Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Friday, July 18, 2008

An Announcement. A Complaint. And a Cry for Help.

The Announcement:

We're expecting a baby in February. Hooray!

The Complaint:

I feel like hell. This morning sickness is unrelenting. I don't throw up, so I feel like I shouldn't complain, but being nauseated all night and all day without a reprieve is starting to wear on me. And it's not just the nausea. It's the exhaustion. And also the fact that the exhaustion and the nausea combine to make the world feel black, black, black. Almost every day finds me at my mom's or my sister's begging for company and assistance. I just can't stand to be alone all day with my very active little boy while I feel so terrible.

The Cry For Help:

I feel like I can't endure a single day more, let alone 3-5 more weeks (which doesn't sound like much, I know-- but that's a lot of very very long days of feeling black and sick and unhappy.) I tried mentioning it to my OB, who is a very lovely woman, at my first prenatal visit, but our conversation went something like this:

OB: So, you're pregnant! That's wonderful! Fantastic! So exciting!
Me: Yeah, thanks.
OB (big, bright smile): So how have you been?
Me: OK. I've had some morning sickness.
OB: Oh? Have you been throwing up a lot?
Me: Well, no....
OB: Why, that's wonderful! Fantastic! So exciting!
Me: Um, I guess so. I do try to tell myself that I'm lucky to not be throwing up.
OB: You're such a cutie! Well, come on. Let's go do an ultrasound. I bet you have a beautiful baby.

And she was off to the ultrasound room. And I, not very good at being pushy with people I'm not close to, obediently followed her out.

What would have been nice at this point in our conversation, however, was some questioning about the intensity of my nausea and perhaps some suggestions for how to alleviate it. But the truth is, I've read it all: eat saltines before you get out of bed in the morning, eat small meals throughout the day, try vitamin B6, try Unisom combined with vitamin B6, drink ginger tea, take ginger supplements, cut the iron out of your prenatal vitamin. And the saltines just make me feel worse, the small meals don't really make a difference (sometimes they make it worse), the vitamin B6/Unisom combo didn't work with Soren, ginger tea makes me gag, my prenatal vitamin doesn't impact my nausea, and I'm just a little uncertain about the ginger supplements.

But seriously. I know this is so lame of me, and that I'm probably the world's biggest wimp, but I'm really thinking if I have to go through this AGAIN for another child, I might just be done with two. I would LIKE more children, but this is just such a living nightmare for me that I can't stand the thought of doing it again.

And this is where I beg for suggestions for dealing with morning sickness, words of encouragement or hope, anything, really. Just throw a sick dog a bone, huh?

Seth and Karen: July 4, 2008

On the 4th of July, my brother Seth married his sweetheart, Karen.

They got married in Sealander Park, a private park near my parents' home in Woodville, Idaho. It's always been one of my favorite places and now has even more reason to be so. The ceremony was performed by Bishop Kris Kelley and was very simple and beautiful. Only very close friends and family were in attendance.

Here we are: the warm and nurturing homemaker, the stoic and protective provider, and the wiggly and troublemaking toddler. :)

My mom and dad (far left) with my sister Collette (the cutie in the blue dress), her husband, Marty, and their four children (l-r: Calysta, Tessa, Marty, and Arielle). My brother Scott and his wife, Amanda, were not able to make it to the wedding. Turns out last-minute plane tickets from Houston to Idaho Falls are pricy.

We're very happy for Seth and excited about Karen joining the family. Congratulations you two!
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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Summer Fun

Every Friday morning my sister watches Soren while I go to work; in the evenings, her kids come over to our house while she and her husband have their date night. Here we all are, frolicking in the backyard. Soren was not a fan of the sprinkler.
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Abe's Father's Day Gift

Doesn't he look handsome in his new suit? It's his first since his mission. And I don't want to tell you how long it's been since he left on his mission.
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We bought a new car!

With cash dollah. We were so proud. Especially Abraham. He's not one to write home prolifically, but this purchase warranted a rather lengthy missive to his siblings about the ins and outs of used car purchasing.
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My Sweet Little Boy,

You are now 18 months old. Eighteen months! All at once eighteen months seems enormously long (weren't you born just yesterday?) and tremendously short (could I ever have not known and loved you?)

Last month I wrote about how excited I was about taking you to nursery. I was so excited, in fact, that early in the month, after a particularly trying sacrament meeting, I cornered the Primary president and held you toward her. "He's seventeen and a half months old!" I begged. Without hesitation she jerked her thumb over her shoulder, toward the nursery door. "Send 'im in!" After curtsying gratefully, I took you to the nursery, told them your name, and left you happily digging through the toy closet, throwing balls and trucks and dolls over your shoulders. "Bye honey!" I said. You didn't even look up.

It seems that every newsletter needs to include a park story. This is not intentional; it's just that I take you to the park several times a week. It seems like a good way to pass the time and it gives us both some much-needed sunshine and exercise. But my park story this month isn't really a story at all; it's just a moment that my mommy heart's internal camera captured, and wants to relate to you. We were at Goodsell Elementary, climbing around on the playground toys (incidentally the very same playground toys I played on when I was a student there), and I sat down on a swing while you ran off to play. Looking out across the paved portion of the playground, I reflected on those years of running across that blacktop-- the skinned knees, the double-dutch jump rope contests, the games of kiss tag, the huddles of half-frozen children, the alliances formed, the enemies established--when I looked up and saw you. There you were, running in your bumpy toddler way across the blacktop yourself, swinging your arms up to clap in the front, and then in back, a little rooster tail of soft hair poking up on the back of your head. You looked so little. And so grown-up. And so vulnerable. And so brave.

This past month you've discovered your mother's Achilles' Heel. You've found that if she's busy and you want attention, whining at her legs might gain you a sympathetic look and a pat on the head--but holding a book and whining at her legs will cause her to involuntary stop whatever she's doing, sit down, cuddle you in her lap, and read to you. You've also noticed know that you can push back your bedtime by a good fifteen minutes by begging for more stories.

Also, it turns out that I've been letting my politics infiltrate my parenting style. I discovered this one evening when Uncle Sue brought a politically active friend, Nathan, to documentary night. At some point during the dinner-making process, you got whiny, so I put you in your high chair and handed you some graham crackers, then turning my attention to other matters. Auntie Loriann, however, was watching you quite closely. "He's eating those crackers all wrong!" she exclaimed. "Look at him! He's shoving them all into his mouth! He just wedged one in sideways! Somebody needs to stop him!" I glanced over, saw that you were still breathing, and said, "He'll gag if the crackers get pushed back too far. He's fine." Nathan immediately pointed at Loriann and declared, "Liberal," then at me and assessed, "Libertarian." And he was dead right.

On that same evening, surrounded by a group of adults all terrified that you might touch the oven, you learned one of your now-favorite words: "Hot." It being summertime, this is a word you use a great deal. "Hot," you'll say when you step outside onto the balcony. "Hot," you'll repeat when you take another step. That puts your daily vocabulary up to: "Yes," "No," "Don't," "Meow," "Hot, and "Shoes." There are other words you might be saying (including the perennial "shit"), but we're not sure that you mean them yet. And I promise you didn't hear the s-word from me. Honest.

Your life's greatest comfort right now is hair. When you get tired or sad, you stroke the hair on the back of your head. If I'm holding you and you feel uncomfortable, you stroke my hair. You stroke Grandma's hair, you stroke Daddy's hair, you stroke Grandma's kitty's hair. The Relief Society president held you at church a couple weeks ago, and you stroked her hair. I'm really a short-haired person, but I have to keep my hair long because you love it so much.

The following is an excerpt from a note I left for your dad the other evening:

"Soren was so darling this afternoon. He slept until 3:30. When he awoke, my visiting teacher was here with her two children. Soren ignored Sydney, who's a year older than him, but was fascinated by Corbin, aged 7 months, who has a gigantic head and enormous blue eyes just like Soren's. At one point Corbin, who was lying on his belly on the floor, started to cry. Soren walked over, laid on the floor next to him, and smiled into his face. He also stroked his hair very gently. Then he tried to sit on Corbin's head. All of this--except for the head-sitting--served to lift Corbin's spirits. I was proud of Soren for responding to Corbin with (what at least looked like) compassion."

Speaking of your dad, I hope you know how much he, too, loves you. On Wednesday this week, the day that work takes him away from 8 in the morning until 11 at night, he commented to me over the telephone how much he was missing his "little toad." Later that night you woke up and I went into your room to comfort you. Your daddy, however, followed me in, hoping for a chance to cuddle you. He cuddled you in his arms and rocked you back to sleep.



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