April 6, 2014

Thomas Vincent Winn

Why We Chose a Home Birth:
Around the same time we had Landon, some good friends of ours also had a baby… at home. I remember thinking how scary that would be, not to mention painful, and how I didn’t think I could ever do something like that.

Never say never, right?

In a nutshell, these are our reasons for going the home birth route:

Past Experience: Our hospital experience with Landon was not ideal. My OB was out of town, so I had some on call doctor who gave me an awful episiotomy after only one push and without first obtaining my consent. (Months of painful recovery!) In addition, I went into labor on a Sunday which meant the cafeteria was closed, so Scott was starving all day. Scott was also not thrilled about sleeping on the uncomfortable couch in our little room during the two days following the birth. (And honestly, it’s not like the hospital beds are much better!)

Insurance: Or lack thereof, because I had none. A midwife is much cheaper out of pocket that an OB, not to mention I would get to skip all the unpleasant blood work and tests along the way.

Knowledge: We watched the Business of Being Born, which was a great eye-opening documentary; highly recommend it. We also started learning about home birth and came to realize how safe it is, and how much better it is for mom and baby. To anyone giving birth, even if you are set on an epidural in the hospital, I would still recommend learning about the benefits of a natural birth.

Our Home Birth Experience:

Preparation: I’m sure many of you have the same reaction when you hear "home birth" as I once did. But, I assure you; it’s quite a different story when you spend nine months preparing for it. We went with the same midwife, Sherri Price, that our friends did, and absolutely love her. Her experience, care, and knowledge are unmatched. (She is pictured below in one of the photos with Tom and me.) Each month she holds forums at her home for all the moms to be, giving information on a variety of topics: comfort measures during pregnancy and birth, massage, birthing positions, exercise, nutrition, stages of labor, etc… You also get to hear mothers share their birth stories. In addition we took a HypnoBabies class, which is the main “pain management” technique used in many home births.

Prenatals: Many people have asked me what prenatals are like with a home birth so I thought I’d include this little blurb too. The prenatal appointments were held at Sherri's home. (Landon loved to go with because of all the fun toys and cars there.) She would measure the baby, listen to the heart, do a urine analysis, and check my weight. No internal exam, as they are not necessary and just provide an opportunity for bacteria to enter that sterile area. Then we would talk about how things are going, how I was doing with exercise and nutrition, and go over any questions I might have.

The Birth: During this pregnancy I had a very strong feeling that he would come early, and fast. I was only in labor with Landon for 12 hours, so we were thinking it might be 6 or so the second time around. On March 15, I woke up at 5:30am, 8 days before my due date. (Thank you for sleeping in Landon!) I went to the bathroom, definitely was leaking fluid, had bloody show, and knew the contractions were real this time.

Of course it figures, I had been keeping the house spotless every day with the exception of the night before I went into labor. So, in my head I started listing off what had to be done ASAP:
  • Clean!!!
  • Wash bedding (Scott had been sleeping in the extra bed downstairs because he had a severe bronchitis infection and didn’t want to get me sick. However, we were planning on using that bed during labor so we wanted to get all those sheets clean.) 
  • Shower! (Maybe I’ll even curl my hair for the sake of pictures. Haha, yes I did think this would be possible.)
After getting up, I quickly realized that the contractions were a lot stronger and closer together than I was anticipating they would be at the start of labor. I woke Scott up, called Sherri, showered, (didn’t even get around to combing or drying my hair) and then started listening to one of my HypnoBabies tracks while I cleaned up. Scott called our good friends to come take Landon as well.

Sherri arrived at 7:00am. She checked where I was at: only 5cm, but 100% effaced and baby was at +2 station, meaning his head was already halfway down the birth canal. (0 means he hasn’t entered the canal, +5 is crowning.) Sherri ran downstairs to get the birthing tub set up and call the other midwife and apprentice. She only got the tub half full before we ran out of hot water. (Had we known things were going to go this fast, we wouldn’t have all showered and done laundry first!) I was still able to get in the tub for a few contractions but then started to feel pushy (in my head I was thinking, already?!?!) and I ended up moving to the bed because the water was getting too cold. After pushing for only 30 minutes, he was out! Not gonna lie, it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. (There are HypnoBabies tracks to listen to when in labor, and pushing but everything went so fast, there just wasn’t time to think about getting them.)

All in all, it was the most amazing and empowering experience I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Thomas Vincent Winn was born at 9:10am, after just 3.5 hours of labor. He was 21 inches long, and 9 lbs, 5 oz. (A full inch and pound bigger than Landon, and born a week earlier.) No tearing whatsoever!!

