Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Halloween tradition turned scary

Last post of the day, I promise! There were just too many stories to share and I blog for myself as much as anyone else. Heath and I sort of have a Halloween tradition. We don't do it every year but it's fun when we do. We watch an appropriate Halloween movie on Halloween night like Unbreakable, Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca, The Village, etc. You get the idea. Well, last night Heath had the brilliant idea of buying Just Like Heaven to watch tonight. It's a romantic comedy set in San Francisco with sort of a ghost theme. I love that movie and have been wanting to watch it for a while now. Heath had a bunch of coupons that he needed to use at Best Buy before they expire next month. He bought the movie and a computer game upgrade for $5. You can't complain there!

I was almost finished putting the boys to bed when Heath called up to me that he was leaving. We told each other that we loved each other (like we always do when one of us leaves) and I told him to be careful (something I used to say a lot but haven't for a long time). I had read the story and sang the songs. Some nights I spend a little time talking about what we will do the next day and some nights I just leave right after the routine. This time I stayed to tell Gavin about how the next day was Halloween. I didn't want to promise he could go trick or treating in case Heath changes his mind. But I talked about the fun of Halloween for a second. Then I leaned over to kiss Gavin goodnight when the floor started shaking. At first I thought Parker was jumping or something but I looked over and he was calmly laying in bed.

I knew then it was an earthquake. I didn't want my kids to get nervous so I sank to my knees and held onto both of their beds (not for my support but to seem like I was there for both of them) and I kept repeating, "It's ok, it's ok." They didn't seem to really even know anything out of the ordinary was going on. But my heart was pounding out of my chest. I have experienced earthquakes before but that was a very strange one. Nothing rattled on the walls and nothing fell off their shelf. The floor was just rhythmically shaking as if I was in a fun house or something. It felt like an eternity but I'm sure it didn't last as long as I thought. I had told my mom 2 minutes when she called to check on us after seeing it on the news. Other people had reported similar times like 1 or 2 minutes duration.

When it was over I was in full panic mode. I was so scared to think my two little boys didn't even know how to protect themselves if it had been worse and I wasn't there. I started barking orders for them to listen to me. I said things like, "If that happens again this is what I want you to do." I told them if their toys weren't falling off the shelf but the floor was shaking to just stay in bed. If the toys were falling off the shelf they were to quickly and safely get to the doorway. Several minutes later after I had left their room, I thought to tell them to just get under their beds knowing they can easily fit under there. I almost can. Then I had them practice. Gavin has always been very mature for his age and a good listener when it's important. So he got to the doorway. Parker is a typical 2 year old and didn't understand what was going on. He ran for the stairs. I called him back and realized there was nowhere he could stand in the doorway with Gavin. So I taught Gavin how to hold his arms up in the doorway and told Parker to hug Gavin. I told Gavin to make sure Parker got to the doorway with him and to hold Gavin around his waist. A lot of responsibility for a 4 year old but I didn't know what else to do. I want them to learn that they need to protect each other anyway.

I let them go back to bed and walked out to the garage to see if Heath was still home. For some reason I imagined he was walking out to his car when the quake hit and he had heard my controlled voice hide my utter panic as I tried to teach our kids what to do. No, his side of the story is he was backing out of the garage when it happened. He didn't know what was happening and thought it was his car. He turned off the engine after he got past the garage door. He had thought maybe it was an earthquake but since it had stopped when he stopped the car and I didn't come running outside he decided not to think much of it. He left to go shopping. He said that you would never know anything had happened. Nobody said anything. The store was crowded but it was all business as usual. He heard the report on KSL's radio station on the way home. A Utah am radio station of all places to hear the info! When he came in I sank into his arms sobbing.

I was never too worried about Heath's safety. I figured he was fine. I was frustrated that I couldn't get a hold of him. At first the cell phone circuits were jammed as everyone tried to call at once. So I waited a while and called but only got his voice mail. I didn't know if he had his phone or left it in the car. It was on vibrate which is why I never heard that it was ringing in our bedroom. I was glad my mom had called. That helped. She told me of the fears she had as a mother of young children. I know my mom was afraid a lot. This is the woman who got many speeding tickets as she sped all over town looking for us if we were late coming home. As a teenager I thought she was overreacting but now I admit I have entertained the thought many times of leaving my sleeping children in bed to go out and look for Heath when he was late coming home from volleyball or basketball and I couldn't get through to him on his cell phone. He always walked in the door right as I was ready to just do it. My mom told me that her two biggest fears were that an earthquake would happen while we were in school and there would be a huge crack in the earth and she couldn't get to us. The other fear was kidnapping.

But we are all fine. No damage from the quake. I was the most rattled by it. And we are all fine. It's just nice to be reminded sometimes that the most important things in life are not things. The only "worldly" items I cherish and would devastated if I lost are my pictures, scrapbooks, and computer files that hold my pictures and written stories of our life. The end of the world could come and all I want are my husband and children to be safe.

The funny part of the story is that last night I helped Heath make dinner. I warmed up the taco shells in the oven. I tried to set the oven timer but forgot that it works in hours and minutes, not minutes and seconds so I put 6 hours on the clock instead of 6 minutes. I hit clear, making me have to reset the oven temperature. Then I set the timer on the microwave. At about 1 in the morning Heath heard the timer going off. At first he thought it was a carbon monixide alarm but after going downstairs he realized it was the oven. He hit clear and decided not to wake me up to gently chastise me! He told me about it this morning. I realized there is a very real chance I never turned off the oven when the shells were done. So I baked nothing all night and scared the pants off my poor husband in the middle of the night. Way to go Westover as Heath always says!

Baby Sister Update

Yesterday Heath took the day off to go with me for another ultrasound. This one was a fetal echo cardiogram - basically an ultrasound that focuses on the heart. I had one done with Parker at Primary Children's Hospital. (My obstetrician only mentioned the test once when I was pregnant with Gavin so I never had it done and I was later yelled at about it after Gavin was delivered. That was the last straw so I chose a perinatologist for my next pregnancy!) It was very interesting and the doctor gave me a diagram after he used it to explain how the heart works. It was a good experience.

My experience yesterday was a little different. I have literally never been that bored in my entire life!!! The technician explained that the whole exam would last about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes. I was told to expect that when I scheduled the appointment. But then he never turned the monitor for me to see. I wasn't upset because there really isn't much to look at. As Heath said, it's the heart. With the anatomy ultrasound Heath would try to guess if it was a foot they were looking at or whatever but this was just the heart. Not really that exciting when you think about it. The technician apologized for being so quiet. He said he was busy concentrating and wasn't going to small talk with us. That was fine. We just wanted him to do his job. But it was mind numbingly boring! I wanted to jump off the table and run around like a little kid!

