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Sweet sweet relief

31 August 2009
Sparrow has been so well behaved for his grandma. I have been building up my time watching him during the day as we are being kicked out of the sick-house on Thursday. But Sparrow has been doing very well and is learning a lot. He can now point to his mouth, eyes, and nose. He knows the animal sounds for a duck, dog, cat, pig, cow, horse, bear, snake, monkey and elephant and we're working on sheep. Luckily he is strong enough to climb up on the couch on his own now, because I can't lift more than 10 lbs for the next month. It shouldn't be a problem except for getting him in and out of the car. We are moving him to a big boy bed on Thursday so I won't have to worry about lifting him in and out of bed.

When I am not watching Sparrow, I am usually unconscious! Tonight we took a trip as a family to get donuts (shh!), to get Sparrow some new church clothes and to the grocery store for some milk. Just going to three stores totally wiped me out (physically and emotionally - seeing all those baby clothes was pretty hard.) When I'm not sleeping, I have been knitting up a storm. Sparrow and Hawk now having matching blue hats for this winter and I have started knitting Sparrow a pair of mittens. I am actually going to make him two pair in case he loses one. I've also knit a couple of dish cloths. I love knitting, mostly because I hate sitting still and knitting keeps my hands busy and productive. I have been watching the Dick Van Dyke show on Netflix while I knit - it's hilarious! I am loving the humor and it's nice to not worry about if it's going to be clean or not, since stuff in that era is pretty innocent!

Last year I knit Sparrow a pumpkin hat for his Halloween costume. This year he is going to be a dragon and we just got his costume tonight, so I don't need to knit him one. I'll just stick with the mittens for now. Here is a picture of Sparrow with his pumpkin hat at about 8 months old.



My posts may be a little crazy for the next week or so - I love me some Oxycodone-whatever!

Comfort

29 August 2009
The day before I went in for surgery, I was given a Priesthood blessing by my father and a man who used to teach my Sunday school classes. I was anointed with consecrated oil set apart for the blessing of the sick, and these two wonderful men offered up a prayer and a blessing for me. I was told to let my heart be calm and at peace, and that there is a holy purpose at work here. I was told to love my husband and son and to serve them. Most of all, I was comforted as I sat under the hands of two noble, guiding influences in my life. It's hard to describe, but it was a wonderful experience.

I tried to recall the words of comfort as I lay shivering and alone in pre-op. As tears streamed down my face, I recalled a scripture that has always been a great comfort to me. When I was a teenager I found a small card decorated with flowers. It says my first name at the top, and underneath the meaning of my name. Then it gives this scripture.

"...Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."--Joshua 1:9

As a teenager I loved the scripture because we moved a lot and starting over in a new place has always been very difficult for me. This reminder that the Lord is always near me kept my spirits up when we moved during my senior year of high school.

I had lost this little card and thus lost the scripture, but I found it again just last week. I believe that finding that card with that beautiful reminder of the Lord's love for me was a tender mercy given to me by a caring Father in Heaven. I recited the scripture to myself as I waited to be taken into the operating room and I felt more at peace.

Finally, one more thing that gave me comfort were some hymns. Truthfully, they are not hymns I know well, but they were what sprang to my mind when I was trying to think of something besides the pain ahead of me. Even though I didn't know all the words, I still found peace in humming the melody and thinking of the words I did know.

Each of these songs mean so much to me. I hope you will click on the link I have provided and listen to the beautiful music and the incredible message.

"Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain...
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below."

--Be Still My Soul (coincidentally this is the version I listened to just before I was taken to pre-op)

"Abide with me, 'tis eventide!
And lone will be the night,
If I cannot commune with Thee,
Nor find in Thee my light.
...O Saviour, stay this night with me;
Behold, 'tis eventide."

--Abide with Me, 'Tis Eventide

"I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From Him I'll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain
His voice is heard:

"Ye shall obtain."

I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With Him I'll stand in that great day
When on this earth He comes again
to rule among the sons of men."

--I Believe in Christ

I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who is so kind and generous in His blessings. If I hold to what I know to be true, I truly have nothing to fear in life. As long as I follow his teachings, the Lord is with me wherever I may go, and this gives me peace, comfort, and courage.

