Sunday, December 26, 2010

We got our White Christmas!

Christmas was wonderful. I would have posted last night, but after everything we had done yesterday, I got home and laid down and passed out lol. At least I got farther than Alan, he fell asleep on the ride home from Great Aunt Carolyn's house! :P We were so busy all day and it exhausted us! :) But there was snow on the ground and we had a blessed day with our families, I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas!

We woke up just in time to watch the Disney Christmas Parade on tv. Alan really had fun dancing and singing and clapping with all of his favorite Disney characters and he always would get excited whenever he saw Mickey Mouse lol. :) We opened our Christmas presents from each other, and I was pleased to see that Lon did not get me a Shake Weight lol. I do not like those, and wasn't happy when he told me that he "might have bought" one for me. Jerk! :D He instead got me a Yoda alarm clock and a Fushigui ball. He also enjoyed all the toys Alan and I had gotten for him. Then we helped Alan unwrap his, which he had a blast doing. He would grab a bit and run away from us and the present, ripping a big piece of as he ran. :)

After unwrapping our gifts, having breakfast and playing with his new toys a little, we went over to Grandma Amber's for Christmas lunch. Everyone was there again, and we ate lunch then opened presents. Alan got a stuffed Broby from Yo Gabba Gabba, a sock monkey, a Duplo garbage truck toy, and Toy Story Buzz lightyear Potato Head Man from Grandma Amber and Grandpa Steve. Great Grandma Audrey and Great Grandpa Stan got him a Matchbox garage playset. Alan's uncles and aunt chipped in and got him a few books and a stuffed dinosaur. His favorite was the sock monkey, he ran around everywhere carrying that thing lol. :) We got our family photo together (Alan wasn't looking at the camera though lol) after like a hundred tries. And then it was time to head up to Great Aunt Carolyn's for their traditional Christmas dinner.

As soon as we got to Great Aunt Carolyn's house, Alan started chasing their little shitsu puppy around. He scared her so bad lol! We couldn't wait to see Alan's second cousin, Sophie, as she was six months old and we hadn't seen her in around five months. But their family was running late, so we went downstairs to play with Alan's other cousins Peyton and Avery, as well as Aunt April and Uncle Kalvin. They were playing the Wii on the big flat screen tv, and Alan absolutely loved to just sit there and watch them play. He would remark and point every now and then, but otherwise was just in awe of the huge entertainment lol. :) We then all had dinner (prime rib steak, mmmmm!) and Alan at almost all of his food! He didn't like the steak too much (it was too chewy for him lol) but he ate a couple bites of it, and chowed the rest of his plate. By that point, Baby Sophie and Mama Ashley were there. We went upstairs to play with them but got caught up with present time.

Alan got a few cute 24 month outfits from his Great Aunt Kim + Great Uncle Corey and his Great Grandma Carol + Great Grandpa Floyd, and then he got a cool helicopter toy as a Secret Santa gift from one of his cousins. We opened the helicopter gift and offered to have Sophie come over and play. They were so cute together! Alan had balls that went inside the helicopter and everytime I'd try to give Sophie one, he'd grab them from me lol. At least he was letting her play with the helicopter. Every so often though, he'd forget and try to pull it away from her. But then he'd quickly remind himself by saying quietly, "Oh baby..." Lol! He is so smart! :D

We all had a great time at both places and I got some wonderful shots on my fancy disposable camera lol. :) I won't be able to post any of them, but you can check out my FB page and see some cute photos! Hope everyone else had a Merry Christmas, and to all my Canadian friends, Happy Boxing Day! :D Peace everyone.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Night Before Christmas...

And all through the Village Inn, there was a ton of commotion because the Andersen family was having there traditional Christmas Eve dinner! Lol, I tried to make it sound like the book... Keyword being Tried. :P

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! :D  Now I know it seems odd that I celebrate Christmas, being a Buddhist and my husband having his own scientific theories of creation lol. But let me clarify, my family only celebrates Christmas for the family get together and Santa Claus apsets. Afterall the rest of my family are Christian and Lutheran, and get together every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Why wouldn't we participate in that??? :) We respect all religions and thus we celebrate Christmas and Easter in the more story, more commercial aspect. My son loves celebrating things and seeing his family, so we want to give him what we had as children.

As you can guess, we went to the Village Inn for dinner tonight. As tradition with my family, we spend Christmas Eve with the Andersen family and Christmas Day with the Kimmel family. We visit the opposite family on each day too, but only for an hour or so. So tonight for dinner, we went with the traditional pizza lol. :P Let me clarify, traditional for the Andersens not traditional for most people. Grandma Amber and Grandpa Steve were there, as well as Aunt Ariel, Uncle Chase, Uncle Cameron, Uncle Aaron and Aunt Nikki. Alan loved having the whole restaurant to run around in, and he loved listening to the echoes he could make (which resulted in him yelling really loud lol). Aunt Ariel chased him around while the men of the family made the pizzas.

Pizza wise we had taco pizza, half pepperoni half pepperoni mushroom pizza, hawaiin pizza, sausage mushroom pizza and a small cheese pizza. We had to cut his into little pieces, but Alan loved his cheese and hawaiin pizzas! We all had a great time talking with each other and enjoying beer and pizza. :)

We stopped by my parent's for a bit afterward. There was alot of people over there and it was late which meant Alan was tired, so we only stayed for a half an hour. Alan had a good time opening his Christmas gifts from his realatives and loved it when Grandma Melanie allowed him to open his big present from them- a Weeble Wobble Treehouse! He demanded it be opened immeadiately and played with Uncle Kalvin for the rest of the time we were there! The whole Christmas Eve was a wonderful night for everyone, and Alan was exhausted at the end of all our activities! Yes! And because I'm awesome I have already wrapped all our gifts! So merry Christmas and to all a goodnight! Yeah! :D

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My sweet, beautiful Rosalie June...

