Friday, July 31, 2009

My Guys -OR- Tomorrow's a Big Day!

I love these guys. I took this picture of my boys last week while we were up in Eden on vacation. Danny laid down next to Holden to calm him and see if he could get him to sleep a bit longer than the standard 45 minute nap our little one seems to think is acceptable.

I was cleaning the bathroom, walked out and my heart melted.

Danny and I celebrate 3 years of marriage tomorrow, which coincides with 'little bits' turning six months. (Though he doesn't seem too little to me at 18-plus pounds!)

My best things...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lucky Me, Lucky Lawn

Here's what I want my lawn to look like....

Here's what my lawn actually looks like..

The first picture is what the kids are calling 'green.' And I don't just means because it's actually the color. By planting clover in your grass, it's one way to have a 'green' (read: eco-friendly, save the planet, crazy tree huggin', etc. etc) lawn.

There are so many advantages to a clover lawn...
  • Little need for watering
  • No need for toxic and harmful herbicides
  • And clover out-competes other weeds...
Plus it feels so nice on your feet, and it's pretty much a perennial. I know some of you are thinking, "My husband spends loads of time trying to get rid of our clover." Well, that's your problem, not mine. ;)

Did you know that "a healthy patch of white clover was considered a standard of excellence in lawn care until the 1950's, when the rising use of broadleaf herbicides that killed clover as well as more harmful weeds made the current grassy monoculture the ideal lawn of most homeowners..." (Quoted from this smart lady.)

The thing is, Danny and I have tried the conventional methods to try and get our lawn green (the color, not the movement.) But it never worked... and there were all these crazy chemicals and smells, for nothing! So finally I said, if our lawn is going to be difficult and ugly and full of weeds anyway, can we at least do it without all the toxins? And he obliged. (Why not try it? He conceded.)

I'm excited to show you the results... though, it will probably take a year since we were supposed to seed in the spring, but can also do it in the Fall. Good luck to us!

PS. I also thought you might enjoy this picture of Holden loungin' at the pool today. Although his longsleeve onsie matches his coloring (from my father-in-law, bless his heart), I assure you it is infact separate form his skin.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Way You Do the Things You Do

Remember that song by the reggae-turned-radio-pop-stars band UB40? I’m not sure if that song (the way you do the things you do) was a remake of something else, but I dig it. And it’s playing in my head as I think about some of the things that just melt my heart about ‘little bits.’ (That’s what Danny has taken to calling Holden, since my family and my in-laws have insisted on nick-naming him “Holdie” … I know, first team all state lameness, right? The 'Holdie' not 'little bits,' obviously).

So here it goes Holden, a short list of things you do I H-E-A-R-T (in no particular order, and of course this by no means all inclusive).

  • Your resilience. Your trip to the ER after Wed night's horror is proof. I have a new understanding of what Jesus meant when he said 'be as a little child.' You forgive and forget - you heal quick - you hold no grudge.
  • Your mona lisa smile. Most of the time it starts out on the right side of your mouth, almost like the left side of your mouth is deciding it wants to join in
  • And there’s your wide mouth, laugh out loud, showing off your baby gums grin (this often happens when I tickle you or repeatedly tell you ‘you’re so s-s-s-s-s-illy’
  • Your hair – you can rock a faux hawk with the best of them, or of course a smart toddler ‘comb over’ for church
  • Screwing on your wrists each morning – at least that what it looks like I did because of your delicious fat roles
  • That glazed over look you have when you really should be sleeping, but instead you just stay silent observing the party in a partially-there state (like today at the grocery store when you probably should've been napping)... much better than crying I think, and you always seem to make up your sleep at sometime during the day
  • Touching everything – while at the grocery store this can present some challenges when you’re in the ‘pack’ facing the world (as I learned on our last week's excursion to Smith’s Marketplace, it’s obvious you’re interested in the world around you
  • Your length – you are so long bud, it’s almost getting ridiculous Mr 6 months-old-wearing 12-month-old-clothing.
  • When you eat my chin… seriously I love it.
  • Your sneezes, and when you fake cough... it cracks me up.
  • How you're like a heat-seeking-missile when we sleep together. (It also presents a couple of challenges for a good night's sleep, but it's a trade-off I'll take any day.)
  • How beautiful you are when you sleep
  • That you'll still nuzzle in my arms to eat.
  • Your 'yogi toes' ... they're like little fingers (just like your dad's.)
  • The way you look at me when I come home from teaching yoga, or when you wake up form a nap.
  • And I also appreciate that you can palm a ball...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Mom's Worst Nightmare -or- Officially the Worst Day of My Life

Let me preface this by saying that had things not turned out alright, I don't think I'd be blogging. Holden seems to have no recollection of the incident (though I am replaying it on 'loop' in my brain); and he's as cheerful and content as ever.

What follows is my blurred and horrific recollection of Wed. night's trauma (literally).

The irony is that prior to 7 pm, the day was practically boring. No need to rock the boat, I thought... we're going on vacation tonight. Basically the ONLY things I really needed to accomplish tied into getting ready for our trip to Eden (Ogden Valley, aka "Upstate Utah"), and I had a baby shower for a friend and mutual (though, attendance at the latter was still being debated).

Holden had been given a bath, I even did my hair and makeup in anticipation of the shower and a kick-off to a Lake trip Danny had been looking forward to for over a month.

So on our way home from the shower, it was about 6:45, just before seven or so. I'm in the Equinox (yes, we had finally broke down and got a C-U-V so I wasn't breaking my back loading Holden in and out of the car, and so Danny and the car seat could both actually fit...) and I'm listening to the tail end of Obama's address about Health Care reform (even laughing when he makes the comments about 'I'm the president, a doctor follows me around 24-7' and another bit where he mentioned if he tried to break into the white house, he'd get shot at')... and I get this great (well, in retrospect...horrible) idea to wash the outside of the car and top off with a quarter tank of gas.

We pulled into the Sinclair on the corner of 39th and Wasatch. I had the door open, adjusting the shade on Holden’s carseat to keep the sun out of his eyes… he was taking a much needed snooze. I left the door open, listening to NPR’s take on Obama’s address and also because I just love to look at him, and who wants to be shut in a car all by themselves anyway?

I moved through the motions, swiping my AMEX and selecting the ‘Y’ button for “Carwash?” Selecting my grade and grabbing the pump…

And then, before I could blink, HORROR…

Gas was gushing out of the end of the pump with herculean force; and like a fire hose, the velocity yanked my hand sideways and before I could drop the pump, the toxic liquid had crossed the side of the open car door, covering my precious, helpless child in gasoline.

“HEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLP ME!” I screamed at the top of my lungs as I struggled to unbuckle Holden from the drenched car. He was awake and screaming too.


I was in hysterics. I was in shock.

What had happened?

What had I done?

My poor baby, my poor baby… The gasoline was slippery on my shaking hands and body; tears were flooding out of my eyes making it even more difficult to pull Holden from his car seat.

“SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!” I was trying to get Holden out, and no one was coming. They were all just standing at their cars starring at me.

“MY BABY! MY BABY!!” I screamed in sobs, wailing at the top of my lungs.

I made eye contact with a man.

“HELP ME!” I yelled again.

He looked blankly at me as worked to pull Holden from his carseat, “What’s wrong?”


The station manager had made his way outside, and (I can only assume) pushed the ‘automatic shut-off valve’ on his way to find out what was going on.

I could hardly get words out, I was in shock and both Holden and I were screaming.

“My ba-a-aby,” I sobbed. “My precious baby. Gasoline… all over my baby!” I had Holden in my arms and was running back towards the mechanics garage. I think the Attendant had told me to follow him, and he grabbed Holden from my clutch and set him in the mechanics sink pouring freezing water all over Holden and trying to flush out his eyes.

Holden was in shock too; a combination of stinging gasoline, a mother screaming, freezing cold water and a stranger he had never seen before…

“C-c-c-call my hu-u-u-u-sband. We need to call my husband…” and I shouted the number, apparently to no one in particular.

Though my sobs and screams, we somehow managed to get Holden’s clothes off and though it seemed like an eternity, it was probably just about a minute or so that he was in the water before I took him back into my arms to see if I could calm him down. (I imagine from start to this point, about 3 minutes had passed… but time works at a different pace when you’re faced with horror.)

“D-d-d-id yo-o-u u c-c-call 911!?!?” I asked… more blank stares. The attendant told one of his guys to call the paramedics, who thankfully are 200 yards away.

A woman with a pale face and black hair seemed to appear out of nowhere like a guardian angel asking if she could do anything to help.

“Did anyone get a hold of my husband?” More blank stares and muffles of ‘thought you were doing it, what’s the number again…”

I gave her Danny’s mobile number, and was getting ready to take Holden back into the restroom to see if I could wash him off more with warmer water and Burt’s Bees from my diaper bag because the attendant was looking for their industrial mechanic soap. (The mind works in odd ways in emergency situations. My child was covered in gasoline, and I somehow managed to fear ‘harsh soap’ on his skin because we try and use non-toxic products... I can’t explain it. My mind wasn’t right.)

The angel told me she had left a message for danny and helped me in the bathroom to wash him off more. Holden had stopped crying, just a few moments after I had picked him up (he really is the world’s best baby.)

Seconds later, the paramedics were at the door.

I was sobbing. And trying to explain what had happened:

“I would never s-s-s-tart pumping gas before it w-w-w-was in my c-c-car.” I tried to explain.

“No one thinks this is your fault,” said one of the medics. “You’re boy’s going to be fine. We’re going to take him to Primary’s,” he said. [Primary’s is local speak for Primary Children’s Hospital to my friends from outside Utah.]

They took Holden from me and loaded him into the ambulance. I somehow found enough clarity to grab my cell phone and my wallet from the gas-mobile, and left the keys in the ignition. The car was the least of my worries at this point.

“Should I bring my carseat to get him home?” I yelled to another medic.

“No,” he shook his head. “It’s covered in gasoline.”

Right, I thought. I'm such an idiot.

The ride to the hospital brought a little relief mixed with angst. Holden seemed to already be in transit to his normal disposition. While his face (especially his eyes), and arms were red, swollen and splotchy, he managed to find a grin for the attendant flushing out his eyes with saline. (The attendants and Dr. Gary Chan - a neighborhood friend an neonatalogist at primary's- said that Holden being asleep was probably best scenario for this to happen -- it seemed to have kept him from aspirating or getting it in his eyes and mouth... also, plenty of tears shed helped flushed his eyes too.)

While the medics attended to and flushed Holden's eyes and rinshed his body, I tried to make a few phone calls – calling my mother-in-love to let her know about where were headed and see if she could help track down Danny. (They were actually behind us en route to Eden, and she turned around to just go to her house to get Danny. he was in the pool for 'mutual' with the neighborhood young men.)

The medics did a great job -- although they were also kind of goofy. They'd bump into things, and correct each other, and it seemed that the driver didn't know what entrance he was going to... but they really took care of my little guy and for that, I am eternally grateful.

They took us straight to the ER and had a room for Holden. The nurses worked on him, checking vitals (Holden is NOT a fan of the pressure cuff); and eventually they bathed him again (Danny helped) and I sang songs to him and held his hand as they flushed out his eyes again.

The nurses also provided me with a change of clothes and a chance for a shower since I was also covered in gasoline -- part from the pump and and part from Holden...

Isn't that one of the worst things about gas? The stench never seems to go away.

The doctor checked out Holden, and talked to us about things to watch for. But seeing as how our little guy was smiling and content (plus no obvious signs like coughing or puking), poison control and the medical staff that worked on him, all seemed to think he was fine (minus the emotional trauma I'm convinced of... I really hope he has no short term or long term memory of the incident).

He was discharged between nine and ten; but we had no way to get him home (no car seat) so we sent Danny's parents to find us a replacement. (PS. I called the Babies R Us people from the hospital and explained the situation... their response to Danny was 'we close in 20 minutes.' I'm getting ready to write to their Director of Customer Relations. Insert 'expletive' of choice here.)

We finally got Holden home at 11 that night. I cradled him in my arms, and laid him down in our bed...tears streaming down my face, "I'm so sorry..." I whispered in sobs. "please forgive me..."

Holden only woke once that night; took a few sips on a bottle and Thursday morning greeted us with smiles and giggles.

Danny spent the morning running all over Salt Lake working on follow-up and trying to track down a car seat (we had to take the other one back because we couldn't really figure it out- and Holden's, despite 3 washes in washing machine and dishwasher, still reeked of gas).

Clothes have been thrown out, his favorite toys will need to be replaced (Ashli S his 'Barn Baby' cow and the moose from Bree S. were two of his favorites that are no longer 'fit for duty.')

We left some other pieces on the back porch to see if anything is salvageable...

As I mentioned, I keep replaying it over and over in my head.

Why did I pick that gas pump?

Why didn't I just go home?

Why couldn't it have just doused me?

Why -why-why?

Eventually, I'm sure I'll find a way to forgive myself. Thankfully, it seems that Holden has already 'forgiven and forgot'... we're just grateful that he's ok, and recognize it could've been so much worse.

I am ever so grateful for guardian angels in whatever form they take.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Apparently I'm not interesting... anymore

Wierd Al

Well, not to say that I ever have been that interesting. But 'google analytics' showed that there was a least a small contingent of folks checking out what I had to say / looking at pictures of Holden / etc for the last year or so....

I made the mistake of checking that thing today and there's days in July apparently not a single person looked at my blog... which kind of hurt my feelings, but then I thought maybe I got too weird. (Though, I'm trying to figure out when exactly it happened.)

Maybe it was the time I told everyone I was going to make homemade soap from breastmilk? (Wait, I didn't actually blog about that... and now you don't know if I'm just weird enough to do it, or if I'm laughing inside at the idea...)

Speaking of weird - I asked Danny if I was ever going to be so weird that he'd wake up one day and just think I was 'too wierd' to be with. His answer was very diplomatic: "No, because you do it so gradually I don't really notice."

So here's to a gradual silde to eccentric obscurity. We'll go down with a bang.

PS. But seriously, the breast milk soap thing?!!?!? I told my family I was going to make their Christmas presents this year...your thoughts?

Also, I'm pretty sure Wierd Al and I had the same hair stylist in college.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Week(odds and) End/s

Television I'm Actually Ok With...

So I just found my new favorite way to post pictures (next to mass production on Facebook). I'm sure the novelty will wear off eventually, but I'm enjoying it for now.

These pics were taken last Father's Day. Cicely has Faye's blessing at her in-laws and the television shows a few pics of Holden trying to sit at 'the big kids table.'

My Great and Spacious Building
Before Holden and I got sick, we were taking walks in the morning. (Well, I walked; he kicked it in the Jeep pouch and sometimes fell asleep.) But I'd always find a way to wind back into Choke Cherry Drive (Lane?) and look at this house.
I love it. Even though there's nothing practical about it, except for the 2500 sq feet of open space (I think the whole house is like 6000 sq ft) to host the best parties in the world (or at least in our postal district... I certainly wouldn't try to compete with the Sundance crowd..) I imagine cooking in the stainless steel kitchen, taking in the gorgeous views of the valley, parking our hybrid SUV (yes, still dreaming) in the 4 car-plus garage; inviting family and friends over, and Holden learning to crawl on floors (did I mention there's 2500 sq feet of open space?!?!)

