Friday, July 29, 2011

Underneath

In the deepest reaches of the soul are where the most secretive of secrets are kept hidden.  For some they are dark secrets tightly bottled up.  Others bottle up secrets too but the cork is about to pop releasing a powder keg of pent up emotion.  Some are not hiding secrets as much as unseen things held sacred; the very essence of their soul.  Items that are not to be trifled with but shared with the precious few who have scaled the walls into a circle of trust. 

Whether one falls into the secrets for secrecy sake or a debatable level of self preservation, we are all icebergs.  What is seen above the surface is nothing compared to the breadth of what lies underneath. 

Where one comes from as well as individual experiences, however insignificant, shape who people are.  This true identity is guarded tightly.  Why? 

Imagine how the world might be different if the metaphoric ocean dried up exposing every bit of the iceberg.  What truly lies underneath the surface and why is it kept there? 


In an uncharacteristic act for myself, I will end there.  Give you something to chew on for a while. 

To give credit where credit is due, this post was inspired by Randall Barber, a person I met on Google+.  My fingers were itching to type something but my original post idea wasn’t gelling.  Just to see what would happen I decided to ask for a writing topic on Google+ and Randall pointed me to this site link.  If you ever get stuck in the creative mud check out that site.  I went with the first word that came up for me.  What could you do creatively with a random word?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

That’s My Boy!

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If you ask me what I came to do in this world . . .
I will answer you:
“I am here to live out loud.”
~Emile Zola

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

There Are No Rules

Isn’t it interesting that for every rule there is almost always an exception?  Verb conjugation, plurals, spelling, fashion, social media, the list goes on.  Even science is not immune to gray areas.  Math is not only the great equalizer, it is always right.  With one exception.

Life with diabetes. 

The math may be correct but each equation has to be balanced with a secret number of variables.  It’s like being a contestant on a reality game show where exceptions are the only consistencies.  Hormones, mood, weather, stock market, and whether or not someone looked at someone else all somehow affect the secret variables of diabetes.  People are human beings not machines. 

My heart goes out to the medical community.  What a potentially frustrating job.  Think of all the diseases and conditions a medical professional has to know.  They have to memorize symptoms, cures, management techniques, and medicine dosages.  They do this all while under the intense scrutiny of people who look to medical professionals as all knowing gods of healing.  How dare they make mistakes?  Guess what?  They’re human too. 

This is why I’m not mad that my endocrinologist took years to suggest a magical cure to the blood sugar roller coaster I couldn’t seem to get off of.  I’m just thrilled something is working.  And I know that tomorrow may be the end of my week in Diabetes Paradise.  After all, I’m human too. 

Let’s talk about the perks of my Diabetes Paradise vacation.  In one week I have lost 4 lbs. while not even thinking of exercising.  Let’s just say that Devon and I are not on speaking terms right now.  He gave me an ultimatum.  Catching up on my reading for the Book of Mormon Summer Reading Challenge I’m heading up for the women in my ward congregation or getting my butt kicked by him.  I chose to read the Book of Mormon.  Well nyah nyah nyah Devon!  You made my weight increase while making me feel like total crap and a focus on my spiritual muscles caused my weight to drop.  Almost a pound a day. 

In one week my appetite has decreased.  I eat until I’m satisfied, which is a reasonable amount of food.  No cravings.  No snacking to try to prevent lows before they happen and ending up with crazy low blood sugar anyway.  No binging before bed with readings in the 150’s.  I now feel peace with readings in the 120’s before bed and I sleep all night without dropping low!  I stopped using my weekend basal rates because my blood sugars are consistently even Steven throughout every day. 

In one week my daily blood sugar range has gone from 30-400 to 60-190.  My weekly average dropped from 200 to 140.  In one week I have gone from feeling like I give up on diabetes to feeling confident and in control again.  Who knew a slight drop in a couple basal rates along with taking one unit more than the Bolus Wizard suggested would make such a difference? 

For all my happiness and success in this last week, I am a realist.  When it comes to diabetes there are no  rules.  I have never been a math fan.  Maybe the absoluteness of it all intimidates me.  There is no room for error.  I’m either right or I’m not.  I prefer the flexible challenge of English.  So it’s fitting for me to be the diabetic in my family.  I like a never ending challenge.  Today worked.  What will work tomorrow?  Every rule comes with an exception.  Including that statement!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Never Stop Wondering

On the way to the library today Gwen asked, “Who put the steering wheel in the van?”