Today marks the four year anniversary of my miscarriage. I was about 15 weeks along and the doctors knew it was a girl. We had named her Rosalie June. <3 Everyday I think about her, and what it would be like if she were here. She would be around three and a half years old now. Wow that's incredible to think! *Sigh*

Since its been four years and I've made my peace with her passing, I'm trying not to dwell on it too much on my blog today. I still ask everyone to light a candle and say a prayer (in whatever religion you follow) for my daughter. I believe her soul exists still out there, and she is happy to see how far I have come. I love her so very much and know that she will always be a part of my life. <3

Rest in Peace Rosalie June Kimmel
December 18, 2006

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Something that eats away at you, something to fight...

One year ago today, I was diagnosed with Postpartum Anxiety Disorder and mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It was my mother-in-law who was the one that convinced me to get help and better myself. I had never really dealt with a mental disorder before (except for mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from an abusive relationship in highschool) and thus was in the dark about seeking help. I was scared to tell my parents and my doctor, because of fear of the unknown. My family hasn't seen a lot of mental disorders in our life, so I didn't feel like they would know how to deal with it. I was having a hard time dealing with it myself. But there was no denying it.

(For those of you that don't know)
Postpartum Anxiety Disorder- A disorder characterized by constant, uncontrollable, moderate to severe anxiety and depression in a woman after she has given birth. Can happen soon after delivery or up to a year after. Similar to Postpartum Depression except that the woman experiences more anxiety and compulsions.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder- A disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and cumpulsive actions, such as cleaning, checking, counting, hoarding, or repeating. The OCD individual often will feel the extreme need to obey repeatitive thoughts or behaviors that are often distressing but completely unavoidable.
(these were my therapist's difinitions)

I had some very obvious compulsions. I always needed all the doors in my house closed and always needed to have my head covered up in order to sleep. I would repeat words over and over in my head while I was working or doing something, sometimes the words would even be made up. All of my media products (books, DVDs, CDs, etc.) were always perfectly stacked and all sequels (or similar styles) had to be in the same area, or else I would take the time to reorganize the whole thing. I felt the need to show progress in certain hygienic things (clipping nails, removing dead skin, plucking eyebrows) and would often overdue it without realizing just because I craved the little pile. I counted stairs in my head as I went up them. If I was typing or writing and I mistyped/miswrote, I would have to correct it completely and recheck everything before continuing. And the whole time all always felt a sense of impending doom to myself and my family. The. Whole. Time. Especially if I didn't listen to my compulsions and obey them.

I began to start fights with Lon and isolate myself from my family and friends. Somedays, if I couldn't handle it, I would curl up into a ball and sob. I had horrible panic attacks too. I was always stressed out and always depressed feeling. Being a SAHM, it wasn't like I had anything to prepare for each day so most days I wouldn't even get dressed. Lon and his mother finally convinced me to tell my OBGYN at my six week appointment and she immeadiately set me up with a Medication Therapist named Dianne. Dianne analyzed me and decided to prescribe me 50 mg of Zoloft. She also scheduled me with a therapist at Riverstone Health named Grace.

I went to therapy with Grace for almost six months, and we worked on a lot of things. After about the first six weeks, we upped my prescription to 100 mg because the original didn't seem like enough. But I didn't like the way it made me feel, so I vowed to get off the prescription as soon as possible. And Grace helped me rediscover myself and my clarity. Before Alan, I used to meditate every other day at least. After him with my PPAD and OCD, I never meditated or even looked at my Buddhist books. I claimed it was just because of Alan being a baby still (he was around three months old then) but knew that it was not the truth. It was my PPAD. With therapy, Grace forced me to question myself why I had given up my religion, in a sense.

I started meditating and I started reading the Dhammapadda and the Tao Te Ching again, and found myself in the darkness. I was able to go off  Zoloft completely, and now I am a free person again! Of course I still stress, I mean that's life. But I feel like a completely different person, a completely free soul! I haven't gotten to that low point since and I don't plan on going there again anytime soon. Now everytime I feel lost or overly stressed, I meditate or look to my Buddhist writings. It is amazing to me how far I have come and in only a year! What a beautiful thing!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Adventures

Please forgive me if some of this rambles or I repeat myself. I am exhausted and ready for bed. But first, I promised a post. :) So bear with me lol...

At the early hours of 4 am, my sisters, Natalie's friend Jessica and I were waiting outside of Target, freezing to death in the long line. Thankfully we had gotten there previously, as the line continued on behind us all the way around the back of the building! We made it inside by 4:10 and instantly set off to find the best sales. I am displeased to say, that Target didn't have a lot that I was looking for this year. I ended up only getting a Grover stuffed animal and a small ornament. :P

We went to Toys R Us next. I found Lon a lego set and Alan his Elmo trainer potty. Then we went for a coffee break at City Brew. Or maybe that was before Toys R Us lol. Hmmm... I don't remember lol, but I got an actual coffee today! That's how tired I was already feeling! :P

Then we went to Walmart and I got Alan his Elmo potty DVD, Lon his Rhino Transformer (Ahem, Beast Wars repaint lol), Uncle Kalvin his towtruck, Aunt Ariel her Crayola craft projects, and a few more ornaments.

After we went to Kmart and I looked for more Transformers or Stars Wars guys. Found some cool Star Wars action figures for Lon, and got Alan a Tonka truck set too. I think I might have gotten another thing or two, but my brain isn't working and I just put it all away. Oops lol! :) Oh well, you got the point, we did pretty darn well for Christmas shopping! Yeah! Its only November and I only have like... two more people to shop for! Whoo! Blam! :P

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So much to be thankful for...

