Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Santa Baby

So cute. This years Santa pics turned out quite a bit better than last years. I will post a reminder. And believe it or not, they cost about the same. Sheesh.
Also, no build a bear this year. Yick. Who has money for that?! A candy cane and a drive through the lights will do. Ah, more magical memories.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Friday, November 09, 2012

First Big Snow

FINALLY I can break out the constant Christmas music. Sheesh.

Saturday, November 03, 2012


Oh what darling little girls showing off their new character shirts that Grandma hates so much. Lets snap a photo of this....AHHHHHH!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Hubs and I did a Halloween Half Marathon on Saturday. We ran in graduation robes and shopko scarves all fancied up with red duct tape.
 Gryffindor forever!  
Originally I was going to be catwoman--easy enough, black running outfit, mask and ears taped to my sunglasses, but then there's the whole "Are you trying to be sexy?" question, and I find going with that theme often leads to a certain level of pathetic. I can only imagine that pathetic-ness is emphasized by 13 miles, runny nose, sweat and smelliness. And the unwelcome but mandatory comparison between catwoman's bottom and mine. So I went with a shapeless black robe. Cozy.
We were not so well prepared for this one, and they had to change the course due to snow so there was a brief uphill climb which was an unwelcome surprise. I came in at 2:45. But that was running in a full on robe, and in the cold, and not fully trained. So whatevs. Now to actually prepare for our next one in April!
After the race I recovered with my kid's Halloween party candy, compression socks, coke zero and an ice pack. Can't beat that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Being Productive

I start with big plans to clean the whole house and get all the laundry done, and yet stuff just seems to keep piling up on me...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Excellent Birthday Cry

I was very blessed this morning in that I was scheduled to work with patients today, and there were no patients. So I got to be alone, in a quiet place where I am comfortable, and have a complete breakdown. It was fantastic. I wasn't at home stressing and freaking out my kids, and I wasn't surrounded by people who want to help but can't stop staring at my nose which doubles in size when I bawl. And I really needed a good sob. It has been a long, long time. Like since right after Lily died. Almost 2 years. Which is crazy because I used to cry A LOT. Especially at work.
I have been increasingly agitated the past week or so as Lily's birthday approached. Her birth day was not very happy. Her life was not very happy. It's no secret that I'm still somewhat haunted by it all. Nothing was wrapped up in neat little bow. You never get over losing a child, but I really haven't gotten over Lily. Not her death, not her life. It's in sharp contrast to Charlotte who is my cheeky little girl in heaven. I miss her, I wish I could squeeze her, but I don't mourn. I don't grieve anymore.
Oh I grieve Lily.
The truth is, in my mind, I didn't try hard enough. In my mind, I remember her sad little self and I remember feeling relief when she died. And I know that's normal. I know feeling that way after the death of someone who has suffered is incredibly normal and okay, and there's no reason to feel guilt. But as time has gone on, sometimes I only remember that relief, and I feel horrible.
This morning I posted her picture on my blog, and on facebook, and started to bawl. The facebook comments started rolling in, and I pushed my phone away and tried to study. Or plan next week's meals. Or maybe go walk the halls. But I couldn't. I was sobbing.
I went back and read her life. I've done it before, I know, but this time I had no distractions except my sobs and I read from the moment she was born to a week after she died. And I've been remembering it wrong. I didn't give up on her. We tried everything. We rushed her to the hospital multiple times a weekend. We were on hospice for heaven's sake. And when she died, I let her. I think that's what haunts me. Should I have rushed her to the ER again? Should I have done CPR at the end? No. Heavens, no. But something about that letting go...I'm having trouble letting go of it.
But I just want to remember this moment, after two hours of sobbing and shaking and wondering if I would ever stop, I'm okay now. I'm sitting in the sun in a quiet room I've known since before any of my kids were born, and I'm okay. I have peace right now. Tomorrow I may question everything again, every move I made during Lily's life, and all this will be complicated by the fact I don't remember much about it...I had two infants and a 2 year old after all...I was exhausted emotionally and physically...and I think that makes me wonder if I did all right by Lily. I think I did. But I can't remember.
I spent Lily's whole life waiting for it to start. I thought "After we transfer. After we get home. After the g-tube. After the meds kick in. After her skin heals. After heart surgery. After all of that...we can start." And it never did. And I feel like I missed it. I feel like I missed out. It's okay. I'm just waiting again. After this life, after I raise my family here, after I watch them grow and I grow old with my husband, after I die. We Can Start. We can start again, Lily. But for now, I have to focus on here. On Ava. On Ella. On teaching, raising, feeding, comforting, disciplining, loving them. But when the time is right, we will start again. And I know Lily is busy too.

Thank goodness I blogged. Thank goodness I have this window into those weeks, where I talk about her baths, her ER visits, her seizures, her sats, her skin, her fauxhawks, her funny cry, her little toy mouse. I may not remember it all that clearly, and that's really what haunts me. But I can read her story, like an uninvolved observer, and say "Yes. That mom did alright." And we will start again, someday.

Happy 2nd Birthday Lily

Sweet Baby Girl. I love you, I miss you, my heart aches to know you.
Till we meet again.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cast off.

The cast comes off.

Cast on.

The cast goes on...

Friday, October 12, 2012


Let this be the only "stash" I ever discover under my daughter's bed. Amen.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Testing blogger for iPhone...

Hello Friends!

I've been playing around with ye olde Blogge this morning. The reasoning being that I am back in school and should be writing a paper on nursing theories and diffusion of innovation, and needed something to use as a procrastinating tool. In a couple of weeks I should be obtaining a brand new personal laptop on which to do schoolwork, so most likely I will be back to active blogging! (when I should be schooling.) Aren't you pumped!? Woot woot!
Now, I know my life has been greatly downgraded in the drama department, which is great for me but not so great for interesting and tragic blogging. BUT I feel my normal, happy, busy life of mormon mom/nurse/student is still worth recording, if only for posterity and my own entertainment. Yes, reading the highs and lows of half marathon training and potty training is not the same as updates on super babies being born and fighting joyfully through their chaotic, terrifying, wonderful, worth every moment lives, but to everything there is a season. And this season is calm.
So if you are still around, feel free to drop in and say hi, visit my nutso kids and I. We are still here, pluggin along, and know you are too. And that's awesome.

