Thursday, December 27, 2012

Everything That Glitters Is Not Gold

Both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day brought things that sparkle.
Both were a complete surprise.

If you happen to step on the edge of our stairs in stocking feet, you are likely to slip.
Our carpet has a thing against socks.
As I was coming down the stairs on Christmas Eve I slipped just as I was opening the baby gate.
My arm caught on the baby gate and as I fell down the rest of the stairs, my arm stayed back with the gate.
Jason came running and found me at the bottom of the stairs fighting to find my breath and willing myself not to pass out.
I hurt - I hurt everywhere, and although I didn't cry, I really wanted to.

Sparkly thing #1

(And this is after the bruise has faded - it was PURPLE two days ago.)

As I was pulling things out of my stocking on Christmas morning, I opened a gift certificate to a jewelry store.
When I opened it and saw the amount I gasped and said to Jason, "We can't afford this!!!"
And to be honest, I was more annoyed than happy.

"WAIT!  Listen to this message," he said as he pulled out his phone.
A week before Christmas Jason got a phone call from a local radio station telling him he had won a gift certificate to the jewelry store.
The amazing thing?
Jason never entered any kind of contest for this gift certificate.

The day after Christmas Jason and I left Emily with her Auntie B and went to the jewelry store.
We came home with sparkly things #2:

Jason felt the need to inform me that he would probably never be able to top this Christmas, and I told him I would lower my expectations for all future Christmases.

Sparkly thing #1 still makes me want to cry every time I so much as move my arm.
And to be honest?
I now have an incredibly large fear of going down the stairs.
You should see me.
If it weren't so pathetic, it would be comical.

I've challenged Jason to a game of Rack-O and he is patiently waiting for me to finish this post.
I'm not sure why I want to play.
The last time we played, which was just two nights ago, he creamed me.
Our final score was 1120 to 405.

Now that Christmas is over I can't wait to share our top secret project with you!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

All Is Calm - All Is Bright

And all is filled with a profound peace.

I've been storing the memories of the last few days in my mind, waiting for a quiet moment to write it all down.

Tonight as my family was together for our annual Christmas Eve party, my sweet niece, who is almost 12, stood in front of all of us and told us of her love for her Heavenly Father and of her Savior, Jesus Christ.  And with the innocence and sincerity of her words, my eyes filled with tears and my heart was touched.  

May each of you find a quiet moment to reflect on the reason for this beautiful day.

Merry Christmas my dear friends.
Merry Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Favorite Movie

I wish all of you could have been standing at my kitchen table watching Emily on the baby monitor tonight.
She couldn't get comfortable once Jason put her in bed, and she spent several minutes sitting up and they laying back down.
She had one binky in her mouth and after she sat up for the third time she found another binky in her crib.
She picked it up, pulled the other binky out of her mouth, and put the new one in her mouth.
Keep in mind it's the exact same binky.
(We have five of them.)

She sucked on the new binky for just a few seconds before she pulled it out and put the other one back in.
She repeated this action four or five times - back and forth from one binky to the other - and then finally  settled on one in her mouth, and the other cuddled against her.
I could not stop laughing.

There aren't words to describe how happy she is, and unless you had seen her before the formula switch, you would never know what a difference there is now.
I watch her walking around, exploring her world, giggling along the way, squealing when she stands and looks out the window...
I am grateful every day to be Emily's mommy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

And To All A Good Night (Or Morning If That's When You Read This)

Oh look, I have a blog!
It would seem that I had forgotten that small fact.

My life has been one eternal round of projects and lack of sleep.
Since before my little sister's wedding almost two weeks ago, I haven't been to bed before 2 am and it long ago caught up with me.

This morning I tried to put a glue gun in the fridge.

Here's a picture of one of the projects I've been working on:

I've done one other one but already gave it away for a birthday, and I have two more to do before Christmas.

