Friday, July 29, 2011


i'm going to do one more blog post {the birth story......complete with pain! heartache! romance! laughter! blood! gore! and a happy ending!}  before i change this blog over to private.  

so if you haven't sent me your email address but want to keep reading about our family, leave a comment here on the blog or on my facebook page.  salutations!

minutes old.

first kiss.

first bath.

tight grip.





grandma brenda.

going home.

{if i looked as good as i felt in this picture....
well, i'd look better.  
victoria's secret modeling agency would be knocking down my door or something.  
but i don't care that i'm looking rough because i felt amazing!}

going home.

now the real fun begins.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

bennie and june.

not sure if she knows yet how lucky she is.

this guy was born to be a dad.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

meeting june.

caleb's response:

ohhhh!  she's so cute!  and little!

i'm hungry.

where are our presents from june?

look at her little hands!

i'm hungry.

a kiss.

leah's response: {said with a listhp}

it's a baby!!

i hold it, i HOLD IT!!


a poke.


a hug.

a space where heaven and earth meet.

i have been blessed to be 
in this space 3 times now.

happy birth day, 
june ellen.

july 26, 2011
8:40 p.m.

6 lbs, 15 oz....20 1/2 inches

not much hair
dimple in her right cheek
easygoing and far.

we love you junebug!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

passing the time.

it's no secret that the heat of arizona is not my favorite.  

my first summer here i was absolutely miserable.  the second summer here, i think i was even more miserable.  but i realized after that second summer that like it or not, but we were here to stay for a while.  so i could spend our remaining summers here full of contempt & disdain, or i could figure out how to make it work while being un-miserable.

i tried to focus on the positive things about the the beautiful winters.  {and that's pretty much all i have been able to come up with on the positive side}

but really, there is just so much that a pregnant woman can take at this point.  extreme heat brings out the ugly in me.  it's an ogre that hides deep inside, only to emerge when the temperatures hit around....oh, 115 degrees.  i lose all reason, and logic and can't seem to control what i say or how i say it.  i end up putting myself on time out from human contact, if at all possible. 

so i've realized that the key to success in the arizona summers = save up all year for the air conditioning bill, then crank that puppy to whichever temperature i'm comfortable at.  don't look back, don't feel guilty.  just enjoy it. 

it's funny though, to look at my kids in the middle of summer.  their skin is the most pasty-white i have ever seen it.  last year it wasn't like this because of swimming lessons, but this year when we skipped out on those due to caleb's broken arm, we also skipped out on the immediate brown skin that accompanied them.

anyway, we finally busted out the cheap little pool that i had bought in may before caleb's arm and filled it up in the backyard.  i was so paranoid that it was the first time my kids had seen consecutive sunshine for about 3 months so i lathered them up in SPF, making them look even more pasty-white.  

but they had a great much so that miss leah threw one of the biggest tantrums of her 2 yr old life when it was time to come in.  it went on and on and on.  and.  on.  normally i can roll with these things, caleb is prone to high emotion so it's nothing i haven't seen before,  and i can stay calm.  but nothing worked like it normally does.  so after about 25 minutes of her screaming, i found myself committing the cardinal sin:

bribing her with her binkie to get her to stop.

we've been really strict about leah and her binkie time because if she could, she'd walk around with it all day long.  not a huge deal, we've just noticed that her teeth have started bucking a little in the front & are trying to wean her off of it.  not just because of the teeth, but also because i really do feel that a kid learning to self-soothe is important.  but i'll be honest, i don't "try" very hard to break the habit.  not at this point in my life.  i pick my battles.  so she's only allowed it in bed, normally no exceptions.  and she always tries to sneak it out, and i hold tight.

but like i said, after 25 minutes, i lost it.

now i know there are readers out there who are going to completely judge me.  and to that i say, judge away!  i judge myself.  not really.  i let myself off of the hook pretty easily these days.

which leads us to our next pictures.....

it's all about how you present situations with my kids.  

normally the offer to watch a movie is pretty exciting to them, but add watching a movie up on mom & dad's bed....then throw up a bunch of fluffy pillows & soft blankets.... & you have two kids who are willing to sit still, almost reverently, for the entire 1 1/2 hours.  magic.

