Tuesday, December 22, 2009

way to go!

Dear Jason -

You always work so hard to provide for our family. Preparing for this test was no exception. You've been studying for weeks: attending classes, staying up late, getting up early, sacrificing your spare time and family activities. All in hopes of doing your very best. Today proved that it was all worth it when you walked away with a GMAT score of 560! Yeah! (And, I think that's impressive - considering you've been out of school for 5 years. I highly doubt I could do that well!)

This is the first step of many as you continue preparing for grad school. I am so proud of you! More than that I'm grateful as I watch how hard you work. I marvel at your capacity as you juggle so much; I'm filled with awe as Father magnifies your abilities so that you can do it all. Thank you for all you do.

I love you,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


...as in BOY!

Jason and I were worried that Laci would be really disappointed that it's not the girl she's been praying for - literally. But, as soon as we told her it's a boy, it's like she forgot all about wanting a girl. (Whew!) I wonder if she's realized that it's just me and her making up the girls in the family, because she keeps trying to convince me that "you're not my mom, only my friend." (Of course, I tell her that I'm both... I love being her friend, but she has to understand that I'm an authority figure, too - ya know?) She hugs and kisses my stomach several times a day, especially at bedtime or when I drop her off at preschool.

Jacob is still kind of oblivious to it all. He knows a baby is coming, but when asked if he's excited for a new baby, his expression is usually something like, So, where is the baby already? He might figure things out a bit more as my stomach continues to round out in the ensuing months. This arrangement will actually work out really nicely for him, since Laci will be heading off to kindergarten next year. He'll have a brother to play with when she's gone. And, something tells me that Laci and Jacob are always going to be best buds even with a new sibling added to the mix.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

pregnancy cravings!

We all get 'em. And, for one reason or another, we LOVE them! As odd and strange as they may be - or, at the very least, uncharacteristic to what our tastebuds naturally know and love - nothing else will do!

For the time being, anyway...

Cravings with Laci:
Trix cereal. 1st trimester only.

If there were no Trix in the house, fruit loops or skittles would have satisfied the craving, but just weren't quite the same.

Cravings with Jacob:
Chili's Restaurant chips and salsa. Morning, noon, & night! Very strange craving to have, considering that I had only eaten Chili's chips and salsa 2x before my pregnancy. Also really loved spaghetti. Lasted thru 1st trimester.

Blueberry muffins or pancakes. Either one would do. Lasted thru 2nd trimester.

Oddly, no cravings during the 3rd trimester.

Cravings so far with Baby #3:
Mushrooms (as in Beef Stroganoff or mushroom-topped hamburgers, mushrooms on my salad, etc.), fried chicken and/or buffalo wings, jalapeno peppers (especially on my turkey sandwiches!), chicken-flavored top ramen, soda (no specific flavor; the carbonation is lovely!). Change every 2-4 weeks.

Monday, November 30, 2009

kids say the darndest things...

Laci (to Grandma Farnsworth): My mommy has a baby in her tummy, and she didn't eat it to get it there.

Jason takes Laci to a nearby bedroom at his mom's house for timeout. She looks around and says: There's a lot of stuff I can get into.
Jason replies: Good point.
So he walks her to the bathroom. She takes another look around and says: Here, too.

Laci (to Baba Denham): Baba, do you want to hear my joke?
Baba: Okay.
Laci:Why does the chicken sit on it's eggs?
Baba: I don't know. Why?
Laci: (throwing her hands up in the air) Because it doesn't have a chair.
Mom: Where did you hear that?
Laci: Sid the Science Kid.

Papa (Denham): Laci, do you want a baby brother or a baby sister?
Laci: I want a sister.
Papa: Well, what if you get a brother and not a sister, would that be okay?
Laci: No. I already have a brother!

Monday, November 23, 2009

feeling jipped

#1 - Laci practiced all week to memorize her line for the primary program. Then I find out as her class is reciting it together, that it was a group assignment - not a solo.

Oh well. At least she will know what Mommy expects of her next year.

#2 - I went in for another OB visit on Thursday thinking that we were going to do a gender check (as mentioned by my doctor during last month's visit), only to find that we were one week off in measurements (still too early) - so we won't be able to find out till my next visit.

He was generous enough to schedule another appointment for 2 weeks from now, instead of the traditional 4. ... Yeah, I know that I was saying I want to keep this one a surprise because it's the tie-breaker, but Jason still doesn't see eye to eye with me on this one. Some things just aren't worht the battle.

#3 - Jason had the first Saturday off in - oh, the last 16 weeks - and I was lying flat in bed for 2 days with a fever, chills, and a congested nose!

My house looked like a tornado ripped through here when I could finally get up this morning, but I am so grateful that he was home because I could not get up without feeling like the room was spinning! My sweet hubby even made chicken for dinner last night! I laid on the couch giving him directions, but he did it all himself...and all without a single complaint! I'm so proud!

Friday, November 6, 2009


So, if your child seemingly enjoys the punishment, do you continue giving it? I know the answer seems blantantly obvious, but let me explain...

Laci thinks that she can talk her way out of anything. When she tries to "persuade" us that her actions are okay or that she shouldn't get in trouble, she doesn't know when to stop talking back. I try to keep punishment within the realm of the offense; for example, if she jumps on the couch or my bed, she doesn't get to sit on either the rest of the day. For talking back, she gets soap in her mouth, which she absolutely detests - but I really resent having to pin my child down to enforce it. So, I've been reviewing in my mind all the leverage I have against her - cartoons, playing with friends, even preschool and gymnastics (which I have taken away before). Then, a new idea came to me: give her extra jobs. Already she has her daily chores - make her bed, brush teeth, bath, etc. On a weekly basis, she vacuums her room and cleans the bathroom (with Mom's help, of course). Most of the time, she completes her daily chores cheerfully and without incident. She typically completes them within 15-20 minutes. Most of the time, she's really self-motivated. But, I also don't give her a huge "laundry list" of chores, either.

After deciding to give her extra jobs for talking back, I warned her at the beginning of the week that when she talked back she would get extra jobs, and that she would do them on Friday after completing her "big" (weekly) jobs. From Monday until today, she tallied a total of 10 extra jobs; (I was lenient). I made a list of things ranging from wiping down windowsills, baseboards, and kitchen cabinets to vacuuming and dusting various rooms in the house. She needed my help with the vacuuming, which I expected she would. But, I figured it would still be a punishment because it's in addition to and out of the ordinary from what I normally expect. And, aside from the vacuuming, she did everything else herself. When she completed one job, I told her what the next one was and told her how I expected it to be done, then checked it when she told me she was finished before moving onto the next job.

That girl! She cheerfully did every job and completed all 10 in less than an hour. All she had to say at the end of it was that "all this work is making me starving!" I'm not going to complain - her doing it saves me from having to do it later. But, now I'm wondering if it's even a punishment!

I'm appealling to moms everywhere: what do you think? And, how would you proceed?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

missing fall

Fall is my favorite time of year! I relish in the varying shades of leaves as they change from orange, yellow, and red. My stomach flutters in delight with the expansion of my wardrobe as I pull out sweaters, scarves, and boots. I savor the smell of freshly baked apple-pie. And, who doesn't like candied apples? My usual dislike for soup has even turned into a love affair - (honestly, why bother with hot soup when it's still 100-degrees in October?) But, here when temperatures have dropped to the mid-60s, soup is just the thing to satisfy my hunger and warm my chilled bones. And, who can deny themselves the contagious glee of the approaching holiday season?

