Marc and Megan Logo

family photo family photo family photo family photo family photo family photo

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some thoughts

My mind is weighed down with thoughts. All evening I've been trying to sort through them, hoping to figure out where the bulk of the weight lies.

1 - There were the thoughts about BYU basketball. I can't help it. I bleed blue and always will. I love being excited about my Alma Mater doing amazing things, even when it's just with athletics. (These were clearly not the heavy thoughts.)

2 - Then, I found the thoughts about how I feel about this recent article that seems to be getting all kinds of attention. My response would be something along the lines of, "hmmm, that's an interesting perspective" and "I wonder if people read my blog and think I sugar-coat everything to make my life look more perfect than it really is" and "I don't really care what anyone thinks of what I write or how it comes across, I write for me and from a place in my heart that yearns to be expressed in a certain way" and "I think it's great that we each can express ourselves in our own way, and however we express ourselves we can choose what and how much of a glimpse we allow others to see" and "I think that's a beautiful thing" and "blah blah blah blah blah..."

3 - There were thoughts about a new friend who is just starting the adoption process. I think back to 2006 when we were in that spot and how uncertain and vulnerable it felt to be there. We've come so far. Things have turned out far better than I ever would have imagined. But, I can still feel the fear and doubt that once tried to rule my heart. While I'm glad we aren't there anymore, my heart goes out to those who are in that place - hoping that everything turns out better than they could have ever imagined, too.

4 - I found the heaviest of thoughts to be for my boys. Our days are so packed, even with just the basics of naps and feedings and cleaning up messes, that I often find myself at the end of the day wondering where the time in the day went to just sit and snuggle with them, or to quietly explore the world with them, or to spend some real quality time with them. And, with two that need my love and attention I feel a bit overwhelmed with making sure they're both getting the nurturing that they need. Not that giving them that attention is overwhelming, but I get overwhelmed with worry that what I'm giving isn't enough. I wish I knew how to schedule in more of these quality moments when the nurturing level is at its highest. I think it must be possible, I just need to get better at making more time for more of those moments.

5 - Some thoughts have been too far in the future for them to be of any benefit to anyone right now. Worried thoughts about raising my boys to be good and honest and kind and confident and humble and good at playing soccer and gentle and grateful and so many other things. I can't stand to read stories or hear about troubles that kids have these days. There is so much hurt and confusion and it all just makes me want to move to a small villa in the countryside of Tuscany where I could raise my little family, perhaps a bit shielded from some of life's unnecessary pains (although, that begs the question - are there pains that are necessary? and, are there pains that are unnecessary? that might make a good post for another day.) Doesn't life in Italy just seem a bit simpler and happier? Maybe it's just me.

6 - Elliana and Emmaline have been in my thoughts a lot more recently. After my cousin lost her little girl suddenly and unexpectedly (almost two months ago), it triggered a lot of emotions. Some sadness. Some longing. Some heartache. But, mostly gratitude. And love. Even though losing them was the hardest thing I've yet had to endure, it has been such a powerful change for good in my life. Visits to their gravesite continue to remind us what is really important in life and recommit us to enjoying every moment we have together.

There. That feels better. Now that my thoughts have found their place and priority, I plan on having a better-than-average night of sleep. I love knowing the morning will come with new opportunities.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Update on the boys

* Ben and Hugh playing today

We're still here, hanging out at home, trying to recover from this latest bug. Ugh. I can't believe after ten days we're still sick. Wellness has to be around the corner soon.

During our quiet afternoon today, I decided to take a few photos, since it's probably been way too long. I'm stunned at how fast they are both growing. I'm constantly getting the "enjoy every moment because it goes way too fast" talk, but while enjoying it it's still going way too fast.

Ben, now 13 months old, seems more and more like a little boy rather than my baby. He's becoming so independent - when he plays, when he eats, when he sleeps. At his doctor appointment yesterday (for his one year visit - one month late), Ben is now weighing 22 pounds (30th percentile) and is 31 inches tall (80 percentile).

