Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Don't Adjust Your Monitor

These pictures are blurry because they are the artistic work of my 4 and 2 year old! I love the things they choose to take pictures of and I love how creative they are. Good work boys!

Yes Mom, we did eat all our lunch.

This picture is cool because it is the shadow of the banister on the door.
Gavin taking a picture of himself in the mirror in the baby's room.
Typical place to find me in the afternoon. On the couch watching TV with my feet up. I'm also usually surrounded by boys but they wanted me to smile for the picture.
Another typical part of our life. Parker snuggling up to Dad on a Saturday morning.

Me attempting to keep my house clean and orderly. I love being able to do it because soon I will have to take 6 weeks to recover from surgery. No heavy housework. Sad face!
Look at all our toys. This is Mom's pet peeve. All the toys out at once - spilling into the hallway and down the stairs.
I have no idea what this is. It looks like doorknob but we don't have any doorknobs like that. I just liked the high contrast in the picture.
We love you Daddy! That is a fun picture of Heath giving a cheesy smile for the boys' camera.
Gavin taking a picture of Grandma taking a picture of Gavin. Silly people!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dating after kids

Sounds difficult if not impossible right? Well, what would you think if I told you last night Heath and I went on a date with our kids? And we spent quality time together having a real conversation. It was punctuated with waving hi and bye to Gavin and Parker who kept checking in with us but it was still a nice evening.

For some reason I had a mood swing last night that got me crying for no reason. Heath asked what he could do to help. (Poor guy. He must feel so helpless when I do that. I don't mean to.) Instead of saying I didn't know I said he could play with the boys because I didn't want to. So he came up with the idea of going to McDonald's Playland after dinner. I could stay home or go with, it was my choice. I decided to go with because I wanted out of the house.

The boys were so excited. They are getting pretty bored with their routine inside but it's been too cold and rainy most days to really do anything, plus I'm always dropping them off somewhere for yet another appointment. They did get to play at the park yesterday. It was supposed to be a rainy day but the sun was out all day. My new friend Rebecca watched them for me. Soon after I was done with my appointment Lori came over with her kids so we all went to the park. Gavin loved that he got to go to two playgrounds yesterday.

While the boys played and ran off their excess energy, Heath and I talked over ice cream. We discussed politics, the passing of President Hinckley, questions Heath got at work about our prophet's passing, and random gossip! It was an unconventional Family Home Evening since we weren't home and we weren't really all together. But it was just what the doctor ordered for all of us. And of course, I fell in love with Heath all over again as I felt like we were on a date!

Monday, January 28, 2008

In Loving Memory

Our beloved prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away last night. I knew about it last night but decided not to blog about it today because I'm not in mourning. I know that he is back in the presence of our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. But as the day has progressed and I see that so many of my friends have posted their feelings about this incredible man, I feel I want to share my thoughts and feelings as well, especially since I know there are people who read my blog that are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Hearing of President Hinckley's passing was a strange moment for me. I think I've somehow known this would happen. During General Conference in October I felt that his work here on earth was almost finished. Then yesterday I had a strange experience. We had Stake Conference. The meeting is two hours long and is completely different from any other regular church meetings we have. Our kids tend to get pretty restless. A year or so ago I made file folder games for church, specifically for Stake Conferences. I brought those so my kids would be occupied with more than the books we bring every week.

One file folder game is matching animals on Noah's Ark. The other game is matching the latter day prophets of the church with the words to the Primary song "Latter Day Prophets." I looked at the game and thought in my mind that I needed to update it since President Hinckley had passed away. (I thought this around 10 am and he didn't actually pass away until later that evening.) Then I remembered that it was President Faust who had recently passed away and that President Hinckley was still our prophet.

I thought of that interesting experience when I heard that President Hinckley had passed on. But the most prevalant thought in my mind since learning of his death is that he must be so happy to see his loving wife again. I have been very much in awe of President Hinckley as he continued his mission here on earth while missing his sweet eternal companion after her passing. They are now reunited and I can imagine the joy they must feel.

President Hinckley was an incredible man. He has done so much for the Church even before he became the prophet. The thing I will always remember about him is how happy he was. An inspiring characteristic for someone who has struggled to choose happiness. He was so fun loving and happy all the time. I couldn't help but smile every time I saw him.

I never personally met him but I was certainly touched by his spirit, his counsel, his wisdom, and especially his testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. He was a man of God. In 2005 he promised that people would be blessed by the spirit of the Lord if they would read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. I read it almost twice that year. I was reading to Parker but it was too slow going to finish by the end of the year so I read to myself in order to finish in time. What an incredible experience and it happened at a time in my life where my faith was growing dim with all the trials we were going through. I am forever grateful for the prophet's promise because I believe my testimony was strengthened as my faith was tested that year. I was blessed by the spirit for my obedience.

I know that it wasn't President Hinckley's idea to issue the challenge to read the Book of Mormon in a matter of months. As the prophet he is the literal mouthpiece of the Lord. But I will always remember that challenge. Events surrounding that challenge have helped me to not only believe that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God but to know that is true. It's amazing to me to remember these things and the part all these experiences played in my life strenthening my trust of the Lord which eventually led us to California. Who knows what will be the next event in our story or where we will end up. But I do know that President Gordon B. Hinckley was a true prophet who inspired me to be a better person. He will be greatly missed. I look forward to the year we study his life in Relief Society. I know the Lord loves us and takes care of us through his prophets. I am happy to have known the prophet, President Hinckley.

