Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: A {Non} Love Letter

Dear 2010,

How I wish I could say it breaks my heart to part ways with you, that you were a year filled with joy, happiness, contentment, and peace, that I will look back on you fondly, and I will never forget you.

But let's honest, shall we?

Let's not kid ourselves. I'm not going to miss you. At all. Not even a little bit. I'm sorry, but the truth is harsh. You were hard and brutal in a way that at times left me crying buckets and made me look like a hot mess 87% of the time. And nobody likes a hot mess.

You were mean and ugly and merciless, not exactly traits I look for in the days and weeks that make up my life. And neither do my friends (you were pretty wretched to most of them, too. Seriously? What gives?).

While I wish I could forget you, completely block you from memory, I probably won't. You were mostly bad, but not all bad. You allowed me to watch our sweet Olivia grow. You brought the Husband and I closer together in ways I hadn't anticipated. You allowed both old and new friendships to deepen and grow. For these things I am grateful.

But all the rest of that crap? You can have it back if you like. I could have done without it.

So farewell, you worthless 12 months of nothing good. I am better because of you, but that doesn't mean we can still be friends. Don't come back. You're no longer needed. I have a New Year coming soon, and 2011 holds promises you never could have.

Good Riddance,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The News

New home
New shoes
New oxygen tank
New resolve
New struggles
New strength
New ideas
New tricks
New words
New therapies
New strategies
New table
New perfume
New promises
New love
{Re}New{ed} faith

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tiny Letters {Part 2}

Dear Ice,

Melt already. You cling thickly to the roads unlike anything I have ever seen. I have been stuck in this bloody house for three days. I hate you.

Dear Stomach Virus,
Is it really necessary that my daughter throw up every day for a week? I mean, really.

Dear Sacramento,
You have some seriously twisted characters down there in California. I won't be moving there anytime soon, but please feel free to keep the interesting work coming.

Dear Airport Patrons,
Stop complaining about being patted down by TSA. If you don't want to be touched, do the body scan. You aren't going to be seen full on naked, you'll be faceless, and no one has to touch your dirty bits.

Dear SC Management,
Please cooperate. Please don't let me down. I'd appreciate it.

Dear Know-It-All,
According to Socrates, you are basically the biggest idiot ever. Bet you didn't know that.

Dear Boxes in the Garage,
I really, really want to unpack you. I'm working on making that possible. I swear.

Dear Sequal Eclipse Oxygen Concentrator,
I love that you are smaller, I love that you are quiet, I love that you are battery operated and approved for flying. However, I don't love that I will basically be wheeling you behind me and Olivia like carry-on luggage for an indefinite amount of time.

Friday, November 19, 2010



That's all I got today.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


So, I missed a few days. I've been busy.

*Modern medicine.
*Giving friends.
*Those who serve.
*Being humbled.

Friday, November 12, 2010


*Concerned family.

*Friends who have a promise of good things to come and how happy that makes me despite the circumstances (friend who text me secret news yesterday, I'm talkin to you.)
*Phone calls from Alison.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


*Movies with my husband.

*My step-dad and his infectious laugh.

Do You Have a Case of Blah?

Click here. You'll feel a whole lot better.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010




Tuesday, November 9, 2010


*People who make my family happy.

*Quiet early mornings.
*Space heaters.
*The doctors/therapists/tesachers/nurses who take care of Olivia, who know her, who do everything in their power to avoid the "worst."
*Books on CD.

Monday, November 8, 2010


*Reliable cars.

*Sweet friends.
*Ray LaMontagne.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


*The Gospel.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


*Hockey games.

*Nights out.
*My mom.
*My hair that curls naturally.

Friday, November 5, 2010


*Good conversation with awesome ladies.

*UPS confirmation notices.
*My car.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


*Olivia's home health respiratory therapist who is going way above and beyond what she is required to do.

*The husband, for taking care of Liv while I plunked away on the computer for hours today.
*My computer.
*Having a family who collectively can answer nearly every question you could possibly think of.
*My mama's optimism.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


*Windows that are finally starting to slowly open.

*A happy child.
*Plum colored circles.
*Warmth of good friendships.
*Katie's sense of humor.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


*The husband's completely amazing ability to forgive and then actually forget. (Seriously, it's one of his best qualities.

*Heat, heat, heat.
*The guy who delivers Olivia's oxygen and medical supplies.

Monday, November 1, 2010


*My Relief Society president.
*A silly husband.
*A snuggling baby.
*Forgiving yoga pants.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Other Night....

The other night, I carefully tried to get into bed without disturbing my sleeping husband. He'd gone to bed early with a terrible headache and I moved quietly to avoid waking him and despite my efforts he woke anyway.

He lifted his head a little, rolled over to my side of the bed and opened his arms, motioning for me to crawl into his arms and I happily obliged.

