Ella: Oh, work. Yeah, I want to work.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Ella: Oh, work. Yeah, I want to work.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Of course in this fantasy my kids are darling and well-behaved and I am able to use the Santa picture for Christmas cards this year because we were sick on our scheduled family picture day a few weeks ago. They smile like angels and are grateful and sweet.
Here is the resulting Santa Picture:
Not the worst ever, but certainly not one Christmas card worthy. In fact, this is more like those pictures you see of yourself as your get older and think..."Huh. I thought I was cuter." Instead you find yourself looking perplexed and not all that intelligent, and Santa appears to be slumped to one side and ever so slightly creepy.
Santa was also not all that excited about Ella's new Tigger toothbrush she waited all morning to show him, and of course once on his lap she couldn't managed to choke out her request (an umbrella) and Ava screamed bloody murder the moment I stepped out of view. So that was fun. Luckily I'm well seasoned enough as a mom to not bend under pressure and buy the $40 picture package suitable for over the couch framing, and instead sprang for the cheap-o
"Dasher" package, as in "You will "Dash" all your children's Christmas Dreams" for $24.99. Arg. But, happily, no line.
Next on to Build-a-Bear, were I was expecting to drop a chunk of change on Childhood Magic. I had promised myself I would allow Ella to choose whatever bear she wanted, (except the ultra-luxury ones) no matter how offensive it was and even if it had peace signs on it or smelled like stickiness or was something dumb, like a stuffed vegetable or something. However I did stand in front of the stuffed Angry Birds during the choosing process. Ella chose a baby blue fluffy bear, and tried to force the pink one on her sister, but I steered Ava towards the more natural looking bears and she picked out the Midnight Bear, which would have been my fourth choice or so. So far so good.
I didn't understand that the noise maker for putting inside the bear was optional until after Ella had chosen one that sang a verse of "True Colors" so we splurged on that but Ava did not get a noise maker. They enjoyed stuffing the bears and REALLY enjoyed fluffing them in "the bath tub" where they are sprayed with air and brushed, so much so that Ella had to return 4 times to the tub and had to be carried screaming from the store after an hour. Also she chose a Buzz Lightyear costume for her bear, and after she was all dressed in it (and therefore committed to buy) she decided she needed another bath and announced she preferred her bear naked. Ava was thrilled with a striped sweater so I didn't push it. So we made birth certificates we forgot to ask for at the end, and the bears were named "Ella" and "Black Bear" and a mighty fit was thrown when they were put into boxes at the cash register, and then we left. I'm not going to share the grand total on this piece of holiday cheer because my husband reads this.
Also my husband has hidden my camera, so these were taken with my iphone, aka my birthday and Christmas gift for the rest of my natural life.
Now the kids are taking little naps (we skipped the chicken in the end...boo.) and Ella is topless because she wants to be naked just like her Ella bear, and by the way, her name is now Mickey, you know, because the bear is Ella.
I can't help but think that for all the happy memories we made today, this little preschool place mat will become our treasured 2011 Thanksgiving tradition, and perhaps we should make one with Ava when she wakes up.
Ava even has a matching forehead boo-boo I could put an Ariel band-aid on. I think I will do that. Maybe Super Santa Day should be every-other-year.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Also, I'm listening to Ella shout "Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?" from her room and wondering why The Children would never let me sneak away to take a bath by myself but when I want them to come be with me, Ava falls into sleepy fits until I plop her in the crib and Ella locks herself in her room with the Ipad and yells "Mom" 97 times until I go make sure she isn't trapped under the mattress. And she's 3. Shouldn't I have a few more years until she locks herself in her room after dinner? Hopefully by then she won't be following me into the tub. So there is that to look forward to.
Speaking of the Ipad, I swore I would never expose my children to "Barney," and turns out she was yelling for me because she is having trouble finding "The Orange Barney" on Netflix and would like some assistance. I cannot stand the orange Barney. It involves a very offensive dinosaur named Riff with a voice worse than Babybops, if that is possible. And he plays the saxophone. Plus it is bedtime. Ella is not taking this news well.
