Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Wrap May 26

Okay, I'll try to keep this brief. I was looking over my last two Friday Wraps and realized that they were close to becoming novels. Not a lot happened this week (THANK GOODNESS), so I shouldn't have too much to say.

  • Monday was a jolt. This weekend was so pleasant, after having jury duty. It was wonderful to rest. Then, I woke up at 7:00 on Monday morning and was so surprised and overcome with the fact that I had to get up and take Kaitybean to school. Weird.

  • Laundry update: I'm working on it. I've been folding and washing, folding and washing, folding and washing. Working my way through these piles and then I'm going to implement my dear friend Edge's Mean, Lean Laundry Machine. She posted it and as soon as I read it I thought "AHA! That's perfect! That's EXACTLY what I've been needing."

  • Most of my days have been a blur this week. I've been struggling. Struggling with a lot of self-doubt and discouragement. Some days it just takes all I have to get out of bed in the morning. And then it's a fight all day to get anything done (and I spend most of the day beating myself up over not getting anything done). Ah, well. This too shall pass.

  • Early this week I was feeling just marvelous. Not too tired, no morning sickness. And I was TERRIFIED. Worried about not feeling pregnant and what that could mean. This is about the stage (8 weeks) when I miscarried my last baby. But t
    woke up on Wednesday feeling SO sick that I could barely move. And ever since then, the fatigue has been KILLING ME. Killing me, I tell you. I'm ready for a nap two hours after I get up. And I get so tired that I can barely move. I have to keep telling myself that this is a good thing and my body's way of reminding me that my priority right now should be taking care of myself. I am most definitely still pregnant and it seems to be working well, as in my body sure is working hard.

  • JDub has finally arranged his work schedule so that he has a FULL DAY OFF during the week. Hooray! Before, he was working from 8-5 on Monday and Tuesday, 8-12 on Wednesday, 8-5 on Thursday and Friday and from 9-4 on Saturday. And it was wearing on me and on him and on our whole family. But, now he's worked it so that he has ALL of Wednesday off. It was wonderful to have him home for a full day. Now if we can just work toward getting Saturdays off.... (I know, I know, will I EVER be satisfied?)

  • My sister came to stay with us on Wednesday night. We were out of milk and she stopped and got milk and treats for the kids on her way here. Then, she was here yesterday and will be going home this afternoon. It's been so wonderful to have her here. Have I ever mentioned that I have the coolest sister ever? She's such a good friend and so good to me. She bought me a very cute daisy decoration for my door. And she's always doing sweet things like that for me and for others. She so effortlessly loves and serves people. She's just thoughtful. I'd like to be more like her.

  • Speaking of sisters, I'm so excited about the new sister I'll be gaining this fall. My brother's fiance is just such a beautiful person -- inside and out. I'm glad he found her. She, my sister and I went to the LDS Temple together last night and it was wonderful to be together in such a peaceful place. It was the most enlivening, uplifting and encouraging experience I've had all week. I need to get there more often.

  • So, today my plan is to actually go to the gym instead of just feeling guilty about it. Then, my Dad's famiy is getting together tomorrow for dinner and karaoke. I think we'll go up there. Our memorial day plans include swimming and a barbeque. We're spending this memorial day with JDub's family. Which I'm excited about, but I always miss walking around the Cemetary and putting flowers on the graves of loved ones with my Mom and Dad. Throughout my life, that's been one of our most meaningful and memorable family traditions. There's something so very sacred about remembering one's ancestors, remembering the sacrifices of those who came before us.

    So, I leave you with that note on heritage. Enjoy your memorial day weekend!

  • Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Monthly Letter to Kaitybean - May

    My sweet, darling daughter,

    I'm still tingling from the long, tender hug you gave me this morning before dashing out onto the playground at school. And from watching you run to your friends, stopping every three yards to wave or blow a kiss at me. I can't help but marvel at the tremendous love and sweetness you've brought me every day of the last eight years.

    I remember so vividly the day you were born. You were tiny and beautiful and perfect. Never again has my soul opened, my heart expanded and my whole being flooded with love as it did the moment I saw you, my first child. I had no idea that I could love that much and my capacity for love has only grown as your brothers were born and as I've spent hours loving and enjoying each of you.

    What an amazing person you are, my Kaitybean. You are one of the most passionate, kind and thoughtful people I know. You are so mindful of others and their needs. You like nearly everyone you meet and are so willing and able to make them feel comfortable and important.

