Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Lost My Baby in Arizona

Baby Cara is completely amazing. She charms everyone. And no, this is not just Mommy prejudice speaking. This weekend we went to Arizona for Ryan's brother's wedding. Congratulations Merrill and Meghan! It was a tough weekend for a little girl not quite 3 months old, but she was charming nonetheless.

Example One: We flew into Arizona with Becky (Ryan's sister) and Blake (her husband), and Chari (Ryan's aunt), whom we had met in the airport. This is probably quite natural, but as soon as they saw us, their eyes went down to the carrier in Ryan's hands and they got huge grins as they got so excited to see "BABY!!!" Auntie Becky immediately produced an adorable little teddy bear that Cara decided she liked.

Example Two: After arriving in Arizona, we were picked up by Ryan's parents. Susan, bless her heart, had the same reaction as her daughter and sister. "BABY!!!" (Imagine that being said in a high, squeaky, drawn-out tone- quite hilarious in the middle of an airport, really.) The best part, though, was after we had all piled into the car. Ryan, Cara and I were in the middle seat. Susan, Chari, and Becky all sat in the back behind us. We were serenaded by the croons of happy relatives wanting nothing more than to play with newly christened Caraboo. (Isn't that adorable? I love it.) High-pitched laughs and baby talk frequently gave way to, "Stop talking to her. She wants to look at me now!" delivered in good-natured and semi-serious tones. I occasionally glanced back over my seat and was met with the sight of three grown women craning their necks, all but pushing each other over, with huge smiles on their faces, trying to attract Cara's attention. It was awesome.

Example Three: The next morning was the wedding. We showed up right on time, and were there to catch the tail end of another wedding party that was finishing up pictures. I sat outside to stay with my little girl and catch up on my reading while everyone else went in to watch the ceremony. Eventually, one of the grandpas of this wedding party I was in no way affiliated with came over and started cooing over Cara. He asked me all the pertinent questions, and eventually asked if he could hold her. I was a little nervous, but allowed him. He took her over to the rest of his family, and they made much over her as well. His wife scolded him for walking around taking other people's babies. It was funny- especially because he returned her safe and sound.

Example Four: Even Grandpa O (Ryan's Dad) and Blake, whom I expected to be much more stand-offish, wanted to hold her and seemed thoroughly entranced while doing so. I was amazed!

All in all, it was a good weekend. After the wedding, Ryan and I decided to go swimming. We left Cara in the hotel room with Grammy and Auntie Becky and got to be alone together for the first time since Cara was born. It was wonderful.

Oh!!! And she rolled over for the first time yesterday morning, from her tummy to her back. She hasn't done it again since, but she's learning and growing! Yay!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Settling In

Heber is wonderful. Our apartment is a little small, but it's a small price to pay for what we have here. The small town feel is perfect for us. Ryan's drive every day is absolutely beautiful, and he enjoys watching the seasons change in the canyon. We get glorious storms up here. The lightning flashes and thunder booms, clouds rage across the sky and rain pours down on us from the heavens. I love it. I don't know if Provo is getting these same storms, but it seems to me like we get more of them here on the other side of the mountains.

The people up here are our type of people, too. I went for a bike ride a few days ago and saw almost as many pastures with horses as there were houses. A grandpa was driving down the street in a shiny black horseless carriage (really, the car was that old. It was awesome!). Hitched to the back of it was an actual carriage bearing two little boys. I passed them, and the man honked at me. So fun! And yesterday, on our way out of town, we passed a gas station with one of those electronic signs. It of course flashed the time, and an advertisement for the gas station, and, intermittently, the words, "Yes! Dawn will go to Homecoming with Brian Hall!" We totally love small towns.

The ward is really nice, too. It's a more normal family ward than either of us have been to in several years. Half the people are grandparents, and a quarter of them are children of varying ages. I've already had offers from two grandmas to babysit when I need it, and one of them offered to watch Cara while I play with her horses! What an awesome deal! It's interesting, being the only one in Relief Society with a new baby. She gets many comments.

I'm also settling into Mommyhood. I may have said that before, but I believe it's going to be a long process of getting used to things and figuring things out and... and... and... :)

My hip is finally getting better. For a long time, even a few months before she was born, my hip would hurt to the point where I couldn't get up if I sat on it too long, or the wrong way, or lay on my back. It was miserable. But, like I said, that's finally getting better. Nursing is not quite as painful, either, anymore. I did end up getting a cramp or something under my shoulder blade (I'm not sure what from) and couldn't turn my head for several days. That's almost better, too.