we have scheduled play dates for caleb every week, library trips, homework time, and chore time, reading a lot of books, quiet time, play time.  other than that we just kind of lay low.  sometimes that's almost harder on a mom than keeping busy, but it's all i can do right now.  

i've taken myself off of my asthma medication because it seems it was the cause for all of the painful contractions in the middle of the night, on top of other side effects that weren't my favorite.   so it's been nice to be able to sleep better, but i sacrifice the ability to breathe fantastically during the day.  we do what we have to do, right?

i have just a little over a week until my due date, and it's crazy hot outside.

so even though if i think about all of the exciting things that it seems like everyone else is doing, i find myself sometimes a little bummed as to how the summer has turned out, where it doesn't seem like we've done much of anything exciting and we're just passing the time....that's the way that life is sometimes.  and we've had fun, and spent a lot of time together.  i feel like i know my kids better than ever, and i've been grateful for the time i've had with them before the baby comes.

i've been reminded on these slow summer days that i really do have good kids, even when i can see their struggles and weaknesses.  those elements of their personalities just makes me love them more, in fact.

and that i just love being their mom.  at times i feel like we're growing up together.  i need to learn from them just as much as they learn from me.  there is nothing i would rather do more than be at home with them.

and pass the time slowly, as i watch them grow up.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

good-bye miss scraggly pants.

it was time.

my awesome friend lisa cut leah's hair today, and my only request was that i'd still be able to pull it back into a ponytail or pigtails when i needed to.

leah sat in the chair patiently eating one sucker after another, and calling herself a princess.  i thought ben would be sad to see her crazy hair go, but was pleasantly surprised to see how cute he thought the new hair style was.  

and i totally agree.

now the real test will be tomorrow when i actually have to style it myself.....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

why i slept with the light on and with my hand over my mouth last night.

i was determined to go to bed at at decent time last night.  

decent for me these days though, is somewhere around 11:30, and that is on the early side.  mainly because i've been a little OCD about making sure everything is ready "just in case" the baby spontaneously decides to spring into action in the middle of the night.  i like to feel prepared.  also, i've been up a lot with these wonderful contractions that seem to come and go whenever they please.

i digress, that is completely off the subject.

but yesterday had been long....meaning that i didn't get my middle-of-the-day nap {don't judge me}, so i got all ready for bed and was messing around on facebook for a few minutes, when i felt something on my arm.  thinking it was a random loose hair, i absentmindedly swiped it away, only to feel it a second later, on another part of my arm.

i looked down and saw a small but incredibly fast-moving baby spider crawl up my arm and go somewhere down my shirt.

i screamed.

ben, who thought that either a car alarm had gone off in our bedroom {he told me later that the sound i had made didn't sound even close to human}, or that my water had just broken and i was leaking amniotic fluid all over, came running.  to find me hysterically pulling at my shirt, jumping around and squealing like a baby pig.  

"where did it go???  WHERE DID IT GO???"  i shrieked as i squirmed around, trying to find the 8 legged creature while still keeping my pajama shirt on.  i didn't need to feel exposed as well as violated in the same instant.  

"what? where did what go?"  ben thought i had cracked, completely lost my mind.

"the baby spider!  it went down my shirt and i can't find it!"  i shrieked even higher.  he looked at me like i was insane.  this was what i was screaming about?

but i hate.... i mean, HATE spiders.  of all kinds and sizes.  they are on the top of the list of things i despise, even above sharks, the deep ocean in general, and cats that jump up on my lap unannounced.  {and the only reason they are at the top of the list is because i realize that sharks are only dangerous if i'm actually in an ocean, which doesn't happen because i'm afraid of the ocean, and i keep a sharp eye and close watch on cats whenever i'm around them. spiders are the only actual understandable and rational threat, because they can be anywhere i am and appear when and where they want to.}

i searched like a crazy fool for a few minutes, but never found the spider.  i had to calm myself down by basically convincing my brain that i knew, i just knew that the baby spider had been mashed to bits during my freak out.

and then ben, who had been watching me with a mocking interest, distracted me.  i stood next to him, and suddenly he scrunched up his nose and then his eyebrows in a disdainful look.  then he smelled my arm.  then my shirt.  he kept sniffing around, when i realized what he was smelling.

