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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 ...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Job Hunting and Crochet

Last night I did the bills in hopes that we would have enough money for Jess to do some more grocery shopping this morning. It didn't work out. What did happen was Tori getting even more stressed out about our finances. So, when Jess came out of the laundry room/computer room, I told him he wouldn't be going grocery shopping, but I did need him to go job hunting! So, he did that this morning. He feels good about his efforts. My preferences were not heeded, so that's a bit annoying, but I'm trying to be trusting and faithful, too... so, we'll see. :)

I think that the job hunting is going to be a major time sucker for Jess in the upcoming future. It feels like we need the change really soon because the bills are starting to not work out smoothly at all. I'm pretty bummed about that. I'm just so tired of having this particular trial repeat, over and over in our lives! *sigh* I do think it'll work out - eventually. Or, perhaps it's more accurate to say I HOPE they will.

My main preoccupation lately has been crocheting. The new baby's blanket is taking quite a lot longer than either of the previous two. I definitely attribute this to the fact that I'm using two colors, so there's just more to DOing it. It already looks quite cool and the actual depth of the blanket is only about 3 inches. :)

Oh, I "finally" learned that Evelyn, Chris, and Addie received the package I'd mailed. I was anxious to hear the parents' impressions. I actually only spoke to Evelyn, but she was very pleased. I'm really glad!! I was sort of nervous about it because the hat had an added bit to it... which I forgot to mention to Evelyn that she could really easily disassemble just that portion if she didn't prefer it. Well, either she'll learn that here or I'll eventually remember to tell her. :) She often tends toward less is more sort of fashion (and does it beautifully), so she might prefer NOT to have the little fringe I added to the hat to make it match the booties.

I still have yet to start my own new baby's jacket, hat, booties, and Tigger doll. I can hardly believe I'm 26 weeks preggie and I'm so far behind! My only really good excuse is that I've never had a calling AND been homeschooling like I am now with either other pregnancy. (of course) I really need to get to work on those items something serious! The Tigger, alone, will take a couple weeks (if I'm able to work on it regularly). ah well

We've had some SERIOUS rain this afternoon. I'm REALLY hoping that means it's going to be nice and clear around 6:30pm for my walk! I learned, from my midwife, that the walking helps my anus (when it's tender as it has been lately) because the exercise reduces my blood pressure. Neat, huh? Now, to do something about the constipation! ugh!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

One of the Many Joys of Parenting

A Big Day
One of the very first things Ria said this morning was, "I'm so excited, I'm going to have my first talk in aaaaallll my life!" If this statement is a little confusing, that's okay. I didn't really mention it before. Since I'm the Primary Secretary I assign the talks that the children do each Sunday as part of sharing time. The lists are already made up, I just ask them to talk and give them a reminder slip of paper. Well, I knew Ria would LOVE to be asked in front of everyone and receive her very own slip of paper, but we missed church last week due to Daddy and Ria being super ill. So, I asked her at home and skipped the reminder slip. She was THRILLED! She did, of course, say she would love to give a talk in Primary.

Subsequently, she asked to work on preparing her talk on Monday. I was very pleased and excited about it, myself, but because of what I was doing I couldn't get to it that moment. Due to the situation in my head (memory lapses and losses), I didn't remember it that day and each time Ria asked to do it after that there was a great deal going on. I also really wanted to sit down as a family to talk about it because I was just sure Jess would have a really great perspective to offer - or help - or something. So, that made it easy for me to keep putting it off.

We finally had some time together as a family yesterday morning. So, we all got together and I told Ria the subject for the talk (how the temple blesses her family) and she thought about it. Jess actually asked almost all of the follow-up questions that helped to get further details and information for the talk. Ria did a really wonderful job! We used only what she said (with a couple of minor grammar corrections), though I did reorder some of what she told us she wanted to say so that like subjects were together rather than a random thought here, another one, and then back to the first. Jess and I were really pleased with what she offered and asked her to practice once for us. She was reticent, which seemed odd. But she did practice and I'm super glad she did. Her only two trouble words were "heavenly" and "picnics" and as a result of the practice she did NOT have a problem at all when she read those words for her talk!!

Last night and this morning Ria iterated and reiterated MANY times her desire for the time she would give the talk. She let us know that she wanted Daddy, Kat, and Mama to be present during the time she gave her talk. I tried to talk her out of wanting Kat there, but she was firmly determined that Kathryn should attend Sharing Time just for her talk! I was worried about this because Kat's transition to Nursery has been slightly bumpy as of late and I didn't want her to have to go through two drop offs! This was a non-issue as it turned out because Jess stayed with Kat in nursery after Ria's talk anyway. Joey Parsons, a good friend AND our Home Teacher, is one of the nursery workers. Jess admitted that he stayed to talk with him since he was really late for the last meeting anyway. ;)

Ria practiced her talk again this morning and did really well. She was so excited! In Sharing Time, after she was announced, she seemed slightly disoriented. Saturday, after we finished working on the talk, I asked Ria if she wanted Mama or Daddy to be up front with her to help her or not. She's answered very decisively that she would be just fine on her own. As I watched her in what seemed to me to be a bit of disorientation, I was worried that I'd made the wrong decision in allowing her to do it all on her own. Our wonderful President and Counselor were right there and guided her to the podium. As I reflect now, I think Ria was just worried about where the paper for her talk was (it was already on the podium). As soon as she was standing in place and had the talk in front of her, she was completely at ease and went right on with the show as if she was born to stand in front of people!

Because we are so pleased and excited, I'm going to share/transcribe the whole talk with/for you. I hope you will recognize this as an act by an adoring Mother feeling overflowing with joy in her child's performance (which this is), rather than anything else it might seem to be. :)

Ria's First Talk

"The temple is a blessing for me and my family. It is Jesus's house that some workers' made. It is a place where we pray. And Heavenly Father talks to us there and at church."