I was a little jealous of Heath, who could at least read an entire magazine. He was afraid I was upset with him for not acting more interested in every possible angle of our baby's heart. I wasn't upset. I entertained myself with the gum I was chewing, the holes in the ceiling and whether or not they looked like pictures, and the patterns the t-bars made in the drop ceiling. That did hold my attention for a decent amount of time since we were going to install a drop ceiling in our basement office but then we moved instead. By the end my feet were starting to fall asleep, my rear end was numb, and my back ached from being in the same position for so long. I would look at the clock and count down the time til I guessed he would be done. After I had been there for about 35 minutes I thought, "Where is the consent form for the tubal ligation? I'm ready to sign it now!!!" It is a scary decision to make to permanently sterilize myself. But I think that given my physical/medical challenges and the emotional challenges that come with being pregnant, I need to be done having babies. I wanted to make sure I didn't feel like the Lord wanted us to have more kids. If anything there has been sign after sign that this has to be it for us. This ultrasound really sealed the deal in my mind!

So you're all wondering what the results were (unless you're one of our mothers and we called you yesterday). The technician said the baby's heart was completely normal. No issues whatsoever. We were both happy to hear that. I know it's a risk I take along with a dozen other risks to my health and my baby's health every time I get pregnant. But it is a great feeling to feel like you beat the odds one more time. She's fine and we're happy. The technician also said that she was measuring at one pound one ounce. He assured me that was completely normal for this stage in pregnancy. I thought that sounded like a lot of baby. Especially since I have gained somewhere between 8 and 10 pounds depending on the day. I worry that I haven't gained more weight and that twice now (not in a row) I have lost a pound in a day. Normally I would be ecstatic to know I could eat whatever I want and still manage to lose weight! But that's not supposed to be happening right now. At least our baby is growing as she should. So I guess all is well that ends well. No pictures to share though.

Trick or Treat!

Here are the pictures from the Trunk or Treat on Saturday. This is a picture to illustrate the amount of people who came. It was a successful and fun party but I must admit I had a mini panic attack every time I walked in the gym. I barely know people in our ward so to have people from the whole stake there dressed up so you can't even recognize them . . . well, like I said it was a mini panic attack every time I was in the building. We spent a lot of time outside "getting air." It was hot in the building and refreshing outside.
This is Parker in the Primary Room where they had the cake walk. This picture freaks me out because it looks like Gavin only with chubby cheeks. It's amazing how much these boys look alike sometimes.
It's tradition that a local photographer sets up a cute backdrop for pictures every year. He has a digital camera connected to a computer so his wife or daughter (whoever is with him at the time) prints the picture as soon as he takes it and she hands it to you as you walk off the set. All free of charge. His wife told me it was their treat to the people who go to the Trunk or Treat. So this is our themed picture - Parker the dragon, the princess in the tower on my belly, and Gavin the knight.

Linda's huband (I don't remember his name) and their two kids -Baby Lucas and Nicholas, Janelle's husband Stephen and Tori, Lori's husband (who is full blooded, born and raised in China, Chinese who won best costume for being Uncle Sam!!!) and their kids - Baby Alexander, Abraham, and Annabelle, and my Gavin. Heath didn't want to be in the picture. Parker was asleep in the car at this point.
My Park Day friends - Linda, Janelle, Lori (clown costume), me, and all our kids (minus Parker)
President Bird participating in the pie eating contest. He is a member of the Stake Presidency.
Becky, I can e-mail you the rest of the pictures Heath took of the carnival signs. But you get the idea. Nice signs that people put a lot of effort into. They were the complete opposite of the signs we had the youth make last year when the Young Women were in charge of the ward Trunk or Treat.
I love this picture of Gavin. He looks like he is totally enjoying the magic of the moment, or ceiling I guess!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Let's motor, my love!

This weekend was packed full of stories. Heath called me around 4 pm on Friday to say he was coming home. I was grinning like a lovestruck teenager! I was so excited to see my honey for the weekend. He called again later and I assumed it was the call where he signaled he was in Castro Valley and it was time to leave to get him. But the phone kept ringing. Our signal is two rings and he hangs up. So I answered and he said he was minutes away from a BART train. I was sort of surprised that he hadn't gotten on a train yet. But he asked me to bring something when I picked him up. It was really noisy so it was hard to hear what he said. He repeated it and I thought I heard base. I thought base to what? Then he pronounced the word vase the snooty way (voz) and I got it. I blurted out, "What did you do? Did you get me flowers?" He said that he had picked up six roses for me. I melted. Heath knows I love getting roses and he surprises me with them periodically. I was so excited. How wonderful to pick him up at the BART station with him holding the roses. I felt like I had the whole package - successful, handsome husband, cute kids, and I felt pretty just looking at those flowers. They were a bright pink. The first time I have received that color. They smelled so good too. They are now drying on the back of our bedroom door. Sometimes roses last more than a week and sometimes they only last a couple of days before they start dropping their heads. But I love them for as long as they last. I was a little sad to have to throw away all of the many different dried roses we had scattered all over our house before we moved to CA. Heath took pictures of all of them before throwing them out. Based on the color and the vase they were stored in I remembered when he gave them to me. So at least I have the pictures to remind me. Do I have the best husband or what?

The next big story of our weekend was Heath bought a car! We had been talking about it for quite a while and Heath went back and forth trying to pick the most fuel efficient car that would be fun to drive. I kept encouraging him to just get a Mini Cooper. After all his research he finally decided to do that. So on Saturday he went to test drive cars. He called later to say he was coming to pick me up for lunch but afterwards we had to go back to the dealership so I could sign the papers to be on the title too. I was surprised and not surprised all at the same time. When I saw that bad boy at the dealership I fell in love immediately! What a stinkin cute car!!! It's black with a white top and white mirrors. It's so cute. I mentioned to Janelle that we bought the car and she encouraged us to bring it to the Trunk or Treat that night so her husband could see it. (I will post pictures of the Trunk or Treat another day) All our friends saw it, approved of it, and were genuinely happy for us. Whenever Heath drove it alone the rest of the weekend I asked if he was jealous of himself for driving such a fun car! So today I woke up as usual to see Heath before he left for work but I didn't have to drive anywhere. It was weird but so nice. I'm sure it won't take long for the kids to adjust to our new routine and they will start sleeping in. They were the reason why we got a second car. We felt horrible waking them up every morning. Some mornings Gavin couldn't even stand up straight he was so tired. I didn't like making Heath take a cab if the boys needed to just go to bed before he got home. So we got what we needed while having fun along the way. I love my family.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Magical High Five

For at least the last week Gavin has been waking me up in the middle of the night because he had a bad dream. I don't mind running to the rescue of my children when they really need it but it was becoming a bad habit. Gavin would cry a little and I would think, "Just go back to sleep." It would get quiet for 30 seconds and then I would hear, "Mommy!" So out of bed I would stumble. Not an easy task since my belly makes it difficult to move while I'm lying down. Plus, I am imprisoned in bed by a king size pillow on either side of me to keep me from lying flat on my back while I sleep (the baby doesn't get enough oxygen with the mother flat on her back). I'm sure it's pretty funny to watch me heave myself over all these obstacles to comfort a child in the middle of the night. Now when something is really terrifying Gavin it's amazing how my adrenaline can shoot me out of bed like a rocket, over the baby gate in our doorway, down the hall and into the boys' room, with Gavin in my arms in 2 seconds flat!

