And We're Back

Monday, August 26, 2013
The first three months of having three children about killed me.  I was mostly in survival mode, and I think I cried almost everyday, both in private and public.  I'm glad to report that the past three weeks have been pretty normal, and I'm feeling back to myself.  I can now say I enjoy being a mom again, because for a while I was pretty sure it was the worst job in the world, and way too hard for me to do.  Along the way I still took pictures and still wrote things down so I could record them eventually.  I think it was the combination of Hazel's tantrums, Hattie's curiosity, Niels' upset stomach, and my hormones that made everything so difficult.

My friend who just recently had her third child said that she felt like she was constantly putting fires out all day.  I completely agree.  I was just going from one thing to the next.  Let me give you a scenario of one morning.  We were headed somewhere, so while I was buckling Hazel's sandals Hattie was in my room.  I went to put Hattie's sandals on and found that she had taken a small hole that we had in our bed sheets and ripped the entire sheet open.  Then I left the room to pick up the baby because he was screaming.  A few minutes later when I went back into my room, Hattie had pulled out every baby wipe we own and they were all over my room.  I started cleaning those up while the baby was screaming and then I heard Hazel throwing a fit because she couldn't find some toy.    When we finally got into the car I had to fight Hattie to buckle up.  I remember wherever we went the kids were surprisingly good.  When we came home I had to take a few trips in the house.  As I came in I found Hattie standing in the toilet bowl with her shoes on.  I had to take her out and throw her in the bathtub to clean her in a minute because the baby was now screaming needing to be fed.  Then I heard Hazel scream from the bottom of the stairs that she peed her pants.  I had to throw her in the tub too, and the baby was still screaming.  

I felt like all my days were like this.  For the first two months Niels was very fussy and gassy and spit up a ton.  Hazel and Hattie both spit up a lot too, but they weren't fussy.  There was one week where it was projectile, which was difficult.  I had to change my clothes and his clothes a few times a day, even in the middle of the night.

  Hattie was getting into everything all day long.  If she wasn't in my site there was trouble.  She drew on our social security cards, she drew on the cabinets, she spilled cheese, nuts, cereal, yeast, you name it.  There were a few weeks where milk was spilled almost everyday between cereal bowls and cups.  Hattie was in the fridge cracking eggs on the floor.  I tried to get a shower one day when Niels was first born only to have Hazel tell me Hattie was on the baby.  I jumped out of the shower to find Hattie on top of Niels in the bassinet.  

Hattie has had a cold the entire summer.  She is our walking germ, but I'm not surprised with everything she touches and eats.  She drinks the water at the splash pad and picks up old snacks from other kids on the ground.  Her favorite toy is the plunger.  I have walked into the bathroom several times and she is playing with it.  One day I walked away from the bathroom for a minute while Hazel and Hattie were in the tub and Hazel yelled to me that Hattie had the plunger in the tub.  Gross!  Because she is sick all the time. she has gotten us all sick including Niels.  He is on his third cold already.   

I think the worst messes have been Hattie's three poop incidents.  We put her in her room for a nap and she took off her diaper and smeared it everywhere.  The first time wasn't too bad, but the second time was terrible.  Brendan was working both times and I had to clean it all up.  It was smeared on the walls, lamps, bed, books, rug, rocking horse, shelves, it was even on her sippy cup and lips.  It took a lot of time to sanitize and clean and I had to throw stuff away.  Two days later it happened again.  Brendan had scheduled me a pedicure because I had been through so much.  He came home to watch the kids and put Hattie in her room for her nap.  As I was leaving, I smelled it when I walked past her room.  Luckily I went and got my pedicure while Brendan cleaned up the mess.  We now put her in onesies when she goes down for a nap. 

Hazel's biggest problems for me were her fits, fighting with Hattie, and not cleaning up any of her messes.  She wouldn't even clean up the smallest messes.  One day she told me she knew a way not to pick up her toys.  She said, "Pray to Heavenly Father and ask him to be something that doesn't have to clean up, like a dog."  She would constantly fight with Hattie.  There would be hair pulling and biting.  And it seemed like everything was such a big deal that she would throw a fit over it.

