Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kate goes to the dentist



Kate had her first ever dentist visit just over two weeks ago. Truth be told, I put it off too long mostly because I was scared of her being traumatized for life from the dentist. I mean, come on, dentists are a child's worst enemy right? Except, my dentist growing up was actually very nice. He even had a daughter the same age as me who I went to elementary school with. Even still, going to the dentist isn't fun the first time...right?

Well, these fears proved to be unfounded. Kate did VERY well at the dentist.


The hygienists and the dentist were so sweet and gentle with her. I was floored at how well Kate was handling everything--she seemed curious about it all. My first memory of the dentist includes me screaming, but remember that I was speech delayed and was going through more than my fair share of medical tests at the time.

Unfortunately, Kate had a lot of cavities. In fact, one was so deep that she was going to need a baby root canal. They thought she would need two. I felt so horrible, but the dentist said it wasn't uncommon in our area because the water isn't fluoridated here. Needless to say, I really really hate the anti-fluoride crowd right now, but that's another rant for another time.

So, I made an appointment for her to get the root canal(s) done and other cavities filled...for the next day. I paid extra so she could be sedated. Our insurance doesn't cover sedation for root canals because it's considered a "non-necessity". Um, it should be for toddlers!!! Oh well, it's better than paying the therapy bills later in life for an un-sedated root canal, right?

I had to make ride arrangements because of the sedation stuff because Stephan couldn't take time off work. One friend from the ward would take us to the dentist, and another friend would take us home.

Needless to say, this mom worried about her baby being sedated the next day! I began to appreciate my own mom more, for all the times she has had a child undergo surgery. I also worried about not letting Kate eat before the procedure, but it ended up not being too bad. The next morning, after Stephan left for work, she came in for her morning snuggle and slept in my arms for a long time. It was a tender mercy for me :)

We were also potty training at the time, and I just put her in a pull up to be safe. By some miracle, this whole thing didn't completely uproot the potty training.

Waiting for our ride with her lovies


After being dropped off at the dentist's office, we were taken back. Kate wasn't interested in pre-anesthesia laughing gas, and she didn't cry TOO much when they were poking her little arm for the anesthetic. They asked if I had any questions, and I just told them, "Please take good care of my baby." Again, I was amazed at how great they were being with her. I was escorted out of the room after the IV was placed....and waited.

Oh yeah, I forgot to take my meds that morning in all the craziness. D'oh! By another miracle, I managed to get through without, but I took them as soon as I got home! While I waited, I called Stephan and then I called my mom.

The procedure lasted for just over an hour. They came and got me as soon as she woke up, and the poor kid was disoriented and angry that she wasn't allowed to walk around. My friend Misti had come to take us home, and while I had to go back to the front desk to discuss more of the payment stuff (they only had to do one root canal after all, but there were more cavities). My friend stayed with Kate while I signed stuff...and I could hear angry Kate all the way from the front :(

I thought Kate would only be allowed liquids for the rest of the day, but the assistants and dentist told me that she could eat normally! I grabbed a cookie from the front desk to give her, and oh boy did she like it.
Drugs and sugar. Oooh yeah.

Misti also drove me to Zupa's by my house so I could grab lunch for Kate and me (I hadn't eaten since breakfast). She even helped us get upstairs and settled. She was amazed at how well Kate was eating.


I had thought that Kate would take naps for the rest of the day, and oh boy was I wrong.

Whee!!!!


She even went potty. Mostly we just snuggled until Daddy came home. I think we had leftovers for dinner.



Kate seems unscathed from the experience. We even went to the dentist again a few days later so Stephan and I could have our cleanings and checkups, and she wasn't the slightest bit scared of the office. Thank goodness!

She also likes her "sparkle tooth"


On the plus side, she is eating much better now than she was before. I guess it's hard to eat when your teeth are hurting :(

She also takes tiny fluoride pills every night after brushing her teeth and affectionately calls them her "teeth medicine".

In other news, Kate is officially potty trained! *cue the hallelujah chorus*

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Subchorion-wha?

If you read my last post, I mentioned having a subchorionic bleed several weeks ago.

