Monday, December 31, 2007

This is Tyler

He was one of my students last year. I grew to love him so, so much. Here we are at the zoo on our end of the year field trip:I elected to keep him with me the whole time partly because Ty has a tendancy to run and I wanted to be responsible for watching him, but mostly because he is a remarkable little guy that I really loved spending time with. This is us on the second to last day of school (please overlook the hugeosity of my 9th month of pregnancy):
This is Tyler's family: (image from
I had the blessing of getting to know all of these people really well because they came in the school often. Tyler's mom, Liz, and I got to be friends through all the time we spent talking about her kids and what was best for them. She was a great mother.
Last fall when I learned that the brain tumors Liz had been battling since Tyler's infancy were back and inoperable I remember feeling physically sick for 3 days. I was devastated for her family. I couldn't stop thinking about Liz's kids. What would they do without their mother? I am a special education teacher and Tyler, though truly one of the most brilliant children I've ever met, has some challenges and special needs that I could not imagine anyone being able to really help him with other than his mother. Ty's dad is fantastic and wonderful, but he had the responsibility of providing physically for his family and I couldn't imagine how he could work full-time and be the primary care-giver in the home as well.
As the year progressed Liz responded well to the Chemo-- better than anyone had thought she would. Her sense of humor was unflinching-- she was always laughing and telling jokes throughout her pain and she seemed to be the emotional rock that held everything together. We had a conversation one day about her health (which she did not talk to me about very often at all) and she spoke about dying very noncholantly, as though she knew that it was not far off. She wasn't scared.
At the end of the year as I hugged all my students for the last time and their parents came to take them home I reminded everyone to keep in touch-- these little kids had become a huge part of my life and it hurt me to think about not knowing about all the new milestones they would reach, new things they would learn, new skills they would master. A few of the parents have kept in touch. Liz was the one that did the best.
She checked this blog often and would write me emails about my baby and give me advice on being a mom. She would tell me stories about the funny things Tyler was doing and take the time to write them out as if Tyler was speaking (which was difficult to do considering that he only speaks in vowels). These emails were precious to me and I always marvelled at Liz's thoughtfulness.
In the last email I sent her I asked her about her health. When she wrote back she told me a funny story about wishing that her kids would still take binkies sometimes, but didn't say anything about how she was doing. I had no reason to suspect that she was going downhill so fast.
On Sunday I got a phone call telling me the heartbreaking news that Liz had passed away the night before. The details of her passing were similar to how my husband's dad, Steve, died-- brain cancer also took him at a very young age.
But, like Steve, Liz lived longer than people had ever thought she would. She battled that cancer for over 6 years, and this past year she was told over and over that she wouldn't make it more than a few weeks, maybe a month or two. Steve lived for 2 years after the tumor was found and the doctors had only given him a few months. And those 2 years make up in large part the sum of my husband's memories of his father. I wonder how many memories Liz was able to create with her children this past year that the doctors said would never happen.
People like Liz and Steve are testaments to the power of human will. In a story that a local newspaper ran on Liz and her family it talks about Liz wanting one last Christmas with her family. Through her unwavering faith and determination she got that final Christmas. I hope so much that it was a happy one and that her family will treasure the memory of having her with them for that final celebration. I am grateful for people in my life that motivate me to live fuller, slow down, hug tighter, and cherish more. I hope Liz's story motivates you, too. You can read the full version here.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

the towel series

Okay folks, I'm calling on you all for some help here. I recently snapped a few shots of my little babe right after he got out of the bath thinking that maybe I would want to frame one and put it in our extra bathroom as a little personal decorating touch. But now I am having a problem. I cannot for the life of me decide which picture to use. I like them all for different reasons and I dislike them all for different reasons-- the lighting is good in one, his facial expression is better in another, too much towel in some, not enough in others, bad composition but great face in some, decent compostion but eyes closed in others... you get the idea. So here is where you come in. I have narrowed them down to the eight that I like best. From here I leave it up to you to help me decide. Please cast your vote in the comments portion of the blog and let me know which one should adorn our bathroom wall. Or maybe your answer is that none of them are that cute and if that is the case remember the classic one-liner from Bambi: "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Just teasing-- you can say whatever the heck you want.
#1 #2
Pretty soon the towel was making him mad so I took it off and got a couple of pictures that I loved because look at how awesome his little fingers are in this first one:This one is kinda cute solely because you can see the chub of his arms and chest:
And seriously, though probably not bathroom wall worthy, this face is completely classic:
So do I go with a towel one because that fits the bathroom theme? Or choose a naked one instead? Please help. My future bathroom occupants thank you for your time.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Guess what he was thankful for?

