Sunday, May 31, 2009

Livid About Lilacs

I have a grudge that I need to get over. I have always loved lilacs. Three years ago when we bought our home, I was thrilled to see we had 3 lilac bushes/trees in our front yard. They are on our property line which borders our next door neighbors' driveway. We bought our house in April and within a month we had beautiful lilacs in bloom and I brought in fresh cut flowers every day. I read everything I needed to know about lilacs. There are two theories for pruning them - one supports pruning in the fall one supports a spring pruning. I agree more with the fall pruning theory, so that fall I did my pruning. All ready for blooms next spring!

Well, one day the next spring (early spring) I came home from work and my bushes had been hacked to a couple measley twigs sticking out of the ground. My neighbors had taken the liberty of "pruning" MY bushes! They were getting ready to sell their home and I guess they decided it was a good idea. I was so mad. Justin was too. We never said anything to them because they were moving. We didn't get a single lilac blossom that spring. Ugh!!

The next spring (last year) the bushes were still recovering. Not a single bloom.

This year, we finally have a few blooms. Finally! I dare not even cut them and enjoy them inside though, because there are so few.

So for the past three years, every time I see my lilac bushes, I get angry. Every time I see other people's gorgeous, fully purple bushes, I get angry. Justin has told me he's sick of me complaining every time I pass a lilac bush. I need to get over it. And seriously, people have "wronged" me much more greviously that overtrimming my bushes that are growing back and I have moved on. I am not a grudge holder. I am quite generous with my forgiveness. Why does this bother me so much? I hope that writing it here will be therapeutic and I can make peace with my long gone neighbors who butchered my bushes.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Aloha Countdown

We are going to Hawaii in less than a month. I long for it. I long for the island music, the PERFECT climate, the happy people, the sweet smell of its air, the gorgeous landscapes, the peaceful feeling... I would so live there. I keep telling Justin he needs to get a teaching position at BYU-Hawaii of U of H or something. :) Maybe get his PhD there. :P No matter how many times I've been, I still get excited to go. This will be the third time for Justin and me together. And probably my tenth time.

Lest you think we are snooty, for the past six years, my parents have gone every summer to do service missions with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at BYU Hawaii. We stay with them and carpool and all that, so it makes it affordable and more real than just a dream vacation. Oh, I love Hawaii.

Here's how I am getting ready:
Saving our pennies (as much as possible between diapers and urges to buy island wear)
Diet!!!! (I've done low carbs low sugars for a week and I'm down 5 lbs. Yay!)
Tan! (Now that I am home, I go lay out every day. I know about skin cancer, I do. And as a rule I don't care about tanning, and I don't ever make an effort. This is an exception. And if you can't tone it - tan it!)
Already planning my island wardrobe! (and Joci's too!)

I am looking forward to
Hawaiian Shaved Ice
Giovanni's Shrimp truck
Turtle Beach
A good luau
The Horizons show at the PCC
Plumeria leis
Kua'aina burgers
The ocean!
Seeing my mom and dad

So, any tips on traveling halfway around the world with a 2 month old?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Secret to, Survival

Six hours of sleep + 2 Diet Cokes + a 30 minute nap = functionality!

See, I'm on a schedule. Now how about you, Jocelyn?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wish List for Baby Stuff

Several people have asked me what I didn't get at my showers and what I still need/want. So here is my wish list. I am keeping an eye on Craigslist for these things, as I could care less if they are used. If you have any of these items you'd be willing to sell me, leave me a note! If I list a brand name or a style, I would prefer it, but generally I'm flexible.


Bebepod or Bumbo chair

Car seat undermat

Booster seat with tray (portable high chair)

1st year baby calendar

Piddle Pad

Kidco Gate Installation kit (so you don't have to drill into your walls. I don't know if there's another brand that has something like this, but I'd take any brand)

Pack'n'Play or Playard (Would like a full-sized, with a changing area and night light)

Baby thermometer (either the forehead or ear kind)

Medicine dispenser spoons

Crib (hard wood strongly preferred, metal hardware strongly preferred, adjustable mattress, and wheels, and would be cool if it transformed into a toddler bed but that's not necessary. So far the Angel Line cribs fit the bill but I've never seen one up close.)

