Monday, December 29, 2008

Too Cute Not To Record

As I pulled up to church this morning I was reminded of one of the cute things Antalya did last Sunday at church. I meant to post it then, but just didn't have the time. 
Jason is part of the bishopric in our ward or congregation which means on Sundays he sits up on the stand facing the congregation where Antalya and I sit. After the singing of hymns, prayer, partaking of the sacrament, and hearing different members of the ward speak on doctrine and the scriptures, we usually have a musical number. This could mean someone plays a piano solo, or someone sings a hymn, or the choir sings. Last Sunday it happened to be an amazingly beautiful piano/organ duet.

I have mentioned before Antalya's love of music. Sometimes I think that is an understatement. When she hears something she likes - it truly moves her. This particular piece of music was just such a song (I was so caught up watching Antalya that I don't even remember what song it was that was played). 

As soon as the music started and Antalya started to feel it she stood up on the pew and started frantically signing "daddy" while saying "da-da-da-da". We were sitting towards the back so Jason couldn't hear her, but she continued until his eyes met hers. As soon as she was sure he was watching she started her dancing moves. This involves playing a pretend piano way above her head - her little fingers flying through the sky as they pound on the imaginary keyboard, another favorite move of hers is to franticly move one arm as if she is conducting a symphony; and she does all this while sticking her cute little bum out and moving it around. It was all I could do to contain my laughter. 

It is customary in our church that after such a musical number there is no applause. The music is not considered a performance - but rather a part of the worship service and so keeping with the spirit of the meeting there is no applause. Of course a two year old doesn't understand that, so once the song ended Antalya began very enthusiastically applauding while exclaiming "Yay!"

It was rather cute. Luckily everyone on our pew and the row behind successfully kept our laughter to ourselves. 

I love my little angel. I can't imagine our family without her sweet spirit. I feel so blessed for each day I am given to spend with her. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Pics

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. Here some pictures of the fun.
Antalya played an angel in our family Nativity. She looked like the most beautiful angel on earth.
Gramma and Grampa gave her this cute little piano. Boy, does she love it! For those of you don't know her - she is quite the music lover. She insists on music being played all day long in our house and whenever we are in the car. She loves to dance to her favorite songs, and refuses to listen to anything that doesn't have a good dancing beat.

Thanks Gramma and Grampa! She loves her piano and pounds away like crazy on those little keys.
One of the highlights of my Christmas this year was seeing my 94 year old grandpa. Growing up he was always at our house for Christmas Eve dinner. It didn't feel like Christmas until him and my grandma walked in the door. It has been several years since he has been with us on Christmas Eve. Thanks Mom and Dad for making the effort to have him with us.
Christmas morning opening presents.
Antalya was very pleased with what she found when she tore the wrapping paper off. It was her favorite toy - the Fisher Price Learning Piggy Bank. Her speech therapist loaned us this toy a year ago. It was so difficult to part with that we ended up keeping it for a full six months. But finally the time came to return it, and we have been missing it ever since. I must add that I am not a Fisher Price fan - but with this one toy they sure did something right.  I wouldn't change a thing about it - and it is so great for developing fine motor skills.

A few years ago Jason and I started a tradition of going hiking or snowshoeing on Christmas morning. So this year after breakfast and gifts we headed up the canyon to enjoy the falling snow. Antalya loves being outside - even it means cold weather.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Official!

I've been feeling pretty run-down and nauseated, so yesterday I went to the doctor and they heard a little galloping heartbeat in my belly. Antalya is going to be a big sister the first week of July! We are so excited!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Santa Dilemma

A couple years ago Jason and I decided that once we had kids we wanted to skip the whole "Santa" thing. But now that we have Antalya and she is getting older I have spent many hours pondering the "how to implement" part of our decision. I know it will be no easy task. From my adult mind it makes perfect sense, but that is because I can understand abstract thoughts - such as Santa isn't real, but what he stands for is; and understanding that Santa is really a symbol of Christ used to help us feel the magic of the season.

How do you explain all that to a child? And how do you explain when you see Santa everywhere. Do we take our children to see Santa? Do we avoid him? What about when people ask our children what they asked Santa for? How can we teach them to answer that questions without feeling like they are missing out on something.

