Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Sunday Blues

I don't know about you, but Sundays tend to be a little hectic for me. What ever happened to the day of rest?

Well, Sundays just managed to get a little more hectic for the Salmon family. Troy got called as 2nd counselor in the bishopric a couple of weeks ago. Wild right? I think what hit Troy the most was the fact that he is now a High Priest and would have to hang with all the old guys the rest of his life. No more Elder's Quorum socials for us! I think what hit me the most was how much time he'll need to put into this calling, leaving me a single mom for a good part of the week.

Because of General Conference, this was his first Sunday on the stand and my first Sunday sitting alone with little Pipster. Let's just say it was an incredibly long day.

I'm used to Troy being gone for a good portion of the day because before this he was the executive secretary. He usually had early mornings and late afternoons. I would get myself and Piper ready and was always relieved to know that Troy was already there waiting for me with a pew saved for us. This was the first Sunday where I had to get there early enough to find my own seat. Those of you who know me well know that I suffer from a severe disability of being chronically late so this was a challenge for me. I managed to make it a few minutes early though and I found myself a good seat.

Piper is just a little ball of energy constantly on the move and ready to discover something new in the world at every given moment. Holding her during church is a LOT of work. By the time the sacrament was passed it felt like I'd been holding her for a good 2 hours. I was already drained. Usually at this point I would trade off with Troy, but that wasn't going to happen and I began feeling a bit sorry for myself. I sat there and realized that this was going to be my life for the next couple of years. She started to get pretty disruptive and so I had to take her out in the hall and missed the rest of sacrament meeting. I then moved on to Sunday school where I was alone again for a good portion of the meeting until Troy showed up, but then I had to leave again because Piper was fussing and ready for a nap. I finally got her to sleep just in time for Young Women's but it didn't last long once the Young Men filed into the room for a joint lesson. They were as loud as ever and tried to peek at Piper under her car seat cover.... those little punks. She was wide awake and lasted for a good 5 minutes of the lesson before I had to take her out again before she ran the spirit right out of the room. So much for church that day!

I had choir right after church, but had to run home quickly because I had run out of wipes and Piper was in serious need of a diaper change. I got home to find that Piper had blown out of her diaper and her adorable little outfit was now covered in poop. I then had to quickly find her something new to wear and then rush over to choir practice. Luckily Piper loves music and was pretty good for most of the practice and even joined us in song for a few verses haha.

I got home and Piper was in dire need of a nap, but felt the need to put up a good fight. I finally just put her in her crib to cry it out while I scrambled to try and make some mashed potatoes in the 20 min I had left before I needed to be at Troy's parents for dinner. Troy got home just around the time we were supposed to be leaving and looked at my progress with the potatoes and said "Running a little late?" I'm pretty sure I gave him a serious stink eye.

At this point I was starving and exhausted with a bad headache.

We made it to Troy's parents and Troy got to stick around for about an hour before he had to leave again for another meeting.

Do you feel sorry for me yet? Cuz I sure did. Haha

On my drive home I was thinking about my day and my terrible attitude. I thought about how this was going to be my life for the next few years and the sooner I accepted it and changed my attitude about it the better off I would be. Sure, I would likely have a lot more tough Sundays, and Tuesday and Wednesday nights while we're at it (more meetings), but there is a reason why Troy has been called at this time and in this particular calling. He needs my support. I decided that this would be the last day I would let myself indulge in my own pity party. I have faith that Heavenly Father will give us both the strength and energy to carry on. I'm confident that as time goes on we'll be able to see this as a big blessing in our lives. I know that although we may be spending less time together that we will be blessed to grow closer to one another. I've already felt it. I also know that Heavenly Father will bless us to be the parents we need to be to our sweet little Piper. I'm very grateful to have a husband who is a beacon of strength to me. He is such an example to me of faithfulness, and service. I have not heard a single word of complaint from him so far even though it's him that's enduring the long days and meetings. He is a very compassionate and caring person. Troy is one of the most non-judgmental people I know and is always looking to lend a hand to those in need. He loves the Lord and always strives to do what's right. I love him and know that he'll put his all in this calling and he'll be great at it.

I will do my best to support him and when I'm feeling worn out I'll do my best still wear a smile on my face because I know that's what the Lord would want me to do. I know he'll be there to bear us up.

"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up" (D&C 84:88).


Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

6 & 7 Months


Piper will be 8 months old in a week... SERIOUSLY?! How did this even happen!!! It's all just going way too fast! The last two months have somehow come and gone in a big blur so I thought I would just combine months 6 and 7 together.

Each month is more fun than the last. Piper is becoming quite the little character and she makes us laugh all the time. She's had several big developments over the last two months.

First of all she started crawling about a week before her 7 month birthday and she is on the go non-stop these days.

Here's a little video of her when she had barely started.


video



It only took her a couple weeks of getting on her hands and knees to figure out how to crawl. Before crawling her favorite thing to do was get into the downward dog yoga position with her butt high in the air. I really wish I'd caught a picture of that. It was really funny.

Now that she's mobile she follows me everywhere. I'll be working in the kitchen and she's always right there at my feet. She's my little shadow.

Piper is now sitting up like a pro. She learned how to crawl before she mastered sitting up by herself.

More movement = more injuries. Piper has been getting a lot of bruises on her head recently because she slips on the hardwood. She has also just barely started to pull herself up on things which usually ends with her falling down. It's a little stressful! The sound of her head hitting the floor makes me ill every time. Would it be weird if I had her wear a helmet everyday?

Another favorite pastime she's acquired since starting to crawl is following her best friend Sushi around. She adores this cat. The instant he walks into the room she goes crazy and heads straight for him. What's amazing is how good he is with her. She'll be yanking on his ear or tail and he just let's it happen until I can unleash her death grip! What a good cat. He'll go over and rub up against her and knock her over and she thinks it's hilarious.

I love these pictures of them together. They are a little blurry, but you get a good idea of their relationship.








I sing to Piper all the time. She loves it when I bust out into song. Often it's just something I'm making up on the spot and she gets a kick out of it. Recently she's started singing/yelling with me. She'll usually sing out really loud and will hold it for a long time, but this was the best I could get out of her this morning for the video.


video


Troy says that there's no chance of having a quiet daughter with me as her mother.


Piper is such a happy happy girl! I love it! It doesn't take much to get a big smile or laugh out of her. The instant she hears someone else laughing she joins right in. I'll be laughing at something funny and suddenly realize that Piper is sitting there laughing with me. She's a cheese ball.
Her happiest time is probably the morning. My all time favorite part of the day is getting Piper out of her crib in the morning. When I walk into the room she gets the biggest smile on her face and she starts panting like a little puppy dog. She basically starts convulsing out of excitement in her crib just at the sight of me. There's no better way to start your day. Even if I'm exhausted her happiness and excitement is contagious.



Something to know about Piper is that she NEVER STOPS MOVING! EVER. That girl has been a squirmer from day one. Her legs are bouncing or kicking constantly. She cannot hold still. It's usually pretty funny, but gets extremely tiring during church.

Another thing that doesn't stop moving is her little tongue. Or should I say abnormally long tongue. She's got that thing sticking out all the time or else it is twisting around in her mouth.

Piper does this thing we call the diaper dance. Almost every time I change her diaper and I'm attempting to put on the new one, she does this little squirmy dance where she moves her body from side to side. It's actually pretty cute, but makes fastening the new diaper really difficult.


Piper is doing great at eating her solids these days. So far she seems to like everything I've stuck in her mouth which is great! The only difficult part is keeping her focused on eating! Like I said, she doesn't hold still very well so if she's distracted by something she does not make it easy getting that spoon into her mouth!


Piper loves other kids and can't get enough of them. She loves seeing and playing with her cousins.


She also loves cartoons. The only time she'll really pay attention to the TV is if there is a cartoon on. It's a really nice distraction when I'm trying to get something done.


Piper's newest trick is clapping! She just learned how to do this over the weekend and I think it is adorable! Here's a video of it. You even get to see her sing a little again.



video



Piper just brings so much joy to our lives and we are having so much fun with her right now. It amazes me how quickly babies learn things and how much they grow and change over such a short amount of time. It's so exciting, but also so sad all at the same time. I'm just so grateful for this little girl!

The Hair



When Piper was born she had the most beautiful thick head of hair. Everyone was telling me it would likely rub off, but after a couple of months of the same gorgeous hair I thought I was in the clear.


It wasn't until she was about 5 months old that her hair started to fall out. I would go take her out of her crib and I could see a ton of her hair had rubbed off on the sheet. It was actually really sad.

Time went on and things started getting a little bit crazy! Chunks of her hair were all at totally random lengths. The back was short and rubbing off and the top was really long with some receding hair lines. Even in the short areas there were still some random hairs that were really long. I would attempt to do her hair, but it never took long before it was all over the place again.

I would pull her out of her car seat and people would begin laughing at her... that's never a good sign.

You wouldn't laugh at this face would you??


Her Uncle Mason had begun to refer to her as Doc. Brown from Back To The Future.

She even had a little rat tail going on in the back




Alright, so maybe it was getting a little out of control. But I thought it gave her character! That little rat tail also helped me measure how long her hair would have been if it hadn't all fallen out! It would have been so cute and long... so sad.

Anyways, my sister in-law Cassie finally convinced me to let her cut it.

This was the last day with her wild hair I actually got it to go in cute little pigtails!



Then came the cut



video


I was actually pretty sad to see her hair go at first. But her new hair has really grown on me and is a lot easier to manage than before. It has even gotten more curly which I LOVE!

I forgot to take a picture after the haircut, but here are a few recent ones I took where you can kind of get an idea of her hair these days. A big improvement!


Here we are this past weekend in St. George. Piper getting ready to go swimming for the first time! It was 85 degrees... sigh.


Here's Piper hanging out with nothing but her socks on.
She gets it from her Daddy! Haha just kidding!



Thursday, March 10, 2011

So I Don't Forget

It makes me so sad to think that I've already begun to forget little things that Piper did when she was a newborn and that was only 7 months ago! This post is an effort to preserve some of those memories.

Newborn to 2 Months Old

  • 2 week Check up
    Weight: 7 lbs 13 oz % 32
    Height: 20" % 37
    Head Circum: 36 %50

  • Piper grunted all the time, particularly when she was sleeping. This resulted in her sleeping in our closet so I could get a little more sleep.
  • Piper tuted ALL the time! Somehow she always knew the exact moment to let it rip in order to bring the most humiliation to her mother. ie. While standing next to a stranger in the grocery store. Of course I'm forced to make a comment to my baby like "Wow baby girl!" So people know it was not me.

  • Had a little Jaundice
  • The colic began
  • Slept between 4 to 5 hours at night
  • Went 4 hours between feedings during the day
  • Went on her first trip to Lake Powell (5 weeks)
  • Smiled for the first time (5 Weeks)
  • Started to sleep a bit longer at night
  • Colic hit it's peak (7 weeks)
  • Laughed for the first time = HEAVEN!

2 Months Old

  • 2 month Check up
    Weight: 9 lbs 3 oz % 14
    Height: 21.5" % 18
    Head Cir: 37 %10

  • Did not poop for 8 days (TMI?)
  • LOVED the swing
  • No more colic!!!!! (10 Weeks)

3 Months Old

  • Started to watch and reach for things
  • Loved to sit under her Ocean Wonders Play Mat
  • Started to pay attention to the TV
  • Happy happy girl!
  • Went on her first plane ride & vacation to Hawaii. She was a perfect angel and loved to watch the waves.

4 Months Old

  • Became very vocal and began to distract the Young Women from their lesson on Sundays
  • Started to roll over back and forth
  • Very ticklish
  • Loved and still loves attention and does not like to be alone for too long
  • First Christmas with the whole Salmon fam and most of the Kane clan in Utah
  • First New Years in Nampa, Idaho
  • Began to really enjoy her bath time while kicking and splashing in the water





5 Months Old

  • Began her love for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  • Fell in love with our cat Sushi
  • Fell in love with her Jumperoo play center
  • Her beautiful hair began falling out in random patches :(
  • Started to sleep in her crib in her own room
  • Tasted solid food for the first time




Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mommyhood


Leaving the hospital after having Piper was probably one of the most terrifying things I've ever experienced. Even though I had been an aunt since I was 13 I felt completely unprepared for what was ahead of me. When the time came to leave I had not really been able to get Piper to breastfeed. I have never had so many different people see/touch/squeeze/fondle/twist/(I could go on) my breasts in my entire life and even after all that I was still unsuccessful! I was confident that Piper was going to go home with me and starve to death and it would be all my fault. Luckily after a couple of more days of trying and a little formula later Piper and I both got the hang of breastfeeding for the most part. I would NOT have been able to do it without the encouragement from good friends and family and particularly my sister Charity. She came over a couple of days in a row and kept me calm and kept me persistent until I got it down. Not without a lot of tears though of course. A couple days later my mom came for ten days which was a huge lifesaver also. She helped me out in every way and I could not be more grateful that she came. Unfortunately when she left a got really sick and things just seemed to go downhill from there.

