Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - A Month of Pictures

Thirteen of my favorite pictures from the last month or so. Enjoy!














Disclaimer: I'm not a photographer, nor do I make any claims to be one. Gotta work on that.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Just the Kind of Thing I Could See Myself Doing

I'll be he felt foolish. Here's the story:

BERLIN (Reuters) - German police rescued an American soccer fan lost in Hanover and unable to find his hotel again after helplessly wandering around the city for more than six hours after a match, federal police said Friday.
The 25-year-old Boston man had checked into his hotel in the afternoon before going to see a match between Poland and Costa Rica but could not remember his hotel's name, its address or anything else about it, police spokesman Holger Jureczko said.

"He came into the police station at 3 a.m. and asked for help," Jureczko said.

"The only thing he could remember was paying 10 euros for a taxi ride to the city center and that he went past a park and a Mercedes dealer. There are a lot of Mercedes dealers in Hanover but we were able to find the one in the vicinity of a park."

Police took the American to the area that matched his vague description in the city of 500,000 and spent an hour driving up and down streets in that quarter until he recognized his hotel just before dawn Wednesday.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Wrap Wrap Wrappity Wrap

Feeling a bit silly this morning. This will be a quickie, as I have tons to do today. Now, if I can even remember this week...

  • JDub's parents and youngest brother flew in from Germany on Saturday night. We all got together on Sunday for Mexican food and lots of laughs. It was good to see everyone. Big families are so much fun. It was especially nice to see his parents and brother for the first time in about a year.

  • Taught another class on Tuesday. It went wonderfully. I love teaching.

  • On Wednesday we went to my hometown to see a production of Nunsense. The women starring in it were all my teachers at some point or another. My high-school theatre teacher, my voice teacher, my dance teacher, my girls' camp leader. Oh, and Christin, who is a couple years younger than me and one of my favorite friends from high school. It was hillarious. The play was fun, but what was most fun was seeing all of these wonderful women who taught me so much hamming it up on stage. I'm glad we took the time to go. My wonderful mom and sister watched my kiddos while we were gone. Thanks!

  • I am now 11 weeks pregnant! One more week and I'll be finished with the first trimester!!!! That is just so exciting to me. The miscarriage rate drops significantly at that point. Feeling so hopeful and thrilled.

  • Rentals from Redbox this week: Glory Road, Must Love Dogs and High School Musical. Don't make fun of me, but I love High School Musical. Such a fun show. Of course I really loved the others, too. It's just fun to slip into a silly teen movie sometimes.

  • Books I'm reading right now: Crucial Conversations and The Four Agreements. I would HIGHLY recommend both. Crucial conversations, especially.

  • My sister came out yesterday. She did some testing for a job as a police secretary and ended up with an interview. Yay for her! She deserves this position and I hope she gets it. We went out for lunch afterward and I just enjoy being with her, even if we're not doing anything too exciting. She's just a joy and I feel lucky to have a sister who is also one of my best friends.

  • This morning we were supposed to go to support a friend during a hearing. I thought it was at 9:30, but it was actually at 8:30. Oh, well. To read her story, go here. I have worked in children's theater with this woman. I've had her and her children in my home. She is really a wonderful, conscientious, pulled-together woman. I am appalled that any mother would be charged with negligent homicide for misjudging a child's illness. She did her best, and probably exactly what I (and a million other mothers) would have done with the knowledge she had. If parents have rights to care for their children only when they are able to make perfect decisions, then not a soul has any business being a parent. And how many doctors have provided inappropriate treatment for a patient based on their knowledge at the time, only to find out that the problem was more serious than they'd thought? I'm just outraged at this. And hurting for this dear woman, who has already suffered the loss of her daughter and now has to face criminal charges.

  • Nothing quite as exciting this week as last. Thank goodness. We're off to the library today and I'm going to the gym for the first time in about a month. Dealing with pregnancy symptoms just hasn't left me eager to work my tail off on a treadmill.

    Have a marvelous weekend!

  • Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Thursday Thirteen - Things I LOVE about my kids

    Thanks for the cool banner, Kelly.

