Monday, December 28, 2009

What Does Santa do on the Off Season?

He's busy cleaning the glass at the Long Beach Aquarium
Poor guy, work is tough all over I guess. Everyone is looking to earn an extra buck and Santa had to get his feet wet (a-ha!) just hours after his big day of deliveries.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Bill's Sock"

I was just making a list of things I have to do tomorrow. Oh, stop laughing! I do, in fact, make lists sometimes. It doesn't happen often, but when I have a deadline or someplace important to go, I will make a list of things I need to do before I go. Also, I will make a list if I need to focus and want Bill's help.

So I was making a list of things to do so everything doesn't get put off until Christmas Eve. Today I did a little shopping to get ready for our trip and stuff our stockings. I like to stuff my own stocking with smelly goodness from Bath and Body Works. Their Sweet Pea is bliss and I indulge once a year. (other store brands are cheaper but they are for crap) At the end of the list I put "Bill's sock" because he is the only one left with an empty stocking. (although now that I think of it I have socks to put in his sock so maybe I'm fine) As I wrote the word sock I teared up a little. (Yeah, yeah, I know, hard to believe- me tearing!)

Even before we were married, Bill and I would get a huge package in the mail from his parents with Christmas gifts in it. His mom would wrap them elaborately with lots of ribbon and bows and nice tags on them. The smaller ones wouldn't have anything on them though and would be for the stockings. Scribbled in her very slanted cursive writing would be "Bill's sock" (that would actually be for Billy), or "Big Bill's sock" (that would be my Bill), or "Helena's sock". Bill's mom felt obligated to help fill the stockings because she had made them for the kids. She could knit and she made some beautiful stockings for Billy and Kyra with their names on them. To say that the stockings were HUGE is an understatement. I'm pretty sure we could have put a 5 month old Kyra in her stocking that first year.

I believe that Bill's mom bought the yarn to make Tasha's stocking while I was pregnant but never started it. Then she got sick and couldn't start it. Tasha's first Christmas was an easy one to get through because I had hopes of asking Bill's sister to make one for her and it's not like Tasha would miss a stocking at 8 months old. But then the next year rolled around and the next. I finally gave in and made everyone new stockings at a church super Saturday. Now they hang there, the 4 of them, and Payton is missing one. I guess I'll have to go back to the drawing board for next year since the girls are already concerned with him missing out. Sweet girls.

Anyway. I miss Bill's mom. I miss her sweet stocking stuffers. I miss seeing the word "sock" on small packages and chuckling to myself that there is no way in heck that any one's foot would fill the sock that she made for my kids to hang up at Christmastime. I love you Lorraine Durrenberger! Take care of yourself up there in heaven. Your memory will always live on in my heart.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

NTS: Make One Thing a Priority

I've found that I can count on getting about one thing done per day. ONE THING!!! If I get more than that accomplished then I consider it a good day. SO, if I only get one thing I have to make something a priority, and anything else is a bonus.

Things that don't qualify for the "one thing" category, but have to be done and interfere with getting that one thing accomplished:

  • nursing the baby

  • changing diapers

  • breaking up arguments between the girls

  • directing the girls on tasks other than watching TV

  • ignoring the dog (this takes effort to not explode in anger)

  • making the bed and putting away clothes

  • doing dishes (if this has become priority then things have been REALLY bad)

  • eating done after 11am (if I get breakfast then it was priority or it was a good day)

  • driving anywhere

  • answering the phone

  • answering email (read my technology post, this is as necessary as the phone now)

  • keeping the peace between siblings, parents, and friends

  • making dinner (although, by default do to the first item on this list, this task has fallen on Bill's shoulders more often than I'd like to admit)

  • carpooling

Things that I have to make a priority if I want them done:

  • showering before noon (this is done if I have someplace to be later and need to make sure I'm presentable before people)

  • working out (the time will vary depending on the mood and sleeping habits of the baby, and who is around to watch him)

  • grocery shopping

  • church

  • meetings (both church/calling related, and school)

  • cleaning the floor (although this was a bonus one day as I was waiting for my mom to come watch Payton while I went to the gym since that was priority that day)

  • cleaning the kitchen (if I did this regularly it wouldn't have to be on this list, dang it!)

  • LAUNDRY!!!

When did life get so complicated?

Oh yeah, when I became a mom.

So what is tomorrows priority? Finishing the laundry that I started Saturday. Then I'm finding a friend to hang out with and whine to about not getting anything done.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Is It Neglect If... leave your sleeping infant in the van...

  • parked in the carport
  • 10 feet from the front door
  • with the front door open
  • while you sit at the computer
  • another 10 feet from the front door
  • and check your email
  • and blog
  • and read fanfiction


I've checked on him several times. And, although I can't actually see his face (because he's nicely bundled in his jacket with the hood covering all but the bottom of his chin), I can see his chest heaving up and down. Seriously, if I bring him in he's sure to wake up and I really want to read about Jacob and Bella and a Volkswagon bug.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mary's Boy Child

Mary's Boy Child is my favorite Christmas song this season. There is a version on the radio that I like, but I have a CD that my friend gave me that has Harry Connick Jr. singing it. Who doesn't like a little Harry? When I googled it I found out that Harry Belafonte was the first to record it. I don't like his version at all, it's way too slow. I like to have a little reggae feel to this song.

Here's a youtube version of it if you don't know what song I'm talking about. I think this is the version from the radio, although it sounds much better in my van.

I was singing it with Kyra on the way home this evening and here's where our conversation went:

Me: Ya know, that's not really true. The song says, "man will live forever more, because of Christmas day."
Kyra: What?
Me: Well, Easter and the resurrection is really what makes it possible for us to live again, right?
Kyra: Right. But we couldn't have Easter without Christmas.
Me: All right. But which came first the chicken or the egg?
Kyra: The egg.
Me: Where did the egg come from?
Kyra: A chicken.

I'm just sayin'... not even an 11 year old has all the answers.

NTS: Lagging Left Turn at Priest and Baseline

I used to live in Scottsdale and they had the lagging left turn signal at all the intersections. The solid green light would send all the cars through the intersection, then the left turn signal would let cars turn left. I adjusted to that fairly well and even grew to like it. It was nice if I missed the light because I could turn left, continue my travels, and just alter my route a little.

Then I moved back to Tempe and the turn signal comes before the straight green. This is a pain, especially if there is nobody sitting in the turn lane because you won't get the signal. I HATE sitting through a whole series of lights because I got to the intersection too late. Again, I adapted and got used to it.

Now however, I find myself driving east on Baseline quite often to get home. I can turn left on either Priest or Hardy. I usually go all the way to Hardy because I have all green lights in the morning. At least 3 times now I have decided to turn at Priest because the light has been red. AARGH! Why, oh why, is this the only intersection in Tempe where the left turn comes after the straight green?! Frustrating! I have to wait like a whole extra minute before I can get driving again!

Yes, I have driving issues.

A Day of Technology

I'm worried that technology is making us completely incapable of talking to people. Although I am sure there are more things, ALL of these things happened to me today:
  • I thought to email someone before I decided to phone them.
  • I had to text someone under 25 so I would be sure she got the message.
  • A friend texted me to call another friend to tell her to check her email. (NO! I am NOT making this up. I have witnesses that read this blog.)
  • My neighbor that lives 5 doors away from me said, "you need to get on facebook so we can talk and you can play Scrabble with my mom."
  • A friend said, "oh, I just emailed you from my phone" and I responded, "let me borrow your phone so I can see what you said."
  • My husband put me off and said, "hold on, I can't get this thing to work and it's stressing me out." (He was talking about the remote.) Then he kept talking to the TV and even asked it a question.

and the worst thing is that its not making us smarter bcuz were typing its making us stupider bcuz we abbreviate stuff and dont use punctuation or capitals.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Total Commitment

Joseph knows that Mary could have anyone for a husband. There are 2 men that could offer so much more to her family and could give her so much more. He has a hard time knowing that he has so little to offer her, but he is also proud.

(page 65)"Weighing himself against them, he realized that Abner had his scholarship, his devotion to the Law. Cleophas had his wealth, his travels, his other women. He, Joseph, had only his love for Mary. She was his Temple, his wealth and his wisdom. And to her he would bring all that he possessed, every stitch, every penny, every eagerly hewn bit of wood. Every fiber of his strong young body, every thought that did not first belong to him who had made her for him, their God.

