Monday, August 16, 2010

Roxelle

Roxelle has the most unique sounding "baby voice". She is actually kind of low register monotone most of the time. And she RARELY shows any emotion or influx in her voice when she speaks. She is very straight forward. Her words get mixed up, but she says things so pointedly and looks right at you like you should know exactly what she's talking about.
We just have the following "conversation":

(all the kids are outside) Roxelle saunters in the back door (in her pigeon-toed stride), by herself, without shoes, with Brinlee's pink and black plaid painters hat on, backwards. Snot crusted up and down her face. She says something unintelligible, but I take the fact that she came in by herself to mean that she needs to go potty.

I was listening to voicemail on speakerphone and she asks:

"Who dat?"
me: "..."
R: "MOM. Who dat?"
me: "a message"
R: "Oh... I go aaside (outside)"
And she goes to the door, so I follow.
She starts to walk out the garage without shoes.
me: "Hey, you need shoes."
R: "O-goss." (Oh gosh)
I put on her shoes.
me: "Where's Brinlee?"
R: "Oh. Bimbee up-ee da hill."
She says as she saunters (deliberately swinging one arm faster than the other) out of the garage.
Me watching amused.
R: "See-ya mom"
I follow her quietly to see where she's going because I don't hear the other kids. She saunters (arm still going) to the end of the driveway before she realizes that I'm several feet behind her. She turns around and says:
"What, mom?"
I laugh and call to Brinlee. She is, indeed, at the "top of the hill". I tell her to watch Roxelle and so Brinlee calls her to come.
R: "Comeen, Bimb."

These are the times when I wish I could download the video/sound memory in my head so I can replay it over and over again. Only a baby girl with 4 older sisters could have that much deliberate attitude!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Baptism By Fire...

About a month ago, I was released as the Young Women's Laurel Advisor. This also meant that I would not be attending Girls Camp this summer as had been planned.

Today, the girls met at the church from all over the stake to have their personal items loaded into a U-Haul to be taken to camp. Several groups of girls were following the U-Haul to camp in a bus, one day early, in order to complete a 6 mile hike.

They were traveling north and near Castle Rock, WA, when Brother Crebar (the U-Haul driver) "smelled something funny". Then he lost his brakes as smoke started coming into the cab at his feet. He tried to get safely to the shoulder, but then flames started shooting into the cab at his feet. He opened the door and stood on the side rail trying to steer while standing outside the cab, but then lost the ability to steer. The truck headed toward the cement median and he bailed out onto some grass and watched the truck as it continued on, until scraping along the median to a stop. He is so lucky to not be hurt more, let alone be alive.


The firefighters had to put out the flames with the flame retardant powder, since there is so much oil involved in a vehicle fire. I am told that a lot of stuff was thrown into a garbage trailer on scene and deemed completely unsalvageable.

While I was at the church, girls were allowed onto the parking lot 15 at a time to watch an adult, wearing gloves, go through their chemical covered belongings to decide what can be professionally cleaned and what is garbage. Some girls couldn't find any of their stuff, meaning it had been trashed on scene.

Scriptures, journals and pictures were the most treasured things lost. Everything else was mostly toiletries, etc. The stake presidency said to throw away EVERYTHING that goes in the mouth or on the skin. This leaves a lot of girls without prescription medications, retainers, and other imperative items.

The other big loss was all the food. One whole weeks' worth of food for the entire stake was lost. Thankfully, whomever picked up the U-Haul this morning felt impressed to purchase the additional insurance package and every last damaged/lost item WILL be replaced.

The girls are set to leave again in the morning at 9:30. I am praying that this will be a great testimony building experience. That this will teach them to show the adversary that all cannot be lost when faith comes into play. He is playing on these Young Women's emotions right now and my hope is that they will all persevere.

When I initially arrived, I expected things to "look" much worse. And I expected a horrible smell. Things didn't "look" or smell bad, but everything that was anywhere inside the van had to be completely sprayed with the retardant and should not be touched by bare hands.

Some items that had to be thrown away were brand new and never been used; including sleeping bags, cots, blankets, etc. It was really sad to see water logged sets of scriptures and journals be thrown away.

Several of the girls were very disturbed by seeing the head of "Annie" (the CPR dummy) all charred to bits...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

BIG trouble

I know I'm in trouble when I still have 10 weeks to go and none of my maternity clothes will fit... :(

For the last few Sundays, I've had to try on several different dresses to find one to fit. I don't "feel" bigger than my other pregnancies, but I feel different. I've actually gained less poundage thus far than the other 5 pregnancies, but I guess I am carrying this one differently and everything is SO tight around my tummy.

