Monday, June 3, 2019

Dear Friend,

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

-Maya Angelou 

I want to be happy for you. Deep down I think I am, but it’s hard for me to hit “like” on that picture of your gender reveal, or your baby bump, or your sweet newborn. I think I’ll be able to be happy for you again, but for now it’s too raw, too recent, too much. 

I was supposed to have a baby in my arms by now. And then I was supposed to be pregnant again by now. I put off getting those Lagoon passes in November because I thought I’d at least be pregnant this summer, despite the fact that I’d lost my spring baby. Spring baby. The baby I’ve always wanted. The timing was going to be perfect— pregnancy during the cooler months, skipping cold and flu season, but not the youngest in their future class. I’ve wanted a spring baby with each of my pregnancies, and ended up with December, July, and a miscarriage. I understand that my loss doesn’t mean that no one else is allowed to have babies or share their excitement. I, too, was about to break the news about my pregnancy right before I found out there wasn’t any fetal cardiac activity. I had a shirt picked out for Halloween— printed with a skeleton on it, and a little baby-sized skeleton in the abdomen wearing a pirate hat, to match my other two little pirates. I’d wear it to Disneyland, and post a picture to make the announcement. Now I’m glad I didn’t complete that purchase; it would have just added to the heartache. 

I don’t know or understand why this thing happened. On a basic biological level, I get it— there was probably something not right with the fetus. But on a spiritual level, I cannot see how this was “for my good,” unless it’s to help me feel empathy for others who experience pregnancy loss. That doesn’t feel like a good enough reason though. I don’t know if I’ll ever really understand. My life will always be marked by this event: before and after. My once-due-date that never came to be marking the passage of each year. The baby would have been X years old. I wonder if it would have been a girl or boy? Looked more like me or Andrew? Questions I’ll never have answers to.

Little things remind me of my loss often. The pillowcase that got a tiny bit of blood on it the night of my storm (I took cytotec before bed hoping most everything would happen while I slept, and it did). The small pile of maternity clothes I excitedly purchased, wadded up in a dark corner of my closet. The bins and bins full of clothes my kids have grown out of, half of which I was supposed to have gotten rid of months ago when we knew if we were having a boy or girl. Any baby of any age, in person or photographs. All pregnant women. I often wonder to myself when that hurt will subside. Will it? Will I ever stop thinking about my baby and what I had hoped would be?

I wonder if a new pregnancy will help, but as each month passes with nothing I fee more stretched, more bitter. I wonder to myself if it’s just not meant to be. If God wanted me to have another child, why didn’t he let my baby live and grow to full term? Why did it take so long for my HCG to drop? Why did I have another chemical pregnancy in February? Why am I not pregnant yet? If it was meant to be, it should have been by now. 

When I think about potentially letting go of that hope for another pregnancy, feelings of genuine happiness for others’ babies creeps in. That sounds so selfish— I can’t be happy for you if you have something I want so badly but cant seem to get. But there it is. 

I want to be happy for you, but right now it’s just too hard. I may not like your post on social media, and I may even have to unfollow you for my own peace of mind, because every post reminds me of what was supposed to be mine. I hope you can understand, and I hope that soon I’ll be able to show you happiness and excitement that is genuine, with no buts. I hope that I can find a way for this hurt to heal, this hole in my heart. In the meantime, congratulations. I sincerely wish you the very best, and I hope you are able to have a healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

just another saturday

Today was a mostly good day. Evie went to her Grandma and Papa's this morning as part of a sleepover. She came home around 10 last night, I think because she was exhausted and her cute cousins were up talking when she really needed to go to sleep. She said is was "too crazy in there," meaning the room where they were all sleeping.

Ezra slept in until 8:00- a gift! 

We then dropped him with my parents, picked up Evie, and went to the Provo Temple Open House. Apparently he was an angel- very happy and affectionate. Evie was a little impatient at the open house. She didn't like wearing the booties over her shoes. She liked seeing the chandeliers, and overall it was fun to have an outing where we could focus on her and spend time just with her. She watched Tangled in the car and gave us commentary the whole way.

