Tuesday, May 23, 2017

1 Year Back

The end of May will be my one year anniversary of moving back to Utah.

I'm going to be honest. I miss Florida.  I miss it deeply.

Sometimes I wonder if moving back was the right thing to do.

Being away from family made me depend on my church and ward family. It made me more active in church than I have ever been in my life. And I think because of that activity, I was the happiest I've ever been.

We also depended on our own, tiny, family unit.  We banded together. We spent a lot of time together. We did lots of fun activities. We went to Disney every week. We went swimming multiple times a week. We went to the park every week. We walked around the pond and fed the ducks every day.

I was also in great shape and had a great tan! :-D  It helps when the sun is always out and the UV index is low.

It was also great not paying state taxes.

I look back on our time in Florida and I only remember positive things.  It takes me a while to remember the bad things.  Such as sleeping 5 or fewer hours a night, and never seeing family.  Cockroaches in our cars. Fire ants in the grass.

Did the bad outweigh the good?  Did it really?  I'm not so sure.

Of course I can't talk positively about Florida without upsetting someone.  When I first moved back someone told me, "All you ever talk about is Florida."  In all honesty, it hurt my feelings to hear that.  I thought people would care about where I lived for the past few years, and would enjoy hearing what we had gone through.

It was a really incredible time of my life.

I felt like I could not have a new baby without the help of friends and family.  That's the main reason we moved back home.

But now I'm wondering... what if I had stayed in Utah for six months to have baby Lucy and get settled and then moved back?  How would things be if we still lived out there?  What if we bought a house out there?

I miss it.

We're stuck here now.  That's not really a bad thing. We're really happy to be around family.  I'm overjoyed to be near my sisters. We've grown closer together than ever before.  I regret the days I spent dodging them, or ignoring them. I wish I had been a better big sister.  But I'm here now.  They can talk to me now.

I know, deep down, moving back to Utah was the right thing for our family.  But it's really difficult when you have a yearning to go back and live where you've always wanted to live.

Maybe we'll go back one day.  But for now, I'm happy to be raising my two wonderful girls in a safe, family friendly neighborhood.  I'm happy that they get to see their cousins every week.  I'm overjoyed to be near my sisters and sisters in law who love my children like they love their own.

I hope I can teach my girls the things I learned when I lived outside of Utah, such as acceptance and love.  I hope I can expose them to people of all different faiths and walks of life.  I want them to know about the atonement, and of forgiveness. But mostly, I want them to love. Love unconditionally. Love diversity. Love differences. Love everyone.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


We've also got to experience snow for the first time in a long time!  Even before we moved, it hardly ever snowed.

Luckily, this year, it has snowed a ton. And it's made it really fun, since Lily had never experienced snow before.

The first snow!
She has now realized that snow is cold and she doesn't like playing in it too much.  I still need to take her sledding.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lucy's Birth Story

Oh my sweet Lucy.

I'm sorry this has taken me nearly seven months to record.  I hope you'll forgive me.

Lucy, my pregnancy with you was pretty difficult.  In the beginning I was weak and nearly everything made me sick.  I craved baked potatoes with butter and seasoned salt.  I ate one every day.

Soda make me sick.  Artificial sweeteners tasted horrible. I was extremely addicted to Coca Cola, and the withdrawals were difficult to get through.

12 weeks pregnant
My grandmother passed away when I was about 3 months pregnant.  I flew to Utah with Lily to spend time with my family.  It made me realize that I didn't want to be far away from them anymore.  We got to celebrate Lily's 4th birthday surrounded by my closest family and friends. I didn't want Lily, or you, to ever experience another birthday alone.

Daddy agreed.

So we started making plans to move back to Utah.

After the first few months, of pregnancy, all the sickness went away, and I felt fine again.  However, my hips were almost constantly in pain, and my ankles started swelling at 20 weeks.  Walking was difficult, but I still managed to take Lily to the pool every day, or every other day.  The pool is where I felt the best.

Lily, and I flew to Utah at the end of May 2016. We lived with Grandma and Grandpa for six weeks without Daddy. We called him every day.  You grew in larger and larger in my belly.  Daddy stayed behind to finish packing up our stuff so we could move back to Utah.

I became addicted to Sodalicious.

