Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here is the tag that all have been doing, and I'll play along...

From November 2003

Where did you meet?

We met in High school at Kearns High in SLC. I knew of his sister in eighth grade. We were in the same "group" in school although on different peripheries of it. I knew she had an older brother, but he didn't come onto my radar until I was a sophomore and he was playing Conrad Birdie in the School Musical. I think he didn't know who I was until the end of that year when I didn't have anybody to hang out with at Choir tour, so I hung around with his friends (who were also friends of mine in debate).

What was the first thought that went through your head when you met?

"Oh my goodness. He is just the most exotic-looking gorgeous boy I have ever seen" I always swooned when I was around him. :-) When he asked me on our first date it was even worse.

Do you remember what he was wearing?

I don't remember if he was wearing his costume for the role of Conrad or not, but I seem to remember that he was. He was "rehearsing" before the show in front of the Concert Choir anbd he sang that song that has the words "some girls are ripe for some kissing..." he was swinging his hips like Elvis and and all the girls were screaming at him. I knew at that moment that although he was amazing, I would never be in his league. He had dates all the time and was always hanging around cute girls. Imagine my total amazement when we became friends and then when we started dating.

Where did you go for your first date?

He asked me out first to a SPEBSQSA concert in preparation for his newly-forming quartet. But it was about two weeks away. I ended up asking him out second, but our date was first. It was a concert at Abravanel of a new-age musician that I really enjoyed at the time (okay, okay, I admit it, I like new-age!) Hehe, my parents also had tickets. So our first date was adouble with my parents. How's that for dorky beginnings? ;-)

Where was the first time you kissed this person?

I think I've answered this in a previous tag...on his front doorstep with his little brother egging us on behind the door. The kiss after the mission was way better. :-)

When was the first time you realized that you liked this person?

As soon as I knew him. Once we got to know each other, I realized that he was amazing in other things besides his looks. I always hoped that someday we would really end up together but I realized the unlikelihood of that happening to people from high school. Even after we started dating, I was so afraid that we would screw it up and I would never see him again. He and I are both introverts, so the early days of our dating were rather awkward for both of us. I didn't really have a solid relationship with him in till the mission. We became best friends through those weekly letters.

How long did you know this person before you became a couple?

About a year from the time we were both aware of each other to when we were a "couple". Considering that I was only 15 when we met, that's a good thing. :-)

How did this person propose to you?

I had agreed to go back to Jackson before we were exclusively dating after the mish and I asked him if he wanted me to go or should I pull out of it. He said to go. It would only be one summer, right? In fact, I was only going to stay for a month until the Hatchet sold to the new owner. He said it would be a great time to write mushy letters to each other. Well, I think I got two or three letters. I used a *lot* of phone cards that summer. One week our talking got really forced and awkward as we tried to make plans for the next year without actually saying "marriage". Finally, he said "I've been beating around a bush a lot and I hope you know which bush I'm beating around." that kind of let off the tension and he said that he wanted us to start talking about getting married. I hated the idea of a long engagement, so I said, "when?" He came up about two weeks later, after having asked my parents for permission, and gave me my ring. No knee, no proposal, nothing. To hear him tell the story, I proposed to him. I think it was him that did the actual asking, just not in so many words. We've improved our communication since then. ;-)

Do you and this person have kids together?

We had a baby boy, Evan, in March of 1999. He was stillborn. We also have 4 other children. One boy and 3 girls. They are all beautiful.

Have you ever broken the law with this person?

I'm sure we have, I just can't remember it now. I mean we've been together for an awful long time. I'm sure it would mostly just be traffic stuff... ;-)

Do you trust this person?

I do. Trust is a big deal and occasionally goes in and out. But I trust him with my heart and with my family.

Do you see him as your partner in your future?

Of course, and partner is a good word as I don't see him as just my spouse, but my partner in everything.

What is the best gift he gave you?

While we were dating, he had gone with me to my Grandparents home. My grandma is short and she has footstools all over the place. I made some offhand comment that I would also have footstools everywhere and for my birthday he made me a footstool. He made the stool from wood that he cut out and then he did a needlework design that was in my favorite colors with a saying that was dear to my heart and subsequently inscribed in my wedding band. It was for my 17th birthday. I still have it, it's been put away as I have littles who get things dirty and until I master cleaning needlepoint, I don't want to leave it a target for too much destruction. He is great with things like that. Gifts that are well thought out and tender.

What is one thing he does that gets on your nerves?

I would get really upset when we were first married th t he would leave the cupboard doors open. I kept trying to change his behavior. That was when I learned. I married a person. I don't want to change him and he didn't marry me to be changed. I close the cupboard doors now. :-)

Where do you see each other 15 years from now?

We hope to be in a hobby farm by then with no debts and on our way to being off the grid. :-)

What causes the most arguments?

Nan said the same thing that happens in our home. I cause arguments. He doesn't argue. If I lose my cool, he maintains a calm demeanor throughout the conversation. We're learning ways to have deep conversations about things that matter to us rather than harboring grudges about things that don't meet either of our needs.

How long have you been together?

