Monday, February 28, 2011
Today I went and got blood drawn for whatever pregnant lady lab tests they tell me they need to do. Going to pick up the results on Wednesday and go give them to my lady doctor, hopefully hear the baby's heartbeat again too.
I've been feeling lousy today. Anyone have anything they ate while pregnant that didn't make them feel gross after? I enjoy food while it's going in, but usually like 5 minutes after my mouth just feels disgusting. I made soup tonight and have been small portions of that for the past 2 hours and feel good. Maybe I'll try eating a spoonful of that every 5 minutes all day tomorrow and see how I feel.
Here are a few pictures of the ultrasound from last week.
Good heartbeat - everything looked fine. Wonder where all that blood and fluid came from? Glad the little baby is okay.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
"Ama a todos con bondad dijo el Senor
Pues, si a otros amas tu, te daran su amor!"
Abi learned this song when we were in Costa Rica and all the kids were working hard to memorize the songs for our Primary program. Good job, Abi!
I found it broken last night right before we went to bed (once I found it, I had really had it and wanted my bad-mood day to be over, thus went to bed.) I have no one to blame but myself. I was the one that left it out within kid's reach. Although Corey told me he found it out open and picked it up to look at it and he dropped it - so it could have been broken twice, by kids first then by him, or just once by him if the kids had just left it out and on but not broken. But again, I really am the one to blame. I knew better than to leave it out, but have been getting careless with it and now it's broken.
So as I lay in bed wanting to scream, but instead I tried to relax by telling myself "It must be a blessing" (might not always be true, but it's a great way to cope!) and proceeded to try and think of ways that it could be. The best way this could be a blessing is this: I haven't been taking videos of our time here in Chile and the thought did cross my mind the other day that I should get some video memories so that we have another way to remember this time, so having a broken camera will help me to do that. Thankfully we do have two video cameras that are still (barely) hanging on to life.
I'm also thankful for that I can find a good camera at a decent price, only $50,000 pesos, aka $100 at Lider/Walmart. Very glad that electronics are insanely overpriced here like they are in Brazil and Costa Rica. I think I can eek enough money out of the grocery budget to be able to by a camera in a few weeks.
Plus, our cell phones have camera's on them, so we can still take snapshots, although not as good of quality, they will do and can help capture some moments till I buy a camera. Just need to find the cord to upload those pics to the USB drive... hmm...
Now Corey and I discuss often if it could be true that everything could be a blessing. Corey is a little skeptical. We do agree that all things work together for the good of those who love God. But if you think - what's the worst thing that could ever happen to you? How about being burned in a fire and have 80% of your body scarred? Could something like that be a blessing? How about having your life change in an instant and having your spouse and 2 children die in a car accident? Those would definitely be trials. Could they also be blessings? Stephanie Nielsen, from scenario #1, says in this video that it is a blessing (at 5:50). If she can see something so difficult and hard and challenging as a blessing, I think I should try a little harder to see what I can learn from all of my smaller trials, like a broken camera. It must be a blessing. If I have an eternal perspective, I can be calm with these little inconveniences and learn patience, learn to not be angry, learn to be grateful, and hopefully develop my character so I can be someone worthy to sit down with amazing people like Stephanie in the kingdom of God.
Another thought - Stephanie also talks about being a mother (4:50+) Sometimes it's hard to realize that just being a parent and having a family could be counted as a sacrifice to the Lord, cause you know, it's just normal life... usually I don't really see it as service or anything remarkably special. I'm thankful for Stephanie's comments on that, and also this video that brought tears to my eyes and reminded me again that being a Mom is one of the most important things in the world. And I do know that it is the best thing. Love these little people ~ and Corey who gave them all to me and takes care of all of us. :)
It is to decide forever to have your heart go
walking around outside your body."
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
This is a little promotional video that Start Up Chile did of Corey for their California launch/kick off thing. They've gotten 1000+ from California, but only 33 from Utah and are giving Corey a hard time, cause he said Utah's where it's at! Come on, Utah, you guys can do better than that! Don't let him down!
Start Up Chile is taking applications now for round 2 - last day to apply is March 15th and the next 100 entrepreneurs to come to Chile will be announced on April 25th.
Corey and I are here paving the way for you - so when you come to Chile, I'll have all the answers you need, except I might not know where a thrift store is yet, I'll get on it though.
Yes, our friend Kurt came back this morning - left the blizzardy weather of Utah to come back here to Chile to finish up his StartUp Chile business. "The weather here is great!" he happily told us - I shall try to remember that more often and not take it for granted. He brought with him a suitcase of goodies for us from Grandparent's and Walmart and Costco. Sadly, despite my research that it was okay to bring in raisins and craisins, they were both confiscated by the SAG at the airport. How rude. Let it be known that if you want to try and bring in raisins or craisins, SALT must be listed among the ingredients or it's a no-go (didn't know that the "salado" on the list was a must have requirement). I looked online, some sites said if it's sealed and is a brand name it's okay, others said if it's on the SAG's list it's okay (which raisins and craisins were, again didn't know the "salty" part was mandatory.) Glad we didn't try to bring in mangos - those are more costly and so I woudda been way ticked to have those taken away. You live and learn!
