Thursday, August 27, 2009

New photos

Today was picture day! Here is what we came up with:

Riley almost 3 and Jada 18 months




Jada 18 months

Monday, April 6, 2009

Jada drinking Sprite...

This footage was taken 2 months ago. It was her first time having a carbonated drink and I think she is real confused as to whether or not she likes it. You don't have to watch the whole thing, in fact if anyone knows how to edit videos on blogspot, please let me know!


video

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Moot Court is over FOREVER!!!!!

Brett has an obsessive personality. Last year he competed in a competition representing his law school and made it to the semi-finals and won Best Brief! It was a huge deal and I was very proud of him. Well, it came time for Brett to do Moot Court again and I became real sad. I love Brett getting involved in things but this competition takes 100's of hours. Between all his commitments, combined with Moot Court, he is just never around. This years regional competition was this weekend and I decided to go with him because I wanted to see him perform. I mean he has lived, eaten, and breathed this thing for the last five months, I was anxious to see what it was all about. All of Brett's expenses were paid for by the University (including the hotel) so all I had to pay for was my plane ticket which we used a companion flight for, and some food. I had to find babysitters which included some great friends of mine and my mom and sister. It was kind of a hassle to deal with them passing the kids around each day but I felt bad asking any one person to watch my kids all weekend, for free.
Brett won his first round quite easily and then won his next one too. However he lost in the semifinals as was the case last year. We don't know if he won any 'honor' awards yet and we should know in the next week or so. I thought Brett did a wonderful job. I love to watch him do what he does best because it gives me so much confidence in him. I get so nervous because of the economy but I know that Brett will be successful one day.
The other GA State Law School team ended up winning the whole tournament and I was proud because they gave Brett alot of credit and said that they wouldn't have done nearly as good as they did if it hadn't been for Brett pushing them and helping them. Brett should have been in the finals with them. The team that Brett lost too went against GA State and they did terrible! It was so hard that Brett lost because the judging is so subjective with no specific criteria. Brett and his partner were clearly better in the oral argument. Oh well.
So, I am torn because I am soooooo happy he lost and Moot Court is over but I know he is disappointed. It was hard for him to watch the finals and know that he could have done better than the team that ended up winning 2nd place.
Brett now tells me that he wants to help coach Moot Court next year so I guess it isn't over forever. I am okay with him coaching as long as he spends the minimal time that he can get away with. Since Brett has done so well the last two years, therefore making the law school look good, he wants to keep that legacy going and feels a responsiblily to do so.
Brett is quickly on to his next obsession... wakeboarding!


After the competition we went to an Aquarium resturant where we had big fat steaks!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A very sad day...

Today was the first time I cried in a long time. Infact I can't remember the last time I cried (besides in movies). Usually I am a cry baby but somehow I have gotten tougher and less emotional. But today I got news that really hurt my heart.

Jada has some pretty serious teeth issues. I know that may not sound like a big deal but it makes me sad to think about what she may have to go through until her permanent teeth come in and then maybe even beyond that. Plus it is going to be hard work for me to fight to protect her teeth and keep her teeth from falling out. Here is the story:

As soon as Jada's upper tooth erupted I noticed it was a very yellow color. I kept scratching at it thinking it was plaque. I began brushing her teeth at a very young age because I kept on thinking I could clean the tooth. Then as her other teeth came in I just never really paid attention anymore. I just got used to her yellow teeth.

At Jada's one year check up, her pediatrician said that it looked as if Jada was missing her enamel on her teeth. This was my first time ever looking so closely at her teeth and I completely agreed. I had noticed months ago that she had several chips on her teeth and that it looked discolored but I just didn't ever worry about it. Jada's pediatrician said we should see a pedodontist right away.

Today was Jada's appointment. At first the dentist immediately said that she did indeed have enamel but it was 'weak enamel' and would be prone to decay, cracking or breaking all together, discoloration, etc. She essentially has very weak and fragile upper teeth. The dentist preceded to ask me about family history and infant dental problems since this is commonly caused by bad genes. I didn't really know of any but I think my maternal grandma had dentures at 16 (not sure if that is a rumor or not). So the dentist began suggesting it could have been caused by medications that I took while pregnant or within the first few months of Jada's life. Baby teeth are formed in the second trimester and medication could affect the development of her teeth. But I was vigilant in any medication that was put in my body while pregnant. I didn't take my prenatal vitamins as much as I did with Riley but I did take them and I didn't put anything else harmful while pregnant or breast feeding. Lastly, the dentist suggested that her teeth problems could be caused from any injury sustained to her mouth while in the womb or in the first few months of her life. I explained about Jada's complicated birth and how her mouth was locked open while in was in labor and how for 45 minutes Jada's open jaw was repeatedly being jammed into my pelvis so much that Jada was black and blue ALL OVER her face when she was born. The dentist seemed to be satisfied with this solution. I was too.

