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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

EFT: Excited to try it. I've heard a lot about this!

Papa (Jpa) Arrives and Giddy Giggles

We had a long and lovely day yesterday. I was up at 5am and Jess soon thereafter. We were able to leave by 5:45am, which is actually slower than normal for a TEMPLE DAY! But I was purposefully trying to remain calm and peaceful about everything... so NO rushing. Even though I was trying to keep calm I still ended up with my "signature" stress bowels. (Thanks Mom! jj ^_^)

Our temple visit was completed by about 9am and we headed over to the Orlando International Airport. Ria was very impressed with the BIG airplanes flying around. She and Kat are quite used to airplanes because there is a small airport down the road from us, but the airplanes that land there are private and rather small. So, this was a rare experience. Ria remembered her Daddy's trip on an airplane, but Kat hadn't ever REALLY seen any so big. She didn't seem to react, but that could have been shock. :) Who knows, though, since she didn't say anything about it.

We had lunch at Chick-Fil-A in the airport. Ria has wanted to go out to eat for quite a while now. I've tightened down on the "belt" so that we have more money for food storage stuff. So she's been excited to get to eat out. But I know she wasn't thinking about THAT when she saw her Papa walking toward us! She was so totally ecstatic. She raced over to him and jumped into hugging him. It was very sweet! Jess and I encouraged Kat to go say hi to Papa, but she clung tighter to Jess even as she watched Ria race over. So, Jess, Kat, and I walked over to my Dad. Kat was holding back, so I stepped up to hug my Dad hello. After seeing me being so friendly with the strange man, Kat totally reached out to him for a hug. So funny.

We made a couple stops on the way home, so by the time we arrived we had about an hour before Ria and I had to leave for her Dress Rehearsal. A good bit of that time was spent preparing Ria FOR her rehearsal. She was very excited and pleased to have makeup applied and then, even though she wouldn't actually wear it until we arrived at the auditorium, she just HAD to put her costume on to show Papa. She looked VERY sweet, of course.

Ria and I had to be at the auditorium for 3:30pm and we were on time. We didn't leave until around 5:30pm (and that wasn't the end of the rehearsal)! The funny thing, to me, is that the organizers expect the parents to leave the girls until around 9pm, when everything is finished. Thankfully they didn't push the issue with the parents of toddlers. I would have revolted and the whole thing would have been canceled (for our family, at least) if they asked me to leave my daughter with a woman I didn't know for more than the time required! Lori did a very good job of monitoring and caring for our girls, I must say. I'm very glad to have the opportunity to get used to all of this hub-bub while Ria is young. I mean, can you imagine me being faced with leaving Ria as a 6 or 7 year old - with no prior experience in doing so under the given circumstances?! I can't!!!! Oh, they also expected that there would be no spectators during the Dress Rehearsal. Uhhh, WHAT!!? Well, the toddlers' parents (and quite a few others) didn't really pay that much mind. I was determined to see Ria dance so that I would not be quite as upset about Kat not sitting still and quiet for the performance. This way, at least, Jess and my Dad will get to see THE dance and I can distract Kat elsewhere. Hopefully Kat will be SO enthralled by all of it that she'll sit quiet and happy the whole time... but I'm trying to plan for all contingencies. ;) heehee

After I got home with Ria from the rehearsal I felt like I was going to pass out! I mean, I haven't run off of only 5 hours sleep in a VERY long time... and definitely NOT while preggie!!! So, I fell on the couch to get a little rest. I got up in time for my walk, which Jess and my Dad helped me enjoy ALONE! I totally did not feel able to do the whole 80 minutes. To make matters worse, Jess has prepared most of dinner already and I was feeling my stomach gnaw at itself! So, I was very lame and only walked to the half-point at the top of the bridge, which gave me a total of a 46 minute walk. I felt like a total woosee; especially because my shin splints were REALLY hobbling me (almost literally!). So, I hope to get a little walk in today, sometime in the evening. Maybe Kat and I will walk around after we drop Ria off for the pre-recital wait. We'll see. I really want to get another 14+ minutes (I'll go for 20 because that will elevate my heart rate for a satisfactory period of time) so that I'm still good for my weekly average time. As it stands, because of my short walk last night, my average for the week puts me at about a 46 minute walk each day for 6 days. I only walked 5 days, but if you recall, I increased my daily time to sort of add up to a total of what I would walk in 6 days IF I could get that 6th day in! I actually might this week, GO FIGURE!

So, the main point of the previous paragraph was to illustrate my fatigue. I totally went off track (my train was derailed!), but that WAS the point. :)

Our girls moved into our room to sleep for the night. They'll also sleep in our room tonight and Sunday night. The move last night didn't go very smoothly because I hadn't prepped Kat for the imminent change. (Bad Mama!) But it did eventually work out, for the most part. Kat did move to our bed in the middle of the night and Daddy didn't get up to transfer her like he said he was going to, so he didn't sleep very well. But, really, that's his own fault, in a way! Ria is so flexible, Mama is SO grateful, and she didn't have a problem with the change at all - even when asked to give up the bed she was excited to sleep in! She sure is a gem, right!?

Part of the plan to make the whole thing more comfy for the girls was Jessie's idea to put a light on so that they would be able to get their bearings if they awakened during the night. He's SUCH a thoughtful Daddy! I was promised a shepherd of my family's spiritual and temporal needs and I certainly have that in him!!! We decided on moving the dark-sensing night light from the hall bathroom to our bathroom and keeping the door slightly ajar. I would like to remind you that I was SUPER tired and completely and utterly ready to collapse into bed and DEEP slumber by this time (around 10:15pm).

So, Jess put the night light in while I finished up in the bathroom. I noticed that it was in, but not on before I left so I started to mess with it to try to get it to stay on so it would work for the night. I noticed that when I had my hand near it, trying to adjust the connection between the night light and the outlet, the light came on, but as my hand moved away it totally went out. (In my defense, here, our outlets are quite old and we do have some regular problems with many of them working!) After watching this phenomenon for a few minutes and feeling amazed and almost in awe; I was thinking that perhaps the electricity of my body was interacting with the lightbulb and making it WORK when my hand was near enough, only to go out as my hand moved away. I went to fetch Jess. I was waiting for him in the bathroom and described/showed him the problem. He sort of looked at my funny for a split second and said, "Well, yeah, Tori, the light is on!" Immediately the absurdity of the situation struck me and I began to giggle. Jess looked at me with a goofy sort of grin on his face (the kind he gets when I'm laughing, but he's not really sure why) and he asked, "Did you think it was magic or something?" Between giggle fits (the goofy giddiness I haven't experienced in AGES that results from SUPER exhaustion: giddy giggles!) and hugging him to support my upright posture, I said, "Or something!" He was anxious to get back to his dumb Shuffle, so scooted out as soon as he could get himself out of the hug and I went to bed giggling uncontrollably, but also feeling overwhelmingly lonely and sad because I didn't have Jess there to share some silliness!

I rarely ever have so many people in the house at night - and especially not Jess. Yet, when I'm feeling goofy and craving company my hubby wants to go play on the computer. Ah well....

Of all the gifts I've given Jess, I think I most dislike the iPod Shuffle I got for him as an early Father's Day gift. :p Live and learn, right? Note to self: no more electronic toys for husband!

As if. Even should I want to stick to that NOTE TO SELF, I won't. See, I want to give Jessie EVERYthing he wants. I certainly can't! I mean, between NEEDING to provide for our family as a unit and our children's need and some wants, there's very little Jess and I can have that we actually WANT... but if we run across another deal like the iPod, even if I don't want to, because of THIS, I won't hesitate to get him what he wants. I mean, when do you get a BRAND-spankin-NEW-iPod-Shuffle for $20!!! It was NEVER used and still in the original packaging, less clear plastic wrap stuff!!!! *ahwell*

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Story Time, Playground, and Preparations

Luckily, Ria was able to find the two library books she got from the library last week. The whole "missing books issue" has been a pretty big problem lately because she doesn't keep them where they are supposed to be and there are two that have been missing for more than a month. So, we didn't check out any books this week. Hopefully we'll be able to find the MIA books so we can get some next week. She WAS able to get a couple movies of her choice, which she'll get to watch after reading classes. MAN she is reading SO well. I'm so impressed and pleased with her progress!

The girls made Corduroy (the bear) today after listening to two stories about him. It was cute, of course. Ria sits in rapt attention for the stories while Kat wanders from sitting to try to pay attention to moving through the room to see what mischief she can get into. Kat loves to read with me or Jess at home and she'll even sit quietly for Ria to read to her. But, for whatever reason, she doesn't seem to get much at all out of the stories read during story time. ahwell I'm sure her desire to focus will improve as she gets older.

The girls had a good time playing at the playground after story time. A friend from GA is in town, so Ria had a chance to play with her daughter, which Ria always loves! I wish they didn't live so far away. But we certainly enjoy the time we are able to spend together.

This friend who is in town right now will leave Saturday morning, so I'm trying to think of a way to hang out with her even though my Dad will be coming into town tomorrow morning! Probably she and I will walk together tomorrow night... we'll see how that works out.

My Dad arrives in Orlando tomorrow to attend Ria's dance recital on Saturday night. Ria is very excited to have her Papa come for HER!!! ^_^ I'm glad he'll be able to see her very first stage performance!