But alas, snow has come to Utah! Jason even drove home a plow truck last night in anticipation of the impending snow. I reluctantly accept predictions for an early winter this year; but really, does it have to come BEFORE Halloween?

O, where art thou, my beloved fall?

Friday, October 23, 2009

jelly bean

I had my second OB visit today, and things look good. He found a heartbeat; yeah! At first he was having a hard time finding it using the doppler, so he pulled out the sonogram machine to get a more accurate reading. (I have to admit that made me a little nervous!)

Apparently, the baby is sitting higher than he expected - which might explain why I feel like I'm rounding out so much sooner than my other two pregnancies. We found the heartbeat right away. The baby looks beautiful - more like a baby than a little jelly bean like in my earlier sonogram pictures. He didn't print any off this time, but said that next time we can find out if it's a boy or a girl! (I'm still maintaining my position to keep it a surprise since this will be our tie breaker, but Jason isn't too sold on the idea.) It's hard to imagine that I'm already at 12 weeks. For some reason, I thought I was at 10, so it's nice to hear that I'm further along! ...anything to speed up the process, right?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

potty training: days 3 and 4

Well, yesterday went really well; Jacob even woke up with a dry bed this morning! (and I thought that was going to take a lot longer to correct, since he's such a sound sleeper). But, let's talk about 3 steps forward 2 steps back! Today has felt like we're back on day 1 with all the accidents.

Lora Jensen recommends potty training at 22 months, and Jacob will be 2 in December. I've wondered if Jacob is too young because it has been much harder for him to learn than it was for Laci. How I wish I had trained Laci at this age! She would have been well under way before Jacob was born. (It's a lot more difficult trying to potty train when you're nursing an infant.) I think she was around 28-30 months old, and she picked it up in an hour. So, age may contribute. More importantly, however, I think that personality is a huge factor in each child's development. Laci loves a new adventure, loves learning about anything/everything, and she jumps in with both feet - whatever it is. Jacob couldn't be more opposite from Laci; he is very cautious and hates change.

On the other hand, I know he understands what is expected of him or he wouldn't have been doing so well yesterday. So, I need to stay on top of the reminders to use the potty. And, that may be why today has been more difficult for him. I was babysitting 2 little girls and 1 infant today for about 4 1/2 hours, which means I had 5 kids under the age of 5! That makes for a long day. (Thankfully, Laci had preschool for two of those hours, and when she came home she played outside most of the afternoon.)

I'm just keeping my eye on the ultimate prize:

that Jacob will be completely potty trained before our next baby is born...

Yup, I'm pregnant! (and we found a heartbeat this time). These last few months have been an emotional rollercoaster for me. I surprised myself at how well I handled the miscarriage, but let me tell you, I would not want to relive the hormonal ups and downs! Poor Jason has had to deal with a lot of mood swings, and he's been so good about it. Let's just cross our fingers that we don't have any mishaps this time...

My due date is May 13th.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

potty training: day 2

We're all but done!

Yesterday Jacob had 1 1/2 successes filled with several accidents in between. Today, only 2 accidents. We've even been in the car - taking Jason to work, dropping Laci off at the school for speech, taking her to and from preschool, and a full hour at gymnastics. He did great! I'm really proud of him. Right around dinner time yesterday, it just clicked. He got it.

We're still working on our night-time routine, but I still have 1 day left...

Monday, October 19, 2009

potty training: day 1

After buying a brand-new giant box of diapers from Costco, I realized that Jacob has finally arrived to potty training age! Seriously, where did the time go? So, back went the diapers and with that money, I bought him some "big boy pants," juice, and snacks... with cash to spare! (We all love that, right?)

Then out came my 3-Day Potty Training ebook by Lora Jensen that I printed off when I was potty training Laci. I highly recommend it. I was feeling extremely desperate on my 3rd attempt to get Laci to go in the toilet. I knew she was ready and I knew she understood what was expected, but she kept going in her pants. After reading this book and changing a few of my tactics, she was literally potty-trained within the first hour!

And now, it's Jacob's turn. I wish I could say it's been that easy. However, it is only day 1. So far, we've had one half-success - making it to the toilet mid-poop. He's definitely caught on that he needs to tell me when he needs to go - he just tells me as he's starting instead of right before. His excitement and understanding are encouraging. With two more days to go, I'm very hopeful!

More updates to come...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So, I'm lacking in posts simply because my life is very full of the mundane. Who wants to hear about my daily to-do's all the time? It's bad enough hearing them echoing around my head all day!

So here's somewhat of a synopsis of the last few weeks:

Jason has worked every Saturday for 5 weeks. Two weeks ago he worked a 90-hour week. He had to meet some crazy deadline on the first half of the project, and he did it when no one at work thought he would! He's still working long hours - 16-hour days - to finish the second half of the project that needs to be completed by Monday. This means he'll most likely be working yet another Saturday. (Sigh.)

Laci is LOVING preschool and gymnastics... my little sunshine girl! Everything she sets her mind to, she jumps in with both feet and a happy heart.

Jacob is speaking several new words every day. The million-dollar question that he asks several times a day is, "what's this?" so that he can sound out the answer. It is such a fun stage of toddlerhood. He also loves to sing! He and Laci often sing primary songs as they play. (I'm impressed at how much they know! ...So, they really do listen in primary and FHE!)

As for myself, I can't wait for my mom to come into town! She and four of my brothers will be staying at my Grandma's house for a few days of fall break. We can't wait!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

first day

Laci's first day of preschool went really well. My stomach was tied up in knots the whole time - worrying about how she was behaving, if she was able to sit still long enough and absorb anything, hoping that she wasn't driving the teacher crazy.... all the silly worries moms have. Her teacher was very compimentary of Laci. She was impressed with how well Laci followed instructions and how quickly she understood the material. Sigh of relief! (Despite Laci's inability to sit still for long periods of time, maybe her natural love of learning will be her saving grace in school.)

I actually joined a preschool co-op. A lady in our new ward leads the co-op, consisting of 6 children and their moms. We rotate every six weeks teaching Tuesdays and Thursdays for two hours. She heard that I was interested in participating, but it was full. About 3 weeks before it was to start, I guess another lady dropped out, leaving an opening for Laci and me! I was thrilled. Not that I wouldn't have enjoyed doing it myself with Laci, but I'm so glad for the socialization she'll be getting - and that's the real reason why we do preschool, isn't it? (and she can keep doing gymnastics - which is a great channel for her explosive energy.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


My baby girl started her first day of preschool today! I can't believe she's that old - and that I'm that old, for that matter. It happens to everyone, I know. And, we probably all go through the same emotional rollercoaster: excitement for this big step in their lives, scared at the idea of relenting some independence to them, anxious at trusting our babies in someone else's care, and sad to let them go. It's only two days a week, but still. It's crazy to think that she's starting that chapter of her life already. (Maybe it's good for me... good preparation for kindergarten next year.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

4 years ago...

I was sitting in a hospital bed anxiously waiting for your arrival. We had already counted 10 fingers, 10 toes - through songoram. The day had finally come! Daddy and I were could hardly wait to see your face, and feel the special spirit you would bring straight from heaven. And, we weren't the only ones. Grandad and Grandma, Papa and Baba, and your aunts and uncles had all crammed into that tiny hospital room.

A few hours later, the nurses ushered everyone out... it was time! Your birth wasn't as smooth as we had hoped. You entered this world not breathing, and your body was grey. You received your very first priesthood blessing as Daddy, Grandad, and Papa circled around you - promising you a quick recovery and no side effects; you would be healthy and whole. Then came your first little cry, and the nurses whisked you away. I didn't even get to hold my sweet baby girl!

