Friday, October 30, 2009

No More Shots

In the last 6 months I have discovered a new phenomena with Lauren. In July we took her for her 4 year old well check. She got the usual vaccinations. About 30 minutes after we got home she appeared rather pale and green. I laid her down and gave her something to eat and after an hour or so she was back to normal.

A month ago I took her with me to get Noble's shots for his 4 month vaccinations. She and I were playing for a long time in the doctors office. She was excited to see Noble get his shots. After he did and as I was putting him in his car seat she walked out of the office and back to the front. I ran out after her as soon as I got Noble in his seat. She was walking funny like a drunk person and running into things. When I caught up to her she was crying a bit and saying she wanted to go home.

I wondered what was wrong with her? Did she suddenly get tired? By the time we got to the car she was as white as a ghost again -- no color to the lips. I had her lay down in the car and eat a pretzel. She perked up quickly and we were on our way. She told me that she didn't like seeing Noble get his shots because it made her "blind."

Yesterday, while I was feeding Noble breakfast we had Sid the Science Kid on the television. It was a show on getting flu shots. They skipped to a segment showing kids getting shots. Suddenly, Lauren started crying and hiding her face and telling me to turn off the show. I did quickly as I remembered her previous reactions.

I kept trying to get her to show me her face. When she finally did it was rather pale. Then her face got that dreaded look. I lunged to her and pulled her face around to be over the tile instead of the carpet and, as I feared, she lost her breakfast.

I got her in the tub and clean both of us up and she felt much better. She told me she didn't want to watch that show anymore. She said "I don't like shots. Shots make me puke." By the end of her bath she was back to her normal giggly bubbly self.

I am going to have to be more careful, I suppose. I am not sure why this fear or fainting at the sight of shots has come on. She has been with me when I have gone to get my blood drawn when I was pregnant.

Has anyone else out there dealt with this? And if so, how do you deal with it when you do actually have to get a shot or see someone get a shot. Right now this seems like a "quirk" to me. But down the road I can see how this could be a rather big hinderance in your life to not be able to get or see someone else get a shot without fainting or becoming sick.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lauren's Turn

We all take our turns, in our own time and our own way, to process and understand Camille's death. We all take our turns grieving in our own way. Yesterday it was Lauren's turn.

Lauren was so young when Camille died. She was not quite 3 yet. She did not understand death. I spent the first 14 months or so telling her that Camille would not be coming out of the box - not until Jesus comes again - and that may be a very long time from now - she may go see Camille before Camille gets to come back and get her body. It is difficult for a 3 year old to grasp death and the resurrection especially when she is anxious to have her playmate back.

The last few days she has been asking to watch the videos of Camille often. I think she has them memorized now. They comprise nearly all of her memories of Camille. I think apart from the day Camille drowned, Lauren has lost all her memories of her sister. Any memory she recalls now is a quote from a movie or the image from a picture. And so when she wants to see Camille, when she wants to "remember" her sister, I can't refuse her request even if it hard for me to watch with her.

Yesterday she wanted to watch the videos again. I told her she could watch while I went to work out. When I got back she had watched them all through again. I showered quickly and then tried to get her to get ready to go to a party. Suddenly she didn't like her costume. It didn't fit right. I tailored it on the sewing machine to fit her well. She still didn't like it. She felt she looked weird. I assured her she didn't. Daddy assured her she looked just like a doctor should - and a very cute doctor at that. No luck.

We were already 20 minutes late now for the party. I got her in the car and tried to tease her out of her sour mood. We got to the house where the party was and I walked in. She would not follow. I told her to come see the cupcakes. She would not come. She hid behind a pillar outside the door. I told her if she didn't come in we would have to leave. I fully expected she would come. Who wouldn't want to go to a fun Halloween party with her friends? -- Lauren, that's who. She walked back to the car. I told her we were going to leave then. She said okay and got in the car. I was shocked. It was at this point that I thought, "hmmm, this may be about more than the costume."

I took her home. She cried in the car all the way home. Back home she wanted to rock and watch the Camille slideshow again. I asked if she wanted to hold Noble. She did. So I held her and she held Noble and we rocked and watched the slide show of Camille ... again ... and she cried. Then Noble started crying and squirming. Lauren slid out and went to sit on the couch and rock.

