Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Faith in Human-kind

You know when you have those people that touch your lives and you are so DEEPLY affected by them that sometimes it's hard not to cry when you think about their kindness? This is how I feel about my friend Nate Tighe, and his wonderful, kind parents, Tom and Peggy.

This past week has been a rough one. With the inversion affecting Hazen so horribly, we were blessed by our friend's, Josh and Kirsten, and their generosity in giving Hazen and I a buddy pass so we could get him to some fresh air- in California. Upon our arrival, Hazen's respiratory health improved, however, he had an ear infection, the likes of which I've never seen. My sister-in-law, Janet and I were honestly besides ourselves. I had no clue what to do, and I felt so hopeless! I took my baby away from his home because the environment was making him so ill, only to do something (possibly flying), that caused him extreme pain. I called my friend, Nate, who's dad is an ER Doctor, and he instructed me that I was to take Hazen to his parents house first thing the next morning.

Now, you need to understand something about the Tighes. They are some of the best people that walk this earth. They give selflessly to others around them, have raised a wonderful son, and treat me as if I was family- when they simply didn't have to. Each year, they go to India, and work in an orphanage- imparting their love and wisdom to all they come in contact with. When Nate and I graduated HS, they threw us a joint graduation party, complete with friends and family galore. The world truly is a sweeter, better place people people like the Tighes walk it.

Tom gave Hazen a full check up, complete with a breathing treatment. Peggy entertained him, and Hazen loved all of the attention he was given from both parties. The diagnosis? Double ear infection, and tons of residual crap in his lungs from the inversion. Tom called in the prescription while Peggy, Hazen and I played on the floor of their cozy, inviting home. The whole time, I couldn't help but hold Hazen, kiss him, and whisper in his ear how lucky we are to have such wonderful people in our lives that love us so much. So lucky for Kirsten and Josh for giving us tickets, so lucky to Jason's family for helping a "single mom" out, and so so lucky to the Tighe family for being JUST as concerned about the health of my sweet baby as his own mother was.

With a sad heart, we said our goodbyes, but I repeated to each of them over and over again of the love that my little family has for theirs. Truly, the highlights of my time in California are the moments I spend with Tom, Peggy and Nate (and Ashley...when they're around!!) How refreshing it is to be treated like one of the family when so many things about your background might be different. While I stood in Longs, having received yet another symbol of their love and generosity, I broke down crying, just so overwhelmed at the love that had been shown me that day. In fact, it took me nearly 4 hours to be able to call them to thank them without crying!! Once again, I whispered in Hazen's ear how lucky he was, and uttered a silent prayer that such wonderful people might remain in his life always.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Suck It, Inversion

The Inversion in Utah County must be like some people view pregnancy. They forget about it; which is why some people have so many babies. I SWEAR it wasn't this bad last year, but I've had a few people disagree. Heaven help me, I'm taking a vacation during the inversion next year. For those of you who don't know what it is that us Utahns are constantly complaining of, we're experiencing an Inversion, where a layer of air that is warmer (I think) than the layer of air that is on the ground has moved over the cooler air, thus trapping it. The biggest consequence of said inversion is the air quality. Right now, we have the worst air quality in the entire nation. Not only is it the worst quality of air, but it's the worst type of pollutants. Not even coughing can expel these pollutants from your lungs. Running a mile outside is as bad for you as if you had smoked 3 packs of cigarrettes. Based on many maps I've seen of air quality, Utah is the only state in the US to have Red Marks on their air quality. This is exponentially worse than in LA and New York. Can you believe it?

Now, about 99% of the time, it's easy to forget that we have a Preemie that lives in our house. For the most part, I'm so ready to get rid of that label, and move on with our daily lives. We do, you know. Except for times like these. Unfortunately, I can't just forget that we have a little boy who struggles to breathe in this air more than any of us can probably imagine. Coughs are racking his poor body, and he hasn't eaten a substantial meal in days. The poor little baby hardly sleeps, because every time he drifts into a deep slumber, he's immediately woken up by fits of coughing. I can't explain how badly I feel for him. In good news, we have a Nebulizer, which is working "wonders". I can only say "wonders", because the best thing for my little buddy would be either an escape from this state for a while, or a BIG winter storm. So, friends, say some prayers that Mother Nature brings in a big one for my little buddy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Thin Line of Discipline