Hint: It was not his 4 month old shots which he got at the beginning of the day:But it was this which he got for the first time at the end of the day:

mmm... i love big boy food!
Here he is in action:

Thursday, November 08, 2007

a night in the life...

I am a nice baby, I promise

8:30 PM- You feed Baby G, change his diaper, put on his pajamas and start your bedtime wind-down. Baby G is smiley and eager to show you his new trick: grabbing anything in sight and pulling it to his mouth. His trick is very cute. He is positively not acting even remotely tired, though you know that can't be true because he barely napped today(sleeping has not been one of his best tricks as of late).

9:30 PM- Baby G is tired. He is whiney, restless and keeps shaking his head back and forth. He is still demonstrating his new trick, though now it is him grabbing your shirt and shaking his hand in frustration. You sigh. His trick is still cute, but you kind of wish he would just give up and fall asleep. You continue bouncing and rocking him.

9:50 PM- Baby G falls fast asleep in your arms. You look at him sleeping and wonder how many times he will wake up tonight before he is finally asleep for good.

10:05 PM- You tip-toe into the baby's room with him cradled in your arms. You have already ordered hubby to "get his room ready" (which involves turning on the radio to a non-existant station to create "white noise," putting his little sleeper thing (to keep him from rolling over) in the right position, and laying out a swaddler on top of said sleeper thing so that you can wrap baby up once laid down). You very gingerly begin to lower the baby down into his crib, trying to keep your body as close to his as possible so as to trick him into not thinking he is getting put down (which results in only some minor back pain and a small stomach ache from where the crib bar digs into your belly as you lower).

10:06 PM- You have successfully placed the baby in his bed. Now the trick is to get your hands out from under his body without rousing him. Success! You very carefully begin to wrap the blanket around him, trying to do so with as little movement as possible. Again, you are victorious. Your final hurdle in this process is to somehow transport yourself out of his room without stepping on any of the squeaky floorboards (this is especially tricky because your house has all wood floors and was built in 1958). You say a silent prayer that you won't wake him as you escape, doing your best impersonation of a stealth Peter Rabbit hopping from one non-squeaky floorboard to another.
10:07 PM- You continue your mission of floorboard-hopping down the hallway and into the kitchen. You are safe there because of the tiled floors. You wait in the kitchen for the heater to kick on so that you can make the dash into the living room with some background noise. You rummage through the fridge. Nothing looks good. You close the fridge and go sit on the counter. "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...this is crazy."

10:08 PM- The heater comes on. You make the treacherous few hops into the living room to join J for some TV while you wait for the baby to wake up. You whisper (just in case Baby G might possibly be able to hear you) to J to change the channel from boxing. He does.

10:09 PM- You must've whispered too loudly. Baby is crying down the hall. You walk into his room and reassure him that you are there. You put your hand on his cheek to calm him and he demonstrates his trick by grabbing and holding onto your hand. He quickly falls back asleep. Now you have to go on Mission:Impossible again to get back to the living room. "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...this is wearing me out."

10:20 PM- You've been in the living room for about 9 minutes (this time you bypassed the kitchen and just went straight for it). You hear the baby. You sigh. You follow the above sequence again and wonder how many more times you'll have to go in his room tonight. "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...this is exhausting."

10:30-11:30 PM- You go back and forth from the living room when baby is sleeping to baby's room when he wakes up crying at least 3 more times (to J's credit, he goes in a couple of times, too). You sigh a lot. You close your eyes and hold your breath to get your composure once or twice. You pray at least half a dozen prayers to "let this be the last time tonight." "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...this is getting frustrating."

11:31 PM- You are too tired and decide to try to get some sleep, hoping that maybe the baby will stay asleep. You and J wait for the heater to come on and then make a hopping dash into your bedroom, taking out contacts and brushing teeth as quickly as possible so that the heater in still on before you get into bed. You make it. You say a prayer together making sure to emphasize how much you would really appreciate it if the baby could stay asleep just for a couple of hours "if it be Thy Will." You wonder why it wouldn't be His Will to let you and your baby get some rest.

11:32 PM- You fall asleep with a mildly heavy heart, knowing that it probably won't last.

12:37 AM- Baby G's cries wake you. You sigh. At least you got an hour. You go in his room and go through the hand on face-wait 'til he falls asleep-escape out of the room routine.

12:42 AM- You crawl back in bed and fall asleep.

