Thursday, March 29, 2012

What the dangit!

On March 21st, it snowed here. Snowed I tell you! Stupid stupid Oregon. You make me crazy in the springtime. Just give me some freakin' sun!
The only upside to all of this terrible weather is Briz playing in the snow with her friends, Cole and Ty. She was pretty ecstatic about making a snowman. (She also thought Cole's name was Colan). The last time we were out in the snow was when we went snow shoeing up by Mount Hood. So when she saw the snow, she looked to me and asked me if we could go hiking.The

(The title of this post can be credited to Sadie Nielson: her most recent catch phrase).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Seeing the princesses!

I already added a bunch of pictures on facebook that you can see here.  We went to Disneyland a few weeks ago with the Papworths and had a blast.  I don't think that I would say it was exactly restful, but it was in fact, awesome.  Will and Briz and Ella were so cute together.  And Michael and Kristi were very patient with Nick and I's amusement park craziness.  The real low point was shoving the 3rd pair of socks into Briz' boots (that Nick purchased in Anaheim after discovering Briz was a couple inches too short to go on the "big rides"), and watching Briz hobble her way to the front of the line.  In the end, we were only able to sneak her onto Splash Mountain and Star Tours (damn Disneyland workers!).

The highlights:

- Briz meeting "Mapunzel." She was absolutely nervous and star struck, it was adorable.  She told Rapunzel she loved her and sang her the song from Tangled, "And at last I see the light."  
- Watching the parade and Briz getting so excited about all of the characters (well, mostly the princesses)
- Riding the Dumbo ride: it was her favorite
- Watching Briz' face as we went down the big fall at Splash Mountain.  She was pretty freaked out but loved it.
- Staying up way too late talking to Michael and Kristi, which made us even more tired (not smart, but definitely worth it).
- Nick going to California Adventure; he had never been.  What makes us especially cool was when we sprinted to Tower of Terror just so we could get on the very first ride of the day.
- My Dad coming and spending some time with Briz and the whole gang (Don't ever tell my Dad that you're going to Disneyland, because he may try to show up and join you :) ).
- Briz and I decided to stay a few days longer and go see Paul, Mac, Baby Dane, Baxter, and Bailey.  We mostly just hung out and enjoyed the sun.  But we did go to Seaworld one day where Briz was able to watch Shamu in all his glory.  She is OBsessed.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Heaven Day # 5

I've started calling the anniversaries of Holland's death, her Heaven Days.  I don't personally think it's the greatest term; I think it's good to practice saying the word death and died and all of that.  However, I am trying to turn it into a day of positive solace for our family; one in which I can explain it to Briz.  So for Brizzy's sake, we refer to every 22nd as Holland's Heaven Day.  The first year we will have them every month, and I'm not sure what we will do the second year, but definitely less frequent.

Today, Holland has been dead 5 months.

I have been extra grateful for Briz today and my ability to still feel like a Mom every day.  I have been extra grateful for the fun moments we have together: laughing and coloring and learning (and yes, disciplining).  I have been extra proud of my beautiful, strong little girl.  And we have been talking an extra special amount about Holland.  Briz likes to pretend that Holland is here, and she takes Holland along with her to do all sorts of fun things.  Today, Briz talked about bringing Holland to Nike school, and going swimming with Holland.  And today, as always, but perhaps a little more, I miss my beautiful little baby.  One of the things I miss most is holding her and singing her.  When we had our quiet moments together, we would look into each others' eyes.  I would talk to her and listen to her sweet baby talking.  But mostly, I loved to sing to her.  Those are some of my favorite moments in this life: holding Holland in her room, taking in her sweet baby smell, sharing music with her, and feeling like we were connecting in a way that reaches beyond conversation.  

After she died, I made a CD of songs that I call my Holland lullabye songs.  These were songs that I sang to her a lot at night.  They aren't spiritual or anything, just songs that remind me of these moments together with her.  And this is one of my favorites:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fool in the Rain

I have many happy, proud moments as a Mom.   But today may have been a highlight when Briz confirmed her love for Zeppelin.  At first, I thought it may have been a fluke, but she consistently lets me know that whenever a Zeppelin song comes on, its her "favorite."  I can be hard on myself about my parenting; I always want to be doing the right thing for the Brizzle, but today I took a big sigh and thought to myself, "Maybe I'm doing SOMETHING right." :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hawaii Part 2: A lot of our favorite things

I wanted to share a few of our favorite things about going to Hawaii (as well as the rest of our pictures).  But I realized soon after that thought, that there really aren't just a FEW things.  There are a lot of things . . . and a lot of pictures.  So sorry, but get yourself comfortable.  

1.  The sunshine. Duh.  And not just the sun, but the warm warm sun.  

2. Briz wearing her new adorable Hannah Anderson swimsuit.  It ALMOST fit.  As you can see, what was supposed to be a tankini, really quickly turned into a quasi-bikini.  We love her big buddha belly (well, most of the time).

3. Papa and Nona being there with us and helping take care of Briz.

4. My Dad's facial hair.   He never ever grows facial hair, so it's quite a unique thing to witness it.

 5.  Briz finally getting some color,  She's ridiculously white, particularly when standing next to my Dad.

 6.  Making fun of my Mom for 8 days straight.  I can be mean, but sometimes it's just way too easy.  i.e. See picture above with her wearing two pairs of glasses.