So, my day has already been busy with efforts to make the house a bit more presentable. I don't know if I've mentioned specifically that I've not been as strict with myself about the appearance of our home. It's not totally out of control, but if I'm tired, I rest instead of push myself to clean yet again (or more). I've felt better about my life, in general, since I haven't been super-anal-head-mama about the house! So, I will just have to make my appologies to my Dad for it not being in tip-top shape for his visit. He probably won't mind too much... he'll only have to be IN it for a few days and nights.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Proud Mama

The stage rehersal yesterday was interesting. Of the girls in Ria's class, Ria was the one who did best with the whole dance on stage. There were other girls who did some of it. But Ria was THE one who was most consistently trying to follow her teacher. I was so impressed with how well Ria pointed her toes when doing her tondous and how she tried really hard to keep her arabesque up the way her teacher does! She's quite a little ballerina. And she wasn't bothered at all by being on stage! ^_^

Kat was trying to get up there the whole time. So, perhaps we have two little drama queens!? Should be interesting to see.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Things They Say

Responding to a Question
I learned/heard about the three month food supply in FL from the friend who said he would do a year anyway. Since talking about the Articles of Faith "issue" he has been concerned about the whole issue. I learned yesterday that there are many states that have laws about how much food a family can store. For instance, in Hawaii there is a law (difficult to find) that states that if a household has more than 1 week of food stored it can be seized and disposed of as the gov't sees fit. Strange, but with the documentation that went along with the information, it seems true! The thing about these laws is that they are NOT easy to find. I've looked for, literally, HOURS thus far and not been able to find the law referred to for FL. I have asked around and an older man I spoke with told me that he lived here (in FL) when the law came about. Initially the powers that be were trying to pass the law to be for one month supply of food, but there was an uproar about that. So, they compromised at 3 months. I wish it wasn't so terribly difficult to determine the validity or situations under which this would be the case. Some of these laws are set up in such a way that the action becomes illegal only during times of duress... which is why you would store! So, if you store and it's in the law that it's illegal during the time for which you need it... you're wrong! ARGH! So frustrating.

More Pleasant Thoughts
Ria has been saying this phrase lately that just tickles me to no end! As with most children, Ria LOVES to help. It seems she most loves to help when it is difficult or impossible to find a way for her to help, but still... it's nice that she wants to! :) I needed to move a 20 lb. bag of rice from the kitchen counter (about the height of Ria's head) to the closet in which I store most of our food stuff at this point. I was feeling super weak and my tummy was very upset after going through some boxes looking for chili for Jess. So, I was just sitting there waiting until Jess was done washing his hands so I could ask him to bring the rice to me. Jess asked what I was doing and I told him. Ria said, "Can I help! I have lots of help!!" That is the phrase that she has been using pretty regularly lately. I just am so tickled by it! :)

Seed Saving
I've been collecting the seeds from the Easter Lilies that are growing in our front yard. So far I'm about 1/4 way through filling an old couscous container. I'm so excited! I want to get it half full so I can send some seeds to my Mom and still have lots to start the flowers going next year. I love having my yard full of those blooms!

Our landlords have mowers who come regularly (though not as regularly as I think they are supposed to). I am happy they don't come often when the flowers are in bloom. The last time they came I wasn't available to ask them to leave some of my flowers. I wanted to ask them to do that so they would go to seed and I could collect the seeds. When I saw the yard I was deeply touched because they'd left about 1 foot by 8 feet patch of the flowers! So, I've been actively collecting the seeds from those flowers for the past week or so. How thoughtful, right!??

Last year, when the flowers were such a comfort during some really stressful times I asked them a couple of different times to leave a big area of the flowers for me to enjoy and they did. They didn't care about NOT cutting some grass. But then, the fact that they REMEBERED! I just think that it's one of the nicest things that someone who doesn't really know me has ever done for me! ^_^

Food Storage
Just because it is occupying my mind I wanted to share that as part of my food storage I'm going to be purchasing some heirloom seeds to can at the Bishop's Storehouse. I'll probably buy from Burpee, but there are some other companies I want to check out. Just in case you don't know why I would go that route: heirloom seeds are REAL seeds. They don't just grow up to be what the picture shows, but you can get seeds FROM those things you've grown and reliably get the same crop from those seeds you claim from your growth. Lots of seeds sold in grocery stores and WalMart are hybridized. That means that the only way you can get what you see on the package, consistently, is to use the seeds from the package. No seed saving! That's not really a problem if you have money to buy seeds every year. It's also NOT a problem as long as things stay as they are... but since we know they will change (just don't know when), it's much safer to go the heirloom route so that you can have what you want when you grow and seed save!

Happy Memorial Day
Jess has had the morning off from the Cafe today. He worked on the car and determined that he would not be able to remedy the problem(s), so he's going to try to sell it for a bit to reclaim some of the money we've just put into it. He says the engine is worth $1200 by itself. So... we'll see what happens with that.

Currently, he is grilling hot dogs and hamburgers because we HAVE to have hot dogs on Memorial Day (according to Jess). I'm not feeling too stable in the belly, so I'm having a hamburger and some chips.

It Happened
Saturday Jess spent most of the day working on the car again. That's problem enough in that it means the girls aren't getting Daddy time and we are not having family time. Selfishly it's REALLY horrible because it meant that I felt like I had to take the girls on my long walk because he had to make dinner while I was gone. Jess doesn't cook too well with the girls underfoot unless I'm around the clear the floor around his feet.

I was preparing to go on my walk and Jess said, "Would it be so bad to skip one day?" No, one day wouldn't be so bad, but since I'd already skipped Thursday because he was home (unexpectedly) my response was, "Yes, it really would be so bad!" I was upset about the whole thing so I didn't talk to him about the subject until I got home. YES it really would be SO bad! I've come to LOVE my walks! It's an hour during which I do NOT feel guilty for ignoring my daughters every whine and whimper. It's an hour during which I'm not going to be touched unexpectedly at any given moment. It's an hour, the ONLY hour of the day, during which I'm doing something good for myself. It's an hour after which I see myself differently when I look in the mirror (LITERALLY!). It's an hour, after which I feel better, happier, calmer, than I do in the evenings on the days I do NOT walk. So, YES, it really would be SO bad to miss walking an extra day. I still want to try to get that 6th day because I know it would be another evening I would feel better in general and like how I look more! But I'm trying not to be upset with my good accomplishment of 5 walks a week, especially with the increased minutes.

Jessie's new obsession! Go figure, right? :) I will try to talk about this more in the future. Lunch is ready and Jess is antsy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lighten Up and LAUGH!

I think I've seen this video at least 5 times and I laugh until I have tears in my eyes EVERY time! Baby laughs are just THE best (as Kat screams in my ear!).

Ella Wheeler Wilcox


It is easy enough to be pleasant,
When life flows along like a song;
But the man worth while is the one who will smile
When everything goes dead wrong;
For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with the years,
But the smile that is worth the praises of earth
Is the smile that shines through tears.

It is easy enough to be prudent,
When nothing tempts you to stray;
When without or within no voice of sin
Is luring your soul away;
But it's only a negative virtue
Until it is tried by fire,
And the life that is worth the honor on earth,
Is the one that resists desire.

By the cynic, the sad, the fallen,
Who had no strength for the strife,
The world's highway is cumbered today;
They make up the sum of life.
But the virtue that conquers passion,
And the sorrow that hides in a smile-
It is these that are worth the homage on earth,
For we find them but once in a while.

This poem is one I found as a youth and it touched me deeply then. I even had it memorized for a time. Parts of it have been racing through my mind and heart for the last month and I finally did the searches to get it written down where I can read it regularly during this last week. I just thought you might like it. I hope it is as inspiring to you as it is for me.

Interesting News as of Today
Jess will be teaching a food storage Food Use class next month. It'll be about 1 and 1/2 weeks after our Ward has a Bishop's Storehouse/Cannery trip. Our Elder's Quorum President was talking to Bishop, and I heard, that he was asking to do a class about using the food storage shortly after members in the ward have added to their home stores. That way they could learn how to make use of it. I'm very excited about this assignment (request) since this subject is so dear to me (if it wasn't for food storage, we would have had to ask for assistance from the church a LOT more than we have thus far)! It should be interesting! ^_^

When Jess and I first came together, he'd never really heard of food storage. But it has always been a source of deep concern for me. I've had nightmares about this subject from the time I was quite young. Although the nightmares have been garish and very upsetting, I'm grateful for them because I have a very keen interest in HAVING food storage as a result of them! Even though Jess didn't really have any previous knowledge of or belief in food storage, he still encouraged/allowed me to put food aside as our stores from the very beginning. There was a bit in the sort of middle of our relationship thus far that he sort of made fun of me for being such a storer, but I know he has gained a testimony of it. I know this because whenever I do talk to him about my plans or what I've done for it, he is completely supportive and totally NOT teasing me about it anymore! He is a gift of a guy! ;)

Further Food Storage Stuff; Dealing with LAW
A friend of mine, Joey, challenged me last week to find the law behind the rumor that we in FL are only allowed to have 3 months supply of food storage in our homes. He and I have both looked extensively and have found no such documentation. If you know how I could find this information, please tell me. I can use all the help I can.

