I don't have much to say today... actually thinking of my husband... all the cute little quirks about him that I didn't know about before we were married (miraculously, considering we dated for 5 years)....
Monday, December 20, 2010
I don't have much to say today... actually thinking of my husband... all the cute little quirks about him that I didn't know about before we were married (miraculously, considering we dated for 5 years)....
Friday, December 3, 2010
Here he is... My boy with chopped hair. My boy who no longer looks at all baby, who looks all boy, who makes me miss my little dude, but who is still as cute as ever (I can say that now, a month into the haircut, now that I've resigned myself to it).
I thought I would get on here and post some thoughts (miracle of miracles!):
Monday, October 4, 2010
Our baby is here (as everyone already knows at this point)! She is beautiful! I take back everything I said about never wanting girls… although I still have some fears that she’s going to be the high-maintenance death of me. But she’s so cute, I’ll get over it! J
But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty—Risa’s birth story:
Chad and I woke up dark and early at 4 a.m., and we arrived at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. A nurse came in and got me all hooked up, took my vitals, etc. You have to be hooked up to the monitors for at least twenty minutes before they can start the pitocin, so Chad and I spent the time watching the absolutely stellar lightning storm going on outside—so fabulous!! What better weather for a birthday, right?! We were LOVING it—thunder that sounded like cannon fire, and enormous raindrops pummeling the sidewalks outside. Awesome!
So the nurse came in and started the pitocin and went off-shift. Chad and I played a game of Farkel, and we chatted with our new nurse, Kirstin (soon to be my new best friend). My contractions were getting stronger, but they weren’t painful at all yet. So we turned on Brian Regan and were cracking ourselves—and our nurse—up for the next forty minutes. By the end of his routine my contractions were definitely more intense, but still easily bearable. I can’t remember what I was dilated to, but I think it was just about halfway. That’s when Dr. Harward came in and broke my water. What a strange feeling—suddenly there is a kiddie pool’s worth of water between your legs, soaking through layers of towels below you! Weird! And holy smokes! That certainly kicked things up a notch! It was amazing how that immediately affected the strength of my contractions. It was literally the very next contraction, and I was slammed by the intensity of it! And then I knew I was in trouble as far as all my Hypnobabies practice went. My contractions were suddenly coming so fast and hard that I had no time in between to get into the zone at all—serious bummer! So next time, I definitely need to get into the hypnosis before anyone does anything to my water sac. I was pretty sad about that part. I tried it for a while, but it was a no go—I barely had recovery time between the contractions, so there was no way I had the time I needed to talk myself under. So we ditched that, and I just leaned against Chad for a while.
Well, time sure flies when you’re in intensely severe pain, doesn’t it?! It had been about an hour since the doctor broke my water, and each contraction was unbelievably strong! I was at the point where my body literally could not keep still. I was shifting positions between each contraction—from climbing onto Chad to kneeling to laying down to standing to squatting to back on Chad’s shoulders (almost)—just to make it through each one. And I couldn’t really think past the next contraction. This is where Kirstin became my lifesaver!! We found out that she was a Hypnobabies mom herself, and she knew the scripts almost word for word. So although I couldn’t get deeply into the CD scripts, she could talk me through the contractions as they came. She led me through each one, rubbing my back and leaning on pressure points to ease the pain a little. And so the three of us worked through each one as it came and went.
And still they got nearly unbearable! I tried to talk to Chad: “Honey, I think…” “I think….” Every time, that’s as far as I could get… I found out later that Chad knew exactly what I was thinking, but wouldn’t put it into words for me (naughty!!). I wanted drugs! That’s what I wanted! I finally got the sentence out in a whisper. Kirstin told me that I was probably right in transition—that’s usually when women doing it naturally break down and ask for drugs—and if so, then I only had a few more contractions to go before it was time to push. So she checked me, and she was right: I was just about ready to go. So we bore through 10 more minutes of pain, and the doctor came in to deliver the baby.