Surgery - The Long Version

26 August 2009
I am on some heavy drugs, so hopefully this story will make sense anyway.

Hawk and I stayed up till 4:30 a.m. Hawk wouldn't go to bed without me, and I really wanted to finish cutting up squares for a quilt I am making. We woke up at 7, left for the hospital at 8 and arrived at 9. I planned my funeral on the way to the hospital :)

We were taken to my hospital room and I changed into a roomy hospital gown and fuzzy slipper socks. I listened to Libera and played Zuma on my iPod and Hawk read. At 10:30 an orderly wheeled me down to pre-op. I said goodbye to Hawk at the door, told him I loved him and asked him to take care of Sparrow and the cats if I died. Then I said "Go eat something." The last words I said to my husband before I went into surgery. It amuses me.

I was pretty emotional in pre-op because I was all alone, with no glasses so I was completely blind. I was scared. And I still don't want this to be my situation. My doctor came in in the middle of me crying and was very nice. Everyone was exceptionally nice, actually. My last hospital experience was in Arkansas when I had Sparrow, and everyone was pretty grumpy and angry about the whole thing. My nurses here were so sweet and so caring.

The anesthesiologist came in and gave me some drugs to take away the anxiety, then wheeled me into the OR. They fastened everything on, blood pressure cuff, pulse-ox, EKG monitors, and the last thing I remember is having the oxygen mask placed gently over my face and the nurse holding my hand. Nothing like when I was having the C-section and the nurses were yelling and the anesthesiologist was pushing down the mask so hard it cut my face.

I remember waking up and being in pain. I remember crying and moaning and I remember especially asking--begging--for Hawk and also begging for my stuffed dog. Apparently I fell asleep for a half hour and when I woke up there was a wonderful nurse by my side.

She was so, so nice. I babbled on for an hour and she just sat there and talked to me. I'm sure I wasn't coherent, but she was so sweet and nice to just sit and talk with me. I wish I knew her last name so I could send her a thank-you card. She said that when I woke up I asked if the anesthesiologist was okay (when I was 6 I had surgery and as I was waking up I beat up my doctor. Oops.) and he was. I'm just so impressed she listened to me babble about everything under the sun for an hour. The only thing I remember solidly is asking her if she was LDS and telling her Sparrow's middle name; he was named after the former president of our church because he was born the night President Hinckley passed away. She was very reassuring when I asked for Hawk and my stuffed dog. She said I was in a lot of pain when I woke up, so I was on several different medications.

Yep, I was on at least 5. One of which was morphine. I have never had morphine before and I don't ever want it again! While I don't mind the sleepy feeling, it makes me itchy like nothing else! My poor face is about to be scratched off it itches so much! It also makes me hallucinate, which has actually been kind of fun.

I was taken back up to my hospital room about 2:00. Hawk was waiting for me and held my hand and hugged me and took care of me. He was so wonderful to me and very patient letting me babble on about everything. This is also where I was filled in about what happened in surgery. My doctor went and talked to Hawk while I was in recovery, so I never heard directly from him about what was going on in my body.

My fallopian tube is just fine. When I had my C-section, the left ovary adhered itself to my abdominal wall and was causing the weird looking shadows on the X-ray. He cut the ovary away from my abdominal wall and that should help fix things. Also, the metal coil from Essure never made it into that tube in the first place. Instead it has been trying to insert itself into my intestines or something. They took out the metal coil and clamped both tubes just to be safe, so I am now hopefully officially sterile.

Hawk and I both took naps in the hospital room from 2:30 to 4:30. Then the nurse came in and got me prepped for discharge. My blood pressure after sitting up for 5 minutes was 115/56, (write it in the history books people!) so I had to take it very slowly and carefully. I was also in some pain by this point so I was given more medication.

We were able to leave the hospital at 5:30. After stopping for a snack and drinks at Arctic Circle, we went to Walmart to have my prescriptions filled. Walmart only gave me half of my Percoset prescription because that was all the pills they had so I now have to call my doctor and get a refill. Argh. That was a nightmare that took about an hour.

