Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dear Readers,

Perhaps you've noticed, I haven't been a posting queen lately. I guess you could say I'm burned out. Not on blogging specifically, just on life. Hopefully this funk will pass and I'll be back up to speed next week.


Friday, April 24, 2009

The Spohrs

Perhaps you remember this little girl? I can't get her off my mind. I've been thinking about Maddie for weeks now, praying that her family will find some ounce of peace without their baby girl. And I've been thinking about what on earth I could possibly do for the Spohrs. I'm a complete stranger to them. But they are not strangers to me.

Remember when I was high risk pregnancy lady? And every week we were relieved to find that I was not in heart failure yet? I (we) lived through that pregnancy praying that we wouldn't have to take the baby early, that my body would stay healthy enough for her to make it through 40 weeks in utero. And we were so very very blessed that she did make it the whole way, a week over in fact. So many people have the look of sympathy when I tell them that I was induced at 41 weeks, but guys, really, being 41 weeks pregnant was not that bad for me. I wasn't all that uncomfortable. I'd rather be that fat and pregnant for extra month than go through the hell that was the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy. And my baby wasn't born early, she didn't have to go to the NICU (for more than an hour), we didn't have doctors bills out the wazoo, and I didn't have to live through that constant fear that my baby wouldn't make it. We got lucky.

But, while we were still expecting the worst (but praying for the best), I found Heather's blog. Maddie was in the NICU. And let me tell you, that little girl was an inspiration. She fought her hardest, and she won! She lived! She came home! She became such a beautiful little girl! I remember thinking, "If we have a premie, we can get through it. We can fight hard, just like Maddie."

Anyway, so I've been thinking. And then I found this. If you are too lazy to go to the link, here's the post in a nutshell: this girl and her best friend decided that to honor Maddie Spohr they would go to their local NICU bearing gifts in the form of "Parent Survial Kits," an idea inspired by Heather herself. Basically it's what every NICU parent needs: kleenex, lotion, chapstick, antibacterial lotion, wet wipes, energy bars, etc. All in a purple bag (Maddie's favorite color).

OK, this is an awesome idea. Inspired, really. So that's what I'm going to do. It might take me a while to get all the stuff together, but I am fully planning on bringing some kits to the Dixie NICU. And if any of you guys want to help out, donate some time/products/money, you just let me know. Because, really, it's a beautiful way to honor such a special girl, and to help alleviate someone else's burden in some small way. Who's with me?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Easter Bell

I can't believe I didn't post this earlier, but oh well. It's still April, we're not SO far away from Easter.

Not too long ago, I read Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. Some of the book was too crass for my liking, but there are some precious gems of comedy as well. This is one such gem. He is living in France, taking a French class with people from all over the world. And then the subject turns to Easter. I should warn you, I cry just about every time I read this thing, it's so hilarious. So you might need some tissues. Also, I recognize that the quotation marks are all off, I just really don't want to go through the whole thing and change all the " to ', so deal with it. OK, read on:

"The Morocccan student interrupted, shouting, “Excuse me, but what’s an Easter?”

It would seem that despite having grown up in a Muslim country, she would have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. “I mean it,” she said. “I have no idea what you people are talking about.”

The teacher called upon the rest of us to explain.

The Poles led the charge to the best of their ability. “It is,” said one, “a party for the little boy of God who call his self Jesus and. . . “ She faltered and her fellow countryman came to her aid.

“He call his self Jesus and then he die one day on two . . . morsels of . . . lumber.”

The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm.

“He die one day and then he go above of my head to live with your father.”

“He weared of himself the long hair and after he die, the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples.”

“He nice, the Jesus.”

“He make the good things, and on the Easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today.”

Part of the problem had to do with vocabulary. Simple nouns such as cross and resurrection were beyond our grasp, let alone such complicated reflexive phrases as “to give of yourself your only begotten son.” Faced with the challenge of explaining the cornerstone of Christianity, we did what any self-respecting group of people might do. We talked about food instead.

“Easter is a party for to eat of the lamb,” the Italian nanny explained. “One too may eat of the chocolate.”