Grandad came in and exclaimed, "She's gorgeous." (and explained to me that the conehead swelling would go down soon - I could laugh about that now), promising that as the swelling lessens "she's just going to get more and more beautiful everyday!" (Even though he was trying to comfort me, I think Grandad's words were certainly prophetic.)

Shortly after, I was allowed to go see you. Daddy gently helped me out of my bed, and led me by the hand to the nursery. The nurse apologized as we entered because you were lying there crying as she was giving another baby his bottle. I timidly walked over to your bed, hardly believing that you were actually here! You had an oxygen tube hooked to your nose and an IV needle in your head, (Grandad was right about the conehead!), but I hardly noticed any of those things. I stroked your leg, hoping to comfort you. Immediately, you stopped crying and turned your head in my direction. I looked over at Daddy and he said, "She knows you." Yes, it felt like I had known you forever! Then I glanced up at the nursery window just above your bed. Grandad had followed us, and was looking at me with a huge grin on his face. Daddy and I weren't the only ones excited about your arrival.
It's hard to imagine what our home would be like if 4 years ago today had never happened! How grateful we are for our Little Sunshine, spreading joy and love everywhere you go. How I love to soak in your sweet hugs. And, listen to the melody of your heart-felt "I love you's!" When I hold you in my arms, eternity doesn't seem so infinite. You will be my baby girl forever!
We love you, Laci Mae!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

yes, I'm still alive!

Whew! These last few weeks have been a blur. Three weeks ago we spent Saturday with the Joel and Lara Neves. It was soooo fun to see them again. There's nothing like meeting up with old friends and feeling like no time has passed! (Even though, I can't believe that Bria will be 9! Talk about time flying by.) Lara was kind enough to humor me with her photography skills by doing our family pictures this year. I cannot wait to see the results! (No rush, Lara ... I know you're crazy busy with your move. I'm just grateful you agreed to do our pictures so close to your moving deadline!)

Then we had Jason's parents and two younger sisters, who are still at home, come for Pioneer Day weekend. It was so wonderful to spend time with them. I don't realize how homesick I am until family comes to stay with us. We've had quite a bit of family over the last few months. Jason's brother, Spencer, stayed with us a couple of months before he got married. My sister, Heather, used our home as a rest stop b/w ID and AZ when she was up at BYU ID. And, my sister, Ashlee stayed with us for a couple of weeks while her husband was out of town for work. I don't really miss AZ, but I absolutely miss our families. I just wish it didn't tug at my heartstrings so much when they leave!

This last week I've been recovering from the whirlwind of activity while the Denham's were here. Staying up until 1-2 am has never suited me well; it's even worse after having babies... I'm lucky if I make it till 9:30. After 3 late nights with them here, I caught I cold immediately after they left ... I think the let-down does to ya. Not that I regret having them here, for an instant! We had a blast, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

I'm just glad I'm not planning a birthday party with friends for Laci's birthday tomorrow! We're just going to have a nice quiet, relaxed (well as lax as it can be with kiddos) evening at my Grandma's house. :) I can't believe she's going to be 4! But I'll save that post for tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

follow up

Hmm, I'm not sure where to start with this post. I've had quite a few strong responses that I wasn't expecting. The purpose of my post was NOT to throw my dad under the bus. He spoke the truth. Everything he said is exactly what I needed to hear. It hurt because it was true. I've been really self-absorbed with all the trials we've been through in the last couple of years. Like I said, it was all about getting up, making it through the day somehow, and waking up to do it all over again. I felt like a zombie. I really wasn't in tune with my kids, and didn't want to be because it took more energy than I had. It's not to say that I was neglectful physically - they ate, they bathed, they had clean clothes to wear. But, I'm not sure I was really there for them emotionally. Everyday, it was all I could to do keep enduring. What we went through took both of us to our breaking point, and then some. I was literally on the verge of snapping. Looking back I could see how selfish I really was. What my dad said was hard to hear, and the tears came because I knew he was right. It was time for me to snap out of it! (Maybe I wouldn't have listened if he hadn't been so blunt. Also, you have to recognize that he hasn't been around to see all the changes. For all he knew, it was same as usual.)

I think he might have been right about placing too many demands on Jason. I probably was because I didn't feel I had the energy to exert myself. At that point, I was desperate for any and all help. What I didn't see then was that he was just as depleted as I was. It wasn't fair for me to place so many demands on him.

As for a schedule, I don't expect it to be perfect 100%, either. It does help take the guesswork out of what to do next. I've learned that I do better, emotionally, when I have a full schedule. I get energized by it; I feel good to look back at my day and see all that I've accomplished. And, it's humbling to see Father magnify you beyond your capacity. Until I graduated from ASU, I didn't know what having a completely open schedule felt like. I have found that for myself, I cannot operate without an plan. I also recognize that some people function better without such demands. I don't. I have found that, for myself, I am more prone to get discouraged and depressed without one. I also realize that an hour-to-hour schedule is a bit excessive, but that part of it is more for Laci than myself. However, I do feel that it has helped me be far more in tune with my kids. There is a lot more 1-on-1 interaction because the activities are changning frequently. Instead of placing the kiddos in front of the TV while I get busy with household duties and what I feel I need to do that day, I'm doing more with them - crafting, coloring, watching movies/cartoons, taking walks or playing outside - with them. It's been really fun.

Nor do I expect my house to be perfectly clean all of the time. I agree with one comment, a house of order means spiritual order, which I think will automatically be in place if we are following the first steps in that verse. I was just bringing out what I learned about temporal order from Grandad's temple tour... it doesn't mean that I completely negate the fact that spiritual order is important. The two are very much intertwined; both suffer when one is neglected. Cleaning a little bit everyday is something I started a couple of years ago because of Jason's crazy work schedule. When he started his business he worked anywhere between 12-16 hours a day. If I waited around for him to help out like he did our first year of marriage - when his schedule was a lot less full - it would NEVER get clean. Or I would spend 12 hours if I waited to do it in 1 day. Not fun. I am a perfectionist and a clean-freak. (If any of my children inherit that from me, I'm going to feel bad for them. It does place a lot of undue stress and burden.) What I hope to pass on to my children is the importance of picking up after themselves for the very purpose that one day they will have room-mates, a spouse, children - who I'm sure won't want to live with a slob. On the other hand, I don't want them to feel like nothing can ever be out of place. So, hopefully, I'm creating a happy balance expecting them to straighten their rooms and make their beds in the morning and picking up toys in the evening before going to bed - but the rest of the day, they have free reign! (Well, mostly.)

Jason and I are more unified than we've ever been. (Even my dad commented on that, in a different conversation, during our AZ trip. So he wasn't all doom and gloom.) Jason pitches in with household duties and the kids from time to time. It's not a lot because of his work schedule - which still resembles his business owner hours - but I'm grateful for what he can do. We've grown closer over the last year than I ever thought possible a year ago. I've noticed that we've grown stronger as a couple because of our individual efforts to strengthen ourselves spiritually, emotionally, etc. It's not to say that we weren't trying to fill our cups before; but, they were quickly emptied because of what we were enduring. And, the Adversary is always ready to jump in when he sees an opportunity. I think recognizing the Lord's hand in the blessings we've received this last year, was the spiritual boost we needed. With nourishment, we've only grown stronger individually - and more capable to give to each other and our children. I've learned a lot of lessons these couple years that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. I'm grateful for the lessons, and very grateful the trials are over! Hopefully, when the next one rolls around, I will be better equipped to face it.

