February 25, 2014

alone, but not lonely.

Or should it be lonely, but not alone?

Either way, Ruthe and I had the house to ourselves last weekend.  My parents went to California on Friday, leaving us with a fully-stocked fridge and free reign over the TV until Tuesday afternoon.  

It's a rough life.

And somehow, miraculously, I only had to wash a handful of bottles/tubes/syringes.  When we were in Utah I felt like I had to wash all her stuff every single day.  We did start to run low on clean receiving blankets, though, and I almost - almost - had to do a load of a laundry. 

It wasn't a completely boring weekend.  Saturday was our first heart walk!!  The Children's Heart Foundation of Nevada puts on an annual "Walk with the Heart of a Child" to raise money for CHD research.  Since we never do anything alone, Ruthe and I recruited my bestie-friends and my brother to come with us.  It was really a lot of fun.  Or, as much fun as it can be walking around the mall before-hours in a winding and confusing path with a clunky stroller.  But I'm glad we went and got a feeling for how it will go next year. (I think we'll even make our own shirts! Team Baby Ruthe!!)

On Sunday I surprised even myself by getting up and ready and going to church with the baby!  We were even on time!!  And if you know me, you know that's practically a miracle!  Ruthe does so well at church, it's almost fun to take her!  It's definitely fun to dress her up!!  If only we didn't have to pack so much baby-gear...  But that sweet girl just sat with her auntie Teri and listened to the announcements, and the laid down to eat and take a little snooze.  Pretty soon we won't be able to let her lay down, because she'll be rolling all over the place!!  (Is it wrong of me to be excited that her next surgery will delay that even more??  I love that she's still such a baby and so dependent on me for mobility.  It's probably awful parenting.  Oh well.)

After church we were invited to crash a Dean family dinner and watch The Jungle Book.  I LOVE that movie.  I forgot how funny it is.  And it was so much fun to hear the Dean kids talk about it after, since most of them had never seen it all the way through.  I don't think Bella was very impressed... after all, there wasn't a princess.  ;)

Monday and Tuesday we just sat around the house all day.  I'm sure we had good intentions, but we just didn't have the motivation to get up and do anything. Although, I will say that any human being with more than one child to care for, that can regularly bathe themselves and their children AND accomplish any other task in the same day, deserves an Olympic medal.  

While my parents were away they demanded quite a few pictures of the baby.  And heaven forbid I send them both the same one!!  Haha.  It pretty funny, actually, because they're both so greedy with baby pictures that they'll never show each other the ones they have.  I tried to send them a video every day, too, just to keep the guilt of leaving us fresh.  Those are like gold!  And if I did forget to send one I could always count on a text right around bedtime to remind me - all it ever said was, "Waiting..."  

I love that they can't go to sleep without seeing the baby.  

sitting up and loving it!!

tummy time and hating it.

being squeezed into a too-tight home-made onesie.

refusing to wake up and get ready for church.

retaliation... she wiggled herself sideways during the night and woke me up with a swift kick to the head.  this girl is too sassy for my own good.

We also got some wonderful, fun, exciting, totally awesome news on Sunday morning... my sister-in-law had her baby girl!!  Sweet, beautiful Novalee made her much-anticipated debut a whopping twelve days past her due date.  She is spunky, and gorgeous, and absolutely perfect.  We can't wait to meet her!!

February 16, 2014

soosie and yiaya.

My Ruthe is named after her great-great-grandmother. We called her Soosie.

Soosie passed away ten years ago, on Valentine's Day. I can't believe it's been that long, or that my life-long dream of having a baby girl to name for her has already come true.

She was a beautiful, strong, intelligent woman. She set such a wonderful example for me, that I could do absolutely anything I set my mind to if I worked hard enough and stood up for myself. I really, desperately, hope that I'll be able to set even the slightest shadow of that example for my own sweet Ruthe.

Ever since Ruthe was born she's spent a lot of time looking up into corners and just past our faces and smiling, or talking, or just staring so deeply and intently that we just know there's someone there that only she can see.  I've always loved thinking that it's Soosie standing there, loving my little girl and cheering her along the road to recovery.  That thought would always give me comfort when I couldn't be at the hospital with my baby, or when she was in a procedure room that I couldn't be in.

