Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tidbits

This was given to me by Professor while I was on the phone a few days ago. He filled the boxes himself after I gave him my answer. It's kind of hard to see--


It says: Mango? Later? = Later
Yes? = Now
No?= Not Today

He did get his mango. The boy is a fruit fiend.

On Sunday, we went back to church. We had been staying away from all the viruses, since I had gotten sick so much. I (being a counselor) sat with a class in Primary who needed the extra adult.

Princess was very attentive. The child giving the talk wasn't there, so the other counselor asked the children to tell of a time when they obeyed their parents and were blessed because of it. Princess' arm shot straight up into the air. I was quite concerned as she purposefully strode to the podium, certain the she was going to use the opportunity to yell "Poopy!" or something into the microphone. (My kids have done that while waiting for Daddy after church on more than one occasion.) She stood there for a moment, when I decided to help her.

"She's been picking up her toys," I called quietly. Princess didn't hear (or just ignored) me. She stood up straight, looked directly into the microphone and spoke clearly:

"Get dressed, brush teeth, say prayers and go to bed."

Nearly weak from relief, I said "We've been working on that a lot at our house". She was proud of herself, and everyone thought she was cute.

Later that afternoon I was talking to my mother, relating the story. Princess was there with me.

After hearing me tell Mom about it, Princess commented "Yeah, they loved me." I was worried for a moment that I was raising a little prima donna, but after the shock wore away I realized that in her frank, childish way she was just recalling the facts. Princess is very blunt and to the point.

Lion has been having a bit of a rough week since I am on "Barely There Mommy Mode". They've been eating bagels for breakfast nearly every day. Allergies + Rapidly Growing Baby = Super Tired Mom. He's been threatening to run away every day. He runs to the front door, flings it open and yells "I'm running away!" while Princess freaks out--well, she did at first. Now hardly anyone pays attention. I just call out, "Have fun! We'll miss you!"

Within five seconds he shuts it and says, "I'm back!"

That pretty much sums up what's gone on at our house this week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Bed is Broken, But I Sure Smell Great!

Ok, so we broke the bed.

Or rather, I didn't, he did.

I knew something strange was happening the night I felt I was sleeping on a steep incline. Our bought-last-year bed had been sagging a bit, and I was worried that it had completely given up the ghost. We have a warranty, but I hate the thought of asking strange men to come look at my bed, so I've put off calling the store. The next day or so, I noticed that the bottom didn't seem level. I pointed it out to James, who inspected the frame and noticed that the frame itself had bent above the wheel. We bought the frame used, and have no idea how old it is but apparently there was a flaw in how the weight was distributed on top of the roller foot.

Now you need a little background information. In the mornings I stay in bed until we have prayer and James kisses me goodbye. I need all the sleep I can get before all the kids get up. I barely remember when he sat on the edge of the bed and it "clunked". That clunk was the frame giving up the ghost. I didn't remember it until he told me about it on Saturday night.

So on Saturday during the day, I went out to get a bedframe. I went to the cheapest place to find one I could think of--Goodwill. They had a very old, 50's or 60's blue frame with "QUEEN?" marked on it and the price: $25. The woman next to me was looking at a short stool. I asked her if she thought the frame looked like a queen. We got to talking, and I mentioned that the bed was broken but I didn't know exactly how it happened.

She exclaimed, "You're pregnant but you don't know how the bed broke?" I'm sure I blushed furiously. Is that the only way people think the bed breaks? Well, I have news for you, ma'am. If the bedframe is old enough, and the bed is heavy enough, it is possible to break it by sitting on it. Don't give me that "knowing look" that I can't see because I won't look at you while I stammer something that makes me look guiltier.

She offered to help me take it out to the van if the employees wouldn't, and suggested that I ask them if I could bring it back if it wasn't a queen. Good idea, so I did. They refused. There was no way I was taking a $25 chance on a frame that could possibly break as well, so I ended up going to the cheapest furniture store in town and purchasing a frame.

