Friday, December 11, 2009


I am giving myself an early Christmas gift. I am giving myself permission to feel whatever comes and then LET IT GO.

That may involve writing about it. Between this blog and my journal I have saved hundreds of dollars in counseling fees.

So, what I'm saying is, I may write about things that are making me sad or mad at that moment, but I'm writing it to let it out - to not have to hold on to it anymore. That includes my recent feeling of thinking that no one is my friend. I'm letting that go. It is a very real feeling, but it does me no good to hold on to it. So I've decided to assume that everyone is really my friend and would talk to me if they knew how and just move on. The end.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


A simple question like "how are you?" is so much harder to answer now. I want to be truthful. The answers I have been using don't feel all that truthful. I say:
"Fine" (That is not really true)
"Okay" (Not really true either)

So, what is true? In my search for words I find some to be more fitting than others. In those first few days the only word I could think of to answer this question that sounded true was "heartbroken".

These days I think of the word "bereft". It makes me think of "adrift", which is accurate too.

Of course, there is always "sad", which is more often than not true. I still cry at least twice a day, but it is not always as intense as it was in the beginning.

Even though I don't really know how to answer the "how are you?" question, I would still appreciate being asked by someone who was willing to get the real answer. I feel like when people ask me this, they are just waiting for the "fine" or the "okay". They don't really want to get into it. Most people don't ask me anything at all. In fact, most people don't talk to me at all. Or, if they do, it is a brief conversation about something else with a total avoidance of the most obvious topic. It hurts my feelings to have people talk to me without ever saying anything about this situation. It is painful to have people pretend like nothing ever happened - because something happened. Something big happened. When they ignore that, it feels like they are marginalizing the whole experience and its implications to my future. It feels so lonely, and frankly makes me feel angry. If I know someone has experienced a major loss I hope I won't go on as normal around them, acting like nothing happened and assuming that they can carry on life as usual. There is no life as usual for me anymore. I feel as if I have changed forever, and I don't know what the new me is like at all. I just know I don't want to be the same. In some way, not being normal is the only way I can acknowledge my baby who is not with us. No one else seems to want to acknowledge it, so it is left to me to act differently, to change, to show the world outwardly that I am no longer the same inside because if I don't they will never remember. They will never realize that she was here, and now she's gone, and it is so very real to me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am thankful to be able to type this without worrying that my tears were going to splash all over the keyboard and ruin our computer. I can actually type without crying so much that I can't see.

I am thankful that I have three adorable children who are with me everyday.

I am thankful that I got to see the one adorable little child who will not be with me for a long time.

I am thankful for Tyler who loves me so well, in all circumstances that life has brought us so far.

I am thankful to know that while so many things are out of my hands, they are in someone else's hands. She is in someone else's hands. And although I wish those hands were mine, if they can't be, I am glad they are His.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Something Every Day

I just went in the spare room to help CT find something and I saw a little book I had gotten for Amelia for her birthday that I forgot about. It is called "I'm A Big Sister". When will there be a day when I don't cry so many times? C.T. said to me "Mom! Enough of this crying! You don't like crying, remember?". Yes, I do remember. But I don't know what else to do with this sadness.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Know, I Know

"Losing a baby happens to so many people." " It is actually very common to lose a baby." True. I know that. But see, it's not common for me. And I'm not thinking about losing "a baby". I thinking about this baby. I am sad because I will not know her, not because she was a baby, but because she was her. I am sad to miss out on who she might have been. Truthfully, I am very surprised at how hard this is. I can't imagine this being a real part of my life forever, and yet it is. I keep posting about it because writing about it is so much easier than talking, and then if anyone is interested they can just read this instead of asking me in person. So far this grieving process has been just like everyone says it is. It comes in waves. I'll be fine for a long time and then crash, I'll fall apart. That's why I'm so reluctant to be around people. I don't want to be fine and then suddenly fall apart in groups of people. I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable. It's only been a few days. How will I make it through thousands more? Time heals, right? But time is such a slowpoke.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Well, it's 27 hours after checking in at the hospital yesterday and I just got home. Everything went all right.

The nurse told me that it looks like it was an umbilical cord accident...the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck 4 times and it had a knot in it. She was 1 lb. 8 oz. and 13 inches long. I wanted to see her, so I did. So tiny. A miniature, miniature baby. A cute little nose, just like my other babies...a profile I will remember. Tiny feet with a longer second toe, just like me. I felt sad, of course, but I also felt peaceful seeing her. I'm very glad I did see her. They give a "memory box" with photos and footprints, etc., which I told the nurse I did not want to have. I have her in my mind, I don't a box sitting on a shelf to stumble across at odd times to think about it. I know many people must feel differently about that than I do, since they offer it, but I thought it was kind of weird.

I have learned a lot in the past couple of days though.

Because of how far along I was what I had was technically a stillbirth, not a miscarriage. We had to contact a funeral home and everything because the hospital won't take care of it for you if it is past 20 weeks. That is something we weren't expecting. Fortunately there is a funeral home near the hospital that offers a free option in cases like this. Still, it was an unexpected and stressful addition to the day.

