Yesterday Hyrum woke up with clear bright eyes! I'd stopped singing " Today's the day!" when we scheduled the appointment to have his probe done. I'd heard some say that once they scheduled the procedure the eye cleared up but I refused to get caught up in their web of tales. I was convinced that he was having the probe and that was that. I weaned him from night feeding ( yes I was still waking up two or three times a night) and was enjoying the nine plus hours of uninterrupted sleep. Then this...clear eyes that lasted all morning. I refused to believe and pressed on making all necessary preparations for the procedure. It lasted all day and then today too! I was beginning to believe. Then the doctors office called wanting to do the probe at another facility. I told him rather reluctantly that Hyrum's eye looked really good lately. He said "Well I'll go ahead and cancel the procedure for right now and then if it starts looking worse just give us a call and we'll set it right back up." So just as fast as it was made the appointment was canceled. His eye has teared once or maybe twice but it hasn't been goopy or red or anything. I can take a tear or two over goopy and red and frequent infections any day.

I guess the day was April 28th.

On Saturday night we had one of the BEST nights! We got an invitation a couple weeks ago for a graduation party for Derek's first cousins once removed (trust me it took a very long conversation with Derek and ultimately a google search to figure out what exactly the relationship was-long story short it's Derek's aunt's grandkids) I'd never met most of this side of the family and Derek only remembers meeting them in a crowded and chaotic airport on his way to Germany for the mission. The only picture taken of the event was dark so that no faces were clear. I'd ask different questions and he had no answers. His aunt is twenty some years older than his dad so his cousins feel more like aunts and uncles.

We got to the door feeling a little out of place and conspicuous or at least I did. But as soon as the door was opened there were people here and there saying "Oh it's Derek! Come here I want you to meet Derek Tangren and his wife who is Grandma's nephew. This is Kim's son." We felt completely surrounded by long lost family. And the best part was they felt like long lost FAMILY!!! I'd been to family reunions on my grandmothers (or was it grandfathers) side when I was little and everyone just felt like strangers. I guess part of that was because I was young and wanted what I was familiar with. Given my own experience, I so pleasantly surprised at the warm reception that night.

Throughout the evening we chatted with cousins and first cousins once removed and first cousins twice removed (trust me I've really been studying this). It felt less like "getting to know" and more like "catching up". We exchanged addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and blog addresses. We began to plan cousin barbecues and get-togethers. And when we left there were hugs and promises to keep in better touch...and I really think we will.

I guess that's why my heart is in family history. That's why it's my passion. That's why I'm so drawn to getting information about who people were and what they were like. I imagine that heaven will be like this. A big graduation party where we all first stand around making introductions then just catching up. The connection will have already made in life through time spent and histories read. We will know each other as family! Because we are. No matter what the title.

You know me I had to get pictures! If for no other reason than to know who goes with which family.

This is us and Derek's Aunt Hallie. Hyrum is named after her father.

This is Hallie's son Keven's Family. (and Aunt Hallie)
This is Hallie's son Kelly's family. They have the graduates that made this reunion possible.

We are so excited for this renewed familiarity with Derek's family and are looking forward to catching up for years to come.

Today was the fund raising yard sale for Home makeover American Fork. But this was no ordinary yard sale, for sure! They did the sale at the park in front of the city library on the corner of State Street and the Alpine Highway and it wasn't only a sale, they also had a silent auction,

food booths, carnival games for the kids,

and a live band with a raffle or two going on. It was a fund raising spectacular!!

It was really great! The community really came together to support this family. From time to time there would be announcements that if they got so much money in a certain amount of time that someone in attendance would double the donation. One by one people would go up and donate. They earned a thousand dollars this way just while we were there! There was a local businessmen there who offered to donate $25 for the first 15 people who went up and sang a song. Derek and I of course humiliated ourselves and sang. No pictures please! I gathered all the kids in front of the band stand and had all the kids sing and do the motions to "The Wheels on the Bus" and Derek sang a German folk song!

Hyrum got to take his first ride down a slide while at the park. It was chilly but beautiful and I hope it will be enough to keep the building going. They are scheduled to start construction next week. We heard that people were out shopping at the yard sale at 7 o' clock this morning. That is hardcore. Is anyone out there as hardcore a yardsaler as that?

On Saturday we also took the opportunity to go over to the garden together and plant a few more peas and some onion starts.

