Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why Must There be a 2-Year-Old Phase?…


Why can’t babies just skip straight to 3?  Or better yet, 4.  4 is a great age.


(She was painting the oven with frosting leftover from Brennan’s party.  Just what my oven needed.  Thank you)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What We Learned About Batman

Batman 4-23-130001

Batman is the name of the little guy I’m lugging around.  Love the name?  You have Asher to thank for it.  This has been his one and only name suggestion since January when we found out the gender.  And he’s sticking with it.  Brian and I have gone with it for now, but if we’re not careful it may just end up on the birth certificate.  Asher wouldn’t give it a second thought because he really thinks we ARE keeping it. Smile

For the last couple of months my uterus has measured about 4 weeks ahead of schedule.  So, to check things I had an ultrasound yesterday.  My OB had told me that it could just be a lot of amniotic fluid, Or we may discover that he’s just a really big baby.  My due date wouldn’t have changed, but I’d be able to prepare myself for a 90th percentile-sized guy.  Gee. Thanks.

Anyway, we had the appointment, and learned lots of good stuff.  First of all, his measurements are right on par for my due date.  Whew!  And, he’s totally healthy and whole.  Definitely good to know and even better to have!  Although good views of baby are harder to have when they’re bigger, we learned that he has hair.  I can’t believe that shows up. 

Can you make out that picture above?  It’s a profile shot of his forehead, nose, and large pursing lips!  Hahaha.  When the ultrasound technician commented on his large lips Brian and I immediately made smiled eye contact.  I’ve been making fun of his large lips since before we were married.  And making it worse, Brian is a lip sticker-outer/purser by habit – when he’s on his computer or watching tv or whatever.  It makes me laugh that our little Batman already does this!  And here I thought it was a learned habit.  Must be genetic after all. Winking smile

Saturday, April 6, 2013

♪♫ Oh Sweet Spirit..., ♫♪

I suppose you won't get my title and the song now stuck in my head unless you're familiar with the movie Sons of Provo.  Hill-Arious!  Anyway...

I've been thinking about Brennan and his finest qualities lately - which is great timing with his birthday coming up next week.  But I'm writing this now before I forget some of the examples.

Brennan has always been super sensitive.  Historically, he cries really, really easily.  Not to be manipulative though.  He is just super sensitive and unable to control those emotions.  As his kindergarten teacher wrote on a report card, "Brennan feels his emotions very strongly..."  Yes.  That he does.  He really, really does.  This has been considered a "weakness" of his for most of his life.  Brian and I, teachers, and pediatric therapists have all actively tried to teach him how to rein in those emotions and express them in better proportion to the incident that triggered them.

But in so many ways, his high sensitivity is a huge strength.  I've always consoled myself with thoughts like, "Well, he'll make a great Dad and husband because he'll be that sensitive guy..."  His ability to feel compassion and sympathy for others truly is a gift.  For example, the other day he came inside after having been playing with neighborhood friends hot, sweaty, and crying.  As he commonly comes in crying due to conflicts (because he cries easily, remember?), this time was different.  Apparently one of the boys had been injured and his head had been bleeding.  Brennan was incredibly worried about him.  He prayed for him.  He fretted about the life expectancy of his buddy.  A bit later the friend came over to let Brennan know that he was good as gold - he's gotten some stitches and was fine.

I've also more recently realized how this high sensitivity of his allows him to uniquely feel the Spirit pretty strongly for a little dude.  On Easter Sunday we were shown a couple of videos that portrayed the final days of the Savior's life, his crucifixion, and his resurrection.  Brennan watched quite intently.  Honestly, I was concerned that he would react extra negatively to those scenes.  But instead, Brennan thought about the message.  He leaned over and told me that he loves me and that felt really happy about Jesus.  Later he confessed that he'd started to cry a little during the closing prayer.  Because he just felt really happy.  His ability to feel the joy of the Gospel, and to let the Spirit be felt, is truly a Strength.  I'm reminded of the scriptures that tell us that through Christ our weaknesses can become our strengths.  I find Brennan an awesome example of that.

