"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Old Apartment

Lauren has been sick and so fussy, especially at night. The other night she wouldn't calm down for anything, and I was quickly reaching the end of my rope. As a last resort I took her for a drive. Normally she hates the car, but since nothing else had worked I gave it a shot. We ended up driving around for about 1 1/2 hours and she slept a huge chunk of that. I ended up in a place I haven't visited in 2 1/2 years. Our old apartment. It is about 20 minutes from where we live now and I'm rarely out that way anymore.

It's the place where Cody and I first lived when we got married. We were there for 3 years and 2 months. As I drove through our old neighborhood I was overcome with nostalgia. So much happened in that apartment. So much happiness, bliss, heartache, and devastation. That's where we spent many Saturday nights curled up in front of a good movie when we had nothing else to worry about. I remember our first Sunday in that ward. I hated it and came home in tears. I didn't think I would ever fit in or be liked and I felt so out of my element. The ward was full of elderly people and I couldn't relate. And I remember our last Sunday in that ward and I recall the utter sadness I felt at leaving those dear friends behind, 3 years later. I grew 2 babies there. That was Ethan's first home.

Gosh, so much happened there. It was there that I got 2 positive pregnancy tests confirming Hailey's anticipated arrival into this world. And it was there that I first experienced the unthinkable trials that went along with that pregnancy. I parked in my old parking stall and looked up at our apartment. I could tell by the way the light flickered inside that the ceiling fan must have been on. Someone else lived there. It wasn't my home anymore yet it still felt so familiar and safe. We had so much less to worry about back then. As my sweet baby slept in the back seat I drove up and down the old streets taking in the memories. We took countless walks along those sidewalks. Ethan's first summer was so carefree and almost every evening we would pack him in the stroller and go walking. We would look at all the houses and dream about the day that we would have a house of our own and a backyard for our kids to play in.

Now we have all that and it still feels foreign to me. As I thought back to that precious time in our lives it felt very bittersweet. We've grown up a lot since then...all in the 2 short years since we've been gone. I know that one day we will leave our current home behind and I wonder what it will be like to sometime drive back through these old streets and take in the memories. I wonder what will stand out most in my mind. I wonder what memories have yet to be made.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Beautiful Day

Today was absolutely gorgeous. The inversion was kept to a minimum and the temperature was so comfortable. These days will be coming closer and closer as spring approaches. Yippy! I couldn't wait to get Ethan home from school so we could all play outside. After all the sickness we've had in our house this past week, Mommy really deserved a day in the fresh air! Cody bought some new soccer balls and I wanted to try them out. Jen (neighbor) has soccer goals for her kids so I thought it would be fun to set up a mini field. Apparently I was the only one interested in that. Ethan didn't even want to go outside. He said he just wanted to play with the toy food and kitchen. What a girl! I forced him to get out in the sunshine. I'm such a mean mom. I think we had a fun time after all. Jen's and her kids came out to join us.




We can't forget that Lauren was there too! Such a cutie all bundled up. FYI, the hat was knitted by her great Aunt Lyn, sweater by Grandma A, and blanket by Aunt Kara.

While Jen and I were outside talking, we looked around and realized all the kids had gone inside my house. I raced in to find Hailey sitting in a squished pile of chocolate cake on the floor. How did she manage to get a hold of that???

These are pics I took for Grandma A. Lauren finally fits into the sweater and hat so I'm sending these to her. By the way, she entered these items in the county fair this past fall and the sweater took first place and the hat took second!



Sunday, February 24, 2008


Cody came home from running some errands on Saturday with a bouquet of tulips. What a nice surprise! I get so excited each year when I start seeing tulips because it means spring is about here. The first tiny buds sprouting from the ground give me such a thrill! I planted tulip bulbs in the front bed this past year and I'm anxious to see if they will grow. I love taking pictures of flowers. When I did photography in college I always found excuses to aim my projects at photographing flowers. There is something so magical about it...seeing each little vein and particle of each petal. I love it. I was dinking around with the camera today and went tulip crazy!






Big Girl Crib

On Friday Lauren slept for the first time in her crib. Since she was born she has been in our room. First she was in the bassinet, then in the pack 'n play (which is still in there for night time). I have never slept with a baby in the room with me until her, and I absolutely love it. I sleep better knowing that she is right there beside me. She is only taking naps in the crib in her room because I want her in my room until she is fully sleeping through the night. Less walking for me to do at 2:00 in the morning! So her first nap in her big bed was successful. And Hailey couldn't wait to join her once she was awake!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lauren- 5 Months Old




Happy 5 months, Lauren!! This has been such a crazy and fun 5 months. I can't believe almost half a year has passed. Last night at about 8:00 the kids and I were on the couch and I had a "deja-vu" type feeling. Oh yeah! Exactly 5 months before to the hour is when Hailey kicked me in the stomach and made Lauren be born the next day. She just gets cuter and funnier each day. It's so fun to watch her personality evolve more and more. She rarely fusses for anything. As long as she has a full belly, a clean diaper, and isn't too tired she is so happy. If I could be guaranteed that all of our future babies would be this good we would have 10 more!

But the little stinker still wakes up every 3 hours on th dot to eat. And she eats a FULL meal each time! Even a little bit of rice cereal isn't satisfying her. She must be hitting a major growth spurt. Oh well, no worries. I put her to bed in her pack 'n play next to our bed, then she sleeps until about 1:30, and when she wakes up I put her in bed with me to feed her. I fall right back to sleep after she latches on. Then she wakes up 3 hours later to eat and half the time I don't realize she is eating again. I feel like a mother dog with a puppy nuzzled up to me eating all night long.

She still hasn't fully rolled over yet. She can't quite make it over that arm. And she is "talking" a whole lot more than she was a month ago. She mimics everything I say. So cute. Oh yeah, she poops out of her clothes round the clock. She is my first baby to do that! No wonder she poops so much because she eats so much. We love you sweet Lauren girl!

The kids were hiding under the blanket and acting silly. Turns out Hailey was trying to feed Lauren with her plastic baby doll bottle!

Just for fun, pictures of Ethan and Hailey at 5 months too.


Speech Evaluation

It is no secret that Ethan has problems in the speech area. He was very slow to start talking. He didn't really start saying anything until he was 2 years old, and then it was very little. He had a speech evaluation in June 2007 when he was 3 years and 4 months. He was middle of the road as far as ability went, and the mistakes he made on the test were age appropriate. The pathologist, Susan, said she didn't think speech therapy was necessary at the time and that once he started preschool he would likely catch up. He also had a hearing test done that day and has above average hearing ability.

Fast forward 8 months
He started preschool in September and he has made some improvement. You can now understand each word he says individually, as long as he only says one word at a time. The problem is that when he speaks in "sentences" it sounds like he is speaking his own language. You can tell he catches onto key words and focuses on them in a sentence. It's like when you hear a foreign language and you catch a word every now and then that sound like an English word. I, as his mother, can translate anything that he says. But Cody gets very frustrated with him and a catch phrase in our house is "Ethan, say words!!!"

So today he had a second evaluation with the same pathologist. Such a sweet and knowledgeable lady. I was so proud of Ethan because he was very brave and stayed in the room alone with Susan the whole time...never cried or had a fit once. She said once he looked out the window and asked when his mom was coming back. So unlike him! Way to go Buddy! The test took about an hour and a half.

The outcome:
Ethan is an extremely smart kid. Very intelligent and observant. However, he has a moderate/severe auditory processing problem. Something in his brain is misfiring. As an example, he hears something and then stores it in a "toy box". Everything he hears all during the day gets stored in the box, then when it comes time to regurgitate something or put his thoughts together to say something, he frantically searchers for the information in the cluttered toy box and randomly pulls things out one by one, whether they fit together or not. The more excited he gets during a situation the faster he searches in the toy box, but the harder it is to find what he needs. When Susan explained it like this to me it made perfect sense because that is EXACTLY what he does! Words and information go in through his hears, but somehow get lost and jumbled inside his brain. The he can't easily retrieve the info. She said that age appropriate mistakes he was making as a 3 year old he is STILL making now as a 4 year old. So he has not improved in that area.

So where do we go from here?
Luckily our insurance will pay for therapy. Susan told me about a therapy program that she thinks would be perfect for him. This sounds strange, but it is a music based program. Apparently the pitches and frequencies of the music used helps re-map the brain and trains the auditory system to accurately process sound. It is a 20 week program, partly done in the clinic and partly done at home by mom and dad. The only problem is that the only clinic around here that does this type of therapy has a waiting list and Ethan won't be able to get in for several weeks. So in the mean time he will be going in to see Susan once or twice a week until a spot opens up for him.

I am so excited to finally be getting somewhere with this. Ethan's speech has been a huge challenge for him, Cody, and me. It causes all of us a lot of frustration and the last things we want is for this to set him back in anyway. The great thing is that by starting therapy now he has a full year and a half before kindergarten to get on top of it. I'm anxious for Susan to get the report written up and to get the ball rolling!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

4 Things About Me

Okay Carli, I will humor you by filling this out. And I will tag everyone who reads this blog to do the same! I like getting-to-know-you things like this.

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. at risk program coordinator for the school district
2. lifeguard & swim instructor (for the same company...I'm counting it as 1 job...see above picture)
3. waitress
4. registrar at the University of Utah

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. The Notebook
2. The Labyrinth (had a crush on David Bowie when I was a kid...weird I know)
3. Clueless
4. Where The Heart Is
5. Sweet Home Alabama (okay that makes 5)
6. 13 Going On 30 (okay that makes 6)

Four books I would read over and over:
1. The "First Love Forever" series by Anita Stansfield (I know GAG!! Major Mormon chick books)
2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad
3. Bridge To Teribithia
4. Most any Chicken Soup for the Soul book (I am such a sucker for a feel good story)

Four places I have lived:
1. Houston, TX
2. Bakersfield, CA
3. Austin, TX
4. Salt Lake City, UT

Four TV shows I watch:
1. Scrubs (re-runs late at night)
2. Smallville
That's about it...don't watch much TV

Four places I have been as an adult:
No where interesting :(

Four people who e-mail me (regularly):
1. Mom
2. Cody
3. sister, Evelyn
4. Dad

Four of my favorite foods:
1. anything Mexican
2. meatloaf (the way I make it...so yummy!)
3. Blue Bell ice cream (you can only get it in the South)
4. homemade, home grilled hamburgers

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Texas
2. Disneyland
3. Hawaii
4. No where because I'm so dang happy right here with my family :)

Four things I look forward to:
1. SPRING!!!
2. gardening
3. summer vacation to Texas
4. watching my kids continue to grow up and be best friends

Four Things I Absolutely Cherish:
1. My family (of course)
2. the gospel
3. a clean/ well organized house
4. piano time/ creative time

Meet The Robinsons


I've never been able to really get into cartoons, especially anything having to do with fantasy. I guess I don't have much imagination when it comes to stuff that is completely bogus. But I saw an animated movie that I fell in love with recently. Ethan got "Meet the Robinsons" for his birthday and I can honestly say it is one of my favorite movies, despite it being animated. Cody makes fun of me because I cry at the end every time. And I think I've watched it with Ethan at least a dozen times so far. The story is about a boy who is left on the steps of an orphanage by his mother when he was a tiny baby. The kid turns out to be a genius (literally) and in a round about way ends up going into the future and sees the incredible life he makes for himself as an adult (sort of a "Back To The Future" feel to it). It has it's funny moments, but all together it is such a sweet and heartfelt story.