Wow! It’s amazing all the things you feel when you have no drugs numbing things for you! Like a giant head moving through a tiny canal. (Sorry, that may be a TMI, but honestly!) And suddenly I understood what every woman means about not being able to hold back the urge to push. Once the doctor had me start pushing, there was no way I was stopping until that head was no longer blocking passageways. Oh man, what a crazy feeling! I was exhausted, and now I had to push… and push HARD! It’s ridiculous how you just want to stop and rest and yet that’s exactly what you don’t want to do (has anyone heard that birth is an emotional experience??). Thankfully, I didn’t have to push for very long: about 10 minutes, and the girl was out. Finally, relief!
Risa came out a smurf—no exaggeration! Her face was completely blue! Now, here I am on one side of the room being stitched up, and I see her on the other side of the room, totally blue in the face. My first thoughts were panicky ones—Oh boy, she isn’t breathing! Then I hear from the nurses, “Wow, she is really bruised!” Apparently, she moved so quickly through the canal, and her head was so big, that she bruised all the way out. Incredibly, she was pretty much pink by the end of that day; I couldn’t believe how fast the bruising went away. They cleaned her up a bit, checked her vitals, and brought her over to me.Little Risa Julie Brooks is here! And she is beautiful! 9 lbs., 6 oz. (gee whiz! She even beat her brother!) She was born with a bunch of dark, dark hair (which I am hoping sticks around). And she nurses like a champion! Hooray!! We love the little beast already!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Did I tell you I have a weird son?? 18 months old, and his new thing is bugs. Not sure where this comes from--I'm not a big bug person. Not at all.
Well, I was able to go to one of the three family reunions we had this summer... what a fabulous experience!! I went to the Grant reunion (my mom's side) in Brian Head last week, and the week was just truly wonderful!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
...is a humbling experience lately. Coren is right at the age where he now understands what Mom does and does not want him to do; and the age where he's discovering he can either do or not do what Mom wants him to do. A tricky age.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I just finished reading through all of the General Conference talks this week (for those unaware, General Conference is a semi-annual televised conference where we get to hear counsel and testimony from our prophet and the other general leaders of the church). I am always impressed by how many of the talks seem to have been written for me--just the things I need to hear and remember for the next six months. So here are some of the highlights from the talks this year, the parts that really jumped out at me, for myriad reasons, probably. Obviously, you just don't get the full effect from one little excerpt of each talk, I know. And I realize the things that some of these quotes will not have made the same impact on the rest of you. But, since this is my journal, here are my thoughts and impressions:
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The genius of the beauty of the stars
Is not the stars;
But is the space
That stands behind like black velvet,
Showcasing the stars
Like scattered diamonds.
That each brilliant shard
Must for a moment glow,
Then fade to black,
To become the background-
Of the birth of another star.
I wonder why I didn't ask you how to make biscuits, how to give piano lessons, where you ran to when all four kids under five years were grumpy at the same time, how you could stand to make dinner every single night for 20+ years with a smile, what it was like to be a young wife and a young mother, what you thought of Chad when we were dating, and how it felt to be looking at earth and heaven at the same time. I wonder why I didn't record your voice singing familiar songs, why I didn't write down all the recipes you never wrote down, why I didn't take more pictures of you, and why I didn't tell you every day in those last months how very, very much I love you. There are always regrets.
However, even more reassuring to me is this: that your girls (myself included) spent late nights in your room talking about silly and important things alike, that you were home every day when we walked into the house to hear our latest news, that (hopefully) you never doubted how much we liked to have you along for firesides/meetings/activities because you were always there with us, that I knew you were the most wonderful mother I could have been given, and that I told you I loved you often enough that--despite missed opportunities--you already knew it. I am grateful that we knew enough to appreciate you and Dad, even as difficult teenagers; that our relationship was one of love. It is comforting to know the peace far outweighs the regret.
And I'm sure you know now, with the privilege of keeping a heavenly eye on us, how much more I miss you now--when I'm in the ER with my crazy child; in my disbelieving of your equanimity with seven when sometimes one is enough to send me over the edge; and when I ponder upcoming baby blessings, home projects and stressful parenting days. I begin to realize that there's a never-ending list of questions I didn't know I'd want to ask you. But I remember watching you, and I find countless lessons of wisdom in the memories. So Happy Birthday to my immortal mother--to one of the very brightest stars to fill my sky! And if I shine at all, it is because you are my background!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
So, as usual, this is a little late coming, but here's our adventure of the week--my journal entry from May 12th:
Well, yesterday was quite the episode… Another trip to the E.R. for my boy! That’s twice in less than a year. Gee whiz!