Lack of Integrity

I was so annoyed with the way TLC handled the Miss America Pageant. This is my rant that I e-mailed to TLC. I doubt I will hear a response but I felt it was important to voice my opinion because anyone who knows me, knows I am opinionated!

The American public has been robbed! Our intelligence has been insulted as we wasted our time believing that the Miss America Pageant would be different.

Why would TLC profess to change the image of Miss America only to immediately eliminate the few contestants who fit the "new image" as "it" girls? Clearly America embraced the new values by voting for Miss Utah. She was every bit the "it" girl TLC claimed to be looking for. Maybe the judges felt America was not ready for a modestly dressed Miss America. But the rest of the pageant eliminations were so random. Girls who had fun and flaunted in their swimsuits, as they were instructed to do in the Reality Check series, were eliminated.

Miss Washington seemed to be the only girl who actually took evening gown advice. The first two talents were so laughable and the epitome of the classic pageant syndrome that was supposed to be done away with.

It's amazing that Miss Michigan, with her big pageant hair, ice skater evening gown, fluffy Disney princess talent dress and a voice that sounded very much like a Disney princess from the 50's, would actually be chosen by the judges as the girl to represent the new made over Miss America.

I for one am very disappointed with the results of this “makeover” that was certainly a makeover in name only and not in substance. I hope that if you repeat this process next year that it will not be a charade intended to only boost ratings but a show that is actually worthy of higher ratings.

Friday, January 25, 2008

So Many Reasons to Laugh

The first picture is Gavin at 13 months old. I love the animated look on his face. Gavin has been making me laugh a lot lately. Yesterday he came to me crying. He told me he lost a puzzle piece. I told him to look around his room and since he had some other toys out he should see if the piece was under something. He came back and said he had looked under Parker's bed, under the track, under the drawers and the shelf. These were all places that were nowhere near where he was playing in the doorway! I said, "So what are you going to do now?" I fully expected him to ask for my help which he never did. He said, "Just wait for it to come out." I smothered a smile and said, "Ok."

Last night in the middle of dinner Gavin said, "I think my baby sister will say thank you."

Me: She will say thank you for what?

Gavin: For the things I made for her.

Me: What did you make for her?

Gavin: Her bed, her blanket, her pillow, her crib.

Me: You made all those things?

Gavin: I think so.

Today I let the boys watch Nick on TV. They like the shows but there are commercials. Gavin came rushing upstairs to tell me about some dogs he saw on TV. He said they were girl toys. Then he started telling me about some remote controlled Legoes or something like that. He said his baby sister wouldn't play with the boy toys she would just play with the toys with a girl. Then he started talking about Parker's and his toys. He said, "She won't look in that bucket. She'll just look in the soft and squishy bucket." (I'm neurotic and have them separate their toys into stuffed animals or soft and squishy toys, and everything else. The toys fit better in the buckets that way.) Because Gavin rambles when he talks he then said, "When my baby sister wakes up in the morning she will say, 'Oh. What a wonderful day!' Then she will say, 'What a lovely TV!' These are direct quotes from Gavin. That is his vocabulary!!! He made a TV and a remote out of his duplo blocks and put it in the baby's room.

Gavin said the prayer at lunch today. More smothered smiles on my part! He said, "Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for our sandwiches. Thank you for the sound we heard this morning that we didn't know what it was. Thank you that we didn't do anything we weren't supposed to do. Thank you for my Primary class . . ." This kid is cracking me up lately!

The other thing that made me laugh really hard last night was a conversation Heath and I had. We were talking about how the only thing I really expect our kids to do right now is clean up their toys. He told me that his boss has a chore chart for her kids (2 girls ages 4 and 2). They have to clean up toys, do something else Heath can't remember, and the 4 year old has to flush the toilet every time she goes. She hasn't earned many stars for that. And the 2 year old has to keep her finger out of her nose. She hasn't earned any stars for that!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Relationship Stats

I saw this on Becca's blog who "stole" it from Jordan's blog. I don't know Jordan but I had to copy and paste from her blog since it wouldn't work from Becca's blog. Jordan said, "Consider yourself tagged if you would like to answer these questions."

How long have you been together? We will celebrate our 7th anniversary in a little over 2 weeks.

How old is he? 32

Who eats more? Heath does. But if I wasn’t pregnant with dietary restrictions I would give him a run for his money!!!

Who said "I love you" first? Heath did, after a couple of weeks of dating. I was so shocked I believe my response was, “I think I love you!” Sorry Heath. I love you a lot.

Who is taller? Heath is. I refused to marry anyone shorter than me since I’ve seen too many examples of short man syndrome.

Who sings better? Definitely Heath does.

Who is smarter? Definitely Heath but we are probably just smarter in different areas.

Who does the laundry? I do.

Who does the dishes? Usually me but Heath will load and unload the dishwasher when he sees it needs to be done.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? If you are looking from the bottom of the bed, I sleep on the right. This usually puts Heath closest to the door but in some hotels I’m closest to the door. I read in a magazine that the man should sleep closest to the door as a symbol of protection.

