Friday, May 31, 2013

Follow-up to Yesterday's Post

This happened a few weeks ago, but the picture makes me laugh every time I look at it. Love that little girl. (Even though I wasn't loving her so much at that moment in time...)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ellie's First Haircut. And Some Other Ellie Stuff.

    This is kind of a long post... So I apologize! Ellie is just so awesome, though, that I want to remember it all!

     Ellie's hair had never been cut, and it was getting long and scraggly - it was time for a haircut! I am not confident in my hair-cutting abilities, so to the salon we went.

Waiting to get called. (Nathan was there too, but we didn't take any pictures of him so we could preserve his manliness. I'm sure he will appreciate that some day. *wink*)

Before she started cutting.

In the process of cutting. She was so funny! She was completely enamored with the whole thing. She had this face on the entire time, and all of the people in the salon fawned over how good she was. The best part for her was definitely the sucker at the end!


She didn't get a ton cut off, but I think it makes a big difference.

Speaking of our Ellie, Sam took this picture of her before church on Sunday:

     It's a little blurry, but this picture completely sums up Ellie's true personality. I don't feel like very many people get to see her real personality because she screams (and I don't mean she cries, she screams - and it's not very nice!) when she is around other people. My theory is (ok, Sam noticed it, and I think it is true) that she feels threatened by other people, especially kids, and that is why she screams. When she is at home, though, boy is she sweet! She is usually so happy, and she loves to play! 

     Lately she wants me to hold her or to sit on my lap as much as she can. It's fun to have her want to snuggle, because she has never been like that in the past. She LOVES to dance. She constantly asks for music to be turned on so she can dance on the coffee table, in the car, or anywhere really. 

     Ever since her grandma gave her some little princess toys with dresses that can be changed out, she is obsessed with princesses. According to her, anyone that is dressed in a long dress is a princess, and she's definitely one too. That's actually what she is doing in that picture - twirling and saying "princess!" 

     Some of the funny things she says are "I got it!" She says that whenever she does something she is proud of - and that's pretty much everything - closing the toy box, washing her hands, going potty, putting her shoes on, etc, and it sounds like "Iga-yee!" She also says "hide!" and then runs to hide in Nathan's closet. She doesn't like to hide alone, though, so she brings me in there with her. Once we're in the closet, she'll put her finger up to her lips and say "Shhh! Daddy!" because she wants Sam to come find us. Kinda difficult when he's at work, though...

     This girl loves her daddy. All day long she puts her arms out and asks me "Daddy hone?" When she sees him pull up, she tries like crazy to get the front door open so she can go out and help him drive into the garage. I think that is probably the highlight of her day.

     She is very tender and loving, especially with her little brother. She is so willing to help with anything and everything.

     I love her funny high-pitched voice that is reserved for talking to Nathan or when she tells us "I yove you." 

     I can't get enough of her. And I can't believe how big she is getting! I love my crazy, cheerful, noisy, princess-y little girl!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Pinterest Project Gone Horribly Wrong

For some reason I really wanted to make a beautiful cake on Sunday. So on Saturday I found the perfect recipe, made sure we had all the ingredients, and I was already excited. It was going to be awesome, and beautiful, and my husband was going to be impressed with my phenomenal baking skills. I mean, wouldn't you be impressed at a cake that looked like this?

After church I got busy with the cake. It sounded easy enough, but most importantly, delicious. And beautiful. 

Then I got to this step in the directions: "If using an 8x2-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper." I didn't have parchment paper, so I thought "Meh, I'll just grease the heck out of the pan, and it will be fine."

Nope, definitely not fine.

I couldn't stop laughing when this came out of the pan.

I dressed it up with some frosting. Not sure if it looks any better?

Needless to say, it looked nothing like the picture. Oh well. At least is was delicious. Really, it was yummy. If you like dark chocolate, make it. Here is the recipe.

Moral of the story? If a recipe tells you to use parchment paper, use it. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

In the Words of Nephi

I read Second Nephi Chapter 4 today. It always gets to me. I love this chapter in The Book of Mormon because it is Nephi pouring out his soul - and every time I read it, I feel like he is voicing exactly how I feel. What a beautiful scripture. This is verses 17-34, with a little bit of editing on my part to make it display my thoughts today:

"Notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

"I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

"And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.

"My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.

            "He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh…

            "Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge…

"O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?

"And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?

"Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.

            "Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.

            "Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

"O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?

"May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!

"O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! …

            "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever... Yea, I know that God will give aliberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I bask cnot amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

6 Months Old Already!

Our little man is 6 months old today, I can't believe it! He has changed so much.

