Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I [heart] U

Valentines Day 2009 was just loverly! We had family and friends over for the weekend, which made it so much more fun! Josh's brother, Malachi, had his mission farewell on Sunday, and so on Saturday (the 14th), all of his siblings arrived! And the boys had their friend Wyatt over to play that day as well. After the Valentines Lunch, the boys exchanged Valentines around the table. I LOVE Valentine's Day! I think all that professing of love on one day is wonderful! Oh, and see the flowers on the table in the photo above? They were such a sweet surprise to me from My Valentine Man, who proposed to me on Valentines Day eleven years ago. Since the Tolmans were all together, family photos were taken that afternoon. After that, the boys had fun the rest of the day! (Seriously, why is taking family photos like pulling teeth? What is so hard about sitting and smiling? It's one of those great unanswered questions of life.) I enjoyed visiting with Josh's sister Tiffany and watching all my boys have fun playing with people they LOVE.
For all the boys in my life: Josh, Ammon, Jonah, Micah, and Kanyon, I HEART YOU!

Friday, March 13, 2009


I love listening to and watching my boys play! When they play pretend, I find myself immersed in their activities; it is so interesting to me! At our house, all the toys are separated into "buckets" (see-through plastic boxes). Each bucket contains a specific kind of toy, for example: monster trucks, army men, farm animals, puzzles, blocks, legos, etc. Seriously, we have almost 30 buckets. The rule is: no more than two buckets can be opened and played with at any time, because it's easier to clean up that way. But, for various unknown reasons, sometimes more than two are opened. This is what usually happens...the boys' creativity switch turns on, and the different toys join together for one greater cause...IMAGINATIVE PLAY!
Seen here: Army men, cars, and marbles have been meticulously placed and put in order on and around the farm--ready for the upcoming pretend "war" to begin!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Always on My Mind

On September 22, 2003 my life changed forever. That was the day our twins were born-9 weeks premature. I had a C-Section, and was really out of it the whole day. The next morning I was very alert, so Josh wheeled me into the NICU so that I could see my new little babies. They were so tiny (3 lb 5 oz and 3 lb 8 oz) and they looked so sick hooked up to so many machines and monitors. Only 5 minutes after actually seeing my babies for the first time, the NICU Pediatrician informed Josh and I that they weren't doing so well; Micah needed to have heart surgery and Jonah needed a more powerful ventilator for his lungs. We were shocked and scared. The Dr. felt that they needed to be transferred to a bigger hospital with a better NICU facility. I had the choice of sending them to St. Lukes in Boise or Primary Childrens in SLC. I chose Primarys, because even though it is further from Salmon, it was closer to my parents' home in Tremonton.

That afternoon, Jonah and Micah left on a hospital airplane in two little incubators on wheeled stretchers, hooked up to multiple monitors and machines. I thought that I might never see them again. Then Josh and my mom left in the car for Salt Lake to be with the babies. Because of my C-Section, I had to stay at the hospital in Idaho Falls. Alone. For 3 more days. It was the worst time of my entire life. When I was finally released, my dad came up to Idaho Falls and drove me to Salt Lake. A few days after I arrived in SLC, Josh had to leave me to go home and go back to work and take care of Ammon. And I was once again alone. But at least this time, I could be with the twins. Their stay at Primary Childrens lasted 3 weeks, but because the NICU was being remodeled and since the twins' status was no longer critical, they were again transferred back to EIRMC in Idaho Falls.

The twins remained there until the end of the November, when they finally got to come home a day before their due date. The two months they were in the hospitals was the most difficult time of my entire life. I got post-partum depression, but didn't realize it until later. I had to be strong at the time, and didn't really start falling apart emotionally until after the twins came home. I struggled for years with my emotions and my experience. And now I can't stop thinking about it. This is why:

Josh's best friend Ryan married Josh's cousin Heidi. Ryan & Heidi were married several months before us, and have lived in Boise ever since, so we usually see them a couple times a year. This fall, they announced that they were pregnant! This was their first pregnancy, so EVERYONE was so excited for them! Then we learned that they were pregnant with TWINS!!! An even bigger wow! Then we found out they were going to have 2 girls! We couldn't wait! Then, the next thing we heard was that the twins had arrived, at only 25 1/2 weeks gestation. Everything in her pregnancy had gone well until then; she got up the morning of February 12, had labor pains, and delivered the girls not long after. Ayla was 1 lb 6 oz and Zoey was 2 lb. Ryan and Heidi email everyday, with updates of Ayla and Zoey's status, detail by detail of their fight for life. If you've ever had a premie in a NICU, you know that life changes minute by minute, hour by hour. I'm grateful for this form of communication with them. Josh was able to see Ryan and Heidi and visit Ayla & Zoey in the hospital last week. I can't stop thinking about them, praying for them, crying for them, fasting for them. My heart and mind are always with them and their tiny and precious daughters. And this, in turn, brings me back constantly to my own period of NICU life. And I am finally healing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Two's...Terrible or Terrific?

Our baby turned two in February! We had a small party at Grandma Perkins' home on our way back from the New Orleans vacation with Grandma & Grandpa P., Aunt Katrina, and Jonah & Micah. For his birthday dinner, Grandma made her home-made waffles and Kanyon's favorite: scrambled eggs. Katrina made a beautiful cake for him. After he blew out the candles, we ate it with some ice cream. Then Dad helped him open the presents from Grandma and Grandpa P. After each present was unveiled, he would excitedly take it, run to Grandma, give it to her, then run back to Dad to open the next one! On his actual birthday, we invited Grandma & Grandpa Tolman and his friend Wyatt & his parents over to our house for another little party. Ammon, Jonah, Micah, and Wyatt each took turns helping him open gifts. The first 4 presents, one from each of the boys, was a "Cars" car. He was SO excited to get them!! After that, he refused to let go of those cars the rest of the night! Because of this, he was impaired from opening the rest of his gifts by himself. He must have a lot of people who love him, because he sure got a lot of gifts! Thank you everyone!!!
After presents came dessert; we ate brownies, Oreo ice cream, and Oreo cookies: his favorite. (In the picture below, see the Lightning McQueen & Mater pictures the boys colored as decorations for his birthday?! Also, notice how Kanyon is completely disinterested in the dessert because he's too busy playing with his new Lightning McQueen cars?!)
When I took him to the Dr. to get his 2-year check-up, the Dr. asked me, "So when did Kanyon start having the terrible twos?" And I said "Since he was 9 months old!". Kanyon has two moods: very terrible or completely terrific; it's only one mood or the other. He has some behavioral problems that we are seeking help with. My hope is that this upcoming year will be filled with more of his terrific side and less of the terrible twos! But regardless of his good or bad behaviors, we sure love that Kanyon! Our family wouldn't be complete without him! So Happy Birthday little buddy!
Kanyon's favorites were all manifested in his birthday celebrations: Food-eggs or hamburger, Cookie-oreos, Movie-Cars, TV Show-Handy Manny or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (did you notice the balloon in the last photo?), Toy-Lightning McQueen cars, Item- his "me-me" binky.