"My family and I go to the temple when it's a Saturday. The temple is a place of joy and beauty where we go as a a family. We are happy there with Daddy and the whole family. And we have picnics there and play."

"I like to see Moroni on top of the temple. I love Moroni. I would like to talk to him."

"I feel happy at the temple. When I go inside, I feel happy and grateful to Heavenly Father for making such a wonderful place."

"The temple is a blessing for me and my family because we go there. And pray."

She read it all on her own, of course. Due to the way that the words fell in the layout on the page, Ria actually forgot to read/skipped the words "wonderful place" in the second to last paragraph. But it still worked and made sense. The adults present were super impressed and she received numerous compliments about how well she did and how amazingly well she read. She took it ALL in stride and smiled and said Thank You to each one.

We are so pleased.

A funny bit of something...
After Ria finished her talk and sat down, Kat just had to go up to her. (Or so Jess thought.) So, he let her go. Kat didn't go up to Ria at all. She went straight up to the podium and climbed the little steps! She was up there before anyone could get to her. She was helped down and Jess took her back to Nursery. We thought it was so totally cute and funny, though. It's VERY like Kitty Kat, of course. Ria is her "almost everything," I would say. And I'm sure I'm not stretching the truth a bit. Jess and Ria together would probably qualify as Kat's "EVERYthing!" ^_^ But the point is that from Kathryn's perspective: If Ria does it, it MUST be worth doing! So, if it's worth doing, Kat just HAS to have something to do WITH it!!! :) Our second daugher is easily "Copy Kat!!" (heeheehee) This is usually a wonderful thing, in my opinion. Of course, Ria isn't perfect (as if there ever was such a child!), so there are some things she does that I do not like or want Kathryn to emulate. Ria and I have regular talks throughout the day about the importance of her example to Kat, WHY it is important, how her choices matter, why she needs to think about the things she does, and so forth. But, overall, Ria is an amazing big sister and wonderful example. I couldn't have planned a better leader/example for our family's children if asked to draw up a model myself! I'm so glad it was Heavenly Father's gig, not mine! ^_^

A Bit About Mama
Since I was sick two weeks ago and Jess was SUPER sick this last Sunday, I missed two Sundays in a row. I think my absence combined with the rapid growth in girth of my belly resulted in the comments today, but I'm pleased anyway. So, I received wonderful compliments from the moment we arrived at church this morning. It's so wonderful, too, since I was feeling a bit frumpy and uncomfy. My sweet and generous Relief Society President said, "My aren't we looking radiant!?" Later on, as I was talking with my Primary President, she made mention that I looked like I was thinner. When I explained that I probably was, she went on to gush about my appearance and how odd it is that I'm thinner and pregnant, but cool. (That, of course, felt really nice!) At the end of church I stopped in to talk with a couple sisters in the Relief Society room. One of them, Sister Crunkleton, has been Ria's teacher in Sunbeams for the last few Sundays and she was raving to me about Ria's talk and her reading ability. Then she and the other sister went on to talk about my big belly and how I looked thinner and how wonderful I looked. So, that really felt awesome, too! :)

As a rule, I don't feel AWESOME and BEAUTIFUL all the time when I'm preggie, but I do feel a bit more "normal" perhaps. Not normal for me, certainly. But I think when I'm preggie (except for the exhaustion part) I actually tend to move more toward how most women feel MOST of the time. Strange? But true! Don't get me wrong. There are times when the hormones are decidedly apparent and Jess has been caught (this pregnancy specifically) to say in exasperation, "Man! You're pregnant!" as a result of some over emotional reaction to something or other.

I don't really ask Jess much at all about his progress toward becoming a non-smoker. Mostly I don't ask because I don't want him to feel that I'm weighing my acceptance of him on this decision/accomplishment. The last time I asked about the lozenges, he was down to maybe one a day. I figure he'll tell me when he's done with them or I'll eventually ask and he'll tell me then. I honestly gave up caring, in a controlling manner, whether he was a smoker or not before he quit smoking, so I don't want to backtrack into making it a huge issue. Today Brother Crookston, who reminds me of my Dad in a way and who happens to be the guy we're planning to ask to bless the new baby, asked Jess for an update. Jess told him, immediately, that he was still not smoking. This pleased me greatly, of course. And I just wanted to rave about him and his accomplishment for a moment here.

Since Jess has stopped smoking he has been nasty two times. Did you see that? Well, perhaps it will be more impressive yet when I remind you that he has now been a non-smoker for MORE than TWO MONTHS!!!!! I really can't beat that. I mean, being nasty once a month is rather normal for any mortal - much less someone tackling a life habit like smoking.

Jess has talked to me a couple times about how he's been having weird cravings for smokes (like recently he just wanted to BUY them, nothing about smoking really, just wanted the act of purchasing them). Thus far each time he shares an experience such as that with me, it really doesn't seem strange to me at all. Perhaps my "normal" take about what he perceives as odd cravings is related to my issues (the current foci) I'm really striving to change right now (over-eating, exercise, and anger being a few). I think the anger, especially, is an addiction similar in scope and parameters to smoking. I haven't done the research to prove it to myself, but some few things I've learned about the effects of anger on the body (chemically) and the habit of it are both very similar to respective aspects of smoking.

Today Jess told me about a smoking dream and his related guilt. I TOTALLY get that! Let me tell you. When preggie I have these horrible (guiltily wonderful?) dreams about guys from my past. Thus far every first trimester has brought these dreams and the resultant guilt is extreme. So, I could totally relate to Jess on his issue! But I reminded him of something he often tells me when I cry to him about a bad dream, "It's okay, you didn't really do it! And I know you wouldn't do it." or something equally wonderful. Of course, because of my beliefs AND some experience, I actually REALLY believe - even KNOW - that dreams can be a LOT more than just imaged floating around my head while my body remains immobile. But, it's still comforting, the things he says. So, I reminded him of them and hope that he felt some comfort, too. I ALSO added a perspective that I really believe. It could well be that the stogies he dreamed about represent something in his life that is GOOD and that the act of smoking them in his dream, while bad if it were to be directly translated and acted upon in daily life, could really be wonderful or awesome if he were to correctly translate the symbolic meaning and act on it in his life! ^_^

Just to reiterate because I've had TONS of digression and commentary: I am so super pleased and impressed with my hubbie! He's close to THREE months of being a non-smoker and really close to being done with the chemical assistance he's used to rid himself of the smoking habit. He has continued to work two jobs through all of it AND her has NOT turned into a horrible mean cantankerous jerk like lots of "quitters" become while working toward becoming non-smokers. I'm proud of him!!! I hope this is not an evil sort of pride. But "pleased" just isn't a strong enough word to describe my joy and pleasure in his accomplishment. He is a really GOOD guy!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


On top of everything else Jess has to do, he's now, once again, in charge of grocery shopping. He's so wonderful about it, too, which makes the release of that responsibility easier for me to deal with. I hate to ask him to do yet something more, but there's this problem I have... so it's become rather necessary, as the moolah is much tighter right now, for the better shopper to be in charge. And Jess is definitely THAT!

I think it may be because I do the bills and so I know how much I could actually use... but whenever Jess goes grocery shopping, he comes home with almost exactly what I've put on the list. On the other hand, when I go.... I don't even want to go into what I come home with. I don't want to, but give me a minute and I'll get my guts up to bad mouth myself.

I think it also has to do with the horrible sense of foreboding I feel concerning food storage. I feel certain that something is going to happen and we're going to live off of our food storage again. I don't know what and I don't know exactly when, but it feels like it will be sometime after the baby is born, which causes me even greater anxiety.

So, basically, when I go grocery shopping I do NOT stick to the list. This is a good thing in that it seems the only time I remember certain necessary items is while I'm shopping. For whatever reason those itemS just don't seem to occur to me while I'm making the list. Usually the items are food storage related (at least lately). But the added items add up in the total, of course, and then I'm over budget. ARGH!

Jess took BOTH girls grocery shopping this morning. He doesn't prefer this because it is, admittedly, more difficult than taking one. But because he had them both I had a VERY quiet extra sleep time. MAN, I sure have needed a TON of sleep lately!!! I went to bed around 11:30pm last night and slept TWELVE hours and totally could have easily slept a few more. And this is how I've been feeling for a couple weeks now!!! ahwell... I guess this baby just needs extra energy to bake up properly. :)

YEAY, I was able to go for another walk today!!! Heavenly Father granted my request in that the rain came and went away prior to my walk time. After just a few minutes out walking I felt like I'd stepped out of a sauna because the air was just THAT wet. Amazing! But it felt really wonderful to get out again. This time it was 64 minutes. Thankfully my belly did NOT hurt nearly as bad or as much today as it did yesterday! I only had a couple big BH pains - as opposed to about 40 minutes worth yesterday.

Ria on the Phone
Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Chris made Ria's evening two nights in a row. Evie's birthday was yesterday and I swear Ria talked to her for a good 15 minutes or more. Chris's birthday was today and he chatted with her for a while. He was so sweet when he was trying to get off the phone with her. He's a very subtle guy, anyway. But Ria doesn't really GET subtle too well. I'm probably to blame. Not necessarily overtly (I hope), but when I was young subtley was TOTALLY lost on me. Perhaps it is genetic!?? I can hope. ;) I do have to say, sort of admiringly, Ria sure can talk on the phone! It's pretty cute, if I do say so myself. Kat was awake today so she also go to hear Uncle Chris. She doesn't speak much coherently - especially over the phone. BUT he did get to hear her say "bubble," which is mighty cute!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Husbands

make happy homes!

I know it is often said that a Mother is the heart of the home and her attitude is sort of the thermometer or barometer of the home. I would agree with this, in general, but in my life and, specifically, my family life currently, the feeling my husband brings home with him infects me tremendously! Jess came home (and often does!) so cheerful today. I was feeling totally poopy because I've had a headache since... well, for over two weeks now. Not only does my head hurt, but I have begun to feel oppressed by pain. So, I wasn't in a terribly good mood. But Jess was happy when he came home and he didn't get poopy just because I was poopy. He stayed up-beat and just felt really positive for his brief lunch time with us.

I found that by the end of lunch together AND after he left I felt so much more able to cope with the constant pain because my mood was lifted by that of my hubbie. And the further I went into my afternoon and evening the more I've felt gratitude for this aspect of my husband because when he's happy I feel happier!! It's times like these that I'm so grateful that Jess has a work schedule that enables him to be home with us during the middle-ish part of the day. :)

Ria was talking to her Aunt Evelyn early this evening because today is her birthday. During the course of their really rather long conversation, Ria told Evelyn that her Daddy needed to get another job. She named only one specific reason for this and then went on to explain that he needed to get a really good job, but that he still had to be able to come home for lunch with us. I thought that was so interesting and wonderful. Especially because I really struggled with an idea for lunch today! I mean, I'm sure Ria would love having her Daddy home even if we didn't eat with him, but the couple of times that situation has actually occured, it really troubled her that we didn't eat a meal with her Daddy. It's just nice to realize, I guess, that I'm doing something that matters to her! Ya know? :)

I was actually able to go for a walk today! I went quite early because the sky was quite overcast and I was afraid I would get rained in if I waited until my normal time. So, I perspired a great deal more than I normally would have for the pace I walked (because it was QUITE hot even though overcast), but I felt SO much better after the walk than I have since Tuesday (when I was last able to walk). My head still hurt, but the pain was diminished! YEAY!!! I did a 66 minute walk and would have liked to do more, but the girls were bickering a bit too much for me to keep going since we were so close to home at the end.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Spoken Words

What She's Sayin'
I think it's always exciting when little ones begin to speak and we can discern what they are trying to say. The thing about Kat is that she started to speak in a comprehensible manner, and much more than a word or two, when she was around 9 months old. However, for whatever reason, she, like her big sister, stopped vocalizing in "adult" words within a couple months. She still jibber-jabbered, but it was basically unintelligible.

For the last few months Kat has been starting to say things we can understand again. Now, this does NOT mean this little lady has been incommunicado between about 11 months and 19. On the contrary! Where Ria could sign up a storm to communicate her wishes and ideas, Kat JUST communicated!!! She still does this, of course, but there are adult words mixed in now, which makes for very sweet and cute effort to make herself known. I would like to add that most people around Kitty Kat completely understand her no matter HOW she's communicating. She's a GOOD communicator! Because I feel concerned that she's not understood (as I think most Mother's do with their non-speaking toddlers) I usually just interpret what she's trying to convey. Almost without exception, when I do this, the person to whom I'm interpreting Kitty Kat's communication tells me they completely understood her already! There are plenty enough times that they'll interrupt me and tell me what she's saying - AND they are correct!!!! It's pretty awesome! ^_^

Having said all that, it's still lovely to hear Kathryn trying to reproduce speech patterns that will enable her widespread verbal communication. (Of course! What parent doesn't adore the early days of speech!??)

Currently Kat is saying "YaYa" really often. Can you guess why she would say it all through the day? This is her lazy way of saying "Ria." I say lazy because she has more closely replicated RIA, but doesn't do it regularly. Since Ria is either her favorite (or second favorite person - Daddy may have her beat), she calls for and says YAYA all day long!

She's also started saying her own name when you ask her to, but I haven't heard that often enough to try to phonetically write it out. She has said Mama and Daddy as long as I can remember, but she's actually said "Jessie" a couple times! This is, of course, not encouraged, but it still amazes me.

Kitty Kat gets to watch a movie when Ria and I sit down to "do school." When she chooses her movie, I hold two up and she points to one and says, "dzat." Interpreted, is, of course, "that." She uses her version of "that" for other things as well.

Another new addition to all day use is the word "tay." I might say, "We need to leave the laundry room now." And Kitty Kat responds, "Tay." Can you guess? It's her version of "Okay." We've tried to get her to say the whole word, but she doesn't want to add the "oh" sound at the beginning. She's definitely understandable and it's quite cute, so I haven't really pressed her.

Kat and I "do school" whenever she's interested. Thus far we work with colors. She doesn't really SAY most of the colors, it's more about correctly identifying and recognizing them. However, she does say, "pupoo," "boo," and "kink." I'm sure you can figure those out! :)

I'm very pleased when Kat calls for her Winnie the Pooh, which I made for her. She calls him either "poo" or "bayya." I don't think I've heard her put the two together. But it warms my heart that that particular toy is valuable to her!

I'm sure there are more, but I cannot recall any at this moment. Surely I will update her sweet speech as further developments in her adorable vocalizations occur. ^_^

Sunny Afternoon, Raining Evening

WEATHER and my walks
I'm feeling pretty darn bummed right now. This is my second evening of being unable to take my walk due to weather! It was raining from about 5pm until after 8pm last night and currently it is raining down hard. I planned to leave for my walk at 6:30pm, but I would totally go at 7pm as per my usual - except that it's STILL raining! :(

I've been wanting a treadmill lately because I have a VERY difficult time walking for the 80 minutes I WANT to do all at one go. But I can totally do 40 minutes. Even 60 is pushing it some days already. :p But if I could walk on a treadmill when I wake up and then go for my evening walk outside (weather permitting), I could still walk my goal without having constant Braxton Hicks for the last 30+ minutes (when I've done 80 minutes recently, this has been the result). It's not just mild BH, it's intense pain that makes walking quite difficult. So, I obviously don't want to put myself through that every day. When I have been able to walk (no rain), I've only been doing 40-60 minutes lately - depending on headache level. That's another MAJOR annoyance. My head has been pounding REALLY regularly ever since I was sick with the minor version of what Jess had this last weekend. Constant pain is just so... CONSTANT!

Story Time
I have to say I was super pleased and impressed. Today, for THE first time, Kitty Kat SAT for and listened to ALL of the stories read for story time today!!! I was so happy to see her sitting and then the fact that she STAYED that way until the children were getting up to move to the craft area... Well, needless to say, I think, this is wonderful progress, in my opinion!

At least the weather was nice for the girls after Story Time today. We finally made it after missing for THREE weeks! Ruth, our wonderful, sweet librarian was so happy to see us and gave me a big hug. And then she said the sweetest words, "You've lost weight!!!" Actually, I haven't lost an ounce... but I'm right where I have been since I lost those two pounds. My midwife is super impressed and pleased for me! But to be told by someone who hasn't seen me in a bit that I look like I've lost weight was really pleasant! ^_^

Ria was able to make friends with a new little girl named Ava. Her Mama is a teacher, so they'll be coming to story time for the summer. Her Mama, Heather, and I talked a lot and she's quite cool. So, hopefully we'll become friends. She's newly divorced, so potentially has a lot more time to hang out. Perhaps. She knows a lot about subjects I've read on that I don't have others to discuss them with. So, I'm hopeful. :) We'll see.

