Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You've Got a Friend In Me

Check some footage of the cutest Woody ever!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Challenges and Loves

To see the new post, click here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New post on family blog

To see why today was a momentous day, click here.
If you need an invitation to the private blog, get me your e-mail.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Going Private!

We've finally decided to make a private family blog to include the personal details of our lives.  If you want an invite, send me an e-mail.  This blog will still be up and running and I will  post here when there's a new post on the private one so the RSS feeds will alert everyone to new posts.  (Thanks for the great idea Charis!) 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Daughter and Jesus continued

Apparently she saw Jesus in the trees with the birds and was calling to him.  He's in the sun.

My daughter and Jesus

In the middle of nap time today, I heard stomping from above signifying a bathroom trip from my daughter.  I went up to check on her and caught her running back to her room and shutting the door as if trying to hide from me.  Upon entering her room and questioning her, it was discovered that she had indeed gone to the bathroom, but had not washed her hands.  So back to the sink we went.  An interesting conversation ensued--something about how she was crying a lot for Jesus because Jesus wasn't in her house, that she was scared and said a prayer and Jesus didn't come.  This is the gist of what I understood from her ramblings, which sounded a little disoriented like she was half-asleep.  Perhaps it was a dream she had? 

She was escorted back to her room, all her babies cleared from her bed since she had also related to me a story about her pink baby telling her how she wanted to fly and needed a magic wand, suspiciously suggesting that my child had been playing with her babies instead of napping.  So we removed the temptation on the grounds that the babies needed to sleep in their own bed with the only exception being the pink baby (to avoid a complete breakdown I had to give somewhere).  I stayed upstairs to take care of some things for my calling and just to make sure she really did go to sleep instead of play.  All has been quiet for some time.  Then out of the blue I hear her yelling out, "Jesus!  Jesus!" fairly loudly.  I peeked in her room only to ask her to be quiet so as not to wake up her brother, but I am very interested to hear the story behind this outburst.  What could possibly be going through that child's brain?  She was definitely awake, not dreaming.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Boy or Girl?

I am expecting to be in the hospital exactly 4 weeks from today so the baby will be born on 10/10/10.  We'll see if I can make it work out that way!  The big question is: boy or girl??

I took a few quizzes and looked up a few Old Wives Tales and ancient calendars and still found mixed results.  Here's a quick run-down for you:

  • The heart rate is sometimes over 140 and sometimes under, although usually right around 140.  So this doesn't seem to help much
  • I haven't had strong cravings for sweet or salty, although I remember with Luke I definitely loved the salty stuff.  This time I find I could probably eat fruit all day, which may qualify for sweet stuff.  This points to a girl.
  • I have never been too sick with my pregnancies, but I have felt queasy a few times.  Since this is more than normal, it could point to a girl as well. 
  • According to the Mayan's, I'm having a boy.
  • According to the Chinese, I'm having a boy.
  • Unless you check a different web site that insists I have to use my lunar age and year to calculate it (for the Chinese), in which case (if I did it right), I am having a girl.
  • According to two quizzes, I'm having a girl (68% and 60% chance girl, 31% and 40% boy).  When I took these same quizzes earlier in my pregnancy, it was about 50/50.  Both were based on wive's tales.
  • Mother's intuition: used to be girl, now I lean towards boy.
  • 3 year old intuition: girl...she wants a "stister"
  • Father intuition: boy (he actually thinks he saw it on the the ultrasound...I was watching far more intently than he was and didn't see a thing!)
So the way I see it, the score's pretty even depending on how much weight you put on each indicator.  Leave a comment and give your vote with your reasoning.  Or just vote on the poll.  Feel free to add a weight guess as well.  (The doctor's guess on the current weight from my ultrasound last Wednesday was 5 lbs and something ounces...I forgot the exact number).

I'll let you know in four weeks who guessed right!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life's Secret Ingredient to Success and a Clean House

Maybe it's making a phone call, or doing the dishes, or talking to a stranger.  No matter the problem or the cause, be it fear or laziness, sometimes there are things that we just don't want to do.  A while back a friend was talking about missionary work and said that the hardest part is thinking about it.  Isn't that true?  It's the scariest when we're just thinking about doing it.  The dishes are so difficult when we're thinking about doing them.  Talking to a stranger is intimidating when we're thinking about talking.  But what happens when we actually do these tasks?  Most of the time, it's not that bad.  Sometimes it even turns out to be fun.  So why the heck is it so hard to get motivated?  What can be done to get over the thinking part and into the doing? 

