Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I don't want to grow up

Growing up is hard. Some people just seem to know to cherish childhood while they are in it. My little brother, Dan, is one of those people. If ever there was a theme song for a person, the Toys R Us song, "I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid," belongs to my brother. He loved being little. He loved pajamas and cartoons and toys. Oh, how he loved toys---and continues to love toys. He still loves remote control airplanes and cars and other gadgets.

Maybe it's genetic, because Kyle is one of those people. Kyle calls himself a kid. He LOVES being a kid. He tells me how great it is that he can play while I make his dinner. He tells Grayson how great it is to be a kid and play with toys. (Grayson is not a kid, by the way, he's still a baby.) Kyle knows that one day he will grow up, but he intends on loving every single day of his kid lifestyle while he's able to. This requires sugary cereal eaten in pajamas while watching cartoons every single day. Next he's on to playing cars or dinosaurs in his room. Hours can go by while he's in his own little world. Occasionally he'll come out to play a board game with me or to snuggle in a rare moment that I'm not wrestling Grayson. He dances when and how he pleases. He wears what he pleases whether it be color- or weather-appropriate (that is until Mom makes him change). He skips happily to preschool with his Toy Story backpack in tow. He laughs with his friends and lives in that glorious judgment-free mindset where the world loves you---and he loves his world.

But things change. Starting soon after the new year I'm going to have to teach him to say his R's and L's. I'll have to tell him that an escalator is not an "alligator." That a theater is not a "thitier." That monsters are not "mustards." One cannot begin kindergarten still talking like a baby if it can be helped at all.

Growing up is already sneaking up on him. He's taller, thinner, smarter, less round in the face. His feet are huge. Which leads us to today. He needs new shoes. I think he's worn at least four sizes this year. We are constantly buying shoes for him. He needs a 12, if not a 13. CLAIRE wears a 13. It blows her mind (and ours) that they have the same size of feet. The worst news of the century is that Walmart's light-up shoes stop at size 11. 11! Apparently you cannot have fun if you have big feet. This news was devastating to Kyle. It is fun to have cartoon characters on your shoes---and it is way fun if they light up. We looked at every single pair of shoes in all of Walmart before asking to verify that indeed there is no is 12 (or size one-two as we call it) in light-up shoes. He would not take any others, so he's been smashing his feet into whatever matching shoes he can find.

Today we went to Target in the continuation of our search. Lo and behold, there was a size 12 in Cars the lit up. It was $19.99. Maybe you think that is a good deal or at least acceptable. Not me. Walmart's $15 price tag is astronomical to me for kids shoes. I don't know that I like paying twenty bucks for MY shoes (remember, I'm cheap). But they lit up. And my 5-year-old son wants light-up shoes. And this was his last chance to have cool, cartoon-covered light up shoes. So I made a big (happy) deal about it, and he tried them on, and he did a happy dance in the aisle---shoes stuck together with elastic and all. We put them in the cart, picked up some salsa (Target has the best salsa in the whole world), and he plopped those shoes up on the checkout counter like he was the king of the world.

Kyle put his new shoes on in the car, elastic still connecting them, hobbled into the house, cut them apart, and made sure everyone saw them. He's so proud. And I'm so glad. I know that as long as the days may seem at times, his childhood is passing by quickly. I think he knows that too. So for now we'll savor the mustards and alligators. He'll sleep tucked up with Captain America. And he'll go everywhere in light-up shoes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

And now…a new post!

However much I wish I could be, I have realized I am not one of those people who can regularly post on a blog---whether the post be thoughtful or just about a specific event---I just can't dedicate myself to it. I'd like to, but every time I think about blogging I realize that it would take me away from my kids. And whenever they are asleep or otherwise occupied, I realize that there are dishes to be done or things I would rather do (sew, think about napping, sit and do nothing but sip a diet coke, etc).
Anyway, we had a baby. He kind of snuck up on us. My due date is this Thursday, the 23rd. I figured he probably wouldn't come more than a week early, but just to be safe we moved Claire's birthday party from Friday the 24th to Friday the 10th. It seemed far enough away when we planned it mid-July, but as the date got closer I got more and more nervous that I wouldn't be around for the party.
In the last few days of July I got serious sciatic pain. Serious like I spent 3 days in bed because I literally couldn't move. I'd sweat from pain just going up the stairs. I used a step-stool to get in bed. I saw my doctor on day 3 for a regular appointment. My blood pressure was way up, I suspect just from the pain of having to crawl up on that stupid table. By the time I'd been there for a while the blood pressure was a little better. He gave me lidocaine patches to put over my nerve. They were a miracle! By the next day I could move around almost as if nothing happened. I was SO grateful because my nesting need was in full swing. I was a little crazy for the next week getting ready for baby and Claire's party.
On Thursday the 9th we had a doctor appointment. I was at a 3 and 80% effaced. He said we would have the baby as soon as the weekend, but surely within the next week. This was scary and exciting. We had a VERY busy day with preparations for Claire's party. Kyle went down to Lehi with my mom for a sleepover, and Claire and I shopped for the last bits of fabric needed for a baby quilt. She helped me clean the house and was so pleasant. It was such a great day alone with her. I was exhausted by the time we went to bed. In fact, Taylor had to work hard to convince me that a day hadn't gone by between the doctor appointment and our well-past-midnight bedtime.

