Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Trouble Does For Fun

When Trouble comes to my office, which is often more than once a day, she clears off whatever is on top of my desk and plops herself down right in the middle of the desk.
And there she sits...sometimes for 15 or 20 minutes.
When the phone rings she says, "Answer it."
When a customer walks in the door she says, "Uh oh, go help the customer."

A few days ago she was sitting in her spot playing with a jar full of pennies.
She counted out 20 pennies and climbed off the desk and went in to talk to Travis, my cousin.
"Travis, I'll give you these pennies if you take me for a ride on your motorcycle," she said.
Travis laughed and said, "I'll take you next week."
This was not Trouble's first request.

Trouble tried again.
"Travis, I'll give you these pennies if you take me for a ride on your motorcycle today."
Travis laughed again and said, "Let's go ask your mom."

Travis ended up taking Trouble for a ride around the nursery.
She wasn't a fan of the helmet because it messed up her hair, and I had to fix it for her.
I wasn't a fan of Travis putting Trouble on the back of the looks like he and I have to have a little chat about taking 4 year olds for motorcycle rides.

Trouble swears she will never get on the bike again.
"It was scary," she said "and I screamed."
If I'm being honest, her little squeal was adorable.
And I didn't have the heart to tell her that Travis wasn't going very fast.

Trouble's dad realizes he's in trouble.
He said to Trouble's mom, "You're already letting her get on the back of a guy's bike?"

That little Trouble...
I've said it before but the world needs more of her.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Friday

Last night Jason and I went to our favorite salad place for dinner...again.
We're still waiting for that miraculous day when I will wake up with a desire to cook.
(Don't tell Jason that my mom has been waiting for 20 plus years for that desire to hit me.)

As we were standing in line the girl making my salad looked at me and asked, "Are you going to have a baby?"
Her co-worker looked at me and rolled her eyes and I tried to suppress laughing right out loud.
I looked at my stomach and back at the girl and said, "I certainly hope so."
"Are you waiting to deliver naturally?" she then asked.
At that point I wanted to roll my eyes because really, is it any of her business?
I told her that if I went into labor before Wednesday, then yes, I would deliver naturally.

As we walked to our table Jason asked, "Do you know her?"
"No, I have no clue who she is," I told him.
He was surprised that a complete stranger would ask me so many questions.

It's amazing what people think they have a right to know when a woman is pregnant.
I've taken to wearing sun glasses wherever I go so that people don't see me glare at them when they stare at my belly for too long.

I think I have skin cancer on my lip.
Jason studied the red spot for a long time and then googled 'Lip Diseases.'
It's amazing he's still willing to kiss me.
I showed it to my dad yesterday and he asked, "Do you even get sunburned there?"
I made an appointment with a dermatologist for the end of August...before then I think I'm going to be otherwise occupied.
I hope I don't die before the end of August.

Do you remember how once upon a time before I got pregnant I had some serious issues with vertigo?
Other than some slight dizziness here and there, I haven't had one episode of vertigo since last November.
It's been amazing.
I have nightmares that as soon as Emily is born I'm going to get hit with a whopping case of vertigo that will never end.
Do you think I'm lucky enough to have it just be gone...forever?
Yeah, me neither.

I'm trying to think of any other possible random thing that might have crossed my mind in the last 24 hours.
I think we've got it covered.

Oh...except for this...
Do any of you watch Expedition Impossible?
Here's my question:
Is the amount of money they have the chance to win worth what they go through in a day?
I think not.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Worry Gets Me Nothing But Grey Hair

My mom's phone rang this morning at 1:30am.
She was sure I was calling to tell her we were having a baby.
It was a wrong number.

Last night when I left work I told my brother that tomorrow I was going to teach him how to use Quickbooks...our accounting program.
He said, "You won't be here tomorrow."
When I walked in this morning he did a little cheer.
And then right after his cheer another co-worker walked in and threw his hands in the air.
"It's not that we're not happy to see you," he said, "But really, we don't want you here."
"Have a baby already."

What they don't know is that they are going to miss me when I'm gone.
A lot.