Yesterday Parker said that Heath was really smart because he had wrinkles in his forehead when he raised his eyebrows. 

Both boys believe that at one point all three kids were inside me at the same time.  They claim to remember waving at each other before being born, one at a time, two to two and a half years apart! 

Gavin was carrying a roll of paper towels.  I asked what was up.  He said, “Oh nothing,” and disappeared upstairs.  I realized right away he wanted to clean the bathroom without being asked so I wisely kept my mouth shut.  Gwen came down and said, “Gowan is just cweaning the bafroom.”  Upstairs Gavin was saying, “No I’m not!”  Parker was on her heels.  “Gavin is just . . . he’s just doing . . .”  I helped him out by saying, “He’s just doing nothing?”  “Yes, Gavin is doing nothing!”

I hugged Gavin and thanked him for helping me out.  He beamed.  Then Parker, my normally helpful child who loves to clean, threw a fit that I wouldn’t let him play Wii until he cleaned his bathroom.  It took some time and learning that pretending to clean doesn’t cut it with me.  Both family bathrooms are clean now. 

The kids couldn’t understand why I would force them to play outside.  I locked the back door so the only way in was through the sliding glass door.  They would have to go past me where I was reading the Book of Mormon in my sanctuary.  Eventually they stopped fighting their fate and started playing.  The roly poly was the highlight of the afternoon.  Gwen wouldn’t touch it but she liked watching it crawl around. 

The last picture is now my desktop background.  Life is beautiful.  Never stop wondering. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Princess Tea Party

Gwen was invited to a princess tea party/birthday party.  We held the party ransom for a few behaviors we wanted her to modify this last week.  Yesterday I was pretty steamed when she made yet another mistake right in front of friends who were invited to the party.  This was after we had been talking about the party for some time.  I felt trapped.  Don’t tell me I should never make a threat I’m not prepared to follow through on.  Trust me, I know.  She is only 3 years old.  (And spoiled rotten)  Well, we went and I’m really glad because it was a very fun and cute party.

The invitation specifically said to dress up in a favorite princess tea party dress.  So I thought of ways to do a cute updo for Gwen’s hair.  I have no idea why I didn’t do this for Gwen’s princess birthday party.  It’s possible I thought about it at one point but since I didn’t tell people to dress up I think I tried to keep Gwen a little more low key and little girl than blinged out princess. 

On Thursday I practiced an updo.  I tried to pin the curls in place in a high bun while leaving a few romantic tendrils hanging out.  The barrel of my curling iron is way too big for the look I was going for so it didn’t really look all that great.  After about an hour Gwen asked for her Belle hair.  I love how she calls the unnatural pinkish red Ariel hair Belle hair.  If only that girl would have chosen brown Belle hair at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  I may have let her wear it today.

This was Gwen on Thursday.  I had sent Heath a picture of Gwen without the hairpiece and he made it his phone’s wallpaper.  When I sent this picture he texted, “That’s special!”  I love this picture because it makes me smile.  This is my Gwen.  Feminine woman.  She has started referring to herself as a woman and it’s hilarious.  She also is a bit of a tomboy.  A tomboy in heels if you will.  Parker’s kneepads on Gwen have brought many smiles to our family. 

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This was Gwen today.  I used hot rollers this time and did a better job of pinning the curls.  I used almost every single bobby pin I own because after I pinned the curls I started shoving pins in the middle of the bun to create more texture.  Then I created a hole in the ozone layer right above our house with all the aerosol hairspray I sprayed.  It’s mega hold hairspray too, not even flexible hold.  It was a mistake can I bought back when I had the a-line bob hairstyle.  It sprayed like insta freeze glue in my hair and that’s essentially how it sprayed in Gwen’s hair too!  Her hair looked like chocolate flavored cotton candy. 

The party was so adorable.  It was very similar to the princess party I threw for Gwen’s birthday.  So cute.  Here are a bunch of pictures.

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Princess Freeze Dance.  Rebekah is in the yellow dress.  She also went to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and is wearing her hairpiece and tiara.  Her hair is about as long as the hairpiece is.  Only her mom and I knew she was wearing a hairpiece.  Anyone else would think her mom just curled her ponytail.  Baylee is the birthday girl in the Princess Tiana dress.

