Wednesday, December 26, 2012

First semester back completed!

Well, I've completed my first semester back to school since Audrey was born. And am happy to report my very first 4.0!!! I was really surprised that I got straight A's. My percentage in both my Math 1010 and Math 1020 classes were both one percentage below an A, but the extra credit in 1020 pushed me over the edge and there was no extra credit in 1010 so I'm really not sure why he gave me an A. One of my best friends also took that class with me and got one grade higher than her percentage stated so I think he must have done that for the students that finished all of their homework. So needless to say I was pretty happy! My other two classes were fairly easy. Art 1010 was WAAAY easy! And my communications class was just for fun and it was medium difficulty. I'm hoping that getting really good grades this semester and next will help my overall GPA so I can HOPEFULLY get into the SLCC nursing program and not have to apply too many years in a row. So, honestly, the 4.0 was earned because I've been working my butt off and trying really hard! After spring semester I will be able to actually graduate with an associates degree in general education so it will be really nice to be able to say I'm actually a college graduate.

Other than than, life is pretty uninteresting. My kids make me laugh every day (and yell too...let's not pretend that doesn't happen), Audrey says something new daily, Nate learns something new daily, and Phil teaches me something new daily. My life is challenging right now, but certainly very full!! I don't want to give the appearance that things are super awesome and my life is perfect because that's unrealistic! But I am happy with the way things are going and am grateful to be living my life!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sometimes I feel like I'm a head full of dreadlocks away from the full blown hippy stereotype. If you would have told me what I would become 5 years ago I probably would have laughed at you. I'm not really that big of a hippy, but I've really done a lot to let go of the way I perceived the right way to do things and opened my mind to a lot of possibilities over the past 5 years. 

When you choose something against the main stream like home birth, it gives you the courage to explore other aspects of life that aren't a regular part of your culture and you learn that there are many different ways to do things that may be more fitting for the goals you are trying to achieve. Parenting is really hard, but I have discovered that what makes it hard is trying to live up to these ridiculous standards that society has arbitrarily placed on us. We have this backwards idea that children have to conform to a certain behavior instead of embracing their light and freedom. We have an inherent mistrust for them that they will make mistakes and to protect them from these mistakes we have to punish them for making them. 

Let me tell you a story. I worked at Dixie Regional and IMC both in the maternity units for about 2 years each. At Dixie I flourished. I loved my job, I did a good job, I was an asset. At IMC, I hated every minute and I didn't do as good of a job. I did good enough. What was the difference? The way the managers at each place treated me. At Dixie, she trusted me and made me feel good about myself. In turn I did a good job in order to not lose that status. At IMC, I was mistrusted and put down. I didn't try as hard because what was it for? Nothing. This was all very subconscious and I didn't really notice it until after I quit. 

Parenting is exactly the same way. If your kids know that you don't trust them, they will misbehave more often, but if they know you trust them, they'll work harder to maintain that trust. I was never ever ever a rebellious kid. I never got grounded, my parents never worried about me once, and I never wanted to disappoint them. I don't think they did this consciously, I think they were very relaxed by the time I came around and also were very non-violent (I remember being spanked ONCE. That's it). 

This is why I choose an attachment parenting, non-violent, peaceful route. It's not what I grew up thinking was the way to do things, but the more I learn, the more this parenting style resonates with me. We have completely eliminated time outs, spanking is completely out of the question, and we do our best to not yell. Yes we both lose it and yell, but we always make sure to apologize after. And guess what! Parenting isn't nearly as stressful anymore. It doesn't take punishments and time outs to get your kids to behave. It takes talking to them and understanding the root of the problem. It takes humbling yourself and trying to understand your child's perspective instead of seeing how wrong they are (they're kids, of course they're wrong! But they're learning). 