    I was so proud when you came home from school on Friday. You had a book of messages from your classmates that said why each of them liked you. Nearly everyone mentioned that you are kind to them. Others wrote that you are helpful, that you respect others and that you are always there for them. What mother wouldn't be delighted with such words of prasie from her daughter's peers?

    I am in constant awe at the dignified, loving and peaceful spirit you often carry with you. I have tried your entire life to teach and remind you that you are a daughter of God. But you are the one who teaches me daily of this truth. The light in your eyes. Your earnest seeking for truth and desire to choose the right. Your humble, fervent prayers. So often I see that spark of divinity within you and I am reminded of how recently you left the arms of our Heavenly Father. How humbling it is. I should be teaching you, but you are the one who is always able to remind

    of who

    You will be baptized a member of our church soon. I have been throughly impressed with how seriously you are taking this step. you now that you will be making important promises to God and you have often talked to me about wanting to feel ready to make those promises. You've told me that you don't want to make any promises you aren't ready and willing to keep. How wise you are. How many adults have taken a similar step with much less thought and commitment? You came to me recently to tell me how good you feel about being baptized. You said that you're feeling prepared and that you know Heavenly Father will always help you to do what he asks of you. Thank you, dear. Thank you for teaching me again.

    Thank you for being patient with me, most of the time. It can be hard being the oldest child. I know. I was an oldest child, too, and sometimes you really feel like you're the "test case". And I'm sure it hasn't helped that I have still had so much "growing into myself" to do since you were born. I was so young then and thought I knew who I was. But here I am, eight years later and I still haven't gotten it quite figured out. But, you are truly patient and infinitely, immediately forgiving.

    I can't believe how you are growing. I have been enjoying you so much lately. You're just such good company. You're fun to talk to, fun to be with. I loved riding the "REALLY BIG LOOP DE LOOP" roller coaster with you at Disneyland last month. What a fun Mommy/Daughter date that was. You were so brave and we had so much fun together. First, running like fools to get there before it closed, then holding hands as we walked back to meet Dad and the boys. Thanks for sharing that with me.

    Mostly, my sweetheart, thank you for sharing YOU with me. Being your mother is an honor and a delight. We butt heads sometimes, but you make me think and you make me grow. Thanks for loving me so fiercely and unconditionally. I am so lucky to have you in my life. You're growing up and I feel you growing farther and farther away from me. You are so independent, so capable and so smart. You're needing me less and less. The wonder I feel is that, as you grow, you are also able to recognize how much I love and need you. You still want me around and you're starting to understand that when I hold on (like when I insist on walking you to the bus stop) it's not so much that I don't trust you. It's just that I enjoy your company. And you humor me.

    I'm excited for the walks we have left together. I hate to think of how fast these eight years have flown by and to know how fast the next eight will slip through my fingers. You will have so many dreams to fulfill, so many places to go, so many new friends to make. But, please never forget your first friend. Know that as you grow through changes and challenges that you can always depend upon your mother's love for you.

    Loving You Always,

    Kaitybean in Pictures

    Kaitybean's life so far in pictures.


    Three Months Old

    Eight Months Old

    One Year Old

    Two Years Old

    Three Years Old

    Four Years Old

    Four and a Half Years Old

    Five Years Old

    Six Years Old

    Seven Years Old

    Eight Years Old

    Monday, May 22, 2006

    Meme - Turn ons and offs

    So, one of my favorite women over at Children and Cheerios on the Loose tagged me for a meme. Quite a while ago. But I've been so busy that I'm just now getting to it.

    So, here you go.

    What is your favorite word ?

    What is your least favorite word ?

    What turns you on spiritually,creatively,emotionally ?
    spiritually - uplifting music, the scriptures
    creatively - people who live courageous lives and the choices they make, mornings
    emotionally - hugs, feeling loved, gentleness

    What turns you off?
    Contention, unkindness

    What's your favorite curse word?
    I don't think I have a favorite. Dammit maybe. I don't swear much. Mostly I sound just like my mom whenever I get mad and just start muttering random, meaningless syllables "OOGASHAMOOGALAGAGALLOOOOOO!" Uh huh. I'm pretty nuts.

    What sound or noise do you love to hear?
    Rain, "I love you, Mommy.", rushing water

    What sound or noise do you hate?
    "Uh oh!" CRASH!

    What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
    Who knows. Writer - I'm already a writer, but I'd love to actually get paid for it. Or a CNM or an English Professor. Or a Lawyer. That would be interesting.

    What profession would you not like to do?
    Garbage Man

    If Heaven exists,what would you like to hear God say at the pearly gates?
    "Well done."