First of all: Happy Birthday to my Dear Ella Bella! Four years old today. This morning Ava announced "Ella has to go to her next party today!" Yes it has been a week. Monday she had a few pals over for cake and a snake hunt in her African Safari themed bash. Wednesday she took donuts to school and had a song sung to her. She confided in me the Target donuts were no good, and she gave hers away. Huh. And today she is enjoying her first ever field trip at preschool with Grandma and Grandpa, then she is going to Arctic Circle for lunch, and tonight she is going to dinner and getting MORE PRESENTS. Including the big one, which is a bike with pedals. (Not a balance bike, which she pointed out is missing pedals and the cheapo one I bought her last Christmas never left the back porch. Hooray.) Also she got a bathrobe she's very proud of.

School: I'm back in school at Western Governors University getting my Masters of Nursing Education. And we will see where that leads in 2014.

House: Our house never sold. It's still on the market but...eh. There are currently four town homes for sale on our street, and one is a short sale, and for the same price you can have a stand alone house with a big backyard in the neighborhood. So....eh. The experience has taught me to keep a cleaner home, to make the bed each morning, and organize better. And it's made me realize how much I like our town home with it's unfinished basement for storage and high ceilings and brand new plumbing and big garden tub, and fire sprinkler system and general newness. And I do love my bedroom. I will miss my bedroom when the time comes to leave. But looks like that's still a couple years down the road. Which is fine.

Running: Next half marathon is October 27. Thank goodness it's downhill. I am not quite so prepared as I was for the last one. I think I will survive, but not with flying colors.

Fall: I LOVE FALL! It's the best. Enjoying pumpkin patches, cornbellys, my new cozy sweatshirt dress, and preparing to dress as a Pirate Family for Halloween. Ava insists she is going to be Mr. Smee. Hmmm.
And now I will really study for a minute.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Found a file on my computer at work entited "FATTY" and clicked on it to find this.
Little Lily Fatty Face just stopping in to wish her big sis a happy Fourth Birthday.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

I did it!

I completed my first half marathon a few weeks ago and am training for my next one at the end of October! I loved it and finished in 2:19 which I was perfectly pleased with. Around miles 9-11 I was thinking I felt so excellent that maybe I would consider training for a full marathon at some point...by the end I was sure I never would. :) That said I went right home and signed up for another. I think I'm a cool weather, down a canyon type of runner. And again, I'm perfectly pleased with that.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A letter to the Bod

Dear Bod,
Just a quick note to apologize for all you've had to put up over the years, and to say thanks for all you do and for not giving up on me completely.
I realize that in the past I've treated you like you were, well...disgusting. From about the time I was 10 or so...heh heh, guess it's been going on awhile. I'm sorry for every time I called you names, or asked you to live on water alone, or asked you to live on ice cream alone, or made you throw up, or just generally didn't appreciate you.
I'm sorry for being ashamed of you; for missing out on fun things because I egomaniacally believed anyone cared what I looked like in a swimsuit, or that time I wore JEANS in 8th grade into the pool...what was that?!
I'm sorry I didn't believe you were worthy to continue playing soccer past 8th grade; and you were even good at that. I'm sorry I never took you to try outs for track, or cross country, or anything else that would have greatly improved your abilities, health, and my self esteem. Frankly I was embarrassed by you, and thought you were somehow less than. Sorry.
Thank you for hanging in there. For climbing mountains with abandon and joy on weekends in high school despite being provided zero nutrition. For getting me through school and night shifts at the hospital. For beating every stomach virus and cold that came your way, and staying robustly healthy throughout every stress and every depressive episode.
Thanks for carrying my babies to term in luxuriously padded style, even when the doctors said surely, surely any body would miscarry under the circumstances. Thanks for holding on to those girls with ferocious tenacity, even though we had to go in with scalpels and retractors to get them out. Thanks for recovering from three c-sections with speedy ease so I could spend more time with my babies, especially Lily. Thanks for not exploding before we could get her out. That must've been a struggle, but you saved us both. Thanks for providing AMPLE nutrition for my kids, along with the happy favor of ample boobies, even if just for a few months. That was fun.
Thanks, yesterday, for running nine miles and for giving me a few glorious moments of effortless, natural rhythm. Like flying. Before, of course, collapsing back into huffing and puffing. Thanks for making me work for it. And today, thanks for reminding me of those 9 miles with proud and contented soreness. I promise to treat you to a spinach smoothie and a soak in the pool after swimming lessons.
So Yes, you tend to require more sleep than average, but at least you enjoy it to it's fullest. And you have no natural love of any food green, and instead crave cookies like air, but at least I've learned to supply both. And you tend towards roundness, except where it counts, and you decided your 20s were a good time to have teenage acne, and you are apparently eating your own thyroid, but I am very proud of you. And grateful. So thanks for putting up with me. I couldn't have done, well, anything without you.
Also my husband seems to like you. So thanks.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Biopsied like a Boss

So here's the deal...I'm most likely to blog during the following times:

*Something happens worth reporting
*My kids have been especially bad and funny
*We've been to Disneyland
*I'm pregnant
*I'm training for a half marathon and ran two horrid miles out in the sun earlier and have at least 6 to go for the day, and my kids are sleeping and I'm all outfitted in my running togs and ready to head down to my parents treadmill but man I just would rather sit in a quiet house with a blanket on my lap and a diet coke.

So you can probably guess what is going on today. Reminder: I will never be pregnant again.

I keep getting all fired up to start blogging regularly and then I take a tiny break that somehow stretches into almost a month. Although those videos of The Boof were worth at least a couple weeks worth, don't you agree? So, so dear.