Thus far I have done searches for Florida Statutes, food storage; Florida Law, food storage; and lots of variations of that sort. My friend has used the term "food hoarding" and many variations on law in Florida for his hours of searching. He's also looked for Executive orders concerning the subject and come up with NONE!

This is SUCH a big deal to me because I REALLY believe that we (Gollihughs and, really, everyone else!) should have a year supply (at least) of food storage for our family because I want us to follow the prophets. BUT I also believe that even our current prophet wants us to obey the Laws of the Land (as our Articles of Faith say we believe we should). So, I don't want to disobey EITHER through ignorance, hearsay, or misinformation! My friend had said a while back that he was going to do a year supply regardless, but since I spoke to him about the whole Articles of Faith thing, he's been troubled.

This week I have been particularly troubled by this subject. I feel like Heavenly Father was telling me what I should do through a talk given in Sacrament Meeting today. It was all about following the voice of the prophet and how the current prophet's words trump all preceeding info. I'm still uneasy and I know I need to pray about the whole thing....

If you're wondering why I'm posting on Sunday... well, this post has NOTHING to do with work (thus, not working on Sabbath). AND I actually have a bit of quiet time to myself.

A Bit of News

Friday, May 23, 2008


Thursday night was nice. It was good to have Jess home. However, I didn't go on a walk at all, much less alone. The weather was iffy, but had he been at work, I would have totally gone. I guess I just wanted to be around my hubbie!

He made a great dinner. THAT was sooo nice. I miss his cooking almost as much as I miss HIM during the week!! ;)

For the last 5 weeks now I've been walking a minimum of 5 days a week and trying to make it 6. It seems that adding that one extra day just doesn't work. It certainly hasn't yet! The reason for not being able to walk the 6th day is not the same each week, but still it doesn't work out! So, I'm changing my goal. I'm sticking with walking 5 days each week, since that totally works (even if it is a bit difficult sometimes). But now I'm going to walk a minimum of 80 minutes. I figure that after walking 80 minutes each day I'll have accumulated more than the 60 I normally do as my minimum for EACH day! I've been walking 70+ minutes each day this week, so it only makes sense to raise the bar in a way that is tangible. ^_^ I'm excited to work toward this new goal.

Oh, I'm also still trying to walk the bridge 3 days each week and then do intervals on the other 2 days. The intervals are quite challenging, though, and I may alternate weeks. Like, one week do 3 interval days and 2 bridge days and vice versa. Definitely a worthy challenge since I want to strive for more challenging intervals. Right now I warm up for 5 minutes at an easy pace, *push it for 15 seconds, easy/moderate (depending on my energy level of the day) for 60 seconds*, and repeat between *s until I reach 30-40 minutes (also dependent upon energy level AND shin splint pain).

I'm excited to report that I'm beginning to feel a deep love of being a Mama. I think I've been an all right Mom for the last 5 years (counting Ria's gestation). But the whole role has been daunting and extremely overwhleming for me. (I realize both of those words have nearly the same meaning, but the feeling each conveys is just different enough that I felt I needed them both!) I think that these negative feelings have had a great deal to do with my responsibility issues... I feel responsibility keenly and it tends to overshadow enjoyment (in general, but it especially has in Motherhood).

I know I've mentioned Sage before. Well, I feel like she has really made a dramatic impact in my life and perceptions of things since I moved here, but especially since I've been lucky enough to get to know her. She is an AMAZING Mom! She loves being a Mom and cherishes ALL of her children without seeming overwhelmed by the responsibility of taking care of them.

When I was in the in-between ages (in between young and the full-on teens) I wasn't sure my Mom liked me very much. I could tell she liked AND loved her babies and I knew she LOVED me, but I didn't feel very well LIKED. I also don't remember my Mom being happy very often. My Mom is amazing and wonderful and she did a really great job raising 6 children. I remember once telling my Mom that I didn't want to have the frowny wrinkles that she had; that I wanted to be a happy Mom. Well, I haven't been.

The majority of my memories of my Mom and feelings surrounding all that I've just described come from when I was around 10/11/12 because the long-term stuff is pretty much shot full of GAPING holes. I want to specifically mention this fact because I'm sure there are lots of wonderful things and happy moments that I don't and cannot remember!

Anyway... I've seen myself doing what I remember... and not being pleased about it, but then feeling sort of hopeless about changing because I haven't known HOW to change... what to do... how to change my thinking... it was just very... ... ... .... Well, I don't know how to describe how I felt about myself and my inability to change, really. The point is that about 2 weeks ago Heavenly Father blessed me with a sort of blanket KNOWING gift of inspiration! I realized that to stop the way things were going between Ria and me and to become a "Happy Mom" I just had to DO IT. (Nike... and one of our past prophets!) Anyway... with the support of our Father in Heaven I haven't yelled at Ria since then. I've purposefully lowered my voice, even to a whisper, when I have felt frustrations about which I needed to speak to her. I've stopped before speaking so that I could let go of the annoyance before I said a word (HUGE for me!!!) and then spoken to her with no emotion in my words/reaction. I've been even MORE consistent than I was before (and I really felt this was a pretty strong attribute). Missing Story Time was a huge step for me as far as the whole "Say what you mean, mean what you say" thing goes. I've always known that saying and really abided by it pretty well, but when it came to library visits, I would not really follow through reliably because I was afraid of turning Ria off of books/reading/libaries. Well, I figured, last week, that our relationship and ability to relate was more important that all that! So, we missed Story Time because Ria's behavior was not fit for departure from our home.

My poor Ria hasn't known what to do with all this. I understand that when we strive to change the "Universe" revolts. Ria, as part of that universe, has definitely revolted. She has tested more and harder in the last 2 weeks than ever before in her life. She has thrown more "monkey-actin" temper tantrums than I care to remember. She has spent lots of time in her room for back-talking and other bits (and BIGs) of disobediences. And it seems like she's been a lot more of these things with her Daddy than normal as well! I think the reason for this last part is that she couldn't get a reaction from me, but he was still susceptible. He was still reacting the old way and that's the way she's become accustomed to, so it was comfy... so she pushed for it.

Last night I had a talk with Jess and Ria (seperately) about all this. I appologized to Ria for being the kind of Mama I used to be and told her I'm really REALLY trying to change and that Daddy is going to do the same now that I've talked to him about it. She will probably still push... she's a part of the universe. But, with the Lord's help, I think we're moving toward being a new kind of family. And I'm so very excited about it!!!

Tonight I was lying in bed (helpin Kat to fall asleep) and I just felt this overwhelming feeling of something that I can only define as "joy of motherhood." This is a feeling I've only rarely had before. But I'm sure, as we continue to grow and improve, I'm going to have this feeling LOTS more often BECAUSE I'm determined to LOVE being a Mama. And I'm also determined to be a mostly "happy Mom!"

I decided to share all of that because I hope that someone else might gain some hope from my experiences! Life can be so heavy sometimes... but if we can see someone else sort of bearing up under the weight, then it can help us to feel stronger too! At least, that's how I feel!! This is exactly why Sage is so precious to me... I see her bearing her load in a way that seems effortless (though I know she would disagree) and feel SO motivated and inspired by her. I hope I can grow up to be almost just like her! I can't be a return missionary like her, but perhaps I can emulate the other wonderful aspects that are SAGE! ^_^

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Story Time and an Unexpected Night Off

We had a lovely morning of going to the library and playing at the playground today. It was so completely wonderful, in fact, that I completely forgot to watch the time and we arrived inside at 1:50pm. That was alarming for me because I usually start our big family meal at 1pm. So my mind was jumping trying to think of something I could make in under 20 minutes! I settled on scrambled egg sandwiches. Thankfully we haven't really had those much in the last few months, so it was a nice "new" meal. :)

I was having such a good time and lost track of time because there were two really wonderful ladies at the library with their children today. Sue, especially, is just such a magnet to me... she has this aura of peace and joy about her. I felt as if I couldn't NOT spend time with her. And when I did talk with her she was just wonderful... she was really interested and interesting. She also WANTS to have another child, which is really attractive to me because so many of the women with whom I have (and do) associate are either ambivalent or completely uninterested in welcoming more children to their families. Those feelings make ME feel really uncomfortable because of how I feel about children and the Lord's Will. I am still friends with the ladies like that, but I feel a sort of yawning gap in my ability to relate to them. All of the women of whom I'm speaking have either 1, 2, or 3 children. The women I know who have 4+ and feel the way I'm referrring to, I can sort of understand. But less than 4 and feeling that way?? Ahwell...

The other lady, Jessica, would also like to have another child/more children and she lives right here in my town!!! Actually, she lives two blocks south of me. So, that is wonderful to me because she's also very motivated about dropping pounds (has already lost over 40 on her own) and she walks 4 miles daily (on a treadmill). So, potential for a walking buddy!? She told me today that she almost stopped at my house one day because she thought it was where I lived, but didn't because she wasn't sure. So, I'm excited and hopeful to have another friend right here in town! ^_^

If you're interested in more on my beliefs and feelings about welcoming children into our family (or any family), just leave me a comment and I'll make a whole post about it! ^_^

Jess just came home. Thus, the unexpected night off!! I'm hoping the drizzle/rain will stop and give me an hour to walk in a few hours because I would really love to walk alone. It would be my first walk alone in two weeks. So, tonight has the potential to be a bit of a night off for both of us!