I asked if I could come over and hold her. Sobbing she shook her head "No." And then my heart broke. And there, trying to catch her breath between sobs, she sat and watched the video. I held my arms open to her. She would not come. I waited and hurt with her from across the room. I extended my arms further pleading with my eyes for her to come let me hold her and rock her. And then she came. And we rocked. And it was endurable.

The show ended. "Again Mama," she said.

"Do we really have to watch again?" I asked.

"Yes, Mama. I want Camille in our home. Playing it makes Camille in our home. Play it again." And so we played it again -- one more time. She sobbed into her worn blankie with my arms around her tight and she grieved. She still insisted she was only upset about her costume (which she had taken off 30 minutes earlier) but that is the way it is with kids. They don't understand grief enough to recognize it when it hits.

We will have many rounds of grief to experience with our children as they grow and better understand their own loss. And we will let them grieve, just as others have let us grieve, in our own time and our own way. And hopefully they will let me hold them while they grieve, so that it may be more endurable for us both.

3 Nephi 9:14 "Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold the arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy or Sad?

Some days are such a mix of happy and sad that I am not sure which tone to put in my post. I think tonight I will do a post like a black and white cookie. And because I love dessert I will start with the bitter and end with the sweet.


Sometimes the grief is so real, so raw, so present and right there in front of you that it is almost as if you can reach out and touch it. It is as physical as the lump that forms in your throat when you get emotional about something.

Some days, when the grief is right there just out of the reach of my fingertips, I want to grab it and smash it on the ground and the stomp all over the pieces of it. I want to obliterate it. More often lately when it is sitting there in front of me staring me in the face daring me to do what I will with it, I mentally reach out and caress it with tenderness. I let it soak into the fibers of my being and saturate them with the longing and the sorrow ... and the love.

Such a moment was mine last night as I held my little tender hearted Sabrina in my arms as she sobbed with the aching of missing her baby sister. I let the grief in to simmer in my soul and season me with empathy. And in our teary embrace, we found a strength and unity stronger and deeper than we would have had without the grief of loss.

Today Sabrina and I finished reading "The Horse and His Boy" by C. S. Lewis. It is the 3rd book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. I love those books. In this one, Aslan (who is symbolic of Jesus Christ) uses a series of trials to bring people to the places they need to be to become the people they were meant to become. It is frightening and painful for them as he pushes them together and forward, but in the end they see how necessary and wise it was. They see the trial for the blessing it really was.

I believe firmly that this trial is in some way doing that for me. I feel confident that when I look back on my life 50 years from now, I will see this trial as a blessing in disguise. And so though a part of me would like to shred the grief into a million little pieces and scatter them to the wind, instead lately, I opt to treat it as a familiar yet broken friend. And as his visits are so much less frequent now, I open my door and welcome him in.

A Sweet Week

This week is going to be one of those super busy, super fun, work hard, play hard weeks. I am trying not to stress out about it because I really want to enjoy it to the fullest. We have a party every day this week and 2 on Tuesday and Friday. I have a super long do list to have costumes and food and house ready for all these occasions. But, if I can get the work done, the playing time is going to be so memorable and make for such a great week.

So You Think You Can Dance is tomorrow night at 8:30 here at my house. I am making pumpkin squares (one of my favorite seasonal desserts!) Wed. is the church trunk or treat (I am making my favorite chili). Thursday is the school fall festival. Friday is a halloween party at our neighbor's home. And Saturday I am coordinating a huge block party. It is going to be serious fun.

Now off to bed so I can have energy to do my do list tomorrow!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Spontaneous Fun

Friday night Jonathan and I piled the kids into the car and headed off to do some research for Jon's work. He needed to go check out BJ's Restaurant. It is a tough job but somebody's got to do it. On our way there we saw a sign directing traffic for the U2 Concert that was going on that night.

Our good friends had tickets and were going to the show. Jon said casually, "I kinda wish we were going to that concert tonight. I have never seen U2 in concert and I would really like to." I have been to VERY few concerts in my life. But my first and favorite concert experience was U2 when I was a senior in high school. It was a fantastic show with great music.