My heart is a little bit heavy today.
I've mentioned before that I have a cousin with twin girls.
They just turned a year old.
One of the little girls, Lucy, was given the same diagnosis Emily was with her heart.
Lucy has had two open heart surgeries, and is still struggling.
She will go in on Tuesday for her third surgery.
I'm not sure of the details, but according to my cousin it's a risky surgery, and they're not sure that their little girl will survive it.

Obviously I can't help but worry...for my cousin, for her baby, for Emily, and for Jason and me.
I can't help but wonder if we're headed down the same path...if Emily's future will mirror Lucy's first year of life.
My mom and I talked about it yesterday and she reminded me...again...that God has a plan for Emily, just like He does for Lucy.
The thing is...I feel guilt when I hope and pray that Emily's plan isn't as traumatic as Lucy's has been.
I feel a lot of other things too...things that I don't give a voice to very often because they don't do anything but make me doubt my faith.

Anyway...enough of this.

I had my last non-stress test this morning.
I'm pretty sure the nurse is going to miss me and my amniotic fluid.

I keep thinking it's Friday.
It's only case you needed the reminder too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Only In My Family

My mom has an affinity for all things 'ancestor' and has been going through some old photographs she found in a trunk in my grandma's house.

Occasionally she'll show me a picture.
"This is your great-great-aunt once removed" she'll say.
"This is my great-great-great cousin's second husband.  Her first husband died a horrible death."

Okay, that part about the cousin's second husband isn't true, but it might as well be, for as much as I know who any of these people are.

A few minutes ago I was on the phone when I heard my mom laughing from the other room.
She was again looking through the trunk of old photographs.
I heard her say, "We are all crazy" and then she laughed some more.

She came into my office and showed me this picture:

"Who are they Mom?" I asked.
And I put just enough interest in my voice to let her know that I really did want to know.

"Read what Grandma wrote on the back," she said.

"Sam Copley (Bird's son) looked like the man standing on the right.  No one knows who these men are.   -Lucy "

This photograph of complete strangers has been in my Grandma's trunk for years...YEARS...because some distant relative looked like one of these men.

The real question here is this:

Are you going to keep the photo Mom?
(I'm guessing she will...because after all 'they're all crazy.')

Monday, July 25, 2011

Show and Tell

Saturday found us in Salt Lake City shopping.
We had two goals:
-buy a laptop
-find something 'cute' for Emily's room

Jason has been slightly bothered by the room's lack of cuteness.
True story.
I have this thing about simplicity...
I love a bare wall.
I love a lack of 'things.'
I love open spaces of dirt more than I love a flower bed filled with color.

We spent an hour in one store debating on cute things.
We finally settled on these - to hang in one corner of Emily's bedroom:

(picture found at

As for the other?
The computer?
Jason had that one entirely under control.
He knew exactly what computer I needed.
Just ask him.

It's going to take me 12 years to figure out how to use it -
This little piece of machinery will allow me to work from anywhere I am.
And with the uncertainty of our very near future, this is a good thing.

When we finally got home several hours later I was exhausted.
I curled up on the couch and slept for an hour, while Jason set up the new computer.
I woke up long enough to say, "I'm going to bed."
Jason said I snored that night...
It's no wonder I haven't been grocery shopping in over a month.
It would take me two days to recover.

And really, I haven't been grocery shopping in over a month.
We buy milk, bread, and fruit.
My poor husband.
I'm going to drink a Coke today and hopefully that will give me the energy I need to survive the grocery store.
(And by drink a Coke I mean take a few swallows of the 32 oz Coke my sister bought me 4 days ago.)

It's a holiday here in the state of Utah.
You wouldn't know it by the fact that both Jason and I are working today.
But we'll close work early and then head to my sister's house for water fun and food.
Jason bought a pinata for the kids...
It's no wonder they love him.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finally, A Date

How does August 4th sound for a birthday?
It sounds far away to me.
But unless this little one decides otherwise, August 4th it is.
(Angie, that means that I will be induced on August 4th.  Is that specific enough for you?)

As soon as Jason heard the date he went through a mental checklist.
'Heat the bottle on the stove in boiling water.'
'Learn to change a diaper.'
'Make sure you support the head.'

He makes me laugh.

Last night Jason left a message on my phone.
He wanted to go for a bike ride but was checking to make sure I didn't have other plans.
His plans worked perfectly with mine, because I wanted to get a pedicure.
I'm still suffering because of that pedicure.

My feet are more than a little swollen.
And by the time I get home at night they hurt...a lot.
It usually takes until the next morning for the swelling to go down enough for me to put shoes back on.
(Jason's flip flops to be flip flops don't fit at the moment.)

I said to the lady doing the pedicure, "My feet are swollen and they hurt."
She shook her head and made a sound that I thought meant, "Oh you poor thing.  I'll take extra careful care of you."
I quickly realized that no, that's not what she meant.
I have never had a massage that hurt worse, and at one point I got tears in my eyes.
I would flinch and pull my foot away and she would look up at me and say, "Feel better yes?"
And then she would look down again and go back to her torture.
At the point where I had reached the end of my rope and was opening my mouth to tell her so she said, "There. Finished."

I eventually limped to my car and made it home.
When Jason got home I told him about my experience, and a few minutes later, when we were settled on the couch he pulled my foot up onto his lap and rubbed it for a long time.
(One foot is worse than the other.)
But even with that, the pain in my foot woke me up off and on all night long.

I'm pretty sure Emily is worth the pain.

There were two young girls getting manicures the same time as my pedicure.
They were fun to listen to, but when they started talking about bars and drinking I got a little concerned.
They weren't any older than 14 or 15.
They asked me a few questions about my pregnancy, and as I tried to get out of the chair they laughed at me. 
I smiled at the girls and said, "Ladies, you better not even think about doing this, (and I pointed to my stomach) for a really long time."
What happened to me?
At what point along the way did I decide that if I was going to be a mother I needed to be everyone's mother?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm Still Here...You'll Know When I'm Not

I didn't leave work last night until later than normal.
I wanted to make sure that everything was wrapped up and organized... know, just in case.

I should have known better.
I'm guessing this little baby of mine is going to stay put for as long as she can.
I don't blame her...she's got it pretty good in there...
...what, with all the ice cream I feed her?
Which really isn't a lot...but it is summer...

Yesterday one of our employees walked into the office and saw me.
He said this:
"No me digas!!!  Mujer, todavia andas aca???"
Which translates into this:
"Don't tell me!  Woman, you're still here???"

My sister walked into my office, took one look at me and said,
"Just checking," and then she left.

Even people I've never met, who call in to ask a question, feel the need to tell me how tired I sound.

My lack of a post yesterday resulted in emails asking if Emily had been born.
The truth?
My lack of a post yesterday was because of two things:
-I had nothing to say
-I was having a bad day and didn't want that to shine through on the blog.

As unfair as it seems, little Emily's heart is not the biggest worry in my life right now.
It's not the worry that kept me up until 3 am the night before last...
and it's not the worry that had me in tears off and on all day yesterday.

As my mom...and my brother...reminded me yesterday...
It will all work out the way it is supposed to.
And I just need to trust that God is in charge of this too.

It's 9:15 am and I'm still in bed.
Jason is next to me reading the news.
What I should do is drag myself out of bed and go to work.
What I'm going to do is put this computer away and snuggle next to Jason for a little while.

Oh...and Jason?
He bought the waterproof mattress pad yesterday.
Just in case.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Girl Who Didn't Intentionally Cry Wolf

Emily is perfectly content and  comfortable where she is...right on my bladder.
Thank you very much.

That's probably what she would tell me at this point.

We're headed to the hospital in a few minutes anyway...
...we already had the appointment scheduled.

I'll tell you this...
Jason is relieved.
One more day means his precious mattress didn't suffer the consequences of my water breaking.
It wouldn't surprise me if he goes out today and buys a waterproof mattress pad.

Thanks for the prayers and good thoughts friends...they're very much appreciated!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

There's A Chance...