We didn't get down to my mom's house till 8. Sparrow and I will be living here with my mom and dad and brother and sister. My grandma is staying as well and watching Sparrow during the day while everyone is at work/school. Sparrow was so thrilled to see me. It was so hard to not pick him up, all he wanted was for me to hold him. It was very validating because this week has been so hard for both of us. I missed him immensely today, and it looks like he missed me too. I won't be able to pick him up for at least a month. He is not going to be happy.

So that is the story. I am doing surprisingly well, but the anesthesia hasn't worn off and won't until tomorrow afternoon, so we'll see how I'm doing then. Since I wasn't allowed to drink after midnight last night, I am extremely thirsty. (Ever tried eating a cracker when your body can't produce any saliva? It was such a weird experience.) I also had to have a tube down my throat so I have a sore throat now and will likely have swelling tomorrow. But all in all, this is nothing compared to the pain and terror of a C-section.

Thank you for all the well wishes, thoughts, and prayers. I was very blessed today because of them.

Singing along

24 August 2009
Today Sparrow and I attended a Music Together demo class.

These kinds of things are hard for me, because I have relatively severe social anxiety. Thus, if I am not perfect, and if Sparrow doesn't act perfectly, I get panicky. It's hard to let go. So when Sparrow screamed bloody murder whenever the music stopped, or tried to open the door to leave the room, or *ahem* soiled his diaper right as class started, I had some struggles.

But ultimately we survived, and even had fun. I signed us up to start classes in the middle of September. I feel it is important for Sparrow and I to be in a class because it's something we can participate in and work through together outside of our daily routine and outside of the house.

Music has been a very important influence in my life starting from the day I was born and I have always wanted to share the joy it brings me with my children. Sparrow seems to have inherited my musical aptitude, thank goodness (sorry Hawk, we love you anyway), and I am thrilled to have something I can share with him. Sparrow usually goes completely still when music starts playing, listens for a moment and then just continues listening or else starts dancing. If I turn music on during a tantrum, he will usually stop in mid-scream to listen.

Currently his favorite song is "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Since I sing it approximately 10,000 times a day, it is now my least favorite song. I really need to think up new words for the tune! I don't have a favorite song because they are all my favorite, but my favorite lullaby to sing to Sparrow is "Suo Gan," a beautiful Welsh song. You can listen to it here on YouTube.

Music-talk aside, today has been somewhat grim. I went to the hospital today to get registered, have a blood draw and an EKG. The fact that I will be under the knife very soon is starting to worry me, and get in the way of plans I have in my beady little brain.

So much to do, so little time.

Got to be free

21 August 2009
Sparrow loves the outdoors. Loves being outside. He asks me approximately 2000 times a day to go for a "gock," which is "go walk." Since heat (and therefore summer) is my mortal enemy, I have a hard time giving into his request very often. But today we went out for a half hour and I let him run around diaperless in our "backyard," which is actually a bunch of people's backyards since we live in a townhouse.



He loves running around, and I love looking at that view. I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. From our back porch, we can see all the way to downtown Salt Lake. It's awesome.

Argh

20 August 2009
Sparrow is teething. Sparrow is screaming at the top of his lungs. We are out of teething tablets, and no car today.

I messed up on the baby sweater I was knitting and have to rip out some of it. We are out of milk and Sparrow is mad. I substituted yogurt for milk in the blueberry muffins I made earlier and they taste funny (still good, but funny). I gained a pound despite exercising and eating really well this week. Whine!! I ripped the top layer of skin off my toe somehow and it is throbbing and bleeding and hurty to walk, whine whine whine.

Sparrow pooped in the shower and is now throwing his toys across the room as hard as he can. And screaming. He screamed the whole time we had visitors over this morning.

ONE OF THOSE DAYS.

Expectations

19 August 2009
I have such high hopes for myself that sometimes it all seems a little overwhelming. Then when I don't live up to my expectations, I get depressed and shut down, spending hours on the couch with Sparrow watching Baby Signing Time. Which makes me feel worse.