"Let's do it!" I told Jonathan. I am not much of a concert goer but I love U2's music and I knew Jon would love to see them. I got on my cell phone and called a sitter. I called our friends and found out when the concert started. We ate dinner at BJ's and then picked the sitter up on the way home. We put Noble to bed and headed off on our adventure.

We decided to drive up as close to the stadium as we could to see if there was anybody selling tickets. We found a guy who sole us tickets for 1/5 the face value price (because the concert had officially started almost 2 hours previously). Then we found a parking place a stone's throw from the stadium. We got to our seats about 2 minutes before U2 came on stage.

It was such a fun night for Jon and I. It felt like a REAL date. I don't know why but it isn't every date that I feel like we are on a "date" and not just going out. Does that make any sense? Maybe it was because this was so "young" and spontaneous and out of character for us? I am not sure but it was lots of fun to be with my honey and listen to some great classic tunes.

I think we will have to try being "spontaneous" and out of the box again soon! Have any of you gone on any "fresh" and fun dates with your honey lately? Any one got some good ideas to share?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance

It is that time again! So You Think You Can Dance is back for its first ever fall season. I have watched the auditions and am pretty excited to see how this top 20 turns out. I am thrilled that the producers have decided to do a "meet the top 20" show this time. I think that will help those who didn't get much air time during auditions.

I will be hosting Tuesday night parties to watch the show. I will provide some type of refreshment. I am thinking of alternating between sweet and savory and trying a new recipe every time. Could be a fun adventure that way.

The party starts at 8:30 and we will start the show promptly at 9 p.m. We should be done watching by 10:30 at the latest.

This Tuesday we may watch a few highlights from Monday's Meet the Top 20 show. I won't be able to wait to watch it but we may do highlights for those who miss it.

So if you know me well enough to know where I live, and you love dance or just want some good ladies socialization, come on over on Tuesday to watch the show with us!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Blog Book Came!

It came! It came! Today I got my "rough draft" version of my blog book in the mail. It was so exciting to see it and thumb through all the entries and see all the photos. Now all I have to do is read through it for edits and have a few other eyes do the same. Then I will order a hard copy for myself and each of my children and make the book public to anyone who wants a copy.

I did check on how much of a discount they would give me if lots of people wanted a copy. I can actually get some sort of discount if there are enough people. But even with the discount the book will be about $50 a copy. It is because it is 8 by 10 and has lots of color photos.

But if you do FOR SURE want a copy even if it is $50 or $60, please leave a comment on this post so I can get a count of how many I should order to get the discount. Otherwise, you can still get the book but it will be for the full price. And no worries if no one wants a copy at that price. I know it is a lot. Just thought I would make the offer to buy in bulk for the discount if enough people really wanted it.

Ann Marie started reading it tonight. I asked her what she thought of it after she read a few posts. She said it made her a little sad, because it talked about Camille. I told her she was right. But, I told her, one day I hoped it would be able to remind her of the little sister she has and what this time of our life has been like.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Free Hour

What do you do with yourself when you have a free hour? Let me define "free" here. The kids are all at school. The baby just went down for his morning nap, which should last between one and two hours. Dad is home working so I don't have to stay home with the napping baby. I AM FREE!!!

On the other hand, there are dishes in the dishwasher waiting for me to unload them. There are clean clothes upstairs sorted and folded in baskets waiting for me to put them away (my clothes, not my kids clothes. I make them put their own clothes away). The family room has shoes and cars and pillows on the floor waiting to be picked up and the blankets are waiting to be folded. The floor needs sweeping and mopping. The non perishable groceries I bought this morning need to be put away. There are a few dishes waiting to be done after the dishwasher is emptied. I have been meaning to organize the hall closet for a couple of weeks now. My fridge could use a good cleaning out. There are beds to be made and sheets to change and lots and lots and lots of toys I could put away in the toy room. I could try to fix the vacuum that I broke cleaning out the car this weekend or mend my husbands suit coat that has the lining coming undone. I could clean all the bathrooms. I could organize the garage. I could go buy overhead storage for the garage so I can more effectively encourage my husband to install it.

Or I could blog...

