Monday, November 24, 2008


I had a hard day one day this week.
Parker was out of sorts and tantrum throwing.
Ben seemed to forget how to fall asleep and cried more than usual
I was needed by two different boys for two different reasons in two different ways and both equally important
And there’s not enough of me sometimes to meet all these needs.
But then there was the moment at the end of the day
I turned on some music because we needed some company.
Ben in my pouch, like a kangaroo mother.
Alanis. And I felt like dancing so I did.
Parker looked at me and smiled- he needed no invitation.
So there we were in the living room- hands held, Ben in a pouch, dancing in circles
And it’s moments like those that make being a mother
the most incredible gift I’ve ever been given.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Poor Ben

Poor little Ben has had quite an eventful 3 weeks of life so far (3 weeks today)! On Saturday night Spencer felt Ben's head and said "this kid is burning up!" (trust him and not me to figure it out). Anyway, we took a temp that was 100.4 and called the doctor who told us to take him to the hospital. They took his temperature there at 100.8 and admitted the poor guy. In an infant as young as Ben any kind of fever is cause for concern and anything over about 100 they will admit to the hospital. so we spent until 3am Sunday morning getting tests done on Ben that were not fun for him- spinal tap, catheter, blood drawn, tubes stuck down his nose and into his freaking lungs (when the tube went in Spencer said out loud- "that is not supposed to go down that far!") The poor guy. We were admitted to the hospital and spent 36 hours there while they waited for test results and monitored Ben. All the tests came back negative and because Parker was sick last week with a bad cold including a fever and congestion (both of which Ben has) it makes sense Ben got what Parker had- only because he is so smsall it was pretty bad. So after Ben's fever went down and they watched him for awhile they let us go home early. He's doing better now. A HUGE thanks to my neighbor Adrienne who came and slept on our very uncomfortable couch Sunday night to be with Parker until Spencer got back from the hospital at 4am. What would we have done without her!

So in Ben's short three weeks of life he's had every test imaginable (and I thought immunizations were hard to watch!), he's had a scary hospital stay and he's now on he got his third set of casts for clubbed feet today! Hopefully we'll have a better second month!

Parker playing with animal crackers at the hospital- he was really good, cute guy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I love Halloween. This year our family went as Winnie the Pooh caracters or as Parker calls him- "Winnie and the Pooh" Parker was Tigger, Spencer was Christopher Robin, our little surprise was piglet, and I was Winnie the Pooh. We thought I would be still be very pregnant at this point so my belly was going to be perfect for Pooh's belly- but I guess we had a change of plans.

Our neighborhood is aweome and does this big dinner and little activies at different houses. It was fun and me and Ben even got out for a couple of hours. Parker loved the idea of candy at each door! Though he didn't quite understand the concept of hurrying to the next door to get more candy, he wanted to eat each candy after each house instead. But Spencer and I weren't complaining too much- that way he didn't take home too much candy! He had fun though. He and daddy went to most of the doors alone and Ben and I went home because we didn't want the little piglet out too much. It was fun though. By the way- look closely at the picture of Spencer and Parker from the back. Spencer is in MY shorts and I seriusly laughed everytime I looked at him.

And this is Parker in his "big boy bed" we put it up for a few days because he asked for it. This is what I found when I went in to check on him- stuff everywhere! At least he went to sleep! After a few days of the big boy bed, he asked for his crib back so we put back up the crib (I was happy to do it!) Parker wanted to be a big boy when Ben first entered the picture but now he wants to be a little baby again- he's even sucking on a binky once in a while which he didn't even do as a baby! I think he's a little confused poor guy. We sure love them both though!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Club Feet