“And who brings the chocolate?” the teacher asked.

I knew the word, so I raised my hand, saying, “The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate.”

“A rabbit?” The teacher, assuming I’d used the wrong word, positioned her index fingers on top of her head, wriggling them as though they were ears. “You mean one of these? A rabbit rabbit?”

“Well, sure,” I said. “He come in the night when one sleep on a bed. With a hand he have a basket and foods.”

The teacher sighed and shook her head. As far as she was concerned, I had just explained everything that was wrong with my country. “No, no,” she said. “Here in France the chocolate is brought by a big bell that flies in from Rome.”

I called for a time-out. “But how do the bell know where you live?”

“Well,” she said, “how does the rabbit?”

It was a decent point, but at least a rabbit has eyes. That’s a start. Rabbits move from place to place, while most bells can only go back and forth – and they can’t even do that on their own power. On top of that, the Easter Bunny has character. He’s someone you’d like to meet and shake hands with. A bell has all the personality of a cast-iron skillet. It’s like saying that come Christmas, a magic dustpan flies in from the North Pole, led by eight flying cinder blocks. Who wants to stay up all night so they can see a bell? And why fly one in from Rome when they’ve got more bells than they know what to do with right here in Paris? That’s the most implausible aspect of the whole story, as there’s no way the bells of France would allow a foreign worker to fly in and take their jobs. That Roman bell would be lucky to get work cleaning up after a French bell’s dog – and even then he’d need papers. It just didn’t add up.

Nothing we said was of any help to the Moroccan student. A dead man with long hair supposedly living with her father, a leg of lamb served with palm fronds and chocolate; equally confused and disgusted, she shrugged her massive shoulders and turned her attention back to the comic book she kept hidden beneath her binder."

Oh man. I love it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Onesie and Slippers

Some of you might know about my great love for the combination of swimsuits and galoshes. If you don't, you should ask me about it sometime. Of course, my response will likely be slow in coming because generally I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe. Let's just say that I think it's a funny image.

So. Julia got some Elmo slippers from her cousin Lauren. And it just so happened that she was wearing her 3rd outfit of the day when we pulled them out of the box, and thus she was only wearing a onesie, no pants (the girl only has so many pants).

***Funny story as an aside: she also got a hat from the Shaefers, which we put on her head, which she immediately flung off. And about 5 minutes later, she sat on that hat and wet her pants. I guess she really doesn't like hats. And that is how we soiled the 2nd outfit of the day. OK, back to the real story***

Anyway, we slapped those slippers on her and the result is hilarious, if you ask me. Almost as good as a swimsuit and galoshes. But not quite.

1 Year Stats

We visited Dr Walker on Monday, and while Julia is a very healthy little baby, she has definitely slowed down in the weight gain department. She only weighs 18.87 lbs, putting her in the 15 percentile. It's kind of sad to see the percentile numbers: 84-81-84-63-27-15. The bad news is we can't turn her around in her carseat yet. The good news is we don't have to pay for a new carseat yet! Her height is 28.66 inches (42%), and her head circumference is 17.9 inches (60%).

So here's the problem. We're in the process of weaning (down to 1 feeding a day), but I'm also trying to steer clear of bottles. She'll drink out of a sippy cup, just not large quantities. And so instead of getting the recommended 24 ounces of milk per day, she gets like 7. Plus some breastmilk. And honestly, I've been giving her 1 bottle a day, because I can't stand the thought of her not getting enough milk. Does anyone have any suggestions? I know a lot of you have gone through this, so please, pass on any wisdom you have. Feel free to email me if that's easier.

And while we're soliciting advise, I'm trying to figure out what to feed my kid. We do a lot of applesauce and yams, because I have them on hand. And yogurt. And I've been trying to just feed her what we're eating for dinner, but that can be tricky seeing as she's only got the 4 teeth. Once again, I'm sure plenty of you have been through this before, so please, share.