Oh wait I forgot I have sewing class right now! I guess that is where I am spending my "free" hour today!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Swine Flu

Annie has been sick the last 5 or 6 days. It has been the most pleasant illness we have ever experienced with her. Usually when she is sick she refuses to walk and insists on laying on me and moaning the entire time. While there have been dramatic hours like this during this stint, most of the time she has been a pleasure to have around.

I think she has a mild case of the Swine Flu, though I haven't needed to take her to the doctor to confirm. It has been making the rounds and she has all the symptoms, though they are mild. One of our carpool friend got the same symptoms the day after Annie's fever started. Her parents took her to the ER one night because she was having trouble breathing. The doc said it was Swine Flue and gave her medicine. She is doing much better.

I am hoping that this really is the Swine Flu and it has hit us softly. None of my other kids have shown any signs of sickness yet. I guess we will wait and see. And Ann Marie is fever free today and will be back at school tomorrow. I will miss her. She is wonderful to have around. She is the best cleaner helper for me and the most fun play mate for Lauren.

We love you Ann Marie and we are glad you are feeling better!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Grab Bag

When I was a little kid, I remember my mother having a "grab bag" in her closet. If we were really good or did a bunch of extra chores we got to go pick a prize out of the grab bag. It was a thrill to see what treasures she had hidden in there. It was literally a black garbage bag filled with small prizes. We put our hand in and whatever we grabbed was our prize.

I have had a "prize box" in my closet for years now. Usually I have reserved the privilege of picking a prize out of the box as my most desperate form of bribery. This is likely because the prizes in there have been worth about $10 a piece. So my kids didn't get to go to the prize box very often and only when they have done an insanely wonderful thing.

Recently, my prize box had been raided for last minute birthday party presents so many times that only a few easy to read book remained. Since I don't have a child at the "easy reader" level right now, the box may as well have been empty.

Then one day last week I took Annie to her violin lesson. She was so good during her lesson. Last year, I used to take her for an ice cream cone after her lessons if she was good. But that was back when her lessons were at 10 am. Now they are right before dinner so it isn't a good time to be eating ice cream.

I told her she could get brownie points instead. She said, "Yeah but brownie points don't mean anything." She was right. They were like the points on Whose Line Is It Anyways? So I decided to give her a "brownie buck" instead. I decided to make "brownie bucks" out of the scratch and sniff stickers I give the girls if they finish their morning chore list. I just put the sticker on their chore list. When they earn 10 points they get to pick out of the prize box.

I introduced the plan to the kids after I restocked the prize box with some smaller priced items. I told them they could get brownie bucks by finishing their chore list in the morning (it is a challenge for them because) or when they are caught being extra good, or by doing extra chores around the house.

Since then I have had Lauren begging me to clean everyday. Last week I went to Pilates one day and when I got back she had done 5 chores by herself. And they were well done too! She got to pick a prize out of the box and has been working to earn brownie bucks since.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Camille at 9 months. Her only trip to the beach.

Tonight the girls asked if we could watch Camille videos. How can we deny this request? We can't. So we put in the DVD and turned on the videos of their little sister. And we all sat and watched.

We marveled at how long Annie's hair has grown. How tall she has gotten. We were amazed at what a baby girl Lauren was in those videos. And Sabrina just looked so cute with her front two teeth missing. She was Annie's age then.

Time is passing. Watching those videos tonight made that fact vivid in my mind. Time is passing, the kids are growing, and Camille is not growing here with them. Our family is different. We have a new family member and he is growing. Soon he will be bigger than Camille ever was and he will only know her from these videos and the pictures of her that hang on the wall.

It is hard to watch the videos. They bring the reality of our loss in to sharp focus. She was such a beautiful baby. And I miss her tonight.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cleaning the Microwave

One of the things that really bothered me about my husband early in our marriage was how differently he prioritized things than I do. The classic example I would always give of this was his cleaning of our microwave.

This was back in the days when we both worked outside the home. I was a criminal defense attorney and he worked as an auditor for a big accounting firm. We had a pretty small one bedroom apartment and no kids but somehow even then things did get dirty and we needed to do a big clean every week or so.

I remember so many times being in a hurry to get the place presentable for guests or whatever and Jonathan would be helping. There were dishes piled in the sink and cooking mess all over the kitchen and the kitchen table to be cleared off and wiped down and stuff put away in the family. You know -- obvious messes to clean. And what would my husband be doing? Cleaning the inside of the microwave. I mean, yes, it was dirty but is of our company really going to look in there when they come over in 15 minutes? This really used to frustrate me.