I'm not so naive to think that my child is so perfect that he doesn't need some sort of discipline in his life. He is SUCH a good boy, but he's getting to the age and stage where he's learning to work the system, and I've been treading a thin line of HOW exactly to illustrate when the choices that he's made are bad ones. One of the most common phrases in our home these days is, "Soft and gentle touch". Basically, this translates to, "Don't hit me, kid". Hazen went through a bit of a biting phase, but after literally 3 or 4 flicks on the cheek, that one cleared itself right up. Hitting, however, is a whole 'nother ball game. It's such a Catch 22, because really, when he's smacking me on the face, and he KNOWS it's naughty (his face says it all), after being patient with him 45,000 times, you just WANT to hit him back, but really, WHAT good would that do? "Hazen, I'm teaching you not to hit me by hitting you." Plus, I know if I did I'd end up feeling worse and being the one crying worse than he was. So, for now, and for family history documenting purposes, this is the drill:

1. Hazen hits me.
2. I take his hand, demonstrate how to touch softly, and say, "Soft and gentle touch"
3. He does it again.
4. I take his hand. Tell him, "We don't hit!" and repeat Step 2.
5. He does it again.
6. Last chance. Repeat Step 4
7. He does it again. (Or hey, sometimes he doesn't!)
8. I pick him up, tell him we don't hit, and he goes to Time Out in the crib.
9. Hazen gets 1-2 minutes in the crib, while he screams, and I stand outside wondering if I'm doing it right
10. I pick him up. He promptyly throws his tear-stained, snot covered face into my shoulder and shudders a few sobs.
11. We go to the couch, where I repeat Step 2 a few times. He cries a little bit more, but seems to listen, and then, in the moment of truth......gives me a kiss before resting his little head on my chest.

Hazen, I KNOW you're trying to learn how to make good choices, but sometimes it's hard to remember, and sometimes, you just don't feel like it. Here's the deal, Bub, I'll be patient with you learning, if you promise to be patient with me trying to know how best to be your Mama.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Learning to Let Go

Whenever I see pictures of babies covered from head to toe, I cringe a little bit. It doesn't NEED to be that messy. In general, if I can avoid making my kid dirty enough to necessitate a bath, then by all means, I will. So imagine how I'm dealing with that fact that, sooner or later, Hazen needs to learn how to eat with a spoon and fork. We decided to start with yogurt. While the whole process was relatively messy, the look of sheer joy and triumph on Hazen's face was enough to face the mess. Every time he would successfully navigate the spoon to his mouth, he would look at us for affirmation (which we of course gladly gave), and would smile like he just figured out the key to world peace. I would clean up 1 billion messes for him to get a few of those smiles. (And kisses, too, because those, my friends, are amazing!)

Can someone send him a memo in his dreams to stop growing up? I vowed to listen to the council of the Prophet in the last conference and stop "wishing away my todays", and let me tell you, I'm starting to wish those tomorrows would never come, because what I have, well....it's precious.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bad Mom Syndrome

Some days I feel like a bad mom. It's not that I've yelled at Hazen, or been angry with him, or haven't played with him at all. It's just that some days, I don't feel like I do ENOUGH. Do you ever feel like that? I guess that some of these feelings can stem from reading blogs. I see so many wonderful mothers- especially the ones that have more than one kid, and I see them doing things that I don't. I honestly don't know how I'll have more than one child one day. Nearly everyone I know who had a baby within a month or two (either direction) of Hazen is pregnant again. I guess the conundrum for me is that I'm not baby hungry, but I feel guilty that I'm not baby hungry, so I feel like I need to make myself want a baby, but I don't know how! Let's not even mention the fact that the timing would be so horrible for our family. I watched my sister's kids last week for 3 days, and while they were SO good, I honestly didn't know how I would do it. I had anxiety for weeks building up to it. I just don't know how to handle more than 1 child.

I'm a good mom to Hazen, I know that. But could I be better? Is he going to grow up wishing that I had helped him string popcorn on a piece of yarn, because I don't do that. I love the crap out of him. I read to him, but sometimes, when he walks up to be holding a book, and saying "Weee-ooooo-weeee-oooo", I tell him to go find me a ball, because I don't feel like reading to him. That makes me feel like crap. All too soon he's going to not want to give me the time of day, and I'm going to be kicking myself for the moments that I JUST.NEEDED.A.BREAK. He's going through a spurt right now when he'll be awful for me at times, or just ignore me and want nothing to do with me, but the second Jason walks in the room his arms are wrapped around his Daddy's neck, and he's showering him with kisses. While I'm so happy that he loves his father, this makes me sad sometimes. Does he pick up on my laziness? Did the 20 minutes I ignored him in the morning so I get just a little more sleep have more of an impact than I thought? I want to be a better mom, but some days, I just don't feel like I'm capable of more. In good news, since I've tried not to wish away my days with him, "I can't wait until....", I've enjoyed life with my little Hazen so much more. I love him with all that I am, but sometimes I wonder....