These were taken last Sunday. That was the last time I could squeeze myself into one of my favorite maternity dresses. I got this dress when I was pregnant with Asia in summer of 2004 for Ross and Lindsay's wedding. It's such a comfortable dress (when it fits right, LOL!).

I'm getting kind of sad that this is my last one. At times, I am so miserable and uncomfortable that I KNOW I never want to be pregnant again. Still...it's hard to let go.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Seaside

The girls have been begging us to take them back to Seaside, OR since we went over this past spring break (I know, I haven't posted about that, yet, but I'm trying to get caught up..PROMISE! I will get the pics uploaded to the journaling SOON).
Anyway, I looked at the weather and saw that it was supposed to be nice, so we went! First, we rented one of those Surrey bike things for an hour. We had wanted to do it last time, but ran out of time.

Too bad they don't offer 1/2 hour rentals because we only last 35 minutes!! LOL! Those 5 kids, plus ourselves, were HEAVY to pedal around! It was so much fun, though, and we all had a blast!



The Whole Fam Damily!!




At a stop light

On the Move!



We stopped for a Pronto Pup and ate on the ride. After Will and I were completely DEAD, we returned the bike and headed to Carousel Mall to look around. The girls drooled over all the cool toys in the shops. Then we got a couple of Elephant Ears at the corner shop. (SOOO SO GOOD!)



After we finished that, the sun had finally burned all the clouds off and it was warm enough to hit the sand.



After they dipped their toes in the water and I beached myself like a whale on the sand (that bike ride about killed me!), we cleaned up and went to The Candyman Store. It's turning into a tradition to hit that shop on the way out of town. We all got our fill on "samples" of salt water taffy and picked our assortment's and then stopped in the attached ice cream shoppe. I got my favorite!! 2 scoops; 1 pumpkin and 1 "haupia" (coconut). MMMMM!

They didn't have any non-dairy options for poor Roxelle, but she tried... She stood below the glass counter case shouting "I. WAN. CHOCKET!!!" at the guy taking our order. She wasn't crying or mad, but was insisting that he get her chocolate ice cream. POOR THING! That KILLS me when she has to sit and watch us eat something she can't have. I packed cookies and candy treats for her to have in situations like this and she was satisfied with a Dum Dum sucker.

We stopped in Rainier at Grandma E's coming and going. It's a great 1/2 way pit stop for potty breaks. We had invited her to come along since we have 8 seats in our "new" van, but she is on doctor's orders to stay in because of a bad kidney infection.

Monday, July 12, 2010

First Day of School?

Mariah had her first day of "Summer School" today. She was so nervous last night that she kept saying her tummy hurt and that she didn't want to go. She was so afraid that she wouldn't know anyone and that it would be boring. We tried to tell her that she would know lots of people and that it wouldn't be boring, that they would play fun games and stuff.

It's a 3 week program that runs 4 days a week (M-Th) from 9:15 to 1:30. It's free and they provide both breakfast and lunch.

As I dropped her off, we saw lots of familiar faces and I think that helped ease her nerves.

When I picked her up, she couldn't stop talking about all the fun stuff they did. She said that her good friend, Kimberly, from her 4th grade class was also in her summer class. After being home for a couple hours, she announced that she was "SO bored" and couldn't wait to go to school tomorrow! LOL

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lake Merwin

The girls popped their fireworks on Sat. night. They had so much fun and are still talking about the very first one we lit. We had decided to do them in the back yard since the sun was still up and very hot in front. They had gotten this bumble bee one and we thought it would spin and crawl on the porch. After Will lit it, we all back up and were staring at it until it suddenly took off into the sky about 2x higher than the house and come down in the neighbors yard. We all busted up! We decided to move back out front.

Sunday, we had a very fulfilling and spiritual sabbath. Our testimony meeting was the best one in a VERY long time. And, the girls were all VERY good. It's been a while since we had an uneventful 1st hour, especially when I'm alone (Will had to work). Roxelle even went to nursery without crying! I kinda felt like I was in the twilight zone...

On our way home from church at noon, I talked to Will and he said he was about to leave work, that they let him go early!!! I was so stoked! Especially since I was dreading packing up and driving fpr an hour to the lake by myself.