Gramine’s cake. I got the idea from pinterest. The colors could have been a bit closer to get the ombre effect, but I really liked it. It was really easy to make too.

Claire’s party cupcake. Also idea from Pinterest. They are Rapunzel’s tower. I will not claim to be talented at all at decorating baked things---although the above cake was lovely, and it was about the best cake I’ve ever eaten.

Cupcakes after I dumped them the first time. Fortunately only 4 landed on the floor and we didn’t need them to feed her guests. They survived quite well, not like the kids cared if the frosting was smudged.
On Friday the 10th we got up early (6am, thanks to pregnancy insomnia), and started baking. We were making cupcakes for Claire's party and a cake for our family dinner. It was Taylor's Grandma's birthday that day, so she needed a cake too. Taylor worked until 2, and Claire and I worked hard to have everything ready for the party. We had to make a trip to Winco for drinks and powdered sugar and butter. On our way out there was a downpour. I ran to my car, 9 months pregnant and all. It must have looked pretty funny. (I had just done my hair, and was having a great hair day, so I wanted to avoid as much rain as possible.) When we got home I pulled into the garage to avoid more rain. We've been parking in the driveway because it's hard to squeeze my pregnant belly into the car within the constraints of the garage walls. I squeezed that poor baby out the door that day though. Perhaps the running and squeezing induced labor?
Around noon I started to worry about the baby. He was a lot quieter than normal. He usually kicked strongly and very regularly, but that day he just wiggled a bit here and there. I also started to worry about me because I was SO clumsy. I spilled a lot of things while cooking---I even managed to knock over all of the decorated cupcakes TWO times! I kept thinking that if clumsy was a sign of impending labor, I was in trouble. Claire was awesome that day, so helpful and obedient. She even cleaned my room and made my bed while I was baking.

Another Pinterest idea. We made a water blob. The kids LOVED it.
Our guests showed up at 3. The plan was to have her friends here until 4:30, then have all of our family stay for a barbecue afterward. The kids ate cupcakes, opened presents, then played outside on various water things. It was fun to see them having so much fun. Kyle was the life of the party and developed his own little Olympic "dive" into the 10 inches of water in our pool. It was hilarious. I had a nice time visiting with our family and sitting on a blanket under the tree with my siblings.
The last kid left at about 4:45. I took Kyle into the house and got his shower started then headed upstairs to grab some shampoo for him. My sister-in-law Britten was upstairs with her daughter and Claire, and I started talking to her. A few sentences in I thought the baby must have kicked my bladder really hard, because I certainly felt a little pop and gush. I sat there wondering how to excuse myself without her seeing that I had had a little accident. I took two sideways steps into my bedroom, and it became absolutely obvious that my water had broken. I told Britten, and she went to get Taylor. I was shaking. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know that the water could be pink, and that terrified me that something was wrong. Taylor came up. He didn't know what to do either. My mom and sister came up, and they were equally clueless. So we called labor and delivery. They said pink was fine, and that I could eat dinner. I was starving, and I really did want to eat they food we'd planned. Kyle's shower ended up being super extended in all of the excitement we kind of forgot about him! I'm sure he didn't mind at all though. When he did get out he saw his baby cousin in our baby's crib and thought that I'd already had the baby and the baby was now resting in his crib. If only it was that easy!

Our last picture as a family of 4 right before I left for the hospital. Excuse the BYU pants---my water had broken Smile
We haphazardly threw things into a suitcase ("Pack for the hospital" was the #1 item on my to-do list for the next day! #2 was "paint toenails.") I sat down and had dinner. Everyone around me was a little less calm. It was funny to have all of our family surrounding us, knowing that our baby would be born soon. Taylor's grandma, Maxine, was there and excited that the baby could possibly come on her birthday. We told her that if he was born before midnight we would have Max somewhere in his name. My contractions were pretty hard and pretty close together, so we started to prepare to leave. We took a picture with our kids. Our dads, Taylor, and my brother Jake gave me a blessing. My parents planned on taking the kids with them, and we left the party early around 6:30. I thought it was a tricky way to get out of cleaning up!