The only real conclusion I have come to is that we need to create in our family a sense that there are many "Santas" - an understanding that "Santa" is someone who goes around doing good for other people. Teach our children that we are "Santa" for someone else and that "Santa" doesn't come to our house because we have what we need, and therefore we have been asked to be "Santa" for another family.

Anyone have any thoughts on the subject? Is there anyone else out there that has attempted to change the image of "Santa" in their family?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yes! We Are Alive!

Here's a quick update:

Antalya - has never been happier! It took a full 10 days, but then she suddenly turned a corner and doing great. Did I mention she is sleeping through the night and taking 2-3 hour naps? Yes, I am in momma's heaven!

Sunny - as soon as Antalya starting getting better, I got sick. I'm doing better now and for the first time in several months I feel like I am caught up on my sleep and waking up feeling rested.

Jason - has been busy, busy, busy with work. And since he works from home, I try to help out whenever I can - which translates into both us of being busy, busy, busy!

We're off quarantine - Yeah! We're back to a full schedule of EI toddler class on Tuesday, singing time at the library on Wednesday and Thursday, and we just started a Kindermusic class on Fridays. Plus we have had lots of family get togethers - and of course lots of trips to Costco at lunch time (that's when they have the most samples - Antalya loves it!)

Kitchen remodel - is almost done! I realize we started this about six months ago, we've just been taking our time. I am hopeful that by Christmas I will have a kitchen full of cabinets. I am super excited to have a place to put our dishes and food!

Thanksgiving - we got to spend the whole weekend with all Jason's family - yep, all 11 of the siblings were in town. It has been a couple years since we have seen them all. We had a lot of fun! We even went ice skating. Skating on the ice made me feel more young and free than I have in a long time. I think it is an activity I need to take up on a regular basis.

Good news - sorry, you are going to have to wait a couple weeks to hear the good news, but trust me - it's good!

I'll leave you with a picture of Jason with his parents and all his siblings. I think I got the best looking one of the bunch :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quick Update

It has been a very long week! I knew recovery from surgery wouldn't be fun, but part of me thought Antalya would just [;sail right through it and after a couple days would back to her normal self. 

I was wrong.

I must admit I have never had such an exhausting week - thus the lack of updates. In the last nine days I have one night without any sleep, two nights with only 2-3 hours of sleep, and several nights of waking up every hour. Last night was the best night so far - hopefully we are onto something new. 

Poor little Antalya has tried really hard to be a good sport, but when it comes right down to it, she has felt pretty miserable. Getting any amount of food or drink in her as been a huge task. and ohh, the pain medicine - it is a love/hate thing we have going on with her medicine. Nearly every four hours around the clock Antalya starts fussing more which means it is time for more pain medicine. This is no pleasant task. She refuses to take it, which means we have to literally pin her down on the floor, squirt medicine in her mouth, and then force her to swallow. This of course leads to a huge kicking, hitting, scratching tantrum for the next 10 minutes, until she finally collapses with relief from her pain. 

Having said all this, I do think today will be the change I have been waiting for. Antalya went 6 hours with no medicine this morning and woke up with more of an appetite than I have seen since before the surgery. Here's to better days coming!

PS Jason has truly been my lifesaver through all this. Several times he has taken Antalya and disappeared for several hours so that I could get some sleep. Thanks, babe! I could not have survive without you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tagged Again

Micah tagged me awhile ago. So here it is:
1.Where did you meet your husband?
A little Middle Eastern cafe near campus - it was a blind date.

2.How long did you date before you got married?
We were married exactly three months and three days from the day we met (I know - a little crazy! I can't believe my parents let me do it)

3. How long have you been married?
It will be four years next month.

4. What does he do that surprises you?
Gets up with Antalya in the morning when he knows I have had a really rough night.

5. What is your favorite feature of his?
His hands. I know this is weird, but I always new that when I met my husband I would recognize his hands. In my dating days I even broke up with a few guys because I didn't like their hands (I didn't tell them that, of course).