Basically, it's a small pocket of blood near the placenta--approximately 20% of women experience this during pregnancy. Most of the time it's harmless especially if it's small, but bigger ones can cause more problems.

One Friday, when I was just about 11 weeks pregnant, I went to the bathroom and discovered blood. Red blood. Naturally, I panicked. I left a message on my doctor's voicemail asking him to call back, and when he did, I told him what was happening. He told me that chances were good that everything was fine, but because of last summer's miscarriage, we would arrange for an ultrasound. He called the order into the hospital radiology department and then I made an appointment to go get an ultrasound...at seven o'clock at night. Did I mention that it was his day off when he did all of this? Well, it was.

Stephan came home early in the meantime because I was freaking out.

Oh, and I had to drink lots of water an hour before going in so I could have a full bladder for the ultrasound. Yaaaaay.

We dropped Kate off with the grandparents, checked in at the hospital, and waited. It felt like we waited forever just for the ultrasound.

They came and got us, and we went into the ultrasound room. When the ultrasound tech started the ultrasound, she commented on my very full bladder. I asked her to be gentle.

She was quiet the entire time, and unlike the OB office, there was no TV monitor showing the ultrasound. So...I just laid there and prayed very hard. "Please let this baby be okay," I prayed. Stephan was sitting in a chair and could see a little bit of the ultrasound (he thought he saw baby move, which was reassuring to me). After the tech was finished, I asked her if the bathroom was close (remember, it had been more than an hour since I had gone!). Luckily, the bathroom was right across the hall from the ultrasound room, and I made good use of it. It's cruel to make pregnant ladies wait to use the toilet.

Then there was even more waiting. I swear we waited an hour, watching some weird cooking and reality shows in the waiting room. First the radiologist had to look at other stuff before getting to my ultrasound and then they had a hard time getting a hold of my doctor.

Diagnosis: a very small subchorionic bleed. Baby was fine (hallelujah!). Basically, I needed to take it easy. Actually, I was told that I needed to go on bed rest, but like that was going to happen with a three-year-old. I took it easy for the next week and didn't do any heavy lifting other than occasionally picking Kate up.

I am now 16 weeks along and baby is still doing well. No more bleeding--it only lasted about a day, thank goodness. We will find out if it's a boy or a girl on May 7!

We're also convinced that this one likes to freak us out for attention.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Catch Up

I'm too much of a perfectionist about doing just run of the mill family updates like other blogs, so here's just a general update on family life.

Stephan was released as the ward clerk last week after serving in that calling since August. Yeah, it was a short tenure, but honestly it was welcome news. It was great when he was out of work because he didn't feel completely useless, but after he started his new job with longer hours and commute, it was just making everything crazy. He is now the ward technology specialist which is basically perfect for him and we are enjoying having Daddy around more, especially on Sundays! Of course, we had a lot of people asking (before he got his new calling) if we were moving closer to his job because of our ward's transient nature. 

Truth be told, we were seriously looking into moving closer to his job because of our one-car situation, but everything we found was either in a great location but had ridiculously high rent or had a great rent but TERRIBLE location. One place we looked at that seemed perfect on paper...was surrounded by the freeway. Nope! Plus, with a baby on the way, we need to save our money. We're staying where we are and it's the right decision. I'm becoming more okay with our one-car situation and enjoying being at home more.

Morning sickness is starting to subside even more (hallelujah!) and nesting is starting to set in, though I have to be careful because I have a small subchorionic hematoma. Yeah, that's another post for another time. Don't worry, baby is fine--I just have to take it easy. Trying to take it easy with the nesting urge kicking in...this is a frustrating feeling indeed.

With baby #2 coming in the fall, we're making some changes around the house. We're turning the office into a play room/nursery and we've moved the office out to the living room. For Valentine's Day, we got a new TV that mounts on the wall (why I was ever against them I will never know).

Living room setup. Clutter and all.
Nursery/playroom. A work in progress.
Just keeping things real with the pictures ;)

I have been looking to Pinterest for ideas and trying not to go crazy in the process. If anyone wants to help me with this project, especially with the furniture moving part (don't think my OB would be happy if I moved heavy furniture), feel free.