Do you want to know something funny?
Or not so funny?
Jason and I are clueless about this 'we're going to have a baby business.'

There's a chance I'm in labor.
There's a chance I'm not too, but we don't know for sure.
And so we're just hanging out...wondering if the back pain/contractions are regular enough to be considered labor, or random enough to not be.

I just took a warm bath and now we're waiting...
...for something.
We may head to the hospital and ask them to check me, just to be sure, before we make the hour drive to the hospital where I'm supposed to deliver.

Or we may just go to sleep and get up and go to work tomorrow.
It's hard to say.
What isn't hard to say?
I think Emily knows something is going on.
She's been CRAZY  today.

When I know something you'll know something.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another Weekend Already?

Today's post is HERE today.

I've posted a picture from our honeymoon...when we hiked to the top of Angel's Landing in Zions National Park.

Have a great weekend!

What Day Is It? I Can't Keep Track.

It's nice when people understand how life works.
Let me give you an example.
My brother just said, "I'm going to get a pizza for lunch.  Do you guys want to eat it with me?"
You guys = our cousin Travis and me.
We said yes.
It seems we have a hard time escaping for lunch around here, and when someone is actually pro-active enough to get lunch we all jump on the lunch bandwagon.
(Where does this phrase 'jump on the bandwagon' come from?)

"What kind of pizza do you want?  Pepperoni or Hawaiian?"
I chose Hawaiian.
Ben said, "Trav, what do you want?"
And then before Travis had a chance to respond Ben said this,
"Actually it doesn't matter.  Noelle already said what she wanted and we pretty much just have to go with that."

See?  My brother understands how life works.

In other news...
Because I'm sure you just wait on pins and needles for my other news...
That little daughter of mine is going to give me gray hair...or is it grey hair?
I never know how to spell gray/grey.
The nurse who was monitoring her heart this morning asked us, "Does she normally have an irregular heartbeat?" she doesn't.
"Hmmm...okay, well...we'll just have the doctor look at it."
The perinatologist came in and watched and listened for a minute.
"I'm 99.9% certain it's not a problem...and that it's unrelated to her other heart problems," is what she told us.
"But I'll call the cardiologist and make sure we're on the same page."
And then she gave us her worst case speech about how sometimes, if an irregular heartbeat goes on for too long there is always the chance of heart failure.
Does she have to say those things?
"But don't worry...if we think she's going into heart failure we'll just deliver her."

Yes please, I'll take the delivery.
Not because I'm worried about heart failure, but because I'm worried about total body failure...on my part.

And to wrap things up...
Jason barbecued fillet Mignon last night.
And he cooked corn on the cob.
And mashed potatoes.
And some amazingly delicious cheese/tomato/basil/olive oil/rosemary dish.
(Dear Becca, I stole the basil from your kitchen cupboard.)
And he cut up fresh cantaloupe.

When he asked what my favorite meal was, as we were eating all of this delicious food I said,
"I probably would have just made waffles."

Poor Jason.
He didn't know what he was getting when he married me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thinking Out Loud

When my mom was about 15 months old her parents went on a business trip.
My mom and her three older siblings were left in the care of their aunt and uncle.
Before they left, my mom's mom who was just 39 years old, had a heart to heart conversation with her sister-in-law.
"Vickie, if anything happens to me I want you to raise Valerie."
Vickie couldn't have children of her own.

A few days later my grandparents were in a car accident, and my grandma was killed instantly.
My mom, Valerie, never again returned to her home.  She remained in the care of her aunt and uncle.
In fact, it's my mom's uncle, my 'grandpa' Lynn, who Emily gets her middle name from.
My mom grew up in the same town...just down the street...from her dad and her other siblings.
They all remained close, and growing up I had two sets of grandparents on my mom's side of the family.

As an adult I've been amazed to see how that one decision, made by my grandma, and honored by my grandpa, has had such an impact on so many lives.
Later in her life my mom's aunt suffered from both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.  My 'grandpa' took care of her until the day that she died. 
Had my mom not been a part of their family, my grandpa would have shouldered his burden alone for the most part.
But because of an unselfish decision made many years before, my mom was there to help carry the burden...she was there on a daily basis to give my grandpa the support he needed, and to give my grandma the love she so deserved.