    So, now I get to tag some people.
    I tag: Lazy Daisy, Sassy Lime and Frog Legs. And anybody else, too.

    Sunday, May 21, 2006


    Okay, so after about 8 hours of deliberation, we found him guilty of Child Kidnapping. It's an interesting feeling to be done. I feel like we did our job well. We were very thorough, very thoughtful. And we all felt good about our decision.

    One thing I didn't know about Utah law (and perhaps this is the same all over the U.S.) is that one does not have to actually get away with a child in order to be convicted of kidnapping. To seize or detain for any amount of time is considered kidnapping.

    And one thing the jury didn't know through the whole trial is that the man we convicted is also the man who was caught trying to kidnap two little girls in a city just south of me. I remember hearing about this and being terribly disturbed about the things they found in his vehicle.

    And the most disturbing part of the trial? The officer who arrested him for this told us his (the defendant's) address at the time of the crime. I almost fell out of my chair. He lived within walking distance (about 5 minutes) of MY home in 2004, when he committed both crimes. FIVE MINUTES from my sweet daughter. FIVE MINUTES from her beautiful friends. I made sure not to let that sway my decision in the case. He deserved a fair trial no matter where he lived. But, now that it's over, I'm sure glad he won't be getting out of jail and living near us any time soon.

    On a side note, I do feel sad for his family. I talked to his mother in the lobby of the courtroom during jury selection. I didn't know that she was his mother and she didn't say anything to make me think so. But, after seeing her in the courtroom every day sitting behind him, I figured it out. She was a lovely person. I'm sorry she has to go through this.

    Okay, I'm done. Not sure if this whole experience will make me more or less gabby over the next week. We'll see. But I'm definitely taking a break and just loving my kids right now.

    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    Thursday Thirteen - Things About My Glamorous Jury Job

    Okay, here's a quickie. Thirteen things I CAN tell you about the last few days. Late because we had a long day of jury duty today.

    1. In the jury room we have all the junk food we can eat. Twizzlers, Oreos, Reeses, M&Ms, Chips Ahoy. Oh and they do have some apples and oranges on the table.

    2. As I said, there are nine of us. We laugh together. A lot.

    3. Seriously, when I say a lot, I mean it. I'm going to miss these people.

    4. I told one of the jurors today that he looks a lot like Tim Robbins. He didn't take it as a compliment. Um. Open mouth. Insert foot. Maybe I'm a little strange (okay I know I am) but I find Tim Robbins attractive. At least when he was younger.

    5. Lawyer standard time is, well, interesting. If you ever have to deal with lawyers or a court case, know this. If they say they'll start at 8:30, plan on starting between 9:30 and 10:30. If they ask for a 5 minute recess, plan on at least 15 minutes. And 30 seconds, that's LONG.

    6. You know that you're in the middle of boring testimony when you look over and the judge is nodding off.

    7. One woman was being questioned today by the defense attorney (you know, the guy who NEEDS a haircut). He asked her something that made absolutely NO SENSE.

    "Do you know what I'm asking you?" he said.

    "No," she said. "And I don't think you do either."

    8. The case we're listening to is a kidnapping case. It has been in the media. I have to be careful when talking to people, because they often say, "OH, you're working on that case?!?" and they almost start to talk about it when I have to put my fingers in my ears and shout. "LA,LA,LA,LA! NOT LISTENING!"

    9. Haven't read a newspaper or watched the news for a few days for the same reason. Is there anything I really should know about? Is Vicente Fox running for U.S. president in 2008? Any tsunamis in Michigan?

    10. If you're seeking the sustaining of an objection from the judge, it's better not to act like his 16 year old son. Attitude is everything. And respect matters, even to the most patient of judges.

    11. And seriously, this judge is patient. He's so mellow and held together. It's fun to watch him. He does a good job.

    12. We're not allowed to talk to anyone in the court house, except each other and the bailiff. So, when we get there we have to go into a tiny room with a table and chairs and wait for the bailiff to come get us and take us back to the jury room. More talking. More laughing.

    13. We really are taking this seriously. Especially as testimony has come to an end and we get ready to hear closing arguments and deliberate. I can see in everyone's eyes the same thing that I'm feeling. This is one of the most important decisions of our lives. So much hangs in the balance. We all want to do our very best to give this person a fair trial.

    It's late, so many of you probably won't be around to add a link, but here you go:

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Where's My Wand? Lost in the Laundry!

