Friday, May 30, 2008

I don't wanna grow up, 'cuz I'm a Toys 'R' Us kid!!

Geez Louise! Life decisions make me crazy!! Sometimes I really wish I could just be little forever. Relying on Mommy and Daddy for food, shelter, and money. The toughest decision to make is which outfit Barbie should wear today! Ah, childhood.

Well, obviously, I'm not six and life is not so simple. So we moved back home and are staying with my parents while we figure out what's going on. I can't even tell you how grateful we are to them! They do way more than they should for us! On the same hand, living in someone else's home isn't so easy. I seriously looking forward to being settled into our own place again!

So Jason has been job hunting like crazy. We've been trying to make loads of decisions. So finally we found this job with AMAZING pay and AMAZING benefits and there are just so many AMAZING things about it! It will be really hard work and Jason will be gone all the time. We'll basically get to see him on weekends and holidays. So we've been weighing whether or not it will be worth it in the long run and if we can really handle it and we feel really good about it.

We're still in the interview process, and nothing is final until it's final, but it's looking like he'll have the position. They actually invited me to all of his interviews! They are a family oriented company and want to make sure that everyone has all of the facts and is on board and committed, which I really love. I just sit quietly and listen while they talk with Jason and then if I have any questions that he might not have thought of I can speak up. It's great!

Anyway, there are several positions in five locations and we get our pick. Granted they are not glamorous locations. We won't be moving to Manhattan or LA or even Phoenix or Salt Lake! The are quite the opposite. Williston, North Dakota. Rock Springs, Wyoming. Grand Junction, Colorado. Vernal, Utah. And Farmington, New Mexico.

This will be a commitment of at least five to ten years or more...or permanent. So we've just been researching each location like crazy. So far it's pretty much sixes. They're all pretty isolated. They're all small. They all have limited housing. You're either in a cheap dump or paying a TON for a decent small apartment. We'll probably buy once we've been out there for a little while. Schools are all about even. Nothing horrible, nothing too exciting. They're all about 3-5 hours away, less than a day's drive to see family and friends for holidays and what not. Excluding North Dakota, which we've already pretty much nixed. Vernal and Rock Springs both pay a few hundred dollars more a month. They say it's because no one wants those locations. That makes me wonder why. But a few hundred more a month is a few hundred more a month. That's an extra few thousand a year we could be packing away.

Anyway, I don't know what to think. Regardless of where we go I will have to resolve myself to being happy with where we're at. I never imagined growing up, marrying and Idaho boy, and living in a podunk town in the middle of nowhere. But that seems to be where life has taken me. And so far I've been pretty happy with life! I keep reminding myself that I will be able to make friends anywhere. The church will be the same anywhere. And no matter where we go, I always have my wonderful husband and kids. So regardless of location, life will be new and exciting, terrifying, and fun!

So EVERYONE needs to chime in on our little poll! Help us out! Yous opinions have been solicited! Please share! And leave your comments, too! Tell us what you think and why! WE NEED YOU!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ranting and Raving...Stressful Day

So, loads of fun today. In the last several days, more than one person has independently stated that they thought Jack was looking a little yellow. I hadn't noticed but after the second comment, I started to see it a little. So today I finally decided I'd better take him to get checked out just in case. Jason's new job is a new company and they don't yet offer benefits, so we're without medical insurance. This probably complicated my decision making process, or at least delayed my choice to take Jack in a little. If we'd had insurance I would have gone in in a heart beat. But after watching him with no changes for a couple of days I decided I'd rather fork up the cash and be safe then have a serious health problem for my son.

I just felt sick to my stomach all morning. I spent an hour or so reading about jaundice and the possible causes and treatments, etc. online. I knew consuming too much beta carotene could cause the tinting of his skin, but as much as Jack loves carrots and such, we'd eaten mainly green veggies in the last week or so. That's just what I'd had on hand. So I started panicking myself about all the possibilities.

So anyway, our normal doctor, who I LOVE, was out of town on a conference so we were sent to the associate clinic. The doctor there was just as wonderful, aside from the one hour wait. :) But he was really good with the kids and very informative with me. He agreed that Jack looked yellow, asked a ton of questions to make sure he had all the information, explained possible scenarios, even dumbed them down for me, and was just really nice overall. By the time we were done, we were going home with a prescription for a mild ear infection, another for severe acid reflux, and an order for blood work and liver tests at the hospital. Yay!

Now, aside from Jack being slightly yellow he's been a little lethargic lately. I've attributed this to the cold that has made its home in our little family the last week and a half. Apparently that was the ear infection. My sweet baby never once tugged at his ears or complained in the slightest. He was simply a little more snuggly, and being a snuggler, I wasn't about to complain!