All the peanut butter and nuts arrived safe and sound, and I had toast with Adams peanut butter today for breakfast! Thank you Mom!!! Gonna keep the Adams PB jars hidden for "Mom's (and Dad's if he want's it) consumption only!" and make them last the rest of the time here, however long that shall be.
Another tip: if you're coming to South America and you have a baby with a bottom that needs to be wiped daily, bring your own wipes. The wipes here are worthless, and I've bought and tried every different brand they have. The Huggies brand here is tolerable, but still pretty weak (and the most expensive). Thank you again, dear mother, for the diapers and the Parent's Choice wipes! I hope to make these last the rest of our time here too, I shall wipe Lily sparingly. Parent's Choice are this Parent's wipe of choice! I prefer them over all the brand names in Utah. I brought enough to Costa Rica that they lasted us the 3 months there, and have been missing them dearly here in Chile. Now that I have good wipes again, I just might make it!
Another request from Walmart - floss picks. They don't have any floss picks at all here in Chile, or if they do have them, I haven't found them. So we've been using the same small handful of floss picks that are still hanging on to life from what we packed for Costa Rica. It's just so much easier and quicker to floss 7 kids with floss picks instead of floss. Well, the older 3 floss themselves, but I like to double check the molars sometimes and don't like trying to see in their mouths with my hands in the way. Glad to have floss picks again! I will survive!
And some other treats from Costco arrived - 2 boxes of Z bars, suckers and Reeces Cups, and some b-day presents for Ethan that I can't photograph cause he reads the blog, gotta keep it a surprise for ya Eth! You only have a month to wait till your big day! I know, I know, it's torture!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I didn't mention this in my Monday post, but as I was trying to figure out where to go to see a doctor, I started to get mad at the easiest thing to get mad at - being in Chile. Now I do like Chile, but when situations of stress arise, I blame Chile, cause I don't know how to deal with the stress as well as I would if I were back in my comfort zone in the US. Same thing with Abi's thumb - I blame Chile. Same thing with my simple wardrobe right now - I blame Chile, cause I don't know if they have thrift store, and don't think I could handle paying full price. (Anyone from Chile reading this? Are there thrift stores here?!? Someplace where I could find some pants and shirts for $2000-$3000 pesos, that would be awesome)
So, I was mad that we were here in Chile on Monday, until I calmed down and remember the small miracles that have happened along the way. We prayed for this opportunity, we felt good about it, and have felt the Lord helping us, protecting us, and blessing us. It reminds me of this excellent talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the 12 Apostles - This talk is one of my personal classics that I reference over and over again and it always renews my faith.
Here's an brief excerpt:
Every one of us runs the risk of fear. You do, and I do. That is exactly the problem that beset the children of Israel at the edge of the Red Sea. It has everything to do with holding fast to earlier illumination. The record says, "And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid."
Some, just like those Paul had described earlier, said, "Let's go back. This isn't worth it. We must have been wrong. That probably wasn't the right spirit telling us to leave Egypt." What they actually said to Moses was, "Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? . . . It had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness" (Exodus 14:10–12).
And I have to say, "What about that which has already happened? What about the miracles that got you here? What about the frogs and the lice? What about the rod and the serpent, the river and the blood? What about the hail, the locusts, the fire, and the firstborn sons?"
How soon we forget. It would not have been better to stay and serve the Egyptians, and it is not better to remain outside the Church nor to reject a mission call nor to put off marriage and so on and so on forever. Of course our faith will be tested as we fight through these self-doubts and second thoughts. Some days we will be miraculously led out of Egypt--seemingly free, seemingly on our way--only to come to yet another confrontation, like all that water lying before us. At those times we must resist the temptation to panic and to give up. At those times fear will be the strongest of the adversary's weapons against us.
"And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. . . . The Lord shall fight for you."
In confirmation the great Jehovah said to Moses, "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward" (Exodus 14:13–15; emphasis added).
That is the second lesson of the spirit of revelation. After you have gotten the message, after you have paid the price to feel his love and hear the word of the Lord, "go forward." Don't fear, don't vacillate, don't quibble, don't whine. You may have to find a route that leads an unusual way, that is exactly what the Lord was doing here for the children of Israel. Nobody had ever crossed the Red Sea this way, but so what? There's always a first time. With the spirit of revelation, dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet. In the words of Joseph Smith, "Brethren [and, I would add, sisters], shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!" (D&C 128:22).
So, although sometimes we are a little homesick, we will keep going forward. Keep the faith!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Kids are doing good - learning Spanish (watching Toy Story 3 in Spanish again - they are really starting to pick up the phrases)
Got a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. My best helper Joe is in the zone playing a game with Ethan with their legos, and they didn't want to be interrupted yet, plus I usually like to let them go with it when they are getting along, hate to break a good thing. So the dishes will have to wait. The good thing is that the pile can't get any bigger cause we don't have any more clean dishes. We have 9 spoons, 9 forks, so after breakfast they are all dirty and if they don't get cleaned, well, we're all outta luck until someone who wants to eat cleans them. So then it's a contest of who can wait to eat or who can figure out something to eat that doesn't require a dish or utensil.