So here's what's going on in case you are still stopping in from time to time:

*Training for aforementioned Timpanogos half marathon. If you had told me when we got married, or a year ago, or at Christmas, for that matter, that there would soon come a time that my husband and I would go out for a fun 5 mile run on a Saturday evening with our two children in tow, I would have laughed heartily. I have been frequently re-amazed at how after a couple miles I can just keep plodding along now, at a slow but steady 11-12 minute mile pace, without walking (although some would argue my pace IS walking) and enjoy it. To actually feel like it is a little break from the life and all I have to do is turn my volume up or down as needed, take a chug of water now and again, and wrestle my two year old back into the stroller while she screams at full capacity or run back to retrieve my 3-year old from the top of a slight incline that she feels she cannot ride her scooter down, despite having recently learned to use her break. It's relaxing in a mother-of-two-toddlers way. Like going to work for 8 hours. Or standing alone in the bathroom with the door locked. A mini-break.
Anyway, the marathon is on July 28th, and I'm still on schedule. Although most of my runs have been in the breezy evening air or in the quite chilly basement bedroom-now-gym where I grew up at my parent's house. Today while Ella was at a birthday party I took Ava out for a spin around the neighborhood in punishing 68 degree sunlight, and was ready for death a little two quickly...especially since the run only totaled 2.18 miles. I really, really hate the sun. Why do I hate the sun so much? It's not even heat so much...just blinding hateful sunlight. Hmmm.

*Thyroid blob. My dental assistant a few weeks ago found a blog on my neck that she thought I should have checked out. She made me feel it and I felt nothing. But I went to the clinic at work dutifully and had the doc there check it. He also didn't feel anything, or least reported that it was "subtle." He ordered an ultrasound anyway, which I hurried up to last Friday after receiving an electric shock from some equipment in a patient's room, a wheelchair ride to the ER, an EKG and a naked all over body search for the exit wound. (none found.) But I made it to my ultrasound on time and the patient's procedure was also completed. Also after thorough inspection of the machine it was quietly returned into service and assumed that my heat-sealing technique was to blame...which I concur with at this point.
Anyway, the doctor called later that day to tell me the blob was on the threshold of needing a biopsy, but really nothing to worry about unless it gets bigger, but in any case come back in a year. And that was that.

*Just Kidding!  The doctor called back on Monday to say someone had changed their mind and would I come for a biopsy. On Thursday. At 10. So despite another grueling patient schedule that day I made it to my biopsy, during which the doctor and I discussed Chick-fil-a, and I got four needles in the thyroid. Five if you count the numbing shot, which you should. However it really wasn't bad at all, I would say receiving an epidural is less painful and an amniocentesis is more painful. So there ya go. Also during the biopsy I found out they really weren't concerned with the blob on the left which I had finally found, but the one on the right which was solid and who knew even existed? Geez. So I got a bandaid on my neck, took the above picture of myself for posterity and went on my way. They called back the next morning so say it wasn't cancer, which no one was really worried about as it's rare even with thyroid blobs, and most of the time easy to cure. But it did look like my thyroid was full of attacking white cells which would point to Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a common autoimmune disease. Very stereotypical middle age woman disease. How disappointing. I may or may not get back to the clinic to have more testing done this afternoon, depends on how long my blog keeps me and if I get to my 6 miles. Darn it!
Anyway, it would explain my crazy woman troubles the past year which I feel should have left me dead blood loss by now, my constant state of frozenness, my blue finger tips and lips, my increasing dopiness and forgetfulness, and the progressing dulling of my formally sharp as a tack wit. And maybe with all this running I really should weigh 20 lbs less. Wouldn't that be a treat?

*Ella wore a princess dress to a party this morning and LIKED IT. She has always been quite violently against princess dresses. But there ya go. She is still wearing it to show Grandpa E and Aunt Snap later, after having worn it all night as well. (There, I admitted it.) She smells like a grubby toddler but looks like a sweetheart. Not that I am a big supporter or princess culture, nor am I against it. Moderation in all things, right?

Fine fine, off to the treadmill.


Monday, May 14, 2012


The day after MOTHER'S DAY

This year it hit home that I have *THREE* amazing mothers who brought my family into being. Other than myself of course. My mother, my husband's mother, and Ava's first mother. 

Oh my sweet little mommy, who during my formative years made her expectations and opinions clear, who drove us all over hell and gone to help us meet our potentials, who was when necessary tough and when required, very tender, who only wanted the best for us even when we were at our worst. Who's love and devotion was never in question, who worried too much, who always waited up, who packed sack lunches into the college years, who supplied a warm, happy, love-filled home even when we were in our brattiest, angriest, most rebellious stages.  Our relationship wasn't always perfect, as relationships between teenage girls and their mothers don't tend to be. She didn't want me selling myself short. She believed I could do math when I could not. She wasn't wild about my boyfriend selections for the most part.  But now I rely on my mommy more than ever. I talk to her daily. I envy her style. I don't know how she kept the house spotless every day of my life. I drop my kids off with her more often than she'd probably prefer. I can't help but spill all the gossip I have to her, vent over my work frustrations, complain about life in general, cry occasionally. She taught me to love reading, writing, quiet time, and to clean just a little bit every day. (It doesn't work as well for me however.)  Happily, I know she's proud of me. I tease her often about how relieved she should be, with how we've all turned out when there were times our futures seemed so perilous.  I hope she knows how much I love her and how much I need her. I hope she knows what a incredible, funny, sweet, fun mom she was and is. More fun by the minute, really. As we play family basketball and my siblings and I pick her up and trot her around the court and lift her skirt over her head when she makes a basket, I find myself thinking that truly, family is what matters most and I'm so lucky mine is so awesome. 