I have a wonderful family that was just created two years ago (when Alan was concieved) and there was once a time where I thought this family would never have been.

My husband and I have been married by common law now for eight months, and what a great eight months its been.

I'm endlessly blessed and thankful for my beautiful, smart and amazing son who was born just fourteen and a half months ago. Alan Miakel, we love you so!

We are blessed to have such a wonderful apartment to live in. It may be old and a little small for this family, but after living here for almost half a year now we are grateful to have it.

I am thankful that Lon has a good paying job as a supervisor at the Village Inn and that I also have a good paying job that I love as an art teacher and Child Watch worker at the YMCA. Lon's been at his job now for almost eight years and I've been with the Y for almost three months now.

I am thankful that Lon and I both have supportive families. Both of our families are willing to help us watch Alan, help with finances, or simply be just there to hang out with.

Today I am missing my Townsend family tons. :\ Its tradition with my parents to go up to Townsend to visit all of my mom's family for Thanksgiving because it always falls around Alan's Great Aunt Beth and Great Uncle Greg's birthdays. We go up usually Thursday to Sunday. But not this year. Because of finances, we weren't able to make it up to Townsend. My parents, brother and sisters didn't go up either though, simply because my mother didn't want to travel over her vacation this year. My heart still longs for Townsend, and I am dearly missing the Welch families, the Clarkson family and the Henry family this Thanksgiving! Love you all and hope your Thanksgiving (and Black Friday lol) are wonderful! :D

We had a good Thanksgiving with both of our families. We went to the in law's house first because Grandma Amber was having an early dinner at two. It was wonderful to see almost everyone there- Grandma Amber, Grandpa Steve, Aunt Ariel, Aunt Sam, Uncle Cameron, Uncle Chase and Uncle Tyler. Amber served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, stufffing, yams, green bean casserole, rolls, cranberries and pumpkin pie for dinner. Alan's favorite was the green bean casserole and of course the pumpkin pie. He is his mother's son lol, because my favorites were the same things! :D But he enjoyed some turkey and practiced feeding himself the mashed potatoes, which resulted in them going EVERYWHERE. :) He was successful with eating the pumpkin pie with a spoon at least. Good job messy boy!

We went to my parent's around five for appetisers and then a later dinner. My mother made turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, yams, green bean casserole, rolls, cranberry sauce, some sort of noodle salad, and pumpkin pie or pumpkin rolls for dessert. I couldn't eat but a little bit for dinner, after having been so stuffed from lunch lol! But I had a small plate, Alan however chowed another two plates for dinner and then two slices of homemade pumpkin pie! My boy is such a little linebacker lmao! <3 Aunt April, Aunt Natalie, and Uncle Kalvin as well as some other family members and both sets of great grandparents in town. Everyone was so happy to see Alan and how much he had grown, and he showed off all his toys and skills to them. He was still shy around Great Grandma Carol, but we're working on that lol. :)

We just got home, and I am totally ready for bed. Waking up at three am tomorrow for Black Friday in Billings (first time doing it here!) with Natalie, April and Mary. Whoo this should be interesting! :) Will post tomorrow with an update of how I fared there lol. Good night everyone! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween from the Andersens!

We had a great day today. Happy Halloween everyone! Alan wore his frog prince costume, I wore my princess costume and Lon once again went in his Daddy costume like he did last year lol (the same clothes he wears everyday). Will find and post pictures of at least Alan and I when I can, they are classic! :) For now check out my FB page, there's a few there.

We spent our morning the usual Family Sunday way- snuggling in bed, eggs for breakfast, playing together as a family. But after Alan woke up from his afternoon nap, we got dressed in our costumes and started our Halloween trick or treating- Toddler style lol. We visited Alan's Great Grandpa Loiue and Great Grandma Marcia in the Valley Retirement Home, his Great Grandpa Floyd and Great Grandma Carol at their house, his Grandma and Grandpa Andersen at their house, Great Aunt Marnie and Great Uncle Doug where they lived (we went around their neighborhood a bit) and then we went around my parent's neighborhood with Aunt April, Uncle Kalvin and Grandpa Kevin. Alan had a lot of fun and he got a ton of candy (Yay for mom and dad lol!). We even saw two kids from daycare and one of Lon's friends!

Great Grandpa Louie was so happy to see us. He was in the middle of dinner when we stopped by, but we were still able to sit down with him and visit while he ate. Louie thought Alan and I's costumes were too cute for words, and he couldn't stop giving Alan kisses lol. :) Love my grandfather. <3 It was nice to catch Great Grandma Marcia there too. She was so glad to see how big Alan was and to have an in depth conversation with him. Overall, we all had a great time there.

Frog Prince and Princess

Afterward, we stopped at Lon's parent's house. Grandma and Grandpa were both there, as well as Aunt Ariel, Uncle Chase, Uncle Aaron and Aunt Nikki. Aunt Ariel was a gothic bride this year, or maybe she was a witch lol. I can't remember which one she was this year and which one she was last year, both costumes looked the same lol! :P But she looked absolutely precious! We didn't have time to go trick or treating with her, but Alan trick or treated every door in the house lol, trying to find Grandpa Steve! :D Too cute lol, I'll have to look and see if I got photos of that.

