Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Swim

**Disclaimer: Contains lengthy videos devoid of action or comedy but abounding in cuteness. Mostly for grandparents.**

The Daines' invited us over for swimming and a BBQ to celebrate a friend's birthday. 

It happened to be Isaiah's birthday as well.

Isla had a lot of fun with her new floaty-jacket. 

Isaiah had fun toddling around,

and jumping into the pool.

And Isla discovered the satisfaction of pushing her brother into the pool.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Laugh A Day: Boy Can Dance

We got a silly kid's music CD as a prize from our library's awesome summer reading program. Isaiah has always liked music and has always bounced to the beat from the time he was able to sit on his own. Now that he has figured out how to stand and walk, his dancing skills have really taken off. Before we got the camera out, he had been swaying to the music for a good minute. We really weren't expecting him to get up and "get down."

One Yard Wonder

Here is cute Isla wearing a dress that I made yesterday. I was buying fabric for another project and randomly found a Riley Blake remnant on clearance (Sugar and Spice by The Quilted Fish). I have a fun sewing book that has 101 project patterns that you can do with only a yard of fabric. I was three inches short of a yard and still had plenty of scrap fabric left over. I'm getting back into sewing slowly and carefully by doing a simple project like this. As simple as it was, I still had issues with elastic and drew my own blood with pin pokes more than once. But ah, it's done. And it was nice to have it done in a day, much quicker than piecing my quilt! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Laugh A Day: Scary Eyes

Do you ever go through old pictures and videos on your computer and find forgotten gems? Here is one that I think was taken by my mom on her iPhone. Somehow it ended up in Lightroom. Lucky.

One of the funniest things about Isaiah when he was a newborn was his wide-eye expression, where the whites of his eyes were visible above his iris, like his eyes were the setting sun. It said surprise and horror at the same time. It was almost as funny as his bouts of cross-eyedness.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dizzy Spells

Isla's Neurology Consult

We went to see the pediatric neurologist today about Isla's dizzy spells. We went to our regular doctor on Saturday, they called us yesterday (Monday) to set up the referral and they saw us today (Tuesday). It was all set up pretty quickly so I didn't have much time before the appointment to stew and worry over it, but last night I was very anxious. I even shed a few nervous tears and said some extra prayers last night. The fact that we stayed up until midnight to watch our secret obsession, Glass House, probably didn't help my emotions or nerves. I was overtired and over anxious and that means tears. But the tears made Brett realize how worried I was, and I got him to take a half day and come with us to Kaiser.

I had set up babysitting for Isaiah with Jane Colton. I hate to ask her to do stuff for me because she is so busy, but she is a real friend so I ask anyway. This morning, Brett got me out of bed by asking me to answer a knock at my door. It was my mom. She was worried about everything too and decided to come over to help watch Isaiah. She texted me at 6, didn't I get the text? No. I am so glad she came. I love when she can hang out with the kids, and I didn't have to worry about Isaiah making Jane's day harder. Even with my mom's demanding job she manages to find time to help us when we need her. When I got home she had even swept, made our beds, and found our camera's lens cap that had been missing for two weeks! I love my mom, she is such a big help.

Anyway, we made it to the doc. She did a thorough neuro exam and ordered an MRI, which I will post about after it happens. The doc basically said Isla had "benign paroxysmal vertigo." She said that migraines in young children present as vertigo, and that Isla is likely to have migraines when she hits age 9 or 10. That is a bummer, but I'm glad it isn't anything more. All I need is a clear MRI and then I can stop worrying. She also mentioned that had Isla had more white patches on her skin (she has a big white patch birthmark on her back and buttocks) then she would suspect tuberous sclerosis. Of course we web-MDed it and the white patches look totally different than what Isla has, so it's not that.

Anyway, that was our uneventful doc appt. I am glad that isn't more to report.


Isla's MRI results came back normal. I'm happy there isn't anything structurally wrong, and I just hope she grows out of it and it never happens again. My mom told my grandma what was happening with Isla's dizzy spells, etc., and apparently both my mom and grandma used to have unexplained dizzy spells when they were young children. Neither me nor my mom knew anything about that. They both grew out of it, and neither of them have migraines now. 