My mother in law raised my husband from a shrieking bright red ear-infection prone baby into one of the kindest, most sensitive, hard working, humble and strong men I have ever met. She finds the good in everyone, she smiles through everything. When Charlotte stopped breathing as a 3 month old and we thought it was the end, our room in the ER was in total chaos until she arrived. And then she took little post-ictal wailing, shaking Charlotte and rocked her and hummed and smiled in her face, and Charlotte went to sleep. And we all calmed down, and stopped crying, and sat down, and when Charlotte woke up, she was herself again. That is the effect she has on everyone. Calming. Cheering. She is confident with fatally ill infants and screaming angry toddlers. She is comforting to young couples weeping over an unexpected major trial or just bummed about a little weight gain. She is kind, happy and peaceful. I am so, so lucky to have such a mother-in-law. And it's also cool that I can send my kids to her with too-big pants around their ankles and pick them up dressed in custom altered outfits. 

And dear M. The first mother of my incredibly sweet, feisty, funny, beautiful Ava. M is the bravest woman I know. All she's been through, all she's endured, she is always full of hope, smiles, faith, and optimism. She is beautiful, she is funny, she is so, so smart. And good. She is at once young and wise, a student and a teacher. I am so grateful to have such a woman as part of our family, and I hope and pray Ava will grow up knowing and loving this woman who gave her birth, her beauty, her ancient heritage, and her middle name. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there, those who are, those who will be. Now or later, in this world or the next. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Meet Baby Booferd

about four months old.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


I wouldn't consider myself a fan of Coldplay. But the day we were driving up from our home to Charlotte's funeral, their song When I Ruled the World came on, and Zar said "Boofus did rule the world." And we laughed and jammed along to the song, and parts of it seemed so perfect for her, kind of haughty, kind of royal, with bells and orchestras and fanfare.

I hear Jerusalem bells a'ringing
Roman Calvary choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword my shield
My Missionary in a foreign field
For some reasons I can't explain
I know St. Peter Will call my name...

Although today I looked it up and actually it says St. Peter WON'T call my name, but it sure sounds like will, and Boofus certainly heard her name called. Anyway, it's always been a Boofus song. We imagined the choirs and the bells rejoicing as she was welcomed into heaven, and we had been her sword and shield and told her story for her in this life, and my brother was serving his mission in Greece when she passed away, and she was sure to let him know as gently as possible the morning she died. It was very special.

The other day I was driving home and another Coldplay song came on the radio. I had heard it before, but not for a long time, and I had never really listened to it. But immediately I knew that this was Lily's very own Coldplay song. Perfect for her. Sad and hopeful, holy and beautiful.

When your try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what your worth.

Lights will guide you home.
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you. 

 Oh Lily. We did try to fix you, but it wasn't what you needed. You didn't need fixing, as much as we tried. You came and got what you needed, and then lights were your guide home. Maybe we tried too hard, and should've let you go earlier. But what could we do?  We had to try. Thank you for sending me a song for you. It's so YOU, my irreplaceable treasure in heaven.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I am calm

Don't rob us just because we're aristocrats. 

GRRR. Been meaning to blog for days about how awesome it is getting older and wiser and less concerned with appearances and expectations. But then I noticed my checking account balance was strangely low, even for me, and investigated. Yep, two stupid charges that weren't me. And not even possibly legitimate need-based items, but some stupid kids sleep store and SCRUBS. About $250 worth. Sounds like some lame mom-nurse stealing from an awesome mom-nurse. (me.) Although I am proud of myself for noticing before the transactions even posted; there have been times in my life (like 30 years worth) that I would have just assumed I had done some forgotten late night shopping online and let it go.
Way to budget me! Although now I have had to cancel my card and wait for a new one and have no money for 10 business days. I'm just so peeved. Stupid people.
Deep breath. I am calm.
Once in high school during a Christmas choir performance during which we all had to leave our bags in the choir room, someone got into my purse and stole the $100 bill I had gotten for my birthday which I had been carrying around for over a month. And my bus pass. I noticed that very night when I went to pull it out (the money, not the bus pass) to treat my buddies to a delicious Denny's dinner. Oooh how I cried. Right there into my Eggs Over My Hammy. (just kidding, I have never ordered that.) And I fumed for WEEKS. I lay awake at night picturing the skeezy little high school weenie who must have peed himself when he found that $100 bill. I mean what luck. I'm sure he squealed with delight. And worst of all, it must've been a choir kid, because we were the only ones there that night. But not MY choir, we were all out on stage. Stupid Jazz Ensemble. I got up in Seminary and nearly shook with anger as I talked about how I was trying to overcome my violent anger over the $100. I started noticing all sorts of things I could have had with that $100. Absolutely legitimate weight loss pills. A huge oversized fleece robe.
Country CDs. Or, of course, a night at the nasty downtown Denny's.
The fact that I'm still talking about this 14 years later goes to show how much I seethed.
Luckily this time, I'm older, wiser, and can dispute the charges with a phone call. And answer "Oh Yeah" when asked if I would be willing to prosecute if the perpetrators are ever caught. Oh Yeah. And Yeah Right.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Moving Forward