6. What is his best quality?
He is incredibly forgiving and always willing and happy to help anyone out.

7. Does he have a nickname for you?
Not much of a nickname - just Sun (it does cause weird looks sometimes when people think he is calling me his son).

8. What is his favorite food?
Anything really, but he does really enjoy good Indian and Italian food.

9. What is his favorite sport?
College Football

10. When and where did you first kiss?
It was on our third date outside my parents house next to his car as we were saying goodnight.

11. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?
Anything that is just the two of us - go to a movie, go to a bookstore, get ice cream, watch TV, go to a good Indian restaurant.

12. Do you have any children?
Yep, our beautiful Antalya

13. Does he have any hidden talents?
He is really good at playing the didgeridoo. It's actually pretty amazing to watch.

14. How old is he?
27 - I keep thinking he is going to catch up to me, but I seem to be getting older faster than he is :)

15. Who said 'I love you' first?
I did, but he said it right back.

16. What is his favorite music?
A little bit of everything - but mostly alternative or world music.

17. What do you admire most about him?
He is incredible patient with me, Antalya, and life in general. He takes things as they come and always makes the best of it. He dreams big and always see things in such a positive light (I really need that since I am such a pessimist most of the time and always put limitations on myself).

18. What is his favorite color?

19. Will he read this?
Most likely, no.

I love you, babe!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Surgery went great! Recovery has been really rough on my little angel, but tonight before bed she seemed to turn a corner. We are so grateful that there were no complications, and that we are on the mend. 

We had to spend the night in the hospital. Antalya and I both crowded on a hospital bed. Between beeping monitors, a not very dark room, not enough room for both of us, and a constant fear that I would fall asleep and Antalya would fall between the side rails and land on the floor - neither of us got much sleep. In fact, we ended up watching a continuous loop of Signing Time - I watched the same 30 minute DVD for 14 hours straight.

We were out of bed, dressed, all packed with Antalya in the stroller when the person with the power to discharge us arrived at 6am (I wasn't any chances with him taking his time letting us go). By 6:30am we were stopping by the pharmacy, and then on the road back home. We made it home before Jason was even done with his morning shower.

Here are some pictures of our day yesterday.

Playing with toys while we wait to get checked-in
Waiting to meet the nurse practitioner 
Our final wait - right before the anesthesiologist came and took her away
This is the face I saw most of yesterday and today (I did see some smiles tonight)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Woo Hoo! We've Almost Made It!

Surgery is Monday! We check in at 9:15am and have surgery scheduled for 11:00. I am so anxious to get this over and done. You can bet I will be praying hard all weekend that no sudden illnesses hit our house, and I'll be doing my part by staying home all weekend.

Here's some pictures of what's been going on this week.

Talking on the phone
Dancing on the table
Sporting new Fuzzi Bunz diapers
Playing in drawers
Playing with toys
Sheet-rocking the kitchen
(yes, we are STILL working on the kitchen, but we are getting closer)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

2 Years Ago Today...

we brought Antalya home for the first time. It was such an exciting day. I was so happy to finally be leaving the hospital after being there for nearly a month, but I was very nervous about caring for my new little baby without the help of nurses. How grateful I am that she has joined our family. Becoming a mother has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I love my little girl so much!
Leaving the NICU

Our First Picture At Home

Me and My Little Angel

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sleeping Like a Baby

When we brought Antalya home from the hospital after she was born we couldn't understand why so many people had told us to expect very little sleep. She slept 'just like a baby' all through the night. In fact, she slept so well, that it would take both Jason and i to wake her up enough for her feedings. This lasted for five wonderful months. In fact I got so much more sleep during those five months than I did that at any point during my pregnancy.

But once Antalya hit five months, she suddenly woke up and wanted to be fed and rocked several times a night. For awhile I was getting up four or more times with her. We didn't know what started this, but felt like there must be a reason she was getting so hungry and waking up so much, so we did our best to control the amount of wake-ups, but for the most part didn't concern ourselves with it too much until she was a year old.

With lots of work, tears, and prayers Antalya started sleeping through the night again at about 13 months (or sleeping through the night more nights than not). We were finally getting some rest again!