Continuing with our toddler trick or treating lol, we went to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Kimmel's house. Alan got super shy over there, I dunno why he is always so shy with these grandparents only lol! But Great Grandma Carol eventually convinced him to come sit on her lap with help from a photo of Alan they had. :) He sat with her and she talked to him about his frog costume, but it only lasted for a few minutes. Then he was off again!! Trying to climb and slide down the stairs, trying to open cupboards, trying to pull things down lol, etc. Wild little man! I love him for his energy! They took tons of pictures of us in our costumes, gave him some toddler friendly candy (suckers and such) and lots of kisses. We had a good time there, even though we couldn't stay long. :)

On the way to my parent's house, we stopped by Alan's Great Aunt Marnie's house. She was glad to see us, as well as cousin Morgan. We went trick or treating a little around their neighborhood, and saw my boss with her two daughters. And one of the houses we trick or treated belonged to one of Lon's friends! So he invited us in to see the house, and have some candy. It was nice to see him, he's a decent friend of Lon's and I liked him too. We then went back to Great Aunt Marnie's to hang out for a bit. Great Aunt Marnie went out of her way and bought Alan "special treats" for Halloween- Reese Pieces cereal packets, Baby or Toddler trail mix she hand made, DumDum suckers and even fruit puffs! What a nice aunt of her, Alan was starving at that time lol. He chowed down on the Reeses Pieces packets and had some of the trail mix. Then we were back on the road to Grandma and Grandpa's house!

We went around the neighborhood at my parent's house too, with Aunt April and Uncle Kalvin and Granpa Kevin. Aunt April was a pirate and Uncle Kalvin was a transformer. By this time it was pretty dark outside, so we didn't stay out long. But the few houses we did go to loaded us up with candy! Yeah I love when people do that! We saw Aunt April's and Uncle Kalvin's neighborhood friends Seth, Riley and Kenzie. They joined us. But Alan was starting to get tired and cranky, so we had to head home.

All in all though, we had a wonderful day together as a family and we enjoyed seeing everyone that we did! Hope everyone else had a good Halloween night! :) Oh wow, just looked at the clock and its almost midnight, I'm gonna have a piece of Alan's candy and call it a night! :D

Monday, October 25, 2010

Working 9 to 5 every single day...

Well not quite lol, but I work like ALL the time these days. Which is the complete opposite yet oddly similar to what I was doing last year, when Alan was only a month old. I was a SAHM for his first year of life, and finally got a job just two days before his first birthday lol. I've now been working there for almost two months, and I love it. :) I get to work with kids, which is my passion, and Alan gets to interact with other children his age and older.  Its perfect!

For those of you who don't know where I work now, I work at the Billings YMCA. I teach an art class for young children, run their birthday party program, and work in there Child Watch drop-in daycare. This keeps me very busy as I am working three different programs while most employees there only work one. I am there in the mornings til noon, then I go in from 3 to 8, and I work Saturdays too. But I thrive best sometimes in busy schedules, so I think I'll do okay. Plus when I get tired of one program, I just wait for my next shift. :)

My art program is called Y Arts- Be Creative. It is a monthly art class for children ages 18 months to 6 years old. We have one 45 minute class each week of the month, and each month is themed something different. October's theme is obviously Halloween lol. :) My class days are as follows:

*Tuesdays 10:15 to 11 (3 and 4 year old class)
then another 11:15 to noon (Parent and toddler class)
*Wednesdays 11:15 to noon (3 and 4 year old class)
*Thursdays 10:15 to 11 (My multiples class- haven't had one yet but should be fun!)
*Saturdays 10 to 11 (Kindergarten class)

My birthday parties won't acutally start until January but this is what I understand I will be doing:

*Rock, Tumble and Roll parties for 2 to 8 year olds
*Pool parties for 6 to 12 year olds
*Rock Climbing parties for 8 to 12 year olds

And then of course there's Child Watch, which really isn't any different than being at home with Alan, only instead of it just being Alan its like 30 kids lol. But I love that I can work and have Alan there with me for three hours a day. It gets him out of the house and social with other children his age. And he's seeing tons of different kids each day! Oh he loves it there! He already has made a BFF, a little boy named Korbin. His mom also works there so the four of us have a great understanding too, if you would. The two boys are already comfortable with each other's moms, they will go to them for comfort if they are hurt or sad. :)

The only current downside to me getting a job is that the housework has been put on the back burner, just so much. It was a lot easier for me to keep the house clean when I was always home last year, but now with me gone a lot its become a lot harder. So we are starting to have little piles show up lol. Ugh! I know I will eventually get a pattern down, its just frustrating in the beginning. I just need to have faith in myself. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Adventures

Lon convinced me that going to the pumpkin patch the Saturday before Halloween would not be a good idea, as all the good pumpkins would be gone. So today when I finished teaching my art class, the three of us went to the Maize at Grandpa's Farm, the local fall festivities headquarters, for some Great Pumpkin hunting! The main attraction there is the corn maze, but they also have a pumpkin and a squash patch, hay rides, pig races, hay jungle gym/ play ground, cow train and pedal car. We had quite the time exploring everything and experiencing the wonders of fall. :)

Upon first arrival, we set Alan down to walk around a little and he was immeadiately off! He proudly led us to look at the tall cornstalks, the pedal cart track and then to the hay jungle gym, where he tried to climb the crickety old stairs! That gave me a bit of a heart attack lol, so we distracted him with pumpkin picking. Which Alan loved, by the way! :) He had too much of a hard time walking around on the uneven ground of the pumpkin patch, so we brought him over to a little pack of pumpkins to pick from. He picked two, kinda tiny pumpkins and one squash that looked like a flattened hat lol. I think he liked the squash the best because Lon put it on his head when they found it. :) He thought it was the funniest thing!

