Saturday, May 31, 2014

Quick Trip

We had a few things that needed to be done in Utah, so we made a quick trip up and plenty of fun along the way. We stopped overnight in Vegas and stayed on the Strip at Circus Circus. The hotel room was amazing when you only pay $30 and we lucked out in location, never needing to go through the casino and being right by the entertainment. But I think for all the craziness my children exhibit, we lead pretty quiet lives. They looked at the rides with mild curioasity but when asked if they would want to part on any of them they were rather reluctant. The games in the midway perked their interest but when winning became much harder they lost interest. The buffet at the Bellagio was a different story! Funny how kids are sometimes!

While Kent was busy at a conference, the kids and I were content to wander BYU campus. It truly is a beautiful campus and I reminisced of days gone by. Art and greenery all around to be enjoyed, (Eli loved the 'popcorn' tree) donut holes from the Cougareat, a random gift of flowers from a stranger (not so strange an event if you know the culture on campus), and the very best memory of all - all the pill bugs a little girl could want to pick up and love on!

Afterwards we went to visit with my Grandpa Wright. He now lives in a care facility and I miss his fairy tale garden oh so much. But we still enjoyed his company, he'd made a few rhymes and Isaac would smile in his quirky way and joke back with him. Keila was still obsessing about pill bugs but she liked Missy, Grandpas's cat. He and Grandma Wright were the closest grandparents i ever knew and declared us their chinese children! I missed cooking him a homemade authentic Chinese meal, but I got take out from a fairly decent place and we had a lovely lunch outside complete with coconut cream pie, grandpas's favorite. Aunt Connie even came our to join us! Isaac took this shot for us.

The following day had us up at Thanksgiving Point trying out the newest museum, the Museum of Curiosity. Unfortunately I had left the camera on overnight and without the charger, I only attempted pictures I thought might have a chance of turning out. We had lots of fun and Isaac even guided Keila through this maze of jungle canopy while I stayed below with Eli in the kiddie area. I was so proud of him for taking care of his sister and for the both of them in OT letting their fears get to them as they wandered along the rope bridges.

We filled up on the best ice cream from the BYU Creamery and stopped off at the Provo temple before picking Kent up from his conference.

We started our drive back that same afternoon. We broke up the monotony of the road with another stopover in Vegas to enjoy the fountains and gardens at Bellagio.

This is living art!

It was a crazy short trip but I'm glad we did it, especially to see Grandpa Wright.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We're Just Peachy!

We'd been wanting to go peach picking all month long but Isaac's soccer schedule kept us from it. Saturday of Memorial weekend was our first chance and so we packed a breakfast for the road and headed out early. We meet up with Aunt Wendy and cousin Carly and had a blast picking the rosy juicy fruit.

Eli was on my back for much of it and watched with envy as everyone sampled one or two. We gave him plenty of bites but apparently he felt the injustice of not having his very own and the moment I let him down he grabbed at any fruit withing reach. If I batted his hands from grabbing a fallen peach he'd growl his displeasure and even went so far as to yell at me (a rarity) in his own Bubby way. I finally set him down in the dirt and picked one from the tree just for him. I wish I had the camera on hand to capture the way he sunk his teeth and nose into the fuzzy fruit and his eyes widen in delight. These shot were taken once half the peach was gone - a much less ravenous Bubby!

We also visited the store afterwards to pick up some garden fresh tomatoes, peach salsa, some fudge and lollipops for the road. The place is rather quaint with all its antiques and rows of canned yummies. Had we been able to go earlier we would have enjoyed the peach festival and all the rides and activities that come with it. It's definitely in our plans for next year.

On our way home we asked if the kids wanted to stop for dim sum for lunch. It was a resounding yes!

We topped off the Memorial weekend by making peach ice cream Twice! The first time needed more sugar and more peach flavor. It was more of a cream with a faint taste of peach so we used it to top our peach pancakes. The kids died and went to heaven since they thought I had lost my mind to let them have ice cream for breakfast. (Little do they know that i use to sneak a scoop each morning of vanilla to put in my bowl of cracked wheat cereal! - come to think of it, i dont think my parents ever knew either!)

A few days late I made peach butter to concentrate the flavor and we made a second patch. Much better, this could become a habit! Peach - it's the taste of summer!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Okay With Being Human

I had the opportunity to attend the Down Syndrome Conference at the Phoenix Childrens Hospital a few weeks ago. I learned a lot and feel more prepared to get Eli ready for the preschool in the public schools in a year. Of course there was the chance to say hello to friends, love on some cutie babies and chat with Gina Johnson. She introduced to me a gal who lives in the Glendale area who is pregnant and has just discovered her baby will have DS. She is a mother of two already and it was obvious she was feeling overwhelmed. I had to admire her being there trying to take in as much information to be prepared for this new little one when I know I would have been at home just trying to process it all.