He's talking about fishing at the beach, so we may do that as a family (if the water from the sky ceases). Jess actually wants to go right now, even with the rain. But Mama has to be the guardian of everyone (health in particular). We'll see.

Oh, I'm 20 weeks and 1 day preggie now. And get this, I has SUCH an upset tummy last night (for hours!) that I asked Jess to stop on his way home and pick up some Ginger Ale and Coke. I had the Ginger Ale right when he got home and felt much better.

I don't normally and haven't had ANY caffeine to drink in months and months, but I've heard SO much about how Coke stops the BLAHs in their tracks. I wanted to have some on hand if I feel like I did last night. At one point I thought I would have to run to the bathroom it was so bad! (That all happened well after the walk. You know, when I felt like I was ill and it went away when I stopped walking toward the bridge.) Anyway, it could all be tied into hormone surges or something. And I'm cool with that, but I will use what I can to soothe it, too. Ya know? ^_^ Of course, if it was something more powerful than Coca Cola I probably would just buck up and deal with it, but I would like to have relief from the YUCKIES if they come on again like they did last night. It was just crazy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today the girls and I watched an episode of DANCING WITH THE STARS. The girls LOVED it. I should have guessed they would be gah-gah over it, but I guess I wasn't really thinking. Had I thought about it, I might not have watched it with them because they were sort of wild with dancing like the show for at least 30 minutes after it was over.

I really should have remembered that Ria loved it when we watched it almost 2 years ago. That was around the time she fell in love with Ballet (she happened to see a full-on ballet on PBS and talked about it constantly after that). As a matter of fact, about a week after seeing THE ballet on PBS Ria's Grama Farrell, Mimi, gave her a pair of cute little pink high top tennis shoes. She immediately named them her "RinaRina" shoes! ^_^ Anyway, it was hilarious to watch my two little girly girls dancing around the house today. Kat was going for arabesques quite frequently (always holding on to something, of course), while Ria was busy working on trying to dance like the TV and getting her Tondous perfected. :) They are adorable!

Don't mistake me, though, they are fighting to help Daddy work on the car (literally!) and love to muck it up with the best of them! After they play on our lanai (back patio that is enclosed), they come in looking like they did some dust rolls. You know, the way cows and horses will roll in the dust to help protect them from the bugs? Anyway... they are covered from top to toe!

Today was the last day of official dance class for Ria. It was kinda sad. Next week is THE big week! We have stage rehersal on Tuesday, dress rehersal on Friday, and THE BIG EVENT on Saturday. We're very excited! ^_^

I planned to walk the bridge today, but didn't because I just felt REALLY sick to my tummy when I was heading out that way. It went away after I turned to go South... so I think I was getting a message NOT to go that way. Regardless, I walked 74 minutes today. Yesterday I did 40 minutes of intervals and completed my walk at 79 minutes! ^_^ I feel so good when I walk even just 5 minutes over 60. :)

Monday I went visiting teaching and both my companion and the sister we visited commented quite a lot about how nice I look and how much weight I've lost. I will reiterate my lovely news of yesterday: I've lost 2 pounds in the last two weeks. So, really, it's not a lot on the scale, but it's obviously showing up nicely on my bod. :) Yesterday a few of the ladies at Play in the Park commented on my appearance. And today a couple more in dance class made the same/similar comments. So, I'm feeling like the work is paying off visibly. That pleases me very greatly! It would be much more difficult to continue if there was no discernable change!

A Light Bulb Moment?

So, I wanted to write about this before, but forgot and then didn't have time. But I made mention in the last post about the two times Jess became pretty aggitated since he's become a non-smoker. Well, one of them is kind of funny to me, a SAHM (stay at home mom).

Okay, so Saturday (the one just past) Jess took BOTH of the girls to the grocery store to get a few items. This was a pretty short list. I would say about 1/4 the length of my norm because I didn't want to spend as much money as I had been and I wanted to be kind to Jessie. ;)

Well, they were gone for at least 2 hours, which is pretty normal because Walmart is about 30 minutes away. When Jess came home he was obviously aggravated and he made short mention of the difficulty of dealing wtih the girls while shopping. I've learned how to sort of let Jess cool down, so I did for a little while. I guess the time I let him alone was not quite long enough OR he was stewing. Either way, it doesn't much matter, really.

The point is that when I went over to talk to him he was REALLY snappy and mean (relative to Jessie normally). I asked him if he wanted to tell me abouthis trip with the girls and he snapped about just wanting to be left alone. There was another exchange, I was trying to change the subject, but continue to interact with him and he got REALLY snappy with me.

I stopped the snappish comment before he finished it and asked if he was upset with me. And he just went off about how Ria acted in the grocery store and how he was still frustrated about how it was to shop with both of them. I responded, "Welcome to my life!" He didn't really say anything for a minute, but when he did talk again he was snappy at ME for being in the way or something. So I got right back at him and told him that I could completely understand his aggravation, but that I (TORI) had not done anything to him, so he owed me an appology because I was only trying to spend time with him. I also made mention of the difficulty of not treating our partner poorly when the kids are frustrating, but that I'd been striving to make theat differentiation, so I deserved the same consideration in return. Then, I walked away.

Ria tried to do something with me and I asked her to leave me alone to use the potty by myself because I didn't want to snap at HER for the way her Daddy was acting. When I came back I went back to what I'd been doing and interacted with Jess like normal. It took about 5 minutes, but he did appologize for snapping at me and he did see that he wasn't behaving kindly toward me. YEAY!!!!

I so very much hope that Jess had a light bulb moment. There is really no way for a SAHM to explain the mundane frustrations of life at home with the children to the hubbie who isn't there much. But the best lessons are those learned under fire, I think... and the girls definitely had Daddy cookin' in the grocery store! ;) heeheehee

Anyway. I look forward to the week (at least one that I like to think of as DADDY BOOT CAMP) Jess will be home after the Baby's birth because he's going to get to do all of my jobs AND take care of the girls for that first week! My midwife is adamant that I have one week to do nothing but rest. I'm actually really looking forward to it. I think this will be the first time, in my life, that I will have such an experience (other than the times it has happened unplanned due to depression... but I can guarantee that those were NOT restful OR enjoyable times of doing nothing!!!). I'm excited to hear his frustrations (the ones I feel daily) and try to give him pointers, the way he does now. (Is that totally sick??) Of course, my pointers will be tried and true.... ^_^ Should be interesting!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Have you ever lost something you never really had? Well, I guess, in truth, anything ANY of us lose (as far as things) fits in this category because it's all gifts on loan from our Heavenly Father! But... I mean, have you ever thought you would be able to get something, do something, or go somewhere and felt great joy over it; only to realize that it wouldn't happen? Doesn't feel good.

But then, sometimes I think, the looking forward to WHATEVER is the thing that sort of pulls us through a rough patch or gets us over a hurdle. I know this is true for me now. My family will not be making the trip to VA as we thought and planned for the end of June/July. We just don't have the ability to gather the funds for that as well as everything else in our lives that we HAVE to pay for and would like to pay for. Examples of HAVE to pay for include our midwife: $3200, gas for the trip (were we to make it): $800+, lost wages from making the trip (see prvious parenthesis): $460+, and a sort of non-monetary issue, but something really significant that was causing me lots of stress is that we would be using all of Jessie's regular vacation time. This last item on the list is particularly distressing because I have been planning for him to take 1-2 weeks off after the baby's birth for us to sort of bond as a family. We have NEVER before had that sort of opportunity and I really yearn for his help and that time together. When Ria was born, Jess was in school and only took a day off to help me through labor and delivery. He left the hospital that night to be able to make it to school the next day. When Kat was born he was working two jobs and we were preparing to move. We actually departed when she was exactly 3 weeks old. Jessie's presence at home after the birth becomes an even greater issue if I do end up having twins! (Always a possibility.) And of course, there are things we would like to afford that we just wouldn't be able to if we made the trip to VA. THOSE things I would be happy to sacrifice if we could reasonably make the trip without straining our budget too much.

On the positive side, since I'm trying to "Pollyanna-Up" in my life, we won't spend as much money since we're not going. (So obvious, but this has implications all over the place.) We'll have more money to spend on food storage, which I know I've mentioned has been a huge concern for me as of late. I'm pretty sure I will also be able to scrounge enough money together for the girls to take at least 1 month of swim classes, which is pretty important to me since we live on a barrier island! I will be able to start saving for next year's dance classes (TWO girls in dance... LOTS more money out each month!), we'll be able to completely pay off our midwife by week 36 (which is when we are supposed to complete payments) without cutting into food money or having to delay dance class or something like that, and we'll still be able to do little things together like eat out when we go to the temple.

