Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What to Expect When You're Expecting...your miscarriage.

My heart is extremely heavy today. I went in for my 12 week OB appointment this morning and my midwife struggled to find the heartbeat. Not too concerning at first since she's new to the office and the equipment is different from what she's used to. We moved rooms to where there was a nicer ultrasound machine. Still nothing. She said a version of the dreaded words "there is no heartbeat"...her version was "I'm not seeing what I want to see" and then later "it's not looking good". She offered to send me to get a scan at a fancy imaging center. I was self paying today because my new insurance (due to the switch to Scott's employers insurance since the loss of my job) isn't covered by my regular OB office. I didn't realize that until today. Something told me to get in there, self pay, and just get seen. I had some spotting since November 8th. I had an ultrasound on Friday the 10th and there was still a heartbeat. Today, nothing. Anyway, I didn't want to pay even more to get another ultrasound if someone else at the office could just take a second look and confirm what my midwife saw. An OB came in and she confirmed. The baby was measuring 8 weeks and a few days and didn't have a heartbeat. I cried. We hugged. It was like they were no longer my doctors. They were my sisters in this pain that is all too common. The pain of carrying a child for a short time and then losing it. It's strange to think that I will probably never see those women again because now they're out of my network. We shared such an impactful moment. I will never forget their faces or the way they embraced me, a complete stranger and their patient. It was so beautifully compassionate and it breaks my heart to think of how many times they have that conversation. How many times the women who miscarry leave their office with red faces and tear streaks running through their makeup. Today I joined a sisterhood of women with angel babies.

My baby didn't have a gender. It hardly had organs at all. BUT, it did have a heart beat. I saw it twice. I started to let myself imagine Patrick holding the baby on a summer morning in June (when the baby was due). He will make such a good big brother when the time comes and we are still so very blessed to have him.

My midwife gave me two options. Since the baby measured 8 weeks and a few days, she said I could opt for a DNC (to have the fetus surgically removed- general anesthesia and everything) or I could take a pill, go into labor, and "release/ expel" the fetus on my own at home. Is it sad that the biggest thing going into my decision was cost? It's a little sad. But, the DNC did seem a bit involved for someone as early in their pregnancy as me. Pain, I can handle pain. So, I opted for the pill. It's a little cruel that I had to pick the pill up at the Costco pharmacy two days before Thanksgiving seeing as how EVERYONE and their dog was there today picking up food for their parties and making sure their prescriptions were filled before the long weekend. I waited for over an hour to get my meds and every person I talked to said something like "have you taken these drugs before" or "looks like you're having a procedure done" etc. after which I got the pleasure of explaining that "no, my unborn child died in my womb 4 weeks ago and this medicine will help it pass". I nearly ran to hide in the maze that is the toilet paper section to curl up in a ball and cry. Instead, I busied myself picking out Christmas presents and looking at a new laptop for me for teaching VIPKid.

Finally, at about 3:00 I was able to get home and take the medication. It's now 4:57 and the bleeding has started. The cramping is subtle. My midwife tells me that 1 in 4 women wind up in the ER (typically because of pain, not bleeding) and I'm preparing for labor. I have no idea what to expect. It will certainly be painful. Could it be more painful than natural delivery of a full term baby? I've done that before and I did quite well.

I just had a cramp that was a bit stronger. This feels a lot like the night before Patrick was born. Dull cramps that rose and fell like tides. These are smaller/ shorter though than with him. There's still more rise and fall than with period cramps though.

I knew by about 8 weeks that something was up with this pregnancy. I was not sick AT ALL. I read somewhere that was ok and normal so, I brushed it off. I started bleeding a couple of weeks later and again, read that was fairly common and if it wasn't bright red or a great quantity, probably nothing to worry about. Still, I called the office with each concern and was assured that it would probably be ok. After the bleeding started and they brought me in for that unscheduled ultrasound and I saw the heartbeat, I tried to calm the crap down. Another week and a half and here we are today. It's so very interesting how these things all happen. We are all so different. Our bodies are all so different but I think as mothers we all have that "intuition" where we know what's going on. I know I did.