He wrapped his arms around me and drifted back to sleep as I lay there I thought about this last year; how hard it's been, how very difficult it has been, how much uncertainty there has been. SO much uncertainty.

But there has been one thing I haven't questioned, that I am completely certain of. The love, comfort, and safety of the man lying next to me. I love my husband in ways both so very simple and so very complex. I adore this man. I completely love this man. And I know he loves me.

Of that, I am completely certain.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tangled and Tethered

Olivia has been battling breathing and airway issues since birth. She has always been squeaky and made a stridor noise while breathing and often turns blue when she cries. We knew very shortly after she was born that she had laryngomalacia, an issue we were told could take up to 2 years to correct itself. So we have always attributed her noises and lack of oxygen during hysterics to that.

Fast foreward to March 2010 and the whole RSV/Hospitalization debacle. Since then, she has had over 12 ear infections. Getting tubes seemed obvious. While seeing her ENT, Dr. F, to set up the tympanostomy procedure, Dr. F decided to take a look at her larynx and see how it looked, as sometimes babies with laryngomalacia have breathing problems and need to be intubated during procedures.

After he did the scope, he sat back, furrowed his brows, and "Hmmm"ed for about five minutes before finally saying, "I just don't like it. I don't like what I see in there." And off to specialist, Dr. A, we went. And a tympanostmy, laryngobronchoscopy, and MRI were set for October 11th at a hospital two hours away. We were told to expect about 6 hours from start to finish.

On the 11th, we left at 3 am and made our way through the dark or morning to the hospital. Olivia was so happy, charming the nurses, making the anesthesiologist laugh, and attacking her daddy while we waited for her appointed time. The nurse gave her some "happy juice" and my baby went from ultra-mellow to....well, more ultra-mellow, and she gave of us a funny smirk as the carried her back into the operating room.

When the procedures were over, Dr. A told us she would like to keep Olivia for a while to monitor her oxygen, see what it does, and to perform more tests and procedures to rule out other things that may be affecting her breathing. Olivia has paradoxical vocal cord motion. Basically, her vocal cords don't open and close like the are supposed to. Actually, they hardly close at all, putting her at risk for aspiration, pneumonia, speech delays, lung infections, and various other ailments. She also has severe reflux (How did I not know this?). It's likely the reflux is making the PVCM worse. The vocal cord issue is also affecting her breathing (at least they think this is what is happeneing). Olivia's O2 sats were dropping dangerously low 20-30 times a day.

Brandon and I were completley unprepared to stay. He had only taken one day off work for the procedure and would have to drive home, leaving me there. (Thank goodness for hospital hospitality and Wallskog sisters to make sure I had clean clothes and enough food to get me through the next few days.)

The next day, they did a swallow study, a gastric emptying study, and an EKG. Olivia smiled through it all (okay, most of it) and other than being a bit bored, she was completely happy.
One day turned into three days before we were finally able to go home. (Thank you Tasha and Brittney for figuring out a way to get me home and for getting up at the crack of dawn to come get me.)

We learned: 1- Olivia's vocal cords are crappy. 2- Liv's reflux is really bad. 3- Liv's tummy empty's super slow, making the refulx worse and making the breathing issues worse. 4- She is no longer allowed to have chocolate, peppermint, or fried foods (as if I gave her that stuff anyway). 5- She will now be on oxygen/aggressive meds for an undetermined amount of time. (If these things don't help, she will have to have a trachea. And please, let's not.) 6- She will have to be followed closely by her doctors for quite some time.

This has been a strange adjustment for me. Just...different. A little bit hard, and a little bit sad.

So. Olivia now comes tethered....tethered to a wall, tethered to a tank. Other kids are intrigured by her new facial accouterments, Granny Kaye calls her her tubing her new "jewelry," and it hasn't seemed to slow our little one down in the slightest bit. She is figuring out her limits and just exactly how far 25 ft of tubing can get her.

So for now, we are managing. And so long as her face continues to look like this.....

.... we are going to be just fine.

Monday, August 30, 2010

{One} Year Old

Sweet Olivia,

I love you in a way I still can not completely understand. It is a love bigger, fuller, and more consuming than you can ever imagine. I love you, every little bit of you. "I love you through and through."

Happy Birthday, sweet baby girl.


Saturday, August 28, 2010


This morning I took Liv for an early morning jog. The dew of summer is gone and has been replaced with the crispness that assures me that fall is near. I have more eagerly anticipated the seasons changing this last year. They approached with the promise of new milestones, growth, potential, changes, the chance to move forward; all things I so desperately need and crave right now in life. However, this year has been hard. Just really, really hard. All the changes new seasons have promised have failed me. Many doors have closed in our faces, health compromised, frustrations have been all-consuming, promises made to us only to be broken, and there is the feeling of being completely cemented in place.