    So, it seems that since the beginning of time I have had major laundry issues. I'm just terrible at keeping up with it. At this very moment there is an embarrassingly large mountain of dirty laundry sitting at the foot of my bed. I haven't gotten to it partly because there is also a huge mountain of clean, unfolded laundry sitting in our family room. And all of my laundry baskets are buried somewhere underneath it. It's pitiful really.

    I used to do a big laundry day once a week and get it all done at once. I haven't been doing that lately. Mostly because we have SO MUCH to do. I'm looking for a better system, better ideas on keeping on top of this without losing my mind.

    Anyone have any great laundry tips? Things that you do to keep up with the never ending laundry piles?

    I'd sure love to hear them. Please share.

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    What are the odds?

    They chose 9 jurors out of about 50 in our jury pool. And guess who won the lottery? Yep, little old me. So, I'll be listening to testimony from (edited) and weighing evidence about (edited for content, it would be illegal for me to tell you this part) over the next couple of days.

    I must say, I am a teensy bit excited about the being on a jury part. It hasn't been terribly exciting yet, but it's like we get to solve a very important puzzle and I feel all important and such. And I feel like I'm doing my civic duty.

    I just wish I didn't have to arrange babysitters, miss my kids, not get anything done that I had intended on doing this week and sit for hours without food or a bathroom (remember, I am pregnant here). Not that I'm complaining.

    I'm honored. Really.

    I'll tell you how it goes, after I'm actually able to tell you something.

    I will tell you this much, though. Certain defense attorneys would be much less distracting and much easier to take seriously if they'd get a stinking haircut. Buddy, if you don't make enough doing this lawyer gig to pay somebody to cut your hair, I'll pitch in $10 bucks from the lavish wages I'm getting for this here jury job. But, please. I beg you. Get a trim.

    Please Don't Pick Me, Please Don't Pick Me

    So, I've got to go to jury selection today. And though I've always thought it would be fascinating to do, I was kind of hoping it would happen in my forties, when I didn't have little kids to shuffle around for a week.

    So, if they don't pick me, I'll just be gone for today. If they do, the trial will last all week. So, I may or may not blog this week.

    This ought to be interesting.

    Oh, and my little brother (who just moved back from San Diego after one week because he just couldn't STAND to be away from his sweetheart that long) will be watching them today. I'm a wee bit apprehensive about that one. I'm sure he'll take good care of them, but he's not always an authority figure in their eyes, so I hope they'll behave.

    Wish me luck!

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    Friday Wrap

  • I spent the majority of Monday and Tuesday in my pajamas. Yep. Didn't get dressed until about 1pm on either day. I'm thinking that the fact that the days I don't feel like doing anything but sitting around in my pajamas and that I've felt so discouraged and yucky lately is a good sign that depression may be rearing its ugly head. Again. Grrrrr... I thought I had this licked.

  • So, the drama has begun. Kaitybean came home from school on Monday thoroughly jubilant. "Mom," she said, "Chandler decided that he wants to be my boyfriend!" (She later said this to her Daddy, who very sweetly replied, "Who wouldn't want to be the boyfriend of such a kind, beautiful, happy, smart and funny girl." Good Daddy. She just blushed and smiled.) I asked her what it meant for Chandler to be her boyfriend. She said it meant that they both had crushes on each other. Okay. I reminded her that we don't date or kiss boys in our family until we're sixteen (though I'd prefer 20!). And she just smiled. No problem. Well, I should have known. On Tuesday afternoon she came running in the door, went immediately to her bedroom adn slammed the door. Not promising. So, I went in and found her sitting on her closet floor, looking forlorn. "What's wrong, honey?" I asked her. "Chandler broke up with me because he says he's too old for me," she replied. "He's 9 and I'm only 7." "What a retard!" is what I thought. Instead I told her, "I'll bet that made you feel sad." We had a good talk and she eventually felt better. And I think she came to the same conclusion about Chandler as I did, but she's still inviting him to her birthday party on Saturday.

  • Visited the doctor on Wednesday to check my poor foot. It's still hurting and popping and crackling from the dive-bombing frozen apple juice hitting it. They did x-rays and everything looks a-okay. Whew. Now that I feel my hypochondriacism settling down I think I'll go for a run without worrying about permanent damage to my foot.