We started dating in April 1995 and were married in Sep 1998. So that's 13 years together and we just celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary.

Who Do you Tag?

Ooh, Sapps, Cousin Andrea, and whoever else hasn't done this yet...


Yeah, sorry it took so long. I always procrastinate uploading my photos as my hard drive was getting so full that it was keeping the thing from working properly. Here are my cuties...

Frodo was Hamlet. Yes, you read that right. He was Hamlet. He designed the costume all by himself. I was laughing at his choice of characters and I quizzed him on the story. My son knows not only the main plot, but also *all* of the subplots and how everyone dies. Who knew what guiding children in the direction they show interest would do... ;-)

Rapunzel was a princess, of course. When we asked her if she was Ophelia to Frodo's Hamlet, she said, "of course not mom. Ophelia dies in a pool in the river. I had no idea she knew about the story, so I quizzed her, and without any prompting from her brother, she was also well-versed in the story. She's five.

Buggy was...a bug. It was the costume we owned that fit her. ;-) And boy, was it cute. She had practiced so hard at saying "trick or treat" and every time she did, she erupted into gasps of laughter. As we were taking photos, I told her to say cheese and you can see her here, signing "cheese". This is the photo I'm turning in to "Signing Time" as they are a major contributor in Buggy having the language acquisition that she does.

That last one is sweet little baby and Daddy in his be-all costume. This cloak has been many things for many people. Ghost of Christmas Future, Dementor, Obi Wan, generic scary guy.

The kids were going to do some looting to a few older neighbors and then meet me at the ward party, but they ended up having too much fun to be bothered with meeting me and I ended up alone at the party with my babe. :-) Oh well, at least they had fun and I still got the "tax" of candy. :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can You Fix This...Please!

Aaack! I just talked to our insurance co on the phone because they have stopped covering Buggy's feeding supplies. I was informed that this plan does not cover disposable items of any kind. WHAT!?!?! Do you mean that I pay premiums for you to not help in my daughter's day-to-day living? You aren't going to cover something that is *essential* to her life? Her food bags aren't important because they are disposable? The lady on the phone tried to console me by saying that they didn't cover colostomy bags either...

Are you kidding me!?!?!?

They refuse to assign her a case manager, because they "don't do that for anyone" and then I get to clean up the messes of things not getting billed right, or being flagged because they "could have been caused" by an injury caused by someone else. (aka, someone else gets to pay for this)

On top of that, our car broke this weekend. I knew it was coming, but I didn't have the energy to deal with it just yet. It turns out that the radiator is done. It needed to be replaced. We hoped that would solve the problem of the heater blowing out cold air, but apparently not. We will have spent more than $1000 on the car by the end of this week...just when we were getting our food storage bulked up.

I'll probably erase this post because it's not very nice or happy or well though out or helpful or even productive. I just needed to gripe and the people I would normally call are gone.

Things would be much easier for me if I were an extrovert. :-P

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Life Day

As most of you know, Buggy's life day was on the 2nd of this month. It has been 3 years since my beautiful babe had a grade 5 brain bleed which caused her heart to stop and her lungs to fill with fluid. Our life has been a rollercoaster since then. She has been a joy and a master teacher to me. She is now talking up a storm and putting four or five words together. Here is pic taken just a few days ago with her "jiggle vest" on. This wonderful invention has kept her out of the hospital for almost one year...yes, you read that right. No admissions since November of *last* year. I doubted that day would ever come when we could live our lives and not worry about constant hospital stays. We're not out of the woods completely yet, but things are definitely looking up on the short-term health front.

Little has a "little" cold. She snorted around in a pool of snot last night and this morning it is much worse. She doesn't seem to be cranky, though, so it's all good. Other than sleeping a little more than usual, she seems to be okay.

Today starts our first round of Parent teacher conference. We'll be seeing the teacher at Public School preschool. The big kids have conf next week.

As you can guess, with all of the girls around our house, we do "princess" a lot. Rapunzel is catching on to her letters and J caught this pic while she had made her own crown and sceptor.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Sorry all. I was looking on a friends blog that had a blogroll and when the last post of the blog occurred and I realized (with proper shame, of course) that it's been over 4 months since my last post.

We had a family council and decided to have the kids go to public school for now. I was worried that they would start complaining after the first week and it's been 4 now and we're still going strong. Frodo loves his 3rd grade class and Rapunzel adores her kindergarten teacher. She's struggling with her letters, they still evade her much of the time, but she'll get it when she's ready. We have a literary home and I don't doubt that she'll read when she's ready, the trick is to keep her teachers from getting concerned and keep her from falling behind her peers too much (or keep from caring). I'm sure it will be fine, she has already picked up tons from where she started.

Frodo has started reading Animorphs. It's been so funny to watch him get so wrapped up in this fiction series *without any pictures*. We had the joy of discovering AR in the last few weeks and he seems to be right on track with that.