This morning felt different. I feel something is going to change. Call it inspiration, call it blind hope, call it denial. But I feel it. I am hesitant to believe it, mostly because I want it so badly. Each time my foot hit the pavement I thought, "This doesn't define me. This doesn't define our lives. My frustrations do not define me. This will end. It will. " There is a quote by Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley that has been running through my mind the last few days:

Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot f time running around shouting that he has been robbed. Most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old-time journey-- delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.

I do not expect bliss, I never have. I know how to work hard in my life to make things work. B and I have a good marriage because we know how to work at it, how to communicate. I know how to get through days when motherhood has reduced me to tears. I know how to carry my friendships because I know how to love and appreciate. I am capable and strong, and I think some how I have forgotten this. I need to remember.

I am not less eager about fall and winter. There is good there. There has to be. I will wait, right here, ready to embrace it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

11 Months

My army-crawling, 8 toothed, happy, curly-haired, sqeaky baby is 11 months old. I can hardly believe it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Mattering

A few weeks ago, I started a job doing legal transcription. I was excited by the idea of it being a step away from medical, something interesting and different. When my editor sent me my second case, I was intrigued by the idea of it being a murder case and set straight to work.

I loaded my files and was surprised when the first one opened as a video. Generally, the files come only in audio form. I pressed play and the image of a black man in an orange jump suit came to life. He was so big, so tough looking, the scowl on his face revealing nothing. I listened intently and worked my way through the first few hours of the video.

Tough, a gang member, robbery, murder, drugs, guns, money; all things I would expect to hear in a case like his.

I was amazed at the way the cops unraveled his story, how every lie he told fell apart. His world fell apart at his feet, right before my eyes. It was only a matter of time before the truth began pouring out....and my heart began to ache for him.

As the truth began to reveal itself, the young man retreated to the corner of the room, hugging his knees against his chest, sobs racking his enormous body. He sobbed about his involvement (he had not actually been the murderer), he cried about his future, and he sobbed about the deceit by his so-called friend and brother that had landed him there in the first place. Most devastatingly of all, he cried for his mother. Rocking back and forth on in the corner of the dingy interrogation room, he pleaded with the detectives that he would tell them the truth if they, in turn, promised that he could give his mother a hug. (Much to my relief, the detectives vowed to make that happen.) The rough exterior gone, the vulgar language melted into tears; this hard, rough, man wanted not his freedom, not his friends, not his girlfriend, but his mother.

Tears began to pour down my cheeks as I listened to his pleading. I felt his tears in every inch of my being. His sobs spoke to the mother in me and I felt the familiar fierceness I often feel when I think about my own child and how intensely and wholly I love her. While his actions were inexcusable, I couldn't shake the actual physical pain I felt in my heart for him. I felt his longing, and it will haunt me forever.

I know many mother's, including myself, that worry unceasingly that what we are doing actually matters. Does my child need me? Am I ever doing enough? Does what I'm doing actually make a difference? In that young man's tears, I understood that, yes, I am and yes, it makes all the difference.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Confessions: Part 7

** I don't know how many times a day my internal monologue says, "Oh, don't mind me. I'm just the mom," when encountering strangers, non-strangers, and really, no one necessarily particular.

**Girls Camp? Honestly, not the best experience I've ever had. Being unprepared, short on information, having a lack of general knowledge and know-how, and a girl breaking her arm did little to enhance the experience. End result? Me, a sobbing, blubbering mess by the end of the week. (But that had more to do with a little bit of "Bishop Inspiration (or intuition)" than it did a bad camp experience. That is another blog for another time, but I digress.)

**Because of said "Bishop Inspiration," I have spent much of the last week in tears. The jury is still out as to if this is actually a bad thing.

**I have a job (!) and so far I am really loving it! First case? Child abuse- So sad. Seconds case? A murder trial- sad and interesting.

**Said job makes me feel very voyeuristic and nosy. It's strange to be paid to hear someones secrets and confessions.

**I'm struggling with self-image right now, in a big, ugly way. It needs to stop.

**I have a lot on my mind that I want to talk about, that I have a need to verbalize, but I can't seem to make my mouth say the words.

**My eyes started going bad during pregnancy and have never recovered. The day I would need glasses again has come too soon.

**Lately, I have been so tired, my head starts to tilt sideways without my even realizing it until my head is touching my shoulder. Problem?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tired, So Tired

This week is basically over and I'm not sure I have entirely recovered from last weekend and I'm still gearing up for Girl's Camp next week. Yeah, Girl's Camp. Did I not mention I got called to be the Assistant Director? Well, I did....last Sunday.

Last weekend started with Livi's ENT appointment to check her laryngomalacia, hearing, and evaluate her for tubes. While her larynx is doing well (still squeaky, but she is thriving), her hearing tested on the very lowest level of "normal," and the ENT wanted to wait and see if she got anymore ear infections over the summer (as if having 7 since March was not a big deal, but I digress). Sigh. At the doctor, she seemed her happy, healthy, normal self.