So for weeks now Jon has been saying, "we really need to clean out the inside of the microwave." And I have been replying, "I know. I know!" I am not sure when we cleaned it last but it was needing it badly and it was about the very last job on my list that I wanted or felt pressed to do.

A couple of days ago I came in from playing with the kids outside and found my husband cleaning out the inside of the microwave. The kitchen wasn't spotless and the family room could have been cleaned up, but I couldn't have been happier to be married to a man who had "Clean Out Microwave" on his priority list. I can get around to wiping down the counters and picking up the baby toys off the family room floor. I can make the kids pick up their countless shoes that litter our floor. And I am so glad I do not have to be the one to clean out the inside of our microwave.

I love you Jonathan! Thank you!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Foot Race

It is a sad, sad day when you realize your six year old can run faster than you can. This week we were out playing with our neighbor friends. My friend Sarah was "timing" Ann Marie to see how fast she could run to the second light post and back. After posting a time of 47.6 and then 47.2 she got serious and went into the house to replace her flip flops with tennis shoes.

With tennis shoes on she posted a time of 46.2. She was excited to have shaved a whole second off her time. All the time she was running I thought, "Geez she could go faster. That doesn't look like she is running full out." I kept yelling "GO ANNIE! Run like there is a monster behind you!"

It was fun. In fact I thought it looked like so much fun that I thought I would race her. What was I thinking? I don't know.

Back in the day (like in college), I used to run. I never have sprinted but I would average 10 minute miles with ease. And I trained to get down to 1.5 miles in 12 minutes for PE. I wanted an A and that was how you got it.

But it has been years since I ran regularly -- lots of years. In fact now that I am thinking about it, I don't think I have run regularly since I had Sabrina.

Anyway, none of this was in my head as I lined up to race my little girl. I have longer legs. She is little. Surely I can out run her right? Boy was I wrong.

Off we raced and she kept looking around at me to see where I was. She would slow up to not be too far ahead of me. I ran as fast as I could in my Crocs with no sports bra and ready to be milked. We got to the light post and headed back. 15 feet from the finish line I lost a shoe. A fraction of a second later Annie finished as I went back for my shoe.

Her time -- 48 seconds. She was slowing up for me.

It is a sad, sad day.

I want a rematch. This time I am going to train and wear a sports bra and make sure I have nursed right before I go out. And this time I am wearing MY tennis shoes. (Well considering that my tennis shoes are also a decade or more old, maybe I should get a new pair of those before I try a rematch.)

In all seriousness, I wanted to write this post because it was so fun to run with Ann Marie and race her. She was so happy and proud of herself to "beat her mom" at something. It is one of those "motherhood memory snapshots" in my head that I am savoring now and want to remember always. I only wish I had captured the race in a real photograph. In the rematch I will make sure to video and photograph it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The mailman brought me a package last week. Inside was the game I had been waiting for--SeDaraHc. That night I had a bunch of ladies over for my Project Runway/So You Think You Can Dance/Top Chef Party. After we munched on all the yummy food everyone brought, I asked them to try a round of this game out with me.

We divided ourselves up into two teams -- blonds vs. brunettes -- a classic rival. There were 3 blonds and 4 brunettes. During each teams turn one person was the guesser and the other team members had to act out as many cards as they could in one minute. Oh and the team can't talk to each other while acting out. So there is no coordination or planning involved in the acting.

It was pretty hilarious and some of the turns had me belly laughing. Perhaps my favorite was when our team was trying to act out "Donald Trump." I kept doing crazy movements with my hair. Another player was acting like a duck (Donald Duck right?) I caught on to the Donald Duck thing and our guesser had already said duck but wasn't putting it to "Donald."

So on the ground I drew an outline of Mickey Mouse. She got that it was Mickey Mouse and from there we got to Donald Duck. Using classic charades signs we got our guesser to understand the first of our two word card was "Donald." Now we just had to get "Trump."

