Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bedrest and Me

I've been on modified bedrest for the last four weeks since I started feeling a lot of contractions around 30 weeks.  We had just returned from a month long rotation in Houston and were nervous about what my uterus was doing this time (my second and third were both premature).  The doctor checked me and I was at 2 cm and 70% effaced, not too shabby for a fourth pregnancy, but given my premature pre-term labor at risk VIP status, the steroid shots were administered and I went home with a prescription for some nifodepine pills (to help my uterus relax).  When I saw my own doctor (who wasn't available the first day we were back) a few days later, he wanted to check me, but I persuaded him not to, telling him I had too many responsibilities at home with three other kids and that all our extended family was out of town (in China) for another week.  He agreed, but told me sternly that I must take it easy, I was essentially getting all the meds a person would get on hospital bedrest.  I agreed.

Bedrest at home with three kids meant a lot of screen time for all of us.  I went through seven seasons of Gilmore Girls in anticipation of the revival on Netflix.  I'd never watched the show initially, well a few episodes here and there, but I certainly was not on the GG train.  My kids played a lot on their ipads, and we still made our way out for kindergarten drop off and gymnastics or music class.  I did change my own carpool rotation to drop off which is significantly easier and less arduous than hiking up and down the hills with my two littles for pick up.  I had stopped working out a few weeks prior after feeling a lot of contractions and talking to the nurse over the phone who advised I try to take it easy (they really like that phrase!).

I started doing the dishes while sitting.  I started sweeping in a sitting position.  I even started taking showers while sitting (we have a handicapped seat in our shower).  And we started eating a lot of frozen food.  Take-out too.  And you know what?  It was hard!

I never realized how much of a spastic move around, must be doing something, type person I am, until this last month.  I have never disliked hospital bedrest, it's always been a fun time to catch up on shows that everyone raves about but I've never had the time to follow.  But this was different.  Here without the confines of a hospital bedroom away from the possibilities of things I could do at home, I really longed to be mobile.  I really wanted to go shopping, do fun things while the fall weather was still around, do fun Thanksgiving crafts with my kids, schedule playdates for my kids, and I was really looking forward to cooking some side dishes and desserts for Thanksgiving.

Instead, I lay in bed watching Rory and reminiscing about the stuff we used to wear back in the day (the show runs from 2000-2007 and my friends and I all wore a lot of the stuff she did on the show) and wondering where I'd be on Thanksgiving.  I started online shopping, but it was so incredibly and insanely dull.  I know the convenience is awesome, but sometimes I just want to walk around and SEE things firsthand.  Touch the fabrics, smell the stuff, feel the textures, and see the true size of items instead of clicking on "item details" to see more.   And one of my favorite parts about shopping during the Christmas season, is seeing all the Christmas lights and decor, smell the pine cones, pumpkins and cinnamon.  I really enjoyed the sparkle that permeates the air of the shopping frenzy all around.  When I was in my 20's in LA, my favorite place for a date during the fall/winter was The Grove.  I mean, they even had fake snow!  There was just something so fascinating and comforting about walking around the cool 60 degree air with a jacket and a handsome guy, seeing the twinkly lights and shopping bags abound.  I absolutely loved it!

We put up the tree early in case I wouldn't be around.  I'm almost done with Christmas shopping.

And then Thanksgiving came.  And I was still pregnant.  But then I got sick.  Head cold.  Runny nose.  Scratchy throat.  Lots of coughing which really hurt my upper stomach and probably scared the baby a bit.

To be on modified bedrest and not be sick.  It's funny how quickly you realize how ungrateful you are for the small and simple things.  Thanksgiving has passed, I am 34 weeks and still on modified bedrest but have been given permission to do "a little bit more" since I'm not 3.5 cm and still 70% dilated.  There seems to be hope that this baby can make it to term or close.  He's already passed both premies and still no blood.  Funny, my doctor told me blood does not indicate anything, a lot of people go into labor without bleeding at all.. but since my experience has been blood that triggered a trip to the hospital, I seem to think that will be the turning point.  I am still getting over my cold, but how grateful I am and how ungrateful I feel I had been, complaining about not being able to do anything.  How naive of me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Day The Boys Slept

I think blogging is underrated when it comes to capturing those sweet moments that I never want to forget.  Sure, I recap these things to Andy play by play, but he's got the worst memory ever, it all got wasted on medical stuff, and who knows how great my memory will continue to be?  So I'm back to capture those small, minuscule moments that mean so much.

This day... I want to remember this moment at this time, the day my boys went to sleep in their beds, without any fuss, rebellion, or partying with the lights on.