What do I do now? Just wait I suppose.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Patience Is a Virtue

I often joke that patience is a virtue that I do not possess. I've joked that way for a long time but, the truth of the matter is that being a mother has tested and grown that virtue in me more over the last 2.5 years than in the previous 15, that is for sure. Sure, I've been patient for things in the past but GOOD. HEAVENS. Being a mother takes piles and piles and piles of patience.

And, let's get real for a second here: for all of Patrick's 2.5 years (save his first 3 months) I've been at work for at least 7 hours a day Monday through Thursday. I gave myself comfort in the fact that he usually spends 2-3 of those hours sleeping but still, I've spent a good portion of daytime hours not mothering. It's a strange realization. Since losing my job at Banner officially on October 6th I've been home with Patch MUCH more and, I've loved it. It has been super duper challenging but, I have loved it.

If I never raised my voice in anger at Patch again or put him in his crib a little less than gently for a time out again, I would feel like a pretty damn perfect mother. But that pesky patience thing is really difficult to cultivate. The good news is, I'm taking this post as an opportunity to get in writing my commitment to continue to improve on my patience as a mother.

I shall return and report soon :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Stress Case

As of October 6th I am officially unemployed. I have 4 weeks of severance (taxed at 37%...thank you IRS) and I've applied for unemployment. I've interviewed for several jobs and things have gone well but, for some reason the doors feel like they're closing. I thought I had a great interview with Zion's Bank two weeks ago but got an email this morning telling me that other candidates have been selected for further consideration....not me. However, yesterday I got an offer from UCU but, they don't offer remote work opportunities. There may be an opportunity to get remote access but it sounds like that will be a struggle.

What do I do?

To add on top of all of this, I yelled at Patrick 3 times today. Once when he dumped Dinah's water bowl. Once when I was changing his diaper and he was kicking me and making it generally really difficult. Once when he refused to nap for the first 3 hours of his usual nap time.

I need to get up into the mountains to clear my head. While I realize that there are worse problems, this is tough stuff right now. I'll know more tomorrow.

May God guide me. Grant me patience. Grant me wisdom to make the best choices.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

California with my ladies and our babies

On August 25th, I flew out to have a quick girls weekend with some of my dearest friends. Normally, when you think of a "girls weekend" you imagine a bunch of grown women without husbands and children going absolutely crazy at the destination of their choosing (doesn't it usually seem like it's Vegas?) Anyway, for this girls weekend, Karlee had her kiddos and Kaite and Jessika live in the area so, it could have gone either way on kids/no kids so, I decided to bring Patrick with me. We took a late flight on Thursday night and arrived quite a bit after Patrick's bedtime but he was a good boy and really did quite well on the plane. Kaite and Tyler picked us up and they were ready with an extra car seat for Patch. I didn't have to pack much which was nice. We caught up a bit (I had just visited in February and stayed with them) and I told them about my recent work chaos. Had I known I was going to be losing my job, I probably would have planned my visit to be a little bit longer so I could have gotten an extra day with Jessika. Kaite had to get back to work and Karlee had lots of family stuff going on but, I probably could have gotten some extra Jessika time :( Anyway, they had a pack and play all set up for Patrick already and were the best hosts.

On Friday morning we met up with Karlee at Willy's Bagels and Blends. Kaite wound up getting work off that day and we had some lady time. It was so surreal when Karlee drove up because I hadn't seen her since the summer I was pregnant with Patrick. 3 years people! I was meeting Maverick (her little boy that's a few months younger than Patch) and seeing Leila who is like 4 going on 17. For breakfast at Willy's though, it was just Karlee. She's pretty pregnant so, I think when she can simplify her life and opt to leave the other two with Gram, she's happy to do so. :) Then we jetted over to Karlee's house and put the kids down for naps while us girls visited and caught up. In the afternoon we headed to the Stoneridge mall where I could pop over to the Apple store and get my phone looked at. The screen was locking and I couldn't even power it down. The last time I used it was early that morning to facetime Scott and then boom, it crashed. The problem appeared to be fixed so, we ate lunch at Panda Express and headed home. We had a short visit at the Rudd's house that evening and headed back to Kaite's for the night.