That night it was late and we used a wooden stepstool to prop the corner up. We kept it there last night too, since I needed to get some things moved so James could have room to put the mattress. (We have a very small bedroom and I tend to stash things in it.) Tonight while I was in the shower, James decided to surprise me and put the new frame together.

I was in desperate need of that shower. The hot water soothed my aches and felt sooo good. It was blissful! When I got out I reached for a new towel in the basket under the sink. For a moment I thought it was odd that the towel was loosely folded, not rolled. I used it anyway.

I dried myself off, then toweled my hair. The towel smelled marvelous! I don't use fabric softener (our laundry detergent doesn't require it) so I couldn't place the scent. I knew I had smelled it before, but decided since it wasn't malodorous I would just enjoy it. After all, it was probably a little soap or something that got on it since it was in the bathroom. It wasn't until I finished and went to hang it up that I saw it--strawberry seeds and some dried whitish glop. My first thought was strawberry toothpaste, but the seeds were a giveaway that it wasn't that. Then it hit me--I've smelled that on Princess' face before. Any guesses?

Strawberry yogurt.

At least she "cleaned" her face and hands without me telling her to. Maybe I could make something off this discovery. Anyone have the number for Downy fabric softener's new scents division?

James is now done assembling the frame that actually has middle supports so our bed doesn't sag. What a man! I'm exhausted and can't wait to snuggle into my supportive bed feeling fresh, clean, and smelling like a rose.

No, I guess not smelling exactly like a rose. Hopefully James doesn't mind eau de parfum in "Dannon Naturals".

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sonogram? Who? Me?

First, thank you for your sweet words on my last post. They are appreciated so very much! I did some soul-searching and I have you all to thank for helping me remember why it is that I should just be myself and not worry so much. So I will. Be myself, that is. By the way, Mom? Your comment made me cry. I love you!

On to greener pastures...

Why yes, we did have a sonogram yesterday. They only allow three people in besides the mother, no exceptions. We didn't want to pick and choose between the kids, so my brother-in-law Scott watched them and let Karen come with me. It was so nice to have both James and her there. It was special for the kids to hear about it later all together and not have to be divided up. It felt more right that way.

What are we having? Well, to be honest although the sonographer told me it was one of these:











It looked more like one of these:













The little bean didn't want to stay in the same spot, so the pictures were kind of weird. They're always weird, but these were weirder. I usually can see them pretty well, but the profile picture was almost like one of those cool drawings that you have to stare at to see an image appear--except this one didn't appear without the nurse's help. My favorite way of seeing it looked like a cute little baby wearing sunglasses, but the nurse's view was different. I liked mine better.

We found out that I have a somewhat low-lying placenta, so no strenuous activities for the next eight weeks until we have another sonogram. Yep, no heavy lifting. Gee, I wonder what I can come up with? "Sorry, Mommy can't cook anymore because I can't do heavy lifting." I'd be able to fool Princess and Lion, but Professor would cock his head and ask "Mom? Is a spatula really 'heavy lifting'?" Then I'd be forced to admit my deception or lie. He respects me too much for me to be able to lie to him, except about Christmas presents. Darn. (Ok, I admit that I enjoy cooking--when I have a clean kitchen. Which at this moment means I don't enjoy it. Heavy lifting. Ouch.)


Let's see, what else can I tell you...everything looked good. I told my doctor about the contractions and-other-stuff-that's-too-much-information and she said everything looks fine according to the sonogram, but to make sure I keep her informed. Because of the diabetes I have to have a special heart sonogram for the baby, but it's routine. I guess there's more risk of developmental problems with the heart in diabetic mothers. I'm not very concerned since I've been on top of things, but if there was something I'd rather know asap.