When the song "If you're happy and you know it" comes on, he claps his hands without any encouragement from us. He gives kisses, but only if you're standing under some wind chimes that are ringing (random, right?) or every once in a while when I sing "You are my sunshine" as I pull him out of his crib in the morning.

* doesn't he look much too small to be standing???

Hugh, it seems, is feeling the pressure to keep up with his big brother. He just refuses to slow down. A month and a half ago (at his last appointment, which was a week before his 7th month birthday), Hugh weighed 18 pounds 14 ounces (60th percentile) and was 27 3/4 inches long (80th percentile).

About a month ago I went to feed him in the middle of the night and found him standing up, screaming. During the day we'd seen him trying to stand up, but he couldn't quite do it on his own. Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, he figured it out without an audience! It is too cute for words watching this baby, my baby, standing up on his own. The funny thing? He hasn't figured out how to go from standing to not standing... for now he either falls over without any grace or he cries until someone rescues him. But, while he has spent so much time just standing, he has started to cruise a little, too.

Oh, and good news in the food department. I started being more consistent and creative in trying different tastes and textures. The result? Hugh is eating so much better now! It's been amazing. His main staple is avocado, but he also likes squash and bananas. But, avocados are clearly his favorite... you can tell by the low satisfied moaning he makes while he squishes it around his mouth. It's really cute!

As these two get older, they're starting to interact more. Right now that mostly consists of Hugh smiling at Ben in complete and utter adoration and Ben patting Hugh on the head with his hand (or whatever happens to be in his hand at the moment), which I'm sure doesn't translate to love on many occasions to Hugh. We're trying to teach Ben to be gentle, but he hasn't quite picked it up yet.

Life is so good. Even though we've been sick for ten days. These two boys, and of course my Marc, make my life so bright and happy. I feel so blessed.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Round Two

* Taken this morning while watching Elmo

Well, we had about a week break after recovering from the flu when we were hit with something different but equally as horrible. It started off as a simple cold - slight cough and runny nose - but quickly turned into serious congestion, sore throat, body aches, vomiting, and fever. It was so bad that I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have survived this week without the extra help from my parents.

And, of course, it hit us during a week when we've had fantastic weather with temperatures in the 70s. We've been so sick that even the shining sun wasn't alluring enough to get us outside. But, I think we are finally on the mend. And, I'm hoping that we'll be able to enjoy our health for a little bit longer than a week before dealing with round three. In fact, I'd be elated if we're done with flu season until next year!

The good news is that the forecast shows at least another week of 70s, which we'll hopefully be able to enjoy a little next week. It'll be nice to feel like a normal human being again. And, I'm mostly looking forward to having my boys back - when they're sick it's like life is just sucked right out of them and watching them in that state is too much for my heart to bear.

I find it amazing how much more you appreciate your health after being sick. If nothing else, this round two of sickness has helped me feel more aware and grateful for simple things of life, like being healthy, playing on the floor with my boys, and tasting food again.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Besides a slight cough here and there, health has been restored in our home! Our first case of the flu was awful and worrisome and at times had me freaked out with scenarios of one or more of us not surviving. My fears can get a bit out of control when life's circumstances feel like they're out of my control. If you had witnessed the way this flu bug attacked my little Hugh, I think you'd understand my worries and fears. Watching him suffer was far more awful than having the flu myself.

I know some of my worst fears stem from our losses and recognizing that life sometimes has unexpected (and unwanted) outcomes . I simultaneously feel gratitude and fear at the reminder that life is fragile. While I appreciate the renewed reminder to live life to the fullest, I would rather not live in fear of experiencing some traumatic loss. I'm just relieved that we're all feeling better now.

On a slighty different note, I thought I'd see if any of you have had any experience with a baby being a little slower with starting solids. Hugh is almost eight months and still is mainly just breastfed. At six months I tried a few different foods - oatmeal, bananas, avocado, yams, squash. In the beginning he had a really strong gag reflex. So, I waited a couple of weeks and then tried again. Then, once he was getting more down, within an hour or so he was spitting it up.