Who pays the bills? Heath deals with all the finances which is what I tell everyone calling for money.

Who mows the lawn? Heath always did but now the gardeners come with rent.

Who cooks dinner? Heath always did but now it’s about even between us. Maybe he still does a little more than me.

Who is more stubborn? I definitely am. But Heath knows how to be diplomatic about it.

Who kissed who first? Heath kissed me first.

Who asked who out? Technically I asked Heath out. I had just had a dramatic haircut (walked in with waist length hair and walked out with it shorter than my shoulders) and went to show my grandparents mostly so I could see Heath who was living with them at the time. Then I asked if he wanted to come with me to show my mom at work. She was the one who suggested we go get dinner and see a movie.

Who proposed? Heath proposed at Murray Park at “our bench.”

Who is more sensitive? I’m not sure how to answer this one. Heath is a sweet sensitive guy in the way you would want a guy to be sensitive. I am sensitive in the way that I take everything personally.

Who has more friends? We’re probably equal although I spend more time with my friends.

Who has more siblings? Me. I have an older brother and a younger sister. Heath just has an older brother.

Who wears the pants in the relationship? We do equally.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Magical Porch

Lately our porch has been a source of wonder and excitement. We drive somewhere and as we go by our front porch there is something there. It feels like Christmas every time because it always feels like such a huge surprise to get another package since there never seems to be any warning - no knock on the door or anything. Of course, sometimes we are just not home when the package is delivered.

On Saturday we had gone to Costco and when we came back there were bags on our front porch. Heath and I looked at each other like what the heck? The Lamberts and the Weidmers used to leave bags on our porch with clothes and things for the boys but we don't live by them anymore so we were completely stumped. What was even more mysterious was the fact that the bags were full of toys. Just toys. And no evidence of who may have left the toys.

While Dawn and Barry were visiting us we came home to 3 boxes of baby girl clothes left on our porch. But the fact that one box said Jen 4T and another said Caroline's clothes we figured it was our from our friends in the ward. Jen called later to say that the clothes were from her. There was less mystery and more excitement with those packages.

But the toys. The toys were very nice. They were action figures that looked like EMT's or firemen or other emergency heroes. My guess was Lori's neighbor who had noticed Gavin's hand me down shirt with Rescue Heroes on it. We found out the next day that yes, the toys were from Lori's neighbor. The boys are very excited about the cool new toys. They don't need them but I have always wanted to move past all the cars and racetracks and get some action figures for my boys. Now they have that stuff.

We had forgotten that Dawn was sending a package to us. It was a pleasant surprise when we saw it on our porch. She had sent me a 2x2 square punch that she saw at the craft store. I have wanted one for a long time since I read in my scrapbooking magazine that one of the contributing editors uses one to punch out 2x2 pictures. Cutting 2x2 pictures is a pain in the neck! I love Dawn for remembering and buying it for me! She also sent a baby blanket. I told her I wanted to make a blanket for each of my kids but never did. This time I really wanted to just do it. The Young Women had made a blanket for Parker that I love. It's a bunch of squares stitched together with frayed edges. Janelle told me it was super easy to make and that she would help me but I waited too long before she ended up moving to Utah. So Dawn helped me pick out the fabric and sewed it all together. I just had to cut the edges to fray it. I washed it yesterday so the edges would fray and it's the cutest thing I have ever seen! I especially love how Dawn stitched butterflies onto the blanket from the fabric she's using for the curtains. So cute.

Last night I needed to change my insulin pump site. As I got out a new reservoir I realized that there were only 4 left in the box. That meant I had enough for about a week and then I would be out. I had called MiniMed last week to see when I may get my new reservoirs sent out. The guy I talked to said that he guessed they would be sent on Friday. Well, here it was Tuesday night and I still hadn't received an e-mail from MiniMed about my supply order. I was nervous and annoyed and figured I needed to call in the morning to see what was going on. I told Heath about my soon to be dilemma. When he got home from basketball he took the garbage out since today is garbage day. He brought in a box from MiniMed that was just sitting on the porch. Heath says he doesn' t know for sure but he doesn't remember seeing that on his way to basketball. I was home all day and never once heard the doorbell or a knock on the door! I'm telling you, it's a magic porch. If you wish it, it may come!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Learning Lessons

Today Gavin and Parker have been sent to time out several times because Gavin keeps yelling at Parker. I have told Gavin that he needs to tell me when Parker does something wrong and not just yell at him, or bite him, or whatever Gavin does to get them both screaming. I would rather deal with a tattle tale at this age rather than endure the screaming! I know Gavin understands me when I explain to him the behavior I expect. But he just hasn't learned the lesson yet. Surprisingly I'm not even all that annoyed by it. I know sometimes it takes my boys a little longer than I would like for them to learn the lessons I am trying to teach.

Right now I feel completely humbled because I am realizing that I'm not learning the lessons the Lord wants me to learn! For some reason I have this intense pride that gets in the way of me being ok with asking for help with babysitting. The Relief Society President doesn't realize I work myself into a frenzy every week over having to call people for help. But she decided it would be nice if she could arrange for someone to watch my boys during my appointments until I deliver. Unfortunately, the woman she asked to help has been dealing with a lot of illness between her and her great grandson that she takes care of. She feels awful telling me she can't help.