Crib mattress


Drawer organizers

Small/medium sized Rubbermaid tubs to store things like clothes she's not in yet

Heavy duty car seat cover for airline travel (Julie, what brand did you recommend? I hear many of them rip after one use)

Diaper Changing Table

If you have any of these items or if you see a great sale on anything, please let me know!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Two of Joci's Firsts

Yesterday Jocelyn cried. Just for a split second. But at least we know she can do it - when it's important. I was sitting in bed and holding her against my chest. She threw her head back and her whole body kinda pitched back. I grabbed her right way and righted her, but she scared herself. Her eyes got really huge and she cried four little cries and had tears in her eyes. So I guess when it's really important to her, she can cry. And I was afraid that if she cried once, she'd start crying for everything. Not happened yet. All last night and today she's just done her normal noises.

And the other first - Jocelyn rolled over today. We were getting ready to have our Memorial Day BBQ. I set her on the ground on a blanket - on her back - while I quickly seasoned the steaks. Justin was outside checking on the grill. He came in, saw her on the floor, and came to the kitchen to make her a bottle. One minute later, Justin walked to the living room with the bottle and she was on her tummy! Woa!! We missed it! : ( We rolled her onto her back again and got out the video camera, but no dice. Still, it happened!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Utah Shower and Trip to Boise

If I were ever abducted, the police would be on it STAT! We were in Boise last week for 4 days without internet or a phone (I forgot my charger and it died) and it's nice to know how quickly I was missed.

Jocelyn is 5 weeks old now. My maternity leave is almost half over. *Sob.*

Life has been NUTS! I am exhausted and ready to stay in bed forever. I think that even without a new baby, I would feel this way. This is what has happened to us in the past month and a half.

April 1: Learned about Jocelyn

April 17: Jocelyn born 3 weeks early

April 18-21: Go get Jocelyn. Stay in a hotel, eat out all the time (no wonder I've gained weight), lots of intense emotions.

April 21: Have a wonderful welcome home party

April 22: First visit to the pediatrician. She lost too much weight.

April 23-26: Parents here. Plus tons of visits from the ward and friends

April 27-30: Lots of visits still.

May 1: Jocelyn's 2 week visit to the pediatrician

May 5: Baby shower with Melaleuca peeps. My oven door just randomly decides to fall off.

May 6: Open House baby shower at my home (lots of cleaning and running around - thanks Cindy!)

May 7: Go into Melaleuca to do some paperwork. Stay for 4 hours making the rounds with Jocelyn to Marketing, I.T., Purchasing, and Human Resources. Also took her around Mental Wellness Center.

May 8: My parents and Justin's parents come.

May 9: Justin's graduation ceremony. Drive to Pocatello. Meet up with Justin's brother and family, and the Frederick family. Go out to eat afterward. Go home and host a barbeque for everyone.

May 10: My first Mother's Day (which I still haven't celebrated. If any of you talk to my husband, put a bug in his ear to do something now that he's all better!). Got a phone call from a police man because Justin rolled his truck. Went to an emergency clinic. Split our time between families.

May 11: My parents leave.

May 11-14: Spent as much time as possible with Justin's parents. I think we ate out for every meal of these days (no wonder I've gained weight!). Justin's dad was able to fix the oven door. Thank you!!

May 15: Drive to Salt Lake City for the weekend. Hurry so we can get there in time to see Uncle Wayne and Aunt Vicky. Eat out (no wonder I've gained weight).

May 16: Help prepare for the baby shower. Have the shower. Stay up late visiting with family and friends.

May 17: Go to Salt Lake City Cemetery and Elysian Gardens Cemetery to *visit* my grandparents and introduce Jocelyn to her greatgrandparents. Have an Arby's picnic next to Grandma and Grandpa Belcher's grave. Go to Babies R Us. Drive back to Idaho Falls. Find that we left our Babies R Us purchases in Salt Lake (by the way, if anyone is driving through Salt Lake up through Idaho Falls, and could shuttle these things to me, let me know. I'd love you forever!)