The baby was delivered at about 2 o'clock in the morning. I was all by myself in a dark and quiet room. Tyler was in the car, on his way to the hospital. The nurse was out of the room. It was just me. And it was okay. It was fitting actually, because I'm feeling like so much of this is really a private thing. Just the mother has these feelings. I'm the only one who had any real contact with that baby after all. I don't know if she's mine or not mine now, but I do know that she was, is and always will be Heavenly Father's daughter, and I don't need to worry about her. I know that doesn't mean I won't be sad thinking of what might have been, or even what was for these last six months, but I KNOW that she is fine and I will be fine and life carries on for everyone.

I appreciate people's concern and love for me. I don't really want to talk to people right now, because it is all the same conversation, and it just makes me cry, and I am very tired of crying. My face is very tired of crying. Have you ever cried so much that it actually made you throw-up? It's not pleasant. Then again, nothing about this situation really is. Although, I have felt a deep sense of peace and calm at important moments, and I have felt the concern of great friends and family.

Today is Amelia's birthday, so it's off to do birthday things I go. See, life goes on. Quickly. Ready or not.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Things Change

There's no easy way to say this - I view it kind of like ripping off a band-aid - just get it over with fast. The baby we were expecting in February has died. We found that out for certain this afternoon, but I had a feeling about it yesterday. I knew. I hoped not. But I knew. In fact, I didn't sleep last night. I just sat on the couch trying to feel something - anything, from the baby. A flutter. A turn. Or the lottery of movements, a kick. But nothing.

It is so strange how one month ago at my appointment everything was fine and dandy and today at my appointment she is there, but not alive. I can't describe it. I am at a loss as to what to do with this loss. I know miscarriages are very common. I don't think they are as common at 26 weeks. I was on the home stretch - the last trimester. It is so surreal. Especially the part where I have to go in tomorrow and actually deliver this baby.

I told the kids no new baby will be coming home with us anymore. They had a few questions, and actually it was a good conversation. They are a little wired now though. They know the atmosphere is different and things are Not Normal. Hopefully we all just make it through tomorrow okay.

Monday, November 16, 2009

100 Days

I logged on today and saw that my baby counter was on 100 days. Yay! I had planned to wait until the count was down to 100 days before putting up my little widget, so I wouldn't feel like time was a slow creeper each time I saw it. I can live with 100 days and less. Not that I'm feeling unwell or anything. Most of the time I forget I'm even pregnant. Until I find myself thinking "Why I am so tired? What is wrong with me?" and then I remember. Or when the baby kicks, and I think "What in the world is going on in there? That's not normal." And then I remember there's a baby in there, which isn't normal, but yet is, at the same time.

Still no names for the baby, so don't bother asking. I keep suggesting all the same names I offered up when we were expecting Amelia and surprisingly Tyler keeps not liking them just like last time. Here's a sample of one of our baby name conversations:
W: What do you think of Eve? Did I ask that last time?
T: Yes you did. I still don't think so.
W: Okay. What about Betsy? I know you didn't like it before, but Betsy Brock sounds SO adorable. Surely you like it now, right?
T: No way.
W: Well, do you have any ideas?
T: No, not really.

There you go. We're pretty much at a dead end. The thing that is difficult is that he won't even suggest any more choices of his own. And that I keep suggesting all the same ones. That doesn't help either. So, we'll see. Maybe we'll agree on something, or maybe it will be one of those situations where we say, "okay, you pick this one all by yourself and I'll go along with it.". Probably not. I don't think either one of us are that accommodating. I promise we're not holding out on divulging a name just to be secretive. We really don't know yet. So, it will be a great surprise to us all! Maybe we should let the kids pick. I'll ask them right now what they think.

Here's how the conversation went:
Me: What do you think a good name for the new baby would be?
Lily: I like "Princess".
CT: That's not even a name. You can name them Cinderella or Belle or something. Or you could name her Crocodile!
Lily: That's a boy's name!
CT: Well, it's not taken yet.

So, no help there. It's good entertainment though.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Near my subdivision they put up this big new billboard recently that says "2012: We Were Warned". I had no idea what it was for but now I know it's for this new movie coming out next month. Before I knew that, however, I kept thinking of all the things to which it could be referring. The one that kept coming to mind again and again is this one: my 20th high school reunion. That's right. In 2012 it will have been 20 years since I left the hallowed halls of good old LHS. I had casually entertained the idea of what it would be like to go to the 20th reunion - I haven't been to any others-but after considering that billboard I think it has a good message about that possibility. I was warned. A 20th high school reunion is not a good idea unless I am looking for material for yet another cliche in a movie scene or television show. Besides, with the advent of Facebook, I already know what many of these former classmates of mine are up to on a daily basis. And if they aren't photo-shopping all of their photos I even know what they look like doing all kinds of different things. ( I know what their pets look like too. So many photos of the pets.) The need for an in-person high school reunion is negated by social networking sites! Yeah!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In The Middle of the NIght

I know it is silly and superstitious, but I don't like midnight. Last night I couldn't fall asleep so I went downstairs to watch a few episodes of "House Hunters" on the good old DVR. I finally started to feel like sleep was a possibility and glanced at the clock to see that it was past 11:30. I quickly turned out the lights and went upstairs, wanting to be settled for the night before midnight. I don't like being awake by myself when the clock changes to 12:00. I'm perfectly fine if it's 1 AM. It's just midnight that sometimes really does send little chills down my spine.


