Saturday, November 29, 2014

gobble gobble

//thanksgiving 2014 at snowbird//

^^ the food

^^ the cuddles

^^ the baby love

^^ the pretty cousins

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

my 27th birthday

in the past, I have often felt ambivalent about my birthday. like, I love when people remember and wish me a happy birthday but I never like having expectations about the day and what it's going to be like and, of course, it's just another day of the year and I still have responsibilities and it's, you know, another tuesday, but STILL! I was born! I entered the world! and I'm still alive and doesn't that deserve some celebration even if it means that I simply paint my nails? and, you know, I guess that I've always felt uncertain about my birthday because I expected people to live up to my expectations of it instead of doing that myself and making myself feel special. I think that we've got to do that sometimes for ourselves: be our biggest celebrators. celebrator? is that a word? you know what I mean.

so, I decided that I was going to be deliberate about making myself feel good this year.

the night before, I showered and moisturized and painted my nails (toenails and fingernails! gah, I know!) and put my hair in these here foam hair rollers. phil has never seen me in the rollers. the rollers haven't seen the light of day or a bathroom in aaaages. it's been years since the rollers have been rolled with my locks, so I thought, "well, it's my birthday so, shoot, let's do it!" 
^^ hot.
after a night of good sleep (bless you, simon boy!), I had curly hair! and there was lipstick involved! and perfume! because, 1.) it was my birthday, and 2.) I like feeling beautiful on the day I came naked and messy into the world. it also kinda kicks against the "getting old feeling." anyway, my 9am french class must have been SHOCKED to see Mme White not sporting yet again another day-old bun and a headband (showers in the morning are always better thoughts at night than in practice...).

after class, we went out with my parents (in town) to el gallo giro for their huevos rancheros. and, it may have only been 10:30am but, HORCHATA and TRES LECHES cake! it was all beautiful and delicious.

^^ later that evening, phil and I went to "the paris" in salt lake for dinner. I requested we eat here since it is such a lovely french restaurant and has a sweet memory for me of a dinner I had here with some dear french house roommates from six years ago (!). on the way to the restaurant, we did a recap of the year and talked about all the good things we have been able to accomplish and our highlights. we realized, as we often do, that we have much to be grateful for.

there was added an element of surprise at the restaurant since phil had so slyly invited my dearest friend mindy and her ben along for dinner. we had so so so much fun.
^^ the savoyard flat bread with gruyère and mushrooms!
^^  the boeuf stroganoff aux cèpes!
(oh, you haven't seen the end of the ! yet, fair reader!)

it really was one of my favorite birthdays spent with people I love and people who make me feel happy. I feel so grateful for this life and for sweet family and friends and food and french and humor and that I am alive and lucky enough to have an abundance of beauty and goodness around me.


Monday, November 24, 2014

11 months

well, we've nearly arrived at a year of having this simon boy in our lives. how was there a time that we never had him or never knew him? he is joy. I wrote a dear friend in my program this past week who is concerned with the same thoughts that consumed me before we had simon. how would I fulfill the academic aspirations I had while still pursuing the aspirations I had of being a mother? could I have both and not have one or the other suffer? first of all, I know myself and I am very much not a multi-tasker. I mean, if "easily distracted" was a dictionary entry, you would find me there. with this master's thesis, I haaaave to be on campus/in the library to write and research. phil has his classes and research too, so it's been an interesting balancing act over these past eleven months passing the baby baton. and, when I am at home, I just want to be simon's mom, you know? and, I've just struggled with doing anything else besides taking care of him and our home while I'm with him and phil at home.

this is some of what I wrote my friend. as you read I hope you realize that, of course, EVERYONE is different. everyone has the choice to approach the course of their life as they see fit and best for them and for their situation and for the goals/dreams that they desire to achieve. some people can make certain things work great that others may not be able to. some have opportunities that others don't and choices to make that others don't have. in the end, we have to choose from what we have, what is right for us, and what will bring us lasting happiness.

"And, yeah, the whole PhD thing and having babies? I'm not sure what to tell you other than how I've dealt with it and the thought of not doing more graduate studies immediately after this year. We considered this in depth and the question that we have most prominent in our minds is how would Phil and I have Simon and more children, maintain healthy relationships with each other and them, and both be in PhD programs at the same time? We have decided that it just can't be this way right now. Pursuing Phil's career path and my desire to be a mother above all, even if it may sometimes lack in scintillating conversation, fascinating coursework, and distinction, is what we feel best moving forward with. I want to teach our children French. Simon understands "mange," "c'est fini," "ne touche pas," "salut" and "on doit changer ta couche" and, for me and for this season of life, I think that this endeavor is the most important to me: being with and teaching my children. I can still read. I can still listen to books. I can still find interesting people (and hopefully French speakers!) to talk with wherever we go. I can even teach a little or tutor in our home. Also, once the children are old enough and Phil is settled in a job, I can and want to pursue more education and/or teach more regularly. I'm grateful that Phil supports me in anything I'd like to do, and I suppose that, in the end, it is up to me to be as active in learning and progressing as possible until I do pursue a higher degree. In the meantime, I still have lots and lots to learn. 
There I go gambling too. Sorry if none of that makes sense. For now, I am satisfied with a MA degree, and in the future a PhD is a route I want to take, but that season of life is afar off at the moment and I am okay with that. I'm okay knowing that I sacrifice that for something I want so much more.