At naptime today Ezra was too happy to go to sleep, and Evie stayed awake playing and singing. He eventually submitted, and slept until nearly six- which is crazy late for him!

Andrew made an awesome dinner as a belated birthday gift to me (he was really sick last weekend, poor guy). He smoked ribs and they were so delicious! He also had a salad and oven fries, and dairy free frozen cheesecakes. So yummy!

I talked him into going shopping with me, which turned out not to be such a great idea. Let's just say my gift of being able to spend unlimited time at thrift stores can be a bit of a thorn in his side. Maybe next year I'll ask for a shopping trip all alone as my gift.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

amoxicillin, birthdays, ice castles, etc.

My little blogging streak didn't last too long, darnit. We had a rough week or two after Ezra's ear infection diagnosis. The doctor prescribed some amoxicillin, which I was apprehensive about because I'm allergic to penicillin. He was miserable that week possibly because of the infection, and then he got a rash. Turns out he's allergic too, poor little guy. He had an angry red rash for three or four days, and I think it made him pretty miserable. I also snitched a little too much of Evie's birthday cake  components, and so I think he was having some milk protein allergy discomfort as well. All in all, a rough couple of weeks. He cried pretty much all day every day, and most nights too.

poor baby boy with his amoxicillin rash.

We celebrated Evie's birthday with Andrew's family on the 17th. She was in cousin heaven. We had smoked salmon and for dessert, a chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream filling, chocolate ganache frosting, and raspberries on top. It was pretty awesome, at least as far as I could tell without actually having a piece of cake. Evie and I talked a lot about what kind of cake she would like. She would say "So here's the deal, for my cake..." Funny girl.

cousin heaven

my big 3yo

olaf was a spur-of-the-moment addition.

The next week we took the kids to Midway to see the ice castle there. The drive was not great, as Ezra was still not feeling very well, but Evie loved the castle. She wanted to make snowballs and crawl in every little nook in the ice, and she got to see Elsa and Anna afterward.

family at the ice castle. ez was not happy.

evie in an ice nook.

love to squish those baby cheeks.

Evie is still quite terrified at night, mostly of shadows, so we've been letting her go to sleep with her light on. We turn it off after she goes to sleep, and often wake in the morning to find that she's already gotten up and turned it back on. I hope she'll get back to a normal sleeping routine that doesn't involve getting so sad and scared.

Evie drew her first people the other day, circles with faces and stick arms and legs. She's never drawn anything but scribbles before, so this was momentous. A few days later she drew a decent heart, and she can write a letter E, usually with some extra horizontal lines. She got a tracing book for her birthday from her cousins and her control with the marker is really improving.

daddy, evie, and ezra. mommy is the swirl at the top (that's my big fat tummy?)

Today Evie was assigned to share a scripture with the primary children at church. It is one that the kids have been "ponderizing" all month- "Feast upon the words of Christ, for behold the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." We repeat it together as a family, usually at dinner, and at her request throughout the day ("Mommy, let's do our ponderize."). We had her practice and practice, but when she got up in front of all the kids she froze! She mumbled through it, as I whispered it in her ear. I mentioned to her teacher that she had it memorized, and after church her teacher reported that she recited it for her little class. I do hope she'll get more courageous, but I'm still proud of her.

Ezra is getting so big- nearly 20 pounds. He's not much interested in crawling, but getting quite good at sitting up. Often when I put him down on his back he lifts up his head like he's doing crunches because he just wants to be sitting. He still loves to bathe, and to have his clothes and diaper off (the diaper table is his happy place). He does okay with solid foods. He likes little bits of bread sometimes, and will eat fruit baby foods happily. He does not love vegetables, as much as I've tried to encourage him. I should probably start mixing the two. Yesterday I was trying to feed him baby puffs and he would clench his mouth shut, but as soon as I offered him a bit of water from my straw he opened up like a baby bird. Stinker! Also suddenly this week he likes sucking on a binky. We'll see where that goes.