Anyway, Phil and I watched this unschooling (which doesn't mean what it sounds like. It's just natural learning instead of forced) interview with Dayna Martin and Stefan Molyneux and it made us really excited about parenting and schooling. Realizing that we don't have to parent the way society tells us to and we can raise happy, healthy, self-motivated children by creating a partnership with them. You discipline your kids the same way you'd discipline your spouse and build a foundation of mutual respect. I can already see how well it works and am excited for the future. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Breastfeeding

Tonight I went to Barnes and Noble with my friend Whitney to work on our math project together. She thought I was going straight to her house first and I thought we were meeting there so I got there and had to kill some time so I thought I'd read a breastfeeding book in hopes of some weaning tips. I picked up "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" and went straight for the weaning section. I have been actively wanting to wean for over 6 months now. I originally thought "one year and if it's going well then maybe 18 months, but that's my stopping point". Well 18 months came and went and then I said "well, no longer than 2 years". A lady I know did a thesis on breastfeeding for her bachelors degree and discovered a study that said that in order for breastfeeding to really be effective in preventing breast cancer you have to do it for 2 years. So I justified doing it till at least 2 years because it made sense. Well now I'm one month over the two year mark and still don't know what the crap I'm doing! I've talked to other moms and tried to get tips. Most people who have weaned an older child said it was mostly up to the child not them. They talk about how their kids just stopped being interested. Well I'm far from that! Thats part of why I'm having such a hard time! She wants it constantly! Many people said to try to offer juice instead or food. Well I'll feed her and as soon as she's eaten a ton she still wants it! It seems like every time I sit down she takes the opportunity to come over and drive me crazy for it. Once she gets it in her head I canNOT change her mind! I try to be firm and tell her no and she never gives up. So I just do it. I know that she will leave me alone and go back to what she's doing if I just take 6 minutes (I timed it) of my time to get it over with.
So back to the point. I hoped the book would give me some good ideas on how to wean her, but instead it convinced me to not give up until she's ready. It talked about how each kid may actually need it until anywhere between age 2-7! I was shocked! It talked about the biological reasons why they need it and all these benefits that I do actually love. I'm almost a little mad at the book for making me want to keep doing it, but it reminded me of all the wonderful things breastfeeding is there for. It's an instant pain reliever (for the child), its an immune booster, it's a great tool to bargain with "if we can leave the park now you can have milk!" (you'd be surprised how well that one works!!!). The book also talked about how we quit well before the baby is ready in our culture. Everyone has their personal reasons for wanting to quit early and I'm not here to judge that (after all I only breast fed Nate for 8 months). But one big factor for wanting to quit (the biggest factor) is the fear of being judged by others. Breastfeeding opens up so much room for judgement! You're judged if you don't do it long enough and judged if you do it too long. But it was really sweet, my relief society president came over the other day and Audrey asked for it. I was really embarrassed and explained that because I work from home I've had a harder time getting her to wean and she goes "maybe she just needs it". It made me feel really good!
So now here I am still not knowing what to do and putting it off longer. I guess my hope I'm writing this is for people to understand where I'm coming from. After all we all are just doing what we think is best for our individual children. I just wish it was easier and that I had more support from my family in particular, but what can you do?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Exercising my right as an American

I've wanted to make the statements I'm about to make for a long time, but hate to be controversial. I'm not trying to sway anyone to my opinion, I guess everyone's "I voted, you HAVE to go vote too" statuses and blog posts have gotten to me in a way. So that's why I making it a blog post and not a facebook status. Limited audience=less controversy. So here it is:

I'm exercising my right as an American...to not vote. Yep. I said it. Get out your pitchforks and come at me. But trust me, this is an informed decision, not just negligence. There are many reasons why:


