Saturday, April 19, 2014

Today I have been thinking a lot about my upbringing and the way my parents did things. My parents are amazing. How did they know all that stuff, I mean I feel lost so much of the time. My mom had 9 kids, NINE kids! I thought, before I became a parent, that I wanted a lot of kids and I would be great at it just like my mom was. Well, then I had Kayla and I still thought I wanted lots and lots of Kaylas. Relatively calm easy baby, a toddler who could use so many signs that she was rarely frustrated, and then a wonderful school aged child who has her moments but has become my little bestie. Then I had these two boys at the same time. Pretty good babies but then they turned in to fire breathing toddlers (okay you know I really REALLY love them though). Have you ever heard of Sensory Processing Disorders? My little McKay was diagnosed with it about 9 months ago. It has been a challenge that I have questioned my ability to handle. I love being a parent and I am so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to have these individuals in my life. That being said, my euphoric ideals about becoming a really amazing parent have been shattered by the humbling reality of life. I can do my best every day but that's it. My room is full of clean laundry that hasn't been put away, my floors need to be mopped, I am about 2 years behind on my spring cleaning, and if you sit in something sticky don't say I didn't warn you. I choose not to paint a picture of a perfect life. I want to remember with all the great things, came many challenges. I would also like to remind my three beautiful children that we are just guessing and trying our hardest. We are far from perfect and I know I am not doing everything right but we are doing our best.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Chapter

Today I am feeling mixed. There is a big change coming. I recently took another job which is a big deal because I love my current job in many ways and I absolutely love the people I work with. The one downside to working in any hospital is the night shift. Some people are cut out for it, I however, am not. For two years I have worked rotating shifts between graveyard (6PM-6AM) and days here and there. And over the past two years I have fallen in to a greater vegetative state. I have energy to expend at work, giving 100% to patients, coworkers, and the flow of the floor. But at home I am merely surviving. I sleep terrible in the day, after falling asleep at 7AM, I awake at 12 noon exhausted but can't return to sleep. My kids suffer from my exhaustion, my husband suffers from my exhaustion and my energy tank has become completely empty. Nothing left. A few months ago, Sean came to me and, in a kind way said "Hannah, you need to find something with daytime hours. We want you back." I knew I didn't want to take just any day job, it had to be something I really felt good about. About a month after that I received a message from a friend, telling me there was an opening for a dialysis RN at the dialysis center right near the hospital I currently work. The hours are all days! I applied and was called for an interview. When I went in to interview it was after a night shift. I felt exhausted but when I walked in to the building it was bright, open, and it just felt right. I was offered the job and accepted. Last night was my last night shift. I may never stay up again my whole life. I would be okay with that. Leaving the job comes with a price though, I am so sad to say goodbye to the people I work with. I have been a supervisor for over a year and a nurse there for 2 years. I have been inspired by them and it is painful to say goodbye. I start my new job on Monday and I am very excited, a little nervous too. I am staying on as a PRN nurse in the Emergency Room at the hospital I have been working so I can keep my skills fresh on a variety of things. So here starts the next chapter, one that has me putting my kids to bed at night. I will spend time with my daughter every day after school, and I can maybe feel normal again. As sad as I am to leave, this feels like the right thing for us.

And yeah, that first picture, the boys are using the drawers as a step ladder (what am I supposed to do now?)!!

Friday, February 14, 2014


I have literally been asked the question "do you recommend having twins?" I thought and thought about this question. Do I even recommend my crazy life? Well, if it's between that and a private white sand beach um....

Wednesday morning I got home from work at 7:00 AM, my usual time. I was so tired I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow. Apparently McKay was upset because he wanted me to get out of bed at 9 AM. So as any intelligent two year old would do, he problem-solved. No sooner had I entered my 2 hour REM sleep cycle, a one liter cup of ice water was dumped on my head. I did what any other normal person would do: jumped and screamed VERY loudly. Sean understood clearly that this may turn volatile so he put down some towels (the majority of the bed was soaked), directed my half asleep, soaked head to a dry pillow, and took McKay out of the room. I slept the rest of my short "night" on the small corner of the bed which was left dry. So McKay, I know you are only two and there is an essence of innocence that resonates in your sweet little voice. However, I would like to teach you a little concept called "payback". There will come a time when you are lazily sleeping in and your attitude exceeds your desire to listen to your mother. Well, it'll be then when I get to dump a liter of ice water on YOUR head. And believe me, it will happen!