While Scott and I rested with Tom, the midwives cleaned everything up and set up all the things we needed in our room upstairs. We moved up there and stayed in bed all day, sleeping and enjoying our new little bundle in the comfort of our own home.

Recovery: I absolutely loved my home birth experience and would do it again in a heartbeat. The recovery has been night and day different from my hospital birth experience. After five days I felt amazing. I knew my body still needed to rest, but it was hard to stay in bed and take it easy because I felt like I was already back to my old self again!

Thomas: After a couple of days, it was very evident that something was wrong with Thomas and causing him to nurse incorrectly, leaving blood blisters on both my nipples. (Which were so painful, that I couldn’t decide if pushing baby out or nursing him hurt more.) Sherri recommended a pediatric dentist who specializes in lip and tongue ties. Turns out Tom had both, making it so he couldn’t lift his tongue and upper lip enough to nurse properly. The dentist preformed a ten-minute procedure in which the ties are literally removed with a laser. It took some time for Tom to figure out how to nurse better but by that point, my milk supply was already down because he wasn’t properly getting milk out. As the lactation consultant put it, it was too hard for him to get milk so he would go to sleep and be content to starve. (Although he was/is definitely not starving, just not getting enough either.) Not to mention he has severe reflux (just like Landon did) and spits up most of everything he gets down. Consequently, I’ve been pumping after every feeding and power pumping for an hour at night in addition to taking Fenugreek to try to increase my supply. He has to eat at least every two hours, but usually he's ready after an hour and a half, so this essentially leaves an hour of time between each feeding session. He is still fairly fussy, but hopefully with more milk and acid reflux meds, that will continue to improve. In addition, he has a Staph infection and his big toe nails are both ingrown. Good grief, little one.

Landon: Landon has been adjusting fairly well. He absolutely loves having a little brother and always wants to give him hugs, kisses, and tickles. Of course Landon doesn’t get the attention he is used to, and has started doing things he has never done before, like painting the carpet and coloring on chairs. Not to mention he has become extremely defiant. And, my all time favorite is when Tom’s crying and Landon starts crying and screaming too. “Two babies, Mom!” Oh boy. Thankfully we’ve had family come and go consistently since Tom’s birth so Landon has had fun hanging out with everyone.

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February 27, 2014

Fall 2013 & Winter 2014

The last six months have flown by. In a nutshell, this is what we’ve been up to:

We moved into our house!! And no, I don’t have any good pictures to show yet. ☺ Landon was a big help helping painting, unpacking, and building (bookshelves, chairs, table, etc… the list goes on and on). As you can see in the pictures below, he also went through a phase of attaching things to himself – in the picture below where the baby tub is tied to his boxers with a belt, he is pretending to be a trailer truck. He is quite inventive.
We actually had a bit of nice fall weather. My family came out to visit and they were especially helpful in getting all the home projects done that I wanted. Took a trip to the pumpkin patch with them and enjoyed the last bit of heat before winter set in with full force.
For Halloween I was hoping Landon would want to be Peter Pan, since that costume was already made, but he was totally over Peter and had moved on to Bob the Builder. No biggie, we still got tons of use out of it. Halloween gets more and more fun each year as he gets older! He had a blast trick or treating, and wanted to keep going but was just so tired. By the end he was laying down in the wagon falling asleep. One of the things I look forward to most each year is the Halloween party Scott and I get to enjoy sans Landon. This year there were six snakes in the photo room. Don’t be deceived by the smile; I’m having a panic attack on the inside.
Thanksgiving/Baby Ultrasound 
Celebrated Thanksgiving just the three of us, just how we like it. Also, per tradition, went to see a movie in the afternoon. Landon didn’t want to see Frozen because it looked “too scary,” so we went to Austenland instead. One of my favorite books! The movie was also good, definitely as cheesy as we expected, but funny, and fun to watch since Scott knew a lot of the people who worked on it. Baby ultrasound! As much as we would have loved a girl, we both just knew it would be a boy. He’s been consistently measuring two weeks bigger/ahead of where I am. Although this usually means nothing, it’s interesting to note. Boy it goes by fast the second time around! And yes, we have the name picked out, but decided to keep it a secret till his birth. Not that it’s some bogus made-up name; it’s just more fun driving our parents crazy.
The Accident 
December came with a good haul of snow, which Landon thoroughly enjoyed. We couldn’t wait to go back to WA for Christmas and New Years, and make our semi-annual getaway to Victoria, BC. But, unfortunately the night before we were planning to leave, we got in a car accident. Huge, huge bummer but much to be thankful for, as it could have been a lot worse. Long story short, traffic in town stopped abruptly in front of us, and Scott put all his weight into the breaks in an effort to stop in time. We still hit the car in front of us and on impact Scott shattered the top of his foot, breaking and displacing multiple bones. It was classified as a Liz Franc injury; one that puts athletes out of their careers for good. He had surgery on Christmas Eve morning, followed by some scary complications, so we also spent most of that night in the ER. It’s been two and a half months and he just barely got the cast off and started physical therapy. Fingers crossed he will be able to walk by the time baby comes. (Thankfully, our car was fixable and now it looks amazing with a whole new front.)
We couldn’t believe this year Landon actually wanted to see Santa. He was so nervous but just had to tell Santa what he would like for Christmas. Christmas ended up being quite a bit different than we planned because of the accident and surgery. Scott was heavily drugged and out of it most of the day. Landon still had fun opening his presents, building his new train table and jamming out on his drums.
After New Years, Scott’s family came to visit. Landon especially loved swimming in the hotel pool with them. Landon’s been doing well in gymnastics and loves going each week - although he’s quite the little spaz and has a hard time focusing and listening to his teacher. He also loves to sit in on Scott’s work meetings, even when he can’t keep his eyes open very long.
Fun Outings 
Landon and I went to the Dino museum. Lots of hands on things to play with at the museum, although Landon was a little freaked out by dinosaurs. He kept reminding me (and himself) that “They were alive a long long time ago… now they’re dead.” But, the dino noises in the background such didn’t make it seem like they were dead. ☺ We also couldn’t pass up the monster truck show in SLC. Landon was in heaven!
We had some friends over for a big ol’ superbowl party. Even though we’re not sports people in the slightest, we had the greatest time watching the Seahawks win!!
Faces of Landon 
Top left: L loves to put out fires in the house.
Top right: Helping Mommy clean! He enjoys doing the spray, emptying garbage cans, and unloading the dishwasher.
Bottom left: Most of Landon’s pictures look like this – he will smile at me, but just can’t take his eyes off of whatever thing he’s playing with.
Bottom right: Took an ink pad to his face… “This is my makeup.”
Left: Sporting his "listening to the Holy Ghost ears" from primary.
Right: Helping mommy shop at Trader Joes. (His latest thing when I ask him to smile is to immediately spread his legs apart as far as he can.)
[As you can see, these are the only pictures we managed to take on the good camera during the last six months.] During February, Landon was in a basketball class a couple times a week. He wasn’t super thrilled at first, but that might be partly because he doesn’t do sports much at home. He does what daddy does: make music! They jam out all the time and he loves to go to the studio and “record” songs with Scott and Brenden. By the end of the month though, Landon had definitely improved his dribbling and shooting skills and enjoyed it more and more.
Valentines Day 
On Valentine’s Day this year, we recreated our V-day from 10 years ago. Scott also treated me to a pedicure and massage, which was very sweet and very much needed.
Pregnancy Photo Shoot 
I was so diligent with Landon, taking pictures each week to document his growth. Not so good this time around. At least we got a few memorable picts at these amazing photo spots at Scheels. [35 weeks]  
Warming Up 
We are finally getting a glimpse of spring here, with beautiful warm weather! Play dates at the park, scootering around the neighborhood, and a trip to the zoo. Landon’s favorites at the zoo: the tiger and the new pirate ship play area. We just love being outside!
Family Photo Fall 2013 
Last one of just us three! ☺
Scott Update: [Since there wasn't really a better place to fit this in.] Despite being unable to walk, Scott has still managed to get a lot of work done, with the help of amazing friends. In January he released "Stormtrooper Secrets: Hip Hop Twerk" which hit a million views in less than 48 hours. The song he wrote for the video, "Beat Calls," made it to the top 40 on the hip hop charts, right along side Macklemore, Jay Z, and Eminem, which was pretty surreal. More importantly though, are all the jobs that have come because of the video. Right now he has a team in the Philippines shooting some sweet videos for his You Tube Channel. There are many other videos in the works including one for Ford, and the next Scott & Brendo album will be out sometime before fall. Love my talented hubby!
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September 11, 2013

Summer 2013

This has by far been our busiest, craziest, most eventful summer yet. Our adventures included...

