Welcome to Our Blog! These are the stories of our crazy busy lives. We're an east coast met west coast stuck in the middle family who loves to cook, play games, and just have fun. We love our little boys, Jarhead and Lego! Enjoy and Leave us Comments!



i'm frustated. i'm not going to post about everything right now because it'd be a lot of complaining. however, i will say that after driving an hour and a half home thinking our power was back on, looking forward to sleeping in our bed, it really would have been nice. it is frustrating to look around and see that the lights in the buildings around us were on and keeping those families warm. so we turned around, drove an hour and a half back to grams. at least we have a warm place to sleep.
i sure hope it's back on tomorrow. i'll post when i have more happy energy.


Home with my Boys

I said in my last post that i didn't really post about the private things in my life to often. I thought about why I don't since I put up the last post. i really didn't want it to sound like a "woe is me" kind of a thing. Things have been hard but I really didn't want people to think I was just trying to complain about my lot in life. However, since posting, I have felt free. More free than I have in a long time. When it was just the craziness of the birth and Jarhead's surgery I was able to tell a few friends and family and felt "unstressed" enough to have a few people to talk about it too... However, once all of these other things started happening, it didn't seem like enough. I wanted people that would just ask "how are you?" to know that at that very moment, I wasn't doing okay.. I didn't want to say great- I wanted to say, I'm doing okay or I'm doing better. i can do that now and I'm glad. i can post on facebook a bit of my frustration. I was able to post my excitement of coming home to my boys. I was able to post about being excited to eat real food again...
Another wonderful thing- people have been able to help. Those in our ward have been wonderful- beyond what words can even express. They brought us meals after Jarhead came home and will bring us meals the rest of this week too. They have sent emails, called, posted on my facebook, and let me know they were thinking and praying for me and my little family. Other friends did the same- those close and those far, those I talk to often and those i haven't spoken to in a while...Our Heavenly Father speaks through his servants and I have felt that love through so many people.
My mom has also been so wonderful. She came last week on Tuesday morning to help the day of my surgery and was going to leave Thurs. She willingly stayed- feeding, changing, bathing, and in general taking care of my baby. She helped Mr. Clean clean the house and take care of things while I was gone and while he came to visit me. Mr. Clean's family offered to fly out to help if needed. My family truly is the best that I can ask for.

I came home yesterday. I loved coming home. i loved the smell of my house, the feel of my furniture, the sight of my little Jarhead. I loved being able to hold him, to feed him, to just watch him sleep. I can sit on my couch, sleep in my bed, cuddle with Mr. Clean, eat what and when I want. I don't feel wonderful yet. i still feel a little sick and I'm really sore from being so tense but i'm home and that's what matters. i'm sure i'll get better- a day at a time... i just need to be patient and eat good mild foods until then. but one day soon i'll be able to have a pizza, or chicken wings, or chips and queso. i'm crossing my fingers that day will be the super bowl since we will be having a TON of super yummy food- but it may just be that I get a bite or 2 of eac yummy thing that day. I guess we'll see.

Now that i'm home, I'll start taking more pictures of Jarhead. Here are his first 5 week photos. Since I was in the hospital, i'll do his 6 week one today and you'll get to see it soon :)


Happily Ever After

Well, orginally, I wasn't going to post about everything that is going on in our lives but I decided that I really need to clear my head- vent a little- and get it all out in the open.