  • Um, JDub decided on Wednesday to start speaking Spanish exclusively in our home. There are mixed reviews around our house about this. I am a little frustrated that he started it up without even a warning. "Hey, honey. I'll be speaking Spanish from now on. So, don't get discouraged if we can't have a meaningful conversation for the next six months or so. You'll catch on eventually." ARGH! Though, I've begged him with each of our babies to speak Spanish to them so that they'd grow up knowing both languages. So, better late than never, I guess. And I'm sure learning a lot of Spanish. It was an interesting scene in Home Depot when we were buying parts for a sprinkler we were building. He was trying to explain his ideas to me. In Spanish of course. And refused my "Ingles, por favor." several times. Like I have the vocabulary to understand, let alone PARTICIPATE in that discussion. But we got it. I learned a little Spanish. He got his way. Our relationship suffered a bit, or at least my part of it. Such is life, I guess. Maybe it shouldn't be, I don't know. I've felt so disregarded lately and I wonder if it's just me or if there really is a problem.

  • I finished reading Pride and Prejudice this week. Oh, I loved that book. I wish I had read it 10 years ago. I loved the story, the characters and far from being caught up by the language, I LOVED it. I found myself speaking rather correctly this week because I had such proper, flowery English in my head.

  • My brother and his fiance set a date to be married. October 21. Wow. She came over tonight to bring Kaitybean a birthday present, even though she's only known us for a little over a week. She really is a great person. I'm liking her more the more I get to know her.

  • Speaking of Kaitybean, she is eight years old today. Did you read that?!? My firstborn, my sweet only daughter, my 4 pound 13 ounce bean of a baby is EIGHT YEARS OLD. How did this happen? Why do they have to grow up so fast?

  • And more drama from her. Yesterday she came home from school 30 minutes late. I'd like to say that I was about ready to start calling around the neighborhood, but the truth is, I was too distracted to realize that it was that late. So, she came home with her hair all messed up, ran into my arms and said frantically (though not quite frantically enough). "Mom, somebody tried to steal me!" She then told me that a man with bluish-green eyes and blonde spiky hair pulled her into his tan van and took her to his house with the brown shingles on the roof and the white door. She was able to sneak out, but not before noticing a gun and a knife on his desk. She told me he bit her and showed me the bite mark. It was not very deep and strangely just the right size and tooth pattern to be HER bite-mark. We talked some more. I probed. She answered and squirmed and shifted. "Are you telling the truth?" I asked her, looking into her eyes. She finally broke down in tears and told me that she'd been lying. What really happened? She walked home with a friend to see her kittens and lost track of time. Hmm, 30 minutes late. What would you most like to hear? Kittens at a friend's house or fleeing from a deranged (though small-mouthed and inattentive) abductor? We talked about that. And the idea that honesty is ALWAYS the best policy and that she definitely NEVER needs to mess up her hair, bite herself and come up with a crazy, scary story to keep Mom from being mad because she's a little late. I can't tell you how many levels on which this is disturbing to me. First that she'd even tell that lie in the first place. Second that it could have happened and she would have come home frightened to a mom who hadn't even noticed that she was 30 minutes overdue. Third, that she is such a good actress and can tell such a convincing story and lie already. Sure, there were some clues, but she'll get better. And even with the inconsistencies, if she had looked me in the eye and told me she was telling the truth I would have called 911 right there and then. I'm hoping that the way I handled this will help her understand that she shouldn't and doesn't ever have to lie to me.

  • As for my little self, I'm flitting between feeling elated, exhausted, terrified, nauseated and HUNGRY. I swear, there's a little person inside me ordering my meals for me. And you know what? This little person is a CARNIVORE! Cravings this week: meatballs, ground beef (yep, fried half a pound of it for lunch on Tuesday), steak, cheeseburgers and chicken. Oh and tomatoes. No, I haven't gained 5 pounds this week.

  • Oh, and I have to sing Mr Linky's praises. I couldn't get my autolink to work yesterday, so I emailed him. Not fifteen minutes later I had a reply letting me know what the problem was. With a tiny bit of tinkering I was able to fix it. Not in time for any of you to use it, but that was because I didn't get to it until night time. Not because I didn't get a quick reply and efficient help. He came to my rescue immediately and was able to see exactly what the problem was. And today he's working on figuring out why it happened. What a guy.

    So, that's it for now, folks. That's all I can remember. Unless I'm in the mood to post something special for Mother's Day, I'll see you on Monday.

  • Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Thursday Thirteen - Things I Actually Said to My Kids This Week

    Just in case you felt like *you* were having a "bad mommy" week.