This last year we have had to work through several 'episode periods' of waking up during the night, but have mostly kept it under control. That was until two months ago when it all changed.

Suddenly, Antalya would wake up screaming and unwilling to be consoled, or she wake up terrified and wrap her little arms around me my neck as tight as she could and refuse to let go. Or sometimes she would wake up as if she had just slept the entire night and just want to play. I felt like I needed to just be patient with her, especially since I didn't understand why she was waking up. I knew she had started snoring louder than usual and was a little concerned that the cause of all the wakings was her struggle to breathe. Every night was a sort of guessing game as to how much sleep we would get. These two months have been so long!

The last couple weeks I have been lying down with her or bringing her into our bed in an attempt to get some more sleep. While she is laying next to me I listen to her breathing (remember back in June when we scheduled a sleep study because we were concerned with Sleep Apnea, but Antalya got so terrified with all the wires they were putting on her that we had to cancel). So I listen closing and have found that she takes 3-5 seconds breaks in her breathing often. Sometimes there is only 2 or 3 breathes that separate the pauses. It's been like that for awhile now, until last night when it got so much worse - more to come in a minute.

Anyways, I feel like now I know why she has been sleeping so poorly. I don't know why her breathing has all of a sudden gotten so much worse. But I am grateful that our surgery date is coming soon (only 12 days away). The surgery is supposed to help open up her airways and make it easier to breathe at night. Please pray that it will do just that and our little girl can get some much needed sleep. And please pray that we won't have to reschedule surgery again.

And now, for those interested here is a summary of our night last night (it's not pretty). I wish I could say last night wasn't the norm, but it is becoming more and more the norm.

8:00 Antalya is in bed sleeping soundly
11:00 Jason and I head to bed and find Antalya sitting up her bed screaming. I change her diaper. We take turns consoling her and getting ready for bed. All lay down together in our bed.
11:30 Antalya is starting to dose off - this is both good and bad. She only will sleep right next to me, but she isn't a 'still' sleeper. I get knocked in the head, and kicked in the stomach every few minutes.
12:00 Her breathing is getting bad. I lay there counting 8-10 second pauses in her breath. These happen about 3 times a minute. I start praying she will be alright. I don't know what else to do.
12:30 I'm still awake counting her breathes and getting worried.
2:00 I wake up - at some point I must have dosed off. Antalya is stretched out sideways on our bed sound asleep. I realize I won't get any sleep like this, so I gently pick her up and place her in her bed.
2:30 Antalya wakes up screaming! Louder than the first time. I get her a drink, check her diaper, lay her down and start singing a song. She gets hysterical, wants me to pick her up. I am too tired and need to get some sleep so I tell her goodnight, grab my pillow and head to the couch.
4:00 I wake up, Antalya isn't crying anymore so I head back to bed.
5:30 Antalya wakes up again. I decide to lay down on our monster beanbag with her. This means she will fall right back asleep and sleep soundly for another hour (something that wouldn't happen if we lay down in the bed), but it also means that I won't get any more sleep. The bean bag is so uncomfortable - after a few minutes my back hurts, my shoulder is going to sleep (because of Antalya laying on top of me), and my feet are cold.
6:45 Antalya wakes up and we start our day with me wondering why I even hoped to get any sleep last night.

Maybe tonight will be better, but if not, there is still hope that in a week and a half all this will change with her new and improved airways.

Grandma Delsa, Hope for the Future, Going Green

My grandma Delsa passed away last Friday. She was actually my step-grandma, but that didn't matter - to me she was always my grandma. I remember spending Christmas Eve with her and my grandpa, summer lemonade in her front yard, birthday gifts, the way she always looked so beautiful, the candy jar in their home, and how excited she would get when we went to visit. 

The last ten years or so have been difficult for everyone as my grandpa and her have needed to move into a facility that offered more care. They both have dementia. With this, and my getting older and more observant, I came to realize the extreme negative feelings of her children in regards to my grandpa and my family. These feelings have led them to some pretty extreme actions - including legal battles with my mom, and fighting to keep my grandma in a different facility from her husband (this was taken so far as to suddenly move her across town one day without notifying anyone - imagine the distress my grandpa felt when suddenly his wife was gone and no one could tell him where she was or if she was coming back). 

