Friday, October 31
Thursday, October 30
The next year, we were in the house that ended up costing us our credit history to this day. I found a Nun costume at Wal-Mart for myself, and after we whipped up some quick accessories and unearthed your old holocaust robe, we made the perfect monk and nun.
Remember when I ran over you with the car? Granted, you shouldn't have been laying on top of it when I hit the gas, but it made a good joke at the Halloween party that year. I dressed as the psychotic convertible Christine, and you as my hapless victim.
Wednesday, October 29
Tuesday, October 28
Anyway, here are some photos from our much enjoyed night out at So You Think You Can Dance. When we arrived at the arena, we were pleasantly shocked to see how good our seats were. We had purchased the tickets weeks in advance, and although the salesman had showed us on the map the location of the seats, we didn't realize how good they were until we arrived for the show. We were on the front row of the balcony, right in the center. I think we even had a better view than the schmucks who paid for seats on the floor. It was awesome!
This was one of my favorite dances during the run of the regular season, danced by one of my favorite couples. It is about a husband who is a workaholic, and the wife is begging him to stay home and spend time with her. It's danced to 'Bleeding Love'.
Monday, October 27
Saturday, October 25
Brooklyn took her first tentative steps a few weeks ago, but hasn't progressed much in the way of walking since then. She has pretty well perfected the art of standing, and her balance is wonderful, but she hasn't been compelled to take many steps. That is-until yesterday. Mary and Russ arrived at about 4:30 to stay with the kids while I went to the show last night, and right before I left she started taking several steps between two large pieces of furniture-the coffee table to the chair, the piano bench to the coffee table, that sort of thing. While I was gone, my in-laws took her to a ward members house for a pumpkin carving activity, and while there she continued to bravely take more and more steps. This afternoon, she is walking more and more with every passing hour. I got several videos of her taking steps toward me, but I think this one is the most impressive because she actually stumbles after her first step, and then manages to get back up and keep walking. Her days of crawling are definitely numbered, and she holds true to form: once she decides to do something, she does it without hesitation--but she won't do it at all until she's ready!
Friday, October 24
Thursday, October 23
I finished my prayer, and crawled gratefully into bed. As I lay still, trying to surrendering myself to the darkness and oblivion of sleep, this old friend continued to enter into my mind. The phone on my nightstand almost began to glow in the dark, and it quickly became apparent I would get no relief for the night until I at least tried to call him. I picked up the phone, turned on the light, and sat up in bed. For at least 10 minutes I stared at the phone in my hand and tried to convince myself that calling him was a bad idea. I tried to convince myself that it wasn't a prompting I was feeling, and simply a curiosity that I needed to work to suppress.
It didn't work.
Nervously, I dialed the number from my speed dial. I had a brief message composed in my head, positive that he wouldn't pick up and I would leave it on his answering machine, thereby relieving me of this strange urge to contact him. When he answered, I was shocked and pleased to hear the sound of his voice. He was happy to hear from me, and we spent hours catching up. This morning, I'm glad that I listened to the prompting last night, and heeded the urging to bring an old friend back into my life.
For the last few weeks I have been feeling more and more settled. I have felt more hopeful and peaceful about both my past, and the future that is still in store. I have begun to entertain the notion of dating, and have spent a great deal of time thinking about what kind of person I would want to involve myself with for the rest of my mortal life. I don't know if this friend is 'the one' for me. It's premature to be considering that of anybody, when I'm only sticking my tiniest little toe into the great pool of possibility. It's an adventure I am somewhat looking forward too, though. I know that it won't erase the sting of missing Ammon, or the ache of not having the kid's loving father in their lives. I do hope, however, that once I reach a point where I am even more healed than I am now, that a man will enter our lives that can attempt to fill in some of that void. He'll never take the place of Ammon, and the kind of man I will get involved with won't even try. Even so, there is no doubt in my mind that I should try to find somebody to love, and somebody to love us.
Here's to Chapter 2.
Wednesday, October 22
91 out of 100 possible points.
I rock!! I am a freaking psychology ROCK STAR!!
And for the record, I answered 'B' to the question I posted earlier. It was one of the few that I could find no reference for in my textbook and notes, so it could possibly be one of the 9 I got wrong. I'll let you know as soon as the answers are posted next week.
Monkey Shines, Herman's pet monkey, started to behave like patients with brain damage. He demonstrated a lack of empathy of concern for others. This behavior, seen in patients with brain damage, is know as:
A. cortical lateralization
B. acquired sociopathy
C. learned callousness
D. neural consolidation
Monday, October 20
Church has a lot going on this week.
I went to a friend's house for dinner tonight.
I'm going to a concert on Friday night.
I have a huge midterm this week.
Brooklyn is cutting a tooth.
I am having major problems with one of my Internet courses.
The good news?
I finally finished the Twilight series. So maybe now I can actually work on some of this stuff, huh?