He was awed by the honor of his undertaking, but he was not humbled. He knew that the gift of total commitment is never small."

Which of us would not choose Joseph?! I have a hard time understanding people that choose a way of life, a style of living, or a high standing in society, over a love that will last forever and bring true happiness. Yes, money and stature can buy some kind of happiness and peace of mind, but it can't heal your soul, touch your heart, and give you the peace that comes from knowing you're in a loving, caring, and trusting relationship.
Mary is struggling with her feelings towards Joseph and the desires of her mother who wants her to marry well. She puts the question to God and asks him what he will have her do. The following excerpt is an example of the way she searches for the answer and is reflecting on if it really is her heavenly father speaking to her or the desires of heart. I find it fascinating to read the way other people interpret and look for answers to their prayers. Even more so, I love the thoughts given at the end that pertain to little children in their innocence. When my baby son keeps me awake at 3am I look into his precious eyes and can feel the spirit pouring out from heaven. It really is a beautiful, peaceful, loving feeling that brings tears to my eyes, even now as I type, exhausted from a restless night of little sleep.

(page 51-52)...The stars continued to dance and blaze in a fashion at once friendly and remote. There was naught but the dry rattle of the vines in the breeze, the soughing and gentle threshing of the palms and the olive trees beyond. Sometimes, when she was very young, she had felt such an intensity of communion with the unknown, inconceivable presence, that it had seemed to her that she had actually heard it speak. "Mary...Mary!..." Even at times as if a majestic yet infinitely tender hand had touched her hair, her cheek...

Yes, to distinguish the true from the false. To know the actuality from the dream. yet when the first breath one drew in the morning belonged to God, when no morsel was eaten without first asking his blessing, when it was he who ruled not only the universe but the smallest fragment of your life- how was it possible that he did not draw literally close to you at times? Flow in and through and around you, making you even more fully one with him? And that he did not move you so deeply in so doing that you felt his almighty hand upon you, heard the impossible voice speak?

She could not express it. There were no words in which to make this mystery plain. But dumbly, blindly, beautifully, the unreasonable conviction remained. Jahveh did love and communicate with his children. Perhaps only the very young children who were sufficiently pure and simple to be receptive to his touch. Those who were not yet corrupted by the emotions that beset us as we grow older- jealousy and worry and selfishness. And the desires that lashed her even now as she stood by the sill, striving for peace...

She longed to be a little child again, untouched by the pains of her womanhood. She longed with a sharp nostalgia for the blessed peace of the presence of God. "Thy will be done," she whispered one final time. "In this matter of Joseph, let me only obey."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Eyes, Hands, and Men (oh my!)

This book is a story of two young lovers and you know what that means. So far there have been several times that the characters mention their need to restrain themselves. There are several references to the attraction that Mary and Joseph have for each other and there are many descriptions of their beauty. This is my favorite regarding Joseph:

She longed to search his eyes, to see if his mood matched that of the morning, but she did not dare. Instead, she fastened her gaze upon his hands. How large, how rough and fiercely beautiful were the hands of a man...his nails were blunted and bruised; there were callouses from the hammer and saw. A mute pity went through Mary. Vaguely she sensed and was awed by the tremendous burden of being a man. (page 40)

First, I love the beginning where she talks about searching his eyes for his mood. How true it is that you can sense the way someone is feeling by their eyes. You can see if they are feeling sentimental, feisty, apologetic, desirous, tired, or lonely, all in one simple glance. But sometimes tears are a hard one to gage. Are those tears of anguish? Sadness? Delight? Love? Sympathy? Thoughtfulness? Happiness? This is coming from someone who has teared up over the smallest of all things several times a day over the last 5 weeks. I think that tears can sometimes gloss over what the eyes are really trying to tell you about what you're feeling. Maybe that's good, maybe not. I'm not sure.

Next are the hands. Oh my gosh, the hands!!! Yep, if I were to say there was one thing I notice about a man it would be his hands. I don't like sissy little manicured hands. Give me some big, rough and calloused hands and I'm set. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be clean and well trimmed, but I'd like them to have seen some manual labor sometime in their life and they definitely don't have to be baby soft smooth. A little rough around the edges are fine by me.

Finally is the burden of being a man. I've heard a few conversations about this in the past few weeks and still haven't decided where I stand. One was actually a discussion of whether there was more stress on the job or at home. I would imagine that a full time bread-winner and a stay-at-home-mom would both have their arguments to back up their side, but I'm going to have to say that they are equally as stressful, just in different ways. I do believe that there is a pressure on a man to make a living that will never fall on a woman. This I am grateful for. I also believe that the support of a good woman can make that a little less burdensome. And inevitably, the pressure of keeping a house running falls on a woman. It pains me to see the lack of support that many really good women get from their husbands in this department. I'm not just talking about actual physical help like doing dishes or helping with the kids, I'm talking about just the encouragement that they are doing a good job. A simple acknowledgement that the un-paid labors that go on in the home while a man is out bringing home the bacon can and are strenuous in their own right. I actually worry about some of my friends because of the attitude of their husbands. I know they don't mean to do it, but sometimes men take for granted their wives and all that they do behind the scenes to keep their family happy and the house running smoothly.

Now, just to get Bill off the hook here I will say that he doesn't take me for granted at all. He is a great man with some great hands whose mood I can read with a glance into his eyes. I think I'll keep him.

A Good Analogy

Mary is trying to help her mother who replies that there are worse pains than the headache that she has.

Yes, worse pains, Mary thought. Worse pains than this sourness that had come between them again and hung as sharp as the vinegar in the room...(page 38)

Wow. Can't you just smell the thick vinegar stink and feel the pain between the mother and daughter? Now that's some good writing Mrs. Holmes!

To Contend or Not to Contend

Backing up a bit, because I had a few more pages dog-eared, here's a good quote about Mary's mother and father:

He had refrained from the arguments that sprang to his lips. He had long ago learned that the best way to handle his acrimonious little mate was to let her seem to have her way. Let her prate and scold, he thought with a kind of grudging admiration. So long as he did not stoop to contending with her, he retained his stature as a man and his will prevailed. (page 25)

This just kind of makes me chuckle. I can't decide if it is a slam or not. He is suggesting that by doing what his wife wants, without an argument, he is a better man. What does that mean? By not standing your ground and doing what your mate wants then you're the bigger person? I don't know that I buy that. I like to debate, I want someone to fight back, not just roll over. But then again, maybe Bill will take this advice and I'll just get my way all the time. Naw, that would be no fun. Plus, he'd walk around saying, "see my high stature as a man" which would just be hilarious.

The truth of the matter is that he's right. It just so happens that his wife is one of those people that just pushes and pushes to get her way. "Acrimonious" is not really a good descriptive word that I would want used on me, and I don't think it fitting to many people. I suppose if a person were really biting and had feelings of ill will then you wouldn't want to argue with them anyways. I have met and worked with people like that and it's true, you push them to a point where you are content with their decision and then you let them think that they've gotten their way. It works and you are the better person.

Now Here's a Wedding Vow

We have Dish network now. Have I mentioned that? Have I mentioned how totally against 100+ channels I am? Too much ESPN, too many kids stations, too much TV! And we have movie channels for a while as well. Seriously, did I need to watch Sex in the City (unedited!) at 10 this morning? No, but really I wouldn't have gotten anything else done as my son had me preoccupied. Anyway, there's a wedding scene and they are supposed to write their own vows. Besides the fact that the wedding itself doesn't happen, the vows never got written either? How do you sum up everything that your future spouse means to you? Can it be done? After the movie, my question was answered when I picked up Two From Galilee as I nursed Payton to sleep. I think Joseph, well I guess it's really the author, come pretty close here: (You'd have to change it to first person and direct it to Mary, but what Joseph is thinking here is probably all that you could hope for from a future spouse)

(page 65) "...He, Joseph, had only his love for Mary. She was his Temple, his wealth and his wisdom. And to her he would bring all that he possessed, every stitch, every penny, every eagerly hewn bit of wood. Every fiber of his strong young body, every thought that did not first belong to him who had made her for him, their God.
He was awed by the honor of his undertaking, but he was not humbled. He knew that the gift of total commitment is never small."