  • I don't buy into the propaganda that I have to vote in order to be a good citizen. That's all it is, propaganda.
  • It doesn't feel like a right to me to have to choose between two choices. Yeah yeah there are other choices, but not really. As a mom I give my kids two choices as a way to guide them into making the decisions I really want them to make. To control them in a way. I'm not going to participate in this control. I don't believe that either choices are going to really do what's best for this country so I'm not going to choose the one I think is going to a slightly less terrible job. 
  • No matter how much denial I can be in, my vote doesn't even make the slightest difference in Utah. Not even a little itty bitty bit. Local elections? Definitely. And I'll admit I dropped the ball on that one. I have too much going on in my life right now to learn about the candidates. I hope that you all make good choices in that department and am willing to suffer the consequences of not voting local. 
  • I don't trust the government at all. I'm skeptical of every little thing they do. I really appreciate the benefits of a free education (college, not public schools), and programs like the fire department etc. But I don't believe any of them are really in it for our best interest. They can be bought out of any issue. For example, the only reason you have to buy booster seats for your kids is because of car seat company lobbyists. Crash tests don't prove they're any safer past a certain point. 
  • Government is way too big now, which is exactly the opposite of what the founding fathers wanted for us and I don't believe that any of them are actually going to make a change in that department. They all say that they will make government smaller, but they're in over their heads. It's just not gonna happen till it gets so big that it collapses. (This is more of a statement than a reason I'm not voting). 
Honestly, my list goes on and on, but I really don't want to start a big debate. Why? Because I don't care. Debating is not going to change anyone's opinion. It's certainly not going to change mine, it's not going to change yours, it just is what it is. I guess you can blame it on my college politics class (that was totally paid for by government money haha) that tainted my view of government. And to be completely honest, I don't feel like I'm 100% informed. It's nearly impossible to get pure information on politics. So much bias and misinformation. It all makes me want to vomit. 

So basically, I have no faith in a president's abilities. I don't think it's completely their fault at all. It's the system. People put WAY too much blame and responsibility on the president's shoulders when really you must remember they have an entire administration. Anyone that WANTS that has to be clinically insane. Which is most likely what both candidates are! 

Lastly, I've heard the phrase "if you don't vote you can't complain" in the past (not recently considering the only person that knows I'm not going to vote is Phil...and now you), but that's not true. I made a decision not to choose either :D so I can complain if I want. I'm not that kind of person though. To complain. The people who's team loses are the complainers. Far worse than non-voting me (ps I did vote in the last election btw). Plus all of the complainers have thoroughly convinced me that either choice is absolutely horrifying! 

So there you have it. I'm not voting. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Blues

This is the first time in a week that my work has been slow enough that I could take some time off. This hurricane hit us in more ways that one. I feel like it hit our house directly because of what a disaster zone it is in here. Turns out working full time and having to work mandatory over time will cause your house to explode from the inside. Ours wasn't hit by Sandy. It was hit by Hurricane Nathan and Audrey.

Unfortunately the hurricane hit our loved ones for real. The only family Phil has that doesn't live in New Jersey is his mom and his brother (ok he has two cousins that live in New England. Close enough). So everyone else was affected in some way or another. They all lost power at some point, had trees fall in their yards, and worst of all, his dad's apartment complex was covered in 1 foot of mud, then condemned and he now has 8 days to find a new place and move. Luckily, of all his family members, Neal and Teresa were the only ones displaced.

I'm truly overwhelmed with the compassion that JetBlue has for it's crew members! Not only with the people with damaged property in NY, but even the help they have provided us to allow Phil to fly out to New Jersey this week to help his dad. I have a lot of gratitude and am really proud to work for such an amazing company! When I eventually become a nurse, I will always fly JetBlue! And I encourage everyone else too. They really are the best airline!!!!

Anyway, just to give some perspective, here are some pictures to show how close to home this hurricane really it us:
The "A" is where Neal and Teresa's house is/was (Phil's dad and step mom), the teal star is his grandma's house, the purple star is his aunt's house, orange is the house he grew up in, yellow is his cousin's, green is his uncle's, the red star is where that ridiculously stupid tv show was filmed ;), and pink is where the picture below was taken at my favorite beach (Ortley)


I might post more pics later, but I have to go back to work now! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

2 years old!

In less than a week, my little baby girl is going to be 2! I love this age so much because at 2 they are mimicking so much and saying and doing cute grown up things, but they're still mini size so it's adorable. They can do annoying things and it's funny because they don't know better yet (though I could definitely do without the screaming).

