Sunday, September 30, 2012

Crappy day Update

So I talked to my boss and I feel a lot better. He said that its was just a warning for me to do better. He said that I do a good job and he enjoys working with me. I just need to pay attention to details more. I still don't know why there seems to be a double standard but I am just going to focus on my work and do well. Thanks for the support everyone :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crappy day at work

I had the crappiest day at work today! I pretty much kept back tears all day. I was actually pretty unsuccessful at it too since I went to the bathroom to cry twice. Why for the saddness? I will tell you.
I got to work this morning in a pretty good mood ready for the day.

Then my boss asked me to come talk with him for a minute in the conference room. He then told me that he was dissapointed in my work and that I left early yesterday (it was literally 10 minutes early) and didn't print emails. The thing is that he had said long ago that when we were done with our work and there wasn't anything to do that we could just go but still put our 8 hours on our time sheets because we shouldn't mess with our pay because we got our work done early. Also I try to get all the emails printed during the day but sometimes I get so busy with all the other million responsibilities that I have that I get behind. Then my co worker Toni comes and asks if she can help so she ends up printing emails for me sometimes. We both didnt think this was a big deal but apparently to my boss it is. I don't think he realizes how much work I do. I print and log emails (these are the invoices and transmitals for the checks to be printed from), do all the mailing for everyone in the office, log and mail out returned checks, log bank statements, mail out rent statements, and then I do all the capture checks (reviewing and mailing out more checks). It fills up my day and I have to work super fast to be sure to get it all done.

There is another girl in my departement that just has to do batching. That is a pretty large job but its just one responsibility compared to my like 5. She is really good at what she does and gets done pretty fast. So when she is done she leaves early. There was a couple weeks that she came in way way later than I and my other co worker do and then still left at the same time as us. I don't think she ever got written up! I feel like there is a double standard and I don't understand it. When I get done early I am expected to go help her with her stuff. She doesn't expect me to but my boss does. I'm not upset with my co worker. . ok I'm a little bitter. But only because I feel like I am not appreciated. My boss talks about how great she is doing but never really says if I am doing good. I think my co worker is an awesome girl and we get along great I just wish I knew why there was this double standard going on.

 I do realize that I have been slacking at work in some areas but not so much that I think I deserved him to write me up.  I miss Noah while I'm at work and if I have a chance to leave early I jump to take it. I am so annoyed at the amount of work I do and the little appreciation I get for it that I sometimes would slack on getting emails printed. I guess it is my fault. But there are a lot of factors that I don't think he is taking into account.

I sat there and nodded my head as he told me that I need to prioritize and do things right the first time. I was holding back tears as he talked. Then he had me sign the paper that pretty much said I sucked and ended the meeting. I then went to the bathroom and let the tears come. I called Sean and told him what happened and then cried more. (I'm on my period so I'm a little more emotional than usual) I got myself together enough to go back out and start working on getting checks in envelopes. I'm glad the machine is so loud because I'm pretty sure it drowned out my uneven breathing from trying very hard to not cry more. I hate being told I'm not doing a good job. I really try hard to do well in everything I do. Also I felt like a little kid being repremanded. I don't even know what that means for me with being written up. Is that going to mess with any raises or bonuses? Is it going on my mid year review? If he thinks I'm not doing better is he going to fire me? I can't lose this job. First off as hard as it is for me to be a working mom I am also so grateful for this job. I enjoy working with my co workers. I love the pay and the insurance. Also we can't survive with me not working. The hours are much better than any other job I could get. I don't want to lose my job. But also I feel so under appreciated sometimes I just wish there was a way for me to stay home. Now I don't know what to do. Should I talk to my boss and let him know my feelings on everything? Or do I just suck it up and do better and just continue to be bitter and annoyed about the double standard going on?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Don't worry! I haven't begun a new profession. Although I'm sure I would make more money doing that than my job. haha Dang morals. Anywho! So Stripping in the cloth diaper world has a whole different meaning. If you are a cloth diapering mom or dad you probably know what this is but if not this post is going to save your sanity. Even if you already know about stripping there might be something new for you to learn.

Stripping your cloth diapers gets rid of the extra build up that forms overtime that reduces the absorbency of your diapers. The build up is what causes, rash, leaks, repelling and stink.  So what is the build up? It can come from using the wrong detergent, too much detergent, hard water and just using them for a long period of time. Ideally you should strip your diapers every couple months.