On Saturday we went to a Brentwood 3rd ward breakfast and cleaned the church real fast. We headed back to Kaite's house and got ready to meet up with everyone at a splash  pad nearby. The kids had a fun time and I just wanted to play in the water. I did play a bunch and didn't sit and visit as much as I should have. Toward the end of our fun at the splash pad, we had the kids all dressed and ready to get in cars. Patrick, Maverick, and Leila started making me and Jessika food out of tanbark from the playground. :) Patrick loves doing that at the park lately. Kaite and Jessika headed out to grab ice cream from a local shop that makes different flavors every day. We were getting ready for a ladies night in/ slumber party! Karlee and I headed back to the Rudd's house and on the way our kiddos fell asleep. It was adorable. All 3 of them squished in the back of Karlee's dad's truck in clunky car seats. Leila started to fall asleep. Patrick and Maverick crashed. Karlee had been having a hard time with Leila at night because she wasn't sleeping well so, I made an attempt to keep her awake by having her clean Brian's sunglasses. That did the trick and we were able to get her home. Karlee and I put our boys down for a nap and Marty ordered a pizza for us all. When the kids woke up, they played outside a little bit and we all watched the movie "Sing". I had never seen it before and all my mama friends seemed shocked. Jessika left her kids at the Speer's house to sleep and Kaite planned to just make it a late night and head home with James once it became clear that he could not stay up any longer. We all chatted about meaningful spiritual stuff toward the end of the night. It was so nice to share those feelings with the friends I feel closest to and to get their insight on some of the topics that I've been struggling with. Great gals. Perhaps those thoughts and feelings are best left for a different post.

On Sunday we all went to church. Jessika did stay the night so, we all got ready together which was really fun. I felt like a million bucks in my new-ish dress that Scott got me for Mother's Day. He spoils me. Anywho, I sat in the pew with the Rudds and Patrick did pretty dang well in sacrament meeting as in...he sat there the whole time!!! I didn't have to leave the chapel even once. I have no idea how that happened. It's probably because Karlee had some pretty awesome busy books that she made and some fun wipe away Usborne books. I have got to get me some of those. We played hooky for the next two hours of church and Jessika ditched so that she and Kurtis could visit Ben Fox and his family who had just moved back to the area. Chris Murray found his way to us and I was so thrilled to see him! He hadn't seen Patrick since probably close to a year ago when he and Cambry were passing through town to attend a funeral but Patrick was in nursery. We tried to arrange a time for me to visit them after church and, it worked out perfectly. I packed up my things before church so, we transferred everything to the Speer's van (including the car seat) an they drove me to the Speer's house where there was a family birthday party going on for one of the kids. I was trying to coordinate all the specifics of the evening but had to wait on some last minute decisions from the Murrays...even though I'd been texting Kent and Chris since Saturday about making plans. The Speers weren't quite expecting me for dinner and the Murrays had not yet responded on when they wanted me to come by. When I arrived at the Speer's home I felt a little funny sticking around for this dinner last minute so, Patrick and I borrowed Jessika's van and drove in the direction of Kaite's house. I texted Kaite to see if they were home and NO they went to her parent's house last minute for dinner. CRAP! I couldn't now go back to the Speer's and the Murrays JUST responded to come by in like 45 minutes so, Patrick and I just changed in the Speer's van, drove to the splash pad, and bummed around for a bit. It worked out really well and Patrick had a lovely time in this now familiar park. We popped over to the Murray's house for a couple of hours. It was dinner time but I wasn't sure if they had eaten yet or not so, luckily, I had a left over burrito that Jessika got me still in my backpack. I devoured that at the Murray's house and Patrick didn't seem too interested in food but, Maarti did give him a few snacks and he played with some of Chris' old toys. OH MY HEAVENS was that memory lane! We had a great visit and caught up on a bunch of things. Warren family. My family. Me and Scott. Chris and Cambry. etc. I kept checking in with Jessika to see when they would be ready to head out as I had their car and needed to drive back to them. As I headed out, Kent came out (he missed our formal goodbyes in the house because he was on a call doing bishop-y things) and he gave me a big squeeze and said "you're a really good mom Michelle. It's fun to see you as a mom." That melted my heart and I told him that every mom needs to hear that more often and thank you. :) I headed back to pick up Jessika and Kurtis and Dan and Theresa were generous enough to share a bit of food with Patrick as he did not get a full fledged dinner.  We packed that for the road and after a very brief tour of the Speer's farm (and by tour I mean Patrick ran out and Ella ran after and they both stared at the cows), we headed to Mare Island to Jessika and Kurtis' house. Jess and I stayed up late and played a fun singing/ music game and ate candy. Classic us. We stayed up late snuggling and talking after the kiddos went to sleep (also classic us) and our topics of conversation drifted to church and life's hard stuff. She's an incredible woman and I admire her strength. SO MUCH. She's a peer and has been through so much. More than any of my other friends my age and I just have so much respect for how resilient she is.

