4.30.2012

Motherhood Meltdown

This is the last of four updates so keep reading :)

Here's a news flash: motherhood is HARD!! Surprised? Yeah, me either. My dear friends blog put things in perspective for me this morning a little bit. I'm very lucky to have Kennedy and I would NEVER wish for life without her. There has never been a moment since she was born that I haven't loved her. But last night I had one of those major breakdowns where you wonder what this is all for and if the hard parts will ever end? I obviously know they will but the thing that scares me is once she's outgrown this stage, it'll be time to have another one and start all over again!! And overall she's been a really good baby and I know they all won't be as good as her so... yeah...

Ever since Moab Kennedy hasn't been sleeping as well. She won't go down without a fight and won't stop screaming unless we hold her until she falls asleep. Sometimes she'll wake up in the middle of the night and do the same thing. It's been frustrating and has caused some nights with little sleep. Not to mention it breaks my heart. Plus, I don't want to teach her that all she has to do is cry and we'll come hold her. I hold out as long as I can stand but it's so hard!! Last night was a breaking point. I shut myself in our dark walk-in closet when she started screaming and just bawled. Cory went in to help her and when she fell asleep he went looking for me and finally found me (I don't understand why he didn't think to look in the closet... duh! ;)) and I unloaded on him. He listened but didn't know what to say because it doesn't affect him the same way. I think all men are the same that way. So, I reached out to other mom's to make sure having these meltdown moments is normal. Thank heavens I'm not alone!! I was worried that if I kept having these days I was going to have to see someone because it wasn't normal to crack once in a while.

Let me be clear, I don't ever wish I wasn't a mom. But sometimes I feel like I'm going to lose myself and who I am with how much this takes out of me. There are days where I am so busy trying to comfort her and keep her happy that I can't even remember if I've eaten lunch. I have to worry about nap time, feeding time, story time, bath time, play time, quiet time... it takes up my whole day! I know, DUH MEGAN!! I'm not writing this to teach anyone what motherhood is like. Most of you already know and probably have even worse stories to share. My point is, it's hard sometimes and it's exhausting!! I love Kennedy so much it makes me hurt and I'd never trade her for anything. I just hope all this effort will be worth something. And by that, I mean I hope she turns out ok and knows that she's loved. I hope I'm setting a good example for when she becomes a mother. I hope she makes the best choices and loves and serves those around her. I hope she's always happy. AND I hope I can continue to enjoy some of the things I love and have some time to be me so I don't lose my mind. Not every day is difficult and even though we have to face all this again with future children, even that won't last forever. I just need to keep telling myself that. She's worth every moment; some moments are just harder on me than others.

10 Months!

I'll spare you the "I can't believe how fast it's gone" crap and just say that Kennedy turned 10 months last week!! She's growing like crazy! She's a fast crawler now and follows me everywhere. I'll go into one of the bedrooms and within seconds I hear her breathing hard as she's racing down the hall after me. This sight is quite common. It cracks me up:

She's all over the place and gets into everything. She makes pretty big messes sometimes. I swear her goal is to touch every surface of the house. The littlest things fascinate her and she has to check them out:
This picture is too funny, I had to post it again.
 Her toys are everywhere now
 She found the Ensign. It didn't survive.






She figured out how to climb up a couple stairs last night at my parent's house. She even got herself back down them without injury or tears.

She loves Sesame Street, especially Cookie Monster. She tries to get as close as she can so she can touch them:
She loves to copy me. She dances when I dance (or when there's music on). The other day there was a catchy song on the TV and I was bobbing my head without realizing it. I looked over at her and she was watching me and smiled then started doing the same thing. Another example is I was wiping her drool off the couch and she watched me then put her hand on the couch and started scrubbing too.

She tells me no. When I put her down for a nap or try to do something she doesn't want she shakes her head "no" furiously at me.

She also knows there's certain things she shouldn't be into because she always looks at me and waits for me to get after her. I know she can understand more than I think. Today I put her in her high chair and was putting the tray on and told her to lift her arms up and she actually did it. Crazy!!

She loves to tease people and laugh. She loves wrestling and being swung around by her Daddy. She's always been so observant and is more interested in figuring out how things work rather than what's inside them or just watching with amusement. She's always trying to figure things out. And she now has two teeth!! Hurray!! As always, we love her so much and we love watching her explore and learn new things.