We spent the night up at Lake Merwin with Will's family. It was a crazy good time. We were a tiny bit ill-prepared, but it was a total trial run. The girls LOVED it up there! We were trying to stay again last night, but Will had to work today and wasn't able to switch shifts with anyone. We were going to stay through FHE and dinner, but after I took a nap yesterday, I started "spotting". I wasn't having contractions and the baby was moving periodically, but I didn't want to chance it, so we packed up early and came home. Grandma E said she's keep Mariah and Brinlee for one more night and bring them home today.

I called the Dr. on our way home, since we don't get cell service up there, and she said to get home, take a warm bath, lay down and drink a lot of water. She said if I started contracting or the spotting didn't stop to go into the labor/deliver at Southwest. After I showered, I realized that I had gotten a small tear and that was what was bleeding, not from the pregnancy. I was so relieved! Will and Bryan had given me a very nice blessing before leaving and I knew everything would be fine!

As we were leaving, I realized that I hadn't taken a single picture. Luckily, Brinlee had taken her little digital camera up there and here are the only 4 shots we got.

Brinlee and the view of the lake from the porch


Another picture from the porch


Daddy inside the RV


Tatum in the RV

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Journaling

The girls finally finished school this week on the 22nd. It feels like the summer is 1/2 gone already with them getting out so late! In other ways (weather-wise) it feels like summer has just begun. It's been SO rainy here for the past couple of months, we were worried that the sun would NEVER show up again.

Today is our 12th wedding anniversary.


June 26, 1998

We didn't have any plans because, until a couple of weeks ago, I was heavily involved in the 2010 Youth Dance Festival (A Firm Foundation). We went today with Will's family to watch the 2:00 performance. I can't imagine how anyone can logisitically coordinate nearly 2,000 12-18 year olds?! They pulled it off and had a complete BLAST! Sister Cook from the General Young Women's Presidency came and also a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, whose name I can't remember right now, but I'll try to find out.

For the very last number; ALL the youth came out onto the field to sing "How Firm A Foundation" and for the last verse, all the full-time missionaries (about 120) came marching out in 2 lines, holding white flags to join in. It was AMAZING! By far my favorite part of the whole thing!!


The missionaries are on either side of the group with the white flags.

Afterwards, Mary Lou took all of us to Wendy's for lunch/dinner. It's been a long day and I'm exhausted, but it was all worth it!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Future Roomies

With the incoming family member appeasing the Erickson Family Corp. EOE group, we have to make some rearrangements to the home office.

A couple of months ago the girls asked where the new baby brother will sleep and I told them; "In the nursery." Then where will Roxelle sleep? In the bonus room...and then I happened to suggest that possibly Asia could move in with Brinlee to make it even and we experienced a total meltdown. I don't blame Brinlee. She's had her own room for 2 years now and she and Asia are not always the best of pals. So I said we'd think about the arrangements later and that the bonus room is big enough for 3.

Over the last several weeks, I've been thinking about it and it's silly to put 3 kids in one room while the other 2 have their own. Mariah's bedroom and closet are barely big enough for her and her stuff now. It would be crazy to try and put another person in there, even with bunkbeds to save space. So, I decided that it would have to be Asia to move, but decided to not break the news just yet. I wanted to try and make it special, so I budgeted a little money to find some cute furniture (possibly from Craigslist as my budget was itty bitty). Long story short, I was lucky enough to find these darling "bedroom in a box" sets for almost exactly the amount of my budget!

I decided to go ahead and set everything up now, but not have Asia move in until just before school starts. I don't have a twin bed to put in there yet anyway and this will help Brinlee ease into the idea of sharing a room.

Now I'm trying to decide on which comforter to use out of the 2 I found. I could have gotten the exact same thing that Brinlee has, but the furniture is already SO matchy-matchy, that I wanted to mix it up a little.

Between the 2 on the floor, which one do YOU like the best? (I realize they are wild from the get-go, but they LOVE it and says it's "very Taylor Swift". LOL!!)

Here are pictures and a video clip of Brinlee's initial reaction(s).

Brinlee was.....a little shocked (maybe disappointed, too), but after the camera stopped, we had a little heart to heart about her concerns with having a roommate. She cried for a few minutes and then after we talked I told her to look her in new drawers and that was the end of the tears. Then we called Asia up for them to look at the new comforters. I think it will all turn out ok in the end.