 She cried a bit after coming out of anesthesia, but after a parade to the recovery area (where she got to practice her princess wave) and a popsicle, all was well.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Little Best Friend

Isla is my little, best friend. I remember that when it was just her and me together all day while Brett was at work and before Isaiah was born. We were partners. She went with me almost everywhere, exceptions being when I went to work. It was (almost) always great fun to take her shopping, visiting teaching, duck watching, puddle jumping. It was a little less fun to never be able to go to the bathroom or take a shower alone, but it was ok. There were times that Brett would be home and would offer to watch her while I ran an errand. I always acted like I really wanted to just be able to go to the grocery store by myself, but when I actually did I felt sort of lonely (I also felt relieved that I could get the job done quickly without having to entertain her, but mostly lonely).

Now that we have Isaiah around, she is now my little helper friend. She "goo-goo-gah-gahs" him when he is crying, she finds him things to play with, and she puts little, choke-able items far away from his reach. She is really quiet when it is time to go to bed so as not to wake him. Today during their bath she even grabbed the tabo and started bucketing water on him like I usually do. She told me that she was being a little mommy.

I love my Isla. I love that she is so free with laughs and giggles. I love that she is so careful and thoughtful. I love that she loves to rhyme. I love that she is incapable of being light on her feet, my little rhinoceros. I love that she is friendly. I love that she is so articulate (Heavenly Father knew I needed that in a first child so that I wouldn't go insane straight away due to prolonged exposure to baby banter) and at the age of 2 1/2 can talk to me with preschooler precision.

Actually that takes me to my next point. We are really lucky that she can tell us when something isn't right with her. When she has a stomachache, she just tells us. We don't have to guess at what part of her is hurting. A few months ago she was sitting at the dining table eating yogurt when suddenly she cried out, gripped the edge of the table and said, "I'm falling, I'm falling!" She was, in fact, not falling. She was sitting on her heels, legs curled under her, on the exact middle of the bench. I thought she was being silly at first, but she had real fear in her eyes. I went to give her a hug and I could feel that every muscle in her body was taut. Even her little toes were clenched. She told me she was going to fall and that "the walls were spinning." The episode passed as quickly as it came. I thought it was very odd, but I didn't take her in or call the advice nurse. It happened again a few weeks later as she was in the bathtub, and then again this morning while she was eating breakfast with Brett. Again she was eating, again she was really scared and extremely dizzy, and this time Brett noticed nystagmus. Good for him for checking her eyes. And good for him for calling the advice nurse, like I should have done months ago. They told him she needed to be seen and got us an appointment a few hours later. I always tell Brett how much I dislike having to be pregnant and deliver babies through the Kaiser system, but for everything else they seem pretty great (plus delivering there wasn't even as bad as I thought it would be). Anyway, I got to take her while Brett stayed home with Isaiah. It was just me and my little best friend, just like old times. The doc - Deramerian was his name, I have to remember that - was wonderful with her and was kind to me. He explained things well. I think we may have to trade our current primary pediatrician for him. Anyhow did a short exam but then referred Isla to a ped neurologist. We will see what happens, neuro exam, EEG, MRI? Anyway, when we got to the clinic I wasn't terribly worried about the episodes, just because she is perfectly normal before and after and there isn't anything else wrong with her. Well Dr. Deramerian explained to me all these things, and then at the end, because he is so kind, said sincerely "I know it can be very scary but we will find out what is wrong." Well I wasn't scared until he said that. So now here I am, blogging as the babies are asleep and while Brett is over at the Mallards' babysitting Esri, because I am a little worried about my little best friend. It is probably nothing awful, but I am here, worrying about it, thinking about all the times in her short life I have been angry with her, yelled at her, put her in time out (or worse) out of frustration instead of the desire to teach her something. I am thinking about all the times - and this is daily, at least a few times a week - that I lose my temper and don't treat my little best friend how she deserves to be treated. She is a perfect, innocent little soul, closer to the Spirit than anyone in our home (I guess Isaiah is pretty close but I discount him because he is a little, non-talking squirt), so smart and kind. I love her so much, but sometimes I look back on the past few hours or days and I am ashamed that my actions don't always correspond with that love. As usual, I'm here and all I can do is be better tomorrow. I'm glad that kids are so resilient and that they forgive so easily. So, I'm sorry my little, best friend, that I'm not always a cheerful Mommy, please forgive me, and watch me do better tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ruffles Coma

Isla fell asleep mid-sentence and mid-potato chip.

