Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Einstellung ist alles.

Today I had a revelation, a triumph over negativity.

Lately I have had this attitude toward my life that it's overwhelming... difficult... and hard, to say the least. Sometimes I break down and lose all patience and wonder if I can manage to work through another day like this. I have known that I have needed an attitude adjustment for some time now, I just didn't know how.

Today as I was carrying the clothes to the laundry room, it hit me. Of course it's difficult... yes, I did sign up for it... and, here's the part that was new, I actually want it to be this way. How boring would it be to have it any other way? How else can I have a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day... week... month... year?

Who wants to look back at their life when it's all said and done and say, Boy that was easy!? Not me. I want difficulties, so I can learn from them. I want to make mistakes, so I can better myself. I want challenges, so I can learn to overcome them.

So I scream at the top of my lungs... BRING IT.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So Many I Love Yous!

Daddy and Baby laying on the floor watching TV together.

So it's twenty ten and with the new year comes a new set of goals. We are committed to eating healthier and exercising more often and more consistently. Ever since he turned 25 Erik has been on a diet of raw fruits and vegetables and water. So far it has been two days and he is still going strong! The plan is to detox on this raw diet for 20 days and after that gradually add back in healthy food choices such as fish, milk, whole wheat breads and cereals, etc. He was telling me last night he never appreciated food so much until he couldn't have it anymore! Of course he can eat all he wants - it just has to be fresh from a plant and uncooked. I know he can do it! I, in turn, have been trying to be healthier in my food choices as well, although such a restrictive diet isn't possible for me since I still have the little guy depending on me for sustenance. For now I will stick to the simple plan of water instead of soda and maybe a little less junk fast food and a little more home cooked whole food. The exercise part is easy - now that Erik has a Wii! He has a Wii Fit board and let me tell you, it sure is easy to exercise for 30 minutes on that thing! The time just flies by - and it's not an easy workout, but it is fun! He loves it.

Christmas joy in motion. Ari in front of our Christmas tree.

Erik and I discussed it and we agree - this Christmas was by far the best Christmas yet. Having a little one of our own has brought a whole new dimension to the meaning of the holiday and you know you are a parent when you are more excited to see your child open his presents than you are to open your own. Of course, Ari doesn't quite "get it" yet... he ripped up some wrapping paper (he loves the crinkling sound it makes when he grabs it) and definitely noticed the toys under the tree on Christmas morning. He saw them right away and stared at them and I imagined him thinking, "Are those for me? Oh boy!"

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One of the best Christmas presents we received this year was a website! My dad created www.familyrecipes.us and it is an awesome site for sharing recipes and anyone can join. You can search for a recipe, try it out, comment on it, add to it, upload your own, vote on your favorite foods, and way more. My personal favorite function is the ability to see all recipes containing a particular main ingredient. For instance, I have some chicken in the fridge that needs to be eaten but I am tired of making the same old dish (true story!). I can go onto www.familyrecipes.us and click on "Main Ingredient" under "Recipe Menu" on the side bar and see all recipes that have chicken as the main ingredient and get some great ideas for dinner! Everyone should get on and create a username and check it out because the more users we have, the more recipes we can share! Just make sure it is a tried and true recipe that is already someone's favorite. You can even include the story behind it or special tips on how to prepare it.

Like father, like son!

Out with the old and in with the new, I say! At his four month well-baby check up I talked to our pediatrician about starting Ari on solids and to my surprise he did not recommend the standard text book answer of rice cereal at four months til six months when you can introduce vegetables and fruits. He said the new recommendation is starting with vegetables and skipping the cereal step since it starts babies off on less nutrient-dense carbohydrates.

The Official Royal Taste-Tester Who Wants A Bite Of Everything

So it seems as though we are raising quite an adventurous little gourmand. But with parents like us, I am not surprised. It is not an overstatement to say we LOVE food! In addition to Mom's milk Ari's menu now includes strained green beans, squash, and carrots and he loves it when daddy shares licks of his pineapple, orange, and mandarin with him, although you wouldn't know it to see his reaction. He screws up his face at the taste as he tries to make sense of the new sensations in his mouth - new textures, different temperatures, sourness, sweetness - and smacks his lips with a grimace on his face. After this display he promptly opens his mouth wide like a little bird for more! Needless to say it cracks us up to watch him. The only thing that he does right now that makes us laugh more is when he talks to himself in the morning. When he first wakes up he oohs and ahhs and makes all sorts of new noises and consonant combinations. I imagine he is practicing his words. He brings us so much joy in everything he does.