I thought this week would be easy since I just needed someone for Thursday afternoon. Then I realized my choices were limited since people have to get their older children from school in the middle of my appointments. I took a deep breath and called someone thinking it may not work but it was worth asking. She immediately told me that would be fine. I said, "Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are a lifesaver!" She laughed because I must sound like a moron for being so afraid to ask for help! After I got off the phone it hit me. I need to be patient with my kids as they learn to be responsible little people just the same way the Lord is being patient with me as I refuse to learn that it's ok to let people serve me!

Heath tells me over and over that the people in our ward understand that I need help with the boys. They have all been there as they were pregnant while having other kids at home. Heath reminds me that our ward members want to help. I know that's true since they say that to me. Why can't I let go of my pride and accept the Christlike love that is so abundant in our ward??? Moving to California has made me a better person in many ways and I have finally learned a lot of lessons from the Lord that I struggled to learn before we moved. This is just my new challenge I guess. I know the Lord led us to where we are today. He wanted us in this neighborhood and in this ward for a reason. Maybe being in a ward unlike any other I have ever been in is part of that reason.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sight Unseen

Gavin 4 days old and Parker 7 days old. Who will my baby girl look like?
I am so happy that I only have 5 weeks left until my baby is born. In fact, 5 weeks from now she will already be here since she's scheduled to be born in the morning. I can't wait. Today Michelle watched my kids for me while I went to my NST. The boys spent most of the time in her van since she had to pick up Jacob from pre-school and then later Rachel from Kindergarten. Jacob was looking forward to playing with Gavin. He asked his mom if we could stay a little later so they could all play. We did. The kids all had fun together and Michelle and I had fun chatting. She is fostering a new baby girl right now. They brought her home from the hospital 6 weeks ago. I enjoyed watching her eat and sleep and just be a sweet baby. It makes me super excited to have my little girl.

Time is certainly marching on and I'm so glad. I want to meet this tall glamazon I've been carrying around for nearly 34 weeks now. I want to see what she looks like. The other day I imagined her with red hair. I would love that. I was always jealous of my cousin who had red hair and now her daughter looks just like her. Whenever I think of what this baby looks like I imagine a female Gavin or a female Parker. Today was the first time the thought crossed my mind that she could have Heath's face but my coloring. That would be my ideal!

The other day Gavin looked up at the fridge and saw the ultrasound pics of his baby sister's face. He asked what it was so I took the pictures down to show him that it was his baby sister. Then he asked if she would look like that and have a black face. I had to laugh and then explain that she will be born in color! I tried to explain that the picture didn't have any color like the episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse where the color kept disappearing and they had to find all the colors of the rainbow. I think he sort of understood. It's amazing to me that after my boys were born I compared their face to their ultrasound pics and realized they didn't change at all. But I never can see that until they're born so this baby is still a mystery to me.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Power Struggle to the 10th Power!

Funny that Janelle commented on my last post today because I was just thinking about her. The last time I had a major power struggle with my kids like this I called her. I told her that we would not be going to park day until my kids cleaned up toys. Now they are not eating lunch until they clean up toys. Why do I care so much? Because cleaning up toys is about the only responsibility they actually have. And the lunch thing isn't as bad as it sounds. My kids have snacked for several days now while refusing to eat anything put in front of them. This way they'll be hungry enough to actually eat, plus they had a snack at Sheila's house this morning so it's not like they're starving.

They wouldn't clean up last night and Heath said I did the right thing because he could tell they were trying to waste time to stay up longer. I told them they were just going to bed. No songs, no story. I told them they could clean their room and go to sleep or just go to sleep. Then I locked the door.

This morning I had a ridiculous appointment with my endocrinologist's nurse at 9:00 am. (All I will say about the appointment is where was this level of concern and helpfulness earlier in my pregnancy??? I may post about it all later I may not. It was a dumb appointment that was supposed to make life easier for me but ended up with me still having to figure out how to bolus manually because my pump doesn't have settings for someone as insulin resistant as I am now!) Anyway, so since my appointment was so early I knew I couldn't enforce the cleaning up of toys very easily until we got home.

I feel weird knowing I can do whatever I want and it's better that I do so I'm removed from this power struggle. I finished the scrapbook layout I was working on yesterday. Very cute. Then I had lunch by myself. Sometimes I'm completely annoyed with Gavin that everything is such a power struggle (and now he's teaching Parker to be obstinate too!) and sometimes I just have to laugh because he's me. I am raising myself and frankly I hate it!!! Sometimes I really wonder if my childhood home life would have allowed me to freely be myself, would I have been as stubborn and obstinate as Gavin is now. Because I don't remember being as bad as he is until I was an angry teenager. For the most part I used my difficult personality for good things - like refusing to see bad movies etc. But I admit I escalated a lot of arguments with my mom and even picked a few fights for the sake of fighting. I wonder what Rabi Schmulley would suggest I do with my kids right now or if he would even agree with what I'm doing.

Parenthood, it's not for the weak at heart.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I did it!

Look at that. I got it to work. Thanks Photoshop.