Let them eat cake

Saturday marked the beginning of what I assume will be a lifelong struggle for our darling daughter:

For those of you who aren't following, that cake says, "Happy 1st Birthday Julie." Who is Julie? My daughter is named Julia, thank you very much. We're going to have to start saying, "Julia, like Julia Roberts." Then maybe they'll get it. Luckily, we have toothpicks and master decorator Clark on hand for just such emergencies:And our daughter is 1. She can't read. But she is pretty brilliant, so next year, we'll have to be more careful.

I really couldn't complain much about the cake, though, because it was free. Yes, you read that right, FREE! Albertson's does free 1st birthday cakes. They are small, perfect size for smashing up with little fists. Of course, we didn't give her the whole cake, we just gave her a small piece to devour. And devour she did. Those pictures are a little further down.

Other people had cake, too. Well, cupcakes. We had ladybugs and flowers. The ladybugs were red velvet. I've got to say, spooning that batter into the cups felt wrong. Like I was getting ready to bake some tomato soup or something. And then it looked like I'd killed someone in the kitchen sink when I was washing the dishes. But the cupcakes were kind of cute, I think.

The flowers were white cake. I was planning on just figuring out how to frost them that day, but it turns out that you can't just figure something like that out. You have to have skills, and equipment, otherwise you might end up with a sandwich bag full of purple frosting that has a rip in it, and purple frosting all over your hands. Maybe. I wouldn't know. Luckily, we had jellybeans, so I cut those in half and made some flowers. And I thought they turned out well.
Julia did much better at opening presents than she did at Christmas. Dad helped.
She got some great things (lots of cute new clothes!), and it was so fun to have all her friends over to our house.

OK, now here are the cake pictures. And a couple of videos. I especially like when she's got frosting coming out her nose, and then she's got a pink moustache. Good times!

Thanks again to everyone who came and celebrated - Julia had a great time!

Friday, April 17, 2009

One Year

Remember one year ago? When I looked like this:

(Well, one year from yesterday)

And remember when Julia looked like this:

Oh, the chicken legs, the chicken legs! Time flies.

Happy Birthday, to my baby, who's not a baby anymore (though Clark says she's still his baby).

Heavy heavy hang over thy poor head

This poor kid. Her head has had a sad week as it's had run-ins with a door on Tuesday, a sippy cup on Wednesday, and the coffee table on Thursday. I promise we don't beat her.

Moon Dessert

I might need to make a confession. It's about 2.5 years in the making. This was about me. I said it. I don't even really know what it means, other than I really wanted something sweet at the time.

Anyway. There is a reason I'm bringing this up. Today, the long search for "moon dessert" has ended.

Brownies on the Moon! I am not even sure what that means, something to do with marshmallows maybe, but who cares! It's moon dessert! You'd better believe I bought it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tootsie Ann

Did you know that Clark calls Julia "Tootsie?" Like the tootsie roll pop. I really don't know why, it just started the day she came home from the hospital. And now there are a million variations, like Tootsie Ann, Tootsie Fred, Freddie, Pah-Tootsie. Yeah, we're weird. No one is surprised.

Anyway, I suppose it's about time for some pictures of Julia, no?

Here she is being an escape artist. She managed to get the zipper down without undoing the top button.

Julia and Craig, wearing link necklaces. She loves it when Craig comes over.

What could be cooler than sunglasses and a link lei?

Piggy-tails! Sure, they didn't really last for more than 30 seconds, but that means she is growing hair, and soon my friends, very soon, she'll be ready for the real deal.

And then the obligatory video. It's a lovely assortment of random Julia moments. Have I mentioned before that I love this kid? Because I do.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Maddie Spohr

The death of this sweet girl has weighed heavy on my mind for the past week. I found Heather's blog sometime after Maddie was born, but when I was still pregnant. I followed her on and off ever since. I enjoyed watching Maddie's progress, comparing it to Julia's, and I really love Heather's writing style. It had been a while since I last checked her blog, so I was shocked to hear that Maddie had passed away. I don't even know these people, but my heart goes out to them. I'm thinking of them and praying for them. Today is the funeral. I hope they make it through this difficult day. No one should ever have to go through that.