And yet I keep typing.
Hmmm. Maybe needing to cut back on evening Coke Zero.
And blog some other time.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Yep, I would prefer overcast any day of the week. Anyway, there were mountains around and rivers and clouds at ground level, and lots of people. I was running around calling "Charlotte? Charlotte!?" Then I thought maybe I should look for Jesus, but a voice said "No, just find your daughters." So then I yelled "BOOFUS?" and I saw a little toddler girl and ran up to her but it wasn't Charlotte. I knew I didn't have much time, I knew I was going to wake up. I ran up some stone stairs and there she was, wearing a pink shirt and standing with an adult I never really looked at. She looked about 8 years old. She turned and smiled and had the same little face and hair cut and put out her arms. I ran and hugged and her and squeezed her face in my hands and laughed and she laughed too. We talked for a few minutes but I don't remember what we said, it was quite casual, I think just like "oh I'm so glad I found you, I know I'm going to wake up and was afraid I wouldn't see you" and she said "I'm glad too Mom!" I asked her if she knew where Lily was and she said she was quite busy, but maybe she was over by those trees. I kissed her cheek and headed for the trees, and suddenly I was on a ledge looking out over a valley with yellow trees and lakes and a big sky above, and I heard a voice say "I'm so busy, I can't come, but the day I left earth was the most wonderful day, and I was so glad to get out of that sick little body. I will see you later!" Then....here comes the awesome nonsense dream silliness--a fleet of silver jets flew over with big University of Utah flags flying behind them, and I knew it was a gift from Lily. Pretty awesome. Then a breeze came up, and lots of yellow leaves came flying around me and I could see below Ella and Ava looking up at me (both about 8 years old as well ) and I woke up.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Keep up my blog
Bag up all the tiny baby clothes in the house
Clean my refrigerator
Work out daily
Read my Scriptures
Give myself a pedicure
Do art projects with kids
Learn basic sewing skills, mostly so I could make things from Pinterest
De-clutterfy my house
Do a Festival of Trees test run
Plan and execute wonderful nutritious meals
Go to yoga
Read the piles of magazines building up behind the couch
Catch up on scrapbooking (which stops a month after Charlotte's death)
Try on all the jeans in my drawers and get rid of the ones that are hopeless or circa 1999
Am I slowing down or are the hours speeding up? As much as I would love to accomplish these things, I'm happy there aren't more kid-related things on there. I feel like I spend a lot of good fun quality time with my kids, which, in the end, is what matters most. To you moms who are somehow able to keep it all together, and do it all, (for example, my mother) I salute you. I may be just hanging on to sanity and hygiene, but maybe with tiny kids that's the most I should aspire to right now.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Last Monday, on the 17th, we celebrated Lily's birthday. We were in Disneyland. It was a good place to be on her birthday. Last year when Lily was born, we weren't even sure we would pursue "heroic measures" to keep her alive. We were hoping we wouldn't have to. Charlotte was born to a room of people who didn't expect her to breath, let alone live, so she had to take the reins and prove she could make it. We hoped Lily would do the same.
Within minutes she was laying in my arms struggling to breath, grunting and turning blue. Her blood sugar was tested and it was very low. The nurses looked at us and we nodded and she was whisked to the NICU. So fast. Was that the right thing to do? Should we have just said goodbye minutes after saying hello? The room was bright and everyone looked terrified. It was not a wonderful day. Later I visited her and held her and it was good and quiet and she was pink and lovely, and then I returned to my room and fell into a drugged fitful itchy sleep. It was hard.
Lily's life was touch and go from the beginning. We kept hoping and praying, we gave her every chance, every opportunity to decide to stay. A long NICU stay, a g-tube, serious talk about heart surgery. But it wasn't meant to be. She was an uncomfortable visitor here, she knew she didn't belong here. I guess we knew it too, even if we fought it. We knew she wouldn't stay for long, but a few years? Why not? I don't know if I made the most of the time she had here. I don't know how I could have done better. I do wish I had held her more, and slept with her more, and hadn't kept waiting for her to get healthier. I cling to memories of those morning coconut oil baths and the quiet days the other girls were out of the house and it was just us. Why didn't I just sit with you more? Why didn't I just stop?