This movie grabbed my interest right away because I've always been facsinated by time travel. I know it isn't likely to ever be possible because it goes against God's laws, but I've often wondered what it would be like to get to travel back in time and talk to myself as a little girl. What would I tell myself? What kind of things would I warn myself about? Would I in any way want to alter the future for myself? I would love to sit and tell that girl what I know now. I'd tell her what guys would break my heart and how I would get over it. I'd tell her what an awesome guy I'd meet in the future who I'd end up marrying. I'd tell her all about all the fun stuff to look forward to. On the same note, I'd love to be able to be friends with my parents when they were my age. There's all kinds of things I'd love to do if I could travel through time.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Swapers

I went into Ethan and Hailey's room tonight and found they had switched beds...both sound asleep. I sometimes wonder what silly things go in that room when they are supposed to be going to bed. I wonder what that conversation went like?



Saturday, February 16, 2008

Swim Party

Our friend Madelyn had her 3rd birthday party and she invited us. She had a big pool party at the Rec Center and it was so much fun. Thanks W family for the invite! Here is a little re-cap of the day starting with when the kids got up. All week they have been talking about the swim party and they've been overly anxious to go. On Friday I kept telling Ethan "When you wake up tomorrow, after the sun comes up, then it will be time to go swimming". I should have been more specific because at the butt crack of dawn Ethan came into our room holding his bathing suit. He said "Mom, the sun is up now!" I swear it was like Christmas morning to them. Can anyone tell that we are soooo tired of winter and ready for summer activities?
This picture was taken right after breakfast. Did I mention that the party wasn't until 6:00 p.m.? And why on earth does Ethan have his hand down his pants? Look at that naughty expression on his face!

I went to get my hair cut after lunch and apparently Hailey had been having her typical tantrums while I was gone. The child is the biggest drama queen I've ever known. She wanted to go swimming RIGHT THEN and she got her boots on and everything. When I said it wasn't time to go yet she had a meltdown. This is the evolution of that, ending with her in the naughty corner. It was such a funny scene and this kind of stuff makes great blackmail for a teenager. (Notice the change in bathing suits. What a clothes horse.)

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Once we were at the pool things were fine, except that the water was SOOOO COLD!! Even being indoors it was still freezing. Hailey lasted about 10 minutes. I didn't swim because I was watching Lauren the whole time (and taking pictures). Hailey decided it was more fun to hang out with Mom and Lauren. And after all that effort she made all day with the tantrums!




Lauren tried to be a good sport, but I think the noise and the over-powering smell of chlorine was getting to her. She wanted to be back at home.

Hailey has this strange obsession with buckling the carseat, even when the baby isn't in it. And stand back while she does it herself or Heaven help the soul who stands in her way!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valnetine's Day

Holidays are always more fun when you've got little kids involved. Ethan had a party at school yesterday and he had to take a Valentine for each kid in his class. But I thought it would be more fun to make a little treat bag for each kid because plain old Valentines can be boring. So Wednesday night we made cookies and put bags together.



Ethan picked out "Spiderman" cards. Ethan took a single pink rose for his teacher and melted her heart. She said that his mamma is teaching him well that he should take flowers to the girls! In the afternoon I made pizza dough so we could could put together homemade pizzas for dinner.

That was so much fun! Hailey especially loved to help. I think we have found our new V-day dinner tradition. Oh my, the pizza tunred out so yummy.

This is what we had for desert. It was triffle kind of thing. It was good, but there wasn't a lot of room left after all the pizza.

Lauren got her first taste of real dessert. She didn't know what to think of it! Just played with it with her tongue.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Preschool Birthday Party

Once a month I am the class mom in Ethan's preschool. Since his birthday fell on a weekend his teacher wanted to celebrate it today so I volunteered today. I am in awe at how much Ethan continues to come out of his shell. It's crazy to see him evolving into a little boy, rather than a toddler like he has been for so long. His teacher is amazing and I'm hopeful to have him in her class again next year. He has made some great little friends and I've come to love those kids.




I made cupcakes to take for a treat and per Ethan's request we got a bunch of balloons...one for each of his friend's. Ethan helped with the cupcakes and was pretty proud of them!