I'm wearing purple today, in honor of Maddie. I thought it was appropriate that it's a cloudy day, it matches my mood. While I was out taking the picture of my purple shirt, I found one of the first roses in my garden. I thought that was a lovely sign that life continues, and there is still beauty to be found, even when our hearts are broken.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I know you are all dying in suspense to see what Julia's Easter dress looked like. But you are going to have to wait a little longer, because I did not take a single picture of her in her dress yesterday. Between the rush to wake her up from a nap, get her ready for church, and get to the chapel in time for choir practice, and the rush to get home, strip her down, and get her in her crib for a much needed nap, there was no time for picture taking. Oops. We'll have to have a post-Easter Easter photo-shoot. Classy.

But that doesn't mean I can't narrate the highlights of the weekend.

-The Easter Bunny came to our house on Saturday! Actually, the Easter Bunny couldn't believe how fast Saturday morning sneaked up on him, so he made his drop-off during Julia's afternoon nap. Clark and Shannon got candy! Julia got a book (The Tale of Benjamin Bunny), her dress, clips for her hair, and eggs filled with. . . . Cheerios! Her favorite! So fun! And I actually DID take a couple pictures of this event:

-Julia almost managed to kill herself by falling down the stairs during the pre-church choir practice. She was saved by the oboist. Not everyone can say that.

-I survived teaching another lesson in Relief Society, though I'm not sure how. I think by the power of prayer, because I know I certainly didn't have anything to do with it.

-Julia had 3 bottles of formula at church yesterday. To be fair, two of them weren't full, but still. 3 bottles?! She's got a bottomless pit for a stomach.

-Clark managed to pull off a fantastic performance as the choir accompanist, despite the fact that the director picked difficult songs that no one has ever heard before, and the fact that we don't have a piano to practice on. Smashing job, dear, smashing job.

-I sang a solo. It was nice. Or at least I enjoyed it, which is saying something.

-My skirt did not fall off during any of the aforementioned church events, though there were some close calls. It turns out I've lost weight. Woo! Unfortunately, I didn't take that into account when I put on a skirt that I haven't worn since last summer, and a silky slip underneath. The thing almost slid right off every time I stood up, or if I walked around while holding our wiggly daughter. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the weight loss. I'll just be even more grateful when I have clothes that fit.

-We had ham for dinner! An Easter ham! Much like last year. And now we'll be having leftover ham for the next 2 weeks. 14 pounds is a lot of ham for 2 people. Oh, excuse me, 3. Julia insisted on having some ham. INSISTED. Wouldn't take no for an answer. She loves her pork.

So there you go. An exciting weekend to be sure. And this next weekend will be all the more exciting because someone is having her very first birthday!

Weekly Quote 4/13/09

"Tho craven friends betray thee,
They feel thy love's embrace;
The very foes who slay thee
Have access to thy grace."

Last week's quote was from the hymn Oh Savior Thou Who Wearest. New quote up!

Monday, April 06, 2009

What does the lion say?

I've been trying to teach Julia animal sounds lately. She knows what a dog says, and. . . that's about it. And you can only get her to respond half the time. But we're working on it. This video represents our first attempts at roaring like a lion. That lasted for about a day. Now lions say, "Hi." How friendly.

Weekly Quote 4/6/09

"How much did you pay for the chunk of his guitar,
the one he ruthlessly smashed at the end of the show?
And how much will he pay for a brand new guitar,
one which he'll ruthlessly smash at the end of another show?"

Cake, Rock n' Roll Lifestyle. New quote up!

Friday, April 03, 2009

I love saving money

Do you like coupons to Old Navy? The kind that are 50% off one item? Go here. Follow the directions. Enjoy the coupon goodness.

This is what we did with ours:

$6.64, baby!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Girls Rock Vegas

I know my blog is starting to look like one big advertisement for other people's goings-on, but hey, I've got some great friends who are doing great things in the world.

Anyway, next up is my friend Heather. Heather is awesome. Heather lives in Vegas. Heather plays the drums.
Heather teaches school. And Heather is helping Girls Rock Vegas. Here are the deets:

If you know of anyone who'd be interested, pass it along.