I ran five miles today. Here I should say "I know this is hardly a marathon" or something about my snails pace, but I'm not going to. It was the longest run I've ever done, and it took me an hour. According to the treadmill (oh yeah, and it was on the treadmill...) I went 5.25, which is what I think I will go with, but I had to keep going so my iphone would also believe I had gone 5 miles and post as much to Facebook. Not going to post 4.75. Sheesh.
I really needed it today. I needed it yesterday, but instead I went to pick up my kids at my moms and ate 1300 calories worth of cookie dough and vented about my weenie problems to my mom and sister, which was also helpful, but not as therapeutic as running five miles today.
I have done "marathon" sessions of bikram yoga--regularly, at one time, 90 minutes in a very hot stinky-ish room doing somewhat painful things (and some very painful things) and that was helpful. The last time I did that was right after Lily died, probably the very next day, and I remember laying on my belly with my arms pressed together under me, and my back arched and my feet pressed together in the air, and staring right at the instructor who was staring at me, and knowing she could tell I was somewhere quite painful, and it wasn't just the posture. When I left I felt better.
Today when I started running I was planning on 3 miles, and flirted with the possibility of doing four, but really thought I only had the time and energy for 3. Then I started running. I ran my fastest first mile ever listening to the playlist I put together last night entitled "April 14." It is a GOOD running playlist. I ran my fast mile listening to my fave band The Killers and the always motivating "The Boys of Summer" (The Ataris) and thought about growing up and going to Laguna and Newport every summer and hiding out in my overalls under my umbrella while my sisters bask in the sun in bikinis. I thought of the red polkadot matching suits I just bought my girls for this summer, and of how I need a new big umbrella.
I listened to Kenny Chesney singing "We were brave, we were crazy we were mostly, young." I laughed inwardly and thought of my wild crazy young days, and then remembered that I didn't really have any. So I thought about calling in sick to my job at the Zuka Juice to go rollerblading, which is about as wild as I got as a teenager, although my mother weirdly saw me as a dangerous rebel. I listened to The All-American Rejects "Give you Hell" and thought about old boyfriends and how happy I am to have a happy marriage, a happy family, a happy little life. I thought about my recent minor disappointments at work and how I missed out on a bonus for not doing some stupid computer training program on time, and how i was demoted at the beginning of the year and docked a dollar in pay for not doing enough "administrative" stuff, and how now I am ridiculously busy at work with administrative stuff and working more hours because I was asked to pick up shifts, and am too busy to get my training done on time and still don't have "Senior" next to my name, or my dollar. Or my bonus. And I kinda just shrugged and thought "meh, work to live not live to work." But I may go ahead and fight that bonus thing. Yeah, give 'em hell.
I took a deep breath along with Jewel on "Standing Still" and thought about breathing deeply and driving up the canyon in tears, going through the transition between my "crazy" young love and my "adult" Forever Love. And I was so, so grateful. For both. But especially my husband.
And then, after many good songs and good memories and deciding things really aren't as dire as I've been feeling (acting), I was ready to move forward. After running four miles in place and getting, physically, absolutely nowhere. Yes, things aren't perfect. More family is moving far away, probably forever, and I would prefer we all stay within a few miles of each other, raise our kids together and have dinner together once a week. But everyone has to move forward. Yes maybe I've been working too much and for too little compensation, but I have a job I usually love with people I always love, and a great babysitting situation that doesn't make me feel guilty. For the moment. And I've had a great, rich life, and it just keeps getting to be more and more fun. Looking around my cute little living room which may possibly not be mine for very much longer, I'm ready to move forward.
My last mile was to possibly the greatest running song ever, "Holding out for a Hero" which 11 years ago I worked out to and thought about the hero I was holding out for, strong, fast and fresh from the fight, or rather, from his mission. I knew he would come along and we would move forward together. And he did, and we have, and will continue to. And I figured all that out running in place. For five miles. Did I mention that? I mean, who runs five miles? A runner, that's who. An awesome 31 year old mom wife mormon nurse mini-van driving cadbury egg eating life loving runner. Booyah.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

So I've got an absolute dearth of items to blog about, and as delightful as my tot conversations are to me, I think I need to branch out a bit. So in order to keep my blog from going completely belly up, and give myself some shame induced motivation, I'm going to go on the record as making this announcement: I am training for a half marathon.
Yes, it is true. I was supposed to do it last year with Zar, but I wimped out when he started routinely trotting 8 miles each day and I was still giving myself high fives when I broke 2 miles. I'm still, unfortunately, at that level. But I want it to happen this year, and I have a system in place, I've lost a little weight and I'm hoping third time is the charm. Way back when I started running a little bit to get ready for some race for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, but then I got pg with the Boof and naively thought I got continue to run, until week 8 or so when my boobs began to feel like....well, uncomfortable. My post-3-babies boobs are much more equipped (or should I say Less...) to handle the training, especially when situated in what my co-worker referred to as my "Harness" the other day. Because she works out in a toddler's under shirt. Complete with little bow. (Wow. I said boobs on my blog like twice. I guess I'm really throwing caution to the wind.) Anyway, then last year I started running with Zar, and it was great, and we ran around liberty park and it felt awesome, and then once the distances squeaked beyond my aforementioned wall of 2 miles, I decided the couch felt more awesome.
So I'm gonna do it this time. I know it's just a half, and not that big of a deal, and anyone can do it, but the point is, I'm going to do it, and I'm going to finish, and I'm gonna be proud about it for the rest of my couch loving life.
So this is week one of my commitment. I ran four miles on my mom's treadmill the other day, and it was my first "long slow run" (I know, I'm in for a shock) and I ran the whole time, and then that night I was exhausted and had a splitting headache and slept like a rock. I took the day off yesterday from exercise (you know, to recover from my long slow run) and cried at work for a few hours over unrelated and really not-a-big-deal reasons, (you would think I'd be mentally tougher.) So today I loaded my kids in the van for a trip up to the cemetery, all decked out in my running togs, harness and GPS equipped iphone, ksl $20 jogging stroller and toddlers. Ella brought her scooter which I figured would last a few minutes at best, but instead of my vigourous run we logged one forty minute mile, complete with much sqauking, squirrel sightings, and clearing paths of rocks before venturing forward. It was a lovely stroll. Of course then my phone betrayed me by posting my "run" to facebook as soon as I hit end. Thanks.
Then I came home delighted that my kids were exhausted from our big run and to celebrate I ate Ella's lucky charms she requested for lunch and then fell asleep before eating. Then I ate four more girl scout cookies, (they are almost gone!!) a large and not-very-tasty lemon cookie Zar brought home, and a handful of jelly bellys to calm myself when Ella woke up minutes later just as I got all prepared for a nap. And really, those few hours were enough to convince me I need to scrap this whole plan and stop pretending I can become a fabled runner. Which is why I'm here to put it out there. This is happening, and I'm going to eat a sleeve of thin mints tonight so they will no longer be a hinderance.
Once I can get over my phobia of "being seen" I might be able to get out for runs before Zar wakes up, but if you know me and sleep you know that's going to be a push. Also oh my goodness those tots are so heavy in that stroller with one leaky tire. I don't know how it's going to happen. But I'm putting it out there. Because shame is a powerful thing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ha ha! Turns out there isn't an endless supply of storage space on computers. My computer refuses to download one more picture until I get rid of some other ones. Huh. Might get to that sometime this year. You will have to wait for pictures of my kids playing with chalk on the front porch. I know, right? Hard to bear.

