Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baby girl

Photo taken a few weeks ago


I want to remember the night we had. You couldn't stop throwing up. It was your first time ever, so you were nothing but confused and alarmed. Your body shook and strained and I held you, cleaned you, and said inaudible things in calming tones. It's the tones you remember deep in your subconscious, not the words. Just like this night. It will sink in somewhere but you will not remember.

I worried about you. I rocked you, your body wrapped around the circumference of my massive belly, your cheek against the skin of my arm. I checked methodically with my hand on your forehead for possible fever. I stared down at you while you slept, tried to remember you being any smaller than you are. I couldn't, really. Your chest rose and fell and after a few minutes you stirred and I grabbed another towel. What do we really want when we're sick anyway? Someone to be there with us. Look at us, acknowledge our suffering. I tried to do that for you while the rest of the house slept.

You'll be the youngest for another two weeks maybe. We adore you, we tease you, drive you crazy, inspect the way you run down the hallway, hair disheveled, diaper sagging. You amaze us, no matter what the milestone.

The first time you see your little sister, it won't make sense. You'll be delighted, but you won't know. You won't know until you're five or six, until you're ten, until you're twenty, what an amazing blessing a sister is. She will be there for you and will be part of our gift to both (all) of you.

But remember, the specific tug you give my heart will always be there. Never to be replaced or lessened.

Love you Lills. And all your crazies.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My View-- 38 weeks.

Holy moly is the first thing that comes to my mind.

The last weeks of pregnancy is a journey of self discovery that you can't fully share with anyone. You are trapped inside your brain. The one that you used to depend on. Now there's a team of people inside your head playing laser tag:

When will I be done being pregnant-I don't know-I can't last another day-Yes you can-I don't even know myself anymore-I'm huge-The baby has hiccups again-My skin is stretchy-Everything hurts-Why won't the other children let me be-My husband is no longer funny-Not at all-I can't wait to meet her tiny face-Will I make it to the hospital-What am I forgetting-Charge the video camera-Make a thousand lists-Be ready for the pain-Try to act sane-Pay attention when people talk to you-

I complain. And then I realize how incredibly lucky I am. And I try to let that sink in. Because I am. So. Lucky.

The anticipation is killing me (mentally and physically). And if I avoid mirrors I have a way better day.

Sunday Photos

The chaos and beauty of the weekend could be summed up in these photos of the girls snuggling in our bed on Sunday afternoon.

They are our riches.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ma's here.

My mom is visiting this week from California. She brings baby dolls and books for the girls. Mom used to read to us. And I don't mean she read, I mean she really read! Charlotte's Web, The Christmas Carol, Little Women, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Chronicles of Narnia, Ann of Green Gables.

When she opens a book, her voice lifts and flows and she does all the voices. The animals, the people, the accents, she does them all. It's amazing. And now my girls are equally amazed by her reading.

I love having her here. Down to the freckles on her hands, she is my mama.

Monday, April 19, 2010


It's warming up. Moving here in January, I didn't know if this would ever occur. And truthfully, I still don't trust it.

But I'll take it. We're eating otter pops in 70 degree weather. It's amazing how much weather changes your mood and lifestyle.

I think I'm a person again. I'm wearing a t-shirt.

There is a baby's shoulder nestled tightly inside the curve of my hipbone. Our bones gently knock together as I walk. Just something I live with on a daily basis. Something that's called "normal". But when you think about it... it's pretty crazy. So human, such a miracle...

And may I add, 9 months is a very long time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Last fading light of day, after a bath, helping her put her socks on in front of her bedroom window. She took my breath away.

Her skin, the way it plumps and pulls across the bones of her face. I've never stopped staring.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

36 weeks: Welcome to the watermelon patch.

(Thanks Jake for the photo)
Oh little one,

I find myself day dreaming about you. What the color of your heels are. Pink, or a deeper purple? Will your lips have those faint lines dividing them in cross-sections, or will they just be plump and red? Will your hair stick up off your head, or will you be a baldy?

I can't believe it was thanksgiving, and I felt your little feathery movements for the first time. How small you must have been! Almost transparent.

I think your nose bridge will be flatter than Lills and your forehead will be too. At least that's what I get from the ultra sounds.

I think your fingernails will be long (unless you come early). I think you'll start smacking your lips and tongue within 10 minutes of birth. Ready to eat. You'll do that shaky newborn thing while they weigh you like you're summoning the masses with your arms and legs. You'll hate your first sponge bath.

Or maybe you won't?

We really don't know. But I want to know everything now. What does your beautiful face look like? Who will you remind me of? I can't wait to see you.

Until then.

Take it easy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Photos

I talked to my dad yesterday and in the middle of the conversation I asked him if it ever surprised him that his children turned into real people. I have a life, an opinion, a view on the world. He said it did surprise him and went on to say that it was encouraging when he realized that his kids were all smarter than him. It made him feel like he did something right.