Oh Lily. We will get to know you later. Or perhaps we will know you, all of you, your smile and your quirks and your likes and dislikes, from the moment we meet, and wonder how we ever forgot. But right now all we can do is send you a pink Mickey balloon, sing a birthday song with dear friends and wonder, honestly, why you had to come and go. We won't really understand for a long while yet, but I have faith that it will all make sense eventually. I hope you will know I did my best, all I could do at the time.
Happy Birthday Lily. I miss every part of you and grieve for all I didn't get a chance to know.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
The long awaited Monkey Party
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Was almost driven crazy today. Yes, they have been little annoyances. But truly, sometimes it's the little things that drive you to the edge.
It didn't help I suppose that last night, I went back in my blog to look at some pictures of Ava and her hair line, and decide whether I'm giving her traction alopecia. (no.) This brought me back to last December, when her hair was all cutely professionally done (as in done by a friend) for our final court appearance. And then I read about Lily's birthday in October which is fast approaching, and about the NICU, and about hospice, and about her death. I had recently revisited this in my Hospital posts, but only from memory. Going back and seeing is different. Seeing her little feet, her tubes, her puckered lips waiting for chap stick. Seeing her all sweet and warm and still looking so weary. So I cried and cried, and then took Ella up to read before bed, and decided there's no reason I can't have Ella see me cry (it's okay to be sad or mad, after all) and I told Ella I was sad because I missed Lily, and that made me let forth a big ole' sloppy sob, and Ella just nodded and said "Well, she's a good baby."
I agreed and we read a Cinderella book (Ella's choice) and Little Bear, (my choice) and a weird bunny book about a baby bunny who doesn't want to be a doctor or a farmer or a lion tamer, he just wants to be a daddy rabbit with lots of children, to which I say then baby bunny better find a job.
Anyways, then we went to sleep.
Back to today. This is self indulgent but I'm going to go through my small annoyances just to make myself feel justified in being annoyed.
It started my phone claims I hit "dismiss" instead of "snooze" when my alarm went off, which means I missed my early morning all-by-myself read and work out session which I have enjoyed the past few days. When I did wake up I was glaring at my phone and it's alarm and noticed an overdraft notice from my bank, and found that Ella's preschool just barely cashed her tuition check I turned in six weeks ago. And yes, I should have known it hadn't been cashed but as I eluded to, I only started watching my finances like four weeks ago. So...totally annoyed. That of course means a fee. Grrrr and I have been so careful so that just drives me nuts.
Anyway, got up, briefly thought Ella might be well enough to go to school because she didn't weep and cough all night, but she woke up with a giant deep lung type hacking, so she missed it again. (That and the check just clearing....grrrrr, preschool.)
The morning went fine and I did get some exercise in, which doesn't work as well with kids sitting on your back when you try to do plank...or maybe that's better...but here's what happened from there:
- Zar came home from work sick just in time to hear Ava slip and bonk her head on the wall after her bath. Much Screaming.
- Ava, my child who does NOT like candy, found a cutely displayed jar of candy corn on a shelf, dumped it over her head and wildly stuffed them in her mouth while I tried to clean them up. Was funny until noticed orange drool all over carpet. Did I mention I was on my hands and knees scrubbing out carpet stains YESTERDAY...
- Kids threw all my bathroom counter bottles in the slowly draining tub while I was stupidly trying to style my hair for the first time in a couple weeks.
- Kids repeatedly slipped on wet bathroom floor (from splashing) and injured themselves while I repeatedly asked them beat it, curling iron in hand.
- Kids feel neglected so start randomly screaming to point I am sure cops will be called. Also throw themselves on floor and hit heads again.
- Hair looks awful.
- Kids throw goldfish around room and grind into carpet while I dress.