At 2 Audrey:

  • Is the queen of the TV. She always chooses the shows and doesn't let anyone else. 
  • Loves to snuggle with me. 
  • Will eat anything I am eating. Today she stole three of my sushi rolls (veggie sushi) and ate half my soup. 
  • Still loves mommy milk (I'm seriously torn, I want to wean, but it's SO convenient and nice at the same time because it is the cure all for everything). 
  • Loves to dance, but doesn't dance much in dance class. Just depends on her mood. I don't push her at all because I don't want her to hate it. I want it to be a voluntary thing. So we just go and sit in the back and watch and she'll run across the room a few times with her class then come back and sit in my lap. I don't have to pay for the classes because Phil mixes all the music for the studio so I figure we'll just use this year to get her used to the idea :D
  • Talks a LOT! I can't believe I was ever worried about her speech. 
  • Makes me laugh every day. 
  • Gives the best squeezy hugs ever!
  • Knows all her body parts.
  • Can count to 3...at least. 
  • Knows most of her colors. 
  • Takes off her own diaper lots and sits on the potty, but has never gone. 
  • Is one inch short of 3 ft. Which is exactly the same height Nate was at 2 years old! She has always been a little taller than Nate's respective age was. I guess they're evening out. 
She's just my little sweetheart. 

Nate is turning into quite the imaginative 4 year old. Every day he amazes me. He can read pretty well and is starting to do simple math problems. He has been asking to see things on the computer like "I want to see the tubes inside my body" so Phil will bring up videos on youtube. He likes this show called Beakman's World that teaches kids about science and today was asking me about water vapor. I still feel like his brain is a little behind in development in some ways, but he's starting to catch up. Like he's starting to ask more why questions, but in a different way. To this day though if I ask him to look for something he won't look under things which I think is kind of the best way to describe the way his brain thinks. He can absorb a lot of information, but it's still very black and white. If he can't see the item he's looking for then it's lost. He doesn't think to look at it from a different angle if that makes sense. I am not too worried about it though, I think he will catch up. We have also been talking to him about his emotions. When he gets upset he has a bad habit of just screaming or crying so we have been talking to him more about how he is feeling and how to properly deal with his anger. He is so much fun! He is a little comedian and makes the funniest faces and is always laughing about something. He is also becoming aware of other people's feelings and doesn't like to make us upset. 

He did the CUTEST thing the other day. We were sitting on the porch and he was making Audrey laugh and it was making him laugh. After a few minutes he just stopped and hugged her and held her. It was SO precious! One of those moments I don't want to forget. They really are the best of friends. They don't fight very much because there's not a lot of competition. They have different interests and personalities and always seem to get along (not 100% of the time, but what pair of siblings does that?? :D). 

Seriously, I have the best kids in the world. I wouldn't trade them for anything. They make life worth living!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Soooooo busy!

It has been a while since I have blogged because of a combination of things: 1-I need to post pictures from our NJ vacation and naturally that will take me forever to get around to because I have to use the big computer to do that, and 2-right after the NJ vacation I started school. I'm somewhat in the writing mood so here is a quick update:

I started school a few weeks ago. I'm taking 3 online classes (Interpersonal Communication, Exploring Art, and Math 1010) and one regular class (Math 1020). It's a little strange to take 2 math classes especially because I hate math so much, but I had to do it this way to get things done in the time that I wanted to. My online math class is actually really great. I like this setting SOOOOO much more than a classroom because I can do it all at my own pace. I can't stand to sit there and listen to the teacher talk about the most boring subject in the world. Instead I look at the examples in the book, or go to www.khanacademy.com and watch the videos. I really like the way the guy on that website teaches and he has such a pleasant voice. The class takes WAY less time than going to a physical class ever would. Plus I'm taking it with my bestfriend/life buddy (haha still love that term) so we teach each other how to do certain things and also motivate each other to learn the material correctly and get good grades on the homework/quizzes. It's so much better than my medical math class. He moves at a really slow pace, people ask stupid questions, and it's just super annoying. Thinking about it (totally coincidental), this is exactly why we want to home school. I took a math class in college that I had to physically go to. Completely failed it because I hated going and skipped it a lot. Never understood anything from the class at all. Now that I'm doing it at my own pace I feel like I'm understanding it WAAAAAY more. Not to mention you are forced to actually do the homework instead of copying down the answers from the back of the book and it tells you instantly whether you did it right or not.  I want to integrate a mixture of home school and traditional school into my kids lives somehow because I do want them to excel in college, but I truly and honestly believe that they can learn way more by doing home school and I'll always stand by that.

