Toddler Bowling

I joined a group for toddlers in Williston. There are activities and play dates planned through the group as well as mom's nights. It has been really good to meet more moms and find out things to do in Williston.

The first activity we went to was bowling. I was worried because it would be running into naptime but the boys are usually pretty flexible. Edison fell asleep a few hours early though! It was crazy. He just got his own blanket and then was asleep on the bed. Weird. But it made it so he was really happy while bowling.

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There were at least 20 kids there and the boys loved it. It was during Sam's lunch so he came to watch the boys play. Alex wanted to take everyone's turn and Edison just wanted to run around. It was kind of crazy in there with so many kids. Luckily the bowling alley was empty besides the toddler group so we weren't disrupting anyone. There was definitely more than one attempt by kids who wanted to become the bowling ball themselves.

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A Warm Day

I really have lost my mind. By "a warm day," I mean it was in the mid-30s. Our friend Carissa had the day off work so we took advantage of the temperature and sunshine and went on a walk. We walked on a trail that had been cleared of snow so I was able to push the stroller.

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We walked one direction on the trail and the boys were totally happy. But as soon as we turned around to go back to our cars, they were both freaking out. They were tired and cold and wanted to be carried. I think they realized we weren't headed to a destination.

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Carissa is way more on top of things than I am and she remembered to bring her camera. I am terrible and didn't even use her camera to take a picture of her. But she was there!

The doggies liked the walk but were worn out by the end of it, too.

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Edison fell down in the snow and I just stood there waiting for him to stand up while Carissa took a picture. I guess I should have helped him stand up or something motherly like that. Oops.

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Even though we were cold by the end of the walk, it was nice to get outside for a little. I used to take the boys on walks every day and I miss getting outside to play. It is supposed to be even warmer this week. I hope that means spring is coming!

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This is another one of those things that I might regret writing down. Even thinking about it still causes me anguish.


For Christmas 2010, my parents gave us gold and silver coins. For us to use during the apocalypse, of course. I was grateful for them and also felt like we had a backup in case the banking system failed. Sam was in grad school at that time and we were so poor (like $30 in our bank account). We were able to make it through his time at Cornell and when we moved to Texas, I packed the coins in my purse and flew with them to our new home.

I hid the coins safely while we were in Texas. When we moved to North Dakota, I packed the coins in my purse and brought them to our new home. Then I put the coins in a really dumb place: my dresser drawer. I knew they weren't really safe there but I was almost always home. When I left to Arizona for Christmas, I asked Sam to hide them somewhere else. Then when I got back to Williston, I moved the coins back into my drawer. It was dumb. So dumb. I can't get over how unbelievably stupid I was. We move so much and I worried that if I hid them somewhere I never saw them, I would forget.

We didn't pack a suitcase when we moved this time because it was only two blocks and it wasn't necessary. I thought about our other valuables though. I looked through my jewelry box and decided there was nothing of value there so I left it for the movers. We moved anything that was fragile ourselves so there would be no chance of them getting broken. But I forgot to put the coins in my purse.

The movers came and started packing. One of them looked kind of high so I mostly stayed in the room with him. He just worried me. But the other two seemed fine. I wasn't able to watch all three of them at the same time since it was just me there and Sam was at work.

The movers weren't even gone when I realized that I hadn't packed the coins. I almost asked the man that had packed the dresser where he had packed them so I could find them quickly and ease my mind. But they seemed trustworthy. We had never had anything stolen before. I figured I was just being paranoid.

After they left, I started opening boxes like crazy. Sam came home during lunch to help as well. We found the silver coins and I was so happy... but we couldn't find the gold coins. It didn't make sense that we would only be missing the gold though. It seems like someone would steal both. So we kept looking.

Sam talked to the moving company later and mentioned that we couldn't find the coins. We were told we needed to make a police report before the movers arrived back to their office (the moving company was from Bismarck and had a four hour drive to get home) so they could be searched upon arrival. I called my parents to find out what kind of coins they had given us and also their value. That was when something that was bad got way worse. My dad told us that our six Austrian Philharmonic coins were currently worth a total of $10,600.

I went through the stages of grief and I feel like I still go through them again sometimes. I have times where I am devastated. I am so sad and feel ungrateful that I didn't take better care of my parents' gift. I am also confused because it doesn't make sense for a mover to steal the coins so I feel like they have to be around here somewhere. But I have gone through everything so many times. Then I also feel angry. So angry at myself for forgetting to pack them and angry at the person who stole them. I mostly feel dazed and confused. Why and how? How were the movers able to talk to me totally normally when one of them had just robbed us. But maybe he didn't rob us. Maybe he packed them somewhere and we can't find them. Except he doesn't remember seeing them. It is just so confusing.

I called tons of pawn shops and gold buyers both in Bismarck and in Williston to ask them to keep an eye out for the coins. We filed a police report. I have had many conversations with the moving company. They searched the movers and the truck and found nothing. We made a claim on our renters' insurance. Nothing can be fixed or undone though. Money is not insured by the moving company, even if it were just a roll of quarters.