My mind is telling me that in popular lore, midnight is considered the starting point for all evil creatures to begin their mischievous schemes. However, I can't think of a specific example from a book or anything to back this up right now. Can you? (My lack of examples probably shouldn't surprise me. My familiarity with the whole scary/haunted/psycho filled genre of books and movies is limited to childhood picture books about Casper and other friendly Halloween characters, reading the book "Carrie" in high school and seeing the movie on TNT, and watching "The Changeling" in my high school psychology class. Why did we spend two days of class watching "The Changeling"? I have no idea. All I know is it scared the dickens out of me and interrupted my peace of mind for months. Oh, I also watched the Hitchcock classic "Psycho" with my college roommates. That really is about it for me and intentionally scary things. Unless you count the Scooby Doo DVD that CT checked out of the library a few months ago.)

I also always associate midnight with the phrase "the witching hour", but again, I don't know if I made that association up or if it is legitimate. Whatever the case, I was relieved to be safely snuggled in my bed before the clock chimed (or, to be more accurate, digitally flashed) 12 last night.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Post

I have an ambivalent relationship with my blog. I think of many things I could post, but never do. I'm always thinking, "Why bother? No one reads my blog anyway." And then I think "What if people really do read my blog? Would I really want them to know my true feelings about some serious stuff?". After several more rounds of this type of self-questioning I generally just give up and opt not to post at all. And then I feel bad, because I always expect other people to post. I am disappointed when my friends blogs stay unchanged for long periods of time. I want to know what is going on in their lives, what they are thinking and doing. I want to feel like I have friends. But I realize I don't keep up my side of the bargain very well. I'm not a faithful blogger.

So, in the spirit of reciprocal blogging, here you go:

Today is Sunday. My view is that Sundays and kids just aren't a great combination. I didn't enjoy Sundays very much as a child myself. I would always feel annoyed that my parents spent so much time reading the paper and was even more annoyed on those very rare occasions when they attempted to take a nap.

When I was a college student and a young single adult I came to really enjoy Sundays and find real renewal in them. Since having children - I've got to be honest - I find no sense of renewal in Sundays. It's hard to feel like you've had a day of rest, in any interpretation of the phrase, when you still have to do most of the things you do every other day. The kids are always a complete disaster after we get home from church. I can't understand why. Three hours in a church building emotionally drains them to the point of tears every Sunday evening?

I keep thinking perhaps our late church schedule can be blamed (we start at 1:30) but at the same time I'm not sure I'm looking forward to January when we start at 8:30 am. Being home at 11:30 and having the whole rest of the day to spend with the kids in Sunday appropriate activities sounds...challenging. I guess it's my own fault. I'm the one who made all of the "no playing outside, no watching TV unless it's a church DVD (of which we have a grand total of three), no changing out of Sunday clothes" rules. Honestly, I like all of those rules, for myself and my kids. It just means I have to be ready with lots of alternatives so we don't all go crazy every Sunday.

Well - now you see why I talk myself out of blogging. Here I've just written out something that is meaningful to me, but probably extremely boring to anyone else. But, maybe if I blog more not all of my posts will be boring...we'll see.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Sonogram today - it's a girl.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Plea

I object to modern maternity wear. Let's be honest folks. There is only a very, very small percentage of the female population who looks close to normal as a pregnant person. There are those who carry babies very inconspicuously and wear their normal clothes the whole pregnancy, perhaps fastening their jeans with a ponytail elastic through the button hole rather than actually buttoning them as their only concession to gaining any bulk. For these people, maternity wear on the tight side is passable. For the rest of the common hoard, my plea is, please don't wear tight maternity clothes. I especially am appalled to see all of the women at church in skin tight lycra shirts with a huge belly. I have no desire to see the outline of your belly button. As church members, we're not supposed to wear skin tight clothes normally, so why oh why would this rule be suspended in case of pregnancy? Come on people, not even Heidi Klum can pull off the tight maternity look. It looks ridiculous.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You Want a Cheese Stick? You'll Need a Password

I never thought I'd be one of those moms. The ones that padlock the refrigerator and have a monitored alarm system on the pantry. The problem is, or at least one of the problems is, that I compare the behavior of my children to that of myself and my siblings. And it doesn't really match up. Sure, we raided my mom's stash of candy sometimes. However, we never tore open a bag of chocolate chips with our teeth, causing them all to fly hither and yon throughout the kitchen, and then stuffed handfuls of them into our mouths as if those chocolate chips were the first nourishment we'd seen in days.