The "before" pictures

p.s. You'll get the full "after" pictures once Asia gets all moved in ;)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BMS Update

Back when I was pregnant with Roxelle in 2008, I was having such severe "hot mouth" that I wanted to cut my own tongue out. I finally did some heavy researching (after living with "hot mouth" for about 10 years) and discovered that I have a "real condition" called Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS).

It's starting to flare up pretty bad again, so I did some more searching to see if there has been any more research on it and if there are any new treatments. I found this video and article to be pretty clever and will try a couple of the suggestions.

I've never known anyone else that has BMS, but if you have it or know someone that does; please pass along the info!

Burning mouth syndrome
Overview


Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a complex, vexing condition in which a burning pain occurs on your tongue or lips, or over widespread areas involving your whole mouth, without any obvious reason.

The disorder has long been associated with a variety of other conditions — including menopause, psychological problems, nutritional deficiencies, and disorders of the mouth, such as oral thrush and dry mouth (xerostomia). More recently, some researchers have suggested dysfunctional or damaged nerves as a possible cause. But the exact cause of burning mouth syndrome is often difficult to pin down, and pain may continue for months or years.

Treatment is highly individualized and depends on your particular symptoms and on the underlying cause or causes, if they can be identified. Most people with burning mouth syndrome can decrease their symptoms through tailored treatment plans.

Other names sometimes used for burning mouth syndrome include scalded mouth syndrome, burning tongue syndrome, burning lips syndrome, glossodynia and stomatodynia.

Signs and symptoms

Burning mouth syndrome affects up to 4 percent of U.S. adults — women seven times as often as men. It generally occurs in middle-aged or older adults. But it may occur in younger people as well.

The main symptom of burning mouth syndrome is a burning sensation in your tongue, lips, gums, palate or throat. People with the syndrome may describe the sensation in the affected areas as hot or scalded, as if they had been burned with a hot liquid.

Other symptoms may include:

Dry mouth
Sore mouth
A tingling or numb sensation in the mouth or on the tip of the tongue
A bitter or metallic taste

Some people with burning mouth syndrome don't wake up with mouth pain, but find that the pain intensifies during the day and into the evening. Some awake with a constant daily pain, while others feel pain on and off throughout the day.

Causes

The possible causes of burning mouth syndrome are many and complex. Each of the following possible causes applies to only a small portion of all people who complain of a burning mouth. More than one-third of people have multiple causes. Identifying all of the causes is important so that your doctor can develop a treatment plan tailored for you. Possible causes include:

Dry mouth (xerostomia). This condition can be related to use of certain medications, including tricyclic antidepressants, central nervous system depressants, lithium, diuretics and medications used to treat high blood pressure. It can also occur with aging or Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes dry mouth and eyes.

Other oral conditions. Oral yeast infection (thrush) is a common cause of a burning mouth that may also occur with other causes, such as diabetes, denture use and certain medications. Geographic tongue, a condition that causes a dry mouth and a sore, patchy tongue, also may be associated with burning mouth syndrome.

Psychological factors. Emotional disorders, particularly depression but also anxiety and fear of cancer, are often associated with burning mouth syndrome. Although such problems can cause a burning mouth, they may also result from it.

Nutritional deficiencies. Being deficient in nutrients, such as iron, zinc, folate (vitamin B-9), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and cobalamin (vitamin B-12), may affect your oral tissues and cause a burning mouth. These deficiencies can also lead to vitamin deficiency anemia.

Irritating dentures. Dentures may place stress on some of the muscles and tissues of your mouth. The materials used in dentures also may irritate the tissues in your mouth.

Nerve disturbance or damage (neuropathy). Damage to nerves that control taste and pain in the tongue may also result in a burning mouth.

Allergies. The mouth burning may be due to allergies or reactions to foods, food flavorings, other food additives, fragrances, dyes or other substances.

Reflux of stomach acid (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The sour- or bitter-tasting fluid that enters your mouth from your upper gastrointestinal tract may cause irritation and pain.

Certain medications. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, used to treat high blood pressure, may cause side effects that include a burning mouth.

Oral habits. These include often-unconscious activities such as tongue-thrusting and teeth-clenching (bruxism), which can irritate your mouth.

Endocrine disorders such as diabetes and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Your oral tissues may react to high blood sugar levels that occur with diabetes.

Hormonal imbalances, such as those associated with menopause. Burning mouth syndrome occurs most commonly among postmenopausal women, although it affects many other people as well. Changes in hormones may affect the composition of your saliva.