The past couple of months, since my grandmother passed away have been especially heart-breaking. Yiaya should be here to watch my Ruthe grow up. To hold her hand and take her shoe-shopping and bring her little trinkets from her far-away trips. She should be here to tell her stories about Soosie and sit in the front row at her piano recitals.  

Yiaya loved Ruthe so much. She called to check on her progress at least every other day while Ruthe was in the hospital. She came to visit once or twice a week, just to see how much bigger Ruthe had gotten. She would find the sweetest little pajamas and bring them by, promising that they'd been washed without any dyes or perfumes and that she'd kept them in a plastic bag just so we knew there weren't any germs at all. She loved her. So much. And so perfectly. 

I can still remember the day I told Yiaya that John and I had decided to name our baby girl after her mother. She just lit up. She told me she was just "tickled" that we had chosen the name Ruthe. That she had thought how nice of a name that would be, but she wasn't going to say anything because it was our decision, and that she was just so tickled. 

Tickled. Who says that? It's such a silly, happy word. But that was Yiaya. She was just always so happy. And silly. She would say such funny things, and use different voices when she told us stories, and dance a little jig to make us laugh. 

Ruthe is going to miss out on a lot of wonderful things without Soosie or Yiaya here anymore. But I think she's probably thinking the same thing about us, right now. That we're all missing out on so much fun and laughter and love because we just can't see them, right there in front of her, smiling and dancing.

valentine's day 2014.

6:30am - I am snuggled in bed, warm and dreaming.  John comes in, bringing freezing air from the outside world into my cocoon. 
     "Sydney, wake up. My car was stolen." 
     "Ok." And then I rolled over and fell back to sleep.

I did wake up and try to be a voice a calm and reason while he dealt with all the emotions of having your car stolen. Frankly, I hate his car and was having a celebration in my head, so I probably wasn't as traumatized or sympathetic as he needed me to be. But he needed to get to school, so I got up and bundled up the baby to drive him up to campus. On the way he called and reported the theft and was told that stolen cars are usually recovered within a few weeks' time, generally after having been used in some (other) crime and dumped. Not exactly comforting, but I think it helped John relax a little bit. Salt Lake has a pretty good public transportation system, and John rides for free as a student, so we knew he had a way to get everywhere he needed to go. But that didn't stop him from looking at trucks for sale on KSL. 

I had spent all night (really really early morning) baking cinnamon rolls for John's school friends for Valentine's Day. But the hustle of the morning's events meant I couldn't package them up for John to take. They were so cute, too. I'm pretty bummed that the rest of the world will never see how adorable my PINK cinnamon rolls turned out to be in real life.  All I have as evidence are these funky pictures. But trust me, they were delicious!! 

I only made half of the recipe, because what the heck was I supposed to do with 24 cinnamon rolls? And I only have one baking dish... But I forgot to halve the frosting recipe. So I had twelve cinnamon rolls and FOUR POUNDS OF FROSTING. Cream-cheese frosting is good. Good enough to eat off of a spoon good. But it's not four pounds good.

John only had one class on Friday, so we picked him up around noon and got some KFC/Taco Bell for lunch. When we got home John said all he wanted to do was relax and hold the baby and play video games. And since his car was stolen I would have let him do pretty much whatever he wanted.

While he took care of the baby I worked on hanging more pictures and things in the nursery/office. I didn't get very far. After I broke the "H" that spelled out Ruthe's name I kind of lost all my motivation.

I did hang another shelf and a couple (maybe just one) more pictures. I kept running into complications with the nails not staying straight and frames not having wall-hanging-abilities. So I just gave up and snuggled my baby instead!

Surprisingly, around 3pm, we got a call from the police department that they'd found John's car! It was soooo close to our apartment. Like, only two minutes away in West Valley. I think that phone call was the most flustered I'd ever seen John get... he was so happy and relieved that he could hardly stand still enough to write down the address!!  When we got to the location there were two officers waiting with John's car to close the report so he could drive it back home. Apparently, if your car is stolen and you find it yourself and take it back without letting the police close the report you'll be pulled over and held at gunpoint until they can verify identity and ownership. Needless to say we were perfectly willing to sit and wait!!