With new big sister Ellie.

Yep, he's a thumb-sucker. Has been from the very beginning. Not sure how I feel about that, but there's no denying it's cute!


And again, but blurrier.

Handsome man on his blessing day. (Yes, he did wear red. The outfit was cute, ok?)

He loves his swing and being swaddled.

Here he is today! 

Love his big blue eyes.

Here are his stats as of about 3 weeks ago:

-  Weight: 12.6 lbs. (1st percentile)
- Height: 24.5 in. (6th percentile)
- Head Circumference: 17 in. (44th percentile)

Little dude with a big head - he fits in the family. 

Our little Nathan is so happy! He hardly ever cries - really only when he is hungry, tired, or needs to be changed. He has 2 teeth, and boy are they sharp! He has started rice cereal and a few different foods. His favorite? Nilla wafer, hands down. Courtesy of Gran this past weekend. He has just gotten to the point where he will fall asleep without being swaddled most nights, which is good because he is starting to get too big for his sleep sack. He loves his big sister more than anyone else, and I think the feeling is reciprocated by her!

We are so glad to have this cute boy in our family! Happy 6-month birthday, little man!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nathaniel Reid Brubaker

Yes, I do realize that my baby will be 6 months old on Thursday. It's about time that I document his birth story!

I was induced with Ellie, and I really wanted to go into labor on my own this time. Not that I had anything but a wonderful experience with Ellie, but I just wanted to do it on my own this time, so that was the plan throughout most of my pregnancy. But as November 29, his due date, got closer, I started to get nervous. I was in school, and my teachers hadn't been very accommodating with making up clinical hours. (But that is a story for another day) So an induction was in the back of my mind, but I kept thinking, "there is never a convenient time to have a baby," so I continued to plan on going into labor on my own.

I was almost 39 weeks along when Sam and I went in for one of my check ups. The doctor asked me if I knew how to tell I was actually in labor, how long to wait at home before coming in, where to go once I got to the hospital, etc. He left the room for a minute, and Sam said that maybe we should schedule an induction for the day after Thanksgiving. When the doctor came back in we told him that was what we wanted to do, but we could always cancel it if I decided I didn't want to go that route.

I was still wishy-washy on the whole induction thing, but for some reason I felt like we needed to do it.

I was up most of the night before Thanksgiving with contractions, but nothing strong enough or close enough together to head into the hospital. The same with Thanksgiving day, and the night after Thanksgiving. When I called the Labor and Delivery Unit at 5:30 that morning to make sure they had room for me, they told me to head on over. So we did.

The nurse got me all hooked up to monitors and put my IV in, and the doctor came in and broke my water. I was excited! And I thought for sure this labor would be shorter than the last.

I was progressing slowly, but I wasn't worried because that happened last time, too. I got my epidural, and Sam and I watched the hospital-required videos. Baby's monitors had looked perfect all day.

Around 1pm, the monitors changed. It was scarier for me this time because I knew what the monitors meant! With each contraction, baby's heart rate dropped into the 50's. But he would quickly get back up into the normal range after each contraction, so it wasn't a huge worry.

At this point, I had reached a "tight 6" and hadn't really progressed. The baby was still at a -3 station, and didn't seem to be coming down any farther.

The nurses gave me oxygen, switched my position over and over, and the little guy still wouldn't come down.

This went on for 6 or 7 hours. I was still at a 6, and baby was still at a -3. The doctor came in, and said from the way the monitors looked and my lack of progression, he thought the baby was tangled up in the cord. He told me that because baby's heart rate was coming up quickly after contractions he was doing fine and could stand more labor if I wanted to go that route, but it sounded like I may need a c-section.

I cried while they got me prepped for the c-section. It was not the birth experience I had in mind. But my anesthesiologist was fantastic, my doctor was amazing, and it was going to be ok. I couldn't have done it without Sam. He talked to me and kept me calm throughout the surgery, even though the anesthesia made me shake and feel nauseous. When they saw the baby, the doctor told me he was wrapped up in the cord "like he was wearing a seat belt." The cord had been around his neck and wrapped around his little body.

Finally, at 9:22 pm, I heard my little boy cry. I was so happy he was healthy! They showed him to me, took him to the nursery to measure and bathe him, and then I got to hold him.

We named him Nathaniel Reid Brubaker - Nathaniel meaning "gift from God," and Reid so he could have the same middle name as his dad. He weighed 6 lb. 10 oz., and measured 21.5 inches (I think that was a mistake).