I cleaned my cutting knife and have been chopping vegetables for a soup - a carrot, cabbage, white bean soup. Chop up some fresh tomatoes and throw those in - Mmmm!
This past week has been soup week. I think we'll continue it onto next week. Whatever I'm craving when I'm at the store, that is what we eat. 5 weeks ago - cream cheese - cream cheese and ham rolls, cream cheese with salsa and chips, yummm. 4 weeks ago - lots of nuts -peanuts and almonds and peanut butter. 3 weeks ago - pickles, mustard, and hotdogs. I'm still kinda craving those, so we keep the hot dogs on hand and make ourselves Chilean "completos" regularly. Everyone likes those, even Corey. I think back in the US, I labeled hot dogs as kid food - those are only for the little humans who don't appreciate really good dining, like salmon & steak, roasted vegetables and spinach salads. But here we all like them! Corey's completos come with avocado and tomato. 2 weeks ago the fruit looked soooo good at the store - mangoes, nectarines, kiwi, mmm. Then last week, I had been looking at some soup recipes on Bodyrock and they sounded so good, so I stocked up on celery, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, tomatoes, and soup has been on the menu this week. Mel and Ethan love it, everyone else not so much. Oh well. Like I said, whatever I'm craving is what they're stuck with.
One last random thought - as I was chopping cabbage and cutting carrots, I was listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD of "Love is Spoken Here" and I got totally teared up listening to track 6 - now it's on repeat and of course I had to look up the lyrics - beautiful beautiful song. It makes me think of Corey and the stirring in his heart to find his calling of what God wants him to do to make a difference in the world, or of my own children when they grow and their hearts are pulled to a calling and mission that they want to fulfill. Reminds me of this quote:
roots to know where home is and wings to fly off
and practice what has been taught them."
~ Jonas Salk
Beautiful song. Listen to it here
Music and Lyrics by Marta Keen
In the quiet misty morning
When the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing
And the sky is clear and red,
When the summer's ceased its gleaning
When the corn is past its prime,
When adventure's lost its meaning -
I'll be homeward bound in time
Bind me not to the pasture
Chain me not to the plow
Set me free to find my calling
And I'll return to you somehow
If you find it's me you're missing
If you're hoping I'll return,
To your thoughts I'll soon be listing,
In the road I'll stop and turn
Then the wind will set me racing
As my journey nears its end
And the path I'll be retracing
When I'm homeward bound again
Bind me not to the pasture
Chain me not to the plow
Set me free to find my calling
And I'll return to you somehow
Bind me not to the pasture
Chain me not to the plow
Set me free to find my calling
And I'll return to you somehow
Bind me not to the pasture
Chain me not to the plow
Set me free to find my calling
And I'll return to you somehow
Bind me not to the pasture
Chain me not to the plow
Set me free to find my calling
And I'll return,
And I'll return,
And I'll return . . .to you somehow
Monday, February 21, 2011
Step 1: Let her collapse wherever she is once she is tired enough to collapse.
Looks like this day it was the floor by the front door.
Another day, another nap time. This day it was on the breakfast bench.
...Got a little piece of bread stuck to her lips
And another day at McDonald's:
Putting her in her carseat probably works better than just letting her collapse. She's usually out in 3 minutes if it's anytime after 12:00. Here she fell asleep in the car on the short drive to McDonald's last week. Slept through the transfer inside too and continued her nap on Corey's lap. Sweet dreams little girl~
So this morning I woke up and went to do this Bodyrock routine - only 12 minutes, intense enough to be a workout, I'd take it easy on the jumping lunges - I did some jumps, some just step back lunges. Then after that workout I did 20 minutes of light jump rope and plank holds. Well, I guess I pushed too hard... I came home, took a shower, ate some bean soup, then as I started to the next order of business of cleaning the house I felt something warm and wet that was not supposed to be felt... I went to the bathroom and there was some spotting. Crap!
I hadn't been in for an ultrasound yet but honestly, I was going to do it this week, I promise. I promised my sister in law Chalane that I would, I told her I was going to go this week cause I was tired of being on edge not knowing, having my guard up from the miscarriage in Costa Rica. Yesterday I even talked to my friend, Carola, at church about where to go. You gotta believe me (I'm pleading with Corey here) I'm not trying to be a careless pregnant woman! I laid down on the bed with some tp to soak up anything else and that was quickly drenched along with my pants, changed my clothes again, I was crying and in the bathroom by myself saying "Crap! I'm so sorry!" More blood drips out... "Crap! I'm so sorry!!" I think I was apologizing to the baby for killing it, then I cried some more. I got a hold of Carola and got the address of the hospital she mentioned and then left Corey with all the kids while I went and tried to get an appointment and see what I could do.