Gardening

I've never liked to garden before because the only time I had was when my mom made me growing up. Today I decided the tackle the front yard and get it looking decent. First I mowed the lawn. We haven't bought a trimmer yet and the long edges and areas against the fence and house were driving me crazy, so I went out there with scissors and hand-trimmed our yard. I had people driving by laughing at me but I didn't really care. It wasn't too bad. Next, I pulled weeds out of the flower bed, dug out the overgrowth from the grass, realigned the rocks, pulled out the two dead bushes we had, trimmed the one remaining bush (with the scissors...I need gardening tools haha), raked out all the dead leaves and trash, leveled out the bark, and fixed the mess of rocks we had on the side of the house. I pulled each rock out, pulled out the weeds and whatnot, tilled the whole thing, then tried to place the rocks in an orderly fashion. I wish I had a "before" picture of the flower bed so you could see how awful it was, but oh well. I actually really enjoyed making it look better. I HATED the amount of bugs, spiders, and centipedes I encountered, but that's ok. I think later this week or maybe next week I'll go buy some bushes and maybe some flowers to plant where the empty spots are.


Sod!

Before:

After:

We have grass!! It'll look a lot better when it blends together and starts to grow. It's only been in 2 days. But we're so excited!! Again, thanks so much to everyone who helped. We had so much help I had to turn people away and we got it done in just over an hour. Our next project is the deck. In the above pictures Cory is mapping it out getting ready to put the posts up. We bought everything we need except the railing. Cory wants to weld a metal one together so he needs to go get the metal when we get closer. We planned on putting 4 trees in but we didn't budget enough for that many because we had no idea how much tree's were. They're pricey! We're hoping they'll be cheaper in the fall and we'll go get some then. We're still debating about what to do with the area under the deck and where to have a garden. I also want a fire pit before Kennedy's first birthday. But, it's coming along!

4.28.2012

Neglectful

I've been bad at updating our lives lately. I have much to catch up on! Kennedy turned 10 months and we have grass in our backyard!! I've been waiting for some time and new pictures to blog about these things, but rest assured, I will catch up soon.

4.18.2012

Hysterics

Today sucked. I was woken up several times during the night and again at 6:00 a.m. by a sick baby girl who wouldn't go back to sleep and insisted on being cranky all day. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did. People out and about were rude to me, so many people were driving dangerously, and the library told me they didn't have the book I put on hold only to call me 20 minutes after I drove home to tell me they now had it. I've been tired, cranky, fed up, irritated, impatient, and I've cried a lot today. It's just one of those days.

So, after Kennedy had torn my bedroom apart and shredded almost an entire roll of toilet paper all over our bed in to teeny bits, I decided I needed a bath to calm down. I let Kennedy stay in the bathroom with me and pull stuff out of drawers, chew on the safety tag on the blow dryer cord, and pull off the heat vent cover and throw it around. I didn't care what she did, I needed my "me" time before I lost it. I poured a generous amount of bubble bath into the tub, got in the steaming hot water, closed my eyes, and relaxed. It was amazing. It was quiet... Too quiet... I opened my eyes to this little face:


I started laughing hysterically and grabbed my phone off the counter to snap a photo. It was ironic to me that she was driving me insane and I took the bath to get away from her and yet all it took was that curious little face to make me smile and laugh. I felt the stress melting away. She stood up there on the edge of the tub and talked to me the whole time. I can't stay mad at her for that :)

4.17.2012

Moab: Final Day

I always hate the last day of our Moab trips. It's hard to leave that place. We woke up and of course the weather was now fantastic, making us want to stay even more. JoyLyn sent me a text saying Chris wanted to try Fins n' Things before we headed home. Cory loves that trail and it's the one we always take people on when they're wheeling for the first time. It's fun and introduces people to new stuff. Of course it takes several times to really understand the limits of your vehicle and know what you're capable of and willing to try, but Fins n' Things is perfect for initiating that. So, we packed up, played in the Jeep for a minute
 She was waving to me, that's why she looks all goofy.

 and headed up to the trail. Chris did a great job and I think he had a lot of fun! Plus the scenery is amazing!