But like I said, these night wakenings are becoming a bad habit. I go in there and hug Gavin while I lay him back down. Meanwhile he is matter of factly explaining his bizarre dream to me. So I say, "It was just a dream, go back to sleep. Think of something happy and have a happy dream." The whole exchange takes less than 30 seconds. And then I'm up for at least an hour. This was going on every night without fail. The final straw was when it happened at 6:00 am yesterday morning. I get up for the day at 6:30. I was not happy.

My plan all day yesterday was to wait for bedtime and remind Gavin that he can take care of himself without having to wake me up. Last night Heath went to help give priesthood blessings to our friends who have been dealing with illness in their family for a while. There were no more kid friendly shows on the PVR so I switched the TV to the Disney Channel. A cheesy, made for TV movie was playing called Twitches with the Mowry sisters. Heath and I watched it once because it was like a train wreck. We couldn't turn away even though it was cheesy! I thought it would be fairly harmless for the boys. They were glued to the TV, which I thought was interesting. Gavin would ask questions and I would try to explain that the girls found out they are witches and they were learning about their powers. Gavin said, "What are powers?" I tried to compare the witches to super heroes. He seemed satisfied. But the more we watched the more I remembered that the story was the classic theme of good vs. evil. Gavin seemed to be getting uncomfortable watching the scary shadow. He's pretty sensitive with movies and stories. I asked if he liked the show and he said it was scary so I put Caillou on Demand on.

My fear was Gavin would definitely have a bad dream because of Twitches. But I reminded him that he knows what to do when he has a bad dream. I asked him what he could do. He said to sing a song. I said, "Good, what song?" He said Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Not that there is a right or wrong answer but I told him he could also sing I am a Child of God. That was what I had taught him to do before. Then I told him to think of something that makes him happy like playing with his friends. Then he was supposed to go back to sleep and have a happy dream. He agreed that he could be a brave boy and try all that before waking me up. We high fived on it, then bumped on it, then thumbs upped on it. (Our handshake ritual)

This morning Heath asked if Gavin ever woke me up in the middle of the night. I told him no. Heath said we should high five on things more often! Parker woke up around 4:30 am crying but he put himself back to sleep without me having to go in there. Maybe the high five was a miracle like the Miracle Sing they used in Primary a couple of weeks ago to get the kids to sing well, practicing for the Primary Program. I'm just glad it worked.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Before I was a Mom

Before I was a Mom
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom - I had never been puked on. Pooped on. Chewed on. Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts. I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests. Or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put them down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom -I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom -I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom.

I found this as I was copying and pasting old e-mail messages for a scrapbooking project. It was sent to me around Mother's Day and I'm sure most of you have seen it already but I wanted to share it because it is so true. Like I said in my blog about love a few weeks ago, I opened my heart when I met Heath. It is strange to finally love people as much as I do. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones since I cry at the slightest thing, or maybe it's because my scrapbooking project is too emotional for me to try to remember which is why I was copying and pasting e-mails about it, or maybe it's because I've found love. But my heart is so full of love for my husband and children that an e-mail like this still makes me tear up, months after it was sent to me. I just had to share it again.

Sneak Peek

Grandma sent Gavin's Halloween costume and we received it yesterday. Thanks Grandma! Heath decided to do a little photo shoot of the boys in their costumes. I love that Gavin doesn't know violent words! In this picture he said he was "swording" the dragon. So cute.

Sir Gavin the knight. If you look closely you can see his little toes poking out of the bottom of the boots that cover his feet/shoes.
Mom is so much more interesting than Dad. We'll look at her instead!
The boys are not really as angry as they appear. They are telling us, "No smile!"
My what a cute dragon you are Parker!
This is my favorite picture. No, Parker is not crying because he is a dragon. Heath caught him mid sneeze. What a funny picture.
All that is left to do now is make my princess in a tower t-shirt and maybe Heath will find something to wear as well. I've never done a theme before for Halloween but I think it's so cute.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My New Weakness

My new weakness is shopping. I never thought I would enjoy it so much but I do! Yesterday Janelle and I went shopping for girl stuff. It was a good thing that I had a 20% off coupon because I spent a lot of money for a little girl not even born yet! I did save $30 so that's good. I was given another 20% off coupon for next month. But I think Heath will put his foot down at some point. I don't need to spend over $100 every month at Carter's.

It's so fun to go in the baby room and see the crib with the pink blankets and the fairy pictures on the wall and the pink and purple clothes in the closet. The boys seem to be pretty excited to have a sister. Gavin told Heath that we bought clothes for his sister last night. I thought that was cute. Parker will kiss my belly unprompted. He's getting better at kissing my belly and not going too high! That's an improvement.

Today is very warm. 84 degrees right now! And Utah got snow on Saturday! Maybe my kids won't have to wear coats with their Halloween costumes. That would be nice.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Just thought I'd share

Janelle sent me the link to this hilarious video. Jen was the one who told her about it. Check it out. Mom My Ride.

Vocabulary Lesson

I have always been impressed by a child's vocabulary and creative interpretation of the English language. Gavin's favorite thing to do is surf Playhouse Disney. One of the activities he loves to do is create a spooky house. Only Gavin calls it a spooky, spooky house. I guess the extra spooky makes the house that much more spooky! Creative interpretation of superlatives. He also says things like little, little whatever. For example, last night Gavin said he would clean up his toys and do it quickly so he could get a little, little treat. He had already had ice-cream after our family game of football at the park so he didn't get any more treats no matter how little, little.

Parker's vocabulary is almost too large for me to keep up with. He has very little pronunciation mastery of the words he says. Yet every time I push him on the swings I feel like I am being quizzed and graded on his extensive vocabulary! He is pretty patient though, saying the same word or phrase over and over until I venture a guess as to what he's saying! He usually won't accept me saying that I don't know what he just said. I love how Parker repeats a sentence in his own simple 3-4 word sentence. It reminds me of a man my mom used to share a back fence with. He had suffered a stroke and communicated in simple 2-3 word sentences. I always wondered how he could read full sentences but not be able to express himself that eloquently. It must have been very frustrating for him. I'm sure it's frustrating for kids too. They can understand so much more than they are capable of expressing.