I really thought we were past the nap stage. I'm glad we aren't.

Isaiah Walks

You only have to watch the first 25 seconds, it goes downhill after that.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My First Quilt

My good friend, Stacey Salmon, got me quilting. She has made a ton of beautiful quilts, baby quilts, lap quilts for lounging around, quilts for her three sons, and most recently she made a quilt for each of the three young women in our church group who have graduated from high school and are moving on to college. I just finished the top of my first quilt. I wanted to have it done by Christmas, and I thought I had to start it really early in case it got frustrating. It was really fun and I guess I didn't need six months...I now just have to quilt it - I am going to try to do it with my sewing machine rather than sending it out to get quilted professionally, wish me luck. I'm sure I can figure it out, right?
It's far from perfect but I think it is pretty good for my first one. I can't believe how much I enjoyed making it. Maybe because it's partly an exercise in OCD? Now onto the quilt sandwich...

Fabric: Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille for Moda
Pattern: Vintage Holiday by Camille Roskelly

Favorite Parts: Choosing and buying fabric and a pattern - there are so many beautiful fabrics to look at, I probably loved fabric shopping so much because it's just like clothes shopping; adding the sashing (grey part) - it didn't take very long but it added a lot to the overall look

Least Favorite Part: border (red houndstooth) - since the print was directional I had to either cut the fabric the wrong way, or piece the top and bottom border together. Cutting the fabric the opposite way would have been the better thing to do, but I didn't plan for it so I had to do the second option. It sucked.

A Laugh A Day: Mustache

Eating homemade ice cream with our friend, Troy Werner.

Troy: (to Isla) You have a little something on your face, can you lick your lips?
Long pause.
Isla: It's a mush-shtash.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Laugh A Day: Climbing

Look at that high Dayton butt crack.

Isaiah has learned how to climb the step stool we keep in the bathroom to give Isla access to the sink. Here, he practices this new skill after being undiapered before his bath.

Addendum: We got pictures with our nicer camera today (7/15/12). Don't worry, there is still plenty of butt crack.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Isaiah's Birth Story

We moved to California when I was nearly eight months pregnant with Isaiah. I don't recommend moving when you are that far along.

Friday, July 29, 2011. We had been living at Brett's parents' house for a few weeks. Isla and I were home alone that day. Glenn and Brett were at work, my parents were at work, Susan was in Utah waiting for Eli to come. I was meeting friends from high school (Jenny Bisquera and Missy Suarez) to take a morning walk to chat and get some exercise. The walk was, ironically, to a donut shop. Anyhow, it was fun to reconnect. While we were there we ran into Troy Werner. He was working across the street.

When Isla and I got home I noticed some "bloody show." I'd like to know who came up with some of our crazy medical terminology - bloody show, ballottable, and zygote are some of my favorites. Knowing that seeing this meant next to nothing, Isla and I went about our day. My due date wasn't for another week and a half, and since Isla came at 39 weeks and 5 days, I thought I was safe in assuming that nothing was happening.

I had contractions the whole day. They would get a little uncomfortable at times but not so much that I couldn't function. Their frequency, duration and intensity was all over the place. At times they would last for 30 seconds, two minutes apart, and pretty weak. Other times they were strong, would last six or seven minutes with a half-hour in between. Still other times I would have a few really strong ones that made me stop what I was doing. I let my doula, Terri-Leigh, know but, again, I tried to down-play everything in my head. I suppose it was a combination of not wanting to get over excited (last time I had been up around 36 hours straight because I had been too excited to sleep) and really wanting to go to the Dodger game that night. And before you want to high-five me because you love the Dodgers or punch me because you love the Giants, I really am a neutral entity when it comes to baseball. Maybe neutral isn't the word. I could not care less about baseball. We did, however, have tickets to the dugout club, which means private VIP everything, free fancy-person dinner, schmuckety-schmucking with rich men and glamour ladies, sitting behind home plate, celebrity watching, and having interns bring soft serve and Cracker-Jacks to your seat without having to tip them. So yeah, I really wanted to make it to the game.