Holding my little boy for the first time.

Family picture, minus Ellie!

I look back now and think that it was inspiration that I was induced. I honestly don't think we would have had the same outcome if I had waited to go into labor on my own with this pregnancy. Nathan was really tangled up in the cord, and who knows if waiting a few days would have gotten him more tangled?

All I know is that I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows better than I do what is best for me and all of His children. And I am grateful for our little Nathaniel!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Brother is Coming Home TODAY!!!

     My brother is coming home from his mission in New York City today!! (Well, to Mesa... I get to see him tomorrow. Yay!)

     In honor of his homecoming, I have decided to post a few hilarious stories. Be excited.

     The first story happened when we looked about like this:

Aren't we cute? Yes. The answer is yes. And P.S. We are the two in the middle.

     Anyway, story number one. We were visiting my grandma in Utah one summer, so we went to church while we were there. Tucker and I walked into the Primary room together ready to introduce ourselves to the Primary President so we could get put into the right classes. Here is the conversation that ensued:

     Primary President: Hello! Are you guys visiting today?

     Tucker (because heaven knows I was too shy to talk to anyone I didn't know): Yes!

     Primary President: Great! We're so glad to have you! What are your names?

     Me: Heidi.

     Tucker: Tuck-o. (he couldn't say his "R's")

     Primary President: ... Taco?

     Tucker: No, Tuck-o.

     Primary President: ... Taco?

     Tucker: No! Tuck-O!

     Primary President: ... Taco? 

     (Lady, you haven't figured it out yet? His name is NOT Taco.)

     Tucker: NO! TUCK-O!!!

     Primary President: ... Taco?

     Tucker: NO!!! Tell her, Heidi!

     Me: Tucker.

     ... awkward silence ...     

     Primary President: ... Oh, Tucker! Why didn't you just say that in the first place? 


     (Real life, people.)


     The second story happened when we looked about like this, minus the Halloween costumes. Obviously.

He's the bat, and I'm the angel. (Very fitting to our personalities, don't you think? *insert angelic smile here*)

     Story number two also happened at Grandma's house, but not the same grandma. This time we were in Idaho for the summer, and all the cousins were going to sleep in the basement. Naturally, Tucker and I were fighting over who got to sleep on the couch.

     We were in the room that my parents would sleep in, digging through suitcases to find our pajamas. I swore it was my turn to sleep on the couch, and he swore it was his. We were getting madder and madder, louder and louder.   Finally he just shouted at me, "I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU MY BARE BUTT!" (since, you know, that was a valid argument that would convince me to sleep on the floor.) and he proceeded to pull down his pants. To escape the horror that was my 6-year-old brother's bum, I quickly buried my face into the bedspread... Little did I know, the wooden footboard was covered by the bedspread, and I slammed the bridge of my nose into that instead of the soft bed. I screamed, my parents ran in to see what had happened, and I of course blamed everything on Tucker. I may have been a little dramatic.

     But guess who got to sleep on the couch that night? This girl. 


     Luckily Tucker's speech impediment is gone, and we no longer show our bums to settle arguments. 

     I am flying into Arizona tomorrow to see him, and I can't wait! I have missed his crazy personality:

     Yep, he's great. Welcome home, Elder Denton! (Well... in a few hours.)

Monday, May 13, 2013

An Obsession

I daresay we have a rock lover in the family. And I don't use the word "lover" lightly. I think there may be a slight obsession, actually.

It's this girl:

Miss Ellie Rose.

On Saturday we took a little hike up Cress Creek Trail. Do you know how long it takes to hike a mile on a gravel road with a 2-year-old that is obsessed with rocks? Let me just say - it takes a long time.

Exhibit 1:

Admiring the rocks next to the part of the path that was paved. She was saying "Rock! 'Nother one! 'Nother one rock!"

Exhibit 2:

Carefully putting the rocks in a straight line. "One, two, one, two."

Exhibit 3:

Looking at the "big rock" with daddy.

I can't tell you how many times she stopped to pick up rocks and stick them in her pockets, or to stack them, or to simply point them out to us. 

Oh, hey! Nathan and I were there, too.

Last night on our after-dinner walk she stopped at every flower bed along the way that had a single rock in it. She also bent down in the middle of the road and tried to pick up the rocks that were mixed into the asphalt. She would have brought home every rock we encountered along the way if we would have let her. 

Silly girl. We're so glad she is in our family. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Friend Heather

A few days before Nathan was born, I received a package. I opened it up. Inside was a soft, warm blanket for the new baby and a book for the soon-to-be big sister. As I saw who it was from, I started to cry. It was from my friend Heather.

