23 December 2014

It's Over!

Tyson got the best news today: HE PASSED P-CHEM!! That stands for Physical Molecular Chemistry. It's the hardest class in Tyson's major and it's been the bane of his academic life for a year and a half. We're so glad he passed so we can just move on! 
Tyson only has SIX classes left before he gets his degree. Next semester he'll only be taking two classes (six credits) since I have five classes and we'll be bringing home a baby. I don't remember the schedule of the other four classes but I know that, as long as he keeps passing all his classes, he'll be done by December 2015. Phew!
I feel like this semester was the low point: we had to do a lot of trial and error with new medications; my pregnancy has been rough for both of us; p-chem is evil and the ONE professor who teaches it thinks it's the crux of the Chemical Engineering major when it's totally not that important; and William broke his leg.
On the flip side, Tyson has a counselor at BYU's Accessibility Center who makes sure Tyson gets extra time on exams and doesn't have to take tests in the Testing Center. There is one professor in the ChemE department who is our new best friend. He is totally supportive and encouraging and we love him. Technically, he's not Tyson's academic adviser but we don't care. We've definitely been taking good steps forward but it has felt like every step has been weighed down with molasses. Or concrete. Passing p-chem is a HUGE step forward and it's such a relief.
Next steps: Tyson keeps plugging along in his program. He has to take the L3 exam which is a cumulative exit test with tons of pressure. Basically, if you don't pass (24/25), you don't graduate. Rough, right? You get three tries to pass. After the first time, you only have to re-take the questions you got wrong. Tyson's got one more time to take the test in February. Over the break we're going to be doing lots of prep for it so he can pass. Once that's over, it'll just be passing the rest of his classes and maybe finding an internship or research position during the summer. No big deal, right? haha
I'm so proud of Tyson. He is tackling the longest (131 credits-not including GE credits) and hardest program at BYU. My major was like...50 credits. He's had to deal with so much and he's really doing a great job. There is FINALLY a light at the end of an extremely scary tunnel. He's brilliant. His mind works in ways I can never comprehend. I love you, Tyson!

Week 33 Ultrasound

This afternoon I had my ultrasound to determine the baby's size since at my last appointment I was measuring 2-3 cm big. Tyson and William got to come and it was sure fun to show William his baby brother. 
Baby Boy Remy #2 is doing good. He's measuring a week and a half big but my due date is not being officially changed. Everything looks good and we got a great shot of his cute little face. The ultrasound tech also pointed out that our little guy has got some hair. I wonder if BBR2 will have as much hair as William had.

Can you see how his hair blends into his eyebrows by his temples? SO MUCH HAIR.
My next appointment is on Monday. I expect my doc will say that everything is peachy keen with my "good-sized" baby and that I shouldn't worry. Tyson kept saying that BBR2 is probably going to be a linebacker. Well, as long as he doesn't come out that way, I'm good.
NOTE: I will try to scan some of the ultrasound photos we have to show how the baby has changed. Stay tuned.

22 December 2014

Pre-Christmas Festivities

This weekend we attended two family parties and had a great time. William got to see Santa (again) and he scored big time in the white elephant gift exchange. He came away from this weekend with five new little cars, two toy planes, a play drum (so he can be "a drummer boy" as he calls it), a toy race car a la Cars, and a toy train a la Thomas the Tank Engine. He's a VERY happy boy with all his cool new toys.
Tyson's Grandma gave us a Campbell's Slow Cooker recipe book that I am stoked to try out. I flipped through all the recipes and they look easy and yummy, an important combination. 
I made "magic cookie bars" for the first family party we went to and they were a hit. If you're interested, here's the recipe: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/202943526934344053/. This dessert is cool because the basic recipe stays the same but you can change up the ingredients to make it your own thing. There's LOTS of variations.
Tyson's been feeling sad that there's no snow here in Utah. It rained pretty much all weekend and was raining again this morning. Right before I left for work I looked outside and, voila! Snow! Tyson looked like a kid on Christmas morning. I told him that he'd better be feeling the Christmas spirit now and that once the snow starts to stick (probably not until Christmas day) I expect full-on frolicking. Maybe I'll capture it on video :)
I sang in church yesterday with the ward choir and had a solo verse on "The Wexford Carol". I get pretty nervous when I have to sing in front of people as a soloist but this time it was fine since I stood right with the choir and everyone else, including my fellow sopranos, "ooo"ed their parts. I wasn't nervous at all and I'm pleased with how it went. I feel like my voice has gotten louder and stronger since I was in the Utah Valley Millennial Choir (UVMCO) last year. I worked so hard to develop my voice in high school and college by singing in lots of choirs and doing voice lessons. But I never felt confident as a singer until I sang with UVMCO. I don't know why that is. Really. But I trained my voice to be more full and I feel like my range is improving with practice. Well, I guess I'm not able to sing higher or lower, but the notes I can sing are more clear and confident. No one in our "new" ward knew I could sing so I got lots of compliments and comments during church. 
We're excited to spend Christmas with Tyson's family and I know my boys are looking forward to the 90% chance of snow we've been promised on Christmas day. I am looking forward to being nice and warm in the house while the boys play in the snow.

