Sunday, July 31, 2011


Ella has developed her first fears in the past few weeks. She is afraid of fireworks, which made pretty much the entire month of July a nightly struggle. I realize it's a bad habit to let her fall asleep in my bed every night but man, I love the snuggles. And when I try to put her in her own bed and a few popping fireworks go off and she starts screaming, well, I say we will try again tomorrow. We discussed how fireworks are noisy and loud but they are pretty and mean that we are happy. Even as she recites these facts she runs into the house bawling.

The other fear is Ghosts. I'm not sure where she got this one or what her reference is, but apparently she made dad turn off a Halloween episode of Blue's Clues--the newest favorite--because it had ghosts in it. I can't imagine it was in any way scary. In fact had she stuck it out it probably would have resolved her whole ghost fear issue.

My big fear I remember as a child was....get ready....Elevators.

I dreamed about elevators constantly. I remember many of these dreams very vividly. It wasn't that I thought they would break and go crashing to the ground. It was that I thought they would get stuck, and I would be left in there forever. I remember begging to take the stairs at the mall with my mom. I remember feeling so brave and proud when I was able to take the elevator down into the Hoover dam on a family trip. I remember what finally helped me cope was a dream I had in which I was riding in an elevator which was essentially a hotel room, complete with bed, stocked kitchen, bathroom, and tv, so if it got stuck at least I would be left alone forever in comfort.

I have been through various other fear phases in my life; the basement at our house, clowns, spiders, kids that would sleep walk while I babysat them, but Elevators was the one I really struggled with. Of course now it's seems so silly and easy to dismiss, but I'm trying to remember those dreams and feelings when I get annoyed that I'm spending a summer holiday on the couch with a crying toddler.

As an old teenager/young adult, my fears matured to include never finding a husband, being cheated on by husband, not being able to get pregnant, and then, of course, having Charlotte pass away while I was at work or otherwise away from her. None of those came to pass, for which I am very grateful. Of course, now my biggest fear is losing another child. Even having done it twice, and knowing it can be survived, I can't imagine I would be able to go on if something terrible happened to one of my girls. Just typing those words is making me feel sick, as I'm sure it does for all parents.

Oh Ella, how I wish I could let you keep your fear of fireworks and ghosts. I wish you would never have to know grown up fears. But then, you would never get to grow up.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Some Thoughts on Names

Buzz Lightyear

....or what was going through my head last night while I was trying to fall asleep.

We named Ella Eleanor because there are so many options nickname -wise. And then we went with Ella. Sometimes I wish we had gone with Nora. I think Grandma E would have liked Nell.

Although right now she insists her name is Jesse or Buzz Lightyear, so I guess it's a non-issue.

I would have loved so many nickname options with my name, having gone by my middle name, Sinclair, for a year when I was in 2nd grade. I was too shy to ask my 3rd grade teacher, at a different school with different kids, to call me Sinclair, so I went back to Erin, which was probably good. Although it was fun to have old school mates come up and call me Sinclair in front of new friends for the next couple years.

I didn't like my name when I was 12 because the old ladies at the nursing homes we visited for mutual would always yell "That's a boy's name!!" So sometimes I would tell them my name was Karen.

Kind of like how my dad would tell restaurant hostesses our last name was "Parsons" convinced they couldn't pronounce our not-all-that-difficult last name.

I was convinced in high school that if my name were Lydia, I would be beautiful, and if my name were Sam I would be confident and athletic. And my struggles with my weight were due only to my short, non-exactly feminine name. Which is funny because then, what about Sam?

I wrote a poem as a teenager about my future daughter, and I titled it "Danielle". A year later I renamed it "Lucy". Then "Audrey", And later, "Carmen". Now we have a cat named Carmen, and four daughters, none of whom are named Danielle, Lucy, or Audrey.

I think the most beautiful name in the world is Charlotte. Charlotte's middle name is Grace, and Ava's middle name is Mahalet, which was given by her beautiful birth mom. She said it means "Grace". Ava means "like a bird."

Nowadays I like my name.

Lily's name was perfect for her. The last line of her obituary, which I read the other day for the first time since I wrote it, was "May you bloom ever brighter until we meet again." The lily bulbs we were sent after she died started blooming this week.

It's probably good I only have daughters; the only boy names I like are Jake and Kyle. My brother and my dad. And Reza. Which would just be strange. And John. And no son of Zar is going to be named John. Reza makes more sense.

I don't even think of my husband's name as different anymore, although the night I met him he pulled out his license to prove he was telling the truth.

My sister went through a phase where she daily changed her name to a different flower name--Rose, Violet, Lilac. She suggested Sunset as a good name for our new baby sister. I suggested Diane, which was immediately shot down as apparently my dad had dated a girl by that name. Which was traumatic for a kindergartner to hear. We were at Wendy's. I had never considered that my parents had once not been my parents.

I love the name Wendy.


A Frosty sounds good.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Mr and Mrs

They do Look sweet...

My brother got married yesterday. He is the youngest of four kids, and the only boy, and he married lovely R who is the youngest of four kids, and the only girl. They have lots of experience living with member of the opposite sex, but I think he is used to a lot more drama than she is. The dynamics should be fun!

