Thursday, December 30, 2010

I left my heart in Washington.

This year (like the past 2 years) we have been lucky enough to fly into Seattle Christmas morning to be with my family.

Ayla did well on both flights (to Seattle she was just happy and cute and to Utah she slept the entire flight).

While in Washington we got to:

  • Open presents with family (on my mom's side AND my dad's side)
  • Visit downtown Seattle
  • Enjoy Ivar's clam chowder
  • Drink delicious coffee
  • Eat at Dick's
  • See the Harry Potter exhibit at The Pacific Science Center
  • Eat real Seattle Teriyaki (there is nothing like it in Utah)
  • Spend time with the people I love the most in the state that I love the most.
It seems like we did a lot of eating.  Ooooh boy, did we ever.  My mom made a delicious dinner of Turkey, Roast Beef, Shrimp, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Stuffing, Rolls, etc. on Christmas.  The next day my step mother Syl made an amazing Turkey and they whipped up some homemade eggnog.  And of course I had to visit all of my favorite places to eat and introduce them to Joseph (if he hasn't had them already) all in a quick 3 days!  I need to detox from all the food.  Yikes.

Here are some photos from the visit.  They are mostly from my cell phone because my camera broke a week before Christmas.  OF COURSE.

Ayla excited to get on the plane!

Ayla sitting in Grandpa Kurt's childhood chair, playing with uncle Aaron

She wanted baby Jesus
She found her favorite place at grandma's house
Grandma's present

Relaxing with uncle Chad

Ayla and grandpa John
Ayla and grammy Syl
Grandma and Ayla in the Center House
Joseph, Ayla, and Tonja in front of the snow globe in the Center House
Harry Potter!
The Pacific Science Center
Eating at Dick's after we saw Harry Potter

I wish that I had more photos, I would have hundreds had my camera not been broken!

I can't wait to get back to Washington again.  I am working on a way to be back there in the next 6 months.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Because I have lost any sort of creativity lately but I miss my blog...

I've been listening to this song a lot.  Luckily music fills oh so many voids.

Cursive- What Have I Done?

A year now and nothing much has changed

Holed up in a motel in El Paso
This was meant to be my great escape
I got lost along the way
Amongst free HBO and take out

I'm gonna write my Moby Dick
More like scratching lyrics on paper plates
I spent the best years of my life
Waiting on the best years of my life
So what's there to write about?

What have I done?
What have I done?

So is this my destiny?
From starlight into eternity
The gods must be laughing down at me
Ha ha ha

A traveling salesman at twenty years old
Stranded in Ann Arbor with a flat tire
I watched the sun sadly set
Any younger I may have wept
Much older I wouldn't have noticed
But I was out there in the world
And the world it passed me by
I was telling everyone back home
That I was taking it by storm
Instead I watched it from the roadside

What have I done?
What have I done?

Are these the best tales I can spin?
A boy waiting to begin
A man of no memoirs
What have I done?
What have I done?

And you're young and you're gonna be someone
And you're old and you're ashamed of what you've become
Well take a look around you
You're preaching to the choir

Ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha!

Tell me darling, what have I done?
What have I done?
What have I done?
What have I done?
What have I done?
What have I done?
What have I done?
What have I done?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I knew this would happen. And I need some *%#$^% sleep.

Since finishing my 30 Day of Blogging I have been M.I.A.  I've come to my blog a couple of times and stared at a blank "New Post" page only to end up closing it, still blank, 2 hours later.  And it's not that I don't have anything to say.  Sometimes I have toooo much to say and I don't know where to start.  Or I don't feel it is blog-worthy.  And sometimes what's going through my head, frankly, isn't any of the world wide web's business.

I need sleep.  Lately I've been asking myself how I was able to stay up and be entertaining until well past 3 AM.  Every.  Night.  How did I function?

At the age of 13 months Ayla has decided that she no longer needs to sleep.  Ever.  I'll lay her down for her afternoon nap (hoping to catch a little afternoon nap of my own) and half an hour later she's standing up, rocking back and forth causing her crib to bang into the wall, and yelling, "MAAAAAAMAAAAAA!"  Cute, right?  It's not so cute if the night before she was put to bed at 8:30 PM, awake at 10 PM, put back to sleep, awake at 12 PM.  Put back to sleep, awake by 1:30 AM... and this continues until the sun comes up and I have been up and out of bed up to 8 times.  Yes, one night I was up with Ayla 8 times.

Solution?  A vast google search has given me these things:  Let her cry it out and It's just a phase, deal with it.