We sat down to dinner last week and he said "mom, it's nice when we're together." I asked him to clarify and he continued, "I mean, all of here, right now, being with each other...it's nice. Don't you think it's nice to be with us?" Both J and I assured him that we did like it. Before public school, we spent all day every day together. The kids had a hard time with sitting down to dinner together because they didn't realize what it was all about. Now that they spend significantly less time with us, Frodo seems to realize that the time we spend together is special and he enjoys it.

Rapunzel has also gotten very tired and cranky at school. She gets really exhausted by the weekend and often needs to spend much of it snuggled up with one of her grown-ups. Once Monday comes around, she wants to go back and she has never expressed displeasure or reticence to go after the first day, I think the crankiness is subconscious for her and she isn't always able to articulate that it's physical contact with her parents that she needs. I wonder how this trait will serve her when she becomes a grown-up herself and has hopefully had all of her needs met. I hope it will help her to be empathic and compassionate.

Buggy has absolutely loved her two schools. She screams in joy when she sees her teachers or her school bus (which she takes once a week) and then screams again when she sees mom or dad. She attends the two year old class in one preschool and her teacher reports that she is right on track cognitively with them. I watched her on the first day behind the observation glass and she was comfortable and played the whole time. The other class has her behind on her vision and fine motor, but she loves it and the teacher loves her. I think she spends most of the one day that she is there in various therapies.

Which leaves me for about an hour or so with the little, to whom I have not given a blogname, it's so weird to be in the home with out a brood all the time. No wonder other moms have cleaner homes. I've been able to keep the place 15 minutes from presentability for most of this time. I'm hoping once we have a system down pat that I can actually start doing some things I've been waiting to do (scrapbooking, beading or sewing anyone?). The babe is still taking about 3 naps and is starting to "let go" of the nursing nap, for at least one or two of those naps, so I'm reading less and doing more around the house. It's kind of nice. I'm even getting more time to type. It's perfect timing as my LLL work is going to become a little more time-consuming as I take on an area responsibility that could take me all over the state and I've been trying to get into for over one year.

We're nearing one whole year with a grown-up job and no more grad school. I still often feel like things are going so well in that department that I need to pinch myself. Who knew you could find a place where you could do something that made you feel good, and you could still make enough money to support your family without worrying about your job security.

So that's what we've been up to. It's been a full couple of months. Baby is starting to turn over a full 360. She looks just like the rest of us (who can be surprised with that). My mom was commenting that she looks a lot like I used to at that age, but she also looks tons like J and I've come to the conclusion that once you have as many children as we do, people stop trying to decide which parent she looks more like and instead with each child or the ever-funny "wow! she really belongs in your family doesn't she!" She's so smiley and has J's fake dimples on both sides. You know what I mean, right? J has one real dimple and one "fake" one, meaning, it has a kind of "fold" in the cheek, but it doesn't really look like a "hole" in the muscle. I don't know if that makes sense, but oh well...

We have a bunch of family and friends with babies coming and just shown up. Congrats to all of you! Hopefully you won't have to wait too long to hear from us.

Oh, BTW, if you also want to know what we're up to, come over to ourstory.com and look me up. It's an awesome website with which I'm having tons of fun. Come join me! It's under my "real name" instead of belcantomom. It's probably the only place on the web that is like that. I can keep privacy circles, though, so nobody has access to stuff I don't want them to.

Have a wonderful conference weekend!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This could be long, but it wasn't... (the Birth Story)

This is the birth story. It is graphic. Please use discretion when reading.

I may write a long post, but realize that in real life, it didn't really take that long. Or maybe, the "long part" didn't last very long. It was actually very quite manageable for most of the labor.

This time, I tried HypnoBabies. As opposed to HypnoBirthing. I used HypnoBirth last time as my doula was the teacher and I got a combined rate with her services and her class. It was good and I learned a bunch. I also *really* needed that doula and she was wonderful. If you are ever at all on the fence about getting one, I highly recommend it. She helped make my VBAC possible.

This time, I was looking for program that was a little more comprehensive and could be done at home. I knew I wanted women with me at the birth, but I wanted *my* women. i wanted my sisters and mom with me. I wasn't sure how I could make that happen, but that's what I wanted. Now that I had my "birthing feet" wet, so to speak, I didn't need so much a trained doula as my own family to support me.

I asked my sister to be my doula, as she has expressed interest in doula-ing and she said she would love to, but as we got closer to the birth, we both realized that it probably wouldn't work out. She is still in the "3 little kids at home" season and a husband that works swings. AS nighttime would be my most likely birthing time, we agreed that if I went into labor from morning to noon, she could come and not at any other time. (hehe, how's that for putting some limits?)

I couldn't ask my other married sister to be with me as she was due with her own little bundle only three weeks before me. So that left my unmarried sis and my mom. I hesitated asking my mom to attend as she had been so nervous with Buggy. It wasn't unwarranted worry; it was to be my first VBA2C and my first homebirth after being told by an MD that not only should I never get pregnant again, but that I would *never* birth vaginally. I understand why he said those things, but even though they were just his opinion, he said them and my mom was worried. Well, as I got closer, I knew that I needed to discuss this with her.

She was wonderful. She said that she would love to attend my birth this time. She did agree that she had been nervous last time, but that she felt I was totally capable of doing this. She felt that I was in capable hands and that I had educated myself well enough and knew what I was getting myself into.