Then, aside from being yellow and the ear infection, I decided as long as I was there I would ask about Jack's eating habits. The boy eats RAVENOUSLY! He will eat and eat and eat, shoveling food into his mouth as if he hasn't had any in weeks at every meal and yell for more until he either throws up or we remove him from the table and distract him. It's really almost comical. I couldn't decide whether or not to be concerned and just told myself he was a big eater. And he's spit up a ton since he was a baby but was never fussy about it, so I figured it wasn't an issue. Well, although he is a healthy boy, for the amount of food he is eating, his weight gain is consistently slowing. He's actually gained less than 3 pounds in the last 5 months. However he is VERY healthy. (That sentence can be translated and read, "I'm not a bad mother, I swear!")

We also discussed that I've still been nursing. I know, I know. He's eleven months old. Was I planning to nurse him until he was in college? NO! I've actually been ready to be done for a while. Because Payson was premature she didn't nurse well and I had to stop early. I felt really guilty for it and was determined to do better the second time around. So I refused to give Jack bottles afraid he would prefer them. Then, once nursing was established and I finally offered the bottle he wouldn't take them. The last few months have been a nightmare trying to wean. He HATES formula!

So the doctor suggested that he probably has severe acid reflux and gave us a prescription. He said that if that helped to keep food down and if switching Jack to whole milk helped his appetite and weight gain, then there was nothing to worry about. However, if in the next two to three weeks there's no change, he wants to begin a series of tests to see if there's another problem.

Problem #1, the ear infection. No biggie. Picked up the antibiotics. Problem #2, weight gain/reflux/nursing. Probably pretty simple. Jack took whole milk in a sippy cup just fine tonight and I didn't have to nurse him at all. He's sleeping like a baby...I totally just typed that without even thinking that he actually is one. Ha ha! I'm dumb!

Anyway, so problem #3, the possible jaundice. So we headed to the hospital and waited for half an hour to have so much blood drawn from that sweet, tiny little arm! So awful! I wanted to cry! But Jack was a trooper. And luckily he has his dad's good veins so there were no problems getting enough blood for all the tests they wanted to run. Then we ran to the pharmacy, which was a nightmare. First, the pharmacist was off to lunch, so I waited fifteen minutes for him to return. The prescriptions were called in a couple of hours ago at that point, but he said they had come in later, so it would be five minutes to get them together. Fine. I can wait five minutes. Ten minutes later (just to be safe) I check back. A girl tells me the first guy didn't know what he w talking about and it would be at least another fifteen to twenty minutes. Fine. I've waited this long. I'm not going to drive home just to turn around and come back. So thirty five minutes and a few temper tantrums from the kids after that, I finally get the prescriptions! Ugh!

I spent the rest of the afternoon fighting back tears trying not to let my dramatic side take over and convincing myself that my son's liver wasn't failing and he wasn't going to die. I know, right? I'm seriously a little crazy like that. I was totally convinced that he must have some kind of tumor and all of his organs were going to begin shutting down one at a time and I was going to have to bury my baby boy. I'm so ridiculous. Anyway, the doctor finally calls just before I sit down to dinner to say the results of the test had come back. I'm totally wiped out and just terrified to hear it, but ready to know one way or the other.

And he's fine. All liver tests came back completely normal. No explanation for the yellowness of his skin. WEIRD! WONDERFUL! BIG sigh of relief. My baby isn't dying. I really am just over dramatic. Thanks heavens!! So now he just needs to fight of this silly little ear infection and get a little fatter and I'll have nothing to worry about! Except maybe fighting off girls for the next twenty something years!

Thanks goodness tomorrow's a new day. :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

HIGHLY Anticipated Update!!

You know how things seem to get more and more exciting as the anticipation builds and then you FINALLY get what you've been waiting for and you're completely disappointed? Well, to anyone who has possibly been waiting for our update and photos, this will probably feel the same way! :) Sorry to disappoint!

Anyway, so Baltimore was WONDERFUL! The kids, as I mentioned before, were so good on the plane! Here's my Jackster on his very first plane ride!

And Payson. She can't seem to smile normal for the camera anymore. I don't know what her deal is. P.S. She wouldn't let me put the window cover up the whole flight. I wanted to see the view, but NO! She wasn't having any of it!
Here's Jack just minutes into the flight! Perfect timing! By napping we avoided all ear issues!
The kids just after eating. Always happy with a full tummy. And of course, Payson is hamming it up the second the camera is out.THIS GADGET WAS MY SAVIOR! Payson watched dvd's on her portable dvd player for a good portion of the flight. Whoever invented thees things is a GENIUS!