Whew! Hopefully that all made sense! But, I really hope that it will clear up any misconceptions that anyone had.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

finding joy & sanity in motherhood

It seems to be a recurring theme: frustrated mothers because of the demands mothering brings. This doesn't mean that we don't love what we do. Motherhood is one of - if not the most - fulfilling calling/task/accomplishment we could ever partake of. Yet, it is extremely difficult, demanding, and emotion-draining - more than any of us ever thought possible! (FYI: Researchers have determined that stay-at-home moms work the equivalent of 4 full-time jobs and if in the work force would make over $150,000 a year.) Mothering requires being selfless all the time, and yet, we also need to find time to refill our cups in order to keep giving of ourselves. Consequently, we are in a constant tug-of-war between the giving that is always required of us, the want and need for "me time" (and the guilt that accompanies it). In sharing my thoughts, I don't wish to be self-righteous or condescending. I simply wish to share what I have learned in the hopes that one or some may benefit.

Father's Counsel
During our visit to Arizona in April, I approached my dad with what I knew was a loaded question. But, I had no idea the can of worms I was opening! I've been struggling a great deal with Laci behaviorally. Suspecting that she has ADD, I've wondered, where do I draw the line? How do I discipline a child who literally can't control her actions? She's incredibly impulsive. Her desires and intentions are good, but her ability to follow through in those desires is challenged by this disorder. How can I hold her to the same standard as a child that doesn't have that challenge? In trying to find these answers on my own, I ended up feeling helpless and confused.

Naturally, I turned to someone with more wisdom and experience than myself, my Dad. What he had to say was extremely difficult to hear! (It almost made me wonder how much he'd been bottling this up.) I have shed many tears over what he told me, which was essentially this: I am too selfish. My children don't know that they come first. I expect too much from Jason. My job is to be primary care-taker. I should have zero expectations from Jason in that department. His plate is full enough already as provider. This means that regardless of how tired and fatigued I am, my family must come first, and I must continue to give. I need to follow my mom's example of service - taking meals to families in the ward, doing laundry for a sister who just had surgery, driving people to appointments who don't have a car - basically, serve those around me, whatever, whenever, and wherever it is needed (and she does just that while raising 10 kids!).

Talk about a self-esteem downer! So, this is what my dad thinks of me? How could he be so judgemental? Yep, I left that conversation feeling pretty down on myself. I could argue with my dad and tell him why he was wrong. And, I had plenty to say! But, Dad, you don't get it! You've never been a mother. You just can't relate. Laci's activity level and Jacob's constant needing me leaves me so drained and depleted by the end of the day that I desperately need reinforcements when Jason comes home. Mom has been able to serve to that capacity because 1) she has the capacity of 10 people, and 2) your income has allowed her make extra meals and use extra water for laundry and gas in the car, and wherever else she is serving. She hasn't stood at the fridge or pantry with kids clinging at her legs because they are hungry and literally had nothing to give them! I have. How dare you tell me that I am selfish! I have been merely surviving from day to day: getting up, existing, and going to bed to start it all over again. Or I could shut up and listen, take it like an adult and make some changes. I couldn't turn back now. I had gone to him with a sincere desire for sound counsel, and he gave it to me. And, frankly, I could tell it was really hard for him to say.

Plan of Action
7 notecards. A new schedule for each day. Example 1, Monday:

5:00 Exercise
6:00 Family Scriptures, Chores - make beds, straighten rooms
6:30 Start making breakfast - put on classical/church music
7:00 Breakfast - pancakes
7:30 Kitchen clean up - dishes, counters/table, sweep, dress for the day
8:00 Cartoons, Mom's chores
- dust and vacuum upstairs (master, kids' rm, office, playroom)
- laundry (whites, bedding, Jason's work clothes)
- ironing (Jason & Jacob's white Sunday shirts)
9:00 Preschool
9-9:15 Seminary (similar to FHE lesson)
9:15-9:30 Letters (recognize)
9:30-9:45 Music (primary or fun)
9:45-10 Cooking (FHE treat)
10:00 Play Outside
10:30 Start making lunch
11:00 Lunch - mac n cheese
12:00 Craft: write letters to family members (Grandma & Grandad, etc.)
1:00 Stories & Quiet Time/ My personal scripture time
Fold clothes & ironing
If time, scrapbook, paint nails, watch TV
3:30 Play outside
4:30 Clean up time - playroom and bedrooms
Start making dinner
5:30 Dinner (look at menu plan for week)
6:00 Kitchen clean up - dishes, counters/table, sweep
6:30 FHE
7:00 Kids' baths, stories & bed
7:30 My shower, get ready for bed
8:00 Companion Study
8:30 Read 10 pages (book by general authority)
9:00 Bed/ Watch TV

Now, this may seem really excessive. I have one for every day. Each day changes a little bit, and we do have one day where we segway completely away from the daily routine for a play date, grocery shopping, and gymnastics. All my errands are packed into one day because Jason and I share a car.

I did this for two reasons: 1) it really does keep my sanity. I'm used to being crazy-busy, every hour and minute of the day allotted to something. So, this takes the guesswork out of finding things for the kids - and myself - to do throughout the day. 2) after getting Laci tested at the school district for ADD, they told me they can't diagnose but that her test scores indicate that she has ADHD. This was no surprise, but the news came about 2 weeks after I found out that I was pregnant with baby #3. Considering all the behavioral issues I was having with Laci, the thought of adding an infant to the mix (and Jacob was just starting to become more independent), was tremendously overwhelming. I cried as I asked these specialists what I could do to help her. I felt like I couldn't control her anymore, and discipline was becoming a nightmare because she could live the entire day in her room. They said, routine, routine, routine. All kids need a general routine, but ADD/ADHD kids need to know by the second what their day holds, and it needs to be switched up often enough that they don't get bored and start getting into trouble.

Also, I chose to do a preschool - just for Laci (Jacob will be there, too) - because, financially, it came down to enrolling her in a local preschool or gymnastics. After speaking to a preschool teacher about the curriculum, I thought, I could easily teach her myself and she could still get the socialization that preschool would bring through gymnastics. They mainly learn shapes, letter & number recognition, colors, so basic! I did not want to include other kids and make a business out of it because of the behavioral issues I've been having with Laci. I didn't want her to feel like she had to compete with the other kids. So, one of my summer projects is to gather materials for doing preschool in the fall. I've been doing a little everyday anyway with things I have on-hand. But, I want to create an outline for each month and have folders for each subject we'll be covering...less planning later!

Simplify and Simplicity
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this past year has been beyond difficult. We reached the bottom...emotionally, financially, in our marriage...we hit rock bottom. Moving to Utah was a huge act of faith, and staying in Utah has also taken a great deal of faith. Yes, it's where we found employment, but it's taken almost a full year to recover financially. I think we naively thought within 3-4 months, we'd be back on our feet. But, one doesn't recover from rock bottom overnight or even within a few months.

On the other hand, it has been the greatest blessing. Hitting the bottom meant that we could only go up from where we've been. It meant a fresh start. It meant rebuilding. It meant that we had to rebuild with very little. So, I took a few of my favorite scriptures and have used them as a base for rebuilding our family and home:

1) Organize yourselves...every needful thing...a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God (D&C 119:110).