It was warmer and Derek was with me so I let Hyrum get into the garden a little more to get the full experience. For the most part he did great. He just sat in the dirt picking it up mushing it in his hands and dropping it on his overalls (don't all kids have to wear overalls to garden?) or "driving" the trowel through the dirt.

Only once or twice did I see him lifting his dirt encrusted hand to his mouth to get a little taste. (Am I the only mom that isn't too worried about this?) Our host quickly ran into the house to grab a wet paper towel but I just figure it's part of the experience, and I wanted him to get it all!
After it was all said and done Hyrum was pretty filthy. We knew we were going to throw him right into the tub when we got home so this didn't bother us at all.
Just as we were going to leave our gracious host offered us all popsicles as we tried to earn our keep a bit by helping to weed their sandbox. Hyrum had tried a popsicle earlier that week but didn't know what to think of it. We tried it again to see what he thought now...
I guess we'll have to keep trying!
My lettuce hasn't come up yet. I'm pretty sure I planted it too deep. I'll have to go and get some vermiculite and try again this time just putting the seeds on the ground in a finger furrow and spread the vermiculite over it. I guess in my haste and excitement I didn't remember or realize a easier way to do it. I just hope the birds stay away!

"My baby's eye was like that forever. We wiped it and cleaned it all the time then one day it just cleared up"

I'd heard it so many times. From so many mom's.

"What age did it clear up?" I'd ask

" I don't remember. Just one day it was gone."

Surely this would happen to me too. Just one day it would be over. All the wiping and rubbing and wiping again. Done.

And when he'd wake up like this I would sing in my head "Today's the day!"
But nope it never was...
It made me so sad to see his eye gooped half shut. Then came the questions. "Why is he so sad?" "Why have you been crying, little man?"
Am I the only one who didn't know that tear ducts don't make tears. They actually drain the tears away and our eyes are always making tears to moisten the eye. Who knew?! Since his was clogged the tears just dripped down his face and gooped in the corner of his eye.

Then there were the infections. Angry and red, goopy and miserable. This had to end soon.

Time went on and on with no difference. Then I started to hear rumblings of a tear duct probe they typically do for babies when it lasts beyond 9 months. And sure enough at his 9 month check up I was given a referral to a pediatric ophthalmologist.

I procrastinated, I waited, I put it off. Then after he turned 11 months I finally made the call. We went in to see the doctor on Saturday..."Yup it's a clogged tear duct nothing else does that. What we do for babies this old is take the equivalence of a unwound paper clip and slip it down his tear duct to the nose and clean it out. Any questions?"

"What are the risks?"

"Driving to the hospital"

So just like that Hyrum has an appointment at the Hospital on May 7th to go under the paper clip. I guess that truly will be "the day".

I went and bought more seeds yesterday. When I got home I had them laying on the floor and Hyrum discovered them. I think he's going to like gardening.

This morning was chilly and brisk as we walked in our walking group. As we neared the end of our route began to get excited. Why? Soon I would be planting my little garden of weeden. I pushed the stroller to the backyard and saw my little paradise.

Are gardens suppose to be this adorable? I want one just exactly like it when I have my own house!

She had already planted carrots, onions, and two pounds of peas in her garden but directed me to my section apologizing for the quality of the ground and saying that surely I knew much more about gardening as I asked her questions. I majored in landscape horticulture with a greenhouse emphasis and worked at greenhouses or retail nurseries for probably 10 plus years so everyone considers me an expert. I have lots of experience in greenhouses and all the years growing up helping with our family garden but it is a very different thing to be master of your own land which I have yet to really be. I can't wait to have my very own garden to play with and figure out my way of doing things. But in the mean time I hope I don't disappoint anyone with my lack of practical vegetable gardening skills. I'm sure everyone envisions my gardens to be lush and immaculate bursting with gigantic and varied produce. I may get there someday... I have a dream and the drive to be that kind of a gardener but it's not going to be this year I assure you.

There was a thrill in the air as I put my peas into the little furrow I'd made. I only planted thirty seeds and I think I'll want more so I think we'll try to go by on Saturday so Derek can feel more a part of this too.

While I planted Hyrum sat contented in his stroller and played with the toys I'd brought for him. By the time I was almost done planting he was done sitting and I let him crawl around the grass for a little. He didn't want to go back into the stroller. I think I'll wait for it to get warmer to let him get into the dirt more. I'll have to be sure to only let him terrorize our plants and not our good hosts plants.