This pregnancy has been very difficult, physically, for me. It was great until that last six weeks or so. (lest you forget, check out some of my earlier posts.) Baby was positioned very wonky and hanging out over my pubic bone. It repositioned my whole pelvis and threw out my back. Which in turn, messed with every ligament and muscle in my pelvic floor. That, my friends, was pain. I could barely walk at all, and most days had little to no walking involved. I started to get very impatient for this little one to arrive as I was tired of carrying all this weight. I couldn't figure out why she wouldn't come. I was having all sorts of labor surges, but nothing would stay for very long. I really felt like she could have been ready, but every time I talked to her, she wasn't ready to come. I slowly tried to reposition her with my surges and kept talking to her to tell her it was okay to come. Finally, I just got so discouraged that I couldn't go any further. I was at the verge of tears for about three days and one day they just wouldn't stop. I finally asked HeaterBoy for a blessing. I knew that I couldn't make it any further without one.

When he gave me the blessing, it was on Mother's day. It was beautiful. He told me to be patient and the baby just wasn't ready. I felt peace and comfort and the Lord knew what I was going through. (HeaterBoy wasn't aware of the extent to which I had gone to get this baby here.) I was finally resigned to a couple more weeks. I felt okay in continuing as I knew that God knew me. He knew my heart and my soul and he knew my baby. It would be okay.

We went to my mom's for dinner as it was "2nd Sunday" when we always go there. I was feeling a little better since the baby was now further "in" my body instead of just hanging out over it. I was having a bunch of surges, but I usually choose not to time them as it is pretty meaningless for me. If I'm really in labor, they'll keep going and get harder; if I'm not, they won't.

I timed them on the way home (for the last twenty minutes) and realized they were coming every eight minutes or so. Of course, once I got ready for bed, they had slowed considerably and I didn't want to get myself all worked up when I was still going to be a while.

While Jared and I were laying in bed, I told him I needed help getting up as I needed to get to the bathroom and right then, like a Pavlovian response, I got wet...all over. When I walked down to the bathroom and continued to drip...all the way to the room, I realized, we were absolutely no longer dealing with pee. :-) But as I was still not convinced I would be going into labor anytime soon, I called my midwife to tell her my water had broken, but didn't anticipate anything imminent and was going to bed to try and rest. I called my mom and told her the same thing. This was about 11:30.

I went back to bed and "did" my hypno cd's and there wasn't much going on. I was able to relax right through my surges without any problems, even though they were starting to wrap around my back. Eventually, I had to pee again, and I didn't like that I was leaking everywhere. I went downstairs and went to the bathroom and then tried sitting on the birth ball for a minute. Quickly, the surges got more businesslike and I realized that I wanted my husband with me. I called him on the phone (we have an intercom feature on our phones) and asked him to come down and time the surges. It seemed like they were coming faster and I didn't want to pay attention to timing. As he timed they required some relaxation to get through, but totally doable. I was still hoping that I could sleep in between, at the very least and wait till morning to have this baby.

I spent a whole water tank in the shower. It felt so good to have the hot water beating down on my back. When it cooled down, I got out and had Boy put the heat pack on my back.

I noticed that I wanted to lean forward on the ball during the surges and when I did, I could feel my cervix opening. I didn't want to believe that's what it was because I hadn't been in labor that long. I kept telling Baby to "come down" and I started to get really shaky. I remembered my midwife telling me that my blood pressure would probably get low during labor (it has in all of my previous births) and last time we "fixed" it by eating sea salt. My surges still weren't any closer than 4 minutes and gauging this labor like last, I still had a long way to go. I wasn't quite ready to call the midwife. I had Boy get me some salt and wake up my sister to make me some miso soup. I also decided to call my mom to come. I knew it could still be a while, but I wanted her there. It was about 3:30. I decided to switch positions kneeling over the ball. As I was there, the surges got a lot more intense and I started to feel a little pushy.

I was probably in transition at this point, but didn't want to really think that as I never really got that, "I can't do this anymore" kind of feeling. The only thing close to it was "I can't do this without that heating pack on my back". I really had to moan with the surges now and I decided to call my midwife. After that, I really needed to go to the bathroom and I told Boy that I needed to go but I didn't want to as that would mean leaving my beloved heat pack and I didn't think I could handle a surge on the toilet...

My amazing husband came with me and the surge was almost unbearable-even with the heat. I decided to go back into the shower as that was comfortable earlier and the water had been sufficiently reheated. I squatted-or tried-and couldn't keep my relaxation going through a couple of those. Then I realized at the peak on a surge that I was pushing and there was nothing anyone could do to stop me. That made me a little nervous as the midwife still wasn't there, but in that instant, I remembered that it took me an hour to push Buggy out.

Once I started pushing, I quickly realized that Baby was going to come *much* quicker than Buggy did. In fact, I could feel her move down the birth canal right then and yelled to Boy to hurry and turn off the water as she was coming out right now and the water was too hot for her. I no longer thought about who wasn't there yet, but just the overwhelming urge to *GET HER OUT*. I roared through those two or three surges.