Well, it beats Sex in the City and the love letters Carrie read from her smelly old library book. (I do, however, agree that library books have a smell that can't be beat!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Can't Touch This

Yesterday, on the way to school, I had a talk with my girls. A song had been playing on the radio and I was singing along with it. I realized that I could only sing about every other line and that I had absolutely NO IDEA what the song or the chorus was about. I really liked this song, remembered it from when I was young(er), and honestly can't tell you what the name of it was. This is when I turned it off and told my girls...

"OK girls, I'm going to clue you into something and you need to listen carefully because this will save you a lot of arguing and heartache in the future. When you grown up you are going to listen to music that I don't like. I will probably hate it and give you a hard time about it and tell you that it is no good. I will listen to the lyrics and tell you that it is no good and that you can't listen to it. That's when you need to tell me, 'mom, it's not all about the words'. I was singing this song and I have no idea what it's about. I like the group that's singing and I like the beat, but I don't have a clue as to what the words mean. Do you understand?"

I'm mostly talking to Kyra since she is older and sitting in the front seat. I can't see Tasha because she's behind me and messing with Payton. As soon as I said, "when you grown up..." Kyra got a smile on her face because apparently I do this sort of thing often. She told me she understood and giggled. I sort of half turned to Tasha and said, "Tash, got it?" To which she replied with a "got it." I'm sure she had no clue what I was talking about and probably wasn't even listening.

That was yesterday.

Today was a new day. Right as I started the van this morning there was a good beat playing so I turned the radio up. It was "Super Freak". I hear this:

"Buh-nuh-nuh-nuh...nuh-nuh...nuh-nuh" (from the speakers)

"Can't touch this." (from my 11 year old)

Kyra was right on cue with the lyrics and I just busted out laughing. How does she know this song? Is this appropriate for an 11 year old? Again, I have no idea what this song is about but something tells me that a super freak song isn't very wholesome, ya know? I guess she learned it at Kids Kamp. Fine, whatever. We back out of the driveway, almost run over some neighbors walking their dog because I'm still laughing, and head off to pick up more kids for school. I'm singing along to the song and we stop at the light on Broadway.

Then Tasha pipes in with, "mom, it's not all about the words."

Whoops, I guess she was listening. We're gonna have to be careful what we say around this 5 year old.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Time To...

  • Get back to the gym
  • Buy a new sports bra
  • Buy some new tennis shoes
  • Learn to use my MP3 player

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ya know, it really doesn't matter how many posts I do, or how often I check my email, or how many dishes I wash, or how many pictures I take, or how many blogs I visit...

That darn Christmas tree is not going to assemble itself.

NTS: Use Fancy Dishes Every Day

I have a friend who has come over a couple of times and heated up her lunch. She likes to use real dishes, not plastic, in the microwave and she also likes to eat soup. I really only have a few ceramic bowls to offer her and they are some pretty bowls that I got through Pampered Chef. I usually only get them out when I'm serving out of the matching enormous pasta bowl or if I serve a side dish out of them. They are shallow and wide so I don't really think to use them for regular eating. The last time she was here she was eating her soup out of one of these bowls and commented on what a great dish it was. I thought to myself, "ya know, she's right! Why don't I use these when I eat?!" So, now I do. I've heated up many a lunch in those babies and I'm pretty sure the food tastes better. The experience is definitely top notch and I'm not leaching any plastic particles into my food to give me some sort of funky disease in a few years.

NTS: CFL's are NOT for the Laundry Room

The concept behind the Compact Fluorescent Light bulb (CFL) is a good one. It is longer lasting and uses less energy than the average bulb and is therefore better for the environment. The thing is, when you cram all that energy into a regular bulb it takes a little while for it to warm up. When you first turn on the light it is very dim and it starts to gain strength over time. Good enough for the average room and task, but not for everywhere. For instance, my laundry room is not a good place for a CFL. It is VERY dark back there and there is no other light source (aside from the 1ft square hole to the outside of the house where we let in the cold in the winter and heat in the summer). And really, how much time do you really spend in the laundry room? I just went back to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer (it's pretty cloudy out and I'm just now getting back to the idea of using my clothesline). I turned the light on when I first got back there and it hardly made a difference at all. By the time I had the clothes in the dryer it hadn't even gotten to full light before I turned it off. Clearly, this is not the place for the CFL bulb.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Good to be Back!

Last Friday, as I was driving to drop the kids off to school, I was thinking about all that I needed to accomplish that day. There was a ton to do and miraculously, I did not feel overwhelmed. A month ago I would have been freaking out at the thought of what needed to be done. Well, I take that back, I wouldn't have because there is no way that I would have volunteered to do anything while I was pregnant. I also would have left the laundry for someone else. It felt so good to look back at my week and see that I can function as a normal human being again. Hooray, pregnancy is over and prego brain has officially left! I'm pretty sure I did more this last week than I did during my entire 3rd trimester...

Monday: Carpool kids to school, grocery shopping, actually put the groceries away, put dinner in the crock pot, planned the menu for the week, went to the Tempe Symphony Concert with my mom.

Tuesday: Carpool kids to school, did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen, picked up the Kindergarten kids from school, went to a friends house to make a present for my nephew, stayed there WAY too long but enjoyed some girl time, brought the kids home to Bill who had prepared hamburgers for them, went out to a birthday dinner with my mom, nephew and his wife.

Wednesday: Carpool kids to school, Waffle house with my mom, Christmas PJ and dress shopping with my mom, picked up some much needed baby products, picked up the Kindergarten kids from school ('cuz we were just finishing shopping in the area), took the youth to the temple lights.

Thursday: Carpool kids to school, credit union, hung out with a friend for a while and watched her kids a little, took said kids to another friends house to mix and assemble several dozen grape leaf appetizers for a party Friday night, directed Bill on what to make for dinner while I nursed and took care of Payton, ran out the door for a Parent Rep. meeting and Parent Council meeting at the girl's school.

Friday: Carpool kids to school, got home and put Payton down to sleep, plugged in the crock pot to cook the grape leaves for that night, mixed sugar cookie dough and refrigerated it, did 3 loads of laundry, actually folded and put them away, watched a friends kids and thought about feeding them, cooked some yummy Israeli chicken and giant couscous for the ward Christmas party, frantically sent Bill to church with the grape leaves that were done but stayed home to let the soup cook because I underestimated the time it takes to de-bone chicken, nursed Payton and directed Kyra on a few things at home, went to said Christmas party, cried during the song and slide show, chatted with a few friends, dried some dishes, brought a friend of Kyra's home to spend the night and successfully put all the girls to bed before midnight.

Saturday: Showered (I think I did this other days during the week, but this one was relaxing), made 4 dozen sugar cookies to take to a school fund raiser, went to said fund raiser and worked the cookie kingdom booth for an hour before we ran out of the 10 dozen cookies we had made, cleaned up a little, met Bill for lunch on the early childhood playground (delicious veggie sandwich) while the kids painted something and generally had a good time, stopped at McDonald's to feed the kids on the way to the German Sausage Co. for our annual trip for wieners and salami, came home and rested for about 10 minutes while I put Payton down for a nap, did a butt load of dishes, had friends over for St. Nicholas night, played some cards, and generally had a good time.

Now it's Sunday and I'm grateful for a wonderful Sabbath day. We blessed Payton today and Bill did a great job. My brother and his 2 sons, Kyle and TJ were able to be in the circle as well as Jared, Ryan and Scott. I think Bill said that Bishop Stevenson jumped in there as well. I was glad to hear Bill bless Payton that he would find his sweetheart (he specified a girl later) and take her to the temple, and that he would prepare to go on a mission and teach those that were ready to hear the gospel message. He also told him many times how much he was loved. Sweetness. Bill's dad was able to come and held Payton while he slept for about 40 minutes. That, of course, made my mom jealous and she kept giving me the pouty lip. My brother and Kyra both bore their testimonies and made me cry. My mom was able to come back for RS where the YW sang Angels We Have Heard on High and signed As I Have Loved You for a mini Christmas Program. I was able to nurse Payton and send him home with Bill while I had choir practice. Bill went to his Dad's house around 5, so I made him move some furniture around in the living room before he left. I've gotten most of the furniture where I want it and plugged in the laptop to see if it would work nicely where our new-to-us-free recliner sits. So far, so good. The girls are snoozing, or at least they are in their beds and Tasha has her pink princess tree glowing brightly from the corner of her room.