My expectations don't only hurt me, but they hurt my family too. If I expect too much of Sparrow, we both end up frustrated and sad. I have been determined this week to buy Sparrow a set of foam blocks. I want to start teaching him the names of colors, and thought these blocks would really help. Today I stopped to think about it on the way to the store (because, let's be honest, I really needed to pee and I didn't want to make another stop.) Sparrow doesn't care about learning the colors, and he doesn't even really like blocks. He has a set of wooden blocks he already doesn't play with. Also, he would eat the foam. I have proof - he chewed huge chunks out of a foam mattress pad during our RV trip. So what is the point of buying him toys he doesn't need in the name of "education"? Bah.

Sometimes I expect too much of Hawk. I used to be all depressed that he never surprises me with flowers. Oh, woe. Today instead of moping about it, I asked him to please bring me some pretty flowers when I am recovering from my surgery. I even pointed out the kind I would like at the store, so he knows I'm not into roses this time. Does it take away the surprise aspect? Yes, but it's much better than hoping he's going to bring me flowers and being crushed when he doesn't.

For me, I sure want to be able to get up at 6 in the morning and read the Bible front to back and make a healthy breakfast and exercise and keep Sparrow happy, entertained, and learning and keep the house spotless and build up my food storage and visit teach and cook a wonderful delicious dinner and let Hawk relax with his feet up while I bustle about keeping caught up with dishes and laundry and read 10 books a day and write and visit with my online and real life friends and knit 5 baby sweaters and make it to bed by 10, but I'm working on being honest with myself. Lately our days have started at 8 with a breakfast of oatmeal, a trip to the gym for an hour or so, then errands, and lunch. Quiet time is 1-3 (during which time I usually pass out) and then I spend the two hours before Hawk gets home either playing on the computer, playing with Sparrow, or frantically cleaning. Sure, I'd like to be a little more organized and "together." But I'm not willing to kill myself to get to that point.

A little at a time, and if it's not perfect, it's not perfect.

This post brought to you by lack of sleep, too much knitting, and a serious lack of Chinese food.

Bonding with television

14 August 2009
Hawk and I love to watch movies and TV shows together. We don't have actual TV, but for shows we like we either watch them on the Internet if they are still ongoing, or we rent/buy the shows that aren't. One of our favorite things to do when we get hooked on a new series is after Sparrow goes to bed, we come downstairs to the TV room, snuggle up on the couch and have a dinner-picnic watching as many episodes as we can stand before bedtime. We can't wait till Sparrow is old enough to hunker down on the couch with us. Here are some shows we love.

The Golden Girls.
I know it sounds weird; I also love MASH. I started watching The Golden Girls when I was 13 and have been in love ever since. I've probably seen every episode 10 times each, but I don't care. I love this show! Hawk bought me Season 5 on DVD for our first Christmas together. Season 5 has some of the funniest episodes ever. I made him watch a few with me, and that was it! He's hooked too. Now we have 4 seasons and turn it on every now and then when we need something familiar to laugh at.

Dollhouse.
The first few episodes of this were just okay, but after you get to episode 5 or 6 the series really picks up. I loved watching every second of Dollhouse and Hawk loved it too. We are so excited for season 2 and are so happy that FOX Networks pulled their heads out of their ***es and let Joss Whedon work his magic.

Avatar: The Last Airbender.
We just barely started watching this one two weeks ago and after we finished season 1, we immediately went out and bought seasons 2 and 3. Neither of us can believe a show this good was made on Nickelodeon. Avatar is an anime-like cartoon with lots of cute characters (both human and animal), lots of drama, a great storyline, romance, great humor and martial arts! We just finished season 3 this week and are both in awe of how great it was. I think anyone could find something to love about Avatar.

LOST.
Of course. Back when Hawk and I were in college and not dating, I was kind of known around our circles of friends as the one who could hook you up with great shows on DVD. I owned shows like Firefly (also great) and the short-lived Miracles and my best friend and roommate and I would have movie nights often and invite tons of people over for marathons. Hawk got hooked on season 1 right before we started dating. At the time, I would download episodes of season 2 to my computer, so once we started dating he'd come over and watch the latest episodes with me. Right before the season finale, he had 7 or 8 episodes to catch up on, so he came over to get as much watched as possible the night before. That night I fell asleep on the couch and he pulled an all-nighter watching all of season 2! Lately I have not been feeling the LOST-love so much, but Hawk is still really into it.