Excessive irritation. Irritation of the oral tissues may result from excessive brushing of your tongue, overuse of mouthwashes or consuming too many acidic drinks.

Often, more than one cause is present. Despite careful evaluation, doctors are sometimes unable to find the cause of burning mouth symptoms.

Dry mouth
Sjogren's syndrome
Oral thrush
Geographic tongue
Depression
Vitamin deficiency anemia
Heartburn/GERD
Bruxism
Diabetes
Hypothyroidism
Menopause

When to seek medical advice

If you have persistent pain or soreness in your tongue, lips, gums or other areas of your mouth, see your doctor. Your doctor can search for the possible cause or causes to guide treatment.

Screening and diagnosis

Your doctor will review your medical history, examine your mouth and ask you to describe your symptoms, your oral habits and your oral care routine. In addition, he or she will likely perform a general medical examination, looking for signs of any associated conditions.

As part of the diagnostic process, you may undergo some of the following tests:

Complete blood cell count (CBC). This common blood test provides a count of each type of blood cell in a given volume of your blood. The CBC measures the amount of hemoglobin, the percentage of blood that's composed of red blood cells (hematocrit), the number and kinds of white blood cells, and the number of platelets. This blood test may reveal a wide variety of conditions, including infections and anemia, which can indicate nutritional deficiencies.

Other blood tests. Because nutritional deficiencies are one cause of a burning mouth, your doctor may collect blood samples to check blood levels of iron, zinc, folate (vitamin B-9), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and cobalamin (vitamin B-12). Also, because diabetes may cause a burning mouth, your doctor may check your fasting blood sugar level.

Allergy tests. Your doctor may suggest allergy testing to see if you may be allergic to certain foods, additives or even substances in dentures.

Oral swab culture or biopsy. If your doctor suspects oral thrush, he or she may take a small tissue sample (biopsy) or an oral swab culture to be examined in the laboratory.

Because burning mouth syndrome is associated with such a wide variety of other medical conditions, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for screening and diagnosis and possibly treatment. Your health care team may include a dermatologist, dentist, psychiatrist, psychologist or a doctor who specializes in ear, nose and throat problems (otorhinolaryngologist).

Treatment

Treatment triggers improvement in symptoms for many people with burning mouth syndrome. But the type of treatment depends on the underlying cause.

Dry mouth (xerostomia). Treating the cause of your dry mouth — Sjogren's syndrome, use of medications or some other cause — may relieve burning mouth symptoms. Drinking more fluids or taking a medication that promotes flow of saliva may help.

Other oral conditions. If the cause is oral thrush, treatment is with oral antifungal medications such as nystatin (Mycostatin) or fluconazole (Diflucan). If you wear dentures, your dentures may also need to be treated.

Psychological factors. For a burning mouth that may be caused by or associated with psychological factors such as anxiety and depression, your doctor may recommend tricyclic antidepressants or benzodiazepines, or psychiatric therapy, or both together.

Nutritional deficiencies. You may be able to correct nutritional deficiencies by taking supplements of B vitamins and minerals such as zinc and iron.

Irritating dentures. Your dentist may be able to adjust your dentures so they are less irritating to your mouth. If your dentures contain substances that irritate your oral tissues, you may need different dentures. You may also improve symptoms by practicing good denture care, such as removing dentures at night and cleaning them properly.

Nerve disturbance or damage (neuropathy). Your doctor may suggest medications that affect your nervous system and control pain, including benzodiazepines such as clonazepam (Klonopin), tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline or nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl), or anticonvulsants such as gabapentin (Neurontin). For pain relief, your doctor may also suggest rinsing your mouth with water and capsaicin — the active ingredient in hot peppers, which may also be called capsicum.

Allergies. Avoiding foods that contain allergens that may irritate the tissues of your mouth may help.

Certain medications. If a medication you're taking is causing a burning mouth, using a substitute medication, if possible, may help.

Oral habits. Tongue-thrusting and teeth-clenching (bruxism) can be helped with mouth guards, medications and relaxation techniques.

Endocrine disorders. If a burning mouth is associated with conditions such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, treating those conditions may improve your symptoms.

If doctors can't identify the cause of your symptoms, they may still recommend trying oral thrush medications, B vitamins or antidepressants. These medications have proved effective in treating burning mouth syndrome.