Lon showing Alan where corn comes from

Alan and I explored the rest of the farm while Lon put the pumpkins and squash in the car. We ran into three of Alan's buddies from daycare, and the two older kids had a fun time running around squealing and laughing with Alan. While the little one slept in her stroller. :) Then when Daddy came back, we went on Alan's first ever hayride! He didn't seem to realize we were moving or going anywhere lol, the tractor was pulling us real slowly. He kept attempting to stand on the hay the whole time! Crazy little boy! :) I think overall his favorite part of the hay ride was the big red tractor pulling it, with its big black wheels. He loved those wheels and touching them. He was just fascinated with them!

Alan and I on the hay ride

After the hay ride, we watched the pig races. Alan wasn't interested in them before they started racing, but as soon as they were off, he was all eyes. Everytime a pig ran past the part of fence we were watching by, Alan would squeal and clap his hands lol. A black and white spotted pig won, and when we took Alan to see them afterwards, that pig was his favorite. He kept pointing at that one and babbling away about him. :) The wind started to pick up around this time, so we prepared to head home.

All in all, a good pumpkin picking adventure. :D Here is Alan with all of our pumpkins and our squash!

We've came up with our Jack-o-Lantern ideas- for Alan's pumpkin we'll make it Elmo, and for our pumpkin and the squash we'll make a Pauly D pumpkin lmao!! :D Should be a classic, will try to post pics of them!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New things I've learned about my son

We've all heard the saying, "You learn something new everyday." Well I am starting to believe that this is especially true with my son Alan. It seems like every single day I learn anywhere from ten to a thousand new things about him! How can this be so, you ask? You're his mother, shouldn't you already know everything about him? Of course not! Really lol? Alan is of course a growing toddler, so his personality, body and even mind status is changing daily. So of course I'm finding out new things about him, from what he likes and dislikes to how he responds to different things.

As some of you may know, Sunday is a very important day of the week for my family, not because we go to church (which we don't, I am a practicing Buddhist that doesn't like organized religion and my husband is an atheist) but because Sunday has officially become our family day. Both of our jobs are closed on Sundays, so we make a point to do only family activities on Sunday. Today was a good family Sunday and was quite productive. The three of us cuddled in bed together for three hours, played in Alan's play pen for another hour, went to lunch at the Staggering Ox, went shoe shopping for Alan at Target, and went to visit Grandma and Grandpa Andersen. And today, I learned these new things about my son Alan:

*Alan loves standing on our soft comfy bed and flopping onto his back.
Lol, we discovered this when Alan kept standing up and grunting at us until we pushed him over onto his back. We probably did it fifty times this morning with him. Silly boy!

*Alan really gets upset when mom or dad gets hurt or scared.
We are planning on expanding Alan's playarea to the rest of the house, including the kitchen. Because of this, we were trying to teach him that fire and ovens are hot and can burn you, so Lon pretended to get "hurt and burnt" by his lighter flame. This sent Alan into a fit of screams and sobs. Poor guy, we were only trying to teach you something! :(

*Alan loves to drive cars (and other things like tv remotes lol) but he still can't get the people walking thing down. And it frustrates him!
We were all driving Alan's toy cars around in Alan's play area, and Alan found his toy Jesse (from Toy Story). He started "driving" her around, but her feet kept getting stuck in the carpet. I showed him how to pretend walk her and he tried again and failed. He got so upset, he threw her down and wouldn't play with her anymore lol.

*Alan absolutely, Does NOT like potatoes, rice or bacon lol.
We discovered this when we went to lunch at the Staggering Ox. They didn't have a microwave to cook the food I had brought for him, so we ordered a potato rice baby meal thing. Alan would not even touch any of his food, and when I offered him some bacon from my Clubhouse sandwich, he spit it out so fast, it flew! We tried to force him to just try it, and that resulted in him screaming bloody murder and us packing up and leaving fast. Lol, so no go on the potatoes, rice or bacon. How is he MY child?

*Alan can, and will (if he's bored enough), stand up in the seat of a shopping cart and start practicing his Andersen Family Circus Balancing Act, which consists of him holding his arms out and wiggling the cart back and forth. He actually does this lol.
I was in the toddler clothes section at Target when Alan preformed this feat on me. I had emersed myself in some cute boy shirts (Bad mommy!) one that said, "Spaced Out" and another that said "I won't bite but he will," when all of a sudden I hear Alan squealing proudly (it even oddly sounded like a tada!) and look over to see Alan's balancing act. I had to contain my freak out, as the store was filled. But I grabbed him and held him close, then told him "No, no, we don't stand here" very calmly. Inside, my heart was skipping beats lol. I quickly chose the biting one (as Alan is a bite kisser, something he does on accident but hurts none the less) and after grabbing Lon at the toy aisle, we left.

*Alan knows how to pick up a toy phone and start talking into it, but he seems to think that everything is a phone now.
This means the tv remote, his car toys, mama's glasses case, water bottles, daddy's wallet, and his Bullseye toy. But we're just glad he understands the concept lol, to worry too much about the details.

*Alan can do all the hand gestures to Patty Cake, but he reserves this feat just for me. <3
I tried to get Alan to show his Grandma Amber, Grandpa Steve, Aunt Ariel and daddy but he only would clap his hands for the first part. Lol, with me he'll do the whole song, from the rolling to the patting to the hoorays. Oh well, he'll show them all eventually. :)

See, you can learn something everyday. :) Love my family.<3

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Extravagent Halloween plans for an almost 14 month old? What? :D

My husband thinks I'm absolutely insane for making such a big deal out of this year's Halloween, but what he forgets is that I'm like this every holiday, lmao! :D Holidays have always been very important for me and even more so now that I have my own son to celebrate with. This year's Halloween though is very special and important to me because this is Alan's first Halloween where he's able to participate. So I am going to be very particular about how we spend our night, er nights lol. :D I know, I know, I'm a total geek but here's my plan:

Our Halloween celebrations will begin Friday October 29th. Alan and I have professional pictures in our Halloween costume (you gotta love Sears, they're so cheap I can get ridiculous pro pictures like these done lol!). We have yet to buy our costumes but should have by the end of the weekend. *Crossing my fingers* Alan and I are definitely doing a pair costume, either BoPeep and Sheep or Princess and Frog Prince.  After pictures Alan and I will wear our costumes to work for one of the YMCA Halloween celebrations. And when I am off of work, we will go trick or treating at the Billings Valley Nursing Home, where our beloved Great Grandpa Louie aka Bumpa resides. <3

The morning of Saturday October 30th, Lon, Alan and I will go to The Maize at Grandpa's Farm (one of our many mazes and pumpkin patches in Billings) for some Great Pumpkin shopping! :) I'm excited that Alan will be able to pick his own pumpkin this year, his Aunt April picked it out for him when he was a mere 2 and a half months old last year. But this year, he'll be able to walk around all of them and pick out his favorite. Oooh, I'm so excited for my big boy! I will most definetly take pictures and *try* my best to post some. Though you might have better luck checking out my FB page... :) Anyways, after the pumpkin hunting Alan and I will go to the YMCA's Healthy Halloween celebration in the afernoon. The celebration consists of various healthy activities and treat options, as opposed to the normal candy and junk food of Halloween. But there will be cool activities, such as the Monster Mash Ballroom, The Haunted Hallway (PG to PG-13), The Enchanted Forest (G), the Boo-tique, Ghoul Golfing, and many other healthy and fun canival games. There will also be tons of fun costumed characters (our employees are crazy! and funny) and every kids favorite, prizes and treats. :D Now of course, Alan is still too young for most of these activities, but he and I will be spending our time at the Monster Mash Ballroom. Whoo dance party! After our festivities at the Y are over, Alan and I will head over to Grandma and Grandpa Kimmel's house, to carve our pumpkins. Yes, the ones my parent's got us lol. Our pumpkins will have yet to be carved. :)

And finally on Halloween Sunday October 31st, the three of us (Lon, Alan and I) will wake up in the morning and have our usual Sunday morning cuddle (my fave!) but with an additional holiday breakfast (not of anything Halloweeny lol, just pancakes and eggs). Then we will set about carving our three family Jack-O-Lanterns. <3 It'll probably get messy, even without Alan's help! And who knows, he'll probably find a way to get into those pumpkins seeds and spread them like Johnny Appleseed lmao. Because that is how my toddler rolls. :) I will also probably cook some (Lon and I love pumpkin seeds) and then maybe even make my famous pumpkin cookies (even though they are normally a November treat). I just love cooking and when I get started, I can't stop.

Around four, we will probably put on our costumes again and start our family trick or treating, beginning at Grandma Melanie's house. We will visit each grandparent and great grandparent, as well as Alan's great aunt, and second cousin. I think doing this is easier on a toddler than going to each and every house on the block. We might, however, go trick or treating around both of his grandparent's blocks because Alan has two aunts and an uncle all under twelve and they will all be needing someone to take them around. We will probably not hand out any candy at our own house, as our actual apartment door is up a creepy porch and into a creepy staircase lol. But who knows, its Halloween, kids will probably love that. :) My luck right? Well you kids out there, don't come to my house, I will not be there. Come to my parent's lol, I'll serve candy there. :P Our beautiful family Jack-O-Lanterns will be safely perched in our bay window (with LED light candles of course!) so we don't have to worry about any mean pumpkin smashers.

All in all, it sounds like a pretty good Halloween to me. Now I just need to throw in a purchasing and viewing of Charlie Brown's the Great Pumpkin, and we're set! :) Happy early Halloween everyone!

On a side note, Alan has learned a new word today! :D His new word: "Hamburger." Lmao, I wonder who taught him that? <3

Friday, October 15, 2010

Today we remember...

Today is Worldwide Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness Day. Please take the time to remember and support all who is affected by pregnancy/infant loss, as they often do not get a lot of support. Losing a child or even a pregnancy is one of the worst things that a woman could go through, yet the majority of women have gone through it in some way and don't receive any comfort. We must give them support and hope so that they can one day overcome their sadness and make peace with their loss.

I remember you today my beloved Rosalie June, though I doubt I will ever forget you. I think about you everyday and wish you were here with Lon, Alan and I. I miss you so badly and love you with all of my heart. Lon and Alan love you endlessly also, even though they've never met you. Rest peacefully, my beautiful girl. <3

I also remember baby Ewan Eliezer, who earned his Angel Wings October 4th (my husband's birthday, that's so much sadder!) as a result of CHD.  I have never met you or your wonderful parents personally, but your story has touched my heart, as well as many others. You blessed this earth for three weeks, we are so very lucky for that. You were such a handsome little baby boy, and your parents loved you so. Rest in peace little one. <3

I, too, remember baby Cora Mae, another CHD infant who passed December 6th, 2009. Unfortunately, your CHD was undiagnosed until after your passing so you left this earth very tragicly. Even just remembering your story brings tears to my eyes. How you were taken from your parents so unfairly. I know they loved you endlessly, I still hear about it on her blog. You were a beautiful angel that we all still miss, though I never met you. Rest peacefully sweet girl. <3

My heart goes out to all those who also have been affected by Pregnancy/Infant Loss. Please remember, you are not alone. <3

Thursday, October 14, 2010

People are weird...