As I pushed, I remembered at the last minute to feel for her head. Not only was she crowning, but I could feel her head ready to pop out. By that time, Boy was behind me, and I asked him if he could see her. He said he still couldn't but by then I could feel her head come out and the surge ended. I couldn't stand to have that stretching only half over and not do anything until the next one came, so I pushed the rest of her out without the contraction.

My husband caught our baby. My amazing rock of a husband stayed with me and we did it together.

After she was out, I was still squatting and I could hear her scream. He passed her to me and I knelt and held her until the midwife arrived a few minutes later. She screamed so loud that I never had to worry about suctioning her or her color. I was prepared with one of Buggy's sterile bulb syringes and of course, we have oxygen if we needed it. By the time I had the presence of mind to asses her color(about one or two minutes later), she was already *very* pink. Her vernix was so thick, I could barely tell, though.

The kids had wanted to watch the birth and I had told my sister earlier that I only wanted them there for the very end and she was outside the bathroom when all this was taking place. She heard me roar and then she heard the baby cry. She ran upstairs to get the kids, but they barely missed it. They came downstairs about the same time that the midwife arrived.

My midwife got there, kind of shocked that she hadn't even made it. She came into the bathroom and looked us both over. She gave a big smile, and said "You did it!" She helped me to sit down and get a little cleaned off, asked what I needed her to do. Then she checked the cord, which had stopped pulsing, and clamped and cut it. WE washed off a little more and waited a bit for the placenta to come. Then I just wanted to get out, so she helped me to get to the couch with my robe and some chux with the baby. And there, she helped with the shakes while we waited for the placenta.

We called the midwife at 4:00ish and Baby was born at 4:30ish. We waited for 40 minutes for the placenta and when it did come, it was small and very fat. And I was still able to push it out myself. I wasn't so exhausted that I couldn't do that, like I had been last time. After it came out, I felt *so* much better. My mom got there just after the placenta was delivered.

After a while, I felt like I wanted to shower. So hubby and my midwife helped me up and I was able to shower. I put on my own clothes and went and sat on my own couch and snuggled my baby for the rest of the morning.

Since she came so fast, there was no head molding, and I didn't tear or anything. I'm having no problems sitting (except for the sitting trouble I was having before Baby was born, and that's slowly getting better).

I'm exhausted thinking about 4 kids, but we're all healthy and safe. I'm so grateful for a merciful Heavenly Father who knows what is best for me and my family. I'm also grateful that He allows us to choose our own path. I'm grateful to have been entrusted with another beautiful spirit. I hope I can love her as much as she needs and as much as He wants for her.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

still going...

So we're still here. My sister had her baby, and I'm wishing it were me...You know I've never experienced prodromal labor and I think it's really nice as long as it happens to someone else. I know I don't have it nearly as bad as some others, but it's bad enough. This baby is sitting in a weird position that makes moving anywhere very uncomfortable. I didn't know they could sit this low and not fall out. :-)

Enough birth whining. I know I've been pretty emotional his past week, so I'll try not to be today.

I got back from Colorado a little over a week ago and it was amazing. I learned so much. I got a little brain-fried, but it was so refreshing to be in a safe place where people hold relationships valuable and feel it important to be respectful and genuine. Everybody was treated with respect and courtesy while everyone was expected to get their own needs met in the same way. There were only four of us involved in the training, but many LLL Leaders helped to make the few days comfortable for us. The only meals I ate at a "restaurant" were at the airport. It was wonderful.

When I got home, I stayed at moms' as Buggy was coming to SLC for a sedated MRI the next morning. We went all the way to the hospital and they informed us that since Buggy uses a CPAP, she cannot be sedated for this procedure. She has been sedated before, but not with "this drug". Blah, blah, blah, we had to make a new appointment for the following Monday (for which I had *no* babysitter) to go under general anesthesia. Intubation for a "routine" MRI/MRA. Let's just say that no one was particularly thrilled with this development. HeaterBoy was able to go with us and my wonderful visiting teacher took the olders. they tell you that they will be back to normal in 12-24 hours. miss Buggy was the most cranky I have ever seen her. It did not end in 12-24 hours. She is still crankier than I have ever seen her. She is yelling, pulling hair (both others and her own), scratching faces, and throwing in even more yelling for good measure.

When I was lamenting the poor week we had had to her speech path, she was afraid to tell me that for kids with neuro impairment can take weeks for general to totally leave their systems. Lovely. At least we have a reason for the crankiness. I was afraid it was something else, and I would have to figure it out.

Of course, Friday night, she got all snotty, and we have been doing extra "jiggly vest" treatments and lots of extra suctioning, and then last night the rest of us came down with it. I was actually hoping it wasn't a bug, but just residual from the anesthesia, but apparently not. :-P

It's in my chest now and heartburn along with sore throat is not so much fun. (sorry, little pregnancy whine still) We slept most of the day away and my sister made a wonderfully nourishing soup for us.

the garden is slowly getting worked for the Spring. It's so exciting to have such a big plan for the summer. I hope we can continue it.