Obviously, there is a big difference here in my own experiences as a child and those of my children. I was accompanied through my childhood by a sister four years older than me and a brother eight years older than me. There isn't much a two year old thinks to do that a six year old doesn't already know is a bad idea. Also, my mom was only dealing with one toddler at a time.

My kids are each a part of the Three Toddler Musketeers - All For One and All For Messes. They seem to encourage one another to new heights of toddler creativity - primarily concerning food. This is so strange to me, because it's not as if my kids don't eat. They get three meals a day. They get AT LEAST two snacks a day. I'm not opposed to treats - they all get their share of candy, popsicles, and high-calorie baked goods. I just don't understand this all-consuming quest of theirs for MORE MORE MORE. Even as I speak they are plotting a plan of action to find the chocolate chips that started this whole reflection, which were duly taken out of their possession and removed to an undisclosed location. I just heard Lily say to CT "Let's be secret agents and find those chocolate chips". Maybe that's why they do it - knowing I will take it away and then they can turn it into an elaborate sleuthing adventure to find out what I did with their spoils. In which case I guess I need to teach them how to play "Clue" at a young age.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Late Night

I went to a baby shower last night. That happens quite frequently in our ward. It started at 7, I was there on time. I got home at 2 o'clock in the morning. Quite the baby shower, eh? There were six of us there that late. All of us are stay-at-home moms. Do you think maybe we're starved for a little social interaction that doesn't involve three year olds? Next time the invitation should just say "Baby Shower and Sleep Over"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bursting My Bubble

I've been realizing something over the past few years. It is something that I am still trying to believe is my reality. It is this: I was an extremely privileged child. I am not referring to growing up in the lap of luxury. We were a middle class family. I am referring to the fact that I was privileged to have my parents - my dad in particular - around so much. They were both very accessible, even though they both worked. My mom was a public school teacher. My dad is a university professor. I have heard him refer to this profession as the best part time job you can ever have. His hours are very flexible. He was always home for dinner. We took long summer vacations. He had all holidays off. He was there. A lot. I thought this was normal. A lot of my friends had parents who were professors too. I didn't know it was an unusual life style.

And then I got married. To an accountant. Who ended up working for one of our country's largest and most troubled financial institutions (Citigroup). My introduction to corporate America has been rocky. What I thought was normal for a husband and father I have discovered is anything but. His hours are not flexible. If we wait long enough to eat dinner he may be home in time to eat with us two out five nights a week. The other nights he'll usually come home after the children are asleep. We do go on vacations, but he doesn't get every holiday off. I don't think I'll ever get used to him having to go into work the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas.

When this lifestyle first started to reveal itself I was indignant and assumed that something was drastically wrong with this picture. Then I started listening to all of the other women around me. I realized our life was completely normal. Everyone's husband was getting home late at night and working weekends and traveling for their jobs and basically not being at home much. This knowledge just makes me feel more sad. This really is the new reality for our families? We're not allowed to have family dinners together because of the demands of the working world? I get so sad thinking about the years stretching ahead...our family gathering around the dinner table and discussing first days of school and science projects and what happened on the school bus and it being just me and the kids. I also feel sad complaining about it to Tyler, because what can he do? Other than go back to school for a PhD and become a university professor...then again, even that job isn't looking so good any more. I really am an adult now because I say with complete sincerity phrases like "what is the world coming to?" .

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Perchance to Dream

Sometimes, you just can't help falling asleep on the couch. You know how it is. You are comfortably situated there, laying on the couch with a good book and you are getting sleepier and sleepier. There comes a moment when you think to yourself "I should go up to bed" followed by the thought, "or, I could just let myself fall asleep here".

Letting myself just fall asleep on the couch can sometimes feel...indulgent. Like a little luxury. It is comfy and cozy on the couch with the light of a lamp and the quietness of being downstairs all by myself. So I allow myself to just drift off...and then, sometime later, I wake with a start.

It's one of those "Why am I sleeping here??" split seconds of reorientation. And then suddenly I notice that it doesn't feel so comfy and cozy on the couch anymore. I'm down here all by myself. Late at night. That's not so cozy. A lone lamp is on surrounded by deep darkness in all the other rooms of the house. Its light is stark rather than comforting now. Quickly I switch it off and race up the stairs to my own bed, next to a sleeping husband in a soft darkness. Comfy and cozy once again.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pledge or no Pledge?