At my appointment before Jarhead was born, my doctor suggested that I have a induction that Thursday so that the baby wouldn't be to big and because it would be easier for me since I was already overdue. i assumed this meant that she would be my doctor (i go to a group practice)... Well, on Monday, and Tuesday, there was still "no room in the inn". On Wed they called around 4p and said they found room and to come in at 10p. I never planned to be induced but I was so pregnant, so sick, and so ready for Jarhead to come into the world. So, in I went on Wed night to start what would be the most uncomfortable few days ever... They told me that another doctor was on call, but I thought since my doctor was the one who wanted me to come in, i might still be seeing her.. But that was not the case, I was stuck with one of the doctor's i didn't like...By Thurs, I still hadn't progressed much and I had hit my pain point so i opted for the epidural. It felt wonderful. Although, they messed up the first time and i had to get it again, having it during 1 minute contractions was tough to stay in the position they wanted me in and to not squirm. 2nd thing that happened that I hadn't planned on. I guess I knew that the birth wouldn't go as planned but I didn't think it would go that different. Then, Friday came and I was finally at a 10 and was allowed to start pushing. After a few long hours, all that was happening was the coning of Jarhead's head.. So, the doctor said I was to go in for a c- section. i didnt want to argue. i was tired, I wanted to believe she was telling me to do this for my health and my baby's health and not for her convenience. I'll never really know for sure tho. so- in i went, just another thing to add to the list of the unplanned.

after jarhead was born, he was a beauty. he was so handsome with his chubby cheeks and smooth skin. he truely was an angel that had been given to us. i didn't mind when he wimpered in the night because i knew it meant i'd get to hold him. i loved just looking at him and his deep blue eyes and brown hair. he was truly right from God, given to us at this time to raise and to love. He was/is perfect. By Saturday night though, things weren't going as perfectly when they had to take him for a few tests and found that he had a blockage by his bum. It would require surgery. So, he and Mr.Clean went to The Children's Hospital while i stayed up at HCH. It was horrible being away from my baby and my hubby so soon. At least my family was there, mom and gram stayed with me and dad with mr. clean. I got out on mon and went home to shower because I knew I wouldn't be home for a while and then I went to CH. There we waited with Jarehead until they let us take him home on Wed. it was 5 of the longest days of our lives. he needed to be bottle fed mostly at the hospital although they let me start BF before he came home. he didn't really like that idea. at least he switched to the BM pretty easily and didn't get attached to the formula.
Coming home was tough, exciting but tough. We were so stressed from everything that had happened earlier that week. Then he came home and he wasn't sleeping or eating well didn't make things much better. at his first appt that Friday, they said he wasn't gaining enough weight. We wanted to stick with nursing but as I paid more attention, we realized he wasn't really eating but just chilling there nibbling for an hour and a half or so. We switched the the bottle but stuck with the breast milk. So I began the crazy schedule of pumping and feeding. BUSY! Jarehead turned into a new boy when we switched to the bottle. it wasn't an easy decision and Mr. Clean let me make it on my own although he was thinking we should switch. i didn't want to and i cried when i made the decision. but in the end- it's not about me, it's about my little man and if he's happier and healthier with the bottle then I should be too. Jarhead is now gaining the weight that he should be and he's so much happier now. I don't feel like a failure, I tried and I dont feel like I gave up. I just changed my route and did what needed to be done for my baby to succeed. Pumping FT allowed me to build up a good supply so that when all of this stuff happened with my body, we didn't have to switch right to formula and could still use my supply.

so really, everything that i had planned had changed and change is tough but i was adapting best I could and pressing forward, trying not to become frustrated with the "unplanned-ness" of so many things.

