Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sixth Sense

I'm in a ton of pain tonight. So I was in the other room while Evan fed the kids.

(rotating, spinning noise)
Me: Kyle, stop playing with your food.
(a few minutes later)
Evan: Holly, does Aiden frequently cry when you feed him (he was crying off and on)
Me: Sometimes, but right now he's happy--his feet are kicking.
(a few minutes later---I'm still in another room)
Me: Evan, are you impressed that I know what is going on when I'm not there?
Evan: Yes, you are more present than I am and you are not even in here.
Me: I have to have some skills.
(a few minutes later)
Evan: (exasperated) Kyle!
Me: Did he crumble up his chicken nuggets with his hands?
Evan: How are you doing that?
Me: Kyle, go to timeout, we do not play with our food.
(Kyle goes)
Evan: Dang it!
Me: Did you leave Aiden's yogurt on his tray?
Evan: He is so handsy.
Me: Yup!

I have to say, I am so good!

In other news, I had the most hilarious night last night at Evan's parents. It involved the kitchen being seconds away from going up in flames, Aiden pulling my dinner off the table and his yogurt into his lap, an indoor water fight, and some erotic posing for family pictures. Yeah, I'll have to tell you about it sometimes. It was even better than the Easter egg jello giggler competition, first discouraged and then encouraged by mom at Easter dinner last Sunday. So funny.

Also, Aiden pulled himself to standing once yesterday and twice today. All three times, he ended up falling over and hitting his head. I guess there is not much that I can do about that, right?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are you SURE it's not Friday??

As I sit here at 5:30, I've just put the kids to bed and am headed there within the hour. Since Saturday night I have gotten an average of 4.5 hours of sleep (I even did the math to make Evan happy). I have never had such a stressful and emotional week. I have so many thoughts rolling around and nothing to really say.

Morgan, our little visitor since Sunday, has gone back with her parents. Kyle keeps asking every few minutes, "Where Morgan?" She was such a sweet thing, but she brought with her the Three Plagues of Mo. Plague 1: hacking cough that makes you think it will end in vomiting. Plague 2: 103.7 fevers. Plague 3: The River of Snot. I have not slept through the night without sick babies needing medicine and comfort since Monday. This morning, Kyle got up at 4 am with a 103.4 fever and never went back to bed. Naps have been disrupted from sickness, coughing, discomfort, and to get them to sleep at night also takes an act of God. It's hard to get comfortable when you can't breathe.

This has all been compounded by Bri's passing. There was a memorial in her honor last night. It was emotional and sad, but also there were moments of joy at seeing old friends and remembering Briana. However, I left feeling more depressed than I started, for different reasons, and saddened that we weren't doing right by her----the rock and the hard place----at a loss as to how to repair, correct, and heal.

As I sat watching the video montage, I watched Evan mingle, socialize, catch up. At these sorts of social gatherings, I never have had my husband's smooth easy confidence and ability. After awhile, I've learned I don't like to tag along and stand there clumsily. I have never felt like I fit with my husband's Salt Lake City peer group (or "the scene"). I feel inept. I am younger, I am married, I am a mother. I am on the other side of the bridge from so many of Evan's friends. My interests are different--I am not a professional, I do not follow the news, I am different. So I would frequently find myself with Bri in the kitchen, talking like we were the only two there. She would speak to me of motherhood, pregnancy, and knew how to be in my world even though she had not been married or a mother herself. It was easy and she seemed to be the only one who could cross that bridge to me. This time, I was alone.

Never fear though, next week or even this weekend, if I recover. I will be back with the millions of Easter photos and projects we completed. I'd like to leave you with my little buddy. Oh boy is this boy attached to me!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Love Lost

Saturday night, I received a phone call from a friend, an old roommate of Evan's whom I love, but rarely speak to. He sounded strange and then started to say things like, "I wanted to make sure you knew...something has happened." Honestly, it is all a blur. But he finally said it, "Briana died tonight." I didn't believe him and rushed him off the phone to call her soul sister, midwife partner, and adopted mother/best friend, Cathy. While I was dialing, I reached over pushed Evan hard on the shoulder and shouted, "WAKE UP!" It was right before 9 pm, and he had been asleep since 7:30, because Friday night, he had stayed up all night to finish his labs for physic.