    1. They make me laugh. A LOT. Kaitybean has even begun to develop some wit. Not just random funniness, but a real sense of humor.

    3. They love me. A LOT. I am absolutely smothered with hugs and kisses and cuddles every single day.

    4. They are friendly and fun. Kaitybean and Mashuga are especially willing to talk to ANYONE. Scud is a little more shy, but he always seems to make friends wherever we go.

    5. They are busy. All. the. time. There are days that it exhausts me, but I just love to watch them go.

    6. They are incredibly curious and love to learn. We've learned so much about so many things -- ancient Egypt, sharks, dinosaurs, planets, the human body -- simply because they were curious about something.

    7. They are so patient with their parents. We do our best, but trust me, living with JDub and I takes serious patience sometimes.

    8. They are compassionate and accepting of others. They're just so good to people.

    9. They are incredibly spirited. They are intense, perceptive, sensitive, persistent. They have their own ideas about things and their own agendas. Now don't get me wrong, this is definitely a double-edged sword. I could easily put this on a a list of things that drive me nuts. But, I am in constant awe of these amazing miniature adults in my home. It makes life very rich.

    10. They seem to have an innate sense of what is right and incredible testimonies of their Savior. They are faithful and prayerful. Many might think that this is a product of their upbringing and sure, we've tried. But we haven't done anything exceptional. They teach us much more than we teach them.

    11. They teach me daily about joy. Life is so joyful for children and it rubs off when you're around them all day.

    12. They're just cute. I love those little faces.

    13. They make me a better person.

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    Ah... Mashuga

    It's funny how Mashuga got his nickname. He was a tiny baby and I just started calling him Mashuga Man. And it stuck. Sometimes when I say it, it almost sounds like a sneeze.

    "Ah, ah, ah Mashuga!!"
    "Gesund heit."

    So, do I have a point to this post. Maybe. Maybe not.

    So, yesterday at the park Mashuga informed me of something very fascinating.

    "Mashuga, time to go," I told him.
    "Okay, Mom. Let's go," he replied. And then the kicker. "And when you get in and put the key in the car, I'll make it start. I'm in charge of this world."

    Yep. The whole world. Everything. That air you're breathing? Your car starting? Thunderstorms? That's Mashuga.

    I asked him whether or not he's really in charge of the WHOLE WORLD.

    "Like, are you the one who makes it rain."

    "Yes," he looks at me like I'm a bit dotty. "I'm in charge of this world."

    I'm not sure how everything functioned before 2003 when he came along.

    I asked him a little later what else he was in charge of.

    "Cleaning my room," he said.

    Now I'm a little worried. If he's as dilligent at being in charge of the world as he is at cleaning his room, we're all in trouble.

    Or maybe the reason he has a hard time keeping his room clean is that he's so busy being in charge of the whole world. That's a lot of work for such a little guy.

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    The Wrap O the Week

    So, it's been a crazy week, really. Busy. I'm not sure there's any way I can get it in order, so I'll just toss things out as I remember them.

  • Found out on Sunday that I get to sing with the nursery children every week in church. That ought to be a lot of fun.

  • I taught the first of a six week series of Birthing From Within based childbirth classes on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun. I have just one couple in my class right now and they were exceptionally open and willing to play, explore and learn. We had a grand time and I'm really looking forward to our next class.

  • I also had a new doula in my class observing. She is not quite as open and it will be interesting to see how she handles my "dive in and surrender" theory about childbirth. Unlike many birth professionals, I don't believe that you can control the outcome of your birth by any amount of planning or preparation. Nor do I think it's worth it to try to do so. I think the very best preparation a woman can have for childbirth is the acknowledgment that she can't control everything, but that no matter what happens she most certainly CAN rise to the occasion.

  • Mind you, that is me speaking as a childbirth professional. I'm still in the throes of reminding myself as a pregnant woman to not be so uptight about everything, because it really is all out of my hands. I am constantly reminding myself to stay rooted in the moment and to do what I need to do NOW. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Or I will take care of tomorrow, tomorrow.