I was babysitting Alexa and Noah yesterday morning while Ciara went to her doctor’s appointment. The two of them were playing downstairs while I put in a load of laundry. Coren, as usual, was wandering back and forth from playing with them to entertaining himself in other areas of the house.
Then I hear a giant thud, followed by one or two littler thuds, and there is my boy, at the bottom of the stairs, looking very confused and absolutely terrified for an instant. Then he started screaming. I scooped him up and hugged him, trying to soothe him. The spooky thought in the back of my mind was that there hadn’t been a series of thuds. So he must have been up on the shelf above the stairs before he plummeted. Just a bit worse than a regular stairs tumble.
“Are you all right?” I asked and looked at his face…. Yikes! Mom’s turn to be terrified. His mouth was full—FULL—of blood, and it was streaming from his nose. I ran up the stairs, instantly in a panic. I stripped off his clothes and started washing off the blood, just in time for panic moment #2: Coren suddenly goes limp as a rag doll in my arms—won’t stand, won’t hold his head up, won’t even focus on my face. “Holy nightmare!” I think, as two equally horrible ideas leap into my mind. “My son has got brain damage. Or he’s snapped his spine. I’ve destroyed my child’s permanent development!”
So what to do now? I’m pretty dang sure he needs to go to the emergency room, and here I’ve got my niece and nephew. So I call Ciara to see how far a way she is—luckily, she was only minutes away. And I called Chad…. Which now, as I reflect, could have gone better. I think my new rule should be to wait 10 minutes from the emergency, then call my husband. Because I’m certain the message he listened to was not very balanced in its delivery. It sounded a little something like, “Um, Honey, I’m just calling because I think I need to….. Whoo…. Just a sec………… Okay, (in a rush now) I need to take Coren into the emergency room because he fell and he’s bleeding from his mouth and nose and I’m not sure if he has a concussion anyway I’m just wondering what you think okay call me back when you get this bye.”
As soon as Ciara walked in the door, I headed out the back door. “There’s pizza for the kids in the oven. I’m taking Coren. Bye!”
I scooped him up and took him out to the van. Panic moment #3: he vomits everywhere! Everywhere! Ciara came out and took him, and I raced into the house for clean jammies. When I came back out, Ciara (angel!) was cleaning the throw up off the car seat and the van floor (and, when we got back from the day’s ordeal, we discovered that she had cleaned all the throw up off the garage floor AND cleaned the whole house too—what a lifesaver!!!). Once it was wiped down, I stuck him in his seat and we raced (carefully) to the urgent care.
Once we got there, the receptionist had to call around and find out if our insurance covered that particular urgent care—ugh! So I’m waiting in the lobby for well over twenty minutes, the entire time trying to keep my boy awake… just in case. I mean, that is what you’re told to do with a concussion, right? Don’t let them go to sleep. And the poor dude was totally out—I don’t know where he was, but he certainly wasn’t anywhere in this world. So I’m rubbing his back, rocking him back and forth, lifting him in and out of my lap, whatever I could do to keep him awake. And he was barely hanging on to consciousness! Meanwhile, Chad is calling every few minutes to get updates, wishing he could be there, my poor husband!
Well, we found out that we were covered, so in we went to talk to doctor #1… and in five minutes we were back out the door, headed to the emergency room in American Fork. The doctor said that Coren needed a CT scan and they didn’t have the equipment for it there. So off I raced again, yelling at Coren in the back seat to keep him lucid. (On the upside, they refunded us our $35.)
We got to the ER, and I had my first wave of relief. While we waited to be called in, Coren started wiggling fingers and toes and sitting up to look at me. So the paralysis threat was out, thank heavens! My child is not destined (yet) to be a paraplegic! After a few minutes, he was up and walking around again and talking to me in his normal little nonsense words. Hooray! So his brain was still functioning… at some level, at least! Well, that helped ease the panic significantly. And now it was starting to feel more like a check-up than a life-threatening disaster (though Coren still looked like a disaster—bloody nose and flushed cheeks; and I still felt like a disaster, of course, being the mother).
