July 22, 2014

firsts and thirds.

Ruthe is one.  ONE!!  I can't believe it.  One just feels so big - and she is not so big.  She is tiny.  Teeny tiny.  And she's going to stay that way forever.  We've already talked about it and she's totally fine with never growing up.  I think, she just sort of stared at me the whole time.

Her first birthday was a BLAST!!  If you haven't already seen her priceless reaction to a Slurpee you're missing out!!  It's on Instagram somewhere... #rutheturnsone

John was able to take the weekend off and fly down to be with us.  He has to miss a lot, but his daughter's first birthday was a no-brainier!  She loves him - it kinds makes me jealous.

Her big birthday bash was the day after her actual birthday and it was so.much.fun!  We had a super fun pool party and my parents rented a big bouncy-house/water-slide!!  All the little cousins had plenty to do, so the grow-ups could enjoy the delicious tacos and desserts!

The next day at church we probably weren't as reverent as we should have been - but it's always so much fun to have the dad there with us!!

After John went home we had to start getting things ready for Ruthe's THIRD open-heart surgery!!  She had finally gotten to the point that it was better to do the surgery than wait any longer, and flu season was over, so it was really the perfect time to go.

This time she'd be having a modified Rastelli procedure, and they'd close her VSD.  If you look up that procedure it says it's a repair for double-outlet right ventricle hearts, but the way that Ruthe's heart has been set up from her last two surgeries was pretty close to what that would look like, and so it's really the perfect fit for her.  It will depend on how everything goes during surgery before we know whether she'll need a pace-maker now or possible a little later.  We're definitely hoping that she won't, but after talking to the surgeon about it we feel a lot more confident that having a pace-maker won't really affect her overall quality of life, or even the day-to-day.

Well, I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of details about her birthday and the days leading up to her surgery... But I'm lazy and I forgot to blog about it while everything was fresh in my mind!!  So here's a cute picture of Ruthe to make it up to you.

July 5, 2014

the fourth.

This was Ruthe's last first holiday.  A little bit heart-breaking...

But she's stinkin' adorable, so I'll get over it!!


We didn't do anything overly festive.  Just some shopping with friends in the morning, hotdogs for dinner, and a little firework action in the backyard once it got dark.  Ruthe was not exactly impressed with the firework we did, and I couldn't even get her to look in the general direction of all the big firework shows... maybe next year!!

How do you like my dad's new shed??  Pretty perfect for these holiday pictures, right?!!

June 29, 2014


Last Tuesday, Ruthe and I left on our trip to visit John for a week.  This was the FIRST TIME that I was "allowed" to drive the both of us to Utah.  It was an adventure.

FIRST - Let me just say that families who roadtrip with infants are crazy, incredible, out-of-their-right-minds superheroes.  Ruthe is NOT a pleasant driving companion.  [granted, neither am I, but that's beside the point.]  She will tolerate the car for about 45 minutes, maybe an hour if she's happily distracted by something.  After that, it's all downhill. 

Knowing this from our past drives I was prepared to make several stops.  Even planning to spend the night at my grandparent's house in Cedar City to cut the drive into two big chunks for Ruthe.  And my friend lent us an awesome iPad holder that hangs on the headrest so Ruthe could watch a movie - that was a lifesaver!!

So, we left Las Vegas at about 4:30pm happy and comfy with a bink and a teether, watching Frozen.  By the time we got past the Speedway she was starting to get grumpy, but I had an arsenal of toys in the passenger seat, ready to distract her at the first cry!  Those lasted until Mesquite.  So we pulled off the highway and took a break at McDonald's.  French fries can make anyone's day better!  After about 20 minutes we got back in the car, restarted the movie, and replenished my supply of baby-distractors. 

We were OK until St. George.  Have you ever driven over Black Ridge with a baby who can't swallow?  It's not a fun time.  Before our first roadtrip I did a lot of "research" about taking babies on long drives.  Pretty much every single article I read said to give the baby a bottle or sippy-cup when you had to drive over mountains, because all the swallowing would help pop their ears and relieve that pressure.  Ummm... cool.  We can't do that.  So we just suffer.  I sang every song I know at the top of my lungs, I tried to shush louder than her crying, and I drove a lot of the way one-handed dangling toys and binks and empty water bottles at Ruthe in an attempt to calm her down.  [don't tell my dad!]  By the time we got into Cedar City I was out of ammunition and she was just d.o.n.e.  So, in true loving-mother fashion, I bet her a dollar that she'd be asleep by the time we pulled into my grandparent's house.  Now, she was still screaming as I took the exit off the highway, but in the two minutes it took to get from there to the house she was out.  I still haven't decided what I'm going to buy with my dollar.  ;)

This trip we got to see my grandma, auntie Summer, and cousin Drew.  They all pretty much look straight past me and directly to the baby, but that's ok - I'm getting used to it!  Ruthe LOVES being the center of attention.  She loves getting snuggled and smooched!

We woke up bright and early to get the day started.  I fed Ruthe some breakfast, and my sweet grandma made some pancakes and eggs for me!  And then we got back on the road, at about 10:30am.  When I stopped to gas-up the car I decided that Ruthe probably didn't want to see Frozen again so I set the iPad to play a slideshow of all her pictures.  There are one THOUSAND pictures on the iPad, and I'd sat that at least 950 of them are of the baby.  She is quite the little narcissist, and so she was just in a little baby-Ruthe-filled heaven. 