So now, here I sit with 2 boxes of Christmas tree branches waiting to be assembled. I have some Boursin cheese spread and crackers, some German Sausage Co. salami, and a little cherry coke to get me through the night. The Christmas music is playing and the season has begun.

Life is pretty good. I need to remember that more often. This is a good time of year to stop and do just that. It's good to feel like myself again: able to help people, volunteer for stuff, keep a coherent thought and process it in my brain, roll over on my stomach, and able to hug and kiss my husband without bumpin' bellies. Yep, life is good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009



I'm old.

It's been confirmed.

We had a joint mutual activity tonight and we took the youth to the temple lights. On the way there I had a van full of boys and I chatted with a couple of them most of the way. For the last few minutes Payton woke up and started crying so I turned the music up... and sang along (Tears for Fears)...

"Shout, shout, let it all out. These are the things we can do with out. Come on-on."

When we left the temple I had a couple of the same kids with me. I hadn't even started backing out when one of the boys pipes up, "can we listen to some good music?" Yeah, yeah, I know they want that garbage on 101 something. I oblige until a commercial comes on. Then we switch to country to appease someone else. I'm a surfer when there is too much chit chat. The radio is for music, and dang it if I won't find some.

So I'm surfing. Commercial, commercial, a song, commercial... "Wait, go back!" I hear from the back seat. Really I think to myself? I knew that song. I go back and sure enough, I did. It was Michael Jackson. Then it comes:

"Yeah, this song. I LOVE the oldies!" he says.

"Take it back! Take it back!" I scream from the drivers seat. "This is not an oldie! Take it back! This song came out while I was in high school." (20 years ago, I think to myself)

Crap. It's true. My era of music is officially oldie music now. I can't believe it. And to confirm matters, I tell Bill the story and he comments:

"Well. Michael Jackson was a pop icon from the 80's who is now dead."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Bloggable Bookclub

Well friends, the last time I read a really good book I kept posting good quotes from it and you all wanted a book club out of it. So, here's your chance. I started Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes last week and already there are some pretty good lines being said. And, if you remember correctly, my take on discussing a book really has nothing to do with the literary style, historical accuracy, or really even anything to do with the plot of the book. I'm always interested in the interaction between the characters, the witty/sappy/thoughtful dialogue, how the author makes me think, and what I can take away from the book.

There's no hurry here if you want to join in the discussion. Like I said, I started it last week but I'm really only on page 28. I'm a slow reader and I have a newborn to boot. The really great thing this time around is that I own this book! It was given to me for my birthday so I can dog ear the pages, write in it, and bend back the binding all I want. Yeah for me.

Two From Galilee (if you haven't already guessed) is the story of Mary and Joseph, therefore it's a pretty fitting read for this time of year. Of all the books Marjorie Holmes has written she says that this book is dearest to her heart. She was at a candlelit Christmas Eve service with her 13 year old daughter one year when she realized, "Why, this really happened! On this night, a long time ago, there actually was a girl having a baby far from home... in a manger, on the hay!" She talks about how young Mary must have been, and by that count, Joseph would have been young too. As the story opens, Mary has just become a woman and her mother is thrilled and anxious to get wedding plans started for her. Mary is in love with Joseph, but her mother is not inclined to give her to a carpenter when there are many more wealthy suitors for her beautiful and sought after daughter. Already there is a bit of contention going on in Mary's house as she and her mother do not see eye to eye on her future. Much of it goes unsaid, but they know how one another feel and choose to dismiss each other to some degree.

My first quote is from Mary. She has been going about her day as usual, but her emotions are a little more intense since her hormones are changing. (I can relate!) Her mother, Hannah, suggests that she goes to lie down for a while and let someone else do the weaving. Mary replies:

"No, no, I feel all right. Only the love I feel for you and- and for others, seems very close to the surface today, I want to laugh and to cry over nothing. The spilled flour, the tangled threads, I want there to be harmony in all things. When two people grind the flour that makes the bread of life together- they should never be pulling against each other instead. And the loom, the patterns interwoven on the loom-"

Puzzled, Hannah saw that Mary's eyes were luminous and wet. "If only lives could themselves weave smoothly in and out, joining and strengthening each other instead of so often tangling and breaking apart."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

THANK YOU Brother Shafer!!!

I got home from choir practice today to Kyra unloading the dishwasher and Bill cleaning the bathroom. I put up the few dishes that Kyra couldn't reach and helped clean off the counter. Then the girls went outside to ride bikes and Bill started to vacuum the living room.

Me: What's up with you cleaning?
Bill: I'm showing you that I love you by serving you.
Me: What lesson did you learn in priesthood today?
Bill: Helping those you love by serving them.
Me: Yes, yes. I love priesthood.
Bill: Well, this is the angle that Brother Shafer took on Elder Bednar's talk.
Me: I love Brother Shafer.

Bill wouldn't let me call Brother Shafer and thank him, so this is my tribute to him.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Always Thankful to Learn

Things I've learned this year at Thanksgiving...
  • Pumpkin pie tastes better cold
  • To avoid turkey spatter in a deep fryer, lower said turkey into fryer with a fork lift (picture available)
  • Stuffings vary GREATLY in the amount of time they take to cook
  • You can be late to dinner if you have a newborn
  • There is a girl sassier than Tasha
  • When I put on make-up my kids think I'm pretty
  • When Bill puts on a polo shirt the girls think he's pretty
  • When we're pretty, the girls change clothes to look pretty
  • When there are enough adults at dinner, I get to eat mine hot- even when the baby is fussy
  • My brother still won't hold a newborn
  • I learned my baby clicking noise (tongue on the roof of my mouth) from Loreen
  • Pacifiers/thumbs are a necessary evil for my kids, and a lifesaver for my aching neck

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Payton", why Payton

Yep, my son is named after a sports hero. Since I have been dating Bill I have been trained to say, after hearing the name Walter Payton, "the best running back of all time!" Of course, Walter Payton was actually more than just a great running back, and you can read about it in many places. Most recently, a book about him was even mentioned on my newly favorite show, glee. If you want to read Bill's version of this great man, click HERE.

And, in case you care, Payton's middle name is Thomas. That was my father's name and my brother's name. Sweet.

Yes, It WAS Beautiful!

I was wondering when this moment would come. The moment when I could look back at the birth of my son and say, "that was a beautiful experience." Bill has been there for a while. Well, actually, he's been saying that the whole time because for him it was truly a different experience. For me, on the other hand, many of the same things happened as did with the births of my daughters, it was just in a different setting. Does a different setting make a difference? Yes. Absolutely. Now that I can let go of the pain associated with the actually process of ushering a child into this world, I can look back and appreciate the beauty of giving birth in my own home, with my own people, and on my own timeline.

Ever since Kyra was born it was apparent to me that water makes all the difference for me when it comes to labor. It is relaxing and soothing, and I can forget a little of what is going on around me as I feel the rush of the water from the shower run down my back. With Kyra, I dilated 4 cm. while in the shower. With Tasha, the shower sent me into full blown labor. I went from non-consistent contractions to every 4-5 minutes. So naturally, I figured that water would definitely be a blessing with this birth. It's even better when you have a friend with a birthing tub she's willing to loan you, especially when the shower didn't work this time around. From 1am to 12pm I had consistent contractions, 10 minutes apart. And they hurt. That is nothing like what I had experienced before. I didn't know if it was real or not, so I didn't have anyone around. I tried many things to speed things up, and then gave up. Around 11, I got in the tub to slow things down, but that didn't work either. I made some calls and we determined that this was the real thing it was just going to take a long time. Great!

