Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Our First Family Vacation

Last month, we finally took our first vacation since our honeymoon! The week was busy and far from perfect, but a trip well-spent anyway.
We left at Emily's bedtime on a Saturday night. By 5:30am, we were pulling into the driveway at Eric's grandma's house where we stayed all week. It was Emily's first meeting with her great grandma and you could tell how excited she was. She's in her 70's but she doesn't act like it. She likes to stay up late, wake up early, shop, have dinner, but Emily was sure a lot of activity for her. Grandma Joan said it was good that we had activities that took her out because she wasn't used to having someone around who had so much energy.
We went to a lot...
Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach

Orange County Zoo...

L.A. County Fair...

And met Emily's 2nd cousin...

We also went to Rainforest Cafe, went shopping, spent a nice amount of time with Eric's uncle, grandma, and aunt. It was a great week, we stuck to our budget, and it was incredibly active. I'm looking forward to our next vacation but I think I need a post-vacation vacation. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Krystle is a Procrastinator!

You know the only thing I dislike about my blog? Catch-up blogs.

Its my fault for being a procrastinator. Right now, I want to tell you all about Emily's first vacation we just took, about her switch to a toddler bed and the changes that came with it, about new things she's learned, about our anniversary, about my friends... but I don't want a whole blog on that. I mean, unless you're my mom reading this or maybe one or two others that actually read these, you don't want to read that novel either unless its very hilarious or deep. So I'll just separate them.

Right now? My husband is snoring on the couch after falling asleep during How I Met Your Mother. Emily came out of her room twice in 5 minutes so she could hold me. And I've been browsing cookbooks for my next challenge. Its a normal Thursday night. But those blogs may be delayed, for I think she's getting up again. Good night!

Monday, July 22, 2013


I was having a rough day with Emily last Friday. I was just not getting through to this kid - she was climbing on the dining room table, throwing things at the television screen, making messes everywhere. You know, the normal toddler stuff. But for some reason, all the back-to-back correcting and time-outs and sneaky toddler things were just getting under my skin so badly. I was really hoping to relax and that just doesn't happen with this kid very often so I should've know better and managed my frustration better.

She had climbed on the table for the last time and I just had it. I put that girl right in time-out and set the timer. Now, time-out is still a new thing for Emily. I try to establish a "three strikes" rule with going to time-out. The first time she does what she isn't supposed to, I take her away from it and tell her not to do it. The second time, I take her away from it and tell her that if she does it again, she has to sit in time-out. The third time, she goes in time-out and I set the timer between 1-2 minutes. I don't talk to her in time out unless I'm telling her she has a minute to go. After time-out, I take her from her chair, tell her what she did wrong and not to do it anymore and then, she gives me a kiss. If she does it again in the next thirty minutes or so, there's no strikes - just time-out.

When Emily's timer was up, I took her out of the chair and told her she is not supposed to climb on the table. That's when she hit me as hard as she could in the mouth with her head. Her head was fine but my lips were covered in blood pretty quickly. If that happens, she goes immediately back in time-out for 2 minutes. It hurt so bad. That was just the last straw. While she was in time out, I cleaned up my lip, got dinner started, and just was getting madder and madder.

I called my mom to vent and I don't know why I bother. I know I won't listen to her, even if she has good ideas on what to do. She finally joked about a new parenting method called Calm the *** Down. The article is a little ridiculous but it did remind me that sometimes, I need to just chill out. The frustration will pass. I can be strong and committed to the parenting methods we choose. She will learn not to stand on the table and learn not to hit mommy as I discpline. And she will sleep at some point.

Reminds me of one of my favorite sayings:

"There's a lot to think about, but not a lot to worry about."

Giving this one to God because there is no point in trying to fight this battle alone.

Monday, July 1, 2013


I decided last Wednesday to issue myself a challenge to break a bad habit - no popcorn or soda for 1 week. Part of my reasoning was for trying on clothing in Tucson this coming Wednesday. Most of it was to get rid of my nightly snacking habit.

For a moment, I would like to thank Olivia for her suggestion on a previous blog. She suggested tackling one thing at a time and I thought it would be good to start with the toughest. Her suggestion has made this much more manageable than a full overhaul of my food choices.

I won't lie - it's been tough. The first three days, I avoided watching any TV at night because that's when my cravings hit. Even if I am not hungry or don't really want it, I'll still have soda and eat popcorn. To distract myself, I've been cleaning. Until midnight.

The big challenge was Saturday night, because I went to the movies with Katie. Every time the door opened from someone else entering the theater, I could smell the intoxicating temptation of movie theater butter. I opted for a water (which was literally killing me). I debated candy but I didn't have any. Thinking about it now, I haven't even had candy since I started this. Another reason to thank Olivia. Katie got POPCORN AND SODA. She told me before she got it that this would be a good time to challenge the temptation. This woman is trying to kill me.