"The house looks really nice today, Tori. Thank you for working on the dishes and clearing the counter." Sweet words like drops of gas in my love tank! The night after I wrote about Jess not communicating to me in the way I need (Words of Affirmation love tank girl, here) I talked to him about the issue... again... and then told him about the blog post. I don't know which had the greater effect, but I rather think he actually heard some of what I said that night BECAUSE he made specific compliments on my efforts!!! The thing about that - specific compliments - for this WOA (Words of Affirmation) girl - is that general compliments get totally lost in my psyche (most of the time). It's like as soon as someone pays me a compliment (especially someone from whom I crave them!), my brain is like, "This is why they didn't really mean it. And this is what they would say if they really knew how much effort you put in. And if they really knew what to compliment this is how it would happen...." It's horrible and I am usually successful at curbing/silencing the horrible negativity of my inner mind. But when it comes to compliments about my work at home it is so much more difficult because there really IS so much I'm doing (especially when I'm on the ball, like now - as of late) that general compliments don't FEEL sincere no matter how much I might KNOW they are. And even though I KNOW how difficult it is for Jess to communicate to me the way I NEED... I guess it just comes down to how my feelings work and specific words of affirmation speak love to my heart like high octane gas in a vehicle as apposed to watered down stuff in the same vehicle. So, the fact that Jess made mention of the dishes that I'd just been working on AND the counter, which is a huge issue to him, helped me feel TRULY appreciated, which is a rare feeling in this ol' heart of mine! I think it goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway, "I'm so happy and feeling really hopeful!" It's wonderful to feel hope!!! Isn't it!??

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Life is a Circus... How Many Rings Does Yours Have?

Ring Master Ria
The title today is inspired by Ria. Just a little while ago I heard her, as I was lying down on the couch resting again, narrating to an imaginary audience. She was obviously trying to build up some suspense and excitement for what she was about to present. The words were there, but it was also the tone - the way she was totally ANNOUNCING it. "Ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you something that will surprise and wonder you. It is Kathryn!" And then she proceeded in her announcer style to tell Kathryn to do certain things, "Now, Kathryn will go to the microphone," and here she got a bit more quiet so I couldn't hear further instructions from Ring Master Ria. How funny, huh? Ria has never seen a circus... oh, well, I suppose she has seen ONE: DUMBO. ^_^

Midwife Visit
I'm pretty sure that covers the whole circus aspect of the day since our days are pretty quiet as of late. I suppose today has been more exciting than normal because we had our midwife visit. Everything is great. Baby heartbeat is at 140 (range 120-160 is good/normal). Mama's blood pressure is same as last time 110 over 62! ^_^ THANK YOU WALKS!!!! And belly measurement: 28 centimeters. Uhhh... did you SEE that number? You know, of course, a preggie belly is supposed to measure the same in centimeters as the Mama is weeks preggie. I'm 25 by my count, which isn't TOO off. But my midwife has me at 24 and a couple days. BUT even at 25 weeks (my count) I've never measured more than 2 weeks ahead of my weeks. So... what do you think?? Lately I've really thought there was probably only one baby in there, but now I'm not so sure. If the measurements are up a week more next time, I'm going to have to schedule an ultrasound. :( The way I'm trying to comfort myself about this situation is that #1 having an US will enable me to keep my home birth and #2 the US will NOT be prior to 30 weeks gestation. We'll see. It could totally even out and I won't even have to worry about it!

Today was the gestational diabetes test, which I didn't realize. So I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich for breakfast. :( This is not the best meal to have in preparation for that particular test! Hopefully it comes back normal or I'll have to pay for extra labs on my blood! ah well... it's my own fault, I wasn't heeding the promptings....

Scary Excitement in the Van
The other aspect of excitement this morning is that we were almost sideswiped by a Volusia County School truck this morning. (It was about the size of a standard Chevy S-10, but still!) Jess didn't even perceive it as soon as I did, which caused his reaction to be very lagging, which caused me some extra anxiety. The truck would have hit me, by the way. Also, Jess is really slow to honk the horn. I, on the other hand, feel that horns are the only way to communicate with other vehicles, so I use it if I feel the need. Different ways of honking for different purposes, of course. This particular instance would have been a LONG drawn out honk with lots of exclamatory short honks afterward! At least Jess did honk, though! Thankfully, we were not touched by the other vehicle. Father was certainly offering his protection. My anxiety was super high. I'm glad it happened after my blood pressure was taken! haha

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Incredibles

FHE - Family Home Evening
We had a lovely FHE night last night. Jess was home, which was really awesome and unusual. In addition to that he BBQed for dinner and we had a "picnic" in our bedroom and watched THE INCREDIBLES, all of which was part of FHE. We concluded the night with a short lesson about the importance of families and working together (an easy lesson FROM the movie!). Unfortunately, we got to bed quite late because when Daddy makes dinner it is usually finished quite late.

So, today I've had two majorly fussy-butt girls on my hands! Frustrating? Yes, definitely.