Brennan is that kid that acts really impulsively.  But at the same time, he really is a deep thinker.  His school teachers have always noted that.  His primary president often shares with me the awesome thoughtful questions he asks that wow her in their depth.  At four, Brennan was concerned about Santa, asking if he lives forever, and if so, how he would be resurrected.  (Ummm... I dunno!)  I like to listen to talk radio in the car.  Brennan picks up on a statement given by the host, and the remainder of our car ride is spent with me explaining politics and social issues.  His questions never end.  Except when he pauses to ponder before dropping another big question.  In honestness, this is a love/hate thing for me.  On the one hand, I'm SO glad he has this built-in curiosity and interest in learning about the world.  But on the other hand, the questions are usually incredibly hard to answer, and I don't get to actually hear the radio show! ;-)  Brennan has a lot of questions about Gospel-related things and I am LOVING that.  I'm so happy to get to teach him and share my testimony with him because he just soaks it all up.  I explain to him not only what I believe, but other beliefs out there.  Brennan always considers these different angles and asks many questions before coming to his conclusions.  I love how he reasons things out while also feeling for the Spirit to guide him.

Brennan is a huge memorizer when it comes to lyrics and movie dialogue.  He can hear a song once and will start singing it, including the lyrics that I never memorized after hearing the same song for years.  When we went to see Oliver Twist a few weeks ago, I later heard him singing several of the songs.  Not only was I impressed because that play was his first exposure to it, but also because he was singing more of the lyrics than I knew - and I'd been singing along as we watched it!  Another example is when he recently shared with me a conversation/dialogue from a tv show he'd watched at his friend's house.  The back and forth between the two characters lasted a good 5 minutes and Brennan just recounted the whole thing without skipping a beat.  "And then the girl said... and then the boy said...  And then she..."  The downside of this is that he picks up things he shouldn't, and doesn't even know it may be inappropriate.  Brian and I have to be super careful now to pay attention to radio songs' messages where we used to not pay attention.  Same thing with background shows on the tv.  Brennan picks up everything.

Alright, so that's a start.  I love my Brenny so very much.  I'm thankful for the joy he brings into my life and the love he so freely shares with me.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Parenthood is Hard Work

Trying to capture Hollyn making faces at Daddy.  Didn't work out though
Watching a video of her cousin James laughing
And she wants to watch it again
 Well, it's been busy lately.  I had a lot going on last week, which was spring break, which included lots of stuff on my mind, such as Mom's health, Kelly's pregnancy announcement and Shannon having her baby. (Yay!)

On Friday morning we headed out for a vacation to the great and exciting city of Portland.  I know, we didn't go far, but it was something.  I got us a stay at a nice-enough hotel and let the boys know about its indoor pool.  They were immediately sold. :-)  So we arrived shortly after lunch time, and immediately headed for the train, which we rode into Downtown.  The boys liked the tall buildings (as do I).  We ate an early dinner and then browsed Powell's Bookstore.  (A very large, and very old store of new and used books.)  Each kid picked out a book to purchase.  Then we rode the train back to the hotel.  At that point we finally hit that swimming pool which had been talked about near constantly by the boys all week.  Late night McDonald's in our room summed up a fun and tiring day.

*Fun Fact: Our suite included a half-height wall between the beds and a sitting area.  Perfect place to put Hollyn's porta-crib.  Or so I thought.  She quickly discovered, using the loveseat nearby, she could easily climb in and out of the crib at will.  After lights out and everyone else was in bed, and she STILL kept wandering out and touching us in the darkness, I had to move her crib. :-)

 Saturday morning we enjoyed a continental breakfast, then headed for the Zoo.  It was a B-U-tiful day, so it seemed perfect.  We passed a sign on the highway saying the zoo parking lot was full and to use the shuttle parking.  So we followed those signs and wandered around that parking lot for 20 minutes before giving up.  It was full too.  I saw some kids with Easter baskets, so I'm thinking there must have been an activity going on.  Plus the perfect weather...  Anyway, it was clearly going to be a zoo there (hahaha) so we drove out and didn't look back.  We ended up at OMSI instead.  There, we were told that they'd had a ton of visitors all week (spring break, remember?) but that day, thanks to weather, they weren't too crowded at all.  Yes!  It was perfect.  I mean, there were people, but we never needed to wait for more than a minute - if that - to have a turn at any of the activities.  We all had a BLAST trying out robots and holding dry ice bubbles and exploring all parts of the museum.  Brian took the boys on the submarine tour while Hollyn and I played in the "science playground" (a closed-door area where younger kids specifically can wander and play.  Giant sandbox, water-fountain activities, etc.)

We spent ALL day at OMSI and were quite exhausted by the time we left.  But it was SO fun.  In hindsight, the zoo would have been a worse choice.  First of all because it was apparently super crowded, but also because Hollyn would have gotten bored and fussy.  At OMSI she could touch and play with things the entire time, so missing her nap was not the disaster it could have (and would have, at the zoo) been.

Where should we go next?