Playing around

Every once in a while I run out of things to talk about. Shocking I know. So I tried to add some pictures to my blog. They all looked good except for this picture of Heath and me. I love this picture. We both look really good. But I can't make it look really good on the blog. Another problem is that our Sear's Portrait Session from over a year ago are the only pictures of Heath and me that I can think of. I guess that's what happens when one of us is always behind the camera! I'm done playing now. Time to scrapbook! I'm putting together Parker's Hunk of the Month page from his first year. I'm amazed at how much that kid has changed!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

To the Moon and Back

It's 11:30 am. Do you know where your children are? Linda, a very sweet woman in our ward, watched my boys for me this morning while I went to a non-stress test. When I got home everyone was up in the boys' room and she told me they were flying to the moon! Not a bad little trip while I was gone for an hour.

Gavin has such an active imagination. He has been riding an imaginary rocket into outer space for about a week now. He pushes the buttons on his new truck crane. Some of the buttons make loud sounds that can be interpreted as a rocket launching into outer space. I love when he pushes the buttons that say, "Get ready to pick up some rocks." Gavin always says, "We not picking up rocks. We going to the moon!" I love that anything is possible in his mind. I love that both boys had so much fun with someone they really don't know at all. I love that when Linda came Parker jumped into her arms for a big hug! So sweet.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Here we go again . . .

On Saturday Heath asked Parker to find some clothes to wear for the day. Parker came downstairs buck naked with his Lightning McQueen underwear. We decided to seize the opportunity and try potty training again. This time we snapped the potty seat to the toilet seat so he would actually sit down for longer than .2 milliseconds! So far Parker is excited to wear his underwear and pull ups. He practiced sitting longer over the weekend than he is today but he isn't tired of potty training yet. No success yet but I hope that if he can be successful just a few times he may get it quickly. Time will tell. Parker did tell me he needed to go potty when he was done with his lunch. I carried him into the bathroom as fast as I could. No accident but no success either. I expect to deal with it in his diaper when he wakes up from his nap.

Let's hope it's true that girls potty train faster than boys because honestly, I can't believe I have to do this one more time after Parker! It's a good thing that I forgot the pain of pregnancy, surgery to have the baby, and simply raising a baby to a self sufficient child because I would never have attempted it all again otherwise!

Friday, January 11, 2008

A firm resolve

The other morning the radio station I listen to was asking people to call in and share their new year resolutions that they have set and already broken. This year I never went out of my way to resolve to do anything. In fact, the last few years have been like that. I set goals for myself and strive to be better but it rarely has anything to do with the "magic" of a new year.

Last year I unofficially resolved to improve my scrapbooking pages to the point that I would feel comfortable sending one in for publication. Part of that goal was to make a hamburger page detailing the food we ate on our trip to Seattle November 2006. I drew and colored the hamburger (which looks really cool by the way!) but I have yet to figure out how to get all my text over it. So I partly accomplished my goal but I think part of the reason why I didn't finish was I never gave myself specific criteria to meet in order to meet the goal. I taught Special Education and wrote Individualized Education Plans (IEP's) for students. I know how to correctly set a realistic goal.

Well, last year's unofficial goal almost spilled into this year until I called it quits before the end of December. I saw in my Creating Keepsakes magazine that I could enter the Hall of Fame contest. My heart pounded for days I was so excited to think I could possibly do it. Then my dreams got really outlandish as I thought I didn't care about winning but I wanted to be offered a writing job for the magazine. But the more I read the rules, including the fine printed rules, the more I started doubting myself. I like my pages and Dawn loves them. (I don't think she raves about them only because I'm married to her son!) My concern was the rule about original layout designs. Hmmm . . . most of mine are scraplifted. And the rule about only using photos I have taken. Most of the pictures I use were taken by my genius photographer husband. I let those doubts stand in my way for a while until I found a new excuse. I'm playing the pregnancy card on this one! I have to send in my entry by February 8th. I am so uncomfortable now that it's the end of my pregnancy that I don't think I could get everything ready in time. There's always next year. Until then I will continue to artfully document the stories that I want preserved for our family.

One year we set the goal to have Family Home Evening every week. We failed within a month or two! Heath wanted our family to work on food storage this year. At church we found out that there is a 52 week program called Project Noah where we can get little assignments every week to help build our food storage and by the end of the year we should have the recommended 1 year supply for our family. Not only are there assignments but there are also FHE suggestions too. This week we read the story of Noah's Ark, from a book our kids have played with since Gavin was a baby. We asked them questions that helped them understand the story more. We also have most of the assignment for the week too. We have a gallon of water for each person, including our unborn baby, and we have 1/3 of the peanut butter we wanted to have for our family. We're off to a good start.

The one goal I will hate myself if I don't get done is to finish the Book of Mormon before this baby is born. I know it's possible. My first time reading it I finished in a month. I feel like I can do it though because I don't have the energy for much and I am so physically uncomfortable I lay around a lot just trying to get my back to stop hurting. Perfect reading conditions right! Then when the baby is born I can continue my goal of reading the Book of Mormon to my babies while nursing. So far I'm 2 for 2. With that goal I give myself a year to finish. I read a chapter or two a day is all and I get done in much less than a year. It's a neat experience. Then of course I scrapbook my insights and feelings for that baby.