- Cat barfs on carpet. (carpet now huge mess of cat vomit, orange gold fish crumbs and massive amounts of candy corn drool, at least is festive.)
- Ella goes out to garage to get into car while I put Ava's shoes on, and decides instead to crawl under car, where she gets her darling new cream colored dress all covered in black grime and oil.
- Zar lays in bed and moans.
- Meet sister, mom, and nieces at mall, eat chicken, my kids scream, her kids are angels. People stare.
- Stupidly go to Sephora to get orange Halloween nail polish, thinking fun activity for me and kids, baby pedicures. STUPIDLY let Ella carry nail polish, ordering DO NOT DROP THIS which she of course immediately does, and it splatters all over the floor, shelves, and sister. Apologize profusely and stand them dumbly asking Ella to say sorry. Feel like jerk.
- Rude construction worker gestures at me for who knows what, and I fight not to swerve into him on way home.
- Glance into back seat and don't see Ella in her car seat, nearly have a heart attack, realize I forgot to buckle her in and she has quietly left her seat and is playing on the floor of the car. Feel awful.
If you have gotten this far, you will glad to know I now feel ashamed of my list, as now looks like a normal day and perhaps it was just my mood that was different. Probably due to last night's emotion fest. Anyway, both kids fell asleep on the way home and I carried them upstairs, dumped them in their cribs and got almost two hours to watch Ghost Hunters and work on my book page rosette wreath which I finally finished. And there is beef stew in the crock pot I made for my poor sick husband, who does not seem interested in leaving the bedroom. And Ella has not had an accident in days, including two full nights in big girl undies. And got compliment from black lady at mall on Ava's spiral curls. Sometimes it takes blogging to work out what's really going on. So...I had better just shut up and post.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thinking About Deadly Epidemics: Yes...we have been hearing about the importance of food storage and disaster preparedness for many years...there have been entire conference weekends pretty much dedicated to it...but it took a movie about a super bat/pig virus to get my butt in gear. I guess I always assumed if there were some sort of earthquake any food I had managed to store would be buried in the basement, or I could still run up to the the Smiths and loot with the rest of them, or focus on getting to Shannon's house were the giant Shelf Reliance system is...but my goodness, what if it were a VIRUS TYPE DISASTER??? (such as in the recent movie release, Contagion)Those people were waiting in emergency food lines like 20 DAYS IN. With masks and guns. I mean C'MON. I'm happy to report I worked a couple of these beauties into the budget, so I can relax a bit, and am now focusing on the more economical beans and wheat type storage. Slowly. Oh, and I made my own tiny pantry organization thing out of an empty muscle milk box. (pinterest). For black beans. Cuz I have like NINE CANS. So...yeah, all is safely gathered in, if you know what I mean.
Feels good to be potty trained (both Ella and I), organized, somewhat in control of my spending, overly decorated, and blogging again.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
9/11, and was pleased I had the wherewithal to take the time to write something. Although it was just the facts. At the time I had been writing mostly in a grungy yellow notebook with "Erin's House of Pain" etched on the cover. Very unfortunately, this notebook is lost to the ages, because believe it or not, it covers THE most life changing months of my life, the months in which I truly grew up, in all it's raw and painful but necessary details. But that is neither here nor there. The point is, the most personal thing I wrote on 9/11 is that I went to my Institute class,
("You were in COLLEGE??!" my then 8th grade brother squawked tonight when I mentioned this fact) and then left, because it felt inappropriate to go to Latin Dancing which was next on my schedule.
In the weeks surrounding 9/11, I had my heart broken, like really, really broken, went to therapy, wore a ring I wish I still had that said "WHOLE" to remind me I was enough on my own, got into nursing school, turned 21, moved out into my first apartment, and met my husband (and consequently wrote some major cheesy poetry).