a few times during my pregnancy, i experienced the worst pain that i ever have in my entire life. a true "10" on the hospital scale of "how do you feel?" I assumed they were gas pains and part of the pregnancy and when I went to the ER the first time, they said that was probably it and so I just sucked it up. On 12.27, it came again but the usual things to help it go away didn't help this time and after about 5 hours we went to the ER. after waiting about 1.5 hours in the waiting room, the pain went away and so we came home. Mr.Clean's mom came that week and when the pain came back on 12.31, she said we should go in because having it this often could mean something other than gas. she thought of gallstones and after googling it- we realized all the symptoms fit what i was feeling. so- we left jarhead with her and went into the ER... again.. After waiting in the ER with a not nice nurse for what seemed like forever, (about 2 hours), we got back to see the doctor who after looking at me, feeling my stomach, and seeing my pain gave me strong pain meds, and ordered an ultra sound. There were a bunch of gallstones chilling in my gallbladder! No wonder I was in so much pain! We were there about 5 hours. The only real solution is surgery to remove the gall bladder and so I scheduled an appointment with a PCP and the surgeon. That took about a week or so to get them all set up and the surgery was scheduled for a week later. (total of 19 days since finding the stones) On 1.8, the pain came back after taking the medicine and being sick for hours, it finally relieved itself for about 1n hour and a half only to come back again. on 1.9 we were back in the ER after about 12 hours of pain. They gave me medicine took more ultrasounds and sent me home. I almost went in the night before my surgery but decided to wait it out since I knew I'd already be sitting in the hospital all day...

The day of the surgery was a long one. Mom came up to take care of our little Jarhead. We came into the hospital around 12p for my surgery at 2p. they made me start fasting at midnight and
stop drinking at 8am. They were behind at the hospital and I ended up not having my surgery until 530! i was almost crying i was SO hungry! and thirsty.. i was allowed to swish my mouth with water as long as i promised not to swallow. but it was better than nothing! I was sent home that night around 1030 and was told I had no diet restrictions!! FREEDOM!

- or so i thought-

Wed I didn't feel very good so I stuck to soups and sandwiches*although i did add cheese to my sandwich!* i couldn't even eat half of the panera bread creamy tomato soup that mr. clean bought me! i stuck to my meds every 4 hours because i tried to ease up around 4p and decided that was not super smart. by thurs, i was feeling worse. glad mom decided to stay and help. i was lightheaded, really nauseas, and in a lot of pain. i also started throwing up everything i had really eaten that day around 4:30. we called the surgeon and he said it was because i was taking to many of the narcotics. so we let my last dose wear off and i stuck to tylonol. when i was still throwing up by 6, we called him back to ask if this was normal. he said to come into the ER. we came in the the brought me right back. they gave me morphine and some other pain meds but neither worked. it truly was the worst pain i ever experienced. worse than labor. i even think it was worse then the other gallstones pains (although maybe because the gallstone pain usually only lasted a few hours- this was constant) it was hard to breathe, hard to move, horrible. finally they gave me more meds and those at least took the edge off..they were going to wait 2 hours to do a catscan but since i was in so much pain, mr clean told them they could not wait that long. they took me in very soon after that. my nurse was very nice and felt bad she couldn't give me more medicine... after a little while, they were able to give me more medicine and i was finally feeling a little better! The doctor came back and said that i had acute pancreatitis and i would need to be admitted. They think a gallstone came out and got lodged in the duct between the gallbladder and the pancreas.

and here we are. when i was leaving , i was too drugged and misplaced my cell phone. i think it went down with the linens. just another crappy thing to add to the list. so i'm stuck here without a long distance phone. on Thursday and Friday, I wasn't allowed ANYTHING to eat or drink even. I have never been so thirsty in my entire life. by saturday morning, i was allowed clear liquids and then full liquids for lunch. for dinner this evening i was allowed to add bread to the diet. yogurts, broth, tomato soup, ice cream, and now breads. not many options. i also have to discard my milk. i've been tossing since tuesday. my supply is really low since i couldn't eat ALL day Tuesday, or Friday and part of Thursday. no food= not much milk. plus i missed pumpings the days of both surgeries because i was under the anesthesia....being in the hospital has been pretty crappy. mr. clean has gone home to sleep- and i'm glad. i didn't want him to have to sleep in a crappy chair for a few days. i've played a lot on the computer, watched a little TV on the limited channel options they have here, and tried to take at least one nap a day. My day nurse has been great. Her name is Marsha and she is like an angel. I love when she comes in in the morning and am sad when she leaves. Tomorrow is her day off though- blah- so i hope i have a good day nurse. my night nurses have been okay- but nothing compared to Marsha. It makes such a difference having a good nurse when you're stuck in a crappy situation. It kinda makes me want to go work back in the nursing home. It was crappy and it was HARD but I was good at it. I was cheerful and happy and I know that I made the residents smile. I want to make people smile more... The worst part about my stay here in the hospital is being away from my Jarhead. I"m glad my mom stayed to help take care of him... This way Mr. Clean can come visit me. They were going to bring him to see me but we decided that with the germs and icky-ness of a hospital it would be best if he stayed home. I miss him. He's started smiling more (at least I got to see it 2ce before coming in!) and he has started laughing. He's getting really strong legs. Mr. Clean says he prefers to be held so that he can "stand" instead of being cuddled or held cradled. I hope he still lets me cuddle him when i get home.. potentially the day is tomorrow- if i can handle "real food". The GI doc said I prob won't be able to have a reg diet for a while tho. he didn't really give a time frame tho. but i hope soon. i'm so tired of eating this bland food. i want a pizza, a taco salad, chicken salad, a hebrew national hotdog, chips and queso, chicken wings with blue cheese dressing, and sooo many more things. all i can think about is food these days and i can't wait to eat again.