Brendan also was very busy with work and his calling.  He had to stay the night at youth conference one night and another week he had to plan and attend scout camp for 4 days.  My sister Breeze left for the summer and Brendan's mom went out of town twice, each time for about three weeks, so I didn't have help some days when I was at my wits end. On top of all this we had to have our house rewired because it was a fire hazard, so I had no electricity for like a week.  We had extension cords going through the house to turn on a lamp and plug in burner.  I had no kitchen lights for a month and other problems.  Not to mention the workers coming in and out of my house.

With all that being said, I want to point out how much help I had from those around me, both strangers and friends.  One day I was at Costco having a terrible experience and the baby was screaming and I was literally in tears leaving the store with the kids and I heard a voice from a man behind me say, "Mam, can I help you?" I didn't want to turn around because he would see me crying.  He said it again and I briefly turned and said no, but thanks.  I clearly did need help though.  Then I finally made it to the car in tears and fed the baby.  I left the empty shopping cart behind my car with our pizza still in it.  I was sitting in the car feeding Niels when I heard a knock on my window.  I rolled down my window and there was a pretty lady in her 50's asking me if I wanted my pizza.  When she realized I was feeding my baby and was crying, she apologized for bothering me.  I could barely make out words to tell her not to worry about my pizza.  She asked me how old my baby was and how many kids I had.  I told her and she said, "You're a good mom.  It will get better" as she patted me on the back.  She then had her daughter put the pizza in the back of the car and she put my cart away.  After feeding the baby, I went to buckle him in the car seat and I heard, "Dana." When I turned around I saw my friend Tabitha coming towards me.  I was super embarrassed to be crying.  I told her I was having a bad day.  She offered to help with my kids.  She said she had some snacks for them.  She was very willing to help me, but I was just trying to get home as soon as possible.  Even though I was having such a hard day and feeling alone, as I was driving home I really felt that Heavenly Father was aware of me and there were people around me to help.  

Another time I was at Winco just with Niels and he was fussy and crying while I was in line.  A girl from my ward, who I had just talked to for the first time a few days ago in the mother's lounge, came up and asked if she could hold my baby or unload my groceries.  I had her unload my groceries on the conveyor belt and then she bagged all of them too.  I was at Sprouts another day shopping and I saw another girl from my ward and she asked if I needed any help.  Another day I was at the pool with the kids after Hazel's swim lessons and they wanted to play in the water and Niels was sleeping in his stroller.  I needed to be in the water with them, but didn't want to wake Niels.  I saw a lady from my old ward who was sitting in the shade and asked if she would watch Niels while I played with the girls.  She was there watching her grandkids and said she would love too.  I feel like I never run into people at the store and around town, but during this hard time, where I felt like I could hardly accomplish my normal tasks, there were people everywhere.  After these experiences, it has really made me want to try and be aware of others around me that may need help.

Well I'm pretty sure this is my longest post ever, and I don't even think people check out my blog anymore, but it's for my own memory keeping anyway. 

Hogle Zoo

Saturday, August 24, 2013
Brendan had to go to Salt Lake to go pick up something for work, so we decided to come with him and take a trip to the zoo together.  It ended up being super hot, a lot of work, and lots of fits.  It wasn't our best zoo experience for sure.  The kids were asking us to leave.

 We asked someone to take a picture of us and they left Hazel out of the picture because she was short.  I didn't want to ask again, so I just took one of Hazel and Brendan. I mean giraffes are her favorite animal.

Niels' Blessing/Hollingsworth Reunion

Friday, August 23, 2013
All of my family was able to come into town for Niels' baby blessing except one sibling and her family.  It worked out perfectly that is was around the 4th of July.  Everyone came into town on Wednesday night and stayed until Sunday afternoon after the blessing.  Usually when we all get together it's just for the weekend, so it was nice to have more time together.  It was also nice to have everyone stay by each other without being in the same house.  Brendan's family owns an apartment complex across the street and they had a few empty apartments during the summer so each family had their own apartment.

 We started out the fun with the 4th of July parade on Thursday morning.  Bruce and Jessica were kind enough to get up early and save spots for us at 4 in the morning.  