I was so self involved that I know for a fact I didn't even cry that day. I remember thinking I should be crying, that would be the appropriate response for a young lady, but it didn't happen. I since have cried when watching old clips, movies and during embarrassing country songs in my car, but at the time it fit so neatly into the theme of my life that it hardly shocked me. I had built up walls to protect myself in the proceeding days and the sounds of terror and sorrow were muffled and far away. It was a time of tragedy out of the blue and loss and growth. It was a time of tears and pulling together and change. Of anger. Of being more careful. Of new priorities. Of innocence lost.
Tonight watching the tribute shows, I couldn't believe ten years have passed. I cried this time, and thought of my family, my kids, and how much differently I would react today than that 20 year old girl who wasn't a bit surprised the world was ending. The gravity, finally, has sunk in.
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Sunday, September 04, 2011
When Lily was whisked to the NICU at age 20 minutes, I felt those plans slipping away. Still, she graduated quickly from the little room at the hospital where she was born and was soon a big fixture in the feeder grower area, sunning under her bili-lights and taking milk by bottle. I thought she would be home soon after I was discharged. Leaving the hospital without her was so sad and felt so wrong that I have blocked it out. But I remember going back when they called in the night to say she had aspirated and would be taking no more milk by mouth. Back in the small NICU room, in the back with the sickest babies, I just wanted her transferred to the big hospital, where they would fix everything. Where they would declare that comparatively she was so healthy-so big! - and we could go home.
Lily transferred. She went to the NICU, and soon I was wondering why I thought this would simplify things. They looked closer. They saw how fragile she was, even comparatively. The NICU doctor talked to me, and said her death was a matter of now, or later. I nodded and thought "Well, isn't yours too?"
When Lily did come home, with a g-tube and oxygen and a terrible diaper rash, I thought we had made it. I thought finally our journey could begin. I could work hard with her on positioning, and tummy time, and physiotherapy, and all those things I should have worked harder on with Charlotte. Yet before I knew it I was calling across the driveway to the approaching therapist that Lily had stopped breathing and we were going to the hospital. And bringing her pulse ox downstairs to keep on her at all times because she was so sensitive to position changes. We kept taking her back to the ER, to the PICU, where she would lay quietly for a few days in one of those cage-like cribs, hooked up to even more tubes than usual and then come back home with no new miracle. I knew she was having seizures and when we finally caught one on EKG during a respiratory related PICU stay, I pulled out ice cream cups to celebrate. Now we could fix her. Now the real journey would start.
The meds seemed to work briefly. We saw the neurologist who mostly just shook his head. I stopped taking her up to the ER and instead made frequent trips to the doctor's office to get her suctioned. It took forever and I had a two year old, a six month old, and Lily with me. But at least we were together. Finally, during one of those doctor visits I mentioned hospice, then burst into tears. It felt like giving up.
But if it was giving up, it was what Lily needed. I stopped worrying so much about the journey and focused on Right Now. I gave her long coconut oil baths and massages. We played music. We let hospice bring us her meds and a suction machine. When her alarms went off in the night and she turned blue, fear would grip my throat and I would start thinking of how much to pack for the hospital. But instead, we would hold her, and pray, and eventually go back to sleep. It wasn't easy, and sometimes it still felt like giving up on her. But it wasn't.
Eventually I stopped hooking her up to her monitor except at night. Suddenly she looked pinker and my stress level dropped. The seizures, however worsened, and each one seemed like it was the end. We had hospice support, and family support, and dinners brought to our door.
I brought Lily to bed with us. I kept a hand on her all night long. I smelled her head constantly and took pictures of her big feet.
One Sunday morning just as we were waking up, it seemed like Lily was ready. Her oxygen went down down down. She was sleeping. We were crying. I began to panic, it seemed scary and wrong to do this without the hospital support. I wanted staff, and curtains pulled, and someone in scrubs with authority to tell us what to do. But the feeling passed, and I tried to be brave, even without a doctor there.
We all sat on the bed, even the babies. We were in pajamas. We were next to the window. It was sunny, and quiet. We sang to her, Consider the Lilies. And Lily, slowly, left one home for another.
Hospitals may be for healing, but when it came time for Lily to be fully healed, we had all we needed at home.
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