Sunday, March 30, 2008


Grandpa and Ben on my and Ben's wedding day (October 2005)

Grandpa died peacefully on Tuesday, March 25, 2008, at 5:45 a.m. (his time). He was 85. He was buried yesterday. I was unable to be there, unfortunately. I wrote my memories of him that I will post here.

I can’t think of Grandpa without thinking about his blue- and white-striped overalls with work boots and a hat placed on top of his head (not pushed down over his head-just resting on top!). He was always working on something, and he was always dressed like this to work.

My earliest memories of Grandpa are going with him for his "water turn". I have no idea what that means. I just know we would ride in the back of his pickup, drive to some field down the street from their house, and he would move pipes around to change where the water was going(?). I think he did this several times a day, but I don’t think it was every day.

Grandpa was a funny guy. The first time I was aware of this was when I was around ten or 11. We were at a family reunion. He picked up two sticks from the ground and held them up to his head, like antlers. He made sure everyone saw him as a deer before discarding the sticks. He loved silly stories, most notably “The Letter from the Old Country”, which he read at our annual Christmas party. He could never get through it without choking on his laughter. I remember him reading others, though, like “The Water Closet” and many funny poems.

If he wasn’t outside working, you could always find Grandpa in his rocking chair reading a book. He had a rocking chair like the one on While You Were Sleeping. I know he read both fiction and nonfiction, but I have no idea what he liked to read. This shows my lack of remembering because he always showed me and told me about his books. Maybe this was because I always arrived to his house with a book in hand. He would ask about my book and tell me about his.

Grandpa was a skilled woodworker. He made beautiful clocks for all of his children. He also made us a nice set of blocks. My grandparents always had a wooden slide in their basement; I am wondering now if he made it. I assume he did. His basement also housed some sort of manual sharpener for his woodworking tools that we loved to play with. We would turn out the lights so we could watch it spark.

Until I was seven, Grandpa always called me Nelma. Apparently, Mark, my older brother, had called me this when he was young and couldn’t pronounce my name. I hated this name and cringed every time Grandpa said it. When he was helping my parents finish our basement, I finally got up the courage to tell him not to call me Nelma anymore. He was very respectful and never mentioned the name again. I immediately regretted bringing it up, though. I didn’t realize until he didn’t call me Nelma that it had been special that that was a name only he called me. I always wished I could take it back, but I didn’t know how to ask him to start calling me Nelma. It was hard enough to ask him to stop. I should have told him this at some point when I got older.

Grandpa had a very good memory. He has a big family and knows a lot of people (seriously, you couldn't go anywhere with him or Grandma without being stopped by three million people who wanted to say hi), but he always knew who everyone was and who they belonged to. This was increasingly impressive the more our family grew and the more confused he got about other things. He never didn’t know us. He also always remembered and asked about the things we were doing. For example, when I saw him last (in January) he asked me if I was teaching still. Considering everything else he said was pretty nonsensical, I was impressed that he remembered this fact about me.

Grandpa loved hard rolls with butter. I am talking HARD rolls. I couldn’t figure out how he could bite into them. They were solid! When we lived in Bennion, my grandparents made trips to come see us every time they needed to buy more rolls from a bakery near our house. He ate bread and butter with every meal. He used his bread to wipe his plate completely clean. And, I kid you not, you could not tell that Grandpa’s plate had been eaten off of when his meal was finished! (Grandpa was infamous at our house for his perfectly clean plates!)

Speaking of eating, Grandpa always wore a bib during meals. Actually, it was a towel, but he wore one at every meal and used it to wipe his face at the end. He also always tucked his tie into his shirt before eating.

Grandpa was a temple sealer. By the time Ben and I got married, though, he wasn’t officiating anymore. He had Parkinson’s and was ultra-aware of his limitations. It made him really nervous to perform ceremonies.

Grandpa was a very clean guy. His cars were always perfectly clean inside and out. His garage and driveway are spotless! This was something else he was notorious for in our family. A driveway and garage floor you could eat off of (and we did! Once the family got big enough we began holding Thanksgiving dinners in the garage, and it was a clean place!). Someone’s car had to have leaked oil on his driveway at some point. He must have cleaned it off. He was also observant on top of being clean, which made my mom nervous when he would come to visit. She always felt he was inspecting everything. He did, but probably more because he knows how things are made and looks into quality.

Grandpa was a slow driver. I don’t know if he was when I was a young child. The last time I rode in a car with him (I was no older than 14), he seriously drove no more than ten miles an hour in his neighborhood. It was a problem for all the other cars on the road. He stopped driving pretty quickly, since it made him nervous. Grandma has done all the driving over the last several (plus?) years.

