Saturday, April 29, 2006


That's me heaving a BIG sigh of relief. So, after yesterday's sad post, I thought I'd let you all know that this morning my temperature jumped back up. Which is a good sign.

I may still be holding my breath for quite some time now. But, after some intense prayer (and apologizing to Heavenly Father for wanting to yell at him) I feel much more calm. I think we may just get to keep this little one.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Wrap

I love that Kelly over at Diary of the Nello does a weekly "wrap". What a wonderful way to tie up each week's highs and lows, smile and sigh and let it go. So, I'll be copying her idea and doing the same thing here.

  • On Wednesday, Melissa from DONA called me to let me know that I am officially a DONA Certified Doula. Pretty darn cool! And pretty exciting, because I've been working on my certification for about 2 1/2 years. For more information on what a doula is and does, visit here.

  • We found two dead snakes in our yard this week. Yuck.

  • We did lots of yard work this week and FINALLY got rid of a lot of junk that's been sitting around our yard. I even pruned our grape vines. Patting myself on the back. So, we have a patch of lovely vinca in our front entry way. Rusty decided it would be good to walk all over it and destroy it last fall, but this spring it has been coming back up and growing and becoming very lovely.

    So, I've been working really hard with it, pruning away all of the old, dead and poky leafless stems. Removing garbage and dead wood from it. And I finally got it to be almost exactly the way I wanted it. So, on Wednesday I left for a while for an interview with a potential doula client and came back to find that JDub had taken a leaf rake to it. I know he was trying to help and he did a very efficient job of getting rid of the last of the dead wood and the leaves from last fall. But he also tore a great portion of it to pieces and stripped many of the new budding and growing leaves and flowers from the stems. So, what was I left with? Some of the vinca is still lovely and healthy. But there's a great big patch where there's nothing but exposed dirt and (you guessed it) poky, leafless stems. I cried for at least an hour about it. Not so much for the vinca, as that my life and home feel so chaotic and out of control right now and that was my little patch of loveliness, sanity and control. And he destroyed it. And it sucked. Big time.

  • We are nearing the end of soccer season and can I just say Hooray! Kaitybean and Scud have had a wonderful time and I've truly enjoyed coaching Kaitybean's team, but I'm ready to have our evenings back. At least somewhat. I had a sweet moment during our game on Wednesday. One of the darling girls on our time came up to me, took me by the hand and said "In my heaven, you'd be my mommy." My heart just melted. What a darling little girl.

  • I went to yoga yesterday and it was wonderful, once again. I am really, really, really enjoying yoga lately.

  • My little brother came over on Tuesday and talked for about an hour. He's in love. He met this girl at church last year and they just barely started dating. He wants to marry her. He showed me a picture and she's GORGEOUS and she sounds just wonderful. I sure hope everything works out well for them. We'll see.

  • I had an interesting afternoon yesterday. AAAAARGH!! I was grocery shopping with my boys, when a can of frozen juice fell out of the cart and hit me on the foot. The pain was so intense that I remember thinking, "Man, I hope I don't pass out." The next thing I remember is waking up on the floor with a man kneeling by me and asking if I needed help. Um, yep, I did. He helped me get up and sit down at which point I promptly passed out again. I'm not sure how long I was out, but the next time I woke up a store employee named Chaser was there holding me by the arm. I was barely conscious, but able to give him my husband's phone number so that he could come get me. They got me into a wheelchair and asked if I wanted them to put my groceries back. ABSOLUTELY NOT! As if going grocery shopping with two boys isn't hell enough, try hurting your foot, passing out and then having to go shopping again. So, I had them run it through so that JDub could pay for it when he got there. They wheeled me to a room they call the "Little Theater" and put in Bob the Builder for the boys to watch until JDub got there. To make a long story short, we got home and I decided not to go to the hospital, because I was able to put pressure on and move my foot normally. I still felt a bit yucky, but didn't think it warranted a visit to the doctor. Today my foot is sore and stiff and I've got some phantom injuries that I probably got from falling down the first time I passed out. My forehead hurts like the Dickens and my knee and my hip both hurt. Not an entirely pleasant experience.