My motivation issues of late have been mostly related to house cleaning.  Being pregnant and taking care of two little monkeys, I am always tired.  But I have discovered a way that has worked every time I've used it (now to only figure out how to make sure I use it all the time!).  The simple trick is to set a timer for a short amount of time and do the task I don't feel like doing.  Sometimes it's 5 minutes, usually it's 10.  I push myself hard during that time and then something magical seems to happen.  The timer beeps.  And I keep cleaning!  Suddenly I have more energy.  Suddenly I'm seeing progress.  Suddenly there's a little hope for cleanliness in the disaster and with that hope, a new desire and motivation surges within me to do a little more...or even to finish!  I begin to be productive and I feel pleased with my accomplishments, small as they may be.  I kid you not, it has worked every time.  Thinking about it is harder than actually doing it.

The timer approach can't be used in every situation, but the basic idea is to spend less time thinking and more time doing and you might be surprised at what you can accomplish!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

To Know, Or Not To Know

I've never really been one to follow trends, but this time around I am sorely tempted.  It seems that many people these days have decided that it is very exciting to step back in time and not rely on modern technology to inform them of the gender of their baby.  (This old-fashioned route doesn't go much further as most still rely on an epidural!).  The more I have pondered this idea, I too have been caught up in the bandwagon and feel that it really would be a neat experience to not know until the moment the precious package is delivered and they hand the angel to me with the words, "It's a girl!" or "It's a boy!"  I imagine that with all the hormones from the labor process, that moment would be much more magical than simply watching the alien-like form floating on a screen.

Unfortunately, my husband can't seem to catch the vision.  Last night we had a good discussion about it and I think I'm finally beginning to understand where he's coming from.  To him, my pregnancy isn't real.  He sees my growing belly, but it is not a part of him like it is a part of me.  For him, knowing the gender is the beginning of a connection with the new life.  Until then, the baby is just an "it."  So the sooner we know if it's a boy or a girl, the sooner "it" becomes his little son or daughter.  Makes sense.

So the dilemma remains unresolved.  I want him to connect with the baby.  I also want to have my magical moment at delivery.  We have three weeks to decide.  And I have to wonder, will it really be as special as I imagine it to be?  Or would I be sacrificing my husbands desire for foolish imaginations?

Those are my questions.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Early Morning Thoughts

Here I am, four in the morning, wide awake since 1:30.  I thought I'd jot down some random and probably useless thoughts I had while washing the dishes (don't worry, the whole three hours thus far has not been that productive!).

Well, maybe it's just me, but I have the tendency to stick to my comfort zone a little too much, particularly in human relationships.  Take, for example, my college years.  I was fortunate enough to have two very close friends since 7th grade join me at school my first semester.  Naturally I spent all my time with them and all of their new friends.  Because they were boys, they left me alone the next semester as they began their mission service.  And there I was, suddenly and completely friendless.  I hadn't taken any time to make my own new friends and I barely even knew my roommates.  It was a lonely time for me as everyone else seemed to have their little groups already and didn't seem to notice mine had left. Funny how we seem to stick to our comfortable group and can inadvertently exclude others.

Needless to say, the next year I moved apartments to a cheaper place and met a little friendlier crowd.  I was also lucky enough to have my best friend of all time from back home live with me for a semester and this time was one of the happiest times of my life!  I was much better at socializing on my own and so even when my friend left the next semester, I had a good year.

My third and final year was a challenge.  Besides some emotional struggles making it difficult to be social, I was also student teaching and thus was never on campus and rarely associated with other students my age.  Somehow I managed to get a boyfriend, which was good in the sense that I could have friends through him.  It was harmful because once again I got stuck in a comfort zone leeching my life from others instead of creating my own.

This pattern has continued in my life as it seems like a lesson I am doomed to keep learning.  When my husband and I moved far away from family, we were blessed to locate not only in the same ward, but also the same neighborhood as a good friend of Lee's from high school (outside of Utah, "ward" and "neighborhood" are not synonymous!).  This made our transition much easier.  Unfortunately, we took advantage of the immediate friendship and didn't branch out too deeply.  When these friends abandoned us for higher education, we found ourselves a little shallow in other friendships around us.  Luckily, the Lord is generous and knows and loves us despite our weaknesses.  About this time he sent a friend of mine from school with his family nearby, though this time with a little more distance  so we would still have to find some connections a little closer.  I am grateful to say that we are slowly but surely branching out of our comfort zone and building stronger relationships with new people around us.

