Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Pictures

I forgot my camera when we went to Jessie's house for the annual family Easter party.

So Brother was in charge.

It was so fun to see him taking pictures of everyone.

His cousins, Jman, MrT, and LittleB had fun with his iPod camera too. It was so neat to see them all playing together. I can't believe technology these days. I can't fathom being able to have a video camera and a camera all to myself to have fun with... wow! Kids are so spoiled now-a-days!

Here, are a couple of Brother's MANY pics:

Looks like Yaya is saying "ya-ya."
Oh, and here is Aaron's poop that he put in one of the Easter eggs.... OK, it's not really poop. He rolled up a tootsie roll and stuck it in there. Bwa ha ha ha!! I thought it was very funny, especially the fact that Brother got it. He opened it and said, in his silly way, "Very funny people!" (smile)

The next day, Easter Sunday, Brother got up bright and early before church and we found our Easter baskets.

This is what Baby looked like when we woke her up for church.

Now that is some Easter hair!

After church we had an Easter egg hunt at Marc's parents:

Brother got the Golden Egg that had 2 dollar bills in it! He is still trying to decide what to do with his $4.87 that he got... I told him to save up.

Grandpa Gary was showing Sister how to jump through hoops... tee hee!

It was a great Easter weekend full of fun activities, and learning about what Easter is truly celebrating.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Highlights and Lows

This is the best I have to show you for now, just a picture from my computer cam. It isn't drastic, but I LOVE it!!!! It is just the thing I needed. Not to mention, I REALLY enjoyed having 2 hours of me time. Ahh. It was fantastic. 
Baby wanted to get in on the action. Man, I love that girl.

This is her hugging my face. 

So later on that day, after the kids got home from school, I left my sick husband to rest while I took the kids to my mom's house for fun.

Grandpa James had told Brother about a toy horse barn that Grandma Judy got at a yard sale. Brother has been anxious to see it.

Well, it is a pretty awesome toy barn. Wow! So of course after my mom saw Brother's reaction she just had to let him have it. I really wish she would have let me see it first so that I could have saved it for Christmas... it is that cool.

Anyway, just before we were leaving my mom's house my sister, Kirsten, called. She wanted me and my parents to be on the phone to talk to her.

I knew why.

You see, Kirsten has been waiting for the test results to find out if her little Melly (nickname) has Fragile X Syndrome or is a carrier.

I think I have been worrying/thinking more about it that they have... maybe. You see, when you are the first person in your family to find out that your family genetics carry a syndrome you feel like it's all your fault, as if after you, anyone else who has children affected by it, it is because you found out about it first.

The blood test takes 4 weeks to get results.

Every time Kirsten would call me with a question about Melly I would try to stay calm but, all the while analyzing whether or not that certain trait might be a FXS thing or a "normal" thing.

So when she wanted to talk to all three of us at once I knew what she was going to tell us about.

The test results.

I knew before she said it, because I didn't hear any tears or worry.

Just relief.

"We got the results back today for the Fragile X test and she is not a carrier and she does not have the full mutation," Kirsten informed us.

We all at once shouted with joy and celebration.

Immediately after hearing that, Brother ran in with bright eyes and a big smile and said, "Does she have Fragile X like me?"

My first thought was, "How did he know we were talking about Melly's results?" and my second reaction was, "Oh no, did he just hear us celebrating that she doesn't have Fragile X?"

I calmly told him, "No, Brother, Melly does not have Fragile X Syndrome like you."

He responded with a very disappointed look on his face and said "NO!"

I guess with our celebration he thought we were laughing or maybe it was his way of dealing with it, but, he kept telling Grandma Judy that it wasn't funny.

I wanted to cry but, I couldn't.

I was happy for Kirsten to not have this challenge to face.

I was sad for Brother that he wouldn't have that common ground with Melly that he always thought he would have. Even from the very start he has been so drawn to Melly... he must have known the possibility of her having FXS like him.

After I got off the phone so that I could talk to him and console him he looked at me and said, "But, mom isn't Kirsten a carrier?"

I was amazed that he even caught onto this.

He is SO MUCH SMARTER than I sometimes realize.