Visit with Thomas:
Thomas the Tank engine came into town. Train rides, play train sets, temporary tattoos, a magician, balloon animals, and a visit with Sir Topham Hatt. Definitely not worth the $20 bucks each to get in, but Landon still had a blast.
Landon turned three! All my pictures of his party were on the "nice" camera so that will have to be another blog post entirely. It was Peter Pan themed, and I made him a Peter Pan outfit for the occasion, which will hopefully double as his Halloween costume too! (He was obsessed with Peter during spring and the first half of summer.) We also spent countless days at the splash pad and water park. Sometimes we were even lucky enough to get a sudden rainstorm that left some good puddles for splashing.

Business Trip:
Right after Landon's birthday, Scott was hired to shoot some behind the scenes videos for a show called @summerbreak. He was in CA for two weeks. Landon and I drove out to join him for the second week. I was really nervous about driving by myself, but thankfully my good friend and her fam were going to LA the same day so we caravanned with them, and the drive ended up being totally fine. We got to watch Scott work one day, then explore and play the rest of the week.

Lan and I spent the majority of our time beach hopping. We had so much fun!! Our favorite was Santa Monica, with there being so much to do on the pier, and the kid's muscle beach as well.

We did drive up to the Zoo one day, but it ended up being so hot and with no ocean to jump into, we didn't stay too long. By the time our trip came to an end I was feeling so much more comfortable driving around LA by myself, whereas before, I was totally frightened by the thought.

Landon's First Visit to Disneyland:
We felt it was sinful to be so close to Disneyland and not go, so that is exactly when we did when Scott finished work. It was Landon's first visit, and of course it was magical. I had the day planned out exactly so that we could hit up all the major things we didn't want to miss. We did the Peter Pan ride first; he liked it, but isn't too comfortable with the rides that go into dark places and have characters and things happening all around, even if they are familiar. Loved the teacups. Of course Toon Town was a hit; his favorite was Gadget's Go Coaster! We saved Radiator Springs until the evening and boy was he in heaven. When the neon lights turned on, all he wanted to do was have me push him in the stroller down main street singing "Life Could be a Dream." :)

Oh, and Landon loved watching any and all the street performances. Scott got pulled into one, so that was quite entertaining!

Fourth of July:
After a long trip, we were back home in time for the 4th. I've always wanted to go to the balloon festival, so this year Landon and I drove out at 6:00am to see it. So neat to watch all the balloons fill up and take off!

We also watched the parade, which had countless firetrucks, police cars, antique cars, etc... so Landon thoroughly enjoyed it. We ended the evening with some fireworks at home, that Landon and the neighbor kids had such a good time watching, and Scott had an equally good time lighting. The smoke bombs were definitely a big hit.

Disneyland Round Two:
Scott was booked solid all through July filming project after project, so when all the filming ended and it was time for him to be at home working nonstop editing and writing music for everything, we knew that meant Landon and I needed to stay out of the house as much as possible. So, I nonchalantly mentioned to Scott that Landon and I would go to Disneyland for a week while he worked. To which Scott replied, sure...

Side note: When we went to Disneyland in June, Scott and I were kind of fed up with saving and saving and saving money for a house that we had yet to find, and for a baby that doctors said would never come naturally. So, we said heck, let's buy season passes. So, of course I was itching to use them. 

This was on a Sunday evening. The only thing holding me back slightly was the fact that I was due to start my period that night. Ultimately I decided I'd be silly to let that get in the way of our spontaneous trip, so I booked a hotel, packed up a few things, and we left Monday at 4am. Since I had done the drive by myself just three weeks prior, I felt totally confident in doing it again. My mom is very much a get-up-and-go-explore kind of person and I definitely got that spirit from her. We made it to Anaheim in 9 hrs flat, with only one stop and were at Disneyland shortly after lunch time. First thing Landon requested? "Go to Radiator Springs!" He could play with the beads hanging from Filmore's house all day.

We met lots of his favorite characters this go around. He was so excited to meet them all, ESPECIALLY BELLE (Beauty and the Beast being his new obsession during the second half of summer.) He would always get really shy though, when it was our turn to go up.

Every morning we would hit up a new ride (that has horrendous lines later in the morning/day) so we were able to go on Autopia, the Submarines, and many others with no wait time. He also liked to go in all the merch stores (which I loved) and meant a nice break from the heat. We also rode the roller coaster in Toon Town about 20 times in a row for a couple of those mornings. He loved sitting in the front, putting his hands up and screaming!

I'm pretty sure we saw every Disney band they have come out, and watched the Beauty and the Beast show at least three times. (Awesome show! I'd never seen it before but we just loved it!) Lan loved watching the parades, and one afternoon, Captain Hook came right up to him and shook his hook in Landon's face. Landon thought that was the coolest thing ever.