Rest assured that we are well and happy. It's incredible how much peace and relief I get once February ends. Like the 12th (or 16th) week of pregnancy....or the 41st week of pregnancy really. Like the last day of call, like the final guilt inducing girl scout cookie, like flopping into bed after a tedious day, face scrubbed and bite guard in place. Ahhhhh. Some things you just got to push through.

And once you finish enduring, you can start moving forward. Now that it's warming up we can start finalizing and getting Lily's headstone carved, no more chalking it in on our visits. My kids are hilarious and learning every day, I'm learning every day, and getting healthier than I've been in years. Feeling good. Hoping for a continued quiet, uneventful 2012. Just for awhile. Let's just be normal.

And enjoy conversations such as the following:

Ella: Mom, Owls go to sleep when the sun comes up.
Me: Yup.
Ella: And they are not turtles.
Me: Right...
Ella: I like turtles though.
Me: ...
Me: Wait...do you mean they are nocturnal?
Ella: Yeah, owls are not turtles but I like turtles too. And owls.

Till next month...

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

February is over! Hugs all around!

Just a quick post to celebrate the end of February, and to ease my guilt over going through a period of blogging inactivity. We are finally all pretty healthy and happy, Ava is talking up a storm and we are having delightful intellectual conversations:

AVA: Hide and seek! A drink of water! Puma! Rarr-rarr! Choo choo train mommy! NO! NO! NO!BABY ELEPHANT! TA-DAAAA!

MOM: Okaaaay...

ELLA: (Laughs hysterically) It's not a puma, it's a tiger.


Despite my poor showing in the blogging world, I am becoming more dedicated and active in other areas of my life, which is more important. Unfortunately....but not surprisingly, I have attached the faith aspect of my life to the grief aspect, and sometimes when it's just too much for me (Like the month of February, for example, and to a lesser extent, Christmas) I go ahead and drop both to save myself some pain. Well turns out it doesn't work, and being spiritually dead is not the way to cope. So I'm experiencing a reawakening of faith, which feels good. Yes, it brings tears and emotions and even some anguish closer to the surface, but without it life is dark and, well, pointless. Better to live in the light.

Another hobby I'm re-discovering is taking care of myself physically which improves every other aspect of my life. It's been awesome to wake up feeling rested and energized. Hardly any headaches. Less wearing of maternity leggings. And last week when the scale shockingly dipped into places I haven't been in 4 years, not even the on-call pager coming to life the moment it touched my hands could bring me down. Ah, relative health.

And the final item demanding a large portion of my free time is Downton Abbey.

Life is good. With a little effort.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Charlotte's 3rd Angel Day

Happy Mardi Gras from Boofus,
Queen of the Beads

Sometimes even though I can't see two of my girls here on earth I can still feel them near. Online these moments are sometimes known as "tinks". I've never been a huge fan of the term, but last night it was quite fitting. I posted a picture of Charlotte on Facebook and mentioned that this night marked the 3 year anniversary of the worst night of my life. And so last night I went to bed thinking of that night, of the terrible phone call that changed everything, of the bright lights and blood and puffing oscillator. And then, as I lay there in the dark with my phone on the window sill, suddenly the room lit up and there was a little musical chime. Turns out it was both my phone and the ipad lighting up to alert me of a new comment on Facebook, and a chime to accompany it. Every time I found myself falling deep into memories of that awful night, the room would light and the chime would interrupt my thoughts to remind me that someone was thinking of Charlotte and sending her and I thoughts through the dark night. And soon, instead of thinking of that one night of terror and grief filled moments I was thinking of other moments, moments when Charlotte was being Charlotte. Grinning in a pile of Mardi Gras beads, chewing her bottom lip and watching the world go by from her car seat, laughing as the school bus lifted her on board for another fun exhausting school day, yanking my earrings and giving me slobbery kisses, sticking her fingers up my nose, rolling on the floor from toy to toy, smiling ecstatically when we pulled the blankets around her at night, glaring sideways at her new baby sister and attempting to bite her head as we scrambled for the camera to catch this spontaneous sister "hug." And every time I heard the chime last night or this morning I would smile and think "Tink!"
Thank you for being there for us and remembering Charlotte, aka Chuck Money Millionaire. I feel Charlotte, Lily, and all of you near.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Happiest Place...?

pretty much our best Disney pic. Woo.

Lily's First Angel Day was on Monday. As you may recall, we were in Disneyland with friends over her first birthday, and our season passes are about to expire, so we used those reasons to justify a quick family trip to our beloved D-land to spend time together and remember Lily. Here's a quick overview.

(Superbowl) Sunday: Had a breakdown at church due to combined influences of horrid toddler behavior and remembering last Superbowl Sunday morning when Lily left us. Marched Ella home, popped her in bed and went to sob in my bedroom. Hearing me sob put Ella into hysterics so she came in and we snuggled and sobbed together until we both fell into a red puffy nap.

Later: Piled in the "little red car" to head to D-land having chosen to take the Yaris to save on gas. Borrowed friend's portable DVD player. Ava has hidden Tangled and Charlotte's Web somewhere in my mother's house. DVD player won't play scratched up Mickey show. Stop at Shopko, buy Winnie the Pooh and Wall-E. Still won't play. Decide to go all the way to Vegas instead of stopping at family's house in St. George, due to the DVD issue. Girls mourn loss of movies, fight over Ipad, cry, fall asleep.

Monday: Ella wakes up with her eyes glued shut with goo. Is terrified when cannot open eyes. Leave "Big Castle" hotel, drive to Primm, eat McDonalds breakfast, Ella looks like this:

So straight out of Outbreak.