We explained to Brother that he, Sister and Baby were the only ones in the family who had this special trait. He seemed to be OK to know he was so special that there was only 3 of them in the family.

I am starting to cry while I am typing this.

I don't really know why.

Maybe there was a small part of me that wanted Kirsten to be able to fully understand and relate to my world. But, I feel awful for thinking that. And then I feel awful for thinking that it is awful to want someone to have a child with Fragile X Syndrome.

I LOVE my kids with all my heart and wouldn't change them for anything.

Even if I would have known before they were born I would NEVER have terminated the pregnancy. I know there is a reason why they are here.

But, I will tell you, while you are the one in the middle of it all, it is very hard.

I am so blessed to have the opportunity to have these 3 children in my life. I can only hope that they feel blessed having me in their lives.

It's hard.

It's one of those bittersweet moments.

I am SO HAPPY for Kirsten, yet, so sad for Brighton.

I know he will move on and forget about it and it will never be any major issue again.

I guess, for me, I will never forget the moment of seeing his sad look when he realized that his cousin wasn't like him.

Really, in all this, I do hope my children know, or will one day know, that we are all the same.

We are all children of God.

He loves us no matter what.

And if we know that... well, we know a lot.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's been 2.5 years

Ya, I know those of you who sit behind me at church, I am sure, have noticed, but it has been 2 and a half years since I have been to a stylist/professional to get my hair cut... and longer than that since I have had my hair colored.

Oh, the humanity.

Now, mind you, I have been trimming my own hair and coloring at home.

Something in me this week snapped and I decided that I needed to be pampered... so I chose to have my hair cut and colored by someone else.

I debated, seriously, wacking all my hair off like I did years ago—if you don't believe me check out the pictures to the right----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------}

I even thought about blond again... (you can see that on the right too--it was even red once)

But, I have decided I will keep it long (only because I think it is my only source of confidence these days) and I will let the stylist decide on the color. Maybe I'll do some layers or something.

I am so excited for my 2 hours of complete ME time.

Getting my hair washed. Having it styled and done by someone while I sit and laugh and enjoy talking about things that I usually would only tell a psychologist... poor stylists... they really have to have a listening ear. Either that, or just be really uncomfortable with total silence.

Oh, and to end off with I was enjoying watching Sister read books to her imaginary class tonight in the kitchen. She would read upside down so that the "class" could see the pictures and then after she was done "reading" she would hold the book out further and show it around to "everyone" so they all could see. It was so adorable. I told her that she would be such a great teacher when she grows up.

She was ignoring me.

I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up.

She replied, "I don't want to grow up. I'm fine."

Ya, I felt that way to.

Still do.


Oh, and a picture, just because I like this one of Sister and Brother...

just because

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Product Review

Remember my "cami secret," or close cousin of the mock turtleneck. If you don't you can click here and then read on.

Well, I have to say I love them. They have been great! I can wear my v-neck t-shirts with no worries.

But, I learned today that when a toddler gets all wound up while at the doctor for a well check-up a v-neck is never a good idea—especially with a mock cami.

Let me 'splain why:
When you are trying to hold a writhing baby down so that her ears can be checked and her feet are pointing towards your chest, her feet will inevitably land in the path of least resistance.

While you are holding the child you are concentrated on them, not your clothing.

It isn't until after you get them calmed down that you realize you have a wardrobe malfunction.
Hopefully the pediatrician didn't notice... course, maybe he reads my blog... hmm... oh well, a picture seems to be better for some odd reason.

I am glad to be able to laugh about this because I found out tonight that Baby will be getting tubes in her ears... bummer.

But, again, on the upside, at 18 months she is 22.1 pounds and 32 inches long.
And with the tubes we are hoping for speech improvement and better balance while she walks.

Dog Meat

I promise the title to this post will eventually make sense.

So last Friday we went on a little adventure. No specific plans in mind, just driving, friends and family and food. It started at about 10am as we drove west to a desert I have never been to before so that we could go hunting for geodes. It was about a 100 mile drive from our house but we made a few stops along the way.

We were waiting for our friends so we waited at this look out point. I laughed when I saw the picture Marc had taken of the lookout sign. I think it should have said "Lookout for Birds!!"