I'm assuming he has a sensitive stomach, since cutting dairy out of my diet drastically helped him. While I'm not overly concerned about it since he's still gaining weight and is in the 80% percentile for weight (or was before the flu, anyway), I would like to get him eating more. I try to give him a little something solid everyday and he seems to be doing better, but just doesn't eat much and doesn't seem to enjoy it.

Ben was the total opposite, so I've just been at a loss of how to handle this situation. I feed both boys normal food that I make and prepare myself, rather than baby canned food, and would prefer to keep it that way, unless there is some aspect of the canned food that might help. Do any of you have any advice with foods to try or how to get him to eat more?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What I've learned from the flu

I used to think that the very worst part of sick kids was the idea of cleaning up all the messes - vomit, diarrhea, and whatever other nasty bodily fluids you can imagine. Now that we've faced the last five days of exactly that, I've learned there is something far worse than the messes.

For us, it all started Monday night. I went into the birthday boy's room to check on him, after he'd been asleep for a couple of hours and before heading to bed myself, like I always do. I was shocked to find my sleeping baby with his head right next to a pile of vomit. Ben hadn't even cried and we hadn't heard a thing. I gently lifted him out of his crib and carried him to the bathroom so that I could assess the situation. He was surprisingly mostly clean, with just a bit of vomit - in his hair and on his pjs. As I was starting to undress him to get him in the bathtub, Ben threw up again - into the bathroom sink. He had the most confused, helpless, sad look on his face. My heart broke.

While Marc bathed him, I cleaned up the mess in the crib and changed the bedding. We comforted him and soon he was settled and asleep again. Luckily that was his only episode with throwing up, but the diarrhea has been a bit worse. Overall, though, at this point Ben has mostly recovered from this little bout with the flu.

Hugh is a different story. The night after Ben had thrown up, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to Hugh and what sounded like dry heaves. As soon as I pulled him out of his crib, he immediately cuddled against my shoulder, which is totally uncharacteristic of him. (Usually he's trying to squirm his way to the nearest source of food.) He ended up throwing up twice before the sun came up on Wednesday morning. It was pretty bad the first couple of days - vomiting, diarrhea, slight fever. I was doing laundry, it seemed, every couple of hours.

Then, just when Hugh was starting to seem like he was on the mend, things got worse. Today was day four, and by far the worst. He was hardly able to keep anything down all day. And, while I know he must be feeling completely miserable, he has still managed to have his super duper cute moments of cooing and crawling and smiling with his nose all scrunched up. He is such a trooper, that little guy. He's sleeping peacefully at the moment, but I'm prepared for a long night and an unpredictable day tomorrow.

Over the last few days, after watching both my babies suffering through their first case of the flu, my heart has hurt and I'm pretty sure my forehead has some new permanent worry lines. Today was especially hard. Four days (and counting) is much too long for a baby to be sick like this, and much too long for my heart to handle. I hate seeing him so uncomfortable and at moments feeling like life has been sucked right out of him. I'm glad, at least, that those lifeless moments have been brief and fleeting.

That's been the biggest surprise with dealing with the flu - handling the emotional stress of watching my babies suffer. The messes have been a cinch to clean up. I haven't even gagged once, to my surprise. But, my heart, oh my heart, has just about broken at least two dozen times this week. I've been unable to lay Hugh down the last two nights without crying. I just want him to be better.

And, in the back of my mind, through all of this, I find myself amazed at what moments like these teach me about the same heartbroken feelings that are experienced by a perfect Father in heaven as He watches us hurting and in pain. If my feelings are this intense and at times nearly unbearable, His feelings of love and concern for us must be at least a million times greater.

I'm comforted with the knowledge that He is watching over me in my moments of greatest need, even this moment right now as I go to watch over my littlest one for the night.