The next morning, I had a VERY early flight. I set my alarm and popped downstairs to get ready and pack a few snacks. I helped myself to breakfast and tried preparing a few things that I thought Patrick might enjoy. I helped myself to those things too...snacks and such. Jessika's alarm did not go off so I had to barge into her room and wake her. I felt pretty bad about that. We hopped in the car and drove to the airport swiftly. Patch was sitting in the back seat and jabbering about things and asking questions. Jess and I were talking about plans for the day and plans for our next visit. Patrick and I pretty much barely made it to the gate as they were boarding the plane. PHEW. Patch did a pretty good job on the plane and my parents picked us up from the airport. They took Patch on to Kathie's house and I jumped into a day of resumes, networking, and job applications.

Life is amazing. It's amazing that on Monday morning I was in the Bay Area riding in the car with my best friend and that by late Monday morning, I was back in Salt Lake for a day of work. It's amazing that technology makes it possible for me to talk with my dearest friends even when they're thousands of miles away. It's amazing that time passes and yet with those gals it feels like we can always pick up where we left off. I'm pretty lucky.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

It's Autumn Time

A quick travel log:

After the family camp in early July, I was in full swing rehearsals for Annie the musical. Patrick got to go to a few rehearsals and even joined us in the American Fork parade. Scott and I tried to get really thrifty on fuel expense because we've been inspired by blogger "Mr. Money Mustache" to take our bikes and public transportation more regularly. Patrick was thrilled about taking the train (Frontrunner) down to the parade in American Fork. It was about a 40 minute ride and then we had my mom pick us up from the station and drive us to the parade. It was very hot outside and luckily, I was in a dress and Patrick was slathered in sunblock. Poor guy though, I used the spray on kind and the wind took some into his eyes :( It broke my heart. We had a blast riding the trailer for the parade and Patrick stood up most of the way, ate snacks, and waved at people. Friendly little guy.

Patch got in some quality cousin time when Maddie and Eva were in town. I think he's still a little young to really enjoy playing with them but, they'll get there :) One evening, the family was gathered and I noticed that Maddison was nowhere to be found. I asked Eva and she said "she's upstairs on the iPad watching Youtube". I went in to chat with her and ask her why she was secluding herself. While I do think it's appropriate for children to address their need for personal space and alone time, I felt that there was something else going on here. Maddison taking advantage of unlimited screen time with my parents, feeling emotionally overwhelmed by the amount of time she'd been away from her parents, feeling upset about something that the cousins had said or done? I wasn't sure what was going on but I felt that it would be important to talk to her. We chatted and she finally confided that she was upset because Eva and the rest of the cousins were making fun of her hat (which was a really cool baseball cap, imho) and I asked Eva to apologize. They both made excuses and pointed fingers but, I said "Maddie, sometimes people say things and don't mean to offend. You know your sister loves you " and "Eva, sometimes we say something offensive and don't mean it but we still need to apologize to the person because they did interpret the situation differently". Eva said "wow Auntie, you're really good at this". I was all sorts of proud.

At the end of July we attended Salty Dinner Theater's Production of The Little Mermaid. After a day of rehearsals for me, we met up with Bonnie and Steve, my parents, and Scott and Patch. It was adorable and during the "middles" or the "dinner break" (when there's lots of singing and audience interactive games) Patrick danced with one of his little girlfriends Scarlett. The audience adored their sweet little toddler dance and Beth announced to the audience that both of these little babies had been in Salty performances in utero (true!)

At the end of July we escaped the heat for an evening up Millcreek Canyon (we'd done a few Millcreek Monday evening events with the Hawkins family) and Leslie joined us. We ate left over pasta salad and dutch oven pizza. We had smoores for dessert and walked around the little day camp site. A rare evening off from play rehearsals so, we always try to take full advantage.