May 18: Do as much laundry as possible in 4 hours. Give Jocelyn a suppository. Clean up. Drive to Boise. Hotel said it had internet access. Our room's wireless signal is so weak we can't get on. And I forgot my phone charger so it dies.

May 19: Stuck in hotel all day. Justin accidently took both room keys with him. Ate granola bars and Diet Dr. Pepper all day. Ate at P.F. Changs for dinner (no wonder I've gained weight!). Justin stays out and acts as a DD for his coworkers/friends. I wait up for him. Doesn't get back until almost 4 a.m. Wrath ensues.

May 20: Justin's birthday. He throws up and comes home from the conference early. He sleeps all day. We go out to Cheesecake factory (more fatness! but yummy!) and a movie (Wolverine - thumbs up) that night.

May 21: Finally relieved to know that Jocelyn is ours as today both parents have legally relinquished their rights. Pack up and leave hotel during Justin's lunch break. Justin goes back to the conference, I go to the agency to visit with Jocelyn's birth family. Pick Justin up at 5. Take birth family to dinner at Olive Garden. Leave Boise at 7 p.m. Get home at 11:00 p.m.

May 22: Run Justin to work, run to the DMV to license my trailer so my brother can use it. Can't find title. Have to jump through hoops. (On a side note - avoid the DMV at ALL COSTS the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. You WILL wait in line for at least an hour.) Hurry home to feed baby, change baby, finally feed self and dress self, then rush back to pick Justin up from work. Justin settled with the car insurance company. We ended up with $3000 in our pockets after the loan was paid off. Car shop.

May 23: Call on a couple cars. Drive to Pocatello and test drive a car. Test driving cars cannot be done with a wife and baby. So wife and baby must stay behind at private seller's home making awkward small talk and hoping it's a quick test drive. Wife doesn't see/drive car. Lets husband make decision. He buys car. She gets a little apprehensive hearing all that is *wrong* with it. Oh well. Husband now has a 1995 Ford Mustang and we have no more truck payment. Happy! Go shopping for actual food (no more carbs - time to lose all that weight!). Go to my friend Jessica Beesley's wedding reception near Rigby. Also, pick up my brother's pitbull to watch him while they are camping. Spend a good part of the evening keeping the dog from eating my cat.

May 24: Was planning to go to church...didn't quite make it. Blogging instead.

Ok. So seriously, I think I would be exhausted anyway even if I weren't waking up every few hours to feed and change Joci. My house is a disaster. Company is always draining and we've had a lot of it lately. I just want to thank my mom because she is the best guest! Even when I'm not in baby mode, my mom always leaves our home cleaner than when she found it. She is the only guest I can say this for. Thanks for cooking for us, doing our dirty laundry, cleaning, organizing, and getting up with the baby in the night.

So now that I'm off that soap box, here are some things that are Joci related.

  • She slept through the night our last night in Boise. I thought Justin had gotten up with her, he thought I had. Nope. She did almost seven hours. Of course, she hasn't done it since.

  • She's smiling. Some say it's a reflex. Some say it's gas. But I know better! When we were driving to Boise last Monday and we pulled over in Mountain Home to switch drivers, I opened the back door to check on her. I said her name, she turned her head, looked right at me and smiled!
  • She held her bottle up at Red Lobster after Justin's graduation. Probably a fluke, but she did it.

  • She just started staring at the moving mobile on her swing.

  • She's very into eye-contact.

  • If she has the help of an incline (like a couch cushion) she rolls over.

  • In the sunlight her hair is a cinnamon/coppery color

  • Her eyes are lightening up and they are looking more bluish/grayish. In the sun they actually look kinda violet. Wouldn't that be cool if she were a redhead with violet eyes?