The other thing that I find interesting is how quickly kids pick up on the "rules" of verbs. It's amazing considering how many exceptions there are to the rule. But somehow they learn the rule and use it until they figure out the exceptions. Gavin says, "That's what it dooz." or "I goed to the playground." He has always had a good sense of pronouns though. I heard him say something the other day about "somebody and I." I must say it correctly enough for him to learn. I get lazy and would rather say "Me and him" but Gavin knows the proper way to say it. I do have to be careful what I say and do because those boys are little sponges that repeat everything! Parker copies my mannerisms all the time which is really funny. Yesterday Gavin said something that totally floored me! Out of the blue he said, "My blood sugar is low." Heath tickled him to make it feel better and Gavin was satisfied with that. I didn't think I said it that way very often. Kids are definitely interesting and a lot smarter than we sometimes give them credit.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Teaching a Love of Work

A friend of mine recently said that boys around age 2 and 3 are full of extra sugar or something because they are so sweet. While this is mostly true, yesterday my boys were full of hell's fury! It was quickly apparent that they were both tired and in need of a very early bedtime. I made Heath take a cab home so I could have the boys in bed by 7:00. The whole bedtime routine was done around 6:45. They even cleaned up all the toys without too much whining and no help from me. I didn't feel guilty for a second for sending them to bed before it was completely dark. The only thing that made me feel a little bad was Gavin said, "Dad doesn't want to see us?" I just said that Dad was working late and I would have him kiss the boys goodnight when he got home. When Heath went in there I guess Gavin said, "Tomorrow you can pick me up from my BART station!"

I'm not sure when the boys actually fell asleep but they were in their room for about 12 hours. They woke up well rested and very happy. I wasn't ready for that much energy this morning but it was ok. I had a brilliant plan for today. I needed to send my mom a check so I had the boys color pictures for her and they helped me put the envelope in the mailbox. Then I had them help me clean their grimy fingerprints off the mirrored closet doors in the bedrooms. They loved that. I don't know why I never thought to have them help me clean sooner. That's why you have kids right? - to do the yardwork and housecleaning! Just kidding. Now I'm off to clean bathrooms. I hate that job. I can't wait until they really can help me with that. I figure I'll be so tired when I'm done that I will put on a movie this afternoon and we can eat popcorn. The boys will love it. Some days I'm more organized than others. It feels like a good mom day today.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Commando Halloween

I went to see my OB today. The baby still seems to be doing just fine. The doctor asked if we were having our kids dress up for Halloween. I told her that this year we were actually doing a theme in our family. I told her how Parker would wear a dragon costume and Gavin would be a knight. And I was going to decorate a plain white maternity t-shirt to have a princess in a tower on my belly. She thought that was the cutest and most creative idea. So there you go Heath. Once again you are a genius!

Speaking of Halloween - a couple of days ago Parker was playing with a cat Halloween decoration. It's been sitting on the counter ever since I confiscated it from Parker. Heath asked why the cat was sitting on the counter when he noticed it was missing its nose. So I told Heath that Parker was swinging the cat around and dragging it on the tiled entry floor. That was how it lost its nose. I just need to hot glue it back on. Heath was laughing so hard at that story. It was pretty funny. Poor cat.

Well, time to do laundry. If I don't, Heath and I will be going commando tomorrow. Kind of an alluring idea when you're single (just kidding! I have never done that or even seriously thought about it!) but when you've been married as long as we have it's an image you don't want to imagine!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Think Pink

Heath and I have been discussing moving the toys out of the play room/baby room - when and how, etc. Last night I was trying to figure out how to get everything to fit in the boys' room since space is limited with their beds not stacked. I wondered if a shelf they store some toys on in the play room would fit in their bedroom. I moved it this morning and it fits perfectly! I was able to move their lamp onto the shelf and now you can turn the lamp on by using the light switch. Nice. I started moving in toys and got half the job done. Things were working out perfectly. My only sadness was this morning in the shower I wanted to put a white sheet in the crib but I didn't have any girl blankets to put in there. We headed off for Janelle's house to follow her to McDonald's Playland since it was too rainy to go to the park. She gave me a big pink giftbag in the parking lot. I opened it in McDonald's. She had given me the sweetest outfit she bought and a blanket she never used with her daughter. I couldn't believe my good luck! Not only was she so sweet to give me a gift 4 months before my baby is due but she totally read my mind on the blanket thing!!! I am so excited to finish the job I started this morning with moving toys. I wanted to wait until closer to my mom coming to visit but I just started doing it all this morning. I'm so excited. I want to look for the pictures I have saved for years hoping to display in a girl's room. The rain has stopped and the sun is out and the day is looking up. Gavin had an accident right as I wanted to leave McDonald's and Parker refused to finish his nap when we got home. I told him to eat a sandwich first and then he had to nap. We'll see what happens but things are looking rosy and pink!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The World is Magic

At least to my kids it is. Everything is new and exciting to them. They see different shapes, animals, and objects in their chips and apples all because of how they took a bite. (Today Parker told me my apple core looked like a hot dog!)They play games they made up that I don't understand and they laugh hysterically while they play. That makes me smile.