Did I mention that Brody climbed in to the dryer and McKay turned the dryer on? Yeah that happened. Sean said the blood curdling scream could be heard a mile away. Sean heard 2 "thuds" before he reached the dryer to turn it off so our guess is he spun twice. Brody wasn't hurt, just traumatized. Needless to say, NO one has climbed in to the dryer since!

So we continue this journey of survival. I struggle to manage the life of handling a household of rowdy children, a constant messy house, and full time work. Sean is still in school but there is a light at the end of the tunnel! He will be a 2014 graduate, woohoo!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How I Solved my Toddler's Insomnia

I am not really sure why my son started to have sleep problems. Could have been his brain didn't know how to shut off, or his new trick of climbing out of the crib was just a little too fun to pass up. Whatever the reason, bedtime is now a breeze again and we are feeling a little bit more sane in that department.

The problem:
McKay (2 years old) learned how to climb out his crib. He started to climb out the second we would leave the room and even started helping his twin brother get out. He would jump on the bed, laugh, and wreak havoc for about 3-4 hours until he would fall asleep with one of us sitting in a chair at his bedside policing him so he would not get out. Bedtime would start at 8 PM and he would be asleep at midnight. Then he would wake up at 2 AM and stay awake until 5 AM. Now, as you could imagine, we were going insane. With after bedtime being Sean's only time to study while I am working nights, this was not working out for us at all!

The solution:
I asked the pediatrician what in the world we should do. She made some suggestions and this is what I put together: That night I moved Brody (his twin brother who is a champion sleeper) in to our oldest daughter's room with his crib. Then I took McKay's crib down and put together a toddler bed. I child proofed the entire room and removed all toys. Lastly, I put a child proof doorknob cover on the inside of the door. I put him to bed that night and said, calmly, "McKay, if you stay in your bed, I will leave the door open but if you get out of bed, I will have to close the door to remind you to stay in your bed at bedtime. Love you" I left the room and McKay was right out of bed. "Sorry McKay, looks like we'll have to close the door to help you remember it's bedtime." I shut the door and he started screaming. I let him cry for about 5 minutes and opened the door again. "Would you like to try it again? Stay in bed and I will leave the door open." Again he came out and I shut the door again. He cried and soon fell asleep by the door of his room with his little hand under the door in a perfect fan. I felt really horrible but the pediatrician had assured me that some children need this boundary or their body literally can't shut off. The next night was like a miracle! I told McKay 3 times when I put him to bed what the deal was "If you stay in bed I will leave the door open but if you get up, I will have to close the door." He apparently understood because he didn't get out of bed once! Since this time (about 3 weeks ago) he has been going to bed like a champ. Sometimes he comes out and stands in the hallway until I come get him and shut the door. Seems like, some nights he wants the door closed to help him calm down. It's been awesome.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Greatest Thing

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return" -Moulin Rouge

In rebuttal to my last whiney post about how crazy my life is, may I just add I am blessed beyond measure. Lately I have been listening to some awesome inspirational messages from the last LDS General Conference talks and they just remind me of how many things I have to be grateful for. My kids may be crazy at times and more than we sometimes think we can handle but when I look in to those eyes and momentarily see a part of their souls, there is no doubt in my mind they came from Heaven. That's all.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I guess my bum is already numb from working on the computer too long (editing photos from recent photo shoots, so productive!) so what the heck, might as well fit in a quick blog post. I don't know if I mentioned this before but I have twin boys that are 2. Let me say that again, I have 2 wild high energy boys that are 2! I am not sure if my life can reach any greater level of insanity really. A few weeks ago Brody got in the dryer and McKay turned the dryer on. Sean rescued him after he had spun twice. He heard the dryer turn on, Brody scream blood murder and then two consecutive "thuds". He has not climbed in the dryer since. McKay recently decided he is not going to sleep any more. I don't mean he is arguing nap time, he is fighting all sleep tooth and nail. In the last two weeks it has taken us about 3 hours to get him down at night. He is jumping, laughing, climbing out of his crib or throwing a fit. Tonight we moved Brody in to his sister's room temporarily, kid proofed McKay's room, set up a toddler bed and gated him off. Of course, I went in every 5 minutes and offered to open the door if he is willing to stay in his bed. After 2 hours of this, he finally agreed and stayed in his bed. We are hoping this sudden toddler sleep training won't last too long, heaven knows we need sleep and sanity. We told the pediatrician we will end up joining the circus soon if we can't get things under control. McKay loves the street and we're lucky he hasn't been hit. Brody is a climber and we are lucky he hasn't fallen and been seriously injured. When they turn 3 we are having a "twins stayed alive" party. I mean seriously, the thought that we are entrusted with that type of responsibility. Keeps us praying. My house is a complete disaster. Every day Sean and I both clean yet it still constantly looks like a tornado has hit. I would like the FlyLady to visit MY house, I don't think she was a full time working graveyard shifts mom of twin toddlers and a school aged child while putting her husband through school, if she was, her SINK would not have reflections in it!!!