As of this week, Erik and I are going to be resident managers of an apartment complex here in Chico. It's a great gig and we are very excited to have the opportunity. With this new adventure comes a new two bedroom, two bathroom apartment which means... you guessed it... we are moving AGAIN! Arg. :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Teeny Tiny Little Letter E

Probably the most interesting thing that has happened lately was that Ari had a teeny tiny little letter E stuck to his eyelid yesterday. Sounds completely random, I know. And it was.

Yesterday I was making chocolate chip cookies for our ladies that we visit teach and I was of course singing our favorite Cookie Monster song to Ari while I was mixing and baking... "C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me... Oh! Cookie cookie cookie starts with C!" Once I popped the first batch into the oven I realized it was about time for a diaper change. When I laid Ari down he blinked and I noticed he had something white on his eyelid. I guess C is for Cookie was just too elementary for our little genius! I was laughing for a good minute over the idea that Ari was telling me "E is for Eye!" Could he possibly know? Nah...

I had to get a picture! No one will believe this one. But it was so small, my camera couldn't pick it up. Oh well. There goes my proof.

This is the best I could do. Blurry because Ari is trying to grab the camera. Can't see the E because his eyes are open!

Of course any good mom isn't going to just let her kid go around with something stuck to his eyelid... what if it falls off and gets in his eye? So I gently tried to brush it away with my fingertip. It didn't budge. I got my fingertip wet and tried again. Stuck. I broke out the big guns and got a Q-tip wet and wiped at it again. Still there. So I gave up and figured if it was that well glued to his eyelid then it wasn't going to fall off any time soon. At least it would still be in place when Erik got home. He wouldn't have believed me otherwise. And of course, once he saw it, he cracked up, and proceeded to try and wipe it off. I told him it ain't going anywhere. We just had to wait for it to fall off on its own. We put him to bed that way and this morning it wasn't there anymore.

And just as mysteriously as it had appeared... the teeny tiny little letter E was gone.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dusting off this little gem...

I just found this post that I apparently never posted... was supposed to be filed way back in October. Oh well! Enjoy the not-so-new news.

We are now (mostly) moved in to our new two bedroom place and we are digging all the extra space. It feels as though we have more room to breathe. Ari has his own room, although he still sleeps in his own bassinet in our room so I can respond to his feeding needs in the middle of the night. Aside from a few boxes still to be unpacked in the living room, we are all set up here and almost ready to start entertaining again!

We are now members of Chico 1st Ward under the tutelage of Bishop Embleton whom I had the pleasure of meeting this past Sunday. We are loving our new ward. Ari enjoyed the songs in the Primary Program the children put on during Sacrament Meeting so much that he was laughing and shrieking with joy and got so excited that he tuckered himself out and slept through Sunday School and most of Relief Society!

Our first family pictures are up through the Picture People website: http://tinyurl.com/yj7j433 We got dressed up in our Halloween costumes for the occasion. Ari was so well behaved although he was a little tired and didn't give us any smiles. They still turned out great, and super cute!

'Tis the season for staying inside where it's warm and toasty while it's windy and rainy outside and thus I have been spending more time cooking meals and baking yummies. Been watching a lot of videos on foodnetwork.com and getting inspired along with some neat tips and tricks that I never knew about! More to come on the food front as I educate myself culinarily... is that a word?

We traveled to the Bay Area for Danny and Ashley Pionke's wedding reception set amongst the beautiful redwoods of Los Gatos. It was Ari's first experience being away from home and staying in a hotel. He did great! Of course having an Eastern King size bed to share helped a lot. I'm thinking we need to get one of those soon... the next big thing to save up for after we get a minivan. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Moving Day: Take Two

I'm not sure but I think Ari weighs about 12 pounds now. His newborn diapers cover bums up to ten pounds and he grew out of those at least two weeks ago. According to What To Expect The First Year (which shall henceforth be referred to as WTETFY for brevity) he should weigh 14 pounds 8 ounces, which is double his birth weight of 7 pounds 4 ounces, by the time he is four months old. I think he's on track to meet or possibly exceed that goal! He is seven weeks old and we still haven't made it to that breastfeeding support group yet. I just can't seem to get up early enough on Tuesdays. Some mornings we're up at 8am, others not till 11am or so... there's something about Tuesday that makes it one of the latter. It's ok though because I was looking forward to it more as a social event to get to know other moms and less as a class on nursing. He is pretty much a professional nurser now, surpassing long ago the "first-try" latch and is now working on mastering the "no-look" latch. Those are, of course, made up words for made up milestones.

His latest trick: the truly social smile! I love it when he smiles at me in the morning when he first sees me... there is truly nothing better in the world! Until he starts giggling, of course...

