Sunday, May 5, 2013

True Parental Confessions

All moms know this: being a mommy is hard sometimes. It's partly because we don't get advance notice about what is going to happen with our children each day. Wouldn't it be nice to have a memo waiting for you each morning, outlining all the things that will come up that day? Sort of like that orange juice commercial where the person gets a rundown of all the tough things they are going to deal with that day.

I've cried more than once during the last few days, and I've said a lot of prayers. To keep it simple: my baby has been sick (with two separate illnesses) and my husband is gone on another business trip. These two situations seem to coincide on a regular basis. 

However. I've come to understand that all parents go through tough times, and those tough times make us stronger, wiser individuals. (For example: I finally figured out a mommy wrestling hold that allows me to give Ella her medication by myself without having her promptly eject it from her mouth. She is a wily one!

I thought about a certain scripture often this week:

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Sometimes I read it like this:

Ether 12:27 And if parents come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto parents weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all parents that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

This scripture gives me hope. These tough experiences help me learn and grow, and hopefully become a better mommy to my baby girl. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013


You know the people in your life that you love being around? The ones that make you feel comforted, loved, accepted, validated, and important all at the same time? The ones who listen attentively when you talk with them, who talk with you and not at you? Instinctively, you know you can trust and rely on them if needed? To add a cherry on top, they make you laugh when you are sad? 

My grandpa was/is one of those people in my life. He passed away last Thursday after battling cancer for a long time.  There is a hole in my heart now that he is gone, but when I think about him, that hole is instantly filled with love, gratitude, and happy memories of him. I felt his presence in his home after he died, I felt his presence at his funeral, and I can still feel his love from beyond the grave.  

One of my most recent memories of Grandpa involved Ella. Grandpa was a very tall man, and his hands were gargantuan. Whenever a new grandchild or great-grandchild was born, he'd always put his thumb next to their forearm. Inevitably, his thumb would be the same size or longer than the baby's forearm. We took Ella to see him and Grandma when she was one month old. In keeping with tradition, he compared her arm to his thumb, as you'll see in the pictures below:

Several people have mentioned Ella's doll-like features to me. I think she looks especially doll-like in the first picture, a petite baby in the lap of her very tall, large-framed great-grandfather. The second picture clearly shows his long thumb, which trumps Ella's forearm in length, and is almost the same width. (Thankfully, she has gotten a lot bigger since these photos were taken).

Every time I look at these pictures, I smile and tear up at the same time. I am blessed to have had my wonderful grandpa in my life for more than three decades. Thankfully, I will have many fond memories of him to think about until the future day when I'll see him again.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cucumber Carcass Graveyard

Last year, D and I created our very first raised box gardens. He built the boxes and filled them with rich soil (you know, the special kind for box gardens that is literally full of little golden specs of vermiculite that sparkle in the sunlight) while I tried my hand at sprouting plants from seeds. We ended up growing onions, broccoli, three different types of tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, arugula, spinach, strawberries, honeydew melons, watermelons, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, green beans and three types of pumpkins. About half of these plants were grown from seed, and some were purchased as plants at the store. It was an exciting endeavor for both of us as first-time box gardeners.

I vaguely remember hearing an expert recommend that first time gardeners should only grow a few things. Only a few things? Ha! Why only grow onions, peppers and tomatoes? Go big or go home, I said, even though my box gardens were already at home. Go big AT home, I guess.

We didn't take into account one little detail, which was still extremely small at the time, but it progressively got larger while the plants in our garden grew. Ella. I was pregnant and due to deliver my baby around the end of August or the first part of September. Harvest season.

The plants in our garden LOVED that golden soil. A lot. Especially the cucumbers. They gobbled up those nutrients, became monster plants, took over the garden box they were in and extended beyond it. I couldn't keep up with all the cucumbers that were being churned out of my little box garden. We gathered some up, but soon began piling them up next to the garden box, where they were forgotten when Ella was born.

Honestly, after the baby came the entire garden was almost completely forgotten and ignored (except for the pumpkin patch, which produced prodigious amounts of squash). Then winter came, Ella did not sleep for long periods at night for several months, and we traveled for work. We occasionally glanced at our treasured garden, but did not have the energy to do anything more.

Yesterday I started cleaning up the garden boxes, and that is when I discovered shriveled cucumber carcasses strewn all over the garden boxes and the bark surrounding them. Poor cucumbers. So much goodness gone to waste last year. The happy news is: some of our plants are still alive! The onions, strawberries and kale are still going strong.

This year we will not put vine-y plants in our box gardens. Those will be relegated to a spot along the fence where they can climb and expand without railroading other plants along the way. Also, we will only have one cucumber plant, not four or five. It's going to be a good gardening year. I can feel it. Bring on the plants!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Little Girl

I decided a while ago that my baby's blogosphere name would be Ella, but I haven't actually mentioned it to anyone else yet. Without further ado, dear blogosphere, meet "Ella:"

These pictures are from her photography session at Fotofly last week. They did a marvelous job taking her picture, and she was a very patient subject.

Babies are most certainly people magnets, and Ella is no exception. Strangers are drawn to her wherever we go. While in the ladies bathroom at the airport a few weeks ago, a woman suggested that I get professional photographs taken of Ella every three months during her first year of life. She said children grow and change so much in that year that it's worth documenting the changes. I'm a bit behind, but I'll probably have professional photos taken of Ella every few months from now until she is a year old. I will also probably post some of them here.

Well, here you are. I hope you enjoyed your pictorial introduction to Ella. She's a keeper. 

The end.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

And the moon shone bright this morning....

Today my baby girl is five months old. FIVE MONTHS...where did they go? This morning as she was playing on the floor with some toys, I left for a brief moment to grab something in another room. When I came back a minute later, she'd kicked off both of her socks and had just about worked her pants off too. Sneaky girl. Happy Five Month Birthday!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reflections of a Pregnant Woman

Here comes the third seems to be healthy and happy so far.

As a pregnant lady, I've found the following items extremely helpful/delightful:

1. My snoogle. It is a C-shaped pillow that D got me for Mother's Day. He's good to me...This pillow makes sleeping with my growing watermelon belly so much more comfortable.

2. Tums Refreshers.
    a. They soothe my heartburn.
    b. They are minty fresh.
    c. Can there be a better combination? I submit that there cannot!

3. Watermelon. I've eaten so much of this that I wonder if I have a watermelon growing in my stomach instead of a baby.
    a. It is sweet.
    b. It is hydrating.
    c. It is crisp and refreshing.

4. Lemon and ginger herbal tea.
    a. It soothes an upset stomach.
    b. It calms acid reflux and heart burn.
    c. When you put ice in it and add a bit of agave nectar, it's quite tasty.

Here's hoping they'll continue to soothe my pregnancy aches and heartburn throughout the summer!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Girl

Our baby is made of sugar and spice and everything nice, if the nursery rhyme is to be believed! We're having a girl!