This last week we had new lights installed in our kitchen. They are so amazing! The kitchen has a dropped ceiling and had two florescent lights recessed into the ceiling with plastic panels over them to be flush with the dropped ceiling. One light stopped working a few weeks ago, and the other one flickered horribly. Now we have six bright LED can lights, and it feels like a new kitchen. I can't wait to get a few installed in our hallways, and to replace our dining room light fixture. I think it will be transformative.

the hole where the old lights were, and two of the new lights.

A few weeks ago the kids and I drove to Logan with my parents to visit Grandpa Tom (my dad's dad) and Grandma Irvine (my mom's mom). The drive went so smoothly with very little crying from Ezra and good weather conditions. We set up a new DVD/VHS player at Grandma's and took some nice pictures with her. Evie gave her a sweet hug as we left, and she met and held Ezra. Grandpa Tom taught Evie how to do "three with a flipper." He squished Ezra's soft legs, and sang me a funny song- "Five foot six, legs like sticks, oh how I adore those sticks! Has anybody seen my gal?" I've been apprehensive about making the drive to Cache Valley, but I'm so glad that I did and it really did go well.

Andrew has almost finished building the built-in buffet in our dining room. All that's left is to assemble the drawers and figure out a countertop for it. I'd love to put soapstone there and in our kitchen, but we also need a new roof. I guess we'll see how much we can do with our tax return.

I finished a quilt for Evelyn. I started it while I was still pregnant. My great-aunt quilted it right around when Ezra was born, and I only just sewed the binding on. I was inspired by the colors in some vintage fabric I used to make a curtain for Evie's room- pink, orange, yellow, and black. I tried to choose simple graphic fabrics with just one of the main colors with white, then the backing fabric is whimsical orange and pink floral. The quilting design is a sort of round graphic pattern, which i love with the plus sign blocks. The binding has white plus signs on a black background (I couldn't resist). I love how it turned out, and Evie loves it too.

cuties on the new quilt.

I made this cake today for my neighbor. Isn't it pretty? I love fresh flowers. And penuche frosting. Next week I'm making 100 cupcakes. Yikes!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Playdates + Story Time

Today Evie had a friend over to play. Toddler play dates are hard! The girls argued and fought most of the time, even though I know at least Evie had been looking forward to the date all morning. They threw around sill phrases like "I never want to see you again," and "you're not my friend anymore." Then right before our little friend's mom came to pick her up, they started playing nicely, and ran around screaming with glee while the moms chatted for a few minutes.

Evie has had some anxiety surrounding bedtime and naptime since her 2 AM scary shadow event early this week. Andrew had to go in and sleep with her halfway through last night, and today I left the light on during her nap (which didn't really do anything, since her room is quite bright in the afternoon). She napped without issue, and woke up happy. She asked me for a piece of Halloween candy, and watched the end of an episode of "The Flash" with me, which she quite liked.

Ezra did well today too. I wore him around this morning and he napped in the carrier, and then he napped in my bed after I nursed him to sleep. I actually got to eat lunch without the children and relax for a few hours!

After dinner we all went to the Rec Center to sign up for a membership. I'm really excited to get back to working out, to be able to meet up with my friend, and to go with Andrew when possible. Then we went to story time at the Library. The librarian that runs story time is so good with the kids, Evie loves it. She often has me pretend to be Lisa the librarian. I wrote her name on a snowman-shaped nametag, and she wanted to do some drawing on it. she drew two dots for eyes and a cute little smile. I suggested she draw some buttons, and she drew two dots on the torso of the snowman (see the picture). Kids are so funny.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ezra had his six-month check today. He's 18 pounds 10 ounces, and 27 inches long. Big kid! The doctor found that he has an ear infection. No wonder he's had a drippy nose and has been cranky. Here's to hoping that amoxicillin will take care of it and that baby boy will cheer up.