View of the sunset--the camera hardly managed to capture how beautiful it was.
The contractions were pretty intense on the way to the hospital. By the time we got there I was having back labor so bad that I had Taylor drop me off at emergency so I could get a wheelchair (Maybe there was a better place to drop off, but "Take hospital tour" was still on our to-do list too!) When we got settled into our room we had a gorgeous view of an amazing sunset. It made me think of my grandma (we often enjoyed sunsets together), and that was a bitter-sweet moment. Grandma loved babies and had visited me in the hospital after both Kyle and Claire were born. I had to reassure myself that she had likely spent a lot of time with our baby in heaven before he came here. It had started to rain again, but the night was still beautiful. They said that storm brought in twice the amount of babies as usual.
The first order of business was to get and IV in me. To make a long story short, it took 4 people, 6 tries, 4 blown veins, and over an hour to get the stupid thing in. I hate IVs, so this was not helpful. To get it in they had my bed tilted with my legs high in the air and blood pressure cuff on my arm. Let me just say, that is not the way to relax during labor! I had planned on trying to go without an epidural, but the IV problem was so aggravating that I couldn't relax enough to stay on top of the pain. The guy who finally got the IV in was the epidural man, and I figured I better use him before someone else got a hold of him. By the time they started the epidural I was at a 7. It took a long time to kick in, but I was feeling nothing by 9:00.
We watched the Olympic track and field events, and around 10 they said the baby was almost coming. It all happened so fast. The doctor got there, I pushed for a little bit, and he was born at 10:30 on the dot. 7 pounds, 8 ounces, 20 inches of perfect baby boy. He cried as soon as they had him suctioned out. I remember wondering if babies cry because they are sad to leave the family they love in heaven. I would be sad to leave too! He has long, curly hair that puffed everywhere after they washed it. They got us both cleaned up, he nursed for a while, and we were off to our recovery room. He had a bath in my room, and we went through a number of instructions and other things that you don't listen to because you just had a baby.

One hour old.
We spent time with him, and around 1:30 decided that we should probably sleep. We sent him to the nursery and settled in. Once the lights were off I noticed that I felt like something was missing. Obviously I wasn't pregnant anymore, and that was a huge thing missing. But I realized that I missed my baby---not necessarily this new creature who had just entered the world, but the baby whose spirit I had been feeling near me for 9 months. How strange to live entangled with someone for almost a year and have them suddenly leave the room. This reaffirmed to me that we have spirits, that we lived before we were born, and that our spirits can recognize each other.

This is how Grayson greeted us the morning after he was born. Cutest thing ever!
The next day was full of recovery and nursing attempts and visitors. Toward the evening Taylor and I realized that we were kinda bored and ready to go home. I was fine. The baby was fine. We saw no reason to stay. So we checked out a little before ten that night. With my last two babies I never could have done this, but I really felt great, so we left.

Little halo hair.
When the nurse wheeled me out I commented that it was a beautiful night. Looking back, I think I had fully expected the season to change when the baby was born. Nevermind that just 28 hours earlier I had arrived at the hospital in 90+ degree weather---I really thought it should be a cool, crisp, fall night. I think I just thought that with such a huge change in our lives that the world would somehow reflect change too. (I remember thinking things similar to this on the morning of my grandma's funeral---I saw people out about their daily business, jogging, shopping, whatever, and wondered HOW could they not feel the change, HOW could they do normal things on that day?)

Three days old.
Grayson (who took a week to be named) is now 11 days old. It seems like forever AND like a blink of an eye since he was born. He is a wonderful baby. He's awake more every day and has truly smiled since he was about 5 days old. It's so fun to see his personality coming through even at such a young age. He's calm and chill and hardly ever cries. I even think he's got a little bit of goof-ball in him like his brother. People have asked who he looks like, and the answer is definitely Claire as a baby. His eyes are a little different, but you could slap a bow on his head and you'd never know the difference. It makes me a little sentimental for my baby girl.