Sean and I have been in constant battle with diaper rash on Noah. We have been going back and forth between cloth and disposables for the last two months. Every time a rash would come we would stop using the cloth and would load Noah's bum with aquaphor and the rash would be gone in 3 or 4 days. Then we would go back to using cloth diapers and a couple days later the rash would be back with a vengeance. On top of that our cloth diapers were stinky (major ammonia issues), stained and nonabsorbent. We were having leaks and Noah was getting rashes from the wet just sitting on his skin. To say the least we were pretty frustrated cloth diapering parents! We didn't want to give up cloth but we also really didn't want to see our Noah in pain. When we wiped his bum he would sometimes cry. It was getting ridiculous. We had stripped our diapers many, many, many times with no luck. They still smelled afterward and still weren't as absorbent as they were when they were new.  So Aunt Jessica came to our rescue! She showed me a youtube video of a mother stripping her diapers in a way I hadn't heard of before. This saved our cloth diapering experience and most importantly Noah's bum.
This is what our diapers were like before stripping them. See those little dots? Thats water I dumped on them. They just sat on top of the insert!! So not what is supposed to happen.

There are many ways of stripping. Here are a few:

1. Rinse, Rinse, Rinse!: Run the inserts and diapers through several hot wash and soak cycles with no detergent until there are no more soap bubbles. (we had done this before and in the beginning it worked perfectly. After a year of using cloth it was no longer enough for these diapers) 

2. Scrub: Use a small brush and some dawn dish soap to scrub each insert. I haven't tried this but it seams like entirely too much work for me to want to do. But I have seen it all over the place. Mom's are obsessed with dawn soap. If it can help ducks in oil spills it can do anything I guess! haha.

3. Detergent soak; Soak your diapers and inserts in a tub of warm water with some detergent, then rinse really well.

 Now 4 and 5 I had not heard of doing before but this is what I did just 2 days ago and I am thrilled with the results!

4. Boil
5. Additives

So what the magical youtube that Jessica saved me with said to do was to boil my inserts and then wash them with some calgon to help with hard water.

It turns out my issues were that we were using the wrong kind of detergent and that we have hard water at our house. Both of those factors made our inserts lose their absorbency because they had build up of hard water minerals and detergent and even ammonia from the pee! Gross! Thats why they still stank even after a wash. So here are the steps I took.

1. Wash the diapers and inserts in the washer with hot water and detergent. We use Charley's soap. (now)

2.  Get a large stock pot and boil the inserts only! (boiling will ruin the PUL in your covers) with Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. I didn't like the idea of using one that I will use again for food so I went to Savers and bought a used one and tongs for $5. Pretty darn cheap! I fit about 10 inserts and used 1 1/2 cups of washing soda. I had to do 4 batches to get all of my inserts. When boiling the inserts puff up. That means its working. It is getting all the nasty minerals, pee, and detergent and other build up into the water and out of the inserts making the inserts absorbent again! ****Warning**** Its going to stink. Don't worry thats the stink leaving the inserts.
My Awesome Stock pot! 

3.  After each batch  use the tongs to pick up your inserts. Hold them over the pot for a couple seconds and let the excess water drip off the insert. Then I places them into a garbage bag.

This is all the yuckyness that is left after each batch. Each time you obviously start with new water. I can't believe that stuff was on Noah's bum. No wonder he kept getting such bad rashes. 

4. After all my inserts were done boiling the grosseness and all in the garbage bag I dumped them into the sink. From the sink I put the garbage bag on them and pushed down so the rest of the water would come out.

5.  Then in the washer they went, with the covers this time. In the washer I put half the amount I would normally use of detergent, and Calgon to fight the hard water.

6.After they were washed I put them through rinse cycles until all the soap bubbles were gone. It took 4 rinse cycles for the water to be clear.

All together this process took about 2 1/2 hours. I was slow because I was watching netflix haha.  It may seem long but it was totally worth it. Now our diapers are clean and as good as new. Seriously! They are white as white and so very very soft again. Also they are absorbent again. No more stink, no more build up, no more rash!! This means a happy rash free baby and happy happy cloth diapering parents again! 

