June 6, 2014

be still, my soul

You always think things will never happen to you. I have a clear memory of telling a friend at lunch just a couple months ago, "I couldn't imagine finding out that my baby had problems." It really didn't occur to me that that was even in the realm of possibility for my life. But why wouldn't it be? Such arrogant naivety!

Well now I don't have to imagine it, I can remember it. I can remember the numbness mixed with the absolute certainty that I could NOT cry in front of the doctor and that I must make it to the car first. The grief for really no other reason at first than loss of expectations. Then the fear that set in and the grief that came with that. This baby that is mine and who I love with all my heart will not be perfect. That is very real pain.

But now, acceptance. Peace. Or, as I have come to appreciate as the best form of peace for me, calm. Hope and even more than that, certainty that whatever we face with this child will be just what we need. As parents, as a family, even what our baby himself needs, to grow and deepen and enlarge our hearts, souls, and understandings. I have never been more appreciative of the need for a deep understanding and love for the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is everything. My testimony is the most precious thing I have and I would be lost, adrift, drowning in life right now without it. With it, I am calm and sure that it. will. be. ok. That isn't coming from me. It is coming from outside me, comforting me like collapsing in a soft bed at the end of a long wearying day. I sleep in peace because of the reassurance of my God. I can't tell you how much that saves my life. I am ok.

What we are facing:
We had a fetal echocardiogram last week and found out that there are multiple cardiac tumors on the baby's heart called rhabdomyomas, which themselves are mostly ok and will diminish and go away after birth. They grow until birth and one has a small chance of starting to obstruct the aortic valve between now and my due date but it won't cause too many problems other than requiring delivering at Primary Children's so they can correct that immediately after. What is the concern with these is that they are very likely (90%) a sign that he has a genetic disease called tuberous sclerosis. This is a random mutation on a gene that normally inhibits cell growth. Non-cancerous tumors form in the brain, kidneys, skin, lungs, and eyes or some combination of those organs. The brain tumors have the most significant impact and may cause seizures, intellectual disability, developmental delays, and/or behavioral outbursts. It is a disease with a huge range of manifestation, both in kinds of symptoms and severity. Some people have mild or even no symptoms and others end up severely disabled. Most experience some moderate symptoms that can be medically managed. Drugs and therapy are both used to control seizures and help with development and behavior. In certain cases, surgeries can remove some of the tumors and there are recently approved drugs for this specific condition that shrink the tumors. Most people with it can live normal lives.

Most people with it can live normal lives. It lessens the fear. It makes it easier to trust the feeling that it will be ok. But still, if there is to be no normal life for us anymore, it is still just mortal life, just a blink of an eye, the immensely short period in which we break in pieces and are remade whole. I know, I know I will come out the other side. And that there will still be joy and laughter and goodness and peace even in the middle. I still can't wait to hold my baby and watch him grow and learn. I still love being a mother and wife and daughter of God. It is enough and more. It is a good life for me and will continue to be so. Because I know who I am and more importantly, who I am to my Savior, I am happy and that won't change.


June 1, 2014

may, instagrammed


May 1, 2014

april, instagrammed


April 2, 2014

march, instagrammed


March 4, 2014

february, instagrammed



And so it was, another boy! We're really quite excited over here. These two boys are going to be best of friends, I know it. I adore having a boy so this is going to be twice as fun. Also, due August 1, officially.


February 19, 2014

baby #2

In case you missed the facebook/instagram post a couple weeks ago, I am pregnant again! Hooray! (Doesn't this picture make you think I'm having triplets? I am not, don't even. I just don't trust pregnancy tests when they say pregnant so I take a million.)

We are, of course, thrilled. And, of course, it took a long time and a miracle to get us another baby. It appears this will be our life. We started on Clomid right when we wanted to start trying again, a little more than a year ago, since we figured we would need it. It showed no sign of working whatsoever for about nine months. Then we went off of it since we were switching insurance companies and were spending a couple months uninsured. And lo and behold, miracle of miracles, we got pregnant without trying. It really was crazy and so wonderfully exciting.