Grandpa gave me some advice before I went to college for the first time. We had stopped at his house for a visit on our way to Ricks, where my parents would leave me for the first time. I think he told me three things, but I can only remember two. He told me to look at the sky if I missed my family. My family would be looking at the same sun and moon I would; we really weren’t that far apart. He also told me when things got hard to buy myself a hamburger because you were never too poor for a hamburger. Of course, I didn’t eat hamburgers back then, but I take his advice now!

Recently Grandpa told my brother that it is terrible getting old. I think he is very happy to be free of the limitations of his sick body. I love him very much and will miss him.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Good News Bad News

The good news is that it is Easter, a day on which we reflect on the good news that Jesus is resurrected and that we can all be resurrected one day. So I guess, since we are already reflecting on that, it is a good day to get bad news. My mom called after church with two pieces of bad news.

Number one: my grandpa is dying. He has been going downhill for the past couple of years, but he has taken a nosedive in the past few days. I guess Friday morning he was fine (relatively). By Friday afternoon he began to lose all of his abilities. My mom thinks it began with him not being able to walk. Now he is completely unconscious and will be until he is gone. He and my grandma had already chosen to not resuscitate him or slow his dying in any way. So he is at home in his bed. He is being given morphine for pain, but he has no iv for hydration or anything. According to the hospice nurse, he will be gone within three days at the most. I will be 28 next week, and this is my first grandparent to die. I have been very blessed to have all my grandparents my whole life. I have known Ben since he was 20, and I have never known any of his grandparents. It is still sad, though. I guess I feel most sad to not be there, to not be able to say goodbye to him, if only for my own sake.

Number two: my brother, William, who is in Iraq in the army, is having a hard time. His barracks were mortared (which literally means bombarded with mortar shells-I had to look that up; my dad says it means small bombs). The US Army (William?) captured Iraqi soldiers (the ones who "mortared" them maybe???) and are holding these soldiers prisoner. It has been William's job to guard these prisoners. Emotionally he is having a difficult time. I was blessed to be able to talk with him online earlier this week and nothing like this was going on then. William is an office worker on base, so his job has been fairly safe until now. I would appreciate all of your prayers on my brother's behalf.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs

Eddie has a newfound love for eggs. Ever since baking something a couple of weeks ago, he is always talking about "eggs" and "bowls" (thinking about cracking the eggs in the bowls). He surprised me when he ran and got a bowl and some of his plastic Easter egg toys (that, yes, he has access to year-round!), and started cracking the eggs on the side of the bowl. He selects an egg that isn't already opened, taps it on the side of the bowl while saying "cack cack" (crack, crack), and then helps it to open, and drops it in the bowl. So smart and cute!

In related news, we had an Easter egg hunt at church yesterday. Eddie helped me fill the Easter eggs with the candy for the hunt. I was surprised that he was actually very helpful with this task. I thought I would have to do it when he was in bed. We gave it a shot, though, and except for a few random licks of some of the candy (which did not get put in the eggs to give away!), all went smoothly.

Here are some pictures of the egg hunt. At first Eddie was very nervous and didn't even want to go in the room with the eggs (I think it was because a lot of other kids were going in the door at the same time, and he was overwhelmed). Then he didn't want to look for and pick up eggs. Eventually, though, he got into it and enjoyed filling his bucket. He also liked picking up random candy that fell from other kids' eggs!

Maybe more pictures of eggs are still to come. There is a big Easter egg hunt at a church near our house tomorrow that I want to take him to. Luckily, my church meeting just got canceled, so it is actually a possibility.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We made some "gee" (green) "wa wa" (waffles) to celebrate. I think Eddie liked them, as he carried them around the house all day. Every once in awhile he would say "go" while eating or holding them. He was referring to the fact that the green light means go.

We made some pistachio icecream tonight. After taking a bite and being asked if he liked it, Eddie yelled out "I like it!", which is the first time he has said that.

We all got our faces pretty messy. When I tried to kiss Eddie with my icecreamed lips, Eddie simply wiped my mouth with his napkin.

It was a fun day, but I just realized that I forgot to say "Top o' the morning to ya'!" today. So I o' the morning to ya'!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Preparing for Peter

I have been busy trying to prepare for Peter's arrival. He will be here in two months or less! I cannot tell you how happy I am every time I think about him. Admittedly, until recently I have been nothing but scared about having our new baby. Sure, I have been happy to know I am having another child, but I haven't felt excited. I have been somewhat envious of my sister-in-law's and niece's excitement (they are both having their first babies within days of ours). I guess I have an accurate idea of how hard the first year is.

On top of past experience, I am busy insomuch that I can't focus as much on Peter as I would like. The day we learned we were pregnant was the same day we were in a serious head-on collision. Between the surgery and all the doctor appointments and taking care of Ben while he was on bedrest, I hardly remembered I was pregnant. I am always mentally and emotionally caught up with Edison, too.

I have been scared that I won't be able to be the kind of mom I have been to Edison to my new baby. I gave Eddie all my time and energy. All my love and worry. I want Peter to have all of me, too. And I don't want Edison to lose any of me. These concerns have occupied much of my mental capacity over the last several months.