When we bought our house we opted for the separate shower and tub in the master bath. It seemed fancier - more like the going trend in all the master baths you see on television. If I had to do it again I would quite possibly change my mind. Why? Well, one reason is that our shower stall is indeed separate. It is squeezed into it's own little drywalled box that is big enough to turn around in as long as your elbows are at your sides. The big reason though is that now I am faced with the additional housecleaning chore of dusting my bathtub. Yes, dusting it. We never use it - well, except to drip dry our swimming suits in. This leaves me the job of wiping it down every couple of weeks to remove the accumulation of dust on all it's many surfaces. I never have liked dusting. And dusting a bathtub feels like it should be unnecessary. I guess I need to invest in some Calgon to motivate me to use my bathtub. Although a bath loses most of it's allure when it takes place with three little children standing by the side of the tub, wanting to put their hands and arms in the water. I can't lock them out to enjoy a bath either, I'd just be imagining what they were doing out there. Like during my shower on Tuesday, when Lily cut off the hair above both ears into half inch long feathered glory, leaving her with a mullet even Billy Ray Cyrus would certainly have envied. I guess I'm stuck with dusting.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Can't stand this either...

I just have to share another one of the little things that gives me the creeps in life. It's those little stalactites of cheese that dangle from tin foil when you take it off of something that's been baked in the oven. It's so gross. The tin foil looks like a Biore nose strip you just yanked off and looked at under a magnifying glass.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Restating the Obvious Part One

I've always had this fascination with Pioneer Life, based primarily on my many readings of all things Laura Ingalls Wilder. As interested as I am in the time period and the way of life, I have long known that I was not cut out to be an actual pioneer. All for lack of one simple necessity: indoor plumbing.

The other day however, I had this minor epiphany as to another reason why I absolutely could not have abided the demands of that life. I know it should have occurred to me sooner, but frankly, it just didn't. Here it is: the women never shaved. Anywhere. I could not handle it. Leg hair I could probably deal with but...under the arms? I do not think so. Very much not for me in so many ways.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Most Visited

I just read this little article and thought it was interesting. More people visited Temple Square last year than the Grand Canyon. I also liked seeing what places people are going compared to what places I have been. On this list I have been everywhere except the Florida destinations and Hawaii...oh, and Lake Mead. I'm not a desert/boating type of person. I was surprised by the rankings of some things and by the omission of others. No Yellowstone? No San Diego? Interesting. All I know is if I were planning a US vacation I wouldn't be picking Las Vegas over, say, Hawaii. But obviously I'm not the one doing all the traveling these days.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Frivolous Rant

Allow me to editorialize for a moment on an element of pop culture that is driving me crazy lately. Jon and Kate Plus Eight.

I have watched this show maybe ten times, so I feel qualified to comment on their personal lives.

We all know that they are "having marital difficulties". The thing that is really bugging me is the way Kate keeps saying, "Everything I do I do for my children. The books, the show, the traveling, it is all for them. To fulfill this need to provide for my children."

Okay. I can understand being stressed about having enough money to support eight children. The thing is, when she keeps talking about "providing" for the children, I keep asking myself "providing what?". That huge new farmhouse? Because I'm pretty sure the kids seemed just as happy in your old house. Providing a stay-at-home dad while you travel? Because I'm pretty sure this is making Jon bitter and unhappy. Providing a mom who is toned, tanned, coiffed, stylized, and bodygaurded? I doubt they'd miss it. Providing a horde of paparazzi following the children around because they are on this show? Call me crazy, but I think Kate's idea of what she needs to provide could stand a readjustment. Hey Kate - how about providing a happily married mom and dad? I'm pretty sure any child of divorced parents would tell you that would have been the greatest desire of their childhood - even more than the monthly trips to fabulous resorts and 12 volt cars to drive around their multiple acres. You should have some hefty savings by now. You could step out of the spotlight and try to be a family again. But you might have to give a lot things up. It makes me sad to see what people (not just Jon and Kate) are willing to toss aside and what they embrace in its place.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Water Is Fine

Swimming season is here. That's a double edged sword for me. On the one hand, the kids love it. On the other hand, the kids love it. They want to go to the pool every day. When we are there CT never wants to leave. Lily is sometimes begging to go home part way into it. Amelia hasn't warmed up to the water yet and doesn't really participate in the swim portion of the outing. Though she does love changing into her swimming suit.

What I like about swimming season is:

1) Seeing my girls in their cute little swimming suits. CT looks cute in his too, but it makes me feel like he's about 14 to see him running around with his six pack on display. I haven't seen a lot of four year olds who look as cut as that kid.

2) Lily's hair turns back to blonde. I always think of her as blonde, but in the winter she really isn't. Still, we've been doing our pool thing for two days and the California girl is back. (This is very ironic, I know. I have always had a prejudice against blond girls and now I enjoy it when my daughter joins their ranks. I guess I'm just happy for her that she has the potential, with the sun's help, to join that privileged group).

3) The kids get tan. Very, very tan. With such a contrast to the non-exposed portions of their torsos. It amazes me.

4) They are actually close to swimming all alone, with no flotation device help. They are both great at swimming all over the place and jumping in by themselves with floaties on, but it won't be too many weeks more until they are floaty free I think. That alone will shrink the size of the pool bag by three-quarters.