 anyway these things have been on my mind, but what I really intended for this post was to put up some photos that I took from this past week. they have become some of my favorites of sweet simon.
^^the squeezable cheeks and double chin and little pink lips and rounded nose and focused eyes. everything in this image makes my heart burst!
^^I love this blurry one which just shows how much simon moves these days (so many blurry photos!) and how curious he is about the things around him (eg: the canon). plus, the double chin and the "I want to touch that sooo bad" expression is so funny to me.

^^I love this sleeping one and how he still needs/likes to be swaddled for his two daily naps. we were given this donated fleece blanket from shriner's and it's so big and warm - perfect for swaddling his chunky self. also, the binky mark around his mouth? yeah, he still prefers his 3-6 month binkie over any other. we actually had three other identical ones that are now all lost and this is the last one we have. finger's crossed that this one doesn't find his place in the oblivion of his brother and sister pacis

^^ I love this bum shot just because he's got a cute, diapered derrière.
^^and, this last one? those sweet eyes and the post-bath combed hair? he's my bald, old man baby! when I see his face like this I think that I am beginning to understand more and more what it is like to have a mother's unconditional love because I feel something so strong for this boy.

Monday, November 10, 2014

simon's surgery

simon's hand surgery last week went by so smoothly. all I can say is,
I am grateful for the kind, capable doctors and nurses that took care of him.
there's nothing like being in a hospital and watching your child being taken away
from you to make you feel completely vulnerable. of course, we knew
that everything was going to be fine and that it was going to be a simple
procedure, yet there's still an element of unknown. and, ugh, the unknown.
it knows just how to squeeze the tears out of me. but thankfully,
it didn't last long and our baby came back to us soon enough.

^^they gave simon a pre op sedative and he became a total fruit loop!
EVERYTHING was funny funny funny.

^^ and this hospital gown was covered in constellations
and space crafts.why can't the adult-sized ones be as cool??

^^ post-op baby boy. we pushed him around the play arena in this comfy cart while he recovered.
don't you love this blond mohawk of his?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

eleven fingers

soon after simon's birth, we were taken down to our recovery room and a nurse took simon to the nursery. phil's parents arrived shortly and phil took them to the nursery to see our new little fellow. as his parents gazed through the glass and into the nursery at baby simon, phil's mom began to motion something to phil (inside the nursery). phil gave her two thumbs-up as if to say, "yeah! he's great!," but bonnie continued to motion, pointing to her own hand to indicate simon's. after a quick look and count, phil realized that simon's right hand had SIX FINGERS (an extra thumb!) instead of the normal, you know, five. they headed back to the room to give me the news of our newly minted, eleven-fingered child and, in all honestly, at first I was a little horrified. clearly, I loved our sweet simon, but this was a little unexpected, you know? after the initial shock, the pediatrician came in to see us and told us that the appearance of an extra digit (finger or toe) was called "polydactylism" (first thought: "flying dinosaur baby!") and that it wasn't as rare as we thought. every now and again, babies are born with an/multiple extra fleshy or bony digits. in the case of a fleshy digit, you can tie a string around it and it'll fall off over time. kinda sounds awful, I know. simon's extra thumb, however, had a bone in it and would require surgery if we were considering removal. after weighing the options, we decided that the surgery was the best choice. it just made sense to us in light of the fact that simon cannot move his extra thumb independently of his regular thumb (so no potential extra-amazing piano skills. darn.) and that it simply gets in his way. in the end, we don't want his dexterity to be affected, and the surgery is quick and the recovery fast.

so, before his surgery tomorrow morning, we wanted to document
the short-lived life of the extra digit of the boy that, as we like to say,
"we gave everything to AND a little more."
^^ soon after birth
^^ it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I realized that "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish"
has a page that talks about one of the creatures having eleven fingers. I just couldn't not take advantage of this perfect photo opt.
^^ translation: "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, 
nine, ten. he has eleven of them! eleven! that's very original!"

^^ we made this salt-dough handprint the other night so we'll
have a memory on hand (yes, pun intended) for simon to see
when he's older - and to show his future girlfriends.