Andy had left for first BYU basketball game with his three buddies, and I was at home with the three kids.  Dagny had gone to sleep at 5 PM after resisting a nap because she woke up from a ride home, thinking she had already napped.  She begged her Dad for a nap and we gave in when she refused to eat dinner and took her blanket, demanding some nai nai or milk (in Chinese, anytime you see an italic it's probably Chinese).  The boys and I read a bunch of books, and then I got distracted by some stains I noticed in the toilet while the boys brushed their teeth.  So I proceeded to clean their toilet and then Andy and mine, because I was already in the swing of things, while the boys waited for me to come back and read some more.  About 15 minutes later, I went into the room to find Jordan had fallen asleep, and Bubba was eagerly awaiting more books.  We read 3 more books together, and talked about his day at school before we heard Dagny wake up.

So the three of us went into the kitchen to look at the blog that Bubba and Dagny's pre-school teacher have of all the fun things they do at pre-school.  We went through the last two weeks worth of posts, and then I left Dagny to go put Bubba to sleep.  We read a scripture story, prayed, and I kissed both of my boys good night and went back out to Dagny, who was still waiting patiently in the kitchen.

I heard a cry from Bubba.  A call, more like it, but it elevated to the level of a small scream when I didn't respond immediately.  I went over to see what was up, and he asked for some water because he was thirsty.  So I got him some water, he drank it, and then he told me good night and lay back down in bed.  I went back to the kitchen, half anticipating his return shortly thereafter, except nothing happened.  He didn't get out of bed.  He just ... went to sleep.

Meanwhile, Dagny was hungry.  I peeled 3 Clementines for her, she ate engulfed about 2 and then gave me the rest.  "Here Mom, for you."  I asked her if she wanted some toast, to which she responded, "With butter on it please."  My most polite child thus far.  I retrieved the toast, with butter, and she ate it while I worked on a flyer for work.  She'd comment every now and then, "Oh mom, pretty," or "Oh Mom, blue!" but that was about it.  "Do you want some tomatoes?" I asked her, to which she promptly responded, "Yes!" so off to the fridge I went.  We had some cherry tomatoes left, I took out a few and before I could even bring them to her, she called from her seat, "scissors mom, need to cut them!"  Good memory.  So I got the kid food scissors, which are blue, and proceeded to cut the cherry tomatoes into 4 for her.  "Mom, I want my purple and pink scissors," she told me.  I told her we aren't cutting tonight, maybe tomorrow, and she responded with an obedient, "Okay Mom, tomorrow."  I continued on my flyer, and as I did, she ate not 1, not 2... but 10 cherry tomatoes all cut into four.  She finished the rest of the cherry tomatoes!

"Do you want a bath?" I asked.  "No," she responded.  "What if Minnie comes along?"  I asked, hopeful for a change of mind.  "Okay then, let's go get Minnie!" she explained.  And off to the bath tub we went.  A long bath later, a lot of swimming on both her tummy and back, she could not be persuaded to come out, so I resorted to a promise of a Minnie show.  That did it, out she came, and into my bed she went, all snuggled in with her pajamas on, to watch some Minnie bow-tique shorts, while I took a quick shower.  Once I was done, and I let her finish her last 3 minute Minnie short, the phone was taken away and the screaming began.  I encased her in my arms, went to the kitchen to grab her two princess books, and showed them to her.  She cried until her eyes seemed to focus on the books, and like a light switch, out of her mouth, "Princess!" and off to her bed we went to read some princess books.  It was about 9:15 at this point, and I had a feeling she might be awake when Andy got home.  We read the princess books, I gave her some raspberries, tickled her, we talked about all the parts of her body in Chinese, and then we started to read her second princess book, when she rubbed her eyes, made me name all the princesses and their sidekicks (from Flounder to Sebastian to the seven dwarves to all the enchanted characters from Beauty and the Beast), and then before I could finish the book, asked me for some nai nai.  "Do you want to go to sleep now?" I asked.  "Yeah," she responded, "night night."  So off I went to grab her milk, came back, prayed with her, and then, left her room with the lights off and into my room to rest on my bed.  I thought for sure she'd come back to me once she was done with her milk, as she has been for the past 3 nights, wiping her streak of easiest transition to big girl bed, but today, she earned that title back.

Andy came home around 10:30, surprised that all the kids, especially Dagny, were sleeping peacefully.  I was shocked too, I had half expected her to be in bed with me awake and alert when Andy came home.

