Monday, December 1, 2008

They had a dream

This is a video we shot back in August and finally got to editing over Thanksgiving break. I, Steve, am in it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pictures of Ariah

We're trying to play catch up. These almost 2 months have flown so fast and been so busy. But they've been so wonderful. We love having little Ariah in our lives. Here is a slide show of pictures. There are a lot, so don't feel guilty if you don't want to see them all.

It took us a couple of weeks to get Ariah to change her sleeping schedule. Those were hard nights, especially for Steve. I am a much heavier sleeper than Steve, so many times Steve has to wake me up when she's crying. What a great mom I am! :)

She is pretty mellow and has recently started smiling and cooing. I love dressing her up, but she is notorious for going through 2 or 3 outfits a day due to explosive messes.

We are putting together video clips in a movie that we will have done by Christmas.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

More pictures and updates to come soon, I promise!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Announcing Steve and Teresa 2.0: Ariah

This week, I, Steve, decided that I was tired of sleep (isn't that a beautiful oximoron?), so I stayed up till two or three every night, working on projects, and woke up early in the morning to take Teresa to school. Last night, it was 2:00 AM, and I was enjoying that aching feeling in my frontal lobe, a triumph over the natural man, when I found myself teetering at the brink of my physical limits. Perhaps it was time to be reasonable and go to bed. When Teresa woke me up two hours later, moaning in pain, I wasn't very attentive. I assumed that she was just having more false contractions.

"Steve, there's this giant spider in the bathroom," she said a short time later. "It's the biggest spider I've ever seen!" I asked, "Do you want me to kill it?" - "No, it's all right." Then, climbing back into bed, she continued to moan. I'd grown accustomed to her sounds of agony, so I would have been able to sleep were it not for the thought of a gargantuan spider haunting our bathroom. There it loomed in my thoughts, taunting me. I rolled over, then over again, until I threw off my covers, determined to slay this vile intruder. And I did. It was a considerably-sized pest, but having served a mission where giant banana spiders frequently found their way into my shower, it was far from the biggest spider I'd ever seen.

Content that I'd fulfilled my manly lot, I returned to the bedroom, eager to cash in on some well-deserved sleep. But then Teresa announced that my coveted prize of thoughtless euphoria would have to wait even longer, for this was the real deal. Little Gashler was on her way. Her contractions were now consistent, requiring constant back rubs, and between this and her hustle and bustle to prepare for the hospital, my exasperated flirtations with sleep were vain.

But my second--actually fourth--wind came to the rescue, and soon the two of us were eagerly timing her contractions, hoping that we'd qualify for the five minute gaps that warranted hospital entry. This was exciting. For Teresa it meant the climactic relief from her long-suffering. For me it meant an exciting day in a flashy building of modern scientific wonder. I used to shun hospitals, loathing their smells and everything about them that reminded me of my mortality. But now they inspire me as edifices of knowledge, science and humanity. Honestly our morning anxiety was very akin to the feelings I remembered from childhood before boarding a plane on a trip to Disney World. We called the OBGYN office, and they told us that they'd call us back. 10, 20, 30, 40 minutes went by without any word from them. Teresa's contractions were teetering between 5 and 8 minute gaps. We knew that technically we weren't supposed to go yet.

"Heck to that!" announced Teresa. So we went to the hospital and were immediately admitted. I have no idea what that "we'll call you" nonsense was about. We were taken to a spacious and extravagant room on the fifth floor with a great view of Provo, and my childlike excitement was not abated. The nurse told us that Teresa had dialated two centemeters, and everything looked well. At first.

"She's breach," the nurses pronounced after an ultrasound, meaning that the baby's head was facing up. This neccesitated a Cesarian section, for turning the baby up-side-down, especially in a first pregnancy, is very dangerous. Not long after this gloomy pronouncement, the monitors indicated that Teresa had already dialated to four centemeters. This meant that she needed to be taken to the operating room as soon as possible, for full dialations during C-sections are big complications.

This is where the story gets awesome. At Disney World you only get to see guys in space suits, but I actually got to wear one. Teresa and I had just watched a documentary about Apollo 8, and this was the real deal. Well, not really, but it was still awesome. They pushed Teresa's bed to the operating room, and still slipping on my final space accessories, I chased after.