Yesterday in church we were informed that there is a big push in the stake to have a three months supply by the end of the year. To facilitate that effort they were encouraging all families to plant a garden this summer and to can their harvest. Our ward has a lot of apartments dwellers in it who don't have access to land in which to plant a garden. Problem. Solution? They were sending around lists in priesthood and Relief society to see who would be willing to offer some of their land to us high risers. Derek and I were each given two leads on land yesterday! I'm so excited that I will have a garden this year. An honest to goodness garden!! One that's not going to fry on the sweltering hot concrete in the south facing sun. One that won't be contained to inches but to feet! I laid awake last night dreaming of all the vegetables I was going to include in my garden. What varieties of tomato, how many zucchinis, cucumbers, broccoli, peppers, beans, squash, ooo maybe even carrots I will have in my garden. I need to nail down where it will be so I can get my peas, and lettuce in. Time's a wastin' and I might even be too late for some of it. They are also going to be starting a crop share program for those who aren't able to do a garden be it physically or otherwise. I'm just so excited about it all!

We were talking about what might have fueled this push. Not that we haven't been counseled in the church since the early 40's to have a garden and to store your harvest. And we've been counseled to have a years supply since before that! Have we followed that council? Some perhaps, probably even most but certainly not all. But as we looked at the world today we started to see why there may be a push particularly right now.

As you may or may not know we are experiencing a wheat shortage. The cost of wheat has doubled in the last few months if not weeks. The United States of America has imported wheat for the first time in our history. Why? Because so many farmers planted corn this last year instead of wheat, which I guess was probably for the production of ethanol. But that doesn't seem to be helping the price of diesel because that's up to over 4 dollars a gallon. Someone was saying that the truckers have been threatening strike which if they did strike the store shelves would be emptied in a matter of hours. Then afterwards food costs would go up significantly as well. As would everything else. So I'm duly motivated to get my food storage underway and a garden growing. Want to join me?

I was all set to go dump a ton of money on food today but Derek, always the voice of reason, said simply to just get 5-10 dollars more food every week to put aside. They say to get three months of food that you normally eat every day and the rest of the year supply of food that will keep you alive ( ie wheat, dry beans, rice, flour, water, etc.) They even suggest storing seeds and vitamins. Good idea. Seeds will last for hundreds of years if you store them right.

Let's get planting!!!!

Doesn't he look like he's ready to help me garden? That's the cut he got on his head from falling down in the grass on the stick.

Hyrum is enrolled all right but I don't think he's learning much yet. It all started when he decided that he could stand by himself. Since then he's had undue confidence in his ability to stand and walk and bruises have resulted.

Ok ,so maybe I drove him to it.....But you'd think he'd never want to stand again with experiences like this.

Once he got 5 bruises in three days, another time he was walking with his walker fell down on the grass and cut his head on a stick. But I think I finally know why he keeps trying despite the bruises...

Bruises make you look tough!

And at the end of the day your closer to walking, which is something he's REALLY excited about!

Man those toys take over the house. We need a basement.

Last Saturday I got a knock on the door and I of course ran for sweats to cover my pajamas. Then when I opened the door I gasped. It was two huge boxes from my sister Nikki which could only mean one thing...The next size up clothes for Hy. She has joined the ranks of an army touting the virtues of "Good mail". Sending homemade or hand written cards or sometimes even empty envelopes with scriptures written on the flaps to brighten the day and encourage the receiver. And when you get some good mail you are suppose to take pictures and put them where the sender can see them. So in behalf of Hyrum here you go! :)

And this is a little visual on how excited Hyrum was to get his fun stuff from Aunt Nikki!

We love Aunt Nikki here and we absolutely owe her big!

I was at a baby shower at the beginning of the month and saw this idea that I really liked and when I helped plan another shower Easter weekend we decided to use it. I always recommend to have fruit at baby showers because that is the thing I craved the most when I was pregnant, so this is the fruit bouquet we made.
In the process of making it... You just get a basket and put floral foam in the bottom either soaked in water to weight it or put strips of tape over it and attach to the sides of the basket. Then put lettuce leaves over the floral foam and put fruit on skewers and stick them in the foam. You can also cut the pieces of pineapple with a cookie cutter or knife to form flowers.
The finished product! We put lettuce leaves in between the skewers to kind of hide them.
This is how it looked on the dessert table. I think it turned out pretty good. The only problem was people didn't want to eat it because they thought it was just for decoration. Oh well, it's alright, the new mommy was able to take it home to enjoy and hopefully eat! :)