Fast forward 9 hours....I had just returned home from a night out with a friend to discover Liv had a fever of 103.8 and began projectile vomiting all over me over and over again. After the 6th time she vomits on me, I set her down to grab a towel to clean us off and I can see she pushing something around in her mouth. I stick my finger in her mouth to extract the offending object only to's a penny. A PENNY. I stood there horrified at the thought that not only did she swallow a penny and not choke, but she threw it back up and didn't choke either. Tears flooded my eyes as I realized that someone is watching over my baby, keeping her safe, and was immediately overwhelmed with gratitude. Shortly after, I was rushing her to the ER with fears of more swallowed coins and dehydration consuming my mind. Six and a half hours, 1 catheter, 1 x-ray, a few test, and an IV to hydrate her we were home again. I had been awake for 26 hours and was completely exhausted. I had been sick for a few days and this seemed to only exaggerate the problem.

Sunday morning rolled around and I had every intention of staying home with Liv to help in our recovery, but that didn't happen. An hour before church, the Bishop called and asked if B and I would come in and meet with him. We obliged and 30 minutes later we were sitting across from him. He seemed a little antsy as he asked if I would accept the calling as assistant camp director.
Sure! I said, to which he replied, "Oh good, camp is the 19th -23rd, next week."

My jaw hit the floor. And a flurry or camp meetings, phone calls, and projects later I am now "unofficially" the DIRECTOR and in charge of everything.

Holy. Crap.

B had to leave town for training and luckily Haley had arranged to come visit for a few days. As always, she saved me. Thank goodness for good sleezas.

Liv is now sick again. I'm exhausted and ready to face plant. Ugh.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

10 Months

Teeth: 6
Weight: 21 lbs 1 oz
Ear Infections: 7
Sleeping: Through the night for the last week and a half!
Naps: Usually 2, sometimes just 1.
Words: Mama, Dada, Ba, Ga, Ta, Wa, Fa, Sss, Rah, Puh, Yeh, and a series of different combinations of those. (She has inadvertently said "Yeah" and "Hot" but I am positive those were not intentional.)
Happy: Practically always.
Sad: Rare and brief.
New Likes: Enchanted, Lady GaGa (My child? Really?) Ray LaMontagne (Definitely my child.), pancakes, sleeping with her bum in the air, Dr. Ello (her pediatrician) , waving, being SUPER flexible (I swear to you, she can do the splits).
New Dislikes: Most food, when I leave the room, napping at church, goose eggs, helmets, motorcycles, spherical things in general, cold things.
Signs: Milk......but nothing else. We are working on many, but she is having some "sensory" issues we are working through.
Favorite People: Dad and Mom. In that order.
Friends: Sydney D., Gavin D., Gavinn O., Dallace W.
Loved: By basically everyone.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Silverwood, Silver Cars, and Clark Bars

The husband and I haven't had a lot down/alone/together time in the last few months so a few days ago we found a sitter for Liv and made our way to Silverwood, a theme park in Idaho. I know what you're thinking....a theme park? In Idaho? I know, not exactly what comes to mind when one thinks of Idaho but I was pleasantly surprised. I was eager for a break (we were gone 15 and 1/2 hours and it was officially the longest I have been away from Olivia), and even more eager for a break with my hubs. After we rode the roller coasters, we spent many hours at their water park soaking up the gorgeous weather. Disneyland its not, but it has a few more than decent roller coasters and a water park. It was a fun day, and I wasn't disappointed. Even though I was so grateful for a break, it didn't stop us from coming home and waking Livi up just so we could see her....we REALLY missed her. (By the way, we were dopes and didn't take a single picture. Sad, eh?)

While there, we meandered into a candy shop and I found this.....A Clark Bar. I have wanted to try one of these foreeeeeever. They are impossible to find, so I was more than delighted to find one. It didn't disappoint, either.

So where do silver cars fit into this equation? Well, that's how we got to said theme our newly purchased......

Mazda 3! Since we no longer reside in a state that requires serious 4 wheel drive (glory hallelujah!), we down-sized from the Escalade and got this lovely. I am soooo beyond thrilled.I love it. LOVE it.

Thank you husband for a good week. Thank you Tasha for babysitting. Thank you Idaho for not being as lame as I had thought.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

9 Months

Her Face=Heaven
* 20 lbs 7 oz (77th percentile), 28 inches (64th percentile)
* Ear infections: 5. Antibiotics: 5. Drug Allergies: 2.
* Around familiar company, she is quite a chatterbox. Dada being her favorite word, followed by ba ba, ta ta, ssss, several indistinguishable sounds, mama when she's mad, and consisting hissing. Yes, hissing.
* She twirls her hair with her finger when she is having a bottle or is tired.
* She doesn't crawl, but she scoots on her back quickly, directly, and with determination and purpose. I think it totally counts as being solidly mobile.
* Her favorite game goes like this: She makes a high pitched squeak, then you make the high pitched squeak. You volley the sound back and forth until eventually you are both making the squeak at the same time, until she decides to stop and you continue squeaking. In which case you have become the obvious loser.
* She still isn't much of a crier, but when she does it is often with her mouth closed. I know. Weird.
* She still eats everything, unless its actual food.
* She is so happy, its infectious.
We could not possibly love this little one more.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Olivia the Athlete?