"oh, i bet you're smelling my anti-stretch marks lotion,"  i said, and grabbed the lotion so he could hold it up to his nose.

"ew!"  he said when he put the bottle of lotion up to his nose.  "yeah, that's it.  EW.  it smells like moldy laundry {which i will say, we are probably pretty near mold-smelling-detectives by this point in our lives}, or something disgusting."

"hey, be nice!"  i replied with a defensive tone.  "i know it's stinky, but so far it's totally working!  not a stretch mark in sight."

"gross.  you need to go and wash your stomach in the washing machine," was his completely immature {in my oh-so-mature opinion} reply.

i ignored him and lay down in bed.  i opened up my scriptures to read them before i went to sleep.  ben went back to whatever he was doing before i was violently attacked by the baby spider.

i got a couple of verses in, when what do you know?

another baby spider, a different one, crawled across the book!  i shrieked again and slammed it closed on the spider, this time verifying that i had crushed it.

ben came in again because of the shriek.

"i'm under attack!"  i said dramatically, with goosebumps covering my arms, as i told him about the interruption of my spiritual moment.

and just then, i'm not even making it up, another baby spider crawled across my pillow.  i screamed a good loud and high-pitched scream this time, squashed the spider across my sheet {i know, it's disgusting, but i was freaking out and desperate!  and it was tiny.  but still.  i know.}, and stood up on the bed.

"THAT'S IT!"  i yelled.

i jumped off of the bed and ran out into our hall closet, grabbed the vacuum and hauled it into the bedroom.  

"pull everything away from the walls!"  i ordered ben in a very serious-don't-you-dare-question-what-i'm-doing-right-now tone.  and i fired up the vacuum.  i vacuumed thoroughly and frantically.  i had to, even though it was now close to midnight.  i knew that my mind wouldn't rest until i had done something to take back order of my environment, even if realistically speaking i had an idea that i wouldn't be able to destroy every baby spider out there.  

once i was finished, and my skin had returned to its normal, anti-goosebumps state, i warily climbed back into bed.  my eyes darted around, looking for any sight of quick and tiny movement.


i took a deep breath, and turned out the light.

but then, because my brain is so awesome, i suddenly remembered my junior year ecology class.  

follow this random thought pattern.  

i loved that class. not because i had a hankering to grow up to be an ecologist someday, or because i had a particular interest in the subject at all.  but because i had heard that it was fun, and an easy way to fill a science credit.  and boy was that true.  

our teacher ms. paulson, who was a sweet lady, was going through a hard time.  she was a bit spacey to begin with, kind of flighty, but likeable. when she would teach, she would begin by talking about something ecology-related, when the next thing you knew, you were hearing about her messy divorce and how she had to pick up in the middle of the night to take her and her child away from her abusive husband.  i genuinely liked her, and sympathized with her situation, but looking back and being honest....i don't think she was in the emotional place at that time in her life to be handling a class full of 17-18 yr olds.  

and it showed.

most days i spent in class talking with my friend tracy about the latest gossip, or when we actually had assignments, they were some type of coloring page or other time-filling, mind-numbing activities to get through our 50 minutes of class.  when we apparently we had fulfilled our coloring assignment allotment for the year, the videos started.

which is where my brain brought me to last night, during my baby spider attack.

i vividly remember watching, "when animals attack, part 4:  insects!" one day during this ecology class.  {i can't remember if it was really part 4, but you get the idea.}  you could tell that the producers of the show "when animals attack" had become as desperate as my ecology teacher when it came to not knowing when to stop.  the difference between this version and the ones previously is that those were clips of people who had caught spontaneous and amazing footage of non-premeditated real animal attacks.

this version was completely different.  each "attack" was a set up....something that the creators or whoever of the show had purposely timed and planned with a camera crew waiting.

during the video, we watched poisonous spiders hide in unsuspecting victims' shoes, just waiting for the bare foot to be slid in.  there were scorpions that were recorded biting adults, and bees stinging childrens' bare skin.  