  • I went to an "intake meeting" at my local midwives office on Thursday. I took all three kiddos with me and they were actually very well behaved. I always grin when my kids do that in public places. It's like I'm carrying around a little secret. "All of these other people think MY children are mild-mannered and well-behaved. Ha!"

  • So, back to the "intake meeting". I felt a bit like bleating while I was there. It began with about 8 of us sitting at tables, filling out paperwork about our health histories. Pregnancies=5 Live Births=3 Miscarriages=1 Alien Infestations=0. And yes, I do agree to arbitration and no, I'll pass on the blood test for genetic abnormalities. Blah, blah, blah. As we each finished our paperwork, we took turns filing into the bathrooms to pee in a cup. Then, we stood in line at the lab, waiting to hand over our precious urine and allow a very frazzled looking woman to poke us in the arms and siphon out 5 vials of blood for various tests. Sure, I've had three babies. I know how it goes with the frequent handing over of bodily fluids. I understand the need for paperwork. And on a very cranial level I can fully understand the reasoning behind a group intake. Saves plenty of time and there's no need for an actual appointment for all of that stuff. But, blech. I felt a bit like a ewe. Or a number. And I just don't know whether I want to go there anymore. It wasn't nearly so impersonal when I went there 4 years ago at the first of my pregnancy with Mashuga.

  • So, I've been filled with a lot of doubts about a care provider. When I was pregnant last time, I was planning on a lovely homebirth attended by a dear friend who is a kind and very experienced midwife. It all played out beautifully in my mind and I was CERTAIN that I would have an idyllic pregnancy and birth. But, this time around there's absolutely NOTHING that I'm really sure of. Neither home nor hospital feels quite right. No care provider on earth seems to be just what I'm wanting/needing. Except maybe the midwife that delivered Mashuga. But she's about 8 hours away. This is just an interesting place for me to be.

  • We also went swimming on Thursday with Isla and her mother. It was great fun. Kaitybean is now tall enough to go on the big waterslides all by herself. I can't believe how grown up she is.

  • On Wednesday I met with the woman whose birth I attended yesterday. She is such a lovely woman. Good natured, kind. The kind of person you meet and instantly know that she has been polished and perfected through trial. Honestly, it is such an honor to be in the profession I'm in. Just to be in the presence of such phenomenal women has made me a better person.

  • And I was able to accompany her at her birth yesterday. We walked the halls and talked for quite a while. Things were somewhat slow to start, but she went from 5 cm dilated to giving birth in about 45 minutes. She was in the tub and her husband and I took turns pushing on and rubbing her back during contractions. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who was as calm as any baby I've ever seen. He just opened his eyes and looked around at everyone. Not a peep. She was amazing. So strong. So lovely.

  • Last night the kids and I went with my sister to see Cars. I highly recommend it. Very good movie.

  • Then we went to Burger King at 9:30 for dinner. Yep. At about 9:45pm, we were sitting around the table with my children eating hamburgers. What exactly is wrong with us? I don't know. But they woke up this morning and didn't seem any worse for the wear. Even if they were highly spoiled yesterday.

  • Today my husband's parents and his youngest brother fly in from Germany. We haven't seen them for nearly a year. I'm just delighted to have them here.

    So, that's all, folks. See you on Monday!

  • Friday, June 09, 2006

    And I'm off...

    To a birth today. I feel so honored to be able to help this woman as she gives birth to her second child.


    If I get back before it's too late I'll probably post a Friday Wrap. If not, well, you know. I'll do something. Or not.

    I've sure been a slacker blogger lately. And really flattering myself to think that anyone is waiting on the edge of their seats for me to post something.

    Have a marvelous day. I'm off to witness a miracle.

    Monday, June 05, 2006

    Talkin' Bout Baby Names

    So, Mashuga says we're having a boy. He says he won't know what his name is until he comes out of my tummy.

    But JDub. JDub knows. We were discussing it at dinner tonight.