On this point, I wish to share one short story - and I apologize, I know this post is very long already! When Grandad Farnsworth was in the temple presidency of the Mesa Arizona Temple, he gave us an in-depth tour of the temple. When the Lord commands us to build a house of order, He means just that. When we went to the basement, the floors in each room were painted a different color so that when directed, no one ever questioned where something was to be placed. Even the pipes were painted different colors so that when maintenance was needed for plumbing or gas, etc., there was never a question of which pipe to go to. It taught me a great lesson about order. The Lord is not the author of confusion, and if our house is in order, there will never arise an occasion of confusion.

2) ...stand ye in holy places (D&C 87:8).

3) A place where the Lord may come, [the temple] is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness (Bible Dictionary: Temple).

4) Other readings:
The Ministry of Angels, Jeffrey R. Holland, November 2008 Ensign
Daughters of God, M. Russell Ballard
A Mother's Influence, Margaret D. Nadauld
Raising Up a Family to the Lord, Gene R. Cook

We live in a world of choices. As Latter-day Saints, these choices aren't necessarily between good and bad, but good, better, best. I want my home to be a holy place, a sacred place, a refuge from the world. I want it to be a place where the Lord and ministering angels can come.

As mothers, we have been given that amazing opportunity and sacred responsibility.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

happy accident

well, here are the cutting disaster "before" photos:

left side...the beginnings of a mullet

right side;
it's kind of hard to see, but she took out a big chunk on the bottom right behind her ear.
Drum roll please...
Here are the afters:
left side;
the mullet hairs were blended in to look like they are tucked behind her ears.

right side;
we couldn't do a true aline here because of the chunk she took out behind her ear.
However, we were able to keep some length on that side to create an asymetrical bob.

Here's the back.
Thankfully, the waviness in her hair hides the chunkiness on the right side.

Here's the front view after playing with it when we got home. The stylist did more of a page-boy look with the hair plastered around Laci's face.
Just wasn't working for me.

I'm still going to have to play with it some till I feel like it looks just right. But, that's the perfectionist in me coming out.
I really love it! (She was due for a haircut anyway, and I wouldn't have thought of doing this.)
I love how it frames her face, and I think it really suits Laci's personality.
I made sure to give the stylist a really good tip because she saved Laci's hair and our family pictures, which means we can still have Lara be our photographer! YEAH!

Friday, June 19, 2009

on the parent's short list...

of nightmare incidents. (Okay, so maybe this one is just on a mother's short list.)

So, you see that big wad of hair? That's what Laci cut from her hair this morning. I'm telling you, I don't know whether to be fuming or to weep! I dread taking her to "fix" it because I'm sure the only thing to do is to chop it...and her hair is barely past her shoulders...4 years in the making! She's been telling me that she wants to grow it long like a princess. And, I've been planning to have family pictures taken within the month. If I had scheduled the appointment with a studio, I would just push it back a few months. But the photographer I'm really hoping and excited for is moving several states away! (Sigh.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

not much happening here

So, we're just chugging forward, things as usual. I had bloodwork today to make sure my hormone levels are dropping after the miscarriage. And, hopefully, sometime soon we'll have an announcement for everyone. I'm definitely going to be waiting out the first trimester this time around. (I figured at 10 weeks, I was close enough ... guess not.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

fellow bloggers

Because private blogs are becoming the norm, I can't access several of my friends' blogs. You know who you are...
If I list your name, will you PLEASE leave me your email address in the comment box, so that I can email you for a blog invite?

Karli, Kim, Camie, Stacey (Oh, you added me, Stacey. Thank you!)

(I would love to get in touch with Katie, Lynn, and Annie, too!)


Here's my recipe, too (as promised):

Italian Chicken Sandwich

2-3 chicken breasts, cut through each chicken breast and open it like you would a book; you'll end up with 4-6 servings total. (I've heard this type of cut referred to as a butterfly cut - I like it b/c you don't end up with a huge chunk of meat to bite through and it stretches your chicken, too!)
1/2 c. butter, melt the butter then add the rest:
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/4-1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Place chicken breasts onto baking sheet, (I like to foil my baking sheet for easy clean up). Pour the butter over chicken, coating both sides. Broil for 5-8 minutes on each side. Build your sandwich, using any kind of bread you like. (I used sourdough.) Butter both slices of bread, butter-sides out. Layer with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, red onions, and basil leaves. Bake at 400 degrees on a different baking sheet (this time, no foil, so the butter can crisp) for 10-12 minutes; flip sandwiches; bake for another 10-12 minutes - or longer, depending on how crisp and golden you like your bread. Serve. (We ate this with tomato soup. Yum!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

too tired

I thought about posting a recipe (because I liked Alacey's idea of doing that every now and then). But, I'm just too tired. I'll do it tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

highly recommend

I just finished Gene R. Cook's Raising Up a Family to the Lord. If you have not read it, I highly recommend this book! (He even has it on CD, which is great for driving in the car or while you're cleaning, folding laundry, etc.) I feel like it is a how-to manual on parenting! It's not a replacement for seeking the guidance of the Spirit as we each raise our individual families, of course. But, his views have confirmed, added to, and strengthened ideals and standards that I hold dear to my heart and wish to implement in my family. I've even decided that I'm going to read it once a year - because something new always stands out every time you read a book over again.

thank you

Thank you for all your comments. I feel extremely blessed to be surrounded by so much love and support! Many of you - and even myself - are surprised with how well I'm taking it. As I've had time to reflect, I feel like there are several reasons for this.

1) Knowledge is power. Intellectually, I know that miscarriage is very common: 1 in 4 pregnancies. I'm no mathmetician, but I know enough to figure out that that comes out to 25% or a quarter of all pregnancies. I know more women who have had miscarriages than not. My mind has wandered back to biology 100, when I learned about cell division. I think there are six steps in the process; if there is anything wrong with the cell when the it reaches step 3 or 4, it dies. I remember making the analogy to miscarriage when I was learning about that process - maybe that was to help prepare me for this moment in my life. With further study, I've also learned that most miscarriages occur because of some chromosomal defect. Your body, then, naturally terminates the pregnancy. I marvel how Heavenly Father created our bodies!

2) I know several women who have had much more heartbreaking experiences with miscarriage. My mom had several miscarriages and struggled with infertility before getting pregnant with me. In fact, they adopted my older brother thinking they would adopt their entire family. Needless to say, I was a surprise. With each succeeding pregnancy, my mom was on fertility meds just to get pregnant. After baby 5, my brother Blake - through which my mom was on bedrest for 5 months - my mom turned it over to the Lord. She felt like she had a large enough family considering all she had been through. And, after having gone through so much with each pregnancy: I was 3 months early; Heather was early and contracted pneumonia when she was 3 weeks old; Adam was 4 months early, and died at birth; Ashlee was early; Blake was early and survived the pregnancy only because my mom was on bedrest for the majority of his pregnancy. With each of these pregnancies, my mom threatened to either miscarry or enter preterm labor. She felt like if she was going to get pregnant again, it would be completely up to the Lord. And, after turning it over to the Lord, my brothers, Chase, Dane, Trey, and Zac were all conceived without fertility meds, and their pregnancies were, for the most part, healthy and normal. My mom is a tremendous example of faith!

I remember a sister in a previous ward who miscarried her baby 4 1/2 months into her pregnancy. She had just found out that she was going to have a girl. How heartbreaking - to lose your little girl - but more especially, to lose a pregnancy after you've felt life in the womb!

One of my cousins, also lost a baby when she was almost to term. She went in for a routine checkup, and they didn't find a heartbeat. She was later induced, and labored knowing that she would be burying that baby. I cannot imagine the devastation that one would feel going through something like that! She has been another tremendous pillar of faith in my life.

My experience just doesn't compare! - not when I'm going through something that is fairly routine.