As you all know, Lon and I are married only by common law, but we take it as serious as a real marriage primarily because of Alan. I don't have a ring yet, and we don't plan on actually getting married for a year or two. This is simply because we do have a son and very little money to spend on such expensive things as of current. But when I tell people this, they always tell me to just go out and quickly elope or just get married at the courthouse now. Well, I don't want to do that because even though we don't have the money now, it doesn't mean that we don't want to have a wedding at all. Why should I have to just "get married now" and not have my own girly wedding? What's so important about being married that it can't wait until my husband and I can afford it? I'm still am a girl who has her specific ideas and plans for her dream wedding, and I am determined to make that happen. If this means that I have to save up for two or three years (or even five years if I had to) until I can afford to have a nice formal wedding, then I'm going to do it. I think us being married by common law is enough of a commitment for Lon and I to be in for Alan's sake. And we both are more committed to being his parents right now than anything. We understand that our relationship status should not effect how we treat each other around Alan. When we are with him, we are mom and dad first, then husband and wife. Isn't that the most important thing?

In effort to not have this post be an entire whining session, I will now disclose some of my ideas for my dream wedding lol. Ooh, exciting! :P

I want Lon and I to preferably get married in the Yellowstone National Park, at the Fairy Falls. We will most likely have a small wedding party of four bridesmaids and groomsmen and a small guest list of maybe twenty, thirty people. I want to find a shorter wedding dress so that I can stand in the shallow water for the ceremony, not in white (for obvious traditional reasons lol) but maybe a light yellow or blue. My bridesmaids will be in deep plum dresses and the groomsmen will have plum ties. I want a combination of my favorite flowers and our three birth flowers in my bouquet- larkspurs, asters, marigolds, roses and sunflowers. The bridesmaids will only hold tall sunflowers. Only Lon, Alan, the priest and I will stand in water and I want Alan involved in the ceremony too. We're thinking of buying him a engraved ring, that he could wear on a chain until he is older. Because I like the idea of the marriage being symbolic of the family becoming one eternally. Afterwards, I like the idea of having the reception at on e of the many campsites, under a huge tent or something.

Now that seems like not a lot,  but I want everything perfect (and who can blame me?) and so it will take time lol. So please, all you people just bear with me. In time, it will happen and it will be beautiful. <3

Ode to a loved one in need of love.

I have always loved you. And I always will. Now of course, I do not remember the first time we met (how could I? I was only a newborn) but I know that you do. When I look at pictures from those beginning days, I can see that we all looked so happy together. My favorite picture is the one with Great Grandma June, you and I, and my mother. The four generations of us strong women. I proudly keep a copy of that picture safe, so that I can look at it from time to time and remember where I came from. <3

We spent a lot of time together those first few years of my life, and I remember bits and pieces of it. Grandpa trying to teach me Italian words in to make it hard on us while you try to teach me some English words. Natalie and I helping feed Cali Kat, and then sneaking a few hard cat food pieces ourselves lol. Blake, Natalie and I raking massive piles of leaves in your front yard, only to grab Cali and jump in all together, immediately scattering all the leaves again (boy, did your cat hate us, but hey we were only children). Measuring ourselves every year on the height chart you kept in the hallway (it sometimes seemed like a competition between us cousins, not who was the tallest but who had the most height marks lol). Grandpa telling us all those CRAAAAZY stories about screen doors in submarines :D and other hoopla, and you convincing us that he just was a great storyteller with a wild imagination and a sense of humor.

As a teenager, I continued to love and have great respect for you. You were not only my awesome grandmother but a mother of four wonderful children, who kept it together through all the hard years of my mother, aunt and uncles' childhood.  I wanted to keep tradition with you and my mother and have four children myself. I based a lot of my teenage girl dreams on you and my mother's experiences. I loved coming over and spending time with you, helping you with housework or just simply talking about your younger years. I especially liked to hear about when my mother was young and you lived by the lake. That was my favorite story to imagine. You had a lot of wisdom from life experiences and I loved that about you.

When I grew into an adult and had my son, I based a lot of my parenting morals on how my childhood was. And the main thing I remember from my childhood is my grandparent influence. This is why, I try my best to get Alan to see both of his grandparents on a weekly basis, and his great grandparents as much as possible. :) Along with my mother and father, you gave me a wonderful childhood. And I thank you for that.

Grandma, I love you so very much. Please be strong for us, and please pull through. So that Alan can grow up with you like I did. <3

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Daily stresses have become overwhelming, time to vent!

Today has been a day from hell for me. And now, all I want to do is snuggle in my bed with my sleeping boy and rant on this blog about it lol. So here we go...

The morning started out alright. I woke up at a decent time and was able to spend some time with Alan, which was nice. But my boss called me and reminded me of my class time (which I was finally aware of) so that made me feel incompetent, especially since she knows my current situation. I got over it by the time I got to work and was in a positive move for my Parent/Toddler art class. Today we made leaf prints using crayons (a surprising success with toddlers lol) and then made a fall collage. I only had two children instead of my regular four, but it only made class easier on everyone.  Because the class was full of toddlers, it ended fifteen minutes early and I got a jump start on my cleaning. This made me happy, as Lon and I had a lot of plans in between my two shifts. We were planning on going to the bank, going to the grocery store and taking Alan to see his Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Andersen (who live in UT and are only in town every so often).

Of course though, as I was just heading out the door to freedom, my boss stopped me and reminded me that there was a staff meeting at noon. Damn! :) Now I'll be honest with you (even though some of you that are reading work with me), I hate staff meetings! They are set up so that half the staff goes to the meeting for a half an hour and then switch so the other half can go.  This seems so stupid to me because it takes a simple half an hour to an hour meeting and turns it into a two hour event! Now I don't have any real ideas of making it any better lol, but something has to be done! :) These staff meetings are seriously the bane of my existance lmao. But I digress.