15 December 2014

Messiah Sing-along/Play-along

Last night I attended a sing-along/play-along of Handel's Messiah with the Wasatch Chorale and a whole lot of other people. The concert was in a stake center building in Orem by Costco and we filled the entire place! The Chorale sat in the choir seats, the soloists sat in the front pew, the orchestra (volunteers) was situated in that mid-space between the chapel and cultural hall, and then there were more seats all the way to the back of the cultural hall and even some up on the stage. It was packed!
I went by myself and snagged a seat on the second row, right behind the soloists. The program was more like "selections" from the Messiah including seven chorus numbers and six solos. My favorite solo was "The Trumpet Shall Sound" which was sung by the bass soloist and accompanied by the organ and a trumpet soloist. It was awesome! I had never heard that solo before. Here's a video:

The trumpeter last night played what I think was a piccolo trumpet and he was awesome. I've wanted to attend a Messiah sing-along since I moved to Utah and I finally checked that off my list! Since I've been in lots of choirs I've actually learned (and memorized) four of the choruses we sang last night: "And the Glory of the Lord", "For Unto Us A Child is Born", "Glory to God in the Highest", and "The Hallelujah Chorus." The other few we did? They were less known by the audience but we staggered through them with the help of the Chorale and the soloists. Those were "His Yolk is Easy", "All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray", and "Worthy is the Lamb" which is the song that ends the oratorio, not the "Hallelujah Chorus". We still ended with the "Hallelujah Chorus" though because it's tradition.
The great thing about the Messiah is that isn't not actually a Christmas piece. It was debuted for an April performance so the work discusses Christ's greater mission, not just his birth. If you have never listened to the whole thing (I won't blame you; it's lengthy) I would encourage you to at least look up some of these choruses on YouTube. Merry Christmas!

12 December 2014

32 Weeks

I had my 32 week OB appointment this morning and everything looks good. I'm still under my starting weight (yay!) and my blood pressure is looking fine. The only thing off was my stomach measurement; I guess I'm measuring 2 to 3 centimeters larger than what I should be. Conveniently, a preggo lady's tummy is supposed to measure one centimeter for every week she's been pregnant, plus or minus two. This means I should be measuring anywhere from 28 to 34 centimeters, but I'm measuring 36 to 37. My glucose levels were good (no diabetes for me!) so my doc is having me come back later for another ultrasound. I'm actually glad, mostly because I'll take any chance I can get to see my little guy. 
My ultrasound will be on December 23rd: what a great pre-Christmas present! Hopefully Tyson will be able to join me this time since he's been unable to come to the other ultrasounds. What does it mean to measure big? Baby Remy #2 might be in a weird position, or I might have lots of extra fluid in my tummy, or maybe he's going to come earlier than we thought. Knowing my luck with this pregnancy, this baby will suddenly had a due date in the middle of January. (Recap: my original due date was Feb. 28 before it was moved to Feb. 6 so an even earlier due date wouldn't surprise me a bit.)
Baby Remy #2 isn't much of a kicker; he's more a stretcher and roller. I don't mind but that means that Tyson hasn't had the chance to feel the little guy move. It doesn't help that my placenta is right at the front of my stomach so the extra padding makes it harder for Tyson to discern those movements. (I told Nelson about the baby movements and he thought was so weird. I'll have to have Nelson feel the baby move once the baby is bigger.)
I'm pretty excited to only be 8 (or less) weeks out from welcoming this little guy into our family. We sure have a lot to do before he comes though! I have all his clothes washed and folded but I still need to sort them into his drawers, put his other gifts away, and get his new bedding washed (thanks to my mom and sisters for the cutest baby-Lion King bedding set). We can't wait!

08 December 2014

Book Review: Ticker

One of the many perks of being an Amazon Prime member is that I get one free pre-release Kindle e-book every month. Amazon gives me four choices to choose from. I don't always choose a book since I'm not really big into some genres they include (like horror) and sometimes all four of the books have "meh" reviews only. Mostly the books are from lesser-known authors so don't come looking for J.K. Rowling or Nicholas Sparks (gag).
In November I chose to read "Ticker" by Lisa Mantchev. Here is the book description from Amazon: 
A girl with a clockwork heart must make every second count.
When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.
On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings...or is the motive more sinister?
Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.
Now, all this takes place in a steampunk universe. In my mind I kept envisioning the town like "Howl's Moving Castle" with more gadgetry. The author's writing style took me a bit to get used to. She writes a great narrative but some of the words felt like they were picked from a thesaurus just because, not for any great reason.
The characters are witty and well-developed. I particularly enjoyed the quick banter between the main character and her love interest.
Another perk: the book is totally clean. No language. No sex. No gore. Yeah, there's one part that made me a little squeamish (surgery after-effects) but it wasn't even that bad.
All in all, I liked it. The story was intriguing and the steampunk elements added a touch of whimsy. If that is your sort of thing, go for it.

05 December 2014

The Little Drummer Boy

This Christmas season, I've noticed that many people are looking for ways to remember Christ in the midst of all the Santa craziness of the holidays. We haven't set up any decorations yet (yikes) but I have started listening to Christmas music at work and in the car. A friend of mine made a comment about crying to "The Little Drummer Boy" and the next time I heard it on the radio (yesterday morning) I really listened to the words. While the story is not a legit Bible story, the message remains powerful: Christ asks only our best. We know that we cannot be saved through our works and faith alone. We are reliant on Him and the atonement to be purified and sanctified. 
During the madness of this season and the stress of my life, I have been feeling totally unable to accomplish the things I need to, whether that's in my relationships, in my Church responsibilities, or in my faith. Feeling that way is overwhelming. "The Little Drummer Boy" reminded me that I can only do my absolute best and if I do that, Christ will make up the rest. 
And so, here is my favorite version of "The Little Drummer Boy" by none other than Pentatonix, who rock my socks, as it were.