3) Spiritually, I know that I have the ability to be carried through my trials when I turn to the Lord for comfort. I know that miscarriage does not determine how many children will come to my family. Responding to my attitude about this whole experience, my mom brought up a great point, why go through a mortal experience - greiving -when through knowledge and faith in the power of our Savior's Atonement, you don't have to? For whatever reason, I feel like the Lord is carrying me through this, and it is truly humbling. I feel undeserving. Yet, my heart is filled with peace and gratitude.

Thanks again for all your love and support! For lack of a better description, it's the icing on the cake - or the cherry on top of the sundae. Without it, this experience just wouldn't be the same!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

6 weeks, 4 days

Today, I went in for an ultrasound because I've been experiencing some light bleeding over the last few days. I really haven't been worried. Current research suggests that bleeding, even during the 1st trimester, is quite common and does not always mean impending miscarriage. However, during the procedure, we found that the embryo does not have a heartbeat, and measured 6 weeks, 4 days. I should be entering week 8, (which is still less than I thought, but a 40-day cycle does throw things off a bit; in a 28-day cycle, I should be entering week 12.)

Suprisingly, I'm not devastated. (There's no doubt that I would feel differently if infertility was an issue.) But, even with infertility out of the picture, I would be naive to think that I would never miscarry. It is estimated that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage; many women may not even know that they are pregnant, attributing it to a heavy period. (I think we all know at least 1 person who has miscarried, if it is not something we have personally experienced.) Furthermore, I don't believe miscarriages define how many spirits Heavenly Father will send to each home. He knows the number, and there is always wisdom in it.

Additionally, there is great value in personal experience. If for nothing else, I am grateful for the ability to empathize with others.

Being reminded how fragile and miraculous life is instills deeper appreciation for what we already have. I will definitely be hugging my sweet kids a little longer tonight!

You all know, from my previous posts, how difficult it has been for me to wrap my mind around getting pregnant again. Thankfully, to this surprise pregnancy, I am excited and willing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the wonders of a neti pot

Whenever I overdo, my pregnant body lets me know I need to take it easy. So, after a very full last week - celebrating Memorial Day on Monday, Blake's bday on Tuesday, catching up on laundry on Wednesday, errand-running on Thursday, more laundry + ironing on Friday, & preparing Sunday's talk in between - I'm now fighting a head cold. Normally, I wouldn't mind popping the cold meds, but especially since I'm in my 1st trimester, I had to get creative. At first I thought I would just buy some nasal drops, but then I remembered my neti pot - which I bought during my pregnancy with Jacob because my allergies were so terrible.

In two days I have gone from totally and completely congested - we're talkin' can't-breath-through-your-nose-at-all congestion - to semi-congested.

Wow. This thing is great!

p.s. there are a ton of You-Tube how-to's. In case you're wondering how it works.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


There was a comment made on my blog earlier that I would like to respond to. This person - I don't know who you are even after following your blog link - was obviously offended by my strong feelings about not wanting to get pregnant again (...so soon, might I add!). Let me also clarify, I am thrilled! Not for a moment, since finding out that I am expecting again, have I cursed this pregnancy, dreaded this pregnancy, or wished baby #3 wasn't on the way! I am extremely excited. I am honored that my Father in Heaven trusts me enough to send me another one of His spirit children!

Before getting pregnant, however, as always there was the fear of the unknown. Was I going to have a difficult pregnancy again? How could I endure such another difficult pregnancy with Jacob so clingy? Might I also add that I am dealing with the possibility that Laci has ADD. (Or perhaps you are offended by that as well. Many people believe that ADD is a cop-out. My answer to that is, you haven't lived with a child who has ADD.)

Parenthood is a huge responsibility that I take seriously. If I am not equipped physically, emotionally, or spiritually to raise my first two children, how could I expect to add a third one to the mix? How can I expect them to grow into happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adults if I myself am not happy, healthy, and well-adjusted? You cannot give what you don't have. By expressing my true and honest feelings, I am not trying to sound insensitive to those who cannot bear children. I would never presume to tell someone who is wishing with all their might to have just 1 child - only to fail with each attempt - to just get over it. We all have different trials. This wouldn't have been mine if there wasn't something that I needed to learn and grow from by experiencing it. Ultimately, I believe that whatever our trials, they are meant simply to strengthen our faith, mold our character, and deepen our reliance on God.

taken completely by surprise!

So, most of you have noticed our baby countdown by now. Yep, baby #3 is on the way! Was this a planned pregnancy? Nope. Were we completely, utterly, and totally surprised? Yep.

Ironicially, Jason and I were looking at the calendar a few weeks ago to plan our summer family outings. Randomly, I just made the comment, "Well, at least we don't have to worry about having another baby in December." (Little did I know...)

FYI: Between our two immediate families this will be birthday #8 in the month of December!

Here's the deal. I haven't even been interested in the idea of getting pregnant again - at least not for a while. I've considered toward the end of the year as a nice time to start thinking about getting pregnant ... only to find out that I will be delivering at that time, yet again! Wow. Okay, so here are the reasons why I have not been excited at the prospect of another pregnancy.

1) I am sick and tired of being fat! No, I'm not obese, but I am overweight. Size 10 and 140 lbs. is a long way from my size 2, 100 lb., frame before I started having children. I desperately wanted to lose weight before getting pregnant again! - especially after having a c-section with Jacob, which totally throws your body off in ways you never imagined! (Yeah, surgery would be ideal, but nothing I could set my heart on at this point, and most likely, ever.) It's heart-breaking and discouraging, and if I spent time dwelling on how much I hate it, I would curl up in a ball and wither away. I honestly feel like a skinny person trapped in a fat person's body!

2) My pregnancy with Jacob was awful! (I'm sure I had it coming because my pregnancy with Laci was textbook.) I was sick the entire 9 months, and it wasn't from the typical nausea that accompanies pregnancy. That came; and I swear that I knew I was pregnant the very day I conceived. That was bad. Worse still: if it was contagious, I caught it. I am not exaggerating when I say that I did not go a week of being well that by the end of the week, I was down with something else! I can't even remember everything that I caught! But in case you were wondering, here's a sample of what I experienced during that pregnancy: sinus infection that lasted 4 months, flu for 7 days, yeast infection that lasted 3 months, bladder issues that we won't go into, and just about everything else you can imagine. I shouldn't complain. I know women who experience hospitalization, IVs, and bed-rest their entire pregnancies. (But, seriously, I might as well have been on bed-rest the entire time!) I felt like Jacob was sucking every nutrient out of my body. (My OB's response to that was that "it's like a parasite to it's host" ... well, if you want to look at it like that. Not exactly the picture you want to have of your new bundle of joy.) Exhaustion is an understatement. Oh, and let's add 6 days overdue to the list, shall we? (That's a big leap when your previous delivery came 10 days early.)

3) As if a rough pregnancy wasn't bad enough, let's cut you open and give you 8 weeks of recovery time. Oh, but that's not enough, let's add colic for 6 months and clinginess for an additional 8. Yeah, you know it's bad when your fellow ward members nickname your infant, [my] "Siamese twin" and "hip child!" I literally held him 24 hours a day for 12 months! Let's forget about the crib, because he'll refuse to sleep in it - so much so that he'll pull himself out and fall to the floor at your first attempt to transition him to the crib (he was 6 months old!). Oh, but that's still not enough - let's add unemployment till all your savings are gone & an out-of-state move! (No wonder I'm still fat!)

Okay, so I've really slathered on the sarcasm, but I haven't exaggerated any of it! promise!