I wanted to make it there so badly that when my mom came to pick us up to go to the game, I didn't tell her I was in labor until we were almost to the Stadium Way exit. I didn't want her to turn around and make me stew at home and become overly anxious. By that time, my contractions were still placed sporadically but they were strong and I knew that baby was moving, or at least getting a good deep-tissue massage.

Well, dinner was awesome, thank you for asking. Lasorda did not make an appearance to touch my shoulder like last time but it was still worth the trip. The stadium was beautiful and I suppose the game was good. I don't remember because I was either busy breathing my way through contractions or stuffing my face with ice cream. Around the 6th inning I told Brett that we really ought to go. Thankfully my parents were there and we were able to leave Isla with them overnight. We made it home and the ride was ok at first, then somewhere halfway things started getting real. It was then that I was thankful for all the books I had read and the labor management tricks I had picked up from research and from my doula. I suppose I should have mentioned before that our goal was a natural, needless-medical-intervention-free labor and birth. I won't go too into why we wanted that but we both feel very strongly about it and perhaps that will be the subject of a later post. Didn't know I was so granola, did you?

Ok, back to the story. We got back to Canyon Country around 11 pm. The next few hours are a bit blurry. I was having my contractions and laboring through them instinctively. I kneeled over chairs mostly during contractions and then sat back on my heels to rest in between. The experience was unlike anything in my life up to that point. This may surprise you since this was my second baby. It is hard for me to describe adequately. The first time I felt excited and impatient, my contractions hurt a lot but then I had a wonderful epidural that made the pain go away. I slept a lot, then got on my back and pushed a few times and Isla was born. It was a very happy, exciting, spiritual time. This time it was exciting, and spiritual, but in a different way. Instead of running from the pain of the contractions, I embraced it. I was able to relax and feel every sensation to the fullest. And strangely enough I was able to distinguish between pressure and different types of pain. I fully felt the relief between contractions. I was unaware of what was happening outside my body but I was completely in tune with what was happening inside of it. It was a wonderful, primal, rich experience, laboring with my baby. And although I'm sure it hurt, I don't remember it as insanely painful (not until the last hour or so). It was intense. But it is different than hurting yourself and feeling pain. It was life-giving pain and that made it easier, even a joy, to bear.

Anyhow, sometime around midnight, my water broke. And even though I just got finished telling you how "in tune" I felt, I still wasn't in a hurry to get to the hospital. I just thought I had more time because of the way things went the first time around. Plus the whole natural labor thing made me want to avoid going to the hospital earlier than I needed to. Truth be told, if I could afford it, I would have liked to deliver at home or at a birthing center. (I can hear some of you gasping or guffawing as I type this). Funny that the way insurance worked out it the only option we could afford was delivering at Kaiser. I'll take it without too much complaint.

We rounded up our bags and headed over. We called our doula to meet us at the hospital. Boy should I have called her earlier. I could have had her help in Canyon Country and probably would have loved my experience even more. Next time. Terri-Leigh met us at the curb and she walked me up while Brett parked the car. Thank goodness she did. I was feeling a lot of pressure and the urge to bear down was inescapable. I feel like it was harder to resist the urge to push than it was to experience the pains of labor. When we got to the floor the clerk kept asking me ridiculous questions like, who are you, where do you live, why are you here? Is that not what pre-registering is for? C'mon ladies, I am having a baby here. They finally just admit me, there are nurses getting my room ready and helping me change into a gown. They ask me for a urine sample. I sit on the toilet for what seems like forever and I just can't pee into that stupid cup. At this point in typing Brett interjects that the entire time I am yelling things like "I can't do this," and "it's too hard," and "forget it give me drugs." This tips off the nurse, she gets me on the bed, looks down and tells me I have already "done it." She yells for a doc, tells me to stop pushing but I just can't. I push, she catches the baby, and Isaiah is born. It's not exactly the calm environment I was planning for him, a loud hospital room, me yelling, nurses yelling and scrambling about. But it is a pretty good story and it was fun anyhow.