Today we took Ben to get casted for his feet. I thought it would just be a consultation appointment but they went ahead and did the casts right then. We went to Shriners hospital. First of all, let me just say how amazing that place is. It is a children’s hospital in the avenues that is run by the Shriners (a tier of the masons). There are other Shriner’s hospital similar to this one throughout the US but this one serves all different parts of the west- Colorado, Wyoming, Utah etc. They deal mostly with orthopedics- joints, bones and muscles. And they are 100% free. We do not pay a DIME, nor does anyone who goes there. Haylee (my youngest sister who was born without an arm) actually went there when she was little. I remember my mom used to take her up to SL once a week to go to Shriner’s. She was fitted with prosthetic limbs and she got a new one every time she grew out of the old (and those things are PRICEY), She received physical and occupational therapy and one-on-one care. And now being a beneficiary of Shriners hospital myself I am even more amazed at what they do there. The doctors were INCREDIBLE. They were so caring and walked us through the whole process. It was so touching. While we were there we saw children with many other different disabilities, some were in wheelchairs, some had club feet like Ben. I guess every Tues morning they have “club feet clinic” and that’s when they work with children like Ben with club feet. They said right now they are seeing 12 children. Some are from Utah but most are from other states. If we were living in another state Shriners helps with transportation and accomodations, they are seriously amazing. But we live 10 minutes away- what a blessing. What an absolute blessing. I was sort of overwhelmed with emotion as I was there- overwhelmed with the needs of some very sweet children, including my own, and then just amazed at the generosity and kindness of others- the Shriners who contribute and make it possible to run this entire hospital- it is overwhelming to me and so completely touching.

We sat with a doctor who answered all of our questions. No one knows what causes club feet. This renowned doctor, Doctor Ponseti, who the doctors at Shriners have trained under thinks it’s something with myosin- a part of the muscle-that has sort of malfunctioned in the leg and foot. Some people have said positioning in the womb but this doctor really thinks it’s something more genetic with mysoin. Anyway, they really aren’t sure. But it’s about 1/1000 kids who are born with club feet and most all of the cases are totally correctable

So the process- First: casting for 5-20 weeks- which means that every Tuesday we will go in and they will take off Ben’s casts and we will be able to bathe him and then they will put new ones on. Each cast moves his feet just a little bit more (sort of like braces) until they are in a good position. Step #2. Possible cut of the Achilles tendon. This happens in about 90% of the cases in club feet. That tendon is too tight which is part of what pulls the feet inward so they cut the tendon which grows back lengthened (like a salamanders tail). Finally step #3- braces. After the casting and cut of the tendon, Ben will most likely wear braces on his feet 24 hours a day for about 2 or 3 months. Then he will cut back to wearing the brace only during naps and at night. Ideally this is done until age 4 but the doctor said most kids make it to about 2 or 2 ½ . There is chance of recurrence in which kids go back to wearing the braces or casting if necessary but after age 7 the chance of recurrance is very very small. So it’s treatable completely and Ben will probably be totally fine in the long run. But getting those casts on today was so sad to me. I held him as they put the casts on and he cried. They go up his entire leg and he’s so uncomfortable. I imagine it hurts too to have them put his foot in a position he’s not used to being in. Plus he loved having his legs curled up by his body and now they are stuck in two heavy casts that he can not move at all. He has cried and cried today, this cry of pain and it has broken my heart.

It’s interesting what life teaches you though. This experience is so minor in comparison to what so many children and parents experience. And I am only getting a taste of the feelings these parents experience as they watch their children in pain or as they see other people stare at their children- a reminder that indeed their child is different. But my heart has been softened today and I have felt compelled to count my blessings, the way God helps us in our lives, and the goodness of other people. We hear so much in the world today of what is going wrong- especially right now with all our politics, economics, foreign policies…but today I was the benefactor of some incredibly generous people I do not even know who will help my son heal his feet. Today I saw children who suffer and parents whose hearts break to watch them suffer but who keep going cheerfully. Today I watched my son cry in pain because his legs hurt but I could only be grateful that we have the medicine and technology to fix what his body did not give him and that he will be able to run someday. Today I was touched by my two year old's look of concern when he saw his week old little brother in casts “Ben have an owie mommy?” Today I felt the sweet spirit of an infant as he cried and then fell peacefully asleep on my chest. Today amidst pain and need I saw the hand of God.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Big Boy