What else...oh, she's a wonderful doctor, very gentle-seeming. She even did the unthinkable that no one else would do, SHE CHANGED MY DUE DATE. I was so ecstatic! I knew all of my dates, and no one else would change the due date, and it frustrated me to no end. When I say all the dates I do mean all the dates. She was pretty impressed I knew down to the hour. It was a four day difference from what their estimated date was, and even though they say it's no big deal, at the end it can be.

My babies aren't fully done gestating until nearer their due date, so a few days could be a big deal. If they hadn't changed it and I went the full time they would have said that I was overdue and caused me a lot of grief. They don't like you to go the full time because diabetes tends to help the placenta deteriorate faster even if you're careful, etc. So it's a balance between when it's safe for the baby to be delivered and waiting too long. With Princess I felt very strongly to wait and not let them induce me very early. I was induced with Princess on my due date or the day before, and was told that it was a good thing I waited (instead of being induced 3 weeks early because it was "standard" for gestational diabetes) because she was barely "done" developmentally, and 9 lbs 1 oz. That was even after me having uncontrolled GD for several weeks before being diagnosed. Lion was well over 10 pounds (undiagnosed GD) so there's no issue of me being unable to birth a larger baby. This one should be smaller since I've known I have diabetes from the beginning.

The point of all this is that my doctor trusts me, HOORAY! I like a doctor who treats me as a partner in my own pregnancy.

Oh yeah, I forgot. In case you're wondering, that picture was Princess when she was about three days old. The top picture. Not the other one. Can you see how I fell so completely in love? She got kissed so much I'm surprised her little cheeks didn't disappear. All my kids were adorable babies. I won't say I'm biased, because I have it on good authority that they were.

Well, that's it. I'll keep you updated on anything else that happens.

Oh, and by the way? It's a boy. Princess cried for a while when she found out, but was excited by bedtime. Both she and Lion kissed the baby (ok, my tummy) goodnight. I asked Professor if he wanted to and of course he looked embarrassed. I ruffled his hair and hugged him instead.

I love my kids.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

So Deep, I Might Fall In

I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself.

Why? Because I've been catching up on some of your blogs the last couple of days. I smiled, laughed, and had tears brought to my eyes. I had a wonderful time, and I'm not yet finished. Yet, the pity party started.

I don't like myself this way. But the thing is, I really do enjoy writing. I wish I were clever with words on a regular basis, that I had that elusive certain "something" to draw people in. I so admire you. I really, truly do. But I also *gasp* envy you. I'm amazed and flattered that you even come to visit my little blog.

I do my best to be a good mother. This is what I want to do, and I'm learning now to love it in ways that I hadn't been before. I overall enjoy being home with my children, which makes me happy to say because six months ago I didn't enjoy it much. It was nothing they did, just where I was--and it wasn't a very good place. Now, I have no desire to be anywhere else, most times.

The only thing I would like to do is to reach people through writing. I love it. It both nourishes and heals me. As I pour out words, it fills me up at the same time. I would love to have the talent to share those words with others in a way that makes them want--no, compels them to read more.

I am filled with inadequacies. There are things that I do well, and I know that I do. James is always telling me that I don't give myself enough credit. I think that's because I always know I can do better, should do better.

But this writing thing, I don't know why it means a lot to me to have other people enjoy what I say, but I do. Yet when I write something about myself that isn't a funny story, I always fear that I turn people off. There. That was scary to say.

I can't seem to find my blogging niche. I'm not continually any certain way. I'm not routinely funny, or deep, or charming, or controversial in my writing. Not that I'd want to be controversial. I hate conflict.

I worry that people will think I'm fishing for people to feel sorry for me if my thoughts are sad. I'm concerned they'll think I'm bragging if I talk about the wonderful things I love. I fear putting myself out there. The only people I share much of my deep, inner self with are my mom, sister Karen, and James. It feels good to put my feelings down on digital paper, but it's also scary. I don't like feeling exposed. I don't like that I might be judged negatively. I admire my friends who can post their deepest fears and insecurities for everyone to see. There's always part of me that's locked back tight. It's like I can't help but keep back part of myself. I don't know why that is, or how to fix that, or if I even need to. After all, that is part of who I am.