I haven't talked about home school much lately because of how rude people can get about it. I have absolutely no idea why people give a crap, but for some reason, they do. But if you ever feel the urge to judge another parent remember this exact statement: they are trying to do the very best for their kids with all the knowledge they have!  Got it? I know I have fallen into the judgmental trap. Dangit I still constantly find myself in that stupid trap. Because parenting is the absolute most difficult thing you will ever have to do ever ever ever and everyone tries to do an amazing job, and at some point they fail at something whether it's inadvertent or knowingly. Take me for example: I would LOVE it if I never yelled at my kids, but I fail all the time! It's so easy to point out other's mistakes. But we all make them or will make them. So with homeschooling, I want to do it because I have studied a lot about it and truly feel like it is the best thing for my kids. If I end up with awkward kids, fine, whatever. They'll be smart happy awkward kids! haha! That's my goal. Happiness. Whatever it takes to make my kids reach that goal is what I will do. Nothing I ever do will be the exact right thing to do...just trying to do what is most right to me. Anyway, Whitney and I have already started to home school. We get them together and teach them things. Nate has been really into math lately. He wants to do math problems like mommy does and he even writes the numbers. He's absolutely fantastic at reading and does it all the time everywhere we go. And did I push him to do those things? Nope. It's just what he wanted to do. Because he wanted to do it, he's done better than if I would have forced him to. Audrey has been counting a lot lately and trying to learn colors. I haven't spent as much time trying to teach her those things as I did with Nate, but that tends to happen with the second more unfortunately. I've been working on it a ton lately though now that she is talking up a storm.

Anyway Phil's mom moved here this week. She has been looking for a house which is exhausting, but she likes to babysit a lot so that makes things nice! Once she finds a house things will get better. There's not a lot out there right now. We have realized how absolutely lucky we were to get our house when we did. Kind of crazy!

Ok I'm getting tired now and I'm afraid none of this is coherent so I will update again soon :D

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Life Buddy

I've coined a new term and wanted to elaborate here on what this term means. Just think of my blog, temporarily, as webster, or wikipedia.

Life Buddy

A life buddy is similar to a life partner or life companion, but without the implications that it is a romantic relationship. So in order to make it non-sexual, the term buddy is therefore used.

A life buddy is someone who is literally going through the exact same things as you in nearly every way imaginable. So you get to go through life experiencing the same things at the same time.

In order to be a life buddy, you need to have at least 3 major parts of your life be the same. Any more than that just makes that life buddy that much more special.

Some major things:

-same desired career
-same goals
-your children are the same age
-you are the same age (though this is not necessary, it can make a difference if you have kids the same age for example. If you are a teen mom, then that means you went through that together, if you're an advanced maternal age, then that means you did that together, etc. It depends on the other life events)
-respective husbands/wives are the same/similar
-similar family life (eg, if you both have a crazy mother-in-law, a crazy sister, gay brother, lots of nieces/nephews, republican parents, divorced parents, drug problems...you get the point. I'm not saying I have all of these, but if they coincide with your life buddy and it's a major part of your life, it counts)
-same passions
-doing the same major things at the same time (like buying a house, graduating from college)
-similar personalities.

Your list can be whatever it needs to be that would qualify that person to be your life buddy.