    1. I don't care if you want candy. Mommy wants Snickers ice cream bars and there are six in a box, so you WILL be eating one.
    2. I don't mind you peeing in the back yard, Scud. I just don't want you peeing off the deck into the back yard.
    3. No, I will NOT put the poop back on your bum. I wiped it for a reason.
    4. Mashuga, we don't pour Kool Aid on the clean dishes in the dishwasher!
    5. I don't care if you're late for school. You WILL go to school with your hair done at least ONCE this week.
    6. Lots of people wear their pajamas at lunch time.
    7. Yes, that shirt is too dirty to wear to school. Dirt is not an accessory, Kaitybean.
    8. You did WHAT?!?
    9. Sure you can watch Cartoon Network. Just don't bug me while I'm finishing my blog, okay.
    10. I am SO the boss of you, little punk.
    11. Please, at least don't eat your boogers in FRONT of me.
    12. Mashuga! No going to the neighbor's house without your underwear on!!!!
    13. Yes. You can have microwave popcorn for breakfast.

    Feeling any better now?

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    What's For Dinner Wednesday - Tasty Meat Pie

    I can't claim any credit for this recipe. I got it from Quick Cooking magazine years ago. But it's definitely a family favorite.

    Tasty Meat Pie

    1-1 1/2 pounds ground beef
    1 small onion, diced (optional)
    3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
    4 medium carrots, sliced
    1 can Golden Mushroom condensed soup
    1 can Vegetable Beef with Barley condensed soup
    2 pie crusts

    Brown ground beef. Combine with vegetables and soups. Divide mixture into two pie pans and top with pie crusts. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Let cool on wire rack 15 minutes before serving.


    Monday, May 08, 2006

    Kaitybean the Expert

    So, my children like to argue. A LOT. And Kaitybean seems to think she's an expert on pretty much everything. Which results in some very funny discussions between her and Scud.

    Here's an actual conversation between them yesterday:

    Scud: Kaitybean. I'm, like, 40 feet tall.
    Kaitybean: No you're not.
    Scud: Yes I am!
    Kaitybean: Well. Actually. I'm about 4 feet tall, so you're not FOR-TY feet tall.
    Scud: I am. I'm forty feet tall.
    Kaitybean: Well, apparently, I'm taller than you. And if you're forty feet tall, I'm like 50 feet tall. And I'm not. I'm four feet tall. So you're only probably like 3 and a half feet tall. And Mashuga's about 2 feet tall. And Mom, I think she's probably 11 feet tall.
    Scud: (Lost in the face of this tremendous logic) Well. Okay. But I still think I'm forty feet tall.

    BTW, actual height of all those mentioned:

    Kaitybean - About 48"
    Scud - About 44"
    Mashuga - About 38"
    Me - 62"

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    The Friday Wrap

    This was a slightly less eventful week than last. AND, thank goodness, a bit better.

  • Last Saturday I taught part of a private childbirth class. It went well, mostly. But I kind of had a full cup concerning this couple and thought I knew for sure what they needed, rather than waiting for them to let me know that. I'm teaching them this evening and tomorrow and hopefully I'll be able to do better.

  • On Sunday, J&J (my wonderful BIL and SIL) invited us over for dinner. Dinner was good, but the company was infinitely better. I'm always so grateful to be related to them. We enjoy them immensely.

  • My brother is getting ready to go to San Diego for the summer to sell security systems. So, if you live in San Diego and a cute guy with huge, muscular arms, dark brown hair and brown puppy dog eyes knocks on your door this summer, be nice to him. Okay? He's a good guy and I think he'll do well. I'll miss him a lot.

  • We got to meet Sarah, my brother's girlfriend, on Tuesday. She's nice. I liked her. I didn't feel as instant a connection to her as I did his last GF (sorry bro). But, I liked her. And I can tell he does. One thing I really liked is how comfortable he was and how easily he was able to be himself with her. That was one drawback with his last girlfriend. We all adored her, but he always felt like he needed to be someone else to please her. And that's not a good way to live life. So, I'm hoping for him that things will work out with Sarah. She really is a cute girl.

  • My cute sister came over on Tuesday as well. She makes me happy. She's considering getting a job down here and living in this area. I'd love it. My kiddos would be in heaven. Heaven, I tell you.

  • Also my Mom and Dad came to see us on Tuesday. It's always nice to see them. I have been blessed with wonderful parents.

  • Kaitybean and Scud each played their last soccer game this week. So, soccer season is over and it's always a bittersweet thing. Especially for me, since I'm going to miss "my girls", the team I coached the last two seasons. Since I'll be very pregnant in the fall, I'm not sure I'll be able to coach next season. Sigh. It might be nice to be "just" a soccer mom, though.
    Aren't they all so cute?

    And here are my little soccer players. Kaitybean's hair needs help, but what else is new? I love the look on Scud's face.

