the thirteenth seven days

sunday.

lunch

monday.

grandpa and maggie

sad vivi

sissy, 5 days to go.

tuesday.

miss vivi.

Addie watching my dad work

wednesday.

addie and the yellow dress

addie and the one pregnancy craving I had with her.

addie and the yellow dress

thursday.

Taking a pregnant pause at IKEA

Silk Dying Eggs

friday.

vivi's kicks

vivi swingin'

My dad's Flowering Pear Tree

Bailey

saturday.

addie coloring eggs

grampa swinging vivi

the twelfth seven days

the eleventh seven days

(working on the eight, ninth and tenth)

the seventh seven days

the sixth seven days

the fifth seven says

the fourth seven days

the third seven days.

the second seven days.

the first seven days.

a waffle-ing we’ll go.

I love Utah but we will not be moving back. (Sorry parents.)

My sister is still wildly pregnant.

WAFFLES ARE DELICIOUS.

waffle DESTROYER

That photo book, it keeps getting bigger each day.

wheeling and waiting

You could set three dozen of the greatest baby toys to ever exist in front of Vivi and she would manage to find the one piece of cat food on the floor and eat it.

You could set a hundred more toys in front of her with one butcher knife thrown in for good measure and she would head straight for the butcher knife. (Not that we just leave butcher knives lying around…)

The only toy that can really hold her attention right now is a little yellow car. She pushes and pulls it around, rolls it across her legs and chews on the wheels.

vivi and the car

I’m grateful there’s at least one thing that will distract her because dude, my dad’s house is a labyrinth of solid wood furniture with very stabby corners and sharp edges. Over there in the corner? An 8 foot cactus, just in case the deadly furniture and slate tile stairs weren’t enough of a baby proofing challenge. Day 4 and so far she only has one bruise on her cheek from where she lost a very unfair battle with an oak buffet.

*********

We’re all just sitting around, waiting for my sister to have her baby already.

I’m just going to go ahead and admit that when she got pregnant with the greatest of ease the old infertility wounds that had long since been smoothed over by Vivi began to bubble up and itch. Now that I’m here and my nephews arrival is imminent, I feel nothing but excitement and pride, perhaps a tad bit of over-protectiveness as well. She is happy, my family is happy, *I* am happy.

emilie, 39 weeks.

And hot dang if happy doesn’t look good on all of us.

 

the twelfth seven days.

sunday.

watching Addie blow bubbles.

monday.

beiber baby

tuesday.

Vivi being Vivi.

Cody's Birthday Cake

wednesday.

20120321_185022

thursday.

vivi in a tub

sleeping addie.

friday.

granddaugthers.

saturday.

overseeing the gardening at grandma's

Vivi’s twelfth week on babble.

*********

the eleventh seven days

(working on the eight, ninth and tenth)

the seventh seven days

the sixth seven days

the fifth seven says

the fourth seven days

the third seven days.

the second seven days.

the first seven days.

he didn’t even charge me.

“Is this why people buy Apple?”

“NO DAD. This is just a little glitch. I’m sure I can get it fixed.”

“I’ve never heard of an iPhone suddenly shutting down.”

“Oh dad, when this phone works again I am going to SHOW YOU.”

I bought a Samsung Skyrocket SII in January. My first real smartphone and I LOVE it a lot. LOVE. This morning while sending Cody a picture of his baby the screen went black and let out these pitiful random buzzes. Google didn’t have the answer. Even Yahoo Answers didn’t have the answer.

When Yahoo Answers doesn’t even have a hint of an answer you know you’re in trouble.

I drove to an at&t store, walked in and handed over my phone while telling a tale of blank screens and weak vibrations.

“So it just went dark, huh?”

“Yes! And I’m not from here and my sister is so pregnant and I need my phooonneee!!”

“It buzzes?”

“YES! Is that bad? Is that like a sign that all hope is lost?”

I’ll spare you the rest of the conversation and just end by saying the salesman did a fantastic job of driving home what I moron I was with his subtle mix of eye rolling and deadpan silence.

Turns out phones work a lot better when you remember to charge them.

*end scene (in shame)*

(babble) the babbled truth.

addie tickling vivi

Most people have an opinion on how Babble is run. I hate slideshows! Why so much controversy? Why do you write so much? WHYYYY?

I write at least 40 articles a month for Babble. I have been for the past 7 months. Some really cool opportunities have come about because of it and let’s be honest, a paycheck. The Internet runs on page views which is part of the reason I don’t do advertising on my own site, I don’t want to have to write here with the thought in the back of my mind “How do I get people to click more?” It’s part of the reason so many blogs have changed to a magazine layout or don’t publish full feeds, the more you click the more the advertisers have to pay out. Paycheck aside, writing this much has kept my brain occupied. It has been therapy to have a place where I have to write everyday. It has challenged me and forced me to look at things from new perspectives.

I have page view requirements on each site that go up by 15% each month. I’ve struggled to find a delicate balance between promoting my articles over there and keeping this space as ‘me’ as possible. Part of the reason I struggle with page views is that I refuse to go controversial. Controversy gets clicks, but it also leaves me feeling icky, pitting people against each other. I try really hard to write stuff I would want to read. Babble can be clunky, my own blog can be clunky, but things are constantly changing and updating.

That being said, here’s the latest from babble this week…

(big babble) 11 tips and tricks for getting better photos of bigger kids.

(big babble) A spring checklist of sorts.

(big babble) If I gave you $100 and the day off, what would you do with it?

(baby babble) Feeling a little down? These 20 strange Yahoo Answers should perk you right up.

(baby babble) 12 Super nifty products for baby’s first spring.

(baby babble) I may not be able to breastfeed, but I can cloth diaper LIKE A BOSS.

 

 

i promise to do good.

I’m attempting to make a photo book beginning with my pregnancy and ending with Vivi’s first birthday. I’ve printed out a few photos here and there and every time I do I’m genuinely shocked that they actually look good printed out and that hey, maybe I am pretty good at this taking pictures thing. I’ve organized them fairly well, I certainly have my favorites, but it seems everyday I add new favorites. They’re nothing spectacular or magical, just our everyday life. Going to the park, doing laundry, grocery shopping…pretty boring stuff if I’m being honest. My guess is that this book will be somewhere around 400 pages and you’ll need a comfy couch, a cup of cocoa and two or three potty breaks to make it cover to cover, maybe even a nap.

There’s just so many stories in all of these photos I take. I want to surround myself with them, wallpaper my walls with them, show them to complete strangers and wear them on t-shirts.

buddies.

A little over a year ago today I could barely get myself out of bed. My brain was swamped with so much muck and depression I couldn’t bring myself to use my camera let alone my words. Now I’m able to use my words and photos to pay my mortgage, pay my tithing, take care of my friends and take my husband on a cruise. (ZOMG WE’RE GOING ON A REAL TRIP FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN 11 YEARS WITHOUT LITTLE HUMANS.) It seems so indulgent, the things I’ve been able to do with this accidental talent, just today Cody had to remind me that if anyone deserves time together on a boat with all you can eat buffets and middle aged men with fanny packs, it’s us.

Us.

What a magical little word.

Us was almost they. As in they got divorced. They didn’t last. They broke up.

But we fought for us and we won.

It’s scary putting your whole heart and hope into something you’re not sure will hold you. Every night I take a little white crescent shaped pill and hope that it will carry me through the next day. Carry me above all the ugly I know is lurking down there at the bottom. Three years ago Cody and I traded hearts with tears across the center console of my car not entirely sure if either one of us was capable of such a grand and scary responsibility. He has held my heart with all the care and tenderness in the world and I can only hope he feels the same about me.

Every night I get on my knees and pray to someone I’ve never seen but I know is there. One year ago my prayers were filled with desperate pleadings. Please. Please let me feel better. Please make this hurt less. Please let me do better. Please give me another chance. Please take the sting of tears away from my eyes.

They are still filled with pleadings. But they are pleadings for others. Pleadings for those with sick kids, broken hearts or lonely souls. Pleadings that I will be able to do good while I am here and pleadings that I can stay. That this me, this wonderful self I haven’t ever known before can stick around, one more day, one more week, one more month. I promise to do good. I promise to make Him proud if He’ll just let this me stay.

My prayers are also filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the trials I’ve gone through, gratitude for the platform I’ve been given to share my struggles, to help others and to give words to some of the scariest emotions in existence. Gratitude for these two little healthy girls and this strong man I get to call mine. Gratitude for my house, my shutter finger, the sunshine, my cats, working kidneys and orange juice. Gratitude for new shoes, new babies and hope.

I am drinking in this phase of my life in furious gulps, hoping that by wholly immersing myself in it I’ll be strong enough to weather the storms when they come back, because they always come back. I’ve finally stopped living in fear of this phase ending, rather I have been squeezing every drop of beauty from every day until my hands are numb and weary.

miss vivi

Sometimes I am convinced that you gave birth to sunshine.” -Jessi

Cody is my world, Addie kept the sun from ever setting on it and Vivi brought it back to high noon.

 

cat wrangling and winkleweeds.

I came downstairs this morning to Cody wearing gym clothes and heavy leather work gloves. Addie was hiding in the corner and in the middle of the floor was an open cat carrier surrounded by tufts of orange hair. Wink was on the fireplace, back arched, emitting primal cat sounds. In a show of early morning teamwork we managed to shove the one eyed cat into the carrier for a day at the kitty spa.

Wink is a really grouchy cat unless he wants food or it’s between the hours of 12am and 8am. Then he is all lover, specifically towards Cody. Those two, they have a groovy kind of love. Wink lies on Cody all night, perhaps out of love, perhaps out of domination. Sometimes Cody wakes up to a furry thumbed paw on his face and on the mornings Cody has to leave early, Wink climbs on top of me.

May the powers that be have mercy with whoever is in charge of defurring and clipping Wink today. We’ve tried to groom him ourselves but it never ends well and for some reason the poor cat walks around with an atmosphere of fur surrounding him like Pigpen.

wink.

When your cat’s favorite pastime is chasing his own tumbleweeds and tufts of fur? You know spring has sprung and it’s time to attach Swiffers to the baby.

I fell asleep laughing last night at the things Cody does for our family. Leather gloves and cat wrangling aside, a professional attorney is going to walk into a vet office today, biceps bared, and hand over an angry one eyed cat with thumbs. Chances are he’ll say goodbye to him and call him buddy in his talk-to-Wink voice.

Man I lucked out.