If you wouldn't like to read about a Cesarean Section, skip this paragraph; it's graphic but very interesting. First the doctor, without any formal measuring, took a quick slice at Teresa's lower abdomen. Blood trickled out, and he pried her flesh open. I saw Teresa's fat, which was made of lots of yellow goobers, just like on beef. The doctors craftily snipped and burned their way through layers of who-knows-what with some space-age tools, until they came to her frontal abdominal muscles. They simply had to pry those out of the way, not cutting anything. Next was the bladder, to which the doctor said, "We just need to move this." Who knew they could do that? It wasn't like a game of Operation, it was more like Mr. Potato Head! Then they were to the uterus--snip snip--then to the placenta. When a spurt of liquid shot up and splashed one of the doctors in the face, I wondered if something was wrong. Then I saw a large gushing of amniotic fluid, and I knew that all was well. Baby was only moments away. (Seeing the insides of a person, especially one's spouse, has an unavoidable effect of inspiring a sense of interconnection.) Lastly was the most astonishing part of all. The doctor warned Teresa--who, of course, was numbed to any pain--that she would feel a lot of pressure. He then plunged his hand into my wife's innards and felt around for the baby. It was so clumsy, it seemed like quackery! But I guess the whole process is messy. He soon produced a limb, and through a procedure of tugs and maneuvering that was anything but graceful, he welcomed our daughter to earth.

She was slimy and purple, but after some basic cleaning, I marvelled at how perfect and well-formed she looked. Of course a parent's anxiety in these moments is in wondering what their child will look like. But when I saw her face, I didn't know what to think. She was a beautiful, healthy baby, but I couldn't say that she had my nose or Teresa's eyes. She was just a baby. It was like meeting a long-lost brother that you knew nothing about or a mail-order bride. In such situations, one can't say, "I've missed you so much!" but rather, what can be said other than "huh." I don't know anything about this little girl. After staring at her and holding her for hours, I still don't think I'd necessarily be able to recognize her in a room full of a hundred unidentified babies, and I have no idea what her personality's like. Yet of course I love her, knowing nothing more about her than this simple fact: she's my daughter.

Observe the space suit.

Now, after lots of visits from family and friends, we're camping out in the hospital room. At Disney World, one has the burden of constantly exerting himself to maximize his ride coverage. Here, we don't have to wait in any lines to get our kicks. She's always just around the corner in the nursery. And what's Space Mountain compared to the elevator?

What if, like Robin Hood's policy of never eating dinner until he'd performed a great deed for the day, we weren't allowed to lay ourselves to rest until we'd similarly accomplished something worthy of it? Would bringing a baby into the world count? Oh wait, Teresa really did all the work. Hmm, what about wearing a space suit? That space suit was so awesome, I hope to have many more kids so I can wear it again. It made enduring nine months of a pregnant wife worth it. Well, in any case, I'm going to bed. Good night, world. Good night, Teresa. Good night, Ariah.

(Apparently the premortal world is much more interesting.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

1 Week to Parenthood

Little Gashler is due for the 17th, which means any day now is possible. It is really hard to believe that we are actually going to have another member of our family that WE have to be responsible for. It's hard to accept the fact that there is no real way to be emotionally and physically prepared for this, but I know that we can always rely on the Lord for help. Plus our parents, and family members, and friends.... and so many people! This experience of being pregnant has helped me realize that I am blessed to be around so many loving, caring, generous people. I have learned that I always need to be willing to give of myself because I know many who have made sacrifices for us.

We actually agreed on a name. Steve recommended it. His friend Monte wrote a song called Aurora Aria (though Aria is pronounced uh-RIE-uh, not AR-ee-uh). He recommended Aria, and I love how it sounds, but I wanted to spell it differently so people hopefully won't pronounce it AR-ee-uh. So, we added an h to the end: Ariah. I love how that looks, sounds, and feels. This is pretty much set in stone unless we look at her and she is not an Ariah, or she turns out to be a boy :b

Thank all of you for your sweetness, sincerity, and generosity. It means a great deal to us and I hope I can show you adequate thanks through my actions. Steve, thank you for all you've done for me. All those backrubs, delicious meals, giving into my dumb cravings and whims of fancy... the list goes on and on. I am so excited to be a parent along side you!