 7.  Briz learning to not be afraid of the waves.  When we first arrived at the beach, she was f-a-reaking out about the waves.  By the end of the trip, she was no longer afraid of them.

8.  Swimming in the warm ocean water and getting splashed by waves.  Even though it's somewhat of a painful experience to get slammed into the ocean floor, I still can't help but laugh.  I get that from my Mom's side of the family.  Besides, I mean, who doesn't enjoy a truckload of sand up your swimsuit?

 9.  Spending time as a family.  It was so nice to spend more than just a weekend together.  There's never enough time.  (This picture could have been cute but my eyes were closed).

 10.  Briz sleeping like a champ. She took naps on the beach.  Gotta love the sun and water, because they totally knocked her out.  When she went to bed at night, she would just pass out.  I am not sure she's ever slept so soundly.  In fact, it made me really nervous at times, so I had to check on her a few times during the night just to ease my anxiety.

11. Eating sandy food.  Why in the world is Briz cool with eating a sandwich completely covered in sand but yet, will not go anywhere near peanut butter?  One of the strange mysteries of the toddler world.

12.  Spending time with Auntie Sandy.  Sandy was so good to Briz.  Briz loved playing with her and seeing her.

13.   Some forced time with Mom.  Actually, this isn't true at all.  Unlike her normal self, Briz has been extremely attached to me, and wants to do EVERYTHING with me.  I have very mixed feelings about this.  Sometimes I like to pretend it irritates me when really I love it, and other times, it actually does irritate me.

 14.  This really isn't unique to Hawaii, but Briz picking her nose.

15.  Spreading the Nike brand across Maui.

16. Nick boogieboarding and doing it quite well.  The word for Nick on his board is gutsy.  There are other words that come to mind, but this is a family blog so I will keep it clean.

17.  The beautiful blue water.  We didn't do a ton of snorkeling, but the little bit that we did was awesome.  

18. Making Briz try boogieboarding.  She was terrified and no big surprise, but she got knocked over by a wave and was scarred for a few days.

19.  Briz being absolutely obsessed with Hudson.  Or should I say, "Hudthon."  He was very nice to her, especially as she followed him around with his cousins and friends.  Briz thought she was one of the big kids.

20.  Briz sporting her water wings everywhere.  The best is when she can't reach for things because her arms are so stiff from them.

21.  Briz wanted to play in the sand for hours and hours.  It was her absolute favorite thing to do.  She kept saying she was making  pink chocolate and wanted to feed everybody.  She also manipulated everybody into going to fill her bucket with water because she was afraid of the waves.

 22.  Not cooperating with the potty training, and therefore, taking numerous walks with people to the bathroom so we could try to get her to go.  It was a battle all week long.  (Please note this is actually not one of my favorite things about Hawaii).

23.  Briz being confused about the difference between the beach and Hawaii.  She thought the beach was Hawaii, and every time we left to go back to the house, she would say, "I miss Hawaii." I think she may have finally caught on by the time we left, but I'm still not really sure.

24. Lots and lots of reading.  I was completely engrossed in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."  I loved it.  There is nothing quite like reading on the beach and falling asleep mid page.

25.  Nick having a boogie-boarding partner.  Since Sandy and Luke and Hudson live in Alaska, we don't get to see them much.  So it was fun just seeing them and spending time with them.  Plus, Luke and Nick are crazy on the boogie boards together and that's always entertaining.

 26.  Burying Hudson in the sand and Briz being the bully that she is, making the situation even worse for him by throwing sand on his head and in his face.


 27.  I felt a little less guilty when she started throwing sand on herself.

 28.  The awesome, random rain storms.

 29.  Walking/Running along the beach.

 30.  The sunsets

 31.   Yah yah playing with the Brizzle.

 32. Swimming in the pool.  The place we were at had this amazing infinity pool.

 33.  Brizzy improving her swimming skills.

34.  Hot tubbin' it up.

 35.  Passing along my excellent hula dancing skills to Briz, although she didn't seem that interested.

36.  Crazy huge waves.  They were awesome.  And Nick decided to boogie board in them.  There were a few times where I was in complete shock watching him take massive waves.  He has absolutely no fear.  I wish I was more like that.

 37. Swimming in the huge waves.  I am only gutsy enough to go out in the water before the waves crash.  But it was fun, swimming in them and jumping into them.  The picture above, you can see me in the water right before a wave crashes.

 38.  Thinking about our Holly Hoo and how it would have been more fun with our whole family.

 39.  Napping in the sun.

 40. Checking out Nick's hot body. He's been workin' out and it shows.  Ow ow.

41.  Nick and I went surfing and that was SO much fun. I can definitely see how surfing could become addicting.

42.  Taking a canoe out to the middle of the ocean one morning with Nick and Briz and watching whales jump all over the place.  Also, spurring on Briz' obsession with whales and Shamu.  Seriously.  She won't stop talking about them.

As Brizzy says about every other day, "We miss you Hawaii.  We'll see you next time."