Brother was having fun just exploring and getting his picture taken.

Our friends met up with us and then we were off again on the old Pony Express Trail. Along the way we saw a very small herd of wild mustangs. They were very far away so I didn't get any pictures, but, I think that Brother will always have a picture of it in his mind. He was so excited he couldn't stop talking about the rest of the day. It was really amazing seeing those horses run uphill without slowing down in the slightest. Wow!

Then we stopped for lunch at the Pony Express Station (replica).

Baby, Sister and Brother were happy to be out of the car and walking around and exploring the landscape and the building. In fact, Baby was having so much fun running around she didn't want to stop to eat.

After lunch we decided to venture out to the Geode Beds........................... holy cow! That was a long drive. It is amazing when you are in a desert with only mountains to mark the way how long the drive seems. Yet, it was quite beautiful all at the same time.

Brother was so excited to dig for geodes. Sister didn't mind diving right in herself.

We didn't find anything, but we hope to go back again and take more time to look. We were ready to move on to our next adventure.

We said goodbye to our friends and headed out.

On our way out we saw a family with a flat tire. We stopped and asked if they needed help and they said that they were good to go, so we drove on. Then a few miles and antelope later...

we saw another family along the side of the road with a flat tire. It was a mom with 5 kids and she was so thankful to have the help. She had called her brother, though, who wasn't far behind us and he was on his way to help. When they approached we recognized the family as the other ones who were on the side of the road with a flat tire. The lady was surprised to see us again and said thank you for stopping twice. What are the odds that two people travelling in the same caravan end up with flat tires.

Then, we were on our way, again.

We met up with my aunts, uncles and cousins on the far opposite side of the desert at the sand dunes.

We didn't know how we were going to find them but, miraculously, we did! We had fun playing in the sand, eating food, singing songs, building humongous campfires and teasing my uncle Brad.

The funniest part was when we were eating dinner.

There were three dogs there that were the family's dogs. There was BBQ beef in several containers on the table for our sandwiches. My cousin's husband, Jed, saw that one of the dogs had taken down one of the containers of meat and was eating it. We were all whooping and hollering and laughing and Jed saved the container from the dog and then set it back on the table...


"Jed, get it off the table!" we all exclaim. We all laughed. He just wasn't thinking. He took it into the trailer to be washed.

Then a little bit later I look over and Baby has grabbed another container of meat and is chowing down on it, sitting on the sand just eating away. She must have learned from the dogs. (I'm just hoping that Jed really did put that container in the trailer or my daughter may have been eating dog meat. Ew.)

I didn't get a picture of her until I had set her in a camp chair but it was still funny. And she ate the whole thing.

I brought stuff for dutch oven peach cobbler and made that for everyone.

I had to laugh though that while I was using one side of the fire pit to cook the dutch oven my uncle kept stoking up a big bonfire just on the other side of the fire pit. But, hey, the dutch oven still turned out great.

And to top the night off, my Aunt Aleesa gave Brother a ride on the four-wheeler around the campground. My aunt said he was screaming "woo hoo!" in her ear the whole time!

Man, I wish I had the enthusiasm he has! So cute! I also wish that I would have gotten a picture of him but I was busy changing a diaper when they drove past.

We got home that night around 10:30pm. (and the kids actually did really well considering their change in bed time routine)

Wew! 12 hours of adventure.

Can't wait for the next one!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Empowering Words

I am excited to post pictures from our adventures on the Friday of Spring Break (hopefully tomorrow I will get those up).

But first, this past weekend we had Stake Conference.

This one was extra special because we were able to hear Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak. He spoke at 4 different sessions. The first one was for the priesthood leadership. The second one was for the adults 18 and over in the Stake. The third one was for the youth, ages 12-18 and their leaders and the last one was for everyone to attend. Marc was privileged to be able to attend all 4 sessions! I was trying not to be frustrated or sad that I couldn't go to the adult session because I was working with Sister on a new medicine. Anyway, I am grateful, though, that I was able to attend the last session.

And that was a task. I didn't know if my kids would even be able to handle it. I was so proud of them. Lynne helped with Sister and only took her out to the foyer the last 30 minutes. I realized about 20 minutes into the beginning that I had forgotten Brother's meds so Marc went home to get them --better late than never. So, basically, Brother didn't have the help of and medication and he still did really well.

Now, let me explain; to me, as a Mormon, seeing Elder M. Russell Ballard, an apostle, right in front of me at my own church house was quite amazing. It's not often we get to have this privilege. So, I was hanging on his every word (at least what I could focus on between Baby's needs). But, I wasn't the only one listening to every word he said. Brother was so intrigued and would make comments to me every so often about what Elder Ballard would say. It made me smile and cry at the same time that Brother felt the spirit and was able to sit and listen intently to his words, and I definitely think that it was the spirit he felt keeping him there, because the meds weren't a help at this point, yet.

There were a few times when I felt Elder Ballard looked right at me (I was sitting in the front row) and I felt as though he spoke directly to me. It was powerful.

I won't quote anything he said other than a little joke after the final session was over.

Now, everyone wants to be able to shake and Apostle's hand when the opportunity presents itself, but, there was a VERY packed church and he needed to make it to another appointment and needed to rush out. He stood up and told everyone to raise their right hand. He did also. Then he told everyone to shake their hand in the air. He did also. Then he said, "Now all of you can say you shook hands with an Apostle." We all got a good laugh. He had a great sense of humor, humility and guidance. It was amazing.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sister's Antics

Sister has quite the sneaky side to her. I often catch her with my phone trying to text people. Every once in a while she is successful at it and I will get a call or text from my sister or aunt wondering what I needed. I would be confused until I had remembered that Sister had my phone at some point throughout the day.

Well, my mom called me today and was laughing and thought that I had texted her a message just to be goofy.

Here's what it said and the pictures that were sent along with it:


I am amazed that she has now figured out how to text and send pictures with the message... I also love the pictures she chose to send. Aw. 

Then tonight she was supposed to be in bed asleep. When I opened the door to check in on her I heard the rush of her covers and saw that she had quickly pulled them up over her head. I swiftly walked over to see what kind of mischief she was hiding—tearing a book, playing on Brother's iPod, playing with my phone... any one of the norms. 

I let out a burst of laughter when I pulled back the covers to find her dressed up with her cowgirl chaps over her Snow White pajamas holding a Star Wars light saber. It just really made me chuckle.

If you want to see Brother's sense of humor I updated his blog, here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bouncing Baby Girl

Baby loves the trampoline. She mostly likes to walk on it, but when Sister lightly bounces her she really giggles. (And yes she does have something falling out of her mouth.. maybe bread. I don't really know, she stuffs her mouth and saves some for later... it's a sensory thing.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An orange, a baby burrito and an old suit

No, it wasn't date night.

And, no, we didn't go latin dancing.

We were just hanging out at my mom's.

It's always interesting at Judy's house.

Apparently Baby found the oranges and decided to dig right in.

After I peeled it, she started snarfing it down.

Here is my dad and Aaron's daughter, Yaya, (that's her nickname for the blog, not her real name) just chillin' in front of the computer. Chelsea got her wrapped up all tight like she likes and grandpa worked his magic. He got her to sleep.

We were having fun getting out my dad's old suits. We even got Marc to try his old missionary suit on, the one he bought in Denmark. 1975 bell-bottoms—sweet!

Brother was a bit shy for the picture...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

After the Shark there was the Park and the lady who was a little Stark

"Quit that rhyming and I mean it!"

"Anybody want a peanut?"

Oh, how I love that movie.

OK, onto my post...

Here are some cute park pics.

We had a great time with my sister and her kids. Brother was having a great time with LittleB, Sister and Baby just kind of did their own things.

The only little downer was when we got to the car Brother told me that some lady had said to him, "What's your problem?"

Now I don't know how this was said and what exactly she meant by it but, I am hoping that it was because he had his shoe stuck in the slide, or something like that, and she was asking what the problem was so she could help him. But, I have a feeling that she was just NOT a very nice lady, and Brother took it that way as well.

Hmmm. If you are one of those people (and I hope you are not) that wonders what somebody's "problem" is, maybe it is you who has the "problem"... just food for thought.