One week old. Probably my favorite picture ever.
I have never recovered this quickly from a birth. It has usually taken me 6 weeks to feel anything close to normal. With Gray I was fine by Monday. I've lost all but 3.5 pounds. I'm exhausted from not sleeping, but feeling really well otherwise. I'm not sure how this has happened or why, but I am very, very grateful. Grateful is the word that runs constantly through my head. Grateful for this little guy. Grateful for my health. Grateful for his health. Grateful for our family. Grateful for Kyle and Claire. Grateful for my awesome husband who is so willing to stay up at night with the baby and help in every way. Grateful for our moms who have been here to help. Grateful that my back doesn't hurt anymore! I feel so abundantly and undeservedly blessed. Every time I hold him I just can't believe that he is ours. We waited for so long, hoped for so long, prayed for so long. He is a little miracle, and I am so grateful.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beauty products I'm liking lately

Yesterday I posted on facebook about how much I like Walmart's Equate brand Eye Lifting Serum.
After reading a recommendation from my cousin I decided to buy it. Ten days into using it I found myself trying to get better light under my eyes in the mirror so I could cover up my dark circles---I couldn't find them! I realized, truly amazed, that they were mostly gone. I have never had noticeable results from an eye-care product. At $13 it is a steal compared to all of the other pricey creams on the market. I don't usually have puffiness under my eyes, but I'm pretty sure if I did that the bags would be gone too.

Another thing I'm liking is also Equate brand's Naturally Beaming moisturizer. 

It's the knock-off of Aveeno's Positively Radiant moisturizer that costs $15. I can't remember exactly what I paid for the Equate brand, but it was probably about $5. This is supposed to smooth, tone, and clarify. Probably it does that. The thing I like the best is that it has spf 15 in it. A ton of other products with spf in them have made me break out terribly---even my Mary Kay something or other made me break out. With this moisturizer I can put a bunch of it on, and my skin doesn't react at all. It works really well too, because I've been out a couple days already this year where my face was the only thing that didn't burn. My skin is soft all day, and it might have a more even tone, but I'm pregnant and that changes your skin, so I can't give a real great opinion on that right now.

I've mentioned it before, but I'm a big fan of Oxy Clinical:
I used their entire system early last year to clear up some bad (bad in my opinion, probably just-past-mild in the real world) acne I'd had for 3 years. It cleared up pretty quickly and has basically stayed away. I use the foaming face wash in the shower and it seems to keep break-outs away. Again, it could be the pregnancy, but who knows. I sure like this stuff though. Too bad the Walmart near me doesn't carry it anymore. I ordered it on Amazon last week.

About a year ago I switched my mascara. I have used Lancome Definicils since 2001, but after more than a decade I've found a new love in Mary Kay's Lash Love Mascara. 

I was hooked from the moment I first used it. It makes lashes thick, while not sticking together. It makes them long, while not being so long that you get that spider-leg look. It stays on all day, comes off easily, and doesn't flake. I'm super picky with eye stuff because of all my eye problems, so a switch from Lancome was a big deal for me. I've been through a few tubes and haven't paid full-price for one yet. At full price, it's $15. A bit much for makeup, but less than Lancome. Whenever a consultant has a sale on mascara I buy 2. Also, my prosthetic eye gets allergic reactions to stuff easily, and this hasn't bothered it at all. 

Lastly I'm liking L'Oreal's De-Crease Eye Shadow Base:

I'm on my third tube of this stuff. Now, the bad part is that the packaging has a serious flaw. The top unscrews and you use a little brush applicator. That stupid applicator can't reach all of the product in the bottle. I hate it when I can SEE the stuff in there and can't get it out. I may have resulted to using a Q-tip to dig around on Sunday mornings when I've suddenly run out of what the applicator can reach. And probably I do that on other mornings because I'm cheap. Anyway, despite that, I really like this stuff. I don't get creases in my shadow, and the shadow stays on all day unless I rub my eyes a lot (which happens with allergies). I know there are other products out there that do this, but what I like about this one is the color (others I've tried are clear). It's tinted just right to be the same color as eyelids, and my shadow goes on with a true color instead of an opaque color. More shadow sticks to it, so I feel like I'm using less because I'm going back to my compact less.

Oh, one more thing: I have a set of nice, real, professional brushes from Nu Skin (one of my fabulous gifts and prizes from winning Miss Utah). 

I'm still using them, and happy with them, and it's been 12 years. As luck would have it my dad's cousin is one of the big-wigs at Nu Skin, and he scored me an extra set of them. I keep them, still bubble-wrapped, waiting for the day that these current brushes are done. I take good care of them though, so I don't think I'll need the new brushes for a few more years. I love using real brushes instead of included applicators for my blush and shadow and powder. I think they are worth the investment, and I just feel so fancy using professional stuff. My favorite brush, by far, is the eyeliner brush. I use a powder for eyeliner instead of a pencil, and I love the soft look you get from powder---plus it has to be so much better for my eyelids than rubbing a pencil along them every day.