Tell me, was I crazy for not wanting another baby right away? I told Jason a few months ago that a suprise pregnancy is probably the only way that I would have ended up pregnant right now. Recently, though, I have started thinking, if I'm not feeling it's time for another one yet, am I ever going to feel it? Am I only going to have two? That would be a far cry from the family of 10 I was raised in. But I'm not my mom, so maybe I'm not meant to have a large family. Yet, that didn't feel right either.

I'm relieved that I didn't have to wrestle with that decision, and that the Lord simply took over. I am grateful that this pregnancy compares more closely to Laci's than to Jacob's. I'm still battling with my lowered immune system, but at least my energy is high. Definitely one of Father's many tender mercies.

That said, are we happy and excited? Absolutely!

p.s. this is our tie-breaker! And, we've decided that we won't find out the sex of the baby till he/she is born! (Laci was hoping for a girl baby and a boy baby, but since we're only having one, she's rooting for a girl.)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 2: Happy Birthday, Uncle Blake!

On May 26th my brother, Blake, turned 20 years old - which is so hard to believe! I remember holding him as a baby ... (I really don't think of myself as old until I realize how old all my younger siblings are.) And that's just mind-boggling!

Memories about Blake:

When Blake was about 18 months old, my mom left me in charge for maybe 30 minutes while she ran to the store. During that short period of time, Blake reaked havoc on our family room carpet! This is when we discovered that Blake could open the fridge. Before I realized what he was doing, he had grabbed 5 eggs and was throwing them on the carpet. Of course, the eggs cracked and left a giant, gooey mess to clean up. Not only did he get into the eggs, but he also managed to dump out dark green chlorophyl onto the carpet as well. Um, chlorophyl does not wash out. Yeah. (Thankfully, my mom stayed calm and collected when she walked in the door.) For months afterward our fridge was locked shut with masking tape wrapped around the handles ... and a new rug covered the spot where the green chlorophyl was spilt.

When I was in highschool, I would usually take 45+ minutes - like most highschool girls do - to get ready in the morning. There was rarely a morning that Blake wouldn't tell me I was beautiful as I walked out the door. What a sweetie!

After I had Laci, my mom and Jason's mom would trade days babysitting while I could finish my degree. Blake loved to rock Laci in our backyard swing. He was always able to get her to sleep. I'm sure Laci didn't even miss me because she felt so loved!

Currently, Blake is serving a mission in the Mesa Arizona Temple Baptistry. He absolutely loves it! This is a very fitting mission for Blake because family is everything to him. Three days a week, he gets to serve in a place where it's all about family! He is such a wonderful uncle to Laci and Jacob. I am so glad that we got to spend a few hours with him on his special day.

Happy Birthday, Blake! We love you -

Jason, Tiffini, Laci, & Jacob

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2 days of fun, fun, fun in the sun!

Part 1: Memorial Day Celebration

When my family comes up to UT for Memorial Day (which depends on when school gets out), we have a really fun tradition! Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great-aunts and -uncles, 2nd cousins - essentially, anyone and everyone who are in the area - meet at Nephi Cemetary. This is a special place to our family, as several of our family members, many of whom were early settlers of the Salt Lake valley, are buried here. Among them rests my Grandpa Tew. Here, local residents put on a Memorial Day program for all the veterans and their families.

Family starting to gather... of course, Jacob had to be passed around. He was a good sport about it, considering that he really doesn't like it.

Jacob and Grandma Tew
(aka: GG or Grandma Great)

Laci and Jacob with my brother, Zac

Laci with Grandma Great

Jacob with my brother, Trey

Jacob with Grandma Farnsworth

Laci standing by Grandpa Tew's grave.
We all gathered 'round and sang "Families Are Forever."
That was a nice touch, Mom.
I just LOVE this picture!

Grandpa's name on the veteran's board: David Ivan Tew
(Korean War).
Also on the list was his father, John Ivan Tew
(World War I).
I found out that my great-uncle Milton, Grandpa's older brother, served in World War II, as well. For some reason his name isn't included on the board ... maybe you have to be buried at the cemetary?
He is a very healthy and independent 88!

Here are the veterans, marching with the colors.

raising the flag

gun salute

Then we headed over for a picnic at our traditional spot, Nephi Park. (not sure if that's the official name)
Laci swinging
(I can't believe how big she's getting!)

Jacob with my brother Dane

And, finishing off the day with a tractor ride!

This tractor wagon has pulled 3 generations of grandchildren!

definitely brought back memories of Grandma and Grandpa's house...the small bowl of mints on Grandma's kitchen table, homemade ice cream, smell of fresh-cut grass, Sunday dinners, playing dressup under the pepper trees...
What would eternity be like without families?!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I love to see the temple

Last night our family went to a VIP Construction Tour at the Oquirrh (pronounced O-Ker) Mountain Temple open house. This temple is really special to us. Jason's company did the landscape install on it, and they asked Jason to oversee the final stages this spring. The official open house dates run through June 1-August 1. It is beautiful! And, it is so humbling to think that Jason had a part in beautifying the grounds of Heavenly Father's newest house.

Friday, May 22, 2009

crazy fluke!

do you see something strange about my right eye (your left)?
definitely not a glamour shot!

here it is close up
(the pictures really don't do it justice + I've been on medications for about 6 hours)

Okay, so I woke up this morning with a really red, puffy eyeball and headache. Initially, I thought it was pink eye, but it wasn't goopy. Even more alarming, I could barely see out of my right eye because it was so cloudy!

But, like most moms, I didn't give it much thought because my busy day had already started ... Dad goes to work, breakfast for kids, dishes to be done, kitchen floor swept, bedrooms straightened, etc. By 9am, however, all I could do was lay in my bed in agony because of my headache. When I went into the bathroom to look at my eye, it was dilated and so cloudy I could see the film over my eye. At this point, I was beginning to feel alarmed.

So, I looked up an eye doctor's office and described my symptoms to the nurse. Her response was even more frightening: "You need to schedule an appointment immediately or go to the emergency room." In my mind I'm thinking, Um, okay. What the heck is wrong with me? And, of course, the worst enters your mind: Does she think I have a brain tumor? What else could cause such a bad headache and immediate swelling behind my eye? Several phonecalls and about an hour later - since Jason had taken the car today - I found someone to watch my kids and a ride to urgent care.

When the doctor at urgent care looked at my eye, he was surprised at how swollen it was. Asked me some questions: are you using new eye makeup? have you used any chemicals that could have gotten into your eye? have you had any head trauma recently? No, no, and no. At this point, he is really puzzled and walks me next door to a vision center (which had I remembered it was there, I would have scheduled an appointment with them to begin with).

The optomologist took me back, and the first thing out of his mouth is, "Wow!" (pause) "You're eye is extremely cloudy. Wow!" (I'm thinking, okay, that's not really comforting ... I hope you can figure out what's wrong with me, and that it's not too serious!)

Long story short, 4 hours later, including a follow-up appointment, 3 eye drop samples, and 1 eye drop prescription later - my eye is inflamed, (really, you think?), and is a medical fluke. (The optomologist actually said that my case is one of the rare cases that they take photograhs of and use as a case study.) It could last anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. In other words, he didn't know exactly why my eye is swollen. Thankfully, the meds are working. Within the hour, I could feel the swelling on my eye go down. It's still a little blurry, but is no longer cloudy.