I was told to come back in 6 months and we would compare her four upper teeth that have the problems to any new teeth that will come in by then. At that point we will discuss putting CROWNS on her upper teeth! Did you hear me?????????????? CROWNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crowns on a one year old!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to cry! See, baby teeth are critical for holding space in one's mouth while the permanent teeth are still forming and developing. If Jada's baby teeth were to fall out or become seriously infected then she would loss those teeth and consequentially leave the reserved space that is was holding for the day the permanent teeth would be ready to erupt. This can cause all types of problems on teeth which are designed to be in place for the rest of your life. They need a good start to be healthy long lasting teeth. It is critical that Jada do not lose FOUR teeth so it might be necessary to go ahead and crown them since we know she is susceptible to losing them.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I came home and decided to research 'weak enamel' on the internet. This is when things got very emotional. I read lots of articles and looked at lots of pictures of young children with severely decayed teeth. I don't want my little girl to have to go through all this. I know there are so many worse things that could be wrong with her but I think every parent wants their kids to be beautiful and thinking that she might have abnormal teeth makes me so sad. Having done my research I am now so paranoid about helping to protect Jada's teeth to the best of my ability. I will have to brush her teeth at least once a day but really should at least twice. Absolutely NO SUGAR! Sugar in by far the leading cause of tooth decay. This is going to be very hard but I think if I have to give her sugar then I will brush her teeth immediately after. I might even have to start flossing to be extra careful. Another change that I have to make is that all her food has to be warmed up since cold food or drinks might cause pain and sensitivity. I think she is fine with room temperature. This was interesting to be told this about the cold sensitivity because I remember when Jada was a baby and started teething I used to give her the cold ice rings to suck on and she HATED them. She would throw them as soon as they touched her teeth. I always thought that was a little weird. Then when I started giving Jada baby food it was a big struggle between her and me. She would cry the whole time she was eating and I would get upset and it was just unpleasant for all of us. See, with Riley I would just pull the food out of the fridge and give it to him. I never even knew that people warmed up baby food. I never knew it was an option. One day when Jada was about 8 months I read the label and it said to warm the food up for 15 seconds. I started doing that and then all the sudden she started eating baby food. Even to this day if I give her yogurt or anything else from the fridge she gets this shocked look on her face. All these things and memories are finally making sense.

Jada's whole life I have been certain something was wrong with her. No one believed me but I knew something was not right. She always seemed to be in so much pain. My pediatrician tried to diagnose all types of things Jada might have but nothing seemed to help. I was planning on getting a new pediatrician because I knew something was wrong with her and it seemed to be beyond my pediatricians knowledge. The last month, Jada has been so much better. Happy even. I have a theory. I am not sure if it is right but it makes sense. Poor little Jada's teeth have always been hurting her which has prevented her from eating enough food and drinking enough milk. Even when Jada was breastfeeding she was acting like she was uncomfortable. She would latch on but be pulling away from me as if she wanted to stop feeding but she knew she was hungry. It was not fun for me to have her pull on me and I was very excited to stop nursing at 11 months. Anyway, Jada is in her 7% for her weight but the 85% for her height. She is quite underweight for her height. The last month when I realized (which remember I said she has been much happier this last month) that she was very skinny I began forcing her to eat much more food and I stopped breastfeeding all together. Jada still doesn't eat very much and hasn't gained much weight yet but she probably is getting alot more food then before which has been making her more happy. I am sure her teeth still bother her but I think she might be more used to it now or she just prefers dealing with the pain if it means she gets more food. I don't know, it is my own personal opinion but it explains soooooo much perfectly.

Poor Jada. I hope everyone will pray for her that it will only affect this four upper teeth and that the rest will remain healthy and strong.

Addiction update...

It has now been over two weeks since I begun weaning myself off sugar and it looks like I was right in my last posting where I said I thought I was at rock bottom. It has gotten alot easier for me lately. I have decided to extend it for another half week due to alot of 'breaking' the diet. I didn't need to break the diet (all but once) but I was in social situations where it would seem awkward if I didn't eat something. But each time I broke the diet I found that eating the dessert was not a pleasurable as before. It was a nice tasty treat but one slice was all I needed. This was not the case before. Once I started I couldn't stop and eat bite was as if I was satisfing an uncontrollable urge that was finally getting what it desired. I really hope I am free of that. It seems like I might be.
Now I am beginning to plan my recovery plan so I don't relaspe. I think as long as I can keep other foods to munch on including chips, popcorn, etc then I will be fine. My friend Jennifer was telling me about a 'diet' that she is on where she only has one medium size treat or dessert a day. I think that is an excellent idea to install in every day life. Or at least a good guideline.