Evie had dance today. She's been going to a dance class up the street and loving it. She also came to the Young Women activity with me tonight, doing yoga at the church. Evie was not so into it. She kept telling me she was tired, or asking if I'd hold her. Then she wrapped herself in a yoga mat and started giggling uncontrollably. It was cute and funny and also really disruptive, little stinker. Thankfully the Young Women love her and are super sweet.

Not much else happened today. I got a lot done during naptime (usually I nap too). I planted some succulents, seasoned one of my chalkboard doors and changed out the chalk messages, took down the Christmas tree, and some other little chores. Then I did some kitchen magic and made soup out of nothing (leftover ham, onion, carrot, potato, can of white beans, bullion and water, granulated garlic, white pepper, and a bay leaf). I love it when I can do that and it actually works out.

Oh here's another funny thing that happened today. Evie and I talked about what kind of birthday cake she'd like on Sunday. She's been telling me she wants a Doc McStuffins cake, even though she had a Lambie cake last year. I had one figured out, but when I described it to her she had something else in mind. Then we started looking at pictures of cakes (bad idea) and things got complicated (cake with blueberries, chocolate with raspberries, something with Princess Celestia...). I'm a little worried that now no matter what I do, she's going to be disappointed. I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Andrew says we're terrible journalers. It is so true. This is my attempt to remedy that, so it's going to read as more of a journal entry than a thoughtfully crafted, witty blog post. Mkay?

Today was a pretty good day. Yesterday was better, but today was good. Evie peed her pants, I used my mom voice but didn't actually yell. We grocery shopped and got case lots, and I got a new chapstick and some cashew ice "cream." I took down Christmas, except the tree itself, and put up some birthday decorations so we can celebrate Evie's 3rd birthday on Sunday with Andrew's family, exactly 1 month delayed.

Evelyn is finally feeling better. She's been better for a week now, after being sick for what felt like two weeks. She got sick on Christmas Eve. Isn't that the saddest? It's her first really bad cold. She had no appetite, was tired all the time, and pretty whiny (I wonder where she gets that tendency...). We had several Mr. Roger's Neighborhood marathons to get us through. Thank you, Netflix. Having her well again is like a breath of fresh air. She eats! She sings! She plays! I'm so glad that she's such a happy, easygoing kid under normal circumstances.

Two nights ago Evie had a nighttime episode. She usually doesn't have nightmares. There was the one about the big turtle that kissed her, or aphids on her arm, or a Maleficent dragon, or a big dog like Riley that talked to her... all pretty mild, and she calmed down quickly in those instances. Well this time, we woke to the sound of her screaming in terror, and yelling "Spiders!" over and over again. She was convinced there were spiders, caterpillars, monsters, and bugs in her room. We think she saw tree shadows. Anyway, she was terrified, and ended up in our bed. I finally got her to calm down by holding her hand and whispering to her an imaginary snow play scenario. This was our first time having a true family bed- all 4 of us sleeping together.

Last night Andrew and I were worried that her fears would resurface. He took her through the usual nighttime routine, finishing by turning Primary music on and laying down next to her. The Family Night song came on and she said "This song always makes me go to sleep." She grabbed Andrew's hand, closed her eyes, and went to sleep. We were baffled and amused. She's so funny.

Tonight Grandpa was over, helping me through bedtime while Andrew was at a church meeting. I got Ezra to sleep so we were talking with Evie. She was telling us that Mulan is a soldier, not a princess, and at first said shoulder instead of soldier. We were talking about confusing words, my dad said when he was little he confused magician and musician, and she said that when she was little and peed in her little pink potty, she got veg. I was really confused for a minute until I realized she meant fudge, which she did get as a potty treat a few times. It made my dad and I laugh that she recognized that as a word she gets confused! She also often confuses sparrow for churro. She likes the churro that comes in the kid's meal at Rubio's, and every time we go to Cafe Rio she asks if she can get a sparrow (apparently she also confuses Rubio's and Cafe Rio, which she calls Cafe Rio's). Funny girl.