I got back into the tub around 1pm to relax. No such luck. The contractions now seemed to be stronger and possibly closer together? I rolled over to try to time them and it did appear that they were closer to the 8 minute range but I couldn't be sure. Then it happened. I felt the pop that could only be my bag of waters breaking. It was a quick, relief-like feeling, that was followed shortly by a holy-cow-this-is-really-it feeling. A few quick phone calls to Bill and Crystal, and things really started to progress. Oh, the pain. This great tub full of water was doing nothing to ease the pain like I was hoping it would. I figured if I couldn't feel contractions in the shower, then a tub full off water should really do the trick. No such luck. It hurt. Things were intense and it was all happening faster and faster.

Crystal got here first and did her thing. I assured her that there was nothing she could do for me, besides let me scream and moan, so she went about her business, brought me ice water, and asked a few questions to gauge where we were at. At some point during all this I thought to myself, "Is Bill even going to make it?" Yes, just a little part of me was worried that I had waited too late to call him. I really didn't want anyone around any sooner than I called because that just makes things worse- people hovering, waiting for something that you really can't control, all while you're trying to compose a little bit of dignity as the pain of the contractions set in. So, I had waited to call until I knew birth was eminent. And now, it was. Very eminent.

Now, no more worries. Bill made it. He was already all a glow as he knelt down by me and tried to sooth me. That lasted about a minute. He said something like, "breath" and I shot back with "don't tell me what to do." The contractions were really intense and really hurting and I really just needed to yell about it. He's a good man, minded his manners, and just kept quietly supporting me. And now, that's the last that I am going to talk about the pain...

I closed my eyes and tried with all my might to focus on the little baby inside me trying to get out. I have no idea of the time frames involved from here on out. It seemed to last forever, yet also seemed to happen quickly. I remember Bill moving from behind me to the front to see if he could see the baby's head. I remember Crystal gently patting my arm and saying all those soothing things that she had told us to say during labor. Things like, "you're doing great sweetie," and "it's almost over". Things I thought would not help, but most definitely did. My eyes were shut the whole time, trying to shut out the chaos that I was used to. But there was no chaos. Nobody rushing in and out of the room, nobody setting up supplies that may or may not need to be used, no introductions to an alternate Dr. in case my OB didn't make it in time. It was peaceful and calm, all things considering. I was being asked where it hurt. I was the person that this was happening to and somebody cared enough to assess how I felt. I wasn't being told where to go and when to push and when to wait. Nobody was messing with an IV that had fallen out of my hand. Nobody needed to check the baby's heart rate. I could tell you the baby was fine, and I felt him move down. I was told to push when I felt like pushing.

I don't know how much of difference it made to me during the actual experience, but I know that being in control of the situation made a difference going into the birth process. I know that now I have absolutely no regrets of how things were done. And now for the beautiful part...

I pushed. And I pushed. And I pushed. I pushed hard and I pushed fast. Apparently I only pushed for 10 minutes and there that little baby was. He was in my husbands arms. That was the first thing that I saw. I opened my eyes and saw Bill holding our baby. I didn't cry then, but I certainly am now. He was so proud. There was our child. In our home. In our arms. It was an absolutely amazing experience.

Then I heard Crystal, "give him to his mom". That's when it hit Bill to look. I think he was too overcome by the experience to care. He looked surprised and then looked down. "It's a boy!" as he handed him over to me. I was surprised too. I reached for him and snuggled him on my chest just looking at the beautiful child that had been given to us. Overwhelmed with joy and let's be honest, relief. I was so relieved to be done with the labor that nothing else in the world mattered. I just held his sweet little body close to mine and waited. I guess we waited a full minute for him to breath, but he did. He did everything like a champ. He was perfect and nobody took him anywhere to do anything to him. He was all ours. All our responsibility. All in our care. And somehow, everything was much simpler, much more calm, much more right in the world as we sat in Tasha's bedroom holding our newborn child without any strangers around. What a blessing and a joy. Words could never express how thankful I am to a loving father in heaven for sending this sweet spirit to our home.

I wonder sometimes why different things happen. I'm sure the false labor weeks ago was to prep us for this time. It showed me that I didn't really want the kids to be here. It helped Bill to see what kinds of things needed to be taken care of before the actual birth. We were able to make some adjustments, but some things were still up in the air. I had also asked April to be here for the birth and to take pictures. Pictures I wasn't sure I would be comfortable with, but also knew I could just get rid of if I didn't want them. There were times, during the labor, that I thought she was there. That would be like her, to just come in without being seen or heard and do her thing. It didn't happen that way, and I know there are regrets associated with that. I know how much she wanted to be here. Childbirth is her thing and she wants to share it and be supportive and do whatever she can to help her friends.

But the unexpected things that happen during childbirth can also be a little like a family vacation. Who remembers the vacation that goes perfectly? Nobody does, because that never happens. Someone forgets the camera, or someone gets sick. A wrong turn is made and you end up hours from a destination that closes at dusk. You blow out a tire and end up spending the night in a funky town but having the most interesting experience the next day because of it. I guess what I'm saying is that the unexpected is what you remember. It's what you thrive on and the memory of that event is what touches your heart for years to come. It is that picture, the one that didn't get taken, that will forever be etched in your brain.

One of those pictures was Bill holding our child. We didn't really plan that. I thought I would need him at my side the whole time like I did in the hospital. I thought I would reach down a bring the baby out of the water, but I didn't. He had moved around to see the baby crowning and never moved back. He waited patiently for the head to come out, turn, and then be followed by the rest of his body. He caught our child and brought him out of the water. I won't ever forget that. Nobody took that picture and I don't regret that. It could not be put on film in a manner that would do it justice. You have to see the joy in his eyes and hear the delighted chuckle in his voice that could never be captured in a still frame.

Another picture that could not have been taken was the soothing voice of my friend confirming that I could do this. She was always there encouraging this birth. From the time she gave me the pregnancy test to the delivery, she never waivered in her confidence that this was the right thing to do. Always supportive, yet never pushy, I knew Crystal would be there to help me with any problem I had to face. There is no way that this home birth would have happened without her help and we will obviously never, ever have anyway to express our gratitude and love to her.

And finally, was the picture of patience and understanding that arrived hours after the birth. April had understood when I called earlier to cancel the lunch date we had scheduled. She was patient when I asked her to wait until about 4pm to come over and to bring Tasha with her. She was kind enough to let everyone in the room hold little Payton before her. But the picture I have etched in my mind was the very April-like way that she gently plopped herself down at the foot of my bed and asked for every last detail about the birth. Engrossed to no end, and not sidetracked in the least as the children and my mom made random comments. It was truly a story that she wanted to hear and absorb. Had she actually been here, I would have missed that moment with her. It was then that I realized how much her friendship means to me and how all the unspoken things that happen between us really do matter. That is a memory I will have and cherish more than any picture she could have taken. Hopefully, she can make her own pictures from the details that I'm sure we will continue to share over the next few days.

I know I probably left out some facts, figures, and details that most people would associate with a birth story, but this is all I've got. We've had some wonderful family experiences with the girls, both before the birth and since, that I will share at a later time. I'm not sure which ladies at church had my mom cornered on Sunday, but when they found out I had the baby at home and the circumstances around it, one of them said, "well, I guess in this ward when you have a baby you just call Crystal and April." I would say that if you want to do it your way, under your terms, and you need the support of some really great women, then YES (!) that is exactly what you do.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Welcome, Little One!

Payton Thomas Durrenberger
Born: November 6th, 2009 @ 2:50pm
10 lbs 5 ounces, 22 inches long
Mom, Dad, sisters, and SON are all doing well!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

For All My Nonconformist Friends

"Here are a few characteristics of people who lead healthy, nonconformist lives: they speak their minds; they do a lot of experimenting; they say no to others occasionally in order to say yes to themselves; they are forever learning. Regardless of their age, such people live on the edge of new knowledge, new fields, and new discoveries. They spend time with people who encourage their nonconformity.

It is a rare gift to find people who are loyal and give you space to be yourself. But you learn to value them highly and to give them the same space they give you.l They are always creating something and often stay off the beaten path. They like to be with children and think less about people's opinions while being more spontaneous. They often have dynamic, interesting personalities, resisting conformity and developing some small eccentricities as part of their journey to independence and self-confidence."