Um, likely not. She's already scared of the ball.


And seriously, I'm not taking pleasure in torturing my's all in the name of a memory, right?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Mama

This is my mama. (She just turned 50. I know. Gorgeous.)

She is pretty amazing. No, seriously. She is. I come from a long line of incredibly strong women, and my mom is no exception. She has been through enough in her life to fill two lifetimes and then some.

I could go on and on about her kindness and strength and all her amazing qualities for days, but really, anyone can see these things about her. Her goodness is obvious. But what is most important to me, what I know about my mom is this:

Her faith has never faltered. Her relationship with the Lord is beautiful. She has never questioned her Savior, let her testimony waver, or doubt our Heavenly Father's love. Ever.

This unbending faith has been the best thing she has ever done for me.

Tears come to my eyes thinking about this; thinking about trials she endured with my dad, raising 3 teenage daughters, providing for us, giving us everything we needed when she probably did without, what she had to do alone, the fact that she still beats herself up for things she had no control over, having to fear things alone, to fight alone.....all of it...I don't know how she did it and still managed to keep her faith intact.

Mom, you did good. You really, really did.

Happy Mother's/Birthday! Thank you a million times over. You amaze me.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Bit More

Last night, like most nights, just before bed, Brandon and I stood over Olivia's crib soaking in the sweetness of our little baby. He touched her face, then I touched her face and we tip-toee out and into our room to settle down for the night. Prayers were said, scriptures read and we lay there curled up and talking about this and that.

Thinking about Liv I said, as I have said many times before, "Sometimes when I see her sleeping so peacefully like that, I just want to go get her and bring her into bed with us."

Brandon paused a moment, leaped out of bed and moments later walked back into our room, swaying back and forth and cradling Olivia. I watched him as he held her close for awhile before gently laying her between us, nestling her in the crook of my arm.

We lay there, the three of us, watching her sleep, bonding so quietly, so tenderly. I felt so overcome with love for my little family.

As Brandon and I drifted off to sleep I thought about all the many times things like this have happened. For whatever reason, the simple action of Brandon bringing her into our bed seemed a bit more profound and the tenderness in his actions spoke so loudly about the man I chose to spend eternity with, I felt myself fall a bit more in love with him.

I love him, I really love him.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


When you get married you tend to acquire many new acquaintances/friends/relatives that you would never have had otherwise. This can be a totally wretched/annoying/uncomfortable situation depending on the type of people and quality of relationship the have with your new spouse. Or as in the case of Brandon....a totally awesome thing.

#1- Nichelle was the fist of my introductions to Brandon. Admittedly, I was slightly wary of meeting her as I had only known Brandon 2 days and already some other female was requiring attention from him. Um, excuse me? And then.....I met her. She was basically me with the volume turned {way} up! We both work with special needs kids, we're tall, we make everything funny (even when its not). We are kindred spirits, she and I, life long friends. I could not be more thrilled.

#2 through #7- The SIL's : Taunya, Rachel, Andrea, Brooke, and Tasha. Collectively they are quite the group. They are fun, interesting, smart, hilarious, and awesomely quirky and each one holds a special place in my life. This last year has been particularly special as Brooke, Tasha, and I all gave birth within two days of one another. I completely and utterly adore these two women (well, I adore all of them). We have been able to spend a lot of time together since I moved here, partly in thanks to daily morning workouts/venting/bonding sessions. Their friendships are therapeutic, needed, and loved. I share so much with them, they are truly some of my dearest friends and I could not be more pleased to call them my family and my friends.

#8- Brittney was introduced to Washington life around the same time I was. She had just moved here and was the girlfriend of one of Brandon's best friends. So, really, a friendship was inevitable. I am quite fond of this girl. She is quirky, genuinely funny, thoughtful, easy to get along with, sweet, and her southern accent makes her all the more endearing. She brings honest insight and comedic relief to many, many situations and I love having her awesome friendship in my life.

#9- Tami is a loooooong time friend of Brandon who I only met maybe twice before moving here. Her awesomeness was not lost on me as Brandon, Nichelle, and a few others talked her up to me on more than one occasion saying things like, "You guys should totally be friends." Thanks to the beauty that is the Internet (i.e. blogs and Facebook) we began to "follow" one anothers lives. After moving here, I'm pleased to say she hasn't let me down and has completely lived up to they hype. She really is that awesome. I have come to appreciate her honesty, our private conversations are meaningful, her thoughtfulness in difficult times is amazing (this has not been lost on me), and her friendship is something that, honestly, I just need. Simply put, she is a good friend to have in your corner and I'm thrilled to have her in mine.