We watched the movie and midway through, my evil pregnant Katie just held a piece in front of my face. But I resisted. And now, I had a witness to it!

Last night was my first movie at home and I admit - I had a cookie. Okay, two. But no popcorn or candy and I don't even remember my last cookie.

Tonight is night 6. Popcorn hasn't won yet. I have received a lot of Facebook support on this and it's been so encouraging. I am so blessed to have an amazing support system for my silly addiction.

I do want to be clear though - it's not that I'm never having popcorn or soda again. I just need to limit it or give myself rules. But this is a start.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Enjoying the Reward

I don't feel like we always acknowledge the blessings we are given. We become accustomed to receiving all of these amazing gifts and we stop being grateful for small things. We get used to a lack of perseverance and don't want to work for it anymore. We stop seeing our blessings as blessings and begin to see them as rights.

I am not at my best 100% of the time and lately, I've just been so burned out. I haven't been appreciating the things that I have been given like I should. It's not easy to be a stay-at-home mom all the time. I know that, unless you do it or have done it, it's not really acknowledged as hard work. There's unlimited overtime hours and no pay. No vacation. Constant deadlines. Constant criticism from others in your field and others that have heard about your field with no experience of their own. Working on sick days. Yet, I do it. I need to do it, .

I am grateful to be a SAHM. I wouldn't have anyone else do this job. But the last few weeks, I have just wanted a break. It's exhausting when Eric has two days off a week and most of his work days give him an hour at the end of the day with Emily. I stay up late to finish cleaning and then have some "me" time

In all of this stress, I have not been acknowledging the awesome kid that Emily is. She's learning so quickly. Last weekend, she was playing in her room with Eric while I was cooking. I was listening over the monitor.

Eric: Hi, Emily.
Emily: Hewo.
Eric: How are you?
Emily: (garbled) Happy to see you.

WHAT?! She's repeating everything nowadays. She can jump a few inches from the ground.
She'll go in her room and have books all over her lap while she pretends to read. She puts her dirty dishes in the sink. She helps put clothes in the laundry basket. Also, she kisses, not licks, now! She's just impressive.

Also, Tuesday was the seven-year anniversary of mine and Eric's first date. He bought me some red roses. We went to our first movie together since Emily was born on Wednesday. The theater was empty and it was relaxing to see a movie together.

Need to appreciate this much more.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My name is Krystle and I'm addicted.

I am proud to say that I have been regularly working out for about an hour, three times a week, for almost 2 months. Sometimes, it's more, but it hasn't been less.

I am not so proud to say that my discipline has NOT reached my unhealthy eating habits.

To be fair, my love affair with fast food has been minimized to about once a week (which is also nicer for our budget) and my meals are attempting to be healthier (been trying new vegetable recipes), but my nighttime popcorn habit will be the death of my weight-loss.

The ridiculous thing is, I know this. I realize it hinders my goals and prevents me from losing more fat. But I give in EVERY SINGLE TIME. I will avoid buying it and then, spend on it that day with another alibi to go to the store. I hide it away and tell myself I can have it on the weekend and end up rationalizing why I "need" it tonight. I even tell myself that I will never even make a dent in my weight loss significantly if I don't stop. Somehow, I decide one more won't hurt.

Is this how people with more drastic addictions feel when quitting? I mean, I'm sure they don't have meetings for popcorn addicts. Oh, Overeaters Anonymous, right?

Ugh, I hate that I love food.

I am never planning on being a single-digit jean size, but I would prefer to be down at least two sizes before we are pregnant again. With all my pregnant friends right now, I would love to lose what they gain. (sorry, ladies!)

Habits to break or change? Can't I just get lipo and a tummy tuck??

Monday, May 27, 2013

And everyone was there...

I had the most incredibly vivid dream last night:

We found out we were pregnant (in the dream). I was very confused because I had taken a pregnancy test just a week ago (in real life). I was pretty far along and Eric and I were talking about it while driving to my parents to tell them. We discussed how Katie and I did not want to be pregnant together again, how there was lots to prepare for, and how to tell my parents.

We arrived at my parents house and told them our news. "I thought you were waiting to get pregnant," my mom said. I told her we were but apparently the baby wasn't. I told Susan as well and she kept telling me she didn't want to give up something but I don't remember what. I don't think we ended up telling many people. I don't even remember telling Melanie.