Drive to California. Girls alternate between screaming wildly and sleeping, except when listening to Bollywood type rendition of "Teddy Bear Picnic" on my Ipod 30 times. Get a little slap happy. Arrive at Portofino Inn and Suites, check in, room is ready, HOORAY! And Bed Bug check negative! Uh-oh, no fridge or microwave in room, that's just in the suites. Oh well, will live on Pringles and Oreos. Go to Disneyland. Go on Small World. Ella refuses to go on Pirates. Throws a fit, goes on Pirates. Go on Winnie the Pooh. Go on Winnie the Pooh. Wander about. We start to realize Disney works best with more than one couple and two tots. You know, so you can go on big kid rides, and not all alone. Go back to hotel. Decide I need a soak, Zar allows it as long as I take at least one kid, so Ella and I head for the pool. Open the gate, Ella heads right for the pool and throws herself in despite my screaming, throw myself in after her and fish her out. Soak my clothes. We sit in hot tub and talk to Canadian lady all night who informs me it's going to rain tomorrow. I inform her Disneyland is closing two hours early tomorrow. Go back to room in soggy pants and sweatshirt. Watch Bachelor.

Tuesday: Zar spikes fever in the night like an toddler with an ear infection. Moans a lot and snuffles. Spends the night shivering in the bathtub. Ella wakes up screaming with her eyes glued shut.

Cheers up with Pringles and tylenol breakfast and declares "Chips make you healthy!" Decide to upgrade to suite. Kids thrilled with bunk bed and ladder. Don't really want to go to Disneyland due to new fun park in our hotel room. Go to California Adventure in rain. Go on Ariel. Zar takes girls on Toy story and I go on California Screaming. Go on Ariel. Go on fun wheel. Go get lunch. Ella says she doesn't feel well and doesn't want to eat. Sees Ava's burrito and demands her own. Mighty fit thrown. Has bite of new seven dollar baby burrito and says it's yucky. More fit throwing. Go back to room for extended nap. Get back to D-land right before closing, just enough time to go on Winnie the Pooh. Zar goes on Splash Mountain alone despite fact is night, and February. Go back to Ca-Adventure, go on Monsters Inc, see Muppet vision, go to Bug's Life area. Unfortunately Ella thought I was saying "Buzz Light" and not "Bugs Life" all night, so another mighty fit is thrown upon reaching the much anticipated Bugs Life world. Go on a few kiddie rides, go back to room. Zar goes to get pizza without his phone, gets lost, and doesn't return for over an hour. Ella, Ava and I all throw fits due to hunger and tiredness. Unofficial facebook status is: Husband is either dead, or he is going to be upon his return." Eat pizza. Go to sleep.

Wednesday: Zar spends another night in the tub, Ella wakes up with her eyes glued shut, get dressed, get medicated, go to Disneyland. Ella wants to go on Winnie the Pooh. When I refuse to carry her from the stroller to the ride she throws herself in front of other people's double strollers and sobs. Says she is all out of walk. Stick to my guns, refuse to carry her, finally she gets up, gets in line, sobs in line, (strangers hand us wadded up kleenex) sobs throughout the hundred acre wood, sobs during Pooh's heffalump dream, sobs during Pooh's birthday party, sobs in the store where I buy my giant cookie, sobs while we sit under a tree and eat corn dogs, cookie, chips and soda, falls asleep on the way back to hotel. Her face is like red snot souffle. Wakes up feeling much better once in room, Zar desperately attempt to transfer DVD's to Ipad without success, Ava naps, Ella refuses, I go for de-stressing run in fitness center, because after all, Zar got that break the night before while searching for pizza place. Load up, head to Red Robin for dinner. Ella says she is all out of walk, but is able to crawl on her belly in the parking lot sobbing and then run off. Get back in car and head for hotel. Discuss packing up and leaving for home immediately. Discuss how we are glad this is our last Disney trip for some time. Discuss how we just wanted to spend time with our girls we love so much and then they are so naughty and that makes us soooo sad. Girls sit and glare at us from back seat of car. Ava's eyes get goopy.

Go back to Disneyland all full of hope. Go on Small World. Go on Winnie the Pooh. FOR SOME REASON allow the girls to each pick out a present (mostly to use up our expiring rewards dollars) and leave Disneyland with one baby Dumbo and one Perry the Platypus. Go to Ca-Adventure one last time, go on Ariel. Go back to room, pack up, attempt to download Super Why to Ipad from Itunes but Wi-fi is slow.

Thursday: Get up at 5:30, get in car, drive home. Miraculously girls are angels. Ella sleeps for many, many hours. Ava sleeps and quietly plays with the Ipad, with a book, with her baby elephant. I read to Zar until my throat is raw. Around 90th south girls start to lose it, and ten minutes later we arrive home. Do laundry. Feel ill. Take Nyquil. Go to sleep.

Now: Wake up with no voice (too much reading? Or super cold?) go to work, get sent right home, get strep test, negative. Laundry, blog.

It wasn't all bad. There were sweet moments. And a big cookie. It was, after all, Disneyland. But thus ends The Year of Disney, during which we were season pass holders and went ten times. (Zar eleven, for a brief jaunt alone while on a business trip.) I didn't take a lot of pictures.