-Lynn M. Griesemer

I don't really have much commentary on this quote here, it just really spoke to me. I like to know people that fit this description. These are the interesting people in the world. They aren't the crazy, off the wall people trying to make a stand and shouting at the world. They are the quiet people that are just doing their thing and making a difference in their own life and the lives of the people that take the time to get to know them. I'm not really a nonconformist (yet?!), but a lot of the qualities listed there are things I would like to become. I also don't think that just because you happen to agree with and do many of the main stream things in life that you are conforming to society's rules. But, then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe that's the conformist in me talking. And then again again, maybe there are different levels of nonconformists and/or different types of ways that you can be an nonconformist.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"It Was Beautiful"

I got a fantastic email in my inbox yesterday. A friend sent me this titled "It was beautiful":

Last night I dreamed that I stumbled upon you typing on your computer. You had recently given birth and were writing out your birth story on your blog. I asked you how it was and you said, "It was beautiful, just beautiful." We talked for a long time and then I realized I hadn't even asked you what the sex was. You laughed, "She's a girl!"
It was such a happy, peaceful dream. I can't wait! :)

Thank you, dear friend, for the sweet, hopeful wishes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why Bill Needs a Boy

Chatter around the water cooler at work...

Aaron: My son is only 2 and it's so fun to watch football with him. He just sits right up next to me (hand pats his leg affectionately) and will stay there for the whole thing.

Bill: Yeah, that's pretty nice.

Rex: My nephew is pretty cool too. He'll watch any sports with me. It's awesome.

(long pause)...

Bill: Ya know, the new Tinkerbell movie came out last week. It looks pretty good.

(awkward silence, followed by stifled laughter)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"That's Why You Need Sisters!"

A very fine lady said this to me last week. It was said in that most helpful way to suggest that sisters are there to take care of you when nobody else can figure out what you need or want. How sweet. Is that really the case? I wouldn't know, I only have a brother. Brothers are good and fun to harass and joke around with. They can be kind when you need them to be, give good advice, and have a sympathetic arm or shoulder for support during hard times. I guess sisters are different. Sisters do it all.

So, thank you, dear sisters. You know who you are and you know what you've done! I won't even try to list the kindness and help that you have given me this last week because I would fall very shy of including everyone. I feel very blessed and fortunate. I'm also probably glad that I didn't have to grow up with all of you sharing clothes and a bathroom and fighting. This is the best of both worlds, and I hope I can repay the favors once I'm back to 'normal'.

I love you all!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

False Labor?

This 'morning' I woke up at 1am and absolutely could not go back to sleep. I say 'morning', because really- after 2 hours of sleep is it really morning?! I don't think so. Anyway, I got up and walked around for a while having a few contractions but not really intense. I hopped in the shower because that usually gets things started and afterwards had pretty regular 5 minute intervals between them. "Well sure, I thought, that's because I'm up and moving. I bet if I sit down they will go away." I tried that and was still having them for a half an hour. By now I'm starving and thirsty, etc., etc. I get up, eat, pee, walk around, pee, sit down, pee, read, walk around, pee, pee, pee...

By 5am I've had it. I'm exhausted so I lay down to try to rest. Bill gets up at 6 am and I'm happy to report I slept for an hour. I feel pretty good and the contractions are still there. Subtle, because I'm laying down, but still there. Alright family, it looks like we're having a baby today. Everyone stays home and people seem to get to work. For a while. Then they're not and they are driving me C.R.A.Z.Y. This folks, is why women don't labor at home- limited space and too many people in your way. Maybe I'm weird, I don't know, but I don't want to have to worry about slipping on a puddle of water in the kitchen because somebody got some ice on the floor and didn't pick it up. Call me crazy.

So I walk over to the park for a little while and realize that these people that I love are totally distracting me. I sit down on the bench and the contractions are fading away. Only when I walk are they there. It's 9am by now and I'm tired. I've had 3 hours of sleep. I go home, tell everyone to go to work and school. Today is not the day.

The baby seems to be lower and I've still got some contractions coming. I made a berry pie and a chicken pot pie for dinner. YUM. Someone at Bill's work said that a false labor confirms that the baby is a boy. Figures. They tease you and then they don't follow through. I relate this information to Kyra and she says...

"Yeah, boys are always tricking you."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One Month Left

Yep. That's right. I'm under the 4 week mark, or should I say that I've made it 36 weeks so far? Which sounds more optimistic?

Someone pointed out that I haven't blogged much lately. I wish I could say I've been nesting or something productive, but mostly I've been wishing. Wishing that this kid would COME OUT ALREADY!!! He/she is big enough and strong enough (just ask my ribs!), so anyday now would be great.

Don't mind me, I'll be meditating and thinking wishful thoughts of painfree labor and an early delivery. Ah, sweet baby, come out soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pear Bread

Mix these dry ingredients:

3 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
1 package vanilla pudding
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cardamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Mix these wet ingredients:

6 pears, diced as small as you like them
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla
4 TBLS water

Combine ingredients until moist. The dough will be very thick. Spray/grease your prefered baking dish and divide it into 2 loaf pans or 24 muffin tins. Bake loaves for 55-60 minutes or muffins for 25-30 minutes. YUM!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I Know You Have an Opinion on...

Hard boiled eggs in salad. Just gross. I tried it to get some protein and it ruined the whole dang thing!

Quilted toilet paper. Does it really matter? And why are the squares 4x4.5 inches? If they were perfect squares then we could probably craft with them.

Ice in milk? I like "ice cold milk" just as much as the next guy, but ick. I know, I know, blend it up and it's a shake. But if you put an ice cube in milk and then drink it it's like there's something lumpy in your milk and that's just disgusting, no?

Pickles on sanwiches? Yick. Hamburgers are OK, but not with deli meat. I made a kid a sandwich at my house one day and he asked if I had any pickles. I said, "no" just because the thought grossed me out. I think I really did have them. Poor kid. Then there are bread and butter pickles...let's not even go there people! Pickles=sour, not sweet! Double, triple, even quadruple yick!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Here's Hopin'

Here's hopin' that people remember...

  • that I used to be a helpful person
  • that I used to volunteer to do anything I could
  • that you used to be able to walk through my house without tripping on stuff
  • that my bathroom used to be clean
  • that my children used to be taken care of
  • that I used to cook dinner (most nights!)
  • that I used to attend functions with a smile on my face
  • that I used to help clean up and do dishes at said functions
  • that I used to take people's crying babies so they could have a break
  • that I used to sit someplace other than in direct air flow of a vent or fan
  • that I used to be able to get my own food, shoes, books, water, etc. from the other room without asking someone else to do it for me
  • that I used to pick things off the ground
  • that I used to have a clean floor, at least once a week (or two if I was really busy)
  • that I love my family and friends even when I'm grouchy.'s also hopin' that the next month/6weeks goes by really quickly so I can go back to the person that I remember.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I've Almost Found My Ankles Again

Every Sunday I lose my ankles. I sit at church on uncomfortble benches and seats for 3 hours and the circulation to my feet goes by the wayside. It usually takes me until Monday evening or Tuesaday to find them again. This weekend was particulary harsh on the pregnant swelling issues. Saturday was the women's broadcast so I sat for a couple of hours. Sunday was regular church, where I was already hurting from the night before. Then Sunday night we had a youth fireside for another hour. Of course, it's the end of the month and I hadn't done my visiting teaching yet, so Monday I spent the better part of the morning out visiting 3 sisters.

I'm going to have to plan better next week and month. It took a lot of "work" to get the swelling and stiffness to go down this week, and I'm still not great. And by "work" I mean that I had to lay in bed and take a nap so I could elevate my feet.

"Environmentally Friendly"

I attended an event this past weekend where they served us lunch. We received instructions on how to pick up our food and then they requested that in an effort to be "environmentally friendly" we should empty our water bottles and recycle them in the designated bin. Very nice, recycling.

Then I got my lunch. In a colorful paper bag, with a contrasting color of tissue paper in it. It looked very nice. I sat down to a table with colorful paper plates that we could use for our sack lunch. Then I pulled out my lunch. One snack sized Ziploc bag with grapes in it. One snack sized Ziploc bag with veggies in it. One snack sized Ziploc bag with a croissant in it. One snack sized Ziploc bag with a tortilla roll in it. One snack sized Ziploc bag with 2 cookies and an individually wrapped chocolate in it. One snack sized Ziploc bag with some sun chips in it. One styrofoam container with some delicious chicken salad, accompanied by a plastic fork.

