Monday, February 25, 2008

Smile for the camera!

Last night Carynn, Jamie and Ty came over for Sunday dinner (salad, crockpot stew, french bread, with brownies for dessert). Ty was asleep when they arrived, so we just peeked in at him so he could finish his nap. It was great to see them. I'm glad they can come up nearly every Sunday so we can "catch up" with what's been going on all week. I put "catch up" in quotes because we usually talk every day, and we often see them during the week, but usually Sunday dinner is the time when we can ALL be together.

Carynn had Ty Michael dressed in a pair of his jeans, striped onesie, coordinating hoodie, socks and cute shoes hoping that when he got up, and after he'd been fed, they'd be able to do an updated family picture. (During their previous "formal" family picture taken at Bret and Laura's Open House at Thanksgiving time he hadn't been particularly happy for the photo session.)

So the plan was put into motion. Dinner for us, nap for Ty. Dinner for an awake Ty, and then family pictures! So PICTURE THIS: Carynn, Jamie and Ty positioned sitting on the raised hearth of the fireplace in our formal living room. Michael and Melinda each have a digital camera. I'm employed trying to make Ty smile. Now I used the word "make" Ty smile. He smiles often, he laughs too. It's the smiling ON CUE so cameras can click that is trickier. I used our friend Baby Big Bird to help. One of the challenges was having him smile in the direction of the picture taker because he'd look at me and smile or he'd look at his mom or dad and smile. Michael and Melinda would probably say that one of "their" challenges was having me get out of the way so that pieces of me or what I was holding/waving (arms, legs, head, Baby Big Bird) weren't part of the family picture.

Ty cooperated wonderfully. At times it was funny to see an almost a quizzical look on his face-his expressive eyebrows raised or drawn together as if to say, "Okay, I'll keep doing this if you want me too, but aren't we done yet?"

They're a beautiful little famly and I think between them (Michael and Melinda) they got some great shots. I'm sure Carynn will be posting some of them on "Baby Central" soon. Michael also took some candids of Ty before the "photo shoot" so perhaps those will be featured as well.

I'm smiling too just thinking of them. Happy Monday!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I couldn't resist!

Yes, I will admit to occasional bouts of "retail therapy." But honestly, really today wasn't like that...

I was in WalMart near the food section and had finished up what I needed to get there. I happened to look across and saw all of the baby things. I thought, "Well, I'll just get some diapers so that we have some on hand," so I got them. But then I saw this cute little sleeper outfit that said "Heart Throb" on it and I couldn't resist that too. Finally, I saw that the little knit hats were on sale ($1.00), so you guessed it, I succumbed. Sigh....He will look darling in them all. Actually, since Ty Michael is a boy, I should say he'll look handsome, (which he is). But he'll still look darling too.

Maybe it WAS retail therapy after all. I certainly feel happier!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

My favorite ValenTYne!

Today I dropped by Carynn and Jamie's house with Valentine goodies for them. Ty Michael happened to be asleep when I first arrived. He slept a little longer and then without any prompting (in other words I didn't pick him up to wake him up or talk loudly to wake him up) he woke up and I got to snuggle my favorite ValenTYne! He is SO kissable; and his smiles just melt my heart.

It was a relatively quick visit as I had other things to do, places to go, but definitely helped to brighten an already happy Valentine's Day.

I love my little ValenTYne!


Friday, February 8, 2008


It's that time of year where I traditionally review where my life, our lives, are at on different levels. Most would use the end of one year and the beginning of the new as a time to reflect, make goals or resolutions and see how they've measured up from the previous year. For me the two week period between January 24-February 7 is when I work through that process.

Those two weeks mark the brief life of our first daughter, Lindsay Renee. She was born on January 24, 1978 in Yakima, Washington. She passed away on February 7, 1978. As I look back now, we (Michael and I) were SO young. We'd had our disappointments, struggles as newlyweds and starving students, but I would have to say that Lindsay's death was our trial by fire.

I had some difficulties conceiving and keeping a pregnancy so as things looked well for the delivery of our baby (in those days we didn't know whether we'd be having a boy or a girl), we were anxious but in a good kind of way. My labor with her went spectacularly fast. In fact the time between when we went to the hospital to when she was delivered was one hour. Yes, ONE hour. I remember the nurse remarking that we shouldn't cut it so close next time. She was a healthy 8 pounds 11 ounces and 21 inches long. Her hair was darker and her eyes newborn blue. Our hospital stay was uneventful, but because Michael caught a cold while Lindsay and I were in the hospital we opted to go to my cousin's home instead of our home when we were released.

