Sunday, November 27, 2011

nyc thanksgiving style

the day after thanksgiving, we headed to nyc for a quick weekend getaway. a friend i worked with at byu was kind enough to let us stay in her amazing apartment while she was away visiting family for thanksgiving. it was amazing! we loved everything about her apartment and her hospitality. 
miss ribbons loved finding new corners to hang out in. 
and she loved times square. 

but she didn't love the manhattan temple? we'll have to have a chat...
{she did love the juice box and raisins the temple worker gave her, though.}

ryan loved the dj at h&m - reliving his high school glory days as mix master ryan {he and miss ribbons sat at the front of the store for probably an hour listening to this guy while i shopped!}. 

but he didn't love the realization that his hard-earned money is paying for courses in capital markets, accounting and finance this year rather than a scrumptious meal at ruth's chris. 

he did, however, love his crab that was purchased with a gift certificate we have patiently waited to use. 

leah was amazingly patient on this trip. she slept in the car. she slept at night {mostly} and she even slept in the stroller while we were out and about. she fell asleep in my arms at dinner and nearly dozed off on the subway once. it was kind of incredible. and we kind of loved it. 

because she was such a trooper, we decided to brave the thanksgiving weekend crowds in the time's square disney store and oh was it worth it. we could not have wiped the smile off miss ribbons' face if we tried. she stared - and i mean stared - at the rapunzel doll and lots of other toys. i kind of caught a glimpse of what leah might be like without that blasted genetic mutation. after all, lots of other kids were staring, speechless at the rows and rows of displays as well. 

macy's was all aglow and we had fun maneuvering our way through the crowds with a stroller. 
we shopped on canal street {where ryan bumped into an elderly chinese lady with the stroller and he got an he gave her an earful back...who knew a white guy could speak chinese!?}, ate lots of pizza, caught a glimpse of the tree in rockefeller plaza {set up, but not lit when we went} and spent quiet evenings at "home". 
  {loved these angels in rockefeller plaza.}
 {miss ribbons and her dad by a big apple in the big apple.}

i drove most of the way both ways so ryan could study. and this ended up being super awesome because i got to listen to hours and hours of christmas music. a truly fantastic weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

multiple choice

a. i ate waaaaaaaaaaay to much tonight. but it was oh-so-good.

b. it's okay that i ate waaaaaaaaaaay to much tonight because i'm eating for two.

c. i am feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for all my many blessings this particular thanksgiving day.

d. all of the above.  

could not be any happier that the answer is d.

thanksgiving day bust

i'd really rather not talk about thanksgiving 2011, but i will. for posterity's sake. you're welcome, posterity. 

it started out like any other thanksgiving day. oh wait. i didn't run the turkey trot i've run for the past five years. i sat on my behind instead. 

but, ryan did get his football on. in the snow, no less.

we lazed around that morning doing nothing - because leah had a whopping eleven seizures that day. ELEVEN. she even had one at the dinner table. seizures + leah + the floor = this:

{i'll spare you the picture of her bruised, carpet-burned forehead and instead post the pic of her resting peacefully on the couch with her french braids. ryan and i for sure get the parents-of-the-year award for that one.}

mid-day, i put the turkey in, leaving ample time for some extra cooking, if needed, as well as time to cool and carve before we walked across the street to feast at the holbrook's house. that ample time came and went and then went some more and the turkey was still pink. i was confused {and frustrated and on the verge of tears} because i've made turkeys before and they've NEVER taken this long to cook. i know i thawed it correctly. i know my oven cooks at the correct temperature, so why, why, WHY was this happening to me? 

{it dawned on ryan, a few hours after the fact, that the blasted pizza stone resting on the bottom rack in the oven was sucking up all the heat. i might never eat pizza again...}

at the eleventh hour, the laytons finally arrived with the bird and a sleepy, seizure-laden leah in tow. the ten other guests {including two other from china who was experiencing her first thanksgiving - go me} were waiting patiently with their perfectly prepared - and timed - sides, and we ate.

and i should have enjoyed it, but i didn't. i enjoyed the company. and i thoroughly enjoyed the mashed potatoes. but the four year old who didn't join us for most of dinner...and the fowl that did...just ruined it for me. 

sorry, thanksgiving 2011. i kind of don't like you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

but today...