I folded up my tissue paper and tucked it inside the colorful bag and put it in my bag to take home. It will make a nice birthday package for someone soon. I cringed as I threw away the remains of all my plastic lunch containers in the very colorful garbage bin. It was colorful because everyone else seemed to have thrown away their birthday packaging. What a waste!

Sure am glad we recycled those water bottles!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Answer: (Bill) Struck Out Lookin'

I've never been one to play stupid, not even for a man. It's just not in me to play the helpless female role and get rescued or schooled on a subject that I already know everything about. Seriously, doesn't that just make the other person feel stupid when they find out you already know what they are talking about? I would.

Every once in a while Bill will forget that I know stuff. Stuff about baseball and nuts and bolts, and other notsowomanly stuff. It cracks me up, and I call him on it. He was more careful about it when we were dating, and sometimes I can't believe that he forgets after so many years of marriage. I'll take some of that blame though, since I do feign ignorance when I don't feel like discussing something or going to the hardware store for one of his projects.

I just can't get into baseball season without going to a live baseball game. I love it when spring training comes around, but it's been years since I've actually gone to one of those games. Not good. It's especially not good for Bill when he's such a sports fanatic and loves to follow even the lamest of home teams because they are, in fact, our home team.

The regular season of baseball is almost over now. Playoffs start in October and I had/have no idea who is contending for the World Series. Bill and I were given tickets to the Diamondbacks game Tuesday night and had a blast. So much so that I really care about this stuff now. As we were sitting down, I asked Bill, "Am I going to know any of these players?" Of course not. They've traded all the good ones and my original DBacks players are retired. Can I name some of them now? You bet! I even have a favorite, the second baseman, Rusty Ryal, from Oklahoma. Go ahead, say his name out loud, it's fun. He had an awesome game and has a Dennis Quaid kind of smirky smile. I also know the first baseman (Allen), right fielder (Upton), and center fielder (Young). I'll tell you right now I'm not impressed with Young. (Long story, I'm sure Bill will rant about it on his blog.)

Enough about that, I've probably lost half my readers by now anyway. They think this post is about baseball, but it's not. It's really about my silly husband trying to school me, forgetting that I know stuff. Stuff about baseball.

There we are, about halfway through the game, just enjoying idle chit chat. That's the best part about attending a live baseball game...nothing to do but relax, enjoy the game, and enjoy the company of the person next to you. I really enjoy hanging out with Bill this way and we don't get to do it enough. Baseball takes a while so we have plenty of time to remember things we haven't had a chance to talk about, and he has plenty of time to stick his foot in his mouth. Like this incident after one of our guys strikes out at the plate...

Bill: Ooo, backwards 'k', not good.
Me: Nope.
Bill: That means he struck out looking.
Me: Really?
Bill: Yeah.
Me: Seriously? If you don't swing it's worse than if you do?
Bill: Yeah. You have to protect the plate when you have 2 strikes on you.
Me: Really? (the sarcasm gets a little thicker now)
Bill: Oh. (feeling a little sheepish)
Me: Yeah. (it finally dawned on him)
(we both laugh)
Me: Did you forget that we met playing softball?
Bill: Yeah.

Alright, the conversation probably wasn't THAT bad, but he was busted none the less. I further questioned him if it sucked that he couldn't teach me this stuff. You know, like would he prefer to have some ditsy blond next to him that he could explain baseball to and impress with his infinite wisdom on the subject? Fortunately he said, "no", and said he preferred to be able to talk intelligently with someone that knew what they were saying. We laughed that he had to get out the rule books while we were dating so he wouldn't look stupid when we watched our first World Series together. Awe, how sweet, huh?!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

The School/Vacation Cycle

As school is ending we are thrilled that we won't have to pack lunches anymore, drive to and from school daily, deal with the social drama and homework, end of the year parties, teacher gifts and hoopla. Yada, yada. School is over for the summer, what a relief. If we're smart we have planned at a least a class or trip for the kids to look forward to and for us to get some relief.

About halfway through the summer we start thinking to ourselves, "Is this almost over? Are the kids ever going to stop bugging me?"

A few weeks later we're talking with other moms, "Is this almost over? Are the kids ever going to stop bugging us?"

A few weeks after that the kids are asking us, "Is this almost over? Are you ever going to stop bugging us?"

Then we have the chaos of getting ready for school to actually begin. Some years it is easier than others. Most years you have to go through the wardrobe, tossing clothes that are too small and inappropriate for school., dividing play clothes from school clothes. Establishing a routine again. (Because, let's face it...even though we say we'll keep a routine, it's nice to be the mom that doesn't really care that your child stayed up too late because WE wanted to have fun with OUR friends, right?!) I gave up buying new backpacks and lunchboxes a few years ago, but some people still do that. Pencils, binders, and notebooks of some kind are usually a given. And, because we live in a desert, a new water bottle (to replace the one used all summer) is in order.

Then school starts and we're happy, the kids are happy, there is time for everyone to have their own space. A few weeks, and now closer to a month, goes by and we have Labor Day. The first 3 day holiday of the school year. 3 DAYS! Really that's only one extra day off, but it sounds cool in writing and feels great when your spouse has the day off as well. It's one more day of goofing off. One more day that you don't have to get in bed right on time because you have to get up in the morning. One more day...

But what happened?! Wasn't it just a month ago that we were wishing that school would start right away? What happened to the bliss of having our own time? It's almost midnight and I should be in bed so that I can wake up happily and get the kids to school. But no, I'm wishing that tomorrow was another holiday and that the weekend was longer. What happened to me?

So now I'm thinking that I'm very grateful our charter school does not take a Fall break for a week. That would really throw my groove off. If one extra day does this to me, then what would a week do?! Geez, I better get sleepin'.

$1 Burrito for Diabetes Research

And, in case you need to know where the mi amigo's locations are, try this link:
and scroll down to the bottom. Tempe folks, it appears that Southern and Gilbert is our closest location. I'm thinking I might go for an early lunch (11/11:30ish), before Tasha gets out of school. It's a sit down and order kind of joint, I believe. Call me if you are interested in joining me!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ultrasound Day

Bill and I went to our one and only ultrasound today.

Drumroll please.

We're having ...

a baby...




10 fingers, 10 toes, beating heart, big brain and body. All looks healthy and good. That's what's important, right?!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What's a Jubilee?!

Check it out...

Since this year marks the 50th year since the inception of Petersen Park Ward, formerly Tempe 3rd Ward, we will be celebrating with all of Petersen Park and 3rd Ward alumni at our very own Jubilee! The Petersen Park Jubilee will be held at the Tempe Stake Center on Sunday, September 20th at 6pm. Mark your calendars, spread the word and bring 1 dozen baked goods when you come with you to the event! We look forward to seeing you there. If you have any questions please contact us through the blog or via email at

Merriam-Webster's #1 definition of jubilee is: a year of emancipation and restoration provided by ancient Hebrew law to be kept every 50 years by the emancipation of Hebrew slaves, restoration of alienated lands to their former owners, and omission of all cultivation of the land.

I'm glad our church is keeping current with ancient Hebrew Law.

Alright, the second definition says its a special celebration, especially a 50 year anniversary.

So, in case you're reading this and don't know yet... come celebrate and spread the word. Who does that include? Amanda (I expect you to make the trip from NM!), Danielle (you better know from Jaylee already and have told some more people!), Chrissybug (I know you'll make it with your sister and some more peeps), Pam (the Wright's better make it along with your family and all your croney friends!), and Lisa you could tell Marta for me (!) and crash it yourself, nobody will be the wiser.

Monday, August 24, 2009

(Men are Jerks) AND...Women are Hormonal

We are. Face it ladies. Even when we're not hormonal, we could be. I fought this thought for years and years and even tried to hide the fact that anything during the month had changed. Guess what? It doesn't work. Ask Bill, he knows. In fact, Bill was the one that caught onto the mood swings and PMS before I did and he learned to act (or react) accordingly. What does "accordingly" mean? When I would go on a rage, say mean or hurtful things, cry uncontrollably for no apparent reason, take offense to something really stupid, or just give up for a day, Bill wouldn't blink an eye and he definitely wouldn't point out what time of the month it was. That folks, is why Bill is not a jerk (to me).