Heather and I met at the end of third grade when I moved from one side of town to the other. We became friends quickly. She is only a few months older than me, but she was tall for her age, and I was short. People asked us almost every time we were together if we were sisters.

I remember a time in our eighth grade English class where our assignment was to draw a picture of a past event we would want to watch, if we could go back. After a few minutes of walking around observing our work, our teacher quietly grabbed my paper, showed it to Heather, and showed her paper to me. We looked at each other and giggled because we had drawn the same thing.

In high school we loved to stop and get ice cream cones from McDonald's on our way to the temple, where we would sit on the grass and talk about anything - frustrations, boys, family, or our aspirations for the future - as we would watch people come in and out of the big, rotating door at the front of the building.

We graduated from high school. Heather traveled to Austria with her choir, sent me a postcard, and brought me back a scarf. We had one final sleepover that summer, and I left for college. She went to a different school in September, and by December I was engaged. On my way home to get married in April, I stayed a night at her apartment, and she took me to the airport the next morning. On that trip I met the boyfriend that would become her future husband.

By the time her and Greg were married in October, we were expecting our first baby. I still remember her reaction when I told her, offhandedly, outside the BYU library on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Provo. She was surprised, but excited for me.

When I found out I was pregnant with baby number two when our first baby was 9 months old, I couldn't tell her. I played out a million scenarios in my mind, but none of them seemed right. You see, she had recently told me that she and Greg had been trying for a baby for 9 months. Nine months. I had a 9-month-old. And I was pregnant again. How was that fair?

When I was well into my second pregnancy, I talked to Heather on the phone. We talked about my pregnancy, her job, the weather, classes, good books. And then she told me that in May she had found out she was pregnant - with twins! I was getting excited! But I could tell by the tone of her voice that something wasn't quite right. She had lost the babies. I didn't know what to say. What do you say when you're sitting there, a few months away from delivering your second baby, and your best friend tells you she has just lost everything you are about to gain?

I said I was sorry. I babbled about a neighbor who had just lost a baby, and another who had been trying for a year. I held back tears. I wanted to help. I wanted to comfort. Needless to say, I was neither helpful nor comforting. How could I know what she was feeling? I couldn't.

She had just listened to me cheerfully talking about my own pregnancy - feeling the baby kick, growing out of clothes, getting uncomfortable - and all the while, she had been mourning. And I was rubbing it in.

When I opened that box a few days before Thanksgiving - that carefully packaged box with its folded blanket, and its hand-picked book, topped with that familiar handwriting - I pictured Heather. I pictured her in the store navigating aisles filled with bottles, tiny pajamas, and diapers, longing to be shopping for her own babies, but shopping for mine. "It's not fair!" I kept telling Sam. But a phrase my mom often told me when I was little kept coming to my mind: "Life isn't fair."

But why? Why isn't life fair? Why aren't Heather and I sitting on a porch, rocking our babies and watching our similar-aged kids play in the grass between our back-to-back houses like we always dreamed? Why do I get to wrap my baby in the blanket she bought? I don't know. I wish I did. I wish life was fair.

She mentioned in her blog post here that her babies would have been four months old today. Every time I post a picture of my baby to the internet, I can't help but think about how hard it must be for her to see it. Our babies would have been not quite two months apart. How is that fair?

I wish I could relate more. I wish I could offer comfort. I wish I knew more of what she is going through, but I don't. And it makes me feel terrible. Friends are supposed to be there to offer relief. But I don't feel like I can because our situations are so different. I feel like I'm a hypocrite when I try. How could I possibly know her pain?

And that is where the phrase "life isn't fair" comes in. It's not fair. And as much as I wish it was, it never will be. Besides, wishing life was fair may not be the right thing to do. I just have to have faith. Faith that the Lord knows what He is doing. I believe He works through natural means. Infertility and miscarriage aren't punishments, or signs that a couple is not yet ready for a baby. I don't fully understand them or the pain that accompanies them, but I do know that they are part of this mortal experience for some couples - and they can be painful.

I may not know the pain of infertility or the emptiness of losing a baby, but I do know that the Lord has greater things in store for all of us. I am grateful for the comfort that comes from reading Revelation 21:4, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no...more pain: for the former things are passed away." I know there will be an end to sadness. There will be an end to pain. The Lord is merciful, and He loves us. He knows us. He will care for us. And we can go to Him.

And for that I am grateful.
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