After the trail Kennedy had a total conniption and was screaming and crying and wouldn't fall asleep. We stopped to air up the tires, gas up, and get some lunch before heading out on the road and the only time she wasn't throwing a fit was when I took her inside with me to get sandwiches. I was at my wits end by the time we left Moab and she was still crying and screaming. But shortly after she FINALLY fell asleep and slept from just outside Moab to Happy Valley. That was awesome!

We had a great time, like always. As we were arriving on Wednesday and driving past Arches I thought about my Grandma and her love of the red rock. It was her passion. It is for my mom also and definitely for me as well. I think if I knew I was dying there would be no other place I'd want to travel. I'd want to see Moab again before I went. It really is my second home. I'm glad my parents introduced us to the beautiful world we have here in Utah. I love it!

Moab: Day 4

Saturday morning we went over to our friends camp and they made us an awesome breakfast of pancakes, sausage, eggs, and fruit. Thanks again, guys! Then we met back up with Cory's diving friends and he and Chris took our Jeep and went on Poison Spider Mesa while JoyLyn and I took the babies out to have our own fun!

It's a good thing we didn't end up going on Poison Spider because Cory said his friends took him on some new stuff that was pretty scary with his tippy Jeep. He even said he was done wheeling for the trip because it had freaked him out so bad. He needs to fix his Jeep before he does anything serious again. The boys had fun, but Cory kept talking about those new spots like he'd seen a ghost.

Meanwhile, JoyLyn and I decided to drive to Tusher Tunnel and check it out. It was so awesome! It's a long tunnel that looks like a cave but comes out the other side.



After that short trip we headed into Arches and drove around to the lookouts while the babies slept in the car. Arches is such a beautiful national park. I love it! My favorite arch is Sand Dune Arch. I've loved it ever since I was a kid. We took the babies there and let them play around in the sand for a bit. Kennedy was totally fascinated by it. She'd put her hand in it and feel it then rub it between her fingers.






 It was pretty cold and it didn't take long before both kids had rocks in their mouths that we had to fish out. We figured the boys should be getting done with the trail soon so we drove back to their cabin to wait for them. It was there that a sucky moment as a mother occurred. Kennedy was laying on their bed playing with a paper plate. I checked on her, went over to the window and looked out at Cory and Chris as they drove up for a second, and looked back just in time to see Kennedy go over the edge of the bed backwards. She landed on her forehead on the hardwood floor and started screaming the SADDEST scream and her head instantly went black and a goose egg appeared. It was awful and it took her a while to calm down. We tried to keep ice on her head but it was cold and it just pissed her off more. She has a pretty hefty bruise there now but I'm surprised it wasn't worse. She was a trooper though. Since then she's bonked the same spot a few times and she gets pretty upset but I don't want to discourage her from trying to move around the room. Accidents will happen, just hopefully nothing as bad as her tumble off the bed again. And yes, I know it will. Kids are kids.

Our plan was to make tin foil dinners that night but it was too cold and windy to sit around the campfire and wait for our dinner so we decided to go out, again. We came home with almost the same amount of food we left with because we kept deciding to just grab something fast haha. But I'm ok with that because it was good and was easier on me. We walked around Main Street for a little bit checking out different restaurants. I'll admit by this time I was SO cranky and tired. I was starving and didn't get a real lunch because Cory had the sandwich stuff in the Jeep. But we finally decided to eat at Moab Diner which is really, really good. I recommend it. We had a great dinner and had fun talking. And we were warm!

After dinner we went to show Chris and JoyLyn Sand Flats Road since they'd never been on it before. We showed them some trials and the campgrounds and took them on Baby Lions Back. They've never really done any major Jeeping before so we figured that was a perfect beginner test run to take them on. Short, easy, and fun. After that we headed back to the cabins and went to sleep. I think Cory was out before 9:00 came around.

Moab: Day 3

Friday morning we met up with some of Cory's friends he knows from his diving team when he was in high school who also love off-roading and went to do Hell's Revenge. We've done this trail several times before and it's always been one of my favorites. However, this time was totally different for a few reasons...