I don't know if there is really anything in the world that can prepare you for being a mother. I felt like all I'd ever heard was how wonderful it is but I have to be honest, the first few months were incredibly hard for me. Now I'm not saying this to scare anyone or to be a Debbie Downer, but I hope that I'll be doing someone a favor by being completely honest so they know they aren't alone if they have a similar experience as me. Piper was a pretty colicky baby and something inside you just snaps when you've been listening to a screaming baby for so long and there's nothing you can do to console it. I just felt so helpless and I started to feel really anxious and felt like I had made a big mistake. Those feelings led to feelings of serious guilt and all of that combined made it difficult for me to bond with my sweet little girl. I felt like my whole world had been completely turned upside down and I was too scared to leave my house and began feeling pretty trapped. I started to resent Troy even though he was doing his best because I felt like his life had hardly changed at all and mine was a mess. Of course I loved Piper so much and things weren't always bad, but I just had my moments where I felt like I was sinking! Again, if it hadn't been for good friends and family who were willing to listen to me and make me feel totally normal and not such a bad psycho mother I don't know what I would have done. Everyone just kept promising me it would get better and after about 2 months things really started to turn around for us. Piper began to be a super happy and easy baby!

The first time Piper smiled at me it completely melted my heart and seriously made EVERYTHING worth it for me! As she got a little older and her personality started to shine through I felt such a strong connection with her I seriously felt like I would explode with love for her. I really started to feel like I was getting the hang of things, I began to know what to expect and how to read Piper a lot better. Since then motherhood has been such a treat for the most part. I forget what life was like without my baby girl and she brings so much joy to Troy and I. It is so much fun to watch her grow and develop. I swear things just change so quickly it's insane! My baby is almost half a year old! She's just the cutest thing and I love her happy and curious nature. She's been very alert since she was born and she loves to squirm and move around all the time! I'm so excited for what's ahead with her and I'm happy that I was able to get through those hard times at the beginning. I know that Heavenly Father was really looking out for me and I'm comforted in knowing that he'll always have my back with raising my sweet angel baby Piper.



















Thursday, December 16, 2010

Welcome To The World Little Piper!


My due date was August 10th. I went to my doctor's appointment that day to see if there was any progress and there wasn't so my Doctor scheduled me for an induction a week later. I really thought I had a whole week ahead of me to get ready for the baby, but I was wrong.

That night I couldn't sleep very well because I was having severe back pain, but I just brushed it off as Piper pressing on my sciatic nerve. The next day I was driving Troy to go pick up his Dad's truck and on the way there I started feeling a little cramping and Troy could tell I was uncomfortable and asked if I was ok. I said ya, just some cramps and Troy proceeds to say "You're getting pretty ripe aren't you." I laughed and said ya I guess. Well right he was! After I dropped him off I was heading home in his car and felt a little trickle down under. The thought crossed my mind that my water may have just broke, but I passed it off as one of my regular tinkling episodes I'd gotten used to throughout my pregnancy. I decided to stop by the mail box before going home and right as I was unlocking the box I felt a big rush of water and quickly grabbed the mail and wobbled back to the car while trying to cross my legs. I put down some flyers on the seat so I wouldn't get it wet and quickly drove home. I knew Troy was about to walk into an important meeting and so I called him and told him I thought my water had broke, but I thought I had a lot of time so I told him to just go into the meeting and I'd keep him posted. I called my doctor's office and they told me I needed to come into the hospital as soon as possible so I texted Troy and he told me he would meet me there after his meeting. Nice... hahaha! I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to drive while you're in labor and so I told him I would have to find a ride and at that point he told me he was on his way home. Apparently he got up in the middle of the meeting and told them his wife was in labor and he needed to go. One of the clients said "The things you kids come up with these days." Haha!

Well Troy came home to me frantically trying to keep it together while I packed up a bag and thought of all the things I felt like I needed to get done before we left. I realized there was wet laundry in the washing machine, dishes in the sink and meanwhile I was being struck with minor contractions. Troy finally grabbed me and told me I was being crazy and that we NEEDED to go the hospital, NOW. So off we went! I was feeling pretty excited and nervous at the same time.

We got to the hospital and checked in and I thought I would have a while before I really had to get to work, but they had me get into a hospital gown right away and checked to make sure the right kind of fluid was coming out. The discovered some meconium (baby's first poo) and decided to set me up to petocin to speed things up. I found out after they hooked me up that I wasn't going to be able to eat until after the baby was born. I was actually really hungry so that was a big motivation for me to get that girl out of me! I just kept talking about when I was going to be able to eat... haha food is clearly a big priority for me. All I was allowed to eat was some ice chips with snow cone syrup on it which was actually pretty awesome.

Troy and I really didn't know what to expect, but my sister Charity soon came to our rescue and really helped us relax by explaining things to us and offered us a lot of comical relief. We also had some awesome nurses helping us out and I really appreciated them.