That's the thing with kids.  Some days, they surprise you in the sweetest and kindest way possible.  They do what you think they should, and they go to sleep.  It's a small miracle, a small win, but it is so amazing when it happens.  The boys seem to have gotten into a rhythm of staying in their beds and falling asleep now, at ages 5.5 and 3.5, it's about time... but me staying with them until they fell asleep (did this for a long time) sure didn't help.  It was nice though, to be wanted and to feel loved, but this is also nice.  Yes, this is.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Thoughts on this Election Day

I find it fascinating that people post their opinions about who to vote for on social media as if they can change someone else's mind. Chances are, your friends all agree with you, so who are you really trying to convince? That ONE token minority who doesn't give a crap what you're posting anyway?!  

I also find it fascinating that people cannot understand why someone would vote for the other candidate. There are different life situations and opinions that we all have, this is clear from simple opinions about when a baby is defined as a baby inside the womb. Some people run small companies, some people work for big companies, everyone's life situation makes their choice different, but what truly bugs me most is when the educated think that because they're educated... they obviously would vote this way or that way. When they make fun of the other class because they obviously don't get it and are voting for this monster. Monsters exist in all shapes and forms. Just because you do not agree with one type of monstrosity does not mean it does not exist. I'm not defending Trump. I think a female president would be awesome for all the little girls of the world. But I also don't love Clinton or Trump. And I really find it disturbingly annoying when everyone posts propaganda as if it's truth. Yes, Trump sucks. Yes, Clinton sucks. Yes, this entire election sucks. But try to have some empathy for the other voter and not pass judgment on someone who disagrees with you.  

And.... in the famous words of Elsa, let it go. For the record, I did not vote for any big party candidate and do not need a lecture about what my vote did or did not do either.  I'm a little regretful of my vote, however, as I think of all the moaners and groaners arguing this way or that.. it almost makes me want to cast my vote for one of the poisons. Pick your poison right?

Get out and vote!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Day Has Come!

I can relive my own childhood and buy some over priced wrapping paper from my son and help him win some insane prize. Oh wait... no, I can't.  

Seriously? He's in kindergarten! He came home, excited and showing me the prize poster and telling me that he was going to win an iPad or a skateboard or a BB8. I probably was not the best example. I laughed in his face pretty loudly in fact. While I didn't mean to discourage him, I feel like I along with the rest of the elementary school population was deceived by these grand prizes that barely anyone won (and if anyone did it was cuz their parents were some kind of senior level and all the employees felt obligated to buy something from them - at least this has been my own experience). By the time we all realized what a sham it was, my parents were willing to just donate money to the school to skirt the efforts of selling for us. So as I drew upon my own scarred memories of fundraising exploits by the schools I attended, I then politely told Jordan that he could definitely sell some stuff to family members and anyone else he wanted, but he'd have to put some serious effort if he wanted to win a big prize because he'd have to sell over 200 items to get there. I turned the poster over, showed him the prizes at the lowest level and told him excitedly, you could win a mystery prize! Let's go for that! Plus, we already have an iPad, I'd rather buy another one for our family than have you work at selling this stuff.  

Sorry. Oh wait. not sorry. 

Also, at least we have the option of selling a coupon book, that is okay in my book. As for the wrapping paper and the kitchenware ... book! Also, why did they get rid of the small paper samples for the wrapping paper stuff? I really enjoyed seeing the actual product before making such a large commitment, at least I have in the past.

Too bad I don't work anymore.. then I could just have it in my office and sucker people into it because of the empathy they have from when their kids sold that stuff.

On the bright side, Jordan called his grandma to tell her that he too was selling the wonderful discount books we have been using for the past three years. Then, he told her he was going to sell just a few and win the mystery prize. At least my kid learns fast.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

And Then We Got Pregnant

I was doing pretty well with blogging about our adventures in DC and was planning to continue as we headed off to Orlando for a month following DC.  And then... we got pregnant.

I felt disgusting.  I puked daily, if not more.

And then the blogging stopped.

I'm feeling better now, but the overload of photos from our trip and compiling details of everything we did seems so overwhelming now, so I suppose we'll just skip it.

I might come back and post some stuff here or there.. but party of six... here we come.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Monday with the Phillips

Sometimes I think my blog posts are becoming so basic, this is what we did, here are some photos, but after looking back at when I used to blog a lot and when I stopped, I want those memories commemorated in the form of a blog that I can later publish.  This, along with Instagram, are the only ways I document our family life these days... so here goes!