We started off alright but we were extra careful because Kennedy was in the car and we didn't want to jostle her around too much. Every time we'd hit a big bump we'd both flip around and check on her. She was totally fine though. Cory's friends love to go really fast so we were cruising through the trail faster than normal. The thing about Hell's Revenge is, we always forget the scary parts each time we do it. It's like a mental block. We always remember the beginning and the steep slick rock climbs and descents like these:



 We remember the lookout point:
 And the hot tubs:
 And we always remember the big obstacles and a really scary and dangerous part just after the hot tubs. I always remember this because I'm always the spotter and the drivers life is literally in my hands because the trail is coming down a skinny part of slick rock with cliffs on both sides and the driver can't see where he's going until he's already facing down. If his tires are in the wrong spot, he drives off the cliff. It's not that bad, it's just steep and it always makes me think of the first time we tried it and how scared I was guiding Tyler and Collin down it. Anyway, we always forget the really tippy spots and the hard rock descents at the end mixed with dirt road. However, I think this trip will forever have those spots burned into our minds.

For starters, Cory has lifted his Jeep several inches and gotten bigger tires since the last time we did it so his Jeep is much taller and less stable. His shocks are also shot in the front end so we don't have those keeping the Jeep from tipping side to side. The spots that are usually a little unnerving were totally terrifying for us. And it didn't help that we had Kennedy in the back seat. We both had a pit of anxiety in our stomachs the whole trail. I'm totally convinced we had someone up above watching out for us because it was BAD! Even his friends would turn around and watch us and cringe with fear watching us tip so much. We hated it. The non-tippy spots were totally fine. The majority of those kinds of spots though are on the edge of cliffs or steep slopes so if we did roll, it's not like we'd just tip over, we'd probably keep going a ways. Anyway, it also didn't help that we were going so fast. Cory likes to take his time and look for the safest possible route to take up and down stuff and he didn't really get a chance to do that. That being said, I can now tell you that we almost rolled, front over back, on the last part of the trial. We were going up a steep rocky incline that has gotten significantly worse since the last time we did the trail. Cory was doing his best but his back end slid us to the right, it dropped down too low, and the front end came off the ground and we started to slowly go over. Cory, thinking quickly, threw it in reverse and backed down which dropped our front end from going over and we backed down the obstacle. Needless to say, we both were trying to swallow our hearts back down to our stomachs. It was so scary!!!! Kennedy slept through the whole thing. He took a better approach the second time and we both literally let out a huge sigh of relief when we reached the end of the trail. He said as soon as we got back to camp he was lowering the jeep a couple inches. He also needs new shocks badly. I also know our close call never would have happened if we were going as slowly as we usually do with my family. I was happy to be going faster, don't get me wrong (we were done in 3 hours instead of 5 or 6), it was just a little harder to concentrate.

Scary stuff aside though, we did have fun on the trail. And for you jeeping folks, we also met Dan Mick!
He's not a huge celebrity or anything but he did help write the guide book of trails we use all the time down there because he's personally done every one of them. He signed our book. He was also the first person to do Mickey's hot tub on Hells's Revenge and it's named after him. He pulled up right as Cory's friend was attempting it. He watched quietly for a minute and then finally spoke up that without lockers, there was no way his friend was getting out of there without flipping his Jeep. So, we helped pull him out. I think it would be fun to take one of his guided Jeep tours sometime. I bet he's seen all kinds of stuff!

After Hell's Revenge, and after Cory lowered the Jeep, we met up with our friends Chris and JoyLyn who had just gotten into town. It was mid-afternoon so we were trying to find something to do that was fun but short. We ended up going down Kane Creek Road to the Indian ladder that's just off the road a ways. We've stopped here several times in the past but I've never dared to climb all the way to the top before. It looks easy but once you start up, you realize it's challenging and you have to come back down it. Up is always easier than down. But I finally made it to the top and coming down wasn't as bad as I thought  it would be. If I would have had my climbing shoes, I'm sure it would have been a breeze! It was tons of fun though and it helped to slightly dampen the burning desire I had to go climbing the whole time we were there.
 Here we are at the top. Can you see us??
 JoyLyn stayed down at the bottom with babies and got some cute pictures of them playing together. Thanks, JoyLyn!




After the ladder, we decided to head into the little canyon the ladder is by and see where it goes. It's full of walk-in camp sites that are really awesome! We want to camp back in there sometime soon. And at the end there's a little pond big enough to swim in, which I'm sure dries up after the spring.