For the 24th of July, we hung out with the Brunson family and set off fireworks in the backyard. I was in charge of selecting music for the fireworks show and Patrick was super into the whole thing. Looking back now, I recognize the irony of the fact that I had him dressed in fire truck pajamas that night. LOL!

Later that week, Bonnie and Andrea absconded with Patrick and took him to the aquarium and to the ice cream parlor. They kept sending me pictures and while Mama was hard at work, it warmed my heart to know that my boy was having such a fun day with his auntie and grandma.

On July 26th, I found out that Banner Bank would be selling its Utah market to Bank of American Fork. My employer of almost a year shocked us all with this announcement and at that time it was made clear that they were not sure what the plan was going to be for employee retention. I was fearful of losing my job and sad to be leaving Banner Bank behind. More than that, I was thinking about losing Ian as a manager and I was almost certain that I would be losing Richard; even if they did keep the small business banking team. I threw myself into rehearsal that night but, a friend of mine gave me a hug...one of those knowing hugs where you get squeezed a little tighter and she knew. Somehow, she knew that I had just been thrown a bomb and was trying to hide it from everyone. I sobbed on her shoulder while she told me to "let it go. It's not your fault". Wow. Some people just know you!

On July 28th we flew out to meet up with the Biggs family in Tahoe for my dad's retirement celebrations. On our layover in Vegas, we stayed aboard the plane and Patrick was lucky enough to be invited into the cockpit! The pilot chatted with us for a minute and let Patch touch a few knobs and buttons. He was mesmerized. We had a delightful time in Tahoe. Everyone had arrived by Saturday. Sunday was a chill day/ church going day for my parents. Monday we went to the beach and rented a catamaran. Tuesday we all got to choose our own activities. Scott and Ted wanted to fly in a glider plane and since I'm skinny enough to ride as a $40 bonus rider...I joined Ted. It was one of the coolest things I've ever done in my life. It was a hot day and the thermo lifts were helping us gain altitude in the glider ie. without an engine!!! AMAZING. And our pilot gave us a thrilling ride...so thrilling that I spewed my lunch and I'm not a motion sickness person. I blame the heat and the sudden gains in altitude. It was still amazing. On Wednesday we went to the beach again and rented wave runners. On Thursday we had a beach day and a dinner cruise in the evening where we rode around Lake Tahoe and saw a really cool heiresses estate from afar. I would like to tour that the next time I'm there. On Friday, Mom, Brent, and I all went on a ropes/ ziplining course and that was also SUPER fun. Mom did two of the courses and Brent and I did 5 out of 6 (including the "black diamond" type course) and because everything is a competition for me and Brent, we were rating each other for style points going down the zip line. On Saturday, I was lucky enough to go gliding again. This time with Brent and we didn't have the thermal lifts or such a crazy pilot so, luckily, I didn't lose my breakfast. In the afternoon, we met up with Ted's family and a friend from Hawaii at the beach. I happened to buy the girls a fun little jelly bean game where you spin to pick from two beans that look exactly the same only one is a disgusting flavor and one is a good flavor. It was pretty rough for me. I had a sour milk flavored one and tapped out. I nearly lost my lunch on that one. One night we also played Midnight Taboo with everyone but Dad and the kids. I laughed so hard that I practically peed my pants. My mother describing some explicit/ adult material was just too much for me to handle and I just could. not. stop. giggling.