Lindsay and I spent a few days there and then Michael picked us up and we went home. Time passed and I caught a cold and then Lindsay did too. We stayed in touch with our family doctor and things seemed to be going okay. The night of February 4 I was up with Lindsay and had her in the bassinette, she threw up and then aspirated and stopped breathing. I immediately began mouth to mouth/nose resuscitation, called to Michael (who threw on some clothes) and we were out the door to the hospital. The doctors/nurses in the ER got her going again and her lung re-inflated. She was put in the ICU. They had her on what they call a baby bird machine to assist her breathing. I remember seeing a sticker on it saying that the machine was donated by the March of Dimes.

Lindsay had blessings from Michael and our bishop and things seemed to be going well. My mother rushed up from Arizona to be with us. Some of the details blur in my mind, but are noted in my journal. Anyway, her lung collapsed again and it took them a long time to get her going. We went home the night of February 6 and my mom stayed at the hospital. I remember having our prayers and being able to say (and mean) "Thy will not ours be done." We went to bed to be awakened by my mother calling on the phone to tell us that we should come to the hospital.

Our doctor met us there, my mom was there as well as the hospital chaplain. Lindsay was pronounced dead and was unhooked from the machine and her still warm body wrapped in a blanket. A nurse carried her to the chaplain's office where there was a rocking chair and I held our baby one last time. My mom held her grandchild for the first and last time. The nurse took her back to the ICU and then there was that whirlwind of getting all of the details of her funeral worked out. We were in shock, but were supported by our loved ones and our ward family. I was especially supported by my wonderful husband, who was a tower of strength.

I remember that a bright sunbeam cast its light on her casket at the church during her funeral. Her casket spray was pink roses. I kept one for a keepsake. I almost didn't say goodbye to her before they closed her casket, but my mother urged me to and I'm glad that I did. Two beautiful sisters sang, "The Light Divine" for a special musical number. Our bishop spoke. I remember as people filed by the casket one of them was my dear friend who had just delivered her baby while Lindsay was in the hospital. Lindsay's buried on what I call the Baby Hill at Terrace Heights Memorial Park which is near Yakima.

Why do I dredge this all up? Partly because I don't want Lindsay to be forgotten; but also so I won't forget the lessons I learned over that period of time that are part of my life now. After Lindsay's death I had to work through the stages of grief which did include anger towards individuals that I viewed as taking their children for granted (not buckling them up in their car seats, letting them run around outside church where they might get lost or hit by a car, complaining about the hours that their child/children kept them awake, etc), guilt that perhaps I had contributed toward Lindsay's death, the shock of her passing and gradually acceptance and then finally peace that Lindsay had done what she needed to do for her eternal salvation and that it was up to me to live my life so I'd be worthy to raise her after her resurrection.

Lindsay's death helped me to re-evaluate my goals and priorities. I voraciously read anything and everything I could about life, death, resurrection. Besides the scriptures, two books that helped me alot were Angel Children by a mom whose little son had died and Added Upon a novel by Nephi Anderson. My friend would invite me to sit with her little one when my arms ached for a baby to hold. My husband was tender and kind as he helped me work through my grief while he shouldered his own. Keeping myself busy with a new job and serving in the church helped fill the days.

We had difficulties again getting pregnant, but were finally blessed with Carynn's birth on August 21, 1979. I can't tell you how many times I would check on her to make sure she was still breathing. I remember poking her (gently) to make her take a breath, just in case. I tease her now saying that she's lucky she's "normal" at all due to how over protective we were while she was little and growing up.

My testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation is firm. I'm committed to living my life so that I will have the opportunity of raising our daughter during the Millenium. I know our family can continue on through the eternities IF we do our part. I've learned the value of service to others bringing joy and peace to self. I've learned that the Lord knows what our limitations are and that we will NOT be given more than we can handle.

Our family has been blessed in so many ways. We have 4 beautiful and healthy children. We have two wonderful "new" children that have come into our lives: our son-in-law Jamie and our daughter-in-law Laura. Finally we have the blessing of our grandson, Ty Michael. He is watched over, prayed for and is loved and cherished. ETERNAL FAMILIES-THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT!