Tuesday, December 15, 2009


It's almost too good to be true, I've been waiting ten months for it, and finally!  Grant is signing!  HOORAY!  He is able to wave 'bye-bye', curling his hand into a wave, and he signs eat, more, all done (I think, it's hard to distinguish the sign from his regular arm flapping).  He also understands milk, mom, dad, I love you, and the wave for 'Hi' - different from the wave for 'good-bye'.

I'm very, very excited to teach him a huge pile of signs.  I'd love to teach him 'please' and 'thank you' and have him signing those before his 1st birthday - especially so that he can say 'thank you' for his birthday presents!  I also want him to learn 'hurt', 'drink', 'banana', 'apple', etc, as soon as he can.

I am so happy that he is signing!  YAY!


Wow, I literally feel like it was just a couple days ago I was sitting typing Grant's ten month update.  In fact, I've only done ONE blog entry between that one and this one - oops!  I have been quite busy, with a couple sewing projects, hanging out with good friends, decorating for Christmas - although those excuses still aren't very good, because I've mostly been sitting on my butt at home avoiding going outside.  It's absolutely ridiculous how cold it has been this month.  Yesterday, here in Lethbridge, it was -42 degrees with the wind chill at one point.

On to Grant.

I am THRILLED to say that he has starting signing.  In fact, I am going to give that tidbit a post all it's own, coming up right after this post.

He does the bum scoot to get around, no crawling yet.  He thinks he's bigger than he is - when he's standing, holding on to my or Trevor's hands, he tries to let go with both hands, and then wonders why he starts to fall over.  He's a serious goof.  He's pulled himself up to standing on a stationery object once, in his bedroom.  I was in there with him and he pulled himself up on an open dresser drawer.  He's going to create ALL kinds of havoc when he can walk!  He's not moving along furniture yet though, so I think I get a couple more months of peace... we'll see.

He is very sweet and full of personality.  He will scoot over to the Christmas tree and reach to touch the branches with his little bitty pointer finger.  I don't want him to eat the needles, so I say "Grant, no" and he turns and makes a little throat noise in retort.  If he starts playing with the presents, I say "No, Grant, it's not Christmas" and then he goes back to picking at them.  I have to keep telling him it's not Christmas- he says it should be Christmas NOW.

He is finally getting a third tooth, a right incisor on the top, which might look very silly if it comes in before any other top teeth.  It's coming in very slowly, like his two bottom teeth.  It would be nice if he had more teeth, so that I don't have to keep buying and he doesn't have to keep eating so much mushy baby food.

I am very excited to say that Grant said the closest thing to a real word this past Saturday, the 12th.  We were on our way home from Superstore with Kyle and Lindsay, and Lindsay was feeding Grant some banana.  He looked like he might be done, so I said "All done?" and he said what was clearly "All done."  It was extremely cute, and Lindsay even gasped.  All of us in the van were excited!  Way to go, Grant!

Now, to post about his signing!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Here's a test to see if you really know me - because if you do, you'll know that more than ten years later, I still know where, dig out, and listen to my NSYNC Christmas album.  In fact, at one point I had two of them, because one slid under my passenger seat and after a few days of missing it one December, I went to King of Trade, where I found an abundance of unwanted NSYNC Christmas albums.  If only I could have given a home to all of them.  (Just kidding).

But really, my message is, this CD brings back more than ten years of memories for me.  I still like the songs, the words, the beat, even the too-high falsetto Justin does on the a cappella 'O Holy Night', and moreso, it reminds of how far I've come.

When I was fifteen I received a great Panasonic portable CD player from my older sister for my birthday, my first one, and I thought it was awesome.  It looked really cool and high-tech, and I used it and used it until it nearly didn't work anymore, and I had a hard time parting with it a couple years ago - but I gave it a good home at my old friend, the King of Trade.  (Life goes in circles, it really does).  A lot of play time on this player was spent listening to the NSYNC Christmas songs.

This particular Christmas I spent in California with my mom's parents.  There was no rush on Christmas Day, just a regular slow, slow waking up to a bright, sunny, summer-like day in Sierra Madre.  Time changes things far too fast - my grandparents are gone and so is their amazing three acres of land in those beautiful hills.

Except when I was sleeping, and even some time when I was sleeping, I was listening to that CD.  Now when I hear those familiar songs, the desert foothills, the waterslide up on the hill that dumped you face first into a concrete driveway, the million-dollar view, the collection of signs on the side of the house warning you about alligators and train crossings, and the comfort of grandparents comes back to me and I picture the little 'guest room' off to the side of the living room where I slept that time and many other visits.

The lyrics of the songs talk about being in love on Christmas, celebrating family traditions, and brings to mind happy, picture perfect couples having a perfectly romantic holiday season, topped off with a sweet New Years kiss and an exciting future waiting.  That's what really reminds me of how far I've come - when I was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen - I dreamed of the time when I would have the life that I have now.

Here it is:

Our third Christmas together as a married couple, a real Christmas tree in the corner that we decorated ourselves.  A little baby that we love so dearly playing at our feet, and presents already under the tree long before Christmas.  A handsome husband who comes home smiling and gets up early on Saturday mornings to make me my favorite kind of pancakes, and days filled with all the regular life things:  groceries and laundry and diapers.  And that's what Christmas is about - how each of us can become much more than we ever could by ourselves, thanks to the supernal gift of His Son, our Elder Brother, who came to earth and showed the way.

Thanks for bringing me all this way, NSYNC.  You can stay in the CD player until January, when I'll have to put you away until next year.

To all of you out there in cyberspace - make your life what you've always dreamed it could be, if you're not there yet.  Life CAN be happy, happier than you think you deserve.  And you don't need Christmas to remind you of that, but you do need CHRIST.  Come unto him, this season, and every season - seek, and you will find.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


A few days late, again, but the point is:  Grant is 10 months old!!!!!

He is growing up way too fast for my liking.  Lucky for me, he is still not crawling yet, but rolls and scoots on his bum to get around.  He would really like to be able to crawl or walk, and sometimes he gets really mad about it! He has now switched to drinking from a straw instead of his little sippy cups, which I think is great.  Supposedly, some of the sippy cups with the valves in them are no good if the child learns to do a tongue-thrust motion to stop the flow and it impairs their speech as they get older.  I'm so proud of him - it's as if I can actually see his hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity getting better every day.  It's so amazing!

He still only has his two little bottom teeth and they are not yet all the way in.  He has learned how to clap but still loves to wave his arms in a chicken-flap sort of way.  He still uses his Jolly Jumper and loves it.  He is close to waving good-bye when we wave to him (hopefully).  He is very interested in any type of sound, and loves looking at the trees out in the backyard when he is supposed to be eating.

Eating is still quite a chore, but the improvement is steady.  The good news is his communication is improving as to what he wants or doesn't want, but the bad news is that means that when he's done, he clears everything off his tray onto the floor.  If we are encouraging him to eat/drink something he doesn't want, he tries to insist on grabbing it so that he can throw it onto the floor.

Everything still goes right into his mouth.  I tried to show him how to color today, and he wasn't at all interested in the actual coloring, but, boy, did he want to eat the crayons!  They were probably the best thing he's ever seen.  The coloring project lasted less than ten minutes, but hey - I tried.

I am busy working on Grant's Christmas present, which is going to be a turtle sleeping bag.  It will definitely be extremely cute, although he will technically be too small for it for a while.  We might put it in his crib as a lower sheet to give him some insulation underneath his little body.  Speaking of which, we have a nice white crib which we bought used, but I accidentally got rid of the hardware to put it together with a bag of stuff for the Salvation Army - so he is STILL in his little Pack 'N Play, AND there is an unassembled crib in his room waiting!!!  Boo!

Back to Grant.  He's not really making any new noises, but he has outgrown size 3 shoes.  He is not outgrowing his clothes too quickly, actually.  Clothes that I started putting on him when they were a bit big we are getting lots of use out of!  He is still a very, very happy baby and continues to set a high standard for all our other children.  In fact, he even has a head cold right now so he's stuffed up and has a cough, and he is still bursting with happiness nearly all day.  He is such a good boy, and he acts even more well-behaved for babysitters than with me!

In other news, Trevor left this morning for Medicine Hat and won't be back until the 30th, including weekends!  It's going to feel like a long time until he's back.  To keep me company, he gave me my birthday/Christmas present very early - the new iPhone!  I LOVE IT!!!  And, as always, we squeezed Telus to give us a great plan - instead of the standard $50 plan, we were able to get 100 more minutes, unlimited Telus to Telus mobile calling (all my calls to and from Trevor are free!), unlimited incoming texts and 1000 sent texts, free evenings and weekends starting at six instead of nine, 500MB of data, and call display and voicemail at a discounted rate!  I am very happy with our plan - it's a jump from what we were paying before, but a lot better than the standard plan.

If you need a good cell phone plan, call me.  Our last plan was $17.30/mth, with 350 daytime minutes (I had to add 100 minutes for $10 when we moved here, and the $3 text plan), unlimited evenings and weekends starting at six, call display, and voicemail - it was a student plan, but they never confirmed we were students.  Let me help you get a good plan!  So many plans aren't on the various companies' websites, and you've got to have the inside scoop, so send me a message if you're renewing your plan!

That's all for now!  Grant and I have to be at the church tomorrow morning at 10, and I'm up way too late as it is!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I can't even say in words how much I love my little man.  For some reason, he makes this face nearly every time I'm feeding him, but not at any other time.  He loves making it, and I love watching him make it.  It's a huge laugh for both of us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Here's the little monkey!

Also, here are our neighbors who live downstairs, Zac and Jacey.  They are really nice and so funny!

I made the cake pops I mentioned earlier - they were tough, and my stuff never turns out as well as Bakerella's.  She's GOOD. (And no, I'm not pregnant, just fat, and wearing a shirt that is now going to the Salvation Army).

Finally, our pumpkin.  All the credit goes to Trevor for his self-proclaimed high manual dexterity - aka amazing carving skills!

We didn't take Grant trick-or-treating, instead he went with us to a great party and was very well-behaved.  He stayed up very late, went to sleep in a spare bedroom, and was still happy when we woke him up to take him home.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, November 2, 2009


At the very beginning of this month, from October 1st until the 10th, we drove to Utah for General Conference, stayed in Salt Lake for the weekend, left Sunday and drove all the way down to VEGAS!  It was a fabulously good time and we CRAMMED as many sights as possible into the four days we were there.

Grant was very well behaved on the drive down, although by the end of the first day when we checked into a hotel in Idaho Falls, he was ready to get out of the carseat!  Fortunately he was able to sleep at the hotel in his Pack 'N Play in spite of sleeping most of the day in the car.

Here he is in the hotel room in Idaho:

Then, here we are going to the Saturday Afternoon Session of General Conference!  The great couple we were staying with, Eli and April Jones, who Trevor knows from his mission in France, offered to take care of Grant so that we could attend our session!

Here is a view of the Salt Lake temple:

We made a stop in St. George to take some pictures of the beautiful St. George temple on our way to Vegas:



We arrived Sunday night, and Monday we hit up the Luxor, Excalibur, and Mandalay Bay, as well as shopping at Town Square, where we bought Grant's halloween costume at Old Navy.

If you've ever seen Criss Angel, he has a show at the Luxor, and we've seen the episode where he's casually out among the crowd at the hotel, has a random girl sign this card as her own, then he throws the entire deck at the door and the autographed card gets stuck between the two pieces of glass that make up the door.  This is still a mystery to us how he did it, and Grant actually got very upset that he couldn't touch the card from either side!

At the Excalibur, Trevor got to meet his favorite cartoon (after He-Man, of course)

Here is a view of the inside of Excalibur

And here we are at Mandalay Bay.  We shot a funny video of me throwing Grant up in the air and catching him, which you can watch in High Def here.

Tuesday we spent most of the day in a timeshare presentation, waiting to get our free meal vouchers and tickets to Shark Reef and the Bodies exhibit.  Then we headed over the far north end of the Strip and had lunch in the Stratosphere!

After that, I needed to relax by my aunt and uncle's pool.  We stayed at their house for the week and it was great!  They fed us VERY well and we loved their company.  We need to visit again soon!

And, of course, they got to meet Grant!  Here is Uncle Mark hanging out with Grant at breakfast.

Wednesday we spent all day going to the Hoover Dam.  It was amazing, and at least as impressive is the huge bridge they are building way up high above the dam.  It's incredible.

Thursday was our last day there!  We wanted to fit in as much as possible.  We went to the Bellagio, where they have a great indoor atrium, extremely elaborate check-in desk, and beautiful casino.

Quick drive-by of Paris:

Quick stop in Rome for me:

And Grant:

Amazing French cafe in Caesars Palace, where we ate a Croque-Monsieur (yum!):

The pool view of Caesars Palace!  We weren't actually supposed to be out there, but we didn't know where the doors we were going out of led...

Finally, after many hours of searching, found Elvis!  He was shopping in the mall at Caesars Palace.

Thursday continued:  Shark Reef!

Trevor petting a sting ray


Great pictures that I took of the jelly fish.  See now why we bought the camera?  Once I took these pictures, I realized it was worth every penny.

Thursday evening, we went to the buffet at the MGM Grand with Megan, Mark, and their houseguest Mike, and ate ALL we could.  It was very good.  Then Trevor, Grant and I raced off to see the Bodies exhibit back at the Luxor.  I LOVED it.  We couldn't take pictures, but it was absolutely fascinating, and extremely well done and respectful, as the lighting was done just right, there was nothing flashy, and I'm sure that everyone who leaves that exhibit can't help but marvel at the wonder of the human body!

Hopefully we'll be back before too long!

Thanks again Meg and Mark!  We miss you already!

Monday, October 26, 2009


My little Grant is NINE MONTHS OLD!  Nine months sounds like such a big age to me, and since he was born it has seemed like he would be SO BIG when he got there - but now that he's nine months, he's not so big. He's not crawling yet or pulling himself up, which is okay with me!  It also makes him seem younger than nine months to me, so I can imagine that he's still only six months.  Except that he can roll all over the living room, pull himself forward on his tummy using a stationery object to get towards a toy he wants, feed himself anything in front of him including tiny things, eat almost all the same things I'm eating, hold his own sippy cup and (almost) drink water from it and not just air, express his needs a little better (he whines when something gets taken away that he wants, when he needs help, and when he wants to do it himself), understand the word "drink", the signs "milk", "eat", "jump", and he's really getting the hang of helping me dress him.  He's so sweet all the time.  He makes funny sounds with his mouth, blowing air, using all kinds of consonant and vowel sounds, examining objects, picking through a bin of toys until he finds the one he's looking for - all kinds of things.  He is such a good little guy.  He is still breastfeeding, 2 or 3 times a day, but I'd like to wean him right at the year mark.  He has already had his first few tries of cow's milk and he thought it was fine, although I think it confused him that I sign "milk" to him before each sip and then it's cold instead of warm, and from his sippy cup, which has always been water before!  It's a mad mad mad mad world, I tell you.

Here are the stats from his appointment last Tuesday:

18 lbs. 2.5 oz.  (15th percentile)

29 inches (67th percentile)

Head is 17.8 inches (41st percentile)

He is doing fine, just being long and skinny like always.  He outgrows lots of pants and not so many shirts.  I got him a very cute tuque with matching mittens at Superstore this week that is dark blue with little ears on it.  It is VERY cute.  He has already gotten used to it, thank goodness.  I don't want his head to get cold when we're out.

He was getting up at night while we were on vacation and prior to that, but luckily we were able to let him cry himself back to sleep since we've been back from vacation (since our neighbors downstairs can't hear him) and within a couple nights he was back to sleeping through as he knew the crying wasn't going to get him picked up and nursed back to sleep.  Last night he woke up and was especially distressed, and once in a while his diaper leaks in the night and he needs to get changed, but he mostly sleeps through the night.  He's very easy to take places and tons of fun.  He loves to stand and will stand as long as someone will help him balance.  He loves to feed himself and try to use his sippy cup all by himself.  We are trying to get him to clap and wave good bye, as well as use the signs he knows, but he would rather just flail his arms up and down, I guess.  He's silly.  I really want him to start signing!  Oh well...

Now this one is pretty blurry, but way too cute to delete.  He's so happy - all the time!!!

Big mess eating his first Farber cookie!


Who's there?

Oh hello there!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I just found out that Trevor will be gone from Monday morning to Friday evening for the next THREE weeks starting this coming Monday!  I think I might go absolutely crazy alone with Grant the ENTIRE week, not to mention Trevor is going to be stuck in Medicine Hat bored out of his MIND.  Wow.  I guess I get a taste of what some women are used to.  It's going to be a looo-oong three weeks - my to do list is already empty and this week I mostly haven't been dressed before noon, never mind when Trevor is completely gone all day for five days.  Help?  Guess maybe you'll see a lot more blog posts, although I really won't have anything to blog about.  Also, this is my "big" chance to take out all the seasons of Gilmore Girls that I haven't seen and watch them, and I was wondering when I was going to be able to do that anyway.  Hmmm...

Monday, October 19, 2009


I have been keeping VERY busy lately.  Since we have been home from our trip, I have continued working like mad on my bookkeeping course - I must finish it before November and I'm so close.  I've also determined to become an acceptable seamstress, so I began an extremely cute turtle sleeping bag for when Grant gets a little older with the help of a lady from Sheran Park Ward who made the pattern herself.  This weekend, with Sheran Park Ward's Super Saturday (an annual Christmas crafts day that each ward traditionally does in the church, our ward's is in three weeks, check out what we're making here and you may spot one of your Christmas presents), I had an extremely busy six hours making as many crafts as I could and spending all our Christmas money.  I made a small nativity set, for us since we don't have any nativities, and let me tell you, they are RIDICULOUSLY cute.  They are wooden, and only two pieces - a Mary and baby with a Joseph and sheep.  I'll post pictures of our Christmas and you'll have to try and spot it.  I also made a wooden plaque for the wall that says Curtis Family Home Evening, and has hanging tags for Mom, Dad, and Grant underneath the various Family Home Evening assignments:  Song, Prayer, Lesson, Activity, Treat, Scripture.  Every Monday is Family Home Evening, and unless we are joined with our other-young-couples group, we get together in the living room, don't answer the phone, sing, pray, have a lesson, play a game or have another activity, and a treat.  It's intended to ensure that families set aside at least one evening a week to be together as a family.  I also made another wooden plaque that I will post a picture of soon, which follows a verse of scripture - this one.  It's lovely.  And I got a bit of a start on the turtle sleeping bag.  I also had a few minutes to eat the free lunch.  It was a hectic day!  The most time consuming was the nativity - sanding, painting, scoring, staining, using antiquing gel, and assembling the bits.  I am SO happy with the end results.

I have also been busy with other church activities.  Last Thursday was the first meet of a new group in our ward, Recipe Club.  I made my famous Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes, since it's the best thing I can cook, and there was an absolute feast waiting at the Hartleys.  It was a really fun night, and I was able to leave Grant at home.

Also, Book Club is meeting at my house this month and I'm still deciding what the treats and other eats are going to be for the women.  The book is a hilarious LDS book by Joni Hilton, As the Ward Turns - as I keep saying, it has just the right mix of giggle-out-loud comedy and sweet Families-Are-Forever sentiment.  There's a sequel called Stop the Ward, I Want to Get Off, which I also highly recommend.  Her books are easy reads and are SURE to make you laugh right out loud.

Finally, our friends have invited us to a Halloween party on the 31st and we have to bring a treat.  I really want to make these - I don't know if I'm up for it, but they are incredible endearing!  I think I'm going to have to give it a try.  They are wrapped in candy coating, not fondant, so maybe that will work in my favor?  They are just too cute to pass up, so wish me luck.  I've only taken a first glance at them tonight, so I'm going to have to read Bakerella's instructions a little more and figure out how much time they will take.  I have almost two weeks, so I should be fine...

Tomorrow morning is Grant's nine month checkup!  So watch for a post with his stats and a fresh update on my little guy!  Also, I posted some pictures of him to facebook and our other blog here and a gorgeous photo shoot I did yesterday for some friends here.

Whew - that's it for now!


I'm back! Let the bells ring out and the banners fly, I know it's too good to be true... but here I am!

I keep thinking that the next few weeks will be less busy, but I thought that September would slow down, and it was very busy, then I thought October would be dull, and it's already the 19th - not sure how that happened. Actually, I think it's because we spent October 1st to 11th in the states - we went to a mission reunion for Trevor, General Conference in Salt Lake City, and then drove down to Vegas and stayed with my wonderful aunt and uncle!!! It was an awesome family vacation. The driving was long and dull, but we managed to keep ourselves busy (and stay awake). And even now that we're back, I still have a lot going on, which is leaving me with little time to blog.

Here are a couple cute pictures of Grant from September 21st. Trip pictures and details to come.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


As Trevor learned on his mission. Fortunately, he was able to learn this particular one secondhand. One of Trevor's companions was out on the streets of France, trying to show the brotherly love, when he made the mistake of hugging a "sans domicile" - also known as a bum. Shortly after this incident, he found out he has fleas. They had to fumigate the whole apartment and have everything dry cleaned or steam cleaned, as well as have one of those "special" baths. You know, when your mom uses that word "special" and it's not a good thing.

Not only that, this Elder was too cheap to dryclean his suit jacket, so they went through this whole ordeal only to have the fleas live on in the suit jacket.

But he lived to tell the tale. Moral of the story: Hug a bum, get fleas.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


What do you get when you let your husband make your baby's food, and he decides to...

... you mix sweet potatoes and chicken, with veggies and pasta? Well, as Trevor discovered the day before yesterday while feeding Grant and thinking that mixing everything would be a great idea...

You get something that tastes an awful lot like cat food.


Yesterday, Grant discovered that he can get around by rolling! He rolled all over the living room, exploring the bottom of the couch, the curtains, etc. He is also fascinated with light switches and outlets, naturally. Anything dangerous is the most entertaining. I expect he'll be crawling any day now! Which is exciting, sad, and worrisome all at the same time.

Life will never be the same.


While I try to be very positive on the blog, this post is not positive. Be warned. Only Trevor knows the full extent of what I live with day by day, until this post.

Since I was a teenager, I have had frequent headaches, which have never reacted very well to medication, but have been tolerable. Lots of people have headaches, right? Well, when we got married and moved to Vancouver, they started becoming worse and worse, and, to top it off, the headacheS has become headache, singular - I have had one headache for a couple years now, nonstop, the tension kind. I have also begun experiencing frequent migraines on top of the tension headache. Since moving back to Lethbridge, the intensity of the tension headache has increased, and I feel as though I could take migraine medication at least once a day. I currently have a prescription for the migraines that are the kind that dissolve on your tongue, which cost $16/pill (fortunately, we have 80% coverage, but they are still expensive). Those take the edge off of the migraines when they are really bad. Taking 1200mg of ibuprofen takes the edge off, some days, too. Nothing else - not Tylenol 3, not regular Tylenol, not Diclofenac, but that's all I've tried. Some days I feel quite hopeless about it.

I have been regularly seeing Trevor's uncle, a chiropractor, since we moved back to Lethbridge, and I only need to see him once a week right now, so all is as best as it can be with my head and neck. They have been messed up since a few car accidents a couple years ago. I also began seeing a massage therapist, with very disappointing results. He expected to be able to get rid of my headaches, with very little success. In fact, he was discouraged in himself and told me he usually gets much better results. The last time I saw him was three weeks ago, on September 2, and just after the massage I felt better, and then as I was paying I realized I felt exactly the same as when I had walked in. So I abandoned that whole track.

This same evening, I developed terrible chills as I was going to bed and couldn't stop shaking for two hours, during which I drifted in and out of sleep. The disturbing thing was that I didn't have a fever. My head hurt with a vengeance, And I was miserable, nauseous, lying in bed, crying, hating life, wishing for a big axe to swing down from the heavens and cut my head off, the Second Coming, a plane crash in our bedroom - anything to stop the pain. When I started to feel numbness in my fingertips, I called the health line, and they, of course, told me to go in to the ER. I drove myself.

Once there, I didn't have to wait too long and was skipped ahead of three or four people who were there before me. The doctor talked to me, and I told him my quality of life was very poor due to the headaches, told him the history, symptoms, blah blah blah. They gave me Gravol for the nausea, and two other meds, one of them started with C. By this time I was happy for anything. One of the meds they gave me made me tired, and I was already half asleep as it was 3am by the time I got the meds. I slept a little, and the nurse asked me if I wanted morphine. I said no, since it makes me very ill. I got home at 6am and crawled back into bed.

The next day, I was tired, but otherwise, the meds kept the pain at bay. It was back by dinnertime.

The ER doctor sent me for a CT scan the following Thursday, and my doctor's office called me last week to tell me all was normal on the scan. Big help. I'm going back, again, to see my doctor on Monday.

I feel as though I need to get this solved to move on with life - having chronic pain is something that cannot be understood until it is experienced. I had little sympathy for those who complained of chronic pain before this experience. Relentless pain like this is absolutely exhausting. Pain takes a shocking amount of energy and it frequently leaves me feeling drained physically and mentally. I understand Dr. House better, that's for sure.

Aside from the desire I have to be able to accomplish more in a day once I have the energy back that the pain is sucking up now, I also need to resolve this pain before I have another baby, so that I can get through the pregnancy, and because I won't be able to take anything for the pain during the pregnancy.

Could it be that all these things are to give me experience, like the scriptures say? To teach me something - empathy, what suffering is, how to endure? To liken my experience to the Savior's, when he felt more pain that anyone on earth will ever feel? The scriptures say "The Son of Man hath descended below them all - art thou greater than He?" Certainly I'm not greater than Him, and if the Lord sees fit to allow the suffering, then I look to His example - hoping that this cup will pass from me, soon, but if not... let my will be turned to the Father's will for me.

How grateful I am that my husband, Trevor, holds the same priesthood that was held anciently by Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and the Savior, and that he can administer blessings to me by that priesthood. I know that the Lord can heal me, and that I will look back on this as something which helped me to grow - but I eagerly wait for the trial to end, just the same.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Poor Taylor Swift.  Now I know how she feels.

Some people need to learn some manners - especially when on TV.

That is all.


My little boy is getting so big.  He was eight months old on Tuesday, so I guess I'm two days late on posting this entry, but my blogging is sporadic at best.  Since he didn't need to see the doctor or get shots this month, I don't know exactly how much he weighs right now... wait, we bought a bathroom scale.  Let me go weigh him.

Okay, he weighs 18 lbs.  That puts him in the 25th percentile.  I'm so glad he's just a small guy.  He's not crawling or scooting around yet, which is great by me since we'll have to get a gate once he starts motoring, and he'll be making messes left, right and center.  He definitely wants to crawl - when he's on his tummy he's trying hard to figure out how to get somewhere and getting frustrated.  But I'm happy to have him stationary!

He's also mastering the pincer grip - picking up cheerios, cooked veggies, bits of cheese, etc., between his fingers and thumb.  I absolutely love watching him pick the food up between his index finger and thumb and try to get it in his mouth - I could just about burst with pride when he gets it in.  He gets better every day.  It's unbelievable to think of how he has grown from a helpless newborn into this wonderful little boy who can already feed himself (a little).

Something I am extremely grateful for is that I don't have to break him of a bottle.  How blessed I am that I was able to exclusively breastfeed him since he was born. We did leave him with sitters a couple times with some expressed milk in a bottle, and he drank it, but it never became habit to have the bottle.  I am SO fortunate that I have not had to work and that breastfeeding has been so wonderful.

And for the last couple months, since he started eating solids, I've been giving him water out of these cups.  The shape seems to work great for him, and they are cheap, so if I leave them behind somewhere it wouldn't be a big deal.  I do wish they had a lid though.

I'm just beginning to look around for the kind with the straw, which he should be able to get the hang of quickly now that he's eight months.  But I've only seen the fancy insulated kind, and I do not want to spend that kind of money on one cup.  Another reason I'm glad I chose the cheap ones is that I just recently found out that some kids who drink from the cups with the valve develop a tongue thrust when they use their tongues to stop the flow, and then have difficulty speaking.  Hooray for the cheap cups!

We also have a new rule.  Grant needs to eat at least one full jar of fruit before bed so that he doesn't get up to eat at 5 or 6am.  He ate lots of fruit last night before bed and then didn't get up until 9 today.  Thank goodness!

And he is getting his first two teeth!  The front two on the bottom, just as expected.  He was not feeling great when they were cutting through the gums, and had a very stuffed up nose for a few days, but he seems to be feeling much better the last couple days and especially this morning.  His little teeth are so cute!  I can't wait to get some pictures of him when they come all the way up!

It is SO wonderful being at home with Grant all the time.  I love him so very much.  He brings so much happiness to Trevor and me.  Now that he's here we just can't believe we ever lived without him.  Definitely, people should have children because they want them, but having always wanted them, I can't imagine never having him.  There are no words to express how much I love him.  We are SO glad he came to be in our family and that Heavenly Father sent him to us.

Thank heaven for little boys!

Monday, August 31, 2009


Trevor has been very busy learning all about cameras since last December, when we bought our first digital SLR, a Canon Rebel XS.  We LOVE it.  We've taken more than 10,000 pictures in under a year.  Now that we are both getting better at taking pictures, we are venturing out to take pictures of someone other than Grant.  We've done one family shoot and one maternity shoot, and since I've been busy honing my cake decorating skills at the same time, we introduce our latest blog, featuring the two things we hope to soon get actually paid to do.  My cake prices will be basically the materials cost for the next little while, if you're interested, and we haven't yet started charging for a photo shoot - so if you'd like us, let us know!  We're available weeknights and weekends, so get your name on the list!

Click here for the new blog: a sneak peek of our maternity shoot and a shot of my latest cake!

Edit [November 10, 2010]:  This link doesn't work anymore - sorry!  I don't make cakes, but I do take pictures.  Come find me here instead.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


As my last post was a bit of a rant, I want to sum up the learning I am already doing. In reflecting on this, thanks to the wonderful Visiting Teaching message from the Church's magazine which caused me to do so, I realized how much continual learning I am immersing myself in from day to day:

1. Cake decorating classes: I took the first two Michael's cake decorating classes while in Vancouver, and since we have been back in Lethbridge I have made four different cakes to practice my skills. I also plan to take the third decorating class this fall.

2. I began (again) the Harry Potter series at the beginning of July while in California and have just finished the 6th book. Seventh book here I come! (Haha, is this learning?)

3. I read the book for the ward's Book Club each month and then meet with the other women at the end of the month to talk about the book and eat treats.

4. I also read two other books this month, both by James Patterson, just for fun.

5. I am currently working on my online bookkeeping course that I started in Vancouver and have a goal to work on it for at least three hours each week. At this rate, I should be done in just a week or two.

6. I practice photography with the tips and rules that Trevor has taught me and I'm sure I am getting better!

7. I regularly read Maclean's, Today's Parent, and the Ensign.

8. I am eagerly awaiting my mom's visit in September so she can bring with her the sewing machine she bought me (and because I love her) and have my name down to take sewing classes with my sister-in-law at Fabric Addict.

9. I read my scriptures each day, at least one chapter out of the Book of Mormon. I am currently here. I've read the Book of Mormon at least 10 times.

10. I look for cultural learning experiences. For example, Grant and I went to the International Festival in Lethbridge at the beginning of August and watched many kinds of dancing from around the world, including belly dancing and Phillipino.