On Monday, May and Dennis went off to the FBI tour while I took the kids to our last storytime at Northeast Library, which is only a 5 minute walk from us.  I had been meaning to take a photo of the strollers that take over the hallway (because everyone on the Hill walks, including the nannies who work the hill), but forgot and oh well - trust me when I say, it is ridiculous and something you will never see elsewhere because people drive to the library.  We enjoyed storytime with our friends and then made our way home for lunch which consisted of even more Chinese leftovers from our Saturday trip to Philly.  May and Dennis made their way home and we all just chilled until it was time to head off to our Capital tour.

The walk was brisk and nice, but man, the heat was coming down and we were all sweaty by the time we got there.  I have absolutely loved our time in DC but secretly, a little grateful we missed the humidity and were only there for the best part of the year.

Andy met us up for the tour and I didn't get many photos but hopefully will update later with May's photos.

For dinner, we let Bubba pick since we never truly celebrated his birthday on Saturday with candles and cake.  He chose pizza so we tried We The Pizza, right on Pennsylvania and close to the Capital.





 It was kind of funny to eat dinner at 5 PM.  We saw a bunch of people walking home from work, but I just remember in my audit days, eating lunch and seeing normal people walk around with family, and wondering, are they on vacation, or is this their life?  What kind of job do they have?  Do they work part-time?  How nice and leisurely that must be.  Of course, life in reality isn't always the case, but I have never regretted my decision to be a stay at home mom and I love it.  I envied it from afar for so long, knowing very well that it wasn't all pink roses, but I love it, and having an added perk of family with us during my normal time with the kids, only reinforced how wonderful of a time I am lucky enough to have.  Whenever I stop to think abut the fact that I have a big family, the one I always wanted in my youth, I get all tingly and butterflies in my stomach take over.  It's much the same feeling I get when we fly with our huge crew, because I just recall flying single for work a lot and admiring the families on their way somewhere, it always made me wish I could have that one day... some day.. and one day and someday are here!  Poop, tears, frustration, lack of sleep, and all that included!

We stopped by a small bakery on 8th on the way home to grab some cupcakes for the boys.  Of course, they BOTH chose the one with a French Macaron on top ($1 more), and again asked mom to make them some macarons.  I don't think they understand how much time and effort goes into it, they just want some and have been asking me ever since we tried to make some with a friend a few weeks ago in Rossyln.  Ha.


One of the perks of having your birthday within a week of your brother is to blow out candles together!  There are actually 5 candles in Jordan's cupcake but it only looks like three from this angle.  
I love this family that I married into.  They are so much fun and glad they came out to celebrate the boys' birthdays with us!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sunday with the Phillips

This would be our last Sunday at the Capitol Hill Ward.  Even as I'm recapping on DC, I get all sorts of feels because while Orlando is sunny and we are living in a resort and hitting up Universal almost everyday for two weeks, I am lacking human contact.  I am what you might call.. a little lonely here in Orlando.  But I'm glad DC happened first, because having friends I saw almost everyday and felt totally comfortable just texting what's up, park later today? helped me get out of my comfort zone and explore more, which makes braving the theme park for 4-5 hours on our own before Andy meets us up after work, all the more doable.  

Now that we're doing Universal everyday, my time is also busy with serving my kids breakfast, packing lunch and dinner, doing the dishes and laundry, a tiny bit of learning for Jordan, and giving them baths in the morning.. but more on that later. 

So this was our final Sunday at Capitol Hill!  It's crazy how tall Dagny has grown during the two months we've been here, this skirt hasn't been adjusted but it is slowly getting shorter since those few months before we got to DC.  


A few weeks ago when my Dad was here, I kept making him stop to take photos of the beautiful pink flowers in the trees.  This was a few weeks after the cherry blossom bloom but the other stuff blooming around was breathtaking as well.  Then, as we were walking, I noticed it was all starting to pile up on the floor!  How crazy... and then a few weeks later, everything was just super duper green.  So of course, we had to do a "instagram floor" shot.

Back at our row home, we had leftover Philly Chinatown food, mostly a ton of chicken and noodles mixed with the leftovers we scored from dinner.  Then, we pulled out the sofa bed and relaxed and watched The Karate Kid.  

After some down time, we decided it was time to explore the memorials.  

The boys enjoyed chalk in the backyard with OGO who drew them both before we were on our way.
And then we headed off to Lincoln Memorial via Foggy Bottom, Vietnam War Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and then back home by the Monument via Smithsonian.  I really can't believe how well I know the area now, it's kind of fun taking our family around as if we were locals.














I logged in about 20K in steps that day.  What a great way to end the weekend.