Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Cool Husband

Maybe I've never told you how cool my husband is. He's pretty cool.

Case in point:

Several keys on my digital piano have been broken for years. The D Flat above middle C was the most troublesome. Then a couple of days ago Mashuga did something atrocious to the piano. All BUT the middle C were broken. I was in the depths of despair, certain we would need a new piano. I cried, I yelled and sent Mashuga to his room for the rest of the night. It was a testament to the ferocity of my emotions that he actually stayed there.

Then, after teaching a childbirth class that night, I came home to find JDub putting the finishing touches on our piano. It was fixed. He took our digital piano completely apart and figured out how to repair it.

He is still waiting on parts from Roland. It turns out that the breaking hammers were due not only to our unusually rough children, but a factory defect. So, since JDub is willing and able to do the labor to fix the problem, the company is sending him a whole new set of hammers. I hope this leads to many more years of musical happiness and a much more durable piano.

Take home message: My husband is awesome and clever and brilliant and I'm so lucky to have him.

You're reading this, right honey?

So Close I Can Almost Taste It!

A few days ago, JDub and I sat together on our bed with his laptop and paid off the very last of our credit card debt. Can I just tell you how wonderful that is? We now have only about $1900 on a personal loan that we will be able to pay off within the next month or so and we are done. Completely debt free other than our mortgage. What a fantastic feeling.

About three years ago we read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover together and committed to doing it. I am not sure we have been as "gazelle intense" as we could have been, but we've continued to put one foot in front of the other and have managed, through various means, to pay down 90% of our $19,000 debt since then. Hooray!

As soon as we have finished with the last of our debt, we will be building our six month's savings and year's supply of food(starting with flour, wheat and a wheat grinder).

I can't put into words how light and free this makes me feel. Ahhhh... I feel such tremendous gratitude for the way we have been blessed and led over the last few years. Our prayers have been answered over and over, the windows of heaven have poured out blessings. I feel overwhelmed an unworthy of it all. So, so grateful.

For more information on Dave Ramsey's TMM, you can go to his website

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Quick Question For You

Why is it that when we shorten "refrigerator" it becomes "fridge"?

Where on earth does the "d" come from?

In case you're not one to click through to read comments, I'll post utahdoula's comment here for everyone's reading pleasure. Thanks for clearing that mystery up for me!

"Ooh! Ooh! I know this! I asked Mrs. Hall, my second grader teacher (who later would come to my door as a Jehovah's Witness, and I let her in and made my dad mad)
Here's what she said:
"Honey Child, when you take away the -rator ending, the e on the end would act like a "magic e" and change the sound of the letter i - it would be "fr-EYE-ge" but to keep it a short "u" we add the d."
Mrs. Hall was a big loud black woman who loved us all dearly and was very patient with my myriad questions. She always knew and was always kind, even when I was just being sassy in questioning her.
Thanks for reminding me of her!"

Monday, March 17, 2008

An Interesting Quote

"Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned." -- Milton Friedman

For those who have followed some of the politics of our great state of Utah this year with me, this quote seems particularly applicable, no?

Rites of Passage

After almost ten years as a mother I once again feel thoroughly initiated.

This weekend I suffered through a severe bout of mastitis -- fever up to 105 degrees, uncontrollable shaking, headache, body aches, chills. Oh, and my right breast had a lump the size of a ping-pong ball and was hot, red, angry, swollen and painful.

You know the last time I had mastitis? Either it wasn't very severe or it wasn't mastitis because it most certainly wasn't this.

So, last night I went to the doctor to get antibiotics. I would have gone on Saturday in hopes of getting relief sooner, but I was too sick to go to the doctor! If it hadn't been the weekend I probably would have just called my midwives office to have them phone in a prescription. Saturday was one of those days that I wished doctors still did house calls.

So, a visit to the Instacare at 8pm Sunday was my best solution at the moment. It was rather an amusing visit. The doctor who happened to treat me seemed very embarrassed. He took my word for it and trusted from my description of the symptoms that it was, indeed, mastitis. He had a very difficult time saying the word "breast". I had a very difficult time not laughing at him. Though I did have a good laugh on the way home.

I now have a prescription ready to go, but I'm not sure if I will fill it. This morning I feel much better and after hot compresses with mullein, garlic, peppermint and goldenseal the pain in my breast has subsided almost completely. The lump is now much, much smaller. The redness is going away. So, I think I'll watch and wait for a few more hours and fill the prescription if I don't see continued improvement.

These rites of passage are an interesting thing. And I find that I learn as much or more from the difficult ones as I do from the more positive ones. If nothing else, I am always so grateful for compassion I learn for others when I go through my own sets of difficulties, no matter how small they are.

I am sensing that there is another rite of passage coming quickly for Coco and I -- weaning. Now, to the staff at the instacare last night who looked at me cock-eyed when I told them I was still nursing my 14 month old, this may not seem like anything unusual. But to me, who believes that it is perfectly normal, even desirable, to breastfeed for the first two years it feels like premature weaning. I recognize that mine is the unconventional view -- that most mothers have weaned long before now without a backward glance -- but I've always allowed my children to self-wean and I think it has turned out nicely for us.