We had been planning a trip to San Francisco since we moved. Last Saturday we finally did it. Friday was pouring rain in San Francisco but Saturday was sunny and warm. It was the perfect day. I wanted to see the sea lions on the docks at Fisherman's Wharf. That was a favorite memory from when I visited San Francisco as a teenager. We saw the sea lions a lot as we tried to walk closer to them. Every time the boys heard the barking they knew it was the sea lions and their eyes would get big while Gavin excitedly said, "Sea lions!" Parker loved them so much he took a nap with a picture of the sea lions on a chocolate wrapper!
Gavin and Parker were so excited to visit San Francisco. I love how Gavin still can't pronounce it! He talked about San Francisco the whole drive there on his toy cell phone. I used the blue tooth hands free kit to talk to my mom the whole way there. My uncle had called the night before to invite us to Sacramento for Thanksgiving. He said my mom would be there. I knew my mom wanted to visit in November sometime and she really wanted to come for Thanksgiving but I didn't know she had actually made plans. When I called her she acted like I shouldn't have been surprised. But the more we talked the more excited we both got for her to come spend a couple of days with her brother and a couple of days with us. She was even more thrilled when I told her Heath wanted us to take BART into the city so his co-workers could meet me and the boys and then we could all go to lunch together. My mom loves San Francisco and was way happy to help me get my kids on the train.
When we got into the city we parked at Heath's building where he works. That way we could park for free and see where he works. His desk is right in front of a large window. Across the street from the building is Pier 39, or Fisherman's Wharf. Heath can see tourists everyday out his window and he sees when all the cruise ships come in. Gavin was pretty impatient at Dad's office because he wanted to see San Francisco. He kept saying, "Let's go play now!"
The first thing we did was get lunch at La Salsa. That was fun because the people working there recognized Heath. The guy was happy to see Heath's family and even gave us the same discount Heath gets during the week. Heath said he was embarrassed by that but I thought it was cool that people knew who he was. We ate outside. The boys were fascinated by the pigeons and the boats docked just below us.
After lunch we went into a Fairy Shop. I thought maybe something would be perfect to buy for our little girl. But I haven't spent a lot of time looking at Fantasy things lately. I forgot that you have to be careful with this genre. Many fairies are, pardon my french but, pornographic art work of women with wings! I had forgotten that. The store was a little "adult" for my taste. Some of the statues were cool but basically there was nothing there that would in any way be appropriate for an unborn baby girl. I was tempted to buy a bag of rocks since Gavin loves rocks so much. But I didn't. The salesgirl did put fairy dust on our cheeks in the shape of a star. The boys loved that. I thought it was cool too. Heath decided to be masculine and not get a purple, glittery star on his cheek.

We spent around $20 just for the boys to ride the carousel! Gavin was so excited to ride the merry go round as he called it. I knew it was expensive but I remember wanting to do stuff like that when I was a kid and not being able to. I didn't want to deny my children any joy. I figure you only get to be 4 years old once, live it up! So Heath bought a box of chocolates for $10.99 (tax included) so he could break a 20. Then he spent about $8 for tokens for him and the boys. Gavin loved it. He pretended to be a cowboy and yelled "Yeehaw" throughout the whole ride. Parker hated every second of it. I should have just had Heath take Gavin but Gavin wanted Parker to go too. I didn't know he would hate it. Oh well.

The boys played on an observation box or something on one of the piers. I think those were some of the best pictures Heath took. When we were done we let the boys play at a little playground near Heath's building. Then we went back to Heath's building to have a snack of juice and fruit snacks. Then we headed home because I had to finish getting my talk ready for Sunday and Heath was supposed to teach the last hour (he just found out that morning), plus the BYU game would be on soon.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Phone Talk

I was going to blog about our trip to San Francisco on Saturday and share pictures but I can't find where Heath stored the pictures. So I'll have to save it for tomorrow.

This is a sign that I'm easily amused and I watch too much TV. Yesterday Heath and I watched a couple of Monk episodes we recorded a long time ago. Gavin climbed all over us until he accidentally fell into the bricks in front of the fireplace and scratched his back pretty badly. I held him while he cried and when he stopped crying I kept patting his hair. He soon fell asleep. It was so sweet for him to sleep squished in between Heath and me. Anyway, on one of the Monk episodes Randy was supposed to give Captain Stoddlemeyer (or however you spell it) the VIN number on a car. Randy said, "The first letter is T as in tsunami!" They had a whole argument about that example which was funny. In the middle of it the phone rang and the Captain answered saying, "Whoever this is thank you for calling!" I laughed so hard at that whole scene. Later Randy was spelling something else for someone and said, "G as in gnome!" I laughed even more.

Heath told me I should practice saying that so the next time I have to spell my name for someone I won't hesitate to say, "T as in tsunami." Well, this morning I had my chance but I chickened out. I called to make an appointment to see the opthamologist. The receptionist asked what my name was. I told her and I totally thought of saying the tsunami thing but I didn't. She asked, "t-a-n?" and I told her yes.

Heath is hilarious. I love listening to him on the phone because he cracks me up so much. He caught RC Willey trying to cheat us on an old bill. He tried to explain that they were asking us to pay what should have been a credit to our account. Of course the person on the other end of the line wouldn't have that as an explanation. My favorite part was when Heath said, "So where does that money go? Into the office party pool?" You had to be there but I was laughing so hard. He delivers these lines so dead pan, straight face too that I want to die! A long time ago he called up Qwest when our Caller ID wasn't working correctly. He explained to the girl that, "The caller ID will show my cell phone number and when I pick up it's my mother in law! Unless my mother in law is actually using my cell phone to call while she's hiding in the closet, there is a problem with the Caller ID!" My sister happened to be at our apartment while he made this call. We were laughing so hard we nearly wet our pants!

Soon after Heath and I got engaged my mom felt it was necessary to give us "the talk." In the middle of it the phone rang. My mom answered and cut the telemarketer off by saying, "No, Fred, I'm not interested. I'm trying to teach my children about sex!" I'm sure there was a lot of surprised snickering among the telemarketers after that call!

I wish I were that quick witted on the phone but I'm not. Heath accuses me of being afraid of the phone. That's about right except for the fact that I do spend hours and hours some days talking to friends and my sister in law. I just hate calling people I don't know. I was pretty proud of myself for making that eye appointment today. Yes, I have pretty low expectations for my daily to do list. I'm thrilled when I cross one off that has been on there for weeks like the eye appointment thing!

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's Raining It's Pouring!

Do you remember that song? "It's raining it's pouring, the old man is snoring. He got out of bed and bumped his head and never got up early in the morning!" Or something like that.

I love the rain. I love the smell of rain. I love the rich colors that I see because everything is wet. I love the sound of rain. When we were stopped at a light today we were under a tree. The tree was dripping a lot on the top of the van which made a cool plunking sound. I love how cozy I feel inside when it's raining.

I wish we had a fire going right now because that would be even more cozy. I want to soak in the tub and listen to the rain but I have a lot to do today and I don't have time.

I love that it's starting to be the rainy season here. I love that I never have to shovel snow here! I wish my baby girl was here already so I could snuggle her in her baby smelling blankets and fall asleep holding her watching a movie. But that day will come soon enough. It's best to just be happy right now. It's raining. How could I not be happy?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Have you ever

had one of those days where you just want to scream? (sorry Janelle for stealing your blog title) It's only 10:30 am and I am ready to go back to bed and hopefully go back in time to my childhood when life made more sense and was a lot easier. I hate my insurance company like I have never hated anything before! They have succeeded in making me look like the biggest idiot to ever walk the face of the earth! Between myself and Heath we have heard 3 different stories about the same issue of my insurance not covering the test strips I currently use. 3 different stories. I'm sorry but that is an unacceptable level of incompetence! What, do they let anybody with a voice get a job there?