Many years after my grandma passed away, my grandpa was also faced with health issues, including dementia, that left him needing help.
Had my mom not been a part of his life, he would have essentially been alone.
But again, because of choices made many years earlier, Grandpa had family who loved him, and who took care of him until he passed away.

And those are just the big pieces of a very complex that was put together with love.

I asked my mom's biological dad once how he had been able to let his baby girl go.
He got tears in his eyes and admitted that it was one of the hardest things he had ever done.
"But," he said, "it was what my wife wanted, and I truly believe it was what God wanted."

I've thought a lot about my grandparents recently...both sets of them.
They each made big, hard sacrifices, and their lives were ultimately blessed because of those sacrifices.
My mom's life, and as a result, my life, has been even more blessed because of those sacrifices.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this pregnancy trauma I knew I had to make a hard choice.
And it was this:  was I willing to let my baby girl go?
I'm not saying that I think I'm going to have I'm actually filled with hope and optimism.
But I knew it was something I had to come to terms with...and somehow in my heart I knew that it was something that God needed me to come to terms with.
And in several of the countless prayers that I've prayed, I've done just that...I've given my baby girl back to God.
It wasn't without tears, but I did it.

I think He knows that I was...that I am spite of my begging and pleading for anything but that outcome.
In my moments of fear and doubt and even anger, there is always the quiet whisper in the back of my mind that reminds me of my faith.
The quiet whisper that reminds me that even though I often fight against it, there is nothing that I want more than to trust in and to follow God's will for my life.
It's a quiet whisper that I hope becomes louder as we grow closer to the next chapter in Emily's life.

Someday I'm going to tell my grandparents thank you.
Their examples, now more than ever, have sustained me and given me hope that regardless of the outcome, life is worth living, and that there are always bright days ahead.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Dangerous Around Here

I'd like to file a formal complaint...
...against the filing cabinet that nearly fell on top of me.
Don't worry, I caught it.
I'm pretty sure I pulled something though.

Dear Husband,
Can't you please come to work with me every day and just sit here for when I might need you?
I'll have to come up with plan B.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Counting The Days

Emily weighs 6 pounds 5 ounces...
And has the doctor's approval to come whenever she's ready... long as it's within the next two weeks.

The perinatologist is so convinced I'll go into labor 'any day', she didn't even schedule a date for me to be induced.

The doctor could tell I had a lot on my mind.
She invited me into her office to talk after she finished her exam.
Mostly she listened and I talked.

I told her about the blog I read over the weekend...the one where a mother wrote about her little boy who had the same diagnosis as Emily...
...her little boy who didn't even make it home from the hospital.
Before I could even tell her how I was feeling the doctor told me something.
"Noelle, if you weren't scared and overwhelmed right now I would be worried about you."

The mother of this baby boy said it better than I've ever been able to.
"There was a 1% chance of my baby being born with a heart condition."
"Of that 1% chance, there was a 1% chance that he wouldn't make it."
"But this has been 100% of my entire experience with pregnancy, and it makes that 1% seem huge."

I know how she feels.
And although the perinatologist hasn't been in my shoes, she somehow knows how I feel too.
"Noelle, your baby has everything going for her right now," she told me.
And then she promised me something.
She promised me that the minute Emily was born...the minute the unknowns were taken out of the life would be normal again...I would 'settle' into whatever the new reality was, and I would be okay.

I'm going to hold her to that.
Because right now?
I'm anything but settled.

Yesterday I was talking to my sisters...
They're professionals at having babies.
When I couldn't pass my puffy eyes off as allergies they got to the heart of the problem.
They reassured me that what I'm feeling is normal.
They told me that even having a health baby is scary and overwhelming.
And they gave me permission to cry every day if I need to.
I might need to...if the last two days are any indication.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I Simply Can't Think Of Anything Worthwhile To Blog About

I've realized recently that I can't just stand at the sink and brush my teeth.
I'll start out at the sink, but then I'll remember that the laundry needs to be switched...
Or I'll notice that the mirror needs to be cleaned...
...the garbage needs to be emptied...
...that shelf needs to be dusted...
...and so it goes until I've had the toothbrush in my mouth for at least 15 minutes.