My sister-in-law Ashley was gracious enough to host a Mary Kay party at her house with Amanda, Kim, Rachel, and Brenna, and it was a huge success! I learned a lot, I had a lot of fun hanging out with "the girls," Erik had some Daddy time alone with Ari, and I got to dress up and feel like I was going to work again! There is something about being valued as an Independent Beauty Consultant that adds to my self-esteem in a way that's different from being Mommy, although I must say nothing could compete with mommyhood!

We are still moving, although not to Nord Avenue as I had previously shared. Ashley came over and we spent all day Tuesday packing and took a load over that night to get a head start on Wednesday Moving Day and much to my shock and horror someone had thrown a grapefruit-sized rock through the window of what was to be the baby's room. I called the landlord and needless to say, we are no longer going to be living there. Whether it was a drunk college student acting stupid or a burglar that realized the apartment was empty only after the rock came through the window, it doesn't really matter. Either way, it served as a warning that it wasn't a very nice neighborhood. So tomorrow is Wednesday Moving Day: Take Two and this time I am keeping our new locale a secret. We don't need any more rocks, thank you very much!

The onesie says it all.

Cloth diapering is going very well,
I am excited to report. The FuzziBunz are my favorite for nap time and bedtime as they have the least tendency to spring a leak when I use the doubler. We are getting the hang of putting them on so as to minimize leakage and maximize comfort for Ari. He doesn't seem to have a preference, unless you count the absence of a diaper altogether, which isn't really an option that I'm willing to accommodate, except for during bath time. The new place doesn't have a washer or dryer inside but we have enough diapers now that we can go two, sometimes three days before needing to launder them. I can handle that. It's worth the money we'll save, in the long run. Plus everyone thinks they're just so darned cute (which they are... way cuter than disposables, even the ones with prints on them) and they're quite the conversation starter (at least with other moms, and women in general.) So after two weeks of exclusively using cloth diapers, our conclusion: We love them!

This last month I learned to blog only about things that have actually happened, not what might happen, because that can be a letdown. Speaking of letdown, I think it's about time for Ari to eat...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Out-Growing our Digs

Ari is officially one month old! My goodness how time flies when you're having fun, and we are having a blast! His baby blessing is tomorrow at one o'clock, during Sacrament meeting. We will be having a little get-together as well tomorrow at our home following church to celebrate. All who wish to attend either/or or both are of course more than welcome to do so!

He is growing so fast, he'll be out of the newborn diapers and into the cloth diapers by the end of the week, I think. I don't know exactly how much he weighs now, but I am planning on weighing him at our breastfeeding support group this Tuesday, so stay tuned! He eats and sleeps a lot, of course, but while he is awake and alert it's play time and he likes to listen to music with us, he likes sitting in the bouncy chair that Nana got for him (as long as I am bouncing him and he has something to look at and the vibrate function is on, otherwise he gets bored!) , and he loves "standing" on my lap while I balance him. He really holds his own weight, he has such strong legs! I know, it seems really early for that, but he holds his head up really well and he fusses if I just put him on my lap... and stops as soon as I lift him up to stand. He likes tummy time, too... for about two minutes, then he's done with tummy time. But I make him do it, at least once a day. He holds his head up, kicks his legs and scoots himself a little, and even tries to push himself up with his arms. Someone tell this kid he's only one month old! He's like a chihuahua that thinks he's a doberman!

Ari's umbilical stump finally fell off, so he has a belly button now, a tiny combo of innie and outie, so we finally got to give him a "real" bath.

Yesterday I asked Erik to pick up a black cartridge #16 for a Lexmark z611 printer on his way home from work. If sometimes the lines of communication between husbands and wives get a little scrambled, this was a Monster Omelet. I know he meant well, and he did say that if they had had the cartridge I asked for, he would have simply purchased it and went on his way. But I know he wanted to impress me and make me proud, not to mention he is a bit of a one-upper, anyway. I probably don't have to tell you where this is going... needless to say, they didn't have a #16 for a Lexmark z611 so he came home with a brand new Cannon PIXMA MP240 All-in-one photo printer/scanner/copy machine. I should have known better than to send him to Best Buy alone! Of course I wasn't mad at all, just a little surprised. It could have been bad... he could have come home with a brand new big screen plasma TV, I guess. Really, though, he did good: our printer was crummy even when it was brand new, and was on its last legs. I don't have to go to Walgreens to print pictures for scrapbooking anymore, and if I need to make a copy, I don't have to go to Kinko's! It's actually quite a nice little gadget, and he got a great deal on it. The built-in obsolescence of technology these days sometimes makes for purchases we didn't count on... I believe the z611 was an impulse as well, after finding out the cartridge for my old printer cost about the same price as a whole brand new printer that comes with a black cartridge and a color cartridge, so go figure!