I was scheduled for a c-section but went into natural labor. I went to the hospital with my mom, Susan, and Kaitlyn (from our church's youth group). They set me up in bed and said my OB would be there soon. I was alone in there for a while (other than my mom, Kaitlyn, and Susan). We tried calling Eric but I soon found out there was no time. I felt the urge to push and there were no nurses or doctors in the room. My mom and Susan had gone for food for me. I called over Kaitlyn and told her she would have to deliver the baby. She was nervous, but I told her what to do. I pushed for a little bit and the baby was out. It was a girl. She was quite purple at first but when Kaitlyn held her close and cleaned her, her color came to her body and she cried beautifully. Kaitlyn took her somewhere to wrap her and I delivered the afterbirth alone. I remembered thinking how proud that Leanne would be that I had a VBAC and didn't need medication.

I finally held her and named her Madelyne. I looked up the name and it comes from the Aramaic name "Magdela," which means "tower." Eric was there soon after. My sister and mom came back, stunned she was already born. We brought her to my parents house to celebrate her birth, instead of the hospital. I saw the Roccos - Michael held her for a moment, but was having an argument with Sammy so he gave her back. Kaitlyn kept coming over to hold her and snuggle her. Pastor Al and Carmen held her and I had a tough time persuading them to return her. Eric finally decided that he wanted to not share anymore and held her the rest of the time.

I talked to my mom and explained that I was unprepared so I thought there was more time. We didn't have a car seat or a bigger car or a place for her to sleep. That's when I woke up,

I don't even remember the last dream that I had that was this vivid.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


When you become a mother, there is a whole new world of things that embarrass you. If you are a perfectionist like me, the number is high. Unfortunately, you only learn about these things as you go.
This week, Emily threw her first public tantrum. I don't mind when she throws a tantrum at home -  I can handle it. Even when people are visiting or we are at someone's home (a rarity, lol), I can easily handle and calm her down. But nothing is as mortifying as a tantrum in a public place. It wasn't severe, it wasn't violent, but it was loud.
We were at the public health department for our WIC appointment and, for some reason, they left the door in the lobby open with 3 or 4 toddlers in the waiting room. Maybe I'm the only bad mommy who's daughter tried to run out of the lobby so this is why they leave it.
Either way, she kept trying to run out the door, so I would walk her back and try to occupy her. I brought her favorite snack (Gerbers' garden tomato puffs) so I took them out for her to snack on. She eats a few, tries to make a break for it. I go for her hand to guide her back and she smacks down the snacks everywhere, forcing me to crawl all over the lobby. Then, when I go to bring her back again, she starts jumping and pulling at her arm to break free. Then, she throws her body on the ground and smacks her head on the linoleum (intentionally). Starts yelling, "no. No." Then, we were called back to the office and she kept trying to escape.
Another thing I am embarrassed about this week - my body. I know I'm going to get heat about saying that from my girl friends but you know what? I am not digging my body this week. I know its not the same as a few years ago - I have carried a child and breastfed. I realize that it won't be the same. But I have the delusional desire for it to be.
I was getting ready to go to lunch with a friend on Wednesday and I was checking out clothes I hadn't worn in a while. I even tried on one of my pre-pregnancy shirts. Gorgeous and flowy. But I wasn't comfortable wearing it because of my belly-in-progress.
I know I am working out, but for now, I am covering up what I can. I know that's probably a bad way of thinking of it, but at least I am working on it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Operation: Happiness

I need to start keeping up with this blog again so I don't have to do an update before every real entry.

Emily had her 15-month visit and Dr. smith said she was advanced for her age, in terms of language and comprehension and that kind of thing.
We have both been sick and are over it now.
I have begun decorating the apartment.
I have begun working out.
Eric is going to be getting a promotion.

Our first month here went well.We have had friends over (mostly Jonny and Katie or my mom) and had wonderful dinners. Emily is no longer afraid of the tub. I have started decorating.

I am feeling happy today. I mean, I made the decision last week to start working out and I did my third workout this morning. My mom is being super amazing by watching Emily while I work out since I am using her gym. I really want to be in better shape for my next pregnancy and it looks like that might be late winter when we stop preventing it. I don't want us to have another one while we are in our little two-bedroom apartment. It's perfect size for the three of us but it would be a big deal for the four of us.

Man, that was a train of thought, happening right in front of your eyes!
I need something to write about. I need to be motivated to update this blog. When I was pregnant, I constantly wrote about my worrying and experiences because it was all so new to me. Maybe things are too routine. I need more experiences for Emily and I while I'm home!!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Our First Trip To The Park

We took an outing to the park today!

At first, Emily just kind of moseyed around, checking out the dirt and grass and trying to feel it. She kept giving me handfuls of dirt. Then, she spotted a 10-month old and her mother. She kept waving and made her way over to them.

Totally friendly, Trina (mom) and Haylie (baby). I chatted with her about the girls and our spouses and friends. We talked about the nursery at my church and I ended up inviting her this Sunday. Her husband was there with their dachshund and Emily took it upon herself to chase the dog, and then take turns sitting in Trina and her husband's laps. She kept squatting down to wave to Haylie.