Update: Whenever we hear this song on the radio (not just the Pentatonix version) William starts air-drumming and says "I'm a drummer boy!" It's adorable. I'll try to get a video.

18 November 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today's is my mom's birthday and it's a big one. She told me that when she was a little girl she asked her mom how old she was. My grandma said "36" and my mom thought that was so old so, in my mom's eyes, she has been old since she turned 36.
I wasn't really sure how to pay tribute to my mom on her big birthday so I thought I would come up with a list of things she's taught me to do, the type of person she is, basically, the ultimate mom list. Here goes:
She taught me how to bake.
She instilled in me a love of music.
She didn't let me quit the swim team my freshman year of high school.
She emails me pictures from my childhood.
She taught me the importance of family time and traditions.
She drove to St. George to spend my 21st birthday with me.
She showed me how to be a caretaker to a little baby.
She baked small loaves of bread for me and my castmates in the high school musical I did my senior year of high school. They 
She taught me how to sew baby blankets and now I'm making some of my own.
She encouraged me to make friends in all the places we moved.
She (and my dad) showed me the importance of sticking to your principles, even when it's hard or unpopular or when all your other friends get to go to the 8th grade dance ;)
She is devoted to the gospel.
She cried when we told them I was pregnant with William. Like, a lot of crying.
She takes time to serve others.
She counsels me.
She loves going to movies and eating movie-theater popcorn.
She is a fantastic grandma to William and that will only continue with baby #2.
She pursues her education in many different ways.
She learns new skills and uses them to serve other people.
She is a great typist so she records funeral services and transcribes them for people.
She shows me the importance of listening to your body and the importance of rest.
She married my dad and went to work full-time so he could finish his degree. She chose to get married and have me instead of finishing her college degree. Now, I'm six months from finishing my SECOND college degree. When I freak out about my classes, she motivates me to keep going.

My mom is many wonderful things. But the most important thing is that she's just my mom and she does a great job at continuing to mother me even though I'm a mom now, too. My mom is also my friend. She is someone I can always turn to and I cherish the times I get to spend with her, especially now that she lives so far away. When I went to college in Idaho I was thrilled to be 18 hours from my family. Now that they are a measly 10 hours away, I find myself aching to be with them more often. I'm blessed with great in-laws, but it's not quite the same. I wish she could be here to spend more time with William because she is a wonderful person and I want him to know and love her just like I do. My dad is sure lucky to be married to my mom and she's lucky to have him. 

Happy birthday, momma. You inspire me to be a better, kinder version of myself every day. I try to emulate your spirit of service and love in my own home. I love you so much.

Love, Denise

14 November 2014

Sick William

Wednesday William started acting funny. His appetite was gone and he slept a TON. He would be playing and then just kind of sit there and do nothing for a while. I'd call his name and he wouldn't respond. He just sat there. Thursday he didn't want to wake up and then I knew something was up. I took a sick day and waited for him to wake up. He didn't have a temperature but he kept acting weird all day. Right when he woke up he was saying his mouth hurt. I thought he probably had dry-mouth so I gave him some water and he was fine.
At 6:00pm William and I got in the car to pick up Tyson from BYU. It takes about 15 minutes to make the drive. Half-way there William started crying. He said his mouth was hurting again and then, he puked all over himself, his car seat, and his blanket. From what I could see in the rear-view mirror, it was going to be quite the clean-up job so I didn't stop driving. I called Tyson and told him to get a ton of paper towels. William kept saying "Gross" and crying that his shirt was wet and gross.
When we got to BYU I remembered I had stashed baby wipes and diapers in the middle console between the front seats. I grabbed the wipes and got to work. It was nasty. After I cleared away most of the stuff from William's shirt and the car seat straps, Tyson pulled William out of the car, stripped him to his diaper, wrapped him in the emergency blanket from our kit in the trunk, and sat him in the front passenger seat with the heater going. I finished clearing out the car seat as best as I could (wipes and paper towels only), Tyson put William in a new diaper and a sweatshirt we found, and we drove to the mouth of Provo Canyon to our favorite urgent care. I wanted to make sure William didn't have the beginnings of strep or some other infection.
The doctor checked him out and William is fine. He may have a little stomach virus so we have him on a low-fat diet but he's not contagious or anything like that. And he's acting more normal with a still lesser-than-normal appetite. Last night I pulled the car seat apart so we could wash the cover and William's clothes. Tyson gave William a bath while I Clorox-wiped the rest of the car seat and the straps. I put the car seat back in the garage and doused it with a healthy misting of Febreze.
I'm glad William doesn't have anything serious. I'm glad I had some cleaning things in the car to take car of the immediate mess. And I'm glad we were able to take him to get checked out by the doctor so quickly.