In the last month I have been sent on a wild goose chase trying to get my diabetic needs met because the insurance company is not helpful at all! Heath called to see if they covered BD test strips (my favorite meter) and the answer was, "We don't know. Just run the prescription and find out!" (that's a direct quote. I'm not making this up!) The prescription was rejected. I saw that I had an old Accu-Chek Complete meter. The pharmacy basically made up the prescription for those strips and filled it. However, my meter no longer works. The insurance company won't send me a new one because they expect me to find one myself. No, they won't pay for any meter I buy from the pharmacy but they were nice enough to give me 3 different addresses and phone numbers of companies that don't even sell diabetic supplies!!! After doing our own research we found out that the nearest place we could maybe get what we needed was in Alameda. (Heath mentioned that it's amazing how little anyone knows about diabetes and it's amazing that there are very few diabetic resources anywhere close to where we live!) So the prescription for a meter and test strips from my doctor that I had to specially request was no good. We found out last night that nobody even makes Accu-Chek Complete meters anymore. But we were able to get a One Touch Ultra sent to us that should arrive today or tomorrow.

So I called the doctor, apologized for being annoying and asked for yet another prescription for One Touch Ultra test strips. He was nice about it even though I'm sure he's wondering why this situation is as hard as it is to resolve. He told me to go in to the office to pick it up. So I load up my kids and go to the office because it's so close to home. Then I have to explain this ridiculous story to the receptionist who is wondering why she bothered mailing me prescriptions that I'm not going to use after all. I don't like looking stupid and I don't like when I know people are thinking more than they are saying so I wanted to die as she gives me a strange look when I tell the story. She gave me a One Touch Ultra meter with 10 sample strips for free and told me this way I have one meter for the car. I was pretty happy about that since I have a fear that the prescription I asked for isn't going to match the meter I get sent to me. At least I know I have one meter that will work.

I immediately went to the pharmacy to exchange the Accu-Chek Complete strips for the new prescription I just picked up. The guy tells me that I can't fill the presciption until the 20th (when I picked up the other strips last month). At that point I was at the end of my patience and I am proud of myself for not throwing a temper tantrum right there in the store! I couldn't believe the stupid loophole I was now caught in. I said, "I didn't fill a prescription last month! I am returning these strips because I can't use them. I don't have the meter! I will be out of Freestyle test strips by the end of the week." He checked to see if the insurance company was billed on the strips. Like I said before, the pharmacy pretty much made up the prescription after the BD prescription was rejected. He told me he would have the One Touch Ultra strips ready tomorrow after he fixed the problem. I hope it all works out because it really shouldn't. I'm totally stuck in a loophole. If I knew who to yell at I would! But it's not the people, it's the system. They were all doing their job as they understood it. And yes, I feel better now for venting. I think I will move on remembering the serenity prayer:
God help me to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to hide the bodies of those people who have ticked me off! It's a joke I had hanging on my wall in high school. Of course I'm not going to do that!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

We're having a GIRL!!!

She's stubborn! I started out on my back. The technician tried to get every angle she could to see different parts of the baby such as brain, face (to check for cleft palette), fingers, toes, etc. The baby kept her hands in front of her face most of the time like she was hiding. The technician had trouble getting a clear picture of anything. At one point she had me lay on my left side so I was facing away from the computer screen then she had me switch to my right. She would wiggle my belly trying to get the baby to wake up and move into a better position. I think she got good enough pictures and information on what she was checking for. Then the perinatologist came in who also had trouble seeing what she needed to see. But again, I think they were satisfied with what they saw. The baby is measuring perfectly on schedule with my due date. They are 90% sure it's a girl. Having seen two boys on ultrasound, Heath and I are much more confident that this is a girl. Of course the doctors would never say they were 100% sure unless they saw the chromosomes from an amniocentesis. So we'll plan on this being our little girl even though there is always the chance it could be born a boy. Heath was supposed to be a girl! So never say never. We're thrilled, excited, and overwhelmed as we try to let the news settle in our minds.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Mother in Progress

Our children have gotten into a bad habit of disrespecting us. Parker not so much as Gavin but even Parker is now doing it because he likes to do everything Gavin does. So all day I hear, "No Mom, I not want to!" or some variation of that. Then a great idea came to me. We should have a family home evening about what it means to honor our father and mother as stated in the 10 commandments. After a short lesson about that Heath wrote our boys' names on separate pieces of paper where they will receive a stamp every time they obey (criteria being: obey the first time and no complaining). If they learn to do that this week we will take them out for ice-cream next week. The moment of truth was when we asked them to clean up their toys.

Nothing is more frustrating than having it confirmed that your words went in one ear and fell out the other! The boys wouldn't clean up. They didn't care that they were not getting stamps. That's the thing. Parker follows Gavin's lead. Gavin doesn't care about rewards or punishments. He never has. We have tried everything with that kid. Reverse psychology, rewards, loss of privileges, love and logic, nothing works. The only thing that remotely lit a fire under Gavin last night was when Heath told him he couldn't play computer games the next day. Were the toys cleaned up? No. We gave them 15 minutes to clean up and get in pajamas. They were still goofing off when the timer went off. So Heath dressed Gavin and brushed his teeth. Gavin hates that.

I refused to change the channel from the news to the shows my kids like to watch this morning. They were supposed to eat breakfast and then clean up toys. As soon as they were done I would let them watch their shows. Parker didn't eat breakfast or clean up. Gavin ate but didn't clean up. I got bored of watching the news and then one of my shows from the PVR so I turned the TV off and showered. Long story short, after much effort on my part to be upbeat but make them get the job done, the toys were all cleaned up around 11:00 this morning!

I considered telling Gavin the new password today for the computer (his phone number) if he would have cleaned up. But after hours of whining and me cleaning up the most, I didn't figure he deserved computer time. He's very sad. I wondered if Gavin is a little like me and gets overwhelmed by clutter. Because as soon as the toys were cleaned up Gavin was a joy to be around plus he helped put towels away for me. I have learned that it's easy for me to lose my cool. I am working on being more patient. But it's almost impossible for me to happy when the house is a mess. I wonder if Gavin feels a little of that with his toys.

Gavin is my challenge. But I do love that boy to death! He is so sweet, sensitive, smart, and funny. I pat myself on the back every time I positively get through a discipline situation with him. We are both learning to use our stubbornness for good rather than hurting others. We will get there someday. The lessons I have learned that I take note of to repeat in the future are: hold Gavin when he's out of control upset (it actually calms both of us), get him to talk rather than trying to shut him up when I drive (he can be really loud and obnoxious with Parker when I drive), and praise goes a long way.