It was pretty late by then so we went to Burger King to pick up some dinner and headed back to the cabin.  After putting Kennedy down, I had a mini-meltdown. Camping with a baby is really hard. It almost takes the fun out of it at times. I was super tired from the night before and Kennedy had just spent the last 20 minutes crying and I was just done with it all and I felt like going camping with a baby wasn't ever going to happen again. I even told Cory I didn't want any more kids because I didn't want to do this stage again. She can't crawl around anywhere and she gets mad because I won't let her. She tries to eat everything and she's dirty. I have all the same chores and responsibilities I have at home, only now it's even harder because I have to rummage through bags to find diapers and wipes or find a good place to change her and feed her or worry about how to wash her bottles. Sleeping was hard and I was always worrying about her melting down in the car. It was stressful and not easy. But, I know it'll get better and I felt better the next day after some sleep. I'd much rather still go camping and put up with the hard stuff than not go at all. At least now I know what to expect.

4.16.2012

Moab: Day 2

Thursday was supposed to be our hiking day. I told Cory way before we even left that we couldn't spend all day, every day in the car with Kennedy. I knew that was bad news but he didn't quite get it. I wanted to hike Fisher Tower since it's such a cool hike and we have yet to finish the whole thing. Cory mentioned an easier Jeep trail in that area called Dome Plateau that was "short" and went to some caves and old mining cabins. Since it was cold and rainy we decided to try the Jeep trial first, thinking it wouldn't take very long. As we started, I began reading the trail description in our book and it said the trail takes 3-4 hours. I was kind of mad that we ended up staying in the car for so long, especially since I wanted to hike really bad. But the end result was really cool.
Lovely weather
 The beginning part went through a canyon with cool things like this:
 This is approaching the wind caves
 They were huge! There is giant one on the left and a smaller, deeper one in the middle.

 Looking out
 The big one was more just like a huge dome.

 The smaller one wasn't as tall, but went pretty deep. I'm kind of afraid of dark caves so it creeped me out a little.




I missed getting pictures of the mining cabins. Oh well.

After that road we went to try Fisher Tower. However, the wind was blowing really hard and it was super cold so we changed our minds and decided to go finish Negro Bill Canyon, a hike we started last fall but didn't finish. We turned around last year right as the trail gets gorgeous! It's such a cool hike!

It's through a beautiful canyon and the trail crosses the river a few times and winds through rocks and bushes. It was so fun! Kennedy loved hiking! She'd kick and squeal when people would pass and smile and flirt. There were several dogs, too and she LOVED them!!! She was always looking around and taking in her surroundings. When ever a bird would chirp or a crow would caw she'd scream back at it. She's so funny.
My cute hikers!
 Stopping for a feeding break.


 The hike is gorgeous and lots of fun, however it's tiring because a lot of it is in deep sand. The sign said it was 2.25 miles to Morning Glory Bridge. After an hour, I started to get a little concerned because we were still hiking. We'd pass people and ask how much farther and would get varying answers but they'd all say the same thing, "It's totally worth it, though!" So we kept on going. Finally, we came up on the crest of a hill and saw this:
 We both stopped and were a little mad that was the view that was "so worth it." It's nothing special. We decided to go to the end because maybe it gets better. Sure enough, it did. It's a huge arch!

There was a spring running underneath it and there was a sand hill we stopped and sat in. People were repelling off of it so we stayed to watch for a minute.

 We let Kennedy play in the sand a little bit but it was cold in the shade with the breeze blowing and it was getting late so we decided to head back.
 I love these two so much!!
We got back and checked into our cabin. It's a cute little thing, emphasis on little. It was pretty cramped with just the three of us. I can't imagine a family of 6 trying to maneuver in there, which is how many it sleeps. But it did have a fridge and power so that was awesome. And the campground had showers and a place to wash dishes, which we needed for Kennedy's bottles.


We got back pretty late though (the cabin pictures were taken the day we left) and we were trying to roast hot dogs out on the fire during Kennedy's bed time, which was impossible. So I went in and tried to get her to go to sleep but she didn't know where she was since we had just gotten to the cabin. She finally fell asleep but then woke up screaming a short time later. I went and picked her up and she was shaking and sobbing! :( poor little girl was so scared. I tried having her sleep with me for a while but she just rolled around and tossing and kicked so I finally put her back in the pack and play around 1:30 and she slept alright after that. We were both pretty cranky the next morning though.