A life buddy is more than just a friend, they're a sibling without the pressure/obligations, they're like a spouse, but without the pressure/obligations/sex, they're a mentor, a teacher, a student, a helpful person that improves your life.


Life buddies are hard to come by. If you're lucky enough to have come across one in your life, thank your lucky stars and praise your God above! Because coming across one requires a lot of coincidence and chance. I hope that everyone can find a life buddy to make their life fun and worthwhile! :D

Friday, August 10, 2012

Napa California

Phil's mom temporarily lives in Napa, CA. She's trying to move back to SLC. She moved there for school and now she is finished. But we're glad we got the opportunity to drive out there and visit while we had the chance.

We decided to drive. The flights were too full right now and it's a lot easier to drive anyway. We would have had to take connecting flights and it wouldn't have been worth the stress. The drive really wasn't too bad. We like road trips. We have a sentence game we play where we go back and forth and can only say one word at a time and make really bizarre sentences. It's way fun!

We stopped at a rest stop in the salt flats. They wanted to run around like crazy. Audrey found a salt rock. That's what's in her hand. I got more pictures of this, but only had my phone camera and don't feel like sending them all to my email. I miss my iphone!

We left late Thursday night and got there early Friday morning. Slept all morning then went swimming. Audrey goes CRAZY in swimming pools. Holy crap! She was jumping out of my arm to get in the pool and she didn't want to just sit on the stairs. She wanted to be out in the middle of the pool. She would try to swim by herself if I'd let her! But it was reeeeeally cold and I couldn't just jump right in. The temperature in CA is alarmingly cold right now (in Nor Cal at least). Colder than here. It was really weird.

The next day we went to Armstrong Woods because Phil has never been to a redwood forest. I almost said he'd never seen a redwood tree, but his grandma took one from California and planted it in their yard years and years ago. Phil grew up in her house after she passed away so he grew up with the only redwood tree in New Jersey growing in his yard. The only other one being at his grandma's house (it was his great grandma that planted the tree).

 Ready to go!


Loved seeing all these clovers! It was my first time (that I remember)

 Looking in to the big tree

Why won't blogger let me rotate pictures? Ugh









 Colonel Armstrong Tree. It's 1400 years old!


 They have a big ampitheter. A lot of weddings have been held here. It was fun to sit and let the kids run around. 

 My first four leaf clover!

Inside a giant tree

The next day we went to the beach then ventured into San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge and ate lunch at a vegan restaurant. We tried to go to Fisherman's Warf, but it was too crowded. 


 Excitedly walking up to the water saying "beach beach beach!" (sounds more like beats), touching the water, and realizing it was too cold. I have a feeling this one will love the Jersey Shore! Nate wouldn't go near the ocean...I had to keep her from running into it full force in her clothes!





 Beach feet!













 Phil's not a big beach fan. Guess that happens when you grow up near one.

 These two, on the other hand, are big beach fans!






 Phil said I looked cute (I just threw it on my head) so I took a picture to see. ...maybe if it wasn't orange/yellow! haha

 I didn't feel like posting them all, but it took like 20 weird/random Phil face pictures to get a good normal one!

 Mom look! Sand. 

 Posing. ...?





 That binky! Nate never used one. Meh I'll cut her off it when I'm ready. I think it will be pretty soon.








 I just love Nate's face in this one :D ^^ Even though it's from the side, it's still so cute!

....He did NOT want to leave!

Golden Gate Bridge! It was so cloudy/foggy that day! It cleared up later on and burned off the clouds. This was around noon-ish

SFO!

I love these walking pictures. Plus this one ^^ shows Nate's cute new shoes! I love that style. Have for a long time and I was so excited when I found them!


I especially love this one :D


This one is just random from the drive back. I wish she would let me braid her hair when she's awake! It's so long, but she will definitely not sit still. Not even long enough for a decent pony tail! 

This one was just my favorite of these two! Had to zoom in. 

The last day obviously we drove home. It was a fun trip overall :D