Saturday, October 18
While we were waiting for the bishop to show up, I quickly threw some clothes on myself, and some sweatpants, socks, and a jacket on Kadon. He continued his breathing treatment while I made one more phone call to Russ and Mary to let them know what was going on and to ask for them to pray for us. I was watching at the window when Bishop Bradley pulled up, and was halfway to the van before he got out of his car. I pulled out onto the dark and deserted street, and drove 80 mph all the way to the hospital, all the while with Kadon wheezing dangerously in the backseat. The way he was having to work to get air into his lungs must have been painful, because periodically he would stop breathing for a moment. I found myself uttering a eerily familiar and infinitely painful phrase-the same one I said over and over to Ammon as he lay dying on the pavement outside our home-'You've got to breathe, baby. Baby, you've got to breathe.' My heart in my throat, I pulled up outside the Emergency Exit, took Kadon into my arms, and ran into the hospital.
They got me into a room almost immediately, due in no small part to the sound of his ragged breathing. A oxygen monitor was placed on his finger, and once I was assured that his oxygen was well within normal range, I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. He received another breathing treatment while we were at the ER, along with a dose of oral steroid. After hearing his cough, the doctor agreed with me on the diagnosis of croup, which exacerbated his already reactive airways and caused the severe attack.
After two hours in the ER in the middle of the night, we were ready to go home. I put in a call to Russ to update them on the situation, and he told me that Mary was on her way down to my house. Not knowing what else to do, or if his attack was severe enough to admit him to the hospital, Mary couldn't sit idly at home. She was here when we arrived home just after 2 this morning, and left to go to a seminary meeting just after 8 this morning. I am grateful that she was here, and grateful that we have such wonderful medicine to help Kadon breathe more easily. I can't imagine what would have happened last night without a ready supply of powerful steroids.
This morning, he seems fine. Still croupy, and tired from his sleep disruption last night, but there is no more wheezing. I am praying that this croup clears up, and we don't have a repeat performance tonight.
Thursday, October 16
Wednesday, October 15
I don't think she likes this one very much.
Hmm. Yeah, she really doesn't appear to be a fan, does she?
Shoot. Or this one. And I really liked this one!
What? You mean you think I look pretty in this? Thanks!
Mom, I've been a good sport, but if you don't stop trying clothes on me, I'm going to claw your eyes out while you sleep. I know people who know people. Don't mess with me.
Really? All this cake just for me?
Hmm. It's sort of squishy, and nobody is getting mad at me for making a mess. Interesting.
Well, what do you know! It tastes good, too!
My Mom is the BEST!
Tuesday, October 14
Monday, October 13
Saturday, October 11
And before you vultures call Children's Protective Services on me, she was pawing and crying at the basket until I put her in it, I swear! I guess it would help that shortly before this, Jeremy put her in the basket and was pushing her around on the floor. I didn't go quite that far, but apparently folding herself up inside the basket was good enough for her this time. Too, too cute.
I love you sweetheart, more today than ever. I miss you.
Friday, October 10
"Mommy! There's something wrong with Brooklyn! Her mouth is all purple!"
Now, typing this sentence I realize it sounds worse than it actually was. At the time, I had no thought that he meant the dangerous 'baby isn't breathing' kind of purple. Choking never even crossed my mine, frankly. I moved quickly to her side, and was startled to see that, indeed, her mouth, her hands, and a large swath around her lips were entirely and vividly purple. I quickly found the source of the vibrant color-a small disc of dried watercolor paint. It came from the boys art kit, and it was the perfect size for Brooklyn to munch on. Jeremy quickly grabbed me a wet washcloth while I held Brooklyn's hands from touching anything, and once I got her face wiped off and her hands cleaned, I made the obligatory phone call to poison control. I have called so many times in the past because of my two rambunctious and busy little boys that I don't need to look up the number.
I exasperatedly told the operator what had happened, and she calmly informed me that the paints are universally non-toxic, and at worst it could conceivably cause her a small stomach ache. She recommended that I give her a drink of water, which I did immediately. So far, no ill effects have been noticed. I'm bracing myself, however, for that vibrantly purple diaper that I know is headed my way.
Thursday, October 9
"Is that God?"
"No, this is Jesus."
"Oh! I like Jesus!"
(Surprised) "Good! He likes you too!"
Tuesday, October 7
Aside from that, I received an unexpected call this afternoon. I was preparing lunch for Jeremy and I when the phone rang. On the other line a business-like woman was requesting to speak to Ammon. I took a deep breathe and answered "He's not here right now. Can I ask who's calling?" She then asked "Is there a spouse I can speak to?" I said "This is his wife, can I ask who is calling?" She went on to inform me that she was calling with a question from my credit card, and I had no choice but to inform her that Ammon is deceased. I had withheld this information from the credit card company, fearing that they would cancel my card--which is exactly what they did. I was told that I cannot be held liable for the debt, but I won't believe it until I see it in writing. Mainly, I'm feeling apprehensive about suddenly being without that safety net. I know that I can apply for a card in my own name, but over the years, most of our credit accounts have been in Ammon's name. I have very little credit established in my own name, and as such won't be able to secure a large limit for any card for myself. I'm nervous about being without a decent amount of credit to my name, but can't change the reality at this point. It's simply yet another reminder that my life will never be the same without Ammon around to take care of me. In the next few days I will be sending out another copy of his death certificate to close this credit account, and I will have severed another part of our history together.