Before Christmas I have a quilt I want to finish for Em, another project to figure out how to finish for my brother and his wife, and a top secret project I've been helping my sister with.

I gave myself the deadline of having my Christmas cards out by Thursday - I guess sleep can wait another night.

And as for our girl ...

She's not spent even a minute sick this winter -
She spends most days wandering around the house opening as many doors as she can-
She giggles a lot, for no reason-
Her love for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has reached new depths-

She woke up from her nap yesterday and was still a little bit grumpy.
She and I snuggled for a few minutes and then she spotted the remote control.
She got out of my lap, walked over and picked up the remote control, and brought it back to me.
She looked at me and then looked at the TV.

I turned the remote on and the minute the TV screen turned blue she squealed and started bouncing.
She gave me the biggest grin and then settled back into my lap to watch Mickey Mouse come up over the hill.
Once that part is over she is happy to wander off and find whatever mischief she can get into.

I can't believe Christmas is in a week.
It was exactly a year ago this week that we were taking Emily in for open heart surgery.
I can't even begin to express how grateful I am to be home, chasing after my busy little girl, instead of in the CICU of the hospital.

I'll be back to write a Christmas post, but after that I'm taking a little break to soak up the love that fills my home every single day.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Night Out On The Town

Becca and I went to the store tonight;  she used her older sister card and told me I couldn't buy this:

She's only older by four minutes but that four minutes gives her a lot of power!

Sometimes I get giddy when Becca agrees to go to the store with me.
It's so rare when I'm able to spend girl time with anyone other than Emily, and when Becca says she'll go with me to the store, even if she really doesn't need to, it just makes me happy.

When we used to live together and do the grocery shopping we would each pick out what we wanted and then just split it all once we got to the check out isle.

More times than not our totals were within $1.00 of each other - no matter how we split the groceries.
That hasn't happened since I got married though.
Probably because Becca doesn't buy diapers.

Tonight we had what we needed in one grocery cart and before we even had a chance to start unloading the cart the cashier asked, "Is this two separate transactions?" and she seemed kind of put out by it.
(We weren't in the express lane, because in the express lane even I think it's cheating if both of us go through with only 10 items, because technically it's 20.)

I told her yes, but that we would separate things so she didn't have to worry about it.

As we walked away I told Becca that my one snarky comment of the evening was going to be that I thought the cashier's comment was dumb.

"Who cares if we're going to separate the items?" I asked her.

Becca said, "We should have said 'They are two separate orders.  Good luck guessing who is going to pay for what!'"  

We laughed and agreed that we need to be quicker on our feet in certain situations.
I told Becca that a customer called yesterday to pay a bill and when I asked him how he wanted to pay for it, he didn't miss a beat before he said, "With Mexican pesos."
I laughed and laughed, and came away thinking I really need to be more witty.

And all of that is just to say that I'm glad my sister only lives three minutes from my house, and that she loves me enough to go look through the Christmas isles at Target.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Things I Learn

When Jason steals my People magazine and reads it before I do:

- Demi Moore is a pretty lady but she's messed up, and her new boyfriend looks like a dweeb.

- Jason feels bad for Harry, David Letterman's son.

- The Bachlorette's wedding is simply ridiculous, but if you can afford it why not?

- JK Rawling's new book is a horrible one.

- Lindsay Lohan is in a world of hurt.

- It can't be healthy for Matthew McConaughey to lose as much weight as he did for his new movie.
 He just looks horrible and it's not worth it.  Sorry.

- Shania Twain is wearing quite the suit.

- David Beckham has a son named Romeo.

- "No way!" ... (but then I don't know the rest because sometimes Jason stops talking in the middle of sentences.)

- Kei$ha spells her name with a dollar sign and she's just as weird as the singer who wore a bacon dress.

- Jason likes Taylor Swift.  She seems like a normal girl.  She was born the year he graduated from high school.  It looks like she'll avoid some of the pitfalls most young stars find themselves in.