Is it enough?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Most Rockin' Party There Ever Was!

For New Year's, Aubrey and I decided to throw a party. Growing up, my family always had a fondue dinner for New Year's. 2 years ago Jason and I had our own little party, and last year I missed the tradition. This year though, I knocked the socks off of all fondue in years past, and had the party to top all parties. We decorated the table cute, and had a cheese fondue that was delicious made with Swiss, Gruyere, Irish Cheddar, and some stinky cheese. For the cheese fondue, I served bread, boiled potatoes, mushrooms, steamed cauliflower and carrots, and baby gherkin pickles. (Also tradition). Our next course included 2 different meat fondues; an oil based one, and a white wine fondue. Amazing! We had steak, pork, and chicken, and served a peanut sauce, creamed horseradish, and Honey Mustard for dipping. To top off the food, we had two types of chocolate fondues; a white chocolate and a milk chocolate served with cheesecake, rice krispies, fruit and it was fabulous!

After stuffing ourselves silly, we played a few games, and generally enjoyed one another's company. Attending were Aubrey and Jason Robison, Kirsten and Josh Krason, Emily, Andy, and Zoe Malzer, and Natalie and her "friend" Greg. We had such a great time, I haven't laughed that hard in a long time! All in all, the evening was a LOT of work, but so worth it. I can't wait until next year's party!

Friday, January 9, 2009

My New favorite Treat!

Recently, I was able to purchase LOTS of popcorn on sale. I usually don't buy popcorn because we don't eat it, but this is a new kind that is delicious! It's smaller in size, and less calories, and has lots of different flavors, but I digress...

The other day, Hazen was really grumpy, and there was NOTHING that I could do to make him happy, until I had a moment of genius! Popcorn. I popped him his very own bag, put it in a big boy bowl, and set it on the floor and let him go to town. He was so excited, and it definitely did the trick of keeping him entertained for the next half hour!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's

It's a new year. I've been thinking these past couple of days about "resolutions", and what I hope to accomplish in 2009. First, some reflection. 2008 was a very good year to us. As I've been working on my blog book, I'm astounded by all of the many blessings that we were given in 2008. Looking back, it's hard to remember the "hard" things, because they are so outshined by the beauty in my life. As 2009 begins, it's so crazy for me to think that it's the 3rd year in which I've been a mother. (Not full year, but I began be tenure as a mom in 2007, so you get the rest). There is nothing that I've ever enjoyed more. Each night, before I go to bed, I find myself looking at pictures of my dear, sweet, Hazen. How did I get blessed with such a treasure? He is the light of Jason and I's life. There are so many things that I want to accomplish in the upcoming months. For lack of a better mode, I'll list them:

-I've lost nearly 20 lbs since November (go me!), I would like to have lost an additional 10 by the end of February. So doable! Not the end of my goal, but baby steps, right?

-I want to take Hazen to do one NEW thing outside of the house every other week. This will take some planning and creativity on my part, and I'm open to suggestions from everyone.

-I will prepare 4 creative meals a week. I'm pretty close to this one, but sometimes I get lazy.

-I am starting nursing school in roughly 5 weeks. Can you believe it? I don't think I've outed this on my blog yet, but yeah, it's true! I know it will be hard, but I also know that I'm capable. I want to excell and push myself, all while letting Hazen know the reason I'm doing this: for him. He deserves to have a well-educated mother, and let's face it, should something happen to Jason, I don't have a back-up plan. This is it. Get ready!

-I haven't visit taught in years. I will go at least 5 times this year. (yeah, I know, it's not perfection, but once again, we must start somewhere, right?)

-I want to run a 1/2 marathon by the end of the summer. I'll be pushing myself mentally, so I need to also push myself physically. I KNOW I can do it.

-By the summer, I WILL find a voice teacher, and begin taking lessons at least twice a month. I was once a very talented singer, and I will get that back again if it kills me.

There are so many things that I'm capable of. I'm a smart, fun, kind woman who literally has limitless possibilities. I've been given so many gifts in my life, I need to magnify what I have, and obtain new talents and bless others in the mean time. What are YOU going to become better this year?