Tuesday, May 17, 2016


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Mother's Day

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Reuben's School does an online math program called Think Through Math (TTM). It is a self paced math practice tool. In March TTM had a March Madness competition. The schools were ranked by how many lessons per students were completed. The school kept progressing through every rank, until it was in the top two. This last battle was two weeks long, one week happened to be spring break.

Reuben dutifully completed lesson after lesson. Not only passing off all of the 4th grade lessons, but the 5th grade pathway as well. He would spend hours doing math problems both at school and at home.

During spring break he spent most of his time working on the computer. Even staying up until midnight on the last day of the competition to pass off as many lessons as possible.

TTM is not without its flaws. The teaching tool is lacking, there is no real way to focus on the concepts that are not passed in the pretest, and often those concepts aren't even addressed in the teaching/review portion. The games are redundant. And, my kid doesn't need to be encouraged to spend more screen time.

What I am pleased with is that Reuben set and reached goals. He focused and worked and sacrificed to excel.

The school had a raffle. Each student how passed off lessons over spring break were entered to win. Reuben won a Kindle Fire. He was over the moon. Then TTM had an awards ceremony for the school, complete with T shirts and metals. Reuben was a MVT (Most Valuable Thinker) passing off 686 lessons in March, with a 98% pass rate (those he didn't pass were in the 5th grade pathway), and he spent 59 Hours on TTM.

Three articles in the newspaper, and a short feel good story on Fox 13.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016



 So it turned out it was a good thing Daddy's car broke down in Provo,  (still no word on what the problem is or how much it will be to fix it.) He couldn't get home for your birthday cake before you fell asleep on your birthday. You got cake the next day the lighting was beautiful!

You are a blessing Jasper. We love you, and we are so glad you are here in our family.




Saturday, March 19, 2016

Happy Birthday Jasper

This year as been a blur.

I kept meaning to write of the heart ache of having my sweet perfect baby locked away in the nursery so he could have bili light treatment, and how frustrated that the nursery nurses fought me when I took him to feed him. How it took us forever to be discharged from the hospital because no body was helping us get what we needed for Jasper, his blood test kept coming back not in the healthy zone. When we finally took him home, we couldn't hold and cuddle him because we were trying to keep him on the bili light table. This was torture for him and us, so we opted for the bili blanket. Our sweet new baby was always plugged in and wrapped tight in blankets--but we could hold him.

I was going to tell you about taking him in to the emergency room to get the final blood test so we could stop worrying about his jaundice. How we sat there waiting for a little poke, and three babies with RSV came in.

I meant to write of the desperation of having a screaming two month old baby who could not be comforted, and just screamed and cried no matter what I did. The voice in my head that said, "You used to know how to do this mothering thing, what happened?"

I intended to write of all the things that I thought might be contributing to the unconsolable crying. Jasper would go two weeks without a bowel movement. No answer from the doctor, just suggestions on how to help him. The nightly belly rubs and leg pumpings, and then the coaxing with suppositories or Vaseline dipped q-tips that would finally get things moving. The spit up. The no making eye contact. The fact that he had teeth coming in at three months old.

The summer was spent in a colic haze. Jasper would cry and the boys would not even blink an eye. Reuben and Simeon were left to their own devices most of the time. The neighborhood kids stopped knocking on the door to see if they could "hang out."

We went to St. George and met Talyn and her kids there. Jasper and Alden are polar opposites in just about every way possible. Jasper is long and thin. Alden is round and short. Jasper is blond, pale, and blue eyed. Alden is dark, dark, and brown eyed. Jasper screams and cries. Alden grunts and smiles.

We went to Minnesota. The cousins wanted to hold him. He cried. His grandma and grandpa wanted to hold him, he cried. His aunts wanted to hold him. He cried.

Then, I wanted to write about the day around 6 months old when I looked at Jasper and realized that I liked him as well as loved him, because the screaming had subsided. I could almost think clearly, and I felt like there were things I could do to comfort Jasper. He still cried, often, and he still was very picky about who could hold him, but at least he could stop crying most of the time.

We went to New Mexico. His cousins wanted to hold him. He cried. His grammie wanted to hold him. He cried. His pappie wanted to hold him. He cried. His aunts wanted to hold him. He cried.

We got into a regular nap schedule and he started sleeping through the night most nights. He started smiling. We rarely left the house and hibernated through the winter.

Now Jasper had his birthday. He is a ham. He fake cries and then gives a hilarious smile--like he knows what torture he put us through. When he gets frustrated slams his head into things. He and Simeon were in the bath this week when Simeon stole a toy from Jasper's hands. Jasper screamed, and reached, when Simeon didn't give it back, Jasper slammed his head into the water. It went in just a bit, and when he pulled his face up he had bubbles all over. Simeon and I couldn't stop laughing, and Jasper, still without his toy was forced to do it again, which led to more laughing.

He has eight front teeth, a molar on the bottom left, and the top right with bulges on the top left and bottom right. He grinds his teeth. He has fluffy long duck hair. He is really a handsome baby, and well liked. He loves to eat. He crawls up the stairs with ease. He fell down a couple stairs once, so now sits at the top of the stairs and screams and cries until someone comes to carry him down. His smiles are big and lovely when they appear. His laugh is magical and rare.

He belongs. We love him. He is growing so fast and really just amazing. Reuben and Simeon love him, and have been huge helps. They are patient with their frazzled parents and sweet with their helpless baby of a brother.

He cuddles now. He holds onto my hair, or shirt, or finger. He loves to grab glasses off of faces. He is determined, and doesn't quickly forget things. He is a great sleeper, and loves his schedule. Carrots make him loopy and then make him throw up.