Off to Integramedica at 12:30. It is part of the Alto Las Condes Mall. You walk into what looks like another shop, walk past the information counter and back to an elevator, then you go up to a whole hospital that is built on top of the mall (I think) - maybe they're just connected through that little tunnel? I don't know, I was turned around, but found my way to the 6th floor for Gynecology. Told the lady I didn't have an appointment but needed an ultrasound cause I'm pregnant, should be 11 weeks today, but I've been (start to tear and choke up talking to her... Keep it together Tiff!!) bleeding this morning. Is there a way to see a doctor? She asks for my info, my RUT number (like Social Security Numbers) I don't have one, Your passport number then, doh! I forgot my passport, I let her help who's next while I excuse myself to call Corey and get my passport number.
Got it, okay, you have an appointment at 1:00 (in 15 minutes) then she mentions the appointment to the doctor who was passing by in the hall, he mumbles something to her as he's hidden from my view, she goes to her computer again, You have an appointment for 2:00. Is that okay? Yes, that's fine. I leave and go to the bathroom to check on my status (I'm wearing one of Lily's diapers) and more blood. I'm crying in the bathroom. I leave for the elevator, put on my sunglasses, and go crying but trying not to cry and look for a place where I can cry outloud without being ashamed. I didn't want to go to the car though, so I walk through the parking lot and am lost and almost get killed (not really) crossing the 4 lane entrance to the parking lot from the Kennedy ramp, finally find a sidewalk and am able to get to the little park with benches that I was looking for on the little grassy area between north and south roads of traffic on Padre Hurtado Avenue. I sat, cried, prayed, and read the parts of Alma 31 that I've highlighted for myself for when I'm in situations like this:
verse 30 "...O Lord, wilt thou give me strength, that I may abear with mine infirmities. For I am infirm..."
verse 31 "...O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me..."
verse 32 "O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto (Corey) success (with MovieMouth... I pray for that alot), and also my (children) who are with me—yea, (Joseph, Melodie, Ethan, Hyrum, Wesley, Abi and Lily - Melodie and Hyrum were really sad Sunday night, really homesick for Utah, and I know the others are too, so I thought I'd insert their names in this scripture as I read it) —yea, even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ."
verse 33 "Wilt thou grant unto them that they may have strength, that they may bear their afflictions which shall come upon them..."
verse 38 "And the Lord provided for them ... yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.
So I read that and it left me thinking... Alma's prayers were answered according to his faith. Sometimes I think if I have faith, I can have control over things that I want or don't want to happen. But what about the "... But if not". He can do it, but sometimes he doesn't. That's where our test of faith comes in - Daniel 3:17-18 . Faced with one of the greatest trials of their lives, these men knew that God had the power to deliver them. They believed He would. But even if He didn’t – if the miracle never happened – they would rather be burned alive than forsake their faith. So true faith is not contingent on results. True faith is more than just believing that God can and will empower and deliver us in life. It is acting on that belief whether he does or not. Corey gave me a priesthood blessing before I left that whatever happened I would know that the Lord was in it. I knew that God could let the baby still be alive. He has the power to do that. But if he didn't let me keep this pregnancy, I would be okay. With my crying under control, a cool breeze started to blow, and I thanked the Lord for the wind. Then I tried to love the things I didn't love, like the traffic noise. I thought of loving everything around me like Meg Johnson did when she was in the hospital (Something Corey listened to on the Mormon Channel this week that he shared with all of us yesterday - you should listen to that interview - on that link click on the top "Listen to Episode 9" or click here, I think that should work, very inspiring!)
Anyway, so after that time on my little bench, I was calm and comforted and ready to go back into the Mall and didn't cry anymore the rest of the time. I bought myself some Sour Jelly Bellys and a lightly glazed croissant just cause (in effort to produce any serotonin or other happy hormones that I could to help lower any stress that might have caused the bleeding.) Yummy croissant btw.
At 1:50, I was back up on the 6th floor - I paid to see the doctor and then she called me back. A very nice doctor, and after meeting her I was glad that the doctor at 1:00 couldn't see me, eventhough I was pretty ticked at him at first. I thought he was really mean and selfish. But now I was glad, cause he didn't look as nice as the lady doctor and I don't think I would have been as comfortable with him.
So, she asked me a few questions. She looked at me like I was a very naughty girl that I hadn't seen a doctor or had lab work done or done anything yet regarding this pregnancy. I laughed a little bit to myself, thinking of Brian Regan... ("What should you have done?") She was disappointed, but she was cute and I could tell she liked me and I knew she was there to help me. Then as we continued out talk it was revealed that with my pregnancy/miscarriage in Costa Rica that I hadn't gone to a doctor then either, before the miscarriage or after (she looked at me over her glasses like a librarian and like I was from another planet and did not use common sense that earthlings use.) Then she said "...so this will be your first baby?" "No, the eighth..." and she stopped, looked at me over her glasses again and like I was from another planet again, but for a different reason this time. She didn't say anything, so I said again, "I have 7 ninos." "Siete..." said like a question and a statement of disbelief, she was funny. So then I felt better and I think she didn't think I was as careless as she thought at first, cause I've obviously got experience with pregnancy and know a little bit of how it goes and what's going on. :)
She did an exam, said could tell I had been bleeding, but looked okay, she felt my tummy and said it felt big like their could be a viable pregnancy in there. She got her thing to hear the heartbeat, and there was a heartbeat. We were both very happy! I was very grateful, I am very grateful. Thank you, dear Lord. She sent me down to floor 4 for an ultrasound, and everything is okay. I'm under orders to rest for 5 days, so no more morning workouts, I will be more careful.