i had goosebumps the entire time watching this video.  i found myself wondering, doesn't the camera man/woman feel guilty at all for recording these things?  for literally watching a huge spider crawl into a shoe and then just sitting there for hours, waiting to catch it bite someone so that they could make money?  watching children suffer as they just stand there and film them being stung by a bee, knowing the child was reaching their hand into an enormous beehive?  what kind of sick, sadistic people would do such a thing?

and then, the producers and filmographers {or whatever they're called}, went too far.   

we watched a man in some sort of 3rd world country, lay out a straw mat on the floor of his hut and go to sleep.  the camera was placed on the floor, so that the man's face was in plain view.  then.  THEN.  i am not making this up!  this memory is burned into my skull for the rest of my life.

the camera caught a maggot inch its way up to the man's face, and crawl up his NOSE.  the camera zoomed in on the man's nostrils, and amped up the volume so that the man's steady sleep-breathing was so loud that it was blasting through the speakers.  

at this point, my entire class yelled, "EWWWWWW!" and we all instinctively covered our noses.

but it just gets worse!  how???  warning:  this is not for weak stomachs.

well, as the camera has zoomed in on the nostril that the maggot climbed up, suddenly, you hear a squishy noise and the maggot falls back out of the nostril--covered in BLOOD-- and slowly inches away!!!!!  {seriously--how did the camera person go through with this??  doesn't anyone in hollywood have a soul these days??!?}

that was the moment i asked for the hall pass.

i blasted out of the door of that classroom ready to full-on vomit.  i was shaky, and cold and had to sit down before i even made it to the bathroom and put my head between my legs.

you just can't show something like that to a girl who has a nasty combination of a wild imagination and a weak stomach!

i didn't barf that day, but i'll tell you what.  i could never sleep on the floor again...whether it was when camping, or during sleepovers with friends, or whatever...without that image popping into my head of the maggot squishing out of the nostril all bloody and then gooping away.  i had to sleep with my face either covered by a blanket, or my hand put over both my mouth and nose to protect them.

and yes i know, i know.  i don't live in the same country.  the narrator of the show itself explained this to the viewer.  where things like that happen there, not here, and i'm a basketcase to freak out when it would probably never happen to me.  but i just couldn't fully convince myself that it would never happen to me.

so last night as i lay there in the dark, after my showdown with the baby spiders, that is the memory that came to my head.  the maggot memory.  and the goosebumps reappeared, and the queasiness came back.  except in the place of a maggot up my nostril, i imagined 3 baby spiders climbing up there while i slumbered away.

and at that thought, i immediately reached over and turned on my light.  i know it does nothing, really.  but it made me feel safer.

and you'd better believe that i slept with my sheet pulled up, and my hand over my mouth and nose.

because who knows?  those producers might have set up shop here in arizona and could be currently filming: "when animals attack, part 193: crazy baby spiders let loose on easily provoked pregnant women!"  

i mean, anything is possible....  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

on leah's walls....

leah's room is slanted, with vaulted ceilings in just one corner.  the empty space was enough to drive me crazy, trying to figure out how to fill it that would be inexpensive and do-able for my tired body.

i've always admired my friend fawn's style.  it's bright and colorful and happy.  she had these tissue pom-poms in her daughter kali's room and i had always thought they were cute & perfect for a girl's room.  so after asking her about them & she sent me the tutorial on facebook, and then i had the chance to practice with andrea who was making them for a luncheon she was having, i was ready to tackle them on my own.

then i found some colorful animal prints in this etsy shop, and bought frames during a buy one get one free sale at hobby lobby.  so the frames were cheaper than ikea frames {$4.50/each for the 8x10's, $3.00/each for the 5x7's}:

above her crib, these pictures were on her wall in our old house:

above her dresser  is a gift i'd been given years ago, i love the quote  {"just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly"}:

over all, i like the way things have turned out.  and i'm pretty sure leah does too, because every time she comes into her room, she looks up at the ceiling, whispers, "woooow, pretty flowers!" then puts on her crown, grabs her wand and calls herself princess leah.  


i still have things i want to do with her room, like re-paint her dresser.  
i have everything i need for it, now i just need to work up the energy/time/pushpasttheswollenankles to get it done.

p.s.  a shout out to the man of the hour...a very patient & bearded husband
who i know didn't want to spend an afternoon off hanging the pom-poms, but did it anyway.
now that's love.