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions I just believe in continuing to set goals for oneself. When I think about the progress I have made in my life because of goals I have accomplished I am proud of myself. Baby steps work for me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Awesome Post!

Ok, not really. I was listening to Bill Engvall joke about the 90's. He was talking about how we overused the word awesome. Like people would say, "Your car is awesome." or things like that. Bill says, "Webster's dictionary describes the word awesome as anything that leaves you in awe or wonder. Like winning the lottery. Twice. Or getting a phone call from the IRS saying you have been audited and they owe you $50,000! Or hearing that scientists have found a way for men to experience childbirth. Now that would be awesome!" What I found to be awesome today is not really all that awesome but I'm easily amused so it worked for me!

I was supposed to have an OB checkup yesterday but my doctor had called in sick so they rescheduled for today. It was an hour and 15 minutes before my NST but I figured the timing would all work out. I got a phone call saying my doctor was still not in the office and they would call me later to schedule my appointment for next week. Then an hour before my NST they called and said that I could see any of the other 3 doctors so I should go in right then.

I hung up the phone and switched to frazzled, in a hurry mode. I grabbed shoes and socks for the boys, called my friend to say I was coming over right then, and loaded everyone in the van. How quickly all that happened was awesome enough. I sped (shhh!) as much as I could over to Lori's house, shoved my kids in her front door, and expected to speed to the hospital. Traffic was so bad I was happy when we were 5 below the speed limit!

The fact that I found a parking spot right away was awesome and the nurse told me I was lucky to quickly find parking. I know. I made it to the hospital at 9:55, my NST was for 10:30. I was speed walking into the doctor's office. I told the receptionist that my insurance changed and handed her my new card thinking she would just make a copy like everyone else did. No, she told me to fill out another insurance form. My fingers flew across that page filling in information until I had to call Heath to get his work phone number and address and dumb stuff like that. Finally I was done. I quickly walked to the very back of the clinic to see another doctor, left my sample, and the nurse immediately grabbed me for my weight. The doctor came in 60 seconds later and quickly yet efficiently measured me, found the heartbeat, and determined the baby was still head down. The whole time he reassured me that there is nothing wrong with my baby being tall. It just means she's tall. (I secretly worried she was suffering from giantism!!! I'm so paranoid before my babies are born!) He told me that her organs were all normal, just her limbs were long indicating she would probably play basketball (or volleyball if Heath has anything to say about it). The doctor very quickly went over other things that my doctor would go into more detail with me when I see her later. Then he sent me on my way.

I was speed walking to Admitting for my NST. I got there at 10:25! Now that's awesome! I was hooked up to the monitors at 10:45 and got into my van at 11:15. Very fast morning. It all worked out well and I'm glad. Dr. Phillip's nurse told me the top number of my blood pressure was a little high. I told her it was probably the stress of getting there as quickly as possible while dropping off kids first. That's when she told me I was lucky to find a parking space. She agreed the elevated number was probably stress related. The NST nurse got a perfectly normal blood pressure reading. My blood sugar was actually a little low. I ate in the admitting waiting room. Lately I have been told I had a lot of sugar in my urine. See, more awesomeness!!

I will be the first to admit that I am making a big deal over nothing but I live and breathe prenatal appointments right now. I really don't have much else to blog about. I can't even say much about my kids because I barely see them. We left Lori's house to eat lunch and put Parker down for a nap. The insanity will end soon enough. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Are you a child of the 80's?

Read this to find out. I thought it would at least put a smile on everyone's face.

You know you grew up in the 80's if:
1. You've ever ended a sentence with the word SIKE.
2. You can sing the rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and can do the Carlton
3. You know that "WOAH" comes from Joey on Blossom
4. If you ever watched "Fraggle Rock"
5. It was actually worth getting up early on a Saturday to watch cartoons.
6. You wore a ponytail on the side of your head.
7. You got super-excited when it was Oregon Trailday in computer class at school.
8. You made your mom buy one of those clips that would hold your shirt in a knot on the side.
9. You played the game "MASH"(Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)
10. You wore stonewashed Jordache jean jackets and were proud of it.
11. You know the profound meaning of " WAX ON, WAX OFF"
12. You wanted to be a Goonie.
13. You ever wore fluorescent clothing. (some of us...head-to-toe)
14. You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off and his cheeks shifted.
15. You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the only female smurf.
16. You took lunch boxes to school...and traded Garbage Pailkids in the schoolyard.
17. You remember the CRAZE, then the BANNING of slap bracelets.
18. You still get the urge to say "NOT" after every sentence.
19. You thought your childhood friends would never leave because you exchanged handmade friendship bracelets.
21. You ever owned a pair of Jelly-Shoes.
22. After you saw Pee-Wee's Big Adventure you kept saying "I know you are, but what am I?" 23. You remember "I've fallen and I can't get up"
24. You remember going to the skating rink before there were inline skates.
25. You have ever played with a Skip-It.
26. You remember boom boxes and walking around with one on your shoulder like you were all that.
27. You remember watching both Gremlins movies.
28. You though t Doogie Howser/Samantha Micelli was hot.
29. You remember Alf, the lil furry brown alien from Melmac.
30. You remember New Kids on the Block when they were cool...and don't even flinch when people refer to them as "NKOTB"
31. You knew all the characters names and their life stories on "Saved By The Bell," The ORIGINAL class.
32. You know all the words to Bon Jovi - SHOT THROUGH THE HEART.
33. You just sang those words to yourself.
34. You still sing "We are the World"
35. You tight rolled your jeans.
36. You owned a banana clip.
37. You remember "Where's the Beef?"
38. You used to (and probably still do) say "What you talkin' 'bout Willis?"
39. You're still singing shot through the heart in your head, aren't you!