We got back from our trip to Tahoe and I dove STRAIGHT into performances for Annie. I had one super quick brush up rehearsal with just me, Star (one of the Mr. Warbucks) and Millie (one of the Annies) and then boom...I was on stage...after missing tech week. Who does that?! Oh wait...a lot of my friends do that. Anyway...It was bonkers and fun. Tuesday night we had a great show and good audience turn out. On Wednesday night we got rained out which is a crying shame because my hair looked amazing. On Thursday, after my early morning BNI meeting, I hopped in my car to head to my office as usual only something horrible happened...I had somehow forgotten to fully close my shaker bottle and chocolate shake spilled all over my seat and all over my skirt. Luckily, because the show was rained out on Wednesday night I had some of my costumes in the car and I was able to change into one of my Grace pencil skirt. hehe. At Thursday night's performance I had a bunch of family show up to support me which is always flattering. Unfortunately, all of our costumes somehow tipped over and were laying in the wet grass all day and were soaking wet. We dried them in the sun until the amphitheater opened and had a few soggy clothes that night...no biggie. The Warren women came out in full force. Luckily it was still summer break for the kids because the show didn't end until close to 11! On Friday, after spending the day off of work hanging with Scott, Patch, and Maddie and Eva (we went ice blocking and splashed around in a river at Sugarhouse park), I got to perform with Nikki and Andrew (the other Annie and Warbucks). It was like opening night all over again! More family and friends attended. On Saturday night, I closed my last show for a year. We struck the costumes, sets, and props. I stuck around to the bitter end...as usual...and the last of us went to In-n-Out for some late night grub. It was fun to laugh and hang out with the cast and it was also fun to close this "chapter"...the Annie chapter that is...I'm by no means done performing. It's too much a part of my soul.

On August 17th I closed a big loan that has been brewing for a while. It felt good to do right by my clients even though we found out days before that Bank of American Fork would not be keeping us. That evening, I met up with my parents for dinner at Apollo Burger, picked up Patch, and headed home. That evening, I had the idea to ask Patrick to read a favorite book to me. He told me the story of "Giraffes Can't Dance" by just looking at the pictures and sort of summarizing the pages. I was amazed at how vivid some of the phrases were for him as he was saying them exactly how I read them. Adorable. In spite of the crazy at work, being with him reminds me of what life is all about and why I work as hard as I do.

On August 22nd, my dad's birthday, I took him on a date. We drove downtown to eat at Blue Lemon, to see a friend perform in a broadway review, and enjoyed some AMAZING talent showcased by those 6 performers. Incredible voices and, even though it may have been a little indulgent on my part, my dad was singing along with a number of the songs and he seemed to enjoy himself. He's such a good man and someone I like to bounce ideas and plans off of. We're always talking about ideas, books, history, politics, religion...things that matter. I can count on my daddy.

Boy oh boy...I haven't even gotten to autumn yet and I'm feeling the need to take a break here. So, I will. I shall post this...even though the title doesn't quite make sense...and return to updates another time...hopefully before another month goes by :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wrapping Up Summer

I thought it had been MUCH longer since my last post. I am pleased to see that it's only been since June! Go me! Can I just tell funny Patrick stories? I don't want to forget some of these and more importantly, I want him to be able to read them someday.

For the 4th of July this year we were on Scott's family campout. We spend the weekend in Logan and a couple of weekdays up at the camp site and Scott's sister Stephanie was in charge of planning the whole thing. Naturally, she planned all kinds of fun things for us to do. Lunch at the park near a splash pad, a game of croquet complete with prizes, and dancing at Elite hall. We all had a delightful time at the park and Scott happened to win us some creamed honey (YUMMM!) We were in charge of lunch that day and decided that meatball sandwiches would be fun. It turned out to be a challenging lunch. I was sort of picturing doing it in the Dutch oven but, Scott thought it would be best at home....it was tricky but everyone seemed to love it. Patrick was enamored with "Annea" the whole day and hardly left her side. She didn't seem to mind :D We headed back home to get dressed for our evening of dancing at Elite Hall and McKenna and I stopped over at the DI to see what we could see. We both found dresses (of course) and had fun getting ready together. Lexi and Kaite were there to join us and we all primped and did our hair together. We loaded up in cars and met at Elite Hall to find that it was closed that night. Steph seemed to feel pretty bad and my parents drove up to Logan specifically for the dancing. My dad and Scott quickly got to work on a plan. Steve told us we could use the church and Dad and Scott went to USU to pick up some icecream. Dad is pretty good under pressure. He saved the day for Patrick's birthday this year too when it came to cake and icecream. He's amazing because he'll do what you need him to do and usually either with a super positive attitude OR very discreetly. Anyway, enough about how awesome my dad is. I digress. So, we went to Steve's church building and danced in the cultural hall. Someone had an auxiliary cable that we were able to plug into the sound system. It was actually probably my favorite part of the whole weekend. Patch had a grand time and even danced with his cousin Celia. I have a video of the two of them together. He was leading her all around and rather gently too. It was SO FREAKING CUTE.