10-Ginny....ok, so honestly, Ginny and I have never actually met (cause she lives in Arizona, sadly), but that is sort of irrelevant. Brandon knows her and again, thanks to the Internet, we became a part of each other's lives. We were also pregnant at the same time and had many, many, many conversations during and since our pregnancies. Basically, we are so alike its kind of alarming. Even our babies are alike. It's so weird. I have had so many honest, tender, and completely open conversations with her about almost anything you could think to talk about. I value her advice, which is always spot on. I admire her example and envy her talents and just love her to pieces.

Do you see what I mean? By marrying Brandon I have acquired some seriously awesome friends. Good work at picking awesome people to have in your life, Husband! I love all of them, I need all of them, I appreciate all of them. They have all changed my life in very specific ways. They help make my life so blessed.

**Original Friends: I still love you, too. Heaps and heaps.
**Oh, and ladies....I stole all the pictures off Facebook. Thanks ;)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

8 Months

Do I seriously have an 8 month old? Yeah. Yeah, I do. The last month or so has been rather eventful for Olivia. So here is her update.

*She has had 4 ear infections in the last 6 weeks.
*We discovered she has drug allergies to albuterol and amoxicillian.
*No weight gain in almost two months. She had actually lost weight at her check 2 weeks ago. She weighs 18 lbs 7 oz putting her in the 75th percentile, and she is 27 inches long putting her in the 64th percentile. Yep, pretty average considering both her parents are well above average in height.
*She is super flexible.
*She prefers to hold her own bottle and feed herself.
*She'll ham it up for your attention....and then ignore you.
*She has a definite sense of humor.
*She says Da Da, much to her daddy's delight.
*She doesn't crawl, but don't think she isn't mobile. She scoots around on her back like nobody's business.
*Strings, ribbon, paper, spoons, and mylar ballons are her absolute favorite toys. Hands down.
*We had a 2 week long trip to Utah and Colorado, where Olivia ruptured her eardrum. Sigh.
*She still squeaks.
*She is so, so wiggley.
*She has learned to protest.
*She smakes her lips and clicks her tongue like crazy (ok, she has been clicking for 4 months now, but its still hilarious).
*She whispers. I know.
*She will sometimes turn the pages of books before trying to eat them.

And now for picture overload.......

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Confessions: Part 6

*Marching band's make me emotional. I honestly have no idea why.

*I may or may not have an old "comfort" item from may childhood that I may or may not have given to Olivia when I found a replacement.

*The warm weather is making me nostalgic for my cute/comfy summer maternity clothes, therein making me miss my round belly, but am in no way baby hungry again.

*Sometimes I think I don't try hard enough.

*My husband let me sleep for nearly 3 hours yesterday and then sent me to get a manicure and pedicure while he stayed home and played with Livi. He knew how badly I needed it without my saying a word. It made me kiss him a lot.

*When babies babble, it makes me cry. Not even just my baby (well, especially my baby), but other babies, too.

*When something good happens I still often reach for my phone to call my dad, even now 6 years since he died.

*I may have an unhealthy obsession with cake.

*I miss/need my mom at some point every single day.

*B voluntarily watched Ghost last night. I'm pretty sure he loved it.

*Brittney needs to teach me about football. Nichelle needs to teach me how to communicate specifically. Tasha needs to teach me to make ice cream. I'm certain these things will make me a more well-rounded person.

*Lately I feel like I have to ask permission for a lot of things, even though I don't actually have to. I think that means I'm having personal space issues in our current situation. I think I need to get over it.

*I like rules and instructions, I follow them devotedly. I don't sway from recipes. I don't toe the line. I like boundaries. I DO NOT, however, like being told what to do by those who have not earned the right to have a say in my life. Perhaps this is related to said personal space issues.

*I love Glee. I would have auditioned this last week like the rest of the nation, but I have unfortunately crossed the threshold of being "too old."

*That being said, I did not love Glee this week.

*I know a lot of secrets at the moment. Like, a lot a lot. Kinda makes me feel empowered. Is that bad?

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Where was this book when I was pregnant?

I mean really. I loved reading about pregnancy when I was carrying my little one. I was completely mesmerized by what was happening within the confines of my own body. I read everything and anything I could get my hands on. I didn't like much of the material, particularly What To Expect When You're Expecting (actually, I hated that one) and a few other standards, and I was constantly searching for the ultimate pregnancy book. Yesterday while perusing the library I stumbled upon this in the new release section. I love the "You" books. Love them, own them all. So you can imagine how ecstatic I was to find this. So ecstatic, in fact, that I brought it home with me.

Pregnant again? Nope. Still reading it anyway? Yep.