There you have it - 10 ways I'm already following the Lord's counsel to seek learning. One of the Young Women's Program's value motto says: "I will continually seek opportunities for learning and growth" and I am working to expand my skills, enrich my knowledge, and develop my talents in order to receive the promises mentioned in the message this month:

“Lifelong learning is essential to the vitality of the human mind, body, and soul. It enhances self-worth and self-actuation. Lifelong learning is invigorating mentally and is a great defense against aging, depression, and self-doubt” (Elder Robert D. Hales, “The Journey of Lifelong Learning,” in Brigham Young University 2008–2009 Speeches [2009], 2, 8–9).


All my life I've wanted to be a mom. I've planned for it and prayed for it and just plain yearned for it. Always, always, always. I practiced on countless dolls, beanie babies, barbies, stuffed animals, pet hamsters, mice, a cat, and about a billion different fish - and finally I have my little boy!!!

I love him so much! But this post isn't about him - it's about me (like most of my posts). The mystery now to me is, after all the planning and wishing and hoping, why do I feel like I should have some kind of answer for the question "What did you do for school?" other than "I started my nursing degree.... and never finished it."

Even before Grant was born, I had found that the old saying is true - a woman's work is never done. I have plenty to keep me busy from day to day, between laundry, baby messes, the running of a household, cooking, cleaning, blogging, church responsibilities, bill paying.... you get the idea. It's not that I don't have enough to do! But here is the dilemma: Should I go back to school part-time? Full-time? Before I tell you the answer that will most likely win out, let me highlight the two different scenarios that are possible:

1. I could return to school full-time starting next September, for three years, and complete my nursing degree. It would be a lot of work and money, and we'd have to put off buying a house and having another baby.

2. I could do a program that is newly offered at the college, Emergency Medical Responder (the lowest-on-the-totem-pole version of a paramedic).

This is something I've wanted to do since I was very small. My mom used to tape the old show with William Shatner, Rescue 9-1-1, for me, since 9pm was way past my bedtime, and I loved to watch it. I didn't dream of being a nurse or doctor, but a paramedic.

The big appeal for this is that it is now at the college, as I said, which means it won't be such a crash course in comparison to the one offered at St. John's, and it is offered starting in January 2010, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-10pm! That would be ideal, as Trevor could take care of Grant, and he would no longer be nursing as he turns one year old in January. Even if Trevor were late coming home from work, I could most likely take Grant to his Grandma Curtis' house, which is not far from the college.

SO... I'm sure you can guess where I'm going with this.

I would LOVE to finish my nursing degree, but I feel strongly that my work is here, in my home, with my baby, and I very much cannot justify putting him in daycare, delaying buying a house, and putting off having another baby for it.

The EMR course seems like a happy middle ground for me. I would be done in three months and get those fancy letters at the end of my name - and the fancy piece of paper on the wall. Perhaps this is more an issue of me being happy with where I am. I do love being at home with Grant, and it is SO much better than working - I simply can't stress that enough. And I want to have another baby - many more, if I can. And we obviously want to buy a house as soon as possible.

So that will most likely be what I do. Right now I am just finishing up my bookkeeping course, and once I finish that (in the next few weeks) I will allow myself to (most likely) apply to the EMR program at the college. Hopefully the January session won't be full by then.

Wish me luck!

Note: Sometime in the future I would still love to finish my nursing degree and I am determined to - but it will wait. Being a mother in the most important work in the world.

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

No other success can compensate for failure in the home. ~President David O. McKay

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Grant was able to go to his first little birthday party at a friend's house on August 1st! His friend Troy turned 2 on July 30th. Happy Birthday Troy!

One of Troy's presents was a bubble machine, so it had to be tried out!

Grant also tried out his little car while we were there.

And on August 6th, we went to my friend Crystal's birthday party - it was a dessert potluck, so I naturally had to demonstrate my -ahem - cake making skills. No, I'm definitely nowhere near as good as Bakerella, but I'm working on it. This was my first attempt at making these fun little Happy Meals. I used a white cake mix for the cupcakes:

My very own recipe for the brownie burgers, white icing colored with food coloring, and a sugar cookie recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker for the sugar cookie french fries.

Assemble them...

Bakerella graciously provided the template on her site for the boxes, as well as some blank fry holders, which I added text to in Photoshop (first time using it, too!). I also made my own paper for the lining of the boxes in Photoshop. I had it all printed at a local place - the fry holders on regular paper, the boxes on cardstock, and the lining paper on vellum, since they didn't have tissue or tracing paper. I think they came out great! Next time, I need to cut the cupcake buns smaller, and the brownie burgers shorter. Also, too much icing made the burger tops slide all over the place, but I was pretty happy overall!

There you have it!