  • So, we got home and after being home for a while I just started bawling. I was so mad that JDub wasn't taking better care of me. It turns out, I'd fallen asleep for 5 minutes and he was putting away dishes and groceries during that time. But I was soooooo mad at him and sooooo sad.

  • You're probably wondering why I've been such a bawl baby this week and why poor JDub has gotten the brunt of it. Well, my hormones are most certainly going wild and it probably due in part to the fun little surprise I got earlier this week.

    If you can't tell, that's two pink lines. I'm pregnant. If you knew that we have been trying for another baby for a little over a year and a half, you'd think that's wonderful news, right? Well, not exactly. Of course it's wonderful news to be pregnant. We are so ready to welcome another little one into our home. What makes it possibly not good news is this:

    For those of you who are unfamiliar with fertility charting, my basal body temperatures have been going steadily down since I learned I was pregnant. This could be a fluke and we could still have a lovely baby around Christmas this year. But, generally, that kind of pattern is not a good thing. It usually signals an impending miscarriage. I miscarried our last baby almost exactly 9 months ago. And I may or may not miscarry this time, but the very thought of another miscarriage makes me MAD, MAD, MAD. I feel like a wounded preschooler. I just want to raise my face to the heavens and shout at God "NO FAIR!" I know that, for better or worse, this too shall pass. I know that my struggles of the last while are nothing compared to the years of infertility that many women endure. But I still don't feel any better.

  • So, I finally watched Pride and Prejudice all the way through last night. I loved it sooooo much. I'll definitely read the book soon.

  • I'm watching my nephews today. They're adorable little redheads, 1 and 3. Big Red (the 3 yo) is just a week older than Mashuga. They've been pretty good so far.

  • We also had them over night last night. Little Red (the one year old) was not too happy about not having his Mama. So, this morning I woke up to find myself sleeping with 4 men, JDub, Little Red, Mashuga and Scud. What a lucky woman I am!

    And that seems like a fabulous way to wrap up this not so happy wrap. Hope you have wonderful weekend!

  • Thursday, April 27, 2006

    Thirteen Reasons I LOVE Being a Mom

    This week's banner courtesty of Chaotic Mom at Chaotic Home. Thanks a bunch!

    It seems to me that all too often we get caught up in the crazies of being mothers. And too often I believe we're thrown off course by those who would have us believe we're "just" mothers. Or that our job as mothers is less cool and important than our other careers. But, I glory in motherhood. What more important thing could I be doing than shaping souls? Here are thirteen reasons I love being a mom.

    1. From the moment I saw those two pink lines for the first time, I felt that I was in partnership with the divine -- creating life and clothing sweet spirits sent from above.
    2. Through pregnancy and birth I have learned surrender. I have learned to trust my body, to trust God, to trust that all will be well even when things go wrong. And I have learned as much or more from the last year and a half of infertility and miscarriage as I learned from my previous three pregnancies.
    3. I adore the moment when I first meet a newborn. The wisdom in those tiny eyes is the most profound thing I have ever known. They come to us knowing so much more than we give them credit for.
    4. I laugh every single day of my life.
    5. My children teach my daily about wonder, about curiousity and joy. The world is a marvelous place.
    6. Let's face it, my children also teach me patience and how to control my temper. They aren't always joyful and marvelous and funny. And I'm not always happy and kind and thrilled with them. I hope I'm getting to the point that the times I'm patient with them outweigh the times I blow up at them. I think I'd be lucky to find myself at 50/50. But, they're teaching me. I'm learning.
    7. Watching my children learn is the most rewarding thing I can think of. Scud is learning to read and spell. Mashuga is learning letters and numbers. Kaitybean is taking on the world and frequently comes out of her room at night to tell me about Ancient Egypt or the water cycle or whatever.
    8. Through motherhood, I've figured out what I'm made of. I can give birth without the help of drugs. I can make it through a week of almost losing my 6 week old to RSV. I can trust my instincts and get my son the help he needs to learn how to speak correctly and communicate with others. I can FIGHT to help my children get the education they need. There are so many times that I've been forced to face my fears and just do what needs to be done. It's amazing what we learn in those moments, isn't it?
    10. I am surrounded by love. Wet, sloppy kisses and velcro hugs and sweet little voices saying, "Mommy, I love you."
    11. I get to watch sweet little souls grow from needing my constant attention and reassurance to being the kind of people who love and help and give to others.
    12. Squirt gun fights and tickle wars.
    13. Feeling my heart grow bigger each day.