It has not disappointed me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

7 Months

Don't you just LOVE her?
I could just eat her up.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

RSV Part II: The Hospital


It might have been Monday morning, or Tuesday. I have lost track at this point. Liv's fever had spiked so high. So high she began having a seizure. Within moments, we were in the car flying back to the emergency room for the 3rd time in 5 days. Shaking and trembling, I gave the nurse our name and waited to be called.

Olivia's soft sobs turned into gasping hysterics. Thankfully, a blessed nurse heard her gasping and was alarmed enough by it she rushed us back without having to wait for the dozen or so people ahead of us.

They checked her oxygen. Low. So low. Steroid treatments, breathing treatments, chest x-rays, hundreds of tears. Admission.

We were in the hospital for 4-ish days. So much frustration and so many tears (on my part). Poor Livi couldn't keep her oxygen up, dropping into the 80's and then the 70's. She slept. We paced. We watched her sleep. We listened to her breathe.
We held her. Snuggled her. Loved her.
My baby. She is a fighter.

Sweet Haley flew in to spend the week with me. Sweet Nichelle didn't leave my side for days. Sweet Tami/Tasha/Brittney/Brooke provided food, company, and much needed comedic relief.
So many prayers were said for us. So many prayeres were felt by us. I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and kindness by everyone. Thank you, thank you, thank you (you know who you are). The phone calls, the emails, the texts, all the kind words have meant SO much to me. I have been graced with the most amazing and gracious loved ones. We feel blessed, we feel loved.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

RSV Face

My baby has RSV.

This week's been a killer for Liv.

It started out with just some general fussiness and Livi just being a grump. I spied her first tooth had broke through a few days ago and figured that was the culprit.

Then the cough started. And it just didn't stop.

Then a fever. Then weird breathing.

I didn't like it. Something bothered me about this and I couldn't let it go. So night I decided to take her Urgent Care, if for no other reason than to calm my troubled mind. I needed to know she was ok even though a part of me knew she wasn't totally.

"It's just part of teething."

"It's nothing, she is fine."

"You really think she is sick enough to take to the doctor?"

People remarked, thinking I was overreacting. But I took her anyway.

I called my sweet friend Nichelle to meet me at the clinic as Brandon was still at work and I didn't want to go alone. Within 20 minutes of being there, I had my answer. This mother's intuition thing is pretty fierce.

RSV Positive.

The doctor urgently and firmly instructed me as to what needed to happen next, who I needed to call, and what I needed to watch for, continually asking me for reassurance that I would be following through on all said instructions as quickly as possible. Within an hour and a half, Nichelle and I had her prescriptions, a blessing was given, fellow mommies of babies called (Poor Sydney has RSV, too) , a nebulizer in our possession, and her first breathing treatment.

We hadn't been home long before I noticed Olivia's breathing was contracting deeply into her ribs. Nichelle and I looked at each and immediately knew we were taking her to the ER.

Thankfully, she was seen quickly. She was given a concentrated breathing treatment, monitored for awhile and sent home.

It has been exhausting, sleeping in shifts, constantly holding and comforting my sweet little one, attempting to get her to eat, doing laundry, trying to get a meal in (Thank you, Britney!), keeping track of all the meds, and trying to retain one iota of sanity. Nichelle is a saint. She has been amazing while Brandon has been gone working. Between the two of us "we make on fully functioning adult," as she puts it. Oh, Nichelle...I'm so grateful for her right now.

Now, among the masses of blankets on the floor, treatments and medications given every four hours, snuggles, and tears we are savoring a quiet moment while Olivia sleeps somewhat comfortably

Keep Olivia in your prayers. We need her little body to be strong and to have her back to her happy sweet self.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

6 Month Love

Such blue eyes

We love:
Baby Legs
Clicking tongues
Laughing till we lose our balance
Rolling in circles
High pitched squeals
Daddy's games
Snuggling after naps
Pulling our socks off
Eating our toes
Singing songs
Eating books

Friday, March 5, 2010

mini letters

  • Dear Economy,
  • Please stop sucking. Thanks.
  • Dear Doctors of the World,
  • Enunciate. It's imperative I understand you.
  • Dear Husband,
  • I've been a crap wife lately. I'll be back to normal next week. Thanks for understanding.
  • Dear Shaun-T,
  • I love you....but then, I hate you.
  • Dear Lost,
  • You confuse me. I'll miss you when you are gone.
  • Dear Ms. X #1,
  • Stop stealing my words. I'm on to you.
  • Dear Ms. X #2,
  • I do not care. So, why do you?
  • Dear Sleezas,
  • I miss you. Come play.
  • Dear Momma,
  • I miss you. Just move here, ok?
  • Dear Laundry,
  • Do yourself. That would be great.
  • Dear Esophagogastroduodenoscopy,
  • You have too many syllables. I'm just sayin.
  • Dear JaLee,
  • I'm happy my dream is comin' true. I'm so happy about Aubrey!
  • Dear Neflix,
  • You are a brilliant idea.
  • Dear Complete Strangers,
  • Quit inquiring about my fertility. I don't like explaining myself.
  • Dear Ms. X #3 & #4,
  • You are idiots. Big ones.
  • Dear N, L, T, A, T, S, B, H, K, A,
  • You guys are pretty dang important. I hope you know that.
  • Dear Tri-Cities,
  • Continue to have winters like this. It makes me love you.
  • Dear Spring,
  • Hurry faster.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oh. I might be an idiot.