I need to make myself buy AND USE a night cream now. From recommendations on facebook, it looks like Olay's Regenerist Cream or the Equate knock-off is the way to go. In the past I've loved the night cream that has come to me in my Lancome gift, but that's probably more than $10. I'll be picking this up at my next (daily) Walmart trip:

Do you have any favorites to share with me?

Oh, and where were my kids when I was typing this? Super busy with a couple of these:

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Yesterday Kyle was cleaning up his bedroom. Claire and I were cleaning the bathroom right next to his room. He came into the bathroom with a huge red mark around his neck, barely able to talk. He reports that he was trying to clean his window. He either jumped from the sill onto his bed or from his bed to the floor (it's hard to get a 4-year-old to correctly provide a detailed story). Either way, somehow he ended up with the cord from his blinds around his neck. He has rope burns and a raspy voice to prove it.

When I hung the blinds I was aware of the safety issues surrounding the cords. I made sure that the strings weren't looped and that they weren't excessively long. I cut them so that they are less than a foot long when the blinds are down. Of course this means that they still extend beyond the sill when the blinds are fully raised---which for some reason his were yesterday. Although the cords are hanging individually, they still managed to become tangled and choke him. When I inspected the cords they were still tangled, so I guess he somehow managed to get free.

I don't think I was being negligent. He's half-way to being five years old. He certainly spends some time every day without my supervision---especially if he's in his room playing where I thought there was nothing that could harm him.

I definitely had tears in my eyes when he told me what happened. And my heart broke this morning when I saw the real damage it caused. I'm very aware that this story could have ended very differently. I am so grateful that he has a couple (maybe a couple dozen) guardian angels watching out for him.

I was looking online this morning to solutions to the cord problem. Even if the cords remain untangled and hanging individually, apparently kids tend to twirl in them and get them wrapped around their throats. Most sites recommend using a cleat to wrap the cord around when the blinds are raised, like so:
Honestly when I saw that I thought, "What a pain to have to wrap the cord around that EVERY time I put the blinds up." Plus, I doubt it's very possible to teach Kyle first NOT to put his blinds up, or if he does to make sure to properly wrap it up. And then it also looks like a great hook to catch an eye on (I worry about these things). But I think I'll pick up a couple because it's better than nothing. We use cleats for our Roman shades downstairs (they wouldn't stay up otherwise), and it's not really a big deal. (By the way, I just learned the official name "cleat" today.)

Anyway, I thought it was worth writing about to make sure other people realized that there is a danger there even with the "safe" individual cords. I'd love to hear if anyone else has better suggestions on how to solve the danger.

We'll definitely have this experience on our grateful list for a long time.

Sunday, April 1, 2012



I don’t love change. I think a huge part of my resistance is that I’m a very sentimental. Don’t believe me? I’ll give you a tour of my garage and my boxes (and boxes) of sentiments.

This past weekend was General Conference for the LDS Church. Basically, we get a break from our regular Sunday meetings and watch our leaders speak from Salt Lake City. In Utah we are lucky enough to have it on our local NBC station. Members throughout the world watch it over the internet and in their meetinghouses where it is broadcast via satellite. How lucky are we in Utah that we get to watch church on TV in our pajamas? On Saturday and Sunday we watch two two-hour sessions of church each day. The men over age 12 get to (have to) watch 5 sessions. It’s lots of church crammed into a weekend twice a year, but it’s absolutely my time of the year.

Yesterday they changed the General Relief Society Presidency. The Relief Society is the women’s organization within the church. I’ve been going to Relief Society for going on 13 years now, which means I’ve attended under 3, now 4, General Presidents. It seems like the change happens without much ado, with just a little excitement over whoever is called to replace the outgoing president. But today as Sister Beck gave her last General Conference talk I was a little emotional---which is unusual for me, and I can blame it on my pregnancy hormones entirely.

But I have loved Sister Beck.While I genuinely felt a part of and a full-member of Relief Society before I had children, it has meant so much more to me since I became a mother (or maybe it was just that I grew up?) Sister Beck was called a couple years after Claire was born, and I still remember one of her first General Conference addresses called Mothers Who Know. While it became a little controversial within the church (“What?!” some women cried. “You say we should HAVE children? You even suggest more than one!? You say should be ‘cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home’? You say I should have my children clean and presentable at church? WITH their hair brushed?” CRAZY ideas, right?). That talk was perfect for me as I was beginning my years as a mother and homemaker. It is one that I should refer to more often.  Am I always perfect at the things she listed? Absolutely not. Is it an ideal I would love to achieve? Absolutely. I think we're all working toward that. Some people expected her to retract or clarify her message. She didn’t; and over the years she has continued to call upon women of the church to do more and be more. I like her more for it. I like her boldness and directness.  I like that she said what needed to be said and didn’t tip-toe around it.