I finally cut Jessie's hair last night. It was QUITE long and getting shaggy in an ugly way. It looked very nice when I was finished, though! The point, however, is not so much that I cut his hair (because I'm the only one who does, so it does happen sort of often). The point is this: while I was cutting his hair I made what I considered a mistake in taking the fade up and said, "Oh, Gosh!" The remedy to the problem I'd created was rather easy, but it made me remember this story my sister Evelyn told me. Before they got married, I believe, Evelyn's soon to be Mother-in-law taught Evelyn how to do a basic male's haircut so that she could cut Chris's hair. One thing specifically, that Chris's Mom told Evelyn was something like, "Now, if you mess up you never say 'Uh-oh,' instead you say 'Hmmm-hmm-hm-hmmm' so that your guy doesn't get upset." Evelyn's story continues in that she told me the first time she cut Chris's hair she DID, in fact, mess up and her first reaction was, "Uh-Oh!" And Chris got a little excited and told her, "Uhhh, you're not supposed to say 'uh-oh'!" and I think he probably felt the reasoning behind it, too. This whole thing struck me as very funny and I'm sure I'd told Jess this story once before while cutting his hair.

Well, after I said, "Oh, gosh!" when cutting his hair last night I told him the story again. When I make exclamations, such as the one described, Jessie is never phased anymore. I've thought this was because he knows the cuts always turn out fine, so there's nothing to worry about. Well, after I told him Evelyn's story again last night, he asked me WHY I'd told him that story AGAIN. I reminded him of the exclamation I'd made. He told me, "Oh, I just figured that you just remembered that you forgot to add a row of something into the thing you were crossstiching (actually crocheting! and he totally knows the difference) earlier." This led to a brief conversation about how my memory behaves and a greater understanding of Jessie's nonchalance toward me when I make exclamations at any given time. Basically, I've exclaimed in alarm over things that were not present in our experience of time enough that Jess has generalized that most of the time I make an exclamation it's probably about something I haven't done or still need to do and am just remembering! Pretty funny, eh?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jessie Sick?

A Tale Of Two Sick Gollihughs
Yeppers, and it was a DOOZY! Jess doesn't get sick terribly often. When he has in the past, he usually just sleeps a bit more than usual and then he's well again. Well, due to circumstances, he wasn't able to sleep more than usual prior to the onslaught of this illness. So, he came home from work Saturday night because he was so ill he wasn't much good for anything AT work.

If the fact that he actually came home from work sick wasn't alarming enough, he also felt so bad and weak and unlike himself that he actually broke down in a full-on ugly cry. You know ugly cries, right? The sobbing, the snotting, the wracking pain of the pain of it. Well, at least that's what they are like for me. And this was the first time for me to see something similar from Jess! This alarmed me GREATLY!

Now, I know crying is totally okay. It's actually quite cleansing for the body. Did you know? Tears carry within them chemical that are harmful to the body - so it's a release both emotionally and physically - so it is quite good for any body to release them - YES, even guys!! Really, I'm quite okay with any guy crying. But the fact is, Jess just doesn't cry. Okay, so he shed some tears at the birth of each of our daughters. And he may have actually shed tears, at most, 3 other times... but the fact that he just doesn't cry - generally speaking - causes me some concern and often alarm if/when he does/has.

Prior to this explosion of emotion, Jess cried (tears falling from his eyes) a full 4 or 5 times. That doesn't mean, however, that he was sobbing or full-on CRYING the ugly cry. I have heard him cry like THAT once and seen it, maybe, once. But even the time I can think of having seen him in an ugly cry it wasn't as ugly as Saturday night. Now, this is not to berate or make fun of my husband. On the contrary, it's more as a way of illustrating 2 things. 1: Jessie was sicker than he's EVER been during the course of our 7.5+ years together. 2: I was scared out of my skin when he was breaking down. If you did not understand how completely uncharacteristic this sort of behavior is from Jess, you might not understand my deep concern and fear over this period of illness!

Thankfully, Jess was only sick all of Saturday evening, night and through the morning on Sunday. Though his throat still hurts today he's no longer suffering with the other symptoms. His symptoms: sore throat, head ache (think migraine), eyes hurting so much he couldn't keep them open, skin hurting, feet hurting so much it hurt to walk, joint pain, achy-ness (this is separate because he mentioned it as a separate pain from the joint and skin pain), and a pretty high fever. He was in bed, pretty much, from the time he got home from work until around 10 or 11am Sunday morning.

I'm sure he would have been able to sleep all day Sunday, but by 10 or 11 I was cracking. I had slept SUPER poorly that night because my whole body was alert for any indication that Jess needed me. (He got out of bed twice, but didn't call me.) Ria was sick as well, so I was trying to keep an ear our for her. She had what Daddy had, except that she also threw up. That last bit happened at 4am, so I was up with her changing her bed, helping her get a bath, and then dressed and back in bed. That was probably about 45 minutes missing from my restless sleep. At about 6am Jess woke me because he was hungry. Totally fine since he was so weak it was amazing he got out of bed on his own to tell me this. But, of course, another bunch of sleep missing from this preggie lady's night.

So, by 10 or 11 am the girls were awake and the thing that caused my "crack" is that Kat was inconsolable. She was completely and utterly DONE with being kept away from her Daddy. She stood outside the bedroom door and kept hollerin, "Daeee!" I tried to coax her away and comfort her. It was all to no avail, however, because she just KNEW he was home and she hadn't been able to see him for much too long. So, I gave up to my fatigue and frustration and woke Jess up. Basically he just had the girls in the room with him at first. He did eventually get up with them, but I was in dream land most of the time until about 1pm, so I'm not really sure what occurred during that time! I did wake up around 1pm (getting up and around), but I was still so tired I could have easily slept at LEAST a few more hours.

It seems pretty likely that I was/am coming down with something else or having a relapse of the stuff that Jess and Ria had (since that's what I had LAST weekend, which is why I missed church then). Thankfully my experience with it was not as severe as Jessie's. Probably because I couldn't function and DID sleep more than he was able to! However, it seems more likely that I'm on the verge of some upper resperatory crapola because I woke up hacking junk up. :( OH, I HATE that kind of illness!!! That and barf are the two I handle worst. Puke is pretty self-explanatory, but the upper respiratory is really difficult for me because I was sick with that for at least 3 months when I was preggie with Ria and it's been really difficult for me to cope AND overcome that kind of junk ever since.