03 November 2014

A Bucket List

A friend of mine gave birth to twins recently and I finally got around to reading their birth story on her blog. Reading about it really helped me to remember that rush of love I felt when William was born. I went back and read his birth story and while a lot of it was unpleasant the end result was worth it.
As I'm nearing my third trimester (I'm currently at 26 weeks) I'm starting to feel a looming panic. Luckily it's been easy to push away thanks to church activities, Halloween, and now Thanksgiving and Christmas will help me until the end of December. But then suddenly it'll be January, I'll be taking three classes and I'll only have one month until the baby's due date. I feel like I have so much to accomplish before he comes which makes February feel so far away. But then I think "There's only 51 days until Christmas" and "There's only 95 days left until the due date" and I freak out a bit. Okay, a lot.
The good news is that before January I'll have lots of positive things to do with Tyson and William to keep me from freaking out too much. We're taking a trip to visit my mom's family for Thanksgiving and I cannot WAIT. The ladies at my work are throwing a joint baby shower for a professor who is also expecting a boy and for me. Then, December. And we all know how busy December is with parties and holiday traditions and merry-making.
In order to get the most out of my 95 days, I've made a little bucket list. Maybe to-do list is a better term.

Before Baby Boy Remy #2 Gets Here
1. Get the office put together so we have a designated work space.
2. Replace all the doorknobs in the house so we stop getting locked out of our rooms.
3. Get the boys' room organized.
4. Pull out all of William's old infant clothes, wash them, and sort them so I know what I actually need. I might have to start over since this baby is coming in the dead of Winter, not the end of Summer like William.
5. Make sure to do lots of fun activities with William including taking him to Temple Square to see the lights.
6. Also, get William potty-trained.
7. Go to the temple at least twice.
8. Make baby blankets for the new baby. (I already have the fabric!)
9. Get the master bedroom organized and set-up for the baby (including getting a small nightstand, setting up the bassinet, and getting all my night-time feeding supplies set-up).
10. Keep working with William to understand the concept of a new baby. He already knows he's going to have a little brother and he knows that little brother is currently in my tummy. We're getting him some "big brother" books for Christmas and I am considering getting him a little doll or something to practice holding and being gentle.

Not a super exciting list to be sure. But there you have it.

02 November 2014

Halloween 2014

I've always enjoyed Halloween. My family had some simple traditions that I've carried into my own family but I think my favorite part is dressing up. This probably goes back to a basic part of my personality: I've always been a bit dramatic. 
What can I say? I like to get dressed up in a costume and wear crazy red lipstick and fun eye shadow.
This year was the first time William knew what was going on. He was Scooby-Doo for Halloween and he loved wearing his little costume. We bought it before he broke his leg and I was glad it fit over the cast.
We carved pumpkins but we couldn't get William to reach in and help pull out the guts. Maybe next year.
 (William's "happy face" pumpkin)
(My pumpkin) 
(Tyson's pumpkin eating William's painted pumpkin)

Tyson's family has a party on Halloween every year so after work we headed up to do trunk-or-treat at the church with Tyson's parents, sister, and her three girls. Then we went to the house for chicken noodle soup in bread bowls (SO GOOD) and our party. My brother-in-law Josh couldn't come to the party but he made two pinatas for us: one for the kids and one for the adults. The little kids took turns hitting the pinata but they needed some help to bust it open. The adult pinata was reinforced with wood and HEAVY. We strung it up in the garage and took turns whacking it with a metal baseball bat. It was therapeutic. And fun :) Instead of candy, the adult pinata had numbered wood blocks inside which corresponded with dollar-store prizes. It was awesome!
On Saturday we did some clothes shopping for William and the new baby. Then my sister-in-law brought her girls over and we made molasses cookies and the kids helped to decorate them. It was so cute! They took it so seriously. These "pumpkin-face cookies" are a family tradition of mine. It was fun to share that tradition with Tyson's family. And they were a hit!
 We'll definitely have to do this again next year. We came back home tonight and it was freezing cold here. Brrr!! Guess winter is ready to come on in after the really warm October we've been enjoying. Only a few weeks until our Thanksgiving trip and then a few more weeks until Christmas. By the time Christmas gets here I will only have 6 weeks left until my due date. YIKES! So much to do!

28 October 2014

October Pack Meeting

I am the Wolf Den leader in our ward. Cub scouts, y'all. The Wolfs are the youngest boys and I only have two of them right now. Our ward is mostly old folks.
Our stake does this thing called "family week" where (usually) the first week after Fast Sunday there are no during-the-week meetings like mutual, scouts, relief society, etc. I say usually because sometimes it gets moved, like in November "family week" is the week of Thanksgiving. So for scouts, we do den meeting twice a month and then the other week is pack meeting. Now, before I got this calling I didn't know anything about scouting. I still don't know much. But I especially didn't know anything about cub scouts. I would have been 15 when my brother finished cub scouts so I'm pretty sure I wasn't paying any attention to him. It's been crazy to try and learn all this stuff and they are changing the program for cub scouts next year.
Anyways, for October's Pack Meeting, we had a guy from our ward who is a BYU Chemistry professor come and do some experiments for the boys. They loved it. He did liquid nitrogen, fire, explosions, elephant's toothpaste, chemically-made slime, and more. 

Tyson and I were in charge of doing homemade root beer with dry ice. Tyson's family does it every year and it's one of Tyson's favorite Halloween traditions. I was glad to do it for a whole lot of people so they would drink lots of it. And they did. The boys thought the dry ice was cool and everyone liked the root beer.

Since it is almost Halloween, we invited people to dress up in their costumes if they wanted to. A lot of people didn't but William and I sure did. Tyson came to pack meeting straight from work so he was off the hook.