That's us for now. Frodo is reading up a storm and he's gotten Rapunzel hooked on the same series. Good thing that we can continue school into the summer. It makes me feel not so bad.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Finally...a glimmer of hope...

We went to a clinic visit today with the sleep pulmonologist to discuss Buggy's latest tests. He showed us the CT of her chest and the absolute lack of huge permanent disease. There is some scarring, but no "syndrome". He also listened to her and said that she is clearer than has has ever heard.

We finally got her "jiggly vest" which is a "high frequency compression" vest that they get for kids with cystic fibrosis to help clear their airways. She tolerates it sooo much better than CPT (pounding on her chest and postural drainage) and I feel like it is more effective. I was really afraid of the insurance approving it as it is so expensive (think new car expensive) but I was reminded by another mother whose child has this apparatus, if it keeps her out of the hospital just once, then it has just about paid for itself.

We have also been giving the prevacid and I hope that is helping as well. We won't be able to see any GI dr until July , but we might be able to strongarm them if we go back to our general surgeon and have some more tests done to solidify the reflux/aspiration dx. He will probably agree when he finds out about the swollen larynx and surrounding tissues.

Hopefully, the chiro will have addressed the hernia and it won't need to be repaired, but even if it does, he can maybe keep it in place instead of having it slip out which happens to many kids with this kind of hernia.

J and I talked about how we hadn't really noticed it because it was gradual, but Buggy's breathing is much more quiet than it used to be. Something I've noticed recently is that living with a child that has multiple disabilities sometimes blinds you to those disabilities. I know she has them, I just forget because she is who she is, and it takes an outside source to remind me that her way of swallowing or the way she forms words is not "typical" because it's how *she* does it.

On the baby front, I think I may be finally eradicating my infection. My midwife thought it was already in my kidneys before we caught it, but I can't tell, my pregnant UTI's tend to be asymptomatic. (If you're going to have a UTI, wouldn't you rather it be that way? :-) ) I'm leaving for Colorado on Sunday and just hoping that the contractions are well-enough under control that the pressure changes of flying won't send me into labor. As long as she waits until I'm home, then we're fine...a little early, but fine.

I brought out the baby diapers and all of us are so excited to have someone that is small enough to fit into these tiny little confections. I love cute newborn diapers. It almost makes me sad that we want to try EC, but I'm sure there will still be plenty of opportunity for diaper wearing.

Anyway, if you're still with me (sorry this was so long), I'm glad you liked my tag. This week is shaping up to be pretty good. I loved Conference. I'm glad that I live in a place where I have access to all five sessions live. Listening on the radio is not easy with little ones, but it's still doable, and we borrowed omi and opi's TV so that we could watch some of it...who knew the Valley Channel would have some, but not all of the sessions? It was fuzzy, but watchable. :-)

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

hee hee, a tag....

So I read this spouse tag put up by an old neighbor and I thought, how cheesy...

Little did I know that only two short weeks later, I would be tagged with it from a totally different circle of acquaintances. So Andrea, here it is... :-)

How did you meet your spouse? It's even cheesier than playing spouse tag. We met in high school. I was fifteen and he was seventeen. I first noticed him when he was chosen to play Conrad Birdie in "Bye Bye Birdie". He was the older brother of someone who was in my larger circle of friends. We actually started getting to know each other when we went to choir tour my sophomore year. His friends let me hang out with them (he was one of those who only hung out with girls). We didn't start dating until the next spring, really. The end of my junior year.

Where did you go on your first date? We went to a SPEBSQSA concert. It was supposed to be "research" for a quartet that Jared was putting together and everyone had dates except for the lead. The funny part was that he didn't realize he was the only one without a date and when we all sat down, he sat in between Jared and me. When I casually mentioned that we were on a date at the intermission, he felt really embarrassed and switched us places so I could sit next to Jared. I thought it was hilarious.

How long have you been together? We generally count when we "hooked up" at choir tour to be the start of our "togetherness" (I know, how cheesy can you get?) so we've been together since Spring of '95. That would be 13 years! Aack! Am I really that old?

Who eats more? Jared. He also eats faster, which amazed me when we first started dating as I had always previously been the first one done eating at social engagements. Although, if you count lactating, I certainly eat more than your average large male. :-)

Who said I love you first? I don't remember if we said it at all before the mission. I don't think so. If that's the case, then I said it first. It wasn't nearly as awkward as I was fearing it would be. It also wasn't a phrase that either one of us used often before engagement.

Who sings better?
Well, considering we got to know each other in Madrigals, I'm not sure that's a fair question. I've had more training, but that doesn't mean I have more talent. He's the one that's still singing in the community.

Who is smarter? Jared. Whenever I want to know something, I just ask him. It wasn't until we had been married a couple of years that I realized that when he didn't know the answer to a question I had asked, he just made it up, deadpan. Now, he just tells me he doesn't know...usually. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a dunce. I can hold my own in a philosophical conversation, I just don't retain info like he can.

Who does the laundry? Are you kidding! That's why we had kids...