Then, as if our trip couldn't get any more magical, I found out Thursday morning that WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!!!!!! That's right, the period I was dreading never came, so I went and got a test and could not believe it was actually positive. I was flipping out to say the least. But of course I didn't want to tell Scott over the phone, so despite how much fun we were having, I was really looking forward to getting home Saturday. That same day, Scott told me that we got the house we looked at before I left. We loved everything about this house, and quickly put an offer in, but there were also four other people with offers. WE ARE GOING TO BE HOMEOWNERS!! (I'd like to point out that of course everything worked out, just when we thought nothing would, and bought the season passes to Disneyland. Haha.)

Anyway, I bought a baby goofy stuffed animal, wrapped it up, and gave it to Scott when we got him. He had a super confused look on his face, and said, "Oh cool... this is for me?" To which I replied, "Well actually it's for the baby!" He almost passed out.

Two days after we got back from CA, we left for WA. I didn't take a ton of pictures because shortly after we got there the morning sickness set in. We went berry picking in Spokane. Landon loved the pea pit at the farm. We also went to the splash pad, swimming in the pool out back, and to a really fun bounce house facility. In Olympia, I was feeling even more sick, so my mom took Landon around; they went to the beach, children's museum, park, etc...

Despite feeling sick, I didn't want to cancel our little getaway to Victoria, BC. Scott and I still had such a good time! We went to an amazing lighthouse with a rich history. We also had fun just driving around the coast, and eating at all our favorite places. We went into many shops downtown in search of some memorabilia item for our house, to which we ultimately ended up buying a beautiful painting of the ocean.

Back Home:
Wow, it felt good to be back home. One Saturday recently, Scott and Landon went up to SLC with a couple friends to do the Color Run. Landon had a blast and loved getting colored! We also helped Scott film his one year anniversary video for his Youtube: Flying Kittens vs. Flying Puppies. (It comes out today I believe.) We got to babysit 8 kitties for the day, and boy were they cute beyond belief!

We took a family trip to SLC and did the touristy stuff on temple square. Landon loved seeing the temple. Unfortunately he left his Christmas blanket somewhere there and we didn't realize until after we got home. It was never turned in. :( Thankfully, he had a Cars blanket at home already that he now uses.

Geez, I'm glad to have this done. Now I really should get packing... we get the keys to our house tomorrow! :) :) :)
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May 19, 2013

Highlights from Life

Presenting our insta collage recap of March - May, with a few detailed points I'd like to remember. Thank you Landon for taking an especially long nap so I could get through this. 

Baking & Buys:

  • This feels like an eternity ago! I went with a much simpler St. Patrick's Day treat, compared to last year. Landon was ridiculously ecstatic about the colorful cupcakes.  
  • Bought all of the clothes pictured from Gap for $3 total; regular price $100. Combination 40% off storewide and credit card rewards = one happy momma. 
  • Actually bought a new, hardcover book for myself. Haven't done that in about three years. Landon already has Chicka Chicka memorized and recites it often. He is obsessed with letters and numbers. Can count to 70 (while looking at the written numbers) and knows all the letter sounds, and examples of words that make those sounds.


  • I singlehandedly ate three bags of jelly beans in three days, along with candy for lunch the two weeks following Easter. Probably not the best idea. First time I've actually gained weight because of my sugar addiction. 
  • Landon had a spectacular Easter. Went to a couple egg hunts and festivities at BYU, along with having my mom and brother here to visit.


  • This was the second time in my life that Easter has fallen on my birthday (March 31). What fun! And get this: We went to Park City that day and in a random used bookstore, I opened up to a random page in a book and this is what I found: A girl's journal entry about her birthday, which was on March 31! What on earth are the chances?! 
  • My mom was amused by the fact that it could be 70 outside, yet still have snow on the ground. :)
  • Went to see the progress on the Provo Tabernacle that is being rebuilt into a temple, after a fire a couple years ago gutted the place. 

Train Ride:

  • We are all about Saturday adventures. Usually we head up to Salt Lake City for this or that. One Saturday, we found out a new Trax train line was opening that would run from downtown SLC to the airport. Free rides all day! It was Landon's first train ride and he loved it. They had fun activities at each of the stops. At the fairgrounds, Landon was enthralled by the magician, didn't want to leave the bounce house, and got a balloon sword. (Which of course lasted all of 10 minutes before he popped it.) 