Brett wanted me to inform everyone that he was faithful in keeping the diet even behind my back.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Addiction withdrawls...

The plan: Last year I decided I need to do a sugar detox because I have a serious addiction problem especially with chocolate. First I enlisted my support group. I have a friend and my husband doing it with me. I am fairly confident that my husband only does it at home and who knows what he does behind my back. The dirty scoundrel. Anyway. Second, I waited til the holidays were long gone and all sugar was out of the house. Well not all because the kids still eat it and I couldn't just throw what I had left over away. Third, I started the diet cold turkey. I didn't actually mean to start, I just wanted to see what the withdrawals would be like but the first few days were a piece of cake so I decided to just go with it. Okay well nothing is going according to plan but at least I had a plan.

Exceptions: I do have a few exceptions to my diet. I can have one granola bar a day and I can have sugar with my breakfast foods because I don't know what to eat without oatmeal, cereal, muffins, etc.

Goals: I am not doing this to lose weight. My goal is to release myself from this obsessive addiction that I have with the cursed chocolate. I am hoping for an increase in energy and more a stable mood. I also would like to improve my ability to concentrate and improve memory capacity (I am not sure if sugar ever hindered that but I am hoping for it anyway).

Results as of today: It has now been about 10 days and it is VERY hard. I have read up on sugar withdrawals and it talks about depressions, severe fatigue, etc lasting for weeks. The fatigue started a week ago but I kind of just shrugged it off thinking it was just a tiring day. But it is getting progressively worse and I am finding myself stuck to the couch falling asleep while reading a book to my kids. I have never been so tired in my life and I am getting plenty of sleep every night. Last night was my first 'give up' night. I have had so much temptation to quit the last 10 days and have remained fully committed but last night I couldn't go anymore. I ate a whole bag of chocolate. I got my craving satisfied and have been back on full swing today despite the fatigue. As far as depression I think I might have skipped that. I think it has actually been the exact opposite. I have been feeling happier lately. I feel the sugar was getting me down and now I feel like things are brighter than before even though Brett lost his job and once again we can't pay rent!!! Well actually I was depressed at church on Sunday because I never get spiritually edified between my calling and taking care of a 2 and a 1 year old. And I was SUPER exhausted. But I think that is it. Actually I have also been depressed because NOTHING I eat satisfies my craving, it is always just there driving me to the fridge, the freezer, and the pantry over and over!

My theory: I believe that I have been getting my energy through sugar for so many years that my body is incapable of producing natural energy. Right now my body is figuring out how to do that and that is why I am so drained. I hope it figures it out very soon.

From here: Initially my plan was to go for two weeks but from what I read online it seems that I might need an extra week especially since I haven't completely eliminated all sugars 100%. That means I am halfway done. I like to think that I am at rock bottom these last two days and that it will only get better. We'll see.

Jada's first year...

Jada's statistics:
17 lbs 13 oz (7%)
30 3/4 inches (75%)
Our tall and super skinny little girl!

Jada is now on milk and table foods (sometimes she still gets baby foods for lunch because it is easier). She can walk but prefers to crawl or fall. She sleeps about 13 hours a night. She waves hi and bye, points at objects, recognize words I say, will feed herself all day, loves peek-a-boo, and LOVES teddy bears!!!!

Jada has been very happy this month and I am so thrilled! She has been smiling and laughing so much that even Riley is enjoying playing with her...some. Things are finally gelling here in our household!

Jada's next big obstacles are to get her over her separation anxiety, help her walk better, help her with speaking, and get her teeth fixed (her pediatrician thinks she is missing enamel on her upper teeth- ouch!!!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jada's big week...

This past week has been the most exciting week of Jada's life!

First and most important was that she was actually pretty happy. She smiled and laughed alot and it was real bizarre. I tried to enjoy it but everyday I was afraid it would go away.
2. She gained about one pound in one week.
3. She took her first steps (up to five)
4. She learned to wave bye-bye
5. Learned to sign "more" (it is not very good yet but she is definantly doing it)
6. Learned to sign "hooray"
7. Learned to clap her hands consistently
8. Started dancing (looks more like trying to jump)
9. She actually played by herself without ever crying during a twenty minute period
10. All the sudden she is interested in TV and will watch it for about 10 minutes time
11. Fully converted from breastfeeding to drinking from a sippy cup.
12. She learned how to give kisses!