  • She has cooed a few times

  • She still hasn't cried (her bio. sister didn't cry until she was 6 months old and her bio father wasn't a crier either. Maybe we lucked out. Knock on wood).
As for life at our house, it's nuts. My bedroom is a catastrophe, my kitchen is a catastrophe, the nursery looks like it threw up baby clothes, my bathroom is gross, my lawn is dead and needs to be mowed (don't know how that happens), weeds have overtaken my flowerbeds and veggie garden, and I have bags under my eyes the size of Milwaukee. But we're happy. I'm looking forward to the next couple weeks with NOTHING TO DO! I need it. :)

After all that complaining, here are some pictures.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Josie vs. Joci

So, we always assumed that we would spell Jocelyn's nickname "Josie." But at my baby shower last week, a friend addressed a card to her and spelled it "Joci" which is a cute way to spell it. And now we're debating spellings...

Pros and cons of "Josie"

  • More traditional spelling
  • People will know how to say it
  • People will know how to spell it
  • She might be able to find mugs, keychains, whatever with her name on them. It will probably be hard to find things with the name "Jocelyn" on it, but she'll probably find some "Josie" stuff.
  • People might not think "Josie" is short for "Jocelyn". They'll assume it's her full name or that it is short for Josephine or something.
  • I had a great aunt named Josie
  • We've already been spelling it this way

Pros and cons of "Joci"

  • Unique spelling
  • Easier tell it is derived from Jocelyn. Might make more sense.
  • People may not know how to say it
  • People will probably try and spell it "Josie".
  • Not many other people with this spelling. More special and "rare"
  • Also, won't find pre-printed name stuff
So what do you think? I have a name with a rare spelling. I absolutely love it, but it's been a constant battle to get people to spell it and pronounce it right. People think it is said "Laira" or "Lora". And I could never get any pre-printed name stuff when everyone else in my family could and I always felt a little sad. In fact, I still always check the keychains, magnets, placemats, whatever, but I have yet to find a pre-printed "Lara". So, what's your take on the matter? Leave me a comment. There's also a poll on the side.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My First Mother's Day and Graduation

Yesterday Justin marched at his commencement ceremony for graduating with his Masters Degree in Counseling last December. We had a lot of family support: Justin's parents, Justin's brother and his family, my parents, my sister Stephanie and her family, and Cindy and Afton all came. It was a tremendous occassion and we partied hard. I surprised Justin with an electric guitar that family and friends had all pitched in for.

Justin with his parents and daughter.

Lara, Justin, and Jocelyn

Look at that grin! Cousin Jessica was so happy to hold Jocelyn.

Jeff, Jonah, and Mason


Jessica, Stephanie, Jocelyn, and Justin

Justin's cake

Justin's guitar. What a surprise!

Jordan and Justin rockin' out.

Justin's mother Connie crocheted the beautiful dress Josie is wearing.

Afton wanted Grandma Hays to treat her like a baby. Must be all the attention Josie is getting!

Today was my first Mother's Day as a mother. It was definitely special. We took Jocelyn to church for the first time today. We just went to sacrament meeting. Justin and I took turns holding our darling daughter, and I couldn't help but weep during a reading of Love You Forever. It felt so good to enjoy Mother's Day. There have been years of anguish sitting through church on this day. Years of sneaking out early to avoid the giving of flowers to all the mothers and them trying to give me a flower too even though I wasn't a mother. Today, I enjoy my zinnia with pride!

Things have been chaotic with all our visitors and just our new chaotic life, so Justin had not yet had a chance to do any Mother's Day shopping for me. I told him not to worry about it, he could figure it out the next day. It didn't really bother me. But it bothered Justin. He really wanted to do something for me and wanted to go to the store. I asked if I could come with him because I need a tail light for my car and I thought I might pick up flowers for our mothers. But Justin said I really couldn't come with him. So he took off from church. He would go to the store while I fed and dressed Josie. Then we were going to go to Pocatello to visit Justin's family for a few hours.

I had been home for maybe 20 minutes when I got a call. It was a police officer. I don't like getting calls from police officers. He called to tell me that Justin had been in an accident. He was okay but his truck had rolled and I needed to come get him. The ambulance EMTs had checked him out and discharged him, but he still needed to see a doctor. So my dad drove me to the site of the accident. Justin had hit some soft dirt on the shoulder and overcorrected and rolled his truck. He barely clipped a telephone poll and took out a street sign and a mail box. Judging by the distance, we think the truck rolled twice. His truck was all crumpled up and his window shattered. Justin was able to walk away from this scary crash with some cuts on his eye and eyebrow and he has some soreness and a good headache.