Tulip Festival:

  • Another fun Saturday outing. It's always so refreshing when it's warm outside and everything is in bloom. These long, cold winters have made me appreciate spring and summer so much more. 

Daddy Time:

  • Landon just loves spending time with Scott. All morning long he asks me, "Is it time to wake Daddy up yet?" "Is it time now?" Scott tries to spend a little time in the morning before work playing with him, and they will ride bikes to various parks after dinner, while I hit up the gym to work off all that Easter candy fat. :) 

Faces of L:

  • I'm was making dinner one night, and looked over to find Landon putting one colored pencil at a time into his shirt pocket until he could fit no more. He said, "Look Mom! I'm a doctor! These are my tools."

Our Days:

  • Lately it has been gorgeous outside. And we're loving every minute of it. 
  • We also love bubbles and squirt guns.
  • Dress up. Landon has taken quite a liking to the pink princess dress; it was bound to happen, his best friends are all girls.
  • Free cupcakes. Just this once! I really have been significantly cutting down my sugar intake -  which has been ridiculously difficult. 
  • Walking all over Timbuktu.
  • Reenacting scenes from Peter Pan, at least 20 times each. "K Mom, now you get on the chair and jump off saying, 'You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!'" 
  • Landon loves to assign us new names. For a while I was always Daisy, Landon went by Donald, and Scott was Clarabelle Cow.
  • Thank heavens we still get a good nap in too. 
  • With the time and season changes, Landon has been going to bed around 9:00pm and waking up around 6:00am. It has been heavenly.

Family Fun:

  • One of our favorite Saturday trips included an afternoon at City Creek in SLC. Landon loves anything and everything to do with water. He was nailed a couple of times in the face but shook it off and went back for more. And as a somewhat related side note, he insists on taking a shower with me every morning, followed by a bath while I finish getting ready, then a second shower with Scott afterward. Needless to say, he stays pretty clean.
  • Last weekend Scott & Brendo had their first live show! They were the opening band, had a large crowd of fans there, and performed very well. Landon came to see Daddy play, and although it was quite loud and he made me cover his ears during each song, he loved it. Now he runs around the house playing his instruments, "just like daddy in the rock and roll band."

Other Notables: (and a couple completely random pictures)

  • We've been house hunting since March. The "fun" stage lasted all of a couple weeks and now it's just tiresome. Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited about the ability to have our own home, but there just seems to be set back after set back preventing us from getting any house we deem a possibility. I'm sure it will happen eventually, but patience is not one of my better virtues, and the prospect of spending another scorching summer in our second floor apartment without AC is a little daunting. 
  • Along with the music really taking off, Scott has been getting tons of offers for various projects from features to commercials all because of his youtube channel. Film opportunities with Fanta, AT&T, Virgin Mobile, Break Media, and the Travel Channel are currently in the works. It's going to be a busy summer!

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March 4, 2013

My Spirited Little Miracle

Oh, Landon. I do love you so.

Like most blog posts, I procrastinated this long enough, that now, by the time I've sat down to record everything there is just way too much to write and no clear beginning. Excuse my thoughts if they are jumbled! 

Landon. Our Spirited Miracle. We've come to realize two very important things in the last few months. He is spirited. And he is a miracle.

First, Landon is without a doubt, one very spirited child. I never had a good word to describe the kind of boy he is. Every word traditionally used to depict his personality has negative connotations: demanding, stubborn, noisy, whiny, easily frustrated, wild, etc... All of which are most definitely true but they are lousy labels.

It wasn't until we were in a restaurant trying (and failing) to enjoy a nice dinner out, that we first heard the word "spirited." Landon went into one of his usual unending tantrums about a chair not being positioned correctly, or somebody looking at him for a second too long. I was literally at the end of my rope, physically and mentally exhausted. This wonderful mother next to us turned around and said, "I know exactly what you're going through. Does your son go into screams of bloody murder if his sock isn't on just right, or his sandwich is not cut in triangles, or if you turn the light off a second earlier than expected? Does putting him in his room alone just makes it 100 times worse?" "Yes, yes, yes YES!" I exclaimed.

She proceeded to explain how our children and just more. More intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and energetic than other children. But, there is help. She told me about a book called, "Raising your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. She said is was (and still is) her bible for raising her daughter. I can't express how thankful I am for her reaching out to comfort and help me. I don't believe in coincidences, and there is not a doubt in my mind that we were at the same place at the same time, so that she could be that tender mercy I needed so much. I have since purchased and read through half of it. It. Is. Amazing. Best parenting book out there, for me at least.