This was the apartment: When you walk in the front door you see this dining area.
To the right is the family room area. I didn't take this picture when the room was clean, obviously. Also, I'm realizing more and more that either I am the world's worst photographer or my camera totally blows. I'd like to blame the camera.
The view from our balcony. I enjoyed watching everyone out the window during the day. I'm terribly voyeuristic.
Kitchen.Jack enjoying the kitchen.

Laundry area in the kitchen. Thrilling, right? I know.The kids' room. I swear to you I make beds every day. I'm really good about stuff like that. But Payson likes to ruin the bed the second I make it. Notice the mattress on the floor. The company never put furniture in our second bedroom so my cousin and her husband brought us their mattresses. Thanks, guys!
Master bedroom, prior to putting sheets and bedding on the bed. Obviously.
So, we're home now. Jason just wasn't selling and we felt like we weren't in a position to continue accumulating debt in HOPES that he would all of the sudden get it and makes millions. :) The company was wonderful, despite the nightmare stories you hear about the different options out there. We were with the number one office in the company and my cousin's husband and his cousin were really, really great managers. But we simply couldn't afford to stay. Maybe if we didn't have kids, but with those two precious extra responsibilities we just felt like we shouldn't. I can't even tell you how disappointed I was. We prayed and prayed and prayed. We felt good about our choice to go out there and as much as we wanted to say maybe we made a mistake, we couldn't. We did what we felt was right. So apparently there were some lessons we needed to learn out there. We both feel like we took away so much from our experiences in the month we spent there. I wish the right answer would have been to stay. There were too many things I love about that place. I loved living there before and I loved living there with my family now. But oh well! Life goes on and we're home now. So we'll try to figure things out here and move forward! Anyway, our last Sunday (coincidentally, Mother's Day) in Maryland we drove to DC to cram in what site seeing we could. First stop, the Museum of Natural History. Payson LOVES dinosaurs!
Payson loved chasing the pigeons. She kept asking if we could leave the museums and chase the birdies. :)
The Washington Monument
The Air and Space Museum...just before the rain came POURING down!
And this is how we spent the rest of the afternoon. It started pouring so we stayed in the car and drove to different monuments. We'd hop out and take a picture then run back to the car DRENCHED! Jason and I were having a blast and would have just played in the rain all day and seen everything, but not with the babies!They spent the rest of the site seeing like this. Pooped.

I've been to DC quite a few times, but Jason hasn't been much of anywhere, so we had to get photos of him at all the key points.So there are a few photos from our adventure to and from Maryland. We decided to drive home. When we went out, I flew with the kids and checked several suitcases on the plane and Jason drove packing the car as full as he could. That way we were able to get more out there. So driving home with the extra luggage and three extra people was an adventure! We found a roof top carrier that didn't require a roof top rack (since our car doesn't have one) and pack it as full as possible, stuffed everything we could into the car and somehow squashed everyone and everything in. Three days of driving in the most cramped conditions later and we were home. Can I just say my kids were AMAZING?! I mean, they for sure had their moments and I wanted to strap them to the roof with the luggage, but for the most part they were ANGELS! SO GOOD! I love them. So now we're home. And by home I mean living with my parents until we get settled in and find a place. Jason already started working in Salt Lake. So who knows how life will go from here. But I'm missing Maryland like crazy. I have way too many good memories there. If not for Maryland I wouldn't have my husband or beautiful kids. As cheesy as it sounds, Maryland saved my life once. It really has this incredibly special place in my heart. But that's a long story for another day.

So finally, here are some random pictures my beautiful daughter begged me to take of her today. Seriously, she's such a ham. But I couldn't love any other little girl anywhere NEAR as much!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Heading home...

Long story short, this didn't work out the way we expected. We're leaving tomorrow morning to drive back home. Yes, DRIVE! Not looking forward to it.
Stay tuned for the long version! See you all soon!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Missing Blogging!

I am really missing be able to blog and post photos whenever I feel like it! I have to admit, I'm getting a lot more done during the day though! :) It's been so beautiful and green out here and I have some gorgeous pictures of Payson playing in the blossoms that have fallen in the grass. But oh well. They'll have to wait until another day.
I have been working out like crazy out here and trying really hard to eat right. So far (in less than two weeks) I've lost 8/9 pounds (depending on where I weight myself). The last couple of days I haven't been able to drop past that. But I'm trying really hard! My cousin has been getting me to go with her to the classes at the Gold's gym out here and I LOVE THEM! They are so challenging and we go in the morning so the classes are small and we get a lot of one on one attention from the trainers. But right now my arms are weak from just typing! It's great!
Anyway, I need to go shower! Can't wait to keep in better touch with you all through blogging! Adios!