Coping skills

Burning mouth syndrome can be painful and frustrating. The good news is that it's a treatable condition. Although it may take time, you can usually improve your symptoms by working with a team of health professionals to find a treatment plan that's right for you.

In the short term, you may gain some relief by avoiding irritating substances, such as alcohol-based mouthwashes, cinnamon or mint products, and cigarette smoke. Chewing on ice chips or sugar-free gum also may help. So can keeping your dentures out all night and brushing your teeth with baking soda instead of toothpaste. Ask your doctor for other tips to manage your pain and discomfort.

©1998-2005 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Released

I was released as the Laurel Advisor to the Young Women in church on Sunday.
I sort of had "that" feeling that it was coming, but I thought it'd be after the big Dance Festival that is coming in
a couple of weeks or closer to my due date.
I've been very reluctant to say out loud that my gut is telling me that I'll be in Primary next.
I've only been in Primary one time since getting married and was only there for 1 year before going back to YW.
I still wouldn't even say my "guess" out loud, but after they anounced my
release in sacrament meeting on Sunday, Brinlee says to me; "I guess that means you're gonna be in Primary with me now, huh?"
ZOINKS!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hard to Believe!

I had an OB appointment today and she informed me that after my next appointment, which will include the glucose test and my first shot of Rhogam, I will start going to see her every 2 weeks! That's when you know the time is getting closer.

I'm not nervous for the birth. I am always excited and anxious for it to come. This feels like my first pregnancy all over again. It's very weird. I have to think about things in a different way. I'm worried that I won't know what to do. I'm also worried, more so than with the others, that there will be something wrong with him. These darn hormones! It makes it hard to distinguish between real reality and what my mind is making up.

I'm doing well and I feel really good. This pregnancy is going as well as the others. Each have been different in their own way, but nothing bad. The mood swings get a little out of control at times :*). Even I can't stand myself half the time. LOL! But, all in all, I feel great!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Zoo Field Trip

I went to the Oregon Zoo with all the Kindergartners at Roosevelt, including Asia's class. The morning started out promising with blue skies and sunshine, but as soon as we arrived at the zoo around 9:30, it began to sprinkle.
We walked around until about 10:30, when it started to rain harder. We were at the Cougar Den, when the kids declared they were hungry, so we hurried around the corner to the Family Farm petting zoo, where we found 2 other teachers with a group of kids huddled under the big wrap around porch, eating. We joined them and I turned to ask Asia if she needed help and she wasn't there. I looked across to the petting barn and thought she must have gone in there. I asked the teacher to watch the other 2 while I checked...no Asia. So I came out and told them I was going back toward the Cougars to see if I could find her. It was POURING by then. As I rounded the trail to the Cougars, I could see her boots standing in front of a zoo worker, who was just about to call Mrs Garton's cell number that was printed on each child's name tag. I called her name and the lady looked up and asked if she was with me. EMBARRASSING! I thought for sure Asia would be crying and I was listening for her very distinct cry as I hurried back toward where I'd thought she might be, but she was just standing there with a long, sad face. Poor BABY!
As we finished lunch, the rain slowed to a drizzle and then stopped! It didn't rain for the rest of the trip. By the time we were ready to leave, Asia was in tears because her legs were hurting. I felt for her, because mine were on fire too. She still says she had fun, which is all that matters.



Asia, Alexia and Emilio on the bridge by the bears.

Asia and Alexia in the petting zoo barn on "barrel horsies"

Asia climbing on one of the newly opened exhibits in Africa.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Different?

I've had people asking me since
I announced that I'm pregnant if I
"feel different".
All of my pregnancies,
except the first two have all been pretty
different.
So much so, that when Tatum was born,
I actually asked if it was a
boy.
(The nurse looked at me like I was crazy).
So, this pregnancy hadn't been so different from the others, until now....
I think I must be turning into a temporary
man.
The testosterone level
must be too much because I am sweating
ALL THE TIME,
even when I don't "feel" warm.
I feel like I need to put absorbant
pads under my arms.
And I cannot eat
ANYTING
without it giving my tummy gas bubbles.
It's painful to be a man.
I'm finding just how glad I am to be a girl.
If my voice starts to lower, I am going to have to freak out a little bit!