I can't imagine not having him.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Simeon Quote

During the goodnight prayer: "Please bless that for the rest of our lives none of us have a rough day again."

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Letter from Reuben

April 10, 2015

Dear Mom,

Mom I love you in many ways. I love you because you take care of me, you make me dinner and you buy me necacaties  like food and clothes. I love going to places with you like resteraunts and the movies. On my birthday I get lots of presents because of you. Now with three kids at home you manage to take care of all me, Simeon, and Jasper and barely ever lose your temper. With Jasper crying all night you don't get angry because you are tired. Thank you for being you. 


Monday, April 20, 2015

Getting Jasper Here.

(This post is so I don't forget these things--be warned.)

Friday, March 13th, we were heading out to go to lunch with Grammie and Pappie who were in town to see our stake production of Lamb of God, when I got a call from my midwife. She was going out of town on Wednesday for the rest of the week, that combined with my high
blood pressure, she wanted to see me on monday so we could make a decision about being induced.  I have a justifiable fear of induction, because I was induced with Reuben and it was every horror story you could imagine.

I decided that we would not be induced. My due date was not even until the 19th, and both boys came so late that she would be back before I went into labor anyway.  Grammie and Pappie left after church on Sunday, and monday I had a dentist appointment to get the permanent crown put in, and then that afternoon meet with my midwife.

Monday the dentist appointment went great. We then went to the midwife. While talking to Stacie (my midwife) I just got the feeling that I was supposed to be induced. Justin could tell I was thinking that and was pretty shocked. Stacie gave us a couple hours to discuss it and then call her with our decision. The feeling that I should be induced persisted, and while it didn't make sense with my experience, we decided to do it.

I had been to a Stake Relief Society meeting the saturday before were Elder Packer was quoted as saying, "The light is always green, unless it is yellow or red." So we went ahead and called to say we would be induced, with the idea that if it was a wrong choice we would know. That feeling never came. I took the boys for a walk around the neighborhood, and the contractions came and were about three minutes apart, but stopped when I got home.

At Midnight, I woke up scared about reliving Reuben's delivery of my own choice, I went down and got on the elliptical thinking that if I could go into labor before I got induced it wouldn't be the same. I wrote Tammy an email, and she called back. It was so nice to talk to her while I was not sleeping anyway. I did end up falling asleep for a couple hours, and then we were off to the hospital. We dropped the boys off with the Barrott's at 6:30 AM, and Justin and I were admitted to the hospital.

The Pitocine started around 8:30. I was at a 3. 10:30, Stacie came in and broke my water by putting a heart monitor on Jasper because his heart rate was dipping with the contractions.  He had his hand in the way, but she got it. That was not comfortable. I labored for a while. The contractions were completely manageable, it was the wet and the dips in his heart beat that I was worried about.

Then, Jasper kicked a big kick, and his heart beat beeping stopped and I felt the probe come out. The nurse came in. This was the second nurse we had. She checked me which hurt more than the contractions, and then she said, "where is your baby? He's not there any more." because going to put the heart monitor back on him.  That isn't exactly what you want to hear, especially if you are not thinking rationally and you had to push Reuben down the birth canal the last time you were induced. They were going to call Stacie to replace the probe. And that's when I hit my pain threshold, the thought of something going in was so much worse then something coming out. So I was ready for some pain meds. That was about 4 PM.

Turns out the medicine that I had with Simeon's epidural is not available in Utah. That worried me a bit because the walking epidural was so much better for me than Reuben's knock out. We discussed all my fears and then it was in. The heart monitor was put back on, and I laid down to rest, because with the epidural, that is what you are supposed to do. I was at a 5 and 90% effaced.

As the hours ticked on, and I didn't really rest, laying down turned out to be a problem because baby's head went the opposite direction that it was supposed to. At 6:30 Stacie came in and put a contraction monitor on the inside, so we could better monitor the dips in his heart rate, and the strength of the contractions. I was at an 8, but Baby's head was till no were near where it should have been.

Almost immediately there was a new beep in the room. It turned out to be the epidural pump, the batteries were dying, and the medicine was running low. The nurses and Midwife didn't know how to change the batteries, and the anesthesiologist was in a C-Section. then the epidural was no longer doing it's job. It was nice to feel my legs and again, and be able to move on my own, but the contractions were a lot for me to handle. It seemed like a really long time before the anesthesiologist was able to come in. She changed the batteries, and gave me a starter dose, and it worked from my hips down, but I was still feeling the contractions. Then I stopped getting a break in between contractions, and then I had the urge to push, but was too afraid to because I could feel it and didn't want to hurt more than the contractions were hurting.

Around 8 PM Justin went out to get the nurses and Stacie, and things started moving fast. As I as moaning through the contractions, Stacie came in and said that was a good sound. There were nice quiet voices, accompanying the bustle, and then I was told to push. I pushed 4 times, and then I had a tiny slimy baby on my belly, and I started to shake.

Jasper was our first slimy baby, the other two were pretty clean, because they were so old. Stacie said it was turned out to be a good thing that we induced because of how the cord was wrapped around his arm, (that was what was making his heart rate dip). Had he been bigger there could have been complications with that. And, the placenta was already calcifying and not healthy looking.

I kept shaking, Scott and Jordan were watching the boys, and we wanted them to be able to come meet Jasper, I was a little afraid to have the boys see me shaking like I was, but they came to see Jasper when he was an hour old. It was so nice to have our whole family together, and I was able to stop shaking while they were there.



(this smile is directed at Reuben and Simeon)