We are starting a July 2009 trip to VA fund. Jess and I discussed that likelihood that even if some big changes occur (as he thinks they will) he will be able to take time off by then for a trip. So, we get 6 checks a month and we'll be saving something out of EACH one. We'll be in VA July 2009. Not sure of the dates, of course, but that's the month. :)

On to a much more exciting and positive form of losing. ;) So far the scale has moved down 2 pounds in the last two weeks! I'm so happy and excited. Tomorrow I see my midwife and I'm so excited to hear how happy for me she will be. I'm also curious what HER scale will say because it seems rather kind. ^_^ I'm so very pleased because I know from all my studies that 2 pounds per week is the best/safest weight loss (as opposed to more). So, give that I'm preggie, the 1 pound a week is really comfy for me. I feel it is very safe. Also, I measured myself last night. Comparing my measurements to the last time I did it (October 2007: SEVEN months ago) I have lost 8 inches overall, but gained one in my waist (which, of course, goes across the upper belly). Pretty great, right!!? Oh, and I lost the most, a WHOPPING 2 inches, across the lower belly, even WITH being preggie. I'm pleased and even more encouraged to continue my walking program. YEAY for me!!!

Jess starts his FIFTH week as a non-smoker tomorrow!!! He's doing quite well with this change and I'm so proud of him. He has only been snappish/nasty two times thus far. And one of those times I realized what was happening, so I pointed out to him what he was doing and he totally appologized almost right away. Jess has to leave a few minutes between things I tell him and his action. Pride. Doesn't please me, but I get it now, at least.

Oh, I just checked my mileage. I'm actually under 4 miles when I walk the bridge, but it's more than 3 by a little bit. I'm going to try to add a block to that walk and get to 4 miles to see what my timing is. I haven't checked to see what I'm walking when I do intervals, but I'm really curious about that. So, perhaps I'll check on it tomorrow since I have to take the van out again. Oh, we were out in the van for the Play in the Park we do (used to be Joy School). That was lovely, as always. My friend Heather came with her 3, Sage with her 2, and Oz came with her son. So we had a larger group than usual for a while. It was pretty great!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Story Time?

Nope, not today. Today IS the day we usually go the our library and participate in Story Time, check out books, and choose some movies. But today we didn't go because Mama has put her foot down. I'm not accepting the poor treatment (particularly the disobeydience) Ria has been dishin' out. I'm determined to be a good Mama, so I've been staying really calm. This, unfortunately, is not my regular MO, but I'm REALLY striving to change.

Have you ever heard that when we try to make a change for the better the whole universe revolts? I have experienced the truth of this and never more than when I'm trying to remain a calm Mama... Ria is, as humans are, used to how I have been - even if that is not good. I'm glad I understand this because it makes dealing with her screaming fits and monkey-acting at least a little bit easier to endure.

Ria spent quite a long time in her room because she was throwing temper-tantrum after temper-tantrum about any subject possible. Thankfully Heavenly Father was supporting me in my efforts and I felt cool as a refrigerated cucumber! I had some time cuddle time with just Kat. That happens REALLY rarely, so it was pleasant. :) When Ria was able to come out she was so much nicer to be around.

We did reading class, as usual, and she got to watch her choice of movie. She chose Cinderella. She LOVES Cinderella. A couple weeks ago, she watched that one at least 3 days in a row. (That's the most Ria's ever done with any movie.) She also loved Pocahontas.

I think I have neglected to mention a funny thing about Ria and her movies. Well, in particular Pocahontas, but she's also done a few other things. "What?!" you say. She pretends to be Pocahontas. No biggie, I suppose, because most kids pretend to be what they see. But this particular pretending is really funny because the only part she copies is when Pocahantas is sort of sneaking around. Ria has, during this sort of pretending, hurt the side of her ankle pretty severely at least 3 times! She stopped pretending to be Pocahontas while her ankle healed after the last time, but resumed as soon as it was pretty much healed over.

Today was my first day to do some interval walking (30 minutes of my hour). I was really amazed at the distance the inteval walking helped me cover. I was down to 28th stree in 31 minutes! Usually I don't walk past 25th at the furthest, to get my 30 minutes one way, so I'll end up home in about an hour. I also worked up a very nice sheen of persperation all over. Usually I don't have much on my face, as of late. So this is an interesting development. I plan to do the bridge tomorrow, but may decide on intervals instead since I hope to walk all by myself. Jess will only have tomorrow night off for the week and I REALLY want to enjoy my one hour that I'm completely alone and not responsible for anyone but me!

Dance Class Day

Yesterday was Dance Class, of course. It was a mostly really good day. I didn't accomplish much of anything around the house, but felt more relaxed and calm than I have in a while. (NICE!) We did go to dance class. The girls are plugging along in their practice and loving class, it seems. The mothers are becoming nervous about all the rehersals and plans for the recital. It's pretty funny. For two reasons... we have so many different dates/times to remember AND it really is going to cost a bit for the thing, all said and done. There's the costume, which, to me, is a TOTALLY good investment (of $48) for a really cute ballerina costume that BOTH girls will wear as dress up into the distant future. It actually should have been significantly more because the girls usually do TWO dances (one costume each), but this year they are only doing one.

We also have to make sure to have the right kind/color tights, which run about $15. Then there's the pictures, which wouldn't be so bad if our extended family could attend, but they cannot, so we want to send pictures: $60! Addditionally, the video is $30 and since I've had at least one request for that (possibly 2) I'll be purchasing that as well. It's $30 if you purchase in ADVANCE, which tells me that it will cost more if you wait until the recital to pay. YIKES. A bit of a profit margin on that baby, would ya say??

Then there's the flowers thing... you can buy a flower for your dancer ($5 for ONE!!!) and there's a spot to put in a donation for the teacher. We're not buying a flower for Ria from the florist FOR the recital. I will get some myself and give them to her = $5. Perhaps when she's older I'll do the whole stage presentation thing? I'm not sure if I'll be doing the donation or a handmade gift for the teacher... I haven't started MAKING anything... so it looks like it might be a donation = $5. Who knows.

Then there's the group picture, which I definitely want for Ria: $15.

I purchased a long-sleeved leotard because Ria has been VERY concientous about modesty (specifically regarding shoulders) and I want to encourage thato we are covering hers for the recital with a longsleeved leotard! The leotard had to be nude to go under the costume = $20.

And, of course, I still have to pay for regular classes = $40 per month. So, what have we here for the last month of dance class? 40+48+15+60+30+5+5+15+20=$238 I just hope there aren't any unknown amounts and on the bright side, it could have been significantly more!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Starting to Look Preggie and COOKIES Revisited

I've mentioned the walking I'm doing. Well, it is visibly paying off, it seems! The numbers on the scale took a turn down this morning. YEAY! Prior to this, of course, they were just very steady at the same reading. Which, really, means that I was gaining baby weight and losing my own. Also, YEAY, but even though I've felt the difference, I also thought that perhaps it was wishful thinking because no one else noticed.

Well, yesterday and today I've received the lovely comment we all yearn to hear when working on improving our appearance from FAT to FIT. Both ladies basically said, "It looks like you're losing weight!" I almost think that the scale didn't move downward because I was doing just enough overeating before because I was afraid my midwife would not approve whole-heartedly (as both of my previous midwives seemed slightly worried that I didn't gain any weight until the last month) in me losing weight during pregnancy. But Karen truly understands the dynamic of fat pregnant girls. She is fabulous and COMPLETELY encourages me to work out and eat right and since I'm really heavy she understands that it's TOTALLY safe for the scale to move down as long as the uterus keeps expanding. Since I AM eating regularly and sometimes still overeating by a lot, I really don't have anything to worry about regarding the baby getting enough nutrients. So, I'm super excited.

Also, combined with the comment that it looked like I was losing weight, Sage mentioned that before I just looked like myself, but now it looks like I'm me and preggie. Which, interpreted, means to me that the preggie belly is differentiated from the general fatness of me. ^_^ heehee

I've been craving and eating homemade chocolate chip cookies (I've mentioned this, I know). I almost bought some Chips A'hoy at the grocery store, but standing there next to them I just felt this overwhelming "NO!" it just had to be homemade. So, believing that cravings really DO have an important role in nutrition (contrary to a lot of research, doctors, and scientists), I set out to make them myself. I also already went into this whole experience in THE COOKIE FIASCO entry.

Well, I have to revisit this issue because I think these cookies, recipe compliments of my best friend Heidi Monteith (whose blog you can skippy to and get the recipe should you want it) get better with time! They were better cool than they were warm (to me!) and they are better today than they were the day I made them (once again: my opinion). So, I think I've found a tie for my favorite homemade chocolate chip cookies!!!

I must admit that I've been sort of annoyed that my cravings went from citrus, to olives (both pretty healthy), to COOKIES!!! But... there may be hope because I've been feeling hankerins for spinach made by Jessie with this awesome seasoning (he brought home a LOAD of the seasoning for me!) and grapes. YEAY!!! Return of the healthy munchies. The cookies are actually starting to taste too sweet to me. Once again, YEAY!!! ^_^

So, the challenge is to continue my walking into the third tri-mester and beyond. This is definitely a challenge for me because I'm only now (32 freakin years old!) learning how important the whole concept of "Enduring to the End" is for and to me personally. I've been pretty good at being consistent with my students (as a teacher), my husband, and my children... but not myself. :( I'm working to change myself in MANY ways. Like I told my friend Heather, "I'm 32, man! I'm gunna OWN this year!!! I'm gunna ROCK it and love it and love myself!" And, so far, I really feel like I'm moving in the right direction. Another "YEAY!!"