This morning I forced myself to stand at the sink from the beginning to the end of the tooth brushing process.
It about drove me crazy.

Do you think there's help for this?

* * * * *

Yesterday were my second and third doctor's appointments of the week.
My mom asked how the non stress test went and I replied honestly.
"My fluid level is high, my blood pressure is low, and Emily's not breech today."

My regular doctor, who won't even be doing the delivery told me, "Well Miss Noelle, you're big enough to be having twins.  It's okay that you hurt as much as you do."
And then we discussed how the plan, as far as either of us know, is that I'll be induced sometime the last week of this month.
"I highly doubt you'll make it that long," was my doctor's opinion.
"You're far too big and your poor body can't handle much more."
Amen to that doctor.
Amen to that...

My heart beat goes a little nuts when I think about having a baby in a few weeks.
I'm not sure that I'm ready for all that might come...physically or emotionally.
I'll find out on Monday what the exact plan is.

* * * * *

And now that I've been awake for at least two hours I need a nap.
Jason agreed to attend an open house bridal shower with me tomorrow...simply because I don't want to drive myself there.
That man is a keeper.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm Curious...

Does your husband or significant other or your closest friend ever forget your name?
Of course Jason doesn't forget my name, I was just curious if someone out there forgot your name.

Dear Jason,
Your Wife

Oh...he might strangle me but ... last night over dinner at our favorite soup and salad place Jason admitted that early in our marriage sometimes he had to think about making sure he got my name right.

"What, we had only known each other for 5 months," was his argument.
I kindly suggested that had I been any form of outdoor gear he wouldn't have had that problem.
I love that husband of one makes me laugh like he does.

PS.  For those of you who might not see the comments...this is Jason's response:

Honey, I love you (even when you make me look really bad)!

You didn't mention the part you know all too well that I'm HORRIBLE with names. However I never got your name wrong, right? I just had to concentrate a micro fraction more during the first couple of weeks of marriage (I didn't mention that your name is tattooed on the inside of my eyelids...

Did I mention I really love him?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our Weekend Project

Here are the results of our crazy busy weekend.
Our crazy busy weekend that had me in a slightly bad mood last night.
I was so tired...and my feet hurt for how swollen they were...
And the curtains were giving us fits...
And at midnight I hit my wall and told Jason I had to go to bed before I said something I would regret.

This morning a nurse told me how impressed she was that I was handling everything so well.
Jason and I looked at each other and smiled and I told the nurse I wasn't handling everything so well and Jason agreed.  He said, "Actually, she's done."
Just a few more weeks and then I'll be done.

We have yet to find the perfect things to hang on the walls and we're waiting for a custom glider rocker we ordered 100 years ago...but other than that, the room is done.

The bead board and crown molding were done by my incredibly talented brother-in-law, and 90% of the clothes in the closet have been purchased by Emily's aunt Becca...
I think we've finally agreed that Becca has done far more than she needs to for this little one.

Without further ado:

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's A Beautiful Day In My Neighborhood

Last night Jason asked if I wanted to go for a drive up the canyon.
I thought it a fabulous idea.
He asked too if I thought I could manage a small walk along the river.
I said sure.
Then he said,
"Are you sure it won't cause compressions?"
"I mean retractions."
"What is it???"
"Contractions," I said while laughing.
"And no I'm not sure it won't cause contractions but let's go anyway."
It was beautiful and we enjoyed all 30 steps that I could walk.

I skipped out on my non-stress test this morning.
Call me rebellious but I couldn't handle going to one more doctor's appointment this week.
I'm pretty sure the nurses missed me - seeing as how I've become a part of their routine.

What are you doing for the weekend?

We're ...
Finishing the nursery -
Going to my nephews baptism-
Checking out the local farmers market-
Lighting the million dollars worth of fireworks Jason bought-
And eating.
I hope.