Evan sat bolt upright, seemed crazed, and said, "What? What?" I snapped, "Bri is dead! And I'm on the phone." I see it now as not my most calm, peaceful, and supportive spousal moment. But I do know that without raising my voice and speaking sharply, Evan does not wake up.

He came round the bed and sat with me as Cathy said slowly. "Hi Holly." I said that I had heard something--"It's true." We spoke of details and whom needed to be notified. I offered help if needed. I was sent to inform my best mother friend--whose location actually informed the decision to rent our house---who is also 35 weeks pregnant and expecting Briana to deliver her baby at the end of the month.

I informed Evan of my mission, rushed out the house and left Evan to cry alone and make phone calls of his own to make sure people were informed. While waiting for my friend, I also made phone call after phone call. Everyone that I spoke to, and myself included, all reacted with surprise and incredulity.

Briana was my midwife with Aiden. The one who healed me in so many ways. The one who---where do I begin and what do I say---I've posted about Bri and my feelings for her here and here. She was also an old BYU friend of Evan's and my confidant for years. She nurtured and looked after me when I was facing problems in my pregnancy with Kyle and after with the trauma of that birth. When Kyle was first born and Evan and I wanted to go out and do something, we went to Bri and  Frances'. We were always welcome. I loved to be around her. I always felt so special to call her my friend and be able to converse with her.  

I feel lost, as a friend stated in an email to me today. "I am heartbroken. I am overwhelmed by how sad this is." Cathy, Bri's soul sister, posted about Bri on her blog today. She uses this quote:

". . . one ship. The starboard engine has gone. I, the port engine, must chug along somehow till we make harbour."
from "A Grief Observed" C.S. Lewis

I am unsure how to proceed with my life now. I am unsure how I can ever be pregnant or birth again without Bri. I have nothing elegant to say, nothing profound to include. I feel like my breath is caught in my throat. It has been a crazy day of feeling normal, laughing, making jokes, doing Easter egg hunts, and then being overwhelmed, crying, and wanting to sink into the ground. I am sure there are people who knew her better---but I love Bri, love her hard and strong. 

How can such an angelic, beloved Spirit be gone? It's unfathomable. I have never met anyone so Christlike, so tender, understanding, unselfish, patient, and charitable in my life--and I do not say these things lightly. Words fail to explain how dearly she will be missed or how much the world truly lost. 
I do know that she is being embraced on the other side. That she is at peace. That she will be doing her midwifery work on the other side by sending babies. I do know that this Easter season, I have gained a greater understanding of the atonement and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is our Savior. Our Redeemer. In life and in death, in pain and joy. Thru everything. The plan of salvation is real, and although we hurt and miss her---we can find comfort through the Spirit although the time frame still eludes me. 

I did not know what I would say when I started this. What I could say that hadn't been said better or more eloquently than what I'd said. After I finished this, I found Frances' post on her blog. It sinks deep into my soul and all I can say is that again, much like today Frances made me laugh and then cry. Especially at the placenta, I'd been there when Bri was doing that another time---it is gross.Frances is a wonderful writer by the way, Evan just stated he hopes she outlives him so she can write something profound and well written then as well.
Click to see the KSL new report on her accident.


Conversation today:
Evan: Holly, I just caught Kyle eating dirt.
Me to Kyle: Are you missing some major nutrients in your diet?
Kyle: No, no nutiets. I just eat dirt.

Avery to Kyle: What did you do?
Kyle: I eat dirt. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bigger and Better

A lot of my friends are having big changes in their life. This week alone I have found out: 2 friends got engaged, 2 friends gave birth to little boys, 2 friends are closing on their first house, and several friends have graduated, are moving and getting professional jobs. I have a friend who is giving birth the end of next month and several friends who are pregnant. Evan is working so hard because he is graduating in August and he and one of my best friends are starting school at the U in the fall (Alyse got into graduate school!! Wahoo!! :)

I am truly, truly happy for them. A lot of my friends have worked so hard for these accomplishments or waited so long for a spouse or baby. I am so over joyed for them because I know how fulfilling it is to have a husband and babies.