And then Relief #2: Chad walked into the ER room! My husband left work early (thank you, Mitch, for covering his meeting—another lifesaver!) to be there for added comfort… Now I know he was just as worried and anxious as I was about the whole episode; but I also can’t help but wonder if he was thinking, “Well, it’s just Charity there with him, and we all know how well Charity handles emergencies…I better get over there and keep her from falling apart.” My husband! My wonderful, fabulous husband! He is the only reason I don’t fall apart more often than I do!
So they took the boy away for some head x-rays, Chad going with and me staying behind, since they discourage pregnant women from x-ray radiation, you know. Chad said he did better than last time (at six months old, when he broke his leg and got full body x-rays), but he still put up quite the tantrum when they made Chad let go of him to strap his head down. Oh, my poor dude! Really, a child should not already have this much radiation exposure—I mean, not even 18 months?! What gives?! And Coren is not a crazy kid, that’s the kicker! He’s as mellow as they come. Holy smokes! Anyway…
Results came back, and everything looked normal and fine. Whew!! The doctor told us that he had suffered a concussion, which turns out to be a good thing! Who’d have thought?! Apparently, if it’s not a concussion (when accompanied by such symptoms as vomiting and dazed confusion/loss of consciousness), then it’s something much, much worse—blood clots, hemorrhages, permanent brain damage, etc. So we counted our many, many blessings and took our exhausted boy home. NOW he could sleep, and he certainly did!We spent the rest of the evening (after he woke from his colossal nap) just relaxing around the house. None of us—Coren especially—were in any kind of mood to play, so we just sat on the couch and watched a movie. He was super-clingy the rest of the night, hardly even letting Chad hold him… so I snuggled him, and the three of us mellowed out together, grateful to still be together. Then he woke up the next morning as normal and joyful as usual, playing and laughing, and looking pretty banged up, but great! We’ve been giving thanks ever since! How fancy to have a boy that keeps us on our toes… and how odd that he’s the last boy you’d expect repeat ER visits from. I guess that keeps life fun and unpredictable, right?... Or maybe just unpredictable.
Friday, April 23, 2010
We went on a lovely cruise the beginning of this month (I'm such a punctual blogger!), and IT WAS FABULOUS! Oh, a very much needed vacation--for Chad and me together, but especially for Chad, who's had a stressful few months. A blissful 7 days of no work, no child (though I love him dearly), and no cooking or cleaning. Does it get any better than that?! Here are some of the highlights of the trip:
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
My dad was 53 yesterday... 53? Yes, I think that's the number.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
1. 1. What is one of your favorite genres? Dystopian novels… one day I will teach a college course about them!
2. What is your least favorite genre? Romance novels.
3. What is your all-time favorite book? Too many… some of my top ones ever: Peter and Wendy, Sunset Song, The Road, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, The Death Gate Cycle, Hounds of the Morrigan, Endurance, The Poisonwood Bible, The Graveyard Book….
4. What is the first book you remember reading? Some Peewee Scouts book.
5. Do you prefer books or audio books? Books! And no, not Kindles!
6. Who are your favorite authors? Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allan Poe, Cormac McCarthy, William Sleator, Brandon Sanderson, Lemony Snicket, C.S. Lewis, Dave Barry…lots. Wow, where are the girls on this list??
7. How many books do you read in a year? Probably way, way too many.
8. Do you buy books or borrow them from the library? Both. I get a lot from the library. But I have no problems buying them since I figure I’ll want to own all the books on my to-read list eventually anyway.
9. How many books do you own? We have three bookcases… and every time we get a new one, it’s full in a matter of months.
10. What is your most prized book? The Secret of the Unicorn Queen series, which is totally lame because they’re pretty weak sauce books, but I was obsessed when I was a tween (I mean, come on, it’s about unicorns!), and so I bought them this year on Amazon, where the cheapest each one could be found for was like $20.
11. What are the worst books you have ever read (or tried to read)? I hate The Great Gatsby, which offends friends and family members every time I say it, I know, but I just can’t catch the fire. I also found this short story by Tolkien called Smith of Wootton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham… ugh, so terrible!!