We Love her. You would think someone so beautiful would be somewhat obnoxious, but she's not. She's perfect for our family and she is perfect for him.

My girls were not so perfect for the wedding. Ava was thrilled with all the attention and snuggles but would not hold still for an instant for a picture. Ella is a bit overtired after a month of vacations and being babysat away from home, and spending very little time camped out watching Minnie as she prefers. And so, even when bribed with M&Ms to smile nicely in photos, and wear her flower crown ("Just like Tangled!!") and stop crying please, she resisted. In fact, she announced "I don't want emmamems, I just be BAD!"


My parents have successfully raised four (awesome) kids into fairly stable and somewhat contributing members of society. What a relief.

Having just begun, I can say it looks like quite a long road ahead.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Oh Some must push and some must pull...

ah beautiful prairie with it's outhouses under the big pink sky...

best to only look at this picture from a distance...

When I was a delightful teenager our area held a Pioneer Trek...and I refused to go. Obviously. I was a cranky high school girl, and it was the appropriate thing to do. Unfortunately I really did want to go, and of course I expected my mother to force me into it. Well the days went by and she didn't bring it up, and then my sisters left for the trek, and I stayed home. I've been bummed about it ever since. This week I finally got my chance to go.

Pioneer Trek, for those who may not know, is a Mormon phenomenon where the teenagers dress up like pioneer ancestors and go push a hand cart across the prairie somewhere for a few days. Some treks are really hard core, with very little food involved and rules such as No deodorant and no chap stick and many, many miles. My first trek was not this type. We went 14 miles total in 3 days. We had all sorts of modern conveniences and enough hot, good food to last actual pioneers a few months.

When I got back to work with my sun burnt puffy lips and red peeling nose, a coworker asked where I had been, and when I told him he shook his head and said "Ah you Mormons. I'm Scandinavian and you don't see me out on a Viking Ship."

But really...wouldn't you WANT to go out on a Viking Ship? Thought so.

It was hard work. I was one of the medical staff going, and we were BUSY. Most of the issues were just your typical teenage drama--I stayed up all night playing truth or dare and eating candy and now I don't want to go walk in the hot sun all day...that kind of thing. But not all of it. We had some real medical stuff, and it's kinda spooky to be out there.

Of course, not nearly so spooky than it was for the actual pioneers. We were in the area of Martin's Cove, in Wyoming, where a large group of late season handcart pioneers were stuck in an early snow storm in November camped for 5 nights in a cove of rock somewhat out of the wind. About 20% of them died and buried out there. Plenty of them lost hands and feet and had them amputated out there in on the trail. They were all starving. And after the storm died down, they still had hundreds of miles to go. I had heard many of the stories before but it's something else to actually be there and hear the stories. Kind of made me think if they could travel from Europe across an ocean and country and starve and freeze and die for their faith...maybe I can teach primary once a week. Not only that, Charlotte and Lily as well as Ella and Ava were never far from my mind. In a much smaller way than they did, I've watched my children suffer, and I've watched two die in their father's arms. It sounds ridiculous but in that way I feel a kinship with the mothers who had to do the same, but then had to leave them out there and keep walking.

It was awesome. And yes, my nose is bright red and I'm covered in bug bites and scrapes and my brother is getting married in three days, but I'm so glad I finally got to go. Thank goodness for large helpings of spirituality. It helps me to keep walking.

Monday, July 11, 2011


So proud...
up on my feet again!

frightening foreshadow for teen years?

Yeah, bad form to complain about a beach vacation. I sincerely apologize. Had a bad day. And the barfs. And Ava is getting molars.

In brief update--

Ava is ALSO now a full-fledged walker, and it is awful cute.

Ella loves the ocean and I've pretty much given up potty training for now. (unrelated.)

In the middle of a crazy month--vacay, pioneer trek (my first!) Jake's wedding and related 35 bridal showers, and Harry Potter, so you know. Blogging is falling by the wayside.

Also in the middle of low-carb pre-wedding detox from major donut binge in CA. Uploading photos tonight also forced me to observe my somewhat distressing "Before Photos." (man I've taken a lot of Before Photos....)

Plus I've just been too busy to focus on grief, the working through thereof, or Lily's headstone, so that's making me feel guilty and I don't really want to go there right now.

Thanks for standing by.

(dear husband, I don't want to hear how much this entry stinks. Start your own blog. --Your loving wife)

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Vacation with babies is...less than relaxing. Doesn't help that we are all passing around a stomach virus. Looking forward to clean clothes, not sleeping in the same room as my kids and eating something other than cheese and cap'n crunch. Oh and sheets that aren't perpetually damp. It's been fun and good to be with fam but I'm ready to come home. Going to try hard to get a few pics of my beach babies tomorrow, provided I can muster the energy to get them all ready and out on the sand. Ella seems intent on getting herself swept out to back to that "less than relaxing" issue I mentioned. Seems easier to stay cooped up watching The OC on DVD and unwrapping popsicle after Popsicle. Happy the kids are so worn out from fit throwing I have a moment to sit...and just sit.

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