For all the other mothers in progress (including myself): good luck, hang in there, we all understand what each other are going through, and when you feel you have nowhere else to turn-get on your knees and pray.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

We took these pictures of the boys a couple of weeks ago. It was our attempt at a cheap photo shoot. Not too bad. I still like last year's pictures better when we did the same thing.
I just wanted to post these pictures for Grandma because it's her happy birthday today. Gavin talks about visiting you and Grandpa all the time. I tell him you guys will come after Christmas. He's way excited. We all hope you have a very happy birthday. We love you!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Warning! Long posting ahead!

Last Friday I was frustrated with everything. It seemed like every time I turned around I was hitting a metaphorical wall. Nothing seemed to be working out right. I had called Heath, left a message, and also e-mailed him a text message. I know he's very busy at work but I just wanted to vent to someone who would understand. Eventually Heath called me back. He told me he was just given a promotion at work with a 20% pay increase. Wow. I was not expecting that at all! For the day I had the news felt like a post-it note from the Lord (a metaphor I heard someone else use about daily miracles) saying, "Hang in there. Things will get better. I haven't forgotten you. Don't forget me." The rest of the weekend went quickly -as they always do - but it was almost hard to believe the good news was true. Today it is official and they had a big ceremony at work and everything.

Heath had a co-worker leave the company for another company where she could learn more. She was always telling Heath she would put in a good word for him to get a promotion. We just never counted on it actually happening. What a pleasant surprise.

Heath and I both had our own profound thoughts about the deeper meaning behind the promotion and what an incredible blessing it is. I won't go into too much detail about Heath's thoughts because he should be the one to say it. He puts it best. He had an epiphany of sorts about how blessed he has been for not bad mouthing a former employer when he may have wanted to. Working for that company was the hardest months of our married life. But because Heath was an analyst and a trainer he knew the product inside and out. We believe just about every job he has had since then was because he knew that product so well. And now his efforts are being recognized and rewarded. The validation he feels is overwhelming, I'm sure.

All Sunday morning I kept thinking of how blessed we have been, especially recently. I wanted to share my testimony about it since it was Fast and Testimony meeting but I chickened out. I feel like we were very much prepared to come to California for years really. I was so heartbroken when I was released from my calling as the Beehive Advisor. I mourned for two days. But I believe that was a beginning of the Lord testing our faith to move and holding our hands through trials. The hymn "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" played over and over in my head after my release.

The second shock came about a month and a half later when Heath called to say he was on his way home and that he had "been let go." I was finishing gluing together a scrapbook project about how I love little things about my kids and husband. In that moment, the page was no longer very happy to me. But it has been a good thing to read every once in a while. The strange thing about the bad news was that almost as immediately as I couldn't believe my ears, we both also felt an unexplained peace. For the first time, Heath and I were not overcome with bitterness but were ready to make a secret nation wide job search. Secret because we wouldn't have to explain anything if it failed. Plus, my family always reacted negatively every time we tried to leave Utah before. It was easier to believe their ignorance would be bliss.

I have wanted to live outside of Utah for as long as I can remember. The reasons vary. Heath would say, "How about living in . . . ?" Sometimes I was excited and other times I was nervous. Then our search came down to 3 choices - Memphis, Tennessee; San Francisco, California; and Austin, Texas. One choice would be out of the running but the next day be a possibility again. It was very stressful. I remember one day sitting outside while Gavin played in our kiddie pool (Parker was inside napping). Heath came out and told me that one choice we thought was gone had become a choice again! I said, "You are killing me! You are literally killing me. I can't make this decision. It's too hard."

Then it came down to Memphis or San Fran. It should have been an easy choice but it was hard as could be. Through all of this I would pray for guidance but I also prayed that I wouldn't look back and regret our decision. We almost chose Memphis but in a moment of clarity, I looked at Heath and said, "We have to move to California. It's more expensive but it's the right choice. I can't sit in my big house in Memphis and know you hate your job." Heath agreed and accepted the job here and I haven't looked back yet.

We moved 2 days after my sister got married. My mom and aunt were sobbing their eyes out. My mom was upset because she had just lost both her daughters in the same moment. I couldn't cry at all. I was anxious to begin our adventure. My only fear was because of something my cousin said. This is a girl who has lived in several different states since she got married. It was actually unexpected that she was able to be there for my sister's reception. She kept saying how sad she was to see us leave. She knew we didn't really see each other that often but she was sad anyway. She said that moving is hard because you leave all your family behind and sit in your house, in your own world until you make friends and then things are ok. That was my fear. Friends.

I believe circumstances were just right for me to make the friends I did. If things had been different I may have stayed in my comfort zone and never embraced these girls as the friends I do now.

Of course, there have been so many other blessings along the way. Every day my new life takes my breath away and I feel blessed for one reason or another. It helps that I am such a passionate person that I can find such beauty in the ditch behind our house!!! The other blessing I was not expecting was this baby. Like I've said before, this baby came about a month before we wanted to "place our order!" As we were preparing to leave San Francisco I thought maybe I was pregnant. Heath said if I was we would do something drastic to sell our house in Utah! Two days after we moved into the house we're in now I found out I was most certainly pregnant. But instead of feeling worried, we felt such a calming peace. Our house hadn't sold, we had almost tripled our monthly mortgage payment to make a monthly rent payment, our washer and dryer was sitting in my sister's apartment since we sold it to her and her husband, the list went on and on. We should have been so scared to have a baby but we never were. We always felt like Heavenly Father really wanted this baby to come now. It also felt like He was saying, "Things will work out."

It's been my easiest pregnancy. So far no complications. My friends have been wonderful to help babysit and be excited. Things have been good all along. I think this promotion was just icing on the cake. I don't deal with the finances so realize I may be ignorantly saying this! But I think we were doing just fine before. I think the promotion was for Heath's benefit more than anything else. (looking at it from a religious perspective) I think he needed someone to finally believe in him rather than use him like all his other jobs in our married life. I needed the same thing when I was student teaching and got it my last 5 weeks. I also got another confidence boost when the same 4 teachers who begged the principal to hire me, were in her office with me trying to keep me in 6th grade when the principal was making many staff changes. They all cried with me in the hall when it didn't work and I had to move to 4th grade. I miss those teachers. But they did something wonderful for my self esteem in the two years I worked with them. I think Heath is getting what he needs now in sort of the same way.

Again I'm afraid to post such a personal blog but I will anyway.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Decorating Deficient

Today I found the box of decorations. I pulled out my meager Halloween decorations and tried to find a place for them. The boys were so excited. They wanted to play with everything. I have a black cat given to me by one of my 6th graders, painted by her mom. It has a long tail that you can stack donuts on for a party. That's how she presented it to me. At our class Halloween party with several glazed donuts on it. I put the cat in the corner of our very large entry way that is still begging for a bench of some kind!