However, it makes me feel sad when I hear these things--I thought that I was jealous and felt guilty and upset by that. But I realized what it was, I'm bored.

Bored, bored, bored.

I crave what those people are going thru--major changes and newness. I feel like every minute of my day is creeping by because I feel no direction. I am not getting things accomplished because I feel no motivation. I don't know where I am going in life and I feel like there is an emptiness in my life and I don't know what I should be doing. And I feel like Kyle is reflecting our shared apathy with bad behavior. As Dr. Seuss says we are in the waiting place (see Oh the Places You'll Go).

I am just floating and surviving---and not succeeding in any area of my life. Any suggestions? Any idea on what I should pursue? I've thought about this a lot and am at a loss.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Planned Parenthood

I have to say something that has been bothering me since last week. I feel like I am doing the world an injustice not speaking up. It all started when I saw the posts on Facebook from other LDS women about Planned Parenthood. They were pleas to petition politicians about refusing federal funding to Planned Parenthood. When I first saw it, I wanted to cry. I was so upset. Do you really know what you are asking? Do you know what those consequences would be?

Planned Parenthood has been around since 1942 and received federal funding since 1970, which was put into place by President Nixon. The types of services that are provided: birth control, emergency contraception, breast, cervical and testicular cancer screening, pregnancy testing, counseling, treatment for STDs, sexual education, menopause treatments, vasectomies, tubal ligations, and abortions.

I know that the last word is what causes members pause and cause for concern. So let us discuss and address this. In terms of their funding, there are laws that ban Planned Parenthood from using governement funds to pay for abortions. Abortions account for 3% of the services provided; however with over 820 clinics that does mean 332,278 abortions annually, which does make them the largest provider of abortions in the United States. I do not know if that is because people know they can go there to get one. I do not know.

The Church stated their position in March 1991: "We reaffirm that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has consistently opposed elective abortion.[...] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an institution has not favored or opposed specific legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion." They further state that to come out about laws is impractical--there are too many places the Church is at. Also, they state there are extenuating circumstances to abortion, notice the "elective" qualifier to abortion in the statement. Considering a very shaky number of 191,670 victims of rape or sexual assault reported in 2005 (under reporting, definitions called into question, etc.) that means we have no idea how many abortions are not actually elective for not only sexual assault reasons but also medical.
Let's talk about what else Planned Parenthood does in numbers. According to a 2008-2009 annual report and fact sheet, contraception constituted 35% of total services, STI/STD testing and treatment constituted 34%, cancer testing and screening constituted 17%; other women's health procedures, including pregnancy, prenatal, midlife, and infertility, were 11%. Those percentages include prenatal services to 7,021 clients and 977 adoption referrals to other agencies. The organization also said its doctors and nurses annually conduct 1 million screenings for cervical cancer, 830,000 breast exams and some 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases.

Do you know that back in 1961 Planned Parenthood's actions sparked a Supreme Court case? Up until then, it was illegal in Connecticut to distribute contraceptives, even to married couples.While the church teaches that we should not put off having children and they are a blessing, the handbooks of the church state that it is between the couple and Heavenly Father. Good for Planned Parenthood for making that a reality.

We as a church know that sex before marriage is a sin. It is a serious sin. However, we also recognize that there are those who don't believe the same as the LDS church (which is a shock sometimes, wink wink). If we didn't, we would not have LDS Family Services which promotes adoption so that those who are not born under the covenant can gain the access to this saving ordinance and be sealed to an LDS family.

Are we willing to sacrifice free services to those who truly need---including cancer screening? Those important services are funded by the government (therefore our tax dollars). Are we willing to delude ourselves into thinking that if we take their funding they would go away, or at least not preform abortions---I doubt that would happen. Instead, because abortions are not government funded, we would lose those things that are like cancer screenings.