I am really grateful for the sisters in my ward who stepped up and sacrificed their time to serve me. I am grateful that I didn't have to run to the emergency room for xrays/MRI's. I feel extremely blessed as I recognize just how involved my Father in Heaven was throughout the entire process.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

In case you were wondering

this is what you see when you walk in our front door
(pre-painted walls definitely makes it feel more like home!)

to the left is the family room

going up the stairs

opens up to a loft, which we've turned into the toyroom,
turn left toward two bedrooms and a bathroom

here's the bathroom

and laci and jacob's room

across from laci and jacob's room, and to the right of the toyroom, is the master bedroom;
but who hasn't seen one of those before?

we're happy to be here!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


So, I'm not a big fan of joining bandwagons, particularly the whole "going green" idea. I don't believe that conserving energy, recycling, and eating local produce is important simply because it is the latest fad. I went along living life doing my best to keep lights turned off in the house when not in the room, changing the lint drawer in my dryer after every laundry load, rinsing out soup cans to go in the recycling bin, and deemed the nickname "health nut" from my mom. But why join the "going green" movement? It's just another fad that will fade out in the next decade or so, isn't it? Besides, why shouldn't I expect it to become another multi-million dollar industry? Why get sucked in?

However, I'm starting to change my attitude about "going green." Buying organic groceries can certainly cost you a pretty penny, but buying locally grown produce actually doesn't cost very much. Before moving from Arizona, I heard of Bountiful Baskets - local food that's left over from restaurants and grocery stores. You can pick it up at a delivery spot, and I think for a family of four you pay $35 for two weeks and get a lot of food. Small fruit stands mark Utah streets in the summer and fall - all local food. Anyone is excited to save a penny, right? (especially in this economy.) Plus, having once owned our own business, I am grateful for the opportunity to support local business owners.

Recently, I've been studying up on "green" cleaning products, specifically, home-made cleaning solutions. But to do this cost-effectively, I'm replacing the home-made solutions when my store-bought ones have run out. Last week my Clorox All-Purpose cleaner ran out. And, instead of spending $5-$6 for a new bottle, I spent $1.99 for a galon of vinegar. Mixed with equal part water, you have an all-purpose cleaning solution that costs close to nothing.

And my bathroom is sparkling!

Get this...
1. Add 1/2 c. distilled vinegar to your laundry for a natural fabric softener.
2. For a really good scouring agent: mix baking soda and castile soap.
3. Furniture can sparkle with 2 parts olive oil + 1 part lemon juice for a home-made furniture polish.
4. Do you have a wood or pergo floor? Try this:
1/3 white distilled vinegar
1/3 rubbing alcohol
1/3 distilled water; add first three ingredients to bottle & shake.
3 drops castile soap; add & shake bottle.
5-25 drops essential oil, for fresh scent; add & shake.
Shake before each use.
5. Add your favorite essential oils to any cleaning solution for a fresh smell. White Tea Tree Oil inhibits bacteria, mold, and fungus growth. I'm going to be adding 2-3 drops to every cleaning solution I make.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ran out of ideas...

So, I know it's been a while since I've posted anything! One reason for my lack of posts is because, frankly, I ran out of ideas. However, my main reason for stopping was because I felt like it was becoming my venting mechanism. I'd rather stay positive and upbeat. Sure, we have faced tremendous trials over this last year - and we all need moments to vent. But, we have also been extremely blessed! I just don't want the venting to become a habit. So, I took a break.

Recent Events:

Jason and I recently traveled down to Arizona for his brother's wedding. Spencer and Hilary were married on April 16th in the Mesa Arizona Temple. Hilary is amazing - she is stunningly beautiful and one of the sweetest people I've ever met! We are so excited that she is a part of our family.

That same morning, Grandmommy Farnsworth passed away. So, I ended staying in Arizona an extra week to attend the funeral on April 27th. She was diagnosed last August with ovarian cancer, about 3 weeks after we moved to Utah. For me, that was the worst part! It was extremely difficult to be so far away. Thankfully, we have good memories of going over there often for family dinners, or just to visit Grandad and Grandmommy. She will be greatly missed, but our knowledge of the gospel truly comforts and sustains us.

During our visit, we also found out that Holly and Winn (Jason's sister and brother-in-law) are expecting their first baby in November! Congrats, you two, parenthood is so fun!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

mouths of babes...

Laci woke me up this morning by stroking my face and hair, followed by an Eskimow Kiss. What a sweety! Who knew our nightly ritual would become my morning greeting?

I've debated whether or not to share this one, but I figure it happens in every family. The other night we were kneeling for family prayer when someone tooted. Jacob, 14-month-old Jacob, laughed, took out his pacifier and mimicked the sound with his mouth!

A few days ago -
Laci: "Mom, can you turn on Princess Music?"

Me: "What is Princess Music?"

Laci: "Tom and Jerry."

Me: "You want to watch Tom and Jerry?"

Laci: "No. Tom and Jerry. I dance to Princess Music."

Me: "I don't know what Princess Music is, Lace. I'm sorry."

Later that day.. I turned on classical music. Laci ran over so excited: "Mom, Princess Music!"

Yesterday at breakfast -
Laci: "I want to read scriptures again." (We had just finished reading scriptures.)

Me: "You do?"

Laci: "Yeah!"

Me: "Why?" (just curious to see what her answer would be...)

Laci: "good choices...Jesus Christ"

Me: "Reading scriptures helps you make good choices, and you get to learn about Jesus Christ?"

Laci: "Yeah. Jesus died."

Me: "We just read about that, huh?"

Laci: "Yeah. Come back to Earth."

Me: "He came back to Earth? Who did He visit?"

Laci: "Heavenly Father...Nephites."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

where did she come from?

Laci can be very eccentric. For example...

Outfit #1

You think Superman would want to go out in this?

Pants on...

...and, literally 2 minutes later, same outfit without the pants!

Is she wearing shoes over her pajamas?

When she gets bored inventing with her own clothes, she experiments with Jacob's.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

alive and well

Some of you are probably wondering if I'm even still alive! I am. We moved into our new house on the 1st. We're still in Eagle Mountain, and yes, we're still in Utah. Did I ever mention that we never wanted to live in Utah? And yet, here we are! (Actually, I've come to really fall in love with our area and the people here. And, ironically, I feel like I'm home.)

Jacob has had such a terrible time in the last 4 weeks. Starting with oral herpes (don't know the technical term), which is basically a virus resulting in canker sores all over the inside of the mouth - and because it's a virus cannot be treated. He just had to suffer through it till it went away on its own. He just got over it last week. At the same time, he broke out with impitigo on his face, which was treated with an antibiotic. Now he has a yeast infection that I swear I've treated 500 times since the last time he was given an antibiotic! And just when we thought he was getting better, he comes down with the flu - vomit and diahrrea - since Saturday. (There goes that Activia tip to counteract the anitbiotic by replenishing the good bacteria.) Aside from the fact that I am sick of my house, I feel so bad for my little guy! Any time Jacob gets sick it snowballs like this - one thing after another. He just can't get a break! All the while, he has to endure it all.

Laci has been a trooper. She also got the oral herpes - undoubtedly from sharing food and drinks, even though I tried to explain to her that she shouldn't. But what are ya gonna do? A 3-year-old can only understand so much. Hers lasted maybe a week, and she only got only one sore, and didn't complain about it once! The only way I saw it is because it was located above her top front teeth. But that's how Laci is when she gets sick; unless there are visible symptoms, I'd never know otherwise. Go figure. She's so active, I know she's been getting cabin-fever, too. I finally ventured out to the grocery store today, since Jacob hasn't thrown up in two days.

Anyway, my intent is not to complain or vent. This has just been my life for the last few weeks - and, the reason for no posts.

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