One of our team members started doing the act of playing a trombone and then a trumpet. Our guesser got Trumpet. We were almost there! "Donald Trumpet!" She kept yelling. And we kept nodding and doing crazy comb over actions with our hair and rubbing our thumb over our fingers to do the money sign. "Donald Trumpet!?! Donald Trumpet wig?!?"

And then time ran out.

And we all fell down laughing. The other team turned to our guesser and told her "Donald Trump." Ah yes, of course! "Donald Trump."

Anyone want to guess which team won? This should be a no brainer right?

I can't wait to play this game with the Young Women at church. I think they will have so much fun with it. It is a very versatile game that can be enjoyed so many different ways. I am going to have to talk to my friends and get them to create a "Junior" version of it so we can play it as a family. There are, however, blank cards for us to fill in with our own words. Maybe I will use them to make some easier words for my kids in the meantime.

I loved playing this game and will definitely be playing it at our next game night. It would make a great gift for anyone who loves games and Christmas is sneaking up on us.

To get your own copy go to and you will get a $5 off discount because you are all my friends!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book Update

I have ordered the rough draft copy of my blog book. It is 244 pages so I didn't want to edit it on the computer. I prefer to have a hard copy to edit. I am excited to get it and see how I like it. Once I get it edited I will make it available to the public if anyone wants a copy. It will not be cheap, unfortunately. But I made it a nice book that will serve as a record of this life changing year for our family.

I decided to use Blurb and then just put my book in their bookstore. When I first slurped my blog over to their site it gave me an error message that said, and here I quote: "Whoa! That's some blog you've got there! Unfortunately Blurb can only publish a maximum of 440 pages one book." Then it asked me if I wanted to continue with what it could fit from my blog or if I wanted to start over.

I thought that was a funny message. Kudos to whoever wrote the programing on that. So I had to whittle down my blog to fit. It was easy to take out some posts about So You Think You Can Dance parties etc... It was harder to decide whether or not to leave in the doctrinal posts that answered questions about Mormonism. I don't feel my family needs the information because they either know or are being taught the doctrine. Still I did share some personal stories in some of those posts that I thought I might want in my family history.

For now I have taken those posts out. I was trying to take out everything non-essential to keep costs down. I was afraid the book would cost me $200 because it was so long and has lots of color photos. In the end, this first draft in paperback ran me about $60. I was excited to see it was so inexpensive. But it is still more than I would normally ever pay for a regular book.

So I am not sure how interested people will be in paying for a copy of this book but I am excited to have the first version of it on its way to me. It has been an emotional journey putting it together and my heart is ready to hand it off to someone else to read through it and edit it. I hope to have it edited and in final form before the end of the year. I'll let you know when it is finished.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bedtime Routine

Someone asked about how I established Noble's bedtime routine in a comment. I thought I would answer in a post. As always, I will start with a bit of background.

When we had Sabrina, she was a very easy baby and could sleep soundly almost anywhere. We could take her with us no matter where we went and we knew she would just fall asleep if she got tired, or Jon could bounce her in his arms for about 30 seconds and she would fall asleep. So for the first 9 months of her life that is how we put her to sleep. Jon would bounce her to sleep.

At 9 months I decided this was not so practical anymore. I couldn't bounce her to sleep. It had to be Jon. He wasn't always available. So we decided to teach her to go to sleep unassisted. We put her in the crib and tucked her in after she was well fed and clean. Then we left the room. She cried. And it about broke my heart. She cried for 40 minutes. Then she fell asleep.

The next night we tried again. Again she cried. This time it was for 20 minutes. Then she fell asleep. The third night she cried for 5 minutes and fell asleep. After that if she cried at all it was only for a minute or two and then she would soothe herself and go to sleep.

I asked myself why I had waited so long to do this with Sabrina. With Ann Marie I started trying at 4 months. It didn't work so well. She was just a really hard baby. My hardest for sure. She would not go to sleep for me. We actually had a live-in, part-time nanny after I had Ann Marie because this girl could get Annie to sleep. (Still thanking my lucky stars for you Shanan!)

With Annie I would try for hours to get her down and then end up taking her to Shanan and she would be asleep in a matter of minutes.

Lauren was the easiest baby ever. She loved the binki and would keep it in her mouth easily. If she was sucking she was sleeping. She slept so much and was easy to put down. I just gave her a binki and her blankie and she was good to go. That was pretty much from day one with her.