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    Spring of the Snakes

    So, spring of 2006 will forever be known as the spring of the snakes around here. For the love of all that's holy, why are there so many snakes in our yard?!?

    A few weeks ago, Kaitybean came in and said, "Mom, you've got to come outside. It's like a snake party out there."

    Well, since a party of snakes sounded like the most inviting thing in the world, I pulled on my steel-toed hiking boots and wandered outside. Sure enough, we counted between ten and twelve snakes in our yard. A few looked like little babies. A few looked older. But, the most disgusting thing was the mass of wet, slippery and writhing snake bodies by the door to JDub's woodshed. I don't know whether they were mating or giving birth or what. But I do know that i DIDN'T WANT THEM DOING IT IN MY BACKYARD! This picture was actually taken after the fact. If you count four slimy snake heads, you've got it right. That's less than half the number that were there to begin with. Can I just say, EWWWW!

    So, since that lovely party, we haven't see many snakes. One at a time, perhaps once a week, which is pretty normal for our house.

    Then, two days ago Mashuga found a dead snake at the bottom of our deck stairs. He and Rusty had a grand time playing with it and jumping three feet into the air every time it moved (because they had touched it). Scud finally picked it up and after waving it around mindlessly, almost landing it on top of my head once, threw it in the garbage.

    Okay, end of story I thought.


    Yesterday we came home to see something curled up in our driveway. It was another snake, lying upside down as if it were dead. Scud poked it with a stick and it raised it's head somewhat menacingly, it's black tongue flcking out. We both jumped out of our skin. Scud started screaming and shaking his hands and nearly flew back into the van. At this point, Mashuga got out and decided it would be great fun to torment the poor dying snake. He poked and prodded it, laughing and screaming each time it would open its mouth or lift its head. And then it was over. After about five minutes, it just stopped moving.

    We poked it a couple of times to be sure it was really completely dead. At this point, Kaitybean came home from school and two of the neighbor kids (we'll call them Isla and Spabblish) ran to check out the excitement. All the kids (mine as well as Isla and Spabblish) took turns poking the poor, creepy, freshly dead thing with sticks. Then they all had to prove how brave they were by touching the snake WITH THEIR FINGERS and then running around screaming for a full minute.

    At this point, Spabblish decides that she should pick it up and swing it around. This was a great delight and horror to all onlookers. Spabblish the brave! Master tamer of creepy, dead snakes!

    The drama didn't last much longer before Isla and Scud took the snake and put it in the garbage can. One problem. They put it in the BLUE garbage can. The recycling can. And I don't think snakes are recyclable. Can you imagine the look on the face of the poor person who finds a DEAD SNAKE as they are sorting through recyclables. Ahhh, the terror!

    So, I had to dig said snake out of the blue can and bury him with his friend in the black can before the snake drama really ended.

    So, I'm tired of snakes and I'm not sure why they've chosen to grace our home with their presence. And I wonder if it's just our yard, or if it's a neighborhood epidemic.

    But my main question is this. What could be causing these snakes to die? We just fertilized. Can fertilizer kill snakes? And do you think that whatever is killing my snakes might harm my kiddos? If not, I might just like to do more of it.

    Any snake experts out there?

    Monday, April 24, 2006

    Where I Come From

    I am from caterpillars and mud pies, from peanut M&Ms and little pink mints kept in green, metal Doan's back pill containers.

    I am from pine sap stuck between my fingers and the enormous pine tree that grew in my front yard. I am from swinging on poplar limbs and singing in the peach tree, gnarled and lopsided from many generations of inexperienced pruners. I am from the perfume of lilacs and the musky scent of rose bushes burdened with pink and yellow blooms. I am from white paint peeling off the sides of a clapboard home and the clanging of license plates nailed to my dad's flimsy garage doors. I am from the large, rough limbs of my apple tree that bent down low, inviting me to scamper up. I am from the aroma of apple blossoms and entire summer days spent at the top of that tree. I am from the screen door squeaking in protest as it slammed shut and from green, shag carpet tickling my toes. I am from the dent my dad put in the kitchen ceiling during an argument with my mom. I am from parents who loved each other and stuck together in spite of disagreements.

    I am from green grass dotted with cheery yellow dandelions, the purple bearded irises growing in my back yard.

    I am from flowers for dear ones on Memorial Day and the acrid smell of vinegar as we colored easter eggs, from laughing all night with my brother and sister on Christmas Eve and unconditional love shown through service and forgiveness, from Barbara Alice Frazier Murray and Great Aunt Millie and Uncle Brett.

    I am from the Murray clan, who always talked a little too fast and the Hollands, who always spoke a bit too slow.

    From "What matters most is that you're beautiful on the inside. What matters is how you treat people." and "Heather Bug" and knowing I was Dad's "Number One Daughter".

    I am from Sunday morning walks to church and the peace that comes from knowing that I am a child of God, that the Savior lives and loves me and that families can be together forever.

    I'm from the briney shores of the Great Salt Lake, from Oklahoma and Kentucky, from Cherokee skin that bronzes easily in summer and a good measure of Scottish stubbornness. I am from the sweet smell of sugar cookies baking, from malted goat's milk with Grandpa and from bacon and eggs shared with Daddy long before the sun came up.

    From my spunky Great Grandma Holland who raised my father to be an amazing man and was still hurdling fences in her nineties, the strength of my Grandpa Murray who worked every day of his life, who loved and led his family the best way he knew how after his sweet wife died. I am from afternoons spent burning peanut butter cookies with Millie. I am from a mom who lost her mother at eleven and never seemed to take her time with me for granted. She loved me fiercely each moment of my childhood. I am from my dad's calloused and oil-stained hands that worked all day and still had time to play catch with me.

    I am from lullabies passed down through generations. I am from family pictures covering the walls and the picture albums in the buffet drawers, from my parents' wedding album that proved to my friends just how good looking my parents were when they were young and just how goofy my dad's tux really was. I am from boxes of faded black and white images of uncles and aunts and of grandparents that I never got to meet. I am from a basement bursting with treasure, cluttered with books and bassinets, furniture and fabric, Halloween costumes and old Home Interior. Much of it is from my parents' life together. The rest reminds them of their childhood homes and of the loved ones to whom they said goodbye far too soon. For me it is a history of where I'm from, simple reminders of ordinary people and lives filled with courage, faith and boundless love.

    Monthly Letter to Mashuga

    My Dearest Mashuga,

    I can't believe how much you are growing. Today you are 3 years, 3 months and twenty days old. You're still my baby, but nearly every day you remind me what a big boy you are.

    "Mom, I'm not a baby! I'm a big boy! I can do it mybelp!" you tell me as you insist on doing one more thing I used to do for you. You buckle yourself into your carseat. You get yourself dressed. You even need "private time" in the bathroom. You're needing me less and less and I have to remember to let go a little more each day.

    Every once in a while you still do things that make you feel like my baby, like falling asleep in odd places in the middle of the day.

    And, though I vowed that your third birthday would be your last day as a nursling, you still love your morning "gaggy". At first I was discouraged that you hadn't weaned when I wanted you to, but now that you are growing up so fast I enjoy our time together in the morning. You are warm and sleepy and I love to cuddle you while you nurse. And then when you're done you usually give me one of your biggest hugs and say, "I love you, Mommy." I feel like I'm the luckiest mama in the whole world. Of course, you've even skipped this the last two mornings and I know that time may be running out on this sweet part of our relationship.