I became a part of my ward relief society presidency last year at this time. Seeing Relief Society from the leadership side has certainly given me a better understanding of  and appreciation for the organization. We, as a presidency, were kind of attached to Sister Beck. As she gave her final address today I may have shed a couple tears. I appreciated that she was also emotional. What a happy day for her to have completed her very stressful and time-consuming assignment, but it must be sad to let go of something you would love so much.

In the same breath, it is fun to get to know and love someone else, and it will be fun to get to know the new presidency and to learn from them. In general, wasn’t Conference wonderful? I can’t wait to get the Ensign magazine in May and to read it cover to cover (I actually do read all of it! I read it while I eat breakfast every day. It takes a while, and the magazine always gets some milk-damage, but I usually get through it before the next sessions roll around. It’s a great beginning to every day. I don’t do a lot of things I should, but that’s one good habit that I treasure.)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Oh Babies!

Three days old
Claire – 3 days old
Kyle – 2 days old
My sister, Suzy, is set to have her first baby tomorrow morning. A boy! My first nephew on the Hunt side---and my brother’s wife is due with another little guy in June. I can’t wait! I was talking with Kyle about Suzy’s baby tonight. He wondered what its name would be. I told him they still weren’t sure. He said that he might not like the name they choose, but, “I guess that’s okay because it is their baby, and they get to choose.” As we’ve turned down his many made-up name suggestions for our baby, he’s starting to realize some things!

As she’s having her first, I can’t help but think back to expecting Claire. I was barely 24. Na├»ve, scared, excited, and had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had planned and wished and waited and timed things for a year before getting pregnant with Claire, so a year and 9 months had passed since I was bitten by that baby bug. Suzy got a bit of a surprise with this little guy, so we’re a little different in that aspect, but I doubt I was any better prepared---how can anyone really be prepared for your heart to suddenly go walking around outside your body for the rest of your life?

It’s also been funny to compare how I felt back then with how I feel being pregnant now. One thing that is nice is that this baby is due within days of when Claire was; so I know that I’ll be almost recovered from morning sickness by my birthday, that there is no way I can sit through the rodeo in June while 7 months pregnant, and that there will be just enough of summer left over for some good stroller walks before autumn becomes too cold for a newborn.

Yet it’s so very different. When I was 23 and wanted a baby I wanted what I read about, what I saw around me, and what everyone else had: a baby. I couldn’t know to want anything else. This time around, two kids and 7 years later, I want another child of my own. I want to do what God wants me to do, and if that’s means having another baby, that’s what I’m doing. I always say that the scary thing about having your first baby is not knowing what you’re getting into---the scariest thing about having another baby IS knowing what you’re getting into! Today at the park I giggled at the moms chasing toddlers and changing diapers. Kind of giggling at them and at me, because that stuff is really hard---and for some reason I’m going stepping back into that soon!

I’ve started to show lately. I haven’t felt the baby move for sure yet (I felt Claire and 17 and Kyle at 14 weeks, so this is new to wait this long). But my tummy is certainly changing shape, and as of last night normal jeans are hurting me. It feels different to be showing now. I was so thrilled with Claire, but this just feels different. More private, maybe? Maybe it’s because of all the loss we experienced in trying to get this baby. Showing is kind of an announcement that we’re committed and have our hopes up.

On Tuesday we’ll have another peek at this little one. With any luck we’ll get a look at it’s gender. It will be fun to see what we get. We have absolutely no preference as we already have one of each, and we like both of them pretty much Smile   It would be fun to round out the year with three little boy cousins born to our family, but wouldn’t a little girl look so cute in pictures surrounded by her little boy cousins? Either way will be great. But I really can’t wait until tomorrow when we get a chance to hold (and smell!) this cute new little baby cousin!  (Did you notice that I wrote "little" about a hundred times this post?)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sticks and Stones

stacy franciswhitney houston
A lot has been in the media lately about Whitney Houston and Stacy Francis. I’ve given their “fight” or whatever you call it a lot of thought since Whitney passed away. The thing that keeps coming to mind is that Stacy Francis is a NOBODY, and yet Whitney allowed whatever was said to really bug her. It would seem like Whitney should have brushed her aside, ignoring whatever this random lady (who is at about the 13.5 mark in her 15 minutes of fame) had to say. Yet she didn’t. We don’t know if the fight actually is what finally drove her over the edge, or really what happened in that hotel room at all, but one thing is for sure: Stacy Francis got to her.