Yesterday I walked the bridge again and it was great except for this horrible patch on my side of the bridge. Which, of course, means I went through it TWICE! I walked through a cloud of NOSEEUMS. Have you encountered these horrible little bugs??? Well, if you come visit me during the summer (or now) I can introduce you and you will be amazed and feel exceeding respect for my determination to improve my fitness. You see, if you haven't encountered these horrible bugs, you have NO CLUE! The ones I have here are tiny little spots of light brown and BITE THE HECK OUT OF YOU!!!!!!!! Oh, MY!

I almost forgot about them, actually. I remembered that lovebug mating season is fast approaching and thought I might take a break from the bridge to avoid those harmless buggers. (I didn't want to breath them or swallow them and didn't want the girls to do either likely outcome of walking amid them, either!) The lovebugs get SO thick out on A1A that you literally cannot walk, run, ride, bike, or drive without getting them ALL over!!! Seriously gross if you don't like bugs so much. (And, if you weren't sure, I DO NOT!!!)

Well, the NOSEEUMS are MUCH MUCH much MUCH worse!! As I mentioned they are tiny and they bite. Well, as if that's not bad enough, (for a bug-almost-aphobe) the bites hurt/itch immediately. The hurt/itch does fadepretty quickly. Not so bad. After initially thinking maybe I should turn around, I decided I could deal with the immediate pain and annoyance because I COMPLETELY FORGOT the after-effect. You see, I woke up around 5:30-6am because I itched so baddly and CONSTANTLY that I could not rest at all! That is REALLY annoying AND the regular effect of those bits on me. Of course, I totally remember all this NOW!

You may not have known me or perhaps didn't know about my experience with itchiness just before I got preggie with Ria. I was cleaning up in the yard and pulled down some vines from the shed behind our trailer. The result of which was a truly horrible case of Poison Ivy. I mean, so bad that many people wanted me to go-to-the-Doc-and-get-steriods kind of BAD! I was also miserable because I ABSOLUTELY hate pointless things, especially pain. (I really don't love buying garbage bags, toilet paper, and even often wish we didn't need to eat cause it just turns into POOP!) All of that leads logically to why the pain of labor is TOTALLY do-able for me. For ONE: I understand some reasons that drugs are bad during labor AND for another: I get to have a result for the pain (a GORGEOUS little baby!!). Anyway... I've been majorly going offtrack a lot. Hopefully not troubling to you!

Jessie thought it would be fun/funny to take pictures of me
when I was suffering with Poison Ivy.
He thought I looked so funny... at least one of us had a good time with it!
By the way,
the big face is because of swelling
not because I was this fat at the time these pictures were taken!
Basically, I think I'm going to give the bridge a couple day's rest unless I can get up early to walk it. (I walked to the park over the bridge this morning at around 9:30am and was not troubled by the NOSEEUMS. So maybe we will attempt our long walk in the early part of the day?) Sage brought me home to avoid the boiling heat of the middle of the day SUN. She's SO sweet!! Regardless, though, I'll still be walking and there are a few good little hills down the street, so I'll definitely be climbing it and every other East/West street with some upanddown to it. :)

Until next time:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Surprise Unleashed

Have you been on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what Jess has been planning? Well, probably not... I understand. My present is NOT as big a deal to you as it is to me. :) That's okay. I totally understand!

Well, I was posing twenty questions to Jess and trying to figure out what it was that he'd purchased and put together for me. I thought it was something heavy and something he had to put togehter because Jess asked me a couple leading questions that conceivably could have gone either way, but the words he used to ask them totally lead me to believe the gift was heavy and had to be put together! Anyway... it isn't anything of the sort!

He's a trickster, my Jessie. You might not know it, but you never can tell with my guy. I must say, though, that since he made the decision to quit smoking, he has been SUPER thoughtful and loving... it's like I have the guy I fell in love with back! It's AWEsome!!!!!! And this gift is definitely another instance of feeling that my "old" Jessie is back. :) I say that because when we were early in our years together he listened to things I said and remembered little things. Then, later on he would pull things out of the air (it seemed to me because I'd forgotten what I'd said that had to do with the moment) and give me the most wonderful gift of a thing or time or something he'd made. Well, that's exactly what he did for me for this Mother's Day!

Back to the trickster bit, he totally packaged my tiny light present in an assortment of various sized boxes. Then he carried it in like it was super heavy! Right before I sat down, I tapped the box with my foot to sort of test out the weight. He knew he was caught in that trick because the box moved a lot relative to the tap, so I KNEW it wasn't heavy gift. 4 boxes into opening the package I finally found my present. What, what, WHAT was it, you ask?

Well, I would like to forestall your gratification for just a moment and take you back in time. A little while after Mother's Day last year Jess, the girls, and I went to visit my friend Denise Poleski. She's also the sweet lady who gave me the makeup I'm wearing because she doesn't feel her most beautiful when preggie and wanted to give me something to spiffy-up. It's working, too! heeheehee ;) Anyway, while visiting her to drop off cookies I'd made for her birthday, she showed us her Mother's Day gift. Have YOU seen the iPod Shuffle? OH MY GOODNESS!!! It is tiny and light and an exerciser's dream for occupying the mind with something other than thoughts or baby squeals! I thought it was super cool.

I'm sure I mentioned it to Jessie a few times after that and I'm sure I talked to him about my friend, Heather Harris's iPod and how she uses it to run. And, I know for sure, I stopped to look at a display of the tiny little music holders (MP3 Players) they have at WalMart once, really recently, when Jess was shopping with us. I may have even commented that I thought they were cool and wished I could consider such an expenditure. But I would never have seriously considered purchasing it for myself in our current circumstances.

So, it becomes ever more clear how Jessie's statement of, "Sometimes you need things you don't need," really does make sense for this gift. Have you guessed what he got yet? Well, if you guessed an iPod (of any kind) you'd be wrong. ^_^ BUT he did get me an MP3 Player! It's a 2 gig player so it holds lots and lots of music and Jess wants to buy a subscription to either a music download thingy or a book download thingy. Ok, so I'm totally WAY out of the lingo in this area, but still. You know what I'm talking about, right? I actually get a free month trial on the book download thingy and he was going to put load one onto my player, but he had no idea WHAT I would like, so he didn't. However, he DID put some music he knew I would like: Metallica, OUR song, and a song about an Island in the Sun (because that's what we live on!). He also did a voice recording that explained the gift. SO AWESOME!!!!

There is yet another reason this is a timely and WONDERFUL gift for me. You see, recently I was frustrated (as I am many nights when we come home from walking) with the girls AND Jess happened to be available to hear my complaint. I was sort of unloading my grief over their bickering in the buggy and wondered outloud to him if there was some way I could attach a 10-foot pole to the buggy and still safely walk with them. I have LOTS of invention ideas, so he could have easily thought I was working on something. He looked at me oddly for a minute and then smiled and I laughed because I really was joking (even though it WOULD be nice sometimes!!!). Well, this gift is sort of like a 10-foot pole without the actual distance AND it's much safer than the pole would be considering how sometimes I have to move quickly because people just don't seem to like walkers very much! I just have to make sure to regularly check the sounds around me and not turn the music up TOO loudly when they are being disagreeable with one another. So, my hour-long walks will be ever more soothing and much less stressful for me now! :) Thanks to my dear thoughtful hubbie!!!

Now all I have to do is get a CD player or mini radio for the girls and we'll be set! ^_^ I would even consider one of those toteable movie players, but then I'd have to worry about timing reading class for right before our walk.... I dunno. It sure would keep Ria occupied, though! :) But, Ria really isn't the one that has the problem with the hour in the buggy.... ahwell

A Surprise in the Making and Dance Recital Pictures

Yesterday was full of preparations for some sort of surprise Jessie has cookin. He told me, after he came home from shopping, that he's returned the alternator core and received money for it. So, he'd spent a bit of money that we wouldn't have otherwise had on the surprise he's working on. He's been talking about this surprise for a couple weeks and it wasn't necessarily FOR Mother's Day. So, I was trying to get him to tell me what it was. All he would say is that even though I'd specifically said I wanted preggie pants he'd decided that he wanted me to get those whenever we would afford it in the budget, but that he'd spent the money on something else. He went on to explain that even though he knows I don't like to buy things that I NEED, sometimes things that I think I don't need, I really DO need. I'm really curious! How about you?? Well, I'm guessing I will get this surprise tomorrow because when he was trying to get things together last night he came to bed and said, "Mother's Day is cancelled." This was because the thing he'd purchased was missing a piece and he would have to return it and go somewhere else to purchase it. We'll see!

Today is the day for Ria's individual Dance Recital pictures! I'm excited and I think she's oblivious! :) For the recital Ria is supposed to wear the correct attire AND bright red lipstick, blue eyeshadow, foundation, black mascara, and blush. Well, I just barely received some makeup as a gift (and have subsequenly started to wear all of it on Sundays and some of it during the week). So, I have the foundation, blush, mascara, and eyeliner. But the lipstick I received is perfect for me, but NOT RED. Also, I do not own blue eyeshadow. So, we spend some money yesterday on red lipstick and blue eyeshadow. I went around the house lookin' sort of trashy because I decided I would not waste the lipstick and eyeshadow. Jess was sort of shocked by the lipstick. All he would say is, "It's really bright." at first, but I was able to sort of pull out of him that it made my lips look REALLY big. Well, isn't that what everyone wants?? Not my hubbie, obviously! heehee ;) Anyway, it was fun and funny because the girls absolutely LOVED the lipstick and wanted to wear it themselves. Jess, not so much. He wouldn't even kiss me because he didn't want to get it on his lips! Neither the girls nor Jess noticed the eyeshadow. I guess I do have pretty big lips! Anyway, the point was, really, that I'm going to make Ria up for her pictures so that all of you lovely people can see what she'll look like at the recital even though you cannot attend in person.