    I feel so lucky to have you. Just about 7 months ago you fell out of our kitchen window. You broke your jaw, you had a tiny skull fracture. You had to be life-flighted from here to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Of course, you just enjoyed the helicopter ride and were so grateful for James and Jeff, the "really good guys" who took care of you on the way.

    This was a difficult time for Mommy. I was flooded with guilt. I was worried that you might not recover fully. I was haunted with nightmares about how much worse it could have been. But it was also an amazing time for me because I got to know you so much more. You, my darling little boy, have an indomitable spirit. As I watched you go through pain and frustration, I was in constant awe at your courage, your grace, your ability to feel joyful through such a trying time. That week you showed me what you were made of. I felt humbled to be your mother.

    Last week a wonderful mother I know lost her little boy because he fell out of a window. I ache for her, because I was once given a little glimpse of what she might be feeling. And I feel ever more grateful for the miracle that allowed me to keep you, alive and happy and whole. I don't know why I got to keep you and she has to deal with losing her son, but I know that I've been hugging you tighter lately. I know that I just can't take you for granted.

    And how could I?!? You have been my constant companion lately. I can't even leave the room without you wailing "Mommy, you can't just leave me here!" Yesterday you climbed on my shoulders and insisted on going to the bathroom with me, jabbering the whole time. Sometimes it makes me laugh, like when you've left the room for a couple of minutes and come back to find me cuddling with Daddy. "Awwww," you say, trying not to cry. "Now Daddy habs you and I can't hab you." Sometimes it makes me crazy, like when I run into another room for no more than 2 seconds and you cry for an hour because I didn't take you with me. But mostly, I just keep reminding myself to enjoy this time with my little boy. To enjoy the fact that I'm your favorite person in the world and that you want nothing more than to be with me. Because I know that in the blink of an eye you'll be a big man with barely enough time to kiss your Mom as you rush out the door. I'll be the one wishing you'd take me along.

    I just can't say enough to you, my dear. You are an enchanting little boy. You are joy incarnate. Everywhere we go you are performing, smiling, lighting up the room, lighting up other's lives.
    And you know how to enjoy life better than anyone I've ever known. Every day is bubbling with bliss for you. Every happy moment is ecstasy.

    And you make me laugh like nobody else can.

    You are the bravest kid I know. You'll jump from anywhere, touch anything, do anything. You are utterly fearless and it scares me to death.

    You even went on your first roller coaster at Disneyland this month. "Daddy, this is like a roller poaster! It really, really is!"

    You are simply an amazing person. So much bigger than your little body, already ready to take on the world.

    So, please forgive me if I hold on too tight. If you have to remind me a million times each day what a big boy you are. I'm simply enraptured by you, enjoying you, loving this incredible blessing of being your mother. I really am excited to see what you'll be, excited to see you fly. But, flying means you'll be flying away. For as long as I can, I want to hold you close to my heart, preserving this joyful time in our lives. Let me hold on to your innocence, your wonder and joy for just a bit longer, my darling. I still have so very much to learn from you.

    With all the love my heart can hold,
    Your Mama

    Friday, April 21, 2006

    This One's For Me

    I have another blog. I do. I'm not sure yet what I'll do with it. Maybe I'll keep it up. Maybe it will just become my bastard blog child until I dare to delete it. But right now it's not serving my needs.

    Here's why: I've been writing it for everyone else. Every word has been measured by what others would think of it, or of me.

    But this one is for me. This is my journal, a place for me to be fully honest and just get it all out. You're all welcome to read it, of course. And you're perfectly welcome to comment (read: PLEASE COMMENT, I BEG YOU!). Just as long as you know that I'm writing all this for me.

    Um, Wow, Who Knew?

    You all probably knew this already. But, blogger can do lots of really cool things.

    I never knew. You see, I've been using blogger with a web app called Safari, which I love. But apparently blogger doesn't support it, because, until I decided to use Netscape on a whim today, I never knew about the Compose mode. My limited html knowledge was really holding me back.


    Okay, I'm done. Really. :) This makes life so much easier for me!