2:53 AM- Baby wakes you up again. You wait a few minutes in your bed debating about whether or not to have J (who miraculously manages to sleep through this all) go into the baby's room this time. You decide to just go do it yourself. So you do. You sigh a lot and might shed a tear or two. "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...I don't know if I can keep doing this."

2:56 AM- You get back in bed and fall asleep after a few rough minutes of wondering what you are going to do.

4:44 AM- The baby is awake. You wake up J. You tell him that this is at least the 3rd time you've been up tonight and you don't know if you can do it again. He gives you a hug and gets up and goes into Baby G's room to do the routine.

4:48 AM- J comes back to bed. You tell him that something has got to change because you can't keep doing this. He says we'll talk about it in the morning.

7:27 AM- You hear the baby whine-talking in his room. You go in, open the blinds and say, "Good morning sweet baby. I love you." You look in his crib at him and he looks up at you and grins such a big grin that his whole body seems to twist up with excitement to see his mama. You pick him up. He buries his little face in your neck and demonstrates his new trick by grabbing on to your back and squeezing. It feels like he is giving you a really tight hug. It feels so good. You sit down in the rocking chair and hold him tight. You smell his delicious babyness and run your hands up and down his perfect baby-chub back. You close your eyes and take in the overwhelming feeling of love and peace. You know that Heavenly Father gives you moments of heartache and exhaustion like last night so that you can more fully appreciate the bliss of moments like this. You know why you wanted to be a mother in the first place. You wouldn't trade any of this-- not the sleepless nights, not the sad tears, not the morning hugs, not the happy tears-- for the world. "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...this is so worth it."

***I must give this disclaimer to give my baby the credit he deserves for usually being such an angel-- up until a few weeks ago he was a good sleeper and we had a good routine down. And then his mother decided to try something new for a few nights which completely threw him for a loop and resulted in about 2 weeks of the really rough sleep habits described above. The good news is that we have been following The Sleep-easy Solution for the past 4 or 5 days and he is back to sleeping through the night (though not without some really rough moments getting through the first couple of nights of it).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tag catch up

Over the past few weeks I have been tagged to do a some memes that I haven't yet done. And since I enjoy reading them on other peoples' blogs, I figured I'd fill them out on mine. This one is from Jackie:

4 Jobs I've held

Carnival worker (mm hmm, that's right. I painted faces, filled bottles with colorful sand, and tried to hook up (in a completely innocent junior high kind of way) with the naughty boys that were doing community service from the Boys Ranch, which, I might add, resulted in more than one phone call in the middle of the night letting me know that they were "going back to rehab and just wanted to say goodbye." I still have no idea why my dad would get out of bed at 2 AM to bring me the phone instead of yelling at them to get lost... my dad is really nice).

Medical receptionist (cushy high school job at my dad's office to get some spending $)

Field and office facilitator for BYU Romania Int'l Volunteers Program (absolutely FANTASTIC jobs-- I worked with some of the coolest, most diverse people I've ever met)

Special Education Teacher (I taught kindergarten to 17 of the greatest kiddos in the world-- in my humble opinion, the most worthwhile and best job on the planet besides my current occupation of mother)

4 Movies I can watch over and over

Forrest Gump (and it usually can still make me cry even though I totally know what's coming)

The Fiddler on the Roof (can't get enough of Tevya's shaking arms during the "Rich Man" song and dance)

That's all I can think of... I'm not a big movie watcher (just ask my husband). But if it counts, I could watch re-runs of pretty much any sporting event over and over without hesitation (ESPN Classics is a staple in our house)

4 Guilty Pleasures

Otter Pops (in the summer I can't buy them or else I will literally eat at least 10 a day)

American Gladiators (wait, that isn't cool anymore? Shoot. J and I watch it almost every night on ESPN Classics)

Having the hubby put our baby into my bed with me before he leaves for work (because #1, I love cuddling him while he sleeps, and #2, then I don't have to get out of bed and get him when he wakes up and we can just lay there and play together until breakfast time)

Baby clothes (I am a huge sucker for all the tiny cuteness that is clothing for baby, and since our budget does not exactly take this into account I am a religious sale rack shopper and pretty much don't buy anything unless it is on super-sale. And luckily I have a mother who probably loves baby clothes more than anyone on the planet and her budget does allow for some splurges here and there. Thanks mom.)