  • Well, I showed up for my workshop last night. I had some wonderful stuff prepared. Nobody showed up. I guess that's what happens when you don't take time to advertise. Good news, though. We'll be trying it again next month. The woman in charge of workshops at Babies R Us visits nearly every doctor's office in the valley each month. She said that if I can get my flyers to her, she'd be glad to take them around. Woohoo!

  • I had a good talk with one of my favorite friends this week. It's nice to have good friends and to talk to them in "real time" once in a while.

  • Went to a mostly pointless meeting last night for my children's charter school. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm terribly excited about this school. I think it will be an awesome experience for all involved. I've been working with the founding members for the better part of a year to get things going. But, I. Am. Tired. Of. Their. Meetings. Honestly, the meeting lasted for an hour and a half. In that hour and a half I got about 5 minutes worth of useful information. The rest was blah, blah, blah and questions from the audience that could have easily been held until the end and asked without the rest of us needing to listen in. I just get frustrated when people waste my time. There's a time and place for "Rah, Rah" meetings and then there's a good application for EMAIL. And I tell you, the amount of information I gleaned from this meeting would have taken someone between 10 and 15 minutes to type up and send to all of the parents. Okay. Complaining off.

  • Most of all, I just have to say that I'm happy, I'm surviving and I'm still pregnant. So, I'm good. Life is good. Thanks for checking up with me!

    Enjoy your weekend.

  • Thursday, May 04, 2006

    Thursday Thirteen - Affirmations

    These last couple of weeks have been terribly unsettling. It's hard to be at the brink of losing all faith, all hope. But, deep down I know that all is well. So today I'm sharing thirteen things I know for certain.

    1. I am a daughter of God and He loves me unconditionally.

    2. My Savior lives. He loves me. He knows me. He suffered and died for ME, so that I need not suffer at times like this. I simply need to let Him take my load and trust that the peace will come.

    3. I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.

    4. The Lord will never ask me to do anything without giving me the strength to do what He asks of me.

    5. I am of infinite worth.

    6. Life is good. We're meant to be happy, we're meant to have joy.

    7. My Heavenly Father doesn't want me to feel miserable and paralyzed with guilt and fear. He simply wants me to let go of the past, put my trust in Him and keep taking one step at a time.

    8. Every moment of life is a blessing. Every difficulty is a privilege, an opportunity to better know God.

    9. The Lord has a plan for me. I may be a mess. I may only get to see one glimpse at a time of where I'm going, but He knows the way.

    10. No matter what happens, if I keep the faith and trust the Lord, everything will give me experience and will work together for my good.

    11. I have wonderful family and friends who love me and will always be there, willing to help me.

    12. I have the capacity to do so much good. And I will.

    13. I am enough. I have enough. I do enough. I am good and need to be much more gentle with myself.

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    How to Launch From Good to Great

    This morning I got a message in my inbox from Lori Prokop. Who Lori Prokop is, I have no idea. But she says that fear of failure can "cause you to freeze and create the situation you fear, even causing failure to thrive." So surprising. I haven't gotten to the part yet where she says what to do about it. I may read it later when I'm not 1. Writing on my blog or 2. Needing to wake Kaitybean so that she can get ready for school.

    So, I've been feeling like a big, fat failure lately. Do you ever have those moments in your life when you just feel like you're screwing EVERYTHING up? Or at least not doing justice to much of anything?

    Well, I've felt that way today. Case in point. I am teaching a workshop tomorrow at Babies R Us on Mindful Prenatal Nutrition. It really will be a good, quality workshop. We'll be talking about the importance of paying attention when we're eating, so that we can be more satisfied with our food and make food choices that will promote health and well-being. I really feel that if we take the time to consider whether or not a certain food feels good in our body, what benefits we're deriving from it and where it comes from, we begin to make better choices for ourselves. Not out of guilt or by following food lists, but because we're taking the time to listen to our bodies and take care of ourselves. And as we take the time to pay attention and enjoy each bite, we feel satisfied sooner and actually enjoy the experience of eating more. I've really begun trying to be more mindful as I eat and it's been a marvelous experience. I'm excited to share it with others. So, what's the big deal? Well, I haven't advertised. At all. They advertise it at the store, but I was planning on taking flyers around to some care providers' offices and haven't. I made beautiful flyers, but they're all here sitting on my desk. WAH! It hardly seems worthwhile to take them around today.

