Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oh Halloween

Too funny...really. Tonight was stellar for us "trick-or treat-ee's".  We were part of the crowd at our ward's Halloween party who did "trunk-or-treat". Take a look:

 This was too much fun!  The kids had to reach in to get their treat...and they were totally freaked out!  
(I was on the inside making sure that they touched some cob webs, or just grabbing their hand 
was enough to send was great!

The Ninja was totally not having it!

A princess with confidence

I was laughing my head off inside....

Just had to have a peek first...
There are times when scaring small children is really awesome...
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to Eat a Dragon

Last week I went to a Relief Society/craft/get-away-from-it-all night at our church. I took a class on making authentic egg rolls from a woman there who was from Laos.  OH MY!  was it ever fun...and de-lish as well.  She turned us all on to this Asian Market not far from us, so the DPR and I went to check it out. All of a sudden we were transported to China!  I mean it...just be the shear number of people in the felt like being in Hong Kong or Beijing or someplace exotic like that.  I mean shoulder to shoulder people! Listen, I could go on and on talking about the packages of dried fish and mushrooms and pocky sticks and stuff, but one of the things that was most impressive was the amount of produce!  Stuff that I love and stuff I have never seen or heard of...we saw a lady walking around with a cart full of these:  Dragon Fruit!

"Behold the Dragon"
 They were sooo beautiful...lovely color, don't you think?  So of course we had to try....

First, you cut the thing in half to reveal the insides...I know..right? Not what I expected either!  Then you scoop out the insides with a spoon like you would an avocado.....then cube it up and put it back in the beautiful fusia skin to serve.
It tastes sort of like a kiwi only milder and you don't get that burn on your tongue like you do sometimes with kiwi....not as sweet as I thought it would be, but very refreshing. 
The DPR turned Dragon Slayer
carcass of the Beast...

It seems there is always something new waiting around the might just be a dragon.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pretty in Pink

I finally finished!....and I think a show and tell is in order.  But first, the details:  When I went up to be with Claire and Jeff after the baby was born, Claire showed me a hat she had just finished knitting for Liv.  So darling, I just had to jump in!  I made a pair of matching booties to go with it.  Claire had purchased a really cute knitting book for baby, with too many cute patterns.  We spent every day going back and forth from Tacoma to Seattle Children's Hospital, and in-between feedings I would knit like a mad woman!  It really kept me busy. (and helped me not worry so much....)  Just take a look:

Wrap around Kimono and matching booties!
the booties are meant to be like ballerina slippers with the ribbon wrapping around the leg... I am totally hooked!   I'm thinking this kimono with a black onesy and white tights to look like a ballerina...yes?  

Friday, October 15, 2010

So Long Old Girl....

In memory of Kindle and Ben's "Sophie",
Good Dog.

So long, Old Girl.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Claire has been asked by lots of people about Olive's birth we decided my blog would be a good place to put it out there for everyone.  This is what Claire wrote:

   "On September 10, I had a routine 35 week appointment with the clinic to take a few tests and check the baby’s heart rate, just like we had done for the past few months.  Jeff liked to come with me to my appointments to hear the heartbeat and see how everything was going (also ditching work for an hour was pretty nice too).  When they used the Doppler monitor, Jeff and I looked totally shocked.  The machine was saying her heart rate was at 130 beats a minute, but just listening to it, it was definitely much faster than usual.  The doctor and Jeff counted the beats over and over and they both agreed that it was actually double, 260 beats a minute!  At this point, Jeff is really starting to worry but didn’t show it at all, meanwhile I’m calm as a cucumber, not thinking it was that serious because everyone else was acting so calm.  An hour later, I was laying on the operating table, waiting for them to make the first incision!!  Olive was experiencing SVT (heart rate above 230 bpm) and they weren’t sure why, so they explained to us that they would need to perform an emergency c-section.  They might as well have told me they were going to kill me because my reaction was about the same.  By this time, Jeff was really wetting his pants.  He was able to quickly call a few family members, gave me a blessing, and then out the door to get changed into his OR attire. 
            They wheeled me over to the OR and I was given the spinal thingy (thankfully I didn’t even feel the shot they gave me) that made everything below my chest numb.  I was shamelessly bawling my head off in front of all the nurses and doctors until this point, and then I was totally calm (maybe they put something good in my IV).  They started the operation and brought Jeff in.  Poor Jeff was so shocked to see me lying on the table with all my guts hanging out!  While they were working, I thought it was the coolest thing I have ever felt, it was so fascinating (in a sick way) and I was actually smiling and excited about the whole thing!  Literally five minutes into it, they pulled the curtain down to show us our sweet Liv girl, kicking and screaming, so exciting!  I sent Jeff to be with Liv in the NICU, and I was wheeled to recovery. 
            For the first two hours, there wasn’t any problem with SVT.  Her heart rate regulated itself when she was born but then she had another episode and they tried a few maneuvers to shock her body into coming out of SVT naturally like pumping her knees to her chest and covering her entire face and mouth in ice for 30 seconds.  It was heartbreaking.  Finally, she was treated with medicine and the fast heart rate stopped.  Every few days Liv would have another episode but mostly they did lots tests and EKGs to investigate what was causing this problem, however, we weren’t at a children’s hospital and they didn’t have many answers for us, or specialists to look at the test results.  Thankfully, her body was compensating beautifully and her stats were great whenever she had this high heart rate every few days or so.  She wasn’t even aware anything was happening, usually sleeping through it.  Finally, a week after she was born, the cardiologist working with us decided this was beyond his training and transferred us up to Seattle Children’s Hospital, which turned out to be an enormous blessing.  Before she was transferred, the doctors weren't sure how her body was handling the SVT and the nurses made it very plain that they didn't think she would make it.  It was the hardest night of our lives.  Since she was a preemie, she was on a ventilator and had wires and tubes attatched everywhere.  The nurses unhooked her as much as they could so Jeff and I could hold her for the first and, they implied it maybe the last time.  
         At the new hospital, we had a team of several cardiologists and electro cardiologists working to solve the problems she was experiencing.  Being at a children’s hospital made all the difference.  Everything seemed to slowly improve from then on.  They determined that the irregular arrhythmia she had was fairly common and babies grow out of it within a few months, but most importantly, it was not life threatening for her.  The SVT doesn’t hurt her heart unless it goes untreated for long periods of time.  Eventually we can expect to have another episode with SVT, but the older she gets, the further apart they have become.  After we got her SVT under control (three more weeks in the hospital), they finally sent us home once we got her to eat more (thanks Nana D) and thankfully establish some breastfeeding (pumping is the worst!) 
            Little Girl is home and doing so good!  At least the month while she was in the hospital I was able to heal from the c-section.  I may not have had any discomfort during the operation or the day after the c-section, but let me tell you, that shiz was terrible!  I would never choose to have it done ever again, just zipping up my pants drives me crazy!  Olive hasn’t had any SVT for about 10 days and everyday she is getting bigger, she is a little over a month old and weighs just over six pounds!  She is such a happy girl, smiling ALL the time.  We feel so blessed for all the messages and prayers and fasting done on behalf of our girl.  Thank you all so much!  It was such a comfort knowing that even though we are away from friends and family, we still had so much support and love from everyone and we can’t wait to be back in Utah!  I’m literally counting down the days!!  Can’t wait to show Liv off to everyone!"      Love- Claire and Jeff     

Olive you
birthday suit....

Liv in a basket...

Olive has such a sweet gentle personality...she really has captured all our hearts!  I can't wait to get back to Utah, too!  I want to see all the cousins together-it's gonna be a party!  (guess what's at the top of my list when I count my many blessings?...I will give you 4 guesses...)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

On growing things....

 I got home from Seattle a couple of days ago.  I consider it a huge blessing to have been able to spend time there with our new little Olive and Claire and Jeff.  Jeff and I took turns sleeping in her hospital room through the night....she seemed to eat better when she had that personal time with someone really engaging with her, rather than nurses hurrying through those late night feedings, and then giving her food through the ng tube if she was too tired to eat. One of the nights that I was there, I sang to her, and we talked, (I talked-she listened)...I tried to nudge the little sprout into eating and growing.  I felt as if I had known this little soul forever.  The doctor came in the next morning and gave me a high-5....she had only needed to be ng'd one time within 24 hours, and her feeding tube could be removed.  Go "Nana D".....

I can't believe it is already October!   When I got home it felt just like it did when I left, except the evidence of changing seasons was in my backyard.  We are lucky....we live in an apartment complex with a view of a garden as our backyard.  (most of our neighbors have a view of other know?)  But it has been abandoned sort of....still fruit to harvest, but the owners have decided that they were done.
In Utah, we would not have had a choice in the matter....mother nature is in charge of those decisions.  I wished I could jump over fences and pick the tomatoes and turn the hose back on to keep it all going. Instead we went to the market and bought this:

 ...made me feel like I had grown it myself.  There is something to be said for appreciating homegrown....whether it's vegetables, or flowers, or kids for that matter....we nudge them along with love.  and that's all that matters.