Most of the other mothers are NOT doing the full-on for the pictures. They talked about putting some gloss on the lips and blush on the cheeks... but most of their families will be in attendance. So, I guess they don't feel as much a need to sort of capture the essence of their child's recital appearance. Ya know?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Cookie Fiasco

So, my best friend since I was 12 blogged about some homemade chocolate chip cookies she loves to make. She's quite a cook/baker and has good taste. So after her cousin asked for the recipe and she posted I decided I would try it out. Today was the day. Ria completed writing and reading classes satisfactorily right after Daddy left for his night job and subsequently sat down to watch MARY POPPINS. As you will recall, this is a LONG movie. I also had a few hours until our hour-long walk. So I knew I had time to make the cookies. (I haven't quite figured out baking with children yet, so prefer to do it on my own WHEN* I do it.)

I would like to share that I have been actively baking AND cooking on my own since I was 11 or 12 in my parents' home and have always been quite good and comfortable in the kitchen. I often loosely follow recipes when cooking, but have known (it seems sort of common sense to me for some reason) that I should not depart from a recipe for baked goods. Well, since Jess went to J&W University to become a Chef I have subsequently learned that recipes for baked goods are not like cooking recipes. Baking recipes are actually chemical formulas and when the ratios are altered the final product is often disasterous. So, I know this and sort of already knew it without knowing it! :)

Well, today I set out to make the cookies from my friend's blog. I'm good at baking and even though I haven't done it in a few months because of being preggie, ill, too busy, or all of the afore listed possibilities. But I didn't feel any concern about the time away. And rightly so.

As it happens, being away from the kitchen is not the problem. It's preggie/Mama brain that IS! I made the dough just fine until I got to the flour. (I doubled the recipe, by the way.) Well, I didn't double the flour. When did I realize this fact? Well, my first clue should have been when I was spooning the dough out for baking and it was REALLY gooey. I mean, I KNOW how cookie doughs look and feel and this was just NOT right. But I thought, "Well, maybe that's what makes this dough so chewy." Uhhhh, NO! So, I loaded TWO pans into the oven and after 8 minutes!!! realized my mistake. These cookies are only supposed to bake for 8-10 minutes! I checked on them immediately and was relieved to find that none of them had dripped onto the heating element to start an oven fire!!! SAVED!

Well, the dough certainly was not. I scraped it off one stone right away and have a bowl of partially cooked cookie dough. It tastes fine, but since I'm preggie I will not be indulging. The other pan I continued to bake a little longer. When I scraped those cookies off they were almost cookies except that they were WAY too crumbly. They happen to taste very candy-like. I will also not being eating those because I get REALLY weird feelings when I eat overly sweet things with this pregnancy... almost like I've had a cup of coffee (yes, I DO know what that feels like as I did use that substance when I was working 2 full-time jobs in Utah and again when I was working midnight shifts at 7-11 and a parttime job in VA before I met Jess). I also feel similar, after eating sugary things, to when I used to take those pills that truckers take to stay awake on the road... I cannot remember what they were called. They ARE legal, but certainly no good for a body. Unfortunately I didn't comprehend the ills at the time.

Anyway, I added almost 2 cups of flour to the remaining dough and the rest of the cookies have turned out all right. Did I mention that the whole fiasco is because I completely forgot to double the flour along with all the other ingredients? I just want to make it clear that these cookies are probably every bit as amazing as my friend believes they are and I'm just a dun-dun-head! But, after my experience today, I'm going to stick to my Nestle's Chocolate Chip recipe (with a little substitution of oats and oat flour for some of the white flour) as my personal favorite. I think, though, that were I to do an AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN on the two side-by-side mine would probably still win for me... and my friend's would still win for her!!! heeheehee ;)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Babies Babies Everywhere and Not a One to Touch!

Dance class day.

A little girl, a bit younger than Kat, comes with her Mama and big sister to dance class. The almost 1 year old ALWAYS sits in her stroller, doesn't interact much, and definitely doesn't talk. Probably a month ago Kitty Kat identified her as a baby and has been so attentive to her every Wednesday since, much to the little girl's chagrin! :(

Sage's daughter Mary is another "baby" Kat tries to love. Now, I have to say that Kat is AMAZINGLY gentle! She has been ever since I can remember. People have even commented about how gentle she is and how much she loves babies. But Mary is NOT interested what-so-ever! Sage tells me that at other activities there are toddlers about Kat's age and size who love her not-so-gently, so she thinks Mary is just sort of afraid of the "look" now. Makes sense to me. But try to tell Kitty Kat!

Another Mama of two dance class girls had a baby a month ago. She AND her hubbie brought the girls to dance, so, of course, the new baby was there. The baby was sleeping the whole time, so it took Kat a while to notice her. But when she did she wanted to pet and love her!!! It was sooo sweet. Kitty doesn't say many words really clearly, but she enunciates BABY sure as shootin!!! :)

Poor Kitty Kat has so much baby love and not a baby interested! If you couldn't guess by all of that, Kat is so VERY excited about the baby coming to our family.

Ria informed me today that she knows for sure that we're having a girl. She even told my belly, "I love you, baby Theresa!" I thought this was sweet of course, but tried to convince her to call the baby "Baby" since I won't know that the baby is a girl until I see the baby.

The funny thing about the name is that Jess and I decided on that name quite a while ago. I'm not sure we ever really talked about it with the girls. I'm pretty sure we DID talk about the boy's names a while ago. Well, out of the air one day Ria told me, "I think that if the baby is a girl we should name her Theresa and if it is a boy, we should name him John." The context was that she had asked Daddy if she could name the baby and he told her to ask me. She was asking what I thought of those names. I told her I thought they would be PERFECT. So, Ria is naming our baby! ;)

On to a disturbing incident.

I've been walking the bridge this week for my hour long walks. It's about 4 miles total and I finish it in about 64 minutes. Pretty good for a preggie fat girl!!! ;) Today was my third day on the bridge. It's a great workout! Today, however, I saw, as it were, my daughters' lives flash before my eyes!

Upon coming DOWN the bridge into my town I get to a light. I always push and wait for the little crossing man and then shoot across. Well, I won't be doing THAT anymore! There are a bunch of scrub palms that are set against a fence, which is around a pond, but because of those palms walkers and drivers cannot see each other at this corner. Today, even though the little man (WALK) went up right away I was moving really slowly, for some reason, compared to normal. It actually felt like I was walking in mud.

This is a tremendous blessing because, had I been moving as normal, the car that ALMOST hit us would have either hit the my girls in the buggy or me AND the buggy!

A stupid young female driver almost hit us. And I don't use stupid much to describe people, in general, anymore, but she DEFINITELY was! She had a red light. Rather than stop at the line appointed for stopping at red lights, she zoomed right through the pedestrian crossing area and stopped close enough to the corner that someone in oncoming traffic would have likely been VERY close to hitting her! (Since the little accident I was in when I was preggie with Ria I am a very careful driver and can honestly say that I am pretty darn sure I always stop at the line or before it before I continue driving.)

I was already crossing the street when this girl did her stupid deed and if I hadn't pulled the buggy back she totally would have hit the front wheel, which would have put an end to my walks. (Bad enough, but I've already illustrated the worse outcome!) Anyway... I yelled at her and almost cursed (which you will recognize, I hope, as a sign of how distraught I was!!)! :( But, thankfully, I did not actually say the bad word that shot across the stage of my mind. I said something like, "What the freakin' heck are you freakin' thinkin'???!!!" Loudly enough that I'm pretty sure she heard me even though her windows were rolled up.

A young guy and an older lady were behind me on the bridge, so they saw the whole thing. Right after she almost hit us I think I was overwhelmed by shock, or something, because as the guy crossed the street I totally lost it and started shuddering and crying hysterically. (This reaction is probably explainable by the fact that I'm preggie! heehee ^_^) The guy finished crossing, but then totally stopped and kept checking to make sure I was okay. The older lady was behind him and stood with me while I caught my breath and calmed down. She talked to me a bit, which helped me refocus.