So then you'd think, being pregnant, that the hormonal issues might go away for a bit. Maybe they did, for me, but they were replaced by sick, puking feelings, and heaving up stomach acid every morning for 3 months. Nice visual there, huh? Sorry about that. But seriously (!), is that really a fair trade? I think NOT. Then we move onto the late fourth and fifth month when things should be great. Nope, no mercy here folks. I'm not going into details, but let's just say that this summer has sucked (minus a few brief interludes of fun times), and it's hot. Now, I'm headed into the third trimester and this is when, for me, the emotions kick my butt. I take everything personally (probably because I'm getting enormous and am very self conscious about it), cry at the drop of anything, and try really hard not to lash out at anyone but then go into a deep guilt trip once I do. I'd say that's just me, but I've heard reports that this is pretty standard. We all just deal with it differently. But I digress...

Pregnancy doesn't help the hormone front. In fact, it just increases the emotional turmoil going on inside of a woman. It's chaos I tell ya, pure chaos. Most men know this because to see a pregnant woman crying because her lemonade split is not a big deal to them. They understand that hormone clause, but they don't apply that transitive property that we discussed in the "men are jerks" post. Let's try to figure out that equation: IF women are hormonal, AND your hormones temporarily disengage all rational thinking, AND it takes rational thinking to act properly, THEN a hormonal woman is temporarily unable to think and act rationally. Did we all follow that, or were there one too many steps there? If you are a woman and followed that, you are probably not hormonal right now. If you are a man and followed that, bravo (!), you might not need as many jerk cards as you think. Well, you might still need the cards because you really need to apply that theory to make it work in your favor. You need to apply it ALL the time, with ALL women. Most of you figure out how to apply it to your wives (eventually!), but you really have to work it across the board with all women to stay off jerk status. Some of you do this through avoidance (Dave!), which tends to work, in most cases. If we have a (non-jerk) husband or someone else to turn to then we're fine. I think this is where "Girls Night Out" originated. It probably began with a bunch of newlywed women with husbands that hadn't figured them out yet and they all got together to sympathize with each other. But I digressed, again...

Monthly cycles can be brutal and pregnancy doesn't help, so then we have post-pregnancy right? Wrong again, my friends! Some women have postpartum depression, which I have fortunately avoided so I can't really go into detail on that one, thankfully. Then there's nursing. Yes, beautiful nursing... the special bond between mother and child that again, can bring a tear to their mother's eye. I've enjoyed every minute of that time with my children, even the moments when they bite and I want to pitch them across the room. But again, let's be honest here... there comes a point when you say to yourself, "I just want my body back!!!" That body that nobody was reliant on for food. That body that didn't gain 50 pounds to carry the kid. That body that didn't ever fully recover from the last pregnancy, or the last pregnancy, or the pregnancy before that. A few weeks ago my friend was saying how unfair it was that her husband had basically the same body he did when he was in high school, he just grew into it and developed more muscles, and that he could probably continue to have the same body for as long as he wanted. True, oh so true. If they work at it, men really only have their own metabolism against them, right? What do we have? Metabolism, bleeding, nursing children, night-time wakings (which leads to sleep deprivation), necessary weight gain for a healthy baby, etc. Oh, look at that, I digressed, AGAIN (!)...

So "Aunt Flo" is not helpful, pregnancy doesn't fix everything, breast-feeding has it's ups and downs, so we think ahead to the day when all of that is behind us. NO WAY!!! Menopause (!), are you kidding me? I'm not even going there. But let's imagine, for a moment, that you get through menopause without too much emotional scarring, next comes osteoporosis. Oh joy. Brittle bones and the constant fear that you will fall and break a hip. Yep, I think I'll stick with my hormones, thank you very much.

Now the logical man brain is thinking that this is all just a big problem to be solved. Stop just a minute now and remember that you are all jerks! You can't fix us because we're not broken. Stop trying to come up with ridiculous pills and potions and shots that you think you're doing to save us from ourselves but we really know is for your own benefit. And what about natural remedies? Sure they work, and then they don't, and then you have to figure out the other one that works, and then it doesn't. Drink milk to avoid osteoporosis. Oh yeah, except for the years that you can't because dairy makes your nursing infants spit up your breast milk. (And who do I have to thank for that one? Yep, Bill, a man...he and Billy both had a milk intolerance as babies, so it's clear to me that that gene came from him) So you switch to soy milk which ups your estrogen levels and screws with your hormones again. Yeah, yeah, rice milk, almond milk...blah, blah, blah...who has time to figure all this out. Really!?! Because once you find something that works for you it either stops working, or the FDA declares it unsafe and takes it away, or someone in your family becomes allergic to it. I'm sure I digressed here again, but let's face it, I think I've forgotten what this post is about anyway. Oh yeah...

Women are hormonal.

and (back to the original point)

Men are jerks.

Men are jerks because they don't have to deal with any of this. They get to go to work and tune into a different channel for a while. Yes, I sympathize, because it is work and it is responsibility. I support that and try to respect your time at work. I let you opt out of my crying phone calls and pathetic emails when I'm down. I don't call you in the middle of one of your children's fits and have you deal with it. I try to do that without you and, when I can't, I pull the "just wait 'til your father gets home" line and go cry and scream in the laundry room, far away from the eyes and ears of the cause of the problem. And then, in the end, I'm sorry for everything. I'm even sorry for calling you a jerk and for one second wishing we could switch places. I really don't want that. Being a woman can really be a joy and I think being a man must really suck sometimes.

Now, do you really think that any man hung in there to the end of this post? Who am I kidding, they stopped reading at the word "hormonal", am I right? I want to dare them to comment, but instead of doing that I'll give them a free jerk card and end with another math question (and I'll disguise it in words so that I'll know if they just jumped to the end, looking for letters and numbers). Name the theorum: 'a' squared plus 'b' squared equals 'c' squared. That's all I've got. I remember it because I was able to use it while working at the hardware store, with a bunch of men. I think that was when I determined that all men are jerks, I just haven't admitted it until now. Now that I'm openly hormonal.

"You curled your hair today..."

It was a statement, not a question. Bill and I went out to lunch today, and as we were finishing he said, "You curled your hair today..."

And just as I was about to smile and thank him for noticing, he followed it with:

"...either that or you went through a car wash with the window down."

Geez. Clearly this is no longer a compliment, right? I went to the bathroom (because that's what you do when you're pregnant) and then came back to clarify.

Me: What did you say? I went through the car wash?
Bill: With the window down.
Me: Right. Just checking.
Bill: Oh no, this clearly falls under the non-blogging clause.
Me: Not a chance! This conversation happened in a public setting, was not in the bedroom, and had nothing to do with bedroom antics. Clearly, bloggable.
Bill: Ya know, sometimes the jokes just aren't worth the price I'll have to pay later.

Of course, if I didn't think it was funny, I wouldn't have to post it. I just love this man, sarcastically rude comments and all.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy 11th BDay Kyra!!!

Kyra's "stash", on her birthday morning. (the bunny was just in the shot, being nosey!)
Actually, I think the bunny is trying to make off with the new bag Kyra got to carry her school stuff in. Bad bunny!!
Flip flops, because you can't have too many flip flops in AZ!
Candy for the movie she would attend later that afternoon. Harry Potter!!!
Pokemon, because Tasha really wanted her to have her own box. Sweet.
Goodies for the slumber party she would have the following week.

Thanks mom, for getting Kyra her funky wigs and tiaras! The girls all loved them and almost wore them to the video store where they picked out Water Horse to watch at 10pm.

The final product in this ultimate brownie pan that comes with perfect dividers so everyone could put their own treats on their own row of brownies. (OK, this one isn't the ULTIMATE brownie pan, that would be "Kurtis", the pan that bakes a swirl of brownies to where every brownie has at least two edges to it.)

Seriously, they pulled out the Uno cards and even let Tasha play with them!

After dinner and nail polish...
Entertainment in the evening.
Kyra and Cyrena are hiding the secret messages that they wrote. Maya is playing it up, pretending that nothing is going on. I LOVE that I didn't have to plan anything for this party and they just enjoyed having a good time together.
Thank goodness for age 11!!!

We Love You, Kyra!!!