One other plus is that a couple of days ago I was preparing for our first trip to the pool this year. I put my swimming suit on and CT said "Your swimming suit looks really great Mom. Actually, all of you looks great". I don't know where he could have learned such shameless flattery, but it certainly made me smile and was a good start to the swim season in my book!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Should Do This More Often

None of you know this, but I was out of town for a few days last week. My mom and I hatched a little plan to surprise my dad for his 65th birthday. All of his kids showed up at his house on his birthday without him knowing any of us were coming. It was great. It was just us: Mom, Dad, Bob, Audrey, Wendy, Sally. That's it. No spouses. No kids. Just like the good old days. We figured out that it has been 19 years since the six of us were together like that, as the "original" family members. It was pretty cool. Of course, now my parents want to make this little reunion an annual tradition. It wouldn't be a problem to me, mainly because I have one of the best husbands I have ever heard of.

He took two days off of work to stay home with the kids while I was away. He even watched the little boy I babysit every morning. (He did refuse to take my turn teaching our co-op preschool though. I knew I was pushing it when I made the suggestion, but a girl's gotta try.) When I got home I found the house completely clean (he even mopped the bathroom floors), all the laundry done, and my entire kitchen reorganized. Granted, that last part has its downside since I spent a good twenty minutes the other day looking for our paper plates (FYI - they are no longer in the pantry. They are in the cupboard over the microwave). Oh well. Organizing things makes him happy and stresses me out totally, so he always does big things like this when I am away. It helps us avoid many unpleasant conversations like this:

Me -Why are you putting the paper goods over the microwave?
Tyler -Well, because we don't use them much and this cupboard is totally empty.
Me - Yes, but now the paper goods could just as well be in Siberia. They are stacked so tightly that I have to wrench everything out to get any one item. And I have to stand on a chair while I'm wrenching. Is this really a good idea considering my lack of coordination?
Tyler -I'll get any paper goods you need down for you.
Me - Right...good plan dear.

These conversations were totally eliminated by him making these changes without me around.

Also, the kids had a grand old time with just Dad. I asked them my first morning back if they missed me.
CT: No.
Lily: No. But Dad did.

Good to know. Naturally I had to ask a follow up question to boost my self-esteem as a mother.
Me: Well, are you glad I'm back?
Both Kids: Yes.
At least there's that. And Amelia didn't scream and cry when she saw me this time like she did the last time I returned from a trip. That is real progress.

Overall, I think everything turned out great. I owe it all to my dad for being 65 already!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

California Dreamin'

I am not a true California girl like so many of you are. I don't have the same fanatical feelings of the truth of the place like others do. I can, in fact, quite easily admit that there are other worthy places to live in this country. But still, I did live there for just over six years. That's the same length of time that I lived in Logan, and I claim to be FROM there.

I know that California is generally one of those places that people LOVE or people loathe. There are certainly good and bad things about it, and I consider myself to be more objective than you natives on this point because I can't truly claim it as my home. That said, the thing is, California is a place that is dear to me now, in a way no other place will ever be.

In California I:

1) Got to live by myself in a cute little apartment where I painted my first stripes.
2) Made truly amazing friends that I am counting on having for the rest of my life.
3) Met and married Tyler.
4) Had not one, but two dear little babies.
5) Fell in love with and bought our first little house that seriously, I miss as much as a real person sometimes. That house was a friend to me.

It's hard to describe the way events of life get entwined with the places they occurred. So many emotions and experiences come back to me when I think of one little sun drenched spot in the vast Inland Empire. I will always have a fondness for it. I will be one of those annoying parents who drive my children around the places of my past that will then be ghettos and run-down flop houses and tell them how idyllic all of these spots used to be and they will think I am crazy.

I may not have California in my blood, but I will always have California in my heart.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Say Cheese

It seems that at least half of the people I know are now photographers. I'm not sure if this is because photography is something more flexible that a mom can do to earn a bit of money, or if the scrapbooking trend has fueled the movement. All I know is that many of my friends take beautiful pictures that make everything their family does look like it came straight out of a magazine. This is not a skill that I have learned. I don't have a fancy camera. I haven't even bothered to learn all of the features on the simple one I have. Sadly, the pictures I take reflect this. This lack of photographic talent runs in the family I'm afraid. My mother is a notoriously poor photographer. My dad doesn't even try. I have one brother-in-law that is better, and he was in charge of taking all pictures at family gatherings for years.

I'm not terribly interested in learning how to be a great photographer, but I would love to have lots of pictures of my family that look like they came out of a magazine. If only some of these talented friends would just follow us around once a month or something, like our own little paparazzo. The friend would take splendid candid shots of us, with wonderful natural light and expressions of delight on all my childrens' faces as we do things like bake cookies, find ladybugs in the grass, and build sand castles at the beach. That would not only supply me with pictures I could never manage on my own, but also relieve the nagging feeling of guilt that passes over me frequently when the family is doing something and I think over and over again "I should be taking pictures of this".

Kids growing up these days are going to be absolutely inundated with a photographic record of their lives. Think of the task it will be for them to do something like make a retrospective slideshow for their weddings. I didn't have one personally, but if I had, it would have taken about fifteen minutes to go through the photographs of my life. Ten years from now it will literally take these kids hours to attempt that. I don't mind not having lots and lots of photos of me throughout my life. After all, they would mainly be taken by my mother (whom I love dearly and has many fabulous talents) and wouldn't be very good pictures anyway...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Can't Stand It

There are some things that gross me out/make my skin crawl/fill me with a sense of dread when I face them. Among them are:

1) Sea Life. More specifically very large sea mammals. I'm dreading the day when our kids want to make the trek to Sea World San Antonio. I don't feel predisposed to take kindly to Shamu.

2) Opening a can of refrigerated crescents or biscuits. Seeing that label "press back of spoon here" causes me to feel quite panicky.

3) A plastic spoon scraping a styrofoam bowl. The one draw back to ice cream in a cup.

4) The stalactites of cheese left on aluminum foil after you bake a covered lasagna. So hideous looking.

5) Eating reheated meat. I will eat leftovers cold rather than have to taste pre-cooked meat that has been warmed over. Not tasty.

6) On the subject of food-warmth: cooked fruit. The only exception to this is apple pie, but even then I much prefer it the next day, cold, rather than warm out of the oven. Same with banana bread, blueberry muffins, and other baked goods with fruit - I enjoy them more cold than warm. Don't get me started on fruit in savory dishes,which is almost always an abomination, and yes, that includes pineapple on pizza.

7) Going to sleep in a bed that hasn't been made. I don't sleep well if the bed hasn't been made that day. I always make the bed. If something strange happens and I have to rush out of the house without making my bed and don't get home til night and face an unmade bed I will make the bed then, just to turn it down and get right in.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Georgia on My Mind

I feel the need to update my blog because I am always disappointed when other people don't have anything new for me to read on their blogs.

What's new here? you ask. Well, not much. Tyler and I did go on a trip last weekend for our anniversary. It was a week and a half early, but it's when my parents could come to stay with the kids, so we were flexible. We went to Savannah, Georgia. A location I picked. Which many people seem to view as a strange choice. I have just read many books with references to Savannah and it's beauty and charm. I've wanted to see it for myself for several years. That being said, I have not read THE BOOK that you must read (apparently)if you visit this city. It is one of the things that marred the visit. There were two main things that marred the visit:
1) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This is the NY Times bestseller based on a true Savannah murder. I haven't read it, but I have seen the cemetery where the characters drink champagne at midnight, the statue that was photographed for the book's cover, the home where the shooting took place, and enough souvenirs concerning The Book to take away any spark of interest I may have ever had about reading it for myself.
2) Paula Deen. I hadn't thought of Savannah as having anything to do with Paula Deen before we went - but I sure know now. What this woman has done to her image in Savannah is close to indecent. Her products are everywhere. Paula Deen Hoecake Mix, Paula Deen Peach Preserves, Paula's Deen Spiced Peanuts, and the list goes on...and on. Not only that but there is "Paula Deen Approved Captain Michael's Coffee" (Captain Michael is her husband). Not only is she selling herself at every possible turn, but she is selling other people with herself as well. I can sometimes be prone to exaggeration, but this time I am telling you straight that her face is on every single cookbook for sale in the city, no matter who wrote it - but chances are it is one of her's or her sons'. The restaurant that started it all and made her famous in the first place is in Savannah, but to eat there you have to line up at 7:30 in the morning, wait until 9:30 for someone to come take your name, and then come line up again at 11 to be seated at 12. Ridiculous. All the locals we asked about it said that the food isn't even very good anymore. She hasn't done the cooking for years, naturally. We didn't even bother trying to eat there. We left that experience for all the people who paid hundreds of dollars to go on the "Paula Deen Tour" of Savannah where you ride around in a trolley and see all the places she ever shopped or ate. I used to enjoy watching Paula Deen's cooking show every once in a while, but her commercial overtaking of Savannah has left me immune to her charms.

On the flip side, Savannah was beautiful, just like all the books said. We had the most perfect weather you are ever likely to have in Georgia. The best thing about Savannah is walking around the historic district looking at the amazing restored homes and the Live Oaks dripping with Spanish Moss. We could have taken a picture on every corner, but since we did that on our Honeymoon when we waked around the historic neighborhood of New Orleans, we restrained ourselves. We figured we didn't need dozens of pictures of one or the other of us standing in front of random beautiful homes. Although i guess it could have been a good source of comparitive materials, same pictures, five years apart.