I’ve come to two conclusions about this. First of all: Words can hurt. It doesn’t matter if it comes from friend or foe or stranger, words can hurt. Whitney Houston had every right to be super secure and superior feeling when compared to Stacy Francis, yet for whatever reason, she cared about what Stacy had to say and do. She should have brushed her off, laughed even. But it sounds like she took her pretty seriously---after all, everyone wants to be liked by everyone.

Going along with this, we always need to consider who is doing the talking when we are offended. Someone who is jealous of you or who feels that they must compete against you will not always have the truest advice or best of intentions with whatever communication they have with you. I saw this a few times in pageants, only a few times though.  (I have to qualify this by saying that 98% of my interactions with other pageant girls were extremely positive. Those 2% just really stand out!) Right before I went on stage to win my second local title, another contestant made a statement to me (definitely not in question tone), “This is probably your last pageant, huh?” I also heard her asking another girl if she could borrow her swimsuit to wear at Miss Utah the next year----implying that obviously that contestant wouldn’t be making a return trip. I was the (admittedly surprising) winner that night, and the swimsuit owner finished well ahead of the competitive girl. Isn’t it funny how people act when they feel inferior? Some will be super kind, some will be super rude. And even when we know their intentions, even when we know they are acting badly out of inferiority, whatever is said stays with us and hurts long past the day of the conversation.

Secondly, we need to watch what we say. One quote I’ve liked lately (that I’m sure I saw on Pinterest) was the idea that we shouldn’t judge someone in a situation we’ve never been in. I bite my tongue (or in effect, hold back my hands when viewing social media) a lot, and could do it a lot more I’m sure. So often I want to comment on Facebook “You’re wasting your life and you know it.” Or in real life I have so many great solutions to so many people’s parenting skills, obviously flawed financial skills, and so many other things. Yet my friends don’t want my unsolicited advice, and neither do I want their advice (But don’t you wish there was a way to get advice on your life from others and not get offended?) I think especially when messages are delivered electronically we feel less inhibited and say things we’d never say to someone’s face.

Sometimes even when we think we’re being helpful it’s hurtful---like the other day when my 4-year-old son (fortunately) told me of his plans to suggest exercise as a means of weight loss to a friend of ours. Certainly he had the best of intentions, he knows that it’s healthy to exercise and to be thinner, but no matter how he planned on saying it (even as a 4-year-old) the message would hurt.

Certainly Stacy Francis didn’t know that Whitney was teetering on the edge (if indeed she was). I’m sure had she known she would have done everything possible to build Whitney up and encourage her and only be positive in every interaction. In any situation we just don’t know the whole story, and kindness is always the best policy.

I’m not writing this to say I’m great at either of these things. I am not great at letting hurtful words bounce off me---I’m one to glue them to me and review them and review them until I’m sick about it. I am not great at not saying hurtful words---sometimes it seems they just flow right out of my mouth without checking with my brain first (but trust me, I also glue those to me and review them until I’m sick about them too!) Our interactions with others are something for all of us to consider. It was just so shocking to me that THE WHITNEY HOUSTON would care about what Little Stacy Francis had to say, that I really have thought a lot about it.

I love Whitney’s music. They played “I’ll Always Love You” when I danced with my 6th grade crush at the valentine’s dance that year. I recorded the song onto a tape (yes, a tape) over and over again and listened to it every night for the rest of the school year. Later my sister and I learned to play a fancy duet of “One Moment in Time,” and it became an anthem for a lot of my life’s moments. This is a good reminder that fame and infamy are different things, and Whitney will always be famous while Stacy Francis (who might actually be a really nice person) will be infamous for only this fight and a small mascara-smeared run on the X-factor. While most of us won’t be publically famous in any regard, we do stand the chance of being famous---for good things---in the lives of those around us.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

That was rough

Baby at 11 weeks

Baby at 11 Weeks

I don’t really want to use this as a forum to complain about morning sickness. I know a lot of people who would love to have a baby and can’t for whatever reason. They would be happy to endure months of nausea for a baby. I am happy to endure months of nausea for a baby. But boy it was a rough couple months.

I found out I was pregnant on December 11. I started to get nauseous the week of Christmas. The vomiting started before New Years. This is typical for me with pregnancy. With both Kyle and Claire I was sick until about 20-22 weeks. It was worse with Claire where I got so sick I was on IV’s. My doctor gave me Zofran the first week in January. It kind of helped, at least I was worse if I didn’t take it, but even with the meds it was bad. There were days that I could do nothing more than breathe. I had brief respites in the mornings where I could eat breakfast, do Claire’s hair, and help her practice the piano. But as soon as she was off to school it was back and got progressively worse throughout the day. For two months I sat in a chair or in bed. That was about it. I learned what I could eat, and only ate small amounts. I lost 4 or 5 pounds. The Zofran stopped a lot of the spontaneous vomiting that I had while pregnant with Claire, but most evenings were spent with my head in the toilet. Kyle got the flu during the peak of my sickness. I threw up when he threw up all day. Then when he got better he couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t better. But his small bout with the flu gave him great sympathy. He often rubs my arm and whispers “Poor Mommy” over and over.