When Emily started to eat dirt, I decided it was time to go. When I was getting in the car, Trina asked me if I had my car seat installed by the fire department. I said I had before Emily was born. Turns out, she was the woman who installed Emily's car seat! We exchanged numbers and I made my first mommy-friend!!

Then, we went to Walgreens and she somehow lost a shoe which we never found. I guess we have to get new shoes for her!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Speeding by

A lot can change in a month.

We filed as soon at we got everything and received a beautiful $5k. With this money, we paid off debt and....

This move was way more difficult than necessary. First of all, the apartment was not properly cleaned and I am still fighting with the apartment for a credit for that. They were late getting everything repaired. I had to reschedule utilities. To make things worse...

She threw up the first time on Saturday and has thrown up 1-2 times a day since then. The worrse one was when she threw up in the car on moving day (Sunday). Today, she has not thrown up but she is on a pretty bland diet right now. I called Dr. Smith's office and the nurse gave me some diet instructions and said, if she is still throwing up by Monday, bring her in.

Overall, though, I am glad we are now in Sierrra Vista because we have already seen Katie and Jonny, my parents, and Susan at our apartment. Even with Emily sick.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


It is not easy to live frugally, even if you need to.

We have been looking at our budget and there is a strain to be able to make ends meet if we want to move back to town. Our options are limited, but it's coming down to either making serious cuts or I need to get a job. Let's put it this way - I definitely want to stay a stay at home mom.

To make the move, we will need a substantial tax return. We need to pay off some bills, have enough for deposit. But even then, we need a budget we can live on. Some things are unflexible, like a rent payment or our car insurance. Other things, like our gas and grocery budget, is changeable. Want to know what I just put in our search box?

"$100 monthly grocery budget."

If I can cut it down to that, I won't have to work. If I can cut it down to that and stick with it, I won't have to work AND we can save money AND we can live in a nice apartment. But is that even possible? I know my couponing queens would give it a shot. I have to ask myself what the top 3 priorities are and they are:

1. Great relationship with God (need to keep tithing)
2. Great relationship with Eric (need to stop fighting)
3. Raise Emily the way we have chosen (affordably and to my standards)

So, how do I tighten the purse strings?

Check out http://www.littlehouseliving.com/ for some ideas on living frugally!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Right Where I Want To Be

The last 2 weeks have had significant improvement!

Last night, we had a fabulous night with our friends and kids. I was worried that we wouldn't have enough food, about the kids playing together, about a ton of things. But you know what? Everything was great. There was a surplus of food! I think everyone else had fun. I even woke up to a clean house and clean dishes, since I did them last night.

As for today? Most of you know that we already tackled bedtime with Emily and she goes down for the night with no fuss. Today, I decided to buckle down and begin working on naps. I have delayed it but this is better to do now. I am doing one at a time so it's smoother for Emily. She took about 40 minutes to go to sleep but that's expected for day one. 

AND Emily isn't sick anymore! That's the best part. She hasn't needed medicine for 3 or 4 days and hasn't even coughed in 2 days. For an easier comparison, here's the before and after.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 - You better be good!

I should start by saying that Emily has had a cold since the first day of the new year. Its slowly drifting away but the worst was day 3 - she barely let me put her down all day. She even fell asleep between her 2nd nap and bedtime. Her two normal 90-minute naps have been between 2.5 and 3 hours up until a couple days ago. She seems to be getting better but I have been keeping her home since day 3. Thankfully, my mom watched her on Monday so I could grocery shop.

Okay, enough with catching up. I have made a decision that I don't want to be the "no" person I have been for most of 2012. Now, I decided this on New Years Eve and I am 99% certain that Emily was sick from the New Years' party I said "yes" to attending, but there's no way I could've known that would happen. I want to actually have friends when we move back to Sierra Vista so I need to be a 50/50 person for yes/no instead of a 5/95 for yes/no.

My effort to make this happen is an easy rule - don't let more than a month go by without saying "yes" to plans or making the plans myself. The only way this will be changed is if the thing I am offered to do is dangerous/illegal/unsafe.

Also, I have a new goal for myself - I want to lose 5lbs a month until December. That will get me closer to the weight I want to be for our next pregnancy and it goes with the timing. Five pounds is manageable and achievable. Plus, the pace makes it easier to keep off.

Now, I will ask myself a question I miss hearing - how are you, Krystle?
Well, today, I am happy my daughter is almost better. Lonely, because my husband isn't home. Grateful, because my husband is sacrificing so I can continue to be a stay-at-home mom. Exhausted, because Emily seemed to get into everything tonight. And I am looking forward to relaxing while watching Desperate Housewives because I realize I am thrilled that their drama is not baggage for me.