My hip pain intensified, making walking even more difficult.  Often the pain would cause me to double over and cry.

33 weeks pregnant

I gained nearly 70 lbs.

My blood pressure started to rise.

I started seeing stars.

I started getting light headed.

I told my doctor, and they sent me to the hospital to be monitored.  Where of course everything checked out and was "normal."

37 weeks pregnant
My next appointment was a few days later, and they told me I could be induced if I would like to be. Induced means that they give you medicine to start labor, and get the baby to come sooner than it would naturally.

They offered me the same thing with Lily, but I declined. While Lily came on her due date, it was a very difficult and extremely long labor.  I was worried the same would happen with you.

But also the pain in my hips/pelvis was so unbearable.

So I said I was done being pregnant. I was ready for you to be here. I couldn't wait to meet you!

I went home and packed a bag. Then we went to Cafe Rio where I ate a pork salad. I finished the entire thing.

When you're having a baby in the hospital, they don't allow you to eat or drink anything. You go hours and hours without food, and it makes it very difficult to get a baby here.  So I chowed down, hoping that I would have energy when the time came to push you out!

We went to the hospital, got all checked in, and hooked up to the machines and pitocin and started the waiting game.

We played Hand and Foot with Grandma.

About four hours in, I couldn't stand the pain of contractions anymore, so I asked for the epidural.

Contractions with pitocin are far more intense and painful than natural contractions.

With Lily, the epidural only worked on one side.  The same happened with you.  I pressed the button for more medication almost as often as I could.

I had very good conversations with my nurse, Taylor. She was amazing. She talked to me almost all night long.  She was concerned I wasn't sleeping, but I told her it was because I work nights! I'm not used to sleeping at night.

They gave me this giant ball to put between my knees.  I would also roll over and change the side I was laying on every hour.  This was hopefully going to help you not be posterior, like your big sister was.  It wasn't the most comfortable thing to have between my legs, but I was willing to do whatever would help.

I loved my midwife, Amanda. She was so nice, and was such a good listener. She made me feel special, and she listened to all my requests and did her best to make them happen.

Around 4:00am I texted Grandma that it felt like you were coming out, so Grandma came back so she could be there for us.

At 4:30 my midwife, Amanda, and all the nurses and helpers came in to prepare for you to get here.

I pushed twice.

Then there you were.  Perfect. Beautiful.

You did not cry. You grunted a little. They were worried your lungs weren't working.  They let me hold you and talk to you while they observed.  After a while, they let Daddy cut the umbilical cord, then they took you over to be weighed and whatever else it is they do. :)

You were born September 7th, 2016 at 4:46am. 7lbs, 10oz, 20 inches long.  You were a wonderful snuggler. And you loved to sleep. And eat.

Mommy had a second degree tear.  Apparently I started tearing before I was even pushing. But, Mommy would have never known if they didn't tell me. Healing went very well.

You had jaundice, and had to go to the hospital every day for the first week of your life to get checked out.

When you were a month old, we got thrush.

We had a rough start, but we made it through.

I love you Lucy!

Lily: 24 hours of labor, 19 hours natural. 5 hours with an epidural. 2 hours of pushing. Forceps. 3rd degree tears.
Lucy: 12 hours of labor, 4 hours natural. 8 hours with an epidural. 5 minutes of pushing. 2nd degree tears.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Utah Without Lance

I wrote this ages ago, but never posted it.

Lily and I have been in Utah for three weeks now, and the past three weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions.

It has not been easy, but I've tried really hard to stay positive, kind, and happy.

I miss my husband, most of all. I've never been apart from him for so long.  I am a fairly independent person, but when he's gone I feel like I can't and don't want to do anything.  But I've been pressing forward anyway, trying to occupy the time and really take advantage of all this extra time with Lily.

I don't have a car here, so it's difficult to do what I want to do, when I want to do it.  I'm very lucky to have Elise with me all day. She works the same schedule I do.  But she and Aziz share a car. So Elise is without a car until the afternoon, and then we have about three hours to get things done until she has to leave for work.

Adjusting to the new time zone wasn't difficult. Getting off of work at 1 am is much better than 3 am. But now instead of vegging out or taking a bath, I talk to my sisters, and sometimes Eric, and I still get to bed really late.