She did, however, remember how much she hates being in the car much faster that time, so I had to start using all my "keep the baby quiet" tactics sooner than I'd anticipated.  I also kept promising her that we would be getting off the highway soon, thinking the next exit was the truck stop at Scipio.  I wanted to stop there because their bathrooms aren't terribly disgusting, and there's a little petting zoo that I thought would be nice for Ruthe.  It's just small, and across the street from the gas station, but they have a camel and a zebra that you can see pretty well without having to actually walk into the "petting" area.  They also have some llamas, but I couldn't find them this time.

After Scipio Ruthe wasn't terribly grumpy.  I think she had just resigned herself to being miserable, and was ignoring me for the rest of the drive.  I thought about taking another break in Provo, but that's just sooo close to home that I couldn't make myself get off the highway again.

Luckily, John was able to get off work early and was waiting for us when we finally drove up to the apartment.  It was quite the adventure, and I'm not looking forward to the return trip [that we're going to make all in ONE day] but it was a really good, accomplished feeling knowing that I am perfectly capable of going on a solo roadtrip with Ruthe!!

June 23, 2014


Sometimes you just have to let the day take you wherever it wants to.

And sometimes that includes a baby playing in her own spit-up.  


June 18, 2014


My baby is eleven months old.  ELEVEN!!  That's almost a full year.  I can't believe she's already so big!!  It's hard to imagine this spunky girl:

... was ever in this position:

I could talk about this sweet babe for hours.  Literally.  She is just the best little thing.  Even on days like today, when she spends 95% of her time screaming and whining and grabbing at everything but the things I offer to her, and the other 5% sitting quietly on Grandpa's lap, like a perfect angel-baby.

I had my friend take some "one year" pictures of Ruthe last week.  We wanted to have it done early, in case she had to be in the hospital on her actual birthday, so her sassy little personality would shine through!  And so she could/would sit up on her own... Here's a little sneak-peek - because I just can't help myself!!

((she's not naked... her little pink shorts just aren't showing from this angle.))

I can.not.wait. to see the rest of the pictures Alisha took!!  She always does an amazing job!

Like these pics from in the NICU... I don't think I've ever really posted them...

Oh, my heart is melting.  Why do babies have to grow up?!!

June 3, 2014

heart catheterization // angiogram // trans-esophageal echocardiogram

Ruthe had a heart cath on Friday.  And she totally rocked it!!  Her doctors wanted to get some more accurate measurements and images so they could plan for her next big surgery.  

We got to the hospital at about 5:45am, got our "members only" wristbands and then sat and waited for a nurse to bring us back into pre-op.  I've decided that the surgical staff just wants to psych you out before surgery... because all they did in pre-op was have me change Ruthe into a hospital gown, get her height, weight, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.  And then we just sat there.  Oh, right, a nurse asked me like thirteen questions about Ruthe's life at home and development.  

Then the anesthesiologist came in to tell me how they'd put Ruthe to sleep, manage her pain, and keep her asleep.  I warned her (Dr. Wang, who looks almost exactly like Lucy Liu) that Ruthe is a tricky stick for IVs, and to be prepared.  She said she'd be careful and try to get her on the first try (both hands and a foot later...).

Dr. Galindo is Ruthe's interventionalist.  He has done both her caths, and placed the bands on her pulmonary arteries in her first open-heart surgery.  He's really nice, and always explains things carefully, and always makes sure we're on the same page.  After he came in to get the consent signed we took Ruthe into the cath lab.  They let me carry her there and hold her hand while they used gas to put her to sleep.  

And then I got to sit and wait. For three hours.  So much fun.

After the whole thing was finished Dr. Galindo came in to tell us everything went perfect and then Dr. Wang took us back to see Ruthe.  That poor sweet baby.  After a cath you have to be on bed rest for at least six hours.  And you can't move the appendage (in this case Ruthe's right leg) or sit up or roll over or anything.  So my baby was basically strapped to the bed, and we had to hold her down of she tried to get up.  :(

Luckily Ruthe is a fast-learner and stopped fighting us after a few tries.  Her nurse during that six-hour stretch was very impressed that a 10-month old would be that still and quiet.  She had about seven other patients in recovery while we were there, mostly boys for circumcisions, and a couple other random things, and they ALL cried like little babies.  (OK, so they mostly were little babies, but the biggest complainers by far were the two boys, around six or seven, who spent the whole time just wailing!!  Ruthe literally rolled her eyes at them - she's got sass.). All of the other patients were only there for around twenty minutes, so we were pretty much constantly entertained.

All-in-all the day went fine.  It was long, and exhausting, but we are one step closer to being done with surgeries for at least a little while, and that made it all worth it.

OH!  And John surprised us by driving down for the weekend!!  He's pretty much the best thing ever!!

((That pic is from lunch on Saturday, in case you were worried about Ruthe's recovery at home. It was nothing a little dad-snuggling and soda-sipping couldn't cure!!))

May 20, 2014

my beach bum.

This girl.

This girl right here.

She LOVES the beach.  I mean, who doesn't, right?!  But babies are generally known for hating nature in all it's forms (ie - grass, water, sand, wind) so I was kind of expecting a lot of kicking and screaming.

Well, I got the kicking.  This girl was all about having sand in between her toes and made some pretty impressive footprints on the beach.  She also tried kicking me when I picked her up... girl's got an attitude.

I have a video that I'll post eventually.  For now you can see a couple clips from it here http://instagram.com/p/oMS41YIhzr/

We also went on a little walk to Balboa Pier for a bal-bar and a sticker for her suitcase.

And we decided that she needed a hat.

We had to get back to the beach house to feed the goose-baby, so there was no time for riding the Ferris wheel... But that doesn't mean we couldn't snap a quick pic so she has something to look forward to on our next trip!