It's a protective mechanism, I suppose. I think it's the part of me that I even hide from myself.

I have always felt things too much. Was attached to things like the trees in the yard when I was a kid. Felt sorry for an ant's family when he got killed. I think I developed a protective box inside me because it hurt when I felt anything too much. Even overwhelmingly good feelings like large amounts of love and joy causes me to feel physically uncomfortable in my chest. I think I keep close watch over the emotional spigot so as not to drown in the flood.

Maybe it doesn't matter and I should say things anyway. But then, would I be giving up too much of myself? I don't know.

I'll probably go to sleep and wake up regretting this post. But now, I'm tired and things like this always seem like a better idea when you're exhausted. That, or I guess I'm too sleepy to care.

By the way, tomorrow we find out what gender the baby is if it's cooperative. Or I guess I should say, today.

Goodnight.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Brainwashing Can Be Fun!

Lion is done with his schoolwork for the day, and headed back to pick up where he left off playing with Princess this morning.

What are they doing?

Let me back up a bit.

I woke this morning listening to the happy sounds of children playing in Princess' room. Well, two of them. I heard Professor stomp his way across the hall. "You are too loud and you WOKE ME UP!" Then he stomped back to his bed as I told him to go back to sleep. I got up and asked the other two to keep it down. Professor is not a morning person.

I couldn't understand much of the chatter, but kept hearing the words "yard sale" over and over again. Lion and Princess were playing their own version of Style's program "Clean House" with Princess' dolls. He wasn't happy when it was time for school.

Fast forward to now. School is finished (except for our joint science class) and I told Lion he could go play until lunch. Excited to be free, he ran off to play with his sister. When I peeked in her room, they were seated around her dollhouse on the floor. I just heard one of them ask "How much did we make?" My assumption is that they're in the post yard sale/decorating stage.

Lion: "Now take off your blindfolds and open your eyes!"

Princess: *gasp* "Oh, it's so beautiful!"

I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Brainwashed children? Yes. Worth it?

Totally.

(By the way, today I'm posting a before and after on my decluttering blog. Don't look for it until later tonight, though!)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

While We're on the Subject of Clutter...

...I started another blog. I think it will be a big help to me. I've struggled with clutter nearly all my life, and it's liberating to find ways to get it out of my house!

Now that I know how to put pictures on my laptop, I plan on doing some "before and after" posts.

Wish me luck! No...just come visit!

*Waves Timidly* Anyone Still There?

Ok, so that was longer than two weeks.

Having a blog break was refreshing. I have made some significant changes in my life in the last few weeks, which means that my family is much happier.

I actually have been nearly hyperventilating at the thought of coming back, because unfortunately my blog life was back when I began these changes, and even though I love blogging I never want to go back to before.

Why? Well, that's simple. My life was a mess. My house was a mess. We were the perfect candidate for one of those house decluttering shows. You see, when I get very panicked, stressed, and anxious, I get depressed. I feel paralyzed. My house suffers dreadfully, and my kids suffer from no routine, no set mealtimes, no clean underwear. My husband suffers from having a depressed wife who is in panic mode all the time, and has no idea where his socks are. I was so overwhelmed, and didn't know what to do anymore. Things were starting to get better when I wrote my last couple of posts. Little did I know that that was the beginning to some beautiful changes that have brought a lot of peace to our home.

I'm going to bare my soul here, and I hope that you'll be understanding and not judge me too harshly.

Those of you who don't struggle with holding on to too much stuff, having clutter around, dealing with anxiety, feeling like everything's falling on top of you at once won't get this. They'll think "Well, just wash the darn dishes already!" But with anything that's rooted in fear of change and in your emotions, the outside is just reflecting on what's inside. My tumultous house was just a reflection of my inner self. So what happened?