Here is a before and after picture. The right one is the like new pretty beautiful smelling insert. The left is is icky insert before the magical process.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Grass and Forget Me Nots

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence"

Odds are you have heard this saying before, right? Well guess what its not really correct. Its like looking at only one side of a situation. The grass on the other side might be greener but thats not the whole story. First of all how do you know what your grass is capable of if you are too busy looking over that dang fence? The true saying should say

"The grass is always greener where it is nurtured and lovingly watered on a regular basis"

Instead of worrying about what other peoples grass looks like we just pay attention to our own. I am not the best one to be talking about this but I think thats why its been in my head
 all week. Its something that I need to put into practice.

We all have our own voice in our head talking to us alllll day. You know that little voice. Its the one that says "Gosh that girls skirt is so cute! I wish my body would look that good in a skirt like that" or "She is such a good mom, I'm probably not that good" 

A lot of factors have inspired this post. Lately I have been thinking a lot about self thoughts. You are with yourself ALL DAY. What you think about yourself is pretty important, dont ya think?

I have been having anxiety attacks lately. Its a horrible feeling. I feel my chest tighten and it feels like I can't take a full breath. Like my chest is falling in on itself. Then I feel like I am falling with no control. Its just bad. Then the tears come and I can't stop. Luckily I have Sean, who is incredibly loving and helps me through it.

I have been feeling like nothing I do is right, Its never good enough and someone always is doing it better. I realize this isn't healthy. There is so much out of my control lately and I feel like the world is spiralling out of control as well. Society is a pretty scary place sometimes. Gay marriage is the cool thing, drinking is just a normal thing, and all sort of other things that used to be an obvious moral no no is just ok. I makes me sacred for my children growing up in it. Then there is the whole, we don't know where Sean is going to school next year thing. Finances are always a stressor for me as well. (Even though we are getting that under better control its still hard) Did I tell you brother is back in prison? I worry about him a lot. I don't like to admit it but I do. He is another 3 blog posts to explain everything going on with him and his life. But the gist is that he has been in and out, mostly in, prison and jail for half of his life. I don't really know him that well. I mean on the level that most people know their brother. He has hurt me and my family over and over. But he is still my brother and I love him and just want the best for him. Basically I just let too much into my head at once and then worry about it all.

"Some days life doesn't make sense,"  author Lizzie Velasquez writes in  "Be Beautiful, Be You." "You just have to change what you can, ask for help and pray about the rest."  

I love this. Its totally something that needs to become my mantra. Every time I feel myself falling and feeling lost I just need to remember this and then put it into action. I want to overcome these self defeating behaviors. I don't want to look in the mirror and see all my imperfections. I want to see a Daughter of God, A good wife, a loving mother, a funny girl, a caring and serving person. It's not conceded to see and even acknowledge the good things about yourself. I think that misguided thought is one of the reasons I try not to think good about myself. I don't want to be prideful. But loving yourself as God loves you isn't prideful. Its knowing who you are and what youre worth. Every one is in a different part of their life and doing things the best they can. There is no need to compare and try to find a winner. There isn't one! This isnt a contest. It just can't be. There are too many variables to compare. We have all had different experiences and life challenges for anyone to really stack up against the other.  I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and his love for me. He knows what I'm capable of and He will help me to become  better. I just need to trust in Him and do my best. I can find peace in Him.  

Have you read the talk Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave in General Relief Society Meeting titled "Forget Me Not"? If you havent you really must do so. It will heal your soul even if you don't know it needs healing. It will bring the spirit and make you feel closer to your Heavenly Father and know of His love. You can find it on type in the search box the title of the talk. Or you can click on this link here

Some goodies from the talk:
"You are not forgotten.

Sisters, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.
Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time!" 
This is a good note to end on. Have a good day! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wind of Change

So did I tell you we are trying to have a baby? Yep we are. Last time we got pregnant the first month of trying. It has now been a month but I'm pretty sure its a bust. I should be having the flow of truth coming tomorrow. We shall see. I shouldn't be disappointed though considering it takes a normal healthy couple a year or so to conceive. That of course doesn't mean I'm not getting my hopes up. I just want to have another cute baby. Noah needs a sibling. I will let you know when it happens.