Jericho.
We've taken a break from this show because it makes me go crazy stocking up on food storage, but we love it. Jericho is the story of a Kansas town and what happens with its residents after nuclear bombs go off all over the United States. It's a fascinating story, very engaging, and hooks you quickly. Of course, that means it was canceled (like all the rest of my favorite shows). There were 2 seasons of Jericho, and talk of a movie in the works. We are still on season 1, but I read the Wikipedia page on it because I couldn't stand waiting to find out what happens. I'm bad like that.

Honorable mentions: House, The Gilmore Girls, Frasier, Pushing Daisies, and Castle (we LOVE Nathan Fillion). We've also started watching X-Files (another long-time love of mine) and I plan on watching Fringe, seeing if it's good, and getting Hawk hooked on it if it is! One thing I love about my husband is that he likes all kinds of movies, even "chick flicks"!

What shows do you love? Have any recommendations? We're up for trying just about anything!

Memories

We moved a lot when I was a kid; on average we were in a new house every 3 years. I went to 5 different elementary schools, stayed in the same middle school all 3 years but went to 3 different high schools. I didn't mind moving so much until it got to high school. I'm still a little bummed even now that I didn't get "the high school experience"; that the school I graduated from is the one I spent the least amount of time at. Granted, if we hadn't moved during my senior year I wouldn't have graduated with my Associate's Degree at age 17, but it's still a little sad when I think of all my friends in Florida and my other high school in Northern Utah who I won't see at reunions and such.

Anyway, when I was 10 we moved to what was my favorite house. It was a split level in South Ogden. My parents and brother and sister all had rooms upstairs. Then there was the main level with the living room and kitchen. I lived in the basement all by myself. It was awesome! I loved it. I loved that it was quiet and private. It was cool year round (I like being cool). It was my cave, my lair. I spent three important years of my life in that room and I think about it often.

By the time I was 16 we had moved 10 times. Sheesh! Hawk, on the other hand, only moved once the whole time he lived with his family, and he was 2 years old at the time! He only remembers growing up in one house. I can't even imagine that. I would go crazy living in the same place for so long.

In 3 years of marriage, Hawk and I have moved 3.5 times. We moved to our married home together, moved to Arkansas and back, and then finally to this house. Sparrow, then, has moved twice already in his short life. Hawk is adamant that we will be staying in Utah for at least 10 years... but he didn't say anything about staying in the same house that long!

Have you moved a lot? Do you like it or hate it? Do you still live near where you grew up?

The Verdict

12 August 2009
August 26th. I'll be having the "easier" surgery (no hysterectomy, sad!) Something about a 6 inch incision, sticking a camera in there, doing a tubal and if the tube is bad enough he'll take it out.

I'm a little bummed I still have to keep all the girly bits (because really, is there a point to menstruation if you can't have kids? I think not.) But it's nice to have a date nailed down. And hopefully while they're operating they can take out the little metal coil that's causing troubles. When I exercise, move, roll over, and generally exist? It feels like there's a little knife stabbing me. Which, essentially, I guess it is.

I plan on writing a really awesome "My Experiences with Essure" post, but today is not that day.

Oh also, Sparrow blew bubbles in the pool at swimming lessons yesterday, and today while he was going around stealing everyone's rubber ducks he fell into the pool. It scared him more than anything, but he was only in for 15 seconds before I pulled him out, and I think he held his breath the whole time because he didn't choke or spit out water at all when I grabbed him.

Suspense!

11 August 2009
The doctor was supposed to call yesterday to let me know if I'm having an easy surgery or a major surgery. I'M IN SUSPENSE HERE DUDE. *shiver*

Struggles

07 August 2009
It seems that 2009 has been a year of grief for me. In March, when I had the Essure procedure done, I grieved for the children I would never have. Just when I felt like I was making some headway in dealing with the grief, I had the followup procedure a few weeks ago. The sterilization was not complete, and there was still a possibility I could get pregnant.

It's a struggle, to be sure. One I'm not sure I can really describe. Before I had Essure, I would tell Hawk every so often "but I'm tough! I could still have another baby! It will be okay!" After the procedure, I slowly stopped saying and thinking that. Now it's started all over again, and I'm sure the idea won't leave my head until I ... hit menopause?

But every time Hawk said "no dear, it's too dangerous," and every time I told myself "no self, you would die!," my heart would ache. Wah wah, wah wah. Somebody call the WAAAAAAAH-mbulance.

Anyway, the point is, my OBGYN called yesterday. It looks like something is "wrong" with my fallopian tube and he wants to do an exploratory type surgery to figure out what's going on. While he's at it, he'll do a tubal and I should be good to go. I called today and asked if we can't just do a total hysterectomy, and I'm waiting to hear back on that.

So yeah, I could still get pregnant. It's a huge temptation, and I mean ENORMOUS, to sneakily go off my birth control pills. No one would know until I was with child! But as my OB said, if I get pregnant I would have to terminate the pregnancy or risk death.

So let this be a lesson to you ladies. Before you get pregnant, seek out the advice of a medical professional. Don't just wing it. If I had winged it, I would most likely not be here right now.

Picture post!

03 August 2009
I need to move to Forks (Washington) because I am basically a vampire. Summer is my mortal enemy.

On the way to Oregon we passed through Idaho. 18 miles outside of Boise, the tire blew. Have you ever been in an RV when the tire blows out? I thought we were being shot at. Luckily we only had to wait 3 hours in the 95 degree RV for the tire guy to come.


Our hero!


Finally we made it to Oregon. Here is Sparrow checking out the foliage. We don't have foliage in Utah.


Sparrow and me at Cape Meares.


The boy LOVED the beach.


"What do you mean, we have to go back to the RV?"


One of my life goals was to horseback ride on the beach. Cross that one off the list, it's done!


Sparrow chasing me in the Redwoods. Note that this was before we fell and I broke sprained my stinkin' ankle.


Because of terrifyingly huge mosquitoes, we "roasted" S'mores in the RV over the stove. This was Sparrow's first marshmallow ever. He got it all over Great Grandma too.


Of course, I have thousands of pictures I could share. The Coast was absolutely beautiful beyond belief. Basically I am counting the minutes until I can travel back there. If I don't end up living in England, then I surely want to end up in coastal Oregon. Or Washington. Whatever, just so long as it's cool, green, and rainy. Mmmm, vampire weather.

The Great Jelly Belly Incident

02 August 2009
Last Saturday, we stopped at the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, CA. It was our last major stop on the RV trip (thank goodness.) I'm not really a fan of jelly beans, but my mom was so excited about the prospect of Jelly Bellys in her belly that she could barely contain herself.

After the tour (which I would have found slightly more interesting if my ankle hadn't been broken the day before, just sayin') we stopped in the gift shop and waited for my mom to spend my dad's entire paycheck on jelly beans. Sparrow was standing in his stroller. Momentary lapse of judgment on my part. We were stopped. Sparrow reached out for something--

--and landed on the tile floor, directly on his forehead. The sound was terrifying. Like a watermelon bursting open. Like a skull bursting open. I grabbed him immediately and he cried and cried. He had blood on his face and on his shirt. We never did find out where it was coming from.

I turned to my grandma and said "we need an ice pack." As I was saying this, an employee approached and asked if she could help, if we wanted an ice pack. She went to get us one. Sparrow was so sad, so pitiful. The day before I had dropped him while hiking in the redwoods, and now he'd fallen on his head again. How awful a parent am I?

Sandra, the Jelly Belly employee, came back with the ice pack. We set Sparrow on the counter to try and calm him down. She brought him a plush Jelly Belly, but he wanted nothing to do with it. She brought him a small fan that flashes JELLY BELLY when it's spinning. He LOVED that. She let us keep the toys and the ice pack. She was so wonderfully kind I could hardly believe it. The accident was so obviously our fault, I wouldn't have thought twice if she'd thrown ice at us, called me a child abuser, and kicked us out of the factory.

I am now thoroughly convinced that Jelly Belly is one of the best companies in the world, and I absolutely plan on buying Jelly Bellys every chance I get. Even though the buttered popcorn flavor is disgusting beyond belief.

That is the story of the Jelly Belly incident. Now go forth and buy the beans! But not the buttered popcorn ones.