January 29, 2014


Remember that time my husband lived in our apartment alone for six months before I'd ever so much as stepped foot inside?!!

Yeah, well, after that wonderful adventure in Mesquite we FINALLY got in to Salt Lake and I saw my home for the first time.  Let just say I'm counting on my second impression to make-up for some things...  Firstly, I was exhausted, so I can't blame anything for really being as awful as it was.  Secondly, John is a boy, and he only unpacked the essentials.  Thirdly, the baby's crib was in pieces in the living room so she slept with me, and John was forced out onto the couch.

That was Friday night.  On Saturday morning my mom and Aunt Summer came over to help get the apartment in decent shape.  And what a difference a day makes!!  We got all the boxes unpacked, put the crib and our disassembled bookshelf together.  We rearranged the furniture in all the rooms to make things fit and look better.  We cleaned... (ok, I didn't clean at all, but Summer totally cleaned my kitchen and the hallway bathroom!! have I mentioned how awesome she is??)  After a very long day of all that we made a list of what we were missing and went out for dinner.  

But Saturday's not over yet... during the day we'd gotten the crib put together and all the bedding put on, so Ruthe could sleep in it that night.  We even moved all her "accessories" in there, so I didn't really have a choice.  Now, um, Ruthe and I have slept no more than ten inches away from each other since she came home from the hospital.  Separate rooms was kind of a big jump.  For me.  She couldn't have cared less.  I was SO stressed the entire night.  I slept with the monitor in my hand.  I woke up to every tiny sound she made.  I leapt out of bed and ran down the hall at every wimper or whine or deep sigh.  I stood in the doorway watching her like a psycho-mom.  It was awful.  Again, just for me.  Ruthe had one of the best night's sleep of her life.

Sunday morning I was a grumpy mess.  But we were going shopping for some new furniture and other things, and I knew that would help me feel better.  My mom, Summer, Ruthe, and I headed to Home Goods and Target while we let John escape to watch football.  We were looking for a new coffee table/ottoman and a chair for my living room, and a few other random supplies for organizing and decorating.  We found everything we needed pretty easily.  And I LOVE the way everything fits together now.  It looks like a real home.  It's just missing the wife and baby.  :/

I still need to hang all our pictures and really decorate.  The laundry room probably needs some organization. And we need to figure out how to put up curtains in the bedrooms. (why can't someone design an apartment where the windows are more than three inches from a corner??)  Which all translates in my head to an IKEA trip!!  yay!!

Someone should remind me while I'm in Utah next week to have a few of our family photos printed... and maybe some wedding photos, too.  Better late than never!!

January 25, 2014


Right on the border of Nevada and Arizona, there's a little town called Mesquite.  It's a really nice place to stop for gas or grab some chicken nuggets on the way to Utah.  And that's it.

Last weekend, my mom, Ruthe, and I were stranded there.  At a Big O Tires.  For at least a day.  

Let's backtrack...

We were going up to Salt Lake to visit John and to set up the apartment there.  Because after six months John was still living out of boxes.  The palm was to leave Thursday afternoon, spend the night with my grandparent's in Cedar City, and finish the drive (with my wonderful Aunt Summer) on Friday morning.  Everything was right on track until we started to pack the car on Thursday...

First of all, we had to pack the crib.  I don't know if you're aware of this, but cribs are fairly large.  We realized that it would fit, but it had to lay on top of our suitcases to fit, and it would also probably hit me in the head every time we ran over a bump in the road.  (Because I had to sit in the back next to Ruthe to feed her, not because it's that big.)  So we packed everything in the car, and then we packed the crib on top of everything, and then we got on the road.

I wish I had a picture of the back of the car so you could all see how FULL it was. Because this next part would be so much funnier of you only knew...

The drive was fine.  Ruthe's limit of being in the car is about 3 hours, so she wasn't difficult at all.  The car, however, hit its limit after only one hour.  My mom said it just wasn't getting any power when she'd hit the gas.  In Mesquite she said something was really wrong, and we pulled off the freeway.  We coasted down the road for a couple blocks before we saw a sign that said "mechanic on duty" at the Big O Tires.  We pulled in, parked, and my mom went in to talk to the mechanic.  You know how whenever you tell the mechanic what's wrong with you car they try to replicate it and the car works just fine?  Luckily this wasn't one of those times.  UNluckily, the car's fuel pump was broken.  And they didn't have that part in the store.  They had to order it from Salt Lake, and it wouldn't be there until 8 or 11 the next morning.

Ok, great.  So, what happens next?  We're only an hour-ish from home.  Should we just have my dad come and get us, and bring us back in the morning?  No, that's a waste of time and gas.  Let's just sleep over in Mesquite!  There are plenty of dilapidated casinos for us to choose from.  Only, Rithe has a lot of "accessories" that need to come with us everywhere we go.  So we grabbed all of her stuff.  That includes: 
     - a feeding pump and stand
     - a nebulizer
     - formula and water
     - g-tube supplies
     - medications and more supplies
     - a cooler of already-prepared milk
     - the diaper bag
     - the carseat (with the baby, duh)

With all of that unpacked, we didn't have an extra arm between us to carry any of our own things.  So we submitted to having dirty hair and wearing the same clothes, with the promise of a gift shop toothbrush to look forward to.