I have so much to catch up on, hopefully I'll be able to post it all before baby comes... knock on wood...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pre-mommy sobbing and nesting instinct

A couple weeks ago, Steve and our good friend Nefi decided they wanted to go on a hike of manliness. I hung out with his wife Rose while they were gone. It was fun to hang out with a girl friend that is outside my immediate family since I haven't really done that while being married. We sang our hearts out in a Kareoke revolution-esque game and chatted away until we got tired. No pictures, unfortunately. I always forget the camera. Our men ended up having wonderful religious and other conversation up Rock Canyon, but instead of staying the night up there as planned they decided to come down early and surprise us. They snuck in and started to spray shaving cream in my hand when I woke up very suddenly. They ran away before I could tell who they were, so I thought it was Rose. It was a shame, really. I've never been pranked in my sleep before, and I woke up so suddenly that it ruined the prank. I was trying to think of ways to get back at Rose when I heard some extra manly voices serenading outside the window. I realized they were the culprits and went to awake Rose. We all had a grand sleepover and a fun breakfast the next morning.

Before they embarked on their manly hike, Steve and Nefi took a long time trying to figure out what to take with them to eat. They wanted it to be manly and memorable. Finally I convinced them to take canned beans and other things they could cook up easily and put on tortillas. They put those things in their shopping cart and went to get the last item on their list: sunscreen. They went down the aisle where the sunscreen awaited, and then noticed something else interesting on the same aisle. Pet food. They immediately started looking through all the dog food, trying to decide which would be most economical and memorable. They both said "It will be an adventure", and the rule between them is that if that phrase is spoken in reference to doing something crazy, they are bound to do it. I didn't try to stop them when they got a big bag of doggie biscuits. I just laughed. They hardly ate any of them, so now we have a big bag of doggie biscuits in our pantry that will never be touched. Anyone want to take them for free?

You're probably wondering what this has to do with the post title "Pre-mommy sobbing and nesting instinct". I'm getting there, I promise. A couple Sundays ago, Steve had just finished doing fast offering collections with a young man in the ward and came to pick me up. When I got in the car, I noticed there was a box of cat food in the back seat.
"What's up with the cat food? Do you have a fascination with pet food now?"
"No, it's for the cat."
"What cat?"
"The one in our home."
"We can't have a cat."
"Well, we do."
He explained that as he was strolling down the sidewalk collecting fast offerings with the young man, an older lady in a power chair pleaded with them to help her. She showed them a cat hiding in the bushes and asked for one of them to take her home. The young man said his mom wouldn't like it, and Steve said it was against our contract. She pleaded and begged and went on about how the cat would die and she just couldn't take it. Poor lady. She had even bought it some cat food. So, Steve picked up kitty and placed her in our basement apartment, then came to pick me up.

So we had a cat for about 2 weeks. I was afraid it was going to be a mangy old sickly stingy awful cat, but she turned out to be quite the opposite. She was young, playful, friendly, and absolutely adorable. She wasn't sickly and didn't even seem to be starving. We posted signs and notices that we found her, but nobody claimed her. We needed to find her a home fast because we weren't supposed to have her in the first place. I posted on a lot of online sites and made lots of phone calls. We did not want to take her to the shelter because she is so perfect and I knew someone would want her.

Time raced and nobody was calling for kitty. Steve gave her the name "Lenda", a combination of his parents names. I tried not to call her anything but kitty in fear that I would become attached. It was inevitable. I have always wanted a kitty but never could have one because of allergies in my family. She was so lovable and fun. One night we left to go see a play and Steve insisted on leaving her outside so she could get outside time. I started crying and was afraid she would run away or something would happen to her. Steve put her inside, but the next day he proved that she wouldn't run away, so we let her go outside when we left from then on. One day as we were driving home it started to rain heavily with thunder and lightning. I was very insistent on getting home for the cat, and when we did she was hiding under the porch looking very afraid. I scooped her into my arms and held her close inside while she purred nonstop. I started to cry again. There were a few more instances of this crying.