This was an e-mail sent to Heath by his "volleyball girlfriend." We have never laughed so hard reminiscing about childhood. Unfortunately, I can't copy the pictures that went with it. I've tried many different things with no luck so if you want the e-mail let me know. By the way, I do know how to number. The e-mail skipped #20.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

True Confessions

Why is a woman's mind cleaner than a man's? Because she changes it more often. So I've changed my mind about a few things. I listened to the other Modest Mouse CD today. It was a more recent CD of theirs so I thought I'd give it a try. Love it!!! It only has 3 songs on it but I loved every one. That was the sound I was expecting from them. Loved the lead singer's voice. Loved the more peppy songs. Loved the overall sound. I also loved that there was no questionable lyrics or song names. Yep I loved it. Thanks Heath!

My other true confession is about something I blogged about a while ago. I blogged about one of my pet peeves being reality shows. I still hate reality shows but there's a writer strike so what are you going to do? I specifically blogged about a new reality show called Miss America Reality Check on TLC. Heath set it to record just so we could try it. I totally got sucked in! We have now set the whole series to record.

The previews for the show looked dumb but once I gave it a real chance I understood what they were trying to do with the show. The judges told the girls that less is more. Most did not heed that advice. Miss Idaho in particular. She had the cliche pageant big hair and overdone makeup. She did full hair and makeup to do a relay race outside!!! The judges were looking at her head shot and they were all surprised to learn that she is 19 years old. The picture made her look much older. One judge said that she didn't look like a 19 year old she looked like a senator's wife. She kind of did.

The host of the show was saying that one thing they were trying to accomplish by making over Miss America was to have her be more relatable to the American audience. They hoped to find a girl that was the ideal American girl and not some plastic Barbie looking girl with cliche answers to cliche questions. Right now I'm rooting for Miss Utah. There is something different about her that I haven't figured out yet. She is a real leader, she is cute while not being cheerleader cute, yet pretty without being your typical beauty queen. She seems like someone I want to have as a friend. It will be interesting to see how the show progresses.

What a difference my open mind has made. I have found joy in many areas in my life all because I suspended my judgments for a moment to see things for what they can be. I encourage all to do the same. Try something new this year. Don't judge a book by its cover. But this above all, to thine own self be true.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Christmas Revisited

I made dinner! I didn't burn anything, forget any ingredients, or lose my train of thought. It helps that it was a slow cooker meal so tonight we should have yummy pizza rigatoni. "Santa" gave Heath a slow cooker magazine in his stocking. "Santa" was angry that the store didn't have any photography magazines so he had to settle for a cooking magazine. All this week we have planned on slow cooker meals so I hope they're good and now I can feel like I'm pulling my weight as a wife and mother.

For Christmas Heath gave me the music I asked for. Unfortunately I don't really like the band I took a chance on. I fell in love with Modest Mouse when I heard the song Heavy. Every once in a while I hear a song that sounds a lot like Heavy so I think it's Modest Mouse and I thought it would be great to get a CD of theirs. Boy was I wrong! I listened to the whole CD while I made dinner today. The songs sounded like something I would have listened to as an angry teenager. Only the sound was so annoying I can't even get past that to love the lead singer's voice. As a teenager I looked past a lot of loudness with Faith No More all because I loved the lead singer's voice. There was one song of theirs that was a little softer and that song was my favorite. The Modest Mouse songs all sound the same - same drums, same bass guitar playing the same beat and chords. The only song I really liked is really sacriligious so I don't like it! Oh well, Heath said we could take them to a place like Graywhale and exchange them for something I do like.

After Modest Mouse I listened to my Moulin Rouge soundtrack Heath bought me. I hesitated to ask for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack because I knew we had copies of most of the songs from when my sister let us borrow her CD. But I did it anyway and I'm so glad. It is now a 2 disc set, the original soundtrack that everyone has and a disc called Moulin Rouge 2 which has more songs from the movie. Gavin and Parker love the The Pitch (Spectacular Spectacular). They run in circles trying to get their feet to move as fast as the music. I was sweeping when Gavin was trying to squeeze past me like a man on a mission. I asked what he was doing and then I realized he wanted to dance.

Right after the boys' favorite song is the original film version of Come What May - my favorite song. Gavin is busy telling me all about how much he loves the other song and meanwhile I'm thinking, "Shh . . . this is the best song ever!" Thankfully, Gavin didn't talk for too long so I could really get into it. And yes, I cried. I think anyone truly in love understands Come What May while it falls short for the rest of the population. That song is what it means to be in love with your soul mate. The fact that I cried while sweeping my kitchen floor just makes me laugh because I seem to be having strong emotional reactions to songs lately. Heath told his parents that I cried (like a baby I might add) once when I heard Carrie Underwood sing Before He Cheats or whatever that song is. He told them that so if they heard the song while squaredancing they would remember visiting us. Hopefully they do remember California and not what a basket case I am!

