Tuesday, January 27, 2009

only ryan...

Seriously folks, only Ryan would be THIS creative:

We've been trying to read The Book of Mormon to Leah each night...the one with pictures. She doesn't love it. Okay, she basically hates it, but mostly because she's just waiting to read this:

As many of you know, it starts out:

"The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind...and another..."

Tonight, Ryan's version was:

"The night Nephi wore his Laban suit and made mischief of one kind...and another..."

Oh my. I could NOT stop laughing. And I'll spare you the visual I found of the latter version on the internet.

all the help i can get...

My name is Maren and I'm a shop-a-holic. Really. I am. Don't worry. I don't spend money if I don't have it. But I spend ALL of my money on clothes. And shoes. Can't forget the shoes. I haven't always been this way. I've always liked nice clothes, but I used to be MUCH more stingy with my monies. Ever since Ryan and I decided my piano income is "fun" money for me to spend however I please...I've had a lot of...well, fun! I usually shop at inexpensive stores (Target, Payless, Old Navy, etc.), but it adds up.

And it needs to stop.

Or at least decrease dramatically. It's so unnecessary.

So, I have made a vow to myself to not buy ANY clothes (or shoes...can't forget the shoes) until I go to Utah in April. That's the middle of April. That's more than three months away from the time I started this thing. Not so hard for a lot of people. Very hard for Maren.

So, I thought I'd post about this just so I could have people to report to. Some accountability, you know?

And just for the record: Ryan had absolutely nothing to do with this. It was my idea. He really is very good about letting me do with my money what I want. He's so nice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

ricky joe got a new haircut!

Thursday evening around 9:00, I received the following text from my mom:

"I'm at {name of hospital} with Richard. Emergency. CT scans - etc. Long story. No one else knows - just wanted to 'talk' to someone."

Scared out of my mind is a light way of putting things. I immediately called her back and luckily she answered her phone. She found Richard on their bed when she got home from work that evening. He was complaining of a big headache and neck pain and was/had been vomiting a lot. She called his doctor, who thought it might be meningitis and told her to get him to the emergency room. The ambulance came and she followed it there.

A few texts and phone calls later, she gave me the charge of calling my three siblings to let them know. Scott, the only step-child who lives in SL rushed to the hospital to be with my mom. My mom had, in the meantime, called Richard's daughter Claire, who got the word out to her 5 siblings. She, Meghan, BZ and Laura (everyone who lives in Utah) arrived at the hospital a short time later. After CT scans, angiograms and MRIs, the doctors found that he had blood in the cavity of his brain (hydrocephalis), so they drilled a hole in his skull to drain excess fluid (hence the new haircut). A few days later, we have some answers as to what happened, but no information as to a cause. Not sure that we ever will know why this happened. Here's what I know:

After his surgery on Thursday evening/Friday morning, he was angry about being intubated and having a tube in his head to drain the excess fluid. So mad that he continued to thrash around until the tube in his head came out! They sedated him and tied his hands/chest down. After lots of tests, they determined he had suffered a subarachnoid hemmorage and called it a stroke.

They un-sedated (is that a word?) and extubated him on Friday. This made him much happier. Meghan took some video and pictures. In a video I watched she asked if he had any first words, to which he replied, "damn it to hell." Ah, Richard's back. :)

A nurse walked in to check on him and brightly asked, "Hi Richard! Are you with us?" He flipped her off. Ah, Richard's back. :)

He's doig better and better every day. He seems to have good gross and fine motor skills, which is good news for his job. He also seems to have good long-term memory, but is struggling with remembering things that have happened in the past few days. He asks people every few minutes where he is and why he is there.

As to his answer to his own question? He's certain that it is a communist plot and "they" just wanted him out of the way for awhile. Ah, Richard's back. :)

On a more spiritual note, there are some really incredible stories coming out of this experience. He continues to tell of stories of "angels" or "men in white" that he saw while he was driving home on Thursday. He suffered the first effects in Orem while visiting his mom and somehow made it home to Salt Lake (about an hour's drive) and we have no idea how. He also mentioned seeing angels in the ambulance. He also mentioned that he saw the angels talking to my brother Dan and that Dan was coming to see him. Dan, did in fact, come from Southern California to be there. Richard even saw what Dan and his wife Heather were wearing when Richard was going through all of this. Richard has made mention of seeing Meghan and Claire as well. It's kind of amazing.