    JDub: "It's Tony!"
    Me: "Tony? Um... We're not Italian."
    JDub: "Tony's not an Italian name. It's a biblical name."
    Me: "Oh really. Where's Tony in the bible?"
    JDub: "Peter's nickname was Tony."

    At this point I just about blew orange juice out my nose, I was caught so off guard. I laughed for a while longer and then we began some slightly sacreligious interchanges.

    (Jesus with a thick Italian accent) Hey, Tony. How's it goin'. How about droppin' those nets and following me. I've got a job for you.

    So, I'm not at all persuaded to consider Tony as a name for our future offspring, my love for Tony Danza not withstanding. But Peter might be in the running.

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    Weekly Wrap

    So, I'd call it a Friday Wrap, but it's not a Friday. But, it's been a somewhat interesting week, so......

    -On Monday our family hiked to the "Y" (The giant Y plastered on a mountain near BYU). It was a blast. We took many breaks for the kids, but Kaitybean and Scud made it all the way to the top on their own steam. Mashuga walked about a quarter of the way and rode on Daddy or Uncle D's shoulders the rest of the way. Really, we had a marvelous time. Perfect, cool temperatures, family togetherness, lots of love and laughs.

    -After that, I've spent most of the week in a haze. Honestly, I don't know where I've been lately. But I've been getting close to NOTHING done, either at my house or away from it. And I'm starting to wonder if I'm not doing much or going anywhere because I feel so tired or if I feel so tired because I'm not doing much or going anywhere. Or maybe it's the big, fat D word emerging again. Yuck!

    -But really, I did some things. I watered our front lawn. And I accidentally left the sprinkler on all night in one spot. Woke up in the morning to find some major puddles. Guess that patch of lawn ought to be good for a while. And I dug the wooden squares out of our garden (read: horrendous weed patch) so that we can mow and till it.

    -Kaitybean finished her last day of school for the year. I am THRILLED. I've missed my girl and I'm just not sure how I'll feel aobut sending Scud to school next year, too. I just thoroughly enjoy my kiddos.

    -I had a couple of wonderful talks on the phone with my dear, thoughtful friend Edge this week. Yes, one of my internet friends is actually my REAL friend, too. Thank you my sweet friend for listening, for loving me and for your faith in me. You always bring me both hope and clarity and I'm grateful.

    -I've been having dreams of twins. It would be fun to have twins and really, this would be an ideal time in our family for it. Mashuga will be close to four years old when this next baby/babies come. So, we'll see if they're visions or just random dreams. I certainly have plenty of those -- crazy dreams -- when I'm pregnant.

    -And speaking of being pregnant, I've had a H*%^ of a time choosing a care provider this time around. I'm just not sure what I want. In some ways it's not necessarily a GOOD thing to work in the childbirth field. I know too much about all of the doctors and midwives in the area and it's hard to separate what I know as a birth professional from what I need as a pregnant mama. I'll get it figured out.

    -And I had a major breakthrough with this pregnancy last night. While visualizing my path to motherhood, I realized that there are many walls in my way. The first: FEAR. I imagined this word first, in bold, scary letters. Then, before I consciously thought about it, I imagined myself painting beautiful calligraphy over it. One word: Faith. The other two ideas that came so clearly to my head were those of Surrender instead of Control and Joy instead of worry. I can't control this journey. I'm not in charge here, so I'm beginning to feel myself melting away and surrendering myself to the changes that are coming, to whatever may be on this path. And I've realized that I need to forget worrying about what might happen, what might be wrong and simply experience joy for exactly where I am right now. I may or may not lose my baby. I may or may not have an ideal birth experience. I may or may not be ready for a fourth child. But what a gift it is to be exactly where I am right now. I love my baby. I'm 9 1/2 weeks pregnant. My stomach is expanding and starting to look like a baby bump instead of just my usual little buddha belly. What a delicious time. What a wonderful place to be. Tomorrow can take care of itself. I don't need to worry about it. I just am where I am and when I forget the past and forget the future and just love what IS, all I feel is joy and love and blessedness.

    I'll be adding pictures to this post soon, but I have kids who need me.