I guess it was fitting as Lily's angel day trip. Like her life, it didn't go as planned, and it was a little rough, and there was much crying, but it was still sweet. And very tiring.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

'Tis the Season


Two cars back I had a Nissan Pathfinder in lovely maroon, which was a wonderful car for that slightly more active and young part of my life. I had it from the time I was 17 until right after Charlotte was born, It was great in the canyons and okay in the snow, and had some delightful quirks. One of these was the electrical system, which sometimes worked correctly, and sometimes presented fun surprises like resetting the clock whenever you opened the door, and for awhile, setting off the alarm if you didn't start the car within 10 seconds of climbing in. The reason I mention this is the other day I climbed into my mom van after working at the hospital all day, and started pawing through my purse looking for my keys. I couldn't find them in the dark of the parking garage and found myself quickly moving into anxiety bordering on panic. My fingers closed over my armless Buzz Lightyear key chain and I almost ripped the lining out of purse trying to get the keys into the ignition before....
...Oh yeah. That was 2 cars and eight years ago. Mom van doesn't throw itself into a wailing whooping fit if you don't immediately prove you have the key upon entering. Funny how things like that come back to you though. Part of you always remembers.
Even now, 13 years since I graduated from high school, the approach of the beginning of June still brings a happy nervous exciting tense feeling, as if 3 months of rollerblading and sleeping in, and toilet papering are on the horizon. Then it always turns out I'm still expected to come to work even after June 6th (that date just always sticks out in my mind) has come and gone. And rollerblading is apparently not cool anymore.
And so, why would I expect anything different surrounding this time of year? On that deep visceral, car alarm, summer vacation level, this time of year is about cherishing every moment, even the awful ones, and about tears and grief and loss. It is as much about death and being left behind as Christmas is about joy and life. For me, anyway.
Naturally I'm going to be a little down. And late for work, or unable to sleep, or absolutely exhausted, or annoyed, or cranky, or quiet, or not very social, or thoughtless, or sobbing my eyes out with my cheek pressed against a cold granite headstone on a windy Sunday night. 'Tis the Season.
For the few years we had Charlotte with us, these few weeks were about desperately awaiting the spring, when the air would be clear and the flu would fade away, and all of us, especially Charlotte, could breath a little easier. And then came the year that would be her last, and the winter had been rough, and I felt like we were just around the corner from relief. Well, she was. She was taken quickly by a common virus after a long, slow, barely perceptible decline. Then just two years later we were going through the very painful and strange but holy weeks of trying to make Lily's life peaceful and comfy as she slipped away from us.

And that was only a year ago. Not eight. Not thirteen. I will always have this heaviness during these cold, gray, tender weeks. It's natural and it's okay. But I do apologize for being somewhat cocooned around myself at the moment. It's self preservation. And I'm not laying in the fetal position crying all day. I'm just keeping quiet. I'm fine, and functioning and happy. I'm just a little sad.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

My PRK Surgery or One Wild Weekend"

For Christmas this year, my parents offered to pay for one eye's worth of corrective vision surgery for each child. With a deal like that I saw no reason not to undergo PRK surgery last thursday. I was not a candidate for LASIK due to steep corneas, or some jargon, but I was good to go for the older, more painful PRK surgery.
I'm not saying it was a mistake, but at this point i'm not recommending it. The procedure itself was fine, made almost pleasant with a little valium and getting to lay down for a few minutes. The only part that bothered me was when the nurse said "let's just get that little bit of epithelium out of your eye" and did a little scraping motion over my taped open eyeball. Ew.
But I went home excited to climb into bed and listen blindly to books on tape on my ipod for a couple days in the dark. "Every mother's dream!" my own mother declared. Not that I disagree.
Once in bed I noticed some discomfort but quickly fell asleep trying to pay attention to the rather studious 1776. Zar was going to go pick up my pain meds and eye drops and then pick up the kids from my mothers, and then I figured we would get some burritos and have a fabulous long weekend together.
The next thing I remember was waking up in quickly intensifying pain. As if someone were rubbing sandpaper against my eyeballs. At this point I already had the residual valium and two Lortabs on board, and of course, was blind, but I made it downstairs to paw through the medicine cabinet looking for some sort of relief. I opened the freezer and grabbed what I thought was a bag of peas but turned out to be Ella's weird chemical "Make your own dehydrated snow". In any case I rushed back upstairs, located my phone and ordered it to call my husband and in turn ordered him to rush home with my drugs.
"You can't have any more drugs yet," he replied.
Then I lay keening on the bathroom floor in the dark waiting for him. The next few hours, or really, the next couple days are blur, as I was being fed around the clock Lortab with messed with my sense of time but did not seem to touch the pain, which progressed to feeling as though my eyelids were made of shards of glass, or razor blades, and my tears were lemon juice. There was moaning, wailing, and swearing, there was banging of heads against the floor. At some point fairly early on I yelled at Zar to go find my "Pro Something Pills" which knocked me out for two days during my pregnancy with Ella. I told Zar I was nauseous, as Zar does not believe in taking a drug just to be knocked out. Although in this case I'm sure he would have been cool with it. In any case, thiis the only reason I'm not dead now. Seriously, it was the WORST physical pain I have ever experienced, and I stand by my hysterical raging of two days ago that people in this kind of pain should be sedated in a hospital, not sent home with a headache pill, swear swear swear. C-section recovery has NOTHING on this, except when Ella jumped on my tummy right after Lily was born and I was certain my innards had exploded all over my hospital room. It was about like that, if the toddler continued to jump on the incision and I had no power to stop it. Yes, that bad, yes, if I had a gun, I would have used it. In hindsight maybe we should have called the doctor, the one who mentioned "mild discomfort." I hope they have me fill out a survey.
Here's a few other details I recall:
Zar trying to force me to wear my sunglasses while in bed to keep me from rubbing my eyes, and me throwing them off and screaming abusively.
Zar putting cold compresses on my face and me throwing them off screaming "IT DOESN'T HELP" and swearing abusively,
Trying to act nice and calm in front of Ella, but losing it and wailing "MOMMY NEEDS MORE MEDICINE!" and hearing her burst into tears, and then, heartbreak, her not wanting to sleep with me that night.
Zar ordering me to open my eyes for my drops and screaming abusively, but I'm sure you guessed that.
Ella coming in and piling her toys on me--monkey, Uno Moo Game, various plastic balls, penguin, and plastic foods to make me feel better once I had fallen into an exhausted drugged out heap.
Thinking I had better have x-ray vision once this is over.

Well, the pain is gone, and I can squint well enough to type somewhat reliably. But not drive. And certainly not be a useful employee tomorrow. But I'm going anyway. I have to pay for my other eye. My vision should continue to improve over the next few days and reach full improvement in six months...but really...didn't I look kinda cute in glasses?