AH, well. I'm sure everything will work out.

Food Storage
I'm still very anxious about this issue. I haven't mentioned it much because I haven't had much to add, but I am trying to scrounge together every bit of moolah I can to get more. It is VERY slow going, though, since Jess is working fewer hours and fewer days at the Almond Blossom Cafe. This is a bit more of a trial and tribulation than I was expecting BECAUSE of my anxiety about food storage.

I've found a BUNCH of really wonderful resources within the last week (actually less). I haven't made time to add them to my homschool links yet, but I plan to try to update that sooner than later. I may actually have to make more sections because I have many that are sort of Math specific now. (I've been really trying to beef up my ability to delve into Math with Ria since she's
so excited to do it now.) Last week we didn't do school each day due to my focus on keeping the house to Jessie's specifications.

The House Issue
So, when Jess laid into me about the house, one of the many unfair things he said to me had to do with his reality rather than actual reality. That is one of the amazing, powerful, and wonderful things about words: their inherent and potent ability to reveal to listener/hearer the reality in which the speaker/writer lives (or visits as with fiction writing/reading). He made specific mention (a few times during the course of expressing his issues with my housekeeping) of how the house was "ALWAYS" this or "ALWAYS" that, which he saw as extremely sickening or depressing or whatever. The problem with universal terms is that they are ALMOST always incorrect! Universal terms generally require modifiers that take away the sting of their universality. Universal terms, though, reveal the living reality for the speaker in that they illustrate for the listener what the speaker experiences. So, for Jess, no matter how many times I try to clear the counters and keep them that way, those "spots" (regardless of how long their maintainance) didn't exist AT ALL! This is particularly troubling in issues, such as this one for me, that is a sort of ingrained behavior that I am being required by my partner to change (with no help from him, I might add!).

Clear counters in the home in which I was raised were almost never seen. That is not to say that my Mom was a horrible housekeeper. It is, more, to say that counters were not THE priority in home maintainance. Now, I understand that I am not beholden to the past in which I was raised. I am completely free to design my life as I see fit. And I am. I'm just working on making so many HUGE changes that counters are just so far from the radar as to be nonexistant. And, I beleive, rightly so - really! I mean, when someone has anger issues - regardless of the degree, in my opinion, changing that life-long behavior is SUCH a huge mental, emotional, and time consumer as to make other changes difficult, if not impossible.

Given that the dealing with the anger is difficult enough to tackle alone; in addition to changing from a daily yeller to a NON-yeller, I am also modifying my physical behavior (from sedentary to daily exerciser!). This, too, is not just as simple a change as it might seem, especially for many thin women for whom exercise and daily activity have been a part of their life. It, for me, is a whole reality shift! It means that I have to spend at least 30 minutes outside of actual exercise in preparing for and getting out of the activity of exercise. That's not really such a big deal, especially for a person who values themselves enough to spend that time on themselves without wondering a bit if they are worth it. (Peek into one of the issues I face daily.) On top of that comes the aggravation of dealing with the daughters... they are not completely cooperative and rightly so - who wants to sit in a buggy for 60+ minutes. This compounds my issue (the peeked at one) because I'm inconveniencing my girls and their aggravations causes some in me - and then I'm back to fighting myself and my anger issues! I could continue, but will desist for now.

Basically, my point is that Jess makes all these demands - on top of what he already knows I expect of/for myself (he has made it clear that my anger issue and physical appearance are displeasing to him, in a very kind way - if that's possible about two issues that are almost a part of ME). And then he wonders why part of the house fall apart. ARGH! And then he reveals to me, by his words, that the efforts I have made (successfully) in the past don't even exist to him.

The whole point, really, in giving so much detail and explanation on this subject it to get to the thing that's really troubling me right now. Jess hasn't commented about the maintainance of the house/counters/table. It's very disheartening because I can see how his revealed reality is created - if he doesn't often or adequately acknowledge improvements, they just fade from memory! :( Very frustrating for this WORDS OF AFFIRMATION chica, I must say!

I'm done ranting for now. Till later!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yep, Still Catching Up on Pictures

Ria and Kat sitting in "Ria's" chair.
Ria actually read the whole book, though I don't think Kat sat for all of it.

The following is a series Daddy caught.
Ria is painting a wooden jewelry box she received from her Aunt Anni, Uncle Joey, and cousins for Christmas. She subsequently gave the completed product to Mama for Mother's Day!

Ria all dressed up after her Recital Pictures.

Ria in a box.
Go figure!

Kitty Kat pretend-feeding the baby Ria in the box.

I was just trying to document Kat's first black eye.
She didn't want to have ANYthing to do with me taking
pictures at this time. Don't know why. She usually
LOVES having her picture taken.
She got this doozy of a black eye when she dove off
one of the couches and hit a box on the floor.
Jess named it, aptly, COUCH DIVING.

Do you see anything a bit odd in this picture?
Here's a hint: Kat dressed herself.
If you still don't see it, her shirt is on backwards! :)

Daughter like Daddy... this little girl can fall asleep
ANYwhere doing ANYthing! Seriously!
Here we have Kat asleep in a chair.
Did she finish reading CAT IN THE HAT?

There are more pictures, but, for the most part these are the best of the months missing. I'll uplaod any really good ones I come across. But I think I'm finally caught up! ^_^

Temple Pictures from the Catch Up Files

These are all from a temple trip within the last few months.
Since I'm inside doing work, these are probably pretty typical of activities the girls and Daddy would enjoy together while waiting for me to finish.