And now I'm back on my back. So that was my Monday, a day of highs and lows, trying to learn about faith again - I'm sure I'll be needing these lessons my whole life. Thank you Lord for this baby. And I promise I will be more careful!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
We started off like we do every other day, with all of us sleeping in until 9 (We all stay up until midnight last night again, I blame the position of Chile on the earth and the angle of the sun, cause we had great sleeping habits in Costa Rica)
The kids eagerly started their Spanish lessons - today's lesson: Buscando Nemo on Disney channel. As says Squirt the little turtle, "Sweet!" to Crush's "Totally..." I love it in Spanish "Dulce!" - "Exacto..." It's so fun hearing it in Spanish and what they say - we also all got a good laugh when the underwater bombs all exploded after the Shark tries to eat Dori, and a bubble pops up at the surface where two Pelicans are relaxing in the water, you know that part? In English the one pelican says to the other "Nice..." In Spanish "Que lindo..." We all laughed, and it's part of their list now to use on each other when they do something gross. "Que lindo!"
Around 11:45 I left and went to the Temple. It is beautiful. I love the temple. We went there for Jansi's wedding, but this was my first time going there to do work. It was great. Just a 15-20 minute drive, about the same drive that we had in Utah! We're so close!
I got home just after 1:30, and shortly after I got home, our plans to go to the park were canceled and Corey took Abi to the Emergency room instead.
How it happened:
I walked in, I sit on the couch by Corey and tell him how the temple was. Then we hear a more urgent than normal scream from Abi coming from the hall. Then we hear Ethan screaming "ABI!!!" I run over thinking he's mad at her and going to do her some harm, but rather Ethan is looking at Abi's thumb and crying and about to pass out, Abi is not looking at her thumb but holding it up screaming, I look at her thumb and go into we-gotta-emergency mode. From my brief glance it appeared that the root of her thumbnail was on the outside of her finger and blood is dripping down her hand. Somehow it got shut in the bedroom door on the hinge side of the door. It totally closed on her thumb, Ethan opened the door so she could get out.
(don't look at this picture if you're squeamish)
We put a towel on her thumb, wipe the rest of the blood off of her, get her shoes on, put her in the stroller, and we wish we had made a plan of what to do in an emergency with our insurance. I call Carola to ask her where might be good places to go. We decided on Clinica Aleman, it's very close. I hand Corey my camera to document while they're gone. He left, and I spend the next hour trying to figure out our new traveler's insurance to see if we need to worry about if the Clinic isn't in network or something.
Abi passed the time playing Bubble Popper on Corey's phone.
Corey comes home at 3:30. Abi is asleep in the stroller with her little hand in a sling.
Corey tells me how Abi was and how the Clinica Aleman was.
Abi did great until they poked her with a needle. True, that part hurt, but after a minute Corey asked her if it hurt and she shook her head "no". Corey asks her why she's screaming then. She avoids answering and says "I don't like Chile!" She didn't like them bringing scissors and doing stuff to her thumb. But she did as good as a 3 year old could be expected to do.
As for the Clinica Aleman, Corey gives it 5 stars - top notch hospital, excellent service, just as good if not better than the States. Way to go Chile! You're keeping good with being my Latino version of the US. Only glitch: They needed something else paper-wise to be able to file with our insurance which I wasn't able to get faxed over today, so Corey paid out of pocket and hopefully we'll get it taken care of on Monday and re-imbursed.
I'm grateful it all happened after I got home from the temple instead of while I was gone with the car. Good timing. Corey gave me a kiss on the cheek as he headed out the door to go pick up Abi's pain relief medicine, and he says "Happy Anniversary" as he gives me a slap on the behind.
My kids wear glasses, but they frequently loose them, leave them out, or bend them as they rough house. After 3 months in Costa Rica & 3 weeks in Chile, my two boys were left glasses-less. My mother is an angel and so here's a shout out to my amazing Mom for going to Walmart and ordering glasses for them and express shipping them here to Chile so that my kids can see!!!
Ethan and Hyurm wearing their glasses freshly out of the DHL package - THANK YOU MOM!!!
For a laugh, see this eye exam clip by Brian Regan :) Love Brian Regan!
Neither Corey or I wear glasses now. Nor did we wear glasses as children. But 4 of my 7 children wear glasses. Melodie got glasses 1st when she was 4. As we'd watch a movie or something on the computer. she's move her face close to the screen and we'd always impatiently bark at her to move back. I learned she needed glasses when one time she replied back in frustration "I can't see!" Oh! That never occurred to me! Doh, bad mother! I scheduled an appointment for her with an opthamologist. He asked me if she crossed her eyes, and then it occurred to me again that yes, she did cross her eyes quite a bit, and for that too I'd usually tell her to stop crossing her eyes, not thinking that there was a reason for her crossed eyes. You live and learn, and I did learn. Sorry Mel that I didn't do a better job knowing what you needed! Like they say, there's no handbook for raising kids or being parents.