My relatives would hate it. People would make comments like 'their place just isn't homey' and 'it just doesn't seem liveable' .... and comment about how they 'would never want a place like that'... but I would hardly care. Because I think it's awesome.

To me, this place is a work of art. And listed (yes, it's for sale) at just under $2.5 mil, I'm sure Danny and I are just (more than) a life time from owning it.

Heavy sigh,

Well, it's not really homey and probably isn't really livable anyway (what would we do with the elevator shaft and the stairs alone would obvious be a nightmare with children?!?!).

Oh well... at least I've got really cool neighbors (or at least neighbors with a really cool house).

Money in Your Pocket
PS. My mom still wants to give you a grand.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wanna Make a Quick Grand?

So my parents have decided to sell their St. George Condo (sob, sob, sniffle sniffle.)

I absolutely LOVE this place. It's not only been host to Southern Utah's greatest Cinco de Mayo party, but the place where Oblio (the greatest band you've never heard of) practiced, where I learned to play Six Pence None the Richer and Ben Folds Five "Brick" on the piano. This is where my nieces and nephews have vacationed and played, where Holden had his first 'dip' in the's seen me through good relationships, the not so good relationships and this is where I was living when Danny and I met. I've watched sunsets here, laughed with my family, entertained friends and made memories worth millions...

But apparently, they could be worth a grand to you.

Let me explain:

My parents have a Realtor lined up in Saint George; however, my mom gets the idea and decides she wants to try 'word of mouth' first... and instead of a hefty commision for the Realtor, she thinks, 'why not just give one of our friends a grand if they sell it for us?' So the deal is, tell your friends, family, etc... and if they end up buying it, and you're the reason... she gives you a thousand dollars (and you don't even need to take that realtor's test.) I'm sure there's some fine-print somewhere... you can email her at if you want more details.

In the meantime, what you need to know:

A luxury three level ginormous town-home - with spectacular views of Snow Canyon's Red Rock, the Green Valley Hills and the sparkling night lights of the St. George Valley!
Just a few pics to get you excited...

Association dues include:
  • Cable
  • Clubhouse
  • Indoor/outdoor pool
  • Roof
  • Tennis Courts
  • Water
  • Yard Maintenance
  • Exterior Insurance
Offered at $475,000*

Check out more photos at the blog or on facebook.

I'm so sad they're selling this place, but honestly we just don;t make it to S.G. enough for them to underwrite this much vacation space for the entire family...

Please forward this post link -- or the website link if you know anyone who might be interetsed in the greatest southern utah property in existence. (At least, that's how we feel.)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

I heart the Big Bang Theory.

So many reasons, but just to name a few:
  • You'd be hard pressed to find a show in the West with 1/2 as many references to Indian deities - (Ganesh is best, and of course Shiva the Destroyer being my faves... and Dad, Shiva's male.)
  • Star Trek references that I actually 'get.'
  • Star Wars references that Danny gets (I made him watch all six films a year ago).
  • Sheldon.
  • 22 minutes of sheer entertainment.
My dad and I were debating about the rock-paper-scissors bit on the show. He was certain Spock trumps everything. (Chris Pine would disagree, as do I.)

But I found the 'bit' and it's worth sharing.

PS. I either 'caught' a cold; or I have the worst allergies I've ever experienced in my life. So lame.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth, and stuff...

Happy 4th!

Holden turned 5 months old on the 1st.

Also, "annon" I heart your comments. Reminds me of a bit Doug Fabrizio (sp?) did on NPR a while back about Utahns and charitable giving. More comments on that later. just didn;t want you to think I'd forgotten about you.

***So I had this way funny jib-jab video up but it was kind of 'disturbing' (that's direct feedback.) So you get greetings from Uncle Sam instead.

I'll catch up with you all on the flip-side (or what ever the kids are calling it these days.)