The nice mechanic at Big O helped us pack our things into his truck, and drove us down the street to the Virgin River Casino.  (We called to make a reservation from the parking lot, which was good, because there was a big car show in town and they were almost booked solid and the line inside was LONG!)  Have you ever stood in line inside a crowded, funky, smoke-filled casino with 70 pounds of baby gear for a half-hour?  It's not fun.  But we did notice the free wifi sign, and see a doppelgänger of our friend, so it wasn't all bad.

The room was fine.  We weren't expecting anything fancy.  We laid down, laughed a little bit, played with the baby, ate some dinner, and fell asleep.

In the morning, we stayed in the room as long as possible, then went back to the casino for breakfast, and waited outside by a fountain for the mechanic to call us. 

We finally got back to our car around twelve-thirty. (AND the guy who picked us up is the dad of a two-year-old heart baby who had a g-tube and shares Ruthe's surgeon!! Small world!)  I repacked the car while my mom was inside paying and thanking them for their shuttle-service, and then we hit the road.

The rest of the trip is it's own story, so I'll tell it in another post.  But this part does have a moral, and it's that you should NEVER ignore the promptings you get to (1) drop the car off at the mechanics before you leave on your trip, (2) pack a small bag of overnight-essentials to keep easily-accessible in the front seat, and (3) pull off the freeway when your car starts acting strange.  We should have listened to the first one, but we didn't.  Listening to the second one would have made the whole ordeal more comfortable, but it's our own fault.  Thankfully we listened to the third, most important prompting, and we didn't end up stranded in the gorge or in the middle of the dessert or in an accident.  We'll know better next time.

January 15, 2014

the goose.

No, we didn't get a new pet.  "Goose" is our new favorite nickname for Ruthe.  

It sort of evolved during her emergency-room-marathon, when John and I couldn't think of anything else to call her but a silly goose while the doctors were in the room. (When it was just the three of us we opted for a few more serious words, like crazy and mean and dramatic, to describe her. Those don't make very cute nicknames.)

So now it's pretty much all Goose all the time.  She likes it.  

She likes it more than she likes her new nebulizer...

Meet Clawdia Kitty.  Freaky, huh?!  When we went to the pediatrician for Ruthe's six-month check-up and shots, the doctor thought she sounded a little bronchitis-y and prescribed some breathing treatments to help.  So not only do I have to sleep with that weird cat staring at me all night, but I also have to suppress the images of my baby turning into Bane from the batman movie.  See the resemblance?!

In other news... Her weight is starting to come back up after her all the nonsense with being sick.  She's still in the 50th percentile for weight and height.  But her funny head (that seems ginormous!!) is only in the 10th percentile.  

She's getting so strong, and can hold her head up with minimal support while we hold her and walk around.  She even pretends to sit on her own sometimes!!  Recently she found her feet, and will grab onto her right one any chance she gets.  (It makes diaper changes especially difficult!). 

We started introducing different tastes the last few weeks, too.  Since she doesn't swallow anything we just let her lick stuff, or we put little bits of food in those mesh-pocket things.  So far she's gnawed on a carrot, cucumber, celery, and (of course) a clementine!!  She does get a little bit of banana every now and then... She loves the flavor, but hates having it in her mouth, so it usually ends up all over her face and she just licks her lips over and over and over.  Such a weirdo.

Ruthe has also started to reach for things and grab them!  It's so fun to dangle her toys in front of her and watch her figure out how to get them into her hands, and from there into her mouth!  She can even find her pacifier in the middle of the night and get it back into her mouth all by herself!  It so fun to watch her discover new things, and I'm pretty excited for our next visit with the physical therapist to show off all her new tricks!!

January 11, 2014


Look at this face: 

That's the face of a SIX MONTH OLD BABY!!  

Holy cow.  Someone must have changed the calendar too soon... There's no way that my sweet, tiny, precious, beautiful, little snuggle-bug is half of a year old.  

She is the light of my life.  The best thing that's ever happened to me.  My absolute favorite.  (well, right after John!)  She is such a blessing in our lives.  We are the luckiest family ever, to have gotten this sweet little person to join us here on Earth!!  

Ruthe and I are still feeling pretty funky, trying to get over this cold.  So we slept in today.  Long enough to make my mom wander all the way across the house to snuggle us in our bed instead of the other way around!!  That kind of threw Ruthe off for a minute... but she liked it in the end.  And I liked it because I could fall back to sleep for twenty minutes while she played with my mom instead of scratched at my face.

We finally got out of bed, ate some breakfast, lounged around, ate first-lunch, then we showered and got dressed for my little cousin's baptism.  After Ikey's special day, we went over to his house to hang out, play with his little sister who has never ever spoken to me before!! and have second-lunch (I got to eat this time too!)  I love all this time I've gotten to spend with my family down here in Vegas!  

On our way home we stopped at the grocery store to get Ruthe a "Happy half-Birthday" cake.  

hahahahaha hahahahahahaha!!  get it??!