My girls hugging!

Ria took the following pictures!
She does so well at framing for a 4 year old!! ^_^

Kat in the courtyard.

Sitting on a bench together.

Walkin' the line.

Running back again.

Taking time to smell the flowers.

Kat on the lawn.

OUR temple!

When I look into your eyes...

Jess told me that this morning Ria said to him, "When I look into your eyes, I know that I love you." The things they say, right!? So sweet!

When Jess was leaving for work a few moments ago, Ria came over to me and asked to do love fits with me. When I looked at her funny (because this is usually something we do when someone is leaving) she said, "I just want to do love fits with you because I love you!" My heart felt all melty, of course! :)

Kitty Kat is pretending so much. She's been doing this one particular thing for a while. I wish I understood what it is she's giving me... but, alas, her words are still often unintelligible. Basically, she'll bring something over to me in her closed little fist and "say things" until I put my hand out. Then she'll turn her hand as if putting something into my hand. She often adds a tapping of her hand on my hand to this whole scenario. She's told me what it is that she's giving to me, but I couldn't tell ya what it's actually supposed to be. As long as I smile and thank her for sharing, she is VERY pleased and giving me all kinds of goofy-cute smiles!

My funny sweet girls!

Jess is feeling under-the-weather today. The actual weather outside is pretty dreary, too, so I'm sure that doesn't help things. I actually realized that my feelings of a sort of physically depressive-ness could well be because of the barometer this week! No, seriously! Why wouldn't the body have a reaction to the weather!?? It makes sense because I haven't felt all down and out emotionally, but I HAVE felt really slow and poopy physically, but not ill, per se. Interesting.

More Catching Up on Pictures

My goofy girls playing on our lanai.
Ria is all dressed up in the streamers from her birthday party!

Ria all made up prior to her pictures in her dance recital outfit.
First position feet and hands.

First position feet and I think it's 8th position hands, I'm not sure on that, though.

My girls hugging.
See, I do read to my girls...
Jess just isn't around to catch it on camera most of the time!

Kat regularly falls asleep in her table - usually after eating.
She's much more like Jess in her sleep ability than Ria or I!

And again!

My sweet bathing beauties!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another Day

Today was pretty quiet. We didn't do anything out of the ordinary. But I do want to share that the girls wanted their hair done before Daddy got home. This time they both asked for it! :) Actually, first Kat asked me to do her hair up (pony tail was fine) until Ria asked for her hair to be done. Ria wanted a braid and about half way through putting the braid in place, Kat pulled her pony tail out and wanted a braid too. So, they both had braided hair! Because Kat's isn't quite long enough I had to do a French Braid and she actually did quite well at the whole NOT moving for hairstyling bit. I was pretty impressed! They were both very pleased with their hair and pranced around for Daddy's compliments once he arrived home. You really would think I made a big to do about the way I appear for lunch with Jess, but I honestly do NOT. My big effort is to have a meal on the table and us sitting down to share it together for the majority of the 30 minutes he's home! So funny... my girls!

I did walk today, though only for 45 minutes. I was going to go for 60, but it was lightly sprinkling about half way in (20 min.) and I was worried it was going to storm like it did yesterday. So, I played it safe. It totally did NOT storm, though it did come down hard enough to have soaked me had I been out for the 80 minutes I want to do! My biggest accomplishment today is completing a few rows on the newest baby's special blanket made by Mama. Although it is basically the same pattern as Ria's and Kat's, I'm making the little popcorn parts orange, which takes quite a bit more time than keeping them white. I figured it was appropriate since this baby's stuffed animal (which I have not yet made) will be Tigger. :) So, his or her blanket, hat, and jacket will be white and orange. ^_^ I think it will be quite cool... and VERY cute! I'll definitely have to get pictures of the babe all dressed up and propped next to Tigger.

Oh, I caught Ria, in a picture, doing something wonderful! Unfortunately, Kat saw me as I was taking it, so it's not compeltely candid. I wanted to have it as part of this post, but my uploading program is having a hissy fit, so I'll have to edit for that... It's a picture of Ria and Kat sitting in the chair in which we usually sit for reading time together and Ria is reading The Book of Mormon to Kat!!!! Isn't that awesome and wonderful!!? It would be cool enough if it was The Book of Mormon Stories, but it's the full on BoM!!! She has access to it, but hasn't really done this sort of thing before. It's her very own copy and she sometimes takes it down to look at it and read it quietly to herself. I just feel and felt so very happy over this moment in time that I was able to catch in a picture!!!! ^_^

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Finally Updating Pictures

All of the following pictures are from before Easter, 2008.

The girls were just playing around with some of the hats we have amongst their toys.
Aren't they just the cutest?!?

The following pictures show Ria dancing. I don't have a movie of these moves and haven't been able to spend the time to figure out the whole movie upload bit, anyway.

Ria spinning.

More spinning.

A curtsy.

Releve (on tippy toes). You notice her hands go out of position due to concentration. ^_^

This is part of her recital, in it she's showing her ballet slippers.

Still showing the slippers (and singing the song that goes with the recital piece).

"We are baby ballerinas!"
They swing their arms as if holding a baby.

Showing her shoes again.
"Our new shoes,"

She's got her hands at her side and wiggles her hips forward one at a time.
"and our tutus,"

This is supposed to be an arabesque, but the girls turned it into some sort of side leg lift.
This was actually a VERY good one for Ria because she held it for a few moments.

Cupe (toes pointed at ankle)

Pase (toes pointed at knee)

I have many more pictures to add and will try to do some each day until I have updated the photos to the most recent we've taken. I was really nervous to even try this with all the problems I had with the uploads and such, but figured I had to get to it sometime or another!

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