This was an AWESOME week! I got alot of it on video but I am not going to bother trying to figure out how to upload it so you just have to take my word for it!

BTW- She is almost 11 and a half months. Here is her most recent professional picture. I tried to go for an athletic looking picture with the Nike shirt, tennis shoes, and ponytail. I love it!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hawaii...

We packed up all our winter clothes and Christmas gifts and sent them home so that way we only had to haul two suitcases and so we wouldn't have to pay the "second luggage' fee for all our upcoming flights. I was significantly less stressed about this flight because I knew we had tons of family to help with the kids and that would keep them plenty stimulated. I sat in a row with my BIL, Bryce and he was a great help. For some reason, Jada was clingy to him (actually I know why- for seven hours he kept stuffing teddy grahams in her mouth. That is her seventh heaven.) Poor Bryce was a mess after the flight with reguritated, chewed up, and slimy bits of teddy grahams all over him.
So yeah, the flight was seven hours and it seemed like forever. But energy was high. I mean come on, we are going to Hawaii.
First part of our agenda was Oahu. We had a half day to relax and in the morning we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. I had been there once before, four and a half years ago, and it was exactly the same. What was interesting is that when I went before our tour guide took us in reverse order through all the villages. This time our tour guide took us the regular way. So what I didn't get to see before I saw this time.


The canoe pageant

In New Zealand we all got tattoos. I went much more conservative and got one on my ankle but then I didn't take a shower for two days because I didn't want it to come off. I thought I looked cool with the tattoo.



After it was said and done we had to wait over an hour for our show to start. It was rough on the kids because it was already so late for them. This is truely a rare moment of Jada sleeping anywhere except for her bed.


At the same time, Riley walked on this circular retaining wall for about an hour with grandma. I would tickle him every time he passed, or I would try to scare him, or hide and he would stop to look for me. It was real fun but eventually we stopped due to rain and went in the gift store for another half hour or so. I sat in a chair with Riley the whole time and we sang songs or I tickled him. It was a real nice time for the two of us.

The next day we took an island hopper flight to Kauai. It was only thirty minutes and it was a sinch. The security in the airport was so different then on the mainland. I reminded me of what security was like pre-911 but I totally forgot about those days. After so many long flights, thirty mintutes was a walk in the park.

Kauai was beautiful and very remote. You are hard pressed to find a typical McDonalds or Walmart. They exist but they are hard to find. This island, though beautiful was actually difficult with young children because of the remoteness. The food was a little more difficult to come by. Supplies like diapers and wipes are harder to come by. Plus in a place like that you just want to relax and that, of course, is impossible.The Hawaii Grand Canyon