Still I am sensing it is time for us. For many reasons breastfeeding is no longer a mutually pleasant and positive thing. I'm feeling my way through this, but think it may be time to make the break. We shall see how it goes.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Twilight the Movie

Anyone else as excited about this as I am? Anyone.

Yes, I feel the same way you do about Edward -- not quite, um, beautiful enough. But he certainly has the dangerous thing going on.

But, still, I am so excited about this.

On another note. Look at the above picture and answer this question for me. What the heck is going on with Jasper's hair? (Blond on the far right.) Can anyone explain this to me because I have no idea how that do passed the marketing people. Um, hello?!? He looks like one of those new Ken dolls with hair that has been played with too long by a four year old.

For those of you who do not share my Vampire love and obsession, it really won't hurt you to jump on the bandwagon. It's all good fun. Really.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Pictures, Pictures and More Pictures

First, some photos of our Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies because it's my blog and I'll post holiday cookie pictures a month late if I want to.

Next, we'll move on to two cute pictures of Kaitybean. These are very common facial expressions for her and they crack me up.

Oh, and see how much she and Mashuga love each other?

And now we shall move on to Coco pictures. I adore this kid.

"Je t'adore! Je t'window! I don't care!" (Anybody know that movie?)

Here's Coco playing with Daddy:

And sleeping with Daddy:

And getting into a tub of frosting and making a mess:

And after he fell on the ice in our driveway and scraped his cute face:

And playing outside on the trampoline, one of his new favorite activities:

Here's what dinner often looks like at our house:

And last of all, these may look like icicles to you. But these, my friends, are winter roses. My sweet husband and children have been picking them for me often. At first I thought they were a bit crazy, now I think it's adorable. And they really are beautiful.

So, that's it for now. Sorry, quite the overload, I know. I really need to get into the habit of unloading pictures from my camera and posting them here frequently, rather than waiting for months and then deluging you with photos of my crazy family.

Hope you enjoy.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Hi Everyone!

Yes, I'm still here and doing well. The last two weeks have been absolutely nuts, but very good.

Among other things, I'm jumping back in to my birth work with gusto and thoroughly enjoying it. I've felt a strong confirmation that I am doing the right work at the right time. So, now I'm working on systems and marketing and doing everything I can to make my career more effective and meaningful while also protecting my most important work-- the work I do in my family.

Just a quick run down of the last couple of weeks to give you a taste of what I've been doing:

Last Monday I checked in with my SIL as her birth was beginning, then went to the capitol to help lobby for women's rights to make choices regarding their place of birth. That, that evening I attended my nephew's birth and got home about 3 on Tuesday morning.

Last Tuesday I taught a poetry workshop in Kaitybean's classroom for all three of the fourth grade classrooms.

Last Wednesday I talked with my sister-in-law about some of the things going on in her life and with my brother -- a very important talk. I also agreed to take one of their dogs for a while, as she's been having a hard time with him. (Pictures will be coming. He's darling.) That evening, I attended my monthly poetry group (aka therapy).

Last Thursday I taught another poetry workshop for the fourth graders. We wrote nonsense limericks together, then they wrote their own poetry. That evening I went to the temple for our ward temple night, which was quite a fiasco. I didn't feel well and fell asleep for a solid five minutes or more, almost missing some very important things that I had to do. We saw one of JDub's best friends from high school there. (Laura, it was Marcie M.) That was wonderful.

Last Friday evening I attended the first part of the Utah Doula Association conference and learned from one of the best CNMs in the state about inductions. Great presentation.

Then, last Saturday I attended the rest of the conference where we learned about protecting ourselves from disease, how to support women with breastfeeding and vbacs and the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy. At this conference I was awarded the doula of the year award, which was a great honor and an even bigger shock. There are so many doulas in our state that I feel are much more deserving than I. After this, I stopped by a doula client's home for a quick postpartum visit, then went out to dinner with some friends and colleagues.

This week has been a bit more relaxed.

On Tuesday I hosted a Scentsy party at my home. Then, on Wednesday I attended a Hypnobabies class with my April doula clients. Last night I had a prenatal visit with the same couple, which went rather well. I really like this couple and feel that they are doing such a fabulous job of preparing for the birth of their baby. I have a lot of confidence that they will have a healthy, positive birth.

Tomorrow I get to teach the first half of a private Birthing From Within class. This couple was referred to me by one of my favorite people, another BFW mentor who lives in TX. I am thrilled at the prospect of mentoring again. More than any of my other work, BFW mentoring feeds my soul. After that, we will be feeding the LDS missionaries in our home. That's always fun.

Oh, and this morning I need to take our van to the shop so that they can fix the muffler, which has pretty much snapped off. Our car is SOOOOOOOOO loud. Shh, don't tell anyone but I think it may be my fault that the muffler is broken. I think I drove over a curb on Wednesday night and maybe whacked it. Oops. Driver of the year I am not.

I'm looking forward to next week, when things should slow down a little bit.

So, that's what I've been up to. Hope you're all doing wonderfully well.

Oh yes, a big picture catchup is coming. I have been informed that there are not enough new Coco pictures on here to meet demand, so I'd better show him off soon.