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The tea party portion of the party.  Left to right the guests are Gwen, Amanda, and Jillian in the first picture.  Then Rebekah, Baylee, and Abby in the second picture.  Kate must have been getting her nails done since I didn’t get her in these pictures. 

Brittany had made star shaped sandwiches.  Cheese or jam, I think.  She had cut tortillas into star shapes to be dipped in hummus.  There were baby carrots too.  The cookies were star shaped, circles, sand dollars, or star fish.  The basic shapes had pink frosting and the beach cookies were decorated to look like those creatures.  So impressive.  The “tea” was actually juice served in tea pots.  Oh my goodness I thought that was the cutest thing.  Brittany made everything for the party.  She made flying carpet coasters and little fans and glittery stars. 

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She also made these darling mouse cheese balls.  Seriously so creative.  There was a lot of food I know I’m forgetting.  It was a really cute tea party that the girls just loved. 

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Shelby, Baylee and Abby’s cousin, painted the girls nails. 

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I was concerned that Baylee already had a tea set when I saw the real tea party dishes that were used.  Her grandma has a princess tea set in the play room but it’s Grandma’s.  Brittany was pretty excited that Baylee had her own princess tea set to take with her when their family moves in a week or so.  At the end of the party all the girls had a blast playing with all of Baylee’s new toys. 

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Brittany did a great job of keeping the party very relaxed but also moving the girls on to the next activity when they were ready.  This activity was a princess walk.  She took the girls on a walk to the end of the street so they could parade their princess outfits for the neighborhood. 

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Walking back into the house.

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All the princesses posing on the steps before tiara piñata time.

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The tiara piñata.  Baylee’s brother Payton got the first swing.  Gwen is sitting on the steps with Shelby, one of her favorite babysitters.  On the drive over Gwen kept saying, “Shelby is big.  And you are big.  But I am just small.”  Everyone got two turns with the piñata before Shelby took a turn to try to break it.  Luckily she broke it so Ben didn’t have to take a turn.  Gwen ate a full baggy full of candy after the party. 

 

Baylee’s cake was Princess Tiana when she was still a frog. 

Gwen’s hair before her bath and after the updo was taken out.  Pretty. 

This is proof that Gwen is totally spoiled rotten.  Heath bought her this chalkboard vinyl today on a whim.  Parker was less than impressed that he didn’t get anything special.  I guess walking to Mr. Pickle’s with Dad and Gavin wasn’t enough for him.  Nor was all the fabric paint we bought for more t-shirt crafts.  Yeah, Gwen is spoiled and Parker has every right to be jealous of his little sister.  It doesn’t mean we love the boys any less.  Girls are just too easy to buy girly stuff for for no reason.  Maybe tomorrow Parker can chill out enough to draw with Gwen.  Today he was too tired and mad. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Overcoming Peter Pan Syndrome

Weird Al Yankovic wrote a really fun book. 

This is the cutest book with the most creative ideas and I love the ending.  After reading the book again to the kids last night they wanted to make their own books about what they want to be when they grow up. 

They are in love with this They Might Be Giants CD and DVD.  Between the ideas in these songs and the ideas in the book, they are having a blast coming up with potential jobs. 

It’s got me thinking too.  When I grow up what do I want to be?  A butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker?  Should I live in a shoe?  Or sail around in a tub?  I want to fly in a rocket ship to outer space and teach the aliens.  That would be cool.  Maybe I can pixilate myself and join Gavin in one of his computer games, Tron Legacy style.  Or be a princess for a day with Gwen.  It would be fun to be a reporter and write an award winning article about Parker the Paleontologist Digging in the Dirt. 

When I grow up I want to be a meteorologist.  Did you know they travel in tribes?  I would be the Chief Meteorologist.  This is the best job because it’s ok if I’m wrong.  And I can take credit for the weather as if I have anything to do with it other than reporting it on TV.  I can act surprised by the weather.  “It’s unseasonably cool for May with possible rain showers.”  Meanwhile all the mothers are at home thinking, “It’s the last few weeks of school.  Of course it’s cold and rainy.  The only time it hasn’t been this way is when I didn’t have kids in school.” 