It's funny the things you never know about until it happens to you. Like how we all sound like experts when we talk about Ruthe's heart, or what to do when your baby pulls out her g-tube for the second time in a week, or how we know what happens when your car gets stolen now. Life is the greatest teacher, right?!

Anyway, since all of our energy had been spent worrying about John's car and baking treats and being the most adorable baby, we decided that going out to dinner wasn't worth the effort of getting dressed up and cooking anything wasn't going to happen until someone cleaned up my mess in the kitchen.  So we picked up a heart-shaped pizza at Papa John's and some drinks from the gas station. John also stopped by an Auto Zone to buy "the club" for his steering wheel. 

We had a really nice night, all snuggled on the couch watching weird love movies and smooching Ruthe's chubby cheeks. Those heart jammies are some of my favorites! 

This Valentine's Day was so wonderful! Not just because it was nice to spend the whole day with John, but because we have this sweet, beautiful little baby, who has completely redefined what love means for our family. (The whole heart-baby/heart-day thing was pretty awesome, too!)

February 15, 2014


Ruthe and I just spent a week in Utah with John.  It was so nice to all be together and spend some time as a real family.  Here is a "brief" recap of our trip:

Saturday we got into SLC around 3:30pm, dropped my mom off at the airport and headed home to unpack the car.  After we got everything settled into place we went to the mall to exchange a too-big coat for John and had dinner at Costa Vida and some deeeeeelicious cupcakes from The Sweet Tooth Fairy.  

On Sunday morning we got up bright and early to go to church.  Ruthe lasted about thirty minutes before falling asleep in the pew.  Our ward seems really great.  Everyone was so nice and welcoming!  I think it will be a really great ward, once we live up there more permanently!

On Monday, John had to spend the whole day at school so Ruthe and I were left to entertain ourselves.  And what better way than to wander around IKEA for two hours?!  I also spent a little time hanging pictures in the living room, but I didn't quite finish... Ruthe wanted to play patty-cake instead.  Monday was actually our most productive day.  We did IKEA, and the pictures, but we also braved Walmart by ourselves and got some groceries for the week.  It was quite an adventure, but I didn't get lost at all driving around town, and I even remembered where the apartment was once all the errands were finished!!

Tuesday was less productive.  Ruthe and I didn't even get out of bed until it was time to go visit John for lunch.  We picked up a stroller frame to have up there and got a few random groceries that we forgot to grab on Monday, and then we went back home to be lazy all evening.  OH!! Ruthe turned seven months old!!  YAAAAYYY!!!!

Wednesday we never even left the house.  And I didn't hang any more pictures.  And we only sort-of got dressed.  And by sort of I mean that I dressed Ruthe and then put on a clean pair of socks myself. Gross, I know.  Moving on...

On Thursday I got to drive out to Lehi to see one of our friends from Idaho!  It was so much fun to catch up and see her sweet little boys!  It will be great once Ruthe and I live there for good and we can hang out more often!!  I also made my second trip to IKEA on the way back to Salt Lake, and got lost in the store.  I thought I was being so clever going straight into the downstairs marketplace to get my stuff, totally bypassing the show-rooms... but that plan only works if the things you're looking for are IN the marketplace.  I swear I walked that entire store at least four times trying to find my way going against the traffic.  I'll never make that mistake again!  IKEA is best experienced the way it was intended!!  Thursday night we drove out to Pleasant Grove to have dinner with one of John's BFFs and his wife.  They are yet another reason I can't wait until Ruthe and I move up to Salt Lake for good!

And Friday... oh, Friday.  Valentine's Day was quite an experience this year.  It started with John's car being stolen.  And it ended with about three extra pounds of cream cheese frosting.  I think that I'll maybe save that whole story for its own post.  Overall we had a wonderful time together as a family.  Ruthe has completely stolen my spot as John's valentine.  I would be upset if they weren't so gosh-darn adorable together.  I just love the two of them to pieces.