William even made a new friend. The young women were having their mutual activity at the church tonight, too. I didn't get this girl's name but she and William are buddies now and she told me she would love to babysit him sometime. I gotta figure out who she is!
We had a lot of fun at pack meeting and I'm grateful for a calling that is stretching me instead of yet another music calling. It's nice to do something different for a change.

26 October 2014


I haven't been having "cravings" like the stereotypical pickles and ice cream thing. But there have been a few things I know I can always eat without any heartburn and some things I probably shouldn't eat (again, dang heartburn) but do it anyways. And then there's the things I wish I could have, but can't. So here's the list (the categories are all jumbled together):

1. Eggos with peanut butter and syrup
2. Bagels and cream cheese
3. Beef tamales from Tito's Tacos in L.A.
4. Pineapple chicken curry from Thai Mango in Sandy, Utah
5. Queso Fundido with beans and rice from Milagros
6. Tuna fish sandwiches
7. Crackers and cheese (I blame Wallace and Gromit.)
8. Celery
9. Apple chips
10. Peanut butter and boysenberry jelly sandwiches
11. Milk and cereal
12. Grilled tuna, mashed potatoes with sour cream, and corn from Texas Roadhouse
13. Thanksgiving dinner
14. Apple pie a la mode
15. Funeral potatoes and ham
16. Applesauce
17. BYU Chocolate Milk
18. Chocolate ice cream
19. Strawberries on angel food cake with whipped cream
20. Jamba juice smoothies

18 October 2014

William's Leg

On October 4 William and Tyson were playing with William's cousin and somehow William's leg got squashed. And by squashed I mean broken. I was sitting right there watching and I couldn't tell you exactly what happened. In fact, we heard three loud pops that we thought maybe came from his knee since that's what he was holding while screaming in pain. Turns out his leg was broken: a spiral tibia fracture. 
See? Pretty bad. Luckily they didn't have to set it since there wasn't a lot of movement. 
He was so unhappy. We had tried to give him some medicine before we left the house but he wouldn't take anything. And he was shaking and crying. They finally gave him a shot of morphine and that really helped. He even fell asleep for a little bit. They put him in a splint and told us to go to an orthopedist in a week after most of the swelling had gone down. We got William into a guy here in Orem the following Thursday and had the cast put on. William cried the entire time we were there. To be fair, we had to remove the splint to do x-rays and then we moved him into the casting room. We tried to get him to pick a color for his cast but he said "NO!" to every suggestion. So we went with green.

See? Sad boy. He held my hand so tightly the whole time. It's been a little over a week since he's been in the cast. We had another appointment this last Thursday (his one-week mark) for more x-rays to confirm that the bones hadn't shifted. Luckily everything looked great which means no surgery. He'll be in the cast for three more weeks. After that we'll do another set of x-rays. If everything looks good he'll be put in a walking cast or boot for another two weeks. When all that is done he should be cast/boot free before Thanksgiving.
He's not supposed to put any pressure on his leg at all. We got a kid wheelchair so we can take him to church in it and to preschool. I'm still waiting to hear from the transportation folks if they will take him to school in his chair or if I have to drive him. I know they pick up a kid from William's class who is in a wheelchair so they have the capabilities. We'll see what they say. It was fall break the past few days so no one was there to answer the phones.
William has learned how to scoot around on his bum so he can still get around in the house. He likes to sit in his wheelchair sometimes just to watch a movie.
My dad bought us a Radio Flyer wagon and shipped it to us. I took William on a walk today in it. He loved it! We're going to take him trick-or-treating in it, too. 
William is a heavy kid, the cast makes it worse, and I'm not really supposed to be lifting heavy things these days, ya know? There are some times when I just can't do it at all. We've been blessed that William is a naturally happy kid so once the swelling and pain went down he perked right back up. It was really hard for a while because he didn't want to do ANYTHING except lay in his bed and watch movies. At least now I can get him to agree to go outside or in the car with me. His eating is still a bit iffy sometimes. But I sure love him and I'm glad we can entertain him while he's not allowed to run around.

12 September 2014

Our House

There has been quite a lot of construction going on in the house we are renting. What started off as a "replace the bottom part of the shower and shower pan" in the master bath, turned into a "Oh, the previous owner TAPED the tiles to the walls so we have to re-do the entire shower. And the shower pan is there but he cut a giant hole in the bottom." Then he was checking for water damage on the master bath ceiling because the previous owner had removed his satellite dish but just LEFT THE HOLE IN THE ROOF so it had been leaking. Then the pipes behind the toilet had also been leaking and we have black mold growing along the baseboards behind the toilet. 
In the downstairs bath, the tub alone was going to be replaced but there was a crack in the tub so the framework had rotted away. The piping behind the tub wasn't glued or anything. Just kind of stuck together so that all had to be replaced as well. One total gut of a bathroom later, the downstairs bathtub is back in but the vanity is a non-standard size a.k.a. no vanity for three weeks.
In William's bathroom the only thing we think that will need to be fixed is the ledge of the window in the shower. Instead of the tiles tilting in toward the shower so the water will drain back into the tub, the tiles slope toward the window which is causing the drywall to corrode. We are concerned that the previous owner tiled this bath/shower using tape like in the master bath. We won't know that until our handy-man pulls up the ledge tiles and that's the last job after the other two bathrooms are put back together. 
The three toilets are also being replaced. The only one left working right now is the one in William's bathroom.
Other things we've found out: the previous owner had no idea what he was doing. He did not get a permit for any of the work he did to the house (not surprising considering the terrible job he did). The roof was replaced but the edge tiles were not place correctly. When it rains the water isn't being flicked away from the house so the wood under the tiles is being saturated. It's been raining a ton here so that's bad news.
Hopefully the bathrooms will be back in working order by the end of next week, except for the downstairs vanity. The first few days this week were nuts with demolition which meant a ton of dust. My mom and sister have been here to supervise the project but after the first day my mom couldn't handle the dust so they had to check in to a hotel. 
Yikes. My mom has renamed this house "the money pit." Yup. That's pretty accurate. Luckily, when all the work is done and up to code it's going to be great and we're excited.

08 September 2014

A Second Baby

It only took me seven weeks longer than most people, but I finally "announced" on Facebook that I am pregnant with Remy baby #2. I've known I was pregnant since I was three weeks along. Aside from Tyson, the first person who knew was my friend Annalise, who knew a day after I found out. Why did I tell her? She asked me when I might have another baby and I wasn't going to lie to her. But I wasn't going to tell ANYONE else until after my 12-week appointment.
When I was about 6 weeks along my mom came to town to visit. I had been having some nasty stomach pain and I finally couldn't take it anymore. I called my doctor and they had me go in for an emergency ultrasound just to confirm that I did not have an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic means the embryo implants in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies can be fatal to the mother, they are rarely viable, and I was so scared. Luckily, and obviously, it was not an ectopic pregnancy. Instead I had an ovarian cyst that had sprung a leak and was oozing toxic fluid into my abdominal cavity. I did not expect that answer, at all. I've had cysts before but the last time it caused a problem the cyst ruptured and it was instant, horrible, I-might-be-dying pain. This time the toxic fluid was just in my stomach making me feel terrible all the time. All my doctor could do to help me was prescribe a pregnancy-safe pain pill and tell me to wait it out. Awesome.
So that's how my family found out. Then Tyson didn't think it was fair that my family knew and not his so we told his parents and siblings. I told my boss then too because I was super sick (not with morning sickness) and I needed to change my work schedule to a later start time.
Since then we've told only a couple of people on sort of a need-to-know basis or because they are our good friends. I thought that once I got to 12 weeks I would post something on Facebook since that's what I did with William. 
But 12 weeks came and went and I wasn't ready to share.
This time around I've been having a lot of anxiety and fear associated with the pregnancy. Part of the issue is that everything went so well with William that I couldn't possibly get that lucky again. At least that's what people have said to me since William was born. 
The other part of the issue is my life is just a bit crazy right now. I've posted about my grad school schedule but now, add giving birth to a baby. This baby is due around February 6 which is 4 weeks before my Spring I term ends and 12 weeks before I'm done with my master's degree. On top of that, Tyson just started back at BYU and his program is crazy difficult. It's been a long, hard road but he has one year left and then we'll be done. In a stroke of insane luck and probably divine intervention, he found a new student job at BYU in the same building where he has all of his classes. No more driving out to Vivint everyday and working until 11:30pm. 
I had my most recent doctor's visit on Wednesday. Everything was fine except that my blood pressure was high. I've never had high blood pressure. Not even when I was in the hospital giving birth to William. Never. My doctor told me to try and not stress. I laughed at him.
Because of my anxiety I've been hesitant to share about my pregnancy. I'm still not sure that everything will be fine. When I look at all I have to accomplish before this baby comes and right afterwards I cannot see how I can possibly survive. And don't tell me to just have faith or hope or that everything will work out. I've been trying that and it's not helping much. And it's not super helpful to remind myself that I prayed about doing this master's program and we prayed about when to have another child. That only makes me feel like this is some kind of trial by magical fire. The expected things in my life are insane. I can't even fathom any unexpected things.
Aside from this post, I'm not sure I'll blog about my pregnancy again. We'll see. I've been writing posts on my personal blog (I can't do written journals) so I can look back and remember all the crazy things I've been dealing with. I hope that one day as I face another trial I'll be able to look back and say, "But look what you did! You finished a master's degree, worked part-time, took care of William, helped Tyson finish his program, and nobody died." That's all I want. That's not too much to ask, right?

31 August 2014

My Dream Vacation

I've come to the startling realization that my dream vacation no longer involves traveling to Europe. I know. Shocking. 

If I could have my dream vacation, this would be it:

Spending the "after" holidays at a cabin in the woods

Where I could sit by the fireplace in a big cozy chair and watch the snow fall outside

I would sit by the Christmas tree and just read

While drinking hot apple cider

And I would definitely be wearing that sweet, sweet coat over a cable knit sweater and chunky scarf while my sweetheart and I stroll through the local town.

There is something special about wintertime plus Christmas. I hate being in the snow because I don't like being cold and wet. But snow is beautiful. I can think of nothing more peaceful. Don't believe me? Put this on: http://endlessvideo.com/watch?v=DIx3aMRDUL4 and in another tab listen to this: http://www.endlessvideo.com/watch?v=rQeHEY-eKWg&start=0m0s&end=4m16s

You're welcome.

UPDATE: If we were 100% debt-free and magically had $600 to spend we would go here for the three days after Christmas: http://www.alaskaninn.com/

29 August 2014

William is 3!

William is the best. 

He's sweet, funny, adorable, energetic, curious, and he's got sweet dance moves. 

William is my little angel. 

Three years ago, God sent Tyson and me a perfect little boy who is growing up faster than we can believe. 