We chatted for a while, about how Gina is a force of nature and in her enthusiasm she catches you up and whirls you forward. We talked a little about our other children and then I just felt I had to tell her that in all the 'doing' not to forget to take time to mourn. That's when we both broke down and cried a little. I wanted her to know it was okay..... because it really is okay.

Mourning occurs because of loss - of an individual, a job or circumstance. Some losses aren't as obvious, like in the case of a child with Down Syndrome. You experience conflicting guilt, the instinctual fierce feeling that you love your child no matter who or what they are and yet you experience the loss of certain hopes or dreams or even images of what you picture life will be. There's fear in the open unknown. It feels as if acknowledging that feeling somehow lessens your love or taints it and makes you less of a mother when in reality all it does is to affirm our humanity. Loss is loss and mourning is the process that allows us to let go and move on to embrace a new future. No loss is unworthy of this process. I'd rather set aside the everchanging image of a perfect mother and experience it than to stay forever tied to something that may not be and miss the beauty of what will be.

That being said, I mention that things are a process and processes always take time. But I do know from experice that with mourning and with faith (and for me, particularly in God) healing occurs and what replaces it is a deep gratitude for joys and hopes experienced, and those yet to come that I could never have imagined for myself. So as cheesy as it sound, I ascribe to the popular phrase, "better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all".

Before Eli I loved and experience the joys of two typical children, their growth and learning, just the pure joy of discovering life. With the unknown of Eli's diagnosis, I mourned those things, never knowing what and when or even if I would see those things in his life. Now I love that I have lost those expectations and in it is a new sense of wonder because nothing is taken for granted any more, no achievement is small. It is replaced by the sense of awe at life, our souls, that God can do so much with so little and that joy can be immeasurable.
Little man looking so grown up as we wait for a ride home from the dealership.

I felt I had to write this post and just to let others know its okay to mourn. Life is a journey and experiencing the moment - good or bad - and moving onward with hope is what makes the sweeter taste sweeter because I know the bitter. I'm okay being just human!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

18 Weeks

Hallelujah! I've finally had one whole week without major nausea and fatigue! I'm officially 18 weeks now and it's hard to believe that in two more weeks I'll be half way! I'm afraid between the 2 1/2 hours of daily napping and 10 hour sleeps at night I had very little time or energy for blogging. Kent and I joked about me becoming narcoleptic because the moment the kids were in bed and I could just sit on the couch, I was out cold. It was lovely though to wake up in the mornings to see my wonderful husband clean the kitchen for me. I'm grateful to finally be back to some more regular hours and the house looks a little less chaotic.

The old ultra sound photo from 11 weeks

The nausea went hand in hand with the fatigue and it was rather depressing not to take comfort in food. I'd take the time to cook easy meals (went through an especially Japanese/Asian phase) and would only be able to eat a bite or two before I'd have to leave the table and distract myself from the heaving motions of my stomach. On a side note the kids and hubby loved chicken katsu and i finally figured out the missing ingredient to my miso soup. My weight dropped at least 10 lbs below my per-pregnancy weight. This week I've been satisfied to see it start rising again and everyone is happy that strawberries and ice cream no longer give me the shakes!

While the kiddos went through a round of sharing fevers I took some time to add a splash or two to some cheap maternity finds and was rather pleased with the results.

We've been discussing names as a family. Of course the kids are giving all sorts of silly names, such as ladybug, toothless, polka dot, etc. I tried to drive home the point of it being something she wouldn't get teased over by saying ",if we name her ladybug someone might want to put her in a jar" or, " if we call her polka dot, people might poke her dots!" Keila finally understood and suggested the name Emily. Hopefully now we'll get better input when we bring up the subject.

Belly shot at 18 weeks.

It hit Kent and I that we really only have 6 months to get everything in place. We need to move the boys to a smaller room and get bunk beds. I shudder to think of adjusting Eli to a big boy bed and the freedom afforded him with his 6am wake ups. A nutty part of me wants to paint the girls room pink with my new found energy so at least one of my children will have a room finished when they come into this world. Ah, so much to do and with time passing too quickly. In two weeks we do our ultrasound, the first chance the kiddos have of seeing their sibling. The excitement mounts!