so- where does this leave us? tired, stressed, and grateful for the little things. .. life has been tough and i'm close to saying i can't handle it anymore. i don't think i've ever had so much go on in my life at once- ever.. i want life to be normal, to slow down, and to let us have a break. it's really not to much to ask i don't think. my maternity leave has been nothing of a leave. it's been filled with 3 ER visits, a hospital stay, and at least 8 doctor's appointments for Mr. Clean, Jarhead, or me. ::Sigh:: once life has slowed down- i won't miss it's craziness. I usually love being busy, being entertained, having things to occupy my mind. but not this. THIS is stressful.

But- soon(hopefully) we'll have our happily ever after. i know things will be a bit crazy in between but it'll slow down. and we'll definitely be grateful when it's all over.

I know what a post. I'll add a pic of Jarhead to have made it all worth it.





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Jack Attack!

Well, I've been wanting to post and keep running out of time in the day so I'm not 'blogging' just posting some pictures. These were taken by our friend Risa who is AMAZING! check out her website at risawest.com Thanks so much for taking them of our little guy!




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You know- friends make the world a better place.
Yesterday, we had our friends over for dinner. well- they offered to bring us dinner and come over to visit. going out is much more difficult now, trying to remember everything to bring.(worked out too because Jack went thru 3 outfits just while they were here!)Since I'm on this low fat diet, Amy made 2 dishes that in combination had less than 5 g. We're so lucky to have such great friends. Dinner was yummy and it was so nice to catch up. It's been over a month since we've actually done anything with anyone. After dinner we played RACKO. They are expecting their first (also a boy!) in April. They'll be moving tho :( so we hope we still get to see them often. We also have other friends that are moving too! BUT they're moving into our complex. :) they have a little girl who is 1 and i'm super excited to have another mom so close!

Many crazy things have happened to us since moving here to MD. Many challenges. However, one of the most wonderful things is the friends we've made. We always heard how tough it is to find "couple friends" where both you and the husband like both the husband and the wife in another couple. I don't know if it was because we were still kinda "newlyweds" or because it was Provo or because we still wanted to hang out with our single friends, but we didn't have a whole lot of "couple" friends. We had a few but none that Matt and I would hang out with the couple together or just the girls or just the guys would get together. We've been lucky enough to find a few couples to be friends with here. It's great to have friends that are in the same stage of life!!

Anyway! I've just been cooped up for what feels like forever and even tho we stayed inside- it was great to have company!


Saturday mornings

By the end of the week, I'm exhausted! I sometimes miss my naps because we have apts or because of cleaning or because that's when matthew has his break from work. but whatever the case may be i usually lay down to watch tv with matthew around 7 on friday nights only to fall asleep. i wake up around midnight or 1 am to find that matthew took care of jack all night. he'd feed and change him before he even started to really wimper so that i would stay asleep. i feel so refreshed and ready for the week then. it won't always be this way but for right now i'm just so grateful for a hubby that lets me nap and takes care of our little boy. he's such a good husband (plus i'm less grouchy and more energetic for whatever he wants to do on saturdays :) )



What a cool day! 1-11-11 and it's my birthday! We've had SO much going on lately so I didn't get to plan my birthday as I had planned last year. I really wanted to have a party with pizza and ice cream and brownies surrounded by friends and games and maybe a movie. It's a Tuesday so it would have been last weekend or next weekend. but life has thrown a lot of things at us these last few weeks and so Matthew and i will be doing some more low key things instead. I can't really eat the food that I want but we'll Matthew said he'd make a yummy dinner. we'll skip the dessert for now. After next week, Matthew promised to take me out for whatever food i'd like to eat. My mom is in town so we'll head over to Dave and Buster's for some games and maybe a movie since it's right there. My mom will take care of Jack for us. i'm really excited and even tho i'm not having a "1" party- I get to spend the day with my little boy and then the evening with my very best friend. It's going to be and has already started out to be a perfect day.

I love birthdays! I can't believe a whole year has come and gone. I've gotten so many things accomplished though it's really amazing. and it's been 3 years since Matthew proposed on a cold winter night in utah. that birthday and everyone since has been amazing. life is good and for that i am grateful. busy and crazy and tough- but good.


life as we know it

Life is busy. but- what else is new?!?

i totally love being a mom. don't get me wrong-i'm crazy tired and hungry and sore but every minute is worth it. it's different, yet the same as what i thought it would be. i knew all of these things would happen- that i wouldn't get sleep and that i would love him so much but it's different knowing you'll feel a certain way and actually feeling it.
We're done with visitors now- all on our own. It was great to have family here and Jack loved it! My mom was here for about 2 weeks and then we had Christmas. then Matt's mom came for about a week. i loved the help and having someone to talk with during the day but now I have Jack all to myself. which is also nice.
we started to "sleep train" today so hopefully he'll catch on quick and I'll get some more sleep during the night. today went great. i'm still tired but it's nice having a set schedule. we'll see how it goes over the next few weeks.
for being a new mom, i feel so accomplished. sure- my house won't always be clean but it's mostly clean right now and that feels good. i've been able to get myself in a little schedule so that i can play with jack, clean, nap, pump, feed jack, and have time with matthew. once he starts to sleep more at night-i may even have time to start my crafts! but february will come quickly and then I need to go back to work. it's going to be so difficult. i don't want to leave my little man. he's just so cute. but that's a little while away so i won't even think about it just yet. :)

jack is such a good kid! he loves to stare at things (often the back of the couch- haha). he enjoys his tummy and bath time. he can lift his head pretty well now and move it from side to side when on his tummy. he likes to do "little pushups".. he doesn't really like having his face washed in the mornings tho. probably because it wakes him up some. he's definitely a sleeper! we're trying to put more of that sleep in the middle of the night and so far so good. i'm not totally counting on it to last consistently but i'll take what i can get. i actually wake up after about 3 hours now wondering why i dont hear him.... it's nice to just check that he's still soundly sleeping like an angel and close my eyes again to fall asleep. he LOVES to be in his bouncer or swing. even if they are still. he has to sit up for about 30 minutes after eating so he doesn't spit everything up so we usually put him in one of those if we can't hold him at the time. he also likes to watch the TV(when it's on his eyes are glued to that part of the room) and the fish if we put him near the tank..

here are some pictures (which i know is why you read this blog :) )

he loved spending time with grandma christensen and papa bob(great grandpa)

we loved our christmas as a family! i think jack enjoyed his first one too!

he also loves to play with his daddy!!

he also had his first "temple trip" to see the lights! it was a GREAT night. (so warm)