Camille and Noble have been rather similar except that Noble had a bit of reflux his first few months so we didn't sleep him in his crib. We put him to bed in his swing. The more upright position was better for him. We would put him in his swing awake and turn out the lights and close the door and he would cry for a minute or two and then fall asleep.

Once in a while he would cry for a bit longer. But generally he would fall asleep in under 15 minutes. If he cried longer than that I would go get him out, play with him for about 20 minutes and then try again. This is because I figured he wasn't really tired enough yet. Usually after another 20 minutes he would be more tired and conk out more easily.

When we transitioned him to the crib it was really easy. We just put him down, turned on the sound machine, turned off the lights, gave him a soft snuggly blanket and left the room. He would cry when we put him down but as soon as we gave him the soft blankie he would rub it over his face. This is a cue to me that he is sleepy.

He may still cry as I leave the room and may even cry a little for a few minutes after I have left. I go downstairs out of earshot and then check on him after a few minutes to make sure he has fallen asleep. 98% of the time he falls asleep after about 10 minutes and has stopped crying after about 3 minutes. The other 2% I go back and get him and try to put him down a bit later as I described previously.

My point is different kids can be different in how they get to sleep. With Camille and Noble they really just want to be put down and left alone so they CAN sleep. Often their crying is a sign of tiredness. We all get cranky when we are tired and they just need a calm, dark, quiet place to let that crankiness out and wind down to sleep.

This may not be true for your kid but it is worth a try if you are feeling frazzled by a longer and more tiring bedtime routine. Good luck finding the right tactic for you and your child!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Front to Back

Note the two little teeth and the cute dimple!

Today Noble rolled from his tummy to his back for the first time. He is getting really good at propping himself up on his hands when he is on his tummy. I can tell he just is longing to crawl around already.

He is fitting 6 to 12 month clothes for the length but he is not too chunky. Long and lean is more his style. He looks more like his dad than any of my other kids have. His hair is far lighter than any of my other kids.

It is a strange thing to watch him grow. Every new stage remind me so much of Camille. I never felt that so strongly with my other kids. I guess because when the older sibling is still living you think of that older child at the age they currently are and it is hard to remember back to when they were nursing or crawling once you are used to them talking and walking.

My last memories of Camille are of her crawling. She had only stopped nursing a month before she died. Those memories of nursing her are some of the last ones I have of her so they are fresh to me still. As Noble grows and gets closer to the size she was when she died, I find myself remembering her so much more.

Noble's been sleeping so much better lately. He goes to sleep the same way Camille used to. He doesn't sleep well unless he is in his own bed. He has a really hard time falling asleep when others are in the room. Just like with Camille, he likes to be put in his bed with his head touching the crib bumper. He likes to have a soft blankie to snuggle up with. He rubs his face in the blanket, cries for a minute till we leave the room and then quiets down to sleep.

I wonder what it will be like when he passes the developmental milestones that Camille last attained and when he grows older than she ever did. Will he remind me less of her then?
photos by Lesli Streets

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Party Time

Okay people. I am hosting a "Project Runway/So You Think You Can Dance/Top Chef" Party this Thursday at 8:30 p.m. If you know me well enough to know where I live come party with us.

We will be watching highlights of this weeks Project Runway and SYTYCD episodes and doing our own version of "Top Chef." Bring your best "top chef" food to the party. It can be any type of food savory or sweet, main dish, dessert, side dish or appetizer. Just make sure it is "top chef" good and be prepared to share the recipe.

We will be tasting a bit of everyones top chef entries and voting for our favorites. I may even come up with a really cool prize for the winner.

I look forward to seeing you all!

Rolling Over

Tomorrow Noble will be 5 months and today for the very first time he rolled over from his back to his tummy. Then I rolled him back over to his back when he got too frustrated and he did it again.

I normally don't note when a kid rolls over for the first time but 5 months seemed a bit late to me so I have been waiting for a while now for him to pick up this skill. I think he has been slow to acquire it mainly due to the fact that he was RARELY ever laying down until recently. He slept in his swing until about 2 weeks ago when Jon and I decided it was time to move him to the crib. His reflux had subsided and it was just time.