One more story about Christmas gifts. Heath and my mom got me the bench our front entry way needed for my birthday and Christmas. The boys like to play with the cupboard doors on the front. I opened them to see if they had left any toys in there. One side was clear while the other side had a Lego fireman and a firehose in it. My kids are 2 and 4 so they make me laugh every day! In fact, when I was ready to start making dinner for tonight I couldn't find the magazine with the recipe. I called Heath to see if he put it somewhere and I looked for it while I waited for the call. It was under the bass unit in our family room. I told Heath, "Because that's where we normally keep the magazines!" He said, "Yeah, if you're Parker!" Good times.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Needed Updates

I'm sure most of you have figured out that when Heath is home I don't blog. Our routine is different and I just don't really think about it. Heath went back to work today. I hope he doesn't blow or float away in all the wind and rain we are getting today. I also hope I can get this posted before the power decides to go off again!

We had a merry Christmas. The best part was we had nowhere to go. We sat around in our pajamas all day just chillin together as a family. It was great. The first picture is Gavin opening his Christmas pajamas from Grandma Westover. Once he tore off all the paper he said, "A box! Just what I always wanted!" And he wasn't kidding! I love kids. They are so funny.

This is a pictureof Parker hugging his new stuffed monkey from Santa. Parker loves stuffed animals and he loves monkeys so Santa was smart to get this for Parker. The funny thing is Parker didn't name his monkey Curious George like all the other monkeys he sees. No, this is Parker the Monkey! Too cute.

Santa gave Gavin a Fisher Price kid friendly camera. Awesome gift. Between both boys they had taken around 800 pictures in about 36 hours! The pictures are great. Just pics of our everyday lives. I would post some of my favorites but I'm not interested in looking through all 800 just to find the few I like! I love the one of me sitting on the couch in my pajamas with my tummy poking out of the bottom of my shirt. Classic. There's a very unflattering picture of Heath because of the angle it was taken at. I think that was the first time Heath and I thought of the fact that our kids look up at our out of shape bodies and we actually look weird that way! Gavin also took some pictures of himself in the bathroom mirror. Those were cool pictures and what a creative little guy to think of that idea. The rest were of their toys, the wall, the floor, the baby's crib, etc. 80% are out of focus. I will have to post some pics some day. They love that camera.

The Friday after Christmas, Heath's parents came to visit. They finally left yesterday! I'm totally kidding. Dawn said I would blog a sentence like that so I had to for her sake. It was a fun week. The boys love playing with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandpa helped Dad move Gavin's bed on top of Parker's bed. They are officially in bunk beds now. They have more space in their room this way. We went to Downtown Pleasanton and enjoyed some of the shops. Dawn and I went shopping at a scrapbook store and at JoAnn's where we found the perfect fabric for blankets and curtains for the baby's room. Barry and Heath watched football just about every day. They had fun together while the rest of us got bored of football pretty quickly. They also reffed a couple of Church basketball games.

We went to Modesto (I think that's where we went or maybe Merced. I don't know I was just along for the ride.) where we met up with Heath's aunt, uncle, cousin, and her two little girls. We had lunch at Johnny Carino's and then went to the mall so the kids could all play at the little playground in there. Then we had ice cream at Coldstone (to get the kids to leave the playground!).

On Wednesday we planned to go to San Francisco. But I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst headache. I had the headache all day Wednesday and sent everyone else to San Fran. I figured it was no big deal since I've been to San Fran and we pretty much do the same thing every time we go. I just needed to stay home and relax. Heath called me and said I would be jealous. I asked why and he said, "Mom and Dad paid for us to take a Bay Cruise." Yeah, I was jealous. They had lots of fun and Gavin and Parker were excited about the boat ride.

Yesterday was a busy day. I had a NST in the morning and immediately left for the hospital in Walnut Creek for an ultrasound. We found out our baby girl is estimated to weigh 4 lbs. 14 oz. She is measuring big because her limbs are long. She has some noticeable height already. Heath is tall and I'm one of the shortest in my family so I'm probably carrying a tall gene. I just have never had anyone ask me how tall I am in the middle of an ultrasound. Gavin and Parker have always been tall for their age but I was never told they would be tall before they were born! Crazy. She looks good and continues to do well for the NST's. I am scheduled to deliver on February 22 at 7:30 am. That's going to be weird since Gavin was born on Saturday at 8:31 pm and Parker was born on Saturday at 8:46 pm. What am I supposed to do after having a baby at 7:30 am on a Friday? I still can't believe we're having a baby. And she's a girl! Crazy. She also has a lot of hair just floating in the amniotic fluid. My boys were not bald but they didn't have a lot of hair. This baby has a lot of hair already. I'm so excited about that. Hopefully she has long, thick beautiful hair early on. We'll see.

We sure miss Grandma and Grandpa but we were glad for the fun week we had with them. Going back to reality is a good thing to do but it's not easy.