I'm about 16 to 19 weeks along, which is another story. The doctor can't decide when I'm due because I have such messed up, long cycles. I think I'm due August 7 but he thinks it could be even earlier, up to July 18. I have an ultrasound scheduled in a couple weeks to measure the baby and see for sure. And probably find out the gender at the same time.

Anyway, we are beyond thrilled and Carter is the cutest older brother already. He kisses my bump (already huge again, by the way), tells the baby he loves it and just generally gets excited whenever we talk about it. Me too, buddy, me too.


February 16, 2014

january, instagrammed


January 11, 2014


Two is here. And mostly it's not terrible at all. It is, in fact, so much fun.

Carter talks. And talks. And talks. In full sentences, regularly. He doesn't talk very much in front of people who aren't family, usually, even in places he knows well, like his friend's apartment upstairs or nursery. He can be quite shy. But at home! Whew! He saves it just for us which makes me feel quite special really. He keeps a running commentary on what he's doing at any given time. For example, building a castle with blocks: "This one goes here. Perfect! Let's open this one. Where should this one go?" etc. etc. etc. He struggles a little with pronouns still; he uses "you" referring to himself instead of "I" most of the time, although occasionally he gets it right. He says "you" instead of "your" and I die of delight every time. "You do it you self?" is heard hourly around here. Independence is here and it is not without cries of frustration and the occasional tantrum. He just wants to be able to do everything himself, whenever he wants to do it. We've been working on saying, "I need help, please" instead of screaming in frustration when he can't quite do something but lately he doesn't want help either, he just wants to be able to do it himself! Poor guy. Don't we all.

His eating habits are not as good as they once were, but for a two-year-old, he really does great. He's not very adventurous when it comes to trying new things, though, so dinnertime can be hard since that's when he normally encounters new foods. Unless it's a treat, then bring it on! Somehow he always knows what is a treat. We still have chocolates leftover from Christmas and the poor guy asks for one constantly. Welcome to life, kid.

Carter loves trucks still. He got a "big truck!" for Christmas and adores it. He got a tricycle for his birthday and adores that also. He can't pedal yet, but he doesn't care, he just likes to "drive." We gave him a small set of Duplo Legos also and surprisingly, he loves them! He's had a set of mega-bloks for a year and hasn't cared too much but now he plays with both things constantly. We are always building castles. Every day. 

He climbed out of his crib finally (I've been waiting for this for months, really, he's such a mischievous climber) two days before his birthday. It was in the middle of the night at my parents' house, actually, and Sam and I were sleeping in the same room. That was a nightmare. However, once he was home sleeping in his own crib, training him not to climb out was relatively easy. He did climb out at home too, but I explained he needed to stay in his bed until morning, and then after that employed the "silent return to bed" where I picked him up and without saying anything, put him back in his crib every time he got out. It only took 11 times over the course of 20 minutes and he got the picture and has stayed in since. In the mornings he is so pleased with himself that he stayed in. It's the cutest. We'll probably make the move to a real bed sometime in the next year but for now, I think he sleeps better in a crib.

Carter is the sweetest, smartest, most well-behaved two year old I've ever met. He loves to make us happy. He and Sam brought me some flowers on our anniversary and Carter just lit up to give them to me. I hope he knows that he makes me happier just by being himself than I ever knew I could be.


January 4, 2014

christmas, again

Pretend it's actually still December, ok?

We spent this year's Christmas in California with Sam's parents, which was so nice. I hadn't been there in a few years so it was good to be there again. Carter had all the love and attention he could ever want with his grandparents and great-grandparents there and his being the only grandchild around. It was a great time for everyone. Carter bonded with his great-grandparents so quickly. I've never seen him take to anyone that fast. It was very sweet to see them together.

Being away for actual Christmas didn't stop us from decorating our house or keeping traditions like chocolate dipping or filling each other's stockings with dollar store items. We did, however, get a fake tree this year. Lame. But so much easier.

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