And he never really played on the ground. We just never put him down. He is pretty spoiled. But lately I have been trying to give him some time on the ground so he can get these skills down. And I guess it paid off today.

More on Noble later. My sister came and took some photos of him today and I will update more on him when I get the photos to go with the post.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Conference Jewel

Here is my favorite gem from Conference weekend. It was in a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott. I found this to be so very true on my darkest hours and days of grief. I loved the analogy he used to illustrate this truth.

"The influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions such as anger, hate, passion, fear or pride (and I would add despair). When such influences are present it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalepeno pepper. Both flavors are present but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Spirit."

May we all find the quiet hope necessary to feel the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord in our lives.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gotta Try This!

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I LOVE fun party games. I love a good game of Taboo or Charades or Skategories. I had so much fun playing these games with my friends growing up. It is just a source of GOOD CLEAN FUN.

Well one of my very best friends for the past 20 years (wow i can't believe it has really been 20 years) is a guy named Scott Porter. We met on a ski lift at Brian Head 20 years ago. Actually how we met is a funny and crazy story. So I will briefly share in a bit.

First I wanted to tell everyone about a new game he has created with his brother Bryce and a hilarious friend of his Brent Peterson. If anyone knows good party games it is these three guys. Trust me. I have played games with them and there is non stop laughter pretty much the whole time. Here is the email he sent us about his new game.

Subject: It's official: Let the games begin!
Party games have never been this hilarious!
My brother Bryce, Brent Peterson and I have been working on developing a party game this past year and it is finally on the market! Sedarahc—the game of reverse charades! Some of you have already played it and know how outrageously fun it is. It’s an absolute riot with family, work teams or groups of friends practically anywhere and perfect as a holiday gift.
You can purchase it now at the BYU Bookstore or you can get our friend’s discount for $5 off at Feel free to share the discount page with any of your friends or family too. I’m anxious to hear your feedback. (I hope that those that have played games with me before will smile when they read rule #5) :)

Please join our facebook fan club for updates and future promos at:

I am not a facebook girl but I will be buying this game to try it out. I can't wait! If you love charades or party games like that I am sure it is going to be great. I will let you all know what I think after I play it.

And now for the fun story of how I met Scott Porter ...

I had been hearing all about this guy from all my friends and they all assumed I knew him. But I didn't. I was kinda getting sick of hearing about him.

One Friday night my friend Molly told me all about how her boyfriend left her at a dance because she had danced 3 times in a row with Scott Porter. She kept trying to convince me that I knew him. "You know... Scott Porter.. with the blond hair."

"No, I don't know him."

"Sure you do..."

Anyhow, the next morning I got up early and drove to Brian Head UT with my older brother to go skiing. I was looking to ski with a guy I liked who I knew would be up there skiing that day. (oh the things we do in our youth.) So I spent the first half of the day skiing alone looking for the cute boy --- in a snow suit--- and I didn't even know what his suit looked like. Needless to say I didn't find him.

About noon I went up the single line of the lift and was put on the lift with two high school guys. I started talking to them on the way up. I found out one of them went to the same high school as my brother. So I asked him if he knew my brother or a bunch of his popular friends. When he said no to everyone I figured he was a looser and gave up.

After a few minutes I realized his friend had said he was from St. George. I asked if he was Mormon and they both said "YES!" I turned to the kid from Vegas and said, "You are Mormon, you go to Valley High, and you DON'T know any of those people?" Generally most of the Mormon kids in high school outside of Utah know each other. Or at least they know the more popular kids.

"Oh well I just moved there a couple of months ago," he replied. So then I found out what ward he was in and asked if he knew some of my friend and he knew lots of them. The lift ride ended and he invited me to ski with them. He told me they were playing follow the leader and invited me to lead off. I accepted and got halfway down the hill before I realized thought I had told him my name I had never asked his name. I stopped. He pulled up beside me. I said "Hey what is your name anyway?"

"Scott Porter," he replied. I about dropped down in the snow laughing. SO THIS was the great Scott Porter I had heard SOOO much about.

"Apparently you know Molly Earl too, huh?" I replied still laughing. Then I turned and led off down the hill with him following yelling, "Hey what did she say?"

And thus began a long and adventurous friendship.