In other news. Since my sister Amanda is preggers Sean and I have decided that we probably need to find other child care arrangements before she has her baby. My mom is currently watching both Noah and Amanda's daughter Cortney, during the day. I know my mom is willing to watch all three (four when I have one, whenever that may be) but I don't think she is really wanting to. She will say she is because she is a caring selfless woman who loves her grandchildren. But she has raised her children. She deserves to just relax and have "me" time during the day. Sean and I don't want to be a burden on her. So that leaves us on a quest for affordable child care for one possibly two babies. Let it begin.

Did you know we are moving in December. Where, we don't know. We will have our car paid off in October and then we will be able to save enough money to pay for move in fees for an apartment of our own. With out the car payment we will be able to save a couple hundred a month. YAY! For self reliance and savings! We have always paid a good amount of rent where ever we have lived and it is a huge blessing to be able to have family and friends to live with but we are super excited for the time to be on our own again. There is just something special about having your own space. Still I'm nervous for the move. I hope we are able to find a nice, cheap two bedroom apartment soon.

*Howell Happenings update*

Sean is doing well in his classes. Did you know that he is doing 17 credit hours? I just found out. Silly me. In case you don't know 12 hours is full time. That means he is superman and doing over full time school. Yeah, my husband is a super hero. So far his favorite class is his Developmental Psychology. He gets to learn how children develop, from conception all the way to teenage years. He was afraid for his Spanish 3 class but so far he is doing really well and feels pretty confident. Sean has had 2 private guitar lessons now. He is loves it. He is getting really good at it. I'm proud of my rock star.

I'm still just working away at Cushman. I've been having a hard time because it seems like I am expected to do more than my fair share of work. I end up doing my work and then having to help out my co worker with hers too. Its kind of irritating. She is a cool girl and I get along with her great. I just feel taken advantage of. My boss is always asking me to help her out so she can finish at the same time as me and my other co worker. The thing is, she just very recently started to come into work at the same time as us. So I don't understand why I need to help so she can get off early. I don't like to cause problems so I haven't said anything. When ever I'm done with my work I'm expected to help out but I have seen her sit on her computer for an hour not doing anything and not be asked to help out. Yet as soon as I finish my work load, sometimes even before, I am asked to go grab some of her work. ugh! To say the least it is causing some work anxiety for me. I have had 3 anxiety attacks in the last month. Its getting ridiculous. Not all pertaining to work. There are a lot of stressors with family, work, and things in life I can't change. I have never had anxiety before but they are really common lately. I need to figure out how to make my brain and body stop. Sean is a big help in getting me to calm down and relax. I love him so much! I'm thinking more prayer and trust in the lord is needed though.  I need to do my best and then put it in His hands and trust that all will be well in the end. I have more to write on this matter later. So,   I am doing a consistent amount of massages which means more money to pay off the car. Its pretty nice. I also enjoy the precious time I get to spend with my Sean and Noah. We make sure we get a couple hours together before bedtime and homework time. Sean and I have date night every week now. We are pretty good at keeping that time just for us. We want to be sure to continue to enrich our marriage even with having a baby. I just love him so much! I am blessed to have such a caring, thoughtful husband. And Noah is blessed to have parents that are so deeply in love :)

Noah is just cute as a button. He gets more and more handsome by the day. I love how him and Sean have the same bone structure. They look so much alike. I just love my boys. Noah likes to stand up while daddy is feeding him. He starts out sitting nicely in his high chair eating his meal. Then he gets bored and stands up like king kong on a building. Then Sean just feeds him standing. Its a funny sight to see. Noah also enjoys standing up and putting his arms up over his head with whatever toy he is playing with in his hands and walking a couple steps whilst squeeling out of pure baby excitement. He loves to babble with a mixture of his known words and his made up baby talk. He is a sweetheart.

So thats us lately!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Update of Howell life

We just got new callings in our ward. It took 7 months but we finally got one haha. We have been called to be Nursery teachers. So that means that Noah gets to go to nursery 5 months early. Fun for him! He gets snack time and a lesson (he just plays on the floor during this but I'm sure some of it seeps in his mind) and playtime. We have 7 kids in our class. They are a really chill group of kids. It's going to be a fun calling.

Sean started school last week. He is enjoying it so far. He likes all of his classes and thinks he should get great grades this semester. He is going to have to try harder in his Spanish 3 class than others but he is still confident that he will do well. Sean has taken up playing the guitar. He really enjoys playing and teaching himself. I have arrange with a friend to trade lessons for massages. He is a music major and wants to go on to play classical guitar for studio's I believe. He is pretty amazing with the guitar so I'm excited for Sean to learn from him and be able to enhance his skills.