I know it sounds ridiculous to be so broken-hearted about it. There are people who are dealing with real loss. But this has stripped me of feeling safe in my home; I don't trust people anymore. I am sure I will accept it eventually but I am still having a hard time right now. It reminds me of the scripture in Jacob 4:3. I wish I could learn through joy and not sorrow.

P.S. If you are a robber, don't bother checking my dresser drawer for valuables. I've learned.


Our New Townhome

We lived in a townhouse in Akron when Alex was born, but it was so broken and it didn't really feel like an almost-house to us. Since we lived in a real house in Texas, it was difficult to go back to an apartment. We missed having a yard and our own attached garage. An attached garage was the main thing we looked for while we were searching for a place to live for the next 18 months. We found a place that was still being built and would be completed in time for us to move here in January. They also were willing to work with me and have an eastern-facing unit ready. I wanted to be able to get the most light during the day by having windows facing the rising sun. The amount of sunlight we get in the new townhouse is amazing. I feel like we haven't had a gloomy day since we moved here. We are overlooking the airport and so we aren't being crowded by the yucky city. But the airport is really small so only little planes take off and land there. It isn't noisy at all. Another bonus is that we no longer live in the same building as Sam's coworkers. It was awkward when the person across the hall was packing up because Sam had fired him that day...

It totally stinks that we have to pay rent now. Rent is really expensive in Williston. We are paying $3,400/month to rent our new townhouse. Luckily SLB helps with about half of that, but rent and utilities are something we have not been paying for the last six months so it has been a shock to our bank account.

 We've been living here for over a month now so I figured it was time to take some pictures and show all of the stalkers where we live.

We get so much natural light. It is amazing. We had to do some funny furniture arrangement thanks to the baseboard heaters though. I despise those things.

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I bought drawers to keep all of the boys' toys in. It is nice because they can't dump out the toys like they did when we used baskets. The top set of drawers is full of my craft supplies. We stacked them so they can't paint without permission.

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The master bedroom closet space is a little out of control. We have it packed completely full and I need to get rid of more clothes.

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I love that the garage is big enough to fit the truck and car comfortably. When Sam is at work, we use the empty space to play in the warmer-than-outside garage. The boxes are stacked there because they used to be on top of the washer/dryer which we are selling so I pulled off the boxes so people could see the washer/dryer when they came over. Hopefully they will be gone in the next few days.

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It took Sam and I almost four hours to put together Alex's bed one night.

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The entryway is kind of confusing. This picture is taken from the front door.

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I love the kitchen but the dining area is funny. It is a good thing we have a small table. We push the table against the wall unless we have company over and then we pull it out so we can use all of the sides.

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Another Move

We have moved again. Within the city of Williston and just a few blocks away from where we were before. We were able to stay in the corporate housing for six months. That time expired and we had to find our own place. It was nice to have a few months to find a place that we really liked. The move was supposed to happen just five days after I got back from Arizona. We got our keys to our new place, but the moving company wasn't able to make it out for another six days. I don't like sitting around and waiting, especially since we were already paying rent at the new place. So we started carrying things over ourselves. We moved the entire kitchen, both bathrooms, all of the toys, and the picture frames by ourselves. Sam would bring loads of stuff over in the truck at night and then I would bring over the boys the next day and unpack everything. It was nice to unpack without having to maneuver around a ton of boxes. But it was a lot of trips up and down stairs, both at our old apartment and at the new townhouse.

A few days before we started moving, I pulled all of the boys' toys out of the closets. I keep a few bags of toys put away so don't have so many to dump out each day and also so they don't get sick of their toys. I can switch them out and it is like they got all new toys.

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They loved playing with the mess at the apartment but they also loved playing in all of the empty space at the townhouse. It was fun to have a new, empty area for them to run around in before the movers brought the furniture. They don't get a lot to run around outside very much because of the piles of snow.

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Once we had moved all of their toys, they were stuck at the apartment all day with no toys. They found ways to entertain themselves.

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We had to get Alex a bed since the townhouse isn't furnished. Mattress shopping was an adventure. Alex was good at testing them.

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The moving company came during two days. The first day they moved furniture and the second day they moved the rest of our stuff. Sam was at work and I wasn't able to help the movers and watch the boys so my friend Alyssa watched the boys. She was a total saint. She watched them for four hours the first day and two hours the second day.

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We didn't even have to vacuum or clean the apartment after we moved out. That was really nice. We just took our belongings and walked away. It made the moving process a lot easier.

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Pregnancy Update

Due to my slacking on blogging, somehow it seems like this pregnancy has flown by almost undocumented. I am 32 weeks now. I will have another child in roughly two months.

The day after I got back from Arizona, I had an ultrasound to check the baby's growth and the choroid plexus cyst. His heart rate was 138 BPM. Our prayers were answered and the cyst is gone! He was growing perfectly. I was so relieved!