Finally the doctor gets there just in time to yank out the placenta instead of letting it come out by itself. Forgive me if at this point in the story I start to sound like a bitter, doctor hater. I'm not. I'm thankful for docs and all the training they have. They save lives, they are awesome. BUT, I am weary of OBs because they train for disasters, not natural, uncomplicated births. And the only bitter part about Isaiah's birth story is that the doc came in, yanked out the placenta, it came out in pieces and he had to get all up in my business to try and remove the pieces that were still inside. They gave me a shot of pit in the thigh. That's all fine, nothing bad happened, what's done is done. But why do OBs have to keep giving me reasons to avoid them? Hopefully next time that doctor won't be around. Are you starting to at least see where I am coming from when I try to avoid medical intervention for an uncomplicated pregnancy, labor and birth?

Anyway, Isaiah was a beautiful, round, calm, sweet newborn baby. Laboring with him and delivering him was a wonderful, rich experience.

Isaiah was born in Panorama City, CA on July 30, 2011, at 3:03 am, 18 minutes after Brett and I arrived at the hospital.

Terri-Leigh Huleis and Brett were there for the delivery. My nurse, Sonya, caught the baby.

He was 6 lb 15 oz and 20 inches long.

He had a full head of dark brown hair and his eyes were a beautiful green/blue/brown color.

I ended gaining only 40 lb this time. Brett, on the other hand, gained 15 lb, which he still has to this day. I think he wears it well.

Me with my doula, Terri-Leigh. Check her out at 

More Newborn Videos



Sleep Smile

Isla's Birth Story

I was halfway through my last semester of nursing school at BYU. I had been packing in as many nightshift hours in the NICU at UVRMC as possible so that I would have less to do after Isla arrived. I had come to a point in the semester when many of my big projects, papers, and commitments were done. I had learned a lot, and our focus in school was preparing for the NCLEX, putting in hours at the hospital, and putting the final touches on our portfolios. Knowing the hard parts of the semester were past, I got on my knees to thank my Heavenly Father for getting me to that point and to say basically that I felt ready for the baby to come any time. I started praying about 11:55 pm on Friday, October 16th, 2009. I heard a "pop" (yes an audible pop), and felt my water break just after midnight.

Pointing to the belly, just in case you
didn't notice it.
All the fatigue I had felt moments ago vanished. I was left with a type of giddy excitement that soon-to-be-first-time-moms experience because they don't realize how long of a night they are in for. Well that makes it sound like it's about to get horribly real, but it doesn't, not yet. Even though my water has broken, I am not in excruciating pain, and my contractions are uncoordinated and sporadic. I don't feel any different except that it feels like I keep wetting myself. That was funny now that I look back on it.

We call our midwife. She tells us we can either go to the hospital now or that we can wait about eight hours and go in the morning. I opt to stay home to give my body a chance to labor on its own without any medical/pharmaceutical help. I think to myself that I should try to sleep and save up some energy. I try to lie down but that is a big joke. I'm way too excited to sleep. So I watch TV. Eat. I take a shower, straighten my hair, put on makeup. Still I really don't feel any different. It's about now that the women in labor on TV shows are screaming and acting every type of crazy, right?

Walmart parking lot.

It's in the early morning hours now, we are dressed and packed and ready to leave because we are too excited to stay home. We head to Walmart (yes Walmart) to get Gatorade and snacks to eat (presumably for Brett but actually for me to sneak while the nurses weren't looking). I'm waddle through the store like a fat duck with a full diaper (not far from the truth - fat, check; duck, nope; full diaper, check) and I get a glimpse of what life would be like if I ever let myself go and became overweight and incontinent (no I am not peeing myself, water is broken, remember?).