He might want to take my computer away from me when he reads this post, but living with Jason can be really fun.  I never know if he's specifically talking to me or just out loud, and although I had something else to post, I thought this was more humorous.

Except that he's gone silent.  Maybe he's really riveted by the article he's reading.

- Princess Kate's baby carriage cost $4000.00 and her shoes are made out of a lot of cork.

He just threw the magazine across the bed and said he can't keep his eyes open.
He played basketball tonight and his weariness just hit him.
And he hopes I won't think less of him or begrudge him or think he's a jerk if he goes to sleep now.

Sorry friends, there will be no more Hollywood according to Jason.

Although, I'm thinking that could be a new blog series!

Emily has been in bed since 10 pm and now that she doesn't have a night feed I could go to bed at the same time she does.
Why do you suppose I don't?

I'll try to have something more riveting to post about tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When Broken Is More Than We Could Hope For

Our girl is still sleeping.
It's 10:55 am.
I'm sitting in the rocking chair in her room, as her little tummy gets pumped full of breakfast - wondering if she'll wake up at some point.

Yesterday she didn't wake up until 11:30 am.
There are moments where I wonder if I should be worried about her.

Is her little heart working too hard?
Is she getting sick?

She'll usually take one nap a day, for an hour, but yesterday she didn't even do that.
She spent her entire day wanting to be in my lap, and fell asleep in her daddy's arms last night.

She had a pretty restless night and that's why this morning I'm letting her sleep until she decides to wake up.

It's hard sometimes, wondering about every little thing - wondering if I need to be worried, and then worrying that I'm not worrying enough.
There are moments where I truly envy the innocence that comes with having a healthy baby.

Even with the worry though, I know I'm blessed with this little girl who picked me to be her mommy.
Saturday we put up our Christmas tree, and for just a minute I stopped and looked at the scene around me and got teary eyed.

My life is so full of good things, and if Emily's broken heart helps me to see those good things more clearly... maybe a broken heart isn't such a bad thing.


Monday, December 10, 2012

A Wedding In Pictures

The day after my little sister's wedding I felt as if I had climbed a mountain.
Every muscle in my body was sore and for the life of me, I couldn't keep my eyes open.
The night before the wedding, some time around 3:00am  I said to my sisters, "Let's never become wedding planners."

The amount of burlap we cut, ribbons we tied, snowflakes we hung from balloons, trees we positioned, and cookies we baked (I ended up baking 31 dozen) - it all made for a beautiful wedding, and for some very tired girls.

I didn't manage to get a single picture of the tables and centerpieces.

If you are observant, you'll notice a few gnomes strategically placed throughout the barn.
When my dad first suggested gnomes, all of us girls gave him a very loud and decisive no.
He ignored us and placed the gnomes anyway.
Within a few hours the gnomes had grown on all of us, and I had to admit to my dad that I had been wrong.
That was probably his favorite part of the day.

I'm blessed with a loving family, and I'm grateful to know that no matter what the occasion, we'll always be there for each other.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guardian Angels

Emily's been fed a continuous night feed her entire life.
We run it slowly and it usually runs for eight or nine hours.
Our goal has always been to eventually get her off of her night feeds but we've never been able to accomplish it; her intolerance to her formula made it impossible to increase both the volume and the rate in which we feed her during the day.

One of the blessings of our new Emily has been that over the last two months we've gradually increased the amount of formula she gets during the day, and decreased it at night.

Two mornings ago I woke earlier than usual and felt the need to check on our little lady.
She had worked her way to the bottom of the crib and in the process had managed to wrap the slack in her feeding tube around her neck.

Had Emily rolled either direction, the feeding tube would have been pulled tighter, with the very likely possibility of choking her.
I said a silent prayer of gratitude for the angels that I'm sure were watching over my girl, and unwrapped the cord from around her neck.