The best things that William does are not related to his Elvis impersonations or the fact that when you ask him what his name is he says "Me!" 

The best thing about William is that he is ours forever. 

The best thing about William is his massive spirit crammed inside a tiny body with a brain that goes faster than his mouth so you can't really understand what he says all the time.

The best thing about William is that when I'm sad he tells me not to cry and gives me hugs and kisses.

We love you, William. We're excited to watch you grow up a little more every day. I'm thrilled to be your momma. I love you, sweet pea!

21 August 2014

Short Trip

Two weeks ago my mom and sister Jane came to visit. Jane was the bridesmaid in a wedding but she can't drive because of her seizures so mom was being the chauffeur. It was great to have them here. My family has had quite the crazy few months. My dad had back surgery, Jane's been having seizures, and my mom keeps having moles removed because of her skin cancer. I knew things were tough at home since my mom was the only one who could drive so Tyson convinced me and my mom that me going to visit for a week would be perfect. And it was. I drove home with my mom and Jane and flew back to Utah a week later.
My main job was to entertain Jane and help drive when needed. This is what we did during the week: visit to the Getty Villa, Disneyland for Jane's birthday, saw Guardians of the Galaxy and Hercules, took Katie school shopping, went out to eat a bunch, attended a missionary homecoming party, went to a wedding open house, went to the Dodgers v. Brewers game, and had a dermatologist appointment. It was a lot of fun. My life is going to get really crazy soon. It was nice to have some time to just relax and have fun. 
I'm glad to be back home. I'm getting excited for my classes to start this week. But mostly I'm excited for William to start preschool on his birthday. He's going to love it!

30 July 2014

Nothing New To Say

I feel like I have nothing new to say about our life. But maybe if I just some things out I'll remember some stuff.


  • Starting special education preschool in the fall through Alpine School District. He has a speech delay and some social delays which make it really difficult for him to complete tasks in full. He'll go two days a week for three hours a day. A bus will come pick him up from our house and he's really excited.
  • Turns 3 at the end of August!
  • Shows no interest in potty training. Ever.
  • Likes to swim but doesn't like to wear a swimming suit. Since we have a little pool in our backyard he gets to go commando when no one else is around. Or when he's being sneaky and gets his clothes off before I can stop him.
  • Going back to school in the fall after taking a few semesters off. His academic adviser screwed up his schedule so he had to wait to take a prerequisite this fall before he could finish his senior courses. He'll only be doing two classes to help him ease back into things especially since one of the classes is Physical Molecular Chemistry, the hardest class in his major. He will be working 30 hours at Vivint instead of 40 but with only two classes he will have plenty of time to study.
  • Applied for an IT job at Vivint Solar. His current job is, in his words, "a glorified scheduler" and he'd prefer to do real IT work, which he's really fantastic at.
  • Will be done with his bachelor's degree by August 2015. He could be done in April but we're going to stretch it out a bit so he can still work because that's better for his sanity.
  • Starting my second year of grad school in a month. I'll be taking 3 classes in the Fall and 5 in the Spring (2 classes from January to the end of February; 3 classes from March to April).
  • Have a new calling as the Wolves cub scout den leader. I'm totally out of my element but the boys are sweet so it's been okay so far.
  • Work's the same. We did just hire a new secretary and he seems pretty cool. He served his mission in London so we have lots to talk about.
Other Family News
  • Tyson's sister Amber is home from her mission to Recife, Brazil! 
  • My dad had back surgery yesterday to remove a piece of broken disc that was pushing up against his nerves. The surgeon also sanded down the two discs that have been inflamed. He's home now and he doesn't have any more leg pain. Of course, his back is sore but he's in good spirits.
  • My sister Jane had a six-hour EEG on Monday. Since she's been home from her mission she's had a couple seizures after being seizure-free for over a year. It's worrisome and my mom doesn't want her coming back to school until she's got it under control. The EEG was to look for different brain activity than her last one and try to help her.
  • Mom's busy running people around, like normal.
  • Katie got her driver's permit!!!!!!! So weird.
We've been enjoying our summer. I've been especially enjoying the cooler, rainy weather the last two days. So there's some stuff about our family. 

18 July 2014

Customer Service

My secretary job usually doesn't have customer-service drama but today has a fun story. A student called in saying he had been hired by us in January but he wasn't working for us anymore so he needed his job removed from the system (BYU only allows students to have 3 on-campus jobs so I'm guessing he needed one removed to have a different one). 
I ask for the student's name and I've never heard of him before. I do all student hiring so I knew this guy wasn't an employee of ours. I asked him which professor he worked for and, again, I didn't recognize the name. I said, "I'm sorry, you have the wrong department. That professor isn't in our department. Let me see what I can find out." The student then proceeded to tell me, aggressively, that I was wrong because he had come to my office, the Linguistics office, to be hired, so I must not know what I'm talking about. 
I said, "Okay, hold please" and then proceeded to call student employment. I told them the situation (they laughed) and I asked if they could tell me where he's already hired on campus. Turns out he's hired for another humanities department. Sure, they do linguistic-y stuff, too, but we're on different floors. I tell the student this, he doesn't apologize (shocker), and I send him on his way.
Now, I've worked customer service at Universal Studios Hollywood. There is no customer in Utah who's gonna intimidate me. He didn't swear at me though so I didn't get to bust out my "Sir" voice. Oh, well. The best part of customer service, aside from helping people who were nice to me, was being able to put these people who thought they were SOOOO right in their place. Sweet customer service satisfaction.