So there you have it - something new to read!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Result

I don't have time to write much, but here are some pictures at least of The New Haircut. C.T. took these. Not bad for a four year old, eh?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hair Dilemmas

Our Ward had a Valentine's Day Dinner and Dance on Saturday night. We decided to actually go this year. Our friends appointed themselves the unofficial ward photographers and went around taking pictures of each couple. She sent out the Kodak slideshow yesterday. Let's just say that now my new plans for this Saturday include getting my hair cut into something resembling a style. I'm generally anti-bangs - having had bad experiences viewing photos of myself from the late eighties and early nineties sporting the look my dad refers to as B.U.B.s (Big Utah Bangs). Still, since my forehead in the photo from Saturday night appears to be roughly half the size of my head, I've decided something must be done. I found a lovely picture of Jennifer Garner looking radiant in nice side-swept bangs and long layers. We all know that any attempt by a salon to match a picture ends up with you looking in the mirror and down at the picture you brought saying to yourself over and over again "What picture was SHE looking at?". But desperate times call for desperate measures, as they say. I will post the results this weekend (if I actually go through with it. If you have any encouragement for me, please leave a comment).

Here is the picture that started it all:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nothing from the sea, thanks.

As many of you know, I have a marine life phobia. Even my kids know this because there are whole groups of pages I refuse to read to them from their "Sharks and Whales" discovery book. My husband is certainly aware of the phobia. So imagine my surprise when I came to use the computer after him to find the browser open to Craig's List. It was a listing titled "Life Size Killer Whale Replica". Can you imagine if that showed up at our house? I mean, I had to walk into the other room at my nephew's preschool because they had a big paper-maiche blue whale hanging from the ceiling. I sincerely hope it is not on the short list for one of my birthday surprises.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Good Old Days

Remember when daytime TV used to be fun? Oh, how I remember the glory days of TLC daytime: full of A Makeover Story, A Dating Story, A Wedding Story, and A Baby Story. Also, there used to be a whole lot more reruns of classic TV sitcoms. How are kids today ever going to know anything about Bewitched? Or I Dream of Jeannie? Laverne and Shirley? Gidget? I saw all of these shows as afternoon reruns when I was growing up. The only classic reruns I ever see on now are The Brady Bunch. What happened to all of the others?

It saddens me to know that my children will reach adulthood without knowing that Laverne's favorite drink was milk and Pepsi. Remember how she always poured it into that glass that made it look like it was all swirled in stripes? I was so disappointed the one time I tried making a milk and Sprite (we never had Cola) at home and it didn't turn out stripey. And it tasted pretty strange too.

I don't understand what has happened. There were still court TV shows and talk shows on when I was young. I guess there just weren't as many. Well, I KNOW there weren't as many. As a child I remember The People's Court and Phil Donahue. Remember how he would run and leap and lean all over people to get the microphone to people in his audience? I wonder what he's doing now...I see his wife, MaryLou Hennar, on all of those St. Jude commercials. I guess that's one other thing that's taken over daytime TV: commercials. Specifically infomercials. What really annoys me is that they play a lot of those mini-infomercials on Nick Jr. So my kids will happily be watching Dora the Explorer and then suddenly it becomes a loud advertisement for "Snuggie - the blanket with sleeves!". This happens so often that CT has internalized the medium of the infomercial. The other day he was playing with one of his toy vehicles and made it into his own infomercial. He was saying things like (and I promise I am not making this up to make my child seem hilarious) "But wait! It can also go super fast! And watch this! Tires that spin around and around! All this for only three dollars!"

I was complaining about the infomercial on kids TV to my sister Sally who also has young children. She said, "I know! It's terrible. Dallin keeps bugging me to buy things he sees on those commercials. He REALLY wants me to get the Aqua Globes, and we don't even have any house plants."

I guess it's just as well that daytime TV is so lame now, because I don't have the opportunity to watch it. Still, I think of my kids growing up in a world where the after school reruns they see will be things like...I have no idea. I've been sitting here looking at the screen trying to think of current sitcoms and I just don't know any. But whatever they are, I'm sure they wont be as entertaining and endearing as Samantha and the two Darrens, or Gidget, Larue, and Moon Doggie. We'll just have to get Netflix so they can see them. And Sesame Street before it was corrupted by Elmo (as Gina so wisely pointed out).

***This has nothing to do with my post but just as an aside for those who know me well: We were at a gathering of friends today and one of the women referred to me as being "so soft-spoken". Me! Can you believe it? Do you think I've changed, or do you think she just doesn't know me well?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

T-Shirts and Mortality

I have T-shirt that has a hole in it. Right in the front and center, which seems like a very strange place for a T-shirt to wear out. I got this T-shirt in 1992. A high-school friend and I decided to do an exchange of t-shirts from our respective new universities. She went to Trinity, in Texas, and I went to BYU. I wear this Trinity t-shirt just for pajamas now, but I used to wear it a lot for real, too. Many of you have probably seen it on me. It just struck me as amazing that I have been routinely wearing this T-shirt for SEVENTEEN YEARS. Is that crazy? I can't even believe I've been out of high school that long. I mean, I remember going to my dad's 20th High school reunion as a family, and I was about 12 or something. I'm almost the age my dad was then? It boggles the mind...but on the other hand, that was one well made t-shirt, wouldn't you say?

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