When the time came for my epidural I was starting to get pretty uncomfortable, but I was still really nervous about the giant needle that was about to enter my spine... Turns out the doctor had to do it twice because he couldn't get it in my spine properly. Definitely not pleasant! I felt relief for a little while but then I started getting really bad pain in my back and ribs and it started to make me throw up so the doctor came back and increased the pain medicine a little bit so the numbing would go a little higher. After that I felt awesome! Turns out the pain was due to the fact that I had gone from a 2 to an 8 within 2 hours. It wasn't too much later that I started pushing little miss Piper out! All everyone kept saying was how much hair she had. I didn't push for long before Piper literally came flying out! The doctor almost didn't catch her and just like that we were officially parents! The whole labor was not nearly as bad as I was anticipating and the time seemed to fly by! We went into the hospital around 3 p.m. and piper was born at 12:00 a.m. plus 9 seconds on August 12th.

When Piper was FINALLY brought over to me after getting her lungs suctioned out due to the meconium I was in heaven! Snuggling up to this sweet little baby was like a dream come true and I couldn't have been happier. At that point I was absolutely exhausted! We got wheeled up to our room and I was really looking forward to a little sleep, but the nurses had other plans. They gave Piper a bath and went through all kinds of paperwork and information with me until 3 O'CLOCK IN THE FREAKING MORNING!!! I was so tired! They finally left Troy and I alone and took Piper with them so we could get a few hours of much needed sleep.

Well turns out the labor was the easy part and I was really terrified for what was ahead of me! I was suddenly a mom to the sweetest little angel, but I really felt like I had NO idea what I was doing!! All I can say is that Piper is now nearly 6 months and thankfully still alive and healthy!





















Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Graduation


Well it's been a lonely week at home with Troy being away on a hunting trip and I figured it was about time that I post some seriously needed updates.

So it's a little sad that this big event took place all the way back in April and I'm only writing about it now, but I really wanted to document my feelings from my graduation day... well what I can remember 7 months later.

My last semester of college seemed to have sped by. I was super lucky to have made it through the whole semester without my pregnancy really getting in the way of my school work, although I'll admit that I threw out the pregnancy card once or twice. By the time my graduation date had crept up on me I couldn't believe the day had finally come!

It was an awesome day! I was so happy that my parents made the arrangements to be there for the ceremonies and really appreciated their support. Another huge highlight was not only having the Prophet there, but the entire first presidency! I actually got two thumbs up from Pres. Uchtdorf, or Uncle Dieter as I like to call him ;). Hearing from President Monson at the convocation and shaking his hand afterward was seriously a dream come true for me. I felt like the whole thing made up for me not graduating from BYU-Idaho and it was really special. A couple of days before the big day I needed to take a break from my studies and turned on the TV. I happened to come across the biography of Pres. Monson and watched as story after story was shared about all the individual lives Pres. Monson touched through his continuous acts of service. I was struck by all the good he's done in his life by just doing simple kind and thoughtful things for people. He was always so in tune with the spirit and always followed through with the promptings he received. I realized that I could easily follow his example and become more service oriented. After having that experience I was even more excited to hear him speak at my graduation. I remember feeling the spirit really strongly testifying to me of how proud Heavenly Father was of me for sticking it through and getting my degree. I got pretty emotional as I sat and listened to the prophet's encouraging words and felt my sweet little baby girl kicking away inside of me. I thought about how I hoped this accomplishment of mine would better the lives of my children and I again felt a waive of the spirit confirming that it would and that I had done what the Lord wanted me to. I know that I received a lot of help from above throughout my time at school and I'm so grateful for that. My time in college was a time of serious growth, I learned so much more about myself and what I can accomplish. My confidence soared and I realized that I had been cheating myself for many years. It was definitely not always easy and I was often pushed to my limits, but I'm so grateful for all the experiences I had and for all the fun I had in the process. It's still crazy to think that it's over and I don't have to worry about that paper I've procrastinated doing or the test that's looming around the corner! I thought it was pretty classic that on the day of my graduation I was worrying about a late project I still needed to hand in. I will never learn. Well anyways, I hope that even though I don't have to worry about deadlines anymore I will still push myself to continue to learn and grow.

So long college. Thank you for some of the funnest times of my life. Thank you for helping me find myself. Thank you for helping me find my husband. Thank you for your challenges, life lessons, failures and accomplishments. Thank you for great friends and great memories. I'll miss you, well most parts of you at least.



My first semester at BYU-Idaho - Winter 2006








Fall Semester 2006
















Winter Semester 2007



















Fall Semester 2007



















Winter Semester 2008 - My Last Semester at BYU-I :(




Troy's Grad - Summer 2008



My Graduation from Weber State - April 2010