Crying it out.  Something I have always heard about.  Something that some parents can do.  Me?  Oh no.  I cannot let my child "cry it out".  Not because I feel bad for her, that's not it.  It's because she will not.  The longer I leave her the more upset she becomes.  She screams louder and louder.  She has tears and snot all over the place.  Her voice gets hoarse.  She bangs her crib against the wall, if the crib is away from the wall she bangs her head against the crib.  For dramatic effect I am sure, afterall, she is Joseph's daughter.  SO.  When it's 3:15 AM and I am exhausted and I have not had a wink of sleep and I hear my child screaming and banging I lay there.  I wait.  I always thing to myself, "Maybe this one time she'll realize how tired she is and go back to sleep.  After 25 minutes of screaming and banging it's louder than ever and I can hear my neighbors stirring next door.  Oh yeah, did I mention that our walls are about as thick as tissue paper?  I obviously am not going to be able to sleep through this tantrum, my neighbors are also losing sleep (I'm pretty lucky they haven't slashed my tires or something like that), but miraculously, Joseph is wistfully snoozing, not a care in the world.  How?  So up I get to save my neighbors and my own sanity and console a child who is shaking, has hicups from screaming, dry her tears, give her some warm water, lay her back down, stroke her hair for a while until her wide eyes start to close... I stare at her perfect little face and I feel guilty for the angry thoughts that fly through my head when I'm laying in bed listening to her scream.  I get back in bed thinking to myself, "I really do have the sweetest baby."  And then 4:35 AM rolls around and I hear that familiar siren which starts out low and quiet and slowly rises in pitch and volume..."wwwwaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" 

When Ayla was a teeny Tiny I used to be able to get her from her crib, move to the couch, and she would fall asleep on my chest where we could sleep very peacefully until the morning if this sort of thing happened.  I had a bright idea to try that the other night and guess what happened?  I laid on the couch, laid my girl on my chest, closed my eyes and... POP!  The baby shot straight up.  Giggling.  It was pitch black and she was sitting on top of me cracking up.  At what?  I would love to know.  She then climbed to the ground, found a nearby toy and I heard something along the lines of this, "da-da-da-wikiwikiwiki-beeeebeeee-gigglegigglegiggle-HEY!HEY!HEY!-MOOOOOOOMMMM!"  We were there playing in the living room until 11:30 AM when the baby sitter showed up to give me a break and take Ayla to the mall.  And yes, Ayla was wide awake and smiley and giggley the whole time.  We will not be going to the couch anymore.

So the obvious thing that I need to do here is just deal with this phase.

Oh I need some sleep.  I am not even able to function anymore.  I have dark circles under my eyes.  My eyeballs are bloodshot.  Seriously.  People probably think that I'm high because my eyeballs are so red.

Suggestions?  I can feel my sanity slipping away one sleepless night at a time...

Luckily, even when it's too early for anyone to be happy I have this cute face to look at:
Ignore the crappy cell phone quality!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 30.

The very last day!  HOW SAD!

Day 30 – A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past.

In the bathroom at work, just for this blog post :) 12/9/2010
 3.  I discovered blogging!
2.  I learned to read.
1.  I had a beautiful baby girl named Ayla Marie.
Those are very general answers, but all very good things that have happened to me in the past!
I will miss my 30 Days of Blogging assignment... If you have any suggestions for things that I should write about leave a comment and let me know!  I will make a post just for you!

Day 29.

I have been putting off ending my 30 days of blogging... oh well, all good things must end.

Day 29 – Something you could never get tired of doing.

I could never get tired of waking up in the morning to a little girl in her crib saying "Maaaaaaaaama!" over and over until I pick her up, get her cleaned and dressed, get myself cleaned and dressed, and piled into the car.  We'll drop Joseph off at work, head East on University Parkway, and make our daily stop at Starbucks.

I love how excited Ayla is to get out of the car, she'll hum and bounce on my side as we walk in the door.  Sometimes she squeals when she sees who's working, sometimes she plays shy and hides in my shoulder, but mainly she just smiles and giggles.  The employees love to remind me that she is the happiest baby.  They love to tell me about how much they love the smile that is always on her face, from the second we walk in, to the second we leave.

Ayla watching a drink be prepared. 11/28/2010

I'll set her on the counter as I order my drink, her god mother Carissa will hand her a sample cup so that she can pretend to drink a tiny hot chocolate.  As we move to the end of the bar I'll set her down again and she will stand up and do her little bouncy dance and make silly faces and noises at who ever is making my drink.
Ayla and Carissa Starbucks Dec. 2010

Ayla and Carissa Dec. 2010
 I love these morning trips with my girl.  It's fun to socialize and get good drinks.  My favorite part of the whole thing may just be when we pull up in front of the house and I say, "WE'RE HOOOOME!" and little Ayla squeals and her legs start kicking all with a huge grin across her face!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Little Girl That Could - Running Edition


Where do I begin? Running and I have never had the best of relationships. I have always been that girl that would refuse to run in P.E. I would be walking with my arms crossed and a scowl on my face while everyone zoomed on by, seemingly, with ease. I hated it. I know you're thinking that I was probably lazy. Oh no, for me it hurt. My ankle would throb and I would be near tears every time that I was forced to actually run.