In the submarine

Fun views from within the museum

So yeah, we got home Saturday evening.  After getting kids to bed, I got busy making a dessert for the next day, Brian made a quick trip to the store, we cleaned the living room, filled some plastic eggs, hid all the eggs, and set up their Easter baskets.  Whew.  We were beat by the time we got to bed around midnight.

Easter Sunday morning (yesterday) I got up early, we found the eggs, delighted over the gifts from the Easter bunny, and I got the ham started.  I didn't make the 8:15 choir practice, but can you blame me?  I did join the performance during sacrament meeting though.  And THAT was a feat.

As soon as we sat down in the chapel, Asher started coughing.  And coughing, and coughing.  His asthma had started up.  Since I knew I'd be singing, I asked Brian if he'd take Asher home and administer the inhaler after I was done with that.  Well, we didn't perform until Sacrament meeting was almost over.  But I immediately sent Asher out to Dad in the foyer, Dad brought Hollyn back in to me (she was such a pill all day - probably thanks to having eaten mostly chocolate for breakfast), and I had to take Hollyn back out 30 seconds later.  That left Brenny sitting all alone for the remainder of sacrament meeting.  Thank goodness for tablets.  He was on it and never budged as far as I could tell when I got back after the closing prayer.  The rest of church was good.  For the 3rd hour the bishopric put together a really nice presentation including a couple of videos, singing primary songs, and sharing their testimonies.  The entire ward was invited, kids and all.  Which meant I had Hollyn again (Brian had to work the media stuff) and spent most of THAT in the foyer again.  Oh well.  I got to hear it, anyway.

After church, I got cookin'.  I made another dessert, and some mashed potatoes.  Brian decided he wanted to enjoy the sunshine on the porch, which meant we ended up cleaning off the porch.  Whew.  Then woke up Hollyn, and carted all the foods and everything to Mom and Dad's house for Easter dinner.

Because Mom is still recovering from her ileostomy surgery, she wasn't really involved in the planning of any of this, and hung out upstairs in fact the entire time.  So I, Dad, and Devon patched this all together around Shannon having her baby, me being gone, and Dad spending his time taking care of Mom and having some office remodeling done during the break.  Man, SUCH a busy time for all of us!  Anyway, the meal was good.  We had some additional guests, Dad filled some Easter eggs and had Brian hide them in the backyard, so the kids got to have a fun outdoor egg hunt.  Wasn't that so cool and nice of Dad to do?!?  We were enjoying the visit, but Asher started coughing again.  Bad.  Like to the point of almost vomiting.  I tried to assure everyone it was just his asthma.

But the poor kid kept going downhill.  He was weeping and wailing.  He wanted to lie down.  He panicked that he HAD to eat, and cried out "I NEED SOMETHING HEALTHY.  I NEED A CARROT!"  He was leaning over the back of the armchair.  He started looking like he was about to fall asleep or pass out.  Basically, getting a little delirious.  During most of this, I had sent Brian home to grab the inhaler.  When Brian got back with it and we gave Asher a couple puffs, he immediately started acting better.  His breathing was still labored, but his mood improved about 90% at least.  It occurred to me by the time I saw him with his eyes drooping, that we'd done this before.  After an extended episode that wasn't getting completely better with just the inhaler, I'd taken him into the Dr.'s and he was almost sent right to the hospital because his oxygen levels were too low.  He had been acting just like that.  In fact, at that time he'd actually fallen asleep on the table waiting for the nebulizer to be brought.

I also remembered that he'd been given a special steroid for the nebulizer, so we headed home and I saw that we still had some.  We gave it to him right away.  But his breathing didn't sound much better.  At that point, I approached Brian with the idea that perhaps he should be taken to the ER.  (Since he almost had been last time).  Brian, in his wisdom, called the Dr.'s office instead.  After discussing things with the on-call Dr., we were given a prescription for an oral steroid (which he'd also taken last time but I didn't have any more) and Brian went BACK out to pick that up.  Overall he made 3 trips yesterday for Asher's asthma!  Anyway, things are being much better controlled now.  He'll have to continue these steroids for 2 weeks, plus use the regular albuterol as needed.  All in all, another exhausting day.  In a row.

Today I am so very tired.  Of course, don't let that stop Hollyn from getting chocolate all over the house (including getting a hold of scissors and chopping up a candybar into small melting pieces and getting it all over the stairs).  And definitely don't let that stop her from pooping on the floor in the boys' bedroom and smushing it into the carpet.  I don't even want to know if that was the poop or more chocolate surrounding her mouth at the time of that incident.

I need a post-vacation VACATION!