I put the 3 non matching pumpkins I have in the kitchen window. (inspired a little by Janelle's decorations in her kitchen window) There is a wicker pumpkin that had Hershey's kisses in it as a handout for a combined Young Men/Young Women lesson about dating and kissing. There is a metal jack-o-lantern with a smile face that I don't remember how I became the owner of. And I have a plush teddy bear poking his head out of a pumpkin. I think that was a gift from one of my 4th graders. That one I have let the boys play with in past years but I didn't want to lose it again this year so it's in the window.

I have a spider web frame that hangs on the fridge. It has a picture of Gavin in his dragon costume. I have a witch that I got a long time ago from Oriental Trading. She looks like she flew into the wall! I think it's cute but I never know where to put it so it's actually kind of dumb. It's on my bed right now until I get up enough nerve to just put a push pin in the wall and hang it up. I just don't know what to do with the hole when Halloween is over. I also have a large rafia bow with black birds hanging from it that hangs on the door. My mom gave me that one and I love it. Unfortunately, I have no way of hanging it on the front door. This is the first time I have had a wooden front door. So, of course, my magnet door hanger won't work.

Those are all the decorations I have. Sad huh? Oh wait, I did display the "thankful tree" Parker made in Nursery. It's made of craft foam and you write on the leaves what you are thankful for and glue the different colored leaves on the tree. We finished filling out the leaves for Family Home Evening on Monday night.

Tyson and Deanna love Halloween so much. Deanna goes all out when she decorates for Halloween. She has huge spiderwebs hanging in the hallway and skeletons all over the place, plus lots of other decorations. Their house looks really cool in October. Maybe I'll go buy some cheap decorations from Wal-Mart or something one day. For now I have tried to be festive; just not very hard!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Destined for Fashion?

Today Gavin dressed himself as he always does. However, today he looks his age! He is wearing an orange superhero shirt with orange (not the same color orange) shorts. He looks like a pumpkin. I took a picture but am having trouble figuring out where to insert the card in the computer. Check back later tonight because maybe Heath can help me get the picture up.

As I looked at my fashion conscious 4 year old I was reminded of a chapter in The Diaper Diaries by Cynthia L. Copeland. I would like to quote the book a little if I may.
The chapter is called Projecting the Future. It talks about how so many moms overanalyze their babies. For example:

The Baby Trait: The baby is not afraid of strangers.
Your Projection: She will be the next Katie Couric or Barbara Walters, an engaging and popular television personality.
More Likely: She will be voted Best Wal-Mart Greeter by the other store employees.

The Baby Trait: The baby is not afraid of getting his shots at the pediatrician's office.
Your Projection: He will be like Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine.
More Likely: He will be a tattoo artist in Atlantic City.

The Baby Trait: The baby bangs his spoon on the high chair tray.
Your Projection: He will be a famous drummer like Buddy Rich.
More Likely: He will be the annoying guy in every meeting who gets bored and starts tapping his pencil on the table.

I don't know what Gavin's fashion choices say about his future but I'm sure it doesn't mean he will develop his own fashion line like Tommy Hilfiger or Mossimo!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

10 signs you are a real mother!

In no particular order.
10. You're fine when your baby/child poops or pukes on you!
9. When something is broken your first reaction is not, "Oh, expletive, that was my favorite!" but rather, "What happened? Was anyone hurt?"
8. You can be dead asleep, hear your child scream in the night, and get there in less than 2 seconds.
7. Your child is dressed cuter than you (if you got dressed at all) and you're ok with it.
6. You find yourself singing along to your child's favorite TV show.
5. Jewelry is only worn on "date night."
4. You barely remember what warm food tastes like because you are so busy getting everyone else fed first.
3. You eat goldfish crackers and fruit snacks on a daily basis.
2. You rarely read anything more complicated than 8 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.
1. Every phone conversation is punctuated with, "Get off your brother!", "Don't put your finger in the power outlet!", and "Just a second and Mommy will get you juice!"

Monday, October 1, 2007

How do I love thee?

Last week at Park Day I heard the comment, "When your kids get older things change. I get my emotional fulfillment from my kids now so I don't miss my husband as much or worry as much about something bad happening to him." I had walked in late to the conversation so I'm not sure how they got to talking about that in the first place or really what she meant by it. The comment made me skeptical though. Will I ever get to a point in my life when my heart doesn't just ache when Heath is on a business trip? Will I really not think that he must be splattered on the road somewhere, when he's late and I haven't heard from him, as often as I do now? Then I got to thinking of what a powerful emotion love is. These are random thoughts so I hope it makes sense.

Love gives me a reason to get up in the morning when I would rather sleep my life away. Love makes me take care of myself. Love makes me miss my kids when I couldn't be there to put them to bed. I try to talk myself out of going in to steal a kiss (I'll see them in the morning, I tell myself) but I never succeed. I have to see them or my heart will burst. Love has made me do things I would never do otherwise.

Like the taste of celery, love defies description. It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. (Will Smith in MIB) Try it! (Tommy Lee Jones in MIB) I have never truly loved and lost but I imagine it's as hard as Tommy Lee Jones' character implied. Whoever said love is blind is dead wrong. Love is the only thing that lets us see each other with the remotest accuracy. (Martha Beck) Since I have found Heath I am now following the advice to love as though I will never get hurt. It's scary but exhilirating and very rewarding.

Heath's Aunt Chris visited us yesterday. She was in California for a conference. My heart went out to her because she is going to school in Chicago while her husband lives in Nebraska. She said it's a 3 year program. Of course she sees her husband on school breaks and in the summer but I was impressed with both of their sacrifice for her to get a degree. It must be hard to be apart for so long but this is a couple who has been together since before I was born (I think) so their love is patient and trusting. I believe Aunt Chris is going to school to be an Episcopalian Priestess. It probably helps both her and Uncle Charlie to know she is learning about God.

I believe a love of God can soothe any earthly pain. I recently heard a story (told by President Thomas S. Monson in General Women's Conference September 2007) of two women who had lost their husbands in a tragic snow mobile accident. Both women were pregnant. One was expecting her first baby. The other was not only expecting a baby but had a toddler at home. This woman was supported through this trial by her two visiting teachers who shared her same beliefs and faith in a loving Heavenly Father.

True life altering love is not only reserved for our spouses and children but extends to our friends, neighbors, extended family members, Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ, students, teachers, and all mankind. The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return (Moulin Rouge) because a life without love is no life at all (Ever After). I used to jokingly say, "I've just been in a bad mood for 21 years!" How interesting that I stopped saying that when I was 22 years old and met my soul mate. I'm so glad I have discovered love. My life is richer for it.