Who does the dishes? Jared. Unless we have a nanny-which we do right now. Very early in the division of labor you call a honeymoon, we discovered that he hates the ookiness of toilets and I hate the monotony of dishes. Those are two chores that have always been defined. I do the toilets and he does the dishes.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Jared always has until Belen came into bed with us after her trach came out. The "kid" bed is on "my" side (the left) and I just couldn't sleep always checking for her breathing. It was emotionally exhausting spending all day and all night with her, so Jared graciously accepted a switch. Temporarily. Now that the new one is coming and Belen sleeps with her sibs, I'm ready to switch back.

Who pays the bills? I always did that as well, until Belen had been home for a few months. Jared saw how much it was stressing me out and he took over. I have never felt so free. I am a control freak and I didn't think I could ever relinquish control of the money, but it feels so good. I just ask him how much I have and I spend away! I think I'm also better about impulse buys this way. Before, I would just buy it anyway and then feel guilty about it and now I don't have to.

Who mows the lawn?
Jared does, usually. I'm allergic to grass. But last year, when he was so busy with school, I would sometimes help him out. Not enough to make anyone believe that I did it regularly, but occasionally.

Who cooks dinner? Mostly Jared (are you starting to see a pattern here? I have an amazing husband). When we were first married, I didn't know how to cook. Now that I'm a little better, I don't cook while I'm pregnant or the first few months of a new baby. I justify it by saying to myself that Jared likes to cook and he likes to work with his hands, so it's okay. I keep hoping that someday, I'll have an amazing change of heart and actually love to cook.

Who drives when you are together? Jared. He gets carsick really easy and I don't really like to drive. In fact, driving on the constructionized freeway has turned into one of my triggers for panic attacks. I know I'll need to deal with it eventually. For now though, I'll just leave it up to him or public transportation.

Who is more stubborn? I know I'm a princess and often push too hard to get my way. I hope it's gotten at least slightly better over the years.

Who is the first to admit when they’re wrong? I'm not sure about that one. Both of us are pretty quick to say "I'm sorry".

Whose parents do you see the most? Mine, they live closer and we have the first grandchildren on that side.

Who kissed who first? heehee. Jared kissed me after a date and it was the funniest kiss. I could see his brother watching us through the window. Incidentally, it was his FIRST KISS EVER. He said, it had never come up with other girls. The first kiss after the mission was the most smashing first kiss I have ever experienced!

Who proposed?
That, I suppose, is up for debate. I'm convinced it was him. He keeps telling everyone it was me. He officially never really asked. Anyway, funny story, you decide who is telling the truth ;-)

Who has more friends? I do. Jared thinks it's my responsibility to keep "our" social life going...

Who has more siblings? Jared has way more. I come from 5 and Jared has 8 siblings.

Who wears the pants in the family?
What does that mean, really? Who's in charge? If that's the case, we each have different areas that we are responsible for. I don't think that one of us is really "in charge". Of course, if you ask Jared, he'll give the standard "I wear the pants, because Karin lets me..."

Well, since this one is kind of weird, I'll let those that like these questions to pick up the tag. How about it, Nicole? Doreen? Does anyone else even read my blog?

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I was able to be at the birth of a very good friend last night and it was simply amazing. She asked me there on the pretense of taking photos and helping if the kids woke up, but I don't think I did a very good job at that. Her husband got up the older to watch the actual birth and the younger didn't want to leave her dad's lap when she woke up. And I don't think *anyone* would ever mistake me for a good photographer, but I hope I got enough pics for her. Her midwife was wonderful and she did such a good job. I hope at least, that I wasn't a hindrance. Once I got there, she only had about 1 1/2 hours left before baby slid out. But I knew the end would be fast based on her previous births. I spent the afternoon outside with her and our kids as her surges picked up and she was still doing really well. When I got the call during date night (we were watching the movie "Jumper") I still wasn't sure how much time we had as she had a conversation with me that lasted several minutes and she was able to talk the whole time. Then she called as I was on my way over and I knew we would see the baby before midnight.

I have now been privileged to be a part of one homebirth and watch another. One thing that strikes me is the peaceful way that everything is handled. It was spiritual and intimate and serene, even though work is being done. No rushing around, no yelling, just quiet encouragement and warm conversations. One of the things that a lot of moms preparing for homebirth or unmedicated birth is try to watch as many births as possible. I've noticed in one of my watching binges, that I need to turn some of the videos off because it feels too intimate to be watching. Almost like a voyeur or peeping tom. this too felt very intimate but not wrong as I had been invited into the birth nest. It was an honor.

Women need to see THIS kind of birth. Young women who have never given birth need to be present at their mother's, sisters, aunt's and friends births to see the kind of power and ability in birth. They need to be invited to the birth nest of people to whom they are very close to witness what their bodies are capable of. Women who have lost faith in their bodies and women who haven't need to take care of each other and support each other and be a part of one another's birthing. That is the only way we can ever hope to fix what has happened in our culture. Now I am not advocating a large crowd at unmedicated births, I mean, birthing women are working hard and need to concentrate. With Buggy, I know that I didn't want anyone there but my midwife, doula, and husband. I also feel that this birth I want my "Womenfolk" around me. I want my sisters at my birth. I want women that I love and that love me to be there and lend support. Not a bunch of people, but a few loved ones around me.