I want to be a professor at a college for obscure jobs, like lion tamer or or the person who melts the metal to make coins.  I mostly want this job so I can figure out how someone even applies to these positions.  Like the person who is the voice on answering machines and voicemail.  Don’t tell me it’s computerized.  That takes all the fun out of it.  I think it would be a cool job.  “You have two new messages.”  Even if it is computerized someone had to write the script for all those robocalls, automated systems, and GPS devices in cars.  “Turn left here.  No, you are an idiot.  Turn left here.  Your other left.”  Those robocalls are the worst though right?  Why not be honest and play a snippet of Paper Planes by M.I.A.  “All I want to do is take your money!”  Then the computerized voice can admit the organization is too cheap to pay a real person to talk to you. 

Do you ever feel like there are too many people who aspire to be doctors and lawyers when we need other jobs filled like reality show creator?  Or underwater welder?  Or who are the textile printers?  Cotton doesn’t automatically come with a repeating monkey pattern.  And who spins the wool for angora sweaters?  Who assembles medical supplies, or at least performs quality control?  Who captures the animals to be featured in zoo exhibits and how much do they make?  Does their pay come with dental benefits?  I want to figure out how one applies to be a scientist to improve Tide.  And who tests out sleeping bags so they can display the temperature range the sleeping bag will keep you warm at?  I want to meet the team who creates glue.  The glue section at the craft store is overwhelming with choices. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Method to the Madness

Every morning he greets me.  His little beady black eyes have a vacant faraway look.  His smile is stretched out and painted on.  His bill must be paid with flesh.  Perched on a nest of pink fluff, he watches my every move.  Waiting, smiling, ready to snap.  This is especially disconcerting because I’m naked. 

Method had some commercials that were pulled because they were a little off.  A woman attempted to clean herself while squirming to hide her body.  The whole time she is being leered at by leftover shower cleaning bubbles.  Scrubbing Bubbles perhaps?  They start chanting, “Use the loofah!”  The idea of the commercial is that if this woman had used Method shower cleaner there would be no rude residue left to get a free show of her in the morning shower. 

I didn’t realize the commercial was still on youtube.  Viewer discretion is advised!

This commercial comes to mind along with Ernie’s voice singing “Rubber Ducky” each morning I am eye to eye with that duck attached to a loofah.  Really the duck doesn’t creep me out as much as it cracks me up.  Because it belongs to my husband.  My big burly manly man bought this loofah on purpose.  Soon after buying himself a Costco sized bottle of body wash.  I am not making this up!  Nor am I making up the fact that he told me to blog about it.  Encouraged me even! 

To save face for all involved, I took pictures.

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Meet R.D.  Rubber Ducky.  The animal with a penchant for pink.  If his brain wasn’t oozing out of the top of his head as a nylon rope, he would say the pink is a strange chemical reaction.  You get what you pay for and if some guy wants to spend 39 cents on a child loofah the pink is part of the deal. 

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It’s a tragedy that Dove’s body wash for men doesn’t include a brawny manly loofah.  Grunt.  Snort.  Spit.  Actually Dove provided no loofah at all.  Doubly tragic.  What’s the guy supposed to do?  Use his hands?  We have hard water so things don’t naturally suds up easily.  My experience with using tear free body wash on the kids is that I use three times the amount I need if I just use my hands.  So they all have their own creepy creature attached to pastel colored netting for 39 cents a piece.  Since the kids are still little with silky soft skin, the body wash suds up luxuriously on the loofah.  My experience is also that they smell yummy.  The coconut pina colada flavored wash is my favorite.  Mix that with a deep inhale of their freshly washed hair from the cherry or strawberry shampoo collection and my stomach growls for real fruit smoothies. 

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Dove took notes and created a body wash for men that smells divine.  Not fruity.  Not girly and floral in any way.  Manly pheromoney.  Dove describes it in minty green text as Extra Fresh.  In smaller print “cooling agent”; to tone down the reaction I’m sure.  Old Spice and Axe also use male pheromones in their product recipes.  As a woman, I must say they have successfully created a make my wees kneak fragrance!  Heath gets out of the shower and I sniff his body then take deep draughts of his pits.  Then I melt with my eyes rolled back in my head.  