The good from this very bad situation is that I felt deep concern from two complete strangers. This is really wonderful to me because sometimes it feels like people just don't care. So, that was heartening and uplifting to feel. I really feel like I was touched by two angels (as I feel people in our daily lives are the angels most of us see, but, perhaps, don't recognize).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Anxiety Decrease and a Talk With Sage

If you couldn't tell already, my entries here are pretty much about my obsessions and our daily activities. I mentioned a couple times already my anxiety about our food storage situation. Well, today I made a purchase of some things for our supply that has decreased my anxiety a little. The items I purchased are not the staples, but since we have lived off our food storage exclusively for a month and almost exclusively for MANY months, I know that these "extras" will keep me feeling a little more normal. That's SUCH a huge thing when trouble hits the fan... at least for me! I found this site MANY MANY moons ago and revisited it since the anxiety hit a few weeks ago. I made my anxiety decreasing purchase from this site and HIGHLY recommend it! http://internet-grocer.net/ They have the basics, of course, but they also have a wide variety of extras I haven't found elsewhere. In particular, I haven't found the canned cheese or butter elsewhere. And while I have seen canned meats elsewhere, they never sound as appealing as the developers of this site make theirs sound. Also, REAL SALT is a pretty big deal. I know there are lots of places to buy it, bt I felt like the price here was quite good. Jess is going to check on his prices and I'll let yall know how they compare (assuming I can remember!).

Joy School this morning at "our" little playground near the library. It was really nice! Sage was there with her girls and another sister from the ward came. I was so happy about that!! :) We had a really nice time visiting and chatting and the kiddos LOVED their playtime. So, basically, Joy School has become a "Morning at the Park." Mostly it's evolved to this because we wanted to welcome younger children (and parents), but also because it's less stress for Sage and me and the girls (our most regular attenders) just love playing together!

Sage brought me home (the whole two blocks). I felt so lame accepting the ride, but it was SO sunny and hot. I already had a bit of pink, so I'm sure I would have ended up with a GOOD burn had I walked the girls home. And Ria is wearing a long-sleeved dress today. She doesn't care about the heat, she says... and I warn her not to complain because she's made the choice. BUT I can't help but feel concern when her cheeks are really pink and she's not drinking enough water. *sigh* What to do! I'm trying to help her/let her learn from her choices rather than strong arm her.

Sage let me borrow her FHE book (TOTALLY going to buy one for myself!!) and I was reading the dark section yesterday and just bawling. Actually, the tears were flowing, but I was not audibly crying because I didn't want the girls to know I was upset. They were playing SO nicely. I was so upset because I've been feeling more and more that I'm doing things the wrong way as a Mama and the things I was reading was just sort of confirming it. :( So, I'm striving to make some pretty significant changes. And, as we all know, change is so totally NOT easy. Especially if there are others involved. I totally understand! I mean, even though the way I have been has not been as wonderful as I should be it's what Ria is used to. So, she's resisting my change. I just have to endure... to the end. And WHAT a challenge! Perhaps THE challenge of life, right? ahwell

That last bit was not where I was planning to go, but anyway! Back to my initial "TRAIN" of thought: I put my stroller into the back of Sage's van and noticed some rice. I asked her a question and that got us talking about food storage and the food issues in the news. I think I have expressed my deep admiration for this lady before. She is the mother of 6 and completely plans to have more. She, herself, is the second child (I think) in a family of 10. And she is just an AMAZING Mother!!! I mean, gosh... I hope I can grow up to be like her!! She's also a return missionary, which should give you a good idea of how spiritually mature (etc) she is. I think her name is just perfect for her. Not only is she wise (like a Sage), but she's also neat and interesting and just really cool (like a spice in life!). Anyway, I was able to share with her this really great guide for buying food storage from the grocery store. It's a monthly guide and by the end of the year you'll have around a year supply of most of things. Some things are higher and others lower. Basically, from our conversation, I felt a confirmation of the urge I feel to compile our "legal limit" of a 3 month supply for each person in my family. So, the rest of our tax return (after the purchase made today) will be spent at the grocery store and on air-tight storage containers for food storage.

I highly recommend http://www.beprepared.com/ for really good gallon buckets, air-tight lids, and metalized bags (though I don't have a sealer... there ARE some for sale on http://providentliving.org/ I believe is the name of the site. I know for sure, as of today, that if you go to http://www.lds.org/ and look on the front page for the bit about home storage you can jump to the correct catalog pages that include a sealer! It's pretty expensive, but you could make it a sort of community purchase! I would love (AND HOPE) to do that. Of course, you could also use the church storehouse OR possibly borrow one FROM the Bishop's storehouse. The info is pretty easily available on the providentliving site. Anyway... I'm going to stop rambling about my current obsession and CATCH YA LATER! :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 13

Jessie is almost through the critical first two weeks of becoming a non-smoker. I think it would be an even more critical time period if he wasn't using any nicorette, but he's barely using it. Last time he told me (this weekend) he was down to using only 2 each day. the package suggests 9 for the first 2 weeks. He started at 3 (4 one day) and is down from that! I'm so impressed!!!

So, what do YOU think about all the "food shortage" issues abounding in the news? I, for one, am feeling heightened anxiety about my food storage. The same thing happened (well, not as severly in the news) the last time I was preggie. And, as it happens, the anxiety was a HUGE blessing. I acted on it and purchased a 3 month supply of food. We used almost all of it, living off of food storage almost exclusively, right before and after our move here! So, I feel like this is another blessing. It may not be that the world is going to have a famine in the imminent future, though I DO believe that is a sort of eventuality as a part of these last days, but I really believe that the feeling I'm having is directing me to make some significant additions to our stores (which are NOT up to the 3 month limit we have in FL). We're doing it!!! Even though we might "need" to replace the car, we're going to make sure we have food storage in place before considering that. I'm so grateful Jess understands my feelings, sometimes... like the fact that this anxiety could be a really good indication that we may need what I desperately want to provide for our family, in the very near future!

I don't think I mentioned that my midwife ROCKS! I did mention that we saw her on Friday. After I weighed in, saw the same weight, and she said, "You go girl!" I explicitly spoke to her about my weight. I told her about how I was working to become more fit AND really hoped to lose a certain number of pounds. Her response? "Go for it!" She's completely confident that the baby (or babies??!) are growing well. I measured 19 centimeters and am actually only 17 weeks. (You're supposed to measure the same as your weeks.) So, she's probably going to pressure me about ultrasound if the gap increases as my pregnancy progresses. (At the last appointment I was 12 weeks and measured 13 centimenters.) With Ria I measured 2 cent. higher until really near the end. And with Kat I measure 2 high until I was about 20 weeks. So, it will be interesting to see what happens this time around. :)

On the subject of fitness... I accomplished my goal of walking 5 days for 1 hour each day last week. YEAY!!! I feel really good about that. I also did a really leasurely walk on another day. The girls were both walking, so it was REALLY slow for me.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Little Mamas

While I was eating my breakfast the girls were actively taking care of their babydolls this morning! It was so sweet to watch the way they interacted with the babies!

Ria was very calmly sitting. She nursed her baby and sat with it. She hummed a little and moved it around a bit. She was very calm and gentle, making sure the blanket was snuggly wrapped. She asked, every-so-often, if I thought she was a good Mama. OF COURSE!

Kat was something else entirely. She was very concerned that the (too small) blanket stay around her baby, so she brought it to me to fix a number of times. But for a while she sat in her little chair next to Ria under the front window and sort of investigated her babydoll. She worked hard to balance her babydoll across her lap so she could sit still while holding it and move its appendages. After it was balanced adequately, she put the little doll's foot (one by one) up to her hand, as if measuring them against her. Then she investigated her baby's hands, one at a time, and put them each against her own hand.

Now, I'm sure Ria did similar things when she was first pretending to be a Mama, but it's been a while. This is the first week that Kat has been actively spending time with her babydoll each day. Previously, she would play with a doll or stuffed animal (usually wearing them in a sling) for a little while one day and not play with it again for a week or more.

Oh, we also saw our midwife today. It was a nice visit. I was able to put a few items I've made up in her office. She was very pleased and impressed. I think she most liked the nursing mama... and was just thrilled to learn her gift would be something similar. (It's sort of traditional for families to give home-birth midwives a gift after the birth.) Karen listened AND heard the baby's heart today with a little buttonless trumpet looking thing. I canNOT remember the name of it. I'm sure, if you REALLY wanted to see what it looked like, you could find it by looking for a fetoscope (like a stethascope, but specifically made to listen for BABY heartbeats). We learned for the first time (how did I miss this??) that when trying to "hear" a baby's heartbeat with these devices you almost feel it as much as hear it! So... that's why the fetoscope has that funny headrest thingy!!! hahahaha ^_^

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dance Recital and Pshaw!

This morning we missed Story Time because we had to go to the Flagler Auditorium to buy tickets for Ria's Dance Recital. They run $12 per adult and $8 per child. Yeah, I know! So, my Dad is the lucky Farrell to get to come for Ria's VERY FIRST dance recital. She's very excited!!! The tickets went on sale at 8:30am, but I thought it was 9am. There was a long line when I arrived. So, with both girls in tow, of course, we had to wait FORTY-FIVE minutes!!! And then, we still only got MIDDLE seats!!!!! ARGHHH! Well, I'll know for next year!!

Jess does this weird/silly thing when he's trying to coax smiles out of one of us. He'll act all sarcastic and make a noise that sounds sort of like "PSHAW" but not quite. Sometimes it's only "PSH". Anyway, tonight, as every night, Kat was trying to do things to stay awake. And after pushing Mama to the brink of leaving with the kicks and trying to lay on top of me, she started making Daddy's noise! It was pretty funny. Unfortunately, I couldn't laugh. So I just laid there quietly, pretending to ignore her, while I'm giggling inside and feeling amazed at how children imitate the weirdest things!

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