We aren't positive as to what his recovery will look like, but we all feel confident that he will make a full recovery. He's made great progress so far. Previous to this incident, Richard was strong as an ox and healthy as well, so this was definitely a shock to our family. He was given a blessing by his bishop and next door neighbor on Thursday night (they saw the ambulance at his house, rushed over and then followed my mom to the hospital where they stayed until the early hours of Friday morning). BZ and Scott also gave him a blessing that night. My mom is also doing much better and has a great attitude about everything (as always...why can't everyone be as strong as my mom?).

Thanks to everyone for their concern and prayers. We will continue to need them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

a little animal...

This is Leah's new mode of transportation...I think she looks like an elephant. She is either crawling SO fast, walking like this, or walking with us holding onto her hands (she's down to one hand now...hip hip hooray!). This was actually in december...she does it more frequently and faster now...

truth be told...

This picture just epitomizes little bean at 23 months. Big blue eyes, long sweet eyelashes, curly pig tails, and her dollie nearby. Truth be told, it's been a rough few months. And that's the understatement of the year. I've really been struggling lately with her still not walking...it feels as if I've somehow failed. If I can't teach her to do something so innate in 99% of humans...and if there is no medical reason for it, what is MY problem?

I have good days and bad days. And I've probably had more bad days than good as of late, but I'll take full responsibility for that. Every time I read a blog post about how some other mother thinks that this age is just "the best!" or loves all their child is learning or doing, I just break down inside. I'm not sure my pillow has been dry in months. It's hard to go to mother's group or church or anywhere without trying to hide the fact that I'm NOT really ecstatic about how this 9 month old is cruising or this 11 month old is walking. It has NOTHING to do with these particular kids or their parents. It has everything to do with me. Selfish, yes. But it's my life right now and it's hard to feel that you're "failing" at you full-time job while so many others are "succeeding".

I know many would say that I'm not failing; that I'm doing the best I can and it's out of my control. That there's a reason for it even if I don't know what that reason is right now. And you can tell me that until you're blue in the face, but I still feel as if somehow, it should be me who fixes this...and I can't!

A lot of days I just put a fake smile on my face and walk out the door hoping to fool everyone that I'm doing just fine. Other days I really AM doing just fine!

I don't mean this post to be a "poor maren" post and it is in no way intended as an attack on anyone. I've just felt that I needed to get my feelings out somehow...and my journal is beginning to be a dismal record at best. :) I seem to only write on the bad days. It's not meant to be a post so I can receive countless comments on how cool I am, either. I already know I'm cool. :)

Hopefully I will learn what I need to learn from this experience and that in 5 years, I won't be carrying her to elementary school. Hopefully.

For now, I'll just look at this sweet little picture and hope that I'm doing an okay job with this incredible little spirit with whom I've been entrusted.

Some January updates...

After a few weeks of 30-40 degree weather (which is STRANGE for this area, but I welcomed it for the holidays), this past week has been in the 70s during the day. This means parks, parks, parks! We went four times in three days to three different parks and Leah was in heaven. During this particular outing, we put the two chubbiest kids in mother's group in the same swing. Leah was NOT happy. Ty was indifferent. Leah has a new fetish with hiding in small corners/spaces. She loves closets, etc. This is her favorite spot in her room...she just hates when she can't get in/out easily.
I had to use the car seat in someone else's car last week, so it was sitting in our living room for a few days...it was leah's preferred seating choice for watching Abby and Elmo on Sesame Street each day. Don't mind her non-matching outfit...I always put her in comfy pants for her nap and hadn't changed her out of them. :)
And we have ourselves a nose picker. First she checks to see what I'll do. When I choose to get the camera rather than chastise her...she goes for the double pick. Niiiiiiice, Bean.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

17 mile drive...and then some...