After so many tears, arguments with teachers, and notes home to my mother for refusing to run, my mom took me to the doctor. After extensive questions/tests I was diagnosed with Sever's Disease. [Sever's disease or calcaneal apophysitis, is the most common cause of heel pain in the growing athlete and is due to overuse and repetitive microtrauma of growth plates of the calcaneus in the heel. It occurs in children ages 7 to 15, with the majority of patients presenting between 10 and 12 years of age. It is in relation to Osgood-Schlatter disease which affects the knee rather than the heel/ankle.]

Having been diagnosed, I was able to move on accordingly. Basically, I had a doctor's note that dismissed me from running. Handing that note to my teacher felt almost as good as sticking my tongue out and spitting out a bratty, "I told you so."

Though heels have been fine for years, I have stayed away from running. I've been fine with telling myself and others, "I'm just not a runner. It's not my thing." I would watch people run. Hear people say things like, "Exhilarating. Clarifying. A rush!" I kinda wanted to experience that. Not even kinda, I really wanted to feel that high, the pure joy of running until I couldn't run anymore! So, like any normal person who wanted something would do, I did it. I tried to run. I put on the cutest matchy-matchy running clothes, some snazzy sneakers, threw my hair into a pony-tail and took off! This little ritual has happened many times in the past few years. Every time, and I mean EVERY TIME, I would give up after just minutes of running. It was uncomfortable. I couldn't breathe. My legs were hurting. It was not fun. I felt no high. Ew, story confirmed, girlfriend is not a runner.

So there it is. I don't run. I guess I don't have the drive or the passion or the dedication or any of those other descriptive words that we all strive to have on our tombstones. If this is the conclusion that I've come up with after many failed attempts, why do I still long for that exhilarating, clarifying rush that comes from running until you can run no more? I will tell you why. I may not be driven or passionate or dedicated, but I am stubborn. Boy, am I ever stubborn! I am not alright with the fact that I fail at something. So today, on a sunny and bright Tuesday, I woke up with a stubborn desire to run. And run I did. 2 miles. That's right, 2 MILES!

Today I put on my cutest running outfit. Edit: I put on some black leggings and a Pittsburgh Penguins Eastern Conference Champs shirt. I laced up my embarrassingly white (meaning I clearly have not used them enough) running shoes, threw my long hair into a messy pony-tail, strapped on my iPod which was set to a fantastic running playlist, and headed out the door. I did some basic stretching, told myself I would just walk until I was out of my complex, and then I would take off like the wind!

I took off like the wind. I gave it everything I had. I got one block away and I was ready to stop. I was practically screaming to myself, "Tonja, YOU ARE NOT A RUNNER! Go back to your warm and cozy home and melt into the couch and get lost in the History Channel!" This is the point where I have previously caved in. Slowing to a walk, I would generally turn myself around, defeated and sad that running just wasn't my thing. Not today, my friends. Today I pushed on. My lungs were frozen solid. I was sure that at any moment they would shatter into a billion irreparable pieces and I would be a goner! My eyes were stinging from the chilling wind and the bright sun that I was running directly into. They stung so badly that there were literally tears running down my cheeks. My fellow runners on the Provo trail must have been concerned for this poor girl running in tears. [Please do not judge me, I have sensitive eyes!] Despite the discomfort, I pushed on.

Somewhere along the way I noticed beauty. I noticed the flowing river and the floating ducks. I noticed the orange leaves under my feet and the crystal-clear blue sky above my head. It was CLARIFYING! I noticed that even though my legs were burning, I was still going! I was doing it! At this exact, life-changing moment that I have so longed for, the song "Beating Hearts Baby" by Head Automatica began to play on my iPod. I giggled to myself as I became fully aware of my heart about to beat out of my chest. I could hear it in my ears and feel it in my head. My heart pounded with the rhythm of my feet on the pavement and the beat of the song and I loved it. It was EXHILARATING! I don't know how it happened, but I picked up the pace. I pushed a little harder and I ran a little faster. I was running and it was A RUSH!

Having never felt the high of a run like this before, I decided to go a little further than originally planned. I turned into a housing development and I ran around the windy sidewalks feeling the burn, being uncomfortable, but still pushing on.

As I rounded the corner to my complex, nearing the final stretch, "Don't Fear The Reaper" by The Blue Oyster Cult blasted into my ear phones. I could see my front door, I was almost there! Breathlessly, I kept on going. My legs and butt were on fire. My nose hurt from the biting wind. I. Could. Not. Breathe.