We get to the hospital. We are delivering at American Fork. It is a half-hour away but we choose to deliver there over UVRMC (where I am doing my capstone hours) even though UVRMC is only 2 minutes away, because it is a smaller hospital and you get a lot more individual attention. One of the perks of being in nursing school at that time was that I did clinicals at a variety of hospitals and I got to get a feel for them without having to be a patient. Looking back I am very glad I delivered there. I was treated like a queen, like I was the only patient there. They skipped litmus test because it was obvious my water was actually broken. They put us in a room, put me on a pitocin drip. We watched college football on TV, Oklahoma vs. Texas.

Enjoy your Carl's Jr. while I labor with nothing but
contraband junk food and an IV.
After nothing was happening and the nurse had already increased the rate a few times, I realized that when the nurse had spiked the bag she had poked a hole in it so I wasn't actually getting any of the pit. Oops. Well when she started with an new bag, THEN I felt it. At the time I didn't know any different, but after having had our second baby the natural route, I have to say that pitocin-induced labor really hurts. I wasn't thrilled by the fact that they gave me pitocin in the first place, but at that point I was way too excited to care - I just wanted to see my baby. My labor with the pitocin was very steady and very, very intense. I didn't feel like I had any time to relax and regain my composure between contractions. Originally I had gone into the endeavor thinking that I would "wait and see" if I needed pain medication, then go from there. An awful idea really. For anyone who is expecting, I would advise that you stay flexible, as labors are unpredictable, but have a better plan than "I'll cross that bridge when I get to it." Because of my "wait and see" method, I decided on an epidural when it got to the point of "this hurts and I want to die." They called the nurse anesthetist and he took a while to make it over. By the time he got there, I was already 8 cm dilated and in crazy town. He told us he would have come earlier had he known we were watching the Oklahoma/Texas game.

If I could do it again, I would have either gone without or gotten it much sooner. Anyhow, I was terrified of the epidural when it came time to get one. I had seen a bunch of them in clinicals and I was really surprised when I actually got nervous. Being so close to transition made it hard to hold still. I was crying and shaking and in a lot of pain. So when the doc said "hold still, we will get you between contractions" I heard "hold still, I am going to stick a huge freaking needle into your epidural space, and I'll try to do it in between contractions so that you don't wiggle and get nerve damage." I guess I was feeling a little emotional and vulnerable. So I will say it again: make up your mind, if you are going to get the drugs, get them and stop feeling guilty or inadequate or wimpy already.

The nap did worlds of good.

If epidural placement was in the Olympics, my doc would have gotten a gold medal. 10/10, 1st place, no splash, full technical points, artistic delivery (yeah, I guess it would be a smattering of diving, women's gymnastics and figure skating?). I couldn't feel a thing (what do you mean I should feel pressure during a contraction?), and I had a glorious nap.

I probably napped around two hours, can't quite remember. When I woke up, they told me that I could push. I had my wonderful midwife, Abby Rizk, there. I skipped over the part about how awesome it is to have a midwife (very distinct from an OB or a "med-wife". I will explore that now. My midwife was at the hospital the entire time I was there. She helped me with pain management and positioning during contractions. She was there to talk to. Isla had decelerations with contractions toward the end. She repositioned me and put me on oxygen and reached in and unwrapped the cord from Isla's neck, easy as anything. If you are really wondering if you should get a midwife, of course do lots of research, but I say if you are a low-risk pregnancy, then YES, get one, you won't regret it. If you have any more questions on the subject, please ask. Anyhow, I pushed around 20-30 minutes, and Isla was born. It was the most spiritual, fun, exciting experience of my life up to that point.

Isla's aunts, Hayley and Cassie were present for the birth. I'd put a picture of Cassie on here but I only have one and she is making the weirdest face. Trust me Cassie, you don't want that picture on here. 

Isla was born on October 17th, 2009 at 2:40 pm in American Fork, Utah. 

She was 19 inches long and 6 lb 14 oz. 

She looked like Terk from the Disney animated feature film, Tarzan and the grandma in Mulan.

I ended up gaining 60 lbs during the pregnancy and wore size 14 jeans until February of the following year. I went on to be the skinniest I have ever been in my life. Thank you, breastfeeding.

Brett didn't gain any weight.