    And I had an interview with a potential doula client last week. She hasn't called me back, so I'm assuming she hired someone else. And I think I might know why. We were talking about who I would have as backup doulas in case I couldn't be there. I told her that one of my backups would probably be a certain other doula who I've actually never met or called or asked if she would be willing to do that. I'm pretty sure she would have been, but I hadn't yet taken the time to call her. And I slacked off and didn't talk to her immediately after my interview, as I had planned. I actually still haven't called her. Well, the problem is, this other woman was on the potential client's list of doulas to interview. She probably brought up my name and the other doula said "Heather who? I don't know her. We haven't talked about doing backup for each other." Dumb, dumb, dumb. And I feel awful. I wasn't intentionally deceptive. But I should have been more up front and just said, "I'm still working out a backup plan. I'm planning to call so and so to see if she'll be able to do backup for me." Now, I'm just stewing because I really adored this couple during our interview and want so badly for her to have a good experience. And I don't want her to think that I meant to lie to her or deceive her. I'm trying to decide whether or not to call and clear things up, not becuase I'm hoping she'll still hire me, but because I just want her to feel comfortable and apologize for any distress my lack of clarity has caused her. And I want to know that she's being taken care of by a good doula. Would you want me to call?

    Then, there's visiting teaching. I've been the world's worst visiting teacher lately. For those who aren't Mormon, I'll explain a bit more. As a visiting teacher, it is my job to pay a monthly visit to three women in our congregation. And more than that, I'm in charge of making sure they and their families are doing okay. It's my job to care for them and do what I can to help them if they need it. It's a pretty good program. We're all watching out for one another. But, I haven't even been making the monthly visits, let alone taking the time to really be concerned about and try to take care of these women. And I want to be, but I'm just not making it.

    So, I'm sorry for complaining, sorry for being down on myself. The truth is, I'm a really good person. I care deeply about others. I'm generally very kind and compassionate. There are a lot of things that I do well. But, I know I need to be doing better. My caring deeply about others often gets lost in my inability to express that to them. And all of my good intentions seem to be lost in my disorganized life and home. They don't seem to be making it out the front door like I want them to.

    So, my question is this. What things do you do to help yourself stay organized and committed? How do you translate your good intentions into actions? I know I need to be doing better than I am.

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Monthly Letter to JDub

    Dear Sweetheart,

    I simply can't believe that we're coming up on 9 years of marriage. And that we've known each other for nearly 14 years. That means I've known you for half of my life. Wow. During one of our first conversations I remember feeling that I could marry you. You just felt like home. Here we are all these years later and you still feel like home -- a much more comfortable home than I ever could have hoped for.

    I'm finding it much harder to write this letter to you than I expected. Perhaps it is the public forum and all, but I think I'll just write what I'm feeling anyway.

    I'm grateful to be your wife. I'm glad to have you as my best friend. I love how you "make me funny" and always thank me for making a great husband. I've got pretty good material to work with.

    I was so grateful for you on Friday evening. I had to teach a childbirth class at our house the next day and you cleaned the carpet, mopped the kitchen, did the dishes and did everything you could to help me. No complaining.

    Thank you for supporting me in all of the crazy things I do. It's not easy to be the husband of a woman who is passionate about so many things and diligent at so few things. But you love me, you believe in me, you stand by me and you give me wings to fly. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    So, my heart's been hurting lately. I'm sure you've noticed. I know that a lot of it stems from not spending much time talking to Heavenly Father lately. I've not been trusting the Lord. I haven't been putting much work into my spiritual life and I'm suffering as a result. I feel lost sometimes and alone and weak. Which, without my Savior, I am. These are the times when it's easiest for me to get angry with you. To blame you for all of our perceived problems. But, the funny thing is that, when I look back, these are the times I'm most grateful for you. Your patience, your laughter, your kindness and gentleness with me lift me and sustain me until I can find the strength again to stand on my own feet. To get back to being who I know I want to be.

    So, I'm sorry for the times I've been frustrated and disappointed with you lately. So often my frustrations with you stem from my own insecurities. I know my own failings so intimately that it scares me to see some of the same flaws in you. I know how terribly weak I am and if you have the same weakness then surely the kids or the house or the world will fall apart. How can we keep it together?!?

    And I guess we can't. Not for now. And that's okay, because we're learning and we're figuring it out together. There's nobody I'd rather be muddling through this mess of a life with. I sure love you.

    We were really just babies when we got married, weren't we?!? Me at nineteen and you at twenty-one. I know I didn't think I was that young, but oh boy. Now I see it. But we're making it and we still love each other and we're doing better every day. So thanks, honey. Thanks for being my dear one. Thanks for your kindness and patience.

    I love you,