Ezra is less entertaining, at least to write about, since he doesn't talk. He is, however, ridiculously cute and very chubby. He has two little teeth on the bottom. He got one just before 5 months, and the other followed shortly. He wants to chew everything, and did some good work on an apple slice today. He also quite enjoys little bits of bread. He loves to play in the bath, and does a lot of splashing. He loves Evie, and often laughs at her, which melts my heart. I tried letting him cry it out at naptime today, going in every five minutes. It did NOT work. He kept it up for 1.5 hours. I would so love to be able to put him in his crib and just walk away, and have him go to sleep peacefully on his own. Sigh. But like I said, super cute. Good thing, too. Oh and he got a haircut (thanks Trisha!) which made him look a bunch older to me.

We sold our Scion, that's new. We bought Andrew's sister's old Honda Pilot. It is so nice to have somewhere to put groceries. It is also a lot harder to park.

Andrew has been using the smoker he got for Christmas to smoke salmon and trout. It is delicious, and fun to have a new appliance. He's also sworn off of car projects, as the Izuzu Trooper is still sitting dead in our driveway and his dream car (Mitsubishi Galant VR4) is sitting dead at his parents' house. He got three stars in Clash of Clans today, whatever that means.

New for me? I made a wedding cake last month for my dear friend. It was my first ever stacked cake, so it was a big accomplishment! I also dyed my hair red, for a fun change. I'm still not eating dairy because of Ezra's sensitivities, and that combined with nursing has helped me lose nearly all my baby weight. Now I just need to get back to the gym for some me time and to get RIPPED. Just kidding, pretty sure my abs have never shown themselves. But I am going to switch from 24 Hour Fitness to the Rec Center. I think we'll get a family pass so that Andrew and I can go together sometimes, and so we can all swim. I hate swimming, but Evie loves it, and based on Ezra's bathtime experiences, I think he'll love it too.

I made a good dinner tonight. Thai chicken, made with chicken tenders in a red coconut curry sauce. It used just enough coconut milk that  I had exactly enough left to make mango sticky rice for dessert, which is dairy free and scrummy, as Mary Berry would say.

Currently listening to: The Beatles or Hamilton
Currently watching: The Making of a Murderer and Madame Secretary and Downton Abbey and Sherlock
Currently reading: Alexander Hamilton and Fancy Nancy

beautiful Evelyn feeling much better

before Christmas, at the mall, in his elf hat

funny girl gave Grover m&m "teeth"

an unflattering picture documenting the first tooth, and pre-haircut Gollum sideburns

Friday, January 1, 2016

For Auld Lang Syne

Happy New Year!

In 2015 Andrew finished the bathroom remodel and put up baseboard on the main level of our home. Evie figured out potty training, started a dance class, and learned to recognize all the letters of the alphabet and their sounds. Ezra was born and got two teeth. I made four wedding cakes and did a TV spot on Studio 5 demonstrating a cake. I also got my first ever stitches after a pumpkin carving incident. We had three vacations- an amazing trip to Disneyland and two quick getaways to Park City (one with my family, one just us to go to a hot air balloon festival). The kids each had echocardiograms and Ezra had his kidney images via ultrasound three times. We bought a new couch and then exchanged it a few months later for a better/cheaper one (thanks, Costco!). We ate a lot of Chik Fil A and a ton of Vietnamese food. We cleaned out our basement and sold a bunch of stuff.  We rode bikes as a family and flew kites and went sledding and swimming and played hard.

It was a good year, but I think 2016 will be even better. I resolve to phone less, play more, vacation somewhere other than Disney (I love it, but recognize that I'm turning into one of "those people"), and to get myself back to the gym regularly. I'm excited to eat dairy again in 2016, for Evie to go to preschool, and to do more house projects. I'm excited for a summer where I'm not pregnant or figuring out a newborn, so I can really enjoy it with my family and do all the summer things. 2016, I'm ready for you. Bring it.

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