Parker is doing well. He reacts very well to the baby, is SO sweet to him and always wants to help. I’m sure it helps a lot to have Spencer and I home so that we can give him the attention that he needs. Yesterday we went to the zoo- just he and I. It was so good to be with Parker. I missed him so much when I was in the hospital and the feelings I have right now with him are surprising to me, very very emotional. Yesterday I put him down for his nap. I read him a story and then we sang a song just like we always do. He let me hold him as we sang “Pearly shells”- his favorite these days. I finished one verse and then got so choked up I couldnt sing despite Parkers urgings-"sing mommy!" Here I was holding my little boy- who suddenly was not my little boy anymore. He was my big boy. And SO big. Next to Ben he is MASSIVE. It's a realization that time is past, that he is growing. We will never have moments alone up at the garden or playing trucks on the floor. Not like before. He is the big brother and there is this part of being a mom that you have to let go of him as your little boy and let this other little baby replace him. Not that he is being replaced, but in a way he really is- he is no longer my baby. How I will look back with so much love and fondness on all our days together, just me and him- playing in the sandbox and running around doing stuff for foothill, going to the zoo, visiting grandma and going to the park. Doing projects at home, having him tug on my leg and ask me to play, sitting on my lap at the computer and watching him grow from a tiny little infant to this big boy who talks and sings and has his own definite personality and is no longer the baby. Gone so fast. All those cliché things you hear about and now I am experiencing them and just like they said it would- it makes me cry. How thankful I am for the time we had to be together. And our little family of four will do well. I’m excited.

Benjamin Mark Clegg

Ben came as a definite surprise. I was not due for almost 3 more weeks and Spencer and I went up to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho on a little anniversary get away. Parker was with Spencer's parents. WE had a great time Monday night up there and then I woke up at 2am with contractions. Thinking there was no way it could be real labor I waited them out for awhile but knew I couldn't wait TOO long because we were over 3 hours from our hospital! So we called our doctor at 5am and she said leave NOW! I was still in denial but Spencer got us in the car and we drove to the hospital- his high school driving skills came in handy :) This first picture is the only picture we took of our time in Idaho. It was at 5am right before leaving to go to the car and the camera died right after this picture which obviously I was not ready for. So we drove to Salt Lake and I was having contractions the whole way but it really wasn't that bad. When we got to the hospital I was at a 6. We were there 3 more hours and then little Ben was born.

He's beautiful. A small 6lbs 6 oz and 17 inches at birth with TONS of dark hair. He seriously needs a haircut. He didn't have a name for a few days and Ben wasn't one we were even considering but Spencer thought he looked so much like a Ben. So he's named after his Grandpa Hull (Spencer's mom's dad) and a Great grandpa Clegg and Spencer and my good friend Ben Jenson had something to do with it too. He's super sweet and it's so beautiful having a new baby in the home. Parker is incredibly cute with him so far and keeps saying "mommy, he's so cute, he's so cute." The only thing we worry about is him being TOO helpful (feeding him toast and wanting him to play cars with him by tucking them under the sheets). And it's Spencer's fall break this whole week which couldn't have been more perfect. It's been such a beautiful time to spend time together as a family getting used to our new foursome!

Ben has special feet. He was born clubfooted and you can see that in this picture. They turn in. If they were to remain that way he would be walking on his heels but fortunately we live in an age where they can correct it with no problem. He will probably have to wear casts on his feet for a few months (we have an apointment next week) but after a few months he'll be totally fine and be able to do everything anyone else could do. It makes me so thankful for our doctors and the day in age we live in. He will be able to play sports just like his mommy! We sure love this little guy.

Please go to to watch our video announcement.

Final Days Before Ben

This is how Spencer puts Parker to bed- not regularly I guess but it's no wonder Parker loves his daddy so much. And no, the crib didn't break.

I know I already posted about Parker's birthday but I had to include these pictures of the awesome mom cake I made and Parker eating it- his tractor (it did look better than this at one point- though not much).