I made the awesome discovery that Olivia likes paper. She is completely amused and enthralled by it. At first I think, Fine by me, cheap toy! So very simple and it keeps her captivated for a rather lengthy amount of time (for a 6 month old).

Wow, I hurrah to myself. I'm brilliant!


This afternoon on the way home from running some errands, Olivia gets a bit fussy. So what do I do? Give her a piece of paper. Cause she likes it. And I'm awesome to think of it. And it makes her happy.

We pull up to a stoplight and I glance back to check on the little miss and this is what I find.....

That's right. She ate it. Like, a lot of it. ( In my defense, she didn't eat all that as I found little pieces stuck to her face and straps of her carseat.)
I fed my baby paper.
I pulled the paper from my happy baby's hands and listened to her yell at me the rest of the way home, telling me exactly why I was mean for taking away her beloved paper and intermittenly smacking my own forehead at every thought of my idiotic-ness.
Yeah. Like I said. I'm brilliant.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Answer to Your Hair Issues

Even if she wasn't my sister I'd tell you to go see her cause, basically, she's awesome.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I am having a moment. A moment where I feel like I'm spinning, its hard to focus, and I am losing balance. Balance in every aspect and I am fighting to keep my eye on my steady horizon.

So much anxiety, I'm in a vise, and breathing becomes labored and painful. I don't know how to make all this work.

I don't know how to be the friend I need to be to all the people that need me. I don't know how to be there in the ways I want to be without offending, without neglecting someone else, without stepping on unnecessary toes. I don't know how to keep the closeness without leaving something else behind. I don't know that if I give what is needed that I will ever get it back.

I don't know how to push forward without falling. My feet feel cemented in place. I'm fighting and pulling and tearing, but I am stuck. I don't know how I am to get what I need to keep my balance when I'm not allowed to move forward. I don't know how to do and provide and create cemented in place.

I don't know if, as a mom, I am doing enough. But I don't know how to do more and I find my inadequacy alarming. This breaks me.

I don't know if, as a wife, I am being what my husband needs. I am terrified I will turn into something that holds him back or brings him down. I don't know how to fight any harder against that fear without being consumed by it. I don't know if I am giving enough, if I am enough.

So much I don't know, so much I am uncertain about, that I am trying to fix, fighting to fix, but somehow the tools to do so keep slipping from my hands and I find myself fumbling around in the dark hope to find one.

Like I said, I'm having a moment. I pray it passes soon. But in the meantime, I needed to be real for a minute. The "real" quality has been missing and I need more real moments. They help the balance. They help it feel a lot less lonely and keep me from toppling over.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

5 Months Old

My daughter, The Flasher.

I don't have official stats...cause, well...I just don't. So, I guess I'll give you some unofficial ones.

Height- Taller than most.
Weight- A little more chub than some, less than others.
Head- Yes, she has one.

*She is the happiest baby, and such a little Miss Chatterbox. She'd talk my ear off if I let her, which, naturally, I do.
*She rolls, back to front, front to back, and occasionally in the bathtub. (She just gets to excited in the bathtub and flips right over with glee!)
*She turns her parents into babbling idiots, especially when she laughs.
*She loves pears. Peaches....not so much.
*She grabs everything, even when unconscious.
*She'd rather play with her feet than just about anything else. Even when holding her upright, she tries to fold herself in half and play with those toesies.
*She hearts her Bumbo.
*Sometimes she sleeps like a log. Sometimes she sleeps like me, which is insomnia-ish. What do you do?
*She is officially no longer sleeping in her car seat! (Hurrah!)
*She is turning into a little toe head. I love, love it.
*She is getting pretty good at grabbing something and sticking it in her mouth.
*She has quite a melodious range of noises and sounds and vocalizes them with rather impressive gusto.
*Babble, spit, raspberry, squeal. (That is what she is doing, right this second. In that exact order.)
*She thinks I am completely hilarious.
*She has the biggest grin. It's like a rectangle. She smiles so big and so hard its like her face is gonna explode. I love it.

Oh happy, happy baby. Happy, happy us.

Picture of said enormous smile.

*This blog is still going private....just haven't yet.....

Friday, January 1, 2010

What Did I Do In 2009?

I grew a whole human.

What did you do?