Despite all this, she was still my grandma and I was looking forward to attending her funeral this week and remembering her life. Alas, it is not to be. Our family just found out that her family decided against having any sort of funeral or memorial service for her. In fact, they have already buried her. How sad that her own children and grandchildren weren't willing to make a small sacrifice in order to honor her life and allow others who loved her the same opportunity.

On another note, did you listen to Senator Obama's speech tonight after the election? Wasn't it empowering? I feel so much hope for the future of this great country and am excited to be alive during such an exciting time in our history. 

I've made the decision to switch to cloth diapers. This is something I have been wanting to do since before Antalya was born. I am excited to finally be giving it a chance. I hope it is everything good that I think it will be. Tonight I ordered my first set of Fuzzi Bunz. They should be here in a few days. I'm sure you will be hearing more about it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Brooke! Congratulations. You're bilibo is on it's way. Hope your boys enjoy it! I'm considering another giveaway before Christmas. I'll let you know what I decide.

Thanks to for this fun giveaway!


Tonight was Antalya's third Halloween. Yet as you can see from the pictures looking back at all three years, she really hasn't ever celebrated the holiday. Maybe next year we will have better luck. We thought about taking her out trick-or-treating tonight, but I have been sick all week and didn't have the energy to get her all dressed up in her costume, and I decided we didn't need any more candy hanging around the house. So we opted for a nice walk around the neighborhood to look at all the little kids who were trick-or-treating. We stopped to let Antalya play in a pile of leaves. She was in heaven. And really, when it comes down to it, who needs candy when you can play in leaves?

Halloween 2008

Halloween 2007 - Camping in a canyon outside Santiago, Chile

Halloween 2006 - NICU, Primary Children's Hospital

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Antalya's surgery is two and a half weeks away. This is the third surgery date we have had since August, but with our luck, they keep getting canceled because Antalya gets sick right before surgery. This time I am taking matters into my own hands and have decided we are not going anywhere these next few weeks unless I can take Antalya in her stroller and keep her in her stroller the whole time.

Today is our first official day, and let me tell you, it's going to be a long few weeks. It is only 10am and we have already done everything fun we could think off. This includes (in no particular order):

Signing Time
Playing with ALL of our toys
Finding a bag of brown sugar within Antalya's reach and getting it open - she loved this one! (I sat down to the computer for a minute to check my email and had no idea)
Unloading the storage drawers in our closet and discovered some cool beads
Playing with the beads for 20 minutes
Unloading the dresser
Using the empty dresser drawers to climb up and clear off the top of the dresser
Take a shower
Unloading most of the drawers in the kitchen
Playing on the computer
Unloading most of the drawers in the bathroom
Flushing the toilet several times (this is always a hit)
Trying to eat crayons, deciding they didn't taste good, but that they are lots of fun to bite into little pieces
Played with the sand table

Have I mentioned my little 2 year old NEVER stops moving? Not even for a second (except when she finally collapses to sleep, but even then she tosses and turns all night)! Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I love it! When we found out our daughter had Ds we felt many of the expected fears, uncertainties, and even disappointments that other parents in the same situation experience. One of my smaller concerns was having a child with low muscle tone, and what that would mean. Jason and I are both very active and enjoy getting outside and doing things. I was afraid our daughter would never enjoy hiking, rock climbing, riding a bike, playing sports, etc.

Needless to say, I'm not concerned with that anymore. I have no doubt our little Antalya will do amazing things in her life, and that in most aspects she will be just like her peers - she will run, she will ride a bike, she will have fun playing, she will succeed in sports if she desires.

When I start to get overwhelmed with my busy little two year old, I remember to take a moment to pause and give thanks for the blessing it is - a blessing many of us too often take for granted.

Wish me luck these next few weeks as I try to find ways of entertaining that don't involve playgroups, playgrounds, church, trips to Costco, and get togethers with family.