The moral of this story is simply that it is good to leave our comfort zone.  It is good to connect on a deeper level with new people.  It is also important not to get so comfortable in our little groups to forget to see who else is searching for a connection.  And last, but perhaps most important, the Lord does know us and love us and He will bless us with what we want as well as gently prod us to find what we need.  And He'll do it over and over until we get it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Things I Wish I Knew Proficiently Before Having a Family

1. How to cook...and bake
2. How to clean and organize
3. How to sew and do other crafts

Ok, so I thought I knew how to do all of these things pretty well when I was single or that I could learn them super fast, but doing it for a family (and with a family) is another story. 

Cooking:  I didn't starve in college.  I managed to feed myself every day.  But do you know how hard it is to follow a recipe with kids hanging on your legs, getting into the pots and pans, and whining??  Yikes!  And planning what to eat for five meals a day...every meal being nutritionally sound...is even more challenging when they'd rather starve than eat what you put in front of them!  I'm attempting to be a better homemaker so I'm learning to make bread.  The first time it didn't rise.  The second time I made a proof box out of my microwave, but got distracted with cranky children craving attention and by the time I checked the bread, it had risen too much!  If I had actually practiced this stuff when I was single (or at least didn't have monkeys to take care of), it would have been a hundred times easier!!  To think if I had recipes memorized!  Oh ya, and another thing that is discouraging about cooking...the mess!  I'm constantly cleaning up the kitchen!  And the kids hate when I give more attention to inanimate objects than to them.

Clean and organized:  I've always considered myself a very organized person.  I am learning that I'm organized when it only concerns my things and me.  It's a whole different story to manage an entire house.  The kids are always making messes and any spare moment is spent picking up after them.  We, the parents, are part of the blame for messes too.  The way I cleaned when I was single was a very relaxed way.  If my little room got a little out of hand I didn't stress about it.  I always found time to clean it up at some point, and actually I enjoyed doing it.  But, one room is a much smaller space than a house.  And finding the time to clean up the whole thing at once is impossible!  I should have learned how to keep it clean along the way and organize in a rush instead of coming back to it later.

Being Crafty:  I'm learning to sew and crochet right now.  It's kind of a fun thing, but since I'm in the learning process, it takes a long time to finish projects and it's frustrating when my sewing machine is broken...like it is right now, although I'm sure it's a user-error...because I can't seem to find the time to figure out what's wrong with it! 

My point is, the learning process is a process and requires time and attention.  For all of these activities, since I'm still learning, it takes more time and attention than I can really give to them.  So if you are still single, I highly recommend learning to do these basic things as proficiently as possible.  Don't think you can cook until you've cooked for a crowd and done it with distractions.  Some good goals would be to practice planning meals, memorizing recipes, and inviting a group...particularly children.  Don't think you can clean until you've learned to keep your room clean at all times, not just able to pick it up when it's a disaster.  And if there's a particular skill or hobby you'd like to learn that just might benefit your family, learn it now.  Don't wait.  You'll regret it.

(PS We got a new Young Women Presidency today.  The new president is a professional home organizer and at least one adviser is an amazing cook.  Looks like those girls are off to a good start with these goals!).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our Little Jokers

Hiding comfortably behind the piano in the Primary room again today, I felt suddenly grateful to have a husband who can play the piano.  I had taken it for granted that for two weeks in a row we had played a bit of musical chairs while he covered for me so I could sneak into the 11:00 meeting for the Sacrament.  Having two unfortunate Saturday nights in a row left me scrambling, by myself, to get to our 9:00 one.  Last Saturday evening, one child fell and severely cut his lip requiring 3 stitches.  Yesterday, the other child, apparently feeling a little left out, fell and cut a gaping hole in the corner of her mouth.  Now with an uncanny resemblance to the Joker, she has two stitches in place and a slightly extended smile.  Naturally both nights were a little long for the kids and naturally I let them sleep in the next morning, thus our tardiness to church.  And so, after tagging my husband and sliding back into my place on the piano bench, I realized how lucky I was.