We of course had to do the infamous 17 mile drive.
Ryan was in Nikon D80 heaven. He got some great shots!And Leah was pretty good. For most of the drive, she was either doing this:or this:
And when she woke up, she was great about getting in and out of the car to see the different sites. Her favorite was Pebble Beach, I think. She ignored all signs and tried to hop the barrier to get onto the 18th hole. Hmmm...
I was able to pay my final respects to my fav golfer EVER, Payne Stewart. Eat your heart out, golfers. This place was AMAZING. And we felt hoity toity just walking around.
The drive home was nice...and we stopped in Gilroy to check out the outlets. Um, we'll be going back. WOW!

monterey bay aquarium

The aquarium is really neat...if you aren't accompanied by a screaming terror of a child. She was tired and wanted to get out and crawl around, but we were determined. Our day went like this:

Until she did this: Then Ryan and I had fun exploring and taking pictures of all sorts of marine life. It really is a fun place to go! I touched star fish and sting rays and sponge things...I'm not a marine biologist. I just touched a bunch of squishy slimy things that live in the ocean. And I felt pretty cool.
When Leah woke up, she was much happier and was able to enjoy it a bit more. Yay for naps!


we spent the first three days of 2009 in monterey, ca. we figured since we didn't make it "home" (aka utah) for the holidays, we should take some time off and explore things nearby. warning: lots of pictures in the next few posts.

we did a LOT of this:and this:
the first night, we didn't sleep much. leah would NOT go to bed and woke up honestly every hour. both she and ryan were sick, which made day #2 not so much fun. we ventured out to the aquarium (next post) and went black light mini golfing. and she was a TERROR. but her shirt and pigtail elastics were glowing in the dark, so she was still cute.

night #2 was much better. i had a brilliant idea to put her to bed, then go and play cards on the balcony until we KNEW she was out cold. it worked like a charm until about 2am when she woke up (because she was sick) and just wanted to be cuddled. i was so tired that i put her in bed with us (I have NEVER EVER EVER done this before). Ryan had no idea she was there until he was woken up by a swift kick in the face at 8am. But, it made for a much brighter day #3.

We took a long walk around Monterey and Pacific Heights. I fit right in...
I helped Ryan perfect his photography skills...And I sailed way far away from the shore...I'm a sailor...AHOY!We ate at a yummy restaurant named Louie Linguini's where I renamed my family members: big dipper and little dipper. I've always known Ryan was a sauce man. He sees the fries at Training Table as means to get the special sauce into his mouth. Now I know Leah is swiftly following in his footsteps:To give some credit to the big dipper, he is a bit cleaner than his small protege.

happy new year...one week later

sorry about the lack of posting. here's a quick run-down of how we rang in the new year.

meet miss cutie patootie pie 2009. she tooted some horns and then went to bed. paaaaar-tay.katie and i did this:
while the boys did this: who know a wii hunting game could be so completely enthralling and entertaining? we also played locke's wii fit. i found out my balancing age is like 40 years old. ryan's is 29. but, i will put on the record that that was a big fluke. i blew everyone out of the water in the hardest balancing game. i also found out i weigh a lot less than ryan. (a subtle hint to get out on that bike, mr.)

ryan and I made our predictions for 2009, sealed them up and then tooted a few horns. yay for 2009!(sorry for all the different styles of pictures. i'm playing around with actions in photoshop. santa brought us a new computer and i am more than giddy with how fast everything is!)

one more christmas pic...

Sorry, had to post the annual Christmas Eve jammies.
Can I just say COOOOOOMFY! Love 'em (mine, at least). That's what happens when you get to be Santa's elf and pick your own. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

christmas was good to us...

On Christmas Eve, we enjoyed a nice, quiet, candlelit dinner consisting of chicken cordon bleu, mashed potatoes, asparagus, muffins and martinelli's. As you can see, Leah enjoyed it...not so much.

Christmas morning brought a special present for Ryan: RAIN...and it lasted for a few days. Yay! Made it feel a little more like the holidays. Leah loved unwrapping presents this year...and then playing in the paper. And she seriously would not take off her new hat all morning. She threw tantrums if it fell off.
In addition to these lovely matching sweat suits, we were also blessed with an iPod (Ryan), servingware and a garmin running watch (maren), an alphabet phonics fridge game (leah) and a squeezebox (from Scott and fam). Plus lots of other very fun and very thoughtful gifts. Thanks to EVERYONE! We spent the afternoon/evening with the lovely Smiths. Ate more yummy food and had a great time.