It just so happens that that night was the last night Emily had an all night feed.
When Jason and I unhooked her tube for the night, after her final feed, we high-fived each other and sighed a huge sigh of relief as we walked out of Em's bedroom.

Our girl has come so far, and I'm just so grateful.

* * * * *

This morning Emily woke up earlier than normal coughing (she's had a lingering cough for a century now) and after I changed her I took her to my room and snuggled with her in bed.
She wasn't content to stay with me for very long.
After just a few minutes she scooted over to her daddy and snuggled into his shoulder and soon fell fast asleep for another hour.

(Jason told me that there was no way he was moving out of that bed until Emily woke up.  "Isn't this morning what every parents dreams of?" he said.)

I love these two.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

In Which I Learn Something New

Yesterday I called my friend Bruce, who is the landscape architect at a local university.
"Bruce, can I ask you a question that has nothing to do with plants?"
He told me he would welcome such a question.
"Bruce, I made 21 dozen cookies, and although they taste great, there is something a little bit off with them and I can't figure out what it is.  Do you think it's possible that using unbleached flour made the slight difference?"
He told me it did, and then read to me the rules for when it's best to use bleached and unbleached flour.

I thanked him for being the smartest baker I know, and after he made sure he emailed me his top three recipes of the month, we ended our conversation.

I told my brother that my phone calls to Bruce are what keeps him loyal to us as a company.
He laughed and said, "I'm sure you're right!"

I think everyone should have their local landscape architect on speed dial!

The only reason I called him is because I'm going to make another 12 or 13 dozen cookies tonight and tomorrow, and I want them to be perfect.
My freezer is overflowing with cookie goodness!

Last night my sisters and I went and got manicures.
As the main color for my little sister's wedding is purple, we all got different shades of purple fingernail polish.
Look at the cute design I got:

Friends, I've stooped to a new level.
I really truly have.
Let me show you the evidence:

#1.  I let Emily lick the glass door to her heart's content.
#2. Not only did I let her lick it, as soon as I took this picture I smeared food all over the glass with the hope that she would lick it too.

One of these days I'm going to get a video of her reaction to food.
It's equal parts hilarious and tear inducing.

I better take advantage of the fact that Emily is home playing with her daddy - I have a stack of work that never seems to get any smaller.

If you need Bruce's phone number let me know!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Spell Check Does Not Like The Word Binky

Well, it happened.
I wondered how long it would take.
Someone was not a fan of Emily's binky and she let the person she was with know as much - she just didn't know I was right behind her listening to the conversation.

How on earth do you tell someone all of the reasons Em still has her binky?
There is nothing else I can give her to comfort her.
I can't give her a bottle or a sippy cup.
I can't give her a snack.
She doesn't suck her thumb.
The only thing she's attached to, besides my hair, is her binky, and I'm okay with that.

We're actually working on weaning her off of it in certain settings and situations.

But is that anyone's business?

It was a tough weekend for me.
It seemed that every time I turned around something or someone was reminding me that Emily's life is different.
It's a difference I love, but when it seems I have to defend that difference, I get weary.

I pulled into the parking lot for my sister's bridal shower on Saturday and I had red eyes from crying.
My sisters took one look at me and asked, "What's wrong?"
I told them why I had been crying and then I said, "And on top of it all Emily has to have another open heart surgery."  And then I burst into tears again.

My sisters were worried that something drastic had happened that made it necessary for another surgery now.
"No, not now," I said.  "Just someday but isn't that bad enough?"  I couldn't make the tears stop.

I asked my heart mom friends if I would ever get to a point where I wouldn't randomly burst into tears and for the most part they told me no.
Hooray for random tears for the rest of my life!

* * *

Instead of 12 dozen cookies I made 21.
By the time I was done all I wanted to do was crawl into Emily's playroom and cuddle with her big elephant and take a nap.
But by then it was time to take dinner to my family, so that's what I did.

* * *

It's that time of year where I feel the need to remind a lot of people of something:
You're welcome.