I've included a little excerpt from the book. The quotes in each section describe Landon perfectly.

Characteristics of a Spirited Child:
1. Intensity "...the reactions of a spirited child are always powerful. There is rarely a middle of the road. They never wimper; they wail. They can skip into a room, smiling and laughing only to depart thirty seconds later inflamed. Their tantrums and raw and enduring."
2. Persistence "If an idea or activity is important to them, spirited children "lock" right in. They are committed to their task, goal-oriented, and unwilling to give up. Getting them to change their minds in a major undertaking."
3. Sensitivity "Keenly aware, spirited kids quickly respond to the slightest noises, smells, lights, textures, or changes in mood... A wayward string or a scratchy texture can render clothes intolerable."
4. Perceptiveness "It can take ten minutes to get them from the house to the car. They notice everything - the latest oil spill, the white feather in the bird's nest, and the dew in the spider web. They're often accused of not listening."
5. Adaptability "Spirited children are uncomfortable with change. They hate surprises and do not shift easily from one activity to another. If they're expecting hot dogs on the grill for supper, heaven forbid you come home and suggest going to a restaurant."

Bonus Characteristics: (Many, but not all, possess four additional characteristics that can make being their parent even more challenging.)
6. Regularity "Impossible to get them on any kind of schedule. An eight-hour night of undisturbed sleep is a mere memory lingering in your mind from the days before their birth."
7. Energy "Although sometimes viewed as wild, their energy is usually focused and has a purpose."
8. First Reaction "An unfamiliar idea, thing, place, or person may be met with a vehement, 'NO!'"
9. Mood (In regards to being very serious and critical of one's self; only trait one not applicable to Landon.)

Anyway, the book is 500 pages of brilliant ideas for how to work with spirit and really help your child succeed and learn to manage his emotions, energy, etc... Now the big undertaking is to apply them.

On to the second thing we came to realize... He is a miracle baby. Literally. A fertility doctor told us it would be a miracle if we were to get pregnant naturally. After going through test after test, we found our fertility problems stem from a very low sperm count. Since that was the only issue, we were perfect candidates for intrauterine insemination. Our doctor explained that after three inseminations, the chances of it working for a given couple drastically decreases, and other methods should be tried.

Well, our three months of inseminations came and went, each one with progressively better sperm counts, still low, but good for insemination. I responded really well to the Clomid and even had 3 healthy eggs on one attempt. None of them worked. And that's OK. Really. We're glad we did the inseminations, and now know that our "picture perfect" family of four to five kids, each two years apart is definitely not happening. But anyone who knows Landon knows that he has as much personality as five kids anyway. So we're pretty much covered.

The next step would be to start saving up for IVF, and the clinic I go to boasts a 70% success rate on it, but let's be honest here: the thought of doing IVF scares the crap out of me. I hate needles, surgery, doctors, etc... and the inseminations were bad enough. Not to mention that at this point in time, the thought of having a baby around and trying to take care of Landon scares me even more. I still am averaging 5 - 6 hours of sleep, people. Right now, I'm perfectly happy with one spirited miracle.

Happy Times
Landon does so many things that make me laugh throughout the day, but if I don't write them down, they are easily forgotten. I've been trying to make a point of recording those moments in my phone when they happen. Now I can finally transfer them all to the blog! They're super random but things I don't want to forget!

January 2013
  • At church, Landon looked up at the speaker (who was quite an old fellow) and said, "Look mom! The prophet!"
  • When he was still learning the song, "I am a Child of God," he would sing, "I am a prophet of God."
  • One conversation about nursery: Landon: "Mom, read a book in nursery." Me: "Did you read a book about Jesus in nursery?" Landon: "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! (Slight tantrum ensues) READ THE BOOK OF MORMON!!!"
  • One day he was feeling pretty sick and was laying in bed with me. I was rolling over to get comfortable and he said, "Mom, stop wiggling!" 

February 2013
  • Loves to pretend to be asleep and will tap himself on the nose to wake up, then make some very great stretching and yawning sound effects.
  • Speaking of sound effects, right now every toy he owns likes to "splash." He is very dramatic about reenacting the splash, and we usually have about 3-4 baths each day to really kick it up a notch.
  • Landon has a baby doll that he rarely plays with. He found it the other day and I caught him gently rocking the baby and singing "Rock-a-bye-baby" (all three verses), then putting him on the floor with a blanket while saying, "Lay down your sleepy head, close your eyes." Of course the baby's eyes don't close so he resorted to just covering them quite forcefully with his fingers.