Most of the gang: Brett, me, the kids, Tasha, Bryce, Kathy, and Nik


Our beautiful condo on the beach


Me and the kids

Miles feeding Riley

We mainly just hung out the whole time in Kauaii. It rained alot and was a little chilly. I usually spent only a hour a day on the beach before either the kids had to have a nap, or had to be fed, or it started raining. Even still I got an itty bitty tan that I am very proud of.
Wait til you hear about our New Years plans! We were going to stay up all night and play Wii but as 10 pm came everyone wanted to go to bed (this or earlier was true every night) so we busted out the bubbly and just then fire works went off (I guess people from California were celebrating with their state). We had a beautiful fireworks display and then everyone went to bed. Brett and I played Wii for another hour and then decided this was the lamest New Years ever so we went to bed too. Brett's family is by NO MEANS party animals.
On our last day we had to be out by 10 am and our flight didn't leave til 9:30 pm so we checked out, rented scooters, and drove a waterfall that you could cliff jump into. It was about 30 feet high. I really wanted to do it but the trail getting there was so slippery and the rocks to the waterfall were even more dangerous. Brett's family is very helpful until everyone is busy and then I get stuck with the kids all by myself as was the case at the waterfall. Brett and his brothers went to jump the falls, Kathy was in the car watching Ben and Marie's kids, Tasha was unable to hold the kids because it was too dangerous, and Bob volunteered to hold Jada. That meant I had to hold Riley and some how video tape everyone else having fun. After they all jumped we had to quickly leave and I didn't get a turn. Plus by now, I was EATEN up by misquitos that I just wanted to leave anyway.
Our first leg of the trip home was from Kauaii to LA. That was a five hour flight. I luckily sat next to a women and her child and her child slept in her mom's lap so I asked if I could use their floor to put Jada down for a nap. They said yes and I was so happy I wanted to cry because she was able to sleep the whole way. But since I am incapible of relaxing I volunteered to help with Riley because Brett was having a very hard time getting him to sleep. It took me 45 minutes and once he was asleep I gave him back to Brett. I had to watch Jada afterall!!!! Riley only slept about an hour on this flight and now it was 2 am. We had a two hour lay over in LA and Riley was fussy. Since Brett and I took care of the kids the entire previous flight, his family was very willing to help with the short leg from LA to Salt Lake. Both Brett's bench and my bench only had two people in it so we pawned of the kiddies, laid down and slept the whole time, so did the kids- go figure!
In Salt Lake we said goodbye to Brett's family and headed out to begin our three hour layover. Brett's dad is some sort of Delta Platium Medallion member so he got us into this fancy room with a TV that we were able to wait in insteed of with all the peions in the terminal. That helped time fly by and helped us comfortably relax. The flight to Atlanta was very tough. We were all sooooo tired and the flight was booked solid. Of course, Riley slept the entire time on Brett's lap but Jada was very difficult. She cried alot and all I wanted to do was sleep. I tried walking the aisles but all I wanted to do was sleep. I am sure my parenting was sub par but all I wanted to do was sleep! I sat next to a grandmotherly figure (thank goodness) who didn't complain when Jada was kicking her or pulling at her shirt and I was half asleep. She even offered to hold her a few times and let me use her tray table to hold my caffinated soda.
22 hours since our first flight, we arrived in Atlanta. Brett says it was totally worth it. I say, we are staying put for a long time!

Christmas in Utah...

Brett's parents flew us out to Utah for Christmas this year and we were so excited to go. We did have several things to be nervous about like-
1. Flying out with two kids
2. Flying out with two sick kids and two sick adults
3. Packing for three very distinct events: winter in Utah, Christmas gifts, and warm sunny Hawaiian weather.
4. Getting everything out with three suitcases
This flight was the first time we decided not to drug the kids with Benedryll because we felt that in the past Riley has been more cranky than sleepy. Since I knew he would be awake alot I spent HOURS preparing for the flight. We bought a Video Ipod and downloaded several TV shows, packed Thomas train pieces, packed Play-doh and much much more. As stressed out as I was about Riley, I was even more stressed out about Jada. She was severely sick as the departure date approached and she already is hard enough to entertain. She is very mobile and hates being confined. Her entertainment level/attention span is 10 seconds. My back pack was loaded with things to do, all in an attempt to keep her quiet at least.
We got up bright and early, after a restless night for me, and began our 9 hour travel day. To my great relief, everything actually went pretty smoothly. The actual flight was four hours and I started off with Riley. I played with him and it was draining but he behaved very well. Jada slept the whole time with Brett. When Jada woke up, we switched as was previously decided (to switch half way through the flight). So I played with Jada the whole time and Riley immediately went to sleep with daddy. So though it was tiring, it was so much better than I expected. It was a GREAT trip for Brett!
Our first stop in Utah was Cafe Rio for our beloved Beef Salads. Unfortunately since I was so congested I could barely breathe, much less taste the food.
When I first got there, I had already been sick for nearly a week so I thought I would for sure feel better by Christmas and defiantly for Hawaii. Well that wasn't the case. I was so congested that I just bummed around the house the whole time. I tried to run on my inlaw's treadmill but it was pathetic. I ran about 12 minute miles. But I had to keep working out because I was going to Hawaii in a few days!!!!
By the end of the week, I was feeling well enough to visit some friends and family but I didn't get to visit even half of the people I wanted to. But I got to see my long time friend Robin and my uncle Dale.
Oh well, enough complaining!
Brett's mom and dad and sister and brother were so AWESOME at playing with the kids! I mean, seriously, they were always willing to help even without me asking! Brett's other brother, Ben and his wife Marie have two little ones about the same age and they came over everyday so the kids got to play so much. Plus Brett's sister, who we hardly ever see, drove down and stayed with us for several days. She has a son a little older than Riley and so it was nice for them to play too.
Some things that Riley did that I am so used to but my inlaws thought was cute...
1. Says 'sure' instead of yes
2. Says 'bless you' any time you sneeze OR cough
3. Says "thank you mommy" any time I do anything for him
4. Shares very well with others
5. Eats very well and isn't picky
6. Is obsessed with watching Blues Clues and playing with Thomas

Here are some pictures from our WHITE CHRISTMAS...



For Hawaii info, stay posted...