My family went to a Lagwagon /MXPX show a few weeks ago- courtesy of my dad who is so funny. He now has Linkin Park and Lagwagon to add to his list of concerts and November will bring Coldplay. I'm not complaining though- I love the shows! But boy did I feel OLD. There were like 50 people there (Lagwagon used to get tons of people) and most of my brothers and their girlfriends didn't even know them. I realized suddenly how uncool I am. But it was still fun and if the little guy comes out deaf we know why (but I already know he's not deaf because he's already born and he passed his hearing test :) )

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Big Events

So it's been about a month since this happened but two fun events for the end of the summer- produce from the garden and daddy got his braces off! Spencer's had them on for two years now and Parker doesn't know any different (and probably doesn't even notice) but the boy I married's smile is back and I love it! --though he sure was cute with those braces too. :)

30 and 2

Parker and I were born 27 years and 359 days apart. So he turned 2 on September 13th-which makes my birthday on the 19th the big 3-0! Here's how we celbrated:

We had a small party with just family for Parker's big day and spent the day at Wheeler Farm. It was PERFECT. There was even a big autism fair there where all kids got to go on all the rides for FREE! Parker was in heaven with the bouncy machines, slides, horsey rides, tractor rides, animals and especially all his new toys and the tractor cake that mommy made for him (I had visions of this perfect professional looking cake which turned out very mommy-amatuerish but in the end- I was so glad it looked that way) :) Parker even blew out his own candles out this year!

And for my big 30th my sweet husband planned the perfect little party for me. He rented a couple of rooms up at Snowbird and invited some family and close friends up for food and fun. He even got a babysitter for the kids- though as you can see they joined us sooner than later. :) I didn't know about it until I got an invitation in the mail. It was great. I loved having time to talk and really spend time with people who I have known for most of my long 30 years. I feel so grateful for their friendshps and for my sweet husband who planned a perfect night- with "Spencer food" (bratwurst and pastrami burgers) AND "Erin food" (vegetables and bbq chicken- though really I ate whoppers the whole night) and my favorite -carrot cake. After everyone left we had the whole place to ourselves. so we watched a movie and listened to the thunder, got up in the morning and went to a little bit of Oktober fest and drove home in the beautiful fall canyon. Perfect.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


So my parents completely 100% spoiled me and bought me the one thing I have coveted since getting pregnant with #2. A Chariot double stroller. These things are absolutly ridiculously overpriced and yet so very worth it for me- they just make running with children possible- plus daddy can hook it to his bike. Parker loves it and rode next to his Leap frog- soon to be his little brother though as much as we explain that I'm not sure he gets it--he's in for it!

End of Summer

We took our last family trip a couple weeks ago before Spencer went back to school. Because I had never seen the Clegg family farm in Grace, Idaho (where Spencer's father grew up and where Spencer has spent a few summer's working on the farm) we went there. I never knew a farm could be so much fun! Parker was in heaven with animals, tractors and four wheelers galore.

We spent a lot of time at the lake they built- there is a HUGE waterslide/slip in slide type thing- probably 80 feet long that plunges into this pond. It is AWESOME and Spencer and I (and the little baby inside of me) loved it. Parker was too scared to go on it- maybe in a few years. We camped in the barrack up the canyon from the farm, rode on tractors, had hot dog roasts, attempted the ice cave but Parker was too scared to go all the way back, swam laps in the lake and played on the sand. We got to hang out with relatives who were so awesome and get a taste of our Clegg heritage. Being there I really realized how lucky I am to be a Clegg- they are amazing people.

Then we went to Boise and hung out with Ben and Lori Jensen and family. They were incredibly good to us. I of course only took pictures of one event- Spencer and Ben in matching colored shirts (every morning they matched) after disc golf and the boys playing in the water. But we also did tons of other stuff- farmers market, parents night out, watched the Olympics and ate awesome food they cooked and just hung out and talked which I LOVED. Brandon is so cute with Parker and Bridger is awesome. It was really fun to be with them and see their lives in Boise. Thanks again Ben and Lori!

Spencer grew a beard for the week we were away. It was manly but the mustache he had for about 5 seconds when he shaved it was scary.

And now we're home and Spencer is back in school in his last semester. He really liked his internship this summer at GE and he just got back from a trip to Milwaukee for an interview with GE (not necessarily to be located there but the interview was there). We have lots of options already and we'll be having more as the month goes on and Spencer starts applying everywhere. Who knows what the future holds! I'm almost 7 months and doing fine. Just my normal aches and pains but this one is going faster than when I was pregnant with Parker. Maybe because I'm not so anxious to be done- I know what awaits me with a newborn and for that reason--he can stay in there a little longer!! :) Sad the summer is ending. It was a good one.