All I can say is thank goodness for seatbelts and airbags. We are so lucky. He rolled between two telephone poles, barely clipping one. It is so lucky that he didn't hit one squarely or that no one else was hurt. The officers were very kind and didn't cite him for anything. All I know is that Justin has guardian angels looking out for him.

So needless to say, our Mother's Day turned out very differently than we imagined. Justin's family ended up coming to our home for a visit. I had dinner with my parents at my brother's house while Justin enjoyed his family. A couple days ago, Afton had a dream about a pinata and wanted to make her dream come true, so Cindy helped her make a papier mache pinata and she batted it open tonight. It was really cute.

Afton trying on baby clothes.

Grandpa, Josie, and Afton.

All mothers: Cindy, Lara, and Normandie

I always imagined what the photo of my first Mother's Day would look like: me in a pretty spring dress (which I wore today), Jocelyn in a beautiful baby dress (she wore a dress that I gave to cousin Audrey which came back to us now that Audrey is too big), and Justin in a suit (which is now covered in dirt and blood) standing in front of our lilac bushes. Well, it's a good thing we're flexible. Here is our Mother's Day photograph.

And even though we're supposed to be celebrating moms today, right now we are just so darn happy Jocelyn still has a dad.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jocelyn's Newborn Pictures

These were taken when Josie was 8 days old by Miranda Johnson at Sweet Pea Photography (check out her blog to see some more of us!). Miranda is a natural photographer - quick when she needs to be and patient when she needs to be. She has a great sense of humor and was so creative and thorough! She spent SO much time with us and I am so grateful for that. A lot of studios have an hour limit, but she sure doesn't, which is great because between wetting accidents and feedings and costume changes, I'm not sure how many pictures we would've gotten in an hour. She is fabulous and I recommend her to anyone!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Baby Showers

Some friends and family are hosting a couple of baby showers for me and Jocelyn. I thought I would post them here so anyone who can come and would like to can know about them and have the opportunity.

My sister-in-law is hosting an open house at my house this Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. It's just a casual open house, couples and kids are welcome.

Either May 15 or 16 my sisters Stephanie and Julie are hosting a shower for me in Salt Lake where I have a lot of family. I'm not sure on the details of that one yet. But if you're in the Salt Lake area and would be interested in coming, leave me a message and I'll make sure you get an invite.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Welcome, Worry

Hello, Worry.

I heard you were coming and I've been expecting you. Do you have any bags? Oh, of course not, the moving van will be here tomorrow with all your permanent things. This isn't just a visit. This is forever. Well, come on in. You might as well make yourself comfortable.

Are you sure you won't leave after a year or two? Not even after eighteen years? Guess not, huh. This is forever. Well, then, we might as well get started.
  • Is she still breathing?
  • Is she comfortable?
  • Why hasn't she pooped in two days?
  • SIDS
  • Is that a rash, the chicken pox, rubella, yellow fever, or just baby acne?
  • Why doesn't she cry?
  • Why is she fussing?
  • Swine flu
  • Do her hiccups hurt?
  • Will she like me?
  • Will she understand her adoption?
  • Will she think I'm second best?
  • Is this the right formula?
  • I touched her soft spot--did I ruin her?
  • When should I take her out?
  • Why did I let so-and-so hold her, they didn't wash first.
  • Did I bathe her right?
  • Why did she lose so much weight?
  • Is she getting enough to eat?
  • Am I a bad mom?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's just the beginning. But one last question, Worry--will I ever get used to you?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Two Week Check-Up

Jocelyn had her two week check-up and she looks 100% healthy and happy.

At her five day check up, Jocelyn had dropped quite a bit of her weight. She was born at 6 lb. 9 oz. and at five days she weighed 5 lb. 14 oz. So that was almost too much weight, so we had to really make sure she was eating.

Here are her stats today.

Head: 35 1/2 cm

Height: 19 inches

Weight: 6 lbs. 14 1/2 oz.


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