On Sundays he shaves in the shower with the Gillette Fusion shaving cream and that smells good too.  Just to be clear, he does not use the pink handled razor in the background.  That one’s mine!  He uses a much more masculine razor in gun metal gray, not bubble gum pink in a chunky handle. 

Rubber Ducky may look silly in the master shower but he is the vessel that makes my man go from sweaty smelling to hummina hummina hummina smelling.  Occasionally I do worry that he’s laughing at me and opening his plastic mouth wider to nip at my shoulders.  I can almost hear Paul the Penguin Loofah in my Jacuzzi tub across the room chuckling too.  Is there no solitude for a woman in her own bathroom? 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sanctuary

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Birds flit through the air.  One lands in a tree and the other two squawk their grumpy discontent.  All three angrily chatter for a moment and become friends again as quickly as the discord began.  I smile.  Even birds get bored.  Their bickering is not unlike my own children.  Also like my own children the birds are beautiful.  A blessing from heaven just to behold. 

C0lors are so rich and intense.  Orange flowers on the trumpet vine enticing hummingbirds to take a sip.  Red geraniums contrasting so nicely with the bright green leaves of the four foot tall plants.  Water droplets glitter on the bejeweled grass.  Even the hiss of the sprinklers is melodious. 

Half naked bodies run back and forth burning off the excess energy that is so generously given to youth.  Giggles bubble with the occasional outburst of high pitched squealing.  To watch them pushing a dump truck through the grass, one can almost hear the wheels in their little minds turning. 

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Enclosed by mosquito netting in my bay windowed sanctuary my life is perfect.  I have the best husband.  Together we have three gorgeous and happy children in the exact birth order I wanted.  I live in one of the most sought after cities in one of the most sought after states.  The weather here is exquisite.  My yard is beautiful.  My house is large and has many features I have always dreamed of in a home.  So it’s not mine.  So what?  I pay to live here and the living is good. 

Inside is my office with the invisible walls.  Outside is my sanctuary. 

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Twelve feet by ten feet of of shaded relaxation. 

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The gazebo with the bay windows, mosquito netting, and tea light chandelier. 

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Even with my kids dancing, singing, playing, and imagining inches from where I sit to type this, I feel like I am sitting in paradise.  Like the office with the invisible walls, my sanctuary possesses the ability for occupants to forget the cares of the world and just be.  Just be deliriously happy sipping Diet Coke that tastes like the angels themselves made it and seeing one’s own family with the same clear eyes God does. 

As in the song Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads, I find myself in another part of the world.  I find myself behind the wheel of a large automobile, in a beautiful house, with {me being} a beautiful wife.  And I ask myself, “Well, how did I get here?”  In this moment I don’t care.  Past sacrifices and hard work to achieve this life have all been worth it.  I’m living my dreams.  How many people honestly say that? 

End of an Era

After spending my entire life with PPO insurance and medical teams, I said goodbye to my endocrinologist today.  Starting next month I venture into the HMO frontier.  The good news is I can see an endocrinologist in my own city.  Not that 17 miles away is far to see an endo.  But given the fact that those 17 miles are most easily traveled via freeway and I hate the freeway . . . my own backyard will be a welcome change! 

It was a strange last meeting with my endo today.  I was crazy nervous and I have no idea why.  I couldn’t sleep last night and when I did fall asleep it wasn’t long before I was awake again tossing and turning.  My heart was pounding in my throat all morning and I took deep breath after deep breath in failed attempts to calm myself. 

My mind was torn between nerves and jealousy.  The jealousy was of a family member who was put on medication sometime after I was.  This person was diagnosed with a less common form of obsessive compulsive disorder.  It was explained to me but I don’t remember the name nor do I remember the particulars.  It’s not the typical germiphobic OCD, it’s more emotional or mental or something.  I should stop typing about it since I’m probably butchering what it is.  What makes me jealous is how every time I talk to other family members they tell me this person is completely different on meds.  The happiness has returned and this person is doing a million times better on meds.  So what’s up with me? 

I went on Zoloft sometime in January I think.  I finally got my endo to stop increasing the dosage so I could avoid new side effects every month and see if it’s really working.  All I want to do is stop taking it altogether.  I would almost rather go back to the constant racing heart than be the “new me.”  My legs ache and twitch at night as if I have restless leg syndrome and my chest feels like it’s constricted under pressure.  This is almost every night.  I watch TV until I start to fall asleep but pushing the power button on the remote wakes me up and I get to deal with the aforementioned nightly panic attack.  Irritating doesn’t even begin to describe it. 