My dad and I sat Ruthe up in her high-chair so she could have a taste of it... This is what she did:

So I got her out, wiped her hand clean, and took off her dress before we gave her a taste of the frosting...  

Don't let those vacant stares fool you... She LOVED it!!  

There's a video on my Instagram of you want to check it out!  And only a tiny little purple stain on her shirt!  I'm impressed!!  I didn't even make it through that experience with such a little stain...

I'd say this was a good first attempt at cake... She'll be much better by her first real birthday!!  (I don't even want to think about that!!). 

Stay little forever, Baby Ruthe!!

January 8, 2014

baloney. [bologna.]

I really love bologna. But I HATE the way it's spelled. I have to sing the Oscar Mayer song every time I want to write it out. And even then it still looks like this in my head:

"My baloney has a first name,
It's O-s-c-a-r.
My baloney has a second name,
It's M-a-y-e-r.
I love to eat it every day,
And if you ask me why I'll ssaaaaayyyyyy:
'Cuz Oscar Mayer has a way with

Baloney.  I can't help it.  Otherwise I read it as bo-log-na.  Every time.

Fun fact: Whenever I sing the baloney song I immediately start singing the Band-aid song right after... Like it's the second verse or something.  And sometimes I round out the whole thing with the Goldfish cracker song.  It's like a mix-tape of my childhood.

What was I talking about??  Oh yeah, nothing.  I'm stuck in another one of those endless battles of should I go to sleep before the pump has to be refilled at 2am or just get on Pinterest for another three hours.  It's a tough decision.

This little lady has a cold.  She's pretty miserable.  She's also very snuggly and slobbery.  I'm not sure whether to enjoy it or complain about it.  

We think she might also be contemplating growing some teeth.  She looooves to have her gums brushed.  Maybe because the toothpaste is fruity and delicious.  

Since John went back to school she's been sleeping next to me again.  I love it.  She's so funny at night before she falls asleep.  It's when she's the most alert and responsive.  I'm sure it's just a foreshadowing of how difficult she's going to be to put to sleep when she grows up, but for now I love having her sweet smiles all to myself.  The other night I woke up around 3:30 to her little hand right on my face and her big eyes just staring at me.  I think I might have been snoring and woke her up.  Oops!

She's been to see three doctors this week so far, and we're hoping to get her in to see one more (for her g-tube).  At each appointment she's weighed 15lbs. 4oz.  That's a little lower than she should be, but we're letting it slide because she's sick and just hoping it starts to come back up in the next couple of weeks. 

At her cardiology appointment everything looked good.  Her aortic valve still isn't growing very much, so she won't be able to have a normal-looking heart.  Hopefully we can wait for her next surgery to be at 9-12 months old.  But they're still watching her pressures every month and it could always happen sooner.  We just have to keep her healthy and growing and hope her little heart can stay strong!!  

I realize this isn't much of an update.  I'm mostly just trying to make myself tired enough to fall asleep...  Sorry.

January 3, 2014


three days into the new year.

three different hospitals. 

I knew having a baby would be hard sometimes. I knew that having a heart baby would make it even harder more often. But this is crazy, people. 

We went to the ER in San Diego on Tuesday night (the 31st), around 11:30pm, because Ruthe had been spitting up all day and not tolerating any food at all. She was discharged around 6am, with a recommendation to take her home to see her own doctors as soon as possible.  We drove home that day, called her doctors first thing yesterday morning (the 2nd), and settled down for a long weekend of snuggling. Then, at 9:15pm, she yanked her g-tube out using her monkey toes.  So we rushed her to the ER next door to our house, just like all the doctors and nurses have told us to do the first time it happened. (In retrospect, I think I should have just put it back in myself and called the doctors from home afterwards.)  The first hospital of the night didn't get us anywhere. They puttered around for an hour, and then finally told us they didn't really know what to do and were waiting for a doctor.  (Again, retrospectively, we should have packed her up and taken her immediately to our normal hospital.) Once we finally escaped from there, we stopped by the house to grab her bag, put on some real clothes, and headed directly to the hospital that we know and love.  We got here around 1am today (the 3rd), and what started out to be a wonderful experience got real serious real fast.  I'm not blaming anyone, but it is a problem when nurses don't listen to parents of chronically sick kids.  I know my baby and I know what her tube is supposed to look like.  The nurse put it in WAY too far, and when they pushed the contrast-fluid through for the X-ray it all came right up into her mouth and nose and then leaked into her esophagus.  So we're admitting her to the pediatric unit for observation.  Mostly, I want to get her out if the ER and into a bed with a nurse that's familiar with complex cases.  And that maybe has a few extra minutes to listen to the mom who's been to the rodeo before.  It's 4:15am - go kiss your baby.

January 1, 2014

happy new year.

from Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.

This little baby caught a stomach bug on our trip.  (And then graciously bestowed it upon her momma.) After an xray, a couple tests, and some fluids the doctors sent us home to rest and snuggle.  

We had to cut our vacation short and come back to Vegas before getting to see any of our California friends.  Our poor John had to drive all the way with two sick girls crying in the back seat!  Hopefully our next trip won't be so dramatic!!