Plowing through my front door, I collapsed onto my couch. I HAD DONE IT! This girl who just was not a runner suddenly was. Hobbling upstairs I couldn't keep from smiling. As I turned on the steaming hot water I was grateful for the stubbornness that helped to nudge me out that door. Though I can't yet put the words "driven", "passionate", or "dedicated" on my tombstone, I can sure as hell put "stubborn" and baby, that feels good.

Day 28.

Day 28 – Your favorite movie.

Go ahead, make fun.  I have loved this movie since I was a little girl.  There's something about the pure romance of this movie that gets me every time.  And the soundtrack.  Oh the soundtrack.  Watch it.  Listen to it.  I dare you not to fall in love with it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 26.

Day 26 – A photo of somewhere you’ve been to.

Times Square, NYC June 2008
 I traveled to New York with the women of the Willden family.  My mom's husband Kurtis has an amazing mother who wanted all 15 women (and girls) to join her in NYC for an entire week!  We saw everything!  We took the tour buses around the city, bought black market handbags, ate pizza, ate hot dogs, lounged in Central Park, rode the subway (tons),  shopped at Bergdorfs, FAO Shwartz, drank frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, climbed to the top of the Statue of Liberty, explored Ellis Island, saw Wicked on Broadway, saw The Lion King on Broadway, waited in an early morning line to be in the audience of the David Letterman Show and didn't get tickets, heck, I even went to a Met's game and watched my hometown Mariner's beat them 5-1!

It really was the trip of a lifetime.  I am so grateful for my step family and the opportunity to spend time with the ladies and fall head-over-heels in love with New York City.

If I didn't end up in Seattle, I would want to end up in New York City.  Even if I did have to live in a six-story walk up closet of an apartment.

My mom, step sisters, and I at Wicked!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 25.

Day 25 – What’s in your purse?

Oh boy... here we go...

  • My wallet.
  • My cell phone.
  • My iPod.
  • My keys.
  • Clinique Happy lotion.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Altoid Smalls.
  • A Similac coupon.
  • A diaper.
  • A baggy of hair ties for Ayla.
  • My makeup bag.
  • Red nail polish.
  • About 10 receipts. Most of them from Target, of course.
  • Aaaaand eighty-seven cents in change floating around the bottom.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 24.

Day 24 – A photo of something that means a lot to you.

My kitty, Malky.

Malky is unlike any cat I have ever met.  Anyone that has had any interaction with Malky will agree, and always points it out!  She is the sweetest, most vocal, needy, goofy cat I have had the pleasure to be around.

Anytime I say, "MALKY!" I'm greeted with a "MROOOOOOOW". EVERY. TIME.

She sleeps with me.  Every night.  I sleep with my arm above my head and she nestles into the nook between my face and my arm.  I lay my face against her back and we sleep.

She is so patient with Ayla.  The poor kitty is pushed around, hair is pulled, she is sat on, drooled on, and lvoed so much by Ayla.  All the while Malky purrs lovingly.

Malky is special.  She means a lot to me.  More than that, even.  I can't leave her out of the family blog.  :)

Day 23.

Day 23 – 15 facts about you.

1.  I hate water touching me.  Obviously I bathe, but I just hate water touching me.
2.  I am impatient.

3.  I am obsessed with animals.  All animals.

4.  I love to be social, but I have a hard time with it because I am extremely shy.

5.  I love coffee.  Not just drinking it, but I love the actual process from which a cherry-like fruit becomes an aromatic delightful beverage.  And I know the entire process start to finish.  Starbuck's Black Apron, baby!

6.  Just like I hate water touching me, I actually hate drinking water.  Weird.  Again, I obviously drink water because it's necessary, I just never enjoy it.

7.  I used to be a Scotish Highland dancer and dance at Highland games/competitions.

8.  I have two favorite colors.  Orange and Green.

9.  I love to watch documentaries.  About anything and everything.  I never met a documentary I didn't like!

10.  I don't notice when people call me "TonJa", emphasis on the "j".  People think they are being funny but I have been called that so often that it doesn't even phase me.  It does not offend me, however, it's not my name.  (If you don't already know, my name is pronounced "TonYa".)

11.  I excell in American Sign Language.  I took two years in high school and it seemed to come naturally.  I am constantly signing to myself and seeing the physical sign of words/phrases in my mind.

12.  I am terrified of the dark.  Embarrassingly afraid of the dark.  Even if there is someone with me I need to have some sort of night light.  If I wake up in the middle of the night and the room is pitch black I will have a full-on panic attack.

13.  I am obsessed with paranomal things.  I love to watch all things haunted even if it means not sleeping for nights at a time.

14.  I was introduced to the spelling of my daughter's name by The Shield.  In the 3rd season there is an Armenian girl named "Ayla" pronounced "Eye-la".  I already wanted to name my daughter Isla (I was about 3 months pregnant when I discovered the spelling), but fell in love with the meaning behind this Armenian spelling.

15.  I love to sing, read, write, dance, and laugh.