In other news, we're going to start potty training Kate next week now that she's three. This ought to be a great adventure...or a really messy/frustrating one. For her sake, I will not be chronicling the nitty gritty details because seriously, that's just gross.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Announcing...baby #2!

For those of you who are not Facebook friends with me...surprise, I'm pregnant! 
That's the big reason why I haven't been around much recently--dealing with first trimester yucks mostly. I'm due October 2, but it will probably be earlier than that.

For those of you who are nosy, I'll answer the standard FAQs about pregnancy right here.


How are you feeling?

Now that I'm 11-ish weeks pregnant, I'm doing a lot better. Earlier on in the pregnancy is another story though. Food aversions have been THE WORST this time. From 6-8 weeks I could hardly eat anything except cold cereal, pop tarts (the thought makes me gag now), and cooking was out of the question. We got a lot of take-out and frozen meals during those weeks. I'm afraid this one is going to be a super picky eater. 

I'm able to eat more foods now and cook a little more, but I am tired all the time. Last time I could just take a nap whenever I wanted, but this time I have a three-year-old to keep up with who doesn't always take naps. She watched a lot of PBS Kids during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

How did you tell Stephan?

My period wasn't coming and I kept saying, "Maybe I'm pregnant." He saw me buy the pregnancy test and he knew when I took it. I just showed him when I got out of the bathroom. Yeah, we don't really do things fancy over here. He was a bit shocked at first, but he's excited now. 

Are you going to have cholestasis again?

More likely than not, I'm afraid. Mine was borderline severe with Kate (yeah, didn't find that out until last summer, I digress) and my family history is extensive. My mom probably had it with all four pregnancies. With those factors, I have something like a 90% chance of having it again. I hope I don't get it again either, but I have to be realistic. 

Can you prevent it from happening again?

No, it cannot be prevented. Please keep your crazy liver diets and cleanses to yourself. There is no proof that they work to begin with. Thank you.

Is Kate excited?

She is! We talk about the baby in mommy's tummy all the time. It's quite cute, actually. 

Do you think it's a boy or a girl?

I have no clue. Stephan thinks it's another girl (he's scared of boys to be honest). I'm pretty sure everyone in Stephan's family is betting on a boy too. A lot of friends are betting boy too. Up until a few days ago, Kate said I was having a girl because "daddies have boys". Oh, if only ;) We're definitely finding out at 20 weeks. 



Monday, January 19, 2015

A year in review: 2014

Being inspired by my brother-in-law's most recent blog post, I decided to make a year in review. I think this is especially fitting because admittedly, I wasn't the best about blogging in 2014. I hope you don't mind me copying you, Alex :)

January

  • Stephan's brother Alex came home from his mission in Pennsylvania and finally got to meet Kate for the first time, since he left just a month before she was born. She called him "daddy" for a while because he and Stephan look a lot alike.
  • I reluctantly decided to have my antidepressant dosage upped to a mid level rather than the really low dose I had been taking.

February

  • Stephan caught the flu for the second year in a row. Kate and I did not because we had flu shots. 
  • Kate turned two years old. At her two-year checkup, she had gone from being in the 90th percentile for height to the 95th percentile. Pediatrician astounded at her verbal abilities.


March

  • Ummm....family pictures with Stephan's family? I don't remember much from this month.