Finally, someone called and wanted to see her. She came over and played with her, then agreed to take her the next Monday. I was so relieved that we found a good home for her. As the time approached for them to pick her up, I held her close and realized I couldn't stop the tears from coming. As soon as the doorbell rang, I started bawling and immediately handed the kitty to Steve so they wouldn't have to see me cry. I cried for a while. It was really hard to part with her. I know that she is in a good home and that we just couldn't keep her.

I realized afterwards that I hadn't spent as much time fantasizing about our upcoming child or reading my baby books as much as I used to. Infact, I felt like I forgot about the baby when Lenda was with us. That didn't last long though. I went to the library and got some infant books. I also started getting nesting instinct like crazy (and still have it!) I am not particulary fond of our cramped batcave of a home, but I made a realization a few days ago that if we moved some things around in our living room and bedroom, there would be a lot more space. It's 100 times nicer than it was before. We're still going through things, but I actually feel like I would be happy having an infant in this house. A crawling baby, no. But an infant, yes. Hopefully before she crawls around a lot, we can find somewhere bigger to move into. And hopefully that will allow for another Lenda.

We're less than a month away and I can hardly believe it. I don't know what to expect, but I know that it will be fun despite the many challenges.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pioneer Day

We spent our Pioneer day holiday at Strawberry with the Peavler clan. I didn't do much but observe and relax, which was just fine with me.

Getting closer...
It was fun to watch Steve and my siblings in the tube. Everyone, except Heather, attempted to stand up at one point. I think Sam was the only one somewhat able to do it without falling out.

My manly dude with not so manly Heather.

Everyone fished minus Steve, me, and my mom. Sam vowed that she would kiss a fish if she caught one, and she did. It turns out she has the kiss of death, because when they tried to throw it back in, it didn't make it. Watch out fellows.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fantastic Fourth

Our 4th of July was pretty crazy, but of course a lot of fun. This balloon is a great example of that, as it landed right in my parents neighborhood very unexpectedly.

Steve wanted to run bandit for the Freedom 10k run. For those who aren't familiar with the term "running bandit", it means running a race without registering for it. He wanted to be a real bandit, so of course he was. He did really well and kept going the whole way, but he was dead tired afterwards. I was pretty tired too, because we had to wake up super early.

Some of my siblings and cousins slept overnight on the street to save us a spot on the parade route. I met up with them in the morning and painted some of their faces. Here are the results below. It was my first attempt face painting, so taking that into consideration I think I did pretty good. Everyone wanted something patriotic except for Noah, who is at the bottom of the picture below. He wanted spiderman. But I couldn't do spiderman, so then he had me paint eyeballs on his face and on his eyelids like Jack Sparrow from the 2nd pirates movie. Funny boy :)

After the parade we had to go do a puppet performance with Curtis. We were already very worn out from the morning, but we managed to pull energy from nowhere and put on a pretty good show. Thanks Dez for taking the pictures.

We performed our Frog Prince show, and at the end we had some girls, who happened to be beauty pageant winners and wearing crowns, come and kiss the frog. They were more than eager, but alas, that frog was no prince.

For that evening Lafe headed up a fantastic bbq. Steve and I collapsed with exahaustion afterwards and slept. Then my cousins came and wanted to play. Noah gave Steve a walkie talkie to use and Steve sent Noah on secret missions throughout the house. Noah loved it.

For the evening, we made some scrumptious treats that I got from Heather and Sage made these fabulous statue of liberty cupcake torches (though they were supposed to be green ice cream cones. I couldn't find any at the store)

I dipped some strawberries in white chocolate and pretty blue sprinkles for a fabulous looking red white and blue treat. I love Family Fun!

My parents live right across the street from the Stadium, so we had great seats to see the fireworks. We also had to put up with traffic though, but it was worth it. We got some little fireworks to play with, then we watched the real deal.