So, I learned: watch for crossed eyes. When Hyrum was a 9 month old baby, I started to notice his eyes crossing regularly as he'd sit in his highchair. I didn't know how the doctor would know if he needed glasses since, as a baby, he probably wouldn't be able to verbally help out with any exams they do. But guess what, they know how to tell, and Hyrum is far sighted, and he got glasses. He was so cute with them on. Couldn't even walk yet, but was wearing glasses. He was nicknamed "The Professor". The Doctor told me that the kids condition is genetic, and thus 9 out of 10 of my children would need glasses. That's 90%! Uhh, I already got 5 kids and only 2 of them are in glasses now, that's only 40%. I better bring in the others! I kept my eyes actively open to notice the slightest sign of crossing.
Ethan got glasses next when he started to cross his eyes. He was 4, diagnosis: near sighted.
Lastly Abi got glasses when she was 2. The same crossing of eyes tipped me off again, so watch your kids eyes! If they cross their eyes, take them in for an exam. I took all my little kids to Primary Children's to see Dr. Scott A. Larson at the John A. Moran Eye Center. He is great.
Fast forward to now -we started our 3 month stint in Costa Rica in September with 8 pairs of eyeglasses for the kids. Melodie had 1, Ethan had 3, Hyrum had 2, and Abi had 2. That's a lot of glasses for me to keep track of, but I'm doing better at it. The kids however could show some improvement. Sometimes it was simple mistakes, other times just carelessness.
Melodie is an angel and kept her glasses safe and unbent the whole time in Costa Rica. She gets 5 stars.
Ethan lost his favorite "Harry Potter" glasses, as he calls them, (in the top photo there) somewhere in the ocean waves of Tamarindo when he was surfing with Corey. He said he felt he should leave them on the towel, but then Corey said they might get stolen, so he followed his father's advice and wore them. Ethan's glasses: 3 - 1 = 2. He was crying when he got home, they were his favorite glasses. Corey teased "Well Eth, if the Spirit tells you to do something, you gotta listen to it! Don't listen to your Dad! What does he know!"
Hyrum's glasses were frequently bent and stepped on and lost from being forgotten and left out by the swimming pool. He lost one pair when he left them out by the pool and some men came to put up a fence around the pool. I found them later stepped on in the dirt, I could only find one lense. Hyrum's glasses: 2 - 1 = 1.
Luckily Ethan's other two pairs were the same frame as Hyrum's, so those frames and lenses got passed around depending on which frame I was able to adjust to fit best on that day. Hyrum lost his glasses at the Marriott in San Jose, can't remember where he set them down, nothing in the lost and found, they just disappeared! Magic. So using two of his old lenses that I had brought along and taking away one of Ethan's frames for Hyrum, we eek out another pair. Hyrum glasses: 1 - 1 = 0 + 1 = 1.
Ethan's glasses: 2 - 1 = 1. Ethan's frames get busted, we take his lenses a
So we survived 3 months without Costco Opitical or the Walmart Vision Center. If we had headed back to the states, we would have been good. But we left for Chile and Ethan and Hyrum's one pair each only lasted us 3 weeks. Glasses are expensive here, as are the exams without insurance (or Costco's great eye exam prices) so I asked my mom to pick up some pairs of their prescriptions at Walmart and we'll just hope those get us by until we make it back to the states. Crossing my fingers. I've been stressed about the kids glasses much over the years. Trying to keep them un-bent, un-lost, and unbroken, such a chore with kids! But what are ya gonna do, they gotta see, right?
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Plus on top of whatever bug I currently got, I thought I'd mention that we are expecting again. Corey told his parent's over the weekend. I was thinking we could keep it a secret from them until we returned home, but since I can't keep a secret Corey was afraid they'd find out online. (that link is where I let the cat out of the bag and mentioned we're expecting in a post I submitted to BodyRock.tv that was posted last week...) Wrides, you guys don't frequent that site, do you? See Corey, I can't keep a secret, but I do try to be careful about where I blab.
Corey kept chuckling to himself the rest of the evening after he read my post, cause the post was me in my "Oh yeah - I'm on the ball!" mode - chest thumping rah-rah-rah! When Corey who lives with me could see that the mode I'm really in right now is "lying on the bed - kids if you're hungry go make some sandwiches - Joe, will you turn on a movie for Lily, sorry guys I just gotta rest, I feel like crap" mode. Maybe we're done having kids, cause I seriously loathe feeling like this. I can't be out of commission like this. I hate it. So then I think, what do you think, is it worth putting up with 2+ months of feeling like garbage to enjoy another little friend for the rest of your life? It probably is worth it, if I can keep the right perspective. Well, 2+ months of nausea plus 3 months of a slightly inconvenient belly then 3 months of time standing still while you are huge and uncomfortable? Seriously, the last trimester is torture. Why do the last 3 months of pregnancy last an eternity and then the three months after a baby is born just fly by? Although since I'm just 10 weeks along I'm probably getting ahead of myself if I'm already thinking and fretting about that. A lot of the torture is probably in my head.