April
  • General Conference
  • Easter...I think.
  • I believe it was around this time that I started doing DNMS therapy with my therapist. 
  • Aiden's mom found out she had a tumor on her pituitary gland.
May
  • Spent many afternoons at the Thanksgiving Point Gardens
  • I wrote to MANY local newspapers and news stations to promote ICP Awareness. Finally got a response from Good4Utah and had an interview with them. I was on TV.
  • Started working on organizing the first ever ICP Care event in Utah. ICP Care events were being put on all over the country too.
June
  • Hosted first-ever ICP Awareness event in Utah and got to meet fellow Itchy Moms. 
  • Niece was baptized.
  • Aiden's mom had surgery to have her tumor removed.
  • I found out I was pregnant on June 30.
July
  • Because of some bleeding issues in addition to the pregnancy, I went to the doctor and we found out I had an ectopic pregnancy. I was early enough that I got methotrexate shots rather than surgery.
  • The night I started miscarrying, our air conditioner died. During a 100 degree heat wave. It was a horrible, horrible time.
  • Stephan was given a really tough assignment at work. 
  • Stephan's 27th birthday at the end of the month.
  • He also got a raise. Things were looking up.
August
  • Our five-year anniversary. We celebrated by going for a couple's massage...ahhhh.
  • I temporarily had a work-from-home job and found out that 20 hours of work a week isn't the most compatible with being a mom to a toddler. 
  • Watched a friend's two girls so she could teach an LSAT class.
  • Went up to Logan for a family gathering on Stephan's side of the family.
  • My grandfather's birthday celebration (even though his birthday was at the end of July).
  • Stephan was called to be the ward clerk. 
  • We went to Houston to visit my family.
September
  • Stephan got laid off. 
October
  • Stephan applying for jobs and having interviews. 
  • Trying to stay sane.
  • Halloween
November
  • Interviews continue, and two of the companies look VERY promising.
  • One company had Stephan do training with its team. He was a top candidate with anotehr company.
  • First company rejects him most unceremoniously. Other company promises an offer, only to rescind it.
  • We spend a weekend watching three children (plus our own). It was an adventure to say the least.
  • Oh, and Thanksgiving.
December
  • People are generous and give us presents to give to Kate. 
  • General Christmas preparations
  • Went to Temple Square for the Christmas lights
  • Flew to Houston for Christmas.
  • I turned 28.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Kate's little ruby: a lesson in embracing imperfection


If you look closely at this picture of Kate, you will see a small pinkish-red birthmark on the right side of her forehead.

It was much more noticeable when she was a baby, and people would often say (after commenting on how cute she is), "Oooooh, do you have an owie?" 


Her birthmark has never bothered me, since it hasn't caused problems, but the questions about her being hurt got old. Even a friend who saw Kate frequently blurted out one day, "Is that scab ever going to heal?!" I more or less yelled at her, "IT'S A BIRTHMARK!"



Stephan and I have affectionately called her birthmark her "little ruby." Kate has recently become more aware of her physical features, and one day while looking in the mirror she pointed to her birthmark and asked, "What's that?" 

I told her, "That's your little ruby. You were born with it."

She smiled and exclaimed, "My little wooby! It's pwetty!"

Every so often, she'll point to her birthmark and proudly say that she has a "little wooby."

I think we can learn a lesson in embracing perceived physical imperfections.

Today, we are bombarded by images of what the media thinks is perfection, and the images we see are more often than not photoshopped, and therefore unrealistic. Nevertheless, these images fuel a lot of insecurity in both men and women. Thankfully, there is a movement challenging the unrealistic beauty ideals that the media promotes, like the Kite sisters at Beauty Redefined

Since Kate's birthmark has faded a lot overtime, most people don't even notice it now. However, I still want to teach my daughter to love herself for who she is, physical "imperfections" and all. I think referring to her birthmark as her "little ruby" is a step in the right direction.

I think we can learn a lot about embracing ourselves for who we are, despite what society might think, from a little girl who has a "little ruby" and is proud of it.


So....let go of your insecurities about a physical flaw. Let it go!

video


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Nearer to thee

Honestly, if I had been updating more regularly the last few months, there may have been a lot of gnashing of teeth. While I do like to keep things real, I think that would have been too much. Plus, I was having major writer's block and a serious lack of motivation.

Things are finally looking up now--Stephan has a job offer with a company that does government accounting software. The pay is good, as are the benefits. The only downside is that it isn't nearly as close as his old job was, so we're going to be taking turns with the car until we (a) move closer to his job or (b) get a second car.

That's the short version of this story. If you want to hear about the roller coaster we were on for the last few months, read on.

Stephan started getting ready for the job hunt very soon after he got laid off. We had some friends help him with his resume, and it paid off because he got a lot of interviews over the next few months. It wasn't until we were nearing the end (though we didn't know it at the time) things got really crazy.