20 June 2014

Year 2 of Grad School

I just got a video message from my graduate coordinator about my second year of grad school. The format for year 2 is a bit different. Instead of three semesters, there are four: Fall, Spring I (8weeks), Spring II (8weeks), and Summer. We are done with our required classes and now we're into our track and elective courses. This means that not every class is offered every semester. 
I am doing the editorial track with my elective courses coming from the design and technology tracks. All of those classes (15 credits) are only offered in Fall and the Spring terms. This means I will be done with my grad program by the end of April 2015.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm glad that I'll be done sooner. But I'm already feeling tired after having hardly any break between my classes. Now I'll be jamming through 15 credits in two semesters. I probably won't be able to do my choir again (which breaks my heart) and I might have to quit my job come Spring semester. I just don't see how I will possibly have time to raise my family, do my classes, and work. Never mind church responsibilities, personal health and wellness, or anything else. I prayed really hard about doing this program and now I'm looking ahead at what seems to be the impossible. I'm feeling a bit of despair about the whole thing. It started off as such a positive experience but it has become more of a trial. I'm sure I'll be grateful to have a master's degree when it's all done but for now, I'm just pushing forward one day at a time.


I just watched my sister, Jane, have a seizure. She's on her way to Utah Valley Regional Hospital with my mom. She'll be fine; they just want to check her and make sure she doesn't have another one. 
About an hour ago Jane came to my mom and me saying she couldn't sleep. Her eyes were rolling around and her eyelids were fluttering. It was freaky. My mom told me that that's what my eyes look like sometimes.
For those of you who have known me, you know how my eyes sometimes flutter? I guess that's pre-seizure activity. Usually I can't tell when it's happening but after I had William it got worse. My eyes would flutter for so long it really freaked me out. Luckily, the more sleep I got as the days went on, the better my eyes got. 
I've never been tested for epilepsy. Both Nelson and Jane have it. I've thought about it but I'm afraid to find out the results. Especially because if you have a seizure your license is revoked for a period of time. In Utah, it's three months. In California, it's six.
I am glad that I was able to help my mom tonight and I am glad I now know what a seizure looks like and how to handle it. My brother lives with us and now I know what to do if he ever has a seizure.

24 April 2014

OPAC: Day 1 - Dawn Pheysey and Kenneth Cope

Dawn Pheysey, Curator at BYU Museum of Art: "Sacred Gifts: The Religious Art of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann, and Frans Schwartz"

Dawn talked all about the current Carl Bloch exhibit at the Museum of Art (MOA) titled "Sacred Gifts". It took quite a bit of work to get these pieces here to BYU. The MOA is free and is supported by donors only; no BYU or LDS Church funds go to the museum and its projects.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:10 - "Thy gift...is sacred and cometh from above."

"No, grey skies and rain splashing are part of it - one must be washed thoroughly before one goes in to meet God." - Carl Bloch.

Kenneth Cope, popular LDS singer/songwriter: "Who You Really Are"

Kenneth Cope is an extremely popular LDS singer/songwriter. He brought his guitar and did a musical devotional for us while we had lunch. I'm going to try and include videos of his songs if they are available on YouTube.

"What Have I Done With His Name?"

We are already Gods. I am my Father's child.

[Then he sang "Your Father's Child" which is not available on YouTube. Here is a little blurb about it from Cope's website.]


We are MORE than our bodies. 

How do I feel about my son, William? As a mortal being, I am limited in my capacity to love. But God is perfect. So how much more must he love me?

Love is our greatest motivator.

"More of Me to Give"

When we forget who we are, we forget from whom we came. Never forget that God is your Heavenly Father and you are his loved child.

OPAC: Day 1 - Brad Wilcox

In March, BYU put on the Office Professionals Conference (OPAC) and I got to attend all three days. I took notes at all the lectures I heard because they are all so good! These notes might not make a lot of sense but I'll try to flesh them out a bit. I took more notes at some of the lectures than others. I'll be sure to separate the notes into readable chunks.

Day 1

Brad Wilcox, BYU English Professor, "The Clown of God"

"My life is EPIC!" Are we grateful for all the blessings God has given us? Do we feel like our lives are epic?

How do we juggle our responsibilities without becoming tired?

The Clown of God by Tomie dePaola. Find it on Amazon.

Sharing our gifts gives glory to God.

Easy things become hard. Hard things become easy.

How do we handle our responsibilities?
For LDS people, simplifying isn't going to work. We already are down to pretty much the basics.
Priorities don't work either. They lead to guilt. Our family can't be our first priority always because we have to attend work to make money to feed our family. Church can't be our first priority always because we need to spend time with our family or go to work. Work can't be our first priority always because we need to spend time with family or attend a church meeting. See? Always with the guilt.

What motivates us?
Not money. Most of our activities are unpaid, including church service.
For helping people? People can be mean and ungrateful.
For recognition? That doesn't always work out.

We juggle for God.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland says that we need to maintain our relationship with God.
Listening to the Spirit will keep our priorities in the right order. The order changes day to day, hour to hour.

Would you rather feel tired and peaceful? Or feel well-rested and guilty?

The story of the sick woman who reaches out to touch Jesus' hem shows that Jesus knows His priorities. He stopped what he was doing to help this woman. In that moment, she was more important than anything else.

Just remember who you are juggling for.

Come unto Christ. Become like Christ.