Oh, one more think, in that bodyrock post I say how we're living our dreams, ain't settling for a 9-5 job, yada yada. So I need to clarify that I know that if it weren't for other people working their 9-5 + jobs and helping us out a lot that we wouldn't be able to do what we're doing. Thanks to everyone for the loans/gifts of $ that helped us fly here to Chile and get us by with the day to day living. (I hope Media Mouth gets some investment soon so we can buy airfare home!) I like Chile, but also feel like I entered a wardrobe into another world and have been living a different life here. Some days I'm tired of it and want to go back to my previous "normal" life, but until then, long live Narnia. This is a great experience and I'm thankful for it. Wish I didn't have morning sickness though. I was doing great during December and the beginning of January. Now I'm worthless. Blah!
What do you think, Lily? Should we read Narnia ~ have our adventure and then go home? Or should we Practicar Speaking Chileno slang?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
At the Valentine's Day Party on Monday, we stayed there all the afternoon - until 6:00. Around 5:00 I tried to get my kids to wrap things up - let's clean up some toys, let's put your towels and valentine's in the car, and Abi, the bunny needs a rest, we gotta go put the bunny in his cage. It took a few times telling her, but she finally relented and put the bunny away. Back downstairs to clean up more toys. After 10 minutes or so I count heads again... Where did Abi go? Abi? Abi! Where are you? We looked upstairs in Mary's room where she had played Barbies. Nope. She wasn't downstairs, not in the kitchen sneaking goodies (where she usually is found at home), Abi? We look outside again, and then I see it, two little feet hiding behind a tree at the far side of the backyard (I immediately thought of Eve hiding in the Garden of Eden)
Abi? Oh, I know what you're doing! You got the bunny out again didn't you? You little sneaker, trying to hid her disobedience, tsk tsk! We gotta teach you a lesson! (But first I go get my camera to take a picture, you make me laugh)
This little bunny was so patient with all the kids carrying it around. Looks like rabbits might be the ideal pet - small, fluffy, quiet, let kids maul them, (do they shed?) Abi might need a rabbit. She wants a rabbit. The thought of it sounds nice, but luckily Corey's not ready for a pet and I realize that the kids will be starting school soon and I don't want to worry about two toddlers loose with a rabbit all day do I?
I have a hard enough time keeping track of a toddler with eyeglasses, and the eyeglasses don't run around, need to be fed, or leave traces of what they've been fed. Yes, once I've mastered eyeglasses we'll consider the next level, which will probably be a plant. Until then, I might schedule regular visits to the Lamberts! Ready for that Liz? :)
Melodie is such a sweetheart. At the party yesterday as she was passing out Valentines and I was helping Wesley and Abi give out theirs, when Mel came over to me and said "Here's your Valentine, Mom" ~ I was so surprised! I wasn't even on the list! She is so thoughtful. Then she said "Where should I put Dad's?" We put Corey's valentine with mine to give to him after we got home.
As my kids were decorating cookies and then eating them, Melodie quietly worked on hers. As we were loading up the car to come home, she had a plate with 2 cookies on it. One was half eaten. She left the plate down and Lily found it and helped herself the to rest of the eaten cookie. The other cookie was hidden under a napkin and untouched, so I guarded it away and told Mel later that Lily found her plate of cookies and ate one "Which one did she eat?" The one that was half eaten. "Oh good. The other cookie is for Dad." I again was impressed with her thoughtfulness.
When we got home, we hid his plate with cookie and Valentine in his clothes closet for him to discover on his own.
Later during our family scripture reading, we all started talking after and Ethan was being silly and complaining (in a joking way) that the only Valentines he got were from people he didn't even know, and his family didn't get him ANYTHING!
"I don't feel very loved around here and you guys are supposed to love me the most!!" I piped up "Well you didn't get me a Valentine either! So there! But Melodie got me a Valentine... (kiss kiss) Melodie is so thoughtful! And guess what else..." And I told her to go get her thing for Dad. She came back with the cookie and Valentine and Corey made her feel super special "MELODIE!!! Awww!!! You made me a Valentine? AND a cookie! You must really love me! Oh, come here, you are my favorite Valentine!!" Ethan tries to get back in to the conversation "Well I would have gotten you a Valentine but I didn't get to make a cookie!!" (He was playing with a lizard when everyone else was doing cookies...)
Corey teased him back "Ethan, it's best to just not say anything, it just makes you look worse... Don't make excuses, just chalk it up to experience and try to remember to be thoughtful next time, like Melodie was, Oh come here Mel! (kiss kiss!)
Gotta love little girls. Love you Melodie! She is our thoughtful princess. I know she will take good care of us when we're old and in the retirement home. :)
Monday, February 14, 2011
Abi, who had no idea what we were doing anyway, was so surprised and pleased to find lots of treats in her bag! (look at that little chubby face)
Then we all enjoyed a nice lunch - sandwiches, chips, watermelon, more treats and goodies
Then we decorated heart shaped sugar cookies with pink & white frosting and sprinkles, and made little cardboard craft bags.
Wesley putting his Valentine's to give out into his box.