Meanwhile, Cara is holding up her head, and smiling, and starting to figure out how to roll over. She has given us 8 hour stretches of sleep 3 times now (not consecutively... it'll be nice when it happens on a regular basis!) and she definitely knows who Mommy is. She follows me with her eyes, and cuddles into me when she's tired. She gives Ryan almost as many smiles as she gives me, and is overall a joy.

And I am figuring out how to live my life! I've started work on my class again and hope to have it finished in a couple of weeks. I've pulled out my sewing machine again. Ryan and I go on walks near the river and are working on writing a book. Right now I have zuccini bread in the oven, a sleeping baby on the couch, and a happy husband who just woke up from his own nap. Life is good, and we are happy.

Eddie Bauer

This post is probably going to get buried a little bit, because I have two posts to write today, but it's so fun and novel for me that I want to put it up anyway.

Last month, Ryan graduated from BYU. Yay!!! His parents came down from Idaho, and, regardless of the fact that we moved that same weekend, it was still kindof a big deal. Hello, he graduated from BYU! Congratulations, Ryan!

I wanted to get him something a little bit special and nice. But, at the same time, we are relatively poor and can't really afford extravagances. Both of his belts were shot. They were braided leather, and pieces of the braid were breaking and coming off. Since the plan now is for him to get a career, I figured that a nice belt wouldn't go amiss... especially if it were reversible.

I looked in several different stores, and didn't find anything that was quite what I wanted. I wandered past Eddie Bauer, and their clothes looked nice, so I went in. Lo and behold! The store was amazing! I had always glanced over it before; I'm a WalMart girl. I could never afford clothes from any type of brand-name store and, besides, any time I had gone into schmancy stores like that, I found I never really liked the clothes anyway. But Eddie Bauer was different. You see, they sell nice clothes... for the outdoors! They're stylish, but meant to be worn while doing outdoor activities. They have cool pockets, and zippers, and fabrics. Their accessories are often compasses and hiking packs. And- I found Ryan's belt there. It was a little pricey, but so stinking cool! It's black on one side and brown on the other, and the buckle swivels! I've never seen a belt quite like it. I've seen them where the buckle flips, but honestly, this is cooler. Anyway, I bought it, and they gave me a copy of their fall catalogue.

Again, normally I don't look in catalogues. I don't order clothes if I don't have to. I'm a very picky shopper (which is one reason why I actually don't have many "stylish" clothing items) and if I can't try it on, there's no point in buying it. But, I was intrigued enough to flip through the pages. I loved what I saw. Models in jeans, t-shirts, jackets and boots- leading horses. Pictures of people hiking through the mountains sporting cargo pants. A girl leaning against a wooden fence in a sweater, corduroy skirt, and mucking boots! It was fantastic! And all throughout were statements about the founders of the company, how they loved the outdoors and wanted to create clothes that were going to be durable enough to last through all sorts of activities. I was hooked. I kept the magazine around and ended up looking at it way too much.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and it turns out that my brother-in-law is getting married. His fiance has chosen the colors navy blue and royal blue for their receptions. I am supposed to be part of the wedding party (which was nice of her) and I needed to buy a dress. I don't know if anyone has gone shopping in the last few weeks, but blue is not this season's color! Store after store after store had absolutely nothing. It was ridiculous. I finally, once again, wandered into Eddie Bauer to see if they happened to have anything. Silly as I am, after looking at these clothes in the catalogue for so long, when I finally saw them for real I felt as though I was looking at celebrities. There was the green sweater! And the cute button-down-the-front crinkled blouse! I knew these clothes! Of course, I couldn't actually afford any of them. But then, there in the back, was the clearance rack. Again, lo and behold, Eddie Bauer has come to my rescue! I found a skirt that is white and... get ready for it... dark blue!!! I even found a white shirt to go with it, and a dark blue sweater. (The sweater was not on the clearance rack, but it was too cute to pass up.)

The moral of the story? I don't know. Perhaps there isn't one. But I did discover that even I can like brand-name clothing. And now I have a cute outfit from a store I really like. :)