I am doing more massages lately and I'm getting a website made! My friend is going to do it for a really good deal. I just have to pay $50 for the guy he uses for the design and then I'm trading him massages for his work with the set up and html stuff. I did my first class for infant massage. I had three friends (Melissa, Hillary and Adriana) and their sweet babies come to it. They said that I did pretty well but that if they were paying for it they would have wanted more information on the benefits and background of massage. So I will work on that for the next one. I'm so excited to add this to my services. I also inquired about a workshop to become a Certified Childbirth Educator. The class should be in November this year so I will definitely be signing up for that. Work is going fine. Just the same work as usual. I'm doing better with being a working mama. I still have my days that are just hard in which I just vent and cry to Sean and he makes me feel better.

Thats basically what we have been up to. That and lots of family time. We go on walks, swimming, and have tickle fights often.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New things

Noah has been doing a lot of new things as of late. He is almost a walker. Right now he is more of a stepper still. He is getting better with his balance. Its mostly just that he knows he can get some where faster by crawling right now. He gets such a happy face when he stands and takes a couple steps. When he stands up he claps so proudly! He loves to hold mommy and daddy's hands and walk in between us. Also he almost has a full mouth of teeth. At first he hated it when we brushed his teeth but now he isn't so against it. As with everything with a child its a hit and miss thing. If we brush our teeth first then try to do his he is more happy about it. He has added a couple words to his vocabulary as well. He says kitty, hey!, and bye bye. He is working on getting grandma. Sometimes it sounds like he says it but not quite. Oh and he said Andrea the other night when she came over to hang out.

Noah has such a fun personality. He is very adamant about what he wants. If he is hungry he is very hungry and wants the food right away. If he decides he doesn't want to sit there he just wont. Its quite funny. Its nice that he is so self aware. He loves when people laugh and will just laugh right back with them. He gets a kick out of making others smile. Also he loves attention. He does things just to make others look at him. He gets pretty shy around new people though. He is going through a separation anxiety stage right now as well.  He gets so worried any time Sean and I leave a room even for just a moment. When we leave him with one of  his grandma's or aunts he gets really upset and cries for 10 or 15 minutes until he gets distracted by something fun. He is such a loving child and loves to cuddle and snuggle. I hope he doesn't out grow that ever. I love my snuggle bug. He also loves to tough and grab colorful things. We can hold him up to the light fixture in our living room and he will play with it for so long and not get bored.

I put him down for a nap this week and came in to check on him after 10 minutes of laying him down. This is what I saw:
 He ripped off his diaper and then fell right asleep. I guess it was hot in his room. We usually put shorts over his diaper when he naps because we feared he would do this but I forgot this time. It was such a funny thing to see. He is such a sweetheart. haha babies butts are just darn adorable as well.  I didn't want to wake him up to put the diaper back on. He had missed his morning nap and really needed to go to sleep. If we wake him up most of the time he won't go back to sleep so I chose to chance it and just let him sleep. When he did wake up of course the bed was full of pee. I had to wash his animals, sheet and blanket. It was worth him napping his full hour though.

This is just another cute sleeping picture. He moves around his entire crib while he sleeps. This is just one of the positions I found him in recently.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mall Fun

My sister Amanda and her husband Corey take their daughter Cortney to the mall about every week or so to play in the play area with the other kids. This last week Noah and I went with them. Noah really enjoyed it this time. We have been before but Noah was still too small to really care about the other kids or things to play on.

Cortney and Noah just love each other. 

 Cortney likes to move Noah around like he is her doll sometimes. He is getting older so he fights back sometimes. haha
 We went on the carousel for the first time. At first he really seemed to enjoy it. 
 He quickly changed his mind as it went a little faster. I think the up and down and the going around at the same time was too much for him. He wailed til I got him off the zebra.

 Cortney is no novice to the carousel so she had a fun time. 

We moved to the tea cup and he did just fine. No horses for him til he gets used to the movement. Doesn't he just look like such a big boy!?

Noah and Daddy

I love watching Sean with Noah. It warms my heart to see such tender moments. My boys are just so freaking cute!

Sean has been teaching himself how to play the guitar. Noah is teaching himself how to play with the guitar!