Despite the complete chaos, we are actually enjoying life as much as we can. Fall has brought fun outside with sweaters and hot cocoa. Kayla is loving first grade and our schedules have been working out. Wish us luck on the sleep training but other than that I think we are going to make it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

At the Close of Summer

I have thought so many times that I need to post. Over and over I hear things the kids say and do, knowing it needs to be recorded but so much is omitted from my journaling.
Well we bought a house:
Not very big or showy but it's our house and we love it. We have a fenced yard, a garage, a garden, and enough room to run around. I went to see my grandparents in California and they are my garden inspiration. My grandpa is a retired dentist and an engineer extraordinaire, my plan is to one day replicate his amazing gardening at my house. Here is where I have started:
Since the photo, the ground cover has grown, my little white crate herb garden is growing and it looks better. But then taking another picture is a tiny bit too much effort at this point, I think you can get the idea. Thanks Grandpa Dee for the advice and inspiration, I still want to build those grow boxes!

We went on a trip to California for a family reunion:
So fun to see the next generation playing together. The family just keeps growing.
Kayla is going in to first grade this year, FIRST grade! Can I even handle it, hardly. When I sent her away to Kindergarten it was exciting as I waved goodbye knowing I would see her again in a couple of hours. But first grade? I mean, what if she doesn't know where to sit at lunch? And what if she sits by herself because she can't find any friends? And then after lunch, what if she forgets where her classroom is? I really wish I could just go with her so she can ask ME all the questions and I can say "Hey, she looks like a nice kid, lets go say hi and I will help you make friends". I will sit with her at lunch, she can tell ME how she feels, she can tell ME her secrets, and she can tell ME about her fears. But I have to let go, with a lump in my throat and tears welling up in my eyes, I have to let go. I have to let her make mistakes, feel embarrassed, make friends, lose friends, get hurt, and sometimes even play alone. My only hope is that she continues to tell me everything and that we will stay best friends forever.
Oh Brody, here is the thing. You were made with an angelic little face, bright blue eyes and a cute little bod for one reason only: SURVIVAL. Otherwise we don't know what we'd do with you. He is Mr. Mischief. Climbs on top of the TV stand to unplug things, flushed Daddy's smart phone down the toilet, flushes everything he can get ahold of down the toilet, jumps off furniture without fear, wrestles relentlessly with McKay, takes off his diaper to poo on the living room floor, escapes and runs straight to the street. There was a time when I thought Kayla was high energy but I think Brody trumps anything I have ever seen. It's safer to keep him strapped in to a stroller or corralled in to a place where he can safely run around (like a padded room!) But his kisses, smiles, and the way he is a momma's boy, my life would not be as rich without him.
McKay likes mischief just as much as any other two year old but he has this really unique quality about him. He is so empathetic. Every time one of his siblings begins to cry, he pats them on the head, snuggles them and gives kisses. He is always concerned when someone is upset and loves peace. He is a cuddler and has a way of just melting right in to you. We found out recently that he also loves animals! We took the kids to the fair and in the petting zoo he ran from animal to animal just hugging them and petting them, grin from ear to ear. I don't think I have ever seen him get so excited about anything. Needless to say, we are entertaining the thought of getting a small goat. He would be in heaven.
As for us, Sean is in the Social Work Program at a University pretty close to where we live. He is working really hard and succeeding. He will be moving on to a Masters as soon as he is finished with his undergrad. He stays home with the kids while I work full time and we manage to work our schedules such that one of us is always with them. And I say he works hard in school but he works even harder being home with them. Twin toddlers is exponential child rearing and when you add a 6 year old that really needs our attention as well, it's all he can do just to survive and collapse at the end of the day. We spent some time in a neighboring mountain city for our 8th anniversary and it was fabulous. We stayed in a beautiful resort and cruised the town late at night NOT stressed about tired kids. We felt like we were dating again! Life is so busy and often exhausting but great. I love my job as a RN supervisor which has given me ample opportunity for growth. The summer seemed to fly by and there were so many things I wanted to do and didn't but we had a great time together. Trips, evening walks and lots of outdoor play kept us busy and active.