And don't forget to enter to win a Bilibo. You have until Friday night to enter.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Down Syndrome Creed

My face may be different,
But my feelings the same,
I laugh, I cry,
I take pride in my gains.
I was sent here among you
To teach you to love.
As God in the heavens
Looks down from above.
To Him I’m no different,
His love knows no bounds.
It’s those here among you
In cities and towns,
That judge me by standards
That man has imparted.
But the family He’s chosen
Will help me get started.
For I’m one of His children,
So special and few,
That came here to learn
The same lessons as you.
That love is acceptance,
It must come from the heart.
We all have the same purpose,
Though not the same start.
The Lord gave me life
To live and embrace.
And I’ll do it as you do,
Just at my own pace.
Get It Down; 31 for 21

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Has the suspense been killing you? I bet you have been wondering all day what I was going to give away. This is my first give away, so I want it to be good - something kids of lots of ages could enjoy, and something unique. So what did I decide on?


So what is a bilibo, you ask. It is a fun new toy meant to arouse curiosity, stimulate the senses, engage the imagination, and encourage creativity. And it could be yours! Click here to see what it is.

This prize is sponsored by - a new company committed to helping little ones with special needs. All of their toys and products are approved by a group of professional therapists in early education.

So here's the details. Anyone can enter, just leave a comment below, be sure to include your email address or blog address so I can let you know when you win. Giveaway ends this Friday, October 31st. I will announce the winner on Saturday.

Good luck!

P.S. Only people within the US can enter.
Get It Down; 31 for 21

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Little Ladybug

Yesterday was the annual family Halloween party with my family. Jason couldn't make it, but Antalya and I had a great time. Some of the activities included: pizza, pictures (of course), eating donuts from a string, pinata, carving pumpkins, and halloween bingo. Here's some pictures of my cute little ladybug.

And here's a shot of the whole group. I promise I'll dress up next year so I can be in the picture, too.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a chance to win a really cool prize. I have decided to host my first ever blogging giveaway. Details tomorrow.
Get It Down; 31 for 21

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tagged Again

My friend Sarah just tagged with this fun tag.

Did you know???

What was I doing 10 years ago:
1. I was in my first year of college at Weber State.
2. I had just moved in my brother and his wife because they were closer to school than were I had been living.
3. I was waiting tables at Village Inn and Wingers Diner.
4. I was dating who I thought I would marry (we broke up several years later).
5. I was dreaming of my future life as a museum curator and the books I would publish on art criticism.

5 things on my to do list today (or in my case, since the day is over, here are five things that were on my list):
1. Buy some black shoes for Antalya to finish off her ladybug costume.
2. Pick up my order at the community food co-op.
3. Do a blog post.
4. Buy more wheat.
5. Make it to my mom's house for a Halloween party by 4:00.

5 Favorite Snacks
1. Cheese
2. Chips and Salsa
3. Nuts
4. Gummy Bears
5. Popcorn

5 Jobs I've Had
1. Server
2. Piano teacher
3. Office manager
4. Pizza maker
5. Receptionist

5 Things I'd do with a million dollars
1. Buy a house
2. Pay off my parents house so they could finally go on a mission.
3. Buy another computer so I didn't always have to fight Jason for it.
4. Set up a health savings account for Antalya so I could take her off Medicaid.
5. Plan a big trip. I'm not sure where we would go though - probably either Israel, India, or Patagonia (Southern Chile and Argentina).

5 things that made me laugh this week
1. Watching Jason's tactics at a sale presentation we went to so that he could get $75 in gift certificates. He had the sales person convinced we were a very wealthy, young couple, that could afford the wonderful time-share they wanted us to buy, but that Jason was so caught up in his career that he didn't see the need to spend time and money to create quality time and memories for his family.
2. Watching myself get completely sucked into the sales presentation and feeling like we really did need to spend $12,000 plus $600 dollars a year so that we could have a condo to stay in two weeks out of the year. I have since come to my senses and realized how silly it was.
3. Antalya. She makes me laugh a hundred times a day.
4. The Office
5. Seeing my family members costumes tonight. I especially like Tarzan my brother.

5 people to tag:(but not limited to those listed)
1. Laura
2. Tara
3. Micah
4. Michelle
5. Janie

Get It Down; 31 for 21