January 31, 2015

January Roundup

January was a bit of a rough month, but we got through it and are looking forward to February. We have some fun plans including a trip to Disneyland in a few days! It also means my baby will be only a month away from turning two. Wow time flies!

Here are some picture from this month:

Reading with Grandmari when she came to visit

Dave enjoyed a beautiful ski day at Brighton with my brother Derek

Sophie in her favorite hiding spot - where could she be?!

The Hogel Zoo is free on the last Wednesday of every month in winter so Dave and Sophie bundled up and enjoyed seeing some animals. Sophie's current favorites are snakes, turtles, and monkeys. 

One night Sophie and I went to cheer Dave on at ward basketball. A party was just wrapping up in the gym when we arrived and Sophie scored some free balloons. She was so excited to see the balloons the next morning and insisted that they join her for breakfast. 

My school's dress down day happened to fall right before the Superbowl so I was able to show support for my Seahawks!!

Sophie and momma enjoying a 4D movie at the aquarium

January 28, 2015


I am really loving Sophie at this age. There have been some challenges as we learn to navigate the no/mine/I do it/random tantrum stage, but for the most part she is a very fun, sweet girl. My favorite part of being her mom right now is watching her language skills develop. I am continually surprised by the things she will say to me.

She chatters nonstop and provides us with a running commentary of everything she sees, thinks, and wants. Her favorite things to talk about are animals, colors, milk, characters from her shows, the turtle movie at the aquarium, the time we went outside and the moon looked like a banana, the time she had a bath that was too hot, and the time Jobe ate the carrot nose off her snowman. Her favorite things to say are "bubbly, bubbly, bubbly" and "here you go buddy!" My favorite thing she has said lately is "Burp" & Ernie (from Sesame Street).

These are just a couple everyday videos showing what Sophie is like at 22 months:

Video 1: Right now she is in the parrot phase and repeats everything we say. She loves to ask to have just one more "minute". 

Video 2: She is starting to learn words to a few songs and will often sing along with us. One of her favorite songs right now is "Once there was a snowman who was tall, Tall, TALL!" And yes, she still calls a snoman a meeman :)

January 18, 2015

A Much Needed Night Out

After our bad week, I decided that we needed to get out of the house and do something fun. Since we are staying in Provo right now, we decided to take Sophie to Trafalga, which is now called the Peaks Fun Center. Either way, that place hasn't changed since I went there as a kid, which is not a good thing. The decorations were all falling apart, half the games were broken, and the heat was out so we were glad we all had a coat.

We bought the pass that gives you a game of mini golf, some arcade tokens, and a dip n' dots ice cream. Sophie did not like the mini golf at all. The dark and uneven surface of the course made her nervous, and she wanted nothing to do with her golf club. Because she wasn't happy, we played as fast as possible and our golf scores were not anything to be proud of (especially mine).

Sophie liked the arcade part of the night much better. We started out playing the traditional games like skee ball and basketball, but she was just a little too young to enjoy them. 

We then tried a few racing games, which turned out to be broken, but she still thought it was fun to take the wheel and pretend to drive. 

After racing we let her try a few of the "luck" games where you just drop a coin in the slot and hope to win something. Sophie thought this was super fun and dumped token after token in several games. She actually won quite a few tickets, including one jackpot!

Video: Sophie winning the jackpot on the dump truck game

When we ran out of tokens she gathered up all the tickets and put them my diaper bag. She won 605 tickets (240 from a jackpot), which we traded for a stuffed turtle, a little green finger monster, two rings, and some candy. She was sooo happy with her little prizes. 

To round off our evening, we got a "Cookies and Screams" dip and dots to share. They were orange and black and we tried not to think about how long ago Halloween was as we ate them. I thought they were a bit freezer burned, but Sophie thought they were delicious. So, despite the derelict condition of the place, we had a fun night and I'm glad we went.

January 16, 2015

A different kind of announcement

This is a mind dump of the past week. It was not a post I was intending to write, and I'm not sure where to begin. My brain keeps telling me it's too soon to share this, that I should wait, but wait for what? Waiting will not change anything so I have decided that, although I prefer to keep my thoughts and feelings tucked inside, the best way to move forward is to move them from my head and heart and put them here. After all, this is our family record, for the good and the bad.

In early November we found out we were expecting!! Although we wanted and were trying for this baby, it was still a surprise. After the 5 years it took to bring home Sophie, we didn't think pregnancy without fertility treatment was possible, but it was! I took several pregnancy tests to confirm and each showed two strong pink lines. I was pregnant, due in July.

Our excitement was tempered a bit by the morning sickness that started around 5 weeks, but we continued to happily make plans for our future as a family of four. Just like my pregnancy with Sophie, I was nauseous almost morning to night. Dave was a champion and took over most of the cooking, cleaning, and Sophie duties while I spent my evenings laying on the couch.

I had my first OB appointment at 9 weeks and the sonogram showed a strong heartbeat and a perfect little baby the size of a gummy bear. Since Christmas was not far off, we decided to wait to tell our families the exciting news so we could surprise them on Christmas morning. We made Dave's family a photo to hang on the family picture wall, announcing our "little firecracker", and for my family we dressed Sophie in a big sister shirt and gave my parents a little poem. It was a fun, exciting day and we were glad to finally be able to share our big secret.

After the holidays, things settled down and we went back to work and school. On January 8, I went in for my 13 week OB appointment assuming all was well. It wasn't. I knew immediately that something was wrong when the doctor couldn't find the heartbeat after trying for a few seconds. He asked the nurse for the portable scanner, and again found nothing. He then moved me across the hall for an ultrasound, but I already knew what he would find. The baby was gone.

The ultrasound confirmed that there was no heartbeat. The baby measured 12 weeks 1 day, meaning it's heart had only stopped days ago. I was devastated, but numb. He told me it was nothing I did, and that there was nothing I could have done. Miscarriage is common, although the risk drops to only 2% after 9 weeks. He explained my options, and then I took Sophie and left. I didn't cry until I got to the car and called Dave with the news.

The next few days were a blur of sadness over our loss. It was amazing to me how much the thought of this baby had changed our future, and now it was gone. As we worked to pick up the pieces and build a new future, we decided the first step would be to schedule a D&C. My mom flew down Sunday night, and Dave took me to the hospital for the D&C on Monday morning. The procedure went well and I left the hospital feeling better than when I went in that morning. It was if a magic wand had been waved and the past 13 weeks had been erased. My nausea was gone, my pants fit again, I had no cramping or bleeding, my energy and appetite returned - it was if the pregnancy never happened and a baby had never been there.

So how are we doing now? Good, I suppose. Family and friends have been very supportive and we really appreciate all the kind thoughts and prayers on behalf of our family. Physically I am fine, and emotionally I'm moving in the right direction. It's just the quiet moments, when I'm alone with my thoughts, that I find myself overwhelmed with the desire to have my baby back. I miss that baby terribly. I have also spent lots of time thinking and reflecting and have come to realize that, as horrible as a miscarriage is, Heavenly Father has been watching over me and blessed me in small ways to help me cope with this loss:

> I was planning on announcing this pregnancy to the world the week we got back from vacation, but then felt a need to wait a couple days until I had my appointment. Although it's hard to announce a miscarriage, I was grateful to be doing it on my own terms, rather than trying to backtrack and undo a pregnancy announcement that would have been made only days before.

> A family friend's baby had been diagnosed with a genetic condition and they knew she would not survive. Her baby was scheduled for delivery the day of my appointment, and while I was in the exam room waiting for the doctor,  I received an email update from my mom that the baby's heart had stopped before she could be born. While I don't want to compare our situations, reading this moments before put me in the right mindset to receive my own news. This young mother's strength over the past few months was a great example to me and her situation brought some peace to my mind to know that I was not alone in my loss that day.

> Not many people would choose to bring a 1 year old to a doctor appointment, but I was so glad to have Sophie with me that day. While the doctor delivered the news I stared over at her sweet face as she sat in the chair next to the exam table. She was so good that day and I felt so blessed to be her mama. I was also so grateful that I didn't have to leave the doctor's office alone. I had her small body wrapped around me and she let me hold her tight.

> Although the ultrasound showed I had miscarried, I was grateful to be able to see our little baby one more time. I was amazed at how much change had happened since the last ultrasound at 9 weeks. I could clearly see a head, arms, and legs. It was no longer a gummy bear, but a baby, and confirmation that this child had been real.

> The day after my appointment I began to cramp and bleed. At the time of my appointment I had felt no signs of miscarriage, so while the news was a shock, I only had the emotional impact to digest on that first horrible day. The physical symptoms didn't begin until I had already had time to acknowledge and begin to understand the loss.

I hope that by writing this (very long post) I will be able to look back in months or years and see the blessings and growth that come from this trial. I have already witnessed several tender mercies through this experience and know that there are more to come.  We are thankful for Sophie and feel so grateful to be her parents. We trust in our Heavenly Father's plan for our family and have hope for more children in the future. Thank you to all who have supported us, We love you all.

January 4, 2015

December Roundup

Once again I have some random pictures that never made it into a post. So, in no particular order, here is some Sophie cuteness from the last month:

Sophie with the Santa at our ward Christmas party

It has always been my dream that Sophie would want to take a nap with  me. One day I laid down on the couch and she climbed up next to me with Purple. Poor girl doesn't look super comfortable, but she stayed there for almost 30 minutes so she must have been happier than she looks. 

Every morning Sophie gets to watch Daniel Tiger in our bed while I get ready for work. Lately she has also been bringing a posse of friends along with her. 

Meet the bubble monster. She LOVES bubbles, apparently enough to eat them.

My cute cowgirl

You'd think that after spending 14 hours in the car she would avoid her car seat like the plague, but that's where she decided to hang out after we got back from our road trip.

Grandma Howe gave Sophie a set of Daniel Tiger characters for Christmas that she opened when we got back to Utah. She tried to take them all to bed that night, but I told her they had to stay downstairs. She obeyed, but went back and got Daniel and asked if he could go upstairs. She looked so cute, I agreed.

Video: While we were visiting my family for the holidays my mom had to do shoulder therapy twice a day. Sophie was very intrigued by the exercises and liked to join her.