morning was filled with sobs and I was informed by her teacher that she cried during school as well.  This morning was horrible wreck!  I had to dress her and literally force her to get into the car.  

I miss having Olivia home but I know that this is the best option for her.  She tells me that the day is too long (it is full day Kindergarten) and that she misses me.  Everyone that I've talked to says to send her to the public school half day program, but there will be no Spanish and she knows that material.

I feel at a loss what to do for her. I want her to be happy because this is tearing me apart, but at the same time I want her to attend this school that I worked so hard for her to attend.  I honestly think it is in her best interest.

What do I do?

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

I did it!  I sent my oldest child to school.  I really doubted that I could this.  I mean, I have been planning on homeschooling her for the past 10 years (yes she is only 5) and now I send her off into the unknown.  At least it feels that way.  Perhaps it's a bit of a control issue, but it makes me nervous that she is away from me.

With that said, she is attending a Spanish Speaking school.  No she does not speak Spanish, at least not fluently.  I think she understands quite a bit and has been exposed to it her entire life.  Now it's time for her to officially learn.

Olivia beyond excited to head to school

Olivia wants to attend school and has been counting down for months.  I hope that she keeps that enthusiasm.

Our family.  Yep, Lucy is still wearing her ballerina swimsuit.  She wants to attend Ballet School.

Olivia outside her school, waiting to line up.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012


August has been a no good month!

At the beginning of the month I went in for a regular scheduled prenatal appointment and the doctor couldn't find the baby's heartbeat with the Doppler.  He said I shouldn't be concerned since the week before I had an ultrasound and the baby was very active (seriously I have never seen a baby that active) and a super strong heartbeat.  He said the my uterus was probably tilted and the Doppler couldn't pick up the heartbeat.  He sent me home and requested that I return the following week.

Can I tell you that week was LONG and horrible!  At first I wasn't all that concerned but then as I was walking through Target to pick up a Birthday gift I walked past the maternity clothes and thought that I would take a look at them.  As I walked toward them I had a horrible thought cross my mind, "You might not be pregnant any more!"  From there it was downhill for the rest of the week.  I had one day that I simply bawled the entire day.  As the week progressed I felt better and didn't stress about it nearly as much.

I returned to the doctor the following week and he quickly found the baby's strong heartbeat.  It was such a relief!

My doctor also decided that I needed to see a neurologist asap because of the headaches.  I've never really been one to get migraines, but with the pregnancy I would get 3 to 4 auras a day without the headache.  Thankfully the neurologist said that it was just pregnancy hormones.  I really wasn't concerned about that appointment.  Not after all the stress of the previous week!

August also brought computer problems.  My laptop was acting funny and being the careful person that I am I made sure that I backed everything up on my external hard drive.  Within a few hours the laptop was dead.  I was happy that I backed everything up!  We purchased a new computer and transferred the files over.  A few weeks later we wanted to find pictures of my girls as newborns and found a nasty surprise!  Either the old laptop or the external hard drive only copied about 1/3 of our files.  I lost my pictures and videos!  That brought on another day of crying.  I have no pictures, expect for the few in scrapbooks, of my girls as newborns.  All the pictures from our trip to Venezuela were gone.  We gave the old hard drive to a neighbor in hopes that he can pull off our files.  I have hope that they are not lost!

On August 14th Olivia lost her first tooth.  (Age 5 and 5 months).  She was so proud that she pulled and twisted the tooth out all by herself.  I was proud that she did something completely out of her comfort zone.  The tooth fairy visited her that night and brought her a gold dollar coin and a sewing kit.  (Tooth Fairy will only bring a gift for the first visit).  The tooth fairy also installed a door to easily access the baby teeth.  Olivia has another loose tooth that will soon come out.

On August 15th Ed made some traditional Venezuelan food, Arepas, which Olivia LOVED!

August 17th we took the girls swimming at a local pool.  They had such fun.  Here I am 15 weeks pregnant.  (And no thanks to the PCOS that I am starting this pregnancy heavier then I've ever been, ugh!)

Lucy has had a pepper obsession lately.  She puts tons of pepper on her food and actually eats it.  I figure this is another one of her odd phases where she is seeing what she can be in control of.

Other then that, this month has been filled with us spending tons of time outside on the playground, trying to figure where things are at (I HATE MOVING!), and getting Olivia ready for school.  She starts Kindergarten on August 27th!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mighty Mind

When Olivia was about 2yrs old we received a Mighty Mind set. She would spend a good hour manuvering the pieces to fit into the spaces on the card.  I loved the logic that she had to use to figure out how to make the picture.

Today, we unpacked Mighty Mind and Lucy greatly enjoyed it.  (I should say that we have Mighty Mind as well as a similar set)  She did a fantastic job looking at what shape should be put down next.   I also found that Lucy knows nearly all of her shapes.  :)

And they are also great to use to build a fence and a playground.  Love Olivia's imagination!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Special Friend

This is Olivia and her good friend Ain (pronounced Ine).  Ain is been here visiting her aunt for the past several weeks.  We're sad to say good-bye to Ain as she heads back to South Korea in a few days.  Olivia has greatly enjoyed playing with her new friend.  It's a sad thought that these girls will probably never see each other again. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

B6 and Unisom

This pregnancy certainly has been different then my others.  With previous ones I NEVER got sick.  I mainly felt tired.  This pregnancy, I have been nauseous this entire time (12 weeks).  It really hasn't been bad but it gets to the point that I simply can't stand it anymore.  I'm not 'sick' with this nausea, but a very sick tummy.

Yesterday a neighbor told me about taking 1 B6 vitamin and 1/2 a Unisom at night and that will help with the next day nausea.  After a very sick stomach all day yesterday I decided to give it a try.  Naturally these pills are not something I typically have around and of course Ed was in class last night.  I put out a plea on facebook in hopes that a neighbor would have these pills that I could take.  Thankfully someone offered to head to the store for me.

One and a half pills later I was completely out to the world last night.  Man, I slept great!  Once morning came, I continued to sleep.  I eventually dragged myself out of bed only to doze on the couch.  I lay listening to Olivia hum 'Sweet Hour of Prayer' while coloring for an hour, and Lucy playing with Ed.  This went on until 2p.  Through this all I am grateful that Ed was home.

So perhaps the B6 and Unisom are not a good combo for me.  My stomach feels great today (a little sick after lunch) but I need to function.  With all the sleeping I've done today, hopefully I can sleep tonight.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cowgirl and the Bad Guy

This morning Olivia came in very excited that she finally finished her book or screenplay that she has been working on for a few days.  It's funny, but she wants to send her book off to the people who make DVDs (movies) for them to act it out.  I have no idea where she came up with this idea, but I give her a HUGE high five for creativity.

Now for Olivia's story:

It's a sunny day and then a large red cannon came and turned the cowgirl land to fire.

The water turned to fire but there was a green island.
I was hiding behind a rock and the bad guys didn't know I was behind the rock.
Then the bad guy captured me and there was no leaves on the tree.  Then the bad guy was killed and the trees had leaves again.
The End

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reclaim Me!

I've had a bad attitude lately.  Not only have I been blaming it on pregnancy, but to make it worse I've done nothing about it.

I certainly don't like having a bad attitude which you could also call  no motivation, depression, or even a lack of faith.  I love feeling positive and good about life!  I miss feeling that way so I'm going to do something about it.

I've known for a while that I need to make some adjustments but I am finally ready.  I am going to take baby steps to reclaim things that I love about life.  The first thing is waking up before 9:30 am.  (Gasp!  I know.  You're thinking, she doesn't get up until 9:30!  Yep, I know.  Sounds like a luxury when Ed gets up with the girls, but over time it actually begins to eat on you.)  So tomorrow I will I will get up early and I will not complain about it!  This is the first baby step in many to get me back to my organized, routine loving, outgoing, entertaining woman.

Even though things have been a little rough around here with the move (two months ago), pregnancy (11 weeks along) and Ed starting graduate school (only 1 year to go!), I have to stop feeling crumby.  I will have a better outlook on life.  I will have faith that everything will work out.  And most important I will reclaim ME!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Graduate

Today Olivia graduated from Preschool.  Oh, it made me feel so proud seeing my baby girl graduate.  She really worked hard and learned SO much.  Come on, she is reading and doing math.  She is working on a first grade level and only entering Kindergarten this fall.  I couldn't be more pleased!

The preschool that I did with Olivia is Upstart.  Upstart is available free for children in Utah.  It is also the same program as Rusty and Rosy.  If you look at the price of it the program is very pricey but VERY worth it!  I hope that I will be here so Lucy can take advantage of this great program!  A huge thanks to Utah legislature who has made it possible for some children in Utah to do this program for free!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Countdown is On!

So last night after a very emotional talk with Ed (everything is emotional right now with being pregnant), he helped me realize something.  Well actually two somethings.

First, is our LONG journey pursuing the Foreign Service.  It has always been at least 1 to 2 years out that we would have a clue if this would even be a possibility.  In my mind it seemed that it was still far off in the future and that we might not reach it.  Well Ed helped me realize that in a little over 3 months we'll know if he passes the final step.  Wow, 3 months!!  And we'll know if he is put on the register (like the job waiting list.  They go off of this when offering jobs.) after security clearance and such in roughly 6 months.  So in 6 months, I might actually know which path in life we are taking!   This made me feel so much better last night.

Second, is that this semester at the University for Ed is practically over and that means that if all goes as planned he only has 1 year of school left!  1 year!  I can totally handle 1 year!

So my countdown is on.  In 3 months we'll know if Ed passes the final step in the Foreign Service process, 6 months if he is on the FS register and about the same time I'll have a new baby, and 1 year graduation!

And for fun, here is a picture of my girls, sucking on ring pops pretending to be babies.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Passing the PN's

Before we moved, Ed received some very unexpected news that he passed the second step (PN's (Personal Narratives) which are 13 mini essays about yourself) in the Foreign Service process and has been invited to Washington DC this fall for the OA (Oral Assessment-- Day Long Interview).

I am very proud of Ed for this achievement and truly hope the best for him in October.

I have to admit, I have days where I think that if the FS (Foreign Service) doesn't work out that I would be happy about it.  I could FINALLY settle down somewhere, have my home and a huge yard with a greenhouse.  And possibly Olivia could get a horse.  I hate moving.  Although a benefit of the FS is that they move you!  Now that I could do.  But it is more than that.  It always takes me so long to make friends.  I've been here for 2 months and still feel like an outsider.  I will not say anymore because the mere thought has me in tears again.  (It's totally the pregnancy hormones.)

Then I have moments and days where I want the FS SOOO BAD!  We've been talking about the FS for the past 11 years.  We waited until Ed had his bachelors degree to even start to pursue it and now that he is starting his Masters, he's gone further in the process than ever before.

I LOVE to travel and I want to experience cultures and life outside of my sheltered life here.  I want opportunities to serve and give back to people who truly need it.  I want my children to realize how much they have and that they do not need worldly things to be happy.

When it comes down to it, whatever happens is meant to happen.  Ed and I went through a long process of studying the FS out.  We read books, emailed families in the FS, and really thought it out.  Once we had our decision, we fasted, went to the temple and finally prayed.  We are suppose to go on this journey, whether it is experiencing the process or actually living all over the world we'll wait and see.  

So until October, there is hope!  

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I have never been this nervous to announce a baby but I simply can't keep it to myself any longer.

Baby #3 due February 8, 2013

We are super excited for this baby!!

This TOTALLY explains my lack of motivation!   

Happy Independence Day!

We had a great Independence Day!

Olivia is a very traditional person, much like me.  She likes her traditions for holidays and looks forward to them.  This year she really wanted to go on a picnic.  So off to the Gilgal Garden in Salt Lake City, a hidden garden if you don't know where to look, to have lunch.

The girls picked at their food, but this is typical for them and something we're working on.

After lunch we explored this unique garden filled with rock carvings and statues.

This was our picnic location, under a weeping willow tree.

It was quiet and peaceful so I decided to lay down.  Soon enough I had two little girls in a tickle fight.

On our way home, we passed a cemetery near the University which had several deer in it.  Not being in a hurry, we stopped by to see these deer.

At home, Olivia was determined to make cupcakes.  We did this last year and she greatly enjoyed it.  You certainly can't celebrate America's Birthday (as Olivia calls it) without a birthday cake!  (Yes, those are Halloween cupcake liners.  We ran out of the Patriotic ones and had to use the Halloween.)

And naturally, you can't have cake and not eat it.  I think the girls at way too many cupcakes!

In the evening we headed to my mom's house so the girls could do pop-its and sparklers.  With all the wild fires, fireworks were banned where we live (on the mountain bench) so we had to head into the valley.

After the first sparkler, Lucy wasn't too sure about them.  Plus, to be honest they kind of make me nervous for a 2.5 yr old to do them.  Olivia did great, but Lucy I was afraid that she would burn herself.  Thankfully we got through the quick event without any injuries.

The girls really wanted to see fireworks and we really didn't want to deal with the crowds at the parks.  Our local baseball team had a game that night followed with fireworks so we headed to a neighborhood outside of the stadium to watch.