Lily can sleep upstairs, but I've enjoyed snuggling with her. I love coming into our room when I'm done working and see what silly position she's sleeping in.  She wakes up with the sun, but I do my best to keep her occupied in our room until at least 9 or 10am. Then I roll out of bed at 11.  When we have our own place I will get up earlier.  But right now, with this living situation, the later the better.

My parents are currently hosting Eric's family as well as me and Lily.  The owner of the condo Eric was renting decided to sell, and Eric and Katie are house hunting, so they're staying here for the time being. Elise and Aziz live here as well. The basement is mostly "theirs" but they've been gracious enough to let me use their second bedroom, and Elise lets me use her computer to work on after I put Lily to bed.

It's nice having so much family around, but not without its challenges.  The biggest challenge is Lily and Mabel.  They fight a lot.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lily's Preschool

Too busy to blog.

It's unfortunate because I like reading old blogs and I sort of feel like I have a six month gap in my memories now.

Here are some things I want to remember.

Me and Lily lived with my parents for 2 months, without Lance.  It was really hard to be away from him for so long, but it was nice being close to family and friends again.

I flew to Florida to help Lance clean up our apartment and to drive with him and the dogs back to Utah.  Once we got here, we lived with my parents for 2 weeks until our belongings from Florida arrived (via PODS).

Our new place is OK.  It's really hard finding places to live that are
A. Within budget
B. Big enough
C. Allow pets
D. Not in Timbktu (figuratively speaking, of course).

But, we did what we could and we ended up in a town home in Saratoga Springs.

I used to have a chip on my shoulder about Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain.  It was, like, so totally far out here.

I guess that was when the only way to get here was Lehi Main, and that street was BACKED UP, yo!

But now there's 2100 S Lehi, Lehi Main, and Pioneer Crossing.  If we're heading up to Salt Lake, we take Redwood Road to Bangerter.

All in all, it's not too bad.  Actually, I've grown to like it.  I like it a lot.  I like this neighborhood and the people around here. They are friendly, and I don't feel judged, so that's nice.

But yeah, our town home is small, and completely disheveled most of the time. There is ZERO storage space, so our stuff just sits around, getting moved place to place as is convenient for us.

It also doesn't help that we moved in when I was 8 months pregnant, this place has 3 floors, and I had Lucy 2 weeks early.  I've never really caught up on anything.  We aren't fully unpacked, and I've never felt organized.  Every room has a box in it.

We've been here 6 months now.

Just in time to move again!  But more on that later. *evil grin*

Lily started preschool at Knowledge Explorers.  I found them on a yard sale site, but they're really good.  They have 2 locations in Eagle Mountain. Preschool is held in the basement of a home, but it's got nice hard floors, a carpeted "circle time" area, and tables for coloring, writing practice, art projects, etc. Lily has her own cubby, and knowing her, she probably uses the same peg every day to hang her coat and backpack on.

First Day of Preschool - September 6, 2016
This was also the day I was induced with Lucy.  I feel like there's too much to say on that matter, so I'll try to gather those memories in another post.

After I had Lucy, for two months, Lance would take Lily to either his sister, Nicole's house, or my friend, Sierra's house. That way, Lily would get some love and attention while I was taking care of a new born and working The Cycle at my job.

(I took 10 days off, and then went back to work.)

So the first couple of months, Lily's hair is a bit disheveled. (Dad tried!) But it looks like she was happy and having fun!

Every preschool day (Lily goes twice a week) they post photos from that day on their private Facebook page.

She loves being "The Explorer." She gets to help with circle time.

Learning to write her name. She's improved so much on holding a pencil, and now can write her name on her own.

Even though I was exhausted, I decided to keep Lily at home with me the day they went to the pumpkin patch, so I could go with her.

But afterwards, I took her to Nicole's house and went home and slept. Thank goodness we have family nearby!

Show and tell

They had a cute Christmas program for the parents to come see.  Lily is SUCH a performer!

This is from last week. She loves preschool!

She's definitely confident and comfortable there!

They use "Bob Books" to teach them how to read. Lily is currently on book 4, and I am incredibly impressed with how well she reads!  She also got her first math homework the other day.  She's learned and grown so much in the past 4 months.