4 Shows I enjoy

The First 48 (a fantastic show that follows homicide investigators around for the first 48 hours after a murder to document how they go about solving cases)

The Bachelor (that totally should have been a guilty pleasure. Don't tell anyone, please. My husband is ashamed of me when he comes home and I am watching it)

Anything sports (the most television we consume in our house is during the Jazz season. But we pretty much just like sports in general-- if ever we are channel surfing we almost always end up watching a sporting event)

4 places I have been on vacation

The Disney Parks (and they are totally calling my name again. I could go over and over and over)

Europe (I travelled all around after living in Romania)

New York (in college 4 of my girlfriends and I decided to just pack our bags and go for a long weekend on very short notice-- fantastic memories)

Cruises (if you are looking for a relaxing vacation this is the way to go. My parents surprised us with one when I was in junior high, in high school my friend Emily's family and mine went, and then J and I went on one for our honeymoon)

4 Favorite foods


Cafe Rio Pork anything


Cheese and crackers (the real kind)

Awards I have won

Most talkative (actually, I never won that. My second grade teacher told my mom that everyone always knew what was going on with me and I always knew what was going on with everyone else-- she meant it as a bad thing but I've always thought of it as a sort of backhanded compliment)

scholarships for school

3rd place in a public speaking competition for HOSA (but it hardly counts because I think only like 5 people were in the competition)

Most likely to grow up and marry a pirate (wait, was that me or you, Krisla?)

Hobbies I enjoy

Certain crafts (though I don't claim to be good at them, I have a strange affinity for creating-- this year I'm mod-podging my Christmas ornaments and making a shelf to hold our stockings on-- things like that)

Taking pictures (again, not something I have a particular talent for, but something I really love to do)

decorating (yeah, same thing here, but you can often find me wandring the furniture and decorating aisles at Target... but I think if I had more money I could do a decent job)

writing (not like the book writing, more like writing in my journal or writing cards etc.)

Secretly, I wish I could

adopt an orphan right now

live in Africa and run an orphanage or NGO of sorts (and really, it's not because I have super noble desires or anything-- I just really loved it when I got tastes of doing those things in my life and I want my children and husband to experience it with me)

afford to travel a ton

sing (like really well)

Brooke tagged me to do one where you share 10 random facts about yourself. Since I kind of just told you all a whole lot about myself already, I'll just do five:

1. I love the smell of garages. Something about the mustiness, mixed with gasoline, mixed with engine fumes, mixed with rusty tools... I know, I'm surprised my baby doesn't have brain damage, too.
2. I really would LOVE to be a homicide detective. This is a strange, morbid passion that may or may not have gone as far as me calling our local homicide team and asking if I could volunteer my sleuth-like services (okay, mostly I just asked if I could go on a ride-along with them. Apparently that's not something they get a lot because they acted like I had just asked them to sacrifice their right and left arms).
3. I have been skydiving. And it was fun. And not that scary. The scariest part was worrying that the shoddy aluminum floor was going to give out in the plane before I jumped. That and being more than a little concerned that the guy that was jumping with me was a rapist.
4. I love pretty paper. Wrapping paper, notebook paper, stationery-- it is all lovely to me.
5. I really like decorating cakes. Not like pretty cakes for weddings or anything, rather very random cakes for random events. For John's birthday this past year I made him a giant cake of a rainbow trout. And it was awesome.

There you have it... I will fill out the one Ashley tagged me for sometime. I think this is plenty for now. I tag anyone who would like to be tagged. I'm bad at deciding things like that (there's another random fact about me).

Halloween pictures to come soon.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Does it make me a bad mom if...

...I dress my baby up in multiple costumes to see which one he likes better for Halloween?
(because it is, after all, all about what he wants and has nothing to do with what I think is cutest. But just for the record, which one do you think is cutest? Ya know, just in case Baby G wants some input)
seriously, can you get over that skunk tail?
What about if I prop him up on a few pumpkins for a picture?
(notice how cold he looks here... that definitely adds to the bad mom points)
Or how about laying him on some?
(note the smile in this picture... I get some points back for that one)
What if I let my baby watch T.V.?
(but what if it was General Conference and I really only let him watch it for the purpose of this picture?)
What about if I keep my baby up to all hours of the night just so that we can watch the BYU football game at a noisy sports grill?
(though it's hardly my fault that the MTN is the lamest channel in the world and is only broadcast on Comcast. I mean, really, who (other than sports grills) has Comcast?)
And lastly, what if I tickle my baby to hear his laugh even though I can tell it is practically torture for him?
(pretty please try and tune out my very obnoxious voice and pony tail in this video)

In other news, hasn't this fall been beautiful?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Because it was comical...