First, there was a company (Company #1) that he interviewed with sometime during October that had turned him down for the position he interviewed for, but when another position opened in another department, they invited him to attend a software training with the team the week before Thanksgiving. Of course, he took them up on it! We thought it would turn into an amazing job offer at the end of that week, when he was told that he would be taking a test to get certified in that software program.

Well, the end of the week came, and the instructor told the team that the test would not be administered during the training, but they had to register for it at a later date using an account that Stephan was never given. He contacted the company's HR guy with this information, and the HR guy promised to get back to him in a few days.

In the meantime, he had another promising interview (Company #2).Very promising. In fact, the team leader who interviewed him called the day after (the day before Thanksgiving) to tell him that he was the top candidate, but the department was facing a possibility of a shakedown. The team leader said he would call back the next Monday (after Thanksgiving) with the decision.

We prayed very, very hard that Thanksgiving weekend.

Monday came, and we were on pins and needles. The team leader called that evening with the promise of an offer! Not an official offer, but the offer would come in a few days! Oh how excited we were! Well, mostly me. Stephan couldn't let himself be happy, but I thought it was because he tends to make things complicated for himself.

The next day, Company #1 called Stephan back. Not only was it a rejection, but the HR guy detailed WHY he didn't get the job. The reason why? He wasn't social enough with the team. Seriously? Seriously! Stephan tends to be reserved around people he doesn't know well. I mean, come on, he barely spoke on our first date. But, we didn't let it bother us because he had the promise of an offer from Company #2!

He had another interview that day with Company #3--we thought it pointless because of the offer promise, but he still went to it.

That evening, everything changed. Again. Company #2 called, but not with good news. The higher ups decided to restructure the department rather than hire someone on. There was much weeping, wailing, and kicking of doors (by me, not Stephan). It was not a happy night at our house. We had come SO CLOSE to being done with this unemployment crap, and now we were right back to where we started.

Two rejections in one day really, really stinks. Company #1 is a company I actually purchase from, but since they screwed Stephan over big time, they are not getting my business anymore.

The next day, we just got up on got on with our day as normally as possible. When evening came, Company #3 called him: they wanted to give him an offer. We were floored, and I felt absolutely guilty about my immature, reactive behavior of the night before.

While the night before was full of anguish and discouragement, this evening was full of joy!

Of course, we had our fears that this offer would get rescinded like the one from company #2, but now that papers have been signed and a start date given, we are not so fearful.

In the grand scheme of things, being out of work for a few months isn't much, but my goodness did it feel like forever. Now that we are coming out of this trial, we are realizing the lessons we learned and the blessings and tender mercies that were rendered unto us. For one, it was a really good thing I wasn't pregnant when the layoff happened. That would have made things so much more stressful than they already were. We got to experience the kindness and generosity of family and friends--relatives who sent money because they had a feeling we needed it. The referrals, prayers, resume help, and listening ears to my much complaining (thanks guys).

I am also very grateful for Thanksgiving Point memberships, for we used ours A LOT the last few months, even if only to get ourselves out of the house and not have to spend lots of money on tickets.

And mercifully, we all stayed pretty healthy during the last few months. No serious illnesses that required a lot of medical attention.

There were times I started feeling like if there was a God and if He was so loving, why would He let us suffer so much? I really started doubting him. He had ways of letting me know that yes, he was there, and yes he was aware of us.

One of these ways was through The Piano Guys. As part of Kate's bedtime routine, we turn on some music to help her wind down. We always turn it on shuffle, so we don't know what's going to play first.

There was one week that when we pushed that shuffle button, and their rendition of "Nearer My God to Thee" would be the first song to play. It was through that song I got my answer.

Part of God's plan for us is for there to be opposition in all things. If there was no opposition, we would never know the good from the bad, and we would not truly appreciate the good. How could we appreciate good health if we've never experienced illness?

It is also through trials and tribulations that we draw closer to God. If there were no trials and tribulations, why would we need a God?

My faith is not perfect--I am still learning to have greater faith, but it is stronger now than before the last several months happened.

But I know this: Heavenly Father has a plan for us. We cannot comprehend it with our limited understanding, and often we don't realize why the hard times happen until we've gotten through them. He is always there, and He loves us.

I will close with The Piano Guys' music video for "Nearer My God to Thee"


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