Scott is quite patriotic. He talked about getting a flag pole outside our house and told me about all the evenings where he and his siblings retired the colors in the proper manner. I told him that, while I love my country, that sounded like far too much work. However, I did decide this 4th of July to start encouraging Patrick to learn the "Pledge of Allegiance". He did a decent job with it and only flubbed the largest words. My darling boy. He's pretty smart.

Man is Patch talkative now. He seems to really enjoy talking when he's in the car. He asks lots of questions; my favorite of which is "play Mama? You play with me?" Ummm let me think about that....OF COURSE! I've found that he behaves much better when I spend even just a few minutes down on the floor with him engaged in play every day. He's becoming quite imaginative too. Toys can have multiple uses and he mingles his different toys together. It's starting to feel like Toy Story. His lego set came with these little hoses. I think they're supposed to be pumps for a little airport fuel station or something. He's started using them with his fire trucks as hoses and will often say "save the guy" and have him buried under a pile of Jenga blocks and then the lego airplane toy will be the helicopter that comes down with the fire hose and sprays everything down. It's amazing. We do read a lot of books so, that's probably influencing these "story lines".

I could go on but, I need to consult my list of "stories to remember to write down about Patch" and then pick up where I'm leaving off.

Being his Mama is my absolute favorite.

Sunday, June 4, 2017


We just got back from a week long vacation to Hawaii and MAN did we need it. We had a rough start to 2017 but things are looking bright with smooth sailing for now. We spent one week on the island of Oahu on the North Shore and it was delightful. We packed so much beach time into those 7 days that I'm confident if we had stayed two weeks, we would not have been able to keep up that pace. My dad shared this with me recently:
I am that little turtle. I love the beach. I can't explain why I'm so drawn to it. I got to thinking though...some people are into long boarding and I've never had a real strong desire to try it. Some people are into trail running. Some people are into boxing. These are all things that people can be wildly passionate about and I have no "draw" to them. The beach, however, is everything.

Here are my top 10 reasons why I love the beach:
1: if you're having a snack and get messy, just jump in the water
2: there is something for everyone to do: babies love eating sand, young kids build castles, teens/ adults play in the waves and sun bathe, old people lay around on the beach or on a float of some kind
3: warmth
4: catching sand crabs is always a thrill
5: There are pretty shells to find so it's like going on a treasure hunt every time you're at the beach
6: getting ready to go to the beach is the easiest thing ever...no makeup, no styling of the hair....easy!
7: people watching: when you're sitting around staring at people at the beach it's no big deal and you can often hide behind your sunglasses. If you sat around at Disneyland doing that you'd be a creeper. At the beach, no problem.
8: I do nothing at the beach and still feel productive. I can sit and do nothing and feel good about myself. It's delightful.
9: The tides are always changing so, you'll never have the same experience twice
10: salt water and sand act as excellent natural exfoliators

I got lucky finding a man that enjoys the beach almost as much as I do and by the looks of things, Patch enjoys the beach too.

When we arrived on Tuesday afternoon, we hit the beach almost right away. We got to Turtle Bay, put on swimsuits and sunblock and BOOM, we went to the beach. We just hit Turtle Bay resort and Patch had fun in the sand. We went home to get ready for dinner at Seven Brother's at the Sugar Mill (formally Kahuku Grill) and all of us crashed at like 8:30 PM.

On Wednesday, we hit Scott's favorite beach Wiamea and made the trek to Waimanalo beach park (about an hour away toward the east side). The waves were insanely perfect for boogie boarding. They were breaking out a little ways from the shore but weren't overwhelmingly big. Scott and I had fun riding the waves and my awesome parents hung out with Patch on the beach. We left after 4:00 PM and headed for dinner at this BBQ place near the military base. Dinner was pleasant and Patch made friends playing in the sandbox they had on the patio.