I hate being a widow.
Saturday, October 4
This weekend, in conjunction with celebrating Brooklyn's birth, we are watching Conference. My mother is here visiting from Utah, and we sat down together to watch the morning session. As it always seems, many of the talks were directly relevant to my life. They spoke of hope, of faith, and of having an attitude of gratitude and gratefulness. They spoke of the burdens we all carry, and of carrying on through the dark, burdensome days of our lives. They spoke of loneliness and despair, and of the enduring faith that we must have to carry us through these difficult times. One of the most beloved leaders, Joseph B. Wirthlin, said in the afternoon session that the principle of compensation is real. It has been promised that for every tear, every sorrow, every pain of this life, those that are faithful will be compensated 100 fold. It was so comforting to hear that. These are truths that are familiar to me--but it was incredibly uplifting to hear them spoken so powerfully and spiritually. I was moved to tears many times, and can't wait to get the talks in writing so that I can more fully study them. The last speaker, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, spoke of despair and the many trials that are inevitable in life. He counseled us that through the winters of our lives-through the dark days and oppressive cold, we must find within ourselves our invincible summer. I feel inspired and hopeful to find MY inner invincible summer. I am so grateful that I was able to listen to both sessions today, and look forward to being further enlightened tomorrow. How wonderful it is that we have a living prophet and servants of the Lord that speak to us today. How wonderful that they prayerfully seek out the topics, and the words that will best edify and uplift their people. How grateful I am that I was able to be uplifted and edified today.
In fact, as of about 6 minutes ago as I write this, she officially made her entrance into this world. At this precise moment exactly one year ago, she crying lustily, and I was sobbing quietly on the operating table. Ammon was busily snapping pictures and taking videos of her, and the mood in the room was completely indescribable.
I can't believe she's a year old. So much has happened in the last year. She's gone from being a completely helpless mewling infant to a baby with a distinct personality and a charming disposition. She is on the verge of so many things- walking, talking, and playing more with her brothers. She is truly a joy to have in our home. I can't help but recall the days and hours leading up to her birth--my trip to the hospital a week before she was born, when I was so terrified that she would be born early and have problems as a result. I knew in my heart at that point that she was destined to be tiny, but I had no idea exactly how small she would be. She tips the scales at a mere 16 pounds today, and everybody marvels at her tiny size everywhere we go. I remember in the hospital on the day of her birth, how impatiently I waited for them to bring her to me. It was an extremely busy day on the Labor and Delivery floor, and the nursery was backed up. They were required to perform some basic testing on her before they could release her to my care, and it took about 3 hours. I was restless and impatient, since I hadn't had the chance to hold her in the delivery room. Ammon went with her to the nursery originally, but had quickly returned to my side when it became apparent that it was going to be a lengthy wait. As I lay half-awake and half-asleep in recovery, he kept a vigilant eye on the hallway, waiting for our daughter to join us. I asked repeatedly where she was, and by the time they had transferred me to my post-partum room, he was getting ready to march to the nursery himself and bring her to me. Thankfully, it was at that moment the nurse finally wheeled her isolette into my hospital room. Ammon picked her up and placed her in my arms, and the joy on my face transmits through the photos he quickly snapped.
The last year has brought many changes, not all of them welcome. our move to Cincinnati brought us some much-needed Independence, and we enjoyed 4 1/2 months of perfection before Ammon was prematurely ripped from our lives. The boys have both enjoyed the title of 'big brother', and Kadon especially has taken a tender approach toward the smallest member of our family.
In her blessing, Ammon blessed her with a 'peace-making spirit', and said that she would bring 'light and hope to the lives of those she touched'. That has held true in my life. Since his death, she has continued to be a light in my life. Her milestones-first tooth, first time sitting up, crawling, and her first steps all came without the watchful eyes of her father. This milestone-the milestone of her birth-brings along with it another milestone, one that is infinitely more painful, and one that I'm sure nobody else has thought of. This week also marks the 6 month anniversary of Ammon's death, and with her first birthday, it means that my little girl has officially spent half her life without her father. Such a little girl for such a big loss.
Today I am trying to focus on the good, on the light and the hope that Brooklyn has brought into my life. We celebrate her birth and her addition into our family with happy hearts, and when the family gathers for a celebration in her honor tomorrow, I'm sure it will be with much joy and laughter. Underneath it all, though, I will carry with me the memory of her father, who never lived long enough to see his precious only daughter reach so many milestones in her life. This birthday is just the first of many.