I have come to some recent conclusions and understandings. I won't be too specific here. Basically, I have faith. I have prayer. I have hope. I have love. I have Heavenly Father. There is no need to fear. I will be made equal to the task. Eddie will adjust and be better off because he is/will be a big brother. Peter will benefit from having Eddie, too. I truly believe that a new baby will bring a greater capacity to love and a greater amount of happiness to our family. I have let all the worries go, and I have been filled with such happiness and excitement, just like I felt before I had Edison.

I didn't mean to get so serious here. On a lighter note, the picture shows some items I have purchased to physically prepare for Peter, some things I never had with Eddie and wanted for Peter.

1. a boppy-I didn't understand the point before I had Eddie. I ended up borrowing one, though, and it made all those nights of holding Eddie while sitting up in bed bearable. I already love it! I used it every night as a table when I write in my journal before bed. Eddie loves it, too!

2. a hotsling-I wish someone had told me before I had Eddie that no newborn is content when not being held. Also, those baby backpacks don't work for all babies. Eddie didn't like his til he was five months old. And those baby backpacks just aren't comfortable to wear. Hotslings have good reviews, and I have friends who swear by them. I plan to carry Peter in this Hotsling all day and all night.
3. pacifiers and one of those things to attach the pacifiers to his clothes!!-I am happy to announce that Peter will be a pacifier baby! I was so against them when Eddie was born. I was upset every time someone in the hospital would put a pacifier in Eddie's mouth. Crying is a baby's only way to communicate. While a pacifier might soothe a baby, the baby may have been asking for something else entirely. I still plan to listen to Peter and meet his needs, but I am going to take all the help I can get. When Eddie was two or three months old, I began trying to teach him to use a pacifier. He never got it down. I wished that he could have one to help him fall asleep. When he was six months old, he began using his nipple shield (he always used one to breast feed) as a pacifier. That was (and is) a lifesaver. I don't know why I never got one of those things to attach them to his clothes. I still have to go into his room so many times each night to help him find his "nip". I want to save myself all the stress and frantic searching in the middle of the night!
4. baby book-I got Peter the cutest baby book! I love it! I am so tempted to start using it already, but I need to finish Eddie's first (I am not far from done).
5. johnny jumper-I always wanted one for Eddie. I actually want one of those nicer ones (the ones that look like a cross between an excersaucer and a jumper), but the doorframe ones are much cheaper!
6. car mirrors-I am hoping to help curb some of my anxiety and avoid some of Peter's anxiety by having us both have mirrors in order to see each other in the car. I rode in the backseat with Eddie every time Ben was with us (which was usually) until Eddie was six and a half months old. I don't know if I will fit back there with two carseats. Plus, Eddie had such a hard time riding in the car starting around three-ish months because he couldn't see me. Maybe the mirror thing will help! Here is to hoping!
7. diapers-I felt nervous not having newborn and size one diapers in the house. I know it is silly because we are a ways off, but it would be terrible to bring a newborn to a house without diapers that fit!

I also got some good news this week. My parents are going to come out for a week when we have Peter. This was not the plan previously. My dad took some convincing. He is extremely helpful and would go to any end to do something for his children (for instance, he would be here in an instant if we were moving), but he doesn't recognize having a new baby as something one might need help with (or at least he doesn't know how he personally could help). Thankfully, he has agreed to come. I am so happy and relieved and excited! I didn't think I would see my parents this whole year, so I am excited just to see them (and have them see Eddie and have them see Peter!).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I "ceam" (scream) for "i-ceam" (icecream)!

Just an example of how Edison's imagination and play is changing... He put this ball into this canister thing and immediately said "i-ceam" (icecream) and began pretending to take bites. He came up with this all on his own. He hasn't had many icecream cones in his life. Maybe only one. We think it's a sign of his brilliance, but we are his parents (meaning we are biased-not that we are brilliant, although I guess it could be argued that we are brilliant! :))!

Monday, March 10, 2008

At the Train Park

Eddie looking adorable on the train at the train park. Notice "ted bear" (how E says teddy bear) enjoying the train ride, as well.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Eddie's New Toilet

Eddie is only 20 months old today. I don't have plans to potty train him anytime soon. I am a slow mover (apprehensive). I want him to determine his own timing for everything, so I actually feel nervous even having a potty chair in the house. Eddie is obsessed with peeing, though. He is very interested when we pee, especially Daddy. He tells me throughout the day that he peed. I haven't yet been able to determine if he is aware when he is actually peeing or not. I just figured that it wouldn't hurt to have a potty chair sitting around the house. Eddie loves it. It is his new favorite toy. Here are some pictures of him exploring it.

"I pee!"

He just threw the little bowl.

Phewf! Toilet play wears him out!

Saturday, March 01, 2008