Not the most flattering picture for me, but I was pretty dead by this time. Steve was too, but you can't even tell in the picture. After that was over, we collapsed with exhaustion again and had to wait a long time for traffic to clear up so we could get home. It felt like 3 days jam packed in one, but that's how we enjoy holidays. Thanks mom and dad for taking most of these pictures.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Me & My Girl Friends

If I were Rapunzel

One of my favorite traditions is hanging out with my mom, sisters, and grandma for the annual quilt shop hop. We jump in a car together early in the morning and drive as far as Tooele and hit around 15 quilt shops all the way down to Springville. We were stamped at every store, so we got to enter for a sewing machine. I would love to win, but of course the chances are way too slim.

People always ask me why we go do this every year. When we describe it, it sounds really boring. I love going to the shops and getting ideas for crafts and quilts, and I usually indulge. The main reason we go is because we love hanging out with each other, even crammed in a car for a whole day. Mainly Sam, Heather, and I "annoy" each other in the back which makes us laugh like crazy women. We can usually get my mom and grandma laughing too, and when they get into a fit of giggles, it only makes us laugh even harder. I got quite a good ab workout this time.

This year we very unexpectedly ran out of gas. The gas meter didn't warn us very well and my mom was lucky to exit off the freeway right before it ran out. Sam and my pregnant self had to get out and push, which was probably very entertaining to the cars around us.

Sam and Mom saving the day.

This experience only made the trip more fun. It's cool to think that if I was ever in a big catastrophe with members of my family, we could all lift and cheer each other up.

My mom

Grandma Bonnie

The theme this year was fairy tales, so each shop made it's store follow a certain fairy tale. This one was Rapunzel, of course.



I never thought I would ever want to learn how to knit, but at one of the stores they had a very adorable display of knitted baby booties and I fell in love immediately. I am currently learning and it's very addicting, actually.

I love hanging out with the girls and I hope we will things like this for the rest of our lives. Family really is the best.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Puppets & Stories for Lunch

At the Provo City Library, I've been doing a show called Canopy Capers on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-12:30. Miss Alicen and I perform puppet shows and storytelling for pretty decent sized crowds. It's totally free, so stop by sometime. Here are some highlights from one of my shows:

Miss Alicen is an amazing performer! She graduated from BYU in vocal performance, which is a very hard program to get into to begin with. I have a lot to learn from her.

It's been awesome performing at the library for about 2 years now, but at the end of July I am going to be done. Miss Alicen is going to resign as well, so any of you who would love to perform for toddlers weekday mornings in the fall, there will be 2 positions posted. They aren't posted yet, but I'll let you know as soon as they are up.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Zoo with Gashler clan

We went last Friday with Steve's parents, Deanna, Eric, Desire and her girls Jamie & Talie. We of course forgot our camera, so Desire let us take some pictures with hers until they had to leave. It was a fun experience because we actually got to see a good amount of the animals moving around instead of sleeping. A zoo keeper was feeding this tiger to get it to come close to the fence while a news station (I forget which) was doing a little live blurb about the zoo.

Good old uncle Steve let Jamie ride on his back. You can't see it, but Steve is wearing a hat that says #1 dad on it. He's practicing living up to that, as you can see here.

Jamie had a lot of fun. She was way into seeing the animals and has the child curiosity and interest that I envy and want to make sure I have myself.

Here are Deanna and Leonard (Steve's dad) in front of some turkeys. It was hard to get pictures with animals because the animals were hardly ever close enough. It's so great having family in town and spending time with them. Somehow I neglected to get a picture of Eric :S

Linda (Steve's mom) and our one and only nephew Paul. Linda is such a cute grandmother :) Paul wasn't so interested in animals, but maybe that was because he couldn't really see most of them and when we tried to point them out he didn't seem to notice. He was quite pleased with the bushes, however. He liked to pull on them.

Talie, on the other hand, was very interested in the animals and would point at them as she took notice of them. Here she is with Desire, though I can't remember which animal they were looking at. This picture is an attempt to catch her in the act of pointing.

We saw a really awesome bird show showing off eagles, parrots, chickens, and lots of other birds. It was extremely well done and very entertaining. I hear they have a lot of other great shows/exhibits to give more knowledge about their animals, so I highly recommed for anyone to check out the zoo sometime this summer. It's totally not just for kids as long as you remember to have the interest and curiosity of a child.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Performing, working, and family

This is us posing as if we were bored. We've realized that posing a believable bored face is pretty hard. It's true that our sociality has been suffering greatly, that being our own fault. We, however, are anything but bored.