That was all of January and all of February. I don’t really remember much from those months. Taylor’s mom was great to bring dinner and help the kids clean their rooms and bathroom and other chores in the house. Taylor was pretty good to step up and do the laundry and dishes when needed. The interesting part of our day was from about 12-1:30 pm. I had to take progesterone to prevent miscarriage. After I took it I had to lay down for an hour or so---without getting up. That meant the kids had free-reign of the house. Some days were good. Some days were really bad! Their unsupervised messes did not help in our household upkeep. I happily finished that medicine at week 12, but I really miss that nap every day!

Last week I was 15 weeks and started to feel hopeful. At 16 weeks now I’m having moments of being fine. Nights are still hard though, as well as a couple hours after lunch and dinner. But I think I might make it, folks! I’ve had two major realizations through all of this. First, I used to think I did NOTHING around the house. Then when I actually did ABSOLTELY NOTHING around the house and saw it pile up around me, I realized that I actually do quite a bit. It made me a little proud of myself. My second realization is that it really was that bad. While I sat in my chair and watched my family move around me, I kept wondering if I was just being a wimp and should have been able to do more. I wasn’t. Now that I’m still sick, but able to function more, I have realized that I was really that bad. And I don’t feel so bad for neglecting everything for a while. I still can’t eat meat (90% of the time when I try it I regret it), and I am SO TIRED---so much more than I remember ever being with the other two. Maybe it’s because I’m no longer a spring chicken though.

Anyways, that explains my absence from blogging and from life in general. Baby is due mid to late-August. Claire is holding out to have a three-way birthday on the 24th, a birthday she already shares with her dad. She is hoping for a sister. Kyle is hoping for a brother, but he sees “all that blonde hair” in the ultrasound as is certain it’s a girl because of that. It’s good to know he won’t be disappointed either way. Taylor and I have absolutely no preference. Our next ultrasound is March 27th. Hopefully the baby will cooperate then!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome, 2012!

I don't know that anyone has ever been happier to welcome the new year than I am today. Actually, I think a whole lot of people were happy to say goodbye to 2011. No need to rehash it in this post (I think I mention the crappy year we had in every other post), but 2011 was kind of a bad year for us. Certainly there were many good things, but there were some overwhelmingly hard things too. We are so happy for 2012 to be here, that had I thought of it before just now, I would have created a banner for my porch to welcome the new year. This will have to do:
Welcome, 2012!

Taylor and I actually went to sleep before midnight last night. I've done that once before in my entire life---ironically, it was on our honeymoon 9 years ago. We were in California, and on the morning of the 31st I woke up with a nasty cold/flu and spent the day chugging Dayquil. Then over dinner we had our first-ever (and last-ever) encounter with alcohol (remember, Mormons don't drink) when we were accidentally served a half-coke, half-something. We drank the whole thing, with each sip trying to figure out what the questionable "half" was (it was supposed to be half-coke half-diet coke). Rootbeer? Orange soda? Dr. Pepper? We realized days later that it must have been rum. Anyway, there I was on my honeymoon, sick as a dog and accidentally buzzed; I went to bed around 10:00. Taylor watched the Times Square celebration on TV. He woke me up at midnight to wish me a happy new year. I glared at him, threatened "Touch me again and I'll throw up on you," and went back to sleep.

Every other year of my life we've celebrated in Lehi at my grandmother's house. At the stroke of midnight she'd hand us pots and pans and spoons, and we'd parade up and down her street annoying the neighbors. Some years we'd do fireworks. Last year in 2010 we were at a concert and got to Lehi at about ten to midnight. Grandma was exhausted and in a lot of pain from an injured spine and had already gone to bed. I was devastated that we missed her. I had found out that I was pregnant the day after Christmas, and as the (recorded from an earlier broadcast) New Year's ball dropped at Times Square I began to cramp and miscarry. Worst new year celebration ever. Grandma died less than two months later. How odd it was last night to ring in a new year without Grandma. I think that's why I was okay with going to bed last night without even watching a second of the Times Square broadcast. You can be certain I woke up with a smile on my face this morning. Welcome, 2012!