The agoraphobia seemed to be lessening on Zoloft but over the last couple months it seems to be increasing again.  Last night Heath offered to go to Costco on his way home from work.  I told him no since I hadn’t been out of the house all day.  Costco seems to be the best measuring stick of my agoraphobic anxiety.  Since I still can’t handle Costco my meds are not working.  Every time I go I try so hard not to be bothered by the cars or the streets we drive on.  I try so hard not to be bothered by every sound my kids make convinced everything they do is amplified and bugging the snot out of perfect strangers around us.  Soon my head starts to swirl with thoughts and feelings.  I am overwhelmed and overstimulated and I cannot wait until it’s all over.  It’s ridiculous! 

Did I tell my endo that when he asked how the Zoloft was doing?  No.  Not a chance.  I was terrified he might change my dosage.  So I lied.  Big fat opened my mouth and in as few words as possible led him to believe I was fine.  I’m breaking out like a teenager with constant PMS.  Every subtle sign of stress I have ever had in my life is happening now only magnified 10 times.  I have maintained a 5 lb. weight gain, my blood sugars are still all over the map.  My A1C is still heading north.  Why?Why?Why?  But did I tell my endo any of this?  No.  Because what would be the point?  New insurance starts August 1.  I have to start over then. 

Heath has been on HMO insurance before.  He said he liked it.  Friends have shared their experiences with us with Kaiser.  One friend told me that Kaiser is really good at maintaining health but you have to get diagnosed by an out of network provider and only then will Kaiser look into your complaints.  She said, “But you already know your issues so you should be fine.”  That does not make me feel any better.  What if something else happens to me?  And what if, heaven forbid, something happens to my kids?  What if one of them develops diabetes?  Do I have to always fight the system to get my needs met?  My endo told me that Kaiser is a good group but I will have to be very vocal about the things I need.  I’m exhausted already just thinking about it.  My endo and I have just started to make breakthroughs with our communication with one another in only the last 5 or 6 months.  After nearly 3 years of working together! 

I mourn the loss of Dr. G, my internist in Salt Lake, who was the best doctor I have ever had.  He wouldn’t put up with my crap until I finally pulled my diabetes act together.  I feel like I’ve been dealing with everything alone ever since I moved.  One endo was too lax, the next was hard to communicate with, what will the next one be like?  A friend says he hates the endo I would be seeing here because he (my friend) isn’t compliant.  This gives me hope that the new endo will be more like Dr. G.  My hope is that with a managed health system I will be referred to a mental health professional and the Zoloft/anxiety issue will be better addressed.  I also hope I will be referred to a nutritionist and other diabetes health team members who will work with me in handling all the variables of diabetes.  Obviously what I’m doing is not working.  I would even be willing to use my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) if an endo or someone can actually help me understand the data.  I am not happy my A1C is 7.9.  That totally sucks. 

Time to reign in the fear of the unknown.  Time to sit in my gazebo and drink the rest of the Diet Coke if I have to.  Big exhale and move on. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Say What

Gwen:  These socks say my name on the bottom!  See?  On my toeses! 
Me:  They do huh?
Gwen:  Yes, they say Gwen Westovoh.  See?  G . . . W . . . E . . . X, Y, and Z
Me:  Actually they say Hanes.  It’s the name of the company that made them.
Gwen:  No, Rebekah’s mom just make them. 

Me:  You should have fun.  You’re only 35 once. 
Heath:  I’m 36 dear.
Me:  You’re only 35 twice! 

Heath had ordered a pepperoni pizza and the supreme pizza I talked him into because of the veggies on it.  He told the kids the rule for that night was they had to have a slice of each pizza. 
Parker:  Can I have more pizza?
Heath:  Yes, but you remember the rule right?
Parker:  I know.
Heath put the pizza in front of him:  You can pick off anything you don’t want to eat.
Parker’s mouth puckered up and his eyes widened in surprise:  There’s a lot of things I want to pick off!
Later
Me:  Gavin, did you have enough pizza?
Gavin:  I don’t want to follow the rules tonight. 

Gavin:  It happened a long time ago.  Back when they didn’t have color. 