Hyrum - plastic bin, paper, duct tape. Very simple and quick to do (he put it off until today)
Ethan's, above, included the basic duct tape and paper, plus a Milo can, and a DVD case that Lily had ripped off the plastic cover from. I think he worked on his the longest. A little small to hold his cards from the party.
Melodie's on top and Wesley's on the bottom. Made from cardboard, duct tape, the lids from Huggies Wipes, white paper. Melodie helped Wesley with his box, as you can see they both have a similar design and style. She also helped both Wes and Abi with their cards. And she even made one for me and Corey! I think she really means it!
Joe's box was made our of Legos. Sorry Joe, I didn't get a picture of yours.
I think I'll whip up another batch real quick, cause I don't have time to go to the store alone, and I don't want to go with the kids. (No offense kids)
I did take Abi and Lily with me to the store a week ago. I've pretty much gone grocery shopping solo for the past month, since I only go once a week, I figured it's okay to have 2 hours once a week without kids. But it had been a while, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Practically the whole time at the store I was getting so frustrated with Abi, actually more with myself cause I really knew deep down that that was what it was going to be like with her at the store. Of course I stayed far away from the toy section. But throughout the store she'd grab the junk food off of every tempting display. "Mom! Can we get chips!" "No, put them back" "Mom! Can we get cookies!" "No, we already got some cookies" The check out isle was killer too, cause it was hard to distract Lily from the shiny wrapped candy bars and treats that were just out of her reach. She was freaking out, and Abi was running around, throwing her cat. It was funny, a typical day at the store with toddlers, which is why I don't take them. :)
Abi did make me laugh in the produce isle when she saw this house for her cat (she's holding her webkinz cat)...
"Mom! It's a house!" she said in a happy voice of discovery. I turned to see what she was looking at, smiled. Imitating her happy tone, I replied "Actually, it's a garbage!" Then I cringed as she started to put her cat inside... "No, no, don't do that..." I continued to put veggies in the cart, she sat thinking, then replied, "It's a garbage house!" That made me laugh. Kids are fun. Mostly fun when they are lost in play in their kid world, imagining triangle shaped garbages are houses for their stuffed pets. Not so much fun shopping for me, unless I'm really relaxed and ready for it. So no store bought valentines for us, gonna go not-bake some more cookies real quick. Happy Valentine's Day!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Parque Araucano is the name of a huge park near our home (beautiful flowers). Parque Arauco is the name of the mall north of it. The names are too similar - it's confusing for me. Both are within walking distance from our apartment. Last night Corey and I were thinking we should start making a weekly date night a priority again. I didn't arrange for a sitter though, but said maybe we could just run over to a cafe and leave Joe in charge. Still, I wasn't feeling that great with the pregnancy, and Corey was in the zone with his work, so I started to think we wouldn't go out today, we'll try tomorrow. Then Corey came back from his work and wondered why I wasn't ready, aren't we gonna go? "I thought we were gonna leave Joe in charge?" "Oh, well I thought you were going to work tonight?" (A fault Corey and I both have is that we are both too accommodating to the other, thus we never know what we're gonna do cause we don't know what the other really wants to do) So, how bout this, you go work for another 50 minutes, be back here at 9, I'll be ready, we'll leave Joe in charge, and go for a quick date. Plan! Look at us, we made a plan! Good job.
Corey was back at 9. Mel was making Valentines with Abi, Lily was watching a "moo-mee" Toy Story 3 in Spanish, Hy, Wes, and Ethan all lost in Legos, we quietly told Joe we were now going to sneak out, here's my phone, call us, we're just across the street.
And we were out! We went on a nice night time walk, the air felt cool - These past few days it has actually been overcast! It's been perfect weather and sunshine since we got here in Santiago the beginning of December, so these past few days have been so nice, nice cool air, it even slightly rained on Wednesday. It feels like fall in Utah - beautiful.
We walked through the park and into the mall, it was my first time to the mall. "You haven't been here yet?" Corey's decides I need to get out more. We wandered around, pretty lights and music. It had already been a half hour, we call and check on Joe, all is well. We decided to go eat at Tierra De Fuego. I got the Salmon with some rice, covered with some tasty and buttery sauce. Not good to eat that kinda stuff, (especially after 9 at night! doh!) But it was tasty, saved half for later. Corey got the Steak and potatoes. Delicious.
After taking our time eating, never felt any impressions to hurry home, it was 10:00 and the phone rang. I was Joe. "Mom. I just wanted to let you know that Toy Story 3 just ended, Lily is asleep, the other kids are watching Kid History on your computer, and the kitchen is clean."
"Wow Joe, thanks so much... You are awesome." We got lucky with Joe, you couldn't ask for a better kid. Only 11 years old and he can babysit 6 kids! We pay our bill and walk home. Hooray for our first date night of the year! We'll give it a shot again next week. We might have reached the next level of parenthood - able to leave our oldest kid in charge! Sweet!
Driving along Avenida Kennedy - isn't Las Condes beautiful?
TGI Fridays - lots of restaurants across the street for us to visit, lots of date nights. And I love this wall of plants on the Mall - isn't that great design and so "green"! I'm thinking I'd like a wall garden like this someday.