1. My rock star name (first pet and current car): Beau Maxima
2. My gangsta name (fave ice cream flave and favorite cookie): Starlight Mint Sugar
3. My “fly guy/girl” name (first initial of first name and first three letters of last name): E Twe (maiden name because it was way cooler)
4. My detective name (favorite color and favorite animal): Blue Dolphin
5. My soap opera name (middle name and city where you were born): Carmen SLC
6. My Star Wars name (first three letters of your last name and first two letters of your first name): Tweli (again, maiden... 3 consonants in a row are not helpful in making cool names apparently)
7. My superhero name (2nd fave color and favorite drink with “The” in front): The Green Ice Water
8. My Nascar name (first names of your grandfathers): Alvin David LaMar
9. My stripper/p-nog star name (name of your fave perfume/cologne and your favorite candy): Cool Water Twix
10. My witness-protection name (mother’s and father’s middle names): Lynn LaMar

I hereby declare that I shall heretofore be referred to as Cool Water Twix. Thank you.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A note from Baby G

Dear Loyal Blog Readers,Since my mommy is my favorite person I decided to give her a break and write this post myself. Isn't that a cute picture of me up there? I can't believe how smart I am-- I figured out how to post these pictures of what I have been up to lately all by myself. Typing is kind of hard since I don't have complete control of my limbs yet, but I'll do my best to give you all an update.

Mommy keeps taking off my clothes and taking my picture. It makes me so mad that I pump my fists on my chest like this:

I love sleeping in my Halloween jammies. I sleep best with at least one arm above my head.

Speaking of Halloween, here is one of the many costumes my mom has considered for my first night of trick-or-treating. She keeps telling me to stop growing so much so that I'll still fit in it, but I am naughty and don't want to listen.I really love my Uncle B. I am going to miss him lots and lots when he leaves on his mission in 3 days, but at least I know how to type so I can send him letters whenever I want.
I love it when my mommy holds me and we fall asleep together. Her arms are so cozy. And look, daddy is so nice. He sleeps on the floor in front of us to keep guard and protect us from the boogey man.
I am a little concerned in this picture because it is starting to get too cold to wear the handsome outfit that cousin Ash gave me. I love it so much and will be really sad when mommy tells me I can't wear it anymore.
I am mad because this picture makes it look like my neck isn't strong enough to hold my head up all by myself. Who stuck their dumb arm in this picture anyway? I am totally strong enough to sit up in my bumbo seat all alone now, and I love it.
I really love playing with my cousin L but I can't figure out why he is always trying to pull my hair.
Mommy and Daddy like to go out to dinner, and I like it too, but in this picture I was sick of being ignored in my seat so I was telling them to pick me up and let me have some of daddy's steak.

It was lots of fun to go up to the W* family cabin and see all the pretty fall leaves.
There, wasn't that fun? That's what we've been up to lately. We are all happy and having so much fun. Mommy and daddy tell keep telling me I'm perfect, and I guess I am because look, I can make this cool wavy face with my lips:
Love always,
Baby G

little boy blue's blessing

Handsome Baby G had his blessing last Sunday in our new ward in Murray. It was on the same day as my brother's farewell talk for his mission so we had a full day of spending time with family and loved ones. We are so grateful to those who came to be with us on this special day. Here are some pictures of the guest of honor in his blue (I know, I know, not the most traditional-- but it was still classic and beautiful) blessing outfit.

And here is the family. Who does the baby look like? I still can't decide.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

hit him with your best shot

This baby went to the doctor for
his two month check-up last week

This was the result:

(look at that devastated bottom lip)

These are the vitals:

14 lbs. 6 oz.
24 1/2 inches tall

and since we like to start comparing our children early on here in America that puts him in the:

95th percentile in weight & 93rd percentile in height (head is 85th)

What I learned:

  • shots are just as sad for mommies as they are for babies
  • babies' legs get sore after shots resulting in at least a few hours of sad babies
  • don't take babies to jewelery parties the same day as their shots
  • especially not jewelry parties an hour away (long car rides are bad)
  • when babies' legs are sore they don't like to eat
  • yanking off band-aids on babies' skin is not pleasant for anyone

Anything else I should know for the 4 month shots? Our first experience really wasn't THAT bad, but I didn't like knowing that he was in pain at all. Luckily after about a day and a half he was back to his normal happy self and he seems to have forgiven me for letting the nurse stab him with needles 4 times.

Ah, the joys of being a mommy. :)