Gwen:  What’s your name?
Me:  Mom.
Gwen:  And Dad’s name is Heaf.
Gavin:  Mom’s name is Tristan.
Gwen:  No!  Her name is Mom!

Me:  You’re playing a game?  We don’t have time for you to play a game!
Heath:  Well I’m playing.  I already had breakfast.
Me:  Yes but you didn’t feed our children.
Heath:  Well Gwen can’t decide what she wants to eat.
Me:  Then you decide for her.  She’s 3!
Gwen:  Well I am big!  And I just want to have . . . a ball.

Gavin:  I am just like you, Dad, I have hair on my legs.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Anticipating Six

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Feel free to click on those images to read the story better.  When I thought about what to say in a post about Parker turning 6 I thought about how he is all about anticipation.  That made the song Anticipation come to my mind which reminded me that I made this layout for his scrapbook soon after he was born.  So there you go – my  train of thought to include this story. 

Parker has been anticipating this birthday since before Gavin’s birthday.  The last eleven days have been painful for everyone as Parker has been beside himself with anticipation.  I found myself checking on Parker all day today waiting for the inevitable letdown from finally reaching this day and our planned activities.  He never really seemed to fizzle out.  That made me happy because lately he makes me crazy with how much he looks forward to things and then poops out the second it happens.  Take going to the park for example.  He cannot wait until we get there.  Then five minutes later he’s begging to go home.  Even if his friends are there he wants to go.  It’s as if I’m his personal genie.  Poof!  What do you need?  Poof!  What do you need?  The second he gets what he wants he’s snapping his fingers for more.  It can be exhausting!  So I am very happy that never happened today.  He was happy as a clam from start to finish, with the exception of a little family meltdown.  We were all a little tired, excited, and on each other’s nerves.  Just for a minute then the good feelings were back. 

This little boy warms my heart though.  He is so cute and funny.  For weeks now he’s been saying he would try different things when he’s 6 and maybe he can do something when he’s 6.  Today he was saying random things like that.  When we sat down in the theater for Cars 2 he said, “I don’t need a booster seat because I’m 6 now!” 

gazebo-and-Parker-6-bday-028I just can’t get over how that tiny little 6 lb. 8 oz. baby boy is now my 6 year old.  He has stars in his eyes that gleam with his enthusiasm for life.  Man, how I love that boy!  Happy birthday my little man. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Landmark Bill?

California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on July 14, 2011, stating that the gay community would be recognized in the history curriculum.  This is considered a landmark bill and proof that the world is progressing. 

While I agree on both counts what I don’t agree with is why this is such a necessary thing to teach students.  From what I understand history is being rewritten to include the sexual orientation of only the gay movers and shakers who have contributed to history.  Why?  Am I supposed to feel warm and fuzzy that some male politician was attracted to other males?  Does the fact that he liked to engage in sodomy change anything?  If Jerry Brown wants my children to learn this in school why stop there?  Rewrite history to include the sexual orientation of straight people too.  “Albert Einstein was a genius.  Oh and by the way, he also had sex with women.  This is important children.  Remember that he enjoyed the company of other women.  It will be on a test.  Forget about any mathematical contributions he made.  He liked women.”  Who is Governor Brown kidding with this landmark bill?   

When you think of California’s history what immediately comes to mind?  Even if you have never lived there.  The San Francisco Gold Rush.  Very good!  Do you know who started the Gold Rush?  Mormons.  I want religious preferences to be taught right along with sexual preferences.  However common opinion states this is ludicrous.  The insanity of this notion seems to boil down to a challenge of common beliefs of Mormons.  It’s a little known fact that Utah was the first state to grant women the right to vote.  True story.  A couple years after the Mormons granted women the right to vote.  But this is not common knowledge because politicians would rather enforce a gay curriculum than a religious one.  We must maintain the perception that Mormons keep their women subservient at home while they’re barefoot and pregnant.  In the meantime, let’s label every person in history by their gay sexual preference. 

Apparently the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible, the Old Testament that many religious groups believe in, is not enough gay history.   In the Bible’s defense, the sexual perversions in that story were important details of the story.  This is not always the case.  I think people should be recognized in history for the role they played.  Sexual orientation rarely has anything to do with it.  If someone is gay they should go off and be gay all they want.  Have their little gay parties and their little gay clubs and all the gay sex they want.  But leave it at that.  I’m not gay but I also don’t walk around introducing myself, “Hi my name is Tristan.  My favorite color is clear. I enjoy having sex with my male husband!”   Who cares!  My sexual preferences are mine alone.  So are everyone else’s. 