Thursday was my beach day. We went to Sunset beach in the morning, just me and Scott and Patrick. My parents had to stay behind at the place for some remodeling that they're doing. Scott and I had a blast burring Patrick and ourselves/ each other in the sand. Patch loved jumping into the big holes in the sand over and over again. We drove to Haleiwa to arrange our scuba diving trip and on our way out, we stopped at Matsumoto's for shave ice. The line was a little long but it was something that Scott hadn't done and mentioned casually that he wanted to do. He usually doesn't get too pushy about his "agenda" on our trips so, when he does speak up, I try my best to make it happen for him. That evening, everyone seemed kind of pooped but I did not feel that I got my fill of beach time so, my loving father took me back to Sunset for the afternoon/ early evening. We got home and made spaghetti for dinner and went back to Sunset for the third time to watch...the sunset. Sunset sunset sunset sunset...bla bla bla ;)


Saturday morning we had our scuba dive trip at Shark's Cove. I have snorkeled that cove more times than I can count but diving it was fun. I keep longing for dives with overwhelming amounts of sea life or strikingly colorful choral (we had some in Bali) but, I've yet to see any dives that really knock my socks off. The Bali dive was by far my favorite...and unfortunately it was my first real dive so, I'll always compare everything to that. Anyway, shark's Cove was cool. There were lots of swim throughs and caves to explore. We saw two eels, two turtles, and one huge puffer fish. I've never seen a puffer fish before so, that was enjoyable. Saturday afternoon, Ted's bakery opened up again. They were closed for some remodeling so naturally, as soon as we could we stopped by there. We got food to bring home because after a morning with Yiayia at the Dole Plantation riding the train there, Patch was passed out in the car. That was all the beach time we had on Saturday because we got tickets to the Luau and show at the PCC (again...we just loved it so much last Feb!). We accidentally showed up 2 hours early. Scott was told it started at 4 but our tickets were actually for the 6:00 luau so, that gave us 2 hours in the park which Scott seemed pretty thrilled about. We were able to ride the canoe and see a couple of shows including the coconut show in...I believe it was the Fiji area.


Monday we snorkeled at Electric Beach. Scott had such an amazing experience last time with Doug and Heather that he wanted to go. I missed it last time because I chose to spend the morning with Melissa while the Moore family went to see Pearl Harbor. I've been there done that so it made sense to hang with Mel. Well, when Pearl Harbor was closed due to high winds, the Moores hit up Waikiki and Scott went with Doug and Heather to snorkel. Anyway, we got to do that together on Monday and it was pretty incredible. There were just SO MANY FISH! It felt like I was looking at a less colorful version of the reef in Finding Nemo. There was this amazing cosmic moment when I was literally surrounded by hundreds of glistening fish and it was so magical. Patrick was being playful in the waves too and that was super fun. He would just hold onto my hands and let the waves come up and scoop him up through my legs and back. Literally riding the waves in and out. It was adorable. While the area on that side of the island and immediately surrounding the beach isn't too pretty to look at, Electric Beach has lots of trees surrounding it and is really quite lovely. We headed back to the North Shore for lunch at Teds Bakery...again. Patch fell asleep...again....so we brought the food back to the condo...again. Patch slept until close to 5:00 but I didn't feel that I got my fill of beach so, I insisted that we hit up one of my other favorites: Hukilau. It was memorial day so, the beach was full of locals. It was probably a ward activity. There were tons of kids and the waves were decent for boogie boarding. Patrick actually finally showed interest in getting in the water so, we poped on his life jacket and got him on a boogie board. The waves were REALLY gentle but he felt like he was riding them. Every time we turned him around to face the shore, he would grunt and point back out to the ocean. We asked him to use his words and he said "thabway".

Tuesday morning we hit up Wiamea again and stayed there most of the day. We were probably there until 1 or 2:00 which is unusual for us. We typically go to Wiamea for just the morning, trying to beat out the competition for a parkings spot, and leave by lunch time. We wanted to soak in every last minute and it was truly the best day. Patch was comfortable in the waves. We were playing the water and playing on the sand. It was perfect. That evening we headed to dinner at a sushi place in town that Melissa and Ted liked. Patch was being a little bit of a pooper so, I took him on a walk outside the restaurant while we waited for our food. I thought about how incredible it was that we were able to take a plane to hang out in Hawaii at a place my parents own (thank you Grandma and Grandpa). They spoiled us to lots of paid for meals and watched over Patch so that we could play in the waves together every once in a while. We're pretty lucky.