On Friday June 6th we had a last minute Gashlaria performance at a city event in Nephi. Since it was super last minute (which all of our performances seem to be recently) we could only get Curtis to come along with us. We performed short puppet skits, Pythagorea and the Gnome once, and did some good old storytelling. Unfortunately, we left our camera home, so we could only take cell phone pictures, which we are still trying to figure out...

On Saturday we drove to St. George for a wedding job. It was the first Catholic wedding we've ever attended and we greatly enjoyed it. It was completely Christ centered and the father emphasized to the couple the need to let Christ in their marriage. Steve was doing videography for it and during the ceremony at times we both felt that videotaping was inappropriate because parts of it seem so special and sacred, but they wanted the whole thing taped so we did it.

Between the ceremony and reception, we stopped by the Brigham Young winter home. We were in a ridiculous hurry, so one of the ladies there was nice enough to take us through quickly. It was really awesome to see. Steve remarked that he must be an old grandpa man now because he actually enjoys and took the initiative to see a church historical site. When he was young, his family took some big cross-country car trips to see church sites and it got tiresome. Now he's an old grandpa man :) and insisted that we make at least a little rushed time to see some sites.

Us in front of Brigham Young's winter home.

The reception was a fun experience too. Both the bride and the groom are in the army, so the bride decided to choose different shades of green for her colors. It was actually cute! She even had camouflage ribbon on her cake. Doesn't sound cute, but it really was. We ended our time in St. George by walking around the temple for a bit and learning about how it was made. All I can say is that the Saints living down there were absolutely amazing and hard working.

Yesterday Steve's mom, dad, and sister Deanna made it from Gilbert, AZ to be here for Emily's wedding today. We ate at La Vigna in American Fork. I read reviews before going, and most of them were negative. We all had a great experience and highly enjoyed the food, so I recommend it to anyone! Our waiter was especially good to us as well, and even was willing to take this picture of us.

It's great for the family to be all together. We are missing Eric and Brain in this picture unfortunately. It's fun to chat and watch our darling nieces and nephew interact with the world.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Performance at Showtime Utah

Us with Alex Boye

Last night we performed some puppet shows for "Family Night Live" at the Showtime Utah theater in Pleasant Grove. Alex Boye was the MC, and he repeatedly told us how amazing we were. After the show, he told us that he wanted us to tour with him. He said he was doing gigs all through the country that paid a ton, and he thought we could really go far together. He said he was doing this amazing show called Black Legends, a musical tribute to all the great black musicians of the twentieth century. We didn't understand where puppets would fit in, but we smiled and nodded, stressing that we were very interested. Later Curtis realized that Alex had mistaken us for the band he had been singing with, as we were both wearing black. Apparently Alex eventually realized this, and he smoothly glossed the conversation from Black Legends to the need for puppet shows in the community. He asked for our card, pledging to hook us up with future gigs, but I think that was just an outward act to help dig himself out of a hole. It was a funny situation. Oh well, Alex was an amazing performer. Oh yeah, and we were pretty good too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Muse Music Performance

Last night we opened for an evening of bands at Muse Music in Provo. We had found out about this concert only hours before, so after a rushed, inadequate rehearsal, we were all a little nervous. As we drove to the fateful event, even more daunting was the vision of a long line of people waiting to buy tickets just outside of Muse Music. Later we realized that these people were waiting to get into the Velour, the concert hall next door to Muse Music, where, I guess, the better bands were performing. In actuality, there were only a handful of people who heard us perform, and most of them were other bands, waiting for their turn.

Someday, perhaps, the world will recognize the brilliance of all the underdog artists out there, but in the mean time, we underdog artists will continue to perform for each other, wishing there's someone who actually cares in the audience, waiting for a fat rich guy to approach us with a contract and check book. Not that we covet fame and fortune. We're all about art for art's sake. But then, it sure would be nice if such art were being admired by a crowd of screaming fans, one of them, perhaps, being a fat, rich guy with a contract and check book.