...but today was a little better. 
Today there was no school, so we just got to hang out. 
Today there were no seizures. Zip. Zilch. Zero. 
Today it snowed. And we got to play in it - your first time ever. 
Today, my little girl still couldn't do all those things I wish she could do. 
But today, we chose to wipe our tears and have fun doing the things she can. 
Like dress up in super cute snow clothes with friends. (*This picture was taken at 4:45pm. Yes, it is really that dark.)
And stomp in the snow. 
And make snow angels. 
And go sledding with dad.  (And love it even if you both go flying off the sled!)
Yup, today was a much better day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

the perfect holiday pie

i'm not sure how you can go wrong when you combine a group of girlfriends, a night out and pie. it really was amazing. 

i took the "pies for the holiday table" class at the famous king arthur flour with five other lovely ladies {and a room full of fellow wannabe bakers} and it did not disappoint. i learned all about "visible butter" and the perfect crust and am no longer afraid to venture from the store-bought, pre-made version. 

i tasted my first date and, although nervous, didn't die. 

i had my first encounter with a french pin {have i ever mentioned that i'm part french?} and fell in love. it might be on a future birthday list. 

speaking of birthday lists, i'd also be happy with my very own butcher block countertop. i've never seen flour spread so evenly!

and, not only did i get three delectable recipes and take home two mouth watering desserts to be placed at the thanksgiving table, i also got a bowl scraper. bonus! 

king arthur flour: i'll be back.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I don’t like today. At all.
Today I just want my little Leah back.
Today I don’t want to have to watch or hear about any more seizures. Ever.
Today I just want to hear her little voice. Speaking sentences.
Today I want her to be able to do more than just splash in the tub.
Today I want to know what she wants for Christmas. Not just guess.
Today I want her to hand me a store ad with a bazillion obnoxious, expensive, ridiculous toys circled and have her tell me she neeeeeeds them all.
Today I want her to tell me what she wants for lunch.
Today I want her to be able to eat her snack all by herself.
Today I don’t want others to treat her differently.
Today I want her to wear underwear like every 4 year old deserves to wear. And to not have to wait for an adult to change her.
Today I don’t want her to have a headache because she can’t help but grind her teeth.
Today I don’t want her to have blisters on her fingers because she can’t help but twist them together. 
Today i want her to be able to complete an art project. Not hand-over-hand. 
Today I want her to be able to brush her hair out of her face.
Today I want her to be able to grab a Kleenex when she needs to blow her nose.
Today I want her to be able to play with a toy.
Today I want her to be able to read a book.
Today I want her to be able to choose her own clothes. And then dress herself.
Today I’m missing some friends. And wishing she could have truly normal friendships like other four year olds.
Today I’m mad. And sad. And tired. And I just want to stop crying.
Some days I can handle. Today I cannot.

Monday, November 14, 2011


when ryan was first accepted to tuck, one of the first things he mentioned was his desire and excitement to play in the "tripod" hockey league. no, he's never played hockey before. 

i'll give you a second to figure out why they call themselves tripods*.
team general motorboats

it's been seriously fun to watch him play. the first time i went it was a scrimmage game. in a matter of a few minutes he scored a goal and fell flat on his face. leah and i cheered both times. 

the second game i watched was actually at dartmouth's super nice, relatively heated, stadium seating rink. and it was with two other wives that are my good friends - one from each team. much better than the first game. general motorboats won 5-1. and, even though the games were only two weeks apart, i was amazed at how much they had all improved in such a short amount of time. 

other than his hockey gear taking up an entire room in our house {and smelling ever-so-sweet}, and ryan coming home a sweaty smelly mess after every game,  it's been a really fun experience!  it has been great to watch him learn {and improve upon} a new skill, get a break from schoolwork and exercise all in one fell swoop!

playoffs start tomorrow and ryan's team has the no. 1 seed. so wish him luck. 
if you ever want to find ryan in a group shot, 
he's the only one wearing green socks with three white stripes.
 nice stretching, brennan.
 maren, emily, liz. 
 knocking their hockey sticks against the rink after their team scored a goal. 
 goooooooooooooo general motorboats!
 brent is the only one nice enough to actually smile for the camera. 
 "good game, good game, good game."
brennan, brent and ryan. 