Horseshoe Lake

Will just got his fishing license renewed for the year and had the day off, so we packed up Tatum and Roxelle and headed to Horseshoe Lake.
It's a really cute little park with a playground and lots of places to sit and relax. Will caught a small (non-keeper) fish right off the bat, but then NOTHING the rest of the time.
We took a picnic lunch to eat and just as I gave Roxelle her sandwich, she stepped into a small opening near the water and tumbled into the edge of the water, sandwich hand first. She was fine. Will grabbed her and only her sleeve got muddy and wet, but her sandwich had gone completely under water. Oh, well..they got to feed the ducks with it!


They LOVED the playground!


Roxelle is my ULTIMATE animal lover. She could NOT figure out why those darn ducks wouldn't let her get close. Plus all the "bunnies" (squirrels) and "boogies" (birdies) were more than she could have imagined in one day. She was in heaven!!


Watching Daddy fish.


The mud hole she tripped on and got her shirt muddy and wet in the water.
(Lucky she wasn't wearing her jacket when she got wet. We put that on her after the pics.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cravings

I have not been able to pinpoint a craving over the last 23 weeks AT ALL. For a while I thought it was peanut butter, but that only lasted a couple of days. Then I thought it was cheese...and I still do get a small craving for it every now and then, but I think I finally pinpointed THEE craving. Cinnamon Toast and/or Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Most of you know that I don't regularly buy cereal, but Mary Lou showed up here with a Costco box of CTC cereal last week, and I had to limit myself to once a day! LOL I ended up snipping the $2 off coupon from the Costco booklet for CTC and bought another box this week.
Cravings are a funny thing during pregnancy. I have had different ones for every pregnancy.
Mariah = McDonald's kids hamburger and small fries. And Taco Bell Bean burritos. I would take off during lunch from Bon Losee and hit McD's or Taco Bell if I had gotten any tips that day from clients.
Brinlee = Partially frozen RED (any red except raspberry or plain strawberry) Kool-Aid in a freezer mug. One time I came home from work to find that Will and Mariah had drank the rest of the last package we had for the month and I was devastated! LOL
Asia = Potatoes, cooked, fried, baked, poached, microwaved, french fries, potato chips, hash browns...you name it! We had baked potatoes several times a week and the family was always like "Potatoes AGAIN?!" My friend, Dotty Walsh, who was also my visiting teacher at the time brought me this potato shaped notepad one month. I hadn't realized until then that it was so obvious!!
Tatum = Spaghetti and baked goods. We lived in Hawaii at the time and had basically unlimited access to the grocery store. I would go practically every other day and get a dozen donuts from Foodland or bake some type of cake. Cake mixes are VERY expensive there (like $2.75 for a Betty Crocker one), so that was a rare treat, but I also loved spaghetti! We had spaghetti at least once a week, which wasn't so bad because we all love it.
Roxelle = No cravings AT ALL! It was SO frustrating! I just wanted to crave something that would satisfy that "craving" bone. For a while I thought it was carrots and ranch or green salad and ranch, but it was fleeting. Then we moved here and stayed with my parents. I never pinned down a craving the entire pregnancy.
So, now that I have found one for this pregnancy, I can rest peacefully at night.....J/K!!!!!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Heir

The heir to the Erickson Throne, LIVES!!!!
We are so thrilled that we are having a

BOY!

I am still in shock...to say THE LEAST. Will had to work today (bummer), so I texted him from the ultrasound.

When they first called me back, I got situated, tummy bared and the tech started asking general questions. Then I looked at the monitor as he hit "begin recording" and noticed that wasn't my name....it said Tracy something. I told him that's not my name and he said that he had called "Tracy". I was so embarrased!! I got all tucked back in and headed to the waiting area when he said "You know what? We should just do yours since you're already back here."So I went back in and got all situated again. He asked how many pregnancies and I told him this is the 7th pregnancy, including 1 miscarriage. He asked how many of each gender and I told him all girls. *SHOCK* Then he asked if I wanted him to keep the suspense for a while or just go straight to it. I said straight to it and as he started probing around I said "Well, we kind of feel like it's another girl and we definitely will NOT be disappointed if that's the case!" And then I saw IT....I gasped audibly and squeaked "It's a boy?!?!" He didn't answer right away and I looked at him and said "Is it??" and he grinned and said "Yes it is!!" *SHOOOOCK!!!!!*

The whole time I just laid there in literal shock. I just kept saying, "I can't believe it! I don't know what to do with a (gulp) BOY!!" I texted Will right away saying "it really is a BOY :-O", they were really busy and he called me toward the end of the ultrasound asking "Are they sure? Are you SURE?!!" I said "Yes, I'm sure, I noticed it myself right off and these pictures don't lie". He said "I'm gonna go write it on the break room wipe board, RIGHT NOW!!!"