If Planned Parenthood is a safe space for a scared teenage girl after a rape, I believe in that. If Planned Parenthood educates those who stand in need, either about STDs or birth control, I believe in that. If Planned Parenthood lets someone catch breast cancer early because they lack health insurance, I believe in that. If someone who is poor receives free prenatal care, I believe in that. I believe in a place for women to go. Not all women are raised in supportive, loving homes. Not everyone has the gospel in their lives. Let them have a safe place.

**All data pulled from Wikipedia and a New York Times articles about Planned Parenthood funding. Statement from LDS Church copied from

Little Visitor

So a good friend, entrusted us last Friday with her most prized possession--her daughter, Morgan AKA Mo. She is the sweetest cutest little blonde blue eyed girl, and boy does she know how to love on someone. This was in the afternoon when they were watching "The Princess and the Frog." That is the face Kyle makes whenever he sees the opening Disney credits castle scene. I don't know why. We had a great time with Mo and I have more pictures of the kids doing crafts, but I'll post about our Easter crafts later.

See what I mean about loving---she gave Aiden hugs, kisses, loves and about every three minutes she would say, "baby." Aiden was her little present for the day. I think it was the highlight of the time at our house. Aiden wasn't awake when she came, and so when Aiden woke up she came into to his room and saw him in his crib and lit up like a Christmas tree.

These are the three babes lined up in their beds for nap, if you look in the bottom right side you can barely see Aiden through the bars.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Train Table

Aiden's Christmas from his Mammi and Papa was a train table. However, we knew that we didn't have space for that in our apartment. So I did a lot of research and knew the one that I wanted, I just needed a larger place to put it in. So I knew when we moved that it was time to order the table. We got the table the first weekend in April. 

Kyle lined these all up

We knew that this table would mostly be used by Kyle right now, but we still called it Aiden's. Evan and I actually subscribe to the thought that the toys are everyone. However, when they are first given they do belong to their owner. This has been a slow concept for Kyle to grasp (every thing has always been his), but he does now get that if he takes something from Aiden he has to give him something else. He has tried this concept on his friends that are two and three---it doesn't work when they are that old :)

I remembered these pictures yesterday when I was looking through the ads for ToysRUs and realized that if I had waited, I would have saved almost $100. But how was I to know it would go on sale in the store--most train tables are not available in store year round, just Christmas. Seriously!!!

We do love it. Evan asks every day, "mommy, play trains with me?" when we go to play though what I do is never what he wants and he can't really tell me what he wants. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

ER Bliss

Funny that our second child is the cause of our first ER visit as parents. He started vomiting Saturday, at first we weren't really sure because he does spit up. But during our opening prayer at Avery's going away bash--all the family was there---he started heaving and heaving and heaving. Luckily we were outside and I just held him over the bushes. Most people didn't know.

Unfortunately within two hours he had vomited 9 times. It was mostly dry heaving and some brown liquid. I talked to the pediatrician on call---he suggested because he was an infant, that it was intensely persistent, and dehydration is serious to take him to the ER (it was Saturday night after all). We took him to Primary's. By the time we got there, we were at 12 vomits in 2 1/2 hours. He vomited on the way to the hospital, but during the hour we got checked in and waited to see a doctor---he had stopped. His belly felt soft and perfect, so the doctor had us give him 2 oz of Pedialyte and wait at the hospital to see if he kept it down. He did. We came home. Thank goodness.

This is Aiden finally able to sleep at the hospital after the vomiting stopped. He slept through the night after we got home and has done great today although we are taking it easy with small amounts of liquid and applesauce. The worst is when I could only give him a few ounces every hour and he would scream and cry when the bottle was empty.  

Let's keep praying that this is just a quick bug and no one else is affected.

9 Months

Aiden went to the doctor for his 9 month check-up last Tuesday:  19 lbs 12 oz 

Although he only gained a few ounces in a few weeks, he is still growing. We are now wearing 18 months clothes in some instance (everything seems to fit so different--and he is still short legged). The funny part about Aiden is that his feet are in size 1. Kyle also wears 18 months clothes, although we buy larger so they'll fit him longer. One large wardrobe for both kids now!!