The first part of the staff meeting (the actual meeting) went well. All the stuff the bosses had to address had nothing to do with me, because I already followed those rules. So I just sat there patiently and nodded along. :) The second part of the staff meeting (the watching of Child Watch when its not your shift) sucked horribly. There were a bunch of children that were all out of control and hyper, and only four of us to deal with them. I made a kid cry because he was growling at two toddlers and I told him to stop. Yeah, it was that kind of shift.

I escaped Child Watch a half an hour later than I hoped for, and I drove to the bank (scratch that- my car, in reality, flew there lol, I was in such a hurry) only to wait in a ridiculously long line. But I did find out that I had extra money in my checking account, which was a small bonus. That extra money was only later to be used for gas lol. After the bank, I ran to the grocery store to grab some quick things, in hopes that we'd still be able to go see Alan's great grandparents. But after filling my cart with milk, cereal, cheese, banana cookies and a few other things, I discover AT THE CASH REGISTER that I don't have my card, or any spare money. I was so embarrassed I put everything back for the cashier lol. Then I drug my sorry butt home.

Arriving home, I found Lon showered and ready for the day but Alan was sound asleep in his crib. He was down for his daily nap and that meant that he would not be up until just before three, when we go back to the Y. So we called Grandpa Andersen and informed him we'd have to come over tomorrow and he informed us that he was not sure if we could meet tomorrow because he had meetings. By this point, I had pretty much given up on the idea that we would get out of the house today as a family so I was not so upset. Lon was irritated, but we decided to cook a fancy lunch instead and it brought his spirits up. We played our lego games (Lon has developed the three separate games into one massive Legend of Zelda style game) and had a good time until I had to go to work.

At work was were it got really stressful. I was only a minute or two late to work yet I received grief from several people in the hallways for it. Throughout my shift, I dealt with a little girl with a runny nose and what looked like a sinus infection (ick), a handful of disgustingly poopy diapers, three babies who all liked to cry bloody murder AT THE SAME TIME, a toddler who wouldn't listen to me (and then I found out I was calling him by the wrong name, genius), oh and my poor distraught mother who couldn't take my son. Because of a family emergency, Alan had to stay two hours more than he was supposed to. And that made it difficult on me because on days like today when I only see Alan once or twice, he clings to me like none other. That meant I either had to mop holding him on my hip, or just let himself throw him to the floor, screaming. Decisions, decisions lol.

I am endlessly grateful to be home now, and to be finally done with this no good, very bad day. Now to go to sleep with my Alan, I love him so! <3 Can't wait for Lon to get home too, so he can join the snuggle party!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bringing everyone up to date...

I'm writing this post just to bring everyone up to par on my crazy, wild life. So if you already know what's up, please bear with me. :) Thanks!

I am a 21 year old mother to a 13 month old little boy named Alan Mikael. I am married (by common law only, we plan on having our wedding in a year or two) to the greatest man for me, Lon. We live in Billings, Montana-  under the beautiful Big Sky. :) And I wouldn't change anything about my life. <3

Lon and I aren't your average couple, but of course you expected that. :D We met September 5, 2008 through Lon's older brother, Tyler. The interesting thing about our meeting date is it was exactly a year before Alan's birth date. Anyways, we hit it off immediately and by the end of the night we became... how should I put this, friends who are also intimate lol. I don't like using the cliche term "Friends with benefits" as it seems so high school when Lon and I are adults.  But we were primarily friends who also spent every night together. :) In all honesty though, I preferred to be in this sort of open relationship and we grew to be very attached to each other. So much that in November 2008 when I was wrongly evicted from my duplex, Lon had me move in with him. And then December 2008, we got our first apartment together.

One thing we were oblivious to was the growing child inside my body during those holiday months. I was taken for ill many times, but we didn't even take a pregnancy test until after New Year's Day- when I was already five weeks pregnant! I'll be completely honest, the pregnancy did shake our relationship to the core. Lon had never wanted to settle down and have kids, and that was always the one thing we didn't discuss because I did. So this unexpected pregnancy suddenly thrust at us was quite scary. Being the realist that he is, Lon opted for adoption, as he knew we wouldn't have enough money to properly raise a child. I think he really was just scared. However, I wanted to keep it and was too afraid to come out and tell him. So we went the first trimester and most of the second with that mindset.

But after I had felt its first kick and discovered that it was actually a boy, I knew I couldn't let him go. I had wanted a baby so badly in 2007 when I was pregnant with Rosalie, who resulted in a miscarriage. She had been taken away from me, how could I just blindly give this one away? After Lon lost his job, our car broke down, and we found rats in our apartment, I knew that Lon and I would always be together because we had pulled through, stronger than ever. So when I delivered Alan Mikael on September 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm at the Deconess Billings Clinic, he was not up for adoption. He was ours. <3

That first year with Alan was a magical blur. It was almost like the minute he was able to start moving, he took advantage of it and started pushing himself to really move! In the hospital, when all the nurses were telling me how weak babies are, Alan lifted up his head and held it (straight mind you) for about half a minute. It even shocked the doctors! :) At six weeks, he finally overcame the doctors fears and weighed ten pounds. At two months, he giggled for the first time, which brought tears to my eyes rather than a laugh to my mouth.  At four months, he sat up by himself, for five minutes! I was so proud! At five and a half months, he was crawling perfectly. And four days later, he was pulling himself up on things and cruising! At six months, he was eating baby cereal and baby food. At seven months, he was climbing stairs. At eight and half months, he was standing. At nine and a half months, he was walking! At eleven months, he was trying to run. And now, at thirteen months, he is acting more like a two year old than a one year old! :) Up next for my family? Potty training... But thankfully not until Christmas time. At least one more month of freedom! :D

So now everyone's up to date on my life, becoming and being a mother. :) I may not do things traditionally, but everyday is filled with happiness and laughter from my family. <3 Love them.