Landon's becoming quite the photographer. Of course, when we took out the 5D to have his mini photo shoot, he wanted a turn as well:

The New Room
My January project was to turn Landon's room into a "big kid room." With all the flailing he does in his sleep, the little toddler bed just wasn't big enough. And his exponentially growing amount of toys were hidden away in all sorts of crevices, making it difficult for him to access and play with them on his own. So, after weeks of researching, mattress and furniture shopping, I finally ended up with this: (before/after)

I scrimped in every possible way, and splurged on a couple things. (I about died when I found that duvet cover and kitchen set!)  But I love having all his toys in organized, easy to reach bins. He also loves having his own table that we can do puzzles at, eat the food he "cooks," build a train track, and just play with all his cars. IKEA is our new favorite place. Landon and I took numerous trips up there and had a blast every time. :) I know the walls are really bare, but everything I wanted to put up creates big crater holes in the wall, and I didn't want to have to worry about fixing that up when we *hopefully* move into our own house soon.

The ER
It was inevitable that this little guy would end up in the ER at point in time. We weren't even doing anything out of the ordinary. Just chasing each other around the house, like always. Except this time, he fell and landed with the back of his head on the corner of a wall. I knew we were in trouble when I saw the size of the cut before the blood started gushing. He wouldn't even let us clean it. Thankfully Scott was home, so I hysterically woke him up and we headed to the ER at 7:30am.

Sure enough the poor tike needed staples and boy was it the most traumatic experience for all of us. Then, to top it all off, exactly 24 hours after the incident he fell again. On the kitchen floor, right on the wound. It makes my stomach turn just thinking about it. Of course it started bleeding a ton, and the staples got a little messed up. We were advised to take him back to the ER and make sure it was ok. That wasn't fun. Thankfully they didn't have to do anything to it.

At least now he's a slight bit more careful and even will tell himself to slow down so he doesn't hurt his head and have to go back to the hospital.

A Jaunt to Washington
Since I'll be 26 in a month and off my parents insurance, I decided to fly up to WA and have a trip full of medical and dental appointments. I took Landon with and we made a little mini-vaca out of it. He was SOOOO excited to fly and did so well on the plane. We played at the park, visited the children's museum, and most importantly, went to the beach!

Geez I miss the beach!
We decided to hit up Seaside with my mom and brother. It was 60 and sunny, with only a slight breeze. Could not have asked for a more perfect day! Definitely worth the 3+ hour drive to get there. Landon absolutely loved it. Playing in the sand, watching the water, and literally running laps up and down the beach. I can't wait to go back.

Everyday Life
  • Landon loves to "help" daddy work.
  • He likes to line up all his cars and "watch a movie" (sound effects provided by mom). Have I mentioned he doesn't watch TV at home? We stopped around Thanksgiving and it's been one of the greatest decisions. The trade off is that when we are out and about running errands, if Scott's not using the iPad, Landon can bring it and play educational games or watch his movies.
  • He loves to wear matching clothes with daddy.
  • Sometimes he can play nice with others. :) This is his friend Trevor and they both had just woken up from naps.
More Daily Snapshots
  • Since it's been getting up to a whooping 40 degrees here, this weekend Landon and I took a nice long walk to Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, and finally the mall. He loves walking on the dino tail at the mall and even applied what he learned on the beam in gymnastics, (putting his  arms out). He just started a gymnastics class last week and although he was leery about it to begin with, by the end he did not want to stop. He had such a blast and loves showing us his "gymnastics moves" at home now.
  • This weekend has also been eventful in that I started the wonderful task of potty training. After coming up with a sticker chart/rewards system and explaining it to him about 75 times, he was finally OK with going pee in the potty. The first few times were hard, he earned an M&M and sticker for his chart. After five times he got a big candy bar. Pretty soon, he got really excited when the potty timer went off and it was time to go. By ten trips to the potty, he even started initiating them himself, before the timer. (This boy drinks a ridiculous amount of water which makes going every 15 minutes quite easy.) On the first day we filled up his whole chart (20 spaces) and he didn't even remember/care that the goal was to fill it so he could get a new toy!
  • Landon is obsessed with numbers. 10 is his favorite. He loves the Chicka Chicka 123 book, and can count by himself to 30. In the picture below he was showing me various two-digit numbers. (Look mommy! 73, 32, 14, etc...) We're missing the 9 but he thought a lowercase g makes a good replacement.

Whew! Can't tell you how good it feels to finally finish this! Have a great week! :)
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