He is such a growing boy. Monday of last week, for instance, he ate:
05:00      8 oz bottle (cries when it is gone)
08:00      3/4 c applesauce

10:30      1/2 banana
              4 oz peas
              4 oz bottle
(4 hour nap today---or at least the boys were in their room that long)
03:15      6 oz soy yogurt
              1 c puffs
              1 pkg freeze dried pears
05:45      3/4 c cauliflower and Indian spiced meat dinner
06:45      7 oz bottle

He is almost exactly like Kyle who used to eat 40-50 jars of baby food in a week. This time, I am smarter in that I just blend up dinner and such. That kid can eat. It seems he went from really only consuming formula thru the day about a month ago to becoming my great eater who is always up for food, any kind. Food makes him happier than anything else besides me!

Today, I finally used the benefits of this blog. I looked back at my posts from Kyle's 9 month period. He had been crawling for awhile and was pulling himself up and walking around objects. He also would walk with his push toy. But most importantly Kyle weighed 14 lbs 11 oz and he was wearing 6 months clothes. I thought for sure Aiden would weigh much more than Kyle did at that point--although I guess 5 lbs is 1/3 of Kyle's weight at that time :)

Yard Surprises

Yup, that is what our front yard looks like. Honestly, that is what most of the back yard looks like too. The previous owner did a wonderful job keeping it up :)

However, a week after we moved in bulbs started to come up. Several more weeks brings us to this week and---that is what we have now. Pretty flowers in all the ugliness. Although the bulbs in the back haven't bloomed yet, this small patch out front is really. Kyle even shows me the flowers every time we leave the house :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bath Time

Last week there were a lot of big changes for Aiden (he got two more teeth---with two more days away), but we also retired the bath seat. So now, he sits in the bath tub. It makes me really nervous because Kyle has become fascinated with rolling him over, pulling him down, and rocking him and I fear he'll still do that in the tub. But the seat was becoming too small, Aiden would reach for something and almost fall out, and Kyle was trying to pull him out. So far, Aiden being graduated to the tub has been working. 

I love how I was never let in on the secret that kitchen utensils and water bottles are the best toys, and not just in the bath tub. This happened because Kyle stole them from a box. But I am totally on board now.

Seriously, look at how rolly-polly Aiden is compared to Kyle. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

It Can Be Done

So my husband, Evan, the good old Oklahoma boy was raised on steak, potatoes, and gravy. I like good potatoes (mashed that is), but I have never been a fan of the other two. I had about five steaks or less in my life before Evan and I became an item. However, since then, I have eaten steak at least 2 times a month if not more at Sunday dinners with his family. I still don't eat gravy though.

This post is mostly for Teresa, because her husband, Chris, grew up with Evan and they both love their steak. But Teresa and I do not do our husbands too proud, in that we don't really cook a lot of meat and definitely not steak. Once in our married life, maybe over a year ago, I cooked some steaks. They were okay, but dry and I just wasn't that in to them. I have also stooped to make him biscuits and gravy (my stomach hates even the thought) twice in our married life. But recently, I have found myself happy to eat steak at his parents, and I'll even eat it medium rare. Mom doesn't even bother making me chicken any more.

Well, petite sirloin steaks were on sale this week. Some times I buy them and freeze them and use one to make a good stir fry. However, I decided to make steak for dinner. Asparagus was also on sale.....oh my goodness, I LOVE asparagus. So Teresa, here is how to make a fabulous steak with no training.

I tweaked the marinade from for a recipe from a rack of lamb Dijon glaze recipe. So take your steaks, I did four (we ate all of them--even Kyle ate 1/4 a steak). Place in gallon ziplock bag (at least a few hours before the meal): add 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 good spoonfuls dijon mustard, a good shake dry mustard powder, 4 cloves smashed garlic (I used a bottle), 1/2 spoonful sugar, good shakes of rosemary---she goes on and on about fresh, but I have a bottle---a good shake of basil, 1 tbsp olive oil. Rub (Kyle loved this) into the meat. All of this was eyeballed. Let it sit in the fridge and remove to come to room temp 1 hour before meal. Put foil over one baking sheet.