We signed the lease for our new place yesterday, too (the printing of said lease is what prompted the need for a black cartridge in the first place). Erik has been looking for a great deal on a bigger place for a while now, scouring Craigslist every time he gets a spare moment, and he found it. When we moved into our current place, he was worried it was too small, so I promised that if we at least gave it a try once the baby came, if it indeed turned out to be too small for all three of us, we would move. Well, as you probably already guessed, it's too small, so we're moving. Ari himself doesn't take up much space, but his stuff sure does! The new place has three bedrooms, a washer and dryer, and central heating and air conditioning... it's nice! However, it's on Nord in the middle of college-town and right on the railroad tracks, but it was a trade-off we were willing to make. Ari gets his own room, Erik gets his music room, and I got a washer/dryer and brand new carpets and hardwood floors! We should be totally moved in by the end of the month, so come visit us, if you can... our new address is 522 Nord Ave. #21 Chico CA 95926.

I had a check up at the mommy-doctor on Thursday, and luckily I got to see Cheryl, the midwife that delivered Ari. She says I look great and am in excellent health, and I don't need to come back until April for my yearly exam! Pretty good for giving birth only four weeks ago, but I don't take the credit. I knew all along my body was specifically designed by Heavenly Father for this purpose. The female form was divinely inspired for sure, to be able to bounce back so quickly after an experience so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Which is not to say I'm exactly ready to do it all over again... yet!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Newest Addition to Our Little Family

I LOVE this pic!

Ari Jacob Scofield was born into this world at 5:56pm on August 4, 2009 and not a moment too soon! We had been anticipating his arrival for months and when our wet eyes finally met his we were overcome with joy at the sight of his perfectly formed little face. There was no doubt about it: his proud daddy declared to me with a beaming smile after he had taken him for a stroll through the OB wing that our son was officially the cutest kid in the Birth Day Place.
Daddy and Baby

His every movement, every facial expression, every breath amazed us. We couldn't stop staring, and I couldn't stop marveling at the fact that I gave birth to this whole tiny person, this brand new human being. Me, I did that! Well, I did... with a lot of help from Erik, especially the night of the 3rd and well into the morning of the 4th. It took all three of us to bring him into this world... and a few nurses and a midwife. We count our blessings because we got a little too close for comfort to needing a Cesarean section. We thank Heavenly Father for Ari's strength and stamina: his heart rate always bounced right back after every contraction. The long labor didn't seem to bother him at all.

They finally wised up and put the IV in his foot instead.

Ellie, the midwife on duty during our labor, and Cheryl, the midwife that delivered us, let me go longer than an OB/GYN would have because they knew how important it was to us that we avoid a C-section, if possible. Without going into too much gory detail, Cheryl did an amazing job of keeping me intact while keeping Ari coming... first his head, then one shoulder, then the other, and before I knew it she was telling me to reach down and get my baby and handing me our beautiful new son.
Mommy and Baby

Thank you to everyone who came to visit us during our somewhat extended stay at the hospital. You kept us sane and in touch with the real world outside room 225... and 222... and 270... and 220! Yes they moved us three times during the seven days we were there, but always accommodated us and took care of us and never held it against me that I was a little, shall we say, difficult at times. It was the hormones: I had just had a baby a few days before, after all. It was the hospital stay that none of us anticipated. It was the interruption of sleep to check Ari's temperature, to weigh his diapers, to prick his heel (again?!) and squeeze enough blood for yet another lab test, to hook up his IV and administer his antibiotics (has it been 8 hours already?), to listen to his breathing and his little heart beating... all to monitor a seemingly perfectly healthy baby boy. It was a combination of all three and the nurses were sweet enough to tell me I was justified in feeling a little overwhelmed and a lot exhausted. When Dr. Logan came in Monday morning to tell us Ari's new white blood cell count was down to normal levels, we cried. Ari was finally coming home!

Thanks for the shoes, Daddy, but they might be a little big still...

The drive back down the hill to Chico from Paradise was almost surreal. We've been home now for 11 days and he seems to love it here. Yesterday was our first "well-baby" two- week check-up with Dr. Corp and Ari is seven pounds 12 ounces... officially eight ounces heavier than his birth weight. I wasn't surprised: he loves to eat! He has already had two growth spurts accompanied by eating every hour on the hour cluster-feeding, one at one week old and another at two weeks. Needless to say, we love nursing. One of the worst parts of having a brand new baby is supposed to be changing the poopy diapers but Ari's poop doesn't even stink. Hard to believe, I know, but true. Could Ari be The Perfect Baby? We definitely think so. But then again we might be a little biased.

Little Ari and the Little Lion Mommy crocheted for him.