 All of the cousins together on Hazel and Hattie's cool teeter totter.  Brendan's parents gave it to the girls for their birthdays this year.  

 Brook's cute family.

Dawn's cute family.

 My cute family.

And some pictures just for fun.

 After pictures and a great meal made by Brendan, we ended the evening by watching the Stadium of Fire firework show.  It was spectacular!

 Super Jon.

On Friday most everyone went kayaking down the Provo river, but we somehow didn't manage to get any pictures of that activity.  It actually ended up being a little crazy with a big lightening storm on the river.  After the storm cleared we all went and got shaved iced, then came back home and had some badminton tournaments and water balloon toss.

On Saturday morning Brendan made a huge breakfast for everyone, and later in the afternoon we all went to the new Provo rec center and swam.  In the evening Bill and Merrill made pizza and salad that was delicious.  We ended the night with our own firework show at our house and ice cream cones for dessert.

 Golf cart rides by Grandpa.

And of course Sunday morning was the blessing of Niels.  Brendan gave a beautiful blessing, and after sacrament meeting we all came back to our house for a light brunch before everyone headed back home.

This was the best picture I got of Niels in his cute blessing outfit.  He's actually half asleep in this picture. I was trying to wake him up for the camera.

Four generations.

Hattie Turned 2

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hattie is so fun to have in our family.  It's funny how different she is from Hazel.  She has so much personality and makes us laugh everyday.  She has a very good vocabulary and great pronunciation, and she surprises us with what comes out of her mouth somedays.  She just loves to talk!  Her facial expressions are also hilarious.  She has been giving out dirty looks since she was young.  She doesn't like it when people are staring at her either, especially in church.  She will tell them to stop.  Lately Hattie has been a bit of a bully with other kids.  After I picked her up from Nursery one week she was telling me what she ate and what songs they sang and then she said, "And I got in a fight." Hattie also loves to sing.  She knows several songs by heart, especially church ones.  The nursery leaders told us when they do music Hattie is the only kid that sings and she knows all the words.  We love our sweet Hattie!

Hazel Turned 4

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

 Hazel has really grown up a lot this year.  She is becoming more of a helper.  She likes to help out with Niels by holding him or keeping his pacifier in.  She also helps Hattie a lot too. Sometimes at night she sings songs to Hattie so she won't cry when I leave the room (only on nights when Hazel isn't crying herself).  She is very excited to start preschool this Fall, and loves to play with her friends.  She really likes meeting new kids.  She always seems to make new friends at the pool and the park.  I did a little questionnaire with Hazel and these were her answers. 

  1. What is your favorite color?  Pink
  2. What is your favorite toy?  Snowie (her stuffed dog)
  3. What is your favorite fruit? Pineapple  
  4. What is your favorite TV show?  Curious George
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  Watermelon and cheese and crackers
  6. What is your favorite outfit?  The shirt Dad bought me
  7. What is your favorite animal?  A Giraffe
  8. What is your favorite song?  Do As I'm Doing
  9. What is your favorite book?  My Lucky Day
  10. What is your favorite sport? Soccer
  11. Who is your best friend?  Evelyn 
  12. What is your favorite cereal?  Kix
  13. What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Help Daddy do the plants
  14. What is your favorite drink?  Milk
  15. What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas     
  16. What do you want to be when you grow up? A missionary
  17. Who is your favorite person from the Book of Mormon? Nephi
  18. Who is your favorite aunt? Whitney
  19. Who is your favorite uncle? Bruce
  20. Who is your favorite cousin? Jon

 Hazel requested a chocolate cake this year, and I made a salted chocolate buttercream to go with it. I thought it tasted pretty good, but of course you can't eat very much or you feel sick.  The other day we were at the grocery store and she saw some of those neon frosting cakes with characters on them and told me she wanted one of those next year.  Maybe I'll have to start getting creative without compromising the taste.

Hazel loves to watch Doc McStuffins, so she really enjoyed getting a doctor kit. She can now do her own check ups.

*For some reason 2 of my posts are not showing up unless you click on them from my sidebar.  Scroll back up and on the left sidebar under August there is a post titled 6 year anniversary and Father's Day if you would like to view them.

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