Kyle and I snapped the asparagus together. Put foil over second baking sheet. Place asparagus on the sheet, drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle some curry powder and then roll the spears around until they are evenly covered.

Place the steak on the baking sheet, put it on the high rack in your oven and the asparagus in the middle rack. Broil for 3.5 minutes. Flip steaks. Let it continue for another 3.5 minutes. Change the places of the baking sheet (asparagus on top, steak on bottom). Cook for 5 minutes at 375 degrees. Pull out the steaks and broil asparagus for another minute or two. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes. I'd never done that---I thought it was way too red, but after resting it was just right.

Serve and enjoy. Evan even said my steak was better than his mother's---the highest compliment in our house when it comes to food.

I cooked dinner, we ate leisurely and even discussed the government shut-down (I heard about that on Facebook), and I did the dishes (tin foil in the baking pans) all within 45 minutes. Amazing. Try it Teresa, he'll love you for it and rave, who doesn't need that :)

Monday, April 4, 2011


 We went to the dentist on Thursday. It was so freakin' fabulous and fantastic. Kyle loved it and he was so good. I am bursting with parental pride and they told me such great things about him---although he has an over bite from sucking his thumb. That is how it goes, he could have one from a pacifier. He also is still young yet.

 The "tickler," she was so kind and told him about how all the tools worked and let him play with all of them. This was the cleaning tool.

Aiden was fascinated by the whole process. All the tools made noise, so......

Tickling the chair arm. 

The squirter, she really let him squirt water all around!

Kyle's squirting. 

The sucker. He used it more like a wand.

Cute patient little brother.

He was getting reclined (when we repositioned him to where he should have been his little feet didn't even come down to the joint in the chair) and the hygienist was going on and on about how wonderful and cooperative Kyle was. She said most two year olds don't do that well---the dentist even went so far as to say that he was well adjusted. They were so kind and wanted to make sure that he didn't get traumatized. They weren't going to do anything that he didn't want. Kyle, like he is with all medical stuff, has no problem letting people examine, poke, and prod him. He did every thing that they wanted, no problem. So compliant. :) Not like he is at home. He wasn't super chatty, he was actually kind of shy, but very good.

The actual cleaning. The hygenist was so impressed that he did it all so well and willingly. He got down from the chair as soon as she was done. But he still talks about the TV in the sky---there were TV's playing movies above the chairs. I told you it was awesome.

The doctor came to count his teeth and examine. The doctor asked me if I wanted it done in my lap or in the chair. I asked Kyle and he wanted to be in the chair. So back in he went and he let them do everything they wanted.

He got the cap for being a new patient, and he got the mask for being cavity free. They took his picture in front of a bulletin board in his get up to add to their collection. Overall, he was amazing and he loved it.

Just a cute picture to end this long post.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Conference Sunday

The first day of General Conference (where we watch apostles and the prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints address the members world wide) didn't go as I had hoped. I was interrupted during the morning session by Zoie needing to use my house to film something for her multimedia class. Then I was able to do lunch with the boys and lay them down for a nap and listen to the last thirty minutes uninterrupted.

During the second session (two to four), my landlord came over to install blinds and we only have one radio, so I just couldn't hear and there were way to many distractions. The kids don't exactly stay quiet.

However, Sunday went much better. Kyle was a little distracting, but Aiden slept through the whole second session. In between sessions, Kyle and Zoie even built a snowman. He loved that and really wanted to play more in the snow, but he won't touch it just walk in it. If it touches his skin he has a meltdown in a way I've never seen equaled.

The kids with the grandparents munching on cereal

Aiden loves to eat

The snowman built by Zoie and Kyle 

He loved using the dog ball flinger to scoop snow


Friday morning, I realized that one of the trees in the backyard had blossomed overnight. It is gorgeous. 


Then I woke up this morning to find the tree looking like this (sorry, this time the outside deck/walkway is showing because I wasn't going to go outside to take the picture).

I don't really mind though, it is how it is every year in Utah and I think it makes us appreciate the real arrival of spring/summer.