I had been reading my scriptures faithfully. I had started praying more fervently. I began to feel supported by the Lord because I was reaching out to Him. That Saturday, at the very beginning of February, I decided that even though the entire house was a wreck and was overwhelming, I would clean up the kitchen. Not perfectly, but enough that the table was clear, dishes were all done, and I could cook easily without doing a balancing act. So I did. It took me the better part of two days, but it was clean. That was the one room that I could walk into without beginning to have a panic attack and running to bury my head in the computer before I was pulled under. I vowed that if nothing else, I would keep the kitchen reasonably clean. It didn't have to be perfect, but reasonably clean (OUT, dang perfectionism!). So I did. Even though I got sick again that week, I held onto that kitchen for dear life!

By the next weekend, it had become a habit. I'm going to share something else with you that only some of you will understand. If you're a person who struggles with change, any change is going to be stressful. We had done "Big Cleanups" before, but the house was back to chaos within a week. Even though I loved it clean, underneath it made me uncomfortable because that wasn't what I was used to. Sound crazy, but 'tis true.

So, the next weekend I tackled Princess' room. She was pretty upset that her room was such a wreck that she couldn't play in it. I worked and worked in it, and it's almost clean. We decluttered a lot (You can't keep clutter organized!) to make it easier for her to keep clean. I have a small box of stuff to go through, and about 20 minutes will fix her closet. The remainder of that week I kept the kitchen reasonably clean and helped her to keep her room clean. Most nights now she does it without much fuss, because she knows where everything goes. I've learned if a child has too many choices they don't play with much of anything because it's overwhelming. They're better off with fewer choices. I also learned that I shouldn't keep something because I think it's cute or that she should play with it, if she didn't like it, out it went.

You can probably guess what's happened from there. Each weekend I do something different, and add it to my list of rooms to keep reasonably clean. I've watched countless episodes of Clean House and visited Flylady.com almost daily for inspiration and motivation. I've been teaching the kids to pitch in, and it's helping with their confidence and self-esteem. They're happier because I cook them breakfast every morning (except for Cereal Saturday Mornings!) They love knowing that schooltime is from after breakfast to lunchtime. They love knowing they have snacktime. They enjoy that I'm baking often and making tasty meals. (Well, most of them. Lion doth protest much at many things.) If there's a day that I'm feeling really sick, that's ok. I tell myself that it's not the end of the world and I can pick back up on it the next day.

Right now I'm looking at a living room that needs picking up and clean clothes to be put away, but that's ok. I'm not wading in paper, toys, and dirty clothes. I'm not stepping on tortilla chip bags that the kids have thrown on the carpet. I'll do what I can. I've been getting contractions much earlier with this baby than the others, especially when I'm tired or have been doing a lot. That means I should rest, and I'm doing my best to do that. I'm settled in knowing that I'm decluttering and cleaning my house in layers, and that's ok. By making these changes slowly they will stick. Lion used to tell me we needed someone to come help us clean the house (from watching Clean House) and now he says that we don't need them, we can do it ourselves. That right there is worth it all, folks.

This past week I've found myself longing for my bloggy friends. I miss you. I miss your humor, your warmth, your genuineness, your love. That's why I'm back. I have other things to tell you, including a couple of humorous things, but those can wait until later--if I remember them!

The bit of news I will leave you with now is that I'm having a sonogram on March 9th, a week from tomorrow. We will be finding out what the baby is if possible. I met my new doctor, and I really like her. I'm excited about the months ahead. I knew that I couldn't bring a new baby into the situation we had, and now that our family is pulling together and establishing new routines, we'll be able to enjoy our little one by the end of July.

I'm heading off to begin catching up on what I've missed. I know that I won't be able to catch up on all the posts I haven't read, so if anything very significant has happened that you want to let me know about, email me! If nothing else, send me the link to that particular post.

See you all soon!