If anything, I think this landmark bill proves that society’s mind is so open its brains are falling out.  Tolerance does not mean forcing people to agree.  I am tolerant of the gay community.  They have every right to practice gay sex.  They have every right to not be discriminated against.  They do not have the right to force their opinions on others.  What’s next, only celebrating redheads in history?  Sexual preferences have nothing to do with any contribution to society, which is what this bill dictates.  Heterosexuals choose to engage in sexual encounters that will perpetuate the species.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun too.  Homosexuals choose to engage in sexual activities that they find pleasurable, period.  This difference of opinion bears no merit whatsoever on social contributions in history.  Can we move on please! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Before and After

In the beginning

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this was the master bedroom/office.

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An empty formal dining room turned into my office with the invisible walls. 

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When the office moved out of the master bedroom we tucked the bed into this cozy space. 

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It hasn’t really changed much except for now we have grown up sheets!  One day I want to buy a big board, some batting, and some super expensive upholstery fabric (me and my expensive taste!) and make a headboard so we look even more grown up.  Oh and then get matching nightstands.  

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Chaos turned into an organized mess that now sits on the end table my friend’s mom gave me.  I have tried to do whatever I could to make those cords look better. 

Originally I moved the futon under the window.  I was pleased with how it covered up the cords.  By the time I went to bed that night I decided I didn’t like the futon there.  With my own power and muscles

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this turned into this.  That’s right.  I moved the futon twice. The bookshelves weren’t fun to move by myself either. Nothing was particularly heavy, just really awkward.

The coffee table was also given to me by my friend’s mom.  She said it wasn’t her style.  Originally I wanted to put it somewhere so the kids could paint or something on it.  Once Heath got it home I decided my kids don’t need anything I can look at and enjoy because it’s so pretty!  It’s totally my style!  The end table was stolen from my living room set along with the silk roses that were used at our wedding reception.  Gwen was bummed that I moved those things.  She loves to play with the flowers.  Part of the reason why I moved them to my room! 

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The bookshelves were looking really crammed which inspired me to put them on a wall where they would be generally hidden from the doorway.  I didn’t take that many things off the shelf.  Just some partial diaries, wedding guest book and advice book, and papers that we didn’t need to keep.  Somehow I was able to fit books on the shelf that were living on the floor and there are not nearly as many books lying horizontally over the vertical stacks.  It made me happy anyway. 

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This is my favorite little corner.  Crispy, fragile, dead roses remind me of how much Heath loves me.  He took pictures of all my dried roses before we moved to California because they were not going to survive the trip.  Look how many he’s replaced!  I feel like a genius for putting them in a wide mouthed vase because they used to be lying across the box my mom painted for me in high school.  I love the three scrapbooks I made that chronicled the first six years of our relationship.  I was so excited to start a 12x12 family album but I haven’t even finished our trip to Sea World and Legoland when I was 4 months along with Gwen.  The black album contains 100 reasons why I love Heath.  That was a Christmas present for him.  The other white album is our wedding album.  My very first scrapbook ever. 

Next to the phone are my pals Chocolate the cow and Sammy the Seattle Salamander.  On the floor is Cherry the cow one of my students (named Cheri) gave me on my last day of student teaching.  She named it.  Parker and Gwen saw Chocolate and Sammy.  Parker still laughs that I only have two toys!  He doesn’t understand that his toys will not be the rest of his life.  This phone is the only way we can talk to our families on speaker phone without the batteries on the cordless phones running out in the middle of a call. 

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True confession picture.  I told Dawn I was going to post pictures of my rearranged therefore new room.  I told her I shoved the filing cabinet in the bathroom so the bedroom would look great.  Heath hasn’t had a chance to help me take it downstairs to our office yet.  Dawn laughed and told me I was a cheater.  So there you go.  Proof that I’m not as perfect as I try to appear! 

I had gotten over the drama of the other day and my post on guilt.  But now I’m super excited because changing the furniture around in a room brightens my mood so much.  I love it.  In two or three years I think I’ll do it again.