I know there have been mistakes...my own sister just had this happen to her, which I explained to the tech and he re-assured me with a bunch of different angles and showing me that "here are the arms out to the sides and here are the boy parts right down here". LOL!!! You can see for yourself......

We knew before I was even pregnant that this would be our last baby, regardless of the gender. We really felt like our family was complete already and we honestly would have been just as thrilled with another little girl. We even minutely agonized over the notion that "if it is a boy", we would have to "start over" with our LAST ONE! But we couldn't be more thrilled! (Even though I have to paint over my dream nursery. LOL!)

Oh yeah, they officially changed my due date from 10/12 to 10/2. After the tech measured the tummy he said "I need to measure that again cuz that was quite generous" and after he measured again he said "Man, this is one chubby kid!" Both of my ultrasounds now have estimated my due date as the 2nd and so the Dr. decided to change it officially. Kinda bummed that I won't get my 10-10-10 baby. :D


"Shhhhhhhh"


"Giggling"


hand


Profile

Monday, April 5, 2010

Even more doubt

My sister, Megan, had her ultrasound 4 weeks ago and she was 19 weeks along. Hers revealed that she is having a boy after having 2 girls.
This afternoon she had another ultrasound and the dr. is now telling her that it's a girl! She is 23 weeks now. They compared the pictures of the first ultrasound with today's and one picture clearly looks like a boy and the other clearly shows girl. They showed another OB in the office and he was completely baffled as well.
So the news I received earlier is now even harder to swallow. I cannot even imagine. I still can't wrap my head around any of it!! These next 6 weeks until my next ultrasound are going to D.R.A.G.!!

90% sure....

This morning I had my "first trimester screening", which is basically an ultrasound that helps to check for signs of a genetic disorder, such as downs sydrome.
During the ultrasound, I chit-chatted with the tech, hoping he'd take a guess as what the gender is. When I casually asked him, he said; "Well, I've been doing this for 10 years and I've only been wrong 3 times. All 3 times were early gestational guesses. So I've decided not to do that anymore. Sometimes the specialist will be brave enough to take a guess, though." I understood and let it go. After all, I am only 12 weeks and 6 days along.
The screening took about 45 minutes and I enjoyed watching our little peanut wiggle around the probe and wave it's arms and legs. The tech even commented that baby will NOT hold still!
When he was done, he left the room to pass the images along to the specialist. After another 10 minutes, the specialist came in to say that every thing looks great and after the blood work comes back, they'll call with all the results.
I told him that I'd joked with the tech to make an early guess at the gender and the specialist commented that it may still be a little too early. He said he noticed that I have 5 girls already and asked if I was hoping for a boy. I told him that we'd be thrilled with a boy, but that it would almost be easier to have another girl because everything we own is pink and/or flowery, etc. Plus, we already know what to expect with a girl. Boys are just weird! LOL
He said; "Well, I think you'd better get ready for a boy."
I just stared at him, stunned and unsure how to react. He looked at me expecting me to say something and I told him I wasn't sure what to say and that I didn't want to get my hopes up just yet. He said; "If I had to say; I would say that I'm 90% sure that this one's going to be a boy."
I am still in shock and a little bit of denial. We've been saying for so long, even before I got pregnant, that we are pretty sure that we'll have another girl. And we are actually ok with that. I'm not sure how to make my brain think "boy". I'm still not going to "get my hopes up". I need that other 10% certainty before I can allow myself to take that path. Doesn't he know that he can't tell a mother of 5 girls something like that without being 100% sure?!!!!! That's just cruel.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Unexpected House Guest

Our neighbors, JR and Kathy Roberts (he grew up in the house that's for sale behind us) up the street have a really large property and basically a mini farm over there. They came over and surprised the girls with a baby goat. They LOVED him...of course Roxelle couldn't get enough and kept calling him a "goggie". She would look at him and clap her hands and try to coax him over to her. Even Tatum held him a couple of times and if you know her well, you know she is beyond TERRIFIED of dogs. He is 2 weeks old and they are calling him Starbuck.
My darn camera memory was full, so I only got one tiny video clip and these couple pictures, but they invited us over in a few days to see the rest of the babies and the other animals, too. Plus, they have a really cool tree house.


Roxelle loved the goat, but not so sure of "Uncle JR". LOL!!
video