I didn't mean to write a soapbox, but maybe I needed to. It was just so *right* to see that little family welcome a new member and fall in love last night. That's how it is supposed to happen.

Congrats, Doreen!

Monday, March 10, 2008

and now for the bummer news...

Wow, it's been a while since I posted. Sorry abut that.

Frodo has started scouts and absolutely loves it. He's now had has second pack meeting and just can't wait to show us what he spends all of his time on. He loves being with boys that he met in school and having something that is just his own. He's also found some book series that he is just eating up.

Rapunzel just turned 5! Omi and opi took her to Disneyland with her cousin and they had a blast. Since they have now started the "tradition of Disneyland at 4 or 5" in two years they will be taking three grandchildren...one of which is buggy. They're a little nervous at that prospect and proposed that all of the parents attend with their children. At least they are thinking ahead. :-)

We spent Thursday at Primary's with the some bad (and good news)...we now know why Buggy's lungs are so bad. Unfortunately, it's because she is refluxing into them and aspirating into them. That is very bad. We thought the reflux would go away even if the nissen failed. Apparently not.

We took this news much harder than I thought we would. I realized that it's because of our expectations. We have spent so long trying not to make any expectations for Buggy because nobody ever seemed to know what would happen with her. Now that we are getting ready for school and she is fully into toddlerhood, we allowed ourselves to form some expectations. Maybe even some high hopes.

When I was given the news that the dr was recommending going NPO (absolutely no food by mouth) for at least 6 weeks and maybe even longer, I just wanted to cry. I've been crying for most of the weekend. Of course, we could always go against his recommendations, but I watched the test and know that it wouldn't be a good idea. I don't want to be fatalist about it, but kids who eat like Buggy does, often get pneumonia and sometimes die from that kind of pneumonia. Luckily, we've been able to catch it quickly every time, but every time she gets it, new scarring forms in her lungs.

Her sleep pulmonologist wants us to rethink surgery about her hernia, and we may have to. The problem with that, is one surgery leads to many, many others. Failure rates for surgery like this are very high and very invasive. So much for growing out of the need for drs.

So that's the gist of the last week. We've managed to stay healthy this whole winter, mostly, and I'm planning a trip to Denver in about a month (yes, yes, check the ticker, that means at 35 weeks gestation I will be flying...) We're pretty good, considering.

Have a wonderful "Spring Break"!

Friday, January 18, 2008

new milestones

Buggy had *2* therapy appointments today and she astounded us at both of them. She has started to make verbal approximations when she is "talking" to us. Today she made several more and is even understood by her Speech therapist. We have some new goals for using her speech board and articulating better. She played some great pretend and used some new signs and approximations during the session.

After that, we went to Cache Kids and she had OT. She was coloring in circles (has only done horizontal lines up to this point) and even identified and colored pictures when directed. Two months ago she was tested in identifying pictures and she could not do it at all. We were working with her as if she had a visual processing problem. Today she identified eight pics correctly and then identified body parts on a hand-drawn person. Once she was "helped" by cuing to visually scan rather than just point to the first pic she saw, she identified them all correctly. she has *never* done this. I know this may not seem like a big deal for most kids and, for most kids this happens without us even knowing when, but for Buggy, this is huge. This has repercussions with her communication as well as vision. I had no idea we would see any improvement on this front, let alone improvement this quickly.

She is "finding her footing" and walking more and more. She has such motivation to be moving in the same manner as her siblings and friends around her. I finally have a new neuro appt along with a chest CT and a FEES evaluation. It turns out that one of the resident neuros is now an attending. We met her on her first rotation through neuro and she was one of Buggy's dr's on her first foray in PCMC. When she had to stay again for a month the next spring, this neuro got to see her again. She's really nice and I'll be interested to hear what she has to say.

I'm finding it harder and harder to keep up with Buggy and the rest of the kids. I'm getting wicked tired about the time that the kids and Buggy have caught their second wind of the day (right after nap time, of course). I also notice that if I do too much, I am sooo sore for the rest of the day and I can't even get up off the couch. People are still raising their eyebrows when i tell them I am 5 months pregnant..."Are you sure there's only one in there?" and other such comments are common. Aah well, I will never be one of those cute little mamas that only ever gain 15 pounds and it's all inside of the ribs. So far, this baby has been much more demure in her movements.

Rapunzel is playing princess every chance she gets. She loves to dress up and wear her jewelry. Frodo is continuing to impress outsiders with his vast amount of trivia that he loves to share. He's also learning new jokes and riddles thanks to omi's book collection and he is loving the Magic Tree house books. They are all excited for the new baby and they hug and kiss my belly in anticipation.

When I think about my young growing family and my beautiful kids I often get overwhelmed and worry about their/our future. Then i remember Sister Beck's amazing talk in Women's Conference this last year and I find strength. I know that we are where we are supposed to be. It gives me hope and purpose.