I wonder about those days to come when they will all question and contradict our opinions and views. When they'll have momentum and huge, complicated plans. They'll be real people then, and I'll still be me, watching it all happen.

I hope they still want to hear what I say. I hope they want to settle their head into my collar bone, just for a minute. Just to feel safe again. I hope they laugh at my jokes and get mad and tell me off like they do now. It makes me feel like things are open. Like there are no secrets. I like that. It will change and morph, but I never want them to shut off or shut me out. It will break my heart.

For today, they are wonderful. Grace's black hair is like a magnet, I can't stop touching and looking at it. Her lips curve while she talks and she's tall and beautiful. She is funny. Says all kinds of snarky things. Ruby is a little leaf. She's facing some changes herself, going into kindergarten in August. She's a tease. She's sensitive. She cries all the time. She cracks us up.

Lillie rules our world. But she's funny and runs everywhere and has been naked a lot today. She has an extremely heightened sense for bathroom humor and when she has a loud episode in her diaper in the corner of the living room, she jerks her head toward us all sitting there, throws her head back, and laughs at herself. Oh, her spirit is jumpy and strong and we adore her. Even when she holds us hostage.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

A few things.

Cranberry Slushie from Sonic. Such a better alternative to going out to the backyard for a handful of fresh snow. When your baby is taking all the water you drink and using it to fill your massive internal balloon, you get reallll thirsty.

Went to the DMV with all three children and belly at approximately 4pm. Grace fell off the counter, Lillie was eating fishie crackers off the floor and almost escaped out the exit while I was trying to register my car. I had to run (not a pretty sight) after her with a village worth of Utahns staring at me in their seats. Why did I leave the stroller in the garage??? Then they all had to use the bathroom on the way out, which was pretty nasty by the way. And Lillie hit her head on the bathroom door jam. All together, a pretty eventful day.

We got a regular bed for Lills and I set up the crib in our room for the new baby just today. As I was in the opposite room rocking Lillie for her nap, I gazed through the cracked door and saw Grace sitting on the edge of my bed, cradling a teddy bear. She was gently rocking it. After a minute, she got up slowly and laid her teddy in the crib. As she walked out of the room, she got my eye and gave me a smirk. What a girl.

What is it about washing baby clothes and folding them? And newborn blankets? And buying little tiny diapers and even little nose suckers and nail clippers. And the most beautiful butterfly crib sheet. Baby obsession continues.

Monday, April 05, 2010

What's coming up.

Today I'm posting this photo because it represents something. Me, looking down on Lills. Not able to squat any longer. Normally, I get down on her level anytime I'm taking her photo, but that time has passed. It is very hard for me to come out of a squat. I usually have to go onto one knee and use a hand to push off the ground. I'm just sayin', times are changing.

Our Easter was wonderful. All about General Conference and greed. The greed part being, "We hid some candy eggs in the yard, go outside and find as many as you can. Then, pig out. Ready, set, go." The General Conference part was nice, including making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, distributing snacks and breaking up fights, and in the interim, catching a few quotes here and there. I kept reminding myself to really go back and read certain talks. It's the only way.

Almost all of my siblings were here at my house. Naomi and her husband came from Rexburg, ID, Miriam and her husband, Jared and his wife, Gideon and his wife, Hannah and her husband and my neice, Kayla. Bethany, my little sister who's in High School drove out from California with some friends for conference and spent the day with us here. We were only missing Isaac and Rachel. It was a blast. There was at least one uncle or aunt drawing or doing art with the girls all day long. And Lills was very entertained. And I think I ate virtually all day (and into the night, shhhh).

I have become a shell of the intellectual I used to be. Don't ask me any questions that aren't related to childbirth or a baby. I won't be able to properly represent the brain that's inside me somewhere. Even during conference talks, when hearing about mothers and children and leading and guiding, my hand finds its way to rest gently on my belly. Another little child coming to us.

5 more weeks. And today's almost over, so that means I'll have 4 weeks and 6 days (give or take). Not that I'm counting. This impending baby is the only thing I can think about. It has consumed me. One minute she's got the hiccups, the next I'm trying to scoot her foot around the outside of my belly. I picture her, think about her back and her head and her legs and all the others.

I think about labor. I'm a little nervous, given my history with Lillie being born 2 minutes after I arrived at the hospital. It's just the one thing that I thought I'd have so much control over but after Lills realized it can go a little awry. So I'm excited for her to come. She could be born today and I would be overjoyed, ready, happy, relieved. But in the back of my mind lies the dormant memory of the terrifying pain and euphoric joy that comes from birthing.

It's an interesting irony. But will be beautiful no matter what.