12. Have you read any modern day sequels you liked? Umm…. I don’t know if I’ve read any… or what this means exactly.
13. What is your favorite quote from a book? There is a part from The Rape of Lucrece that my dad and I always love to quote… it’s beautiful. But I’m not sure that counts as a book, since it’s a long poem. Okay, a few others: I love the scene in Jacob Have I Loved where she goes on about the old man’s hands—I guess that may be weird and creepy, but I think it’s beautiful. I also love En La Ardiente Oscuridad, when the protagonist keeps repeating more and more vehemently “Yo quiero ver!” And there’s an article by Dave Barry called “A Million Words,” about his father’s death, which is absolutely genius, understated and beautiful.
14. Who is your all-time favorite male character? Probably Alfred from the Death Gate Cycle. But Holden Caulfield is a pretty great second—a very entertaining downer!
15. Who is your all-time favorite female character? Definitely Chris Guthrie from Sunset Song. And a very close (and hilarious) second is Father Damien from The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (yes, I read the question right—this is a female character).
16. What highly recommended book have you not liked? I’m not a big fan of Tuesdays With Morrie, sorry. I have a hard time with books that push emotion on the reader—I feel that the story and writing should do that without extra coercion, you know? So yes, I’m heartless, but there it is. Although I didn’t hate it… it was just nothing to crow about.
17. A character you love to hate? Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events. The housekeeper in Rebecca (I don’t even remember her name). Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (though Phoebus really isn’t any better).Ooh, and Annie Wilkes from Misery… yikes! And the father in The Poisonwood Bible—not sure if he’s really a villain, but you definitely hate him. Probably more…
18. Do you belong to a book club? Yes, two: My old ward’s book club; and the Scottish Literature Club at BYU—they still let me attend, even though I’ve graduated. Yeah for nerds!
19. What was the last book you purchased? I bought The Host for my sister-in-law.
20. What are you reading now? Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg. It’s great! I also just finished Princess Academy by Shannon Hale—that was mid-survey.
21. What book made you cry the hardest? I bawled in Walk Two Moons (in my defense, I read it just two months before my mom died, so.). More recently, I cried in Sunset Song, which surprised me because it had been years since I cried over a book. Lovely book—one of my favorites.
22. What book made you laugh the most? Oh geez, definitely Good Omens—that book had me rolling all week! I also crack up every time I read The Goblin Companion or anything by Dave Barry.
23. What is your favorite children's book (one you would choose to read to your kids)? Whoa, just one?! Not possible… Let’s see… Skippyjon Jones—fabulous! Any Dr. Seuss classics. The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree. The Olivia books. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie (Edwards) Andrews. The Monster at the End of This Book. In a Dark Dark Room. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, or anything really by Jon Scieska. Oh man, I could go on and on….
24. If you were to choose a book to give as a gift, what would it be? Probably The Road, because it could appeal to many types of readers. And it is incredible.
25. List 5 books you have read more than once: The Little Prince, Brave New World, The Death Gate Cycle, Jacob Have I Loved, Interstellar Pig.
26. What is your favorite book made into a movie? I think they did a fabulous job with The Princess Bride. I love Holes. And the 5 hour-long Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth.
27. Did you like the book or movie better? Actually, with these three, I liked the movie better, which HARDLY ever happens!
28. What book would you like to see made into a movie? I have always wanted the Jim Henson group to make The Hounds of the Morrigan into a movie, because it would be totally awesome! Most of the other ones I can think of are already movies… and others I would never want made into a movie.
29. Do you prefer hardcover or softcopy? Softcover—it’s cheaper.
30. Do you leave the dustcover on while you are reading a book? No, because they always get bent and curled, which bothers me.
31. Where do you usually read? In my bed or on the living room couch… sometimes in the bath.
32. When do you usually read? Whenever Coren is napping.
33. Do you keep a TBR (to-be-read) list? Yes!! I’m always adding to it, so it seems to be getting longer instead of shorter. And goodreads.com is the BEST!
34. Do you usually have more than one book that you are reading at a time? Sometimes—I will always read a regular book along with a poetry collection, because you can’t do straight poetry; there needs to be the occasional break.
35. Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Nope. I just know I’ve been reading since I was three years old.
36. Who do you tag? Oh, anyone that’s interested. I didn’t actually get tagged, I just liftd the survey off Rachel’s blog—Thanks, Rachel!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Coren Alma Brooks is 1 year old!