Ultrasound pictures always look super creepy but I was shocked how much this baby looks like Edison. I showed it to Alex and then he and Sam had this conversation:
Sam: Alex, this is a picture of baby [name removed].
Alex: But he's not real!
Sam: That's a picture of him in mommy's belly that the doctor took with her fancy machines.
Alex: Oh. [Mind blown]

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The baby isn't the only one growing. I am growing like a mad woman. I started wearing maternity clothes at 21 weeks.

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My anger issues almost completely disappeared a day or two after I talked to my doctor about it. I am glad I turned down the anti-depressants. I think once I recognized what was going on with my body, I was able to control it a lot better.

Edison is really interested in my belly. He is constantly blowing on it, kissing it, or just smashing it. Alex understands where his baby brother is and will ask how he is doing. However, we did have the classic conversation:
Alex: He's in your mouth?
Emily: No. He's in my belly.
Alex: You ATE him?!

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The baby has a name now. Alex will tell people if they ask and it is so funny. Only funny because of how he says the name, not funny that he is blabbing the name all over town.

 I can still sleep on my back which is surprising because normally it is uncomfortable by this point.

At 28 weeks, I took the glucose tolerance test. I felt sick while drinking it but as soon as I was done I felt great and was able to get to my appointment without any problems. The past three (twice while pregnant with Alex) times I have had to drink it, I have struggled to finish in the allotted 10 minutes. This time, I had the whole thing down in five minutes. I think Sam is pleased I didn't throw up in the car this time. The phlebotomist was able to get blood the first attempt and a few days later I learned that I do not have gestational diabetes! Woohoo!

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I took a childbirth class at the hospital. I was the only person there who was not a first-time mom and I was also the only one who did not have a coach/husband there. My coach was at home watching my other kids! It was a long class but I enjoyed it and am glad I was able to get a refresher course. I was sad we weren't able to go on a tour of the birth center though. I still have no idea where to go when I am in labor.

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My face looks so fat. But this is the perfect example of how our days go. I sit down and the boys pile on my lap. If I sit on the ground, Edison will try sitting on my lap. But my lap is quickly disappearing so he just keeps trying to back up more and more and instead he is bouncing off my belly.

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I made a countdown of the days left when there were 76 days to go. Now there are only 54 days until my due date!

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At my last appointment, I had lost weight and my belly is also measuring small. The doctor doesn't seem concerned though. I have already gained 30 pounds. She wants me to gain more weight because I started out "underweight." I was not underweight, but I will definitely be gaining more weight in the next eight weeks so it was good to not have a guilt trip. I crave root beer floats. Multiple times a day. I also started craving apples so at least I have something healthy in there. My belly looks super lopsided. I think that was my pants. Or maybe my belly is just bumpy like that. Hmm.

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The boys kissing their baby brother goodnight. We will see this baby boy so soon!

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Pregnancy Letter 3.2

Dear Scale,

I knew this day would come but it doesn't make it any better. Today you told me that I weigh the same as Sam. This has never happened. I am not the cute, little one in the relationship anymore. Hate.



Pregnancy Letter 3.1

Dear Brothers,

You haven't ever had the best judgment, but asking, "Are you sure you aren't having twins?" Or saying, "You are giant" aren't really the best ways to get on my good side.

The Third-Time Fatty


Mute Parenting

For the last seven days, I have been hardly able to whisper. Although my voice never completely left me, it was painful to attempt to talk. My throat went back and forth between feeling like I was swallowing knives and swallowing fire. My throat even hurt when I wasn't doing anything. Today is a little better but the memory of the last week hasn't faded yet.

The laryngitis and all that came with it has been obnoxious but there was another side effect that shocked me. I didn't realize how much my kids respond to my voice. Alex kept asking me why I was mad or sad and if I whispered he would say, "Stop talking like that. I want you to talk loud!" My sister was in town for a week and it overlapped with four days of my voicelessness. She let me sleep in and take naps to try to recover but there were still plenty of times that I had to parent (darn parenting!). It was frustrating. The boys didn't understand why I was angry. I had to let almost everything go except for when they did something really bad. I would clap to get their attention from across the room to try to get them to stop doing something immediately.

Alex is a quick learner and stopped turning around when I clapped. I felt like a child; I was unable to communicate. I would stamp my feet if they didn't understand me. If I deemed something worthy of talking, I would whisper through the razorblades to try to get my message across. There were plenty of times when the person I was talking to couldn't hear me though. Lots of times I was so busy coughing after my attempt that I decided it wasn't worth repeating. I felt so trapped in my own brain. I felt like I was going to explode.  I had never experienced that feeling before. Usually I say what I think, even to a fault. I have "turned off my voice" before but was always able to use sign language to communicate. My boys do not understand my signing and they also didn't understand why I was so sick. I was totally helpless.

Edison and Alex have started exhibiting symptoms and Edison's cough sounds very croupy. It has been a rough week and I know we have at least another week of this ahead. It has been horrible but I am glad that I had it first at least. Now I can have more empathy for my whimpering children. I wish things could be better but I am glad they aren't worse.

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