Yep, we pulled one of the seats out of the van to use.  We had a great spot to see the fireworks and not a single crowd!  It was perfect!

My lame attempt at trying to take pictures of the fireworks.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Utah Natural History Museum

Thursday was a very rainy day, but rain that was very much needed.  It seems that half of our state has been burning with the wild fires so we all welcomed the rain.  We headed to the new Natural History Museum on the University campus and thought it would be a welcomed change for us.

We arrived early and had plenty of time to explore the museum before it became too crowded.  We thought for a mere moment about going to the free day this coming Monday but since all the tickets were sold out and considering that I HATE crowds, I was willing to pay the $15 for the 4 of us to go.  I should clarify that Ed was free because he's a student and Lucy was also free since she's two.  We only paid for Olivia and I.

Exploring with Dad.

In the water section, Lucy and Olivia were 'fishing' for fish and bugs.  Lucy was terrified of the plastic bugs.  She tells me that she fears are having to kiss spiders or beetles.

Olivia loves rocks.  She has a pretty good collection at home so naturally she would explore the rocks and fossils.

In a few places there were these window floors where you can see right down into an exhibit.  This was dinosaur bones.  The girls were afraid of falling and to make it worse they were afraid of the dinosaur sounds in the background.  All of our talks about the dinosaurs being extinct did no good.

Lots of dinosaur bones.

We stopped for a lunch break at the Museum cafe.  I really didn't think the food was very good.  Lucy was super hungry and actually ate her entire sandwich and bag of carrots.  She asked for a chocolate doughnut and ate around the outside of the doughnut.

Ed examining butterflies and moths while Lucy plays with various animals puppets.  She really enjoyed the skunk and bald eagle puppets.

I'm glad that we went when it first opened.  By 2p when we left it was VERY crowded.  There were so many exhibits and things that I hope to visit often when Olivia is in school studying these things.  It's so nice to have this new and fantastic museum!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Plans -- FAIL

I had all these plans for the summer.  I wanted Olivia to continue doing school-type activities before she heads out to play, but that hasn't happened.  I even made sure that I got all of the school books unpacked and put away in a place that we could use them often.  I feel guilty that we really haven't done many school-like activities, with the exception of her online preschool, since April.  We're talking about 3 MONTHS!  I can't believe it.  First it was the move and everything was being packed, then it was unpacked and now....I don't know what the excuse is this time.  Actually I do.

I had also planned on using this move as a reset time for myself.  I was going to work on new goals and really use this time to build the home life that I want for my children.  Okay, life at home certainly isn't bad by any means, but I wanted to work on some new habits and such.

Plus, it is so tempting to be able to go out our front and only door to play with several kids and have plenty of other mommies to talk to.  There is no need to stay inside and do productive things like cook, clean or school for the girls.

I need to get myself into gear, but I'm afraid that isn't going to happen soon.

Even now I think that perhaps tomorrow I can fit in a little more reading or pull out the math books.  I know that she is only entering Kindergarten in the fall, but she is reading, doing basic math and some simple spelling.  I don't want her to forget these things and have to start all over again.  I want to keep these things fresh in her mind.  It's really not too much to ask for, right?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sprinkler Day

On Tuesday our apartment complex had a sprinkler day for the children.  They turned on the huge rainbird sprinklers that I remember from my youth, large slip 'n slides, kiddie pools and Popsicles to cool off with.

Olivia and Lucy were very excited to play in the water.  Lucy is holding onto her big sister in the long line to go down one of two slip 'n slides.  I thought it was darling how she was lovingly holding onto her big sister.

Olivia was ready to go down and found it thrilling.  She wasn't afraid at all.  Olivia tends to be on the cautious side of things so to see her being so brave was a nice change.

Lucy had one look of Olivia going down and was terrified.  Another surprise to me since Lucy is very daring!

Olivia was quickly in line to go down a second time and naturally loved it!

Ed was down the hill taking pictures and told me to grab Lucy and toss her down.  Here she is not too sure what is going on but didn't cry.

And quickly she decided that this was the funnest thing ever!

After that time down, Olivia and Lucy spent the allotted two hours standing in line and going down the slip 'n slides.  After a quick mold inspection back at the apartment (thankfully no mold!) Ed came out and joined the girls.  All three of them were sliding down with joy.  I wish that I had the camera to capture just how much fun they were having!