*couldn't figure it out? they need their legs AND their hockey sticks to stay upright. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

i hate seizures

that was the best title i could think of. and it's true. and really, i mostly hate watching my daughter have a seizure - something i've had to do waaaaaaaaaay too often in the past two months. 

about mid september, about once a day, she'd get really stiff {so stiff that we couldn't move her limbs at all}, her eyes would roll up and she'd just be vacant for about 30-60 seconds. we thought they were seizures, but weren't really sure. we started writing down when it was happening, what she was doing, how long, etc. and then it would happen twice a day. and then, in addition to becoming stiff, she'd also start "pulsing" throughout her entire body. she would have these major, full-body twitches in a very rhythmic movement. and it was scary. 

on her worst day, she had seven. 

these seizures were wiping her out. she'd often sleep anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or two after she seized. only to seize again. we were spending our days on the couch, with no energy to do anything else. 

after a few weeks, we did get an appointment with a neurologist, whose resident was lucky enough to see leah in action. he ordered an eeg {which deserved its own post} and, after the results of the eeg, prescribed leah an anti-epileptic medication. 

but then before we even gave her the medication, she didn't have one single seizure for eight days. followed by one a day for four straight days. ugh. so we started her on keppra with known side effects of irritability and that's about it. and we're crossing our fingers. she's been on the medication for six days now and i've seen two seizures. but none in the last four days. 

i'm really hoping this is a phase. i'm really hoping seizures aren't one more thing that has to plague her tiny little body. one more thing that i have to explain to her without having an explanation. in the meantime, i'll hold her close and try to comfort her and pray for the strength to be the strong one.

although i know you are all dying to see video of miss ribbons seizing {we have plenty, i assure you}, i'll instead leave you with a smattering of pictures of our couch, and the pillows, blankets and skinny four year old that have been adorning it as of late. plus one in her new big girl, bovine car seat.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

it's gonna be a loooooooooong winter

when this utah-turned-california girl turned on the news and heard the weather man say, "there's a slight chance of snow in the upper valley" i pretty much shrugged it off. after all, i've seen snow before. i lived in it for 25+ years. weather man said it wouldn't stick. we'd barely notice it at all. 

so when i noticed it and it stuck for more than a day, i may or may not have panicked. i kind of laughed at myself, though, reminiscing about the week i moved from utah to california. it was 20 or so degrees in utah when we left that january. and a chilly 50-60 in the bay area. i saw people wearing mittens, scarves and heavy winter coats and i kind of wanted to laugh. i felt like unpacking my flip flops!

well here i am, just shy of 5 years later, wearing my winter boots, coats and scarves. 

this isn't to say i didn't enjoy it. i love my winter coats, boots and scarves. i actually loved seeing the hills covered in a crisp, white blanket with the brilliance of fall poking out from underneath. and i really loved seeing my skinny miss ribbons plumped up in a puffy winter coat*. 

but i did get a little nervous. nervous that this was just the first of many storms. nervous that, although these flakes did melt, the others won't for a long, long time. as in, i probably won't see grass until ryan's out of school for the year. i missed the four seasons in california. but i might really like the lack of them in a few months.

i'm prepared now. and i'm beginning to understand the reason that new hampshire leads the 50 states in online shopping. yes, i added to those statistics. leah's dresser is now stocked with long socks, ski gloves {that will go up to her elbows} and fleece lined jeans. it's gonna be a long winter, but we're ready. 

*try to not remind leah of her coat. we're hoping to hold off until christmas. we give cool gifts like that.